Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2043

Search results for: Gain

2043 In vitro Effects of Berberine on the Vitality and Oxidative Profile of Bovine Spermatozoa

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

Abstract:

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

Keywords: Berberine, bulls, motility, oxidative profile, spermatozoa, viability.

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2042 Comparison between Open and Closed System for Dewatering with Geotextile: Field and Comparative Study

Authors: Matheus Müller, Delma Vidal

Abstract:

The present paper aims to expose two techniques of dewatering for sludge, analyzing its operations and dewatering processes, aiming at improving the conditions of disposal of residues with high liquid content. It describes the field tests performed on two geotextile systems, a closed geotextile tube and an open geotextile drying bed, both of which are submitted to two filling cycles. The sludge used in the filling cycles for the field trials is from the water treatment plant of the Technological Center of Aeronautics – CTA, in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Data about volume and height abatement due to the dewatering and consolidation were collected per time, until it was observed constancy. With the laboratory analysis of the sludge allied to the data collected in the field, it was possible to perform a critical comparative study between the observed and the scientific literature, in this way, this paper expresses the data obtained and compares them with the bibliography. The tests were carried out on three fronts: field tests, including the filling cycles of the systems with the sludge from CTA, taking measurements of filling time per cycle and maximum filling height per cycle, heights against the abatement by dewatering of the systems over time; tests carried out in the laboratory, including the characterization of the sludge and removal of material samples from the systems to ascertain the solids content within the systems per time and; comparing the data obtained in the field and laboratory tests with the scientific literature. Through the study, it was possible to perceive that the process of densification of the material inside a closed system, such as the geotextile tube, occurs faster than the observed in the drying bed system. This process of accelerated densification can be brought about by the pumping pressure of the sludge in its filling and by the confinement of the residue through the permeable geotextile membrane (allowing water to pass through), accelerating the process of densification and dewatering by its own weight after the filling with sludge.

Keywords: Consolidation, dewatering, geotextile drying bed, geotextile tube.

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2041 Design of an Ensemble Learning Behavior Anomaly Detection Framework

Authors: Abdoulaye Diop, Nahid Emad, Thierry Winter, Mohamed Hilia

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Data assets protection is a crucial issue in the cybersecurity field. Companies use logical access control tools to vault their information assets and protect them against external threats, but they lack solutions to counter insider threats. Nowadays, insider threats are the most significant concern of security analysts. They are mainly individuals with legitimate access to companies information systems, which use their rights with malicious intents. In several fields, behavior anomaly detection is the method used by cyber specialists to counter the threats of user malicious activities effectively. In this paper, we present the step toward the construction of a user and entity behavior analysis framework by proposing a behavior anomaly detection model. This model combines machine learning classification techniques and graph-based methods, relying on linear algebra and parallel computing techniques. We show the utility of an ensemble learning approach in this context. We present some detection methods tests results on an representative access control dataset. The use of some explored classifiers gives results up to 99% of accuracy.

Keywords: Cybersecurity, data protection, access control, insider threat, user behavior analysis, ensemble learning, high performance computing.

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2040 Current Status of Industry 4.0 in Material Handling Automation and In-house Logistics

Authors: Orestis Κ. Efthymiou, Stavros T. Ponis

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In the last decade, a new industrial revolution seems to be emerging, supported -once again- by the rapid advancements of Information Technology in the areas of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication permitting large numbers of intelligent devices, e.g. sensors to communicate with each other and take decisions without any or minimum indirect human intervention. The advent of these technologies have triggered the emergence of a new category of hybrid (cyber-physical) manufacturing systems, combining advanced manufacturing techniques with innovative M2M applications based on the Internet of Things (IoT), under the umbrella term Industry 4.0. Even though the topic of Industry 4.0 has attracted much attention during the last few years, the attempts of providing a systematic literature review of the subject are scarce. In this paper, we present the authors’ initial study of the field with a special focus on the use and applications of Industry 4.0 principles in material handling automations and in-house logistics. Research shows that despite the vivid discussion and attractiveness of the subject, there are still many challenges and issues that have to be addressed before Industry 4.0 becomes standardized and widely applicable.

Keywords: Industry 4.0, internet of things, manufacturing systems, material handling, logistics.

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2039 Harrison’s Stolen: Addressing Aboriginal and Indigenous Islanders Human Rights

Authors: M. Shukry

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According to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, every human being is entitled to rights in life that should be respected by others and protected by the state and community. Such rights are inherent regardless of colour, ethnicity, gender, religion or otherwise, and it is expected that all humans alike have the right to live without discrimination of any sort. However, that has not been the case with Aborigines in Australia. Over a long period of time, the governments of the State and the Territories and the Australian Commonwealth denied the Aboriginal and Indigenous inhabitants of the Torres Strait Islands such rights. Past Australian governments set policies and laws that enabled them to forcefully remove Indigenous children from their parents, which resulted in creating lost generations living the trauma of the loss of cultural identity, alienation and even their own selfhood. Intending to reduce that population of natives and their Aboriginal culture while, on the other hand, assimilate them into mainstream society, they gave themselves the right to remove them from their families with no hope of return. That practice has led to tragic consequences due to the trauma that has affected those children, an experience that is depicted by Jane Harrison in her play Stolen. The drama is the outcome of a six-year project on lost children and which was first performed in 1997 in Melbourne. Five actors only appear on the stage, playing the role of all the different characters, whether the main protagonists or the remaining cast, present or non-present ones as voices. The play outlines the life of five children who have been taken from their parents at an early age, entailing a disastrous negative impact that differs from one to the other. Unknown to each other, what connects between them is being put in a children’s home. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the play’s text in light of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, using it as a lens that reflects the atrocities practiced against the Aborigines. It highlights how such practices formed an outrageous violation of those natives’ rights as human beings. Harrison’s dramatic technique in conveying the children’s experiences is through a non-linear structure, fluctuating between past and present that are linked together within each of the five characters, reflecting their suffering and pain to create an emotional link between them and the audience. Her dramatic handling of the issue by fusing tragedy with humour as well as symbolism is a successful technique in revealing the traumatic memory of those children and their present life. The play has made a difference in commencing to address the problem of the right of all children to be with their families, which renders the real meaning of having a home and an identity as people.

Keywords: Aboriginal, audience, Australia, children, culture, drama, home, human rights, identity, indigenous, Jane Harrison, memory, scenic effects, setting, stage, stage directions, Stolen, trauma.

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2038 Studying the Theoretical and Laboratory Design of a Concrete Frame and Optimizing Its Design for Impact and Earthquake Resistance

Authors: Mehrdad Azimzadeh, Seyed Mohammadreza Jabbari, Mohammadreza Hosseinzadeh Alherd

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This paper includes experimental results and analytical studies about increasing resistance of single-span reinforced concreted frames against impact factor and their modeling according to optimization methods and optimizing the behavior of these frames under impact loads. During this study, about 30 designs for different frames were modeled and made using specialized software like ANSYS and Sap and their behavior were examined under variable impacts. Then suitable strategies were offered for frames in terms of concrete mixing in order to optimize frame modeling. To reduce the weight of the frames, we had to use fine-grained stones. After designing about eight types of frames for each type of frames, three samples were designed with the aim of controlling the impact strength parameters, and a good shape of the frame was created for the impact resistance, which was a solid frame with muscular legs, and as a bond away from each other as much as possible with a 3 degree gradient in the upper part of the beam.

Keywords: Optimization, reinforced concrete, single-span frames, optimization methods of impact load.

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2037 Diagnosis of Intermittent High Vibration Peaks in Industrial Gas Turbine Using Advanced Vibrations Analysis

Authors: Abubakar Rashid, Muhammad Saad, Faheem Ahmed

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This paper provides a comprehensive study pertaining to diagnosis of intermittent high vibrations on an industrial gas turbine using detailed vibrations analysis, followed by its rectification. Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited, a Chlor-Vinyl complex located in Pakistan has a captive combined cycle power plant having two 28 MW gas turbines (make Hitachi) & one 15 MW steam turbine. In 2018, the organization faced an issue of high vibrations on one of the gas turbines. These high vibration peaks appeared intermittently on both compressor’s drive end (DE) & turbine’s non-drive end (NDE) bearing. The amplitude of high vibration peaks was between 150-170% on the DE bearing & 200-300% on the NDE bearing from baseline values. In one of these episodes, the gas turbine got tripped on “High Vibrations Trip” logic actuated at 155µm. Limited instrumentation is available on the machine, which is monitored with GE Bently Nevada 3300 system having two proximity probes installed at Turbine NDE, Compressor DE &at Generator DE & NDE bearings. Machine’s transient ramp-up & steady state data was collected using ADRE SXP & DSPI 408. Since only 01 key phasor is installed at Turbine high speed shaft, a derived drive key phasor was configured in ADRE to obtain low speed shaft rpm required for data analysis. By analyzing the Bode plots, Shaft center line plot, Polar plot & orbit plots; rubbing was evident on Turbine’s NDE along with increased bearing clearance of Turbine’s NDE radial bearing. The subject bearing was then inspected & heavy deposition of carbonized coke was found on the labyrinth seals of bearing housing with clear rubbing marks on shaft & housing covering at 20-25 degrees on the inner radius of labyrinth seals. The collected coke sample was tested in laboratory & found to be the residue of lube oil in the bearing housing. After detailed inspection & cleaning of shaft journal area & bearing housing, new radial bearing was installed. Before assembling the bearing housing, cleaning of bearing cooling & sealing air lines was also carried out as inadequate flow of cooling & sealing air can accelerate coke formation in bearing housing. The machine was then taken back online & data was collected again using ADRE SXP & DSPI 408 for health analysis. The vibrations were found in acceptable zone as per ISO standard 7919-3 while all other parameters were also within vendor defined range. As a learning from subject case, revised operating & maintenance regime has also been proposed to enhance machine’s reliability.

Keywords: ADRE, bearing, gas turbine, GE Bently Nevada, Hitachi, vibration.

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2036 Nigerian Football System: Examining Meso-Level Practices against a Global Model for Integrated Development of Mass and Elite Sport

Authors: I. Derek Kaka’an, P. Smolianov, D. Koh Choon Lian, S. Dion, C. Schoen, J. Norberg

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This study was designed to examine mass participation and elite football performance in Nigeria with reference to advance international football management practices. Over 200 sources of literature on sport delivery systems were analyzed to construct a globally applicable model of elite football integrated with mass participation, comprising of the following three levels: macro- (socio-economic, cultural, legislative, and organizational), meso- (infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs) and micro-level (operations, processes, and methodologies for development of individual athletes). The model has received scholarly validation and showed to be a framework for program analysis that is not culturally bound. The Smolianov and Zakus model has been employed for further understanding of sport systems such as US soccer, US Rugby, swimming, tennis, and volleyball as well as Russian and Dutch swimming. A questionnaire was developed using the above-mentioned model. Survey questions were validated by 12 experts including academicians, executives from sport governing bodies, football coaches, and administrators. To identify best practices and determine areas for improvement of football in Nigeria, 120 coaches completed the questionnaire. Useful exemplars and possible improvements were further identified through semi-structured discussions with 10 Nigerian football administrators and experts. Finally, content analysis of Nigeria Football Federation’s website and organizational documentation was conducted. This paper focuses on the meso-level of Nigerian football delivery, particularly infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs. This includes training centers, competition systems, and intellectual services. Results identified remarkable achievements coupled with great potential to further develop football in different types of public and private organizations in Nigeria. These include: assimilating football competitions with other cultural and educational activities, providing favorable conditions for employees of all possible organizations to partake and help in managing football programs and events, providing football coaching integrated with counseling for prevention of antisocial conduct, and improving cooperation between football programs and organizations for peace-making and advancement of international relations, tourism, and socio-economic development. Accurate reporting of the sports programs from the media should be encouraged through staff training for better awareness of various events. The systematic integration of these meso-level practices into the balanced development of mass and high-performance football will contribute to international sport success as well as national health, education, and social harmony.

Keywords: Football, high performance, mass participation, Nigeria, sport development.

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2035 Overtopping Protection Systems for Overflow Earth Dams

Authors: Omid Pourabdollah, Mohsen Misaghian

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Overtopping is known as one the most important reasons for the failure of earth dams. In some cases, it has resulted in heavy damages and losses. Therefore, enhancing the safety of earth dams against overtopping has received much attention in the past four decades. In this paper, at first, the overtopping phenomena and its destructive consequences will be introduced. Then, overtopping failure mechanism of embankments will be described. Finally, different types of protection systems for stabilization of earth dams against overtopping will be presented. These include timber cribs, riprap and gabions, reinforced earth, roller compacted concrete, and the precast concrete blocks.

Keywords: Embankment dam, overtopping, roller compacted concrete, wedge concrete block.

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2034 Evaluation of the Role of Advocacy and the Quality of Care in Reducing Health Inequalities for People with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Authors: Jonathan Sahu, Jill Aylott

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Individuals with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (AIDD) are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, hampered not only by their own limitations to understand and interact with the wider society, but also societal limitations in perception and understanding. Communication to express their needs and wishes is fundamental to enable such individuals to live and prosper in society. This research project was designed as an organisational case study, in a large secondary health care hospital within the National Health Service (NHS), to assess the quality of care provided to people with AIDD and to review the role of advocacy to reduce health inequalities in these individuals. Methods: The research methodology adopted was as an “insider researcher”. Data collection included both quantitative and qualitative data i.e. a mixed method approach. A semi-structured interview schedule was designed and used to obtain qualitative and quantitative primary data from a wide range of interdisciplinary frontline health care workers to assess their understanding and awareness of systems, processes and evidence based practice to offer a quality service to people with AIDD. Secondary data were obtained from sources within the organisation, in keeping with “Case Study” as a primary method, and organisational performance data were then compared against national benchmarking standards. Further data sources were accessed to help evaluate the effectiveness of different types of advocacy that were present in the organisation. This was gauged by measures of user and carer experience in the form of retrospective survey analysis, incidents and complaints. Results: Secondary data demonstrate near compliance of the Organisation with the current national benchmarking standard (Monitor Compliance Framework). However, primary data demonstrate poor knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, poor knowledge of organisational systems, processes and evidence based practice applied for people with AIDD. In addition there was poor knowledge and awareness of frontline health care workers of advocacy and advocacy schemes for this group. Conclusions: A significant amount of work needs to be undertaken to improve the quality of care delivered to individuals with AIDD. An operational strategy promoting the widespread dissemination of information may not be the best approach to deliver quality care and optimal patient experience and patient advocacy. In addition, a more robust set of standards, with appropriate metrics, needs to be developed to assess organisational performance which will stand the test of professional and public scrutiny.

Keywords: Autism, intellectual developmental disabilities, advocacy, health inequalities, quality of care.

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2033 How Children Synchronize with Their Teacher: Evidence from a Real-World Elementary School Classroom

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

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This paper reports on how synchrony occurs between children and their teacher, and what prevents or facilitates synchrony. The aim of the experiment conducted in this study was to precisely analyze their movements and synchrony and reveal the process of synchrony in a real-world classroom. Specifically, the experiment was conducted for around 20 minutes during an English as a foreign language (EFL) lesson. The participants were 11 fourth-grade school children and their classroom teacher in a public elementary school in Japan. Previous researchers assert that synchrony causes the state of flow in a class. For checking the level of flow, Short Flow State Scale (SFSS) was adopted. The experimental procedure had four steps: 1) The teacher read aloud the first half of an English storybook to the children. Both the teacher and the children were at their own desks. 2) The children were subjected to an SFSS check. 3) The teacher read aloud the remaining half of the storybook to the children. She made the children remove their desks before reading. 4) The children were again subjected to an SFSS check. The movements of all participants were recorded with a video camera. From the movement analysis, it was found that the children synchronized better with the teacher in Step 3 than in Step 1, and that the teacher’s movement became free and outstanding without a desk. This implies that the desk acted as a barrier between the children and the teacher. Removal of this barrier resulted in the children’s reactions becoming synchronized with those of the teacher. The SFSS results proved that the children experienced more flow without a barrier than with a barrier. Apparently, synchrony is what caused flow or social emotions in the classroom. The main conclusion is that synchrony leads to cognitive outcomes such as children’s academic performance in EFL learning.

Keywords: Movement synchrony, teacher–child relationships, English as a foreign language, EFL learning.

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2032 Estimation of Tensile Strength for Granitic Rocks by Using Discrete Element Approach

Authors: Aliakbar Golshani, Armin Ramezanzad

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Tensile strength which is an important parameter of the rock for engineering applications is difficult to measure directly through physical experiment (i.e. uniaxial tensile test). Therefore, indirect experimental methods such as Brazilian test have been taken into consideration and some relations have been proposed in order to obtain the tensile strength for rocks indirectly. In this research, to calculate numerically the tensile strength for granitic rocks, Particle Flow Code in three-dimension (PFC3D) software were used. First, uniaxial compression tests were simulated and the tensile strength was determined for Inada granite (from a quarry in Kasama, Ibaraki, Japan). Then, by simulating Brazilian test condition for Inada granite, the tensile strength was indirectly calculated again. Results show that the tensile strength calculated numerically agrees well with the experimental results obtained from uniaxial tensile tests on Inada granite samples.

Keywords: Numerical Simulation, PFC, Tensile Strength, Brazilian Test.

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2031 Active Imagination: The Effective Factor in the Practice of Psychotherapy

Authors: Sonia Regina Lyra

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The desire for unequivocal clarity is understandable, but this can make one forget that things of the soul are experiential processes, or transformations, which should never be designated unilaterally if it is not wanted to transform something that moves, a living thing, into something static. Among the so-called ‘things of the soul’ there are especially spontaneous fantasies, that emerge during the processes, as a result from the use of the active imagination technique, for when fantasy is not forced, violated, or subjugated by an illegitimate, intellectually preconceived idea, then it is a legitimate and authentic product of the unconscious mind. This is how one can gain access to unadulterated information about everything that transcends the conscious mind. However, it is vital to discern between ego and non-ego, because this principle will result in a release of energy and a renewal of life, which will come to have meaning. This study will deal with the active imagination as a knowledge that depends on the individual experience of the therapist because the patient will be taken just to reach where the unconscious of the therapist was assimilated to his own conscience. In this way, the therapist becomes the method itself, being his personality, a fundamental part of an effective factor.

Keywords: Active imagination, effective factor, symptom, transformation.

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2030 Evaluation of Model-Based Code Generation for Embedded Systems–Mature Approach for Development in Evolution

Authors: Nikolay P. Brayanov, Anna V. Stoynova

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Model-based development approach is gaining more support and acceptance. Its higher abstraction level brings simplification of systems’ description that allows domain experts to do their best without particular knowledge in programming. The different levels of simulation support the rapid prototyping, verifying and validating the product even before it exists physically. Nowadays model-based approach is beneficial for modelling of complex embedded systems as well as a generation of code for many different hardware platforms. Moreover, it is possible to be applied in safety-relevant industries like automotive, which brings extra automation of the expensive device certification process and especially in the software qualification. Using it, some companies report about cost savings and quality improvements, but there are others claiming no major changes or even about cost increases. This publication demonstrates the level of maturity and autonomy of model-based approach for code generation. It is based on a real live automotive seat heater (ASH) module, developed using The Mathworks, Inc. tools. The model, created with Simulink, Stateflow and Matlab is used for automatic generation of C code with Embedded Coder. To prove the maturity of the process, Code generation advisor is used for automatic configuration. All additional configuration parameters are set to auto, when applicable, leaving the generation process to function autonomously. As a result of the investigation, the publication compares the quality of generated embedded code and a manually developed one. The measurements show that generally, the code generated by automatic approach is not worse than the manual one. A deeper analysis of the technical parameters enumerates the disadvantages, part of them identified as topics for our future work.

Keywords: Embedded code generation, embedded C code quality, embedded systems, model-based development.

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2029 Effects of Humidity and Silica Sand Particles on Vibration Generation by Friction Materials of Automotive Brake System

Authors: Mostafa M. Makrahy, Nouby M. Ghazaly, G. T. Abd el-Jaber

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This paper presents the experimental study of vibration generated by friction materials of an automotive disc brake system using brake test rig. Effects of silica sand particles which are available on the road surface as an environmental condition with a size varied from 150 μm to 600 μm are evaluated. Also, the vibration of the brake disc is examined against the friction material in humidity environment conditions under variable rotational speed. The experimental results showed that the silica sand particles have significant contribution on the value of vibration amplitude which enhances with increasing the size of silica sand particles at different speed conditions. Also, it is noticed that the friction material is sensitive to humidity and the vibration magnitude increases under wet testing conditions. Moreover, it can be reported that with increasing the applied pressure and rotational speed of the braking system, the vibration amplitudes decrease for all cases.

Keywords: Friction material, silica sand particles, humidity environment, vibration of brake.

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2028 Main Cause of Children's Deaths in Indigenous Wayuu Community from Department of La Guajira: A Research Developed through Data Mining Use

Authors: Isaura Esther Solano Núñez, David Suarez

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The main purpose of this research is to discover what causes death in children of the Wayuu community, and deeply analyze those results in order to take corrective measures to properly control infant mortality. We consider important to determine the reasons that are producing early death in this specific type of population, since they are the most vulnerable to high risk environmental conditions. In this way, the government, through competent authorities, may develop prevention policies and the right measures to avoid an increase of this tragic fact. The methodology used to develop this investigation is data mining, which consists in gaining and examining large amounts of data to produce new and valuable information. Through this technique it has been possible to determine that the child population is dying mostly from malnutrition. In short, this technique has been very useful to develop this study; it has allowed us to transform large amounts of information into a conclusive and important statement, which has made it easier to take appropriate steps to resolve a particular situation.

Keywords: Malnutrition, datamining, analytical, descriptive, population, wayuu, indigenous.

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2027 Investigating the Formation of Nano-Hydroxyapatite on a Biocompatible and Antibacterial Cu/Mg-Substituted Bioglass

Authors: Elhamalsadat Ghaffari, Moghan Amirhosseinian, Amir Khaleghipour

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Multifunctional bioactive glasses (BGs) are designed with a focus on the provision of bactericidal and biological properties desired for angiogenesis, osteogenesis, and ultimately potential applications in bone tissue engineering. To achieve these, six sol-gel copper/magnesium substituted derivatives of 58S-BG, i.e. a mol% series of 60SiO2-4P2O5-5CuO-(31-x) CaO/xMgO (where x=0, 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10), were synthesized. Afterwards, the effect of MgO/CaO substitution on the in vitro formation of nano-hydroxyapatite (HA), osteoblast-like cell responses and BGs antibacterial performance were studied. During the BGs synthesis, the elimination of nitrates was achieved at 700 °C that prevented the BGs crystallization and stabilized the obtained dried gels. The structural and morphological evaluations were performed with X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These characterizations revealed that Cu-substituted 58S-BG consisting of 5 mol% MgO (BG-5/5) slightly had retarded the formation of HA. In addition, Cu-substituted 58S-BGs consisting 8 mol% and 10 mol% MgO (BG-5/8 and BG-5/10) displayed lower bioactivity probably due to the lower ion release rate of Ca–Si into the simulated body fluid (SBF). The determination of 3-(4, 5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) activities proved that the highest values of both differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells can be obtained from a 5 mol% MgO substituted BG, while the over addition of MgO (8 mol% and 10 mol%) decreased the bioactivity. Furthermore, these novel Cu/Mg-substituted 58S-BGs displayed antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Taken together, the results suggest the equally-substituted BG-5/5 (i.e. the one consists of 5 mol% of both CuO and MgO) as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering, among all newly designed BGs in this work, owing to its desirable cell proliferation, ALP activity and antibacterial properties.

Keywords: Apatite, bioactivity, biomedical applications sol-gel processes.

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2026 Reinforcing Effects of Natural Micro-Particles on the Dynamic Impact Behaviour of Hybrid Bio-Composites Made of Short Kevlar Fibers Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Armor

Authors: Edison E. Haro, Akindele G. Odeshi, Jerzy A. Szpunar

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Hybrid bio-composites are developed for use in protective armor through positive hybridization offered by reinforcement of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with Kevlar short fibers and palm wood micro-fillers. The manufacturing process involved a combination of extrusion and compression molding techniques. The mechanical behavior of Kevlar fiber reinforced HDPE with and without palm wood filler additions are compared. The effect of the weight fraction of the added palm wood micro-fillers is also determined. The Young modulus was found to increase as the weight fraction of organic micro-particles increased. However, the flexural strength decreased with increasing weight fraction of added micro-fillers. The interfacial interactions between the components were investigated using scanning electron microscopy. The influence of the size, random alignment and distribution of the natural micro-particles was evaluated. Ballistic impact and dynamic shock loading tests were performed to determine the optimum proportion of Kevlar short fibers and organic micro-fillers needed to improve impact strength of the HDPE. These results indicate a positive hybridization by deposition of organic micro-fillers on the surface of short Kevlar fibers used in reinforcing the thermoplastic matrix leading to enhancement of the mechanical strength and dynamic impact behavior of these materials. Therefore, these hybrid bio-composites can be promising materials for different applications against high velocity impacts.

Keywords: Hybrid bio-composites, organic nano-fillers, dynamic shocking loading, ballistic impacts, energy absorption.

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2025 The Role of Fluid Catalytic Cracking in Process Optimisation for Petroleum Refineries

Authors: Chinwendu R. Nnabalu, Gioia Falcone, Imma Bortone

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Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation.  Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions.  Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.

Keywords: Design, emissions, fluid catalytic cracking, petroleum refineries.

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2024 Amino Acid Based Biodegradable Amphiphilic Polymers and Micelles as Drug Delivery Systems: Synthesis and Study

Authors: Sophio Kobauri, Vladimir P. Torchilin, David Tugushi, Ramaz Katsarava

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Nanotherapy is an actual newest mode of treatment numerous diseases using nanoparticles (NPs) loading with different pharmaceuticals. NPs of biodegradable polymeric micelles (PMs) are gaining increased attention for their numerous and attractive abilities to be used in a variety of applications in the various fields of medicine. The present paper deals with the synthesis of a class of biodegradable micelle-forming polymers, namely ABA triblock-copolymer in which A-blocks represent amino-poly(ethylene glycol) (H2N-PEG) and B-block is biodegradable amino acid-based poly(ester amide) constituted of α-amino acid – L-phenylalanine. The obtained copolymer formed micelles of 70±4 nm size at 10 mg/mL concentration.

Keywords: Amino acids, biodegradable poly(ester amide), amphiphilic triblock-copolymer, micelles.

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2023 Design of Compact Dual-Band Planar Antenna for WLAN Systems

Authors: Anil Kumar Pandey

Abstract:

A compact planar monopole antenna with dual-band operation suitable for wireless local area network (WLAN) application is presented in this paper. The antenna occupies an overall area of 18 ×12 mm2. The antenna is fed by a coplanar waveguide (CPW) transmission line and it combines two folded strips, which radiates at 2.4 and 5.2 GHz. In the proposed antenna, by optimally selecting the antenna dimensions, dual-band resonant modes with a much wider impedance matching at the higher band can be produced. Prototypes of the obtained optimized design have been simulated using EM solver. The simulated results explore good dual-band operation with -10 dB impedance bandwidths of 50 MHz and 2400 MHz at bands of 2.4 and 5.2 GHz, respectively, which cover the 2.4/5.2/5.8 GHz WLAN operating bands. Good antenna performances such as radiation patterns and antenna gains over the operating bands have also been observed. The antenna with a compact size of 18×12×1.6 mm3 is designed on an FR4 substrate with a dielectric constant of 4.4.

Keywords: CPW fed antenna, dual-band, electromagnetic simulation, wireless local area network, WLAN.

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2022 Measuring Banks’ Antifragility via Fuzzy Logic

Authors: Danielle Sandler dos Passos, Helder Coelho, Flávia Mori Sarti

Abstract:

Analysing the world banking sector, we realize that traditional risk measurement methodologies no longer reflect the actual scenario with uncertainty and leave out events that can change the dynamics of markets. Considering this, regulators and financial institutions began to search more realistic models. The aim is to include external influences and interdependencies between agents, to describe and measure the operationalization of these complex systems and their risks in a more coherent and credible way. Within this context, X-Events are more frequent than assumed and, with uncertainties and constant changes, the concept of antifragility starts to gain great prominence in comparison to others methodologies of risk management. It is very useful to analyse whether a system succumbs (fragile), resists (robust) or gets benefits (antifragile) from disorder and stress. Thus, this work proposes the creation of the Banking Antifragility Index (BAI), which is based on the calculation of a triangular fuzzy number – to "quantify" qualitative criteria linked to antifragility.

Keywords: Complex adaptive systems, X-events, risk management, antifragility, banking antifragility index, triangular fuzzy number.

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2021 Eye Tracking: Biometric Evaluations of Instructional Materials for Improved Learning

Authors: Janet Holland

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Eye tracking is a great way to triangulate multiple data sources for deeper, more complete knowledge of how instructional materials are really being used and emotional connections made. Using sensor based biometrics provides a detailed local analysis in real time expanding our ability to collect science based data for a more comprehensive level of understanding, not previously possible, for teaching and learning. The knowledge gained will be used to make future improvements to instructional materials, tools, and interactions. The literature has been examined and a preliminary pilot test was implemented to develop a methodology for research in Instructional Design and Technology. Eye tracking now offers the addition of objective metrics obtained from eye tracking and other biometric data collection with analysis for a fresh perspective.

Keywords: Area of interest, eye tracking, biometrics, fixation, fixation count, fixation sequence, fixation time, gaze points, heat map, saccades, time to first fixation.

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2020 Optimizing the Probabilistic Neural Network Training Algorithm for Multi-Class Identification

Authors: Abdelhadi Lotfi, Abdelkader Benyettou

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In this work, a training algorithm for probabilistic neural networks (PNN) is presented. The algorithm addresses one of the major drawbacks of PNN, which is the size of the hidden layer in the network. By using a cross-validation training algorithm, the number of hidden neurons is shrunk to a smaller number consisting of the most representative samples of the training set. This is done without affecting the overall architecture of the network. Performance of the network is compared against performance of standard PNN for different databases from the UCI database repository. Results show an important gain in network size and performance.

Keywords: Classification, probabilistic neural networks, network optimization, pattern recognition.

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2019 The Role of Organizational Culture in Facilitating Employee Job Satisfaction in Emerald Group

Authors: Mohamed Haffar, Muhammad Abdul Aziz, Ahmad Ghoneim

Abstract:

The importance of having a good organizational culture that supports employee job satisfaction has fascinated both the business and academic world because of a tantalizing promise: culture can be fundamental to the enhancement of financial performance. This promise has led to growing interest for both researchers and practitioners in attempting to understand the influence of organizational culture on employees’ satisfaction and organizational performance. Even though the relationship between organizational culture and employee job satisfaction have gained attention in the literature, the majority of studies have been conducted within manufacturing organizations and tend to oversee the impact of culture on employee job satisfaction in a service-based environment. Thus, the main driving force of this study was to explore the role of organizational culture types in facilitating employee job satisfaction at Emerald Publishing Group. Interviews qualitative data analysis indicated that Emerald’s culture dominated by adhocracy and clan culture values. In addition, the findings provided evidence, which demonstrated that group and adhocracy organizational culture types play key roles in facilitating employee job satisfaction in a service-based environment.

Keywords: Employee satisfaction, organizational culture, performance, service based environment.

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2018 The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Exercise on Motor Skills and Attention of Male Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Masoume Pourmohamadreza-Tajrishi, Parviz Azadfallah

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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve myriad aberrant perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, and social behaviors. The term spectrum emphasizes that the disabilities associated with ASD fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe. People with ASD may display stereotyped behaviors such as twirling, spinning objects, flapping the hands, and rocking. The individuals with ASD exhibit communication problems due to repetitive/restricted behaviors. Children with ASD who lack the motivation to learn, who do not enjoy physical challenges, or whose sensory perception results in confusing or unpleasant feedback from movement may not become sufficiently motivated to practice motor activities. As a result, they may show both a delay in developing certain motor skills. Additionally, attention is an important component of learning. As far as children with ASD have problems in joint attention, many education-based programs are needed to consider some aspects of attention and motor activities development for students with ASD. These programs focus on the basic movement skills that are crucial for the future development of the more complex skills needed in games, dance, sports, gymnastics, active play, and recreational physical activities. The purpose of the present research was to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise on motor skills and attention of male students with ASD. This was an experimental study with a control group. The population consisted of 8-10 year-old male students with ASD and 30 subjects were selected randomly from an available center suitable for the children with ASD. They were evaluated by the Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT) and Persian version of computerized Stroop color-word test and randomly assigned to an experimental and control group (15 students in per group). The experimental group participated in 16 therapeutic exercise sessions and received therapeutic exercise program (twice a week; each lasting for 45 minutes) designed based on the Spark motor program while the control group did not. All subjects were evaluated by BMAT and Stroop color-word test after the last session again. The collected data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). The results of MANCOVA showed that experimental and control groups had a significant difference in motor skills and at least one of the components of attention (correct responses, incorrect responses, no responses, the reaction time of congruent words and reaction time of incongruent words in the Stroop test). The findings showed that the therapeutic exercise had a significant effect on motor skills and all components of attention in students with ASD. We can conclude that the therapeutic exercise led to promote the motor skills and attention of students with ASD, so it is necessary to design or plan such programs for ASD students to prevent their communication or academic problems.

Keywords: Attention, autism spectrum disorder, motor skills, therapeutic exercise.

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2017 A Small-Scale Study of Fire Whirls and Investigation of the Effects of Near-Ground Height on the Behavior of Fire Whirls

Authors: M. Arabghahestani, A. Darwish Ahmad, N. K. Akafuah

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In this work, small-scale experiments of fire whirl were conducted to study the spinning fire phenomenon and to gain comprehensive understandings of fire tornadoes and the factors that affect their behavior. High speed imaging was used to track the flames at both temporal and spatial scales. This allowed us to better understand the role of the near-ground height in creating a boundary layer flow profile that, in turn contributes to formation of vortices around the fire, and consequent fire whirls. Based on the results obtained from these observations, we were able to spot the differences in the fuel burning rate of the fire itself as a function of a newly defined specific non-dimensional near-ground height. Based on our observations, there is a cutoff non-dimensional height, beyond which a normal fire can be turned into a fire whirl. Additionally, the results showed that the fire burning rate decreases by moving the fire to a height higher than the ground level. These effects were justified by the interactions between vortices formed by, the back pressure and the boundary layer velocity profile, and the vortices generated by the fire itself.

Keywords: Boundary layer profile, fire whirls, near-ground height, vortex interactions.

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2016 Effect of Fatty Acids in Feed on Levels of Antibody Titers and CD4 and CD8 T-Lymphocyte against Newcastle Disease Virus of Vaccinated Broiler Chicken

Authors: Alaa A. Shamaun Al-Abboodi, Yunis A. A. Bapeer

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400 one-day-old male broiler chicks (Ross-308) randomly divided to 2 main groups, 1st main group (GA) was feeding basal diet with medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) at rate of 0.15% and divided to four subgroups, 3 subgroups vaccinated with different routes with Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) and non-vaccinated group. The 2nd main group (GB) feeding basal diet without MCFA and divided the same as 1st main group. The parameters used in this study included: ND antibody titers at 1, 10, 21, 28, 35 and 42 days of age and values of CD4 and CD8 at 1, 20, 30 and 42 days of age. This experiment detected increase in ND antibodies titers in (G1, G2, G3) groups were fed on basal diet MCFA comparing to groups were fed without adding MCFA (G5, G6, G7) and control groups (G4, G8). The results of cellular immune response (CD4 and CD8) T-cells in broiler chicks indicated that there was obviously significant relationship between dietary Fatty Acid (FA) versus the diet without FA on the level of CD4 parameter, for the entire experimental period. The effect of different ages was statistically significant in creating different values of CD4 level, whereas the CD4 level decreases markedly with age. However, analyzing the data of different vaccination methods, oculonasal method of vaccination led to the highest value of CD4 compared with the oral, S/C and control groups. There were statistical differences in CD8 values due to supplementation of FA versus the basal diet and due to the effect of different age periods. As for the age effect, the CD8 value at 20 days of age was significantly higher than at 42 and 30 days.

Keywords: Broiler, CD4 and CD8, fatty acids, Newcastle disease.

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2015 The Characteristics of a Fair and Efficient Tax Auditing Information System as a Tool against Tax Evasion: A Theoretical Framework

Authors: Dimitris Balios, Stefanos Tantos

Abstract:

Economic growth and social evolution are connected to trust relationships in a society. The quality of the accounting information, the tax information system and the tax audit mechanism evolve multiple benefits in an economy. Tax evasion, the illegal practice where people and companies do not pay taxes, is a crime because of the negative effect in economy and society. In this paper, we describe a theoretical framework on the characteristics of a fair and efficient tax auditing information system which could be a tool against tax evasion, a tool for an economy to grow, especially in countries that face fluctuations in economic activity. We conclude that a fair and efficient tax auditing information system increases the reliability of tax administration, improves taxpayers’ tax compliance and causes a developmental trajectory for the economy.

Keywords: Auditing information system, auditing mechanism, tax evasion, taxation, quality of accounting information.

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2014 The Effect of Substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO on in vitro Bioactivity of Sol-Gel Derived Bioactive Glass

Authors: Zeinab Hajifathali, Moghan Amirhosseinian

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This study had two main aims: firstly, to determine how the individual substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO can affect the in vitro bioactivity of sol-gel derived substituted 58S bioactive glass (BG) and secondly to introduce a composition in the 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)MgO and 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)SrO quaternary systems (where x= 0, 5, 10 mol.%) with enhanced biocompatibility, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and more efficient antibacterial activity against MRSA bacteria. Results showed that both magnesium-substituted bioactive glasses (M-BGs) and strontium- substituted bioactive glasses (S-BGs) retarded the Hydroxyapatite (HA) formation. Meanwhile, magnesium had more pronounced effect. The 3-(4, 5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and ALP assays revealed that the presence of moderate amount (5 mol%) of Mg and Sr had a stimulating effect on increasing of both proliferation and differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. Live dead and Dapi/actin staining revealed both substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO resulted in more biocompatibility and stimulation potential of the MC3T3 cells compared with control. Taken together, among all of the synthesized magnesium substituted (MBGs) and strontium substituted (SBGs), the sample 58- BG with 5 mol% CaO/MgO substitution (BG-5M) was considered as a multifunctional biomaterial in bone tissue regeneration field with enhanced biocompatibility, ALP activity as well as the highest antibacterial efficiency against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria.

Keywords: Apatite, alkaline earth, bioactivity, biomedical applications, sol-gel.

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