Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.
Reinforced concrete is a concrete lined with steel so that the materials work together in the resistance forces. Reinforcement rods or mesh are used for tensile, shear, and sometimes intense pressure in a concrete structure. Reinforced concrete is subject to many natural problems or industrial errors. The result of these problems is that it reduces the efficiency of the reinforced concrete or its usefulness. Some of these problems are cracks, earthquakes, high temperatures or fires, as well as corrosion of reinforced iron inside reinforced concrete. There are also factors of ancient buildings or monuments that require some techniques to preserve them. This research presents some general information about reinforced concrete, the pros and cons of reinforced concrete, and then presents a series of literary studies of some of the late published researches on the subject of reinforced concrete and how to preserve it, propose solutions or treatments for the treatment of reinforced concrete problems, raise efficiency and quality for a longer period. These studies have provided advanced and modern methods and techniques in the field of reinforced concrete.
This research aimed to measure the impact of the use of a mobile learning (iTunes U) app for the development of metacognition skills delivered in the enrichment program offered to gifted students at the secondary level in Jeddah. The author targeted a group of students on an experimental scale to evaluate the achievement. The research sample consisted of a group of 38 gifted female students. The scale of evaluation of the metacognition skills used to measure the performance of students in the enrichment program was as follows: Satisfaction scale for the assessment of the technique used and the final product form after completion of the program. Appropriate statistical treatment used includes Paired Samples T-Test Cronbach’s alpha formula and eta squared formula. It was concluded in the results the difference of α≤ 0.05, which means the performance of students in the skills of metacognition in favor of using iTunes U. In light of the conclusion of the experiment, a number of recommendations and suggestions were present; the most important benefit of mobile learning applications is to provide enrichment programs for gifted students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as conducting further research on mobile learning and gifted student teaching.
Since 2011, in the name of ‘humanitarianism’ and deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, the legal and political justification delivered by Greece to manage the refugee crisis is pre-emptive interception. Although part of the EU, Greece adopted its own strategy. These practices have also created high risks for migrants generally resulting in non-rescue episodes and push-back practices having lethal consequences to the life of the irregular migrant. Thus, this article provides an analysis of the Greek ‘compassionate border work’ policy, a practice known as push-back. It is argued that these push-back practices violate international obligations, notably the ‘right to life’, the ‘duty to search and rescue’, the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the principle of non-refoulement.
The anti-corrosion performance of fatty acid coated mild steel samples is studied. Samples of structural steel coated with collector reagents deposited from surfactant in ethanol solution and overcoated with an epoxy barrier paint. A quantitative corrosion rate was determined by linear polarization resistance method using biopotentiostat/galvanostat 400. Coating morphology was determined by scanning electronic microscopy. A test for hydrophobic surface of steel by surfactant was done. From the samples, the main component or high content iron was determined by chemical method and other metal contents were determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) method. Prior to measuring the corrosion rate, mechanical and chemical treatments were performed to prepare the test specimens. Overcoating the metal samples with epoxy barrier paint after exposing them with surfactant the corrosion rate can be inhibited by 34-35 µm/year.
Native plants are better adapted to the local environment providing a more natural effect on landscape projects; their use will both conserve natural resources and produce sustainable greenery. Continuation of evaluation of additional native plants is essential to increase diversity of plant resources for greenery projects. Therefore, in this project an effort was made to study the mass multiplication of further native plants for greenery applications. Standardization of vegetative propagation methods is essential for conservation and sustainable utilization of native plants in restoration projects. Moreover, these simple propagation methods can be readily adapted by the local nursery sector in Kuwait. In the present study, various treatments were used to mass multiply selected plants using vegetative parts to secure maximum rooting and initial growth. Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings of selected native plants were collected from mother plants and subjected to different treatments. Pennisetum divisum can be vegetatively propagated by cuttings/off-shoots. However, Tamarix aucheriana showed maximum number of rooted cuttings and stronger vigor seedlings with the lowest growth hormone concentration. Standardizing the propagation techniques for the native plant species will add to the rehabilitation and landscape revegetation projects in Kuwait.
NiTi alloys possess magnificent superelastic, shape memory, high strength and biocompatible properties. For improving mechanical properties, foremost, superelasticity behavior, heat treatment process is carried out. In this paper, two different heat treatment methods were undertaken: (1) solid solution, and (2) aging. The effect of each treatment in a constant time is investigated. Five samples were prepared to study the structure and optimize mechanical properties under different time and temperature. For measuring the upper plateau stress, lower plateau stress and residual strain, tensile test is carried out. The samples were aged at two different temperatures to see difference between aging temperatures. The sample aged at 500 °C has a bigger crystallite size and lower amount of Ni which causes the mentioned sample to possess poor pseudo elasticity behaviour than the other aged sample. The sample aged at 460 °C has shown remarkable superelastic properties. The mentioned sample’s higher plateau is 580 MPa with the lowest residual strain (0.17%) while other samples have possessed higher residual strains. X-ray diffraction was used to investigate the produced phases.
One-dimensional (1D) nanostructures like nanowires, nanotubes, and nanorods find variety of practical application owing to their unique physico-chemical properties. In this work, TiO2 nanowires were synthesized by direct oxidation of titanium particles in a unique microwave plasma jet reactor. The prepared TiO2 nanowires manifested the flexible features, and were characterized by using X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analyzer, UV-Visible and FTIR spectrophotometers, Scanning electron microscope, and Transmission electron microscope. Further, the photodegradation efficiency of these nanowires were tested against toxic organic dye like methylene blue (MB) and the results were compared with the commercial TiO2. It was found that TiO2 nanowires exhibited superior photocatalytic performance (89%) as compared to commercial TiO2 (75%) after 60 min of reaction. This is attributed to the lower recombination rate and increased interfacial charge transfer in TiO2 nanowire. Pseudo-first order kinetic modelling performed with the experimental results revealed that the rate constant of photodegradation in case of TiO2 nanowire was 1.3 times higher than that of commercial TiO2. Superoxide radical (O2˙−) was found to be the major contributor in the photodegradation mechanism. Based on the trapping experiments, a plausible mechanism of the photocatalytic reaction is discussed.
HCV is a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route, which causes progressive disease such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV nowadays is a global healthcare problem. A variety of immunoassays including old and new technologies are being applied to detect HCV in our country. These methods include Immunochromatography assays (ICA), Fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect HCV antibodies in blood serum, which lately is being slowly replaced by more sensitive methods such as rapid automated analyzer chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The aim of this study is to estimate HCV infection in carriers and chronic acute patients and to evaluate the use of new diagnostic methods. This study was realized from September 2016 to May 2018. During this study period, 2913 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV by taking samples from their blood serum. The immunoassays performed were ICA, FIA, ELFA, ELISA, and CLIA assays. Concluding, 82% of patients taken in this study, resulted infected with HCV. Diagnostic methods in clinical laboratories are crucial in the early stages of infection, in the management of chronic hepatitis and in the treatment of patients during their disease.
Graphite intercalation compound (GIC) has been demonstrated to be a useful, low capacity and rapid adsorbent for the removal of organic micropollutants from water. The high electrical conductivity and low capacity of the material lends itself to electrochemical regeneration. Following electrochemical regeneration, equilibrium loading under similar conditions is reported to exceed that achieved by the fresh adsorbent. This behavior is reported in terms of the regeneration efficiency being greater than 100%. In this work, surface analysis techniques are employed to investigate the material in three states: ‘Fresh’, ‘Loaded’ and ‘Regenerated’. ‘Fresh’ GIC is shown to exhibit a hydrogen and oxygen rich surface layer approximately 150 nm thick. ‘Loaded’ GIC shows a similar but slightly thicker surface layer (approximately 370 nm thick) and significant enhancement in the hydrogen and oxygen abundance extending beyond 600 nm from the surface. 'Regenerated’ GIC shows an oxygen rich layer, slightly thicker than the fresh case at approximately 220 nm while showing a very much lower hydrogen enrichment at the surface. Results demonstrate that while the electrochemical regeneration effectively removes the phenol model pollutant, it also oxidizes the exposed carbon surface. These results may have a significant impact on the estimation of adsorbent life.
Bone metastases are observed in a wide range of cancers leading to intolerable pain. While early detection can help the physicians in the decision of the type of treatment, various radiopharmaceuticals using phosphonates like 68Ga-EDTMP have been developed. In this work, due to the importance of absorbed dose, human absorbed dose of this new agent was calculated for the first time based on biodistribution data in Wild-type rats. 68Ga was obtained from 68Ge/68Ga generator with radionuclidic purity and radiochemical purity of higher than 99%. The radiolabeled complex was prepared in the optimized conditions. Radiochemical purity of the radiolabeled complex was checked by instant thin layer chromatography (ITLC) method using Whatman No. 2 paper and saline. The results indicated the radiochemical purity of higher than 99%. The radiolabelled complex was injected into the Wild-type rats and its biodistribution was studied up to 120 min. As expected, major accumulation was observed in the bone. Absorbed dose of each human organ was calculated based on biodistribution in the rats using RADAR method. Bone surface and bone marrow with 0.112 and 0.053 mSv/MBq, respectively, received the highest absorbed dose. According to these results, the radiolabeled complex is a suitable and safe option for PET bone imaging.
Dairy industry is flourishing in world to provide milk and milk products to local population. Besides milk products, dairy industries also generate a substantial amount of cow manure that significantly affects the environment. Moreover, heat produced during the decomposition of the cow manure adversely affects the crop germination. Different companies are producing vermicompost using different species of worms/larvae to overcome the harmful effects using fresh manure. Tiger worm treatment enhanced plant growth, especially in the compost-manure ratio (75% compost, 25% cow manure), followed by a ratio of 50% compost, 50% cow manure. Results also indicated that plant growth in Waxworm treated manure was weak as compared to plant growth in compost treated with Fruit Beetle (FB), Waxworms (WW), and Control (C) especially in the compost (25% compost, 75% cow manure) and 100% cow manure where there was no growth at all. Freshplant weight, fresh leaf weight and fresh root weight were significantly higher in the compost treated with Tiger worms in (75% compost, 25% cow manure); no evidence was seen for any significant differences in the dry root weight measurement between FB, Tiger worms (TW), WW, Control (C) in all composts. TW produced the best product, especially at the compost ratio of 75% compost, 25% cow manure followed by 50% compost, 50% cow manure.
Trapping efficiency of methyl eugenol and three locally made food-based lures were evaluated in three locations for trapping of B. dorsalis on mango homestead trees in Ibadan South west Nigeria. The treatments were methyl eugenol, brewery waste, pineapple juice, orange juice, and control (water). The experiment was laid in a Complete Randomized Block Design (CRBD) and replicated three times in each location. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance and significant means were separated by Turkey’s test. The results showed that B. dorsalis was recorded in all locations of study. Methyl eugenol significantly (P < 0.05) trapped higher population of B. dorsalis in all the study area. The population density of B. dorsalis was highest during the ripening period of mango in all locations. The percentage trapped flies after 7 weeks were 77.85%-82.38% (methyl eugenol), 7.29%-8.64% (pineapple juice), 5.62-7.62% (brewery waste), 4.41%-5.95% (orange juice), and 0.24-0.47% (control). There were no significance differences (p > 0.05) on the population of B. dorsalis trapped in all locations. Similarly, there were no significant differences (p > 0.05) on the population of flies trapped among the food attractants. However, the three food attractants significantly (p < 0.05) trapped higher flies than control. Methyl eugenol trapped only male flies while brewery waste and other food based attractants trapped both male and female flies. The food baits tested were promising attractants for trapping B. dorsalis on mango homestead tress, hence increased dosage could be considered for monitoring and mass trapping as management strategies against fruit fly infestation.
Produced water (PW), which is water extracted along with oil, is the largest waste stream in the oil and gas industry. With the proper treatment, this wastewater can be used in agricultural irrigation. This study evaluated the effects the application of PW treated by electroflocculation (EF) and combined electroflocculation-reverse osmosis (EF-RO) on soil salinity and sodification parameters. Excessive sodium levels in PW treated by EF may affect soil structural stability and plant growth, and tends to accumulate in upper layers, displacing the nutrient K to deeper layers of the soil profile. PW treated by EF-RO did not promote salinization and soil sodification, indicating that this combined technique may be a viable alternative for oily water treatment aiming at irrigation use in semiarid regions.
The present paper aims to expose two techniques of dewatering for sludge, analyzing its operations and dewatering processes, aiming at improving the conditions of disposal of residues with high liquid content. It describes the field tests performed on two geotextile systems, a closed geotextile tube and an open geotextile drying bed, both of which are submitted to two filling cycles. The sludge used in the filling cycles for the field trials is from the water treatment plant of the Technological Center of Aeronautics – CTA, in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Data about volume and height abatement due to the dewatering and consolidation were collected per time, until it was observed constancy. With the laboratory analysis of the sludge allied to the data collected in the field, it was possible to perform a critical comparative study between the observed and the scientific literature, in this way, this paper expresses the data obtained and compares them with the bibliography. The tests were carried out on three fronts: field tests, including the filling cycles of the systems with the sludge from CTA, taking measurements of filling time per cycle and maximum filling height per cycle, heights against the abatement by dewatering of the systems over time; tests carried out in the laboratory, including the characterization of the sludge and removal of material samples from the systems to ascertain the solids content within the systems per time and; comparing the data obtained in the field and laboratory tests with the scientific literature. Through the study, it was possible to perceive that the process of densification of the material inside a closed system, such as the geotextile tube, occurs faster than the observed in the drying bed system. This process of accelerated densification can be brought about by the pumping pressure of the sludge in its filling and by the confinement of the residue through the permeable geotextile membrane (allowing water to pass through), accelerating the process of densification and dewatering by its own weight after the filling with sludge.
This study evaluates obstructive sleep apnea treatment through a case study involving a 67-year-old male driver who had a successful continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment at home but experienced difficulties with traveling and dental care. There are many cheap sleep apnea and snoring devices available, but there is little professional advice on what kind of devices can help. Professional drivers receive yearly specialized medical care follow-up.
Among the various methods of treatment, advanced oxidation processes (AOP) are the most promising ones. In this study, Peroxi Electrocoagulation Process (PEP) was investigated for the treatment of detergent wastewater. The process was compared with electrooxidation treatment. The results showed that chemical oxygen demand (COD) was high 7584 mgO2.L-1, while the biochemical oxygen demand was low (250 mgO2.L-1). This wastewater was hardly biodegradable. Electrochemical process was carried out for the removal of detergent using a glass reactor with a volume of 1 L and fitted with three electrodes. A direct current (DC) supply was used. Samples were taken at various current density (0.0227 A/cm2 to 0.0378 A/cm2) and reaction time (1-2-3-4 and 5 hour). Finally, the COD was determined. The results indicated that COD removal efficiency of PEP was observed to increase with current intensity and reached to 77% after 5 h. The highest removal efficiency was observed after 5 h of treatment.
Two earliness cotton genotypes I and II, which had been developed by hybridization and backcross methods between sindise-80 as an early maturing gene parent and two other lines i.e. Red leaf and Bulgare-557 as a second parent, are subjected to different environmental conditions. The early maturing genotypes with coded names of I and II were compared with four native cotton cultivars in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications in three ecological regions of Iran from 2016-2017. Two early maturing genotypes along with four native cultivars viz. Varamin, Oltan, Sahel and Arya were planted in Agricultural Research Station of Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar for evaluation. Earliness data were collected for six treatments during two years in the three regions except missing data for the second year of Kashmar. Therefore, missed data were estimated and imputed. For testing the homogeneity of error variances, each experiment at a given location or year is analyzed separately using Hartley and Bartlett’s Chi-square tests and both tests confirmed homogeneity of variance. Combined analysis of variance showed that genotypes I and II were superior in Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar regions. Earliness means and their interaction effects were compared with Duncan’s multiple range tests. Finally combined analysis of variance showed that genotypes I and II were superior in Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar regions. Earliness means and their interaction effects are compared with Duncan’s multiple range tests.
Fluidization at vacuum pressure has been a topic that is of growing research interest. Several industrial applications (such as drying, extractive metallurgy, and chemical vapor deposition (CVD)) can potentially take advantage of vacuum pressure fluidization. Particularly, the fine chemical industry requires processing under safe conditions for thermolabile substances, and reduced pressure fluidized beds offer an alternative. Fluidized beds under vacuum conditions provide optimal conditions for treatment of granular materials where the reduced gas pressure maintains an operational environment outside of flammability conditions. The fluidization at low-pressure is markedly different from the usual gas flow patterns of atmospheric fluidization. The different flow regimes can be characterized by the dimensionless Knudsen number. Nevertheless, hydrodynamics of bubbling vacuum fluidized beds has not been investigated to author’s best knowledge. In this work, the two-fluid numerical method was used to determine the impact of reduced pressure on the fundamental properties of a fluidized bed. The slip flow model implemented by Ansys Fluent User Defined Functions (UDF) was used to determine the interphase momentum exchange coefficient. A wide range of operating pressures was investigated (1.01, 0.5, 0.25, 0.1 and 0.03 Bar). The gas was supplied by a uniform inlet at 1.5Umf and 2Umf. The predicted minimum fluidization velocity (Umf) shows excellent agreement with the experimental data. The results show that the operating pressure has a notable impact on the bed properties and its hydrodynamics. Furthermore, it also shows that the existing Gorosko correlation that predicts bed expansion is not applicable under reduced pressure conditions.
This study examines the levels of dopamine and serotonin in blood samples of children who stutter compared with normal fluent speakers. Blood specimens from 50 children who stutter (6 females, 44 males) and 50 normal children matched age and gender were collected for the purpose of the current study. The concentrations of dopamine and serotonin were measured using the 1100 series high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultraviolet detector instrument (HPLC-UV). It was revealed that dopamine level in the blood samples of stuttering group and fluent group was not significant (P = 0.769), whereas the level of serotonin was significantly higher in the blood samples of stuttering group than the blood samples of fluent normal group (P = 0.015). It is concluded that serotonin blockers could be used in future studies to evaluate its role as a medication for the treatment of stuttering.
Warm-up is an essential component for optimizing performance in various sports before a physical fitness training session. This study investigated the immediate comparative effect of Self-Myofascial Release through vibration rolling (VR), non-vibration rolling (NVR), and static stretching as a part of a warm-up treatment on the functional fitness of young adults. Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. For the present study 20male physical education students were selected as subjects. The age of the subjects was ranged from 20-25 years. The functional fitness variables undertaken in the present study were flexibility, muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. Each of the three warm-up protocol was administered on consecutive days, i.e. 24 hr time gap and all tests were administered in the morning. The mean and SD were used as descriptive statistics. The significance of statistical differences among the groups was measured by applying ‘F’-test, and to find out the exact location of difference, Post Hoc Test (Least Significant Difference) was applied. It was found from the study that only flexibility showed significant difference among three types of warm-up exercise. The observed result depicted that VR has more impact on myofascial release in flexibility in comparison with NVR and stretching as a part of warm-up exercise as ‘p’ value was less than 0.05. In the present study, within the three means of warm-up exercises, vibration roller showed better mean difference in terms of NVR, and static stretching exercise on functional fitness of young physical education practitioners, although the results were found insignificant in case of muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. These findings suggest that sports professionals and coaches may take VR into account for designing more efficient and effective pre-performance routine for long term to improve exercise performances. VR has high potential to interpret into an on-field practical application means.
The synergistic impact and optimization of gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity on CO2 biofixation rate were investigated using wastewater as a medium to cultivate Chlorella vulgaris under different conditions (gas flow rate 1-8 L/min), CO2 concentration (0.03-7%), and light intensity (150-400 µmol/m2.s)). Response Surface Methodology and Box-Behnken experimental Design were applied to find optimum values for gas flow rate, CO2 concentration, and light intensity. The optimum values of the three independent variables (gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity) and desirability were 7.5 L/min, 3.5%, and 400 µmol/m2.s, and 0.904, respectively. The highest amount of biomass produced and CO2 biofixation rate at optimum conditions were 5.7 g/L, 1.23 gL-1d-1, respectively. The synergistic effect between gas flow rate and concentration of CO2, and between gas flow rate and light intensity was significant on the three responses, while the effect between CO2 concentration and light intensity was less significant on CO2 biofixation rate. The results of this study could be highly helpful when using microalgae for CO2 biofixation in wastewater treatment.
One of the most damaging species in sunflower crops in Brazil is the hairy beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L.). The large number of seeds, the various vegetative cycles during the year, the staggered germination and the scarcity of selective and effective herbicides to control this weed in sunflower are some of attributes that hinder the effectiveness in controlling hairy beggarticks populations. The experiment was carried out with the objectives of evaluating the control of hairy beggarticks plants in sunflower crops, and to assess sunflower tolerance to residual herbicides. The treatments were as follows: S-metolachlor (1,200 and 2,400 g ai ha-1), flumioxazin (60 and 120 g ai ha-1), sulfentrazone (150 and 300 g ai ha-1) and two controls (weedy and weed-free check). Phytotoxicity on sunflower plants, percentage of control and density of hairy beggarticks plants, sunflower stand and plant height, head diameter, oil content and sunflower yield were evaluated. The herbicides flumioxazin and sulfentrazone were the most efficient in hairy beggarticks control. S-metolachlor provided acceptable control levels. S-metolachlor (1,200 g ha-1), flumioxazin (60 g ha-1) and sulfentrazone (150 g ha-1) were the most selective doses for sunflower crop.
Spent bleaching earth (SBE) recycling and utilization as an adsorbent to eliminate dyes from aqueous solution was studied. Organic solvents and subsequent thermal treatment were carried out to recover and reactivate the SBE. The effect of pH, temperature, dye’s initial concentration, and contact time on the dye removal using recycled spent bleaching earth (RSBE) was investigated. Recycled SBE showed better removal affinity of cationic than anionic dyes. The maximum removal was achieved at pH 2 and 8 for anionic and cationic dyes, respectively. Kinetic data matched with the pseudo second-order model. The adsorption phenomenon governing this process was identified by the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms for anionic dye while Freundlich model represented the sorption process for cationic dye. The changes of Gibbs free energy (ΔG°), enthalpy (ΔH°), and entropy (ΔS°) were computed and compared through thermodynamic study for both dyes.
This study aimed to describe the operating model of obstructive sleep apnea. Due to the large number of patients, the role of nurses in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea was important. Pulmonary physicians met only a minority of the patients. The sleep apnea study in 2018 included about 800 patients, of which about 28% were normal and 180 patients were classified as severe (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] over 30). The operating model has proven to be workable and appropriate. The patients understand well that they may not be referred to a pulmonary doctor. However, specialized medical follow-up on professional drivers continues every year.
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.
The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.
Nanotherapy is an actual newest mode of treatment numerous diseases using nanoparticles (NPs) loading with different pharmaceuticals. NPs of biodegradable polymeric micelles (PMs) are gaining increased attention for their numerous and attractive abilities to be used in a variety of applications in the various fields of medicine. The present paper deals with the synthesis of a class of biodegradable micelle-forming polymers, namely ABA triblock-copolymer in which A-blocks represent amino-poly(ethylene glycol) (H2N-PEG) and B-block is biodegradable amino acid-based poly(ester amide) constituted of α-amino acid – L-phenylalanine. The obtained copolymer formed micelles of 70±4 nm size at 10 mg/mL concentration.
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.
This study deals with the structural and electronic properties of ternary PdMnGe Half-Heusler alloy using the full potential linearized augmented plane wave (FP-LAPW) method based on the density functional theory (DFT) as implemented in the WIEN2k package, within the framework of generalized gradient approximation (GGA). Structural parameters, total and partial densities of states were also analyzed. The obtained result shows that the studied material is metallic in GGA treatment. The elastic constants (Cij) show that our compound is ductile, stiff and anisotropic.