Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 66741

47
133119
The Beauty and the Cruel: The Price of Ethics
Abstract:
Understood as the preference for products and services that do not involve moral dilemmas, ethical consumption has been increasingly discussed by scholars, practitioners, and consumers. Among its diverse trends, the defense of animal rights and welfare seems to have gained particular momentum in past decades. Not surprisingly, companies, governments, ideologues, and virtually any institution or group interested in (re)shaping society invest in the building of narratives oriented to influence consumption behavior. The animal rights movement, for example, is devoted to the elimination of the use of animals in science, as well as of commercial animal agriculture and hunting activities. Although advances in ethical consumption may be observed in practice, it still seems more popular as rhetoric. Diverse scholars have addressed the disparities between self-professed ethical consumers and their actual purchase patterns, with differences being attributed to factors such as price sensitivity, lack of information, quality, cynicism, and limited availability. The gap is also linked to the 'consumer sovereignty myth', according to which consumers are only able to choose from a pre-determined range of choices made before products reach them. On the other hand, academics also debate ethical consumption behavior as more likely to occur when it assumes compliance with social norms. As sustainability becomes a permanent issue, customers may tend to adhere to ethical consumption, either because of an individual value or due to a social one. Regardless of these efforts, the actual value attributed to ethical businesses remains unclear. Likewise, the power of stakeholders’ initiatives to influence corporate strategies is dubious. In search to offer new perspectives on these matters, the present study concentrates on the following research questions: Do customers value products/companies that respect animal rights? If so, does such enhanced value convert into actions from the part of the companies? Broadly, we aim to understand if customers’ perception holds performative traits (i.e., are capable of either trigger or contribute to changes in organizational behaviour around the respect for animal rights). In addressing these issues, two preliminary behavioral vignette-based experiments were conducted, with the perspectives of 307 participants being assessed. Building on a case of the cosmetics industry, social, emotional, and functional values were hypothesized as directly impacting positive word-of-mouth, which, in turn, would carry direct effects on purchase intention. A first structural equation model was analyzed with the combined samples of studies I and II. Results suggest that emotional value strongly impacts both positive word-of-mouth and purchase intention. Data confirms initial expectations on customers valuing products and companies that comply with ethical postures concerning animals, especially if social-oriented practices are also present.
46
2716
Comparative Analysis of Two Modeling Approaches for Optimizing Plate Heat Exchangers
Abstract:
In the present paper the design of plate heat exchangers is formulated as an optimization problem considering two mathematical modeling. The number of plates is the objective function to be minimized, considering implicitly some parameters configuration. Screening is the optimization method used to solve the problem. Thermal and hydraulic constraints are verified, not viable solutions are discarded and the method searches for the convergence to the optimum, case it exists. A case study is presented to test the applicability of the developed algorithm. Results show coherency with the literature.
45
12643
Sigma-Delta ADCs Converter a Study Case
Abstract:
The Sigma-Delta A/D converters have been proposed as a practical application for A/D conversion at high rates because of its simplicity and robustness to imperfections in the circuit, also because the traditional converters are more difficult to implement in VLSI technology. These difficulties with conventional conversion methods need precise analog components in their filters and conversion circuits, and are more vulnerable to noise and interference. This paper aims to analyze the architecture, function and application of Analog-Digital converters (A/D) Sigma-Delta to overcome these difficulties, showing some simulations using the Simulink software and Multisim.
44
77392
An Experimental Study of Diffuser-Enhanced Propeller Hydrokinetic Turbines
Abstract:
Wind tunnel experiments of horizontal axis propeller hydrokinetic turbines model were carried out, in order to determine the performance behavior for different configurations and operational range. The present experiments introduce the use of two different geometries of rear diffusers to enhance the performance of the free flow machine. The present paper reports an increase of the power coefficient about 50%-80%. It represents an important feature that has to be taken into account in the design of this kind of machine.
43
8166
Identification of the Parameters of a AC Servomotor Using Genetic Algorithm
Abstract:
This work deals with parameter identification of permanent magnet motors, a class of ac motor which is particularly important in industrial automation due to characteristics like applications high performance, are very attractive for applications with limited space and reducing the need to eliminate because they have reduced size and volume and can operate in a wide speed range, without independent ventilation. By using experimental data and genetic algorithm we have been able to extract values for both the motor inductance and the electromechanical coupling constant, which are then compared to measured and/or expected values.
42
43751
A Proposal for Systematic Mapping Study of Software Security Testing, Verification and Validation
Abstract:
Software vulnerabilities are increasing and not only impact services and processes availability as well as information confidentiality, integrity and privacy, but also cause changes that interfere in the development process. Security test could be a solution to reduce vulnerabilities. However, the variety of test techniques with the lack of real case studies of applying tests focusing on software development life cycle compromise its effective use. This paper offers an overview of how a Systematic Mapping Study (MS) about security verification, validation and test (VVT) was performed, besides presenting general results about this study.
41
7035
Stabilization of the Bernoulli-Euler Plate Equation: Numerical Analysis
Abstract:
The aim of this paper is to study the internal stabilization of the Bernoulli-Euler equation numerically. For this, we consider a square plate subjected to a feedback/damping force distributed only in a subdomain. An algorithm for obtaining an approximate solution to this problem was proposed and implemented. The numerical method used was the Finite Difference Method. Numerical simulations were performed and showed the behavior of the solution, confirming the theoretical results that have already been proved in the literature. In addition, we studied the validation of the numerical scheme proposed, followed by an analysis of the numerical error; and we conducted a study on the decay of the energy associated.
40
44173
Photoluminescence Spectroscopy to Probe Mixed Valence State in Eu-Doped Nanocrystalline Glass-Ceramics
Abstract:
Mixed valence Eu-doped nanocrystalline NaAlSiO4/NaY9Si6O26 glass-ceramics have been prepared by controlled crystallization of melt quenched bulk glasses. XRD and SEM techniques were employed to characterize the crystallization process of the precursor glass and their resultant glass-ceramics. Photoluminescence spectroscopy was used to analyze the formation of divalent europium (Eu2+) from Eu3+ ions during high temperature synthesis under ambient atmosphere and is explained on the basis of optical basicity model. The observed luminescence properties of Eu: NaY9Si6O26 are compared with that of well explored Eu: β-PbF2 nanocrystals and their marked differences are discussed.
39
53076
Augmented Reality and Storytelling in Cities: An Application to Lisbon Street Art
Abstract:
Cities are spaces of memory with several zones (parts of cities) with their own history and cultural events. Today, cities are also marked by a form of intangible cultural heritage like street art, which creates a visual culture based on the process of reflection about the city and the world. To link these realities and create a personal user interaction with this cultural heritage it is important to capture the story and aesthetics, and find alternatives to immerse the user in these spaces of memory. To that end, this article presents a project which combines Augmented Reality technologies and concepts of Transmedia Storytelling applied to Lisbon City, using Street Art artifacts as markers in a framework of digital media-art.
38
14093
Airport Investment Risk Assessment under Uncertainty
Abstract:
The construction of a new airport or the extension of an existing one requires massive investments and many times public private partnerships were considered in order to make feasible such projects. One characteristic of these projects is uncertainty with respect to financial and environmental impacts on the medium to long term. Another one is the multistage nature of these types of projects. While many airport development projects have been a success, some others have turned into a nightmare for their promoters. This communication puts forward a new approach for airport investment risk assessment. The approach takes explicitly into account the degree of uncertainty in activity levels prediction and proposes milestones for the different stages of the project for minimizing risk. Uncertainty is represented through fuzzy dual theory and risk management is performed using dynamic programming. An illustration of the proposed approach is provided.
37
69260
A Formal Approach for Instructional Design Integrated with Data Visualization for Learning Analytics
Abstract:
Most Virtual Learning Environments do not provide support mechanisms for the integrated planning, construction and follow-up of Instructional Design supported by Learning Analytic results. The present work aims to present an authoring tool that will be responsible for constructing the structure of an Instructional Design (ID), without the data being altered during the execution of the course. The visual interface aims to present the critical situations present in this ID, serving as a support tool for the course follow-up and possible improvements, which can be made during its execution or in the planning of a new edition of this course. The model for the ID is based on High-Level Petri Nets and the visualization forms are determined by the specific kind of the data generated by an e-course, a population of students generating sequentially dependent data.
36
63205
Technological Development and Implementation of a Robotic Arm Motioned by Programmable Logic Controller
Abstract:
The robot manipulator is an equipment that stands out for two reasons: Firstly because of its characteristics of movement and reprogramming, resembling the arm; secondly, by adding several areas of knowledge of science and engineering. The present work shows the development of the prototype of a robotic manipulator driven by a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), having two degrees of freedom, which allows the movement and displacement of mechanical parts, tools, and objects in general of small size, through an electronic system. The aim is to study direct and inverse kinematics of the robotic manipulator to describe the translation and rotation between two adjacent links of the robot through the Denavit-Hartenberg parameters. Currently, due to the many resources that microcomputer systems offer us, robotics is going through a period of continuous growth that will allow, in a short time, the development of intelligent robots with the capacity to perform operations that require flexibility, speed and precision.
35
104490
Application of the Least Squares Method in the Adjustment of Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) Regression Models
Abstract:
There are many situations in which human activities have significant effects on the environment. Damage to the ozone layer is one of them. The objective of this work is to use the Least Squares Method, considering the linear, exponential, logarithmic, power and polynomial models of the second degree, to analyze through the coefficient of determination (R²), which model best fits the behavior of the chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) in parts per trillion between 1992 and 2018, as well as estimates of future concentrations between 5 and 10 periods, i.e. the concentration of this pollutant in the years 2023 and 2028 in each of the adjustments. A total of 809 observations of the concentration of HCFC-142b in one of the monitoring stations of gases precursors of the deterioration of the ozone layer during the period of time studied were selected and, using these data, the statistical software Excel was used for make the scatter plots of each of the adjustment models. With the development of the present study, it was observed that the logarithmic fit was the model that best fit the data set, since besides having a significant R² its adjusted curve was compatible with the natural trend curve of the phenomenon.
34
2648
The Use of Performance Indicators for Evaluating Models of Drying Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus L.): Page, Midilli, and Lewis
Abstract:
Mathematical models of drying are used for the purpose of understanding the drying process in order to determine important parameters for design and operation of the dryer. The jackfruit is a fruit with high consumption in the Northeast and perishability. It is necessary to apply techniques to improve their conservation for longer in order to diffuse it by regions with low consumption. This study aimed to analyse several mathematical models (Page, Lewis, and Midilli) to indicate one that best fits the conditions of convective drying process using performance indicators associated with each model: accuracy (Af) and noise factors (Bf), mean square error (RMSE) and standard error of prediction (% SEP). Jackfruit drying was carried out in convective type tray dryer at a temperature of 50°C for 9 hours. It is observed that the model Midili was more accurate with Af: 1.39, Bf: 1.33, RMSE: 0.01%, and SEP: 5.34. However, the use of the Model Midilli is not appropriate for purposes of control process due to need four tuning parameters. With the performance indicators used in this paper, the Page model showed similar results with only two parameters. It is concluded that the best correlation between the experimental and estimated data is given by the Page’s model.
33
30574
Water Detection in Aerial Images Using Fuzzy Sets
Abstract:
This paper presents a methodology to pixel recognition in aerial images using fuzzy $c$-means algorithm. This algorithm is a alternative to recognize areas considering uncertainties and inaccuracies. Traditional clustering technics are used in recognizing of multispectral images of earth's surface. This technics recognize well-defined borders that can be easily discretized. However, in the real world there are many areas with uncertainties and inaccuracies which can be mapped by clustering algorithms that use fuzzy sets. The methodology presents in this work is applied to multispectral images obtained from Landsat-5/TM satellite. The pixels are joined using the $c$-means algorithm. After, a classification process identify the types of surface according the patterns obtained from spectral response of image surface. The classes considered are, exposed soil, moist soil, vegetation, turbid water and clean water. The results obtained shows that the fuzzy clustering identify the real type of the earth's surface.
32
55247
Effectiveness of the Resistance to Irradiance Test on Sunglasses Standards
Abstract:
It is still controversial in the literature the ultraviolet (UV) radiation effects on the ocular media, but the World Health Organization has established safe limits on the exposure of eyes to UV radiation based on reports in literature. Sunglasses play an important role in providing safety, and their lenses should provide adequate UV filters. Regarding UV protection for ocular media, the resistance-to-irradiance test for sunglasses under many national standards requires irradiating lenses for 50 uninterrupted hours with a 450 W solar simulator. This artificial aging test may provide a corresponding evaluation of exposure to the sun. Calculating the direct and diffuse solar irradiance at a vertical surface and the corresponding radiant exposure for the entire year, we compare the latter with the 50-hour radiant exposure of a 450 W xenon arc lamp from a solar simulator required by national standards. Our calculations indicate that this stress test is ineffective in its present form. We provide evidence of the need to re-evaluate the parameters of the tests to establish appropriate safe limits against UV radiation. This work is potentially significant for scientists and legislators in the field of sunglasses standards to improve the requirements of sunglasses quality and safety.
31
29207
Characterization and Predictors of Paranoid Ideation in Youths
Abstract:
Paranoid ideation is a common thought process that constitutes a defense against perceived social threats. The current study aimed at the characterization of paranoid ideation in youths and to explore the possible predictors involved in the development of paranoid ideations. Paranoid ideation, shame, submission, early childhood memories and current depressive, anxious and stress symptomatology was assessed in a sample of 1516 Portuguese youths. Higher frequencies of paranoid ideation were observed, particularly in females and youths from lower socio-economic status. The main predictors identified relates to submissive behaviors and adverse childhood experiences, and especially to shame feelings. The current study emphasizes that the these predictors are similar to findings in adults and clinical populations, and future implications to research and clinical practice aiming at paranoid ideations are discussed, as well as the pertinence of the study of mediating factors that allow a wider understanding of this thought process in younger populations and the prevention of psychopathology in adulthood.
30
92839
A Gastro-Intestinal Model for a Rational Design of in vitro Systems to Study Drugs Bioavailability
Abstract:
This work focuses on a mathematical model able to describe the gastro-intestinal physiology and providing a rational tool for the design of an artificial gastro-intestinal system. This latter is mainly devoted to analyse the absorption and bioavailability of drugs and nutrients through in vitro tests in order to overcome (or, at least, to partially replace) in vivo trials. The provided model realizes a conjunction ring (with extended prediction capability) between in vivo tests and mechanical-laboratory models emulating the human body. On this basis, no empirical equations controlling the gastric emptying are implemented in this model as frequent in the cited literature and all the sub-unit and the related system of equations are physiologically based. More in detail, the model structure consists of six compartments (stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon and blood) interconnected through pipes and valves. Paracetamol, Ketoprofen, Irbesartan and Ketoconazole are considered and analysed in this work as reference drugs. The mathematical model has been validated against in vivo literature data. Results obtained show a very good model reliability and highlight the possibility to realize tailored simulations for different couples patient-drug, including food adsorption dynamics.
29
21393
Kinetic Study of the Esterification of Unsaturated Fatty Acids from Salmon Oil (Salmosalar L.)
Abstract:
The objective of this study was to synthesize a triglyceride with high content of unsaturated fatty acids from salmon oil (Salmo salar L.) by esterification with glycerol catalyzed dealuminized zeolite. A kinetic study was conducted to determine the reaction order and the activation energy. A statistical study was conducted to determine optimal reaction conditions. Initially, the crude oil was refined salmon physically and chemically. The crude oil was hydrolyzed and unsaturated free fatty acids were separated by urea complexation method. An experimental project to verify the parameters (temperature, glycerin and catalyst) with the greatest impact on the reaction was developed. In experiments aliquots were taken at predetermined times to measure the amount of free fatty acids. Pareto, surface, contour and hub graphs were used to determine the factors that maximized the reaction. According to the graphs the best reaction conditions were: temperature 80 ° C, the proportion glycerine/oil 5: 1 and 1% of catalyst. The kinetic data showed that the system was compatible with a second-order reaction. After analyzing the rate constant versus temperature charts a value of 85.31 kJ/mol was obtained for the reaction activation energy.
28
2641
Evaluation of Hancornia speciosa Gomes Lyophilization at Different Stages of Maturation
Abstract:
Mangabeira (Hancornia speciosa Gomes), a native plant in Brazil, is found growing spontaneously in various regions of the country. The high perishability of tropical fruits such as mangaba, causes it to be necessary to use technologies that promote conservation, aiming to increase the shelf life of this fruit and add value. The objective of this study was to compare the mangabas lyophilisation curves behaviours with different sizes and maturation stages. The fruits were freeze-dried for a period of approximately 45 hours at lyophilizer Liotop brand, model L -108. It has been considered large the fruits between 38 and 58 mm diameter and small, between 23 and 28 mm diameter and the two states of maturation, intermediate and mature. Large size mangabas drying curves in both states of maturation were linear behaviour at all process, while the kinetic drying curves related to small fruits, independent of maturation state, had a typical behaviour of drying, with all the well-defined steps. With these results it was noted that the time of lyophilisation was suitable for small mangabas, a fact that did not happen with the larger one. This may indicate that the large mangabas require a longer time to freeze until reaches the equilibrium level, as it happens with the small fruits, going to have constant moisture at the end of the process. For both types of fruit were analysed water activity, acidity, protein, lipid, and vitamin C before and after the process.
27
63884
Ultra-Fast pH-Gradient Ion Exchange Chromatography for the Separation of Monoclonal Antibody Charge Variants
Abstract:
Purpose: Demonstration of fast high resolution charge variant analysis for monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics within 5 minutes. Methods: Three commercially available mAbs were used for all experiments. The charge variants of therapeutic mAbs (Bevacizumab, Cetuximab, Infliximab, and Trastuzumab) are analyzed on a strong cation exchange column with a linear pH gradient separation method. The linear gradient from pH 5.6 to pH 10.2 is generated over time by running a linear pump gradient from 100% Thermo Scientific™ CX-1 pH Gradient Buffer A (pH 5.6) to 100% CX-1 pH Gradient Buffer B (pH 10.2), using the Thermo Scientific™ Vanquish™ UHPLC system. Results: The pH gradient method is generally applicable to monoclonal antibody charge variant analysis. In conjunction with state-of-the-art column and UHPLC technology, ultra fast high-resolution separations are consistently achieved in under 5 minutes for all mAbs analyzed. Conclusion: The linear pH gradient method is a platform method for mAb charge variant analysis. The linear pH gradient method can be easily optimized to improve separations and shorten cycle times. Ultra-fast charge variant separation is facilitated with UHPLC that complements, and in some instances outperforms CE approaches in terms of both resolution and throughput.
26
89742
Development and Characterization of Re-Entrant Auxetic Fibrous Structures for Application in Ballistic Composites
Abstract:
Auxetic fibrous structures and composites with negative Poisson’s ratio (NPR) have huge potential for application in ballistic protection due to their high energy absorption and excellent impact resistance. In the present research, re-entrant lozenge auxetic fibrous structures were produced through weft knitting technology using high performance polyamide and para-aramid fibres. Fabric structural parameters (e.g. loop length) and machine parameters (e.g. take down load) were varied in order to investigate their influence on the auxetic behaviours of the produced structures. These auxetic structures were then impregnated with two types of polymeric resins (epoxy and polyester) to produce composite materials, which were subsequently characterized for the auxetic behaviour. It was observed that the knitted fabrics produced using the polyamide yarns exhibited NPR over a wide deformation range, which was strongly dependant on the loop length and take down load. The polymeric composites produced from the auxetic fabrics also showed good auxetic property, which was superior in case of the polyester matrix. The experimental results suggested that these composites made from the auxetic fibrous structures can be properly designed to find potential use in the body amours for personal protection applications.
25
47824
Co-Disposal of Coal Ash with Mine Tailings in Surface Paste Disposal Practices: A Gold Mining Case Study
Abstract:
The present paper describes the study of paste tailings prepared in laboratory using gold tailings, produced in a Finnish gold mine with the incorporation of coal ash. Natural leaching tests were conducted with the original materials (tailings, fly and bottom ashes) and also with paste mixtures that were prepared with different percentages of tailings and ashes. After leaching, the solid wastes were physically and chemically characterized and the results were compared to those selected as blank – the unleached samples. The tailings and the coal ash, as well as the prepared mixtures, were characterized, in addition to the textural parameters, by the following measurements: grain size distribution, chemical composition and pH. Mixtures were also tested in order to characterize their mechanical behavior by measuring the flexural strength, the compressive strength and the consistency. The original tailing samples presented an alkaline pH because during their processing they were previously submitted to pressure oxidation with destruction of the sulfides. Therefore, it was not possible to ascertain the effect of the coal ashes in the acid mine drainage. However, it was possible to verify that the paste reactivity was affected mostly by the bottom ash and that the tailings blended with bottom ash present lower mechanical strength than when blended with a combination of fly and bottom ash. Surface paste disposal offer an attractive alternative to traditional methods in addition to the environmental benefits of incorporating large-volume wastes (e.g. bottom ash). However, a comprehensive characterization of the paste mixtures is crucial to optimize paste design in order to enhance engineer and environmental properties.
24
25531
Improving Our Understanding of the in vivo Modelling of Psychotic Disorders
Abstract:
Psychosis is ranked as the third most disabling medical condition in the world by the World Health Organization. Despite a substantial amount of research in recent years, available treatments are not universally effective and have a wide range of adverse side effects. Since many clinical drug candidates are identified through in vivo modelling, a deeper understanding of these models, and their strengths and limitations, might help us understand reasons for difficulties in psychosis drug development. To provide an unbiased summary of the preclinical psychosis literature we performed a systematic electronic search of PubMed for publications modelling a psychotic disorder in vivo, identifying 14,721 relevant studies. Double screening of 11,000 publications from this dataset so far established 2403 animal studies of psychosis, with the most common model being schizophrenia (95%). 61% of these models are induced using pharmacological agents. For all the models only 56% of publications test a therapeutic treatment. We propose a systematic review of these studies to assess the prevalence of reporting of measures to reduce risk of bias, and a meta-analysis to assess the internal and external validity of these animal models. Our findings are likely to be relevant to future preclinical studies of psychosis as this generation of strong empirical evidence has the potential to identify weaknesses, areas for improvement and make suggestions on refinement of experimental design. Such a detailed understanding of the data which inform what we think we know will help improve the current attrition rate between bench and bedside in psychosis research.
23
71373
Spatio-Temporal Changes of Rainfall in São Paulo, Brazil (1973-2012): A Gamma Distribution and Cluster Analysis
Abstract:
An important feature of rainfall regimes is the variability, which is subject to the atmosphere’s general and regional dynamics, geographical position and relief. Despite being inherent to the climate system, it can harshly impact virtually all human activities. In turn, global climate change has the ability to significantly affect smaller-scale rainfall regimes by altering their current variability patterns. In this regard, it is useful to know if regional climates are changing over time and whether it is possible to link these variations to climate change trends observed globally. This study is part of an international project (Metropole-FAPESP, Proc. 2012/51876-0 and Proc. 2015/11035-5) and the objective was to identify and evaluate possible changes in rainfall behavior in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, using rainfall data from 79 rain gauges for the last forty years. Cluster analysis and gamma distribution parameters were used for evaluating spatial and temporal trends, and the outcomes are presented by means of geographic information systems tools. Results show remarkable changes in rainfall distribution patterns in São Paulo over the years: changes in shape and scale parameters of gamma distribution indicate both an increase in the irregularity of rainfall distribution and the probability of occurrence of extreme events. Additionally, the spatial outcome of cluster analysis along with the gamma distribution parameters suggest that changes occurred simultaneously over the whole area, indicating that they could be related to remote causes beyond the local and regional ones, especially in a current global climate change scenario.
22
23725
Preparation of Electrospun PLA/ENR Fibers
Abstract:
Electrospinning is a technique for the fabrication of nanoscale fibers. The general electrospinning system consists of a syringe filled with polymer solution, a syringe pump, a high voltage source and a grounded counter electrode. During electrospinning a volumetric flow is set by the syringe pump and an electric voltage is applied. This forms an electric potential between the needle and the counter electrode (collector plate), which results in the formation of a Taylor cone and the jet. The jet is moved towards the lower potential, the counter electrode, wherein the solvent of the polymer solution is evaporated and the polymer fiber is formed. On the way to the counter electrode, the fiber is accelerated by the electric field. The bending instabilities that occur form a helical loop movements of the jet, which result from the coulomb repulsion of the surface charge. Trough bending instabilities the jet is stretched, so that the fiber diameter decreases. In this study, a thermoplastic/elastomeric binary blend of non-vulcanized epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) and poly(latic acid) (PLA) was electrospun using polymer solutions consisting of varying proportions of PCL and NR. Specifically, 15% (w/v) PLA/ENR solutions were prepared in /chloroform at proportions of 5, 10, 25, and 50% (w/w). The morphological and thermal properties of the electrospun mats were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and differential scanning calorimetry analysis. The SEM images demonstrated the production of micrometer- and sub-micrometer-sized fibers with no bead formation. The blend miscibility was evaluated by thermal analysis, which showed that blending did not improve the thermal stability of the systems.
21
38772
Off-Shore Wind Turbines: The Issue of Soil Plugging during Pile Installation
Abstract:
Off-shore wind turbines are currently considered as a reliable source of renewable energy Worldwide and especially in the UK. Most of the operational off-shore wind turbines located in shallow waters (i.e. < 30 m) are supported on monopiles. Monopiles are open-ended steel tubes with diameter ranging between 4 to 6 m. It is expected that future off-shore wind farms will be located in water depths as high as 70 m. Therefore, alternative foundation arrangements are needed. Foundations for off-shore structures normally consist of open-ended piles driven into the soil by means of impact hammers. During pile installation, the soil inside the pile may be mobilized by the increasing shear strength such as to prevent more soil from entering the pile. This phenomenon is known as soil plugging, and represents an important issue as it may change significantly the driving resistance of open-ended piles. In fact, if the plugging formation is unexpected, the installation may require more powerful and more expensive hammers. Engineers need to estimate whether the driven pile will be installed in a plugged or unplugged mode. As a consequence, a prediction of the degree of soil plugging is required in order to correctly predict the drivability of the pile. This work presents a brief review of the state-of-the-art of pile driving and approaches used to predict formation of soil plugs. In addition, a novel analytical approach is proposed, which is based on the vertical equilibrium of a plugged pile. Differently from previous studies, this research takes into account the enhancement of the stress within the soil plug. Finally, the work presents and discusses a series of experimental tests, which are carried out on small-scale models piles to validate the analytical solution.
20
62305
Species Selection for Phytoremediation of Barium Polluted Flooded Soils
Abstract:
The use of barite (BaSO₄) as a weighting agent in drilling fluids for oil and gas activities makes barium a potential contaminant in the case of spills onto flooded soils, where barium sulfate solubility is increased due to low redox conditions. In order to select plants able to remove barium in such scenarios, seven plant species were evaluated on barium phytoextraction capacity: Brachiaria arrecta; Cyperus cf. papyrus; Eleocharis acutangula; Eleocharis interstincta; Nephrolepsis cf. rivularis; Paspalum conspersum and Typha domingensis. Plants were grown in pots with 13 kg of soil each, and exposed to six barium concentrations (established with BaCl₂): 0; 2.5; 5.0; 10.0; 30.0; 65.0 mg kg-1. To simulate flooding conditions, every pot was manteined with a thin irrigation water depth over soil surface (~1.0 cm). Treatments were carried out in triplicate, and pots were distributed randomly inside the greenhouse. Biometric and chemical analyses were performed throughout the experiment, including Ba²⁺ accumulation in shoots and roots. The highest amount of barium was observed in T. domingensis biomass, followed by C. cf. papyrus. However, the latter exported most of the barium to shoot, especially in higher BaCl₂ doses, while the former accumulated barium preferentially in roots. Thus, barium removal with C. cf. papyrus could be achieved by simply harvesting aerial biomass. The amount of barium in C. cf. papyrus was a consequence of high biomass production rather than barium concentration in plant tissues, whereas T. domingensis showed high barium concentration in plant tissues and high biomass production as well. These results make T. domingensis and C. cf. papyrus potential candidates to be applied in phytoremediation schemes to remove barium from flooded soils.
19
107669
The Relationship of Lean Management Principles with Lean Maturity Levels: Multiple Case Study in Manufacturing Companies
Abstract:
Companies and other institutions are constantly seeking better organizational performance and greater competitiveness. In order to fulfill this purpose, there are many tools, methodologies and models for increasing performance. However, the Lean Management approach seems to be the most effective in terms of achieving a significant improvement in productivity relatively quickly. Although Lean tools are relatively easy to understand and implement in different contexts, many organizations are not able to transform themselves into 'Lean companies'. Most of the efforts in its implementation have shown single benefits, failing to achieve the desired impact on the performance of the overall enterprise system. There is also a growing perception of the importance of management in Lean transformation, but few studies have empirically investigated and described the 'Lean Management'. In order to understand more clearly the ideas that guide Lean Management and its influence on the maturity level of the production system, the objective of this research is analyze the relationship between the Lean Management principles and the Lean maturity level in the organizations. The research also analyzes the principles of Lean Management and its relationship with the 'Lean culture' and the results obtained. The research was developed using the case study methodology. Three manufacturing units of a German multinational company from industrial automation segment, located in different countries were studied, in order to have a better comparison between the practices and the level of maturity in the implementation. The primary source of information was the application of a research questionnaire based on the theoretical review. The research showed that higher the level of Lean Management principles, higher are the Lean maturity level, the Lean culture level, and the level of Lean results obtained in the organization. The research also showed that factors such as time for application of Lean concepts and company size were not determinant for the level of Lean Management principles and, consequently, for the level of Lean maturity in the organization. The characteristics of the production system showed much more influence in different evaluated aspects. The present research also left recommendations for the managers of the plants analyzed and suggestions for future research.
18
89621
Nationalization of the Social Life in Argentina: Accumulation of Capital, State Intervention, Labor Market, and System of Rights in the Last Decades
Abstract:
This work begins with a very simple question: How does the State spend? Argentina is witnessing a process of growing nationalization of social life, so it is necessary to find out the explanations of the phenomenon on the specific dynamic of the capitalist mode of production in Argentina and its transformations in the last decades. Then the new question is: what happened in Argentina that could explain this phenomenon? Since the seventies, the capital growth in Argentina faces deep competitive problems. Until that moment the agrarian wealth had worked as a compensation mechanism, but it began to find its limits. In the meantime, some important demographical and structural changes had happened. The strategy of the capitalist class had to become to seek in the cheapness of the labor force the main source of compensation of its weakness. As a result, a tendency to worsen the living conditions and fragmentation of the working class started to develop, manifested by unemployment, underemployment, and the fall of the purchasing power of the salary as a highlighted fact. As a consequence, it is suggested that the role of the State became stronger and public expenditure increased, as a historical trend, because it has to intervene to face the contradictions and constant growth problems posed by the development of capitalism in Argentina. On the one hand, the State has to guarantee the process of buying the cheapened workforce and at the same time the process of reproduction of the working class. On the other hand, it has to help to reproduce the individual capitals but needs to ‘attack’ them in different ways. This is why the role of the State is said to be the general political representative to the national portion of the total social capital. What will be studied is the dynamic of the intervention of the Argentine State in the context of the particular national process of capital growth, and its dynamics in the last decades. What this paper wants to show are the main general causes that could explain the phenomenon of nationalization of the social life and how it has impacted the life conditions of the working class and the system of rights.
17
106294
PlayTrain: A Research and Intervention Project for Early Childhood Teacher Education
Abstract:
The value of play is recognized worldwide and is considered a fundamental right of all children, as defined in Article 31 of the United Nations Children’s Rights. It is consensual among the scientific community that play, and toys are of vital importance for children’s learning and development. Play promotes the acquisition of language, enhances creativity and improves social, affective, emotional, cognitive and motor development of young children. Young children ages 0 to 6 who have had many opportunities to get involved in play show greater competence to adapt to new and unexpected situations and more easily overcome the pain and suffering caused by traumatic situations. The PlayTrain Project aims to understand the places/spaces of play in the education of children from 0 to 6 years and promoting the training of preschool teachers to become capable of developing practices that enhance children’s agency, experimentation in the physical and social world and the development of imagination and creativity. This project follows the Design-Based-Research (DBR) and has two dimensions: research and intervention. The participants are 120 students from the Master in Pre-school Education of the Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon enrolled in the academic year 2018/2019. The development of workshops focused on the role of play and toys for young children’s learning promotes the participants reflection and the development of skills and knowledge to construct developmentally appropriated practices in early childhood education. Data was collected through an online questionnaire and focal groups. Results show that the PlayTrain Project contribute to the development of a body of knowledge about the role of play for early childhood education. It was possible to identify the needs of preschool teacher education and to enhance the discussion among the scientific and academic community about the importance of deepening the role of play and toys in the study plans of the masters in pre-school education.
16
53404
Application and Evaluation of Teaching-Learning Guides Based on Swebok for the Requirements Engineering Area
Abstract:
The software industry requires highly-trained professionals, capable of developing the roles integrated in the cycle of software development. That is why a large part of the task is the responsibility of higher education institutions; often through a curriculum established to orientate the academic development of the students. It is so that nowadays there are different models that support proposals for the improvement of the curricula for the area of Software Engineering, such as ACM, IEEE, ABET, Swebok, of which the last stands out, given that it manages and organises the knowledge of Software Engineering and offers a vision of theoretical and practical aspects. Moreover, it has been applied by different universities in the pursuit of achieving coverage in delivering the different topics and increasing the professional quality of future graduates. This research presents the structure of teaching and learning guides from the objectives of training and methodological strategies immersed in the levels of learning of Bloom’s taxonomy with which it is intended to improve the delivery of the topics in the area of Requirements Engineering. Said guides were implemented and validated in a course of Requirements Engineering of the Systems and Computer Engineering programme in the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia) using a four stage methodology: definition of the evaluation model, implementation of the guides, guide evaluation, and analysis of the results. After the collection and analysis of the data, the results show that in six out of the seven topics proposed in the Swebok guide, the percentage of students who obtained total marks within the 'High grade' level, that is between 4.0 and 4.6 (on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0), was higher than the percentage of students who obtained marks within the 'Acceptable' range of 3.0 to 3.9. In 86% of the topics and the strategies proposed, the teaching and learning guides facilitated the comprehension, analysis, and articulation of the concepts and processes of the students. In addition, they mainly indicate that the guides strengthened the argumentative and interpretative competencies, while the remaining 14% denotes the need to reinforce the strategies regarding the propositive competence, given that it presented the lowest average.
15
52004
Characterisation of Human Attitudes in Software Requirements Elicitation
Abstract:
It is evident that there has been progress in the development and innovation of tools, techniques and methods in the development of software. Even so, there are few methodologies that include the human factor from the point of view of motivation, emotions and impact on the work environment; aspects that, when mishandled or not taken into consideration, increase the iterations in the requirements elicitation phase. This generates a broad number of changes in the characteristics of the system during its developmental process and an overinvestment of resources to obtain a final product that, often, does not live up to the expectations and needs of the client. The human factors such as emotions or personality traits are naturally associated with the process of developing software. However, most of these jobs are oriented towards the analysis of the final users of the software and do not take into consideration the emotions and motivations of the members of the development team. Given that in the industry, the strategies to select the requirements engineers and/or the analysts do not take said factors into account, it is important to identify and describe the characteristics or personality traits in order to elicit requirements effectively. This research describes the main personality traits associated with the requirements elicitation tasks through the analysis of the existing literature on the topic and a compilation of our experiences as software development project managers in the academic and productive sectors; allowing for the characterisation of a suitable profile for this job. Moreover, a psychometric test is used as an information gathering technique, and it is applied to the personnel of some local companies in the software development sector. Such information has become an important asset in order to make a comparative analysis between the degree of effectiveness in the way their software development teams are formed and the proposed profile. The results show that of the software development companies studied: 53.58% have selected the personnel for the task of requirements elicitation adequately, 37.71% possess some of the characteristics to perform the task, and 10.71% are inadequate. From the previous information, it is possible to conclude that 46.42% of the requirements engineers selected by the companies could perform other roles more adequately; a change which could improve the performance and competitiveness of the work team and, indirectly, the quality of the product developed. Likewise, the research allowed for the validation of the pertinence and usefulness of the psychometric instrument as well as the accuracy of the characteristics for the profile of requirements engineer proposed as a reference.
14
98514
Morphological and Molecular Evaluation of Dengue Virus Serotype 3 Infection in BALB/c Mice Lungs
Abstract:
The establishment of animal models for studies of DENV infections has been challenging, since circulating epidemic viruses do not naturally infect nonhuman species. Such studies are of great relevance to the various areas of dengue research, including immunopathogenesis, drug development and vaccines. In this scenario, the main objective of this study is to verify possible morphological changes, as well as the presence of antigens and viral RNA in lung samples from BALB/c mice experimentally infected with an epidemic and non-neuroadapted DENV-3 strain. Male BALB/c mice, 2 months old, were inoculated with DENV-3 by intravenous route. After 72 hours of infection, the animals were euthanized and the lungs were collected. Part of the samples was processed by standard technique for analysis by light and transmission electronic microscopies and another part was processed for real-time PCR analysis. Morphological analyzes of lungs from uninfected mice showed preserved tissue areas. In mice infected with DENV-3, the analyzes revealed interalveolar septum thickening with presence of inflammatory infiltrate, foci of alveolar atelectasis and hyperventilation, bleeding foci in the interalveolar septum and bronchioles, peripheral capillary congestion, accumulation of fluid in the blood capillary, signs of interstitial cell necrosis presence of platelets and mononuclear inflammatory cells circulating in the capillaries and/or adhered to the endothelium. In addition, activation of endothelial cells, platelets, mononuclear inflammatory cell and neutrophil-type polymorphonuclear inflammatory cell evidenced by the emission of cytoplasmic membrane prolongation was observed. DEN-like particles were seen in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells. The viral genome was recovered from 3 in 12 lung samples. These results demonstrate that the BALB / c mouse represents a suitable model for the study of the histopathological changes induced by DENV infection in the lung, with tissue alterations similar to those observed in human cases of DEN.
13
35555
Characterization of Polymorphic Forms of Rifaximin
Abstract:
Rifaximin is an oral antimicrobial, gut - selective and not systemic with adverse effects compared to placebo. It is used for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy, travelers diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, Clostridium difficile, ulcerative colitis and acute diarrhea. The crystalline form present in the rifaximin with minimal systemic absorption is α, being the amorphous form significantly different. Regulators are increasingly attention to polymorphisms. Polymorphs can change the form by altering the drug characteristics compromising the effectiveness and safety of the finished product. International Conference on Harmonization issued the ICH Guidance Q6A, which aim to improve the control of polymorphism in new and existing pharmaceuticals. The objective of this study was to obtain polymorphic forms of rifaximin employing recrystallization processes and characterize them by thermal analysis (thermogravimetry - TG and differential scanning calorimetry - DSC), X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and solubility test. Six polymorphic forms of rifaximin, designated I to VI were obtained by the crystallization process by evaporation of the solvent. The profiles of the TG curves obtained from polymorphic forms of rifaximin are similar to rifaximin and each other, however, the DTG are different, indicating different thermal behaviors. Melting temperature values of all the polymorphic forms were greater to that shown by the rifaximin, indicating the higher thermal stability of the obtained forms. The comparison of the diffractograms of the polymorphic forms of rifaximin with rifaximin α, β and γ constant in patent indicate that forms III, V and VI are formed by mixing polymorph β and α and form III is formed by polymorph β. The polymorphic form I is formed by polymorph β, but with a significant amount of amorphous material. Already, the polymorphic form II consists of polymorph γ, amorphous. In scanning electron microscope is possible to observe the heterogeneity of morphological characteristics of crystals of polymorphic forms among themselves and with rifaximin. The solubility of forms I and II was greater than the solubility of rifaximin, already, forms III, IV and V presented lower solubility than of rifaximin. Similarly, the bioavailability of the amorphous form of rifaximin is considered significantly higher than the form α, the polymorphic forms obtained in this work can not guarantee the excellent tolerability of the reference medicine. Therefore, studies like these are extremely important and they point to the need for greater requirements by the regulatory agencies competent about polymorphs analysis of the raw materials used in the manufacture of medicines marketed globally. These analyzes are not required in the majority of official compendia. Partnerships between industries, research centers and universities would be a viable way to consolidate researches in this area and contribute to improving the quality of solid drugs.
12
20834
The M Health Paradigm for the Chronic Care Management of Obesity: New Opportunities in Clinical Psychology and Medicine
Abstract:
Obesity is currently an important public health problem of epidemic proportions (globesity). Moreover Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is typically connected with obesity, even if not occurring exclusively in conjunction with overweight conditions. Typically obesity with BED requires a longer term treatment in comparison with simple obesity. Rehabilitation interventions that aim at improving weight-loss, reducing obesity-related complications and changing dysfunctional behaviors, should ideally be carried out in a multidisciplinary context with a clinical team composed of psychologists, dieticians, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, etc. Long-term outpatient multidisciplinary treatments are likely to constitute an essential aspect of rehabilitation, due to the growing costs of a limited inpatient approach. Internet-based technologies can improve long-term obesity rehabilitation within a collaborative approach. The new m health (m-health, mobile health) paradigm, defined as clinical practices supported by up to date mobile communication devices, could increase compliance- engagement and contribute to a significant cost reduction in BED and obesity rehabilitation. Five psychological components need to be considered for successful m Health-based obesity rehabilitation in order to facilitate weight-loss.1) Self-monitoring. Portable body monitors, pedometers and smartphones are mobile and, therefore, can be easily used, resulting in continuous self-monitoring. 2) Counselor feedback and communication. A functional approach is to provide online weight-loss interventions with brief weekly or monthly counselor or psychologist visits. 3) Social support. A group treatment format is typically preferred for behavioral weight-loss interventions. 4) Structured program. Technology-based weight-loss programs incorporate principles of behavior therapy and change with structured weekly protocolos including nutrition, exercise, stimulus control, self-regulation strategies, goal-setting. 5) Individually tailored program. Interventions specifically designed around individual’s goals typically record higher rates of adherence and weight loss. Opportunities and limitations of m health approach in clinical psychology for obesity and BED are discussed, taking into account future research directions in this promising area.
11
75109
Association of Body Composition Parameters with Lower Limb Strength and Upper Limb Functional Capacity in Quilombola Remnants
Abstract:
In Brazil, projections of population aging follow all world projections, the birth rate tends to be surpassed by the mortality rate around the year 2045. Historically, the population of Brazilian blacks suffered for several centuries from the oppression of dominant classes. A group, especially of blacks, stands out in relation to territorial, historical and social aspects, and for centuries they have isolated themselves in small communities, in order to maintain their freedom and culture. The isolation of the Quilombola communities generated socioeconomic effects as well as the health of these blacks. Thus, the objective of the present study is to verify the association of body composition parameters with lower and upper limb strength and functional capacity in Quilombola remnants. The research was approved by ethics committee (1,771,159). Anthropometric evaluations of hip and waist circumference, body mass and height were performed. In order to verify the body composition, the relationship between stature and body mass (BM) was performed, generating the body mass index (BMI), as well as the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) test. The Time Up and Go (TUG) test was used to evaluate the functional capacity, and a maximum repetition test (1MR) for knee extension and handgrip (HG) was applied for strength magnitude analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using the statistical package SPSS 22.0. Shapiro Wilk's normality test was performed. For the possible correlations, the suggestions of the Pearson or Spearman tests were adopted. The results obtained after the interpretation identified that the sample (n = 18) was composed of 66.7% of female individuals with mean age of 66.07 ± 8.95 years. The sample’s body fat percentage (%BF) (35.65 ± 10.73) exceeds the recommendations for age group, as well as the anthropometric parameters of hip (90.91 ± 8.44cm) and waist circumference (80.37 ± 17.5cm). The relationship between height (1.55 ± 0.1m) and body mass (63.44 ± 11.25Kg) generated a BMI of 24.16 ± 7.09Kg/m2, that was considered normal. The TUG performance was 10.71 ± 1.85s. In the 1MR test, 46.67 ± 13.06Kg and in the HG 23.93±7.96Kgf were obtained, respectively. Correlation analyzes were characterized by the high frequency of significant correlations for height, dominant arm mass (DAM), %BF, 1MR and HG variables. In addition, correlations between HG and BM (r = 0.67, p = 0.005), height (r = 0.51, p = 0.004) and DAM (r = 0.55, p = 0.026) were also observed. The strength of the lower limbs correlates with BM (r = 0.69, p = 0.003), height (r = 0.62, p = 0.01) and DAM (r = 0.772, p = 0.001). In this way, we can conclude that not only the simple spatial relationship of mass and height can influence in predictive parameters of strength or functionality, being important the verification of the conditions of the corporal composition. For this population, height seems to be a good predictor of strength and body composition.
10
31580
Food Safety in Wine: Removal of Ochratoxin a in Contaminated White Wine Using Commercial Fining Agents
Abstract:
The presence of mycotoxins in foodstuff is a matter of concern for food safety. Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain molds, being ochratoxin A (OTA) one of the most relevant. Wines can also be contaminated with these toxicants. Several authors have demonstrated the presence of mycotoxins in wine, especially ochratoxin A. Its chemical structure is a dihydro-isocoumarin connected at the 7-carboxy group to a molecule of L-β-phenylalanine via an amide bond. As these toxicants can never be completely removed from the food chain, many countries have defined levels in food in order to attend health concerns. OTA contamination of wines might be a risk to consumer health, thus requiring treatments to achieve acceptable standards for human consumption. The maximum acceptable level of OTA in wines is 2.0 μg/kg according to the Commission regulation No. 1881/2006. Therefore, the aim of this work was to reduce OTA to safer levels using different fining agents, as well as their impact on white wine physicochemical characteristics. To evaluate their efficiency, 11 commercial fining agents (mineral, synthetic, animal and vegetable proteins) were used to get new approaches on OTA removal from white wine. Trials (including a control without addition of a fining agent) were performed in white wine artificially supplemented with OTA (10 µg/L). OTA analyses were performed after wine fining. Wine was centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 10 min and 1 mL of the supernatant was collected and added of an equal volume of acetonitrile/methanol/acetic acid (78:20:2 v/v/v). Also, the solid fractions obtained after fining, were centrifuged (4000 rpm, 15 min), the resulting supernatant discarded, and the pellet extracted with 1 mL of the above solution and 1 mL of H2O. OTA analysis was performed by HPLC with fluorescence detection. The most effective fining agent in removing OTA (80%) from white wine was a commercial formulation that contains gelatin, bentonite and activated carbon. Removals between 10-30% were obtained with potassium caseinate, yeast cell walls and pea protein. With bentonites, carboxymethylcellulose, polyvinylpolypyrrolidone and chitosan no considerable OTA removal was verified. Following, the effectiveness of seven commercial activated carbons was also evaluated and compared with the commercial formulation that contains gelatin, bentonite and activated carbon. The different activated carbons were applied at the concentration recommended by the manufacturer in order to evaluate their efficiency in reducing OTA levels. Trial and OTA analysis were performed as explained previously. The results showed that in white wine all activated carbons except one reduced 100% of OTA. The commercial formulation that contains gelatin, bentonite and activated carbon reduced only 73% of OTA concentration. These results may provide useful information for winemakers, namely for the selection of the most appropriate oenological product for OTA removal, reducing wine toxicity and simultaneously enhancing food safety and wine quality.
9
42902
A Stepped Care mHealth-Based Approach for Obesity with Type 2 Diabetes in Clinical Health Psychology
Abstract:
Diabesity could be defined as a new global epidemic of obesity and being overweight with many complications and chronic conditions. Such conditions include not only type 2 diabetes, but also cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, dyslipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, cancer, and various psychosocial and psychopathological disorders. The financial direct and indirect burden (considering also the clinical resources involved and the loss of productivity) is a real challenge in many Western health-care systems. Recently the Lancet journal defined diabetes as a 21st-century challenge. In order to promote patient compliance in diabesity treatment reducing costs, evidence-based interventions to improve weight-loss, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce related comorbidities combine different treatment approaches: dietetic, nutritional, physical, behavioral, psychological, and, in some situations, pharmacological and surgical. Moreover, new technologies can provide useful solutions in this multidisciplinary approach, above all in maintaining long-term compliance and adherence in order to ensure clinical efficacy. Psychological therapies with diet and exercise plans could better help patients in achieving weight loss outcomes, both inside hospitals and clinical centers and during out-patient follow-up sessions. In the management of chronic diseases clinical psychology play a key role due to the need of working on psychological conditions of patients, their families and their caregivers. mHealth approach could overcome limitations linked with the traditional, restricted and highly expensive in-patient treatment of many chronic pathologies: one of the best up-to-date application is the management of obesity with type 2 diabetes, where mHealth solutions can provide remote opportunities for enhancing weight reduction and reducing complications from clinical, organizational and economic perspectives. A stepped care mHealth-based approach is an interesting perspective in chronic care management of obesity with type 2 diabetes. One promising future direction could be treating obesity, considered as a chronic multifactorial disease, using a stepped-care approach: -mhealth or traditional based lifestyle psychoeducational and nutritional approach. -health professionals-driven multidisciplinary protocols tailored for each patient. -inpatient approach with the inclusion of drug therapies and other multidisciplinary treatments. -bariatric surgery with psychological and medical follow-up In the chronic care management of globesity mhealth solutions cannot substitute traditional approaches, but they can supplement some steps in clinical psychology and medicine both for obesity prevention and for weight loss management.
8
39742
Procedure for Monitoring the Process of Behavior of Thermal Cracking in Concrete Gravity Dams: A Case Study
Abstract:
Several dams in the world have already collapsed, causing environmental, social and economic damage. The concern to avoid future disasters has stimulated the creation of a great number of laws and rules in many countries. In Brazil, Law 12.334/2010 was created, which establishes the National Policy on Dam Safety. Overall, this policy requires the dam owners to invest in the maintenance of their structures and to improve its monitoring systems in order to provide faster and straightforward responses in the case of an increase of risks. As monitoring tools, visual inspections has provides comprehensive assessment of the structures performance, while auscultation’s instrumentation has added specific information on operational or behavioral changes, providing an alarm when a performance indicator exceeds the acceptable limits. These limits can be set using statistical methods based on the relationship between instruments measures and other variables, such as reservoir level, time of the year or others instruments measuring. Besides the design parameters (uplift of the foundation, displacements, etc.) the dam instrumentation can also be used to monitor the behavior of defects and damage manifestations. Specifically in concrete gravity dams, one of the main causes for the appearance of cracks, are the concrete volumetric changes generated by the thermal origin phenomena, which are associated with the construction process of these structures. Based on this, the goal of this research is to propose a monitoring process of the thermal cracking behavior in concrete gravity dams, through the instrumentation data analysis and the establishment of control values. Therefore, as a case study was selected the Block B-11 of José Richa Governor Dam Power Plant, that presents a cracking process, which was identified even before filling the reservoir in August’ 1998, and where crack meters and surface thermometers were installed for its monitoring. Although these instruments were installed in May 2004, the research was restricted to study the last 4.5 years (June 2010 to November 2014), when all the instruments were calibrated and producing reliable data. The adopted method is based on simple linear correlations procedures to understand the interactions among the instruments time series, verifying the response times between them. The scatter plots were drafted from the best correlations, which supported the definition of the limit control values. Among the conclusions, it is shown that there is a strong or very strong correlation between ambient temperature and the crack meters and flowmeters measurements. Based on the results of the statistical analysis, it was possible to develop a tool for monitoring the behavior of the case study cracks. Thus it was fulfilled the goal of the research to develop a proposal for a monitoring process of the behavior of thermal cracking in concrete gravity dams.
7
39739
Application of NBR 14861: 2011 for the Design of Prestress Hollow Core Slabs Subjected to Shear
Abstract:
The purpose of this research i to study the behavior of precast prestressed hollow core slabs subjected to shear. In order to achieve this goal, shear tests were performed using hollow core slabs 26,5cm thick, with and without a concrete cover of 5 cm, without cores filled, with two cores filled and three cores filled with concrete. The tests were performed according to the procedures recommended by FIP (1992), the EN 1168:2005 and following the method presented in Costa (2009). The ultimate shear strength obtained within the tests was compared with the values of theoretical resistant shear calculated in accordance with the codes, which are being used in Brazil, noted: NBR 6118:2003 and NBR 14861:2011. When calculating the shear resistance through the equations presented in NBR 14861:2011, it was found that provision is much more accurate for the calculation of the shear strength of hollow core slabs than the NBR 6118 code. Due to the large difference between the calculated results, even for slabs without cores filled, the authors consulted the committee that drafted the NBR 14861:2011 and found that there is an error in the text of the standard, because the coefficient that is suggested, actually presents the double value than the needed one! The ABNT, later on, soon issued an amendment of NBR 14861:2011 with the necessary corrections. During the tests for the present study, it was confirmed that the concrete filling the cores contributes to increase the shear strength of hollow core slabs. But in case of slabs 26,5 cm thick, the quantity should be limited to a maximum of two cores filled, because most of the results for slabs with three cores filled were smaller. This confirmed the recommendation of NBR 14861:2011which is consistent with standard practice. After analyzing the configuration of cracking and failure mechanisms of hollow core slabs during the shear tests, strut and tie models were developed representing the forces acting on the slab at the moment of rupture. Through these models the authors were able to calculate the tensile stress acting on the concrete ties (ribs) and scaled the geometry of these ties. The conclusions of the research performed are the experiments results have shown that the mechanism of failure of the hollow-core slabs can be predicted using the strut-and-tie procedure, within a good range of accuracy. In addition, the needed of the correction of the Brazilian standard to review the correction factor σcp duplicated (in NBR14861/2011), and the limitation of the number of cores (Holes) to be filled with concrete, to increase the strength of the slab for the shear resistance. It is also suggested the increasing the amount of test results with 26.5 cm thick, and a larger range of thickness slabs, in order to obtain results of shear tests with cores concreted after the release of prestressing force. Another set of shear tests on slabs must be performed in slabs with cores filled and cover concrete reinforced with welded steel mesh for comparison with results of theoretical values calculated by the new revision of the standard NBR 14861:2011.
6
51951
Platform Virtual for Joint Amplitude Measurement Based in MEMS
Abstract:
Motion capture (MC) is the construction of a precise and accurate digital representation of a real motion. Systems have been used in the last years in a wide range of applications, from films special effects and animation, interactive entertainment, medicine, to high competitive sport where a maximum performance and low injury risk during training and competition is seeking. This paper presents an inertial and magnetic sensor based technological platform, intended for particular amplitude monitoring and telerehabilitation processes considering an efficient cost/technical considerations compromise. Our platform particularities offer high social impact possibilities by making telerehabilitation accessible to large population sectors in marginal socio-economic sector, especially in underdeveloped countries that in opposition to developed countries specialist are scarce, and high technology is not available or inexistent. This platform integrates high-resolution low-cost inertial and magnetic sensors with adequate user interfaces and communication protocols to perform a web or other communication networks available diagnosis service. The amplitude information is generated by sensors then transferred to a computing device with adequate interfaces to make it accessible to inexperienced personnel, providing a high social value. Amplitude measurements of the platform virtual system presented a good fit to its respective reference system. Analyzing the robotic arm results (estimation error RMSE 1=2.12° and estimation error RMSE 2=2.28°), it can be observed that during arm motion in any sense, the estimation error is negligible; in fact, error appears only during sense inversion what can easily be explained by the nature of inertial sensors and its relation to acceleration. Inertial sensors present a time constant delay which acts as a first order filter attenuating signals at large acceleration values as is the case for a change of sense in motion. It can be seen a damped response of platform virtual in other images where error analysis show that at maximum amplitude an underestimation of amplitude is present whereas at minimum amplitude estimations an overestimation of amplitude is observed. This work presents and describes the platform virtual as a motion capture system suitable for telerehabilitation with the cost - quality and precision - accessibility relations optimized. These particular characteristics achieved by efficiently using the state of the art of accessible generic technology in sensors and hardware, and adequate software for capture, transmission analysis and visualization, provides the capacity to offer good telerehabilitation services, reaching large more or less marginal populations where technologies and specialists are not available but accessible with basic communication networks.
5
88530
State, Public Policies, and Rights: Public Expenditure and Social and Welfare Policies in America, as Opposed to Argentina
Abstract:
This paper approaches the intervention of the American State in the social arena and the modeling of the rights system from the Argentinian experience, by observing the characteristics of its federal budgetary system, the evolution of social public spending and welfare programs in recent years, labor and poverty statistics, and the changes on the labor market structure. The analysis seeks to combine different methodologies and sources: in-depth interviews with specialists, analysis of theoretical and mass-media material, and statistical sources. Among the results, it could be mentioned that the tendency to state interventionism (what has been called ‘nationalization of social life’) is quite evident in the United States, and manifests itself in multiple forms. The bibliography consulted, and the experts interviewed pointed out this increase of the state presence in historical terms (beyond short-term setbacks) in terms of increase of public spending, fiscal pressure, public employment, protective and control mechanisms, the extension of welfare policies to the poor sectors, etc. In fact, despite the significant differences between both countries, the United States and Argentina have common patterns of behavior in terms of the aforementioned phenomena. On the other hand, dissimilarities are also important. Some of them are determined by each country's own political history. The influence of political parties on the economic model seems more decisive in the United States than in Argentina, where the tendency to state interventionism is more stable. The centrality of health spending is evident in America, while in Argentina that discussion is more concentrated in the social security system and public education. The biggest problem of the labor market in the United States is the disqualification as a consequence of the technological development while in Argentina it is a result of its weakness. Another big difference is the huge American public spending on Defense. Then, the more federal character of the American State is also a factor of differential analysis against a centralized Argentine state. American public employment (around 10%) is comparatively quite lower than the Argentinian (around 18%). The social statistics show differences, but inequality and poverty have been growing as a trend in the last decades in both countries. According to public rates, poverty represents 14% in The United States and 33% in Argentina. American public spending is important (welfare spending and total public spending represent around 12% and 34% of GDP, respectively), but a bit lower than Latin-American or European average). In both cases, the tendency to underemployment and disqualification unemployment does not assume a serious gravity. Probably one of the most important aspects of the analysis is that private initiative and public intervention are much more intertwined in the United States, which makes state intervention more ‘fuzzy’, while in Argentina the difference is clearer. Finally, the power of its accumulation of capital and, more specifically, of the industrial and services sectors in the United States, which continues to be the engine of the economy, express great differences with Argentina, supported by its agro-industrial power and its public sector.
4
127871
Skills for Family Support Workforce: A Systematic Review
Abstract:
Contemporary societies are facing a noticeable shift in family realities, urging to need for the development of new policies, service, and practice orientation that has application across different sectors who serves families with children across the world. A challenge for the field of family support is diversity in conceptual assumptions and epistemological frameworks. Since many disciplines and professionals are working in the family support field, there is a need to map and gain a deeper insight into the skills for the workforce in this field. Under the umbrella of the COST action 'The Pan-European Family Support Research Network: A bottom-up, evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach', a review of the current state of knowledge published from the European studies on family support workforce skills standards is performed. Contributing to the aim of mapping and catalogization of skills standards, key stages of literature review were identified in order to extract and systematize the data. We have considered inclusion and exclusion criteria for this literature review. Inclusion criteria were: a) families living with their children and families using family support services; different methodological approaches were included: qualitative, quantitative, mix method, literature review and theoretical reflections various topic appeared in journals like working with families that are facing difficulties or culturally sensitive practice and relationship-based approaches; b) the dates ranged from 1995 to February 2020. Articles published prior to 1995 were excluded due to modernization of family support services across world; c) the sources and languages included peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals in English. Six databases were searched and once we have extracted all the relevant papers (n=29), we searched the list of reference in each and we found 11 additional papers. In total 40 papers have been extracted from six data basis. Findings could be summarized in: 1) only five countries emerged with production in the specific topic, that is, workforce skills to family support (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and Spain), 2) studies revealed that diverse skills support family topics were investigated, namely the professional support skills to help families of neglected/abused children or in care; the professional support skills to help families with children who suffer from behavioral problems and families with children with disabilities; and the professional support skills to help minority ethnic parents, 3) social workers were the main targeted professionals' studies albeit other child protection workers were studied too, 4) the workforce skills to family support were grouped in three topics: the qualities of the professionals (attitudes and attributes); technical skills, and specific knowledge. The framework of analyses, literature strategy and findings with study limitations will be further discussed. As an implication, this study contributes and advocates for the structuring of a common base for cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary qualification standards for the family support workforce.
3
95145
From Avatars to Humans: A Hybrid World Theory and Human Computer Interaction Experimentations with Virtual Reality Technologies
Abstract:
Employing a communication studies perspective and a socio-technological approach, this paper introduces a theoretical framework for understanding the concept of hybrid world; the avatarization phenomena; and the communicational archetype of co-hybridization. This analysis intends to make a contribution to future design of virtual reality experimental applications. Ultimately, this paper presents an ongoing research project that proposes the study of human-avatar interactions in digital educational environments, as well as an innovative reflection on inner digital communication. The aforementioned project presents the analysis of human-avatar interactions, through the development of an interactive experience in virtual reality. The goal is to generate an innovative communicational dimension that could reinforce the hypotheses presented throughout this paper. Being thought for its initial application in educational environments, the analysis and results of this research are dependent and have been prepared in regard of a meticulous planning of: the conception of a 3D digital platform; the interactive game objects; the AI or computer avatars; the human representation as hybrid avatars; and lastly, the potential of immersion, ergonomics and control diversity that can provide the virtual reality system and the game engine that were chosen. The project is divided in two main axes: The first part is the structural one, as it is mandatory for the construction of an original prototype. The 3D model is inspired by the physical space that belongs to an academic institution. The incorporation of smart objects, avatars, game mechanics, game objects, and a dialogue system will be part of the prototype. These elements have all the objective of gamifying the educational environment. To generate a continuous participation and a large amount of interactions, the digital world will be navigable both, in a conventional device and in a virtual reality system. This decision is made, practically, to facilitate the communication between students and teachers; and strategically, because it will help to a faster population of the digital environment. The second part is concentrated to content production and further data analysis. The challenge is to offer a scenario’s diversity that compels users to interact and to question their digital embodiment. The multipath narrative content that is being applied is focused on the subjects covered in this paper. Furthermore, the experience with virtual reality devices proposes users to experiment in a mixture of a seemingly infinite digital world and a small physical area of movement. This combination will lead the narrative content and it will be crucial in order to restrict user’s interactions. The main point is to stimulate and to grow in the user the need of his hybrid avatar’s help. By building an inner communication between user’s physicality and user’s digital extension, the interactions will serve as a self-guide through the gameworld. This is the first attempt to make explicit the avatarization phenomena and to further analyze the communicational archetype of co-hybridization. The challenge of the upcoming years will be to take advantage from these forms of generalized avatarization, in order to create awareness and establish innovative forms of hybridization.
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63803
Thermally Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites Based on Graphene-Related Materials
Abstract:
Thermally conductive polymer nanocomposites are of high interest for several applications including low-temperature heat recovery, heat exchangers in a corrosive environment and heat management in electronics and flexible electronics. In this paper, the preparation of thermally conductive nanocomposites exploiting graphene-related materials is addressed, along with their thermal characterization. In particular, correlations between 1- chemical and physical features of the nanoflakes and 2- processing conditions with the heat conduction properties of nanocomposites is studied. Polymers are heat insulators; therefore, the inclusion of conductive particles is the typical solution to obtain a sufficient thermal conductivity. In addition to traditional microparticles such as graphite and ceramics, several nanoparticles have been proposed, including carbon nanotubes and graphene, for the use in polymer nanocomposites. Indeed, thermal conductivities for both carbon nanotubes and graphenes were reported in the wide range of about 1500 to 6000 W/mK, despite such property may decrease dramatically as a function of the size, number of layers, the density of topological defects, re-hybridization defects as well as on the presence of impurities. Different synthetic techniques have been developed, including mechanical cleavage of graphite, epitaxial growth on SiC, chemical vapor deposition, and liquid phase exfoliation. However, the industrial scale-up of graphene, defined as an individual, single-atom-thick sheet of hexagonally arranged sp2-bonded carbons still remains very challenging. For large scale bulk applications in polymer nanocomposites, some graphene-related materials such as multilayer graphenes (MLG), reduced graphene oxide (rGO) or graphite nanoplatelets (GNP) are currently the most interesting graphene-based materials. In this paper, different types of graphene-related materials were characterized for their chemical/physical as well as for thermal properties of individual flakes. Two selected rGOs were annealed at 1700°C in vacuum for 1 h to reduce defectiveness of the carbon structure. Thermal conductivity increase of individual GNP with annealing was assessed via scanning thermal microscopy. Graphene nano papers were prepared from both conventional RGO and annealed RGO flakes. Characterization of the nanopapers evidenced a five-fold increase in the thermal diffusivity on the nano paper plane for annealed nanoflakes, compared to pristine ones, demonstrating the importance of structural defectiveness reduction to maximize the heat dissipation performance. Both pristine and annealed RGO were used to prepare polymer nanocomposites, by melt reactive extrusion. Thermal conductivity showed two- to three-fold increase in the thermal conductivity of the nanocomposite was observed for high temperature treated RGO compared to untreated RGO, evidencing the importance of using low defectivity nanoflakes. Furthermore, the study of different processing paremeters (time, temperature, shear rate) during the preparation of poly (butylene terephthalate) nanocomposites evidenced a clear correlation with the dispersion and fragmentation of the GNP nanoflakes; which in turn affected the thermal conductivity performance. Thermal conductivity of about 1.7 W/mK, i.e. one order of magnitude higher than for pristine polymer, was obtained with 10%wt of annealed GNPs, which is in line with state of the art nanocomposites prepared by more complex and less upscalable in situ polymerization processes.
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91081
Cultivation of Halophytes: Effect of Salinity on Nutritional and Functional Properties
Abstract:
In the last century, the world witnessed an exponential demographic increase that has put an enormous pressure on agriculture and food production. Associated also with climate changes, there has been a decrease in the amount of available freshwater and an increased salinization of soils which can affect the production of most food crops. Halophytes, however, are plants able to withstand high salinities while maintaining a good growth productivity. To cope with the excess salt, they produce secondary metabolites (e.g. vitamins and phenolic compounds) which, along with the natural presence of some minerals, makes them not only nutritionally rich but also functional foods. Some halophytes, as quinoa or salicornia, are already used in some countries, mostly as gourmet food. Hydroponic cultivation of halophytes using seawater or diluted seawater for watering can decrease the pressure on freshwater resources while producing a nutritional and functional food. The XtremeGourmet project funded by the EU aims to develop and optimize the production of different halophytes by hydroponics. One of the more specific objectives of this project is the study of halophytes’ productivity and chemical composition under different abiotic conditions, e.g. salt and nutrient concentration and light intensity. Three species of halophytes commonly occurring in saltmarshes of the South of Portugal (Inula chrithmoides, Salicornia ramosissima and Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum) were cultivated using hydroponics under different salinities, ranging from 5 to 45 dS/m. For each condition, several parameters were assessed namely: total and commercial productivity, electrical conductivity, total soluble solids, proximal composition, mineral profile, total phenolics, flavonoids and condensed tannins content and antioxidant activity. Results show that productivity was significantly reduced for all plants with increasing salinity up to salinity 29 dS/m and remained low onwards. Oppositely, the electrical conductivity and the total soluble solids content of the produced plants increased with salinity, reaching a plateau at 29 dS/m. It seems that plants reflect the salt concentration of the water up to some point, being able to regulate their salt content for higher salinities. The same tendency was observed for the ash content of these plants, which is related to the mineral uptake from the cultivating media and the plants’ capacity to both accumulate and regulate ions’ concentration in their tissues. Nonetheless, this comes with a metabolic cost which is observed by a decrease in productivity. The mineral profile of these plants shows high concentrations of sodium but also high amounts of potassium. In what concerns the microelements, these plants appear to be a good source of manganese and iron and the low amounts of toxic metals account for their safe consumption in moderate amounts. Concerning the phenolics composition, plants presented moderate concentrations of phenolics but high amounts of condensed tannins, particularly I. crithmoides which accounts for its characteristic sour and spicy taste. Contrary to some studies in which higher amounts of phenolics were found in plants cultivated under higher salinities, in this study, the highest amount of phenolic compounds were found in plants grown at the lowest or intermediate salinities. Nonetheless, there was a positive correlation between the concentration of these compounds and the antioxidant capacity of the plants’ extracts.