Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 66727

34
123917
Meticulous Doxorubicin Release from pH-Responsive Nanoparticles Entrapped within an Injectable Thermoresponsive Depot
Abstract:
The dual stimuli-controlled release of doxorubicin from gel-embedded nanoparticles is reported. Non-cytotoxic polymer nanoparticles are formed from poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(benzyl glutamate) that, uniquely, contain a central ester link. This connection renders the nanoparticles pH-responsive, enabling extensive doxorubicin release in acidic solutions (pH 6.5), but not in solutions of physiological pH (pH 7.4). Doxorubicin loaded nanoparticles were found to be stable for at least 31 days and lethal against the three breast cancer cell lines tested. Furthermore, doxorubicin-loaded nanoparticles could be incorporated within a thermoresponsive poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) gel depot, which forms immediately upon injection of poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) into aqueous solution. The combination of the poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) gel and poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(benzyl glutamate) nanoparticles yields an injectable doxorubicin delivery system that facilities near-complete drug release when maintained at elevated temperatures (37 °C) in acidic solution (pH 6.5). In contrast, negligible payload release occurs when the material is stored at room temperature in a non-acidic solution (pH 7.4). The system has great potential as a vehicle for the prolonged, site-specific release of chemotherapeutics.
33
81042
The Bright Side of Organizational Politics as a Driver of Firm Competitiveness: The Mediating Role of Corporate Entrepreneurship
Abstract:
This study seeks to contribute to the literature on firm competitiveness by advancing the perspective of organizational politics that views this process as a driver which creates identifiable differences in firm performance. The testing hypothesized relationships were used data from 355 Polish medium and large-sized enterprises. The main result of the analyses conducted is proving the coexistence, known in the literature, of corporate entrepreneurship and firm performance. The research findings obtained made it possible to add organizational politics to a wide range of elements determining corporate entrepreneurship, followed by competitive advantage, in addition to antecedents such as strategic leadership, corporate culture, opportunity-oriented resource-based management, etc. Also, the empirical results suggest that four dimensions of organizational politics (dominant coalition, influence exertion, making organizational changes, and information openness) are positively related to firm competitiveness. In addition, these findings seem to underline a supposition that corporate entrepreneurship is an important mediator which strengthens the competitive effects of organizational politics.
32
46871
Mutation of Galp Improved Fermentation of Mixed Sugars to Succinate Using Engineered Escherichia coli As1600a
Abstract:
Escherichia coli KJ122 was engineered to produce succinate from glucose using the wild type GalP for glucose uptake instead of the native phosphotransferase system (ptsI mutation). This strain ferments 10% (w/v) xylose poorly. Mutants were selected by serial transfers in AM1 mineral salts medium with 10% (w/v) xylose. Evolved mutants exhibited a similar improvement, co-fermentation of an equal mixture of xylose and glucose. One of these, AS1600a, produced 84.26±1.37 g/L succinate, equivalent to that produced by the parent (KJ122) strain from 10% glucose (85.46±1.78 g/L). AS1600a was sequenced and found to contain a mutation in galactose permease (GalP, G236D). Expressing the galP* mutation gene in KJ122ΔgalP resembled the xylose utilization phenotype of the mutant AS1600a. The strain AS1600a and KJ122ΔgalP (pLOI5746; galP*) also co-fermented a mixture of glucose, xylose, arabinose, and galactose in sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate for succinate production.
31
42138
Genetic Change in Escherichia coli KJ122 That Improved Succinate Production from an Equal Mixture of Xylose and Glucose
Abstract:
Escherichia coli KJ122 was engineered to produce succinate from glucose using the wild type GalP for glucose uptake instead of the native phosphotransferase system (ptsI mutation). This strain ferments 10% (w/v) xylose poorly. Mutants were selected by serial transfers in AM1 mineral salts medium with 10% (w/v) xylose. Evolved mutants exhibited a similar improvement, co-fermentation of an equal mixture of xylose and glucose. One of these, AS1600a, produced 84.26±1.37 g/L succinate, equivalent to that produced by the parent (KJ122) strain from 10% glucose (85.46±1.78 g/L). AS1600a was sequenced and found to contain a mutation in galactose permease (GalP, G236D). Expressing the galP* mutation gene in KJ122ΔgalP resembled the xylose utilization phenotype of the mutant AS1600a. The strain AS1600a and KJ122ΔgalP (pLOI5746; galP*) also co-fermented a mixture of glucose, xylose, arabinose, and galactose in sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate for succinate production.
30
122917
Full-Wave Analysis of Magnetic Meta-Surfaces for Microwave Component Applications
Abstract:
In this contribution, we report the electromagnetic response of a split ring resonator (SRR) based magnetic metamaterial unit cell in free space nature by means of a full-wave electromagnetic simulation. The effective parameters of these designed structures have been analyzed. The structures have been specifically designed to work at high frequency considering the development of many microwave and lower mm-wave devices. In addition to that, the application of the designed metamaterial structures is also proposed, namely metamaterial loaded planar transmission lines, potentially useful to optimize size and quality factor of circuit components and radiating elements.
29
74956
The Bright Side of Organizational Politics as a Driver of Firm Competitiveness: The Mediating Role of Corporate Entrepreneurship
Abstract:
This study seeks to contribute to the literature on firm competitiveness by advancing the perspective of organizational politics that views this process as a driver which creates identifiable differences in firm performance. The hypothesized relationships were tested on the basis of data from 355 Polish medium and large-sized enterprises. Data were analyzed using correlation analysis, EFA and robustness tests. The main result of the conducted analyses proved the coexistence, previously examined in the literature, of corporate entrepreneurship and firm performance. The obtained research findings made it possible to add organizational politics to a wide range of elements determining corporate entrepreneurship, followed by competitive advantage, in addition to antecedents such as strategic leadership, corporate culture, opportunity-oriented resource-based management, etc. Also, the empirical results suggest that four dimensions of organizational politics (dominant coalition, influence exertion, making organizational changes, and information openness) are positively related to firm competitiveness. In addition, these findings seem to underline a supposition that corporate entrepreneurship is an important mediator which strengthens the competitive effects of organizational politics.
28
133191
Cultivating Individuality and Equality in Education: A Literature Review on Respecting Dimensions of Diversity within the Classroom
Abstract:
This literature review sought to explore the dimensions of diversity that can affect classroom learning. This review is significant as it can aid educators in reaching more of their diverse student population and creating supportive classrooms for teachers and students. For this study, peer-reviewed articles were found and compiled using Google Scholar. Key terms used in the search include student individuality, classroom equality, student development, teacher development, and teacher individuality. Relevant educational standards such as Common Core and Partnership for the 21st Century were also included as part of this review. Student and teacher individuality and equality is discussed as well as methods to grow both within educational settings. Embracing student and teacher individuality was found to be key as it may affect how each person interacts with given information. One method to grow individuality and equality in educational settings included drafting and employing revised teaching standards which include various Common Core and U.S. State standards. Another was to use educational theories such as constructivism, cognitive learning, and Experiential Learning Theory. However, barriers to growing individuality, such as not acknowledging differences in a population’s dimensions of diversity, still exist. Studies found preserving the dimensions of diversity owned by both teachers and students yielded more positive and beneficial classroom experiences.
27
113114
Polysulfide as Active ‘Stealth’ Polymers with Additional Anti-Inflammatory Activity
Abstract:
Since 40 years, poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) has been the gold standard in biomaterials and drug delivery, because of its combination of chemical and biological inertness. However, the possibility of its breakdown under oxidative conditions and the demonstrated development of anti-PEG antibodies highlight the necessity to develop carriers based on materials with increased stability in a challenging biological environment. Here, we describe the synthesis of polysulfide via anionic ring-opening polymerization. In vitro, the synthesized polymer was characterized by low toxicity and a level of complement activation (in human plasma) and macrophage uptake slightly lower than PEG and poly (2‐methyl-2‐oxazoline) (PMOX), of a similar size. Importantly, and differently from PEG, on activated macrophages, the synthesized polymer showed a strong and dose-dependent ROS scavenging activity, which resulted in the corresponding reduction of cytokine production. Therefore, the results from these studies show that polysulfide is highly biocompatible and are potential candidates to be used as an alternative to PEG for various applications in nanomedicine.
26
54400
Tourism Qualification and Academics' Opinions about the Influence of Employability Skills on Graduates' Ability to Secure Jobs in the Tourism Industry
Abstract:
This study focuses on higher education institutions in South Africa, with the view to understanding how tourism as a study discipline has evolved over the years, as well as the influence of employability skills on graduates’ ability to secure jobs in the tourism industry. Indeed, the employability landscape is becoming more complex; hence, it is imperative for higher education institutions to equip students with employability skills while going through their academic programmes and during their transition from higher education to the world of work. Employability – which is regarded as an empowerment mechanism and a key to job security – is a set of achievements which increases the probability for graduates to find and maintain employment. A quantitative research method was used to obtain the necessary information. Data were collected through a web-based, online survey questionnaire directed to academics from various public higher education institutions in South Africa that offer tourism as a qualification. The key findings revealed that academics are of the opinion that there are 5 skills that are influential in obtaining a position within the tourism industry.
25
72268
Assessment of the High-Speed Ice Friction of Bob Skeleton Runners
Abstract:
Bob skeleton is a highly competitive sport in which an athlete reaches speeds up to 40 m/s sliding, head first, down an ice track. It is believed that the friction between the runners and ice significantly contributes to the amount of the total energy loss during a bob skeleton descent. There is only limited available experimental data regarding the friction of bob skeleton runners or indeed steel on the ice at high sliding speeds ( > 20 m/s). Testing methods used to investigate the friction of steel on ice in winter sports have been outlined, and their accuracy and repeatability discussed. A system thinking approach was used to investigate the runner-ice interaction during sliding and create concept designs of three ice tribometers. The operational envelope of the bob skeleton system has been defined through mathematical modelling. Designs of a drum, linear and inertia pin-on-disk tribometers were developed specifically for bob skeleton runner testing with the requirement of reaching up to 40 m/s speed and facilitate fresh ice sliding. The design constraints have been outline and the proposed solutions compared based on the ease of operation, accuracy and the development cost.
24
18273
Splenic Artery Aneurysms: A Rare, Insidious Cause of Abdominal Pain
Abstract:
Splenic artery aneurysms are often clinically occult, occasionally identified incidentally with imaging. The pathogenesis of aneurysms is complex, but certain factors are thought to contribute to their development. Given the potential fatal complications of rupture, a high index of suspicion is required to make an early diagnosis. We present a case of a 36-year-old female with a history of endometriosis and multiple sclerosis who presented to the Emergency Department with sudden onset epigastric pain and collapse. On arrival, she was pale and clammy with profound tachycardia and hypotension. An ultrasound done in the resuscitation department revealed abdominal free fluid. She was resuscitated with blood and transferred for emergent laparotomy. Laparotomy revealed massive haemoperitoneum from the spleen. She underwent emergency splenectomy and inspection of the spleen revealed a splenic artery aneurysm. She received our massive transfusion protocol followed by a short stay on ITU, making a good post-operative recovery and was discharged home a week later.
23
38248
Unraveling the Threads of Madness: Henry Russell’s 'The Maniac' as an Advocate for Deinstitutionalization in the Nineteenth Century
Abstract:
Henry Russell was best known as a composer of more than 300 songs. Many of his compositions were popular for both their sentimental texts, as in ‘The Old Armchair,’ and those of a more political nature, such as ‘Woodsman, Spare That Tree!’ Indeed, Russell had written such songs of advocacy as those associated with abolitionism (‘The Slave Ship’) and environmentalism (‘Woodsman, Spare that Tree!’). ‘The Maniac’ is his only composition addressing the issue of institutionalization. The text is borrowed and adapted from the monodrama The Captive by M.G. ‘Monk’ Lewis. Through an analysis of form, harmony, melody, text, and thematic development and interactions between text and music we can approach a clearer understanding of ‘The Maniac’ and how the text and music interact. Select periodicals, such as The London Times, provide contemporary critical review for ‘The Maniac.’ Additional nineteenth century songs whose texts focus on madness and/or institutionalization will assist in building a stylistic and cultural context for ‘The Maniac.’ Through comparative analyses of ‘The Maniac’ with a body of songs that focus on similar topics, we can approach a clear understanding of the song as a vehicle for deinstitutionalization.
22
79076
Investigations into the Efficiencies of Steam Conversion in Three Reactor Chemical Looping
Abstract:
This paper analyzes a three reactor chemical looping process for hydrogen production from natural gas, allowing for carbon dioxide capture through chemical looping technology. An oxygen carrier is circulated to separate carbon dioxide, to reduce steam for hydrogen production and to supply oxygen for combustion. In this study, the emphasis is placed on the steam conversion in the steam reactor by investigating the hydrogen efficiencies of the complete system at steam conversions of 15.8% and 50%. An Aspen Plus model was developed for a Three Reactor Chemical Looping process to study the effects of operational parameters on hydrogen production is investigated. Maximum hydrogen production was observed under stoichiometric conditions. Different conversions in the steam reactor, which was modelled as a Gibbs reactor, were found when Gibbs-identified products and user identified products were chosen. Simulations were performed for different oxygen carriers, which consist of an active metal oxide on an inert support material. For the same metal oxide mass flowrate, the fuel reactor temperature decreased for different support materials in the order: aluminum oxide (Al2O3) > magnesium aluminate (MgAl2O4) > zirconia (ZrO2). To achieve the same fuel reactor temperature for the same oxide mass flow rate, the inert mass fraction was found to be 0.825 for ZrO2, 0.7 for MgAl2O4 and 0.6 for Al2O3. The effect of poisoning of the oxygen carrier was also analyzed. With 3000 ppm sulfur-based impurities in the feed gas, the hydrogen product energy rate of the process were found to decrease by 0.4%.
21
8104
Financial Centers and BRICS Stock Markets: The Effect of the Recent Crises
Abstract:
This paper uses a DCC-GARCH model framework to examine mean and volatility spillovers (i.e. causality in mean and variance) dynamics between financial centers and the stock market indexes of the BRICS countries. In addition, tests for changes in the transmission mechanism are carried out by first testing for structural breaks and then setting a dummy variable to control for the 2008 financial crises. We use weekly data for nine countries, four financial centers (Germany, Japan, UK and USA) and the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Furthermore, we control for monetary policy using domestic interest rates (90-day Treasury Bill interest rate) over the period 03/1/1990 - 04/2/2014, for a total of 1204 observations. Results show that the 2008 financial crises changed the causality dynamics for most of the countries considered. The same pattern can also be observed in conditional correlation showing a shift upward following the turbulence associated to the 2008 crises. The magnitude of these effects suggests a leading role played by the financial centers in effecting Brazil and South Africa, whereas Russia, India and China show a higher degree of resilience.
20
75704
In and Out-Of-Sample Performance of Non Simmetric Models in International Price Differential Forecasting in a Commodity Country Framework
Authors:
Abstract:
This paper presents an analysis of a group of commodity exporting countries' nominal exchange rate movements in relationship to the US dollar. Using a series of Unrestricted Self-exciting Threshold Autoregressive models (SETAR), we model and evaluate sixteen national CPI price differentials relative to the US dollar CPI. Out-of-sample forecast accuracy is evaluated through calculation of mean absolute error measures on the basis of two-hundred and fifty-three months rolling window forecasts and extended to three additional models, namely a logistic smooth transition regression (LSTAR), an additive non linear autoregressive model (AAR) and a simple linear Neural Network model (NNET). Our preliminary results confirm presence of some form of TAR non linearity in the majority of the countries analyzed, with a relatively higher goodness of fit, with respect to the linear AR(1) benchmark, in five countries out of sixteen considered. Although no model appears to statistically prevail over the other, our final out-of-sample forecast exercise shows that SETAR models tend to have quite poor relative forecasting performance, especially when compared to alternative non-linear specifications. Finally, by analyzing the implied half-lives of the > coefficients, our results confirms the presence, in the spirit of arbitrage band adjustment, of band convergence with an inner unit root behaviour in five of the sixteen countries analyzed.
19
91435
The Interactions of Attentional Bias for Food, Trait Self-Control, and Motivation: A Model Testing Study
Abstract:
Self-control and related psychological constructs have been shown to have a large role in the improvement and maintenance of healthful dietary behaviour. However, self-control for diet, and related constructs such as motivation, level of conflict between tempting desires and dietary goals, and attentional bias for tempting food, have not been studied together to establish their relationships, to the author’s best knowledge. Therefore the aim of this paper was to conduct model testing on these constructs and evaluate how they relate to affect dietary outcomes. 400 Australian adult participants will be recruited via the Qualtrics platform and will be representative across age and gender. They will complete survey and reaction timing surveys to gather data on the five target constructs: Trait Self-control, Attentional Bias for Food, Dietary Goal-Desire Incongruence, Motivation for Dietary Self-control, and Satisfaction with Dietary Behaviour. A model of moderated mediation is predicted, whereby the initial predictor (Dietary Goal-Desire Incongruence) predicts the level of the outcome variable, Satisfaction with Dietary Behaviour. We hypothesise that the relationship between these two variables will be mediated by Trait Self-Control and that the extent that Trait Self-control is allowed to mediate dietary outcome is moderated by both Attentional Bias for Food and Motivation for Dietary Self-control. The analysis will be conducted using the PROCESS module in SPSS 23. The results of model testing in this current study will be valuable to direct future research and inform which constructs could be important targets for intervention to improve dietary outcomes.
18
63165
Spiritual Recovery of People with Bipolar Disorder in Malaysia: A Grounded Theory Study
Abstract:
People with any mental disorder can get benefit from the spiritual aspects of life for recovery, particularly in searching for the meaning of life and engaging in meaningful activities. However, little is known about such effects in the population of bipolar disorder. The concepts of spirituality are highly contestable, as they are too broad and removed from the original religious understanding. The concepts are more notable as encompassing multi-dimensional aspects of people’s lives such as social, emotional, and psychological. Viewing that Western or secular worldview dominates most of the literature in spirituality, it is time to explore the concept of spirituality from the Eastern and religious worldview, such as the Malaysian view. Thus, the aim of this study is to provide a conceptual understanding of people with bipolar disorder with a religious affiliation in Malaysia. This study employs a Grounded Theory and explores the narratives from the interviews of 25 participants. The narratives strongly suggest the salient resources or can be referred to as various forms of capital, as in the capital theory, namely, religious, social, psychological, and medicinal. More important is how these capitals are the enablers for recovery in mental health and well-being, where the participants in the sample engage in a more meaningful life and positive adaptations. This study also extends the Bourdieusian spiritual capital, in which the salient resources are termed as the capital bundle. More significant is how the capital bundles are working contiguously in building and accumulating the spiritual capital. This process is conducive to recovery within the social life of people with bipolar disorder or perhaps other mental disorders.
17
79382
An Evaluation of Different Weed Management Techniques in Organic Arable Systems
Abstract:
A range of field experiments have been conducted since 1991 to 2017 on organic land at the Royal Agricultural University’s Harnhill Manor Farm near Cirencester, UK to explore the impact of different management practices on weed infestation in organic winter and spring wheat. The experiments were designed using randomised complete block and some with split plot arrangements. Sowing date, variety choice, crop height and crop establishment technique have all shown a significant impact on weed infestations. Other techniques have also been investigated but with less clear, but, still often significant effects on weed control including grazing with sheep, undersowing with different legumes and mechanical weeding techniques. Tillage treatments included traditional plough based systems, minimum tillage and direct drilling. Direct drilling had significantly higher weed dry matter than the other two techniques. Taller wheat varieties which do not contain Rht1 or Rht2 had higher weed populations than the wheat without dwarfing genes. Early sown winter wheat had greater weed dry matter than later sown wheat. Grazing with sheep interacted strongly with sowing date, with shorter varieties and also late sowing dates providing much less forage but, grazing did reduce weed biomass in June. Undersowing had mixed impacts which were related to the success of establishment of the undersown legume crop. Weeds are most successfully controlled when a range of techniques are implemented to give the wheat crop the greatest chance of competing with weeds.
16
50644
Screening of Antiviral Compounds in Medicinal Plants: Non-Volatiles
Abstract:
Antiviral effect of substances accumulated by plants and natural products is known to ethno-pharmacy and modern day medicine. Antiviral properties are usually assigned to volatile compounds and polyphenols. This research work is divided into several parts and the task of this part was to investigate potential plants, potential substances and potential preparation conditions that can be used for the preparation of antiviral agents. Sixteen different medicinal plants, their parts and two types of propolis were selected for screening. Firstly, extraction conditions of non-volatile compounds were investigated: 3 pre-selected plants were extracted with 5 different ethanol – water mixtures (96%, 75%, 60%, 40%, 20 %, vol.) and bidistilled water. Total phenolic content, total flavonoid content and radical scavenging activity was determined. The results indicated that optimal extrahent is 40%, vol. of ethanol – water mixture. Further investigations were performed with the extrahent of 40%, vol. ethanol – water mixture. All 16 of selected plants, their parts and two types of propolis were extracted using selected extrahent. Determined total phenolic content, total flavonoid content and radical scavenging activity indicated that extracts of Origanum Vulgare L., Mentha piperita L., Geranium macrorrhizum L., Melissa officinalis L. and Desmodium canadence L. contains highest amount of extractable phenolic compounds (7.31, 5.48, 7.88, 8.02 and 7.16 rutin equivalents (mg/ ml) respectively), flavonoid content (2.14, 2.23, 2.49, 0.79 and 1.51 rutin equivalents (mg/ml) respectively) and radical scavenging activity (11.98, 8.72, 13.47, 13.22 and 12.22 rutin equivalents (mg/ml) respectively). Composition of the extracts is analyzed using HPLC.
15
36382
Design and Analysis of Semi-Active Isolation System in Low Frequency Excitation Region for Vehicle Seat to Reduce Discomfort
Abstract:
The vibrations transmitted to the drivers and passengers through vehicle seat seriously effect on the level of their attention, fatigue and physical health and reduce the comfort and efficiency of the occupants. Recently, some researchers have focused on vibrations at low excitation frequency(0.5-5 Hz) which are considered to be the main risk factors for lumbar part of the backbone but they were not applicable to A and B-segment cars regarding to the size and weight. A semi-active system with two symmetric negative stiffness structures (NSS) in parallel to a positive stiffness structure and actuators has been proposed to attenuate low frequency excitation and makes system flexible regarding to different weight of passengers which is applicable for A and B-Segment cars. Here, the 3 degree of freedom system is considered, dynamic equation clearly is presented, then simulated in MATLAB in order to analysis of performance of the system. The design procedure is derived so that the resonance peak of frequency–response curve shift to the left, the isolating range is increased and especially, the peak of the frequency–response curve is minimized. According to ISO standard different class of road profile as an input is applied to the system to evaluate the performance of the system. To evaluate comfort issues, we extract the RMS value of the vertical acceleration acting on the passenger's body. Then apply the band-pass filter, which takes into account the human sensitivity to acceleration. According to ISO, this weighted acceleration is lower than 0.315 m/s^2, so the ride is considered as comfortable.
14
40657
Competitor Integration with Voice of Customer Ratings in QFD Studies Using Geometric Mean Based on AHP
Abstract:
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is structured approach. It has been used to improve the quality of products and process in a wide range of fields. Using this systematic tool, practitioners normally rank Voice of Customer ratings (VoCs) in order to produce Improvement Ratios (IRs) which become the basis for prioritising process / product design or improvement activities. In one matrix of the House of Quality (HOQ) competitors are rated. The method of obtaining improvement ratios (IRs) does not always integrate the competitors’ rating in a systematic way that fully utilises competitor rating information. This can have the effect of diverting QFD practitioners’ attention from a potentially important VOC to less important VOC. In order to enhance QFD analysis, we present a more systematic method for integrating competitor ratings, utilising the geometric mean of the customer rating matrix. In this paper we develop a new approach, based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), in which we generating a matrix of multiple comparisons of all competitors, and derive a geometric mean for each competitor. For each VOC an improved IR is derived which-we argue herein - enhances the initial VOC importance ratings by integrating more information about competitor performance. In this way, our method can help overcome one of the possible shortcomings of QFD. We then use a published QFD example from literature as a case study to demonstrate the use of the new AHP-based IRs, and show how these can be used to re-rank existing VOCs to -arguably- better achieve the goal of customer satisfaction in relation VOC ratings and competitors’ rankings. We demonstrate how two dimensional AHP-based geometric mean derived from the multiple competitor comparisons matrix can be useful for analysing competitors’ rankings. Our method utilises an established methodology (AHP) applied within an established application (QFD), but in an original way (through the competitor analysis matrix), to achieve a novel improvement.
13
77660
Personality-Focused Intervention for Adolescents: Impact on Bullying and Distress
Abstract:
Introduction: There is a lack of targeted prevention programs for reducing bullying and distress among adolescents involved in bullying. The current study aimed to examine the impact of a personality-targeted intervention (Preventure) on bullying (victimization and perpetration) and distress among adolescent victims/bullies with high-risk personality types. Method: A cluster randomized trial (RCT) was conducted in 26 secondary schools (2190 students) in NSW and Victoria, Australia, as part of the Climate Schools and Preventure trial. The schools were randomly allocated to Preventure (13 schools received Preventure, 13 did not). Students were followed up at 4 time points (6, 12, 24 and 36 months post-baseline). Preventure involves two group sessions, based on cognitive behavioral therapy, and tailored to four personality types shown to increase risk of substance misuse and other emotional and behavioural problems, including impulsivity, sensation-seeking, anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness. Students were allocated to the personality-targeted groups based on their scores on the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale. Bullying was measured using an amended version of the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Scale. Psychological distress was measured using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. Results: Among high-risk students classified as victims at baseline, those in Preventure schools reported significantly less victimization and distress over time than those in control schools. Among high-risk students classified as bullies at baseline, those in Preventure schools reported significantly less distress over time than those in control schools (no difference for perpetration). Conclusion: Preventure is a promising intervention for reducing bullying victimization and psychological distress among adolescents involved in bullying.
12
129513
By Removing High-Performance Aerobic Scope Phenotypes, Capture Fisheries May Reduce the Resilience of Fished Populations to Thermal Variability and Compromise Their Persistence into the Anthropocene.
Abstract:
For the persistence of fished populations in the Anthropocene, it is critical to predict how fished populations will respond to the coupled threats of exploitation and climate change for adaptive management. The resilience of fished populations will depend on their capacity for physiological plasticity and acclimatization in response to environmental shifts. However, there is evidence for the selection of physiological traits by capture fisheries. Hence, fish populations may have a limited scope for the rapid expansion of their tolerance ranges or physiological adaptation under fishing pressures. To determine the physiological vulnerability of fished populations in the Anthropocene, the metabolic performance was compared between a fished and spatially protected Chrysoblephus laticeps population in response to thermal variability. Individual aerobic scope phenotypes were quantified using intermittent flow respirometry by comparing changes in energy expenditure of each individual at ecologically relevant temperatures, mimicking variability experienced as a result of upwelling and downwelling events. The proportion of high and low-performance individuals were compared between the fished and spatially protected population. The fished population had limited aerobic scope phenotype diversity and fewer high-performance phenotypes, resulting in a significantly lower aerobic scope curve across low (10 °C) and high (24 °C) thermal treatments. The performance of fished populations may be compromised with predicted future increases in cold upwelling events. This requires the conservation of the physiologically fittest individuals in spatially protected areas, which can recruit into nearby fished areas, as a climate resilience tool.
11
78487
Development of a Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Model Using System Identification Technique
Abstract:
The introduction of tilt-rotor aircraft into the existing civilian air transportation system will provide beneficial effects due to tilt-rotor capability to combine the characteristics of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft into one vehicle. The disposability of reliable tilt-rotor simulation models supports the development of such vehicle. Indeed, simulation models are required to design automatic control systems that increase safety, reduce pilot's workload and stress, and ensure the optimal aircraft configuration with respect to flight envelope limits, especially during the most critical flight phases such as conversion from helicopter to aircraft mode and vice versa. This article presents a process to build a simplified tilt-rotor simulation model, derived from the analysis of flight data. The model aims to reproduce the complex dynamics of tilt-rotor during the in-flight conversion phase. It uses a set of scheduled linear transfer functions to relate the autopilot reference inputs to the most relevant rigid body state variables. The model also computes information about the rotor flapping dynamics, which are useful to evaluate the aircraft control margin in terms of rotor collective and cyclic commands. The rotor flapping model is derived through a mixed theoretical-empirical approach, which includes physical analytical equations (applicable to helicopter configuration) and parametric corrective functions. The latter are introduced to best fit the actual rotor behavior and balance the differences existing between helicopter and tilt-rotor during flight. Time-domain system identification from flight data is exploited to optimize the model structure and to estimate the model parameters. The presented model-building process was applied to simulated flight data of the ERICA Tilt-Rotor, generated by using a high fidelity simulation model implemented in FlightLab environment. The validation of the obtained model was very satisfying, confirming the validity of the proposed approach.
10
127926
Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 Enhances Arterial Medial Calcification in a Uremic Rat Model of Chronic Kidney Disease
Abstract:
A complex interplay among chronic kidney disease, lipid metabolism and aortic calcification has been recognized starting from results of many clinical and experimental studies. Here we investigated the influence of kidney function on PCSK9 levels, both in uremic rats and in clinical observation study, and its potential direct action on cultured smooth muscle cells (SMCs) calcification. In a cohort of 594 subjects enrolled in a single centre, observational, cross-sectional and longitudinal study, a negative association between GFR and plasma PCSK9 was found. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), as co-morbidity, further increased PCSK9 plasma levels. Diet-induced uremic condition in rats, induced aortic calcification and increased total cholesterol and PCSK9 levels in plasma, livers and kidneys. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed PCSK9 expression in aortic SMCs. SMCs overexpressing PCSK9 (SMCsPCSK9), cultured for 7-days in a pro-calcification environment (2.0mM or 2.4mM inorganic phosphate, Pi) showed a significantly higher extracellular calcium (Ca2+) deposition compared to mocked SMCs. Under the same experimental conditions, the addition of exogenous recombinant PCSK9 did not increase the extracellular calcification of SMCs. By flow cytometry analysis we showed that SMCsPCSK9, in response to 2.4mM Pi, released higher number of extracellular vesicles (EVs) positive for three tetraspanin molecules, such as CD63, CD9, and CD81. EVs derived from SMCsPCSK9 tended to be more enriched in calcium and alkaline phosphatase (ALPL), compared to EVs from mocks SMCs. In conclusion, our study reveals a direct role of PCSK9 on vascular calcification induced by higher inorganic phosphate levels associated to CKD condition. This effect appears to be mediated by a positive effect of endogenous PCSK9 on the release of EVs containing Ca2+ and ALP, which facilitate the deposition inorganic calcium phosphate crystals.
9
24479
The Contact between a Rigid Substrate and a Thick Elastic Layer
Abstract:
Although contact mechanics has been widely focused on the study of contacts between half-space, it has been recently pointed out that in presence of finite thickness elastic layers the results of the contact problem show significant difference in terms of the main contact quantities (e.g. contact area, penetration, mean pressure, etc.). Actually, there exist a wide range of industrial application demanding for this kind of studies, such as seals leakage prediction or pressure-sensitive coatings for electrical applications. In this work, we focus on the contact between a rigid profile and an elastic layer of thickness h confined under two different configurations: rigid constrain and applied uniform pressure. The elastic problem at hand has been formalized following Green’s function method and then numerically solved by means of a matrix inversion. We study different contact conditions, both considering and neglecting adhesive interactions at the interface. This leads to different solution techniques: Adhesive contacts equilibrium solution is found, in term of contact area for given penetration, making stationary the total free energy of the system; whereas, adhesiveless contacts are addressed defining an equilibrium criterion, again on the contact area, relying on the fracture mechanics stress intensity factor KI. In particular, we make the KI vanish at the edges of the contact area, as peculiar for adhesiveless elastic contacts. The results are obtained in terms of contact area, penetration, and mean pressure for both adhesive and adhesiveless contact conditions. As expected, in the case of a uniform applied pressure the slab turns out much more compliant than the rigidly constrained one. Indeed, we have observed that the peak value of the contact pressure, for both the adhesive and adhesiveless condition, is much higher for the rigidly constrained configuration than in the case of applied uniform pressure. Furthermore, we observed that, for little contact area, both systems behave the same and the pull-off occurs at approximately the same contact area and mean contact pressure. This is an expected result since in this condition the ratio between the layers thickness and the contact area is very high and both layer configurations recover the half-space behavior where the pull-off occurrence is mainly controlled by the adhesive interactions, which are kept constant among the cases.
8
81522
Buoyant Gas Dispersion in a Small Fuel Cell Enclosure: A Comparison Study Using Plain and Pressed Louvre Vent Passive Ventilation Schemes
Abstract:
The transition from a ‘carbon rich’ fossil fuel dependent to a ‘sustainable’ and ‘renewable’ hydrogen based society will see the deployment of hydrogen fuel cells (HFC) in transport applications and in the generation of heat and power for buildings, as part of a decentralised power network. Many deployments will be low power HFCs for domestic combined heat and power (CHP) and commercial ‘transportable’ HFCs for environmental situations, such as lighting and telephone towers. For broad commercialisation of small fuel cells to be achieved there needs to be significant confidence in their safety in both domestic and environmental applications. Low power HFCs are housed in protective steel enclosures. Standard enclosures have plain rectangular ventilation openings intended for thermal management of electronics and not the dispersion of a buoyant gas. Degradation of the HFC or supply pipework in use could lead to a low-level leak and a build-up of hydrogen gas in the enclosure. Hydrogen’s wide flammable range (4-75%) is a significant safety concern, with ineffective enclosure ventilation having the potential to cause flammable mixtures to develop with the risk of explosion. Mechanical ventilation is effective at managing enclosure hydrogen concentrations, but drains HFC power and is vulnerable to failure. This is undesirable in low power and remote installations and reliable passive ventilation systems are preferred. Passive ventilation depends upon buoyancy driven flow, with the size, shape and position of ventilation openings critical for producing predictable flows and maintaining low buoyant gas concentrations. With environmentally sited enclosures, ventilation openings with pressed horizontal and angled louvres are preferred to protect the HFC and electronics inside. There is an economic cost to adding louvres, but also a safety concern. A question arises over whether the use of pressed louvre vents impairs enclosure passive ventilation performance, when compared to same opening area plain vents. Comparison small enclosure (0.144m³) tests of same opening area pressed louvre and plain vents were undertaken. A displacement ventilation arrangement was incorporated into the enclosure with opposing upper and lower ventilation openings. A range of vent areas were tested. Helium (used as a safe analogue for hydrogen) was released from a 4mm nozzle at the base of the enclosure to simulate a hydrogen leak at leak rates from 1 to 10 lpm. Helium sensors were used to record concentrations at eight heights in the enclosure. The enclosure was otherwise empty. These tests determined that the use of pressed and angled louvre ventilation openings on the enclosure impaired the passive ventilation flow and increased helium concentrations in the enclosure. High-level stratified buoyant gas layers were also found to be deeper than with plain vent openings and were within the flammable range. The presence of gas within the flammable range is of concern, particularly as the addition of the fuel cell and electronics in the enclosure would further reduce the available volume and increase concentrations. The opening area of louvre vents would need to be greater than equivalent plain vents to achieve comparable ventilation flows or alternative schemes would need to be considered.
7
129510
Examining the Links between Fish Behaviour and Physiology for Resilience in the Anthropocene
Abstract:
Changes in behaviour and physiology are the most important responses of marine life to anthropogenic impacts such as climate change and over-fishing. Behavioural changes (such as a shift in distribution or changes in phenology) can ensure that a species remains in an environment suited for its optimal physiological performance. However, if marine life is unable to shift their distribution, they are reliant on physiological adaptation (either by broadening their metabolic curves to tolerate a range of stressors or by shifting their metabolic curves to maximize their performance at extreme stressors). However, since there are links between fish physiology and behaviour, changes to either of these traits may have reciprocal interactions. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the links between the behaviour and physiology of fishes, discusses these in the context of exploitation and climate change, and makes recommendations for future research needs. The review revealed that our understanding of the links between fish behaviour and physiology is rudimentary. However, both are hypothesized to be linked to stress responses along the hypothalamic pituitary axis. The link between physiological capacity and behaviour is particularly important as both determine the response of an individual to a changing climate and are under selection by fisheries. While it appears that all types of capture fisheries are likely to reduce the adaptive potential of fished populations to climate stressors, angling, which is primarily associated with recreational fishing, may induce fission of natural populations by removing individuals with bold behavioural traits and potentially the physiological traits required to facilitate behavioural change. Future research should focus on assessing how the links between physiological capacity and behaviour influence catchability, the response to climate change drivers, and post-release recovery. The plasticity of phenotypic traits should be examined under a range of stressors of differing intensity in several species and life history stages. Future studies should also assess plasticity (fission or fusion) in the phenotypic structuring of social hierarchy and how this influences habitat selection. Ultimately, to fully understand how physiology is influenced by the selective processes driven by fisheries, long-term monitoring of the physiological and behavioural structure of fished populations, their fitness, and catch rates are required.
6
25631
Factors Relating to Motivation to Change Behaviors in Individuals Who Are Overweight
Abstract:
Background: Obesity is an emerging healthcare epidemic affecting virtually all age and socio-economic groups and is one of the most serious and prevalent diseases of the 21st century. It is a public health challenge because of its prevalence, associated costs and health effects. The increasing prevalence of obesity has created a social perception that overweight body sizes are healthy and normal. This normalization of obesity within our society and the acceptance of higher body weights have led to individuals being unaware of the reality of their weight status and gravity of this situation thus impeding recognition of obesity. Given the escalating global health problem of obesity and its co-morbidities, the need to re-appraise its management is more compelling than ever. It is widely accepted that the causes of obesity are complex and multi-factorial. Engagement of individuals in weight management programmes is difficult if they do not perceive they have a problem with their weight. Recognition of the problem is a key component of obesity management and identifying the main predictors of behaviour is key to designing health behaviour interventions. Aim: The aim of the research was to determine factors relating to motivation to change behaviours in individuals who perceive themselves to be overweight. Method: The research design was quantitative, correlational and cross-sectional. The design was guided by the Health Belief Model. Data were collected online using a multi-section and multi-item questionnaire, developed from a review of the theoretical and empirical research. A sample of 202 men and women who perceived themselves to be overweight participated in the research. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were employed to describe relationships between variables. Findings: Following multivariate regression analysis, perceived barriers to weight loss and perceived benefits of weight loss were significant predictors of motivation to change behaviour. The perceived barriers to weight loss which were significant were psychological barriers to weight loss (p = < 0.019) and environmental barriers to physical activity (p= < 0.032).The greatest predictor of motivation to change behaviour was the perceived benefits of weight loss (p < 0.001). Perceived susceptibility to obesity and perceived severity of obesity did not emerge as significant predictors in this model. Total variance explained by the model was 33.5%. Conclusion: Perceived barriers to weight loss and perceived benefits of weight loss are important determinants of motivation to change behaviour. These findings have important implications for health professionals to help inform their practice and for the development of intervention programmes to prevent and control obesity.
5
107377
Flow Links Curiosity and Creativity: The Mediating Role of Flow
Abstract:
Introduction: Curiosity is a positive emotion and motivational state that consists of the desire to know. Curiosity consists of several related dimensions, including a desire for exploration, deprivation sensitivity, and stress tolerance. Creativity involves generating novel and valuable ideas or products. How curiosity may prompt greater creativity remains to be investigated. The phenomena of flow may link curiosity and creativity. Flow is characterized by intense concentration and absorption and gives rise to optimal performance. Objective of Study: The objective of the present study was to investigate whether the phenomenon of flow may link curiosity with creativity. Methods and Design: Fifty-seven individuals from Australia (45 women and 12 men, mean age of 35.33, SD=9.4) participated. Participants were asked to design a program encouraging residents in a local community to conserve water and to record the elements of their program in writing. Participants were then asked to rate their experience as they developed and wrote about their program. Participants rated their experience on the Dimensional Curiosity Measure sub-scales assessing the exploration, deprivation sensitivity, and stress tolerance facets of curiosity, and the Flow Short Scale. Reliability of the measures as assessed by Cronbach's alpha was as follows: Exploration Curiosity =.92, Deprivation Sensitivity Curiosity =.66, Stress Tolerance Curiosity =.93, and Flow=.96. Two raters independently coded each participant’s water conservation program description on creativity. The mixed-model intraclass correlation coefficient for the two sets of ratings was .73. The mean of the two ratings produced the final creativity score for each participant. Results: During the experience of designing the program, all three types of curiosity were significantly associated with the flow. Pearson r correlations were as follows: Exploration Curiosity and flow, r =.68 (higher Exploration Curiosity was associated with more flow); Deprivation Sensitivity Curiosity and flow, r =.39 (higher Deprivation Sensitivity Curiosity was associated with more flow); and Stress Tolerance Curiosity and flow, r = .44 (more stress tolerance in relation to novelty and exploration was associated with more flow). Greater experience of flow was significantly associated with greater creativity in designing the water conservation program, r =.39. The associations between dimensions of curiosity and creativity did not reach significance. Even though the direct relationships between dimensions of curiosity and creativity were not significant, indirect relationships through the mediating effect of the experience of flow between dimensions of curiosity and creativity were significant. Mediation analysis using PROCESS showed that flow linked Exploration Curiosity with creativity, standardized beta=.23, 95%CI [.02,.25] for the indirect effect; Deprivation Sensitivity Curiosity with creativity, standardized beta=.14, 95%CI [.04,.29] for the indirect effect; and Stress Tolerance Curiosity with creativity, standardized beta=.13, 95%CI [.02,.27] for the indirect effect. Conclusions: When engaging in an activity, higher levels of curiosity are associated with greater flow. More flow is associated with higher levels of creativity. Programs intended to increase flow or creativity might build on these findings and also explore causal relationships.
4
42544
New Teaching Tools for a Modern Representation of Chemical Bond in the Course of Food Science
Abstract:
In Italian IPSSEOAs, high schools that give a vocational education to students that will work in the field of Enogastronomy and Hotel Management, the course of Food Science allows the students to start and see food as a mixture of substances that they will transform during their profession. These substances are characterized not only by a chemical composition but also by a molecular structure that makes them nutritionally active. But the increasing number of new products proposed by Food Industry, the modern techniques of production and transformation, the innovative preparations required by customers have made many information reported in the most wide spread Food Science textbooks not up-to-date or too poor for the people who will work in catering sector. Often Authors offer information aged to Bohr’s Atomic Model and to the ‘Octet Rule’ proposed by G.N. Lewis to describe the Chemical Bond, without giving any reference to new as Orbital Atomic Model and Molecular Orbital Theory that, in the meantime, start to be old themselves. Furthermore, this antiquated information precludes an easy understanding of a wide range of properties of nutritive substances and many reactions in which the food constituents are involved. In this paper, our attention is pointed out to use GEOMAG™ to represent the dynamics with which the chemical bond is formed during the synthesis of the molecules. GEOMAG™ is a toy, produced by the Swiss Company Geomagword S.A., pointed to stimulate in children, aged between 6-10 years, their fantasy and their handling ability and constituted by metallic spheres and metallic magnetic bars coated by coloured plastic materials. The simulation carried out with GEOMAG™ is based on the similitude existing between the Coulomb’s force and the magnetic attraction’s force and in particular between the formulae with which they are calculated. The electrostatic force (F in Newton) that allows the formation of the chemical bond can be calculated by mean Fc = kc q1 q2/d2 where: q1 e q2 are the charge of particles [in Coulomb], d is the distance between the particles [in meters] and kc is the Coulomb’s constant. It is surprising to observe that the attraction’s force (Fm) acting between the magnetic extremities of GEOMAG™ used to simulate the chemical bond can be calculated in the same way by using the formula Fm = km m1 m2/d2 where: m1 e m2 represent the strength of the poles [A•m], d is the distance between the particles [m], km = μ/4π in which μ is the magnetic permeability of medium [N•A-2]. The magnetic attraction can be tested by students by trying to keep the magnetic elements of GEOMAG™ separate by hands or trying to measure by mean an appropriate dynamometric system. Furthermore, by using a dynamometric system to measure the magnetic attraction between the GEOMAG™ elements is possible draw a graphic F=f(d) to verify that the curve obtained during the simulation is very similar to that one hypnotized, around the 1920’s by Linus Pauling to describe the formation of H2+ in according with Molecular Orbital Theory.
3
77255
Microbial Fuel Cells: Performance and Applications
Abstract:
This paper aims to show some applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), an energy harvesting technique, as clean power source to supply low power device for application like wireless sensor network (WSN) for environmental monitoring. Furthermore, MFC can be used directly as biosensor to analyse parameters like pH and temperature or arranged in form of cluster devices in order to use as small power plant. An MFC is a bioreactor that converts energy stored in chemical bonds of organic matter into electrical energy, through a series of reactions catalysed by microorganisms. We have developed a lab-scale terrestrial microbial fuel cell (TMFC), based on soil that acts as source of bacteria and flow of nutrient and a lab-scale waste water microbial fuel cell (WWMFC), where waste water acts as flow of nutrient and bacteria. We performed large series of tests to exploit the capability as biosensor. The pH value has strong influence on the open circuit voltage (OCV) delivered from TMFCs. We analyzed three condition: test A and B were filled with same soil but changing pH from 6 to 6.63, test C was prepared using a different soil with a pH value of 6.3. Experimental results clearly show how with higher pH value a higher OCV was produced; indeed reactors are influenced by different values of pH which increases the voltage in case of a higher pH value until the best pH value of 7 is achieved. The influence of pH on OCV of lab-scales WWMFC was analyzed at pH value of 6.5, 7, 7.2, 7.5 and 8. WWMFCs are influenced from temperature more than TMFCs. We tested the power performance of WWMFCs considering four imposed values of ambient temperature. Results show how power performance increase proportionally with higher temperature values, doubling the output power from 20° to 40°. The best value of power produced from our lab-scale TMFC was equal to 310 μW using peaty soil, at 1KΩ, corresponding to a current of 0.5 mA. A TMFC can supply proper energy to low power devices of a WSN by means of the design of three stages scheme of an energy management system, which adapts voltage level of TMFC to those required by a WSN node, as 3.3V. Using a commercial DC/DC boost converter, that needs an input voltage of 700 mV, the current source of 0.5 mA, charges a capacitor of 6.8 mF until it will have accumulated an amount of charge equal to 700 mV in a time of 10 s. The output stage includes an output switch that close the circuit after a time of 10s + 1.5ms because the converter can boost the voltage from 0.7V to 3.3V in 1.5 ms. Furthermore, we tested in form of clusters connected in series up to 20 WWMFCs, we have obtained a high voltage value as output, around 10V, but low current value. MFC can be considered a suitable clean energy source to be used to supply low power devices as a WSN node or to be used directly as biosensor.
2
101137
Defining the Tipping Point of Tolerance to CO₂-Induced Ocean Acidification in Larval Dusky Kob Argyrosomus japonicus (Pisces: Sciaenidae)
Abstract:
Increased CO₂ production and the consequent ocean acidification (OA) have been identified as one of the greatest threats to both calcifying and non-calcifying marine organisms. Traditionally, marine fishes, as non-calcifying organisms, were considered to have a higher tolerance to near-future OA conditions owing to their well-developed ion regulatory mechanisms. However, recent studies provide evidence to suggest that they may not be as resilient to near-future OA conditions as previously thought. In addition, earlier life stages of marine fishes are thought to be less tolerant than juveniles and adults of the same species as they lack well-developed ion regulatory mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis. This study focused on the effects of near-future OA on larval Argyrosomus japonicus, an estuarine-dependent marine fish species, in order to identify the tipping point of tolerance for the larvae of this species. Larval A. japonicus in the present study were reared from the egg up to 22 days after hatching (DAH) under three treatments. The three treatments, (pCO₂ 353 µatm; pH 8.03), (pCO₂ 451 µatm; pH 7.93) and (pCO₂ 602 µatm; pH 7.83) corresponded to levels predicted to occur in year 2050, 2068 and 2090 respectively under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathways (IPCC RCP) 8.5 model. Size-at-hatch, growth, development, and metabolic responses (standard and active metabolic rates and metabolic scope) were assessed and compared between the three treatments throughout the rearing period. Five earlier larval life stages (hatchling – flexion/post-flexion) were identified by the end of the experiment. There were no significant differences in size-at-hatch (p > 0.05), development or the active metabolic (p > 0.05) or metabolic scope (p > 0.05) of fish in the three treatments throughout the study. However, the standard metabolic rate was significantly higher in the year 2068 treatment but only at the flexion/post-flexion stage which could be attributed to differences in developmental rates (including the development of the gills) between the 2068 and the other two treatments. Overall, the metabolic scope was narrowest in the 2090 treatment but varied according to life stage. Although not significantly different, metabolic scope in the 2090 treatment was noticeably lower at the flexion stage compared to the other two treatments, and the development appeared slower, suggesting that this could be the stage most prone to OA. The study concluded that, in isolation, OA levels predicted to occur between 2050 and 2090 will not negatively affect size-at-hatch, growth, development, and metabolic responses of larval A. japonicus up to 22 DAH (flexion/post-flexion stage). The present study also identified the tipping point of tolerance (where negative impacts will begin) in larvae of the species to be between the years 2090 and 2100.
1
77766
Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain
Abstract:
The region of Galicia, found in north-western (NW) Spain, is a national and world leader in shellfish, especially mussel production, and recognized for its fishing industry. Few studies have evaluated the presence of emerging contaminants in NW Spain, with those published mainly concerning the continental aquatic environment. The objective of this study was to identify the environmental risk posed by the presence of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in this important coastal region. The presence of sixteen pharmaceuticals (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and caffeine), and 19 drugs of abuse (cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opiates and opioids, lysergic compounds, and cannabinoids) was assessed in 23 sites located in the Rías (Coastal inlets) of Muros, Arousa, and Pontevedra (NW Spain). Twenty-two of these locations were affected by waste-water treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and one represented the effluent of one of these WWTPs. Venlafaxine was the pharmaceutical compound detected at higher concentration in the three Rías, with a maximum value of 291 ng/L at the site Porto do Son (Ría de Muros). Total concentration in the three Rías was 819,26 ng/L. Next, citalopram and lorazepam were the most prevalent compounds detected. Metabolite of cocaine benzoylecgonine was the drug of abuse with the highest concentration, measured at 972 ng/L in the Ría of Noia WWTP (no dilution). This compound was also detected at 142 ng/L in the site La Isla de Aros, Ría of Pontevedra. Total concentration for the three Rías was 1210 ng/L. Ephedrine was also detected at high level in the three Rías, with a total concentration of 579,28 ng/L. The results obtained for caffeine show maximum and average concentrations of 857 ng/L Isla de Arosa, Ría de Pontevedra the highest measured in seawater in Spain. A preliminary hazard assessment was carried out by comparing these measured environmental concentrations (MEC) to predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for aquatic organisms. Six out of the 22 seawater samples resulted in a Hazard Quotient (HQ) from chronic exposure higher than 1 with the highest being 17.14, indicating a high probability of adverse effects in the aquatic environment. In addition, the risk was assessed on the basis of persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT). This work was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Carlos III Health Institute and the program 'Proyectos de Investigacion en Salud 2015-2017' FIS (PI14/00516), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Groups '2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit' and 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603437. The poster entitled 'Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain'.