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Search results for: biogas production

71 Transcriptomic Analysis of Acanthamoeba castellanii Virulence Alteration by Epigenetic DNA Methylation

Authors: Yi-Hao Wong, Li-Li Chan, Chee-Onn Leong, Stephen Ambu, Joon-Wah Mak, Priyasashi Sahu

Abstract:

Background: Acanthamoeba is a genus of amoebae which lives as a free-living in nature or as a human pathogen that causes severe brain and eye infections. Virulence potential of Acanthamoeba is not constant and can change with growth conditions. DNA methylation, an epigenetic process which adds methyl groups to DNA, is used by eukaryotic cells, including several human parasites to control their gene expression. We used qPCR, siRNA gene silencing, and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to study DNA-methyltransferase gene family (DNMT) in order to indicate the possibility of its involvement in programming Acanthamoeba virulence potential. Methods: A virulence-attenuated Acanthamoeba isolate (designation: ATCC; original isolate: ATCC 50492) was subjected to mouse passages to restore its pathogenicity; a virulence-reactivated isolate (designation: AC/5) was generated. Several established factors associated with Acanthamoeba virulence phenotype were examined to confirm the succession of reactivation process. Differential gene expression of DNMT between ATCC and AC/5 isolates was performed by qPCR. Silencing on DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate was achieved by siRNA duplex. Total RNAs extracted from ATCC, AC/5, and siRNA-treated (designation: si-146) were subjected to RNA-Seq for comparative transcriptomic analysis in order to identify the genome-wide effect of DNMT in regulating Acanthamoeba gene expression. qPCR was performed to validate the RNA-Seq results. Results: Physiological and cytophatic assays demonstrated an increased in virulence potential of AC/5 isolate after mouse passages. DNMT gene expression was significantly higher in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate (p ≤ 0.01) by qPCR. si-146 duplex reduced DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate by 30%. Comparative transcriptome analysis identified the differentially expressed genes, with 3768 genes in AC/5 vs ATCC isolate; 2102 genes in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate and 3422 genes in si-146 vs ATCC isolate, respectively (fold-change of ≥ 2 or ≤ 0.5, p-value adjusted (padj) < 0.05). Of these, 840 and 1262 genes were upregulated and downregulated, respectively, in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate. Eukaryotic orthologous group (KOG) assignments revealed a higher percentage of downregulated gene expression in si-146 compared to AC/5 isolate, were related to posttranslational modification, signal transduction and energy production. Gene Ontology (GO) terms for those downregulated genes shown were associated with transport activity, oxidation-reduction process, and metabolic process. Among these downregulated genes were putative genes encoded for heat shock proteins, transporters, ubiquitin-related proteins, proteins for vesicular trafficking (small GTPases), and oxidoreductases. Functional analysis of similar predicted proteins had been described in other parasitic protozoa for their survival and pathogenicity. Decreased expression of these genes in si146-treated isolate may account in part for Acanthamoeba reduced pathogenicity. qPCR on 6 selected genes upregulated in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate corroborated the RNA sequencing findings, indicating a good concordance between these two analyses. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation and its effects on gene expression in Acanthamoeba spp. The present data indicate that DNA methylation has substantial effect on global gene expression, allowing further dissection of the genome-wide effects of DNA-methyltransferase gene in regulating Acanthamoeba pathogenicity.

Keywords: Acanthamoeba, DNA methylation, RNA sequencing, virulence

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70 Virulence Factors and Drug Resistance of Enterococci Species Isolated from the Intensive Care Units of Assiut University Hospitals, Egypt

Authors: Nahla Elsherbiny, Ahmed Ahmed, Hamada Mohammed, Mohamed Ali

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Background: The enterococci may be considered as opportunistic agents particularly in immunocompromised patients. It is one of the top three pathogens causing many healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Resistance to several commonly used antimicrobial agents is a remarkable characteristic of most species which may carry various genes contributing to virulence. Objectives: to determine the prevalence of enterococci species in different intensive care units (ICUs) causing health care-associated infections (HAIs), intestinal carriage and environmental contamination. Also, to study the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of the isolates with special reference to vancomycin resistance. In addition to phenotypic and genotypic detection of gelatinase, cytolysin and biofilm formation among isolates. Patients and Methods: This study was carried out in the infection control laboratory at Assiut University Hospitals over a period of one year. Clinical samples were collected from 285 patients with various (HAIs) acquired after admission to different ICUs. Rectal swabs were taken from 14 cases for detection of enterococci carriage. In addition, 1377 environmental samples were collected from the surroundings of the patients. Identification was done by conventional bacteriological methods and confirmed by analytical profile index (API). Antimicrobial sensitivity testing was performed by Kirby Bauer disc diffusion method and detection of vancomycin resistance was done by agar screen method. For the isolates, phenotypic detection of cytolysin, gelatinase production and detection of biofilm by tube method, Congo red method and microtiter plate. We performed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of some virulence genes (gelE, cylA, vanA, vanB and esp). Results: Enterococci caused 10.5% of the HAIs. Respiratory tract infection was the predominant type (86.7%). The commonest species were E.gallinarum (36.7%), E.casseliflavus (30%), E.faecalis (30%), and E.durans (3.4 %). Vancomycin resistance was detected in a total of 40% (12/30) of those isolates. The risk factors associated with acquiring vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) were immune suppression (P= 0.031) and artificial feeding (P= 0.008). For the rectal swabs, enterococci species were detected in 71.4% of samples with the predominance of E. casseliflavus (50%). Most of the isolates were vancomycin resistant (70%). Out of a total 1377 environmental samples, 577 (42%) samples were contaminated with different microorganisms. Enterococci were detected in 1.7% (10/577) of total contaminated samples, 50% of which were vancomycin resistant. All isolates were resistant to penicillin, ampicillin, oxacillin, ciprofloxacin, amikacin, erythromycin, clindamycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethaxazole. For the remaining antibiotics, variable percentages of resistance were reported. Cytolysin and gelatinase were detected phenotypically in 16% and 48 % of the isolates respectively. The microtiter plate method showed the highest percentages of detection of biofilm among all isolated species (100%). The studied virulence genes gelE, esp, vanA and vanB were detected in 62%, 12%, 2% and 12% respectively, while cylA gene was not detected in any isolates. Conclusions: A significant percentage of enterococci was isolated from patients and environments in the ICUs. Many virulence factors were detected phenotypically and genotypically among isolates. The high percentage of resistance, coupled with the risk of cross transmission to other patients make enterococci infections a significant infection control issue in hospitals.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, enterococci, ICUs, virulence factors

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69 Dietary Diversification and Nutritional Education: A Strategy to Improve Child Food Security Status in the Rural Mozambique

Authors: Rodriguez Diego, Del Valle Martin, Hargreaves Matias, Riveros Jose Luis

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Nutrient deficiencies due to a diet low in quantitative and qualitative terms, are prevalent throughout the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Children and women of childbearing age are especially vulnerable. Limited availability, access and intake of animal foods at home and lack of knowledge about their value in the diet and the role they play in health, contribute to poor diet quality. Poor bioavailability of micronutrients in diets based on foods high in fiber and phytates, the low content of some micronutrients in these foods are further factors to consider. Goats are deeply embedded in almost every Sub-Saharan African rural culture, generally kept for their milk, meat, hair or leather. Goats have played an important role in African social life, especially in food security. Goat meat has good properties for human wellbeing, with a special role in lower income households. It has a high-quality protein (20 protein g/100 meat g) including all essential amino acids, good unsaturated/satured fatty acids relationship, and it is an important B-vitamin source with high micronutrients bioavailability. Mozambique has major food security problems, with poor food access and utilization, undiversified diets, chronic poverty and child malnutrition. Our objective was to design a nutritional intervention based on a dietary diversification, nutritional education, cultural beliefs and local resources, aimed to strengthen food security of children at Barrio Broma village (15°43'58.78"S; 32°46'7.27"E) in Chitima, Mozambique. Two surveys were conducted first of socio-productive local databases and then to 100 rural households about livelihoods, food diversity and anthropometric measurements in children under 5 years. Our results indicate that the main economic activity is goat production, based on a native breed with two deliveries per year in the absence of any management. Adult goats weighted 27.2±10.5 kg and raised a height of 63.5±3.8 cm. Data showed high levels of poverty, with a food diversity score of 2.3 (0-12 points), where only 30% of households consume protein and 13% iron, zinc, and B12 vitamin. The main constraints to food security were poor access to water and low income to buy food. Our dietary intervention was based on improving diet quality by increasing the access to dried goat meat, fresh vegetables, and legumes, and its utilization by a nutritional education program. This proposal was based on local culture and living conditions characterized by the absence of electricity power and drinkable water. The drying process proposed would secure the food maintenance under local conditions guaranteeing food safety for a longer period. Additionally, an ancient local drying technique was rescued and used. Moreover, this kind of dietary intervention would be the most efficient way to improve the infant nutrition by delivering macro and micronutrients on time to these vulnerable populations.

Keywords: child malnutrition, dietary diversification, food security, goat meat

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68 The Effects of Circadian Rhythms Change in High Latitudes

Authors: Ekaterina Zvorykina

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Nowadays, Arctic and Antarctic regions are distinguished to be one of the most important strategic resources for global development. Nonetheless, living conditions in Arctic regions still demand certain improvements. As soon as the region is rarely populated, one of the main points of interest is health accommodation of the people, who migrate to Arctic region for permanent and shift work. At Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, personnel face polar day and polar night conditions during the time of the year. It means that they are deprived of natural sunlight in winter season and have continuous daylight in summer. Firstly, the change in light intensity during 24-hours period due to migration affects circadian rhythms. Moreover, the controlled artificial light in winter is also an issue. The results of the recent studies on night shift medical professionals, who were exposed to permanent artificial light, have already demonstrated higher risks in cancer, depression, Alzheimer disease. Moreover, people exposed to frequent time zones change are also subjected to higher risks of heart attack and cancer. Thus, our main goals are to understand how high latitude work and living conditions can affect human health and how it can be prevented. In our study, we analyze molecular and cellular factors, which play important role in circadian rhythm change and distinguish main risk groups in people, migrating to high latitudes. The main well-studied index of circadian timing is melatonin or its metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin. In low light intensity melatonin synthesis is disturbed and as a result human organism requires more time for sleep, which is still disregarded when it comes to working time organization. Lack of melatonin also causes shortage in serotonin production, which leads to higher depression risk. Melatonin is also known to inhibit oncogenes and increase apoptosis level in cells, the main factors for tumor growth, as well as circadian clock genes (for example Per2). Thus, people who work in high latitudes can be distinguished as a risk group for cancer diseases and demand more attention. Clock/Clock genes, known to be one of the main circadian clock regulators, decrease sensitivity of hypothalamus to estrogen and decrease glucose sensibility, which leads to premature aging and oestrous cycle disruption. Permanent light exposure also leads to accumulation superoxide dismutase and oxidative stress, which is one of the main factors for early dementia and Alzheimer disease. We propose a new screening system adjusted for people, migrating from middle to high latitudes and accommodation therapy. Screening is focused on melatonin and estrogen levels, sleep deprivation and neural disorders, depression level, cancer risks and heart and vascular disorders. Accommodation therapy includes different types artificial light exposure, additional melatonin and neuroprotectors. Preventive procedures can lead to increase of migration intensity to high latitudes and, as a result, the prosperity of Arctic region.

Keywords: circadian rhythm, high latitudes, melatonin, neuroprotectors

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67 Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain

Authors: Raquel Dafouz Neus Cáceres, Javier Fernandez-Rubio, Belinda Huerta José Luis Rodríguez-Gil, Nicola Mastroianni, Miren López de Alda, Damià Barceló, Yolanda Valcárcel

Abstract:

The region of Galicia, found in north-western (NW) Spain, is a national and world leader in shellfish, especially mussel production, and recognized for its fishing industry. Few studies have evaluated the presence of emerging contaminants in NW Spain, with those published mainly concerning the continental aquatic environment. The objective of this study was to identify the environmental risk posed by the presence of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in this important coastal region. The presence of sixteen pharmaceuticals (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and caffeine), and 19 drugs of abuse (cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opiates and opioids, lysergic compounds, and cannabinoids) was assessed in 23 sites located in the Rías (Coastal inlets) of Muros, Arousa, and Pontevedra (NW Spain). Twenty-two of these locations were affected by waste-water treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and one represented the effluent of one of these WWTPs. Venlafaxine was the pharmaceutical compound detected at higher concentration in the three Rías, with a maximum value of 291 ng/L at the site Porto do Son (Ría de Muros). Total concentration in the three Rías was 819,26 ng/L. Next, citalopram and lorazepam were the most prevalent compounds detected. Metabolite of cocaine benzoylecgonine was the drug of abuse with the highest concentration, measured at 972 ng/L in the Ría of Noia WWTP (no dilution). This compound was also detected at 142 ng/L in the site La Isla de Aros, Ría of Pontevedra. Total concentration for the three Rías was 1210 ng/L. Ephedrine was also detected at high level in the three Rías, with a total concentration of 579,28 ng/L. The results obtained for caffeine show maximum and average concentrations of 857 ng/L Isla de Arosa, Ría de Pontevedra the highest measured in seawater in Spain. A preliminary hazard assessment was carried out by comparing these measured environmental concentrations (MEC) to predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for aquatic organisms. Six out of the 22 seawater samples resulted in a Hazard Quotient (HQ) from chronic exposure higher than 1 with the highest being 17.14, indicating a high probability of adverse effects in the aquatic environment. In addition, the risk was assessed on the basis of persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT). This work was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Carlos III Health Institute and the program 'Proyectos de Investigacion en Salud 2015-2017' FIS (PI14/00516), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Groups '2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit' and 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603437. The poster entitled 'Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain'.

Keywords: drug of abuse, pharmaceuticals, caffeine, environmental risk, seawater

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66 Cell-free Bioconversion of n-Octane to n-Octanol via a Heterogeneous and Bio-Catalytic Approach

Authors: Shanna Swart, Caryn Fenner, Athanasios Kotsiopoulos, Susan Harrison

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Linear alkanes are produced as by-products from the increasing use of gas-to-liquid fuel technologies for synthetic fuel production and offer great potential for value addition. Their current use as low-value fuels and solvents do not maximize this potential. Therefore, attention has been drawn towards direct activation of these aliphatic alkanes to more useful products such as alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and derivatives. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) can be used for activation of these aliphatic alkanes using whole-cells or cell-free systems. Some limitations of whole-cell systems include reduced mass transfer, stability and possible side reactions. Since the P450 systems are little studied as cell-free systems, they form the focus of this study. Challenges of a cell-free system include co-factor regeneration, substrate availability and enzyme stability. Enzyme immobilization offers a positive outlook on this dilemma, as it may enhance stability of the enzyme. In the present study, 2 different P450s (CYP153A6 and CYP102A1) as well as the relevant accessory enzymes required for electron transfer (ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase) and co-factor regeneration (glucose dehydrogenase) have been expressed in E. coli and purified by metal affinity chromatography. Glucose dehydrogenase (GDH), was used as a model enzyme to assess the potential of various enzyme immobilization strategies including; surface attachment on MagReSyn® microspheres with various functionalities and on electrospun nanofibers, using self-assembly based methods forming Cross Linked Enzymes (CLE), Cross Linked Enzyme Aggregates (CLEAs) and spherezymes as well as in a sol gel. The nanofibers were synthesized by electrospinning, which required the building of an electrospinning machine. The nanofiber morphology has been analyzed by SEM and binding will be further verified by FT-IR. Covalent attachment based methods showed limitations where only ferredoxin reductase and GDH retained activity after immobilization which were largely attributed to insufficient electron transfer and inactivation caused by the crosslinkers (60% and 90% relative activity loss for the free enzyme when using 0.5% glutaraldehyde and glutaraldehyde/ethylenediamine (1:1 v/v), respectively). So far, initial experiments with GDH have shown the most potential when immobilized via their His-tag onto the surface of MagReSyn® microspheres functionalized with Ni-NTA. It was found that Crude GDH could be simultaneously purified and immobilized with sufficient activity retention. Immobilized pure and crude GDH could be recycled 9 and 10 times, respectively, with approximately 10% activity remaining. The immobilized GDH was also more stable than the free enzyme after storage for 14 days at 4˚C. This immobilization strategy will also be applied to the P450s and optimized with regards to enzyme loading and immobilization time, as well as characterized and compared with the free enzymes. It is anticipated that the proposed immobilization set-up will offer enhanced enzyme stability (as well as reusability and easy recovery), minimal mass transfer limitation, with continuous co-factor regeneration and minimal enzyme leaching. All of which provide a positive outlook on this robust multi-enzyme system for efficient activation of linear alkanes as well as the potential for immobilization of various multiple enzymes, including multimeric enzymes for different bio-catalytic applications beyond alkane activation.

Keywords: alkane activation, cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, enzyme catalysis, enzyme immobilization

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65 Sentinel-2 Based Burn Area Severity Assessment Tool in Google Earth Engine

Authors: D. Madhushanka, Y. Liu, H. C. Fernando

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Fires are one of the foremost factors of land surface disturbance in diverse ecosystems, causing soil erosion and land-cover changes and atmospheric effects affecting people's lives and properties. Generally, the severity of the fire is calculated as the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) index. This is performed manually by comparing two images obtained afterward. Then by using the bitemporal difference of the preprocessed satellite images, the dNBR is calculated. The burnt area is then classified as either unburnt (dNBR<0.1) or burnt (dNBR>= 0.1). Furthermore, Wildfire Severity Assessment (WSA) classifies burnt areas and unburnt areas using classification levels proposed by USGS and comprises seven classes. This procedure generates a burn severity report for the area chosen by the user manually. This study is carried out with the objective of producing an automated tool for the above-mentioned process, namely the World Wildfire Severity Assessment Tool (WWSAT). It is implemented in Google Earth Engine (GEE), which is a free cloud-computing platform for satellite data processing, with several data catalogs at different resolutions (notably Landsat, Sentinel-2, and MODIS) and planetary-scale analysis capabilities. Sentinel-2 MSI is chosen to obtain regular processes related to burnt area severity mapping using a medium spatial resolution sensor (15m). This tool uses machine learning classification techniques to identify burnt areas using NBR and to classify their severity over the user-selected extent and period automatically. Cloud coverage is one of the biggest concerns when fire severity mapping is performed. In WWSAT based on GEE, we present a fully automatic workflow to aggregate cloud-free Sentinel-2 images for both pre-fire and post-fire image compositing. The parallel processing capabilities and preloaded geospatial datasets of GEE facilitated the production of this tool. This tool consists of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to make it user-friendly. The advantage of this tool is the ability to obtain burn area severity over a large extent and more extended temporal periods. Two case studies were carried out to demonstrate the performance of this tool. The Blue Mountain national park forest affected by the Australian fire season between 2019 and 2020 is used to describe the workflow of the WWSAT. This site detected more than 7809 km2, using Sentinel-2 data, giving an error below 6.5% when compared with the area detected on the field. Furthermore, 86.77% of the detected area was recognized as fully burnt out, of which high severity (17.29%), moderate-high severity (19.63%), moderate-low severity (22.35%), and low severity (27.51%). The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest Park, California, the USA, which is affected by the Cameron peak fire in 2020, is chosen for the second case study. It was found that around 983 km2 had burned out, of which high severity (2.73%), moderate-high severity (1.57%), moderate-low severity (1.18%), and low severity (5.45%). These spots also can be detected through the visual inspection made possible by cloud-free images generated by WWSAT. This tool is cost-effective in calculating the burnt area since satellite images are free and the cost of field surveys is avoided.

Keywords: burnt area, burnt severity, fires, google earth engine (GEE), sentinel-2

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64 Preliminary Characterization of Hericium Species Sampled in Tuscany, Italy

Authors: V. Cesaroni, C. Girometta, A. Bernicchia, M. Brusoni, F. Corana, R. M. Baiguera, C. M. Cusaro, M. L. Guglielminetti, B. Mannucci, H. Kawagishi, C. Perini, A. M. Picco, P. Rossi, E. Salerni, E. Savino

Abstract:

Fungi of the genus Hericium contain various compounds with antibacterial activity, cytotoxic effect on cancer cells and bioactive molecules. Some of the active metabolites stimulate the synthesis of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Recently, the effect of dietary supplement based on Hericium erinaceus on recognition memory and on hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 neurotransmission was published. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Hericium species on Italian territory in order to isolate the strains for further studies and applications. The first step was to collect Hericium sporophores in Tuscany: H. alpestre Pers., H. coralloides (Scop.) Pers. and H. erinaceus (Bull.) Pers. were the species present. The strains of H. alpestre (H.a.1), H. coralloides (H.c.1) and H. erinaceus (H.e.1 & H.e.2) have been isolated in pure culture and preserved in the collection of the University of Pavia (MicUNIPV). The DNA sequences obtained from the strains were compared to other sequences found in international databases. Therefore, it was possible to construct a phylogenetic tree that highlights the clear separation in clades of the sequences and the molecular identification of our strains with the species of Hericium considered. The second step was to cultivate indoor and outdoor H. erinaceus in order to obtain as many sporophores as possible for further chemical analysis. All the procedures for H. erinaceus cultivation have been followed. Among the available recipes for indoor H. erinaceus cultivation, it was used a substrate formulation contained 70% oak sawdust, 20% rice bran, 10% wheat straw, 1% CaCO3 and 1% sucrose. The bioactive compounds present in the mycelia and in the sporophores of H. erinaceus were chemically analyzed in collaboration with the Centro Grandi Strumenti of the University of Pavia using high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS/MS). The materials to be analyzed were previously freeze-dried and then extracted with an alcoholic procedure. Preliminary chromatographic analysis revealed the presence of potentially bioactive and structurally different secondary metabolites such as polysaccharides, erinacins, ericenones, steroids and other terpenoids. Ericenones C and D (in sporophores) and erinacin A (in mycelium) have been identified by comparison with the respective standards. These molecules are known to have effects on the Central Nervous System (CNS) cells, which is the main objective of our studies. Thanks to the high sensitivity in the detection of bioactive compounds of H. erinaceus, it will be possible to use the To obtain lyophilized mycelium and the respective culture broth, 4 small pieces (about 5 mm2) of the respective H.e.1 or H.c.1 strains, taken from the margin of growing cultures (MEA), were inoculated into 1 liter of 2% ME (malt extract, Biokar Diagnostics). The static liquid cultures were kept at 24 °C in the dark chamber and fungi grew for one month. 10 replicates for each strain have been done. The method proposed as an analytical screening protocol to determine the optimal growth conditions of the fungus and to improve the production chain of H. erinaceus. These results encourage to carry out chemical analyzes also on H. alpestre and H. coralloides in order to evaluate the presence of bioactive compounds in these two species.

Keywords: Hericium species, Hercium erinaceus bioactive compounds, medicinal mushrooms, mushroom cultivation

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63 Delicate Balance between Cardiac Stress and Protection: Role of Mitochondrial Proteins

Authors: Zuzana Tatarkova, Ivana Pilchova, Michal Cibulka, Martin Kolisek, Peter Racay, Peter Kaplan

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Introduction: Normal functioning of mitochondria is crucial for cardiac performance. Mitochondria undergo mitophagy and biogenesis, and mitochondrial proteins are subject to extensive post-translational modifications. The state of mitochondrial homeostasis reflects overall cellular fitness and longevity. Perturbed mitochondria produce less ATP, release greater amounts of reactive molecules, and are more prone to apoptosis. Therefore mitochondrial turnover is an integral aspect of quality control in which dysfunctional mitochondria are selectively eliminated through mitophagy. Currently, the progressive deterioration of physiological functions is seen as accumulation of modified/damaged proteins with limiting regenerative ability and disturbance of such affected protein-protein communication throughout aging in myocardial cells. Methodologies: For our study was used immunohistochemistry, biochemical methods: spectrophotometry, western blotting, immunodetection as well as more sophisticated 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry for evaluation protein-protein interactions and specific post-translational modification. Results and Discussion: Mitochondrial stress response to reactive species was evaluated as electron transport chain (ETC) complexes, redox-active molecules, and their possible communication. Protein-protein interactions revealed a strong linkage between age and ETC protein subunits. Redox state was strongly affected in senescent mitochondria with shift in favor of more pro-oxidizing condition within cardiomyocytes. Acute myocardial ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury affected ETC complexes I, II and IV with no change in complex III. Ischemia induced decrease in total antioxidant capacity, MnSOD, GSH and catalase activity with recovery in some extent during reperfusion. While MnSOD protein content was higher in IR group, activity returned to 95% of control. Nitric oxide is one of the biological molecules that can out compete MnSOD for superoxide and produce peroxynitrite. This process is faster than dismutation and led to the 10-fold higher production of nitrotyrosine after IR injury in adult with higher protection in senescent ones. 2D protein profiling revealed 140 mitochondrial proteins, 12 of them with significant changes after IR injury and 36 individual nitrotyrosine-modified proteins further identified by mass spectrometry. Linking these two groups, 5 proteins were altered after IR as well as nitrated, but only one showed massive nitration per lowering content of protein after IR injury in adult. Conclusions: Senescent cells have greater proportion of protein content, which might be modulated by several post-translational modifications. If these protein modifications are connected to functional consequences and protein-protein interactions are revealed, link may lead to the solution. Assume all together, dysfunctional proteostasis can play a causative role and restoration of protein homeostasis machinery is protective against aging and possibly age-related disorders. This work was supported by the project VEGA 1/0018/18 and by project 'Competence Center for Research and Development in the field of Diagnostics and Therapy of Oncological diseases', ITMS: 26220220153, co-financed from EU sources.

Keywords: aging heart, mitochondria, proteomics, redox state

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62 Mean Nutrient Intake and Nutrient Adequacy Ratio in India: Occurrence of Hidden Hunger in Indians

Authors: Abha Gupta, Deepak K. Mishra

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The focus of food security studies in India has been on the adequacy of calories and its linkage with poverty level. India currently being undergoing a massive demographic and epidemiological transition has demonstrated a decline in average physical activity with improved mechanization and urbanization. Food consumption pattern is also changing with decreasing intake of coarse cereals and a marginal increase in the consumption of fruits, vegetables and meat products resulting into a nutrition transition in the country. However, deficiency of essential micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals is rampant despite their growing importance in fighting back with lifestyle and other modern diseases. The calorie driven studies can hardly tackle the complex problem of malnutrition. This paper fills these research lacuna and analyses mean intake of different major and micro-nutrients among different socio-economic groups and adequacy of these nutrients from recommended dietary allowance. For the purpose, a cross-sectional survey covering 304 households selected through proportional stratified random sampling was conducted in six villages of Aligarh district of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Data on quantity consumed of 74 food items grouped into 10 food categories with a recall period of seven days was collected from the households and converted into energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C using standard guidelines of National Institute of Nutrition. These converted nutrients were compared with recommended norms given by National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau. Per capita nutrient adequacy was calculated by dividing mean nutrient intake by the household size and then by comparing it with recommended norm. Findings demonstrate that source of both macro and micro-nutrients are mainly cereals followed by milk, edible oil and sugar items. Share of meat in providing essential nutrients is very low due to vegetarian diet. Vegetables, pulses, nuts, fruits and dry fruits are a poor source for most of the nutrients. Further analysis evinces that intake of most of the nutrients is higher than the recommended norm. Riboflavin is the only vitamin whose intake is less than the standard norm. Poor group, labour, small farmers, Muslims, scheduled caste demonstrate comparatively lower intake of all nutrients than their counterpart groups, though, they get enough macro and micro-nutrients significantly higher than the norm. One of the major reasons for higher intake of most of the nutrients across all socio-economic groups is higher consumption of monotonous diet based on cereals and milk. Most of the nutrients get their major share from cereals particularly wheat and milk intake. It can be concluded from the analysis that although there is adequate intake of most of the nutrients in the diet of rural population yet their source is mainly cereals and milk products depicting a monotonous diet. Hence, more efforts are needed to diversify the diet by giving more focus to the production of other food items particularly fruits, vegetables and pulse products. Awareness among the population, more accessibility and incorporating food items other than cereals in government social safety programmes are other measures to improve food security in India.

Keywords: hidden hunger, India, nutrients, recommended norm

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61 Making the Right Call for Falls: Evaluating the Efficacy of a Multi-Faceted Trust Wide Approach to Improving Patient Safety Post Falls

Authors: Jawaad Saleem, Hannah Wright, Peter Sommerville, Adrian Hopper

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Introduction: Inpatient falls are the most commonly reported patient safety incidents, and carry a significant burden on resources, morbidity, and mortality. Ensuring adequate post falls management of patients by staff is therefore paramount to maintaining patient safety especially in out of hours and resource stretched settings. Aims: This quality improvement project aims to improve the current practice of falls management at Guys St Thomas Hospital, London as compared to our 2016 Quality Improvement Project findings. Furthermore, it looks to increase current junior doctors confidence in managing falls and their use of new guidance protocols. Methods: Multifaceted Interventions implemented included: the development of new trust wide guidelines detailing management pathways for patients post falls, available for intranet access. Furthermore, the production of 2000 lanyard cards distributed amongst junior doctors and staff which summarised these guidelines. Additionally, a ‘safety signal’ email was sent from the Trust chief medical officer to all staff raising awareness of falls and the guidelines. Formal falls teaching was also implemented for new doctors at induction. Using an established incident database, 189 consecutive falls in 2017were retrospectively analysed electronically to assess and compared to the variables measured in 2016 post interventions. A separate serious incident database was used to analyse 50 falls from May 2015 to March 2018 to ascertain the statistical significance of the impact of our interventions on serious incidents. A similar questionnaire for the 2017 cohort of foundation year one (FY1) doctors was performed and compared to 2016 results. Results: Questionnaire data demonstrated improved awareness and utility of guidelines and increased confidence as well as an increase in training. 97% of FY1 trainees felt that the interventions had increased their awareness of the impact of falls on patients in the trust. Data from the incident database demonstrated the time to review patients post fall had decreased from an average of 130 to 86 minutes. Improvement was also demonstrated in the reduced time to order and schedule X-ray and CT imaging, 3 and 5 hours respectively. Data from the serious incident database show that ‘the time from fall until harm was detected’ was statistically significantly lower (P = 0.044) post intervention. We also showed the incidence of significant delays in detecting harm ( > 10 hours) reduced post intervention. Conclusions: Our interventions have helped to significantly reduce the average time to assess, order and schedule appropriate imaging post falls. Delays of over ten hours to detect serious injuries after falls were commonplace; since the intervention, their frequency has markedly reduced. We suggest this will lead to identifying patient harm sooner, reduced clinical incidents relating to falls and thus improve overall patient safety. Our interventions have also helped increase clinical staff confidence, management, and awareness of falls in the trust. Next steps include expanding teaching sessions, improving multidisciplinary team involvement to aid this improvement.

Keywords: patient safety, quality improvement, serious incidents, falls, clinical care

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60 Analysis of Minimizing Investment Risks in Power and Energy Business Development by Combining Total Quality Management and International Financing Institutions Project Management Tools

Authors: M. Radunovic

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Region of Southeastern Europe has a substantial energy resource potential and is witnessing an increasing rate of power and energy project investments. This comes as a result of countries harmonizing their legal framework and market regulations to conform the ones of European Union, enabling direct private investments. Funding in the power and energy market in this region originates from various resources and investment entities, including commercial and institutional ones. Risk anticipation and assessment is crucial to project success, especially given the long exploitation period of project in power and energy domain, as well as the wide range of stakeholders involved. This paper analyzes the possibility of combined application of tools used in total quality management and international financing institutions for project planning, execution and evaluation, with the goal of anticipating, assessing and minimizing the risks that might occur in the development and execution phase of a power and energy project in the market of southeastern Europe. History of successful project management and investments both in the industry and institutional sector provides sufficient experience, guidance and internationally adopted tools to provide proper project assessment for investments in power and energy. Business environment of southeastern Europe provides immense potential for developing power and engineering projects of various magnitudes, depending on stakeholders’ interest. Diversification on investment sources provides assurance that there is interest and commitment to invest in this market. Global economic and political developments will be intensifying the pace of investments in the upcoming period. The proposed approach accounts for key parameters that contribute to the sustainability and profitability of a project which include technological, educational, social and economic gaps between the southeastern European region and western Europe, market trends in equipment design and production on a global level, environment friendly approach to renewable energy sources as well as conventional power generation systems, and finally the effect of the One Belt One Road Initiative led by People’s Republic of China to the power and energy market of this region in the upcoming period on a long term scale. Analysis will outline the key benefits of the approach as well as the accompanying constraints. Parallel to this it will provide an overview of dominant threats and opportunities in present and future business environment and their influence to the proposed application. Through concrete examples, full potential of this approach will be presented along with necessary improvements that need to be implemented. Number of power and engineering projects being developed in southeastern Europe will be increasing in the upcoming period. Proper risk analysis will lead to minimizing project failures. The proposed successful combination of reliable project planning tools from different investment areas can prove to be beneficial in the future power and engineering investments, and guarantee their sustainability and profitability.

Keywords: capital investments, lean six sigma, logical framework approach, logical framework matrix, one belt one road initiative, project management tools, quality function deployment, Southeastern Europe, total quality management

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59 Foucault and Governmentality: International Organizations and State Power

Authors: Sara Dragisic

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Using the theoretical analysis of the birth of biopolitics that Foucault performed through the history of liberalism and neoliberalism, in this paper we will try to show how, precisely through problematizing the role of international institutions, the model of governance differs from previous ways of objectifying body and life. Are the state and its mechanisms still a Leviathan to fight against, or can it be even the driver of resistance against the proponents of modern governance and the biopolitical power? Do paradigmatic examples of biopolitics still appear through sovereignty and (international) law, or is it precisely this sphere that shows a significant dose of incompetence and powerlessness in relation to, not only the economic sphere (Foucault’s critique of neoliberalism) but also the new politics of freedom? Have the struggle for freedom and human rights, as well as the war on terrorism, opened a new spectrum of biopolitical processes, which are manifested precisely through new international institutions and humanitarian discourse? We will try to answer these questions, in the following way. On the one hand, we will show that the views of authors such as Agamben and Hardt and Negri, in whom the state and sovereignty are seen as enemies to be defeated or overcome, fail to see how such attempts could translate into the politicization of life like it is done in many examples through the doctrine of liberal interventionism and humanitarianism. On the other hand, we will point out that it is precisely the humanitarian discourse and the defense of the right to intervention that can be the incentive and basis for the politicization of the category of life and lead to the selective application of human rights. Zizek example of the killing of United Nations workers and doctors in a village during the Vietnam War, who were targeted even before police or soldiers, because they were precisely seen as a powerful instrument of American imperialism (as they were sincerely trying to help the population), will be focus of this part of the analysis. We’ll ask the question whether such interpretation is a kind of liquidation of the extreme left of the political (Laclau) or on this basis can be explained at least in part the need to review the functioning of international organizations, ranging from those dealing with humanitarian aid (and humanitarian military interventions) to those dealing with protection and the security of the population, primarily from growing terrorism. Based on the above examples, we will also explain how the discourse of terrorism itself plays a dual role: it can appear as a tool of liberal biopolitics, although, more superficially, it mostly appears as an enemy that wants to destroy the liberal system and its values. This brings us to the basic problem that this paper will tackle: do the mechanisms of institutional struggle for human rights and freedoms, which is often seen as opposed to the security mechanisms of the state, serve the governance of citizens in such a way that the latter themselves participate in producing biopolitical governmental practices? Is the freedom today "nothing but the correlative development of apparatuses of security" (Foucault)? Or, we can continue this line of Foucault’s argumentation and enhance the interpretation with the important question of what precisely today reflects the change in the rationality of governance in which society is transformed from a passive object into a subject of its own production. Finally, in order to understand the skills of biopolitical governance in modern civil society, it is necessary to pay attention to the status of international organizations, which seem to have become a significant place for the implementation of global governance. In this sense, the power of sovereignty can turn out to be an insufficiently strong power of security policy, which can go hand in hand with freedom policies, through neoliberal governmental techniques.

Keywords: neoliberalism, Foucault, sovereignty, biopolitics, international organizations, NGOs, Agamben, Hardt&Negri, Zizek, security, state power

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58 Complex Dynamics in a Morphologically Heterogeneous Biological Medium

Authors: Turky Al-Qahtani, Roustem Miftahof

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Introduction: Under common assumptions of excitabi-lity, morphological (cellular) homogeneity, and spatial structural anomalies added as required, it has been shown that biological systems are able to display travelling wave dynamics. Being not self-sustainable, existence depends on the electrophysiological state of transmembrane ion channels and it requires an extrinsic/intrinsic periodic source. However, organs in the body are highly multicellular, heterogeneous, and their functionality is the outcome of electro-mechanical conjugation, rather than excitability only. Thus, peristalsis in the gut relies on spatiotemporal myoelectrical pattern formations between the mechanical, represented by smooth muscle cells (SM), and the control, comprised of a chain of primary sensory and motor neurones, components. Synaptically linked through the afferent and efferent pathways, they form a functional unit (FU) of the gut. Aims: These are: i) to study numerically the complex dynamics, and ii) to investigate the possibility of self-sustained myoelectrical activity in the FU. Methods: The FU recreates the following sequence of physiological events: deformation of mechanoreceptors of located in SM; generation and propagation of electrical waves of depolarisation - spikes - along the axon to the soma of the primary neurone; discharge of the primary neurone and spike propagation towards the motor neurone; burst of the motor neurone and transduction of spikes to SM, subsequently producing forces of contraction. These are governed by a system of nonlinear partial and ordinary differential equations being a modified version of the Hodgkin-Huxley model and SM fibre mechanics. In numerical experiments; the source of excitation is mechanical stretches of SM at a fixed amplitude and variable frequencies. Results: Low frequency (0.5 < v < 2 Hz) stimuli cause the propagation of spikes in the neuronal chain and, finally, the generation of active forces by SM. However, induced contractions are not sufficient to initiate travelling wave dynamics in the control system. At frequencies, 2 < v < 4 Hz, multiple low amplitude and short-lasting contractions are observed in SM after the termination of stretching. For frequencies (0.5 < v < 4 Hz), primary and sensory neurones demonstrate strong connectivity and coherent electrical activity. Significant qualitative and quantitative changes in dynamics of myoelectical patterns with a transition to a self-organised mode are recorded with the high degree of stretches at v = 4.5 Hz. Increased rates of deformation lead to the production of high amplitude signals at the mechanoreceptors with subsequent self-sustained excitation within the neuronal chain. Remarkably, the connection between neurones weakens resulting in incoherent firing. Further increase in a frequency of stimulation (v > 4.5 Hz) has a detrimental effect on the system. The mechanical and control systems become disconnected and exhibit uncoordinated electromechanical activity. Conclusion: To our knowledge, the existence of periodic activity in a multicellular, functionally heterogeneous biological system with mechano-electrical dynamics, such as the FU, has been demonstrated for the first time. These findings support the notion of possible peristalsis in the gut even in the absence of intrinsic sources - pacemaker cells. Results could be implicated in the pathogenesis of intestinal dysrythmia, a medical condition associated with motor dysfunction.

Keywords: complex dynamics, functional unit, the gut, dysrythmia

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57 Impact of Transgenic Adipose Derived Stem Cells in the Healing of Spinal Cord Injury of Dogs

Authors: Imdad Ullah Khan, Yongseok Yoon, Kyeung Uk Choi, Kwang Rae Jo, Namyul Kim, Eunbee Lee, Wan Hee Kim, Oh-Kyeong Kweon

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The primary spinal cord injury (SCI) causes mechanical damage to the neurons and blood vessels. It leads to secondary SCI, which activates multiple pathological pathways, which expand neuronal damage at the injury site. It is characterized by vascular disruption, ischemia, excitotoxicity, oxidation, inflammation, and apoptotic cell death. It causes nerve demyelination and disruption of axons, which perpetuate a loss of impulse conduction through the injured spinal cord. It also leads to the production of myelin inhibitory molecules, which with a concomitant formation of an astroglial scar, impede axonal regeneration. The pivotal role regarding the neuronal necrosis is played by oxidation and inflammation. During an early stage of spinal cord injury, there occurs an abundant expression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to defective mitochondrial metabolism and abundant migration of phagocytes (macrophages, neutrophils). ROS cause lipid peroxidation of the cell membrane, and cell death. Abundant migration of neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes collectively produce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), matrix metalloproteinase, superoxide dismutase, and myeloperoxidases which synergize neuronal apoptosis. Therefore, it is crucial to control inflammation and oxidation injury to minimize the nerve cell death during secondary spinal cord injury. Therefore, in response to oxidation and inflammation, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is induced by the resident cells to ameliorate the milieu. In the meanwhile, neurotrophic factors are induced to promote neuroregeneration. However, it seems that anti-stress enzyme (HO-1) and neurotrophic factor (BDNF) do not significantly combat the pathological events during secondary spinal cord injury. Therefore, optimum healing can be induced if anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors are administered in a higher amount through an exogenous source. During the first experiment, the inflammation and neuroregeneration were selectively targeted. HO-1 expressing MSCs (HO-1 MSCs) and BDNF expressing MSCs (BDNF MSC) were co-transplanted in one group (combination group) of dogs with subacute spinal cord injury to selectively control the expression of inflammatory cytokines by HO-1 and induce neuroregeneration by BDNF. We compared the combination group with the HO-1 MSCs group, BDNF MSCs group, and GFP MSCs group. We found that the combination group showed significant improvement in functional recovery. It showed increased expression of neural markers and growth-associated proteins (GAP-43) than in other groups, which depicts enhanced neuroregeneration/neural sparing due to reduced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha, IL-6 and COX-2; and increased expression of anti-inflammatory markers such as IL-10 and HO-1. Histopathological study revealed reduced intra-parenchymal fibrosis in the injured spinal cord segment in the combination group than in other groups. Thus it was concluded that selectively targeting the inflammation and neuronal growth with the combined use of HO-1 MSCs and BDNF MSCs more favorably promote healing of the SCI. HO-1 MSCs play a role in controlling the inflammation, which favors the BDNF induced neuroregeneration at the injured spinal cord segment of dogs.

Keywords: HO-1 MSCs, BDNF MSCs, neuroregeneration, inflammation, anti-inflammation, spinal cord injury, dogs

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56 Wind Turbine Scaling for the Investigation of Vortex Shedding and Wake Interactions

Authors: Sarah Fitzpatrick, Hossein Zare-Behtash, Konstantinos Kontis

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Traditionally, the focus of horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) blade aerodynamic optimisation studies has been the outer working region of the blade. However, recent works seek to better understand, and thus improve upon, the performance of the inboard blade region to enhance power production, maximise load reduction and better control the wake behaviour. This paper presents the design considerations and characterisation of a wind turbine wind tunnel model devised to further the understanding and fundamental definition of horizontal axis wind turbine root vortex shedding and interactions. Additionally, the application of passive and active flow control mechanisms – vortex generators and plasma actuators – to allow for the manipulation and mitigation of unsteady aerodynamic behaviour at the blade inboard section is investigated. A static, modular blade wind turbine model has been developed for use in the University of Glasgow’s de Havilland closed return, low-speed wind tunnel. The model components - which comprise of a half span blade, hub, nacelle and tower - are scaled using the equivalent full span radius, R, for appropriate Mach and Strouhal numbers, and to achieve a Reynolds number in the range of 1.7x105 to 5.1x105 for operational speeds up to 55m/s. The half blade is constructed to be modular and fully dielectric, allowing for the integration of flow control mechanisms with a focus on plasma actuators. Investigations of root vortex shedding and the subsequent wake characteristics using qualitative – smoke visualisation, tufts and china clay flow – and quantitative methods – including particle image velocimetry (PIV), hot wire anemometry (HWA), and laser Doppler anemometry (LDA) – were conducted over a range of blade pitch angles 0 to 15 degrees, and Reynolds numbers. This allowed for the identification of shed vortical structures from the maximum chord position, the transitional region where the blade aerofoil blends into a cylindrical joint, and the blade nacelle connection. Analysis of the trailing vorticity interactions between the wake core and freestream shows the vortex meander and diffusion is notably affected by the Reynold’s number. It is hypothesized that the shed vorticity from the blade root region directly influences and exacerbates the nacelle wake expansion in the downstream direction. As the design of inboard blade region form is, by necessity, driven by function rather than aerodynamic optimisation, a study is undertaken for the application of flow control mechanisms to manipulate the observed vortex phenomenon. The designed model allows for the effective investigation of shed vorticity and wake interactions with a focus on the accurate geometry of a root region which is representative of small to medium power commercial HAWTs. The studies undertaken allow for an enhanced understanding of the interplay of shed vortices and their subsequent effect in the near and far wake. This highlights areas of interest within the inboard blade area for the potential use of passive and active flow control devices which contrive to produce a more desirable wake quality in this region.

Keywords: vortex shedding, wake interactions, wind tunnel model, wind turbine

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55 Correlation Studies and Heritability Estimates among Onion (Allium Cepa L.) Cultivars of North Western Nigeria

Authors: L. Abubakar, B. M. Sokoto, I. U. Mohammed, M. S. Na’allah, A. Mohammad, A. N. Garba, T. S. Bubuche

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Onion (Allium cepa var. cepa L.), is the most important species of the Allium group belonging to family Alliaceae and genus Allium. It can be regarded as the single important vegetable species in the world after tomatoes. Despite the similarities, which bring the species together, the genus is a strikingly diverse one, with more than five hundred species, which are perennial and mostly bulbous plants. Out of these, only seven species are in cultivation, and five are the most important species of the cultivated Allium. However, Allium cepa (onion) and Allium sativum (Garlic) are the two major cultivated species grown all over the world of which the onion crop is the most important. Heritability defined as the proportion of the observed total variability that is genetic, and its estimates from variance components give more useful information of genotypic variation from the total phenotypic differences and environmental effects on the individuals or families. It therefore guide the breeder with respect to the ease with which selection of traits can be carried out. Heritability estimates guide the breeder with respect to ease of selection of traits while correlations suggest how selection among characters can be practiced. Correlations explain relationship between characters and suggest how selection among characters can be practiced in breeding programmes. Highly significant correlations have been reported, between yield, maturity, rings/bulb and storage loss in onions. Similarly significant positive correlation exists between total bulb yield and plant height, leaf number/plant, bulb diameter and bulb yield/plant. Moderate positive correlations have been observed between maturity date and yield, dry matter content was highly correlated with soluble solids, and higher correlations were also observed between storage loss and soluble solids. The objective of the study is to determine heritability estimates and correlations for characters among onion cultivars of North Western Nigeria. This is envisaged will assist in the breeding of superior onion cultivars within the zone. Thirteen onion cultivars were collected during an expedition covering north western Nigeria and Southern part of Niger Republic during 2013, which are areas noted for onion production. The cultivars were evaluated at two locations; Sokoto, in Sokoto State and Jega in Kebbi State all in Nigeria during the 2013/14 onion season (dry season) under irrigation. Combined analysis of the results revealed fresh bulb yield is highly significantly positively correlated with bulb height and cured bulb yield, and significant positive correlation with plant height and bulb diameter. It also recorded significant negative correlation with mean No. of leaves/plant and non significant negative correlation with bolting %. Cured bulb yield (marketable yield) had highly significant positive correlation with mean bulb weight and fresh bulb yield/ha, with significant positive correlation with bulb height. It also recorded highly significant negative correlation with No. of leaves/plant and significant negative correlation with bolting % and non significant positive correlation with plant height and non significant negative correlation with bulb diameter. High broad sense heritability estimates were recorded for plant height, fresh bulb yield, number of leaves/plant, bolting % and cured bulb yield. Medium to low broad sense heritabilities were also observed for mean bulb weight, plant height and bulb diameter.

Keywords: correlation, heritability, onions, North Western Nigeria

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54 Solar-Electric Pump-out Boat Technology: Impacts on the Marine Environment, Public Health, and Climate Change

Authors: Joy Chiu, Colin Hemez, Emma Ryan, Jia Sun, Robert Dubrow, Michael Pascucilla

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The popularity of recreational boating is on the rise in the United States, which raises numerous national-level challenges in the management of air and water pollution, aquatic habitat destruction, and waterway access. The need to control sewage discharge from recreational vessels underlies all of these challenges. The release of raw human waste into aquatic environments can lead to eutrophication and algal blooms; can increase human exposure to pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and parasites; can financially impact commercial shellfish harvest/fisheries and marine bathing areas; and can negatively affect access to recreational and/or commercial waterways to the detriment of local economies. Because of the damage that unregulated sewage discharge can do to environments and human health/marine life, recreational vessels in the United States are required by law to 'pump-out' sewage from their holding tanks into sewage treatment systems in all designated 'no discharge areas'. Many pump-out boats, which transfer waste out of recreational vessels, are operated and maintained using funds allocated through the Federal Clean Vessel Act (CVA). The East Shore District Health Department of Branford, Connecticut is protecting this estuary by pioneering the design and construction of the first-in-the-nation zero-emissions, the solar-electric pump-out boat of its size to replace one of its older traditional gasoline-powered models through a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection CVA Grant. This study, conducted in collaboration with the East Shore District Health Department, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, States Organization for Boating Access and Connecticut’s CVA program coordinators, had two aims: (1) To perform a national assessment of pump-out boat programs, supplemented by a limited international assessment, to establish best pump-out boat practices (regardless of how the boat is powered); and (2) to estimate the cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental and public health impacts of solar-electric versus traditional gasoline-powered pump-out boats. A national survey was conducted of all CVA-funded pump-out program managers and selected pump-out boat operators to gauge best practices; costs associated with gasoline-powered pump-out boat operation and management; and the regional, cultural, and policy-related issues that might arise from the adoption of solar-electric pump-out boat technology. We also conducted life-cycle analyses of gasoline-powered and solar-electric pump-out boats to compare their greenhouse gas emissions; production of air, soil and water pollution; and impacts on human health. This work comprises the most comprehensive study into pump-out boating practices in the United States to date, in which information obtained at local, state, national, and international levels is synthesized. This study aims to enable CVA programs to make informed recommendations for sustainable pump-out boating practices and identifies the challenges and opportunities that remain for the wide adoption of solar-electric pump-out boat technology.

Keywords: pump-out boat, marine water, solar-electric, zero emissions

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53 Educational Knowledge Transfer in Indigenous Mexican Areas Using Cloud Computing

Authors: L. R. Valencia Pérez, J. M. Peña Aguilar, A. Lamadrid Álvarez, A. Pastrana Palma, H. F. Valencia Pérez, M. Vivanco Vargas

Abstract:

This work proposes a Cooperation-Competitive (Coopetitive) approach that allows coordinated work among the Secretary of Public Education (SEP), the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ) and government funds from National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) or some other international organizations. To work on an overall knowledge transfer strategy with e-learning over the Cloud, where experts in junior high and high school education, working in multidisciplinary teams, perform analysis, evaluation, design, production, validation and knowledge transfer at large scale using a Cloud Computing platform. Allowing teachers and students to have all the information required to ensure a homologated nationally knowledge of topics such as mathematics, statistics, chemistry, history, ethics, civism, etc. This work will start with a pilot test in Spanish and initially in two regional dialects Otomí and Náhuatl. Otomí has more than 285,000 speaking indigenes in Queretaro and Mexico´s central region. Náhuatl is number one indigenous dialect spoken in Mexico with more than 1,550,000 indigenes. The phase one of the project takes into account negotiations with indigenous tribes from different regions, and the Information and Communication technologies to deliver the knowledge to the indigenous schools in their native dialect. The methodology includes the following main milestones: Identification of the indigenous areas where Otomí and Náhuatl are the spoken dialects, research with the SEP the location of actual indigenous schools, analysis and inventory or current schools conditions, negotiation with tribe chiefs, analysis of the technological communication requirements to reach the indigenous communities, identification and inventory of local teachers technology knowledge, selection of a pilot topic, analysis of actual student competence with traditional education system, identification of local translators, design of the e-learning platform, design of the multimedia resources and storage strategy for “Cloud Computing”, translation of the topic to both dialects, Indigenous teachers training, pilot test, course release, project follow up, analysis of student requirements for the new technological platform, definition of a new and improved proposal with greater reach in topics and regions. Importance of phase one of the project is multiple, it includes the proposal of a working technological scheme, focusing in the cultural impact in Mexico so that indigenous tribes can improve their knowledge about new forms of crop improvement, home storage technologies, proven home remedies for common diseases, ways of preparing foods containing major nutrients, disclose strengths and weaknesses of each region, communicating through cloud computing platforms offering regional products and opening communication spaces for inter-indigenous cultural exchange.

Keywords: Mexicans indigenous tribes, education, knowledge transfer, cloud computing, otomi, Náhuatl, language

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52 Effect of Metarhizium robertsii in Rhipicephalus microplus hemocytes

Authors: Jessica P. Fiorotti, Maria C. Freitas, Caio J. B. Coutinho-Rodrigues, Mariana G. Camargo, Emily S. Mesquita, Amanda R. C. Corval, Ricardo O. B. Bitencourt, Allan F. Marciano, Diva D. Spadacci-Morena, Patricia S. Golo, Isabele C. Angelo, Vania R. E. P. Bittencourt

Abstract:

The bovine tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, is an arthropod of great importance in veterinary medicine leading to anemia, weight loss, animals' leather depreciation and also acting as a vector of many pathogens. In this way, the parasitism causes a loss of 3.24 billion dollars per year in Brazil. Knowingly, entomopathogenic fungi act as natural controller of some arthropods, acting mainly by active penetration through the cuticle. However, it can also act on the hemolymph and through the production of mycotoxins. Hemocytes are responsible for the cellular immune response and participate in the processes of phagocytosis, nodulation and encapsulation and may undergo changes when challenged by pathogens. The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in R. microplus hemocytes after inoculation of Metarhizium robertsii using transmission electron microscopy. The isolate ARSEF 2575 and 200 engorged R. microplus females were used. The groups were divided into control, in which the females were inoculated with 5 μL of sterile distilled water solution and 0.1% Tween 80, and a group inoculated with 5 μL of fungal suspension at the concentration of 10⁷ conidia mL⁻¹. The experiment was performed in duplicate and each group contained 50 females. Twenty-four hours after fungal inoculation, hemolymph was collected through the cuticle dorsal surface perforation of the tick females. After collection, the hemolymph samples were centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes at 4 °C, the plasma was discarded and the hemocyte pellet was resuspended in 50 μl PBS. The suspension material was fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde in Millonig buffer for three hours. After fixation, the material was centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes, the supernatant was discarded and the cells were resuspended in a wash solution. Subsequently, the cells were post-fixed with 1% osmium tetroxide in phosphate buffer for one hour at room temperature and dehydrated in increasing concentrations of ethanol, and then embedded in Epon resin. The ultrathin sections were examined under the LEO EM 906E transmission electron microscopy at 80kV. The ultrastructural results revealed that.in control group, the cells were considered intact, in which the granulocytes were observed with granules of different electrodensities, intact mitochondria and cytoplasm without vacuolization. In addition, granulocytes showed plasma membrane projections similar to pseudopodia. Plasmatocytes presented as irregularly shaped cells, with the eccentric nucleus, agranular cytoplasm and some cells presented pseudopodia. Nevertheless, in the group exposed to the fungus, most of the cells presented in degeneration. The granulocytes found had fewer granules in the cytoplasm and more vacuoles. Plasmatocytes, after treatment, presented many vacuoles also in the cytoplasm and the lysosomes presented great amount of electrodense material in their interior. Thus, the results suggest that the fungus has a depressant action in the immune system of the tick, not only by the cell degranulation, but also suggesting that this leads to morphological changes in the hemocytes and may even trigger processes such as phagocytosis.

Keywords: bovine tick, cellular defense, entomopathogenic fungi, immune response

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51 A Study on Economic Impacts of Entrepreneurial Firms and Self-Employment: Minority Ethnics in Putatan, Penampang, Inanam, Menggatal, Uitm, Tongod, Sabah, Malaysia

Authors: Lizinis Cassendra Frederick Dony, Jirom Jeremy Frederick Dony, Andrew Nicholas, Dewi Binti Tajuddin

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Starting and surviving a business is influenced by various entrepreneurship socio-economics activities. The study revealed that some of the entrepreneurs are not registered under SME but running own business as an intermediary with the private organization entrusted as “Self-Employed.” SME is known as “Small Medium Enterprise” contributes growth in Malaysia. Therefore, the entrepreneurialism business interest and entrepreneurial intention enhancing new spurring production, expanding employment opportunities, increasing productivity, promoting exports, stimulating innovation and providing new avenue in the business market place. This study has identified the unique contribution to the full understanding of complex mechanisms through entrepreneurship obstacles and education impacts on happiness and well-being to society. Moreover, “Ethnic” term has defined as a curious meaning refers to a classification of a large group of people customs implies to ancestral, racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic and cultural origins. It is a social phenomenon.1 According to Sabah data population is amounting to 2,389,494 showed the predominant ethnic group being the Kadazan Dusun (18.4%) followed by Bajau (17.3%) and Malays (15.3%). For the year 2010, data statistic immigrants population report showed the amount to 239,765 people which cover 4% of the Sabahan’s population.2 Sabah has numerous group of talented entrepreneurs. The business environment among the minority ethnics are influenced with the business sentiment competition. The literature on ethnic entrepreneurship recognizes two main type entrepreneurships: the middleman and enclave entrepreneurs. According to Adam Smith,3 there are evidently some principles disposition to admire and maintain the distinction business rank status and cause most universal business sentiments. Due to credit barriers competition, the minority ethnics are losing the business market and since 2014, many illegal immigrants have been found to be using permits of the locals to operate businesses in Malaysia.4 The development of small business entrepreneurship among the minority ethnics in Sabah evidenced based variety of complex perception and differences concepts. The studies also confirmed the effects of heterogeneity on group decision and thinking caused partly by excessive pre-occupation with maintaining cohesiveness and the presence of cultural diversity in groups should reduce its probability.5 The researchers proposed that there are seven success determinants particularly to determine the involvement of minority ethnics comparing to the involvement of the immigrants in Sabah. Although, (SMEs) have always been considered the backbone of the economy development, the minority ethnics are often categorized it as the “second-choice.’ The study showed that illegal immigrants entrepreneur imposed a burden on Sabahan social programs as well as the prison, court and health care systems. The tension between the need for cheap labor and the impulse to protect Malaysian in Sabah workers, entrepreneurs and taxpayers, among the subjects discussed in this study. This is clearly can be advantages and disadvantages to the Sabah economic development.

Keywords: entrepreneurial firms, self-employed, immigrants, minority ethnic, economic impacts

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50 Intensification of Wet Air Oxidation of Landfill Leachate Reverse Osmosis Concentrates

Authors: Emilie Gout, Mathias Monnot, Olivier Boutin, Pierre Vanloot, Philippe Moulin

Abstract:

Water is a precious resource. Treating industrial wastewater remains a considerable technical challenge of our century. The effluent considered for this study is landfill leachate treated by reverse osmosis (RO). Nowadays, in most developed countries, sanitary landfilling is the main method to deal with municipal solid waste. Rainwater percolates through solid waste, generating leachates mostly comprised of organic and inorganic matter. Whilst leachate ages, its composition varies, becoming more and more bio-refractory. RO is already used for landfill leachates as it generates good quality permeate. However, its mains drawback is the production of highly polluted concentrates that cannot be discharged in the environment or reused, which is an important industrial issue. It is against this background that the study of coupling RO with wet air oxidation (WAO) was set to intensify and optimize processes to meet current regulations for water discharge in the environment. WAO is widely studied for effluents containing bio-refractory compounds. Oxidation consists of a destruction reaction capable of mineralizing the recalcitrant organic fraction of pollution into carbon dioxide and water when complete. WAO process in subcritical conditions requires a high-energy consumption, but it can be autothermic in a certain range of chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations (10-100 g.L⁻¹). Appropriate COD concentrations are reached in landfill leachate RO concentrates. Therefore, the purpose of this work is to report the performances of mineralization during WAO on RO concentrates. The coupling of RO/WAO has shown promising results in previous works on both synthetic and real effluents in terms of organic carbon (TOC) reduction by WAO and retention by RO. Non-catalytic WAO with air as oxidizer was performed in a lab-scale stirred autoclave (1 L) on landfill leachates RO concentrates collected in different seasons in a sanitary landfill in southern France. The yield of WAO depends on operating parameters such as total pressure, temperature, and time. Compositions of the effluent are also important aspects for process intensification. An experimental design methodology was used to minimize the number of experiments whilst finding the operating conditions achieving the best pollution reduction. The simulation led to a set of 18 experiments, and the responses to highlight process efficiency are pH, conductivity, turbidity, COD, TOC, and inorganic carbon. A 70% oxygen excess was chosen for all the experiments. First experiments showed that COD and TOC abatements of at least 70% were obtained after 90 min at 300°C and 20 MPa, which attested the possibility to treat RO leachate concentrates with WAO. In order to meet French regulations and validate process intensification with industrial effluents, some continuous experiments in a bubble column are foreseen, and some further analyses will be performed, such as biological oxygen demand and study of gas composition. Meanwhile, other industrial effluents are treated to compare RO-WAO performances. These effluents, coming from pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and tertiary wastewater industries, present different specific pollutants that will provide a better comprehension of the hybrid process and prove the intensification and feasibility of the process at an industrial scale. Acknowledgments: This work has been supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR) for the Project TEMPO under the reference number ANR-19-CE04-0002-01.

Keywords: hybrid process, landfill leachates, process intensification, reverse osmosis, wet air oxidation

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49 Ethnic Tourism and Real Estate Development: A Case of Yiren Ancient Town, China

Authors: Li Yang

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Tourism is employed by many countries to facilitate socioeconomic development and to assist in the heritage preservation. An “ethnic culture boom” is currently driving the tourism industry in China. Ethnic minorities, commonly portrayed as primitive, colorful and exotic, have become a big tourist draw. Many cultural attractions have been built throughout China to meet the demands of domestic tourists. Sacred cultural heritage sites have been rehabilitated as a major component of ethnic tourism. The purpose of this study is to examine the interconnected consequences of tourism development and tourism-related leisure property development and, and to discuss, in a broader context, issues and considerations that are pertinent to the management and development of ethnic attractions. The role of real estate in tourism development and its sociocultural consequences are explored. An empirical research was conducted in Yiren Ancient Town (literally, "Ancient Town of Yi People") in Chuxiong City, Yunnan Province, China. Multiple research methods, including in-depth interviews, informal discussions, on-site observations, and secondary data review were employed to measure residents and tourism decision-makers’ perceptions of ethnic tourism and to explore the impacts of tourism on local community. Key informants from government officials, tourism developers and local communities were interviewed individually to gather what they think about benefits and costs of tourism, and what their concerns about and hopes for tourism development are. Yiren Ancient Town was constructed in classical Yi architecture style featuring tranquil garden scenery. Commercial streets, entertainment complexes, and accommodation facilities occupied the center of the town, creating culturally distinctive and visually stimulating places for tourists. A variety of activities are presented to visitors, including walking tours of the town, staged dance shows, musical performances, ethnic festivals and ceremonies, tasting minority food and wedding shows. This study reveals that tourism real estate has transformed the town from a traditional neighborhood into diverse real estate landscapes. Ethnic architecture, costumes, festivals and folk culture have been represented, altered and reinvented through the tourist gaze and mechanisms of cultural production. Tourism is now a new economic driver of the community providing opportunities for the creation of small businesses. There was a general appreciation in the community that tourism has created many employment opportunities, especially for self-employment. However, profit-seeking is a primary motivation for the government, developers, businesses, and other actors involved in the tourism development process. As the town has attracted an increasing number of visitors, commercialization and business competition are intense in the town. Many residents complained about elevated land prices, making the town and the surroundings comparatively high-value locales. Local community is also concerned about the decline of traditional ethnic culture and an erosion of the sense of identity and place. A balance is difficult to maintain between protection and development. The preservation of ethnic culture and heritage should be enhanced if long-term sustainable development of tourism is to occur and the loss of ethnic identities is to be avoided.

Keywords: ancient town, ethnic tourism, local community, real estate, China

Procedia PDF Downloads 198
48 High Pressure Thermophysical Properties of Complex Mixtures Relevant to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Processing

Authors: Saif Al Ghafri, Thomas Hughes, Armand Karimi, Kumarini Seneviratne, Jordan Oakley, Michael Johns, Eric F. May

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Knowledge of the thermophysical properties of complex mixtures at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature have always been essential to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry’s evolution because of the tremendous technical challenges present at all stages in the supply chain from production to liquefaction to transport. Each stage is designed using predictions of the mixture’s properties, such as density, viscosity, surface tension, heat capacity and phase behaviour as a function of temperature, pressure, and composition. Unfortunately, currently available models lead to equipment over-designs of 15% or more. To achieve better designs that work more effectively and/or over a wider range of conditions, new fundamental property data are essential, both to resolve discrepancies in our current predictive capabilities and to extend them to the higher-pressure conditions characteristic of many new gas fields. Furthermore, innovative experimental techniques are required to measure different thermophysical properties at high pressures and over a wide range of temperatures, including near the mixture’s critical points where gas and liquid become indistinguishable and most existing predictive fluid property models used breakdown. In this work, we present a wide range of experimental measurements made for different binary and ternary mixtures relevant to LNG processing, with a particular focus on viscosity, surface tension, heat capacity, bubble-points and density. For this purpose, customized and specialized apparatus were designed and validated over the temperature range (200 to 423) K at pressures to 35 MPa. The mixtures studied were (CH4 + C3H8), (CH4 + C3H8 + CO2) and (CH4 + C3H8 + C7H16); in the last of these the heptane contents was up to 10 mol %. Viscosity was measured using a vibrating wire apparatus, while mixture densities were obtained by means of a high-pressure magnetic-suspension densimeter and an isochoric cell apparatus; the latter was also used to determine bubble-points. Surface tensions were measured using the capillary rise method in a visual cell, which also enabled the location of the mixture critical point to be determined from observations of critical opalescence. Mixture heat capacities were measured using a customised high-pressure differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The combined standard relative uncertainties were less than 0.3% for density, 2% for viscosity, 3% for heat capacity and 3 % for surface tension. The extensive experimental data gathered in this work were compared with a variety of different advanced engineering models frequently used for predicting thermophysical properties of mixtures relevant to LNG processing. In many cases the discrepancies between the predictions of different engineering models for these mixtures was large, and the high quality data allowed erroneous but often widely-used models to be identified. The data enable the development of new or improved models, to be implemented in process simulation software, so that the fluid properties needed for equipment and process design can be predicted reliably. This in turn will enable reduced capital and operational expenditure by the LNG industry. The current work also aided the community of scientists working to advance theoretical descriptions of fluid properties by allowing to identify deficiencies in theoretical descriptions and calculations.

Keywords: LNG, thermophysical, viscosity, density, surface tension, heat capacity, bubble points, models

Procedia PDF Downloads 164
47 Analysis of Vibration and Shock Levels during Transport and Handling of Bananas within the Post-Harvest Supply Chain in Australia

Authors: Indika Fernando, Jiangang Fei, Roger Stanley, Hossein Enshaei

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Delicate produce such as fresh fruits are increasingly susceptible to physiological damage during the essential post-harvest operations such as transport and handling. Vibration and shock during the distribution are identified factors for produce damage within post-harvest supply chains. Mechanical damages caused during transit may significantly diminish the quality of fresh produce which may also result in a substantial wastage. Bananas are one of the staple fruit crops and the most sold supermarket produce in Australia. It is also the largest horticultural industry in the state of Queensland where 95% of the total production of bananas are cultivated. This results in significantly lengthy interstate supply chains where fruits are exposed to prolonged vibration and shocks. This paper is focused on determining the shock and vibration levels experienced by packaged bananas during transit from the farm gate to the retail market. Tri-axis acceleration data were captured by custom made accelerometer based data loggers which were set to a predetermined sampling rate of 400 Hz. The devices recorded data continuously for 96 Hours in the interstate journey of nearly 3000 Km from the growing fields in far north Queensland to the central distribution centre in Melbourne in Victoria. After the bananas were ripened at the ripening facility in Melbourne, the data loggers were used to capture the transport and handling conditions from the central distribution centre to three retail outlets within the outskirts of Melbourne. The quality of bananas were assessed before and after transport at each location along the supply chain. Time series vibration and shock data were used to determine the frequency and the severity of the transient shocks experienced by the packages. Frequency spectrogram was generated to determine the dominant frequencies within each segment of the post-harvest supply chain. Root Mean Square (RMS) acceleration levels were calculated to characterise the vibration intensity during transport. Data were further analysed by Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and the Power Spectral Density (PSD) profiles were generated to determine the critical frequency ranges. It revealed the frequency range in which the escalated energy levels were transferred to the packages. It was found that the vertical vibration was the highest and the acceleration levels mostly oscillated between ± 1g during transport. Several shock responses were recorded exceeding this range which were mostly attributed to package handling. These detrimental high impact shocks may eventually lead to mechanical damages in bananas such as impact bruising, compression bruising and neck injuries which affect their freshness and visual quality. It was revealed that the frequency range between 0-5 Hz and 15-20 Hz exert an escalated level of vibration energy to the packaged bananas which may result in abrasion damages such as scuffing, fruit rub and blackened rub. Further research is indicated specially in the identified critical frequency ranges to minimise exposure of fruits to the harmful effects of vibration. Improving the handling conditions and also further study on package failure mechanisms when exposed to transient shock excitation will be crucial to improve the visual quality of bananas within the post-harvest supply chain in Australia.

Keywords: bananas, handling, post-harvest, supply chain, shocks, transport, vibration

Procedia PDF Downloads 57
46 Influence of Bacterial Biofilm on the Corrosive Processes in Electronic Equipment

Authors: Iryna P. Dzieciuch, Michael D. Putman

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Humidity is known to degrade Navy ship electronic equipment, especially in hot moist environments. If left untreated, it can cause significant and permanent damage. Even rigorous inspection and frequent clean-up would not prevent further equipment contamination and degradation because of the constant presence of favorable growth conditions for many microorganisms. Generally, relative humidity levels of less than 60% will inhibit corrosion in electronic equipment, but because NAVY electronics often operate in hot and humid environments, prevention via dehumidification is not always possible. Currently, there is no defined research that fully describes key mechanisms which cause electronics and its coating degradation. The corrosive action of most bacteria is mainly developed through (i) mycelium adherence to the metal plates, (ii) facilitation the formation of pitting areas, (iii) production of organic acids such as citric, iso-citric, cis-aconitic, alpha-ketoglutaric, which are corrosive to electronic equipment and its components. Our approach studies corrosive action in electronic equipment: circuit-board, wires and connections that are exposed in the humid environment that gets worse during condensation. In our new approach the technical task is built on work with the bacterial communities in public areas, bacterial genetics, bioinformatics, biostatistics and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of corroded circuit boards. Based on these methods, we collect and examine environmental samples from biofilms of the corroded and non-corroded sites, where bacterial contamination of electronic equipment, such as machine racks and shore boats, is an ongoing concern. Sample collection and sample analysis is focused on addressing the key questions identified above through the following tasks: laboratory sample processing and evaluation under scanning electron microscopy, initial sequencing and data evaluation; bioinformatics and data analysis. Preliminary results from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have revealed that metal particulates and alloys in corroded samples consists mostly of Tin ( < 40%), Silicon ( < 4%), Sulfur ( < 1%), Aluminum ( < 2%), Magnesium ( < 2%), Copper ( < 1%), Bromine ( < 2%), Barium ( <1%) and Iron ( < 2%) elements. We have also performed X 12000 magnification of the same sites and that proved existence of undisrupted biofilm organelles and crystal structures. Non-corrosion sites have revealed high presence of copper ( < 47%); other metals remain at the comparable level as on the samples with corrosion. We have performed X 1000 magnification on the non-corroded at the sites and have documented formation of copper crystals. The next step of this study, is to perform metagenomics sequencing at all sites and to compare bacterial composition present in the environment. While copper is nontoxic to the living organisms, the process of bacterial adhesion creates acidic environment by releasing citric, iso-citric, cis-aconitic, alpha-ketoglutaric acidics, which in turn release copper ions Cu++, which that are highly toxic to the bacteria and higher order living organisms. This phenomenon, might explain natural “antibiotic” properties that are lacking in elements such as tin. To prove or deny this hypothesis we will use next - generation sequencing (NGS) methods to investigate types and growth cycles of bacteria that from bacterial biofilm the on corrosive and non-corrosive samples.

Keywords: bacteria, biofilm, circuit board, copper, corrosion, electronic equipment, organic acids, tin

Procedia PDF Downloads 62
45 Establishment of Farmed Fish Welfare Biomarkers Using an Omics Approach

Authors: Pedro M. Rodrigues, Claudia Raposo, Denise Schrama, Marco Cerqueira

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Farmed fish welfare is a very recent concept, widely discussed among the scientific community. Consumers’ interest regarding farmed animal welfare standards has significantly increased in the last years posing a huge challenge to producers in order to maintain an equilibrium between good welfare principles and productivity, while simultaneously achieve public acceptance. The major bottleneck of standard aquaculture is to impair considerably fish welfare throughout the production cycle and with this, the quality of fish protein. Welfare assessment in farmed fish is undertaken through the evaluation of fish stress responses. Primary and secondary stress responses include release of cortisol and glucose and lactate to the blood stream, respectively, which are currently the most commonly used indicators of stress exposure. However, the reliability of these indicators is highly dubious, due to a high variability of fish responses to an acute stress and the adaptation of the animal to a repetitive chronic stress. Our objective is to use comparative proteomics to identify and validate a fingerprint of proteins that can present an more reliable alternative to the already established welfare indicators. In this way, the culture conditions will improve and there will be a higher perception of mechanisms and metabolic pathway involved in the produced organism’s welfare. Due to its high economical importance in Portuguese aquaculture Gilthead seabream will be the elected species for this study. Protein extracts from Gilthead Seabream fish muscle, liver and plasma, reared for a 3 month period under optimized culture conditions (control) and induced stress conditions (Handling, high densities, and Hipoxia) are collected and used to identify a putative fish welfare protein markers fingerprint using a proteomics approach. Three tanks per condition and 3 biological replicates per tank are used for each analisys. Briefly, proteins from target tissue/fluid are extracted using standard established protocols. Protein extracts are then separated using 2D-DIGE (Difference gel electrophoresis). Proteins differentially expressed between control and induced stress conditions will be identified by mass spectrometry (LC-Ms/Ms) using NCBInr (taxonomic level - Actinopterygii) databank and Mascot search engine. The statistical analysis is performed using the R software environment, having used a one-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test (p < 0.05) to assess which proteins were differentially expressed in a statistically significant way. Validation of these proteins will be done by comparison of the RT-qPCR (Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) expressed genes pattern with the proteomic profile. Cortisol, glucose, and lactate are also measured in order to confirm or refute the reliability of these indicators. The identified liver proteins under handling and high densities induced stress conditions are responsible and involved in several metabolic pathways like primary metabolism (i.e. glycolysis, gluconeogenesis), ammonia metabolism, cytoskeleton proteins, signalizing proteins, lipid transport. Validition of these proteins as well as identical analysis in muscle and plasma are underway. Proteomics is a promising high-throughput technique that can be successfully applied to identify putative welfare protein biomarkers in farmed fish.

Keywords: aquaculture, fish welfare, proteomics, welfare biomarkers

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44 The Soviet Union-Style of Urban Planning in China: Historical Review and Enlightenment from the Output Mode of Contemporary Cooperative Parks

Authors: Yifeng Shi, Xingping Wang

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The Soviet Union-style of urban planning has produced a broad and profound influence on China’s urban planning system. The study on extendibility and development experience of Soviet planning in China helps to change the current embarrassing situation 'one-hand planning practice, second-hand planning theory', and also beneficial to facilitate the establishment of China's domestic urban planning theory from the planning source, especially the overseas cooperation parks rich in 'Chinese characteristics'. In practice, as the world’s major infrastructure country, China is exporting to the world especially countries along 'the Belt and Road' a development model featuring cooperation parks as Chinese characteristics. This is of great significance to evaluate and summarize the experiences of Soviet Union-style of planning for China's development objectively and rationally, from removing ideological factors and extracting positive factors to carry them forward in overseas cooperation parks. This article briefly reviews the Soviet influence on urban planning after the founding of China and divided the influences stages into 'guidance, internalization and absorption, selective learning, decline' four periods. The impact includes production-oriented planning and planning concepts continue to be implemented, the establishment of the regional planning, master planning, detailed planning of the basic framework of urban planning, and homogenized cellular structure of the space, as well as planning techniques, professional training, planning techniques and so on. China and even most socialist countries now still carry such planning genes. At present, in the process of implementing 'the Belt and Road' strategy, the planning and construction of China’s overseas cooperation parks generally encounter many problems as lack of strategic planning and systematic planning, lack of top-level design, uncoordinated planning and layout in parks, and redundant construction in some areas. After sublating the planning genes of the Soviet Union-style of urban planning for the development of the socialist countries, especially the industrial planning system, this paper puts forward some views as follows to realize the overseas output and development of China's planning model and technology. Firstly the future development of overseas cooperation park should be from a rational planning point of view. Secondly the government should not only rigidly and equitably allocate the resources of the parks but also closely integrate the national economic plans or economic development strategies. Lastly management department should frame the threshold of development rationally, give full play to the pragmatic planning style in accordance with the local land system and planning system. It has an important guiding and reference role for the development of China's overseas cooperation park under the 'go global' strategy, after objectively evaluating the impact of the Soviet Union-style urban planning and absorbing the beneficial components on China. However, we should also recognize that the cooperation parks and the urban industrial system behind it are only part of urban development. More attention should be payed on the design of the local and the general rules of urban development to take the lead effect of cooperation parks suitable. Foundation item: Under the auspices of the Specific Plan for Strategic International Cooperation in Scientific and Technological Innovation, the National Key Research and Development Plan 'Research Cooperation and Exemplary Application in Planning of Development of Overseas Industrial Parks' (No 2016YFE0201000).

Keywords: China cooperative parks, history of urban planning, output mode, The Soviet Union

Procedia PDF Downloads 138
43 High Purity Lignin for Asphalt Applications: Using the Dawn Technology™ Wood Fractionation Process

Authors: Ed de Jong

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Avantium is a leading technology development company and a frontrunner in renewable chemistry. Avantium develops disruptive technologies that enable the production of sustainable high value products from renewable materials and actively seek out collaborations and partnerships with like-minded companies and academic institutions globally, to speed up introductions of chemical innovations in the marketplace. In addition, Avantium helps companies to accelerate their catalysis R&D to improve efficiencies and deliver increased sustainability, growth, and profits, by providing proprietary systems and services to this regard. Many chemical building blocks and materials can be produced from biomass, nowadays mainly from 1st generation based carbohydrates, but potential for competition with the human food chain leads brand-owners to look for strategies to transition from 1st to 2nd generation feedstock. The use of non-edible lignocellulosic feedstock is an equally attractive source to produce chemical intermediates and an important part of the solution addressing these global issues (Paris targets). Avantium’s Dawn Technology™ separates the glucose, mixed sugars, and lignin available in non-food agricultural and forestry residues such as wood chips, wheat straw, bagasse, empty fruit bunches or corn stover. The resulting very pure lignin is dense in energy and can be used for energy generation. However, such a material might preferably be deployed in higher added value applications. Bitumen, which is fossil based, are mostly used for paving applications. Traditional hot mix asphalt emits large quantities of the GHG’s CO₂, CH₄, and N₂O, which is unfavorable for obvious environmental reasons. Another challenge for the bitumen industry is that the petrochemical industry is becoming more and more efficient in breaking down higher chain hydrocarbons to lower chain hydrocarbons with higher added value than bitumen. This has a negative effect on the availability of bitumen. The asphalt market, as well as governments, are looking for alternatives with higher sustainability in terms of GHG emission. The usage of alternative sustainable binders, which can (partly) replace the bitumen, contributes to reduce GHG emissions and at the same time broadens the availability of binders. As lignin is a major component (around 25-30%) of lignocellulosic material, which includes terrestrial plants (e.g., trees, bushes, and grass) and agricultural residues (e.g., empty fruit bunches, corn stover, sugarcane bagasse, straw, etc.), it is globally highly available. The chemical structure shows resemblance with the structure of bitumen and could, therefore, be used as an alternative for bitumen in applications like roofing or asphalt. Applications such as the use of lignin in asphalt need both fundamental research as well as practical proof under relevant use conditions. From a fundamental point of view, rheological aspects, as well as mixing, are key criteria. From a practical point of view, behavior in real road conditions is key (how easy can the asphalt be prepared, how easy can it be applied on the road, what is the durability, etc.). The paper will discuss the fundamentals of the use of lignin as bitumen replacement as well as the status of the different demonstration projects in Europe using lignin as a partial bitumen replacement in asphalts and will especially present the results of using Dawn Technology™ lignin as partial replacement of bitumen.

Keywords: biorefinery, wood fractionation, lignin, asphalt, bitumen, sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 45
42 Multilocus Phylogenetic Approach Reveals Informative DNA Barcodes for Studying Evolution and Taxonomy of Fusarium Fungi

Authors: Alexander A. Stakheev, Larisa V. Samokhvalova, Sergey K. Zavriev

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Fusarium fungi are among the most devastating plant pathogens distributed all over the world. Significant reduction of grain yield and quality caused by Fusarium leads to multi-billion dollar annual losses to the world agricultural production. These organisms can also cause infections in immunocompromised persons and produce the wide range of mycotoxins, such as trichothecenes, fumonisins, and zearalenone, which are hazardous to human and animal health. Identification of Fusarium fungi based on the morphology of spores and spore-forming structures, colony color and appearance on specific culture media is often very complicated due to the high similarity of these features for closely related species. Modern Fusarium taxonomy increasingly uses data of crossing experiments (biological species concept) and genetic polymorphism analysis (phylogenetic species concept). A number of novel Fusarium sibling species has been established using DNA barcoding techniques. Species recognition is best made with the combined phylogeny of intron-rich protein coding genes and ribosomal DNA sequences. However, the internal transcribed spacer of (ITS), which is considered to be universal DNA barcode for Fungi, is not suitable for genus Fusarium, because of its insufficient variability between closely related species and the presence of non-orthologous copies in the genome. Nowadays, the translation elongation factor 1 alpha (TEF1α) gene is the “gold standard” of Fusarium taxonomy, but the search for novel informative markers is still needed. In this study, we used two novel DNA markers, frataxin (FXN) and heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) to discover phylogenetic relationships between Fusarium species. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of TEF1α, FXN, HSP90, as well as intergenic spacer of ribosomal DNA (IGS), beta-tubulin (β-TUB) and phosphate permease (PHO) genes has been conducted for 120 isolates of 19 Fusarium species from different climatic zones of Russia and neighboring countries using maximum likelihood (ML) and maximum parsimony (MP) algorithms. Our analyses revealed that FXN and HSP90 genes could be considered as informative phylogenetic markers, suitable for evolutionary and taxonomic studies of Fusarium genus. It has been shown that PHO gene possesses more variable (22 %) and parsimony informative (19 %) characters than other markers, including TEF1α (12 % and 9 %, correspondingly) when used for elucidating phylogenetic relationships between F. avenaceum and its closest relatives – F. tricinctum, F. acuminatum, F. torulosum. Application of novel DNA barcodes confirmed the fact that F. arthrosporioides do not represent a separate species but only a subspecies of F. avenaceum. Phylogeny based on partial PHO and FXN sequences revealed the presence of separate cluster of four F. avenaceum strains which were closer to F. torulosum than to major F. avenaceum clade. The strain F-846 from Moldova, morphologically identified as F. poae, formed a separate lineage in all the constructed dendrograms, and could potentially be considered as a separate species, but more information is needed to confirm this conclusion. Variable sites in PHO sequences were used for the first-time development of specific qPCR-based diagnostic assays for F. acuminatum and F. torulosum. This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant № 15-29-02527).

Keywords: DNA barcode, fusarium, identification, phylogenetics, taxonomy

Procedia PDF Downloads 215