Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32

Search results for: Veronica Marchante

32 Mathematical Modeling for Continuous Reactive Extrusion of Poly Lactic Acid Formation by Ring Opening Polymerization Considering Metal/Organic Catalyst and Alternative Energies

Authors: Satya P. Dubey, Veronica Marchante, James L. Brighton, Björn Bergmann, Hrushikesh A Abhyankar

Abstract:

Aims: To develop a mathematical model that simulates the ROP of PLA taking into account the effect of alternative energy to be implemented in a continuous reactive extrusion production process of PLA. Introduction: The production of large amount of waste is one of the major challenges at the present time, and polymers represent 70% of global waste. PLA has emerged as a promising polymer as it is compostable, biodegradable thermoplastic polymer made from renewable sources. However, the main limitation for the application of PLA is the traces of toxic metal catalyst in the final product. Thus, a safe and efficient production process needs to be developed to avoid the potential hazards and toxicity. It has been found that alternative energy sources (LASER, ultrasounds, microwaves) could be a prominent option to facilitate the ROP of PLA via continuous reactive extrusion. This process may result in complete extraction of the metal catalysts and facilitate less active organic catalysts. Methodology: Initial investigation were performed using the data available in literature for the reaction mechanism of ROP of PLA based on conventional metal catalyst stannous octoate. A mathematical model has been developed by considering significant parameters such as different initial concentration ratio of catalyst, co-catalyst and impurity. Effects of temperature variation and alternative energies have been implemented in the model. Results: The validation of the mathematical model has been made by using data from literature as well as actual experiments. Validation of the model including alternative energies is in progress based on experimental data for partners of the InnoREX project consortium. Conclusion: The model developed reproduces accurately the polymerisation reaction when applying alternative energy. Alternative energies have a great positive effect to increase the conversion and molecular weight of the PLA. This model could be very useful tool to complement Ludovic® software to predict the large scale production process when using reactive extrusion.

Keywords: Polymer, poly-lactic acid (PLA), ring opening polymerization (ROP), metal-catalyst, bio-degradable, renewable source, alternative energy (AE)

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31 Predominance of Teaching Models Used by Math Teachers in Secondary Education

Authors: Verónica Diaz Quezada

Abstract:

This research examines the teaching models used by secondary math teachers when teaching logarithmic, quadratic and exponential functions. For this, descriptive case studies have been carried out on 5 secondary teachers. These teachers have been chosen from 3 scientific-humanistic and technical schools, in Chile. Data have been obtained through non-participant class observation and the application of a questionnaire and a rubric to teachers. According to the results, the didactic model that prevails is the one that starts with an interactive strategy, moves to a more content-based structure, and ends with a reinforcement stage. Nonetheless, there is always influence from teachers, their methods, and the group of students.

Keywords: secondary education, Functions, Teaching Models, math teachers

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30 Attitude of Beef Cattle Farmers toward Biosecurity Practices

Authors: Veronica Sri Lestari, Sitti Nurani Sirajuddin, Kasmiyati Kasim

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The purpose of this research was to know the attitude of beef cattle farmers toward bio security practices. This research was conducted in Barru regency, South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, in 2014. Thirty beef cattle farmers were selected through random sampling. Primary and secondary data were collected through report, observation and deep interview by using questionnaire. Bio security practices consisted of 35 questions. Every answer of the question was scored based on three categories: score 1 (not important), score 2 (important) and 3 (very important). The results of this research showed that the attitude of beef cattle farmers toward bio security practices was categorized as important.

Keywords: Biosecurity, attitude, farmers, beef cattle

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29 ICTs Knowledge as a Way of Enhancing Literacy and Lifelong Learning in Nigeria

Authors: Jame O. Ezema, Odenigbo Veronica

Abstract:

The study covers the topic Information Communication and Technology (ICTs) knowledge as a way of enhancing Literacy and Lifelong learning in Nigeria. This work delved into defining of ICTs. Types of ICTs and media technologies were also mentioned. It further explained how ICTs can be strengthened and the uses of ICTs in education was duly emphasized. The paper also enumerated some side effects of ICTs on learners while the role of ICTs in enhancing literacy was explained. The study carried out strategies to use ICTs meaningfully in Literacy Programs and also emphasized the word lifelong learning in Nigeria. Some recommendations were made towards acquiring ICTs knowledge, so as to enhance Literacy and Lifelong learning in Nigeria.

Keywords: e-Learning, Literacy, distance-learning, life-long learning for sustainable development

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28 Supplier Relationship Management Model for Sme’s E-Commerce Transaction Broker Case Study: Hotel Rooms Provider

Authors: Veronica S. Moertini, Niko Ibrahim, Verliyantina

Abstract:

As market intermediary firms, e-commerce transaction broker firms need to strongly collaborate with suppliers in order to develop brands seek by customers. Developing suitable electronic Supplier Relationship Management (e-SRM) system is the solution to the need. In this paper, we propose our concept of e-SRM for transaction brokers owned by small medium enterprises (SMEs), which includes the integrated e-SRM and e-CRM architecture, the e-SRM applications with their functions. We then discuss the customization and implementation of the proposed e-SRM model in a specific transaction broker selling hotel rooms, which owned by an SME, KlikHotel.com. The implementation of the e-SRM in KlikHotel.com has been successfully boosting the number of suppliers (hotel members) and hotel room sales.

Keywords: SME, e-CRM, e-SRM, transaction broker

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27 Factors Affecting Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Chicken Meat from Biosecure Farms

Authors: Asmuddin Natsir, Veronica Sri Lestari, Hasmida Karim, Ian Patrick

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The research aimed at investigating the factors affecting consumers’ willingness to pay for chicken meat from biosecure farms. The research was conducted in Makassar City, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. Samples were taken using random sampling technique in two supermarkets namely Lotte Mart and Gelael. Total samples were 50 respondents which comprised the chicken meat consumers. To find out the consumers’ willingness to pay for chicken meat from the biosecure farms, the contingent valuation method was utilized. Data were collected through interviews and questionnaires. Probit Logistic was estimated to examine the factors affecting the consumers’ willingness to pay for at the premium price for chicken meat from the biosecure farms. The research indicates that the education and income affect significantly the consumers’ willingness to pay for chicken meat from the biosecure farms (P < 0.05). The results of the study will be beneficial for the policy makers, producers, consumers and those conducting research.

Keywords: Consumer, Chicken, farms, biosecure, willingness-to-pay

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26 Programs in Nigerian Higher Institutions and Graduates Unemployment

Authors: Evuarherhe Veronica Abolo

Abstract:

The study investigated the programs in Nigerian higher institutions and how they influence unemployment of graduates in the country. The study employed the survey design. The population of the study includes two universities, two polytechnics and two colleges of education in Lagos State. A total of 350 participants, which include graduates and students were sampled for the study. A structured interview schedule and direct observation were used to collect data on the three research questions drawn for the study. The data were analyzed using rating of the structured interview in tables and percentages. The results of the study revealed that Nigerian graduates are not only unemployed but can hardly meet the requirements of available job vacancies due to the stereotype nature in scope, content and methods of the programs in the institutions. Recommendations such as collaboration of companies (end- users) and institutions in the training of students, restructuring of the content and methodology of programs and providing soft loans and other facilities to the young graduates were proffered to reduce the rate of graduates’ unemployment in Nigeria.

Keywords: Unemployment, higher institution, graduate unemployment, soft loan

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25 Some Factors Affecting to Farm Size of Duck Farming

Authors: Veronica Sri Lestari, Ahmad Ramadhan Siregar

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The purpose of this research was to know some factors affecting farm size of duck farming (case study in Pinrang district, South Sulawesi). This research was conducted in 2013. Total sample was 45 duck farmers which were selected from 6 regions in Mattiro Sompe sub district, Pinrang district, South Sulawesi province through stratified random sampling. Data were collected through interviews using questionnaires and observation. Multiple regression equation was used to analyze the data. Dependent variable was duck population, while age of respondents, farming experience, land size, education, and income level as independent variables. This research revealed that R2 was 0.920. Simultaneously, age of respondents, farming experience, land size, education, and income level significantly influenced farm size of duck farming (P < 1%). Only income influenced farm size of duck farming (P < 1%).

Keywords: factors, duck, dry system, farm-size

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24 Limits Problem Solving in Engineering Careers: Competences and Errors

Authors: Verónica Diaz Quezada

Abstract:

In this article, the performance and errors are featured and analysed in the limit problems solving of a real-valued function, in correspondence to competency-based education in engineering careers, in the south of Chile. The methodological component is contextualised in a qualitative research, with a descriptive and explorative design, with elaboration, content validation and application of quantitative instruments, consisting of two parallel forms of open answer tests, based on limit application problems. The mathematical competences and errors made by students from five engineering careers from a public University are identified and characterized. Results show better performance only to solve routine-context problem-solving competence, thus they are oriented towards a rational solution or they use a suitable problem-solving method, achieving the correct solution. Regarding errors, most of them are related to techniques and the incorrect use of theorems and definitions of real-valued function limits of real variable.

Keywords: Engineering Education, problem solving, Errors, limits, mathematics competences

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23 Beef Cattle Farmers Perception toward Urea Mineral Molasses Block

Authors: Djoni Prawira Rahardja, Veronica Sri Lestari, Tanrigiling Rasyid, Aslina Asnawi, Ikrar Muhammad Saleh, Ilham Rasyid

Abstract:

Urea Mineral Molasses Block is very important for beef cattle, because it can increase beef production. The purpose of this research was to know beef cattle farmers’ perception towards Urea Mineral Molasses Block (UMMB). This research was conducted in Gowa Regency, South Sulawesi, Indonesia in 2016. The population of this research were all beef cattle farmers. Sample was chosen through purposive sampling. Data were collected through observation and face to face with deep interview using questionnaire. Variables of perception consisted of relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, observability and triability. There were 10 questions. The answer for each question was scored by 1, 2, 3 which refer to disagree, agree enough, strongly agree. The data were analyzed descriptively using frequency distribution. The research revealed that beef cattle farmers’ perception towards UMMB was categorized as strongly agree.

Keywords: Perception, farmers, beef cattle, urea mineral molasses block

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22 Impacts of Electronic Dance Music towards Social Harmony: The Malaysian Perspective

Authors: Kok Meng Ng, Sulung Veronica

Abstract:

Electronic Dance Music (EDM), a musical event that so sought-after amongst the youth, is getting prevailed around the world. The emergence of this à la mode event has magnetized lots of attentions from the media as well as the public due to its high probabilities in creating social problems and menacing social harmony of one destination, for instance, two death cases occurred during the EDM events in Malaysia caused a feeling of consternation of the society. The arguments over the impacts of such events towards the society are endless. This paper focuses on the study of the impacts of EDM towards social harmony in Klang Valley area, Malaysia by scrutinizing the contradiction of statements from several experts and the local communities. This study sampled 15-20 people that represent different social background with face-to-face and online interview through snowball sampling method. This study helps to understand the social context as a whole based on the impacts of EDM events that take place in Malaysia. It also provides valuable information to EDMs’ organizer as well as local authorities for a proper event management to minimize EDM impacts towards society as part of the sustainable growth of the event industry.

Keywords: Impacts, Social Harmony, electronic dance music, Klang Valley

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21 Identification and Characterization of Nuclear Envelope Protein Interactions

Authors: Mohammed Hakim Jafferali, Balaje Vijayaraghavan, Ricardo A. Figueroa, Ellinor Crafoord, Veronica J. Larsson, Einar Hallberg, Santhosh Gudise

Abstract:

The nuclear envelope which surrounds the chromatin of eukaryotic cells contains more than a hundred transmembrane proteins. Mutations in some genes encoding nuclear envelope proteins give rise to human diseases including neurological disorders. The function of many nuclear envelope proteins is not well established. This is partly because nuclear envelope proteins and their interactions are difficult to study due to the inherent resistance to extraction of nuclear envelope proteins. We have developed a novel method called MCLIP, to identify interacting partners of nuclear envelope proteins in live cells. Using MCLIP, we found three new binding partners of the inner nuclear membrane protein Samp1: the intermediate filament protein Lamin B1, the LINC complex protein Sun1 and the G-protein Ran. Furthermore, using in vitro studies, we show that Samp1 binds both Emerin and Ran directly. We have also studied the interaction between Samp1 and Ran in detail. The results show that the Samp1 binds stronger to RanGTP than RanGDP. Samp1 is the first transmembrane protein known to bind Ran and it is tempting to speculate that Samp1 may provide local binding sites for RanGTP at membranes.

Keywords: ran, MCLIP, nuclear envelope, Samp1

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20 The Competence of Solving Mathematical Problems in the Formation of Ethical Values

Authors: Verónica Diaz Quezada

Abstract:

A study and its preliminary results are presented. The research is descriptive and exploratory and it is still in process. Its objective is to develop an assessment method in the field of fostering values using competence mathematics problem solving. This is part of a more extensive research that aims at contributing to educational integration in Latin America, particularly to the development of proposals to link education for citizenship and the mathematics lessons. This is being carried out by research teams of University of Barcelona-España; University Nacional of Costa Rica; University Autónoma of Querétaro-México; Pontificia University Católica of Perú, University Nacional of Villa María- Argentina and University of Los Lagos-Chile, in the context of Andrés Bello Chair for the Association of Latin American Universities. This research was developed and implemented in Chile in 2016, using mixed research methods. It included interviews and a problem-solving math test with ethical values that was administered to students of the secondary education of the regions of Los Ríos and of the Lakes of Chile. The results show the lack of integration between the teaching of values and science discipline.

Keywords: Mathematics, secondary school, citizenchip, ethical values, solving problem

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19 TomoTherapy® System Repositioning Accuracy According to Treatment Localization

Authors: Veronica Sorgato, Jeremy Belhassen, Philippe Chartier, Roddy Sihanath, Nicolas Docquiere, Jean-Yves Giraud

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We analyzed the image-guided radiotherapy method used by the TomoTherapy® System (Accuray Corp.) for patient repositioning in clinical routine. The TomoTherapy® System computes X, Y, Z and roll displacements to match the reference CT, on which the dosimetry has been performed, with the pre-treatment MV CT. The accuracy of the repositioning method has been studied according to the treatment localization. For this, a database of 18774 treatment sessions, performed during 2 consecutive years (2016-2017 period) has been used. The database includes the X, Y, Z and roll displacements proposed by TomoTherapy® System as well as the manual correction of these proposals applied by the radiation therapist. This manual correction aims to further improve the repositioning based on the clinical situation and depends on the structures surrounding the target tumor tissue. The statistical analysis performed on the database aims to define repositioning limits to be used as security and guiding tool for the manual adjustment implemented by the radiation therapist. This tool will participate not only to notify potential repositioning errors but also to further improve patient positioning for optimal treatment.

Keywords: Statistical Analysis, Localization, Accuracy, tomotherapy, IGRT MVCT, image-guided radiotherapy megavoltage computed tomography

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18 A Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Adaptation in Reducing Depression, Anxiety, and Self-Harm in Older Adults

Authors: Valerie Alexander, Amanda Gutierrez, Veronica Campbell, Dara Schwartz, B. Charles Tatum

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It has long been assumed that personality disorders (PD) originate in adolescence or early adulthood and that the maladaptive behaviors significantly attenuate over time. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 supports early onset of PD and views the pattern of behaviors as enduring and stable. The premise of this study is that PD may not always begin early in life, that behaviors may change over the lifespan, and that current treatment modalities may be beneficial in seniors. Self-injurious behaviors (SIB) exhibited earlier in life may, in older adults, be manifested in less overt high-risk behaviors but by refusal to take medication and get necessary medical treatment. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a well-known treatment modality for teaching emotional regulation and distress tolerance and thus reducing self-injurious behaviors yet very little has been studied about SIB and treatment in older adults. The population for this study was older adults, with a history of SIB, a PD, and depression and/or anxiety. Participants learned an adapted version of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as developed by DBT trained therapists. The results provided clinical potentials for the efficacy of DBT to reduce SIB, decrease depression and anxiety in the older adult population.

Keywords: Personality Disorders, Depression, Anxiety, dialectical behavioral therapy, self-harm behavior, treatment in older adults

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17 Electoral Mathematics and Asymmetrical Treatment to Political Parties: The Mexican Case

Authors: Veronica Arredondo, Miguel Martínez-Panero, Teresa Peña, Victoriano Ramírez

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The Mexican Chamber of Deputies is composed of 500 representatives: 300 of them elected by relative majority and another 200 ones elected through proportional representation in five electoral clusters (constituencies) with 40 representatives each. In this mixed-member electoral system, the seats distribution of proportional representation is not independent of the election by relative majority, as it attempts to correct representation imbalances produced in single-member districts. This two-fold structure has been maintained in the successive electoral reforms carried out along the last three decades (eight from 1986 to 2014). In all of them, the election process of 200 seats becomes complex: Formulas in the Law are difficult to understand and to be interpreted. This paper analyzes the Mexican electoral system after the electoral reform of 2014, which was applied for the first time in 2015. The research focuses on contradictions and issues of applicability, in particular situations where seats allocation is affected by ambiguity in the law and where asymmetrical treatment of political parties arises. Due to these facts, a proposal of electoral reform will be presented. It is intended to be simpler, clearer, and more enduring than the current system. Furthermore, this model is more suitable for producing electoral outcomes free of contradictions and paradoxes. This approach would allow a fair treatment of political parties and as a result an improved opportunity to exercise democracy.

Keywords: electoral mathematics, electoral reform, Mexican electoral system, political asymmetry, proportional representation

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16 Gas Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry Qualitative Determination of Pesticides Found in Tea Infusions

Authors: Mihai-Alexandru Florea, Veronica Drumea, Roxana Nita, Cerasela Gird, Laura Olariu

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The aim of this study was to investigate the residues of pesticide found in tea water infusions. A multi-residues method to determine 147 pesticides has been developed using the QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, Safe) procedure and dispersive solid phase extraction (d-SPE) for the cleanup the pesticides from complex matrices such as plants and tea. Sample preparation was carefully optimized for the efficient removal of coextracted matrix components by testing more solvent systems. Determination of pesticides was performed using GC-MS/MS (100 of pesticides) and LC-MS/MS (47 of pesticides). The selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode was chosen to achieve low detection limits and high compounds selectivity and sensitivity. Overall performance was evaluated and validated according to DG-SANTE Guidelines. To assess the pesticide residue transfer rate (qualitative) from dried tea in infusions the samples (tea) were spiked with a mixture of pesticides at the maximum residues level accepted for teas and herbal infusions. In order to investigate the release of the pesticides in tea preparations, the medicinal plants were prepared in four ways by variation of water temperature and the infusion time. The pesticides from infusions were extracted using two methods: QuEChERS versus solid-phase extraction (SPE). More that 90 % of the pesticides studied was identified in infusion.

Keywords: tea, Quechers, solid-phase extraction (SPE), selected reaction monitoring (SRM)

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15 Problem Solving in Chilean Higher Education: Figurations Prior in Interpretations of Cartesian Graphs

Authors: Veronica Diaz

Abstract:

A Cartesian graph, as a mathematical object, becomes a tool for configuration of change. Its best comprehension is done through everyday life problem-solving associated with its representation. Despite this, the current educational framework favors general graphs, without consideration of their argumentation. Students are required to find the mathematical function without associating it to the development of graphical language. This research describes the use made by students of configurations made prior to Cartesian graphs with regards to an everyday life problem related to a time and distance variation phenomenon. The theoretical framework describes the function conditions of study and their modeling. This is a qualitative, descriptive study involving six undergraduate case studies that were carried out during the first term in 2016 at University of Los Lagos. The research problem concerned the graphic modeling of a real person’s movement phenomenon, and two levels of analysis were identified. The first level aims to identify local and global graph interpretations; a second level describes the iconicity and referentiality degree of an image. According to the results, students were able to draw no figures before the Cartesian graph, highlighting the need for students to represent the context and the movement of which causes the phenomenon change. From this, they managed Cartesian graphs representing changes in position, therefore, achieved an overall view of the graph. However, the local view only indicates specific events in the problem situation, using graphic and verbal expressions to represent movement. This view does not enable us to identify what happens on the graph when the movement characteristics change based on possible paths in the person’s walking speed.

Keywords: Higher Education, problem solving, cartesian graphs, movement modeling

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14 An Investigation of the Use of Visible Spectrophotometric Analysis of Lead in an Herbal Tea Supplement

Authors: Salve Alessandria Alcantara, John Armand E. Aquino, Ma. Veronica Aranda, Nikki Francine Balde, Angeli Therese F. Cruz, Elise Danielle Garcia, Antonie Kyna Lim, Divina Gracia Lucero, Nikolai Thadeus Mappatao, Maylan N. Ocat, Jamille Dyanne L. Pajarillo, Jane Mierial A. Pesigan, Grace Kristin Viva, Jasmine Arielle C. Yap, Kathleen Michelle T. Yu, Joanna J. Orejola, Joanna V. Toralba

Abstract:

Lead is a neurotoxic metallic element that is slowly accumulated in bones and tissues especially if present in products taken in a regular basis such as herbal tea supplements. Although sensitive analytical instruments are already available, the USP limit test for lead is still widely used. However, because of its serious shortcomings, Lang Lang and his colleagues developed a spectrophotometric method for determination of lead in all types of samples. This method was the one adapted in this study. The actual procedure performed was divided into three parts: digestion, extraction and analysis. For digestion, HNO3 and CH3COOH were used. Afterwards, masking agents, 0.003% and 0.001% dithizone in CHCl3 were added and used for the extraction. For the analysis, standard addition method and colorimetry were performed. This was done in triplicates under two conditions. The 1st condition, using 25µg/mL of standard, resulted to very low absorbances with an r2 of 0.551. This led to the use of a higher concentration, 1mg/mL, for condition 2. Precipitation of lead cyanide was observed and the absorbance readings were relatively higher but between 0.15-0.25, resulting to a very low r2 of 0.429. LOQ and LOD were not computed due to the limitations of the Milton-Roy Spectrophotometer. The method performed has a shorter digestion time, and used less but more accessible reagents. However, the optimum ratio of dithizone-lead complex must be observed in order to obtain reliable results while exploring other concentration of standards.

Keywords: herbal tea supplement, lead-dithizone complex, standard addition, visible spectroscopy

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13 Methylation Analysis of PHF20L1 and DACT2 Gene Promoters in Women with Breast Cancer

Authors: Marta E. Hernandez-Caballero, Veronica Borgonio-Cuadra, Antonio Miranda-Duarte, Xochitl Rojas-Toledo, Normand Garcia-Hernandez, Maura Cardenas-Garcia, Teresa Abad-Camacho

Abstract:

Breast cancer (BC) is the most common tumor in women over the world. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification critical in CpG sites, aberrant methylation of CpG islands in promoters is a hallmark of cancer. So, gene expression can be regulated by alterations in DNA methylation. In cell lines DACT2 gene reduces the growth and migration of tumor cells by its participation in the suppression of TGFb/SMAD2/3. PHF20L1 is involved in histone acetylation therefore, it regulates transcription. Our aim was to analyze the methylation status of the DACT2 and PHF20L1 promoter regions in tumoral and healthy mammary tissue from women with BC in different progression states. The study included 77 patients from Centro Medico Nacional La Raza in Mexico City. After identifying a CpG island in DACT2 and PHF20L1 promoters, DNA methylation status was analyzed through sodium bisulfite with subsequent amplification using methylation-specific PCR. Results revealed no changes in methylation status of PHF20L1 and cancer stages (II y III) or in comparison to healthy tissues, it was demethylated. DACT2 promoter methylation was no significant between tumoral stages (II, P = 0.37; III, P = 0.17) or with healthy tissue. Previous data reported DACT2 methylated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma but in this study promoter methylation was not observed. PHF20L1 protein contains N-terminal Tudor and C-terminal plant homeodomain domains, it has been suggested that can stabilize DNMT1 regulating DNA methylation, therefore, was associated with poor prognostic in BC. We found no evidence of methylation in patients and controls in PHF20L1 promoter, so its association with BC may have no direct relation with promoter methylation. More studies including other methylation sites in these genes in BC are necessary.

Keywords: Breast Cancer, DNA Methylation, bisulfite conversion, DACT2, PHF20L1, tumoral status

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12 Effect of Xenobiotic Bioactive Compounds from Grape Waste on Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Pigs

Authors: Gina Cecilia Pistol, Ionelia Taranu, Mihai Alexandru Gras, Mihai Laurentiu Palade, Mariana Stancu, Veronica Sanda Chedea

Abstract:

In the last decade bioactive compounds from grape waste are investigated as new therapeutic agents for the inhibition of carcinogenesis and other diseases. The objective of this study was to characterize several bioactive compounds (polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids) of a dried grape pomace (GP) derived from a Romanian winery and further to evaluate their effect on inflammation and oxidative markers in liver of pig used as animal model. The total polyphenol concentration of pomace was 36.2g gallic acid equiv /100g. The pomace was rich in polyphenols from the flavonoids group, the main class being flavanols (epicatechins, catechin, epigallocatechin, procyanidins) and antocyanins (Malvidin 3-O-glucoside). The highest concentration was recorded for epicatechin (51.96g/100g) and procyanidin dimer (22.79g/100g). A high concentration of total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) especially ω-6 fatty acids (59.82 g/100g fat) was found in grape pomace. 20 crossbred TOPIG hybrid fattening pigs were randomly assigned (n = 10) to two experimental treatments: a normal diet (control group) and a diet included 5% grape pomace (GP group) for 24 days. The GP diet lowered the gene expression and protein concentration of IL-1β, IL-8, TNF-α and IFN-γ cytokines in liver suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect of GP diet. Concentration of hepatic TBARS also decreased, but the total antioxidant capacity (liver TEAC) and activity and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase) did not differ between the GP and control diet. The results showed that GP diet exerted an anti-inflammatory effect, but the 5% dietary inclusion modulated only partially the oxidative stress.

Keywords: Inflammation, animal model, grape waste, immune organs

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11 Regulatory Guidelines to Support the Design of Nanosatellite Projects in Mexican Academic Contexts

Authors: Alvaro Armenta-Ramade, Arturo Serrano-Santoyo, Veronica Rojas-Mendizabal, Roberto Conte-Galvan

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The availability and affordability of commercial off-the-shell products have brought a major impetus in the development of university projects related to the design, construction and launching of small satellites on a global scale. Universities in emerging economies as well as in least developed countries have been able to develop prototypes of small satellites (cubesats and cansats) with limited budgets. The experience gained in the development of small satellites gives rise to capacity building for designing more complex aerospace systems. This trend has significantly increased the pace and number of aerospace university projects around the world. In the case of Mexico, projects funded by different agencies have been very effective in accelerating the capacity building and technology transfer initiatives in the aerospace ecosystem. However, many of this initiatives have centered their efforts in technology development matters with minimum or no considerations of key regulatory issues related to frequency assignment, management and licensing, as well as launching requirements and measures of mitigation of space debris. These regulatory concerns are fundamental to accomplish successful missions that take into account the complete value chain of an aerospace project. The purpose of this paper is to develop a regulatory framework to support the efforts of educational institutions working on the development of small satellites in Mexico. We base our framework on recommendations from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and other major actors of the Mexican regulatory ecosystem. In order to develop an integrated and cohesive framework, we draw on complexity science to identify the agents, their role and interactions. Our goal is to create a guiding instrument available both in print and online that can also be used in other regions of the world

Keywords: Capacity building, Small Satellites, complexity science, cubesats, space regulations

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10 Postmortem Magnetic Resonance Imaging as an Objective Method for the Differential Diagnosis of a Stillborn and a Neonatal Death

Authors: Uliana N. Tumanova, Alexandr I. Shchegolev, Sergey M. Voevodin, Veronica A. Sinitsyna

Abstract:

An important part of forensic and autopsy research in perinatology is the answer to the question of life and stillbirth. Postmortem magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an objective non-invasive research method that allows to store data for a long time and not to exhume the body to clarify the diagnosis. The purpose of the research is to study the possibilities of a postmortem MRI to determine the stillbirth and death of a newborn who had spontaneous breathing and died on the first day after birth. MRI and morphological data of a study of 23 stillborn bodies, prenatally dead at a gestational age of 22-39 weeks (Group I) and the bodies of 16 newborns who died from 2 to 24 hours after birth (Group II) were compared. Before the autopsy, postmortem MRI was performed on the Siemens Magnetom Verio 3T device in the supine position of the body. The control group for MRI studies consisted of 7 live newborns without lung disease (Group III). On T2WI in the sagittal projection was measured MR-signal intensity (SI) in the lung tissue (L) and shoulder muscle (M). During the autopsy, a pulmonary swimming test was evaluated, and macro- and microscopic studies were performed. According to the postmortem MRI, the highest values of mean SI of the lung (430 ± 27.99) and of the muscle (405.5 ± 38.62) on T2WI were detected in group I and exceeded the corresponding value of group II by 2.7 times. The lowest values were found in the control group - 77.9 ± 12.34 and 119.7 ± 6.3, respectively. In the group II, the lung SI was 1.6 times higher than the muscle SI, whereas in the group I and in the control group, the muscle SI was 2.1 times and 1.8 times larger than the lung. On the basis of clinical and morphological data, we calculated the formula for determining the breathing index (BI) during postmortem MRI: BI = SIL x SIM / 100. The mean value of BI in the group I (1801.14 ± 241.6) (values ranged from 756 to 3744) significantly higher than the corresponding average value of BI in the group II (455.89 ± 137.32, p < 0.05) (305-638.4). In the control group, the mean BI value was 91.75 ± 13.3 (values ranged from 53 to 154). The BI with the results of pulmonary swimming tests and microscopic examination of the lungs were compared. The boundary value of BI for the differential diagnosis of stillborn and newborn death was 700. Using the postmortem MRI allows to differentiate the stillborn with the death of the breathing newborn.

Keywords: Lung, Newborn, stillborn, postmortem MRI

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9 The Modulation of Health and Inflammatory Status in Young Pigs by Grape Waste Enriched in Polyphenols

Authors: Gina Cecilia Pistol, Ionelia Taranu, Loredana Calin, Mariana Stancu, Veronica Chedea

Abstract:

Inflammatory-associated diseases have an increased trend in the past decades. The pharmacological strategies aimed to treat these inflammatory diseases are very expensive and with non-beneficial results. The current trend is to find alternative strategies to counteract or to control inflammatory component of diseases. The grape by-products either seeds or pomace are rich in bioactive compounds (e.g. polyphenols) which may be beneficial in prevention of inflammation associated with cancer progression and other pathologies with inflammatory component. The in vivo models are very useful for studying the immune and inflammatory status. The domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) is related to human from anatomic and physiologic point of view, representing a feasible model for studying the human inflammatory pathologies. Starting from these data, we evaluated the effect of a diet containing 5% grape seed cakes (GS) on piglets blood biochemical parameters and immune pro- and anti-inflammatory biomarkers (IL-1 beta, IL-8, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IFN-gamma, IL-10, IL-4) in spleen and lymph nodes. 12 weaned piglets were fed for 30 days with a control diet or an experimental diet containing 5% GS. At the end of trial, plasma and tissue samples (spleen and lymph nodes) were collected and the biochemical and inflammatory markers were analysed by using biochemistry analyser and ELISA techniques. Our results showed that diet included 5% GS did not influence the health status determined by plasma biochemical parameters. Only a tendency for a slight increase of the biochemical parameters associated with energetic profile (glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides) was observed. Also, GS diet had no effect on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines content in spleen and lymph nodes tissue. Further experiments are needed in order to investigate other rate of dietary inclusion which could provide more evidence about the effect of grape bioactive compounds on pigs used as animal model.

Keywords: Inflammation, animal model, immune organs, grape seed by-product

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8 Rasagiline Improves Metabolic Function and Reduces Tissue Injury in the Substantia Nigra in Parkinson's Disease: A Longitudinal In-Vivo Advanced MRI Study

Authors: Omar Khan, Fen Bao, Edwin George, Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, Veronica Gorden, Christina Caon, Shana Krstevska, NP-C, Carla Santiago, Imad Zak

Abstract:

Objective: To quantify cellular injury in the substantia nigra (SN) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and to examine the effect of rasagiline of tissue injury in the SN in patients with PD. Background: N-acetylaspartate (NAA) quantified with MRS is a reliable marker of neuronal metabolic function. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) obtained with DTI, characterize tissue alignment and integrity. Rasagline, has been shown to exert anti-apototic effect. We applied these advanced MRI techniques to examine: (i) the effect of rasagiline on cellular injury and metabolism in patients with early PD, and (ii) longitudinal changes seen over time in PD. Methods: We conducted a prospective longitudinal study in patients with mild PD, naive to dopaminergic treatment. The imaging protocol included multi-voxel proton-MRS and DTI of the SN, acquired on a 3T scanner. Scans were performed at baseline and month 3, during which the patient was on no treatment. At that point, rasagiline 1 mg orally daily was initiated and MRI scans are were obtained at 6 and 12 months after starting rasagiline. The primary objective was to compare changes during the 3-month period of “no treatment” to the changes observed “on treatment” with rasagiline at month 12. Age-matched healthy controls were also imaged. Image analysis was performed blinded to treatment allocation and period. Results: 25 patients were enrolled in this study. Compared to the period of “no treatment”, there was significant increase in the NAA “on treatment” period (-3.04 % vs +10.95 %, p= 0.0006). Compared to the period of “no treatment”, there was significant increase in following 12 month in the FA “on treatment” (-4.8% vs +15.3%, p<0.0001). The MD increased during “no treatment” and decreased in “on treatment” (+2.8% vs -7.5%, p=0.0056). Further analysis and clinical correlation are ongoing. Conclusions: Advanced MRI techniques quantifying cellular injury in the SN in PD is a feasible approach to investigate dopaminergic neuronal injury and could be developed as an outcome in exploratory studies. Rasagiline appears to have a stabilizing effect on dopaminergic cell loss and metabolism in the SN in PD, that warrants further investigation in long-term studies.

Keywords: Biomarker, MRI, parkinson's disease, substantia nigra, neuronal loss

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7 Optical Coherence Tomography in Parkinson’s Disease: A Potential in-vivo Retinal α-Synuclein Biomarker in Parkinson’s Disease

Authors: Jessica Chorostecki, Aashka Shah, Fen Bao, Ginny Bao, Edwin George, Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, Veronica Gorden, Christina Caon, Elliot Frohman

Abstract:

Background: Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neuro degenerative disorder associated with the loss of dopaminergic cells and the presence α-synuclein (AS) aggregation in of Lewy bodies. Both dopaminergic cells and AS are found in the retina. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) allows high-resolution in-vivo examination of retinal structure injury in neuro degenerative disorders including PD. Methods: We performed a cross-section OCT study in patients with definite PD and healthy controls (HC) using Spectral Domain SD-OCT platform to measure the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness and total macular volume (TMV). We performed intra-retinal segmentation with fully automated segmentation software to measure the volume of the RNFL, ganglion cell layer (GCL), inner plexiform layer (IPL), inner nuclear layer (INL), outer plexiform layer (OPL), and the outer nuclear layer (ONL). Segmentation was performed blinded to the clinical status of the study participants. Results: 101 eyes from 52 PD patients (mean age 65.8 years) and 46 eyes from 24 HC subjects (mean age 64.1 years) were included in the study. The mean pRNFL thickness was not significantly different (96.95 μm vs 94.42 μm, p=0.07) but the TMV was significantly lower in PD compared to HC (8.33 mm3 vs 8.58 mm3 p=0.0002). Intra-retinal segmentation showed no significant difference in the RNFL volume between the PD and HC groups (0.95 mm3 vs 0.92 mm3 p=0.454). However, GCL, IPL, INL, and ONL volumes were significantly reduced in PD compared to HC. In contrast, the volume of OPL was significantly increased in PD compared to HC. Conclusions: Our finding of the enlarged OPL corresponds with mRNA expression studies showing localization of AS in the OPL across vertebrate species and autopsy studies demonstrating AS aggregation in the deeper layers of retina in PD. We propose that the enlargement of the OPL may represent a potential biomarker of AS aggregation in PD. Longitudinal studies in larger cohorts are warranted to confirm our observations that may have significant implications in disease monitoring and therapeutic development.

Keywords: Biomarker, Retina, Optical Coherence Tomography, parkinson's disease, alpha-synuclein

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6 Extracting Opinions from Big Data of Indonesian Customer Reviews Using Hadoop MapReduce

Authors: Veronica S. Moertini, Vinsensius Kevin, Gede Karya

Abstract:

Customer reviews have been collected by many kinds of e-commerce websites selling products, services, hotel rooms, tickets and so on. Each website collects its own customer reviews. The reviews can be crawled, collected from those websites and stored as big data. Text analysis techniques can be used to analyze that data to produce summarized information, such as customer opinions. Then, these opinions can be published by independent service provider websites and used to help customers in choosing the most suitable products or services. As the opinions are analyzed from big data of reviews originated from many websites, it is expected that the results are more trusted and accurate. Indonesian customers write reviews in Indonesian language, which comes with its own structures and uniqueness. We found that most of the reviews are expressed with “daily language”, which is informal, do not follow the correct grammar, have many abbreviations and slangs or non-formal words. Hadoop is an emerging platform aimed for storing and analyzing big data in distributed systems. A Hadoop cluster consists of master and slave nodes/computers operated in a network. Hadoop comes with distributed file system (HDFS) and MapReduce framework for supporting parallel computation. However, MapReduce has weakness (i.e. inefficient) for iterative computations, specifically, the cost of reading/writing data (I/O cost) is high. Given this fact, we conclude that MapReduce function is best adapted for “one-pass” computation. In this research, we develop an efficient technique for extracting or mining opinions from big data of Indonesian reviews, which is based on MapReduce with one-pass computation. In designing the algorithm, we avoid iterative computation and instead adopt a “look up table” technique. The stages of the proposed technique are: (1) Crawling the data reviews from websites; (2) cleaning and finding root words from the raw reviews; (3) computing the frequency of the meaningful opinion words; (4) analyzing customers sentiments towards defined objects. The experiments for evaluating the performance of the technique were conducted on a Hadoop cluster with 14 slave nodes. The results show that the proposed technique (stage 2 to 4) discovers useful opinions, is capable of processing big data efficiently and scalable.

Keywords: Big Data Analysis, Hadoop MapReduce, analyzing text data, mining Indonesian reviews

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5 Common Health Problems of Filipino Overseas Household Service Workers: Implications for Wellness

Authors: Veronica Ramirez

Abstract:

For over 40 years now, the Philippines has been supplying Household Service Workers (HSWs) globally. As a requirement of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), all Filipinos applying for overseas work undergo medical examination and a certificate of good health is submitted to the foreign employer before hiring. However, there are workplace-related health problems that develop during employment such as musculoskeletal strain or injury, back pain, hypertension and other illnesses. Some workers are in good working conditions but are on call more than 12 hours per day. There are also those who experience heavy physical work with short rest periods or time off. They can also be easily exposed to disease outbreaks and epidemics. It was the objective of this study to determine the common health problems of Filipino Overseas Service Workers and analyze their implications to wellness in the workplace. Specifically, it sought to describe the work conditions of HSWs and determine the work-related factors affecting their health. It also identified the medical care they avail of and how they perceive their health and wellness as determinants of well-being. Finally, it proposes ways to promote wellness among HSWs. This study focused on physical illnesses and does not include mental problems experienced by HSWs. Using a questionnaire, primary data were gathered online and through survey of HSW rehires who were retaking Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar at recruitment agencies. The 2010 Health Benefit Availment data from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) was also utilized. Descriptive analysis was employed on the data gathered. Key stakeholders in the migration industry were also interviewed. Previous research studies, reports and literature on migration and wellness were used as secondary data. The study found that Filipino overseas HSWs are vulnerable to physical injury and experience body pains such as back, hip and shoulder pain. Long hours of work, work hazards and lack of rest due to poor accommodations can aggravate their physical condition. Although health insurance and health care are available, HSWs are not aware how to avail them. On the basis of the findings, a Wellness Program can be designed that include health awareness, health care availment, occupational ergonomics, safety and health, work and leisure balance, developing emotional intelligence, anger management and spirituality.

Keywords: Wellness, Health, household service worker, overseas

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4 The Effects of Grape Waste Bioactive Compounds on the Immune Response and Oxidative Stress in Pig Kidney

Authors: Gina Cecilia Pistol, Ionelia Taranu, Mariana Stancu, Veronica Chedea, Mihai Palade

Abstract:

Nutrition is an important determinant of general health status, with especially focus on prevention and/or attenuation of the inflammatory-associated pathologies. People with chronic kidney disease can experience chronic inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular disease and even an increased rate of death. There are important links between chronic kidney diseases, inflammation and nutritional strategies that may prevent or protect against undesirable inflammation and oxidative stress. The grape by-products either seeds or pomace are rich in polyphenols which may be beneficial in prevention of inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial processes. As a model for studying the impact of grape seeds on renal inflammation and oxidative stress, we used in this study weaned piglets. After a feeding trial of 30 days with a control diet and an experimental diet containing 5% grape seed (GS), kidney samples were collected. In renal tissues were determined the expression and activity of important markers of immune respose and oxidative stress: pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, IFN-gamma), anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-10), anti-oxidant enzymes (catalase CAT, superoxide dismutase SOD, glutathione peroxidise GPx) and important mediators belonging to nuclear receptors (NF-kB1, Nrf-2 and PPAR-gamma). Gene expression was evaluated by qPCR, whereas protein concentration was determined using proteomic techniques (ELISA). The activity of anti-oxidant enzymes was determined using specific kits. Our results showed that GS enriched in polyphenols does not have effect on TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 beta gene expression and protein concentration in kidney. By contrast, the gene expression and protein level of IL-8 and IFN-gamma were decreased in GS kidney. Anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 gene levels were increased in kidneys collected from GS piglets in comparison with controls, with no modification of protein levels between the two groups. The activities of anti-oxidant enzymes CAT and GPx were increased in kidney by GS, whereas SOD activity was unmodified in comparison with control samples. Also, the GS diet was associated with no modulation of mRNAs for nuclear receptors NF-kB1, Nrf-2 and PPAR-gamma gene expressions in kidneys. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that GS enriched in bioactive compounds such polyphenols could modulate inflammation and oxidative stress markers in kidney tissues. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the mechanism of action of GS compounds in case kidney inflammation associated with oxidative stress, and signalling molecules involved in these mechanisms.

Keywords: Oxidative Stress, animal model, kidney inflammation, grape seed

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3 Investigation of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Filter Cake as Minor Additional Constituent in Cement Production

Authors: Veronica Caprai, Katrin Schollbach, Miruna V. A. Florea, H. J. H. Brouwers

Abstract:

Nowadays MSWI (Municipal Solid Waste Incineration) bottom ash (BA) produced by Waste-to-Energy (WtE) plants represents the majority of the solid residues derived from MSW incineration. Once processed, the BA is often landfilled resulting in possible environmental problems, additional costs for the plant and increasing occupation of public land. In order to limit this phenomenon, European countries such as the Netherlands aid the utilization of MSWI BA in the construction field, by providing standards about the leaching of contaminants into the environment (Dutch Soil Quality Decree). Commonly, BA has a particle size below 32 mm and a heterogeneous chemical composition, depending on its source. By washing coarser BA, an MSWI sludge is obtained. It is characterized by a high content of heavy metals, chlorides, and sulfates as well as a reduced particle size (below 0.25 mm). To lower its environmental impact, MSWI sludge is filtered or centrifuged for removing easily soluble contaminants, such as chlorides. However, the presence of heavy metals is not easily reduced, compromising its possible application. For lowering the leaching of those contaminants, the use of MSWI residues in combination with cement represents a precious option, due to the known retention of those ions into the hydrated cement matrix. Among the applications, the European standard for common cement EN 197-1:1992 allows the incorporation of up to 5% by mass of a minor additional constituent (MAC), such as fly ash or blast furnace slag but also an unspecified filler into cement. To the best of the author's knowledge, although it is widely available, it has the appropriate particle size and a chemical composition similar to cement, FC has not been investigated as possible MAC in cement production. Therefore, this paper will address the suitability of MSWI FC as MAC for CEM I 52.5 R, within a 5% maximum replacement by mass. After physical and chemical characterization of the raw materials, the crystal phases of the pastes are determined by XRD for 3 replacement levels (1%, 3%, and 5%) at different ages. Thereafter, the impact of FC on mechanical and environmental performances of cement is assessed according to EN 196-1 and the Dutch Soil Quality Decree, respectively. The investigation of the reaction products evidences the formation of layered double hydroxides (LDH), in the early stage of the reaction. Mechanically the presence of FC results in a reduction of 28 days compressive strength by 8% for a replacement of 5% wt., compared with the pure CEM I 52.5 R without any MAC. In contrast, the flexural strength is not affected by the presence of FC. Environmentally, the Dutch legislation for the leaching of contaminants for unshaped (granular) material is satisfied. Based on the collected results, FC represents a suitable candidate as MAC in cement production.

Keywords: environmental impact evaluation, Minor additional constituent, MSWI residues, X-ray diffraction crystallography

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