The work on indigenous binders in this paper focused on the following indigenous raw materials: red clay, red lava and pumice (as primary aluminosilicate precursors), wood ash and gypsum (as supplementary minerals), and sodium sulfate and lime (as alkali activators). The experimental methods used for evaluation of these indigenous raw materials included laser granulometry, x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy, and chemical reactivity. Formulations were devised for transforming these raw materials into alkali aluminosilicate-based hydraulic cements. These formulations were processed into hydraulic cements via simple heating and milling actions to render thermal activation, mechanochemical and size reduction effects. The resulting hydraulic cements were subjected to laser granulometry, heat of hydration and reactivity tests. These cements were also used to prepare mortar mixtures, which were evaluated via performance of compressive strength tests. The measured values of strength were correlated with the reactivity, size distribution and microstructural features of raw materials. Some of the indigenous hydraulic cements produced in this reporting period yielded viable levels of compressive strength. The correlation trends established in this work are being evaluated for development of simple and thorough methods of qualifying indigenous raw materials for use in production of indigenous hydraulic cements.
To the author’s best knowledge, there are no published reports of effective methods for teaching fescue toxicosis and grass endophyte technology in the USA. To address this need, a group of university scientists, industry representatives, government agents, and livestock producers formed an organization called the Alliance for Grassland Renewal. One goal of the Alliance was to develop a teaching method that could be employed across all regions in the USA and all sectors of the agricultural community. The first step in developing this method was identification of experts who were familiar with the science and management of fescue toxicosis. The second step was curriculum development. Experts wrote a curriculum that addressed all aspects of toxicosis and management, including toxicology, animal nutrition, pasture management, economics, and mycology. The curriculum was created for presentation in lectures, laboratories, and in the field. The curriculum was in that it could be delivered across state lines, regardless of peculiar, in-state recommendations. The curriculum was also unique as it was unanimously supported by private companies otherwise in competition with each other. The final step in developing this teaching method was formulating a delivery plan. All experts, including university, industry, government, and production, volunteered to travel from any state in the USA, converge in one location, teach a 1-day workshop, then travel to the next location. The results of this teaching method indicate widespread success. Since 2012, experts across the entire USA have converged to teach Alliance workshops in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, with ongoing workshops in Arkansas and Tennessee. Data from post-workshop surveys indicate that instruction has been effective, as at least 50% of the participants stated their intention to adopt the endophyte technology presented in these workshops. The teaching method developed by the Alliance for Grassland Renewal has proved to be effective, and the Alliance continues to expand across the USA.
This study explores how management addresses psychosocial risks in seven teams of engineers and technicians in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. The sample is from an ongoing quasi-experiment about psychosocial risk management in a manufacturing company in Sweden. Each of the seven teams belongs to one of two clusters: a positive cluster or a negative cluster. The positive cluster reports a significantly positive change in psychosocial risk levels between two time-points and the negative cluster reports a significantly negative change. The data are collected using semi-structured interviews. The results of the computer aided thematic analysis show that there are more differences than similarities when comparing the risk treatment actions taken between the two clusters. Findings show that the managers in the positive cluster use more enabling actions that foster and support formal and informal relationship building. In contrast, managers that use less enabling actions hinder the development of positive group processes and contribute negative changes in psychosocial risk levels. This exploratory study sheds some light on how management can influence significant positive and negative changes in psychosocial risk levels during a risk management process.
In this paper, we present the main results achieved during a five-week international workshop on Interactive Furniture for the Classroom, with 22 Chinese design students, in Jiangmen city (Guangdong province, China), and five teachers from Portugal, France, Iran, Macao SAR, and China. The main goal was to engage design students from China with new skills and practice methodologies towards interactive design research for furniture and product design for the classroom. The final results demonstrate students' concerns on improving Chinese furniture design for the classrooms, including solutions related to collaborative learning and human-interaction design for interactive furniture products. The findings of the research led students to the fabrication of five original prototypes: two for kindergartens ('Candy' and 'Tilt-tilt'), two for primary schools ('Closer' and 'Eks(x)'), and one for art/creative schools ('Wave'). From the findings, it was also clear that collaboration, personalization, and project-based teaching are still neglected when designing furniture products for the classroom in China. Students focused on these issues and came up with creative solutions that could transform this educational field in China.
The profusion of studies relating to the concept of organizational learning shows the importance that has been given to this concept in the management sciences. A few years ago, companies leaned towards ISO 9001 certification; this requires the implementation of the quality management system (QMS). In order for this objective to be achieved, companies must have a set of skills, which pushes them to develop learning through continuous training. The results of empirical research have shown that implementation of the QMS in the company promotes the development of learning. It should also be noted that several types of learning are developed in this sense. Given the nature of skills development is normative in the context of the quality demarche, companies are obliged to qualify and improve the skills of their human resources. Continuous training is the keystone to develop the necessary learning. To carry out continuous training, companies need to be able to identify their real needs by developing training plans based on well-defined engineering. The training process goes obviously through several stages. Initially, training has a general aspect, that is to say, it focuses on topics and actions of a general nature. Subsequently, this is done in a more targeted and more precise way to accompany the evolution of the QMS and also to make the changes decided each time (change of working method, change of practices, change of objectives, change of mentality, etc.). To answer our problematic we opted for the method of qualitative research. It should be noted that the case study method crosses several data collection techniques to explain and understand a phenomenon. Three cases of companies were studied as part of this research work using different data collection techniques related to this method.
It is well known that the history between South Korea and Japan influences their international relations; thus, also encompassing their economic relations. In this sense, it is impossible to analyze the latter without understanding the development of the former, which is known for episodes of hostility, like on Japanese colonization, but also had moments of cultural and trade interexchange. Indeed, since 1965, with the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries, their trade relations have improved, especially after both nations have signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Thereafter, with the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, another chapter of their diplomatic and economic relations have been inaugurated. Hence, bearing in mind this history between both nations, this research intends to examine their relations through the analysis of the WTO panels they have engaged in between each other, which are, in chronological order, “DS323: Japan – Import Quotas on Dried Laver and Seasoned Laver”, “DS336: Japan - Countervailing Duties on Dynamic Random Access Memories from Korea”, “DS495: Korea - Import Band, and Testing and Certification Requirements for Radionuclides”, “DS553: Korea - Sunset Review of Anti-Dumping Duties on Stainless Steel Bars” and “DS571: Korea - Measures Affecting Trade in Commercial Vessels”. The objective of this case analysis is to point out what are the areas that are more conflictual between Japan and South Korea in regard to their economic relations so that it is possible to assert on their future (economic) relations and other possible outcomes. And in order to do so, bibliographic and documental research will be made, particularly those involving the WTO and the nations under consideration. Regarding the methods used, it is important to highlight that this is applied research in the field of international economic relations and international law, which follows a hypothetic-deductive model.
The paper will focus on management of heritage that integrates the local community, and argue towards an obligation to integrate this social aspect in heritage management. By broadening the understanding of heritage, a sustainable heritage management takes its departure in more than a continual conservation of the physicality of heritage. The social aspect, or the local community, is in many govern heritage management situations being overlooked and it is not managed through community based urban planning methods, e.g.: citizen-inclusion, a transparent process, informative and inviting initiatives, etc. Historical sites are often being described by embracing terms such as “ours” and “us”: “our history” and “a history that is part of us”. Heritage is not something static, it is a link between the life that has been lived in the historical frames, and the life that is defining it today. This view on heritage is rooted in the strive to ensure that heritage sites, besides securing the national historical interest, have a value for those people who are affected by it: living in it or visiting it. Antigua Guatemala is a UNESCO-defined heritage site and this site is being ‘threatened’ by tourism, habitation and recreation. In other words: ‘the use’ of the site is considered a threat of the preservation of the heritage. Contradictory the same types of use (tourism and habitation) can also be considered development ability, and perhaps even a sustainable management solution. ‘The use’ of heritage is interlinked with the perspective that heritage sites ought to have a value for people today. In other words, the heritage sites should be comprised of a contemporary substance. Heritage is entwined in its context of physical structures and the social layer. A synergy between the use of heritage and the knowledge about the heritage can generate a sustainable preservation solution. The paper will exemplify this symbiosis with different examples of a heritage management that is centred around a local community inclusion. The inclusive method is not new in architectural planning and it refers to a top-down and bottom-up balance in decision making. It can be endeavoured through designs of an inclusive nature. Catalyst architecture is a planning method that strives to move the process of design solutions into the public space. Through process-orientated designs, or catalyst designs, the community can gain an insight into the process or be invited to participate in the process. A balance between bottom-up and top-down in the development process of a heritage site can, in relation to management measures, be understood to generate a socially sustainable solution. The ownership and engagement that can be created among the local community, along with the use that ultimately can gain an economic benefit, can delegate the maintenance and preservation. Informative, inclusive and transparent planning methods can generate a heritage management that is long-term due to the collective understanding and effort. This method handles sustainable management on two levels: the current preservation necessities and the long-term management, while ensuring a value for people today.
Res2ValHUM project involves institutions from the Spanish Autonomous Region of Galicia and the north of Portugal (districts of Porto and Braga) and has as overall objectives of promotion of composting as an process for the correct managing of organic waste, valorization of compost in different fields or applications for the constitution of products with high added value, reducing of raw materials losses, and reduction of the amount of waste throw in landfills. Three main actions were designed to achieve the objectives: development of a management tool to improve collection and residue channeling for composting, sensibilization of the population for composting and characterization of the chemical and biological properties of compost and humic and fulvic substances to envisage high-value applications of compost. Here we present the cooperative activity of Galician and northern Portuguese institutions to valorize organic waste in both regions with common socio-economic characteristics and residue management problems. Results from the creation of the resource manage tool proved the existence of a large number of agricultural wastes that could be valorized. In the North of Portugal, the wastes from maize, oats, potato, apple, grape pomace, rye, and olive pomace can be highlighted. In the Autonomous Region of Galicia the wastes from maize, wheat, potato, apple, and chestnuts can be emphasized. Regarding the isolation and identification of microbial consortia from compost samples, results proved microorganisms belong mainly to the genus Bacillus spp. Among all the species identified in compost samples, Bacillus licheniformis can be highlighted in the production of humic and fulvic acids.
The heat pipe is a thermal device which allows efficient transport of thermal energy. The experimental work of this research was split into two phases; phase 1 is the development of the facilities, material and test rig preparation. Phase 2 is the actual experiments and measurements of the thermal control mockup inside the modified vacuum chamber (MVC). Due to limited funds, the development on the thermal control subsystem was delayed and the experimental facilities such as suitable thermal vacuum chamber with space standard specifications were not available from the beginning of the research and had to be procured over a period of time. In all, these delays extended the project by one and a half year. Thermal control subsystem needs a special facility and equipment to be tested. The available vacuum chamber is not suitable for the thermal tests. Consequently, the modification of the chamber was a must. A vacuum chamber has been modified to be used as a Thermal Vaccum Chamber (TVC). A MVC is a vacuum chamber modified by using a stainless mirror box with perfect reflectability and the infrared lamp connected with the voltage regulator to vary the lamp intensity as it will be illustrated through the paper.
There has been a growing emphasis in elevating the teachers’ proficiency and competencies through continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. In this era of a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) world, teachers are expected to be collaborative designers, critical thinkers and creative builders. However, many of the CPD structures are still revolving in the model of transmission, which stands in contradiction to the cultivation of future-ready teachers for the innovative world of emerging technologies. This article puts forward the framing of CPD through a Principle-Based, Technological-Driven Knowledge Building Approach grounded in the essence of andragogy and progressive learning theories where growth is best exemplified through an authentic immersion in a social/community experience-based setting. Putting this Knowledge Building Professional Development Model (KBPDM) in operation via a Professional Learning Team (PLT) situated in a Secondary School in Singapore, research findings reveal that the intervention has led to a fundamental change in the learning paradigm of the teachers, henceforth equipping and empowering them successfully in their pedagogical design and practices for a 21st century classroom experience. This article concludes with the possibility in leveraging the Learning Analytics to deepen the CPD experiences for educators.
Coil reinforced thin-walled (CRTW) tubes are used in medicine to treat problems affecting blood vessels within the body through minimally invasive procedures. The CRTW tube considered in this research makes up part of such a device and is inserted into the patient via their femoral or brachial arteries and manually navigated to the site in need of treatment. This procedure replaces the requirement to perform open surgery but is limited by reduction of blood vessel lumen diameter and increase in tortuosity of blood vessels deep in the brain. In order to maximize the capability of these procedures, CRTW tube devices are being manufactured with decreasing wall thicknesses in order to deliver treatment deeper into the body and to allow passage of other devices through its inner diameter. This introduces significant stresses to the device materials which have resulted in an observed increase in the breaking of the proximal segment of the device into two separate pieces after it has failed by buckling. As there is currently no international standard for measuring the mechanical properties of these CRTW tube devices, it is difficult to accurately analyze this problem. The aim of the current work is to address this discrepancy in the biomedical device industry by developing a measurement system that can be used to quantify the effect of process and design changes on CRTW tube performance, aiding in the development of better performing, next generation devices. Using materials testing frames, micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging, experiment planning, analysis of variance (ANOVA), T-tests and regression analysis, test methods have been developed for assessing the impact of process and design changes on the device. The major findings of this study have been an insight into the suitability of buckle and three-point bend tests for the measurement of the effect of varying processing factors on the device’s performance, and guidelines for interpreting the output data from the test methods. The findings of this study are of significant interest with respect to verifying and validating key process and design changes associated with the device structure and material condition. Test method integrity evaluation is explored throughout.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has made information access easier and affordable. Academic research has also benefited from this, with online journals and academic resource readily available by the click of a button. However, there are limited ways of assessing and controlling the quality of the academic research mostly in public institution. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a significant number of universities and young population. The quality of knowledge created by academic researchers, however, needs to be evaluated due to the high number of predatory journals published by academia. The purpose of this qualitative study is to look at the knowledge creation, acquisition, and assimilation process by academic researchers in public universities in Nigeria. Qualitative research will be carried out using in-depth interviews and observations. Academic researchers will be interviewed and absorptive capacity theory will be used as the theoretical framework to guide the research. The findings from this study should help understand the impact of ICT on the knowledge creation process in academic research and to understand how ICT can affect the quality of knowledge produced by researchers. The findings from this study should help add value to the existing body of knowledge on the quality of academic research, especially in Africa where there is limited availability of quality academic research. As this study is limited to Nigerian universities, the outcome may not be generalized to other developing countries.
In recent years, electricity trade between neighboring countries has become increasingly intense. Increasing power transmission over long distances has resulted in an increase in the oscillations of the transmitted power. The damping of the oscillations can be carried out with the reconfiguration of the network or the replacement of generators, but such solution is not economically reasonable. The only cost-effective solution to improve the damping of power oscillations is to use power system stabilizers. Power system stabilizer represents a part of synchronous generator control system. It utilizes semiconductor’s excitation system connected to the rotor field excitation winding to increase the damping of the power system. The majority of the synchronous generators are equipped with the conventional power system stabilizers with fixed parameters. The control structure of the conventional power system stabilizers and the tuning procedure are based on the linear control theory. Conventional power system stabilizers are simple to realize, but they show non-sufficient damping improvement in the entire operating conditions. This is the reason that advanced control theories are used for development of better power system stabilizers. In this paper, the adaptive control theory for power system stabilizers design and synthesis is studied. The presented work is focused on the use of model reference adaptive control approach. Control signal, which assures that the controlled plant output will follow the reference model output, is generated by the adaptive algorithm. Adaptive gains are obtained as a combination of the "proportional" term and with the σ-term extended "integral" term. The σ-term is introduced to avoid divergence of the integral gains. The necessary condition for asymptotic tracking is derived by means of hyperstability theory. The benefits of the proposed model reference adaptive power system stabilizer were evaluated as objectively as possible by means of a theoretical analysis, numerical simulations and laboratory realizations. Damping of the synchronous generator oscillations in the entire operating range was investigated. Obtained results show the improved damping in the entire operating area and the increase of the power system stability. The results of the presented work will help by the development of the model reference power system stabilizer which should be able to replace the conventional stabilizers in power systems.
Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.
The Versatile Video Coding standard (VVC) is actually under development by the Joint Video Exploration Team (or JVET). An Adaptive Multiple Transforms (AMT) approach was announced. It is based on different transform modules that provided an efficient coding. However, the AMT solution raises several issues especially regarding the complexity of the selected set of transforms. This can be an important issue, particularly for a future industrial adoption. This paper proposed an efficient hardware implementation of the most used transform in AMT approach: the DCT II. The developed circuit is adapted to different block sizes and can reach a minimum frequency of 192 MHz allowing an optimized execution time.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a multipurpose computer-based tool that provides a sophisticated ability to map and analyze data on different spatial layers. However, GIS is far more easily applied in some policy areas than others. This paper seeks to determine the areas of sustainable development, including environmental, economic, and social dimensions, where GIS has been used to date to support efforts to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to discuss potential areas where it might be used more. Based on an extensive analysis of published literature, we ranked the SDGs according to how frequently GIS has been used to study related policy. We found that SDG#15 “Life on Land” is most often addressed with GIS, following by SDG#11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, and SDG#13 “Climate Action”. On the other hand, we determined that SDG#2 “Zero Hunger”, SDG#8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, and SDG#16 “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” are least addressed with GIS. The paper outlines some specific ways that GIS might be applied to the SDGs least linked to this tool currently.
The growth of the agricultural sector is known as an essential way to achieve development goals in developing countries. Urban agriculture is a way to reduce the vulnerability of urban populations of the world toward global environmental change. It is a sustainable and efficient system to respond to the environmental, social and economic needs of the city, which leads to urban sustainability. Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as poverty, food security, and environmental problems. In this study, we follow a perspective based on urban agriculture literature in order to indicate the urban agriculture’s benefits in environmental planning strategies in non-western countries like Iran. The methodological approach adopted is based on qualitative approach and documentary studies. A total of 35 articles (mixed quantitative and qualitative methods studies) were studied in final analysis, which are published in relevant journals that focus on this subject. Studies show the wide range of positive benefits of urban agriculture on food security, nutrition outcomes, health outcomes, environmental outcomes, and social capital. However, there was no definitive conclusion about the negative effects of urban agriculture. This paper provides a conceptual and theoretical basis to know about urban agriculture and its roles in environmental planning, and also conclude the benefits of urban agriculture for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who seek to create spaces in cities for implementation urban agriculture in future.
In recent years, solar energy has established itself as one of the main sources of renewable energy, gaining a large space in electricity generation around the world. However, due to the low performance of photovoltaic panels, technologies need to be sought to maximize the production of electricity. In this regard, the present study aims to develop a prototype of solar tracker for didactics applications, controlled with the Arduino® platform, that enables the movement of photovoltaic plates in relation to the sun positions throughout the day through an electromechanical system, optimizing, thus, the efficiency of solar photovoltaic generation and improvements for the photovoltaic effect. The solar tracking technology developed in this work was presented of the shape oral and practical in two middle schools in the municipality of Mossoró/RN, being one of the public network and other of the private network, always keeping the average age of the students, in the case, around 16 years, contemplating an average of 60 students in each of the visits. Thus, it is concluded that the present study contributed substantially to the dissemination of knowledge concerning the photovoltaic solar generation, as well as the study of solar trackers, thus arousing the interest and curiosity of the students regarding the thematic approached.
The impact of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on cognition and functions of the brain is being investigated. Iron deficiency and deficiencies of B9 (folate) as well as B12 (cobalamin) vitamins are best-known nutritional anemias. They are associated with cognitive disorders and learning difficulties. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D are known and the deficiency state affects mental functions negatively. The aim of this study is to investigate possible correlations of MetS with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), iron, folate, cobalamin and vitamin D in pediatric patients. 30 children, whose age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles vary between 85 and 15, 60 morbid obese children with above 99th percentiles constituted the study population. Anthropometric measurements were taken. BMI values were calculated. Age- and sex-dependent BMI percentile values were obtained using the appropriate tables prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity classification was performed according to WHO criteria. Those with MetS were evaluated according to MetS criteria. Serum BDNF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum folate was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Serum cobalamin concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin D status was determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high performance liquid chromatography. Statistical evaluations were performed using SPSS for Windows, version 16. The p values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Although statistically insignificant, lower folate and cobalamin values were found in MO children compared to those observed for children with normal BMI. For iron and BDNF values, no alterations were detected among the groups. Significantly decreased vitamin D concentrations were noted in MO children with MetS in comparison with those in children with normal BMI (p ≤ 0.05). The positive correlation observed between iron and BDNF in normal-BMI group was not found in two MO groups. In THE MetS group, the partial correlation among iron, BDNF, folate, cobalamin, vitamin D controlling for waist circumference and BMI was r = -0.501; p ≤ 0.05. None was calculated in MO and normal BMI groups. In conclusion, vitamin D should also be considered during the assessment of pediatric MetS. Waist circumference and BMI should collectively be evaluated during the evaluation of MetS in children. Within this context, BDNF appears to be a key biochemical parameter during the examination of obesity degree in terms of mental functions, cognition and learning capacity. The association observed between iron and BDNF in children with normal BMI was not detected in MO groups possibly due to development of inflammation and other obesity-related pathologies. It was suggested that this finding may contribute to mental function impairments commonly observed among obese children.
A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.
Chronologic age (CA) of individuals is closely related to obesity and generally affects the magnitude of obesity parameters. On the other hand, close association between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic age (MA) is also a matter of concern. It is suggested that MA higher than CA is the indicator of the need to improve the metabolic rate. In this study, the aim was to assess some commonly used obesity parameters, such as obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR, BMR-to-weight ratio, in several groups with varying differences between MA and CA values. The study comprises adults, whose ages vary between 18 and 79 years. Four groups were constituted. Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were composed of 55, 33, 76 and 47 adults, respectively. The individuals exhibiting -1, 0 and +1 for their MA-CA values were involved in Group 1, which was considered as the control group. Those, whose MA-CA values varying between -5 and -10 participated in Group 2. Those, whose MAs above their real ages were divided into two groups [Group 3 (MA-CA; from +5 to + 10) and Group 4 (MA-CA; from +11 to + 12)]. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to obtain values for obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR and BMR-to-weight ratio. The compiled data were evaluated statistically using a statistical package program; SPSS. Mean ± SD values were determined. Correlation analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The increase in BMR was positively correlated with obesity degree. MAs and CAs of the groups were 39.9 ± 16.8 vs 39.9 ± 16.7 years for Group 1, 45.0 ± 15.3 vs 51.4 ± 15.7 years for Group 2, 47.2 ± 12.7 vs 40.0 ± 12.7 years for Group 3, and 53.6 ± 14.8 vs 42 ± 14.8 years for Group 4. BMI values of the groups were 24.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2, 23.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 30.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2, and 40.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2 for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Values obtained for BMR were 1599 ± 328 kcal in Group 1, 1463 ± 198 kcal in Group 2, 1652 ± 350 kcal in Group 3, and 1890 ± 360 kcal in Group 4. A correlation was observed between BMR and MA-CA values in Group 1. No correlation was detected in other groups. On the other hand, statistically significant correlations between MA-CA values and obesity degree, BMI as well as BMR/weight were found in Group 3 and in Group 4. It was concluded that upon consideration of these findings in terms of MA-CA values, BMR-to-weight ratio was found to be much more useful indicator of the severe increase in obesity development than BMR. Also, the lack of associations between MA and BMR as well as BMR-to-weight ratio emphasize the importance of consideration of MA-CA values rather than MA.
With the birth of Islam, the definitions of paradise in Quran have spread across three continents since 7th century, showing itself in the palace gardens as a reflection of Islamic Culture. The design characteristics of Islamic gardens come forth with the influence of religious beliefs, as well as taking its form as per the cultural, climatic and soil characteristics of its geography, and showing its difference. It is possible to see these differences from the garden examples that survived to present time from the civilizations in the lands of Islamic proliferation. The main material of this research is the Islamic gardens in Iran and Spain. Field study was carried out in Alhambra Palace in Spain, Granada and Shah Goli garden in Iran, Tabriz. In this study, the birth of Islamic gardens, spatial perception of paradise, design principles, spatial structure, along with the structural/plantation materials used are examined. Also the characteristics and differentiation of the gardens examined in different cultures and geographies have been revealed. In the conclusion section, Iran and Spain Islamic garden samples were evaluated and their properties were determined.
This paper reports the findings of the perception and attitude towards Sustainable Development among Malaysian undergraduates. The study was carried out involving 86 engineering undergraduates from three universities in Malaysia. This research was conducted based on a survey whereby the respondents were given a questionnaire to gauge their attitude towards sustainable development. The output of the analyses showed that the respondents have an appropriate attitude towards the sustainability issues expect for economic and social equality aspects. These findings suggest that the engineering educators involved in sustainable development education need to educate undergraduate students on this important issue. This investigation serves as a cornerstone to which the current paradigm of sustainable development education can be examined for further improvement by related stakeholders.
The purpose of this quantitative study is to identify the impact of the destination attributes of Negombo on the coastal tourists’ visitor experience. As an island nation, Sri Lanka is identified and well renowned for its gold sandy beaches and natural scenic beauty. Among many tourist attractions, Negombo is identified as a developed beach centric tourist destination in the country. Yet, it is identified that there are low positive reviews on the internet for Negombo compared to other beach centric tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Therefore, this study would help the policymakers and tourism service providers to identify the impact of destination attributes on international visitor satisfaction and to understand the visitors comprehensively so as to develop Negombo as a stable tourist destination while offering a memorable and satisfying experience for its visitors. In support, a self-administered questionnaire survey study was performed with 150 respondents (international tourists) in Negombo. The questions were designed based on the selected dimensions of destination attributes such as tourism service quality, infrastructure and superstructure developments, tourist information facilities and destination aesthetics and developments. The results showed that the overall satisfaction level of the international tourists who visit Sri Lanka is significantly affected by the destination attributes of Negombo. Yet, the dimensions of destination aesthetics and developments and tourist information facilities indicated a low level of mean satisfaction, paving the critique that Negombo as a beach centric tourist attraction is not serving well with its natural beauty and its destination management. Further, it is advocated that the policymakers and tourism service providers have a significant role in leading the way to attract more potential visitors to enhance their destination satisfaction and to encourage them to revisit Sri Lanka while recommending it to others. The survey was done during the off-peak season of the industry and it is suggested that the survey would have been conducted throughout a complete year.
The future of the nation is the embodiment of a healthy society. A key segment of government policy is the development of health and a health-oriented environment. As a result, sport as an activator of health is an important area for development. In Hungary, sport is a strategic sector with the aim of developing a sports nation. The function of sport in the global society is multifaceted, which is manifested in both social and economic terms. The economic importance of sport is gaining ground in the world, with implications for Central and Eastern Europe. Smaller states, such as Hungary, cannot ignore the economic effects of exploiting the effects of sport. The relationship between physical activity and health is driven by the health economy towards the nation's economic factor. In our research, we analyzed sport as a national strategy sector and its impact on age groups. By presenting the current state of health behavior, we get an idea of the directions where development opportunities require even more intervention. The foundation of the health of a nation is the young age group, whose shaping of health will shape the future generation. Our research was attended by university students from the Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences who will be experts in the field of health in the future. The other group is the elderly, who are a growing social group due to demographic change and are a key segment of the labor market and consumer society. Our study presents the health behavior of the two age groups, their differences, and similarities. The survey also identifies gaps in the development of a health management strategy that national strategies should take into account.