ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0218.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: concrete; remote sensing; remaining life assessment; condition assessment
Online: 13 December 2021 (17:45:55 CET)
Concrete condition assessing penetrometers need to be able to distinguish between making contact with a hard (concrete) surface as opposed to a semi-solid (corroded concrete) surface. If a hard surface is mistaken for a soft surface, concrete corrosion may be over-estimated, with the potential for triggering unnecessary remediation works. Unfortunately, the variably-angled surface of a concrete pipe can cause the tip of a force-sensing tactile penetrometer to slip and thus to make this mistake. We investigated whether different shaped tips of a cylindrical penetrometer were better than others at maintaining contact with concrete and not slipping. We designed a range of simple symmetric tip shapes, controlled by a single superellipse parameter. We performed a finite element analysis of these parametric models in SolidWorks before machining in stainless steel. We tested our penetrometer tips on a concrete paver cut to four angles at 20∘ increments. The results indicate that penetrometers with a squircle-shaped steel tip (a=b=1,n=4) have the least slip, in the context of concrete condition assessment.
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Pyrolysis; Life cycle assessment; Techno-economic assessment; sludge
Online: 26 July 2021 (10:06:50 CEST)
The increasing amount of municipal sludge in China requires safe and effective management to protect human health and ensure environmental sustainability. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process that that decompose organic matter at elevated temperature and under anaerobic conditions, and it has attracted an increasing attention in sludge treatment in the recent years. However, comprehensive environmental and economic assessment of sludge pyrolysis in China's context is rare, due to the small quantities of full-scale sludge pyrolysis plant. In this paper, we applied our design and operation parameters of full-scale sludge pyrolysis plants to generate the material and energy consumptions of the pyrolysis system under various of conditions, including sludge organic content and moisture content, system size, system energy distribution, and whether or not heat substitution is applied. Life cycle assessment and techno-economic assessment were then applied to investigate the environmental and economic performance of the system Our results demonstrate the significant environmental and economic impacts associated with sludge properties and system size. Generally, sludge with higher organic content and lower moisture content requires less natural gas consumption, which leads to a simultaneous improvement of the system environmental and economic performance. The system economic performance is more sensitive to the system size, and centralized sludge handling using a larger pyrolysis is more economic favorable. In the most ideal case, the average global warming potential and minimum sludge handling price of sludge pyrolysis could be as low as -32.5 kg CO2-Eq/t DS and 188.8 $/t DS, respectively. Based on these results, we discussed the pathways that could be taken to further optimize the environmental and economic performances of the pyrolysis system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0730.v1
Online: 9 June 2023 (15:29:02 CEST)
The objective of this study is to examine different types of bias present in assessment tools and techniques, identify and eliminate any forms of favoritism, and suggest effective approaches for advancing equity and objectivity in assessment procedures. The research utilizes a qualitative methodology, incorporating surveys and focus group discussions with educators and students to collect data. Thematic analysis is a method employed for the purpose of analyzing qualitative data. The results suggest that students hailing from diverse cultural backgrounds perceive partiality in the language and cultural context of evaluations, leading to diminished scores. According to academic professionals, standardized tests are subject to bias, and offering accommodations that cater to linguistic and cultural diversity may improve the academic achievement of students from diverse cultural backgrounds. The findings of this research are of great importance to professionals in the domains of education, policy development, and academia who seek to improve assessment practices and promote equitable educational opportunities for all learners.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0123.v2
Online: 9 December 2022 (10:10:08 CET)
(1) Background: This study aims to validate the use of Bloom's revised taxonomy as an instrument for the design of assessment tests; (2) Methods: A validation has been carried out by external judges, as well as by teachers and students, validating the instrument by means of Aiken's V; (3) Results: Judges, teachers and students consider Bloom's revised taxonomy as an effective tool for the design of assessment tests; (4) Conclusions: Using Bloom's revised taxonomy as a model for designing assessment tests promotes learning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1573.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Artificial intelligence; environmental impact assessment; strategic environmental assessment; biodiversity; digitalisation
Online: 24 July 2023 (08:46:03 CEST)
The opportunities and potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Environmental Assessment (EA) are often mentioned. However, do we in the EA field understand the implications of what is happening in other biological sciences, and are we preparing for the changes that are coming? This interdisciplinary letter focuses on AI-driven developments in biodiversity data and analysis as a starting point for stimulating discussion about what AI means in practice for the field of EA. We highlight implications for training, transformation of practice and decision making as first steps in a research agenda.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1392.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Urban Studies And Planning Keywords: Smart City; Smart City Assessment; Developing Economies; PRISMA; Assessment Tools
Online: 19 May 2023 (07:31:05 CEST)
There are limited research articles focusing on Smart City Assessment (SCA) applications since it is a relatively new field of research and practice. However, numerous studies have been conducted and published to date, particularly in developing countries, with the broad objective of building theoretical frameworks that are centered on smart city assessments. This scoping review systematically provides an examination on the available literature on SCA, with a goal of synthesizing smart city assessments in developing economies. In order to improve the quality and transparency of the reviews and meta-analysis, as well as to reduce the risk of bias, this paper adopted the PRISMA scoping review research design to analyze 25 journal articles. Results showed that conceptual modeling appears to be the most common method identified while industrial development emerged as the most common objective identified in the MFO Model. On the other hand, ISO 37122:2019 was the most prevalent framework used in the collected sample size with 6 journal articles followed by IoT-Enabled Smart City Framework with 5 journal articles while Smart Cities Index Framework obtained 3. Meanwhile, India emerged as a leader in the global Smart City movement followed by Malaysia and Africa. The Qualitative Research Design approach was the most common among the literatures while social science was the most common subject area among the 25 journals being studied. More so, sustainability and renewable energy are the two most important assessment categories in SCA tools. By collating and evaluating different criteria and metrics in existing SCA, cities can learn from their successes and failures, adjust their strategies, and share best practices with other cities. This can foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation in urban governance, and ultimately lead to more livable, resilient, and prosperous cities for all.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0372.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: Responsible Research and Innovation; responsibility; innovation; assessment; Technology Assessment; foresight
Online: 29 December 2019 (07:33:46 CET)
In the paper, the author takes stock of the conceptual reflection and empirical studies described in the current scientific literature on responsible innovation in the context of the emergence of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) concept. RRI has been promoted in the European Union as a part of the Europe 2020 strategy with the objective of making research and innovation more sustainable and inclusive. As more than half of the EU’s firms declare conducting innovation activities RRI problematic becomes more relevant than ever. There remain many open questions, unresolved dilemmas and empirical white spots that call for more research in this field. This paper’s main focus is the problem of RRI acceptance as a global framework for responsible innovation and the scarcity of suitable instruments that may help industry understand and adopt this concept. The main contribution of this paper are: the critical analysis of the RRI concept and its implications for industry, proposing a concept of RRI index for innovating enterprises.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0429.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Anguilla anguilla; complex model; participatory assessment; DISTATIS; Bayesian assessment model; GEREM
Online: 16 April 2021 (09:42:59 CEST)
Mistrust between scientists and non-scientist stakeholders is a key challenge in fishery management. This problem is exacerbated with the use of complex models to support management: these models suffer from difficulties in communicating their results and a lack of confidence from end users. The European eel is an illustrative example; its complex life cycle raises problems of coordination and discussion among the multiple actors involved in the management of the species. The GEREM model has been proposed as a tool for estimating recruitment, but its complexity, which is essential for addressing the characteristics of the species, makes it difficult to understand and accept by all stakeholders. In the context of the SUDOANG project, we proposed a co-parametrization of this assessment model to tackle this mistrust. Through the use of various questionnaires and appropriate statistical analyses, stakeholders were involved in two important choices for the model (zone definition and prior construction). Regular workshops and presentations were organised to explain the model rationales and to gather feedback and expectations. The results show that stakeholders have very similar perceptions of the potential definitions of sub-areas of recruitment in south-western Europe, and these perceptions are consistent with the underlying environmental conditions. On the other hand, the stakeholders have contrasting opinions about the exploitation rates of fisheries in different river basins, and the use of their knowledge currently has little effect on GEREM estimates. More importantly, the overall approach of this study is thought to have reconstructed the trust and confidence among participants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0283.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: 24-hour recall; nutrition assessment; technology assisted dietary assessment; gestational diabetes
Online: 16 July 2018 (12:12:42 CEST)
myfood24 is a comprehensive self-completed online 24-hour dietary recall tool currently used for nutritional assessments in epidemiological research. However, its clinical application has been unexplored. This mixed methods prospective observational study explores the acceptability and usability of myfood24 in a clinical population, women with gestational diabetes (GDM). Women were recruited at their first diabetes antenatal clinic appointment. To assess acceptability and usability, they were asked to complete five 24-hour dietary recalls using myfood24 over two weeks and a user experience questionnaire; with a subset invited to participate in a one-to-one semi-structured interview. Of the 199 participants, mean maternal age was 33 years, mean booking BMI 29.7kg/m2, 36% primiparous, 57% White, 33% Asian. Of these 121 (61%) completed myfood24 at least once and 73 (37%) completed the user questionnaire; 15 were interviewed. Usability of myfood24 was measured using the System Usability Scale (SUS) and found to be good (mean 70.9, 95%CI 67.1, 74.6). Interviews identified several areas for improvement, including optimising its use for mobile devices. myfood24 appears to be acceptable and have potential to support self-management and behaviour change for women with GDM but requires adaptation to record blood glucose results alongside real-time tracking of diet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0021.v1
Online: 1 July 2019 (15:22:25 CEST)
This article is about school evaluation. The objective was to explain critically the mediating relationships between educational evaluation and the production of school knowledge from the perspective of the Dialectical Historical Materialism. With this interest, a documentary analysis was made, obtaining as result four explanatory categories: production, subsumption, distribution and exchange of knowledge, which form a concrete totality with distinctions and antagonistic relationships between them, limited by their opposite. It is concluded that the evaluation as a mediating form lacks antagonistic pair and consequently of control by opposition, emerging from the school daily as autonomous and sovereign entity, oppressive of school subjects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0449.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: groundwater; sustainability assessment; small islands; Caribbean islands; sustainability assessment indicators; water management
Online: 24 July 2018 (08:12:19 CEST)
Groundwater is an important resource for many countries and its scarcity is a major concern in small territories, especially in the islands where the constant extraction is creating a high risk of public calamity. This issue has been increasing because of the anthropogenic activities and the climate change and it has called the attention of scientists and stakeholders in order to assess the sustainability of the water management system, and therefore, to establish strategies for a more sustainable water use. San Andres island was taking as case study and a description of the water balance was carried out in order to understand the management system. Then, a water system sustainability assessment was performed with indicators such as water security, water quality, drinking water, sanitation, infrastructure, climate robustness, biodiversity, attractiveness, and governance, according to the City Blueprint Methodology. The result for the 24 evaluated indicators was a score of 3.2, whose interpretation is “an unsustainable water management”. The qualitative assessment was the base to propose water security, water quality, and governance strategies to improve the water management in the island. The assessment and its discussions are relevant for the water management in small islands across the world whose economy is based on the tourism and whose water security is at a high risk.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0970.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: tree risk assessment; decay; resistance drilling; tomography; tree risk assessment qualification; tree stem
Online: 26 April 2023 (07:41:38 CEST)
Arborists commonly investigate the extent of stem decay to assess the likelihood of stem failure when conducting tree risk assessments. Studies have shown that (i) arborists can sometimes judge the extent of internal decay based on external signs; (ii) sophisticated tools can reliably illustrate the extent of internal decay; and (iii) assessing components of tree risk can be highly subjective. We recruited 18 experienced tree risk assessors who held the International Society of Arboriculture’s Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) to assess the likelihood of stem failure due to decay after each of 5 consecutive assessments on 30 individuals of 2 genera. Five assessment techniques, in stepwise order, were 1) visual, 2) sounding the trunk with a mallet, 3) viewing a scaled diagram of the cross-section that revealed sound and decayed wood ascertained from resistance drilling, 4) viewing sonic and electrical resistance tomograms, and 5) consulting with a peer. For each technique, assessors assigned two or more likelihood of failure ratings (LoFRs) for at least 83% of trees, which were proportionally greatest after assessors viewed tomograms; the proportions did not differ among the other four assessment techniques. Covariates that influenced the distribution of LoFRs included percent of the cross-section that was decayed, and assessors’ experience using resistance drilling devices and tomography in regular practice. Practitioners should be aware that disagreement on the likelihood of tree failure exists even among experienced arborists.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0152.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Urban road dust, Functional areas, Heavy metals, Pollution assessment, Health risk assessment, Jeddah
Online: 23 November 2017 (10:20:50 CET)
Data dealing with the assessment of heavy metal pollution in road dusts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and its implication to human health risk of human exposure to heavy metals, are scarce. Road dusts were collected from five different functional areas (traffic areas TA, parking areas PA, residential areas RA, mixed residential commercial areas MCRA and suburban areas SA) in Jeddah and one in rural area (RUA) in Hada Al Sham. We aimed to measure the pollution levels of heavy metals and estimate their health risk of human exposure applying risk assessment models described by USEPA. Using geo-accumulation index (Igeo), the pollution level of heavy metals in urban road dusts was in the following order Cd > As > Pb > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cr > V > Mn > Co > Fe. Urban road dust was found to be moderately to heavily contaminated with As, Pb and Zn, and heavily to extremely contaminated with Cd. Calculation of enrichment factor (EF) revealed that heavy metals in TA had the highest values compared to that of the other functional areas. Cd, As, Pb, Zn and Cu were severely enriched, while Mn, V, Co, Ni and Cr were moderately enriched. Fe was consider as a natural element and consequently excluded. The concentrations of heavy metals in road dusts of functional areas were in the following order: TA > PA > MCRA > SA > RA > RUA. The study revealed that both children and adults in all studied areas having health quotient (HQ) < 1 are at negligible non-carcinogenic risk. The only exception was for children exposed to As in TA. They had an ingestion health quotient (HQing) 1.18 and a health index (HI) 1.19. The most prominent exposure route was ingestion. The cancer risk for children and adults from exposure to Pb, Cd, Co, Ni, and Cr was found to be negligible (< 1 x 10-6).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1672.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: lymph node; risk assessment; quantification
Online: 25 September 2023 (11:02:19 CEST)
Previous bio-mapping studies of pork processing facilities have indicated a need for mitigation strategies in trim and ground products due to Salmonella prevalence. Lymph nodes have been identified as a source of Salmonella in pork products. The objective of this study was to determine if the removal of glands and lymph nodes in pork would reduce Salmonella and indicator organisms in comminuted products. Samples from a commercial pork facility were divided into three treatment groups; 1) untreated control, 2) topical glands removed before final processing, and 3) topical, jowl, and internal lymph nodes and glands removed before final processing. Samples were evaluated for indicator organisms and quantity of Salmonella using the BioMérieux TEMPO® system and BAX® System Real-Time Salmonella SalQuant™ methodology, respectively. The results of this study indicate that the removal of the topical, internal, and jowl lymph nodes was effective at significantly (P > 0.05) reducing the prevalence of both Salmonella and indicator organisms. Salmonella was reduced from 2.5-Log CFU/Sample and 3.8-Log CFU/Sample of Salmonella in control group ground and trim samples, to less than 1-Log CFU/sample in both matrices from treatment 3. These data indicate that samples from treatment 3 had an average of a 3-Log reduction, and treatment 2 had a 2.5-Log reduction, of Salmonella when compared to the control samples. This indicates that the physical removal of glands and lymph nodes can influence Salmonella and indicator organism prevalence in the final product.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0234.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: neurobehavioral assessment; ecotoxicology; zebrafish; neurotoxicology
Online: 10 June 2020 (05:24:07 CEST)
The industry is increasingly relying on fish for toxicity assessment. However, current guidelines for toxicity assessment focus on teratogenicity and mortality. From an ecotoxicological point of view, however, these endpoints may not reflect the “full picture” of possible deleterious effects that can nonetheless result in decreased fitness and/or inability to adapt to a changing environment, affecting whole populations. Therefore, assessing sublethal effects add relevant data covering different aspects of toxicity at different levels of analysis. Impacts of toxicants on neurobehavioral function have the potential to affect many different life-history traits, and are easier to assess in the laboratory than in the wild. We propose that carefully-controlled laboratory experiments on different behavioral domains – including anxiety, aggression, and exploration – can increase our understanding of the ecotoxicological impacts of contaminants, since these domains are related to traits such as defense, sociality, and reproduction, directly impacting life-history traits. The effects of selected contaminants on these tests are reviewed, focusing on larval and adult zebrafish, showing that these behavioral domains are highly sensitive to small concentrations of these substances. These strategies suggest a way forward on ecotoxicological research using fish.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2044.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: sustainability; green lean; life cycle assessment; environmental impacts; statistical methods; sustainability assessment model; GreenCycLEAN
Online: 28 June 2023 (13:50:20 CEST)
Nowadays, consumers have growing expectations for healthier and higher-quality food, and sustainable food choices are also taking on an increasingly central role. This paper assesses the environmental loads and energy resources of vegan, semi-vegetarian, and traditional restaurant soups and main dishes, focusing on preparation and cooking phases based on the life cycle assessment. The optimal menu samples were selected based on statistical methods. Mann-Whitney and Krus-kal-Wallis tests were applied to investigate restaurant products' distribution and carbon footprint. Based on the results, the preparation phases have a more significant impact. The environmental loads for the life cycle of vegan and semi-vegetarian menus are lower. Furthermore, a sustainability assessment model was developed by integrating lean and life cycle assessment approaches called "GreenCycLEAN." Research results are helpful for the sustainability of catering establishments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0425.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: prospective life cycle assessment; scenarios; future background system; ex-ante LCA; integrated assessment models
Online: 24 March 2023 (04:11:41 CET)
Purpose Prospective life cycle assessment (pLCA) is a key method for providing environmental decision support for future technologies. The specific technology under study is often modeled by the practitioner (the so-called foreground system), whereas data for supply chains are sourced from life cycle inventory databases (the so-called background system). Within pLCA, it is paramount to consider possible future developments for both foreground and background systems to avoid a temporal mismatch between the specific technology under study and the wider economy, which could lead to incorrect conclusions. Therefore, and given the importance of future-oriented environmental decision support, efforts to develop prospective life cycle inventory (pLCI) databases have recently increased. However, there is still much to be improved to realize the widespread use of these databases and to have a stronger real-world effect on how future technology is designed. Methods This paper summarizes recent developments and structures the information chain behind pLCI databases. We then discuss conditions for the broad application of pLCI databases, and we propose priorities and ways forward to overcome existing challenges to foster the use of pLCI databases. Results The conditions are scientific integrity, usefulness to LCA practitioners, accessibility, usability, interpretability, and a continuous improvement process in which core stakeholders coordinate efforts to streamline the generation, sharing, and use of pLCI databases. Conclusions Priority should be given to installing a continuous process to improve the coverage and consistency of pLCI databases, to improve related guidance and documentation, and to remove practical barriers relating to the access and usability of pLCI databases in LCA software.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0455.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: energy modeling; biomass transformation efficiency; global change assessment model; integrated assessment model; cooking fuel
Online: 31 January 2022 (12:45:00 CET)
The building sector of most tropical countries still use predominantly primary biomass as the principal fuel. This has adverse effects like CO2 emission and deforestation and is associated with issues like poverty, ill-health, and low standard of living. Therefore, energy policies try to improve on the efficiency of firewood and charcoal end-use technologies, to palliate the negative effects. In this research, the global change assessment model (GCAM) is used, to investigate the impact of efficiency improvement on the energy consumption pattern of the building sector of developing countries. The aim of the study is to provide empirical data that would better inform policymakers on the effects of modernizing these primary fuels. The study developed three scenarios with different levels of efficiency improvements. The results show that efficiency improvement rather increases primary biomass consumption and CO2 emission. However, there is a fall in the consumption of traditional biomass in the second half of the modelling period. The increase in biomass-based fuels consumption was seen to be linked to their affordability. Therefore, policymakers need not only elaborate policies that improve biomass efficiency, but also introduce and motivate other clean cooking fuels like butane, biogas, and electricity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0109.v2
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: Cyber risk; Internet of Things cyber risk; Digital Economy Risk Assessment; Economic Impact Assessment.
Online: 9 April 2019 (12:26:13 CEST)
We present an updated design process for adapting and integrating existing cyber risk assessment approaches for impact assessment for the risk from IoT to the digital economy. The new design process includes a set of changes to the original standards (e.g. NIST) that are adapted for the IoT cyber risk in this paper. This paper also presents a new framework for impact assessment of IoT cyber risk, specific for the digital economy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0015.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: characterization; life cycle assessment; life cycle impact assessment; normalization; particulate matter; respiratory inorganics; water vapor
Online: 1 July 2021 (11:16:42 CEST)
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is being included formally in EcoDesign regulations. Especially product carbon footprint will be mandatory in Europe. However, life cycle impact assessment including global warming potential (GWP) in LCA is hampered by several challenges. One of these is lack of water vapor characterization indexes for GWP. A life cycle inventory profile for air transport fuel including water vapor emissions is evaluated with state-of-the-art practice, i.e. EF Method and ILCD 2011 Midpoint+ and neglecting water vapors high altitude GWP compared to carbon dioxide. Then the characterization factor in GWP100 for water vapor and alternate normalization for particulates are introduced. The results are compared. The main findings are that the EF method and ILCD both generate rather realistic results for Particulate Matter and Respiratory Inorganics mid-point indicators, respectively, but the amount of premature deaths should be better allocated to different specific emissions, and that water vapor may dominate the GWP100 result over the usual carbon dioxide. LCIA mid-points need measurable and understandable bases. The common knowledge of water vapor’s GWP100 should not be neglected in LCIA for air transport and beyond where relevant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1439.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: continuous assessment; protocol; sewer; structural defecets
Online: 21 September 2023 (08:28:09 CEST)
In order to better plan new or update sewer pipe condition assessment protocols, this paper presents systematic comparisons of four most widely-used sewer condition assessment protocols, including the fourth edition of Sewer Rehabilitation Manual (SRM-4) in UK, Pipeline Assessment and Certification Program (PACP) in America, Sewer Physical Condition Grading Protocols (SPCCM) in Canada, and Technical Specification for Inspection and Evaluation of Urban Sewer (TSIEUR) in China. In qualitative comparison, the defects, deduct values and assessment methods of the four protocols were analyzed; in quantitative comparison, protocols were used to evaluate the same 182 sewer pipe segments based on field data and the assessment results were compared. It was found that SRM-4 are the most optimistic with 59% pipes being Grade 1 and Grade 2, while SPCCM gives the most pessimistic results with 62% pipes being Grade 3 and Grade 4. Assessment results by PACP and TSIEUR are in the middle. The main reasons for the different evaluation results were due to the different weight of defect and evaluation methods used.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1277.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: body control; awareness; balance; training; assessment
Online: 20 September 2023 (03:28:25 CEST)
Proprioception is an essential part of human movement and body awareness. It is the body's perception of its own spatial understanding, which helps us to accurately move our limbs and maintain balance. Purpose: This study aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge and analyse bibliometric data about proprioception in gymnastics and acrobatics. Methodology: This article consisted of two phases: 1) a bibliometric review (based Web of Science) and 2) a systematic review (Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus) of literature. "Gymnast*", "propriocep*", were utilized as search terms to find and choose published data. From a total of 164 studies, 30 were included for data extraction (n participants= 1432 of different age, sports, physical activities, and physical condition. Heterogeneity of studies design and assessment make it difficult to interpret the outcomes and the effect of proprioceptive interventions and comparations between samples. Proprioception is difficult to define in gymnastics considering the evidence references and the physiological considerations. Also, assessment tools used do not necessary evaluate proprioception globally considering the senses involved in gymnastics. Gymnastics training enhances joint awareness and force sense, improving proprioception and reducing injury risk. Proprioceptive exercises should be incorporated into gymnastics programs to enhance stability and precision in movements.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0298.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Security Systems Keywords: Cybersecurity; Security Awareness Assessment; Machine Learning
Online: 20 July 2022 (08:22:30 CEST)
Cyber-threat is now a global concern to all internet users, as the rate of crimes has tremendously changed from physical to virtual. Implementing awareness programs at various organization levels is required, Also there is a need to know the methodologies used in measuring cybersecurity awareness program effectiveness. The paper aims to review and explore the previous methodologies applied, target organizations, and application of Machine Learning techniques in the assessment of awareness programs. Systematic literature review techniques were used to conduct the search using pre-defined keywords and published papers from 2006 to 2019, the information was used in providing an answer to the research questions. The finding shows questionnaire was widely used as a method of evaluating cybersecurity awareness and also organizations implement more awareness programs, the gap found is the lack of using ML in assessing the effectiveness of design, and implemented cybersecurity awareness programs
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0071.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: nutrition screening tools; malnutrition; nutritional assessment
Online: 6 May 2022 (10:01:24 CEST)
Malnutrition is a serious problem with negative impact on the quality of life and the evolution of our patients, contributing to an increase in morbidity, hospital stay, mortality and health spending. Early identification is fundamental to implement the necessary therapeutic actions involving adequate nutritional support to prevent or reverse malnutrition. This review presents two complementary methods of fighting malnutrition: nutritional screening and nutritional assessment. Nutritional risk screening is conducted using simple, quick-to-perform tools and is the first line of action in detecting at-risk patients. It should be implemented systematically and periodically on admission to hospital or residential care, as well as on an outpatient basis for patients with chronic conditions. Once patients with a nutritional risk have been detected they should undergo a more detailed nutritional assessment to identify and quantify the type and degree of malnutrition. This should include health history and clinical examination, dietary history, anthropometric measurements, evaluation of the degree of aggression determined by the disease, functional assessment and, whenever possible, some method of measuring body composition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0328.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Keywords: muscle strength; knee assessment; isometric contraction
Online: 21 December 2021 (12:32:53 CET)
The objective was to assess the instrumental validity and the test-retest reliability of a low-cost hand-held push dynamometer adapted from a load-cell based hanging scale (tHHD) to collect compressive forces in different ranges of compressive forces. Three independent raters applied 50 pre-established compressions each on the tHHD centered on a force platform in 3 distinct ranges: ~70 N, ~160 N, ~250 N. Knee isometric strength was also assessed on 19 subjects in two sessions (48h apart) using the tHHD anchored by an inelastic adjustable strap. Knee extension and flexion were assessed with the participant seated on a chair with the feet resting on the floor, knees, and hips flexed at 90°. The isometric force peaks were recorded and compared. The ICC and the Cronbach’s α showed excellent consistency and agreement for both instrumental validity and test-retest reliability, as the correlation and determination coefficients. The SEM and the MDC analysis returned adequate low values with a coefficient of variation less than 5%. The Bland-Altman results showed consistency and high levels of agreement. The tHHD is a valid method to assess the knee isometric strength, showing portability, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendly interface to provide an effective form to assess the knee isometric strength.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0196.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: Speech Rehabilitation; Speech Quality Assessment; LSTM
Online: 13 December 2021 (10:10:36 CET)
The article considers an approach to the problem of assessing the quality of speech during speech rehabilitation as a classification problem. For this, a classifier is built on the basis of an LSTM neural network for dividing speech signals into two classes: before the operation and immediately after. At the same time, speech before the operation is the standard to which it is necessary to approach in the process of rehabilitation. The metric of belonging of the evaluated signal to the reference class acts as an assessment of speech. An experimental assessment of rehabilitation sessions and a comparison of the resulting assessments with expert assessments of phrasal intelligibility were carried out.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0441.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment; Blockchain; Supply Chain
Online: 28 October 2021 (14:56:20 CEST)
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely recognized tool used to evaluate environmental impacts of a product or process, based on the environmental inventory database and bills of material. Data quality is one of the most significant factors affecting the analysis results. However, currently most datasets in inventory databases are generic i.e., they may represent material and energy flow of a process at market average, instead of a specific process used by a manufacturer. As a result, stockholders are unable to track their supply chain to find out the actual environmental impact from each supplier and to compare the environmental performance of alternative options. In this paper, we developed a new framework i.e., blockchain based LCA (BC-LCA), where block-chain technology is adapted to secure and transmit inventory data from upstream suppliers to downstream manufacturers. With BC-LCA, more specific data can be acquired along the supply chain in a real-time manner. Moreover, the availability, accuracy, privacy, and automatic update of inventory data can be improved. A case study is provided based on an industrial supply chain, to demonstrate the utilization of BC-LCA.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0171.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; assessment; online; virtual; OSCE
Online: 14 June 2020 (12:57:23 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world of medical education, moving it years ahead of time into the future. Many concepts needed to be changed, so did the methodologies. Nevertheless, clinical assessment remained tricky. This work highlights the outcome of the work of College of Medicine and Medical Sciences at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain in performing virtual clinical examination using Zoom™. Tips in this article are meant to help plan, implement and evaluate clinical assessments virtually.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0011.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Applied Chemistry Keywords: thiazolyl dyes; anticancer; antioxidant; colour assessment
Online: 2 November 2018 (04:28:50 CET)
This work is aiming to motivation on the prospect of evolving new thiazole dyes with respectable application properties, expected pharmacological activities. Curcumin Coupling with diverse diazonium salts of 2-amino thiazole derivatives as 2-aminobenzothiazole, 2- amino-5-phenylthiazole, 2 amino-5-methylthiazole and 2 amino-5-nitrothiazole to produce novel azo dyes. All synthesised dyes were completely confirmed their structures via elemental and spectroscopic techniques. The synthesised thiazole derivatives were examined for their “antimicrobial, anticancer and antioxidant” activities. All of the synthesized dyes were applied on synthetic fabrics as polyester and successively their dyeing properties, “light, washing, perspiration, rubbing and sublimation” fastness were evaluated. Prepared dyestuffs are suitable for dyeing polyester fabrics. It was initiate that all of prepared dyes own extraordinary colour hue, along with respectable fastness properties. Also the synthesised thiazole derivatives display moral pharmacology activity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0089.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: PM10; Exposure; Health risk assessment; Makkah
Online: 14 December 2017 (11:06:18 CET)
The current study aimed to: i) Monitor levels of PM10, at Shebika, Haram, Masfala, Azizia, Awali and Mina in Makkah city, KSA during the period of 01 Shawwal 1436H – 27 Rabi Al-Awwal 1437H, by using LVS instruments; and; 2) assess health risk (non-cancer and cancer risks) on humans (children and adult) exposed to PM10 in ambient air of Makkah city.The results showed that: the high PM10 levels were found in Haram site, while the lower levels were found in Awali site. These levels were lower than that set for PM10 by PME (Daily limit of 340 µg/m3). Vehicles emissions and constructions sources may be the main source of PM10 levels in Makkah city. The human health risk assessments showed that: the daily exposure doses of PM10 were ranked in the order: Ding > Ddermal > Dinh for children and adult in Makkah city. Ingestion of PM10 particles was the main exposure pathway for both children and adults. The HIs and cancer risk values were within the safe level, indicating that (non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic) risks for humans exposed to PM10 in Makkah city were negligible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0060.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: ECG quality assessment; complexity; entropy; ROC
Online: 9 November 2017 (05:47:22 CET)
We compared performance of a novel encoding Lempel-Ziv complexity (ELZC) with approximate entropy (ApEn), sample entropy (SmpEn) and permutation entropy (PerEn) as nonlinear metric to assess ECG quality. Firstly to compare performance of discerning randomness and inherent nonlinear properties within time series, this study calculated the aforementioned four nonlinear complexity values on several typical artificial time series i.e., Gauss noise, two kinds of noisy time series, two kinds of Logistic series and periodic series, respectively. Then for analyzing sensitivity of the aforementioned four complexity methods to content level of different types noise within ECG recordings, we investigated variation trend of ELZC, ApEn, SmpEn and PerEn in several synthetic ECG recordings containing different types noise (i.e., baseline wander, muscle artefacts, electrode motion, power line and mixed noise) and different signal noise ratios (i.e., 15, 10, 5, 0, −5 and −10 dB). Finally, the four complexity methods were employed to classify the quality of real ECG recordings from the PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2011 (CINC 2011) of the MIT databases, then receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) and their corresponding area under curve (AUC) were yielded. The results showed ELZC could not only distinguish randomness and chaotic within time series but also reflect content level of noise within time series, and the highest AUC of PerEn, ELZC, SmpEn and ApEn were 0.850, 0.695, 0.474 and 0.461, respectively. The results demonstrated PerEn and ELZC were more effectively than ApEn and SmpEn for assessing ECG quality.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0088.v3
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: pesticide dissipation; risk assessment; environmental fate
Online: 28 August 2017 (16:51:22 CEST)
Data relating to the rate at which pesticide active substances dissipate on or within various plant matrices are important for a range of different risk assessments; however, despite the importance of this data, dissipation rates are not included in the most common online data resources. Databases have been collated in the past, but these tend not to be maintained or regularly updated. The purpose of the exercise described herein was to collate a new database in a format compatible with the main online pesticide database resource (the Pesticide Properties Database, PPDB), to validate this database in line with the Pesticide Properties Database protocols and thus ensure that the data is maintained and updated in future. Data was collated using a systematic review approach using several scientific databases. Collated literature was subjected to a quality assessment, and then data was extracted into an MS Excel spreadsheet. The outcome of the study is a database based on data collated from 1390 published articles covering over 400 pesticides and over 200 crops across a wide variety of different matrices (leaves, fruits, seeds etc.) for pesticide residues on the crop surface, as well as residues absorbed within the plant material. This data is now fully incorporated into the PPDB.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0054.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: Risk assessment; Evidential reasoning; Fire/explosion
Online: 9 November 2016 (10:29:29 CET)
This paper aims to develop a hierarchical risk assessment model using the newly-developed evidential reasoning (ER) rule, which constitutes a generic conjunctive probabilistic reasoning process. In this paper, we first provide a brief introduction to the basics of the ER rule and emphasize the strengths for representing and aggregating uncertain information from multiple experts and sources. Further, we discuss the key steps of developing the hierarchical risk assessment framework systematically, including (1) formulation of risk assessment hierarchy, (2) representation of both qualitative and quantitative information, (3) elicitation of attribute weights and information reliabilities, (4) aggregation of assessment information using the ER rule and (5) quantification and ranking of risks using utility-based transformation. The proposed hierarchical risk assessment framework can potentially be implemented to various complex and uncertain systems. A case study on the fire/explosion risk assessment of marine vessels demonstrates the applicability of the proposed risk assessment model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0099.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: offshore structures; reliability-based design assessment; global ultimate strength assessment; reserve strength ratio; probability of failure
Online: 3 August 2021 (16:19:56 CEST)
The oil and gas sector has recognised structural integrity assessment of ageing platform for prospective life extension as a rising concern, particularly in encountering the randomness of the harsh ocean environments. This condition leads to uncertainty in wave-in-deck load estimates and a high load level being imposed on offshore structures. This emphasises the necessity of enhanced reliability, as failure might result in inaccessibility because of the uncertainties related to long-distance services, such as accuracy of predictions of loads and responses. Even though the established guidelines present a fundamental assessment, additionally, comprehensive rules are required. This paper performed a reliability analysis incorporating practical approaches that can more accurately represent time-dependent structural deterioration. The following two procedures have been adopted by a majority of significant oil and gas operators to monitor the safety and integrity of these structures: a) Ultimate Strength Assessment (USA) method and b) Reliability Design Assessment (ReDA) method. A comparison of these two reliability approaches was performed on selected ageing jacket structures in the region of the Malaysian sea. The comparative findings, namely, reserve strength ratio (RSR) at various years of the return period (RP) and ratio value for risk of failure regarding the probability of failure (POF), provided a check and balance in strengthening confidence in the results. The findings showed that the structural components might safely survive either using the USA and ReDA method in such conditions, as the reliability indexes were determined to be satisfactory compared to allowable values from ISO 19902 design specifications. Therefore, these evaluations were determined to control the risk level of the structure during the remaining of its lifetime and undertake cost-effective inspections or mitigation strategies when necessary.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0086.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Buildings; earthquake safety assessment; extreme events; urban sustainability; seismic 16 assessment; rapid visual screening; reinforced concrete buildings
Online: 6 February 2020 (10:50:33 CET)
Earthquake is among the most devastating natural disasters causing severe economic, environmental, and social destruction. Earthquake safety assessment and building hazard monitoring can highly contribute to urban sustainable development through identification and insight into optimum materials and structures. While the vulnerability of structures mainly depends on the structural resistance, the safety assessment of buildings can be highly challenging. In this paper, we consider Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) method which is a qualitative procedure for estimating structural scores for buildings suitable for medium- to high-seismic cases. This paper presents an overview of the common RVS methods, i.e., FEMA P-154, IITK-GGSDMA, and EMPI. To examine the accuracy and validation, a practical comparison is performed between their assessment and observed damage of reinforced concrete buildings from a street survey in the Bingöl region, Turkey, after the 11 May 2003 earthquake. The results demonstrate that the application of RVS methods for preliminary damage estimation is a vital tool. Furthermore, the comparative analysis showed that FEMA P-154 creates an assessment that overestimates damage states and is not economically viable while EMPI and IITK-GGSDMA provide for more accurate and practical estimation, respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1786.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: biomaterials; hemp-based materials; life cycle assessment
Online: 26 September 2023 (10:34:28 CEST)
The global construction sector contributes a significant share of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Australia, infrastructure activity alone generates 18% of the GHG emissions budget. The use of low-embodied carbon building materials is crucial to achieving sustainability in the construction sector and to fulfill national and international climate goals. Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is considered a promising feedstock for sustainable construction materials because of its biogenic carbon content, fast-growing cycles with low agricultural input requirements, and technical functionality which is comparable to traditional materials. This study has applied the life cycle assessment (LCA) guideline of ISO 14040:2006 to estimate the carbon footprint (CF) expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) emissions of hemp-based building materials in Western Australia. The functional unit is 1 m2 of hemp-based board, and the system boundary includes cradle-to-gate stages, i.e., pre-farm, on-farm, and post-farm activities. The production of 1 m2 of hemp-based board is estimated to be - 2.302 kgCO2eq. Electricity from the public grid for lignin extraction during the post-farm stage is the main contributor to total CO2eq emissions (26%), followed by urea production (14%) during the pre-farm stage. Overall, the use of electricity from the SWIS during the post-farm stage accounts for 45% of total emissions. Sensitivity analysis shows that the CF of hemp-based boards is highly sensitive to the source of energy, i.e., total replacement of the SWIS by solar power decreases the CF from - 2.30 to -6.07 kgCO2eq (164%). The results suggest that hemp-based boards exhibit lower embodied GHG emissions compared to traditional materials, such as gypsum plasterboards.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0729.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Multiple mycotoxin analysis; Urine biomonitoring; Exposure assessment
Online: 9 June 2023 (14:52:15 CEST)
Mycotoxins are fungal secondary metabolites, which can cause acute and chronic toxic effects in animals and humans. The present study aimed to determine multi-mycotoxin levels in Algerian workers using urine as target. A method based on a QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) extraction procedure followed by LC-MS/MS (liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry) was optimized and validated for determination of 11 mycotoxins in 96 urine samples. Different sorbents were tested to be used in the dispersive solid-phase extraction (d-SPE) cleanup step of QuEChERS. The final method was fit-for-purpose and showed good analytical performance in terms of specificity, linearity and precision. All samples contained at least 2 mycotoxins, being toxin-2 (T-2) the most common, which was found in 92.7% of the samples, followed by zearalenone (ZEN) with 90.6% of positive samples, and ochratoxin A (OTA) with 86.4%. T-2 levels ranged from 0.3 μg/L to 36.3 μg/L, while OTA ranged from 0.3 μg/L to 3.5 μg/L and ZEN ranged from 7.6 μg/L to 126.8 μg/L. This was the first mycotoxin biomonitoring study carried out in the Algerian population. The findings highlight the need of accurate data for better risk assessment and the development of better regulation to manage mycotoxin contamination in this country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1088.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Vision And Graphics Keywords: deep learning; image aesthetics assessment; image enhancement
Online: 28 April 2023 (03:15:16 CEST)
Abstract: Image aesthetic assessment (IAA) with neural attention has made significant progress due to its effectiveness in object recognition. Current studies have shown that the features learned by convolutional neural networks (CNN) at different learning stages indicate meaningful information. The shallow feature contains the low-level information of images and the deep feature perceives the image semantics and themes. Inspired by this, we propose a visual enhancement network with feature fusion (FF-VEN). It consists of two sub-modules, the visual enhancement module (VE module) and the shallow and deep feature fusion module (SDFF module). The former uses an adaptive filter in the spatial domain to simulate human eyes according to the region of interest (ROI) extracted by neural feedback. The latter not only takes out the shallow feature and the deep feature by transverse connection, but also uses a feature fusion unit (FFU) to fuse the pooled features together with the aim of information contribution maximization. Experiments on standard AVA dataset and Photo.net dataset show the effectiveness of FF-VEN.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0584.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: Wind statistics assessment; Weibull distribution; Rayleigh distribution.
Online: 31 January 2023 (11:30:30 CET)
SStatistical characteristics of the wind speed in Samaria region of Israel have been analyzed by processing 11 years of wind data provided by the Israeli Meteorological Service, recorded at 10 m height above the ground. The cumulative mean wind speed at measurement height was shown to be 4.53 m/s with standard deviation of 2.32 m/s. Prevailing wind direction is shown to be char-acterized by cumulative mean azimuth of 226° with standard deviation of 79.76°. The results were extrapolated to 70-meter height in order to estimate wind characteristics at hub height of a me-dium-scale wind turbine. Moreover, Weibull distribution parameters were calculated annually, monthly and seasonally, demonstrating a good match with histogram-based statistical repre-sentations. Shape parameter of the Weibull distribution was shown to reside within a narrow range of 1.93 to 2.15, allowing us to assume a Rayleigh distribution, thus simplifying wind tur-bines energy yield calculations. The novelty of the current paper is related to gathering wind statistics for a certain area (Samaria) we are not aware of any published statistics regarding wind velocity and direction in this area. The data may be interesting for potential regional wind energy development in which the obtained Weibull distribution can be used in calculations of expected power generation of particular turbines with known power dependence on velocity. We also point out that the fact that realistic wind velocity statistics is well described by an analytic formula (Weibull distribution) is not trivial, and in fact the fit may have been poor.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0210.v2
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: Sustainability Assessment; Urban Housing Sustainability; Sustainability Indicator
Online: 12 August 2022 (04:37:59 CEST)
Housing is always crucial for the sustainable development of communities, specifically in urban areas, due to the population density of cities. The present study constructs its own structure on the basis of the recent papers investigating various sustainability factors for the urban housing sector. By doing a comprehensive systematic literature review, one of the most extensive lists of urban housing sustainability factors is gathered from 118 recent related papers. The factors are prioritized by their frequency of investigation and categorized by their scale(s) and sector(s) of influence. According to the results, the top three significant factors affecting urban housing sustainability are “natural resource or energy consumption/efficiency of the building/equipment (during the construction, operation, etc.)”, “materials performance (durability, cost, thermal capacity, permeability, ability to re-use, recycled, eco-friendly materials)”, and “access to public services/infrastructure: availability/quality of services and/or distance/time of travel time to the services (public transport, education/health/shopping/leisure facilities, parks, etc.)”. By analyzing the results with an integrative approach, it is understood that environmental factors are the most considered ones (more considered than the factors with influence on all sustainability sectors) where institutional factors received the least attention. Also, the most significant measures are the ones that have impacts on both ‘building’ and ‘neighborhood/community’ scales. It should be noticed that the neighborhood/community scale indicators are seen, almost, as important as the measures that affect the building itself. The results of this study can be helpful in establishing future housing-related policies, and also in having more efficient housing sustainability assessment tools.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0134.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Keywords: frailty; older people; cognitive impairment; assessment; gait
Online: 14 April 2022 (12:19:35 CEST)
Background: This study aims to set out key clinical features of different Motoric Cognitive Risk (MCR) subtypes based on individual quantitative measures of cognitive impairment and to compare their predictive power on survival over an 8-year observation time. Methods: We analyzed data from a population-based study of 1138 subjects aged 65 years and older in south Italy. These individuals were targeted and allocated to subtypes of the MCR phenotype according to the slowness criterion plus one other different cognitive domain for each characterized phenotype. Clinical evaluation and laboratory assays, along with a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological and physical tests, completed the sample investigation. Results: MCR prevalence was found to be 9.8% (N=112), 3.6% (N=41), 3.4% (N=39), and 1.8% (N=21) for the MCR, MCR-GlobalFunction, MCR-StructuredSCC, and MCR-SCC&GlobalFunction, respectively. Univariate Cox survival analysis showed an association only of the MCR-GlobalFunction subtype with a significant, 1.5-fold increased risk of overall death as compared to the other counterparts (HR 2.53, 95%CI 1.28 to 4.99, P-value<0.01) over an 8-year observation period, even after major adjustment (HR 2.02, 95%CI 1.02 to 4.02). Conclusions: MCR phenotypes assigned to the MMSE cognitive domain are more likely to have an increased risk of overall mortality, 1.5-fold higher than counterparts, over 8-year observation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0190.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: sustainability; concrete; assessment; performance; service life; environment.
Online: 10 December 2021 (14:40:53 CET)
The article presents an original method to assess the sustainability of concrete. The method uses three parameters, namely: performance, lifetime and environmental impact, to calculate a sustainability index. The originality and the simplicity of the proposed method presented in the article consists in the fact that by applying the relation to determine the sustainability index, the first two factors service life and performance are constant. This approach is possible in the context of the new proposals to specify the durability of structural concrete in EN 1992 and EN 206. That allows classification of concrete according to its performance, through Environmental action Resistance Classes (ERC). For this purpose, specific experimental methods were used in order to determine the performance of concrete exposed to carbonation. The concretes were prepared with two cement types with additions (CEM II / A-S and CEM II / A-M (S-LL)). Based on the carbonation resistance classes (the first constant - the performance) and exposure classes, the thickness of the concrete cover layer was determined to ensure a certain service lifetime (second constant - the service lifetime). Finally, the global warming potential was calculated for each composition, consequently allowing the users of the method, to select the compositions with the lowest impact on the environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0232.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: sustainability; concrete; assessment; performance; service life; environment.
Online: 12 November 2021 (15:12:23 CET)
This article presents a method to assess the sustainability of concrete based on three elements: service life, performance and environmental impact. The method proposes - to achieve similar performance and service life times, regardless of the component materials used, so that the sustainability assessment ultimately depends on the environmental impact criterion. To this end, specific experimental methods are used to determine the performance of concrete in terms of compressive strength and carbonation resistance for concrete cast with two blended cement types. The procedure needed to classify the concrete through carbonation resistance is detailed, in relationship with the performance obtained for compressive strength. The obtained results highlight the concrete formulations to be used to ensure similar performances regardless of the cement type used. In conclusion, the simplicity in the application of the method, which is closely related to the performance approach on concrete durability in the revision proposals of the European standards, is highlighted. The method is also a useful tool to encourage the widespread use in concrete formulation of blended cements with low environmental impact, without reducing the performance or service life time of the constructions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0063.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: UAS; UAV; Risk assessment; SORA; disaster management
Online: 5 May 2021 (13:28:27 CEST)
Worldwide, there is a significant increase in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by emergency services. They offer a lot of possibilities during the rescue operation. Such a wide application for various purposes and environments causes many threats related to their use. To minimize the risks associated with conducting air operations with UAVs, the SORA methodology will be important. Due to its level of detail, it is a methodology adapted to civilian use. In this article, the authors' team will try to develop guidelines and directions for adapting SORA to the requirements of the operational work of emergency services. Thus following article aims to present the most important risks related to conducting operations with the use of UAVs by First Responders (FRs) and to show the sample risk analysis performed for this type of operation on the example of the ASSISTANCE project. The paper describes, on the one hand, possibilities offered by UAVs in crisis or disaster management and step-by-step Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) and on the other hand, presents possible threats, consequences and methods of their mitigation during FRs missions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0378.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: DON; corn; corn products; exposure; risk assessment
Online: 15 March 2021 (12:04:05 CET)
The study focused on investigating the natural incidence of deoxynivalenol (DON) in corn and products from corn producing districts of Punjab, Pakistan. The analysis was carried out using HPLC with UV detector and immunoaffinity cleanup columns. The detection limit (LOD) and limit of quantification were 25 and 50 µg/kg, respectively. Total 1220 samples of corn and products were analyzed to detect the DON, and 539 (44.2%) samples were observed to be contaminated with DON (n ≥ LOD). Furthermore, 92 (7.5%) samples of corn & products have DON levels, elevated than the proposed limits of the EU. The data is significantly different from a normal distribution for DON in corn and products samples and from different locations (p < 0.05) for Shapiro-Wilk and Kolmogorov-Smirnov values. However, a significant difference in DON levels was found between corn and corn derived-products types (p ≤ 0.05). The lowest and highest exposure & hazard quotient (HQ) of 0.92 and 9.68 µg/kg bw/d were documented in cornflour samples.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0009.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Decision Sciences Keywords: sustainability assessment; farm level; AHP methodology; Greece
Online: 1 March 2020 (11:40:37 CET)
In recent years, farmers and policymakers have faced ample challenges and have struggled to support the sustainability of the agricultural sector. Sustainable agriculture encompasses multiple concepts, and its performance produces extensive debate about data requirements, appropriate indicators, evaluation methods, and tools. Under the European Union (EU) financed project FLINT (Farm Level Indicators for New Topics in policy evaluation), detailed data have been collected at the farm level to provide broader coverage of sustainability indicators on a wide range of relevant topics to facilitate the assessment of sustainability performance. The approach has been applied in a pilot network of representative farms at the EU level, considering the heterogeneity of the EU farming sector to provide data infrastructure with up to date information for sustainability indicators. This study aims to assess sustainability performance at the farm level in Greece. Representative and dominant agricultural systems, such as permanent crops, olive trees, arable crops, and livestock (sheep) farms, comprise the Greek sample. It uses the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) methodology and attempts to gain insights into the sustainability performance of agricultural systems. The outcome of the sustainability assessment reveals knowledge and develops support for strategic farm choices in order to support both farmers and policymakers towards more sustainable development plans. The results indicate that three typical Mediterranean farming systems, like permanent crops, olive trees, and extensive livestock systems (sheep farms), are more sustainable in contrast to intensive and arable crop farms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0303.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Clinical Medicine Keywords: ventilatory assessment; physiotherapy; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Online: 29 August 2019 (04:52:15 CEST)
Background and objective: Addressing the global morbidity associated with pulmonary disease is an important need for the respiratory community. However, there is also a growing momentum to show the efficacy of new tools of diagnosis. Despite this, there are few physiotherapeutic tools that help identify and categorize these conditions. The aim was to analyze the variables of physiotherapy index of the ventilatory workload (PIVW) in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) during stability and exacerbation in an outpatient setting. Material and Methods: Analyzed retrospectively of 198 clinical records were reviewed. The PIVW was extracted in stability and exacerbation of these patients with COPD. After applying the exclusion and inclusion criteria; 54 patients were classified. Through the statistical analysis of chi-square, a significant association was reported for each of the variables and the total PIVW score. Results: when analyzing the baseline with the peak of PIVW, there was a significant increase in patients COPD exacerbation. Similarly, the variables that constitute the loads, translations and supports underwent a significant increase from baseline to exacerbation (p<0.0001), except for the additional oxygen contribution, where the frequency of patients was the same in basal and exacerbation as well. Conclusions: the PIVW, serves to determine ventilatory problemas in outpatients, characterizing the specific changes of loads, translators or assistance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0010.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: geomorphosites; geomorphosites assessment; Alvão (north of Portugal)
Online: 1 June 2018 (08:27:44 CEST)
The analysis of the morphological features can be framed in different temporal and spatial scales, depending on the specific objectives and methodologies of the various scientific fields that find in them a valuable source of information. The inventory and assessment of the geomorphological heritage may be based not exclusively in geophysical factors, but also in its contribution to the structuring of the biosphere, in its interrelation with other types of heritage or even in its potential for research or education purposes. In this article, we proceeded to the selection of a set of geomorphosites, at different scales, in Serra do Alvão (northern Portugal), seeking to demonstrate the importance of the broad lines of relief and intermediate and detailed landforms to the organization of the cultural landscape. Based on a questionnaire applied to a sample of 104 persons, it was intended to assess the value of the geomorphosites, concerning the scientific, preservation, use, cultural and educational dimensions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0199.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Water Security, Groundwater assessment, Groundwater quality, India
Online: 31 May 2018 (16:47:27 CEST)
Achieving water security and availability for all is among the principle agenda of the UN-Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve the goal of water security, particularly in rapidly expanding cities, identification of safe and sustainable water resources is an absolute necessity. The paper conducts an exploratory investigation in the hydro geochemical characteristics of groundwater and thereby, assess the suitability of groundwater as an alternative and reliable resource for public water supply in the Indian city of Surat. A total of 33-groundwater samples, selected on the basis of aquifer depth, land use signatures, were collected from open, bore, dug wells and hand pumps. After the hydrogeochemical analysis, the study evaluated the present state of the groundwater quality and determined the spatial distribution of groundwater quality parameters such as hardness, electrical conductivity, Cl −, pH, SO42-, and NO3 − concentrations. An interpolation technique, known as ordinary kriging, was used to acquire the spatial distribution of parameters of groundwater quality parameters. Based on the permeability index, result showed that 80% of the sampled groundwater quality falls under excellent class i.e. category I with PI value ranging from 1-24%, whereas the rest 20% of the samples has fallen under good class i.e. category II with PI value ranging from 25 to 75% on the suitability of water for irrigation. The results of this study outlines the unsustainability of groundwater for direct consumption, especially without any improved onsite water treatment, but it is appropriate for the irrigation purposes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0042.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geography Keywords: geospatial economic supply; biomass; risk assessment; vulnerability
Online: 4 April 2018 (04:17:33 CEST)
Assessing the economic supply of biomass in a geospatial context while accounting for risk from natural disasters was studied. Risk levels were estimated from a component of factors which included: population density, road density, federal ownership, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ecoregions, and Presidential Disaster Declarations. The Presidential Disaster Declarations included risks due to: coastal storm, drought, fire, flood, freezing, hurricane, mud land slide, severe ices, severe storms, snow, tornado, and tropical storm. Presidential Disaster Declarations included summaries based on a short-term time period from 2000-2011, and on a long-term time period from 1964-2011. Risk categories were developed as a function of the number of disaster declarations, agricultural-to-forest land ratio, average road density, and average population density. A significant contribution of the research was the allocation of spatially explicit data using GIS technology at the 5-digit zip code tabulation area. The average area for 5-digit ZCTAs in the Eastern U.S. study region was approximately 169 kilometers2. Long-term risk (1964-2011) from disaster declarations had a greater impact on the economic availability of biomass supply relative to short-term declarations (2000-2011). The greatest risk to biomass supply came from population density relative to the other risk factors studies. Of the 25,044 total ZCTAs, 12,256 ZCTAs were in locations that did not include population density ≥ 150/km2, road density ≥ 14 km/km2, federal ownership, and US Environmental Protection Agency Level III ecoregions. Of the remaining 12,256 ZCTAs, 26.8% were considered to be moderate-to-high risk based on short-term declarations (2000-2011) and 29.4% were considered to be moderate-to-high risk based on long-term declarations (1964-2011). Lower risk locations for procuring biomass supply for both short-term and long-term declarations, across all risk factors, were in southern Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0120.v2
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: water distribution; management; mechanical reliability; risk assessment
Online: 13 February 2018 (16:04:12 CET)
The management of existing water distribution system (WDS) is challenged by ageing of infrastructure, population growth, increasing of urbanization, climate change impacts and environmental pollution. Therefore, there is a need for integrated solutions that support decision makers to plan today, while taking into account the effect of these factors in the mid and long term. The paper is part of a more comprehensive project, where advanced hydraulic analysis for WDS is coupled with a dynamic resources input-output analysis model. The proposed modeling solution can be used to optimize the performance of a water supply system while considering also the energy consumption and consequently the environmental impacts. Therefore, as a support tool in the management of a water supply system also in the intervention planning. Here a possible application is presented for rehabilitation/replacement planning while maximizing the network mechanical reliability and minimizing risk of unsupplied demand and pressure deficit, under given economic constraints.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0118.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: dietary assessment; FFQ; recall; nutritional biomarker; validation
Online: 27 June 2017 (04:58:14 CEST)
The development of reliable Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs) requires detailed information about the level and variation of dietary food intake of the target population. However, these data are often limited. To facilitate the development of new high quality FFQs and validation of existing FFQs, we developed a comprehensive National Dietary Assessment Reference Database (NDARD) detailing information about the level and variation in dietary food intake of people 20-70 years old in the general Dutch population. This paper describes the methods and characteristics of the population included in the NDARD database. 1063 men and 985 women agreed to participate in this research. Dietary intake data were collected using different FFQs, web-based and telephone-based 24-hour recalls, as well as blood and urine-based biomarkers. The baseline FFQ was completed by 1647 participants whose mean BMI was 26±4 kg/m2; 1117 participants completed telephone-based recalls and 1781 participants completed web-based recalls. According to the baseline FFQ, the mean energy intake was 2051±605 kcal/day. The percentage of total energy intake from protein was 15±2 En%, from carbohydrates was 43±6 En%, and from fat was 36±5 En%. This database will enable researchers to validate existing FFQs and to develop new high quality dietary assessment methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0006.v4
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: biomonitor; environmental assessment; elemental competition; bioconcentration factor
Online: 9 December 2016 (16:31:32 CET)
Levels of trace element pollution in surface soil can be estimated using soil analyses and leaching tests. These methods may reveal different results due to the effect of soil properties, such as grain size and mineral composition, on elemental availability. Therefore, this study advocates an alternative method for monitoring and assessment of trace element pollution in surface soil using terricolous fruticose lichens. Lichens growing at abandoned mine sites and unpolluted areas in southwest Japan and their substrata were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to clarify the relationships between Cu, Zn, As, and Pb concentrations in lichens and soils, including their absorption properties. Concentrations of these elements in the lichens were positively correlated with those in the soils regardless of lichen species, location, habitat, or conditions of soils. The analyzed lichens had neither competitive nor antagonistic properties in their elemental absorption, which made them good biomonitors of trace element pollution in surface soil. The distribution maps of average Cu, Zn, As, and Pb concentrations at each sampling region detected almost all of the Cu, Zn, and As pollution of the soils. Therefore, lichens could be used in practical applications to monitor Cu, Zn, and As pollution in surface soils.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0304.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: assessment; bridge evaluation; compressive membrane action; concrete bridges; fatigue; fatigue assessment; live loads; prestressed concrete; punching shear; scale model
Online: 28 April 2019 (08:38:27 CEST)
In the Netherlands, the assessment of existing prestressed concrete slab-between-girder bridges showed that the thin, transversely prestressed slabs may be critical for static and fatigue punching when evaluated using the recently introduced Eurocodes. On the other hand, compressive membrane action increases the capacity of these slabs and changes the failure mode from bending to punching shear. To improve the assessment of the existing prestressed slab-between-girder bridges in the Netherlands, two 1:2 scale models of an existing bridge, the Van Brienenoord Bridge, were built in the laboratory and tested monotonically as well as under cycles of loading. The result of these experiments is: 1) the static strength of the decks, showing that compressive membrane action significantly enhances the punching capacity, and 2) the Wöhler curve of the decks, showing that compressive membrane action remains under fatigue loading. The experimental results can then be used for the assessment of the most critical existing slab-between-girder bridge. The outcome is that the bridge has sufficient punching capacity for static and fatigue loads, and thus that the existing slab-between-girder bridges in the Netherlands fulfil the code requirements for static and fatigue punching.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1633.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: radon, radon action plan, indicators, review, radiation, assessment
Online: 25 September 2023 (12:54:41 CEST)
Radon, a carcinogenic radioactive gas, is a leading cause of lung cancer according to the World Health Organization. European Member States are required to develop and implement National Radon Action Plans (RAPs) to address its dangerous health effects. However, assessing the effectiveness of these RAPs presents challenges for authorities. This study aims to explore the possibility for a systematic and standardised assessment method to evaluate the effectiveness of RAPs strategies and its implementation. The method involved analysing the strategies of 27 EU Member States and the UK, conducting legal document analysis and group interviews with responsible authorities. Additionally, four regional workshops and one final European workshop were held. The research took place from March 2021 to May 2023. Findings indicate that evaluating RAP effectiveness is challenging due to limited existing common criteria or indicators. To address this, the study proposes guiding questions for each element required by the EU Directive, as well as additional questions related to education and training. This contribution benefits RAP owners and European regulatory authorities, supporting the development of effectiveness indicators for RAPs. BY improving assessment methods, we can enhance the effectiveness of strategies in mitigating the risks associated with radon exposure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1161.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Geodatabase; Health risk assessment; Spatial distribution; Avenue trees
Online: 18 July 2023 (07:29:03 CEST)
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1070.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: 5G networks; Logistics 4.0; Stakeholder assessment; Innovative technologies
Online: 15 June 2023 (10:06:19 CEST)
Since the global request for freight transportation is continuously increasing to face the requirements of the modern economy, 5G infrastructures and companion technologies are becoming essential to support the digital transformation in logistics and transportation, in particular for their capability to allow data collection through a multitude of different sources across the supply chain, improving the connectivity and making more effective the secure and reliable data sharing. The objective of this work is to assess the penetration and implementation levels of innovative technologies to optimize port operations, by interviewing a set of actors and stakeholders directly involved in the logistics chain of ports.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1031.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: vigilance; attention; online assessment; ANTI-Vea; attentional networks
Online: 14 June 2023 (09:35:29 CEST)
The Attentional Networks Test for Interactions and Vigilance–executive and arousal components (ANTI-Vea) is a computerized task of 32 min duration in the standard format. The task simultaneously assesses the main effects and interactions of the three attentional networks (i.e., phasic alertness, orienting, and executive control) and two dissociated components of vigilance with reasonable reliability (executive and arousal vigilance). We present this free and publicly accessible resource (ANTI-Vea-UGR; https://anti-vea.ugr.es/) developed to easily run, collect, and analyze data with the ANTI-Vea (or its subtasks measuring some attentional and/or vigilance components embedded in the ANTI-Vea). Available in six different languages, the platform allows for adaptation of stimuli timing and procedure to facilitate data collection from different populations (e.g., clinical patients, children). Collected data can be freely downloaded and easily analyzed with the provided scripts and tools, including a Shiny app. We discuss previous evidence supporting that attention and vigilance components can be assessed in typical lab conditions as well as online and outside the laboratory. We hope this tutorial will help researchers interested in measuring attention and vigilance with a tool useful to collect data from large sample sizes and easy to use in applied contexts.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1998.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation Keywords: Oculomotor pursuits; Eye-movement; Concussion; Assessment; Learning effect
Online: 29 May 2023 (08:40:42 CEST)
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is the most common brain injury, seen in sports, falls, vehicle, or workplace injuries. Concussion is the most common type of mTBI. Assessment of impairments from concussion are evolving, with oculomotor testing suggested as a key component in a multi-modality diagnostic protocol. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of one eye-tracking system, the EyeGuide Focus. Seventy-five healthy adolescent and adult participants (adolescents: n=28; female=11, male=17, mean age 16.5 ± 1.4 years; adults n=47; female=22; male=25, mean age 26.7 ± 7.0 years) completed three repetitions of the EyeGuide Focus within the one session. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis showed the EyeGuide Focus had overall good reliability (ICC 0.79, 95%CI: 0.70, 0.86). However, a familiarization effect showing improvements in subsequent trials was noticeable in both cohorts (p<0.001) with adolescent participants showing greater familiarisation effects than adults. No differences were observed between sexes (p=0.69). Overall, the EyeGuide Focus was found to be reliable, but the observation of familiarization effects suggests that a standardized protocol of a minimum of three trials be employed, similar to other eye-movement testing applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1360.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Collective Impact; Social Impact Assessment; Community Capital Framework
Online: 19 May 2023 (02:45:16 CEST)
Community co-creation is increasingly crucial to the building of sustainable societies. Communities must proactively and independently create value chains in the face of many wicked problems. However, practical frameworks and tools for facilitating community co-creation require further development. As such, for this paper, we propose a theoretical framework for analyzing community co-creation value chain mechanisms based on a narrative review of literature on Collective Impact, social impact assessment, and Community Capital from the perspective of collective impact, a framework with a fair amount of previous research. We argue for the importance of applying knowledge of social impact assessment, particularly for the collective impact conditions of common agenda and shared measurement system. We discuss its relationship with the Theory of Change and the use of systems thinking to mitigate the subjectivity and arbitrariness of design thinking. Furthermore, we emphasize the value of employing the community capital concept as a framework for analyzing interrelationships among elements. By integrating multiple concepts, we enhance the collective impact framework and outline potential avenues for future research on analyzing and effectively implementing co-creation value chain mechanism in a community-based approach.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0422.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: heart failure; kidney disease; multidisciplinary assessment; personalized treatment
Online: 17 April 2023 (07:27:32 CEST)
CKD in HF patients is very common condition, their dysfunction is closely linked and influence each other, so their management required multidisciplinary and personalized approaches. The diagnosis of HF and CDK relies on signs and symptoms. Several tools, such as blood-based biomarkers and echography help us to clarify and discriminate the main characteristics of these patients. Evidence in improving survival due to new drug-employment in HF, has increasingly challenged physicians to manage patients with multiple diseases, especially in patients with CKD. The difficulty is in the safe administration of these drugs in patients with HF and CKD. Knowing up to which values of creatinine or renal clearance any drug can be administered is fundamental. We wanted to summarize, on this sizable and complex topic, the experiences of various prior study to get clearer ideas and a more precise reference about the assessment and management of HF and CKD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0361.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Falls; Falls risk assessment tools; geriatric medicine; sarcopenia
Online: 14 April 2023 (09:38:29 CEST)
Background: Falls risk assessment tools are used in hospital inpatient settings to identify pa-tients at increased risk of falls (which may be related to muscle loss/sarcopenia) to guide and target interventions for falls prevention. In 2022, Western Health, Melbourne, Australia, intro-duced a new falls risk assessment tool, the Western Health St. Thomas’ Risk Assessment Tool (WH-STRATIFY), a modified version of The Northern Hospital’s risk tool (TNH-STRATIFY), which replaced the Peninsula Health Risk Screening Tool (PH-FRAT). Aims: To determine the predictive accuracy of three falls risk assessment tools (PH-FRAT, TNH-STRATIFY and WH-STRATIFY) on admission to Geriatric Evaluation Management (GEM) units. Method: A retrospective observational study was conducted on four GEM units. Data was col-lected on 54 consecutive patients who fell during admission and 62 randomly sampled patients who did not fall between December 2020 and June 2021. Participants were scored against three falls risk assessment tools. The event rate Youden (Youden IndexER) indices were calculated and compared using default and optimal cut points to determine which tool was most accurate for predicting falls. Results: Using default cut points to compare falls assessment tools, TNH-STRATIFY had the highest predictive accuracy (Youden IndexER = 0.20, 95% confidence interval CI = 0.07, 0.34). The PH-FRAT (Youden IndexER = 0.01 and 95% CI = -0.04, 0.05) and WH-STRATIFY (Youden IndexER = 0.00 and 95% CI = -0.04, 0.03) were statistically equivalent and not predictive of falls compared to TNH-STRATIFY. When calculated optimal cut points were applied, predictive accuracy im-proved for PH-FRAT (Cut point 17, Youden IndexER = 0.14 and 95% CI = 0.01, 0.29) and WH-STRATIFY (Cut point 7, Youden IndexER = 0.18 and 95% CI = 0.00, 0.35). Overall, all tools had low predictive accuracy for falls. Conclusion: TNH-STRATIFY had the highest predictive accuracy for falls. The predictive accu-racy of WH-STRATIFY improved and was significant when the calculated optimal cut point was applied. The optimal cut points of falls risk assessment tools should be determined and validated in different clinical settings to optimise local predictive accuracy, enabling targeted falls risk mitigation strategies and resource allocation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0388.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Tropical Medicine Keywords: tungiasis; Brazil; rapid assessment; epidemiology; neglected tropical disease
Online: 22 March 2023 (03:21:06 CET)
Tungiasis has been included in the WHO list of Neglected Tropical Diseases, but systematic data on the occurrence are scarce. We analyzed data on the occurrence of tungiasis in the 184 munici-palities of Ceará State in Northeast Brazil, based on an online open rapid assessment question-naire focused on health professionals and other key stakeholders. Questions included the occur-rence of tungiasis, severe cases, cases in animals and seasonal variations of the disease. There were in total 1,265 individual data entries available (1 to 104 per municipality) from all munici-palities of the state. A total of 181 (98.3%) of municipalities reported the occurrence of tungiasis in the past or currently, 120 (65.2%) reported current occurrence, 155 (84.2%) severe cases in the past or currently; and 47 (25.5%) reported severe cases currently. A total of 132 (71.7%) municipalities reported tungiasis in animals, most commonly in dogs (97), pigs (80), cats (50), horses (20), cattle (8) and goats (6). Most municipalities mentioned the seasonality of tungiasis (n=146; 79.3%). There was no report of any specific tungiasis control program. Our data show that tungiasis and severe tungiasis commonly occur in Ceará state and that tungiasis is a significant public health issue for both humans and animals. An integrated One Health approach is needed to reduce dis-ease burden, including human and animal health, and the environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0252.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Early Learning Assessment; Students Performance; Learning Communities; Motivation
Online: 13 January 2023 (10:52:23 CET)
In this paper, we have investigated the impact of an early learning assessment on students' motivation for improving their performance throughout the semester. An observation analysis was conducted on an entry level mechanical engineering course in which students are enrolled in during their first semester of engineering work. This study analyzes the effect that a first exam, with an average below a passing grade, has on student's outcome in the course. It was hypothesized that students were motivated to achieve their desired grade outcomes following inadequate performance on the first exam. This was investigated by diving into the results of the course and referencing initial performance to the remaining exam and assessment outcomes. Students were placed into grade bands ranging from 0 to 100 in 20% increments. Their results were tracked and it was shown that for the second mechanics exam, averages jumped 43.333%, 35.35%, and 30.055% for grade bands of 0 to 20, 20 to 40, and 40 to 60 respectively. Assessment grades increased as well with the remaining assessments being averaged to a score of 91.095%. Variables contributing to student performance came from both with-in and outside the classroom. Learning communities, material differentiation, and student and professor adaptation all contributed to the rise in performance. It was concluded that the internal and external variables acted in combination with one another to increase student dedication to achieve success.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0423.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment; bioassays; ecotoxicological hazard; pesticides; Oxadiazon
Online: 22 November 2022 (11:56:44 CET)
Despite laws and directives for the regulation and restriction of pesticide in farming, the large use of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) in paddy fields is a relevant worldwide cause of contamination of the environment. The aim of this work is to evaluate the environmental impact due to the use of PPPs by using an integrated approach based on chemical analyses and ecotoxicological hazard assessment, supported by statistical tools, in order to overcome the issues related to the traditional tabular evaluation. Samples of soil and water of seven conventional and organic paddies located in Northern Italy have been examined for two years by extensive chemical and ecotoxicological analyses. The results evidenced a direct relationship between the presence of Oxadiazon in water and bioassays responses as the main cause of the toxicity measured. This phenomenon affected both biological and conventional rice fields, due to the free circulation of water through irrigation canals. Therefore, the implementation of organic districts with a water circulation isolated from conventional fields represents a simple and effective countermeasure to safeguard the agricultural practices of organic crops.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: telehealth; remote assessment; cardiology; cardiovascular diseases; COVID-19
Online: 7 July 2022 (08:11:31 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vitalness of telehealth in our medical world, where considering a restructuring of healthcare services has become paramount. In fact, telemedicine has recently earned a valuable place in many specialties; and its implications in cardiology and cardiovascular medicine were among the leading interests. In this letter, we gathered previous evidence supporting the merit of telemedicine in the fields of cardiology and cardiovascular medicine—medical branches in which patients require meticulous care and continuous monitoring—as well as protrusions of concerns about the uncertainty regarding the efficacy of telemedicine’s future implications and technologies. In sum, in the context of this still on-going pandemic, medical institutions must strive to improve telehealth technologies and implement solid future research directions in this growing field—to be able to persevere in meeting the needs of the patients. As long as no conclusive evidence exists regarding the fields where telemedicine is most worthwhile, healthcare systems will always keep the dread of wasting resources on developing ineffective programs. We conclude that telemedicine has been attributed a considerable attention in managing cardiac and cardiovascular conditions; nevertheless, further studies with solid designs are still needed to confirm its validity and utility in those specialties.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0326.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: hydrogen propulsion; aircraft design; conceptual integration; performance assessment
Online: 23 June 2022 (15:59:12 CEST)
The present paper deals with the investigation, at conceptual level, of the performance of short-medium-range aircraft with hydrogen propulsion. The attention is focused on the relationship between figures of merit related to transport capability, such as passenger capacity and flight range, and the parameters which drive the design of liquid hydrogen tanks and their integration with a given aircraft geometry. The reference aircraft chosen for such purpose is a box-wing short-medium-range airplane, object of study within a previous European research project called PARSIFAL, capable to cut the fuel consumption per passenger-kilometre up to 22%. By adopting a retrofitting approach, non-integral pressure vessels are sized to fit into the fuselage of the reference aircraft, under the assumption that the main aerodynamic, flight mechanic and structural characteristics are not affected. A parametric model is introduced to generate a wide variety of fuselage-tank cross-section layouts, from a single tank with the maximum diameter compatible with a catwalk corridor to multiple tanks located in the cargo deck , and an assessment work-flow is implemented to perform the structural sizing of the tanks and analyse their thermodynamic behaviour during the mission. This latter is simulated with a time-marching approach that couples the fuel request from engines with the thermodynamics of the hydrogen in the tanks, which is constantly subject to evaporation and, depending on the internal pressure, vent-ed-out in gas form. Each model is presented in detail in the paper and results are provided through sensitivity analyses to both the technology parameters of the tanks and the geometric parameters influencing their integration. The guidelines resulting from the analyses indicate that light materials, such as the Aluminium alloy AA2219 for tanks’ structure and polystyrene foam for the insulation, should be selected. Preferred values are also indicted for the aspect ratios of the vessel components, i.e. central tube and endcaps, as well as suggestions for the integration layout to be adopted depending on the desired trade-off between passenger capacity, as for the case of multiple tanks in the cargo deck, and achievable flight ranges, as for the single tank in the section.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0014.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: aflatoxin M1; milk; dairy products; risk assessment; children
Online: 1 November 2021 (12:26:43 CET)
The present study was conducted to estimate the exposure and risk characterization of the children population of Serbia to Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) from milk and milk-based food. A total of 3404 samples comprising of milk and different milk-based food samples were collected from various regions of Serbia from 2017 to 2019. Evaluation of the AFM1 exposure was carried out using the deterministic method, whereas risk characterization was evaluated with the calculation of the Margin of Exposure (MOE) and the risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Detection rates for AFM1 in milk and milk-based food samples ranged between 2% and 79%, with the highest incidence (79%) and mean level (22.34 0,018 ng kg-1) of AFM1 was detected in pasteurized and UHT milk. According to the three consumption estimates, the values of EDI were higher for toddlers as compared with children. Children aged 1–3 years had the highest risk of exposure to AFM1 in milk, with an estimated daily intake of 0.164 and 0.193 ng kg-1 bw day-1 using a lower bound (LB) and the upper bound (UB) exposure scenarios, respectively. Such difference could result from the higher consumption versus weight. Based on the EDI found in this study, the risk of AFM1 due to consumption of milk and milk-based food was low since MOE values obtained were 10000. In addition, the risk of HCC cases/year/105 individuals of different age groups showed that the value of HCC using potency estimates of 0.0017 (mean) was maximum (0.00034) in the age group 1–3 years which indicates no health risk for the evaluated groups. The present study revealed the importance of controlling and preventing AFM1 contamination in milk through continuous monitoring and regular inspection to reduce the risk of AFM1 exposure, especially in children.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0270.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Biopesticides; Regulations; Risk Assessment; Regulatory Challenge, Sustainability; Nigeria.
Online: 19 October 2021 (10:49:58 CEST)
The global trend towards increased demand for organic food, greener environments, and the integration of biological control agents into pest management strategies has greatly enhanced the need for biological pesticides (biopesticides). Biopesticides are generally environmentally friendly and are made from micro-organisms or other natural substances. Despite their great potential, relatively few have been registered and commercialised in Nigeria compared to other African countries such as South Africa and Kenya. Biological active agents are so diverse such that ap-plying the same safety standards or environmental conditions to all of them is almost impossible. A review of risk assessment processes and comparative assessments of Nigeria's biopesticide regulations with other developing African countries and developed regions was conducted. Prolonged field testing, lack of bridged risk assessments and technical checklists have been identified as key factors hampering the timely development and commercialisation of biopesti-cides in Nigeria. Recommendations on necessary changes to the existing Nigeria biopesticide regulations have been made. Risk assessment matrices for microbial and biochemical biopesti-cides and a scientific/technical checklist have also been developed. Harmonisation and data ex-change among other countries in the region will also enhance the advancement of scientific and technical knowledge for sustainable regulation and cross-border trade.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0606.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Otolaryngology Keywords: tinnitus; acupressure; self-help; ecological momentary assessment; stress
Online: 9 August 2021 (11:45:41 CEST)
Tinnitus is a phantom sound perception in the ears or head and can arise from many different medical disorders. Currently, there is no standard treatment for tinnitus that reliably reduces tinnitus. Individual patients reported that acupressure at various points around the ear can help to reduce tinnitus, which was investigated here. With this longitudinal observational study, we report a systematic evaluation of auricular acupressure on 39 tinnitus sufferers, combined with a self-help smartphone app. The participants were asked to report about tinnitus, stress, mood, neck and jaw muscle tensions twice a day using an ecological momentary assessment study design for six weeks. On average, 123.6 questionnaires per person were provided and used for statistical analysis. The treatment responses of the participants were heterogeneous. On average, we ob-served significant negative trends for tinnitus loudness (Cohen’s d effect size: -.861), tinnitus dis-tress (d = -.478), stress (d = -.675), and tensions in the neck muscles (d = -.356). Comparison with a matched control group revealed significant improvements for tinnitus loudness (p = .027) and self-reported stress level (p = .003). The positive results of the observational study motivate fur-ther research including a randomized clinical trial and long-term assessment of the clinical im-provement.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0484.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Assessment; Sexual Functioning; Sexual Problems; Sexual Satisfaction; Women
Online: 20 May 2021 (11:09:06 CEST)
Female sexual functioning and satisfaction are impaired by the presence of sexual difficulties. Current study aims to analyze the differences on sexual satisfaction in women according to types of sexual problems (absence of sexual problems, self-perceived and assessed by the FSFI cut-off). A total of 329 women answered to a specific question about presence of self-perceived sexual problems, the Sexual Satisfaction Scale for Women, and the Female Sexual Functioning Index. Main findings revealed that sexually health women had better levels of sexual satisfaction when compared to women who self-report sexual difficulties and women who scored clinical levels in FSFI. Also, women who scored clinical levels in FSFI scored lower on sexual satisfaction compared to women who self-report sexual difficulties. Female sexual satisfaction was negatively affected by sexual difficulties assessed according to the FSFI cut-off. Although with lower impact, self-perceived sexual problems also affect negatively sexual satisfaction in women.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0611.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: validity; reliability; assessment; body image; self-evaluation; students
Online: 22 April 2021 (14:05:42 CEST)
Body-Esteem Scale is an assessment tool for adolescents and adults that evaluate three dimensions of self-evaluations of one’s body. Body-Esteem Scale has been translated and validated in some countries since America down to Europe. Lack of translation and reliability evidence in Portugal was detected. This study aimed to translate and test the validity and reliability of the Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults (BESAA) in students in the context of Portuguese higher educa-tion. A total of 173 students (60.7% are female) with a mean age of 19.7 (standard deviation = 2.2) years participated. Categorical Principal Component Analysis was used to assess the underlying dimensions of BESAA. Construct validity was evaluated through correlation with the Appearance Schemas Inventory – Revised and a three-factor model (“Appearance”, ‘‘Weight’’ and “Attribu-tion’’) was established. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to verify the construct validity of the instrument. Items that had factor weights (λ)<.40 were removed, as well as those that were considered redundant by the modification indices estimated by the Lagrange Multipliers (LM) method (LM>11, p<.001). We observed high correlations between theoretically similar factors, and low correlations between different factors. The Portuguese BESAA showed adequate validity and reliability.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: urodynamics; urethral profile; urethral pressure; assessment method; profilometry
Online: 26 February 2021 (12:19:53 CET)
BACKGROUND: To present a new method of urethral pressures examination, and to evaluate diagnostic capabilities of three dimensional profilometry , as an alternative to classical urethral profile (UPP) .Using four channel catheters and dedicated software global urethral pressures image is obtained. The method eliminates the main limitation of classical urethral profilometry where the catheter orientation determines the pressures picture limited to only one point in the uretral circumference while we observed even 50% differences in pressure measures depending on the point of measurement. METHODS: This is a preliminary study containing method presentation and analisys of the use in varied clinical cases of either healthy patients and patients with LUTS. The article includes technique and equipment decription, full evaluation of selected cases, including three dimensional urethral pressures distribution graphics. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:Three dimensional profilometry compared to classical technique is comparable regarding the time, cost, technical difficulty and patient discomfort. At the same time we obtain much more data on the urethral pressures and its distribution.The results are easy for interpretation due to 3D movable graphics created automatically through the dedicated software.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0200.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: risk assessment; odds ratio; hazard ratio; probability difference
Online: 8 December 2020 (12:17:33 CET)
In public health literature the risk of death or disease associated with a dietary, environmental of behavioral factor is most commonly denoted by odds ratio (OR), hazard ratio (HR) or risk ratio (RR). The ratio indices have several desirable statistical properties. However, the most important question is whether there are some evolved innate norms of perception of risk that people use and what they are. We conducted a simple one question survey of 98 individuals with different age, sex, educational and professional backgrounds. The respondents were asked to judge the relative perceived risk of four different hypothetical habits for which data on the percentage of people affected by the disease with and without the habit was given. They were asked to rank the risks for the four habits. Results showed that the habits that had the highest difference between probability of acquiring the disease were ranked high on risk perception. The probability ratios did not affect risk perception significantly. Further age, sex, profession or formal training in statistics did not affect the response significantly. Even individuals that were formally trained to use OR and HR as risk indicators, preferred using probability differences over ratios for judging their own risk in the perceived context. This preliminary inquiry into intuitive statistical perception suggests that designing statistical indices based on people’s innate perception may be a better strategy than trying to train people to understand the indices designed by expert statisticians.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0040.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: machinery safety; risk assessment; effectiveness of the measures
Online: 1 December 2020 (17:36:15 CET)
Even though the rules for free movement of machinery within the European Union market have existed for more than 30 years, accidents related to their activities have constantly been achieving significant value. When designing the machine, a designer must stem from risk assessment, whereas all stages of its life cycle and ways of its use must be taken into consideration. In industrial operations, there is old machinery, which, although fulfilling its function reliably, the safety level is not in accordance with the developing requirements for their safe operation. The proposed methodology of assessment of the machinery safety condition comes out from the presupposition of the right application of steps of risk assessment and their reduction mainly by means of implementation of both effective and efficient preventive measures. The aim of the research applied in 3 operations, was to verify the method of machinery safety management. The created methodology based on 19 requirements for safety evaluates the level of the actual measures by means of the so-called criterion of current status and total efficiency of measures. Its output is the assessment of the efficiency level of implemented safety of each machine as well as of the whole operation.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0582.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Assessment; echo; flood; rescue; risk; swiftwater; tool; srirac
Online: 23 November 2020 (13:43:21 CET)
Currently there is no multi-hazard risk assessment tool for determining the level of complexity to swiftwater and flood rescue incidents. Traditionally, the International Scale of River Difficulty is used but it is primarily for paddlers for use in a recreational context, without much consideration to the multitude of hazards faced in swiftwater and flood rescue environments. In response to this gap, the ECHO risk assessment tool has been developed and undergone initial testing. This tool provides for simple and rapid codification of multiple hazards and response considerations and is globally applicable. The tool also assigns a final risk assessment colour making the interpretation of the assessment easy to understand and communicate. Though the proposed tool shows potential, further research is needed before it should be operationalised.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: biomass; biorefinery; permanent grasslands; Intensification; integral emission assessment
Online: 25 September 2020 (11:56:19 CEST)
Agricultural intensification is considered essential for meeting growing demand for food and biomass for energy and material purposes. Intensifying grasslands is a so-far under-represented although promising option, given their large land area and relatively low management levels. This study quantifies the bioenergy potential from intensifying temporary grasslands in Europe and the integral greenhouse gas emission effects in 2030. We first conduct a literature review of intensification options for European grasslands and then apply the environmental impact assessment model MITERRA-Europe to implement the key intensification option of using multi-species grass mixtures. The results show that 853 kha (or 8%) of temporary grassland could be made sustainably available for additional biomass production. This can be translated into a bioethanol potential of 23 PJ/yr and an emission mitigation potential of 5.8 Mt CO2-eq/yr (if conventional grass mixture from surplus temporary grassland is used for energy) or 72 PJ/yr and 4.0 Mt CO2-eq/yr (if surplus temporary grassland is used for grassy energy crops). Although the bioenergy potential is limited, the intensification measure’s key advantage is that it results in a better environmental performance of temporary grasslands. This makes it a key option for sustainably producing bioenergy in areas with high shares of temporary grasslands.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0211.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: New Zealand; biomarkers; environmental health assessment; Anguilla dieffenbachii
Online: 9 September 2020 (11:45:52 CEST)
The Matāura River is the sixth largest river system in New Zealand and has long been subject to agricultural, industrial, and residential land use activities. The catchment has geographic and economic value and is of great cultural importance for local Māori, who have concerns over potential adverse impacts that anthropogenic stressors exert on the health of the river. There is a dearth of information on the impacts of these stressors towards the health of native species such as the longfin eel Anguilla dieffenbachii. This study assessed the environmental status of the Matāura River using biological and chemical methodologies incorporating A. dieffenbachii as a bioindicator species for exposure to combined anthroprogenic stressors. A range of biomarker endpoints were measured in caged and wild-caught eels (when available) to characterize site-specific responses to combined anthropogenic stressors. While there was no clear indication of cumulative impacts moving from pristine headwaters to the lower reaches of the Matāura River biomarkers of xenobiotic metabolization were induced in A. dieffenbachia and there was evidence of chemical contamination in sediments and tissues.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0716.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: amyloid beta; neuropsychological assessment; machine learning; Alzheimer’s disease
Online: 31 August 2020 (09:30:08 CEST)
Substantial studies have focused on early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cerebral amyloid beta (Aβ), is hallmark of AD, can be observed in vivo via positron emission tomography imaging using amyloid tracer or cerebrospinal fluid assessment, but costly expensive. The current study aims to identify and compared predictability in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers and neuropsychological markers to predict cerebral Aβ status in AD cohort using machine learning (ML) approaches. The predictability in candidate markers for cerebral Aβ status was examined by analyzing 724 participants from the ADNI-2 cohort. Demographic variables, structural MRI markers, and neuropsychological test scores were used as input in several ML algorithms to predict cerebral Aβ positivity. Out of five combination of candidate markers, neuropsychological markers with demographics showed the most cost-efficient result. A feature selection model could distinguish abnormal levels of Aβ with the predictability of 0.85, indicating the same performance with MRI-based models. The result has first to identified the predictability in MRI markers using ML approaches, and secondary to demonstrate the neuropsychological model with demographics could predict Aβ positivity, suggesting a more cost-efficient method for detecting cerebral Aβ status compared to MRI markers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0332.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: social context; food value chains; impact assessment; Zimbabwe
Online: 28 June 2020 (09:34:50 CEST)
Investments in digital infrastructure in marginalised communities are set to increase in the next decade. These are premised on the potential of digital technologies to contribute towards solving societal problems, including the fragility of food value chains in rural areas. Although there are mixed empirical findings on the impact of these digital infrastructure investments, huge investments are continuing amid changing ICT policies in most developing countries. This paper, using a case study of a local livestock value chain in a rural community in Zimbabwe, argues for the application of non-conventional approaches towards digital infrastructure transformation impact assessment. Using selected theories and frameworks (socio-ecological systems framework, choice framework and technology affordances theory) as well as empirical data from a project in a rural community, the paper shows that real-time impact assessment using context-specific metrics may reveal hidden digital infrastructure transformation impacts, positive and negative, that are often overlooked when traditional impact assessment approaches are employed. The findings of this study contribute towards improving approaches towards ICT impact assessment. Practitioners engaging in impact assessment are challenged to move beyond dependence on traditional metrics (e.g. access) to the adoption of participatory processes to decipher context-appropriate metrics.
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Carbon Footprint (CFP); Tourism
Online: 19 February 2020 (10:28:55 CET)
The importance of the contribution from tourism to climate change was pointed out by the International Tourism Organization (UNWTO). By combining process-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Input-output analysis, several researches have tried to evaluate the impacts of the tourism industry as well as its products and services. Indeed, the tourism sector has a wide range of industries including travel and tour, transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, amusement, souvenirs etc. However, the existing cases did not show a breakdown of the impact on climate change. In this paper, the carbon footprint (CFP) of the Japanese tourism industry was calculated based on tourist consumption, using the Japanese Input-output table and the Japanese tourism industry. It was shown that the total emissions were approximately 136 million t-CO2 per year. The contribution ratio of each stage is as follows: Transport 56.3%, Souvenirs 23.2%, Petrol (direct emissions) 16.9%, Accommodation 9.8%, Food and Beverage 7.5%, Activities 3.0%. Then, in the breakdown, the impact is high in the following order Air transport 24.7%, Petrol (direct emissions) 16.9%,Accommodation 9.8%, Food and Beverage 7.5%, Petrol 6.1%, Textile products 5.3%, Food items 4.9%, Confectionery 4.8%, Rail transport 3.9%, Cosmetics 1.9%, Footwear 1.8%, etc. In addition to transportation, this research also highlighted especially the contribution from souvenirs, accommodation, food and beverages.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0130.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: risk management; safety critical systems; safety assessment; methodology
Online: 10 December 2019 (07:33:14 CET)
The complex systems that require safety are the Safety Critical Systems. Maintaining these systems is a big challenge. Now a days, safety is a very critical requirement for the latest systems. Safety critical systems must be safe. Different approaches to ensure quality and safety in safety critical systems has been discussed in this paper. A comparison is also conducted between these various approaches. Safety critical systems must remain more influential in future.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0208.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Beijing; surface water; organic pollution; health risk assessment
Online: 16 May 2019 (10:37:11 CEST)
The study of the distribution and health risk assessment is meaningful to provide basic data for environmental management．To investigate the pollution of potential toxic organics and their health risk to human beings, water samples were collected at 7 sites of main surface water of Beijing during wet and dry seasons respectively. The targeted 92 organics were detected, including phthalates (PAEs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and phenols. The results showed that: there were 56 organics detected out, and the number ratios of detected compounds to the total compounds of the same kind increased as the following: VOCs, phthalates, phenols, PAHs. 8 VOCs were detected in wet season, and 3 in dry season. The concentration of 2,2-Dichloropropane was highest as 10.62ug/L, while the concentrations of other VOCs were below 5ug/L; There were 11 phthalates detected during dry season. The content of Bis(2-methoxyethyl) phthalate was highest as 188.47ng/L; 17 phenols were found in samples during wet season, and the highest concentration was 1244.73ng/L for 4-nitrophenol; PAHs could be detected in all samples, and the detected compounds and the corresponding average concentrations were higher in wet seasons than those in dry seasons, which indicated that non-point pollution was possibly the main pollution source. The health risk assessment of the detected 56 pollutants by using a model from US EPA showed that, the risk caused by the four kinds of toxic organics in this study was in the acceptable ranges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0311.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: mini nutritional assessment; acute myocardial infarction; mortality; elderly
Online: 13 November 2018 (10:56:25 CET)
Background: Malnutrition is a frequent condition in the elderly and is associated with prolonged hospitalization and increased mortality. However, the impact of malnutrition among elderly patients with acute myocardial infarction has not been clarified yet. Methods and Results: We have enrolled 174 patients aged 65 years and over, admitted with the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) who underwent to the evaluation of nutritional status by Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and of mortality risk by Grace score 2.0. All-cause mortality was the outcome considered for this study. Over a mean follow-up of 24.5 ± 18.2 months, 43 deaths have been registered (24.3%). Non-survivors were more likely to be older, with worse GFR, lower SBP, lower albumin and MNA score, higher prevalence of Killip classification III-IV grade, and higher Troponin I levels. Multivariate Cox proportional analysis revealed that Grace score and MNA showed a significant and independent impact on mortality, (HR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.34–2.32 and HR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.42–0.73, respectively). Moreover, the clinical decision curve revealed a higher clinical net benefit when the MNA was included compared to the partial models without MNA. Conclusions: Nutritional status is an independent predictor of long-term mortality among elderly patients with AMI. MNA score in elderly patients with AMI may help prognostic stratification and identification of patients with/at risk of malnutrition in order to apply interventions to improve nutritional status and maybe survival in this population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0003.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Food Chemistry Keywords: coffee; acrylamide; furfuryl alcohol; 5-hydroxymethylfurfural; risk assessment
Online: 1 November 2018 (18:35:15 CET)
The three heat-induced coffee contaminants acrylamide, furfuryl alcohol (FA) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) were analyzed in a collective of commercial samples as well as in Coffea arabica seeds roasted under controlled conditions from very light Scandinavian style to very dark Neapolitan style profiles. Regarding acrylamide, average contents in commercial samples were lower than in a previous study in 2002 (196 compared to 303 µg/kg). The roasting experiment confirmed the inverse relationship between roasting degree and acrylamide content, i.e. the lighter the coffee the higher the acrylamide content. However, FA and HMF were inversely related to acrylamide and found in higher contents in darker roasts. Therefore, mitigation measures must consider all contaminants and not be focused isolatedly on acrylamide, specifically since FA and HMF are contained in much higher contents with lower margins of exposure compared to acrylamide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0212.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: assessment; educational videogames; online games; water; ecology education
Online: 11 August 2018 (19:09:14 CEST)
Videogames have become educational, communicative and social tools among the youngest, favouring the acquisition of skills, abilities and values, encompassing an endless number of themes, and help to experience and to face, in the first person, a great diversity of environmental situations and ecology problems. Thus, the present article aims: a) the evaluation of a sample of 20 educational videogames about water, making use of some empirical criteria of quality; and b) the design, validation and application of an integrate quality indicator of educational videogames on water, based on the aspects of narrative, gameplay and didactics to that sample, which allows us to obtain a ranking. The findings reflect a ranking of games allows to suggest that the nature of the game (simulation, adventures, platforms or questions) does not determine the quality of the game, although generally simulations and adventure games are placed in a range of medium or high quality, as well as those games that pursue objectives related to the design and management of a territory in a sustainable way. The paper provides teachers with quality criteria based on narrative and gameplay that complement and enriches the pedagogical dimension.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0529.v1
Subject: Engineering, Marine Engineering Keywords: wave hindcast; breakwater; harbor; estuary; SWAN; MIKE21SW; assessment
Online: 27 July 2018 (03:47:59 CEST)
Breakwaters influence coastal wave climate and circulation by blocking and dissipating wave energy. Accurate representation of these effects is essential to the determination of coastal circulation and wave processes. MIKE21SW and SWAN are two third-generation spectral wave models which are used widely in coastal research and engineering applications. Recent improved versions of the models are able to consider the influence of breakwater structures. In this study, we used available observations to evaluate the accuracy of model simulations of waves in New Haven Harbor, Connecticut, USA, an estuary with three detached breakwaters near the mouth. We then compare the accuracy and computational efficiency of MIKE21SW and SWAN. Both models were executed on the same unstructured triangular grid. The boundary conditions were derived from a bottom mounted ADCP on the offshore side of the breakwaters. Wind forcing was applied using data from the Central Long Island Sound buoy. We find that both models are largely consistent with observations during storms. The MIKE21SW significant wave height and wave direction simulations were slightly superior; however, SWAN is more efficient and faster due to its implementation of a fully implicit technique for time integration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0435.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: Kinect; validation; assessment; functional evaluation; shoulder; markerless system
Online: 30 May 2018 (05:59:51 CEST)
Optoelectronic devices are gold standard for 3D evaluation in clinics but due to the complexity of such kind of hardware and the lack of access for patients affordable, transportable and easy to use systems must be developed to be largely used in daily clinics. The KinectTM sensor presents various advantages compared to optoelectronic devices: price, transportability but also some limitations: (in)accuracy of the skeleton detection and tracking as well as the limited amount of available points that make 3D evaluation impossible. To overcome these limitations a novel method has been developed to perform 3D evaluation of the upper limbs. This system is coupled to rehabilitation exercises allowing functional evaluation while performing physical rehabilitation. To validate this new approach a double step method was used. The first step is a laboratory validation where the results obtained with the KinectTM have been compared with results obtained with an optoelectronic device, 40 healthy young adults participated in this first part. The second step was to determine the clinical relevance of such kind of measurement. Results of the healthy subjects were compared with a group of 22 elderly adults and a group of 10 chronic stroke patients to determine if different patterns can be observed. The new methodology and the different steps of the validations are presented in this paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0078.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Keywords: surfing; rotator cuff; shoulder; strength ratio; profiling; assessment
Online: 3 May 2018 (13:04:08 CEST)
The shoulder region has the highest incidence of acute injuries in the sport of surfing. Little is known about the strength profile at the shoulder in a surfing cohort. The primary aim of this study was to establish the reliability of a rotator cuff strength testing procedure for surfers with a secondary aim of providing a profile of internal (IR) and external rotation (ER) strength in a competitive surfing cohort. Shoulder IR and ER isometric strength was measured using a hand-held dynamometer in 13 competitive surfers. Intra-class coefficient values ranged from 0.97 to 0.98 for intra rater reliability and were lower for inter rater reliability ranging from 0.80 to 0.91. Normalised force (N/Kg) for IR strength was significantly greater than ER strength bilaterally (dominant, p= 0.007, non-dominant, p<0.001). No significant differences (p< 0.79) were found in IR strength (N/Kg) between the dominant and non-dominant arms. ER strength (N/Kg) was significantly weaker on the non-dominant arm compared with the dominant arm (p<0.02). The non-dominant arm ER to IR ratio (0.82 ± 0.15) was significantly (p=0.025) lower than the dominant (0.88 ± 0.14) The current procedure is reliable with the same clinician, results indicate musculature asymmetry specific to the external rotators.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0183.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: PILAR; CATME; collaboration; peer assessment; inter-rater bias
Online: 27 February 2018 (15:23:37 CET)
The PILAR model provides a dynamical systems perspective on collaboration. Two studies are performed using peer assessment data, both testing empirical support for the five Pillars (prospects, involved, liked, agency, respect) that constitute member’s perceptions of collaboration viability. The first study analyses peer-assessment data collected online from 458 first-year engineering students (404 males; 54 females). A nine-item instrument was inherited from past year’s usage in the course, expanded with four additional items to elaborate upon the agency and liked Pillars. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on student responses to test whether they thematically aligned to constructs consistent with the five Pillars. As anticipated, twelve of the thirteen items grouped into five components, each aligned with a Pillar, providing empirical evidence that the five Pillars represent perceptions of collaboration. The second study replicated the first study using a retrospective analysis of 87 items included in the Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) peer-assessment tool. The associated factor analyses resulted in five components and conceptual alignment of these components with Pillars was evident for three of five CATME components. We recommend a peer-assessment instrument based upon PILAR as potentially more parsimonious and reliable than an extensive list of behaviours, such as employed by CATME. We also recommend including items that target inter-rater bias, which is aligned with the liked Pillar, that instruments such as CATME exclude.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0187.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: SLEUTH model; Sensitivity Analysis; uncertainty assessment; urban expansion.
Online: 27 December 2017 (02:40:27 CET)
SLEUTH Model (slope, landuse, exclusion, urban extent, transportation and hillshade) is an important tool for landuse planning and land policy. To evaluate the performance of SLEUTH model, implementation of Sensitivity Analysis (SA) is essential. The main limitation of SA in SLEUTH application is a lack of insight into model input self-modification parameters (SMPs) variation, namely, uncertainty involved in the model transfer metrics and model presumptions, which often misled the decision makers and model users. To address this issue, this study divided the forward process into two stages. Firstly, during the transfer process ①, the contribution scores of five SMPs were drawn, and parameters highly sensitive to model output were given. Apart from that, the recommended initial value for SMPs of 0.11, 0.2, 0.87, 1.13, 15, 1.01, 0.49 were found to be subordinated to such a heterogeneous urban area simulation. Secondly, during the transfer process ②, SMP caused imagery metrics indicated the disparity between parameters with Fixed Reference and with Successive Reference. Reversely, it derives reasonable threshold for the best fit values of five prediction coefficients’ initialization by comparing the real image with the predicted one. The framework of SLEUTH model transfer mechanism not only could distinguish highly sensitive SMPs with higher contribution scores, but also could give parametric analysis for simulation imagery based on metrics. The study was found to be a practical tool for quantization response of model input variables for modelling complex urban systems. So, this insight can help geographic information scientists decide how to find out the inner forward transfer mechanism of SLEUTH model for further make good use of it and improve the model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0047.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: cancer risk; risk assessment; volcanic soils; Santiago Island
Online: 14 August 2017 (09:11:20 CEST)
The hazard and the carcinogenic risks due to the exposure to some potentially toxic elements by the Santiago Island (Cape Verde) population where calculated, considering soil ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact as exposure pathways. The topsoil of Santiago Island is enriched in Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, V, Zn, Mn and Cd to upper crust values. Hazard indices (HI) were calculated for these metals and As exposures, of Santiago Island population and the calculations were performed for children and adults. For children HI are higher than 1 for Co, Cr and Mn. So there is indication of potential non-carcinogenic risk for children, due to the high Co (HI=2.995), Cr (HI=1.329) and Mn (HI=1.126), values in soils. For the other elements and for adults there is no potential non-carcinogenic risk. Cancer risk was calculated for As, Cd, Cr and Ni exposures, for adults and children and the results are always lower than the carcinogenic target risk of 1x10-6, for As, Cd, and Ni. However, cancer risk are higher than the carcinogenic target risk for Cr, for adults. Regarding As, for children the fraction due to Riskingestion represents 51.6%, while Riskinhalation represents 48.0% and Riskdermalcontact represents only 0.4% of total risk. For adults Riskinhalation represents 81.3%, Riskingestion represents 16.6% and Riskdermal contact represents 2.1%. These results reflect the higher daily ingestion dose for children and the higher inhalation rate and higher dermal contact surface for adults. For the other elements and for adults the cancer risk due to Cr, Ni and Cd inhalation is always higher than for children, reflecting the higher inhalation rate for adults.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0069.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: mining; non-energy mineral resources; environmental impact assessment
Online: 13 January 2017 (10:56:46 CET)
The article focuses on mining of non-energy mineral resources with minimum environmental impacts. It issues from research results of a project Competence Centre for Effective and Ecological Mining of Mineral Resources implemented at the Faculty of Mining and Geology at VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Geological Survey, a company Watrad ltd., a state enterprise Diamo, a company RPS Ostrava plc and a company Sedlecký kaolin plc. The paper starts with a partial analysis of the existing legal norms related to mining and processing of mineral resources. Next, it analyses mineral resource mining options free of negative environmental impacts. The fundamental tool to assess potential environmental impacts of mining is the implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for a given mineral resource. In the Czech Republic environmental impact assessment is carried out by course of Act 100/2001 Coll. Its important amendment is Act 39/2015 Coll. claiming, inter alia, that the environmental impact assessment is rigidly connected with other permits and procedures, such as the zoning process and building construction permits. The article describes the environmental impacts of mining of non-energy mineral resources, including the following factors: appropriation of land, impacts on surface water, ground water and soil, noise, influence on the landscape character, and air pollution. The paper also includes a case study summarizing information on the environmental factors that may play a role in potential underground mining of graphite in the deposit Český Krumlov - Městský Vrch and the deposit Lazec - Křenov.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0205.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Life cycle assessment; LCA; Circular Economy; Indicator; Polypropylene; Recycling; global warming impact; climate change; efficiency; effectiveness; PCR; PIR; environmental assessment
Online: 4 July 2023 (11:13:40 CEST)
Post-industrial recycling (PIR) and post-consumer recycling (PCR) are measures to sustain re-sources by improving materials’ circularity and sustainability. Currently, circularity is mostly measured as the degree of reutilization of a material from 0 to 100 % at product or company lev-el. This lacks in assessing the resources’ usage over multiple product life cycles. Therefore, we propose to assess circularity as (i) the frequency resources are used in products (effective circu-larity eC) and (ii) a vehicle to reduce virgin resource use and environmental impacts (environ-mentally efficient circularity eeC). Besides, to compare the environmental impacts of using recy-cled materials from PIR or PCR, we analyse their impact reduction potential (IRP) indicating the environmental benefits of recycling in relation to virgin material put onto the market. We demonstrate the suggested indicators for a case study material: polypropylene. For this polymer type, the eC ranges between 0.93 and 9.08 uses of the resource on average depending on collec-tion, sorting, and recycling rates. Likewise, the eeC ranges between 0.31 and 1.50 uses per kg of CO2 equivalents emitted. PCR has a higher IRP regarding climate change impacts than PIR in all analysed scenarios. The results reveal the relevance of PCR and PIR beyond the product life cycle.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1845.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: cognitive functions; machine learning; feature selection; violence risk assessment
Online: 28 September 2023 (03:08:34 CEST)
Machine Learning techniques can be used to identify whether deficits in cognitive functions contribute to antisocial and aggressive behavior. This paper initially presents the results of tests conducted on delinquent and non-delinquent youths to assess their cognitive functions. The dataset extracted from these assessments, consisting of 37 predictor variables and one target. was used to train three algorithms that aim to predict whether the data corresponds to that of a young offender or a non-offending youth. Prior to this, statistical tests were conducted on the data to identify characteristics that exhibited significant differences in order to select the most relevant features and optimize the prediction results. Additionally, other feature selection methods, such as Boruta, RFE, and Filter, were applied, and their effects on the accuracy of each of the three machine learning models used (SVM, RF, and KNN) were compared. 80% of the data were utilized for training, while the remaining 20% were used for validation. The best result was achieved by the K-NN model trained with 19 features selected by the Boruta method, followed by the SVM model trained with 24 features selected by the filter method.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1170.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Wastewater; Circular Economy; Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment; Decision Making
Online: 18 September 2023 (10:25:55 CEST)
The wastewater circular economy (WW-CE) promises a solution to improve water and sanitation management worldwide. However, the transition from conventional to circular wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) requires facilitation to aid in decision makers understanding of integral sustainability impacts of alternative WW-CE configurations. This research implemented Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), combining Life Cycle Assessment, Social Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing with a Multi-criteria Decision Making (MCDM) model to quantify environmental, socio-cultural, and economic impacts of conventional WWTPs with the WW-CE. Two real WWTPs in Chile have embraced the WW-CEs and adopting the title of Biofactories. These were considered as case studies, compared under three scenarios to demonstrate the sustainability trade-offs of the transition from no sanitation to conventional WWTPs and Biofactory WW-CE configurations. Results demonstrated that the transition to WW-CEs improved integral sustainability according to the LCSA model implemented in both WWPTs. This study highlights the urgent need to adopt sustainable decision-making models to not only improve sanitation coverage, but also improve sustainability performance of the sanitation industry across the globe.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0066.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: landscape indicators; landscape sustainability; landscape assessment; weighting and aggregation
Online: 4 September 2023 (04:02:41 CEST)
In the absence of a holistic view of Landscape Sustainability, credible data and consistent information are needed to help decision making and support adaptive management. However, consolidated tools (system of standards and controls) of assessment exist, but show a complexity of the references on one hand, and are mostly qualitative and environmental indicators based on the other hand. This review article deals with the theme of both environmental and landscape indicators in general, the principles and the fundamental definitions. The main models used, the prerequisites and various fields of application are also taken into consideration. Last but not least, various environmental and landscape indicators are presented and compared.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1994.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Crude oil-contaminated Soil; PAHs; Bioluminescent bacteria; Ecotoxicity assessment
Online: 29 August 2023 (13:16:06 CEST)
The oil spilled from the Gulf war caused land pollution and various petroleum compounds. Among petroleum compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known for toxicity, and have been designated as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and endocrine disrupting substances by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). According to the USEPA, toxic equivalents quotient (TEQ), and mutagenic equivalents quotient (MEQ) can be calculated by multiplying the toxic equivalency factor (TEF) and mutagenic equivalency factor (MEF) by the concentration of PAHs. The USEPA calculates the relative TEF for other PAHs by setting the TEF value of benzo(a)pyrene, which is highly toxic, to 1. Relative MEF is also calculated in the same way. In this study, the TPH concentrations of crude oil-contaminated soils collected from the Burgan in Kuwait were measured to be 5, 8, and 20% and TEQ and MEQ of the soils were calculated by multiplying the 16 PAHs concentrations measured for each sample by TEF and MEF, respectively. When the TPH concentration was increased by 4 times from 5% to 20%, the TEQ was increased by about 9 times and the MEQ was increased by about 10 times. Therefore, it was concluded that as the TPH concentration increases, the carcinogenicity and mutation rate increase greatly. In addition, ecotoxicity assessment was performed using luminescent bacteria to compare the relationship between the calculated TEQ and MEQ and actual ecotoxicity, and benzo(a)pyrene among 16 PAHs showed a coefficient of determination of 0.95. In this study, ecotoxicity in PAHs-contaminated environment can be estimated by analyzing benzo(a)pyrene as a representative substance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0031.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Reproductive Medicine Keywords: Embryo quality evaluation; Morphokinetic assessment; Embryo metabolomics; Pyruvate; Glutamine
Online: 1 August 2023 (14:34:26 CEST)
Embryo quality evaluation during in vitro development is vital for the success of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). However, the subjective morphological assessment by embryologists may result in inconsistencies that affect the selection of the best embryo for transfer. To provide a more comprehensive evaluation of embryo quality, we performed the integration of embryo metabolomics with standardized morphokinetic classification. The culture medium of 55 embryos (from 21 couples undergoing ICSI) was collected at two timepoints (day 3 and 5). Samples were split into Good (n=29), Lagging (n=19) and Bad (n=10) according to embryo morphokinetic evaluation. Embryo metabolic performance was assessed by 1H-NMR, monitoring the variation of specific metabolites (pyruvate, lactate, alanine, glutamine, acetate, formate). Adjusted metabolite differentials were observed during the first three days of culture and found to be discriminative of embryo quality at the end of day 5. Pyruvate, alanine, glutamine, and acetate were major contributors to this discrimination. Good and Lagging embryos were found to export and accumulate pyruvate and glutamine in the 3 first days of culture, while Bad embryos consumed them. This suggests that Bad embryos have a less active metabolism than Good and Lagging embryos and these two metabolites as putative biomarkers for embryo quality. This study provides a more comprehensive evaluation of embryo quality and can lead to improvements in ART by enabling the selection of the best embryos. By combining morphological assessment and metabolomics, the selection of high-quality embryos with the potential to result in successful pregnancies may become more accurate and consistent.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0407.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: pesticides; multiple residues; plant protection; monitoring results; compliance assessment
Online: 6 July 2023 (11:44:00 CEST)
As required by the EU legislation and the national risk management duties, the pesticide residues were determined by four specialized laboratories in 9,924 samples taken from 119 crops of economic importance and imported foodstuffs during 2017-2021 in Hungary. The screening method applied covered 622 pesticide residues as defined for enforcement purposes. The limit of detection ranged between 0.002-0.008 mg/kg. The 1.0% violation rate was lower than in the European Union for all commodities. No residue was detectable in 45.9% of the samples. For detailed analyses of the results, eight commodities (apple, cherry, grape, nectarine/peach, sweet peppers, and strawberry) were selected as they were analyzed over 195 samples and contained most frequently residues. Besides testing their conformity with national MRLs, applying 0.3MRL action limits for pre-export control, we found that 73% of the sampled lots would be compliant with ≥90% probability based on second independent sampling. Multiple residues (2-23) in one sample were detected in 36-50% of the tested lots. Noting the provisions of integrated pest management and the major pests and diseases of selected crops, normally 3-4, exceptionally 7-9 active ingredients of different mode of actions should be sufficient for their effective and economic protection.