International Science Index

1249
10010968
Qualitative and Quantitative Analyses of Phytochemicals and Antioxidant Activity of Ficus sagittifolia (Warburg Ex Mildbread and Burret)
Abstract:

Moraceae family has immense phytochemical constituents and significant pharmacological properties, hence have great medicinal values. The aim of this study was to screen and quantify phytochemicals as well as the antioxidant activities of the leaf and stem bark extracts and fractions (crude ethanol extracts, n-hexane, ethyl acetate and aqueous ethanol fractions) of Ficus sagittifolia. Leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia were extracted by maceration method using ethanol to give ethanol crude extract. The ethanol crude extract was partitioned by n-hexane and ethyl-acetate to give their respective fractions. All the extracts were screened for their phytochemicals using standard methods. The total phenolic, flavonoid, tannin, saponin contents and antioxidant activity were determined by spectrophotometric method while the alkaloid content was evaluated by titrimetric method. The amount of total phenolic in extracts and fractions were estimated in comparison to gallic acid, whereas total flavonoids, tannins and saponins were estimated corresponding to quercetin, tannic acid and saponin respectively. 2, 2-diphenylpicryl hydrazyl radical (DPPH)* and phosphomolybdate methods were used to evaluate the antioxidant activities of leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of flavonoids, saponins, terpenoids/steroids, alkaloids for both extracts of leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia. The phenolic content of F. sagittifolia was most abundant in leaf ethanol crude extract as 3.53 ± 0.03 mg/g equivalent of gallic acid. Total flavonoids and tannins content were highest in stem bark aqueous ethanol fraction of F. sagittifolia estimated as 3.41 ± 0.08 mg/g equivalent of quercetin and 1.52 ± 0.05 mg/g equivalent of tannic acid respectively. The hexane leaf fraction of F. sagittifolia had the utmost saponin and alkaloid content as 5.10 ± 0.48 mg/g equivalent of saponins and 0.171 ± 0.39 g of alkaloids. Leaf aqueous ethanol fraction of F. sagittifolia showed high antioxidant activity (IC50 value of 63.092 µg/mL) and stem ethanol crude extract (227.43 ± 0.78 mg/g equivalent of ascorbic acid) for DPPH and phosphomolybdate method respectively and the least active was found to be the stem hexane fraction using both methods (313.32 µg/mL; 16.21 ± 1.30 mg/g equivalent of ascorbic acid). The presence of these phytochemicals in the leaf and stem bark of F. sagittifolia are responsible for their therapeutic importance as well as the ability to scavenge free radicals in living systems.

Paper Detail
97
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1248
10010996
Influence of Humidity on Environmental Sustainability, Air Quality and Occupant Health
Abstract:

Nowadays, sustainable development issues have a key role in the planning of the man-made environment. Ensuring this development means limiting the impact of human activity on nature. It is essential to secure healthy places and good living conditions. For these reasons, indoor air quality and building materials play a fundamental role in sustainable architectural projects. These factors significantly affect human health: they can radically change the quality of the internal environment and energy consumption. The use of natural materials such as earth has many beneficial aspects in comfort and indoor air quality. As well as advantages in the environmental impact of the construction, they ensure a low energy consumption. Since they are already present in nature, their production and use do not require a high-energy consumption. Furthermore, they have a high thermo-hygrometric capacity, being able to absorb moisture, contributing positively to indoor conditions. Indoor air quality is closely related to relative humidity. For these reasons, it can be affirmed that the use of earth materials guarantees a sustainable development and at the same time improves the health of the building users. This paper summarizes several researches that demonstrate the importance of indoor air quality for human health and how it strictly depends on the building materials used. Eco-efficient plasters are also considered: earth and ash mortar. The bibliography consulted has the objective of supporting future experimental and laboratory analyzes. It is necessary to carry on with research by the use of simulations and testing to confirm the hygrothermal properties of eco-efficient plasters and therefore their ability to improve indoor air quality.

Paper Detail
46
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1247
10010997
Accessibility and Visibility through Space Syntax Analysis of the Linga Raj Temple in Odisha, India
Authors:
Abstract:

Since the early ages, the Hindu temples have been interpreted through various Vedic philosophies. These temples are visited by pilgrims which demonstrate the rituals and religious belief of communities, reflecting a variety of actions and behaviors. Darsana— a direct seeing, is a part of the pilgrimage activity. During the process of Darsana, a devotee is prepared for entry in the temple to realize the cognizing Truth culminating in visualizing the idol of God, placed at the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). For this, the pilgrim must pass through a sequential arrangement of spaces. During the process of progress, the pilgrims visualize the spaces differently from various points of views. The viewpoints create a variety of spatial patterns in the minds of pilgrims coherent to the Hindu philosophies. The space organization and its order are perceived by various techniques of spatial analysis. A temple, as examples of Kalinga stylistic variations, has been chosen for the study. This paper intends to demonstrate some visual patterns generated during the process of Darsana (visibility) and its accessibility by Point Isovist Studies and Visibility Graph Analysis from the entrance (Simha Dwara) to The Sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha).

Paper Detail
95
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1246
10010965
An Evaluation of the Feasibility of Several Industrial Wastes and Natural Materials as Precursors for the Production of Alkali Activated Materials
Abstract:

In order to face current compelling environmental problems affecting the planet, the construction industry needs to adapt. It is widely acknowledged that there is a need for durable, high-performance, low-greenhouse gas emission binders that can be used as an alternative to Portland cement (PC) to lower the environmental impact of construction. Alkali activated materials (AAMs) are considered a more sustainable alternative to PC materials. The binders of AAMs result from the reaction of an alkali metal source and a silicate powder or precursor which can be a calcium silicate or an aluminosilicate-rich material. This paper evaluates the particle size, specific surface area, chemical and mineral composition and amorphousness of silicate materials (most industrial waste locally produced in Ireland and Saudi Arabia) to develop alkali-activated binders that can replace PC resources in specific applications. These include recycled ceramic brick, bauxite, illitic clay, fly ash and metallurgical slag. According to the results, the wastes are reactive and comply with building standards requirements. The study also evidenced that the reactivity of the Saudi bauxite (with significant kaolinite) can be enhanced on thermal activation; and high calcium in the slag will promote reaction; which should be possible with low alkalinity activators. The wastes evidenced variable water demands that will be taken into account for mixing with the activators. Finally, further research is proposed to further determine the reactive fraction of the clay-based precursors.

Paper Detail
63
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1245
10010913
The Effect of Eight Weeks of Aerobic Training on Indices of Cardio-Respiratory and Exercise Tolerance in Overweight Women with Chronic Asthma
Abstract:

Asthma, obesity and overweight are the main factors causing change within the heart and respiratory airways. Asthma symptoms are normally observed during exercising. Epidemiological studies have indicated asthma symptoms occurring due to certain lifestyle habits; for example, a sedentary lifestyle. In this study, eight weeks of aerobic exercises resulted in a positive effect overall in overweight women experiencing mild chronic asthma. The quasi-experimental applied research has been done based on experimental and control groups. The experimental group (seven patients) and control group (n = 7) were graded before and after the test. According to the Borg dyspnea and fatigue Perception Index, the training intensity has determined. Participants in the study performed a sub-maximal aerobic activity schedule (45% to 80% of maximum heart rate) for two months, while the control group (n = 7) stayed away from aerobic exercise. Data evaluation and analysis of covariance compared both the pre-test and post-test with paired t-test at significance level of P≤ 0.05. After eight weeks of exercise, the results of the experimental group show a significant decrease in resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure, minute ventilation, while a significant increase in maximal oxygen uptake and tolerance activity (P ≤ 0.05). In the control group, there was no significant difference in these parameters ((P ≤ 0.05). The results indicate the aerobic activity can strengthen the respiratory muscles, while other physiological factors could result in breathing and heart recovery. Aerobic activity also resulted in favorable changes in cardiovascular parameters, and exercise tolerance of overweight women with chronic asthma.

Paper Detail
72
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1244
10010794
In vitro Effects of Berberine on the Vitality and Oxidative Profile of Bovine Spermatozoa
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
97
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1243
10010800
Dependability Tools in Multi-Agent Support for Failures Analysis of Computer Networks
Abstract:

During their activity, all systems must be operational without failures and in this context, the dependability concept is essential avoiding disruption of their function. As computer networks are systems with the same requirements of dependability, this article deals with an analysis of failures for a computer network. The proposed approach integrates specific tools of the plat-form KB3, usually applied in dependability studies of industrial systems. The methodology is supported by a multi-agent system formed by six agents grouped in three meta agents, dealing with two levels. The first level concerns a modeling step through a conceptual agent and a generating agent. The conceptual agent is dedicated to the building of the knowledge base from the system specifications written in the FIGARO language. The generating agent allows producing automatically both the structural model and a dependability model of the system. The second level, the simulation, shows the effects of the failures of the system through a simulation agent. The approach validation is obtained by its application on a specific computer network, giving an analysis of failures through their effects for the considered network.

Paper Detail
92
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1242
10010808
Analysis of Structural and Photocatalytical Properties of Anatase, Rutile and Mixed Phase TiO2 Films Deposited by Pulsed-Direct Current and Radio Frequency Magnetron Co-Sputtering
Abstract:

Amongst many water purification techniques, TiO2 photocatalysis is recognized as one of the most promising sustainable methods. It is known that for photocatalytical applications anatase is the most suitable TiO2 phase, however heterojunction of anatase/rutile phases could improve the photocatalytical activity of TiO2 even further. Despite the relative simplicity of TiO2 different synthesis methods lead to the highly dispersed crystal phases and photocatalytic activity of the corresponding samples. Accordingly, suggestions and investigations of various innovative methods of TiO2 synthesis are still needed. In this work structural and photocatalytical properties of TiO2 films deposited by the unconventional method of simultaneous co-sputtering from two magnetrons powered by pulsed-Direct Current (pDC) and Radio Frequency (RF) power sources with negative bias voltage have been studied. More specifically, TiO2 film thickness, microstructure, surface roughness, crystal structure, optical transmittance and photocatalytical properties were investigated by profilometer, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, X-ray diffractometer and UV-Vis spectrophotometer respectively. The proposed unconventional two magnetron co-sputtering based TiO2 film formation method showed very promising results for crystalline TiO2 film formation while keeping process temperatures below 100 °C. XRD analysis revealed that by using proper combination of power source type and bias voltage various TiO2 phases (amorphous, anatase, rutile or their mixture) can be synthesized selectively. Moreover, strong dependency between power source type and surface roughness, as well as between the bias voltage and band gap value of TiO2 films was observed. Interestingly, TiO2 films deposited by two magnetron co-sputtering without bias voltage had one of the highest band gap values between the investigated films but its photocatalytic activity was superior compared to all other samples. It is suggested that this is due to the dominating nanocrystalline anatase phase with various exposed surfaces including photocatalytically the most active {001}.

Paper Detail
108
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1241
10010837
Sedimentological Study of Bivalve Fossils Site Locality in Hong Hoi Formation, Lampang, Thailand
Abstract:

Hong Hoi Formation is a Middle Triassic deep marine succession presented in outcrops throughout the Lampang Basin of northern Thailand. The primary goal of this research is to diagnose the paleoenvironment, petrographic compositions, and sedimentary sources of the Hong Hoi Formation in Ban Huat, Ngao District. The Triassic Hong Hoi Formation is chosen because the outcrops are continuous and fossils are greatly exposed and abundant. Depositional environment is reconstructed through sedimentological studies along with facies analysis. The Hong Hoi Formation is petrographically divided into two major facies, they are: sandstones with mudstone interbeds, and mudstones or shale with sandstone interbeds. Sandstone beds are lithic arenite and lithic greywacke, volcanic lithic fragments are dominated. Sedimentary structures, paleocurrent data and lithofacies arrangement indicate that the formation deposited in a part of deep marine abyssal plain environment. The sedimentological and petrographic features suggest that during the deposition the Hong Hoi Formation received sediment supply from nearby volcanic arc. This suggested that the intensive volcanic activity within the Sukhothai Arc during the Middle Triassic is the main sediment source.

Paper Detail
67
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1240
10010724
Price Prediction Line, Investment Signals and Limit Conditions Applied for the German Financial Market
Abstract:

In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.

Paper Detail
88
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1239
10010736
Considering Aerosol Processes in Nuclear Transport Package Containment Safety Cases
Abstract:
Packages designed for transport of radioactive material must satisfy rigorous safety regulations specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Higher Activity Waste (HAW) transport packages have to maintain containment of their contents during normal and accident conditions of transport (NCT and ACT). To ensure containment criteria is satisfied these packages are required to be leak-tight in all transport conditions to meet allowable activity release rates. Package design safety reports are the safety cases that provide the claims, evidence and arguments to demonstrate that packages meet the regulations and once approved by the competent authority (in the UK this is the Office for Nuclear Regulation) a licence to transport radioactive material is issued for the package(s). The standard approach to demonstrating containment in the RWM transport safety case is set out in BS EN ISO 12807. In this document a method for measuring a leak rate from the package is explained by way of a small interspace test volume situated between two O-ring seals on the underside of the package lid. The interspace volume is pressurised and a pressure drop measured. A small interspace test volume makes the method more sensitive enabling the measurement of smaller leak rates. By ascertaining the activity of the contents, identifying a releasable fraction of material and by treating that fraction of material as a gas, allowable leak rates for NCT and ACT are calculated. The adherence to basic safety principles in ISO12807 is very pessimistic and current practice in the demonstration of transport safety, which is accepted by the UK regulator. It is UK government policy that management of HAW will be through geological disposal. It is proposed that the intermediate level waste be transported to the geological disposal facility (GDF) in large cuboid packages. This poses a challenge for containment demonstration because such packages will have long seals and therefore large interspace test volumes. There is also uncertainty on the releasable fraction of material within the package ullage space. This is because the waste may be in many different forms which makes it difficult to define the fraction of material released by the waste package. Additionally because of the large interspace test volume, measuring the calculated leak rates may not be achievable. For this reason a justification for a lower releasable fraction of material is sought. This paper considers the use of aerosol processes to reduce the releasable fraction for both NCT and ACT. It reviews the basic coagulation and removal processes and applies the dynamic aerosol balance equation. The proposed solution includes only the most well understood physical processes namely; Brownian coagulation and gravitational settling. Other processes have been eliminated either on the basis that they would serve to reduce the release to the environment further (pessimistically in keeping with the essence of nuclear transport safety cases) or that they are not credible in the conditions of transport considered.
Paper Detail
80
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1238
10010775
Effect of Particle Size on Alkali-Activation of Slag
Abstract:

In this study grinding experiments were performed in a laboratory ball mill using Polish ferronickel slag in order to study the effect of the particle size on alkali activation and the properties of the produced alkali activated materials (AAMs). In this regard, the particle size distribution and the specific surface area of the grinding products in relation to grinding time were assessed. The experimental results show that products with high compressive strength, e.g. higher than 60 MPa, can be produced when the slag median size decreased from 39.9 μm to 11.9 μm. Also, finer fractions are characterized by higher reactivity and result in the production of AAMs with lower porosity and better mechanical properties.

Paper Detail
88
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1237
10010676
Conceptual Model for Knowledge Sharing Model in Creating Idea for Mobile Application
Abstract:
This study shows that several projects will be conducted at the workshop in which using the conceptual model for knowledge sharing approach to create an idea for mobile application. The sharing idea has been done through the collaborative activity in which a group of different field sought to define the mobile application which will lead to new media approach of using social media platform. The collaborative activity will be provided and implemented in the form of one day workshop to determine the approach towards the theme given. The activity later will be continued for four weeks for the participant to prepare for the pitch day workshop. This paper shows the pitch of idea including the interface and prototype for the said products. The collaboration between the members with different field of study shows that social media influenced the knowledge sharing model and its creation or innovations. One of the projects supported a collaborative activity in which a group of young designers sought to define the knowledge sharing model of their ability in creating idea for mobile applications.
Paper Detail
104
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1236
10010684
Clinical Utility of Salivary Cytokines for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
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.
Paper Detail
99
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1235
10010574
Investigating the Formation of Nano-Hydroxyapatite on a Biocompatible and Antibacterial Cu/Mg-Substituted Bioglass
Abstract:
Multifunctional bioactive glasses (BGs) are designed with a focus on the provision of bactericidal and biological properties desired for angiogenesis, osteogenesis, and ultimately potential applications in bone tissue engineering. To achieve these, six sol-gel copper/magnesium substituted derivatives of 58S-BG, i.e. a mol% series of 60SiO2-4P2O5-5CuO-(31-x) CaO/xMgO (where x=0, 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10), were synthesized. Afterwards, the effect of MgO/CaO substitution on the in vitro formation of nano-hydroxyapatite (HA), osteoblast-like cell responses and BGs antibacterial performance were studied. During the BGs synthesis, the elimination of nitrates was achieved at 700 °C that prevented the BGs crystallization and stabilized the obtained dried gels. The structural and morphological evaluations were performed with X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These characterizations revealed that Cu-substituted 58S-BG consisting of 5 mol% MgO (BG-5/5) slightly had retarded the formation of HA. In addition, Cu-substituted 58S-BGs consisting 8 mol% and 10 mol% MgO (BG-5/8 and BG-5/10) displayed lower bioactivity probably due to the lower ion release rate of Ca–Si into the simulated body fluid (SBF). The determination of 3-(4, 5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) activities proved that the highest values of both differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells can be obtained from a 5 mol% MgO substituted BG, while the over addition of MgO (8 mol% and 10 mol%) decreased the bioactivity. Furthermore, these novel Cu/Mg-substituted 58S-BGs displayed antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Taken together, the results suggest the equally-substituted BG-5/5 (i.e. the one consists of 5 mol% of both CuO and MgO) as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering, among all newly designed BGs in this work, owing to its desirable cell proliferation, ALP activity and antibacterial properties.
Paper Detail
167
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1234
10010588
Analysis of the Main Concepts and Discussions Involving Sustainable Tourism
Abstract:

The development of tourism is on the use of landscapes, natural or constructed, which involves a number of factors that contribute to the deterioration of nature. Tourist activity coupled with sustainable development has led to the emergence of many questions about these terms, since they are not well defined in this sense through literature searches. The present study was to analyze the main concepts and discussions involving sustainable tourism, providing reflections that can cause answers about one of the main questions in today's activity sector on whether its sustainability is a myth or reality. The methodology of this study is discussions, theoretical studies and bibliographic research. The results showed that the scholars who address the issue, often leave uncertainty about some discussions that demonstrate that there are still many studies to be conducted in order to prove that the claims so as to form the basis of what will be Tourism sustainable.

Paper Detail
190
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1233
10010602
Study of Polyphenol Profile and Antioxidant Capacity in Italian Ancient Apple Varieties by Liquid Chromatography
Abstract:

Safeguarding, studying and enhancing biodiversity play an important and indispensable role in re-launching agriculture. The ancient local varieties are therefore a precious resource for genetic and health improvement. In order to protect biodiversity through the recovery and valorization of autochthonous varieties, in this study we analyzed 12 samples of four ancient apple cultivars representative of Friuli Venezia Giulia, selected by local farmers who work on a project for the recovery of ancient apple cultivars. The aim of this study is to evaluate the polyphenolic profile and the antioxidant capacity that characterize the organoleptic and functional qualities of this fruit species, besides having beneficial properties for health. In particular, for each variety, the following compounds were analyzed, both in the skins and in the pulp: gallic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, rutin, phlorizin, phloretin and quercetin to highlight any differences in the edible parts of the apple. The analysis of individual phenolic compounds was performed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled with a diode array UV detector (DAD), the antioxidant capacity was estimated using an in vitro essay based on a Free Radical Scavenging Method and the total phenolic compounds was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteau method. From the results, it is evident that the catechins are the most present polyphenols, reaching a value of 140-200 μg/g in the pulp and of 400-500 μg/g in the skin, with the prevalence of epicatechin. Catechins and phlorizin, a dihydrohalcone typical of apples, are always contained in larger quantities in the peel. Total phenolic compounds content was positively correlated with antioxidant activity in apple pulp (r2 = 0,850) and peel (r2 = 0,820). Comparing the results, differences between the varieties analyzed and between the edible parts (pulp and peel) of the apple were highlighted. In particular, apple peel is richer in polyphenolic compounds than pulp and flavonols are exclusively present in the peel. In conclusion, polyphenols, being antioxidant substances, have confirmed the benefits of fruit in the diet, especially as a prevention and treatment for degenerative diseases. They demonstrated to be also a good marker for the characterization of different apple cultivars. The importance of protecting biodiversity in agriculture was also highlighted through the exploitation of native products and ancient varieties of apples now forgotten.

Paper Detail
154
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1232
10010449
The Characteristics of a Fair and Efficient Tax Auditing Information System as a Tool against Tax Evasion: A Theoretical Framework
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.

Paper Detail
231
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1231
10010462
Ways for the Development of the Audit Quality Control System through the Analysis of Ongoing Problems, Experience and Challenges: Example of the Republic of Georgia
Authors:
Abstract:

Audit is an independent inspection of the financial statement of the audited person and expresses the opinion of an auditor on the reliability of this statement. The auditor’s activity (auditor’s service) is realized by auditing organizations, individual auditors in connection to conduction of an audit and rendering of audit accompanying services. The profession of auditor means a high level of responsibility for rendered service. Results of decisions made by information users depend on the quality of the auditor’s conclusion. Owners, investors, creditors, and society rely on the opinion of the auditor under the condition that inspection was conducted with good quality. Therefore, the existence of the well-functioning audit quality control system for the administering of the audit is an important issue. An efficient audit quality control system is a substantial challenge that many countries face worldwide, especially those states where these systems are being formed within the respective reform program. The presented article reflects on the best practices of the leading countries, the assumptions and recommendations for the financial accounting, reporting and audit; current reforms in Georgia are made based on this comparative analysis.

Paper Detail
174
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1230
10010465
The Effect of Substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO on in vitro Bioactivity of Sol-Gel Derived Bioactive Glass
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
171
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1229
10010467
The Importance of Conserving Pre-Historical, Historical and Cultural Heritage and Its Tourist Exploitation
Abstract:

Tourism in the present is the largest industry in the world, being an important global activity that has grown a lot in recent times. In this context, the activity of cultural tourism is growing, being seen as an important source of knowledge and information enjoyed by visitors. This article aims to discuss the cultural tourism, archaeological records and indigenous communities and the importance of preserving these invaluable sources of information, focusing on the records of the first peoples inhabiting the South American and North American lands. The study was based on discussions, theoretical studies, bibliographical research. Archaeological records are an important source of knowledge and information. Indigenous ethnic tourism represents a rescue of the authenticity of indigenous traditional cultures and their relation to the natural habitat. Cultural and indigenous tourism activity requires long-term planning to make it a sustainable activity.

Paper Detail
221
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1228
10010483
EEG-Based Screening Tool for School Student’s Brain Disorders Using Machine Learning Algorithms
Abstract:

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, and autism affect millions of children worldwide, many of which are undiagnosed despite the fact that all of these disorders are detectable in early childhood. Late diagnosis can cause severe problems due to the late treatment and to the misconceptions and lack of awareness as a whole towards these disorders. Moreover, electroencephalography (EEG) has played a vital role in the assessment of neural function in children. Therefore, quantitative EEG measurement will be utilized as a tool for use in the evaluation of patients who may have ADHD, epilepsy, and autism. We propose a screening tool that uses EEG signals and machine learning algorithms to detect these disorders at an early age in an automated manner. The proposed classifiers used with epilepsy as a step taken for the work done so far, provided an accuracy of approximately 97% using SVM, Naïve Bayes and Decision tree, while 98% using KNN, which gives hope for the work yet to be conducted.

Keywords:
Paper Detail
291
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1227
10010508
‘Daily Speaking’: Designing an App for Construction of Language Learning Model Supporting ‘Seamless Flipped’ Environment
Abstract:

Seamless learning is becoming a research hotspot in recent years, and the emerging of micro-lectures, flipped classroom has strengthened the development of seamless learning. Based on the characteristics of the seamless learning across time and space and the course structure of the flipped classroom, and the theories of language learning, we put forward the language learning model which can support ‘seamless flipped’ environment (abbreviated as ‘S-F’). Meanwhile, the characteristics of the ‘S-F’ learning environment, the corresponding framework construction and the activity design of diversified corpora were introduced. Moreover, a language learning app named ‘Daily Speaking’ was developed to facilitate the practice of the language learning model in ‘S-F’ environment. In virtue of the learning case of Shanghai language, the rationality and feasibility of this framework were examined, expecting to provide a reference for the design of ‘S-F’ learning in different situations.

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Comparative Study of Calcium Content on in vitro Biological and Antibacterial Properties of Silicon-Based Bioglass
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The major aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CaO content on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation, MC3T3 cells cytotoxicity and proliferation as well as antibacterial efficiency of sol-gel derived SiO2–CaO–P2O5 ternary system. For this purpose, first two grades of bioactive glass (BG); BG-58s (mol%: 60%SiO2–36%CaO–4%P2O5) and BG-68s (mol%: 70%SiO2–26%CaO–4%P2O5)) were synthesized by sol-gel method. Second, the effect of CaO content in their composition on in vitro bioactivity was investigated by soaking the BG-58s and BG-68s powders in simulated body fluid (SBF) for time periods up to 14 days and followed by characterization inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Additionally, live/dead staining, 3-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assays were conducted respectively, as qualitatively and quantitatively assess for cell viability, proliferation and differentiations of MC3T3 cells in presence of 58s and 68s BGs. Results showed that BG-58s with higher CaO content showed higher in vitro bioactivity with respect to BG-68s. Moreover, the dissolution rate was inversely proportional to oxygen density of the BG. Live/dead assay revealed that both 58s and 68s increased the mean number live cells which were in good accordance with MTT assay. Furthermore, BG-58s showed more potential antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Taken together, BG-58s with enhanced MC3T3 cells proliferation and ALP activity, acceptable bioactivity and significant high antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria is suggested as a suitable candidate in order to further functionalizing for delivery of therapeutic ions and growth factors in bone tissue engineering.

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10010512
Synthesis and in vitro Characterization of a Gel-Derived SiO2-CaO-P2O5-SrO-Li2O Bioactive Glass
Abstract:

Bioactive glasses (BGs) are a group of surface-reactive biomaterials used in clinical applications as implants or filler materials in the human body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone. Sol-gel technique was employed to prepare a SiO2-CaO-P2O5 glass with nominal composition of 58S BG with the addition of Sr and Li modifiers which imparts special properties to the BG. The effect of simultaneous addition of Sr and Li on bioactivity and biocompatibility, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 and antibacterial property against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria were examined. BGs were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy before and after soaking the samples in the simulated body fluid (SBF) for different time intervals to characterize the formation of hydroxyapatite (HA) formed on the surface of BGs. Structural characterization indicated that the simultaneous presence of 5% Sr and 5% Li in 58S-BG composition not only did not retard HA formation because of opposite effect of Sr and Li of the dissolution of BG in the SBF but also, stimulated the differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1s. Moreover, the presence of Sr and Li on dissolution of the ions resulted in an increase in the mean number of DAPI-labeled nuclei which was in good agreement with live/dead assay. The result of antibacterial tests revealed that Sr and Li-substituted 58S BG exhibited a potential antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria. Because of optimal proliferation and ALP activity of MC3T3-E1cells, proper bioactivity and high antibacterial potential against MRSA, BG-5/5 is suggested as a multifunctional candidate for bone tissue engineering.

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133
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10010513
A Study on the Factors Affecting Student Behavior Intention to Attend Robotics Courses at the Primary and Secondary School Levels
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Abstract:

In order to explore the key factors affecting the robot program learning intention of school students, this study takes the technology acceptance model as the theoretical basis and invites 167 students from Jiading District of Shanghai as the research subjects. In the robot course, the model of school students on their learning behavior is constructed. By verifying the causal path relationship between variables, it is concluded that teachers can enhance students’ perceptual usefulness to robotics courses by enhancing subjective norms, entertainment perception, and reducing technical anxiety, such as focusing on the gradual progress of programming and analyzing learner characteristics. Students can improve perceived ease of use by enhancing self-efficacy. At the same time, robot hardware designers can optimize in terms of entertainment and interactivity, which will directly or indirectly increase the learning intention of the robot course. By changing these factors, the learning behavior of primary and secondary school students can be more sustainable.

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Reducing Later Life Loneliness: A Systematic Literature Review of Loneliness Interventions
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Later life loneliness is a social issue that is increasing alongside an upward global population trend. As a society, one way that we have responded to this social challenge is through developing non-pharmacological interventions such as befriending services, activity clubs, meet-ups, etc. Through a systematic literature review, this paper suggests that currently there is an underrepresentation of radical innovation, and underutilization of digital technologies in developing loneliness interventions for older adults. This paper examines intervention studies that were published in English language, within peer reviewed journals between January 2005 and December 2014 across 4 electronic databases. In addition to academic databases, interventions found in grey literature in the form of websites, blogs, and Twitter were also included in the overall review. This approach yielded 129 interventions that were included in the study. A systematic approach allowed the minimization of any bias dictating the selection of interventions to study. A coding strategy based on a pattern analysis approach was devised to be able to compare and contrast the loneliness interventions. Firstly, interventions were categorized on the basis of their objective to identify whether they were preventative, supportive, or remedial in nature. Secondly, depending on their scope, they were categorized as one-to-one, community-based, or group based. It was also ascertained whether interventions represented an improvement, an incremental innovation, a major advance or a radical departure, in comparison to the most basic form of a loneliness intervention. Finally, interventions were also assessed on the basis of the extent to which they utilized digital technologies. Individual visualizations representing the four levels of coding were created for each intervention, followed by an aggregated visual to facilitate analysis. To keep the inquiry within scope and to present a coherent view of the findings, the analysis was primarily concerned the level of innovation, and the use of digital technologies. This analysis highlights a weak but positive correlation between the level of innovation and the use of digital technologies in designing and deploying loneliness interventions, and also emphasizes how certain existing interventions could be tweaked to enable their migration from representing incremental innovation to radical innovation for example. This analysis also points out the value of including grey literature, especially from Twitter, in systematic literature reviews to get a contemporary view of latest work in the area under investigation.

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A Brain Controlled Robotic Gait Trainer for Neurorehabilitation
Abstract:
This paper discusses a brain controlled robotic gait trainer for neurorehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients. Patients suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) become unable to execute motion control of their lower proximities due to degeneration of spinal cord neurons. The presented approach can help SCI patients in neuro-rehabilitation training by directly translating patient motor imagery into walkers motion commands and thus bypassing spinal cord neurons completely. A non-invasive EEG based brain-computer interface is used for capturing patient neural activity. For signal processing and classification, an open source software (OpenVibe) is used. Classifiers categorize the patient motor imagery (MI) into a specific set of commands that are further translated into walker motion commands. The robotic walker also employs fall detection for ensuring safety of patient during gait training and can act as a support for SCI patients. The gait trainer is tested with subjects, and satisfactory results were achieved.
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10010313
Development and Usability Assessment of a Connected Resistance Exercise Band Application for Strength-Monitoring
Abstract:

Resistance exercise bands are a core component of any physical activity strengthening program. Strength training can mitigate the development of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass or strength and function with aging. Yet, the adherence of such behavioral exercise strategies in a home-based setting are fraught with issues of monitoring and compliance. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band capable of transmitting data to an open-source platform. In this work, we developed an application to capture this information in real-time, and conducted three usability studies in two mixed-aged groups of participants (n=6 each) and a group of older adults with obesity participating in a weight-loss intervention (n=20). The system was favorable, acceptable and provided iterative information that could assist in future deployment on ubiquitous platforms. Our formative work provides the foundation to deliver home-based monitoring interventions in a high-risk, older adult population.

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An Overview of the Porosity Classification in Carbonate Reservoirs and Their Challenges: An Example of Macro-Microporosity Classification from Offshore Miocene Carbonate in Central Luconia, Malaysia
Abstract:

Biological and chemical activities in carbonates are responsible for the complexity of the pore system. Primary porosity is generally of natural origin while secondary porosity is subject to chemical reactivity through diagenetic processes. To understand the integrated part of hydrocarbon exploration, it is necessary to understand the carbonate pore system. However, the current porosity classification scheme is limited to adequately predict the petrophysical properties of different reservoirs having various origins and depositional environments. Rock classification provides a descriptive method for explaining the lithofacies but makes no significant contribution to the application of porosity and permeability (poro-perm) correlation. The Central Luconia carbonate system (Malaysia) represents a good example of pore complexity (in terms of nature and origin) mainly related to diagenetic processes which have altered the original reservoir. For quantitative analysis, 32 high-resolution images of each thin section were taken using transmitted light microscopy. The quantification of grains, matrix, cement, and macroporosity (pore types) was achieved using a petrographic analysis of thin sections and FESEM images. The point counting technique was used to estimate the amount of macroporosity from thin section, which was then subtracted from the total porosity to derive the microporosity. The quantitative observation of thin sections revealed that the mouldic porosity (macroporosity) is the dominant porosity type present, whereas the microporosity seems to correspond to a sum of 40 to 50% of the total porosity. It has been proven that these Miocene carbonates contain a significant amount of microporosity, which significantly complicates the estimation and production of hydrocarbons. Neglecting its impact can increase uncertainty about estimating hydrocarbon reserves. Due to the diversity of geological parameters, the application of existing porosity classifications does not allow a better understanding of the poro-perm relationship. However, the classification can be improved by including the pore types and pore structures where they can be divided into macro- and microporosity. Such studies of microporosity identification/classification represent now a major concern in limestone reservoirs around the world.

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