Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Stella Obanyi

22 Productivity Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology: An Empirical Analysis from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana

Authors: Shaibu Baanni Azumah, Ignatius Tindjina, Stella Obanyi, Tara N. Wood

Abstract:

This study examined the effect of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology on the output of irrigated rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 142 rice farmers from the Golinga and Bontanga irrigation schemes, around Tamale. A treatment effect model was estimated at two stages; firstly, to determine the factors that influenced farmers’ decision to adopt the UDP technology and secondly, to determine the effect of the adoption of the UDP technology on the output of rice farmers. The significant variables that influenced rice farmers’ adoption of the UPD technology were sex of the farmer, land ownership, off-farm activity, extension service, farmer group participation and training. The results also revealed that farm size and the adoption of UDP technology significantly influenced the output of rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. In addition to the potential of the technology to improve yields, it also presents an employment opportunity for women and youth, who are engaged in the deep placement of Urea Super Granules (USG), as well as in the transplantation of rice. It is recommended that the government of Ghana work closely with the IFDC to embed the UDP technology in the national agricultural programmes and policies. The study also recommends an effective collaboration between the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to train agricultural extension agents on UDP technology in the rice producing areas of the country.

Keywords: Northern Ghana, output , irrigation rice farmers, treatment effect model, urea deep placement

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21 Simulating the Dynamics of E-waste Production from Mobile Phone: Model Development and Case Study of Rwanda

Authors: Rutebuka Evariste, Zhang Lixiao

Abstract:

Mobile phone sales and stocks showed an exponential growth in the past years globally and the number of mobile phones produced each year was surpassing one billion in 2007, this soaring growth of related e-waste deserves sufficient attentions paid to it regionally and globally as long as 40% of its total weight is made from metallic which 12 elements are identified to be highly hazardous and 12 are less harmful. Different research and methods have been used to estimate the obsolete mobile phones but none has developed a dynamic model and handle the discrepancy resulting from improper approach and error in the input data. The study aim was to develop a comprehensive dynamic system model for simulating the dynamism of e-waste production from mobile phone regardless the country or region and prevail over the previous errors. The logistic model method combined with STELLA program has been used to carry out this study. Then the simulation for Rwanda has been conducted and compared with others countries’ results as model testing and validation. Rwanda is about 1.5 million obsoletes mobile phone with 125 tons of waste in 2014 with e-waste production peak in 2017. It is expected to be 4.17 million obsoletes with 351.97 tons by 2020 along with environmental impact intensity of 21times to 2005. Thus, it is concluded through the model testing and validation that the present dynamic model is competent and able deal with mobile phone e-waste production the fact that it has responded to the previous studies questions from Czech Republic, Iran, and China.

Keywords: carrying capacity, dematerialization, logistic model, mobile phone, obsolescence, similarity, Stella, system dynamics

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20 Prediction of Metals Available to Maize Seedlings in Crude Oil Contaminated Soil

Authors: Stella O. Olubodun, George E. Eriyamremu

Abstract:

The study assessed the effect of crude oil applied at rates, 0, 2, 5, and 10% on the fractional chemical forms and availability of some metals in soils from Usen, Edo State, with no known crude oil contamination and soil from a crude oil spill site in Ubeji, Delta State, Nigeria. Three methods were used to determine the bioavailability of metals in the soils: maize (Zea mays) plant, EDTA and BCR sequential extraction. The sequential extract acid soluble fraction of the BCR extraction (most labile fraction of the soils, normally associated with bioavailability) were compared with total metal concentration in maize seedlings as a means to compare the chemical and biological measures of bioavailability. Total Fe was higher in comparison to other metals for the crude oil contaminated soils. The metal concentrations were below the limits of 4.7% Fe, 190mg/kg Cu and 720mg/kg Zn intervention values and 36mg/kg Cu and 140mg/kg Zn target values for soils provided by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) guidelines. The concentration of the metals in maize seedlings increased with increasing rates of crude oil contamination. Comparison of the metal concentrations in maize seedlings with EDTA extractable concentrations showed that EDTA extracted more metals than maize plant.

Keywords: availability, crude oil contamination, EDTA, maize, metals

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19 Comparative Assessment of Organo-Chlorine Pesticides Residue in Fruits and Fruit Juices

Authors: Saidu Garba Okereafor Stella

Abstract:

The presence of 15 organochlorine pesticides residue was assessed from 29 different fruits and fruit juice samples from selected farms in Kaduna and Niger States using the quick easy cheap effective rugged and safe (QuEChERS), followed by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The results showed the presence of varying concentrations of ten (10) organochlorine pesticide residues in all the samples with Endrin ketone showing the highest concentration in 3 samples from Kaduna (guava juice 1 and 2 0.099 to 0.145 mg/kg) and Niger States (orange juice J19 0.102 mg/kg). The heptachlor was detected at high concentration in 11 samples, 7 samples from Kaduna State (mango juice 0.011 mg/kg, Washington orange 0.014 mg/kg, Valencia orange fruit 0.020 mg/kg, orange juice 0.011, white guava fruit 0.024 mg/kg, guava juice 0.023 mg/kg, guava juice 2 0.024 mg/kg) and 4 samples from (mango juice 1 0.015 mg/kg, pineapple juice 1 0.0120 mg/kg pineapple juice 2 011 mg/kg and mix juice 2 0.012 mg/kg) from Niger State. Dieldrine and endosulfansulfate were detected at high levels in one sample each from Niger (guava fruit 0.019 mg/kg and mixed juice1 0.011mg/kg), respectively. However, all were above the maximum residue limits (MRLs) set by WHO/FAO which suggest that people consuming these type of contaminated fruits and fruits juices may contact diseases associated with those organochlorine pesticides residue. Minute concentrations of other organochlorines (α- BHC, δ- BHC, β- BHC, Lindane, and p’p DDT) ranged from 0.003 to 0.015 were recorded below the MRLs.

Keywords: fruits and fruits juices, organochlorine pesticide residue, comparative studies, gc-ms spectrophometer

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18 Antioxidant Enzymes and Crude Mitochondria ATPases in the Radicle of Germinating Bean (Vigna unguiculata) Exposed to Different Concentrations of Crude Oil

Authors: Stella O. Olubodun, George E. Eriyamremu

Abstract:

The study examined the effect of Bonny Light whole crude oil (WC) and its water soluble fraction (WSF) on the activities of antioxidant enzymes (catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD)) and crude mitochondria ATPases in the radicle of germinating bean (Vigna unguiculata). The percentage germination, level of lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme, and mitochondria Ca2+ and Mg2+ ATPase activities were measured in the radicle of bean after 7, 14, and 21 days post germination. Viable bean seeds were planted in soils contaminated with 10ml, 25ml, and 50ml of whole crude oil (WC) and its water soluble fraction (WSF) to obtain 2, 5, and 10% v/w crude oil contamination. There was dose dependent reduction of the number of bean seeds that germinated in the contaminated soils compared with control (p<0.001). The activities of the antioxidant enzymes, as well as, adenosine triphosphatase enzymes, were also significantly (p<0.001) altered in the radicle of the plants grown in contaminated soil compared with the control. Generally, the level of lipid peroxidation was highest after 21 days post germination when compared with control. Stress to germinating bean caused by Bonny Light crude oil or its water soluble fraction resulted in adaptive changes in crude mitochondria ATPases in the radicle.

Keywords: antioxidant enzymes, bonny light crude oil, radicle, mitochondria ATPases

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17 Engaging Girls in 'Learn Science by Doing' as Strategy for Enhanced Learning Outcome at the Junior High School Level in Nigeria

Authors: Stella Y. Erinosho

Abstract:

In an attempt to impact on girls’ interest in science, an instructional package on ‘Learn Science by Doing (LSD)’ was developed to support science teachers in teaching integrated science at the junior secondary level in Nigeria. LSD provides an instructional framework aimed at actively engaging girls in beginners’ science through activities that are discovery-oriented and allow for experiential learning. The goal of this study was to show the impact of application of LSD on girls’ performance and interest in science. The major hypothesis that was tested in the study was that students would exhibit higher learning outcomes (achievement and attitude) in science as effect of exposure to LSD instructional package. A quasi-experimental design was adopted, incorporating four all-girls schools. Three of the schools (comprising six classes) were randomly designated as experimental and one as the control. The sample comprised 357 girls (275 experimental and 82 control) and nine science teachers drawn from the experimental schools. The questionnaire was designed to gather data on students’ background characteristics and their attitude toward science while the cognitive outcomes were measured using tests, both within a group and between groups, the girls who had exposure to LSD exhibited improved cognitive outcomes and more positive attitude towards science compared with those who had conventional teaching. The data are consistent with previous studies indicating that interactive learning activities increase student performance and interest.

Keywords: active learning, school science, teaching and learning, Nigeria

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16 Impact of Economic Crisis on Secondary Education in Anambra State

Authors: Stella Nkechi Ezeaku, Ifunanya Nkechi Ohamobi

Abstract:

This study investigated the impact of economic crisis on education in Anambra state. The population of the study comprised of all principals and teachers in Anambra state numbering 5,887 (253 principles and 5,634 teachers). To guide the study, three research questions and one hypothesis were formulated correlational design was adopted. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select 200 principals and 300 teachers as respondents for the study. A researcher-developed instrument tagged Impact of Economic Crisis on Education questionnaire (IECEQ) was used to collect data needed for the study. The instrument was validated by experts in measurement and evaluation. The reliability of the instrument was established using randomly selected members of the population who did not take part in the study. The data obtained was analyzed using Cronbach alpha technique and reliability co-efficient of .801 and .803 was obtained. The data were analyzed using simple and Multiple Regression Analysis. The formulated hypothesis was tested at .05 level of significance. Findings revealed that: there is a significant relationship between economic crisis and realization of goals of secondary education. The result also shows that economic crisis affect students' academic performance, teachers' morale and productivity and principals' administrative capability. This study therefore concludes that certain strategies must be devised to minimize the impact of economic crisis on secondary education. It is recommended that all stakeholders to education should be more resourceful and self-sufficient in order to cushion the effects of economic crisis currently gripping most world economies Nigeria inclusive.

Keywords: impact, economic, crisis, education

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15 The Relationship between Hot and Cool Executive Function and Theory of Mind in School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Evangelia-Chrysanthi Kouklari, Stella Tsermentseli, Claire P. Monks

Abstract:

Executive function (EF) refers to a set of future-oriented and goal-directed cognitive skills that are crucial for problem solving and social behaviour, as well as the ability to organise oneself. It has been suggested that EF could be conceptualised as two distinct but interrelated constructs, one emotional (hot) and one cognitive (cool), as it facilitates both affective and cognitive regulation. Cool EF has been found to be strongly related to Theory of Mind (ToM) that is the ability to infer mental states, but research has not taken into account the association between hot EF and ToM in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to date. The present study investigates the associations between both hot and cool EF and ToM in school-aged children with ASD. This cross-sectional study assesses 79 school-aged children with ASD (7-15 years) and 91 controls matched for age and IQ, on tasks tapping cool EF (working memory, inhibition, planning), hot EF (effective decision making, delay discounting), and ToM (emotional understanding and false/no false belief). Significant group differences in each EF measure support a global executive dysfunction in ASD. Strong associations between hot EF and ToM in ASD are reported for the first time (i.e. ToM emotional understanding and delay discounting). These findings highlight that hot EF also makes a unique contribution to the developmental profile of ASD. Considering the role of both hot and cool EF in association with ToM in individuals with ASD may aid in gaining a greater understanding not just of how these complex multifaceted cognitive abilities relate to one another, but their joint role in the distinct developmental pathway followed in ASD.

Keywords: ASD, executive function, school age, theory of mind

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14 A Reflection: Looking the Pattern of Political Party (Gerindra Party) Campaign by Social Media in Indonesia General Election 2014

Authors: Clara Stella Anugerah

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This study actually is a reflection of the general election in 2014. The researcher was interested in this case as the assessment of several phenomenons that happened recently. One of them is the use of social media for the campaign. By this modern era, social media becomes closer with society. It gains the communication process, and by the time being communicating others also becomes easier than before. Furthermore, social media can minimize the cost of communication with many people as a far distance that often comes to be an obstacle of communication does not become a big problem anymore. In Indonesia, the advantages of social media were used by a political party, Gerindra, to face the election that was held on 2014. Actually Gerindra is a newly formed political party that was established in 2008. In spite of Gerindra is the new comer in the election, according to the General Election Committee’s data in Indonesia, Gerindra has the biggest budget than others to cost campaign in social media. Because of that, this research wants to look “how is the pattern of Gerindra party’s campaign to face the general election in 2014? To ask that question, the theory used for this research is campaign method based on ICT (Information Communication Technology) by Rummele. According to the rummele, Gerindra was a party that used a product of social media massively, mainly facebook and twitter. According to that observation, this research focus on campaign that had been done by Gerindra in both of those social media by the time window given by KPU (General Election Committee) on Maret 16th until April 5th, 2014. The conclusion was derived by content analysis method that was used in the methodology. In this context, that method was used while interpreting the content uploaded by Gerindra to facebook or twitter, such as picture and writing. Finally, by that method and reflecting the rummele theory, this research inferred that the patern used for Gerindra’s campaign in social media tends to be top-down. It means: Gerindra showed uncommunicative tendency in social media and only want to catch much mass without mentioned a mission and vision clearly.

Keywords: Gerindra party, political party, social media, campaign, general election on 2014

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13 Improving Traditional Methods of Handling Fish from Integrated Pond Culture Systems in Monai Village, New Bussa, Nigeria

Authors: Olokor O. Julius, Ngwu E. Onyebuchi, Ajani K. Emmanuel, Omitoyin O. Bamidele, Olokor O. Linda, Akomas Stella

Abstract:

The study assessed the quality changes of Clarias gariepenus obtained from integrated culture systems (rice, poultry and fish) which were displayed at 31-33oC average daily temperature on the traditional market table used by local fish farmers to sell fish harvested from their ponds and those on an improved table designed for this study. Unlike the conventional table, the improved table was screened against flies and indiscriminate touch by customers. The fishes were displayed on both tables for 9 hours and quality attributes were monitored hourly by trained panelists. For C. gariepinus, the gills, and intestine recorded faster deterioration starting from the fourth and fifth hours while those on the improved table were prolonged by one hour. Scores for skin brightness and texture did not indicate quality deterioration throughout the display period. However, at the end of the storage time, samples on the improved table recorded 1.5 x 104 cfu/g while samples in unscreened table recorded 3.7 x 10 7 cfu/g. The study shows how simple modifications of a traditional practice can help extend keeping qualities of farmed fish, reduce health hazards in local communities where there is no electricity to preserve fish in whatever form despite a boom in aquaculture. Monai community has a fish farm estate of over 200 small holder farmers with annual output capacity of over $10 million dollars. The simple improvement made to farmers practice in this study is to ensure Community hygiene and boost income of peasant fish farmers by improving the market quality of their products.

Keywords: fish spoilage, improved handling, income generation, retail table

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12 A Flexible Real-Time Eco-Drive Strategy for Electric Minibus

Authors: Felice De Luca, Vincenzo Galdi, Piera Stella, Vito Calderaro, Adriano Campagna, Antonio Piccolo

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Sustainable mobility has become one of the major issues of recent years. The challenge in reducing polluting emissions as much as possible has led to the production and diffusion of vehicles with internal combustion engines that are less polluting and to the adoption of green energy vectors, such as vehicles powered by natural gas or LPG and, more recently, with hybrid and electric ones. While on the one hand, the spread of electric vehicles for private use is becoming a reality, albeit rather slowly, not the same is happening for vehicles used for public transport, especially those that operate in the congested areas of the cities. Even if the first electric buses are increasingly being offered on the market, it remains central to the problem of autonomy for battery fed vehicles with high daily routes and little time available for recharging. In fact, at present, solid-state batteries are still too large in size, heavy, and unable to guarantee the required autonomy. Therefore, in order to maximize the energy management on the vehicle, the optimization of driving profiles offer a faster and cheaper contribution to improve vehicle autonomy. In this paper, following the authors’ precedent works on electric vehicles in public transport and energy management strategies in the electric mobility area, an eco-driving strategy for electric bus is presented and validated. Particularly, the characteristics of the prototype bus are described, and a general-purpose eco-drive methodology is briefly presented. The model is firstly simulated in MATLAB™ and then implemented on a mobile device installed on-board of a prototype bus developed by the authors in a previous research project. The solution implemented furnishes the bus-driver suggestions on the guide style to adopt. The result of the test in a real case will be shown to highlight the effectiveness of the solution proposed in terms of energy saving.

Keywords: eco-drive, electric bus, energy management, prototype

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11 Brazilian Public Security: Governability and Constitutional Change

Authors: Gabriel Dolabella, Henrique Rangel, Stella Araújo, Carlos Bolonha, Igor de Lazari

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Public security is a common subject on the Brazilian political agenda. The seventh largest economy in the world has high crime and insecurity rates. Specialists try to explain this social picture based on poverty, inequality or public policies addressed to drug trafficking. This excerpt approaches State measures to handle that picture. Therefore, the public security - law enforcement institutions - is at the core of this paper, particularly the relationship among federal and state law enforcement agencies, mainly ruled by a system of urgency. The problems are informal changes on law enforcement management and public opinion collaboration to these changes. Whenever there were huge international events, Brazilian armed forces occupied streets to assure law enforcement - ensuring the order. This logic, considered in the long time, could impact the federal structure of the country. The post-madisonian theorists verify that urgency is often associated to delegation of powers, which is true for Brazilian law enforcement, but here there is a different delegation: States continuously delegate law enforcement powers to the federal government throughout the use of Armed Forces. Therefore, the hypothesis is: Brazil is under a political process of federalization of public security. The political framework addressed here can be explained by the disrespect of legal constraints and the failure of rule of law theoretical models. The methodology of analysis is based on general criteria. Temporally, this study investigates events from 2003, when discussions about the disarmament statute begun. Geographically, this study is limited to Brazilian borders. Materially, the analysis result from the observation of legal resources and political resources (pronouncements of government officials). The main parameters are based on post-madisonianism and federalization of public security can be assessed through credibility and popularity that allow evaluation of this political process of constitutional change. The objective is to demonstrate how the Military Forces are used in public security, not as a random fact or an isolated political event, in order to understand the political motivations and effects that stem from that use from an institutional perspective.

Keywords: public security, governability, rule of law, federalism

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10 Fishing Waste: A Source of Valuable Products through Anaerobic Treatments

Authors: Luisa Maria Arrechea Fajardo, Luz Stella Cadavid Rodriguez

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Fish is one of the most commercialized foods worldwide. However, this industry only takes advantage of about 55% of the product's weight, the rest is converted into waste, which is mainly composed of viscera, gills, scales and spines. Consequently, if these wastes are not used or disposed of properly, they cause serious environmental impacts. This is the case of Tumaco (Colombia), the second largest producer of marine fisheries on the Colombian Pacific coast, where artisanal fishermen process more than 50% of the commercialized volume. There, fishing waste is disposed primarily in the ocean, causing negative impacts on the environment and society. Therefore, in the present research, a proposal was made to take advantage of fishing waste through anaerobic treatments, through which it is possible to obtain products with high added value from organic waste. The research was carried out in four stages. First, the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA) in semi-continuous 4L reactors was studied, evaluating three hydraulic retention times (HRT) (10, 7 and 5 days) with four organic loading rates (OLR) (16, 14, 12 and 10 gVS/L/day), the experiment was carried out for 150 days. Subsequently, biogas production was evaluated from the solid digestate generated in the VFA production reactors, initially evaluating the biochemical methane potential (BMP) of 4 total solid concentrations (1, 2, 4 and 6% TS), for 40 days and then, with the optimum TS concentration (2 gVS/L/day), 2 HRT (15 and 20 days) in semi-continuous reactors, were evaluated for 100 days. Finally, the integration of the processes was carried out with the best conditions found, a first phase of VFA production from fishing waste and a second phase of biogas production from unrecovered VFAs and unprocessed material Additionally, an VFA membrane extraction system was included. In the first phase, a liquid digestate with a concentration and VFA production yield of 59.04 gVFA/L and 0.527 gVFA/gVS, respectively, was obtained, with the best condition found (HRT:7 days and OLR: 16 gVS/L/día), where acetic acid and isobutyric acid were the predominant acids. In the second phase of biogas production, a BMP of 0.349 Nm3CH4/KgVS was reached, and it was found as best HRT 20 days. In the integration, the isovaleric, butyric and isobutyric acid were the VFA with the highest percentage of extraction, additionally a 106.67% increase in biogas production was achieved. This research shows that anaerobic treatments are a promising technology for an environmentally safe management of fishing waste and presents the basis of a possible biorefinery.

Keywords: biogas production, fishing waste, VFA membrane extraction, VFA production

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9 Cross-sectional Developmental Trajectories of Executive Function and Relations to Theory of Mind in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Evangelia-Chrysanthi Kouklari, Evdokia Tagkouli, Vassiliki Ntre, Artemios Pehlivanidis, Stella Tsermentseli, Gerasimos Kolaitis, Katerina Papanikolaou

Abstract:

Executive Function (EF) is a set of goal-directed cognitive skills essentially needed in problem-solving and social behavior. Developmental EF research has indicated that EF emerges early in life and marks dramatic changes before the age of 5. Research evidence has suggested that it may continue to develop up to adolescence as well, following the development of the prefrontal cortex. Over the last decade, research evidence has suggested distinguished domains of cool and hot EF, but traditionally the development of EF in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been examined mainly with tasks that address the “cool” cognitive aspects of EF. Thus, very little is known about the development of “hot” affective EF processes and whether the cross-sectional developmental pathways of cool and hot EF present similarities in ASD. Cool EF has also been proven to have a strong correlation with Theory of Mind (ToM) in young and middle childhood in typical development and in ASD, but information about the relationship of hot EF to ToM skills is minimal. The present study’s objective was to explore the age-related changes of cool and hot EF in ASD participants from middle childhood to adolescence, as well as their relationship to ToM. This study employed an approach of cross-sectional developmental trajectories to investigate patterns of cool and hot EF relative to chronological age within ASD. Eighty-two participants between 7 and 16 years of age were recruited to undertake measures that assessed cool EF (working memory, cognitive flexibility, planning & inhibition), hot EF (affective decision making & delay discounting) and ToM (false belief and mental state/emotion recognition). Results demonstrated that trajectories of all cool EF presented age-related changes in ASD (improvements with age). With regards to hot EF, affective decision-making presented age-related changes, but for delay discounting, there were no statistically significant changes found across younger and older ASD participants. ToM was correlated only to cool EF. Theoretical implications are discussed as the investigation of the cross-sectional developmental trajectories of the broader EF (cool and hot domains) may contribute to better defining cognitive phenotypes in ASD. These findings highlight the need to examine developmental trajectories of both hot and cool EF in research and clinical practice as they may aid in enhancing diagnosis or better-informed intervention programs.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, developmental trajectories, executive function, theory of mind

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8 Barriers and Facilitators for Telehealth Use during Cervical Cancer Screening and Care: A Literature Review

Authors: Reuben Mugisha, Stella Bakibinga

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The cervical cancer burden is a global threat, but more so in low income settings where more than 85% of mortality cases occur due to lack of sufficient screening programs. There is consequently a lack of early detection of cancer and precancerous cells among women. Studies show that 3% to 35% of deaths could have been avoided through early screening depending on prognosis, disease progression, environmental and lifestyle factors. In this study, a systematic literature review is undertaken to understand potential barriers and facilitators as documented in previous studies that focus on the application of telehealth in cervical cancer screening programs for early detection of cancer and precancerous cells. The study informs future studies especially those from low income settings about lessons learned from previous studies and how to be best prepared while planning to implement telehealth for cervical cancer screening. It further identifies the knowledge gaps in the research area and makes recommendations. Using a specified selection criterion, 15 different articles are analyzed based on the study’s aim, theory or conceptual framework used, method applied, study findings and conclusion. Results are then tabulated and presented thematically to better inform readers about emerging facts on barriers and facilitators to telehealth implementation as documented in the reviewed articles, and how they consequently lead to evidence informed conclusions that are relevant to telehealth implementation for cervical cancer screening. Preliminary findings of this study underscore that use of low cost mobile colposcope is an appealing option in cervical cancer screening, particularly when coupled with onsite treatment of suspicious lesions. These tools relay cervical images to the online databases for storage and retrieval, they permit integration of connected devices at the point of care to rapidly collect clinical data for further analysis of the prevalence of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. Results however reveal the need for population sensitization prior to use of mobile colposcopies among patients, standardization of mobile colposcopy programs across screening partners, sufficient logistics and good connectivity, experienced experts to review image cases at the point-of-care as important facilitators to the implementation of mobile colposcope as a telehealth cervical cancer screening mechanism.

Keywords: cervical cancer screening, digital technology, hand-held colposcopy, knowledge-sharing

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7 Early Intervention for Preschool Children of Parents with Mental Illness: The Evaluation of a Resource for Service Providers

Authors: Stella Laletas, Andrea Reupert, Melinda Goodyear, Bradley Morgan

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Background: Many people with a mental illness have young children. Research has shown that early childhood is a particularly vulnerable time for children whose parents have a mental illness. Moreover, repeated research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a multiagency approach to family focused practice for improving parental functioning and preventing adverse outcomes in children whose parents have a mental illness, particularly in the early years of a child’s life. However, there is a paucity of professional development resources for professionals who work with families where a parent has a mental illness and has young children. Significance of the study: This study will make a contribution to addressing knowledge gaps around resource development and workforce needs for early childhood and mental health professionals working with young children where a parent has a mental illness. Objective: This presentation describes a newly developed resource, 'Pathways of Care', specifically designed for early childhood educators and mental health workers, alongside pilot evaluation data regarding its effectiveness. ‘Pathways of Care’ aims to promote collaborative practice and present early identification and referral processes for workers in this sector. The resource was developed by the Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) National Initiative which is funded by the Australian Government. Method: Using a mixed method design, the effectiveness of the training resource is also presented. Fifteen workers completed the Family Focus Mental Health Practice Questionnaire pre and post using the resource, to measure confidence and practice change; semi-structured interviews were also conducted with eight of these same workers to further explore the utility of the resource. Findings: The findings indicated the resource was effective in increasing knowledge and confidence, particularly for new and/or inexperienced staff. Examples of how the resource was used in practice by various professions emerged from the interview data. Conclusions: Collaborative practice, early identification and intervention in early childhood can potentially play a key role in altering the life trajectory of children who are at risk. This information has important implications for workforce development and staff training in both the early childhood and mental health sectors. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.

Keywords: parents with mental ilnesses, early intervention, evaluation, preschool children

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6 Optimization of Artisanal Fishing Waste Fermentation for Volatile Fatty Acids Production

Authors: Luz Stella Cadavid-Rodriguez, Viviana E. Castro-Lopez

Abstract:

Fish waste (FW) has a high content of potentially biodegradable components, so it is amenable to be digested anaerobically. In this line, anaerobic digestion (AD) of FW has been studied for biogas production. Nevertheless, intermediate products such as volatile fatty acids (VFA), generated during the acidogenic stage, have been scarce investigated, even though they have a high potential as a renewable source of carbon. In the literature, there are few studies about the Inoculum-Substrate (I/S) ratio on acidogenesis. On the other hand, it is well known that pH is a critical factor in the production of VFA. The optimum pH for the production of VFA seems to change depending on the substrate and can vary in a range between 5.25 and 11. Nonetheless, the literature about VFA production from protein-rich waste, such as FW, is scarce. In this context, it is necessary to deepen on the determination of the optimal operating conditions of acidogenic fermentation for VFA production from protein-rich waste. Therefore, the aim of this research was to optimize the volatile fatty acid production from artisanal fishing waste, studying the effect of pH and the I/S ratio on the acidogenic process. For this research, the inoculum used was a methanogenic sludge (MS) obtained from a UASB reactor treating wastewater of a slaughterhouse plant, and the FW was collected in the port of Tumaco (Colombia) from the local artisanal fishers. The acidogenic fermentation experiments were conducted in batch mode, in 500 mL glass bottles as anaerobic reactors, equipped with rubber stoppers provided with a valve to release biogas. The effective volume used was 300 mL. The experiments were carried out for 15 days at a mesophilic temperature of 37± 2 °C and constant agitation of 200 rpm. The effect of 3 pH levels: 5, 7, 9, coupled with five I/S ratios, corresponding to 0.20, 0.15, 0.10, 0.05, 0.00 was evaluated taking as a response variable the production of VFA. A complete randomized block design was selected for the experiments in a 5x3 factorial arrangement, with two repetitions per treatment. At the beginning and during the process, pH in the experimental reactors was adjusted to the corresponding values of 5, 7, and 9 using 1M NaOH or 1M H2SO4, as was appropriated. In addition, once the optimum I/S ratio was determined, the process was evaluated at this condition without pH control. The results indicated that pH is the main factor in the production of VFA, obtaining the highest concentration with neutral pH. By reducing the I/S ratio, as low as 0.05, it was possible to maximize VFA production. Thus, the optimum conditions found were natural pH (6.6-7.7) and I/S ratio of 0.05, with which it was possible to reach a maximum total VFA concentration of 70.3 g Ac/L, whose major components were acetic acid (35%) and butyric acid (32%). The findings showed that the acidogenic fermentation of FW is an efficient way of producing VFA and that the operating conditions can be simple and economical.

Keywords: acidogenesis, artisanal fishing waste, inoculum to substrate ratio, volatile fatty acids

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5 Comparative Analysis of the Expansion Rate and Soil Erodibility Factor (K) of Some Gullies in Nnewi and Nnobi, Anambra State Southeastern Nigeria

Authors: Nzereogu Stella Kosi, Igwe Ogbonnaya, Emeh Chukwuebuka Odinaka

Abstract:

A comparative analysis of the expansion rate and soil erodibility of some gullies in Nnewi and Nnobi both of Nanka Formation were studied. The study involved an integration of field observations, geotechnical analysis, slope stability analysis, multivariate statistical analysis, gully expansion rate analysis, and determination of the soil erodibility factor (K) from Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Fifteen representative gullies were studied extensively, and results reveal that the geotechnical properties of the soil, topography, vegetation cover, rainfall intensity, and the anthropogenic activities in the study area were major factors propagating and influencing the erodibility of the soils. The specific gravity of the soils ranged from 2.45-2.66 and 2.54-2.78 for Nnewi and Nnobi, respectively. Grain size distribution analysis revealed that the soils are composed of gravel (5.77-17.67%), sand (79.90-91.01%), and fines (2.36-4.05%) for Nnewi and gravel (7.01-13.65%), sand (82.47-88.67%), and fines (3.78-5.02%) for Nnobi. The soils are moderately permeable with values ranging from 2.92 x 10-5 - 6.80 x 10-4 m/sec and 2.35 x 10-6 - 3.84 x 10⁻⁴m/sec for Nnewi and Nnobi respectively. All have low cohesion values ranging from 1–5kPa and 2-5kPa and internal friction angle ranging from 29-38° and 30-34° for Nnewi and Nnobi, respectively, which suggests that the soils have low shear strength and are susceptible to shear failure. Furthermore, the compaction test revealed that the soils were loose and easily erodible with values of maximum dry density (MDD) and optimum moisture content (OMC) ranging from 1.82-2.11g/cm³ and 8.20-17.81% for Nnewi and 1.98-2.13g/cm³ and 6.00-17.80% respectively. The plasticity index (PI) of the fines showed that they are nonplastic to low plastic soils and highly liquefiable with values ranging from 0-10% and 0-9% for Nnewi and Nnobi, respectively. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to establish relationship among the determined parameters. Slope stability analysis gave factor of safety (FoS) values in the range of 0.50-0.76 and 0.82-0.95 for saturated condition and 0.73-0.98 and 0.87-1.04 for unsaturated condition for both Nnewi and Nnobi, respectively indicating that the slopes are generally unstable to critically stable. The erosion expansion rate analysis for a fifteen-year period (2005-2020) revealed an average longitudinal expansion rate of 36.05m/yr, 10.76m/yr, and 183m/yr for Nnewi, Nnobi, and Nanka type gullies, respectively. The soil erodibility factor (K) are 8.57x10⁻² and 1.62x10-4 for Nnewi and Nnobi, respectively, indicating that the soils in Nnewi have higher erodibility potentials than those of Nnobi. From the study, both the Nnewi and Nnobi areas are highly prone to erosion. However, based on the relatively lower fine content of the soil, relatively lower topography, steeper slope angle, and sparsely vegetated terrain in Nnewi, soil erodibility and gully intensity are more profound in Nnewi than Nnobi.

Keywords: soil erodibility, gully expansion, nnewi-nnobi, slope stability, factor of safety

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4 Ground Motion Modeling Using the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator

Authors: Yildiz Stella Dak, Jale Tezcan

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Ground motion models that relate a strong motion parameter of interest to a set of predictive seismological variables describing the earthquake source, the propagation path of the seismic wave, and the local site conditions constitute a critical component of seismic hazard analyses. When a sufficient number of strong motion records are available, ground motion relations are developed using statistical analysis of the recorded ground motion data. In regions lacking a sufficient number of recordings, a synthetic database is developed using stochastic, theoretical or hybrid approaches. Regardless of the manner the database was developed, ground motion relations are developed using regression analysis. Development of a ground motion relation is a challenging process which inevitably requires the modeler to make subjective decisions regarding the inclusion criteria of the recordings, the functional form of the model and the set of seismological variables to be included in the model. Because these decisions are critically important to the validity and the applicability of the model, there is a continuous interest on procedures that will facilitate the development of ground motion models. This paper proposes the use of the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) in selecting the set predictive seismological variables to be used in developing a ground motion relation. The LASSO can be described as a penalized regression technique with a built-in capability of variable selection. Similar to the ridge regression, the LASSO is based on the idea of shrinking the regression coefficients to reduce the variance of the model. Unlike ridge regression, where the coefficients are shrunk but never set equal to zero, the LASSO sets some of the coefficients exactly to zero, effectively performing variable selection. Given a set of candidate input variables and the output variable of interest, LASSO allows ranking the input variables in terms of their relative importance, thereby facilitating the selection of the set of variables to be included in the model. Because the risk of overfitting increases as the ratio of the number of predictors to the number of recordings increases, selection of a compact set of variables is important in cases where a small number of recordings are available. In addition, identification of a small set of variables can improve the interpretability of the resulting model, especially when there is a large number of candidate predictors. A practical application of the proposed approach is presented, using more than 600 recordings from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) database, where the effect of a set of seismological predictors on the 5% damped maximum direction spectral acceleration is investigated. The set of candidate predictors considered are Magnitude, Rrup, Vs30. Using LASSO, the relative importance of the candidate predictors has been ranked. Regression models with increasing levels of complexity were constructed using one, two, three, and four best predictors, and the models’ ability to explain the observed variance in the target variable have been compared. The bias-variance trade-off in the context of model selection is discussed.

Keywords: ground motion modeling, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator, penalized regression, variable selection

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3 Geographic Information System Based Multi-Criteria Subsea Pipeline Route Optimisation

Authors: James Brown, Stella Kortekaas, Ian Finnie, George Zhang, Christine Devine, Neil Healy

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The use of GIS as an analysis tool for engineering decision making is now best practice in the offshore industry. GIS enables multidisciplinary data integration, analysis and visualisation which allows the presentation of large and intricate datasets in a simple map-interface accessible to all project stakeholders. Presenting integrated geoscience and geotechnical data in GIS enables decision makers to be well-informed. This paper is a successful case study of how GIS spatial analysis techniques were applied to help select the most favourable pipeline route. Routing a pipeline through any natural environment has numerous obstacles, whether they be topographical, geological, engineering or financial. Where the pipeline is subjected to external hydrostatic water pressure and is carrying pressurised hydrocarbons, the requirement to safely route the pipeline through hazardous terrain becomes absolutely paramount. This study illustrates how the application of modern, GIS-based pipeline routing techniques enabled the identification of a single most-favourable pipeline route crossing of a challenging seabed terrain. Conventional approaches to pipeline route determination focus on manual avoidance of primary constraints whilst endeavouring to minimise route length. Such an approach is qualitative, subjective and is liable to bias towards the discipline and expertise that is involved in the routing process. For very short routes traversing benign seabed topography in shallow water this approach may be sufficient, but for deepwater geohazardous sites, the need for an automated, multi-criteria, and quantitative approach is essential. This study combined multiple routing constraints using modern least-cost-routing algorithms deployed in GIS, hitherto unachievable with conventional approaches. The least-cost-routing procedure begins with the assignment of geocost across the study area. Geocost is defined as a numerical penalty score representing hazard posed by each routing constraint (e.g. slope angle, rugosity, vulnerability to debris flows) to the pipeline. All geocosted routing constraints are combined to generate a composite geocost map that is used to compute the least geocost route between two defined terminals. The analyses were applied to select the most favourable pipeline route for a potential gas development in deep water. The study area is geologically complex with a series of incised, potentially active, canyons carved into a steep escarpment, with evidence of extensive debris flows. A similar debris flow in the future could cause significant damage to a poorly-placed pipeline. Protruding inter-canyon spurs offer lower-gradient options for ascending an escarpment but the vulnerability of periodic failure of these spurs is not well understood. Close collaboration between geoscientists, pipeline engineers, geotechnical engineers and of course the gas export pipeline operator guided the analyses and assignment of geocosts. Shorter route length, less severe slope angles, and geohazard avoidance were the primary drivers in identifying the most favourable route.

Keywords: geocost, geohazard, pipeline route determination, pipeline route optimisation, spatial analysis

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2 An Integrated Real-Time Hydrodynamic and Coastal Risk Assessment Model

Authors: M. Reza Hashemi, Chris Small, Scott Hayward

Abstract:

The Northeast Coast of the US faces damaging effects of coastal flooding and winds due to Atlantic tropical and extratropical storms each year. Historically, several large storm events have produced substantial levels of damage to the region; most notably of which were the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1938, Hurricane Carol, Hurricane Bob, and recently Hurricane Sandy (2012). The objective of this study was to develop an integrated modeling system that could be used as a forecasting/hindcasting tool to evaluate and communicate the risk coastal communities face from these coastal storms. This modeling system utilizes the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model for storm surge predictions and the Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model for the wave environment. These models were coupled, passing information to each other and computing over the same unstructured domain, allowing for the most accurate representation of the physical storm processes. The coupled SWAN-ADCIRC model was validated and has been set up to perform real-time forecast simulations (as well as hindcast). Modeled storm parameters were then passed to a coastal risk assessment tool. This tool, which is generic and universally applicable, generates spatial structural damage estimate maps on an individual structure basis for an area of interest. The required inputs for the coastal risk model included a detailed information about the individual structures, inundation levels, and wave heights for the selected region. Additionally, calculation of wind damage to structures was incorporated. The integrated coastal risk assessment system was then tested and applied to Charlestown, a small vulnerable coastal town along the southern shore of Rhode Island. The modeling system was applied to Hurricane Sandy and a synthetic storm. In both storm cases, effect of natural dunes on coastal risk was investigated. The resulting damage maps for the area (Charlestown) clearly showed that the dune eroded scenarios affected more structures, and increased the estimated damage. The system was also tested in forecast mode for a large Nor’Easters: Stella (March 2017). The results showed a good performance of the coupled model in forecast mode when compared to observations. Finally, a nearshore model XBeach was then nested within this regional grid (ADCIRC-SWAN) to simulate nearshore sediment transport processes and coastal erosion. Hurricane Irene (2011) was used to validate XBeach, on the basis of a unique beach profile dataset at the region. XBeach showed a relatively good performance, being able to estimate eroded volumes along the beach transects with a mean error of 16%. The validated model was then used to analyze the effectiveness of several erosion mitigation methods that were recommended in a recent study of coastal erosion in New England: beach nourishment, coastal bank (engineered core), and submerged breakwater as well as artificial surfing reef. It was shown that beach nourishment and coastal banks perform better to mitigate shoreline retreat and coastal erosion.

Keywords: ADCIRC, coastal flooding, storm surge, coastal risk assessment, living shorelines

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1 Internet of Assets: A Blockchain-Inspired Academic Program

Authors: Benjamin Arazi

Abstract:

Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It revolutionizes the meaning of trust in the sense of offering total reliability without relying on any central entity that controls or supervises the system. The Wall Street Journal states: “Blockchain Marks the Next Step in the Internet’s Evolution”. Blockchain was listed as #1 in Linkedin – The Learning Blog “most in-demand hard skills needed in 2020”. As stated there: “Blockchain’s novel way to store, validate, authorize, and move data across the internet has evolved to securely store and send any digital asset”. GSMA, a leading Telco organization of mobile communications operators, declared that “Blockchain has the potential to be for value what the Internet has been for information”. Motivated by these seminal observations, this paper presents the foundations of a Blockchain-based “Internet of Assets” academic program that joins under one roof leading application areas that are characterized by the transfer of assets over communication lines. Two such areas, which are pillars of our economy, are Fintech – Financial Technology and mobile communications services. The next application in line is Healthcare. These challenges are met based on available extensive professional literature. Blockchain-based assets communication is based on extending the principle of Bitcoin, starting with the basic question: If digital money that travels across the universe can ‘prove its own validity’, can this principle be applied to digital content. A groundbreaking positive answer here led to the concept of “smart contract” and consequently to DLT - Distributed Ledger Technology, where the word ‘distributed’ relates to the non-existence of reliable central entities or trusted third parties. The terms Blockchain and DLT are frequently used interchangeably in various application areas. The World Bank Group compiled comprehensive reports, analyzing the contribution of DLT/Blockchain to Fintech. The European Central Bank and Bank of Japan are engaged in Project Stella, “Balancing confidentiality and auditability in a distributed ledger environment”. 130 DLT/Blockchain focused Fintech startups are now operating in Switzerland. Blockchain impact on mobile communications services is treated in detail by leading organizations. The TM Forum is a global industry association in the telecom industry, with over 850 member companies, mainly mobile operators, that generate US$2 trillion in revenue and serve five billion customers across 180 countries. From their perspective: “Blockchain is considered one of the digital economy’s most disruptive technologies”. Samples of Blockchain contributions to Fintech (taken from a World Bank document): Decentralization and disintermediation; Greater transparency and easier auditability; Automation & programmability; Immutability & verifiability; Gains in speed and efficiency; Cost reductions; Enhanced cyber security resilience. Samples of Blockchain contributions to the Telco industry. Establishing identity verification; Record of transactions for easy cost settlement; Automatic triggering of roaming contract which enables near-instantaneous charging and reduction in roaming fraud; Decentralized roaming agreements; Settling accounts per costs incurred in accordance with agreement tariffs. This clearly demonstrates an academic education structure where fundamental technologies are studied in classes together with these two application areas. Advanced courses, treating specific implementations then follow separately. All are under the roof of “Internet of Assets”.

Keywords: blockchain, education, financial technology, mobile telecommunications services

Procedia PDF Downloads 105