Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1338

Search results for: Growth

1338 Social Interaction Dynamics Exploration: The Case Study of El Sherouk City

Authors: Nardine El Bardisy, Wolf Reuter, Ayat Ismail

Abstract:

In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore different social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.

Keywords: New urban communities, modern planning, social Interaction, Social life.

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1337 Demographic and Socio-Economic Study of the Elderly Population in Kolkata, India

Authors: Ambika Roy Bardhan

Abstract:

Kolkata, the City of Joy, is a greying metropolis not only in respect of its concrete jungle but also because of the largest population of 60-plus residents that it shelters among all other cities in India. Declining birth and death rates and a negative growth of population indicate that the city has reached the last stage of demographic transition. Thus, the obvious consequence has been the ageing of its population. With this background, the present paper attempts to study the demographic and socio-economic status of the elderly population in Kolkata. Analysis and findings have been based on secondary data obtained from Census of India of various years, Sample Registration System Reports and reports by HelpAge India. Findings show that the elderly population is increasing continuously. With respect to gender, the male elderly outnumbers the female elderly population. The percentage of households having one elderly member is more in the city due to the emergence of the nuclear families and erosion of joint family system. With respect to socio-economic status, those elderly who are the heads of the family are lower in percentages than those in the other age groups. Also, male elderly as head of the family are greater in percentage than female elderly. Elderly in the category of currently married records the highest percentage followed by widowed, never married and lastly, separated or divorced. Male elderly outnumber the female elderly as currently married, while female elderly outnumbers the male elderly in the category of widowed. In terms of living status, the percentage of elderly who are living alone is highest in Kolkata and the reason for staying alone as no support from children also happens to be highest in this city. The literacy rate and higher level of education is higher among the male than female elderly. Higher percentages of female elderly have been found to be with disability. Disability in movement and multiple disabilities have been found to be more common among the elderly population in Kolkata. Percentages of male literate pensioners are highest than other categories. Also, in terms of levels of education male elderly who are graduate and above other than technical degree are the highest receivers of pension. Also, in terms of working status, elderly as non-workers are higher in percentages with the population of elderly females outnumbering the males. The old age dependency ratio in the city is increasing continuously and the ratio is higher among females than male. Thus, it can be stated that Kolkata is witnessing continuous and rapid ageing of its population. Increasing dependency ratio is likely to create pressure on the working population, available civic, social and health amenities. This requires intervention in the form of planning, formulation and implementation of laws, policies, programs and measures to safeguard and improve the conditions of the elderly in Kolkata.

Keywords: Demographic, Elderly, Population, Socio-economic.

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1336 Micropropagation and in vitro Conservation via Slow Growth Techniques of Prunus webbii (Spach) Vierh: An Endangered Plant Species in Albania

Authors: Valbona Sota, Efigjeni Kongjika

Abstract:

Wild almond is a woody species, which is difficult to propagate either generatively by seed or by vegetative methods (grafting or cuttings) and also considered as Endangered (EN) in Albania based on IUCN criteria. As a wild relative of cultivated fruit trees, this species represents a source of genetic variability and can be very important in breeding programs and cultivation. For this reason, it would be of interest to use an effective method of in vitro mid-term conservation, which involves strategies to slow plant growth through physicochemical alterations of in vitro growth conditions. Multiplication of wild almond was carried out using zygotic embryos, as primary explants, with the purpose to develop a successful propagation protocol. Results showed that zygotic embryos can proliferate through direct or indirect organogenesis. During subculture, stage was obtained a great number of new plantlets identical to mother plants derived from the zygotic embryos. All in vitro plantlets obtained from subcultures underwent in vitro conservation by minimal growth in low temperature (4ºC) and darkness. The efficiency of this technique was evaluated for 3, 6, and 10 months of conservation period. Maintenance in these conditions reduced micro cuttings growth. Survival and regeneration rates for each period were evaluated and resulted that the maximal time of conservation without subculture on 4ºC was 10 months, but survival and regeneration rates were significantly reduced, specifically 15.6% and 7.6%. An optimal period of conservation in these conditions can be considered the 5-6 months storage, which can lead to 60-50% of survival and regeneration rates. This protocol may be beneficial for mass propagation, mid-term conservation, and for genetic manipulation of wild almond.

Keywords: Micropropagation, minimal growth, storage, wild almond.

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1335 Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety

Authors: Klementina Puto, Ermelinda Nexhipi, Evi Llaka

Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Keywords: Consumer, health, dairy, by-products, microbial.

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1334 Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment

Authors: Tatsuya Kasuga, Hidehisa Shimada, Kimio Oguchi

Abstract:

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Keywords: Electric power consumption, LED color, LED lighting, plant factory.

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1333 Construction of Large Scale UAVs Using Homebuilt Composite Techniques

Authors: Brian J. Kozak, Joshua D. Shipman, Peng Hao Wang, Blake Shipp

Abstract:

The unmanned aerial system (UAS) industry is growing at a rapid pace. This growth has increased the demand for low cost, custom made and high strength unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The area of most growth is in the area of 25 kg to 200 kg vehicles. Vehicles this size are beyond the size and scope of simple wood and fabric designs commonly found in hobbyist aircraft. These high end vehicles require stronger materials to complete their mission. Traditional aircraft construction materials such as aluminum are difficult to use without machining or advanced computer controlled tooling. However, by using general aviation composite aircraft homebuilding techniques and materials, a large scale UAV can be constructed cheaply and easily. Furthermore, these techniques could be used to easily manufacture cost made composite shapes and airfoils that would be cost prohibitive when using metals. These homebuilt aircraft techniques are being demonstrated by the researchers in the construction of a 75 kg aircraft.

Keywords: Composite aircraft, homebuilding, unmanned aerial system, unmanned aerial vehicles.

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1332 Assessment of Soil Contamination on the Content of Macro and Microelements and the Quality of Grass Pea Seeds (Lathyrus sativus L.)

Authors: Violina R. Angelova

Abstract:

Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the content of macro and microelements in the vegetative and reproductive organs of grass pea and the quality of grass pea seeds, as well as to identify the possibility of grass pea growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals. The experiment was conducted on an agricultural field subjected to contamination from the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances of 0.5 km and 8 km, respectively, from the source of pollution. On reaching commercial ripeness the grass pea plants were gathered. The composition of the macro and microelements in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds), and the dry matter content, sugars, proteins, fats and ash contained in the grass pea seeds were determined. Translocation factors (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BCF) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out through inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). The grass pea plant can successfully be grown on soils contaminated by heavy metals. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the grass pea seeds. The seeds of the grass pea contain significant amounts of nutrients (K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn) and protein (23.18-29.54%). The distribution of heavy metals in the organs of the grass pea has a selective character, which reduces in the following order: leaves > roots > stems > seeds. BCF and TF values were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the above ground parts of grass pea plant. Grass pea is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the accumulator plants. The results provide valuable information about the chemical and nutritional composition of the seeds of the grass pea grown on contaminated soils in Bulgaria. The high content of macro and microelements and the low concentrations of toxic elements in the grass pea grown in contaminated soil make it possible to use the seeds of the grass pea as animal feed.

Keywords: Grass pea, heavy metals, micro and macroelements, polluted soils, quality.

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1331 An Automated Stock Investment System Using Machine Learning Techniques: An Application in Australia

Authors: Carol Anne Hargreaves

Abstract:

A key issue in stock investment is how to select representative features for stock selection. The objective of this paper is to firstly determine whether an automated stock investment system, using machine learning techniques, may be used to identify a portfolio of growth stocks that are highly likely to provide returns better than the stock market index. The second objective is to identify the technical features that best characterize whether a stock’s price is likely to go up and to identify the most important factors and their contribution to predicting the likelihood of the stock price going up. Unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as cluster analysis, were applied to the stock data to identify a cluster of stocks that was likely to go up in price – portfolio 1. Next, the principal component analysis technique was used to select stocks that were rated high on component one and component two – portfolio 2. Thirdly, a supervised machine learning technique, the logistic regression method, was used to select stocks with a high probability of their price going up – portfolio 3. The predictive models were validated with metrics such as, sensitivity (recall), specificity and overall accuracy for all models. All accuracy measures were above 70%. All portfolios outperformed the market by more than eight times. The top three stocks were selected for each of the three stock portfolios and traded in the market for one month. After one month the return for each stock portfolio was computed and compared with the stock market index returns. The returns for all three stock portfolios was 23.87% for the principal component analysis stock portfolio, 11.65% for the logistic regression portfolio and 8.88% for the K-means cluster portfolio while the stock market performance was 0.38%. This study confirms that an automated stock investment system using machine learning techniques can identify top performing stock portfolios that outperform the stock market.

Keywords: Machine learning, stock market trading, logistic principal component analysis, automated stock investment system.

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1330 Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

Authors: Francesco Ruscio, Paolo Paoletti, Jens Thomas, Paul Myers, Sebastiano Fichera

Abstract:

This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Keywords: Automation, hydroponics, internet of things, monitoring system, urban farming.

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1329 A Preliminary Study of the Reconstruction of Urban Residential Public Space in the Context of the “Top-down” Construction Model in China: Based on Research of TianZiFang District in Shanghai and Residential Space in Hangzhou

Authors: Wang Qiaowei, Gao Yujiang

Abstract:

With the economic growth and rapid urbanization after the reform and openness, some of China's fast-growing cities have demolished former dwellings and built modern residential quarters. The blind, incomplete reference to western modern cities and the one-off construction lacking feedback mechanism have intensified such phenomenon, causing the citizen gradually expanded their living scale with the popularization of car traffic, and the peer-to-peer lifestyle gradually settled. The construction of large-scale commercial centers has caused obstacles to small business around the residential areas, leading to space for residents' interaction has been compressed. At the same time, the advocated Central Business District (CBD) model even leads to the unsatisfactory reconstruction of many historical blocks such as the Hangzhou Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Street. However, the popularity of historical spaces such as Wuzhen and Hongcun also indicates the collective memory and needs of the street space for Chinese residents. The evolution of Shanghai TianZiFang also proves the importance of the motivation of space participants in space construction in the context of the “top-down” construction model in China. In fact, there are frequent occurrences of “reconstruction”, which may redefine the space, in various residential areas. If these activities can be selectively controlled and encouraged, it will be beneficial to activate the public space as well as the residents’ intercourse, so that the traditional Chinese street space can be reconstructed in the context of modern cities.

Keywords: Rapid urbanization, traditional street space, space re-construction, bottom-up design.

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1328 Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

Authors: Satu Lautamäki

Abstract:

This paper presents findings from a multidisciplinary course (bachelor level) implemented at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The course aims to develop innovative thinking of students, by having projects given by companies, using design thinking methods as a tool for creativity and by integrating students into multidisciplinary teams working on the given projects. The course is obligatory for all first year bachelor students across four faculties (business and culture, food and agriculture, health care and social work, and technology). The course involves around 800 students and 30 pedagogical coaches, and it is implemented as an intensive one-week course each year. The paper discusses the pedagogy, structure and coordination of the course. Also, reflections on methods for the development of creative skills are given. Experts in contemporary, global context often work in teams, which consist of people who have different areas of expertise and represent various professional backgrounds. That is why there is a strong need for new training methods where multidisciplinary approach is at the heart of learning. Creative learning takes place when different parties bring information to the discussion and learn from each other. When students in different fields are looking for professional growth for themselves and take responsibility for the professional growth of other learners, they form a mutual learning relationship with each other. Multidisciplinary team members make decisions both individually and collectively, which helps them to understand and appreciate other disciplines. Our results show that creative and multidisciplinary project learning can develop diversity of knowledge and competences, for instance, students’ cultural knowledge, teamwork and innovation competences, time management and presentation skills as well as support a student’s personal development as an expert. It is highly recommended that higher education curricula should include various studies for students from different study fields to work in multidisciplinary teams.

Keywords: Multidisciplinary learning, creative skills, innovative thinking, project-based learning.

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1327 Analytical Solution of the Boundary Value Problem of Delaminated Doubly-Curved Composite Shells

Authors: András Szekrényes

Abstract:

Delamination is one of the major failure modes in laminated composite structures. Delamination tips are mostly captured by spatial numerical models in order to predict crack growth. This paper presents some mechanical models of delaminated composite shells based on shallow shell theories. The mechanical fields are based on a third-order displacement field in terms of the through-thickness coordinate of the laminated shell. The undelaminated and delaminated parts are captured by separate models and the continuity and boundary conditions are also formulated in a general way providing a large size boundary value problem. The system of differential equations is solved by the state space method for an elliptic delaminated shell having simply supported edges. The comparison of the proposed and a numerical model indicates that the primary indicator of the model is the deflection, the secondary is the widthwise distribution of the energy release rate. The model is promising and suitable to determine accurately the J-integral distribution along the delamination front. Based on the proposed model it is also possible to develop finite elements which are able to replace the computationally expensive spatial models of delaminated structures.

Keywords: J-integral, Lévy method, third-order shell theory, state space solution.

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1326 Impact of Dynamic Capabilities on Knowledge Management Processes

Authors: Farzad Yavari, Fereydoun Ohadi

Abstract:

Today, with the development and growth of technology and extreme environmental changes, organizations need to identify opportunities and create creativity and innovation in order to be able to maintain or improve their position in competition with others. In this regard, it is necessary that the resources and assets of the organization are coordinated and reviewed in accordance with the orientation of the strategy. One of the competitive advantages of the present age is knowledge management, which is to equip the organization with the knowledge of the day and disseminate among employees and use it in the development of products and services. Therefore, in the forthcoming research, the impact of dynamic capabilities components (sense, seize, and reconfiguration) has been investigated on knowledge management processes (acquisition, integration and knowledge utilization) in the MAPNA Engineering and Construction Company using a field survey and applied research method. For this purpose, a questionnaire was filled out in the form of 15 questions for dynamic components and 15 questions for measuring knowledge management components and distributed among 46 employees of the knowledge management organization. Validity of the questionnaire was evaluated through content validity and its reliability with Cronbach's coefficient. Pearson correlation test and structural equation technique were used to analyze the data. The results of the research indicate a positive significant correlation between the components of dynamic capabilities and knowledge management.

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, knowledge management, sense capability, seize capability, reconfigurable capability, knowledge acquisition, knowledge integrity, knowledge utilization.

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1325 The Keys to Innovation: Defining and Evaluating Attributes that Measure Innovation Capabilities

Authors: Mohammad Samarah, Benjamin Stark, Jennifer Kindle, Langley Payton

Abstract:

Innovation is a key driver for companies, society, and economic growth. However, assessing and measuring innovation for individuals as well as organizations remains difficult. Our i5-Score presented in this study will help to overcome this difficulty and facilitate measuring the innovation potential. The score is based on a framework we call the 5Gs of innovation which defines specific innovation attributes. Those are 1) the drive for long-term goals 2) the audacity to generate new ideas, 3) the openness to share ideas with others, 4) the ability to grow, and 5) the ability to maintain high levels of optimism. To validate the i5-Score, we conducted a study at Florida Polytechnic University. The results show that the i5-Score is a good measure reflecting the innovative mindset of an individual or a group. Thus, the score can be utilized for evaluating, refining and enhancing innovation capabilities.

Keywords: Change management, innovation attributes, organizational development, STEM and venture creation.

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1324 Clinical Utility of Salivary Cytokines for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Authors: Masaki Yamaguchi, Daimei Sasayama, Shinsuke Washizuka

Abstract:

The goal of this study was to examine the possibility of salivary cytokines for the screening of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. We carried out a case-control study, including 19 children with ADHD and 17 healthy children (controls). A multiplex bead array immunoassay was used to conduct a multi-analysis of 27 different salivary cytokines. Six salivary cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, IL12p70, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)) were significantly associated with the presence of ADHD (p < 0.05). An informative salivary cytokine panel was developed using VEGF by logistic regression analysis (odds ratio: 0.251). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that assessment of a panel using VEGF showed “good” capability for discriminating between ADHD patients and controls (area under the curve: 0.778). ADHD has been hypothesized to be associated with reduced cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex, due to reduced VEGF levels. Our study highlights the possibility of utilizing differential salivary cytokine levels for point-of-care testing (POCT) of biomarkers in children with ADHD.

Keywords: Cytokine, saliva, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, child, biomarker.

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1323 Quantification of Biomethane Potential from Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Vaal University of Technology

Authors: Kgomotso Matobole, Pascal Mwenge, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, biogas, biomethane potential, food waste.

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1322 The Role of Branding for Success in the Georgian Tea Market

Authors: Maia Seturi, Tamari Todua

Abstract:

Economic growth is seen as the increase in the production capacity of a country. It enables a country to produce more and more material wealth and social benefits. Today, the success of any product on the market is closely related to the issue of branding. The brand is a source of information for a user/consumer, which helps to simplify the choice of goods and reduce consumer risk. The paper studies the role of branding in order to promote Georgian tea brands. The main focus of the research is directed to consumer attitudes regarding Georgian tea brands. The methodology of the paper is based on marketing research. The findings study revealed that the majority of consumers prefer foreign tea brands. The final part of the article presents the main recommendations.

Keywords: Marketing research, customer behavior, brand, successful brand.

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1321 Surface Water Pollution by Open Refuse Dumpsite in North Central of Nigeria

Authors: Abimbola Motunrayo Folami, Ibironke Titilayo Enitan, Feroz Mohomed Swalaha

Abstract:

Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.

Keywords: Abuja, contaminants, heavy metals, Ndawuse River, Nigeria, surface water.

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1320 Transfer of Information Heritage between Algerian Veterinarians and Breeders: Assessment of Information and Communication Technology Using Mobile Phone

Authors: R. Bernaoui, P. Ohly

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Our research shows the use of the mobile phone that consolidates the relationship between veterinarians, and that between breeders and veterinarians. On the other hand it asserts that the tool in question is a means of economic development. The results of our survey reveal a positive return to the veterinary community, which shows that the mobile phone has become an effective means of sustainable development through the transfer of a rapid and punctual information inheritance via social networks; including many Internet applications. Our results show that almost all veterinarians use the mobile phone for interprofessional communication. We therefore believe that the use of the mobile phone by livestock operators has greatly improved the working conditions, just as the use of this tool contributes to a better management of the exploitation as long as it allows limit travel but also save time. These results show that we are witnessing a growth in the use of mobile telephony technologies that impact is as much in terms of sustainable development. Allowing access to information, especially technical information, the mobile phone, and Information and Communication of Technology (ICT) in general, give livestock sector players not only security, by limiting losses, but also an efficiency that allows them a better production and productivity.

Keywords: Algeria, Breeder-veterinarian, Digital Heritage, Networking, Mobile phone.

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1319 The State Support to the Tourism Policy Formation Mechanism in Black Sea Basin Countries (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Georgia) and Its Impact on Sustainable Tourism Development

Authors: A. Bahar Ganiyeva, M. Sabuhi Tanriverdiyev

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The article analyzes state support and policy mechanisms aimed at driving tourism as one of the vibrant and rapidly developing economies. State programs and long-range strategic roadmaps and previous programs execution, results and their impact on the particular countries economy have been raised during the research. This theme provides a useful framework for discussions with a wider range of stakeholders as the implications arising are of importance both for academics and practitioners engaged in hospitality and tourism development and research. The impact that tourism has on sustainable regional development in emerging markets is highly substantial. For Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, and Russia, with their rich natural resources and cultural heritage, tourism can be an important basis for economic expansion, and a way to form an acceptable image of the countries as safe, open, hospitable, and complex.

Keywords: Sustainable tourism, hospitality, destination, strategic roadmap, tourism, economy, growth, state support, mechanism, policy formation, state program.

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1318 Evaluation of Hazardous Status of Avenue Trees in University of Port Harcourt

Authors: F. S. Eguakun, T. C. Nkwor

Abstract:

Trees in the university environment are uniquely position; however, they can also present a millstone to the infrastructure and humans they coexist with. The numerous benefits of trees can be negated due to poor tree health and anthropogenic activities and as such can become hazardous. The study aims at evaluating the hazardous status of avenue trees in University of Port Harcourt. Data were collected from all the avenue trees within the selected major roads in the University. Tree growth variables were measured and health condition of the avenue trees were assessed as an indicator of some structural defects. The hazard status of the avenue trees was determined. Several tree species were used as avenue trees in the University however, Azadirachta indica (81%) was found to be most abundant. The result shows that only 0.3% avenue tree species was found to pose severe harzard in Abuja part of the University. Most avenue trees (55.2%) were rated as medium hazard status. Due to the danger and risk associated with hazardous trees, the study recommends that good and effective management strategies be implemented so as to prevent future damages from trees with small or medium hazard status.

Keywords: Avenue tree, hazard status, inventory, urban.

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1317 Exploring Employee Experiences of Distributed Leadership in Consultancy SMEs

Authors: Mohamed Haffar, Ramdane Djebarni, Russell Evans

Abstract:

Despite a growth in literature on distributed leadership, the majority of studies are centred on large public organisations particularly within the health and education sectors. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap in the literature by exploring employee experiences of distributed leadership within two commercial consultancy SME businesses in the UK and USA. The aim of the study informed an exploratory method of research to gather qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews involving a sample of employees in each organisation. A series of broad, open questions were used to explore the employees’ experiences; evidence of distributed leadership; and extant barriers and practices in each organisation. Whilst some of our findings aligned with patterns and practices in the existing literature, it importantly discovered some emergent themes that have not previously been recognised in the previous studies. Our investigation identified that whilst distributed leadership was in evidence in both organisations, the interviewees’ experience reported that it was sporadic and inconsistent. Moreover, non-client focused projects were reported to be less important and distributed leadership was found to be inconsistent or non-existent.

Keywords: Consultancy, distributed leadership, owner-manager, SME, entrepreneur.

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1316 Cost Efficient Receiver Tube Technology for Eco-Friendly Concentrated Solar Thermal Applications

Authors: M. Shiva Prasad, S. R. Atchuta, T. Vijayaraghavan, S. Sakthivel

Abstract:

The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.

Keywords: Concentrated solar thermal system, solar selective coating, tandem absorber, ultralow refractive index.

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1315 Effect of Different Salts on Pseudomonas taetrolens’ Ability to Lactobionic Acid Production

Authors: I. Sarenkova, I. Ciprovica, I. Cinkmanis

Abstract:

Lactobionic acid is a disaccharide formed from gluconic acid and galactose, and produced by oxidation of lactose. Productivity of lactobionic acid by microbial synthesis can be affected by various factors, and one of them is a presence of potassium, magnesium and manganese ions. In order to extend lactobionic acid production efficiency, it is necessary to increase the yield of lactobionic acid by optimising the fermentation conditions and available substrates for Pseudomonas taetrolens growth. The object of the research was to determinate the application of K2HPO4, MnSO4, MgSO4 × 7H2O salts in different concentration for effective lactose oxidation to lactobionic acid by Pseudomonas taetrolens. Pseudomonas taetrolens NCIB 9396 (NCTC, England) and Pseudomonas taetrolens DSM 21104 (DSMZ, Germany) were used for the study. The acid whey was used as the study object. The content of lactose in whey samples was determined using MilcoScanTM Mars (Foss, Denmark) and high performance liquid chromatography (Shimadzu LC 20 Prominence, Japan). The content of lactobionic acid in whey samples was determined using the high performance liquid chromatography. The impact of studied salts differs, Mn2+ and Mg2+ ions enhanced fermentation instead of K+ ions. Results approved that Mn2+ and Mg2+ ions are necessary for Pseudomonas taetrolens growth. The study results will help to improve the effectiveness of lactobionic acid production with Pseudomonas taetrolens NCIB 9396 and DSM 21104.

Keywords: lactobionic acid, lactose oxidation, Pseudomonas taetrolens, whey.

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1314 Growth and Yield Assessment of Two Types of Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrids as Affected by Deficit Irrigation

Authors: A. Abbas Khalaf, L. Issazadeh, Z. Arif Abdullah, J. Hassanpour

Abstract:

In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38 N, 42°52´02 E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).

Keywords: Deficit irrigation, growth, Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrid, yield.

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1313 A Study of Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristic, Meat Quality and Association of Polymorphism in the ApoVLDL-II Gene with Fat Accumulation in the Female Broiler, Thai Native and Betong Chickens (KU Line)

Authors: C. Kridtayopas, W. Danvilai, P. Sopannarath, A. Kayan, W. Loongyai

Abstract:

Both Betong chicken (KU Line) and Thai Native chickens were the high quality of the meat and low carcass fat compared to broiler chickens. The objective of this study was to determine the growth performance, carcass characteristic, meat quality and association of polymorphism in the ApoVLDL-II gene with fat accumulation in the female broiler, Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens at 4-14 weeks. The chickens were used and reared under the same environment and management (100 chicks per breed). The results showed that body weight (BW) of broiler chickens was significantly higher than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens (P < 0.01) through all the experiment. At 4-8 weeks of age, feed conversion ratio (FCR) of broiler chickens was significantly better than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens (P < 0.01), then increased at week 8-14. The percentage of breast, abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat of broiler chickens was significantly greater than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens (P < 0.01). However, Thai Native chickens showed the highest percentage of liver (P < 0.01) when compared to other breeds. In addition, the percentage of wing of Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens were significantly (P < 0.01) higher than broiler chickens. Meat quality was also determined and found that, pH of breast meat left from slaughter 45 minutes (pH45) and 24 hours (pH24) of broiler was significantly higher than Thai Native and Betong (KU line) (P < 0.01) whereas the percentage of drip loss, thawing loss, cooking loss and shear force was not significantly different between breeds. The polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique was used to genotype the polymorphism in the ApoVLDL-II gene in the broiler, Thai Native and Betong (KU line) chickens. The results found that, the polymorphism in the ApoVLDL-II gene at VLDL6 loci was not associated with fat accumulation in those studied population.

Keywords: ApoVLDL-II Gene, Betong (KU line) chickens, broiler chickens, carcass characteristic, growth performance, meat quality, Thai Native Chickens.

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1312 A Theory-Based Analysis on Implications of Democracy in Cambodia

Authors: Puthsodary Tat

Abstract:

Democracy has been categorially accepted and used as foreign and domestic policy agendas for the hope of peace, economic growth and prosperity for more than 25 years in Cambodia. However, the country is now in the grip of dictatorship, human rights violations, and prospective economic sanctions. This paper examines different perceptions and experiences of democratic assistance. In this study, the author employs discourse theory, idealism and realism as a theory-based methodology for debating and assessing the implications of democratization. Discourse theory is used to establish a platform for understanding discursive formations, body of knowledge and the games of truth of democracy. Idealist approaches give rational arguments for adopting key tenets that work well on the ground. In contrast, realism allows for some sweeping critiques of utopian ideal and offers particular views on why Western hegemonic missions do not work well. From idealist views, the research finds that Cambodian people still believe that democracy is a prima facie universality for peace, growth and prosperity. From realism, democratization is on the brink of death in three reasons. Firstly, there are tensions between Western and local discourses about democratic values and norms. Secondly, democratic tenets have been undermined by the ruling party-controlled courts, corruption, structural oppression and political patronage-based institutions. The third pitfall is partly associated with foreign aid dependency and geopolitical power struggles in the region. Finally, the study offers a precise mosaic of democratic principles that may be used to avoid a future geopolitical and economic crisis.

Keywords: Corruption, democracy, democratic principles, discourse theory, discursive formations, foreign aid dependency, games of truth, geopolitical and economic crisis, geopolitical power struggle, hegemonic mission, idealism, realism, utopian ideal.

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1311 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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1310 Effect of Different Media and Mannitol Concentrations on Growth and Development of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. under Slow Growth Conditions

Authors: J. Linjikao, P. Inthima, A. Kongbangkerd

Abstract:

In vitro conservation of orchid germplasm provides an effective technique for ex situ conservation of orchid diversity. In this study, an efficient protocol for in vitro conservation of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. plantlet under slow growth conditions was investigated. Plantlets were cultured on different strength of Vacin and Went medium (½VW and ¼VW) supplemented with different concentrations of mannitol (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8%), sucrose (0 and 3%) and 50 g/L potato extract, 150 mL/L coconut water. The cultures were incubated at 25±2 °C and maintained under 20 µmol/m2s light intensity for 24 weeks without subculture. At the end of preservation period, the plantlets were subcultured to fresh medium for growth recovery. The results found that the highest leaf number per plantlet could be observed on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol while the highest root number per plantlet was found on ½VW added with 3% sucrose without adding mannitol after 24 weeks of in vitro storage. The results showed that the maximum number of leaves (5.8 leaves) and roots (5.0 roots) of preserved plantlets were produced on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol. Therefore, ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol was the best minimum growth conditions for medium-term storage of V. lissochiloides plantlets.

Keywords: Preservation, Vandopsis, germplasm, in vitro.

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1309 Bank Loans and the Business Cycle: The Case of the Czech Republic

Authors: Libena Cernohorska, Jan Cernohorsky

Abstract:

This article aims to evaluate the impact of loans provided within the Czech banking sector on the growth of the Czech economy. The article is based on research of current scientific findings in respect to bank loans and economic development. The paper is based on data taken from the Czech Statistical Office on the development of the gross domestic product and data from the Czech National Bank on the development of loans from the period 2004-2015. Links between selected variables are tested using Granger causality tests. The results calculated confirm the hypothesis of the impact of the loans on economic growth, with a six-month delay. The results thus correspond to the standard economic findings and results of most previous studies.

Keywords: Bank, business cycle, economic growth, loans.

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