Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 1150

Search results for: Mobile Agents.

40 Zinc Sorption by Six Agricultural Soils Amended with Municipal Biosolids

Authors: Antoine Karam, Lotfi Khiari, Bruno Breton, Alfred Jaouich

Abstract:

Anthropogenic sources of zinc (Zn), including industrial emissions and effluents, Zn–rich fertilizer materials and pesticides containing Zn, can contribute to increasing the concentration of soluble Zn at levels toxic to plants in acid sandy soils. The application of municipal sewage sludge or biosolids (MBS) which contain metal immobilizing agents on coarse-textured soils could improve the metal sorption capacity of the low-CEC soils. The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the sorption of Zn in surface samples (0-15 cm) of six Quebec (Canada) soils amended with MBS (pH 6.9) from Val d’Or (Quebec, Canada). Soil samples amended with increasing amounts (0 to 20%) of MBS were equilibrated with various amounts of Zn as ZnCl2 in 0.01 M CaCl2 for 48 hours at room temperature. Sorbed Zn was calculated from the difference between the initial and final Zn concentration in solution. Zn sorption data conformed to the linear form of Freundlich equation. The amount of sorbed Zn increased considerably with increasing MBS rate. Analysis of variance revealed a highly significant effect (p ≤ 0.001) of soil texture and MBS rate on the amount of sorbed Zn. The average values of the Zn-sorption capacity of MBS-amended coarse-textured soils were lower than those of MBS-amended fine textured soils. The two sandy soils (86-99% sand) amended with MBS retained 2- to 5-fold Zn than those without MBS (control). Significant Pearson correlation coefficients between the Zn sorption isotherm parameter, i.e. the Freundlich sorption isotherm (KF), and commonly measured physical and chemical entities were obtained. Among all the soil properties measured, soil pH gave the best significant correlation coefficients (p ≤ 0.001) for soils receiving 0, 5 and 10% MBS. Furthermore, KF values were positively correlated with soil clay content, exchangeable basic cations (Ca, Mg or K), CEC and clay content to CEC ratio. From these results, it can be concluded that (i) municipal biosolids provide sorption sites that have a strong affinity for Zn, (ii) both soil texture, especially clay content, and soil pH are the main factors controlling anthropogenic Zn sorption in the municipal biosolids-amended soils, and (iii) the effect of municipal biosolids on Zn sorption will be more pronounced for a sandy soil than for a clay soil.

Keywords: Metal, recycling, sewage sludge, trace element.

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39 Use of Social Media in PR: A Change of Trend

Authors: Tang Mui Joo, Chan Eang Teng

Abstract:

The use of social media has become more defined. It has been widely used for the purpose of business. More marketers are now using social media as tools to enhance their businesses. Whereas on the other hand, there are more and more people spending their time through mobile apps to be engaged in the social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others. Social media has even become common in Public Relations (PR). It has become number one platform for creating and sharing content. In view to this, social media has changed the rules in PR where it brings new challenges and opportunities to the profession. Although corporate websites, chat-rooms, email customer response facilities and electronic news release distribution are now viewed as standard aspects of PR practice, many PR practitioners are still struggling with the impact of new media though the implementation of social media is potentially reducing the cost of communication. It is to the point that PR practitioners are not fully embracing new media, they are ill-equipped to do so and they have a fear of the technology. Somehow that social media has become a new style of communication that is characterized by conversation and community. It has become a platform that allows individuals to interact with one another and build relationship among each other. Therefore, in the use of business world, consumers are able to interact with those companies that have joined any social media. Based on their experiences with social networking site interactions, they are also exposed to personal interaction while communicating. This paper is to study the impact of social media to PR. This paper discovers the potential changes of PR practices in a developing country like Malaysia. Eventually the study reflects on how PR practitioners are actually using social media in the country. This paper is based on two theories in its development of this research foundation. Media Ecology Theory is to support the impact and changes to PR. Social Penetration Theory is to reflect on how the use of social media is among PRs. This research is using survey with PR practitioners in its data collection. The results have shown that PR professionals value social media more than they actually use it and the way of organizations communicate had been changed due to the transformation of social media.

Keywords: New media, social media, PR.

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38 Interest of the Sequences Pseudo Noises Codes of Different Lengths for the Reduction from the Interference between Users of CDMA Network

Authors: Nerguè Kassahan Kone, Souleymane Oumtanaga

Abstract:

The third generation (3G) of cellular system adopted the spread spectrum as solution for the transmission of the data in the physical layer. Contrary to systems IS-95 or CDMAOne (systems with spread spectrum of the preceding generation), the new standard, called Universal Mobil Telecommunications System (UMTS), uses long codes in the down link. The system is conceived for the vocal communication and the transmission of the data. In particular, the down link is very important, because of the asymmetrical request of the data, i.e., more remote loading towards the mobiles than towards the basic station. Moreover, the UMTS uses for the down link an orthogonal spreading out with a variable factor of spreading out (OVSF for Orthogonal Variable Spreading Factor). This characteristic makes it possible to increase the flow of data of one or more users by reducing their factor of spreading out without changing the factor of spreading out of other users. In the current standard of the UMTS, two techniques to increase the performances of the down link were proposed, the diversity of sending antenna and the codes space-time. These two techniques fight only fainding. The receiver proposed for the mobil station is the RAKE, but one can imagine a receiver more sophisticated, able to reduce the interference between users and the impact of the coloured noise and interferences to narrow band. In this context, where the users have long codes synchronized with variable factor of spreading out and ignorance by the mobile of the other active codes/users, the use of the sequences of code pseudo-noises different lengths is presented in the form of one of the most appropriate solutions.

Keywords: DS-CDMA, multiple access interference, ratio Signal / interference + Noise.

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37 Information Overload, Information Literacy and Use of Technology by Students

Authors: Elena Krelja Kurelović, Jasminka Tomljanović, Vlatka Davidović

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The development of web technologies and mobile devices makes creating, accessing, using and sharing information or communicating with each other simpler every day. However, while the amount of information constantly increasing it is becoming harder to effectively organize and find quality information despite the availability of web search engines, filtering and indexing tools. Although digital technologies have overall positive impact on students’ lives, frequent use of these technologies and digital media enriched with dynamic hypertext and hypermedia content, as well as multitasking, distractions caused by notifications, calls or messages; can decrease the attention span, make thinking, memorizing and learning more difficult, which can lead to stress and mental exhaustion. This is referred to as “information overload”, “information glut” or “information anxiety”. Objective of this study is to determine whether students show signs of information overload and to identify the possible predictors. Research was conducted using a questionnaire developed for the purpose of this study. The results show that students frequently use technology (computers, gadgets and digital media), while they show moderate level of information literacy. They have sometimes experienced symptoms of information overload. According to the statistical analysis, higher frequency of technology use and lower level of information literacy are correlated with larger information overload. The multiple regression analysis has confirmed that the combination of these two independent variables has statistically significant predictive capacity for information overload. Therefore, the information science teachers should pay attention to improving the level of students’ information literacy and educate them about the risks of excessive technology use.

Keywords: Information overload, technology use, digital media, information literacy, students.

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36 Verification of On-Line Vehicle Collision Avoidance Warning System using DSRC

Authors: C. W. Hsu, C. N. Liang, L. Y. Ke, F. Y. Huang

Abstract:

Many accidents were happened because of fast driving, habitual working overtime or tired spirit. This paper presents a solution of remote warning for vehicles collision avoidance using vehicular communication. The development system integrates dedicated short range communication (DSRC) and global position system (GPS) with embedded system into a powerful remote warning system. To transmit the vehicular information and broadcast vehicle position; DSRC communication technology is adopt as the bridge. The proposed system is divided into two parts of the positioning andvehicular units in a vehicle. The positioning unit is used to provide the position and heading information from GPS module, and furthermore the vehicular unit is used to receive the break, throttle, and othersignals via controller area network (CAN) interface connected to each mechanism. The mobile hardware are built with an embedded system using X86 processor in Linux system. A vehicle is communicated with other vehicles via DSRC in non-addressed protocol with wireless access in vehicular environments (WAVE) short message protocol. From the position data and vehicular information, this paper provided a conflict detection algorithm to do time separation and remote warning with error bubble consideration. And the warning information is on-line displayed in the screen. This system is able to enhance driver assistance service and realize critical safety by using vehicular information from the neighbor vehicles.KeywordsDedicated short range communication, GPS, Control area network, Collision avoidance warning system.

Keywords: Dedicated short range communication, GPS, Control area network, Collision avoidance warning system.

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35 Reducing CO2 Emission Using EDA and Weighted Sum Model in Smart Parking System

Authors: Rahman Ali, Muhammad Sajjad, Farkhund Iqbal, Muhammad Sadiq Hassan Zada, Mohammed Hussain

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Emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has adversely affected the environment. One of the major sources of CO2 emission is transportation. In the last few decades, the increase in mobility of people using vehicles has enormously increased the emission of CO2 in the environment. To reduce CO2 emission, sustainable transportation system is required in which smart parking is one of the important measures that need to be established. To contribute to the issue of reducing the amount of CO2 emission, this research proposes a smart parking system. A cloud-based solution is provided to the drivers which automatically searches and recommends the most preferred parking slots. To determine preferences of the parking areas, this methodology exploits a number of unique parking features which ultimately results in the selection of a parking that leads to minimum level of CO2 emission from the current position of the vehicle. To realize the methodology, a scenario-based implementation is considered. During the implementation, a mobile application with GPS signals, vehicles with a number of vehicle features and a list of parking areas with parking features are used by sorting, multi-level filtering, exploratory data analysis (EDA, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)) and weighted sum model (WSM) to rank the parking areas and recommend the drivers with top-k most preferred parking areas. In the EDA process, “2020testcar-2020-03-03”, a freely available dataset is used to estimate CO2 emission of a particular vehicle. To evaluate the system, results of the proposed system are compared with the conventional approach, which reveal that the proposed methodology supersedes the conventional one in reducing the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Keywords: CO2 emission, IoT, EDA, Weighted Sum Model, WSM, regression, smart parking system.

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34 Performance Tests of Wood Glues on Different Wood Species Used in Wood Workshops: Morogoro Tanzania

Authors: Japhet N. Mwambusi

Abstract:

High tropical forests deforestation for solid wood furniture industry is among of climate change contributing agents. This pressure indirectly is caused by furniture joints failure due to poor gluing technology based on improper use of different glues to different wood species which lead to low quality and weak wood-glue joints. This study was carried in order to run performance tests of wood glues on different wood species used in wood workshops: Morogoro Tanzania whereby three popular wood species of C. lusitanica, T. glandis and E. maidenii were tested against five glues of Woodfix, Bullbond, Ponal, Fevicol and Coral found in the market. The findings were necessary on developing a guideline for proper glue selection for a particular wood species joining. Random sampling was employed to interview carpenters while conducting a survey on the background of carpenters like their education level and to determine factors that influence their glues choice. Monsanto Tensiometer was used to determine bonding strength of identified wood glues to different wood species in use under British Standard of testing wood shear strength (BS EN 205) procedures. Data obtained from interviewing carpenters were analyzed through Statistical Package of Social Science software (SPSS) to allow the comparison of different data while laboratory data were compiled, related and compared by the use of MS Excel worksheet software as well as Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Results revealed that among all five wood glues tested in the laboratory to three different wood species, Coral performed much better with the average shear strength 4.18 N/mm2, 3.23 N/mm2 and 5.42 N/mm2 for Cypress, Teak and Eucalyptus respectively. This displays that for a strong joint to be formed to all tree wood species for soft wood and hard wood, Coral has a first priority in use. The developed table of guideline from this research can be useful to carpenters on proper glue selection to a particular wood species so as to meet glue-bond strength. This will secure furniture market as well as reduce pressure to the forests for furniture production because of the strong existing furniture due to their strong joints. Indeed, this can be a good strategy on reducing climate change speed in tropics which result from high deforestation of trees for furniture production.

Keywords: Climate change, deforestation, gluing technology, joint failure, wood-glue, wood species.

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33 The Cloud Systems Used in Education: Properties and Overview

Authors: Agah Tuğrul Korucu, Handan Atun

Abstract:

Diversity and usefulness of information that used in education are have increased due to development of technology. Web technologies have made enormous contributions to the distance learning system especially. Mobile systems, one of the most widely used technology in distance education, made much easier to access web technologies. Not bounding by space and time, individuals have had the opportunity to access the information on web. In addition to this, the storage of educational information and resources and accessing these information and resources is crucial for both students and teachers. Because of this importance, development and dissemination of web technologies supply ease of access to information and resources are provided by web technologies. Dynamic web technologies introduced as new technologies that enable sharing and reuse of information, resource or applications via the Internet and bring websites into expandable platforms are commonly known as Web 2.0 technologies. Cloud systems are one of the dynamic web technologies that defined as a model provides approaching the demanded information independent from time and space in appropriate circumstances and developed by NIST. One of the most important advantages of cloud systems is meeting the requirements of users directly on the web regardless of hardware, software, and dealing with install. Hence, this study aims at using cloud services in education and investigating the services provided by the cloud computing. Survey method has been used as research method. In the findings of this research the fact that cloud systems are used such studies as resource sharing, collaborative work, assignment submission and feedback, developing project in the field of education, and also, it is revealed that cloud systems have plenty of significant advantages in terms of facilitating teaching activities and the interaction between teacher, student and environment.

Keywords: Cloud systems, cloud systems in education, distance learning, e-learning, integration of information technologies, online learning environment.

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32 Novel Adaptive Channel Equalization Algorithms by Statistical Sampling

Authors: János Levendovszky, András Oláh

Abstract:

In this paper, novel statistical sampling based equalization techniques and CNN based detection are proposed to increase the spectral efficiency of multiuser communication systems over fading channels. Multiuser communication combined with selective fading can result in interferences which severely deteriorate the quality of service in wireless data transmission (e.g. CDMA in mobile communication). The paper introduces new equalization methods to combat interferences by minimizing the Bit Error Rate (BER) as a function of the equalizer coefficients. This provides higher performance than the traditional Minimum Mean Square Error equalization. Since the calculation of BER as a function of the equalizer coefficients is of exponential complexity, statistical sampling methods are proposed to approximate the gradient which yields fast equalization and superior performance to the traditional algorithms. Efficient estimation of the gradient is achieved by using stratified sampling and the Li-Silvester bounds. A simple mechanism is derived to identify the dominant samples in real-time, for the sake of efficient estimation. The equalizer weights are adapted recursively by minimizing the estimated BER. The near-optimal performance of the new algorithms is also demonstrated by extensive simulations. The paper has also developed a (Cellular Neural Network) CNN based approach to detection. In this case fast quadratic optimization has been carried out by t, whereas the task of equalizer is to ensure the required template structure (sparseness) for the CNN. The performance of the method has also been analyzed by simulations.

Keywords: Cellular Neural Network, channel equalization, communication over fading channels, multiuser communication, spectral efficiency, statistical sampling.

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31 Investigation of Possible Behavioural and Molecular Effects of Mobile Phone Exposure on Rats

Authors: Ç. Gökçek-Saraç, Ş. Özen, N. Derin

Abstract:

The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.

Keywords: Hippocampus, protein kinase, rat, RF-EMR.

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30 Attribution Theory and Perceived Reliability of Cellphones for Teaching and Learning

Authors: Mayowa A. Sofowora, Seraphim D. Eyono Obono

Abstract:

The use of information and communication technologies such as computers, mobile phones and the Internet is becoming prevalent in today’s world; and it is facilitating access to a vast amount of data, services and applications for the improvement of people’s lives. However, this prevalence of ICTs is hampered by the problem of low income levels in developing countries to the point where people cannot timeously replace or repair their ICT devices when damaged or lost; and this problem serves as a motivation for this study whose aim is to examine the perceptions of teachers on the reliability of cellphones when used for teaching and learning purposes. The research objectives unfolding this aim are of two types: Objectives on the selection and design of theories and models, and objectives on the empirical testing of these theories and models. The first type of objectives is achieved using content analysis in an extensive literature survey: and the second type of objectives is achieved through a survey of high school teachers from the ILembe and UMgungundlovu districts in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Data collected from this questionnaire based survey is analysed in SPSS using descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations after checking the reliability and validity of the questionnaires. The main hypothesis driving this study is that there is a relationship between the demographics and the attribution identity of teachers on one hand, and their perceptions on the reliability of cellphones on the other hand, as suggested by existing literature; except that attribution identities are considered in this study under three angles: intention, knowledge and ability, and action. The results of this study confirm that the perceptions of teachers on the reliability of cellphones for teaching and learning are affected by the school location of these teachers, and by their perceptions on learners’ cellphones usage intentions and actual use.

Keywords: Attribution, Cellphones, E-learning, Reliability

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29 Electronic Government around the World: Key Information and Communication Technology Indicators

Authors: Isaac Kofi Mensah

Abstract:

Governments around the world are adopting Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) because of the important opportunities it provides through E-government (EG) to modernize government public administration processes and delivery of quality and efficient public services. Almost every country in the world is adopting ICT in its public sector administration (EG) to modernize and change the traditional process of government, increase citizen engagement and participation in governance, as well as the provision of timely information to citizens. This paper, therefore, seeks to present the adoption, development and implementation of EG in regions globally, as well as the ICT indicators around the world, which are making EG initiatives successful. Europe leads the world in its EG adoption and development index, followed by the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa. There is a gradual growth in ICT indicators in terms of the increase in Internet access and usage, increase in broadband penetration, an increase of individuals using the Internet at home and a decline in fixed telephone use, while the mobile cellular phone has been on the increase year-on-year. Though the lack of ICT infrastructure is a major challenge to EG adoption and implementation around the world, in Africa it is very pervasive, hampering the expansion of Internet access and provision of broadband, and hence is a barrier to the successful adoption, development, and implementation of EG initiatives in countries on the continent. But with the general improvement and increase in ICT indicators around the world, it provides countries in Europe, Americas, Asia, Arab States, Oceania and Africa with the huge opportunity to enhance public service delivery through the adoption of EG. Countries within these regions cannot fail their citizens who desire to enjoy an enhanced and efficient public service delivery from government and its many state institutions.

Keywords: E-government development index, e-government, indicators, information and communication technologies.

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28 Software Architecture and Support for Patient Tracking Systems in Critical Scenarios

Authors: Gianluca Cornetta, Abdellah Touhafi, David J. Santos, Jose Manuel Vazquez

Abstract:

In this work a new platform for mobile-health systems is presented. System target application is providing decision support to rescue corps or military medical personnel in combat areas. Software architecture relies on a distributed client-server system that manages a wireless ad-hoc networks hierarchy in which several different types of client operate. Each client is characterized for different hardware and software requirements. Lower hierarchy levels rely in a network of completely custom devices that store clinical information and patient status and are designed to form an ad-hoc network operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band and complying with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard (ZigBee). Medical personnel may interact with such devices, that are called MICs (Medical Information Carriers), by means of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or a MDA (Medical Digital Assistant), and transmit the information stored in their local databases as well as issue a service request to the upper hierarchy levels by using IEEE 802.11 a/b/g standard (WiFi). The server acts as a repository that stores both medical evacuation forms and associated events (e.g., a teleconsulting request). All the actors participating in the diagnostic or evacuation process may access asynchronously to such repository and update its content or generate new events. The designed system pretends to optimise and improve information spreading and flow among all the system components with the aim of improving both diagnostic quality and evacuation process.

Keywords: IEEE 802.15.4 (ZigBee), IEEE 802.11 a/b/g (WiFi), distributed client-server systems, embedded databases, issue trackers, ad-hoc networks.

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27 High Strength, High Toughness Polyhydroxybutyrate-Co-Valerate Based Biocomposites

Authors: S. Z. A. Zaidi, A. Crosky

Abstract:

Biocomposites is a field that has gained much scientific attention due to the current substantial consumption of non-renewable resources and the environmentally harmful disposal methods required for traditional polymer composites. Research on natural fiber reinforced polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) has gained considerable momentum over the past decade. There is little work on PHAs reinforced with unidirectional (UD) natural fibers and little work on using epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) as a toughening agent for PHA-based biocomposites. In this work, we prepared polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate (PHBV) biocomposites reinforced with UD 30 wt.% flax fibers and evaluated the use of ENR with 50% epoxidation (ENR50) as a toughening agent for PHBV biocomposites. Quasi-unidirectional flax/PHBV composites were prepared by hand layup, powder impregnation followed by compression molding.  Toughening agents – polybutylene adiphate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) and ENR50 – were cryogenically ground into powder and mechanically mixed with main matrix PHBV to maintain the powder impregnation process. The tensile, flexural and impact properties of the biocomposites were measured and morphology of the composites examined using optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The UD biocomposites showed exceptionally high mechanical properties as compared to the results obtained previously where only short fibers have been used. The improved tensile and flexural properties were attributed to the continuous nature of the fiber reinforcement and the increased proportion of fibers in the loading direction. The improved impact properties were attributed to a larger surface area for fiber-matrix debonding and for subsequent sliding and fiber pull-out mechanisms to act on, allowing more energy to be absorbed. Coating cryogenically ground ENR50 particles with PHBV powder successfully inhibits the self-healing nature of ENR-50, preventing particles from coalescing and overcoming problems in mechanical mixing, compounding and molding. Cryogenic grinding, followed by powder impregnation and subsequent compression molding is an effective route to the production of high-mechanical-property biocomposites based on renewable resources for high-obsolescence applications such as plastic casings for consumer electronics.

Keywords: Natural fibers, natural rubber, polyhydroxyalkanoates, unidirectional.

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26 Antibacterial Effect of Silver Diamine Fluoride Incorporated in Fissure Sealants

Authors: Nélio Veiga, Paula Ferreira, Tiago Correia, Maria J. Correia, Carlos Pereira, Odete Amaral, Ilídio J. Correia

Abstract:

Introduction: The application of fissure sealants is considered to be an important primary prevention method used in dental medicine. However, the formation of microleakage gaps between tooth enamel and the fissure sealant applied is one of the most common reasons of dental caries development in teeth with fissure sealants. The association between various dental biomaterials may limit the major disadvantages and limitations of biomaterials functioning in a complementary manner. The present study consists in the incorporation of a cariostatic agent – silver diamine fluoride (SDF) – in a resin-based fissure sealant followed by the study of release kinetics by spectrophotometry analysis of the association between both biomaterials and assessment of the inhibitory effect on the growth of the reference bacterial strain Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) in an in vitro study. Materials and Methods: An experimental in vitro study was designed consisting in the entrapment of SDF (Cariestop® 12% and 30%) into a commercially available fissure sealant (Fissurit®), by photopolymerization and photocrosslinking. The same sealant, without SDF was used as a negative control. The effect of the sealants on the growth of S. mutans was determined by the presence of bacterial inhibitory halos in the cultures at the end of the incubation period. In order to confirm the absence of bacteria in the surface of the materials, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) characterization was performed. Also, to analyze the release profile of SDF along time, spectrophotometry technique was applied. Results: The obtained results indicate that the association of SDF to a resin-based fissure sealant may be able to increase the inhibition of S. mutans growth. However, no SDF release was noticed during the in vitro release studies and no statistical significant difference was verified when comparing the inhibitory halo sizes obtained for test and control group.  Conclusions: In this study, the entrapment of SDF in the resin-based fissure sealant did not potentiate the antibacterial effect of the fissure sealant or avoid the immediate development of dental caries. The development of more laboratorial research and, afterwards, long-term clinical data are necessary in order to verify if this association between these biomaterials is effective and can be considered for being used in oral health management. Also, other methodologies for associating cariostatic agents and sealant should be addressed.

Keywords: Biomaterial, fissure sealant, primary prevention, silver diamine fluoride, S. mutans.

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25 Phytochemical Screening, Antioxidant Activity and Lipid Profile Effects of Citrus reticulata Fruit Peel, Zingiber officinale Rhizome and Sesamum indicum Seed Extracts

Authors: Samar Saadeldin Abdelmotalab Omer, Ikram Mohamed Eltayeb Elsiddig, Amna Beshir Medani Ahmed, Saad Mohamed Hussein Ayoub

Abstract:

Many herbal medicinal products are considered potential anti-hypercholesterolemic agents with encouraging safety profiles, however only a limited amount of clinical research exists to support their efficacy. The present study was designed to compare the antihypercholesterolemic and antioxidant activities of the crude ethanolic extracts of Citrus reticulata fruit peel, Zingiber officinale rhizome and Sesamum indicum seeds. Forty-five rats were used throughout the experiment which are extended for four weeks. These were divided into nine groups, five rats per each group as follows; group 1 was the normal control group (rats only fed standard normal rat diet), group 2 was the hypercholesterolemic control group (rats fed only hypercholesterolemic diet which contained 1% cholesterol plus 10% saturated animal fat added to the normal rat diet), groups 3 and 4 were fed hypercholesterolemic diet in addition to Citrus reticulata ethanolic extract at doses of (250mg/kg (group 3) and 500mg/kg (group 4)) administered daily via oral route, groups 5 and 6 were given hypercholesterolemic diet in addition to Zingiber officinale ethanolic extract at doses of (250mg/kg (group 5) and 500mg/kg (group 6)) daily through oral route, groups 7 and 8 fed on hypercholesterolemic diet in addition to Sesamum indicum ethanolic extract at doses of (250mg/kg (group 7) and 500mg/kg (group 8)) daily orally; and group 9 rats were given hypercholesterolemic diet in addition to atorvastatin (0.18mg/kg) daily via oral route as a standard reference antihypercholesterolemic drug. Blood samples from all groups were drawn from the retro-orbital venous plexus four weeks following treatment after overnight fasting and the lipid profile (total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglyceride levels) were measured and the risk ratio (TC/HDL-C) was assessed. The antioxidant activity of the three plants extracts was determined using DPPH free-radical antioxidant assay. Results of in vivo and in vitro antihypercholesterolemic and antioxidant assay respectively, revealed that the three extracts possess comparable antioxidant and antihypercholesterolemic activities.

Keywords: Antihypercholesterolemic effects, Antioxidant activity, HDL, LDL, TC, TGs, Citrus reticulata, Sesamum indicum, Zingiber officinale.

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24 Bioleaching of Metals Contained in Spent Catalysts by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans DSM 26636

Authors: Andrea M. Rivas-Castillo, Marlenne Gómez-Ramirez, Isela Rodríguez-Pozos, Norma G. Rojas-Avelizapa

Abstract:

Spent catalysts are considered as hazardous residues of major concern, mainly due to the simultaneous presence of several metals in elevated concentrations. Although hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical and chelating agent methods are available to remove and recover some metals contained in spent catalysts; these procedures generate potentially hazardous wastes and the emission of harmful gases. Thus, biotechnological treatments are currently gaining importance to avoid the negative impacts of chemical technologies. To this end, diverse microorganisms have been used to assess the removal of metals from spent catalysts, comprising bacteria, archaea and fungi, whose resistance and metal uptake capabilities differ depending on the microorganism tested. Acidophilic sulfur oxidizing bacteria have been used to investigate the biotreatment and extraction of valuable metals from spent catalysts, namely Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferroxidans, as they present the ability to produce leaching agents such as sulfuric acid and sulfur oxidation intermediates. In the present work, the ability of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals contained in five different spent catalysts was assessed by growing the culture in modified Starkey mineral medium (with elemental sulfur at 1%, w/v), and 1% (w/v) pulp density of each residue for up to 21 days at 30 °C and 150 rpm. Sulfur-oxidizing activity was periodically evaluated by determining sulfate concentration in the supernatants according to the NMX-k-436-1977 method. The production of sulfuric acid was assessed in the supernatants as well, by a titration procedure using NaOH 0.5 M with bromothymol blue as acid-base indicator, and by measuring pH using a digital potentiometer. On the other hand, Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometry was used to analyze metal removal from the five different spent catalysts by A. thiooxidans DSM 26636. Results obtained show that, as could be expected, sulfuric acid production is directly related to the diminish of pH, and also to highest metal removal efficiencies. It was observed that Al and Fe are recurrently removed from refinery spent catalysts regardless of their origin and previous usage, although these removals may vary from 9.5 ± 2.2 to 439 ± 3.9 mg/kg for Al, and from 7.13 ± 0.31 to 368.4 ± 47.8 mg/kg for Fe, depending on the spent catalyst proven. Besides, bioleaching of metals like Mg, Ni, and Si was also obtained from automotive spent catalysts, which removals were of up to 66 ± 2.2, 6.2±0.07, and 100±2.4, respectively. Hence, the data presented here exhibit the potential of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the simultaneous bioleaching of metals contained in spent catalysts from diverse provenance.

Keywords: Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, spent catalysts, bioleaching, metals, sulfuric acid, sulfur-oxidizing activity.

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23 Vitamin Content of Swordfish (Xhiphias gladius) Affected by Salting and Frying

Authors: L. Piñeiro, N. Cobas, L. Gómez-Limia, S. Martínez, I. Franco

Abstract:

The swordfish (Xiphias gladius) is a large oceanic fish of high commercial value, which is widely distributed in waters of the world’s oceans. They are considered to be an important source of high quality proteins, vitamins and essential fatty acids, although only half of the population follows the recommendation of nutritionists to consume fish at least twice a week. Swordfish is consumed worldwide because of its low fat content and high protein content. It is generally sold as fresh, frozen, and as pieces or slices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of salting and frying on the composition of the water-soluble vitamins (B2, B3, B9 and B12) and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) of swordfish. Three loins of swordfish from Pacific Ocean were analyzed. All the fishes had a weight between 50 and 70 kg and were transported to the laboratory frozen (-18 ºC). Before the processing, they were defrosted at 4 ºC. Each loin was sliced and salted in brine. After cleaning the slices, they were divided into portions (10×2 cm) and fried in olive oil. The identification and quantification of vitamins were carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), using methanol and 0.010% trifluoroacetic acid as mobile phases at a flow-rate of 0.7 mL min-1. The UV-Vis detector was used for the detection of the water- and fat-soluble vitamins (A and D), as well as the fluorescence detector for the detection of the vitamin E. During salting, water and fat-soluble vitamin contents remained constant, observing an evident decrease in the values of vitamin B2. The diffusion of salt into the interior of the pieces and the loss of constitution water that occur during this stage would be related to this significant decrease. In general, after frying water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins showed a great thermolability with high percentages of retention with values among 50–100%. Vitamin B3 is the one that exhibited higher percentages of retention with values close to 100%. However, vitamin B9 presented the highest losses with a percentage of retention of less than 20%.

Keywords: Frying, HPLC, salting, swordfish, vitamins.

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22 Green Synthesis of Nanosilver-Loaded Hydrogel Nanocomposites for Antibacterial Application

Authors: D. Berdous, H. Ferfera-Harrar

Abstract:

Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) or hydrogels with three-dimensional hydrophilic network structure are high-performance water absorbent and retention materials. The in situ synthesis of metal nanoparticles within polymeric network as antibacterial agents for bio-applications is an approach that takes advantage of the existing free-space into networks, which not only acts as a template for nucleation of nanoparticles, but also provides long term stability and reduces their toxicity by delaying their oxidation and release. In this work, SAP/nanosilver nanocomposites were successfully developed by a unique green process at room temperature, which involves in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within hydrogels as a template. The aim of this study is to investigate whether these AgNPs-loaded hydrogels are potential candidates for antimicrobial applications. Firstly, the superabsorbents were prepared through radical copolymerization via grafting and crosslinking of acrylamide (AAm) onto chitosan backbone (Cs) using potassium persulfate as initiator and N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as the crosslinker. Then, they were hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. Lastly, the AgNPs were biosynthesized and entrapped into hydrogels through a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective method using aqueous silver nitrate as a silver precursor and curcuma longa tuber-powder extracts as both reducing and stabilizing agent. The formed superabsorbents nanocomposites (Cs-g-PAAm)/AgNPs were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-visible Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Microscopic surface structure analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has showed spherical shapes of AgNPs with size in the range of 3-15 nm. The extent of nanosilver loading was decreased by increasing Cs content into network. The silver-loaded hydrogel was thermally more stable than the unloaded dry hydrogel counterpart. The swelling equilibrium degree (Q) and centrifuge retention capacity (CRC) in deionized water were affected by both contents of Cs and the entrapped AgNPs. The nanosilver-embedded hydrogels exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These comprehensive results suggest that the elaborated AgNPs-loaded nanomaterials could be used to produce valuable wound dressing.

Keywords: Antibacterial activity, nanocomposites, silver nanoparticles, superabsorbent hydrogel.

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21 Application of Metarhizium anisopliae against Meloidogyne javanica in Soil Amended with Oak Debris

Authors: Mohammad Abdollahi

Abstract:

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.

Keywords: Biological control, nematode management, organic soil, Quercus branti, root knot nematode, soil amendment.

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20 DNA of Hibiscus sabdariffa Damaged by Radiation from 900 MHz GSM Antenna

Authors: A. O. Oluwajobi, O. A. Falusi, N. A. Zubbair, T. Owoeye, F. Ladejobi, M. C. Dangana, A. Abubakar

Abstract:

The technology of mobile telephony has positively enhanced human life and reports on the bio safety of the radiation from their antennae have been contradictory, leading to serious litigations and violent protests by residents in several parts of the world. The crave for more information, as requested by WHO in order to resolve this issue, formed the basis for this study on the effect of the radiation from 900 MHz GSM antenna on the DNA of Hibiscus sabdariffa. Seeds of H. sabdariffa were raised in pots placed in three replicates at 100, 200, 300 and 400 metres from the GSM antennae in three selected test locations and a control where there was no GSM signal. Temperature (˚C) and the relative humidity (%) of study sites were measured for the period of study (24 weeks). Fresh young leaves were harvested from each plant at two, eight and twenty-four weeks after sowing and the DNA extracts were subjected to RAPD-PCR analyses. There were no significant differences between the weather conditions (temperature and relative humidity) in all the study locations. However, significant differences were observed in the intensities of radiations between the control (less than 0.02 V/m) and the test (0.40-1.01 V/m) locations. Data obtained showed that DNA of samples exposed to rays from GSM antenna had various levels of distortions, estimated at 91.67%. Distortions occurred in 58.33% of the samples between 2-8 weeks of exposure while 33.33% of the samples were distorted between 8-24 weeks exposure. Approximately 8.33% of the samples did not show distortions in DNA while 33.33% of the samples had their DNA damaged twice, both at 8 and at 24 weeks of exposure. The study showed that radiation from the 900 MHz GSM antenna is potent enough to cause distortions to DNA of H. sabdariffa even within 2-8 weeks of exposure. DNA damage was also independent of the distance from the antenna. These observations would qualify emissions from GSM mast as environmental hazard to the existence of plant biodiversities and all life forms in general. These results will trigger efforts to prevent further erosion of plant genetic resources which have been threatening food security and also the risks posed to living organisms, thereby making our environment very safe for our existence while we still continue to enjoy the benefits of the GSM technology.

Keywords: Damage, DNA, GSM antenna, radiation.

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19 Application of Thermoplastic Microbioreactor to the Single Cell Study of Budding Yeast to Decipher the Effect of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural on Growth

Authors: Elif Gencturk, Ekin Yurdakul, Ahmet Y. Celik, Senol Mutlu, Kutlu O. Ulgen

Abstract:

Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.  

Keywords: COP, HMF, ribosome biogenesis, thermoplastic microbioreactor, yeast.

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18 RF Permeability Test in SOC Structure for Establishing USN(Ubiquitous Sensor Network)

Authors: Byung – wan Jo, Jung – hoon Park, Jang - wook Kim

Abstract:

Recently, as information industry and mobile communication technology are developing, this study is conducted on the new concept of intelligent structures and maintenance techniques that applied wireless sensor network, USN (Ubiquitous Sensor Network), to social infrastructures such as civil and architectural structures on the basis of the concept of Ubiquitous Computing that invisibly provides human life with computing, along with mutually cooperating, compromising and connecting networks each other by having computers within all objects around us. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the capability of wireless communication of sensor node embedded in reinforced concrete structure with a basic experiment on an electric wave permeability of sensor node by fabricating molding with variables of concrete thickness and steel bars that are mostly used in constructing structures to determine the feasibility of application to constructing structures with USN. At this time, with putting the pitches of steel bars, the thickness of concrete placed, and the intensity of RF signal of a transmitter-receiver as variables and when wireless communication module was installed inside, the possible communication distance of plain concrete and the possible communication distance by the pitches of steel bars was measured in the horizontal and vertical direction respectively. Besides, for the precise measurement of diminution of an electric wave, the magnitude of an electric wave in the range of used frequencies was measured by using Spectrum Analyzer. The phenomenon of diminution of an electric wave was numerically analyzed and the effect of the length of wavelength of frequencies was analyzed by the properties of a frequency band area. As a result of studying the feasibility of an application to constructing structures with wireless sensor, in case of plain concrete, it shows 45cm for the depth of permeability and in case of reinforced concrete with the pitches of 5cm, it shows 37cm and 45cm for the pitches of 15cm.

Keywords: Ubiquitous, Concrete, Permeability, Wireless, Sensor

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17 Satisfaction of Distance Education University Students with the Use of Audio Media as a Medium of Instruction: The Case of Mountains of the Moon University in Uganda

Authors: Mark Kaahwa, Chang Zhu, Moses Muhumuza

Abstract:

This study investigates the satisfaction of distance education university students (DEUS) with the use of audio media as a medium of instruction. Studying students’ satisfaction is vital because it shows whether learners are comfortable with a certain instructional strategy or not. Although previous studies have investigated the use of audio media, the satisfaction of students with an instructional strategy that combines radio teaching and podcasts as an independent teaching strategy has not been fully investigated. In this study, all lectures were delivered through the radio and students had no direct contact with their instructors. No modules or any other material in form of text were given to the students. They instead, revised the taught content by listening to podcasts saved on their mobile electronic gadgets. Prior to data collection, DEUS received orientation through workshops on how to use audio media in distance education. To achieve objectives of the study, a survey, naturalistic observations and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data from a sample of 211 undergraduate and graduate students. Findings indicate that there was no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction between male and female students. The results from post hoc analysis show that there is a statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction regarding the use of audio media between diploma and graduate students. Diploma students are more satisfied compared to their graduate counterparts. T-test results reveal that there was no statistically significant difference in the general satisfaction with audio media between rural and urban-based students. And ANOVA results indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in the levels of satisfaction with the use of audio media across age groups. Furthermore, results from observations and interviews reveal that DEUS found learning using audio media a pleasurable medium of instruction. This is an indication that audio media can be considered as an instructional strategy on its own merit.

Keywords: Audio media, distance education, distance education university students, medium of instruction, satisfaction.

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16 A Nutritional Wellness Program for Overweight Health Care Providers in Hospital Setting: A Randomized Controlled Trial Pilot Study

Authors: Kim H. K. Choy, Oliva H. K. Chu, W. Y. Keung, B. Lim, Winnie P. Y. Tang

Abstract:

Background: The prevalence of workplace obesity is rising worldwide; therefore, the workplace is an ideal venue to implement weight control intervention. This pilot randomized controlled trial aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate a nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers working in a hospital. Methods: This hospital-based nutritional wellness program was an 8-week pilot randomized controlled trial for obese health care providers. The primary outcomes were body weight and body mass index (BMI). The secondary outcomes were serum fasting glucose, fasting cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density (HDL) and low-density (LDL) lipoprotein, body fat percentage, and body mass. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 20) or control (n = 22) group. Participants in both groups received individual nutrition counselling and nutrition pamphlets, whereas only participants in the intervention group were given mobile phone text messages. Results: 42 participants completed the study. In comparison with the control group, the intervention group showed approximately 0.98 kg weight reduction after two months. Participants in intervention group also demonstrated clinically significant improvement in BMI, serum cholesterol level, and HDL level. There was no improvement of body fat percentage and body mass for both intervention and control groups. Conclusion: The nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers was feasible in hospital settings. Health care providers demonstrated short-term weight loss, decrease in serum fasting cholesterol level, and HDL level after completing the program.

Keywords: Health care provider, hospital, weight management, weight control.

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15 Urban Corridor Management Strategy Based on Intelligent Transportation System

Authors: Sourabh Jain, Sukhvir Singh Jain, Gaurav V. Jain

Abstract:

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is the application of technology for developing a user–friendly transportation system for urban areas in developing countries. The goal of urban corridor management using ITS in road transport is to achieve improvements in mobility, safety, and the productivity of the transportation system within the available facilities through the integrated application of advanced monitoring, communications, computer, display, and control process technologies, both in the vehicle and on the road. This paper attempts to present the past studies regarding several ITS available that have been successfully deployed in urban corridors of India and abroad, and to know about the current scenario and the methodology considered for planning, design, and operation of Traffic Management Systems. This paper also presents the endeavor that was made to interpret and figure out the performance of the 27.4 Km long study corridor having eight intersections and four flyovers. The corridor consisting of 6 lanes as well as 8 lanes divided road network. Two categories of data were collected on February 2016 such as traffic data (traffic volume, spot speed, delay) and road characteristics data (no. of lanes, lane width, bus stops, mid-block sections, intersections, flyovers). The instruments used for collecting the data were video camera, radar gun, mobile GPS and stopwatch. From analysis, the performance interpretations incorporated were identification of peak hours and off peak hours, congestion and level of service (LOS) at mid blocks, delay followed by the plotting speed contours and recommending urban corridor management strategies. From the analysis, it is found that ITS based urban corridor management strategies will be useful to reduce congestion, fuel consumption and pollution so as to provide comfort and efficiency to the users. The paper presented urban corridor management strategies based on sensors incorporated in both vehicles and on the roads.

Keywords: Congestion, ITS Strategies, Mobility, Safety.

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14 Influence of Laser Treatment on the Growth of Sprouts of Different Wheat Varieties

Authors: N. Bakradze, N. Gagelidze, T. Dumbadze, L. Amiranashvili, A. D. L. Batako

Abstract:

Cereals are considered as a strategic product in human life and their demand is increasing with the growth of world population. Increasing wheat production is important for the country. One of the ways to solve the problem is to develop and implement new, environmentally and economically acceptable technologies. Such technologies include pre-sowing treatment of seed with a laser and associative nitrogen-fixing bacteria - Azospirillum brasilense. In the region there are the wheat varieties - Dika and Lomtagora, which are among the most common in Georgia. Dika is a frost-resistant wheat, with a high ability to adapt to the environment, resistant to falling and it is sown in highlands. Lomtagora 126 differs with its winter and drought resistance, and it has a great ability to germinate. Lomtagora is characterized by a strong root system and a high budding capacity. It is an early variety, fall-resistant, easy to thresh and suitable for mechanized harvesting with large and red grains. This paper presents some preliminary experimental results where a continuous CO2 laser with a power of 25-40 W was used to radiate grains at a flow rate of 10 and 15 cm/sec. The treatment was carried out on grains of the Triticum aestivum L. var. Lutescens (local variety name - Lomtagora 126), and Triticum carthlicum Nevski (local variety name - Dika). Here the grains were treated with A. brasilense isolate (108-109 CFU/ml), which was isolated from the rhizosphere of wheat. It was observed that the germination of the wheat was not significantly influenced by either laser or bacteria treatment. The results of our research show that combined treatment with laser and A. brasilense significantly influenced the germination of wheat. In the case of the Lomtagora 126 variety, grains were exposed to the beam on a speed of 10 cm/sec, only slightly improved the growth for 38-day seedlings, in case of exposition of grains with a speed of 15 cm/sec - by 23%. Treatment of seeds with A. brasilense in both exposed and non-exposed variants led to an improvement in the growth of seedlings, with A. brasilense alone - by 22%, and with combined treatment of grains - by 29%. In the case of the Dika variety, only exposure led to growth by 8-9%, and the combined treatment - by 10-15%, in comparison with the control variant. Superior effect on growth of seedlings of different varieties was achieved with the combinations of laser treatment on grains in a beam of 15 cm/sec (radiation power 30-40 W) and in addition of A. brasilense - nitrogen fixing bacteria. Therefore, this is a promising application of A. brasilense as active agents of bacterial fertilizers due to their ability of molecular nitrogen fixation in cereals in combination with laser irradiation: choosing a proper strain gives a good ability to colonize roots of agricultural crops, providing a high nitrogen-fixing ability and the ability to mobilize soil phosphorus, and laser treatment stimulates natural processes occurring in plant cells, will increase the yield.

Keywords: laser treatment, Azospirillum brasilense, seeds, wheat varieties, Lomtagora, Dika

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13 Obtaining Composite Cotton Fabric by Cyclodextrin Grafting

Authors: U. K. Sahin, N. Erdumlu, C. Saricam, I. Gocek, M. H. Arslan, H. Acikgoz-Tufan, B. Kalav

Abstract:

Finishing is an important part of fabric processing with which a wide range of features are imparted to greige or colored fabrics for various end-uses. Especially, by the addition or impartation of nano-scaled particles to the fabric structure composite fabrics, a kind of composite materials can be acquired. Composite materials, generally shortened as composites or in other words composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more component materials with significantly different physical, mechanical or chemical characteristics remaining separate and distinctive at the macroscopic or microscopic scale within the end product structure. Therefore, the technique finishing which is one of the fundamental methods to be applied on fabrics for obtainment of composite fabrics with many functionalities was used in the current study with the same purpose. However, regardless of the finishing materials applied, the efficient life of finished product on offering desired feature is low, since the durability of finishes on the material is limited. Any increase in durability of these finishes on textiles would enhance the life of use for textiles, which will result in happier users. Therefore, in this study, since higher durability was desired for the finishing materials fixed on the fabrics, nano-scaled hollow structured cyclodextrins were chemically imparted by grafting to the structure of conventional cotton fabrics by the help of finishing technique in order to be fixed permanently. By this way, a processed and functionalized base fabric having potential to be treated in the subsequent processes with many different finishing agents and nanomaterials could be obtained. Henceforth, this fabric can be used as a multi-functional fabric due to the encapturing ability of cyclodextrins to molecules/particles via physical/chemical means. In this study, scoured and rinsed woven bleached plain weave 100% cotton fabrics were utilized because textiles made of cotton are the most demanded textile products in the textile market by the textile consumers in daily life. Cotton fabric samples were immersed in treating baths containing β-cyclodextrin and 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic acid and to reduce the curing temperature the catalyst sodium hypophosphite monohydrate was used. All impregnated fabric samples were pre-dried. The reaction of grafting was performed in dry state. The treated and cured fabric samples were rinsed with warm distilled water and dried. The samples were dried for 4 h and weighed before and after finishing and rinsing. Stability and durability of β-cyclodextrins on fabric surface against external factors such as washing as well as strength of functionalized fabric in terms of tensile and tear strength were tested. Presence and homogeneity of distribution of β-cyclodextrins on fabric surface were characterized.

Keywords: Cotton fabric, cyclodextrin, improved durability, multifunctional composite textile.

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12 Measuring the Effect of Ventilation on Cooking in Indoor Air Quality by Low-Cost Air Sensors

Authors: Andres Gonzalez, Adam Boies, Jacob Swanson, David Kittelson

Abstract:

The concern of the indoor air quality (IAQ) has been increasing due to its risk to human health. The smoking, sweeping, and stove and stovetop use are the activities that have a major contribution to the indoor air pollution. Outdoor air pollution also affects IAQ. The most important factors over IAQ from cooking activities are the materials, fuels, foods, and ventilation. The low-cost, mobile air quality monitoring (LCMAQM) sensors, is reachable technology to assess the IAQ. This is because of the lower cost of LCMAQM compared to conventional instruments. The IAQ was assessed, using LCMAQM, during cooking activities in a University of Minnesota graduate-housing evaluating different ventilation systems. The gases measured are carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The particles measured are particle matter (PM) 2.5 micrometer (µm) and lung deposited surface area (LDSA). The measurements are being conducted during April 2019 in Como Student Community Cooperative (CSCC) that is a graduate housing at the University of Minnesota. The measurements are conducted using an electric stove for cooking. The amount and type of food and oil using for cooking are the same for each measurement. There are six measurements: two experiments measure air quality without any ventilation, two using an extractor as mechanical ventilation, and two using the extractor and windows open as mechanical and natural ventilation. 3The results of experiments show that natural ventilation is most efficient system to control particles and CO2. The natural ventilation reduces the concentration in 79% for LDSA and 55% for PM2.5, compared to the no ventilation. In the same way, CO2 reduces its concentration in 35%. A well-mixed vessel model was implemented to assess particle the formation and decay rates. Removal rates by the extractor were significantly higher for LDSA, which is dominated by smaller particles, than for PM2.5, but in both cases much lower compared to the natural ventilation. There was significant day to day variation in particle concentrations under nominally identical conditions. This may be related to the fat content of the food. Further research is needed to assess the impact of the fat in food on particle generations.

Keywords: Cooking, indoor air quality, low-cost sensor, ventilation.

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11 Polymer Mediated Interaction between Grafted Nanosheets

Authors: Supriya Gupta, Paresh Chokshi

Abstract:

Polymer-particle interactions can be effectively utilized to produce composites that possess physicochemical properties superior to that of neat polymer. The incorporation of fillers with dimensions comparable to polymer chain size produces composites with extra-ordinary properties owing to very high surface to volume ratio. The dispersion of nanoparticles is achieved by inducing steric repulsion realized by grafting particles with polymeric chains. A comprehensive understanding of the interparticle interaction between these functionalized nanoparticles plays an important role in the synthesis of a stable polymer nanocomposite. With the focus on incorporation of clay sheets in a polymer matrix, we theoretically construct the polymer mediated interparticle potential for two nanosheets grafted with polymeric chains. The self-consistent field theory (SCFT) is employed to obtain the inhomogeneous composition field under equilibrium. Unlike the continuum models, SCFT is built from the microscopic description taking in to account the molecular interactions contributed by both intra- and inter-chain potentials. We present the results of SCFT calculations of the interaction potential curve for two grafted nanosheets immersed in the matrix of polymeric chains of dissimilar chemistry to that of the grafted chains. The interaction potential is repulsive at short separation and shows depletion attraction for moderate separations induced by high grafting density. It is found that the strength of attraction well can be tuned by altering the compatibility between the grafted and the mobile chains. Further, we construct the interaction potential between two nanosheets grafted with diblock copolymers with one of the blocks being chemically identical to the free polymeric chains. The interplay between the enthalpic interaction between the dissimilar species and the entropy of the free chains gives rise to a rich behavior in interaction potential curve obtained for two separate cases of free chains being chemically similar to either the grafted block or the free block of the grafted diblock chains.

Keywords: Clay nanosheets, polymer brush, polymer nanocomposites, self-consistent field theory.

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