REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0055.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Human Attribute Recognition; Imbalanced Learning; Pedestrian Recognition; Privacy Concerns; Clothing Attributes; Soft Biometrics; Appearance-Based Learning; Deep Learning
Online: 5 July 2020 (08:21:00 CEST)
Over the last decade, the field of Human Attribute Recognition (HAR) has dramatically changed, mainly due to the improvements brought by deep learning solutions. This survey reviews the progress obtained in HAR, considering the transition from the traditional hand-crafted to deep-learning approaches. The most relevant works on the field are analyzed concerning the advances proposed to address the HAR's typical challenges. Furthermore, we outline the applications and typical evaluation metrics used in the HAR context. Finally, we provide a comprehensive review of the publicly available datasets for the development and evaluation of novel HAR approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0111.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Transformer; human activity recognition; time series; sequence-to-sequence prediction
Online: 8 February 2022 (13:09:21 CET)
This paper describes the successful application of the Transformer model used in the natural language processing and vision tasks as a means of processing the time series of signals from gyroscope and accelerometer sensors for the classification of human activities. The Transformer model is based on deep neural networks with many layers which can generalize well on signals. All measured signals come from a smartphone placed in a waist bag. Activity prediction is sequence-to-sequence, each time step of the signal is assigned a designation of the performed activity. Emphasis is placed on attention mechanisms, which express individual dependencies between signal values within a time series. In comparison with another recent result, the recognition precision was improved from 89.67 percent to 99.2 percent. The transformer model should in the future be included among the top options in machine learning methods for human activity recognition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0230.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings & Films Keywords: wearables; human motion monitoring; SWCNT; textiles; machine learning algorithm
Online: 13 July 2018 (10:36:00 CEST)
Wearable sensors for human physiological monitoring have attracted tremendous interest from researchers in recent years. However, most of the research was only done in simple trials without any significant analytical algorithms. This study provides a way of recognizing human motion by combining textile stretch sensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and spandex fabric (PET/SP) and machine learning algorithms in a realistic applications. In the study, the performance of the system will be evaluated by identification rate and accuracy of the motion standardized. This research aims to provide a realistic motion sensing wearable products without unnecessary heavy and uncomfortable electronic devices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0033.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: smartphone accelerometers; dataset; human activity recognition; fall detection
Online: 18 July 2017 (13:16:10 CEST)
Smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and ad-hoc wearable devices are being increasingly used to monitor human activities. Data acquired by the hosted sensors are usually processed by machine-learning-based algorithms to classify human activities. The success of those algorithms mostly depends on the availability of training (labeled) data that, if made publicly available, would allow researchers to make objective comparisons between techniques. Nowadays, publicly available data sets are few, often contain samples from subjects with too similar characteristics, and very often lack of specific information so that is not possible to select subsets of samples according to specific criteria. In this article, we present a new smartphone accelerometer dataset designed for activity recognition. The dataset includes 11,771 activities performed by 30 subjects of ages ranging from 18 to 60 years. Activities are divided in 17 fine grained classes grouped in two coarse grained classes: 9 types of activities of daily living (ADL) and 8 types of falls. The dataset has been stored to include all the information useful to select samples according to different criteria, such as the type of ADL performed, the age, the gender, and so on. Finally, the dataset has been benchmarked with two different classifiers and with different configurations. The best results are achieved with k-NN classifying ADLs only, considering personalization, and with both windows of 51 and 151 samples.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0146.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: human action recognition; machine learning; action feature representation; action classification; deep learning
Online: 9 May 2020 (03:56:56 CEST)
With the evolution of computing technology in many application like human robot interaction, human computer interaction and health-care system, 3D human body models and their dynamic motions has gained popularity. Human performance accompanies human body shapes and their relative motions. Research on human activity recognition is structured around how the complex movement of a human body is identified and analyzed. Vision based action recognition from video is such kind of tasks where actions are inferred by observing the complete set of action sequence performed by human. Many techniques have been revised over the recent decades in order to develop a robust as well as effective framework for action recognition. In this survey, we summarize recent advances in human action recognition, namely the machine learning approach, deep learning approach and evaluation of these approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0289.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: drone video; human action recognition; CNN; Support vector machine (SVM)
Online: 28 August 2019 (03:52:22 CEST)
Recognition of the human interaction on the unconstrained videos taken from cameras and remote sensing platforms like a drone is a challenging problem. This study presents a method to resolve issues of motion blur, poor quality of videos, occlusions, the difference in body structure or size, and high computation or memory requirement. This study contributes to the improvement of recognition of human interaction during disasters such as an earthquake and flood utilizing drone videos for rescue and emergency management. We used Support Vector Machine (SVM) to classify the high-level and stationary features obtained from Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) in key-frames from videos. We extracted conceptual features by employing CNN to recognize objects from first and last images from a video. The proposed method demonstrated the context of a scene, which is significant in determining the behaviour of human in the videos. In this method, we do not require person detection, tracking, and many instances of images. The proposed method was tested for the University of Central Florida (UCF Sports Action), Olympic Sports videos. These videos were taken from the ground platform. Besides, camera drone video was captured from Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) Sports Centre and incorporated to test the developed method in this study. This study accomplished an acceptable performance with an accuracy of 90.42%, which has indicated improvement of more than 4.92% as compared to the existing methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0244.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Attention mechanism; CHMM; LSTM; Multi-modal fusion; Human behavior recognition
Online: 14 December 2021 (15:09:15 CET)
The multi-modal data fusion method based on IA-net and CHMM technical proposed is designed to solve the problem that the incompleteness of target behavior information in complex family environment leads to the low accuracy of human behavior recognition.The two improved neural networks(STA-ResNet50、STA-GoogleNet)are combined with LSTM to form two IA-Nets respectively to extract RGB and skeleton modal behavior features in video. The two modal feature sequences are input CHMM to construct the probability fusion model of multi-modal behavior recognition.The experimental results show that the human behavior recognition model proposed in this paper has higher accuracy than the previous fusion methods on HMDB51 and UCF101 datasets. New contributions: attention mechanism is introduced to improve the efficiency of video target feature extraction and utilization. A skeleton based feature extraction framework is proposed, which can be used for human behavior recognition in complex environment. In the field of human behavior recognition, probability theory and neural network are cleverly combined and applied, which provides a new method for multi-modal information fusion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0134.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Human Robot Interaction (HRI); social robot; Speech Emotion Recognition (SER); Gender Recognition, affective states
Online: 8 December 2021 (14:31:07 CET)
The real challenge in Human Robot Interaction (HRI) is to build machines capable of perceiving human emotions so that robots can interact with humans in a proper manner. It is well known from the literature that emotion varies accordingly to many factors. Among these, gender represents one of the most influencing one, and so an appropriate gender-dependent emotion recognition system is recommended. In this paper, a two-level hierarchical Speech Emotion Recognition (SER) system is proposed: the first level is represented by the Gender Recognition (GR) module for the speaker’s gender identification; the second is a gender-specific SER block. Specifically for this work, the attention was focused on the optimisation of the first level of the proposed architecture. The system was designed to be installed on social robots for hospitalised and living at home elderly patients monitoring. Hence, the importance of reducing the software computational effort of the architecture also minimizing the hardware bulkiness, in order for the system to be suitable for social robots. The algorithm was executed on the Raspberry Pi hardware. For the training, the Italian emotional database EMOVO was used. Results show a GR accuracy value of 97.8%, comparable with the ones found in literature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0117.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Continual Learning; Lifelong Learning; Prototypical Networks; Catastrophic Forgetting; Intransigence; Task-free; Incremental Learning; Online Learning; Human Activity Recognition
Online: 5 August 2022 (08:35:15 CEST)
Continual learning (CL), a.k.a lifelong learning, is an emerging research topic that has been attracting increasing interest in the field of machine learning. With human activity recognition (HAR) playing a key role in enabling numerous real-world applications, an essential step towards the long-term deployment of such systems is to extend the activity model to dynamically adapt to changes in people’s everyday behavior. Current research in CL applied to HAR domain is still under-explored with researchers exploring existing methods developed for computer vision in HAR. Moreover, analysis has so far focused on task-incremental or class-incremental learning paradigms where task boundaries are known. This impedes the applicability of such methods for real-world systems. To push this field forward, we build on recent advances in the area of continual learning and design a lifelong adaptive learning framework using Prototypical Networks, LAPNet-HAR, that processes sensor-based data streams in a task-free data-incremental fashion and mitigates catastrophic forgetting using experience replay and continual prototype adaptation. Online learning is further facilitated using contrastive loss to enforce inter-class separation. LAPNet-HAR is evaluated on 5 publicly available activity datasets in terms of its ability to acquire new information while preserving previous knowledge. Our extensive empirical results demonstrate the effectiveness of LAPNet-HAR in task-free CL and uncover useful insights for future challenges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0367.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Human Activity Recognition; Smart Activity Sensors; Optimal Feature Selection; Colliding Bodies Optimization; Recurrent Neural Network
Online: 19 October 2020 (10:44:36 CEST)
— In a smart healthcare system," Human Activity Recognition (HAR)" is considered as an efficient approach in pervasive computing from activity sensor readings. The "Ambient Assisted Living (AAL)" in the home or community helps the people to provide independent care and enhanced living quality. However, many AAL models are restricted to multiple factors that include both the computational cost and system complexity. Moreover, the HAR concept has more relevance because of its applications, such as content-based video search, sports play analysis, crowd behavior prediction systems, patient monitoring systems, and surveillance systems. This paper attempts to implement the HAR system using a popular deep learning algorithm, namely "Recurrent Neural Network (RNN)" with the activity data collected from smart activity sensors over time, and it is publicly available in the "UC Irvine Machine Learning Repository (UCI)". The proposed model involves three processes: (1) data collection, (b) optimal feature learning, and (c) activity recognition. The data gathered from the benchmark repository was initially subjected to optimal feature selection that helped to select the most significant features. The proposed optimal feature selection method is based on a new meta-heuristic algorithm called "Colliding Bodies Optimization (CBO)". An objective function derived from the recognition accuracy has been used for accomplishing the optimal feature selection. The proposed model on the concerned benchmark dataset outperformed the conventional models with enhanced performance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0086.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: 3D human action recognition; skeleton-based representation; SPMF; enhanced-SPMF; AHE; D-CNNs; DenseNet
Online: 7 March 2019 (09:10:43 CET)
Designing motion representations for the problem of 3D human action recognition from skeleton sequences is an important yet challenging task. An effective representation should be robust to noise, invariant to viewpoint changes and result in a good performance with low-computational demand. Two main challenges in this task include how to efficiently represent spatio-temporal patterns of skeletal movements and how to learn their discriminative features for classification task. This paper presents a novel skeleton-based representation and a deep learning framework for 3D action recognition using RGB-D sensors. We propose to build an action map called SPMF (Skeleton Posture-Motion Feature), which is a compact image representation built from skeleton poses and their motions. An Adaptive Histogram Equalization (AHE) algorithm is then applied on the SPMF to enhance their local patterns and form an enhanced action map, namely Enhanced-SPMF. For learning and classification tasks, we exploit Deep Convolutional Neural Networks based on the DenseNet architecture to learn directly an end-to-end mapping between input skeleton sequences and their action labels via the Enhanced-SPMFs. The proposed method is evaluated on four challenging benchmark datasets, including both individual actions, interactions, multiview and large-scale datasets. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms previous state-of-the-art approaches on all benchmark tasks, whilst requiring low computational time for training and inference.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0293.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: human poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), PARP-DNA complex,DNA-protein binding,DNA repair, 5′,8-Cyclopurine-2′-deoxynucleoside, DNA damage , DNA repair efficiency.
Online: 24 December 2018 (16:01:44 CET)
Abstract5′,8-Cyclo-2′-deoxyadenosine (cdA), in the 5′R and 5′Sdiastereomeric forms, are typical non strand-break oxidative DNA lesions, induced by hydroxyl radicals, with emerging importance as a molecular marker. These lesions are exclusively repaired by nucleotide excision repair (NER) mechanism with a low efficiency, thus readily accumulating in the genome. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase1 (PARP1) acts as an early responder to DNA damage and plays a key role as a nick sensor in the maintenance of the integrity of the genome by recognizing nicked DNA. So far, it was unknown whether the diastereomeric cdA lesions could induce specific PARP1 binding. Here we provide the first evidence of PARP1 to selectively recognize the diastereomeric lesions 5′S-cdA and 5′R-cdA in vitro as compared to deoxyadenosine in model DNA substrates (23-mers) by using circular dichroism,fluorescence spectroscopy, immunoblotting analysis and gel mobility shift assay. Several features of the recognition of the damaged and undamaged oligonucleotides by PARP1were characterized. Remarkably, PARP1 efficiently binds to both cdA lesions in the double stranded (ds)-oligonucleotides. In particular, PARP1 proved to bind 5′S-cdAwith a higher affinity constant for the 5'S lesion in a model of ds DNA than 5′R-cdA, showing different recognition patterns, also compared with undamaged dA. This new finding highlights the ability of PARP1 to recognize and differentiate the distorted DNA backbone in a biomimetic system caused by different diastereomeric forms of a cdA lesion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0032.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: Human Capital; Human Capital Management; Human Capital Factors; Affecting Factors in Human Capital; Human Capital in Singapore
Online: 4 October 2021 (08:45:54 CEST)
The human capital index is a multivariate variable used to measure the assessment of human resource productivity in the future. Human capital has a connection with economic development. Moreover, the study looks to analyses the relationship between Human Capital and Economic Growth indicators such as HCI and GDP. Human Capital relates to the development of individual skills to make them function more profitable for the national economy. The study was aimed at investigating the effect of population, the number of people engaged and the average annual hours worked by engaged persons on the human capital index. The analysis was in SPSS for the findings. Correlation tests were used for analysis. The study revealed that population, the number of people engaged and the average annual hours worked by engaged persons had a significant positive effect on the human capital index.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0193.v1
Online: 17 November 2019 (00:55:26 CET)
Chan and colleagues in their paper titled “Human origins in a southern African palaeo-wetland and first migrations” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1714-1) report 198 novel whole mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and infer that ‘anatomically modern humans’ originated in the Makgadikgadi–Okavango palaeo-wetland of southern Africa around 200 thousand years ago. This claim relies on weakly informative data. In addition to flawed logic and questionable assumptions, the authors surprisingly disregard recent evidence and debate on human origins in Africa. As a result, the emphatic and high profile conclusions of the paper are unjustified.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0128.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: human virome; human microbiome; bacteriophage; elderly adults
Online: 9 July 2018 (10:50:10 CEST)
The human virome is an area of increasing interest with relation to human health and disease. It has been demonstrated to alter in concert with the bacterial microbiome in early life and was also found to be different in patients with certain diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. However, all virome analyses are hampered by a lack of annotated representative database sequences, often referred to as the ‘viral dark matter’. Here we provide the first description of the gut DNA virome in elderly individuals (>65 years old) as well as the description of novel bacteriophages not present in current reference databases. Diversity analysis comparing elderly persons from different residence locations (community living vs long term care facilities) did not reveal any difference in their virome diversity profiles despite the reported differences at the bacteriome level. An abundance of Microviridae of the subfamily Gokushovirinae were present in the faeces of elderly individuals. Several novel members of the order Caudovirales were also characterized and annotated. Assignment of host bacteria to detected viral genomes was attempted using a combination of CRISPR spacers, tRNA genes and a probabilistic approach. Further characterization of the viral dark matter is necessary for developing tools and expanding databases to study the human virome. This study focused on the virome of an aging human cohort with the goal of illuminating part of the viral dark matter.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0181.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: human-robot interaction; human-robot collaboration; collaborative robots; motion planning; robot control; human motion prediction; human-following robots
Online: 9 November 2021 (14:12:17 CET)
Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) for collaborative robots has become an active research topic recently. Collaborative robots assist the human workers in their tasks and improve their efficiency. But the worker should also feel safe and comfortable while interacting with the robot. In this paper, we propose a human-following motion planning and control scheme for a collaborative robot which supplies the necessary parts and tools to a worker in an assembly process in a factory. In our proposed scheme, a 3-D sensing system is employed to measure the skeletal data of the worker. At each sampling time of the sensing system, an optimal delivery position is estimated using the real-time worker data. At the same time, the future positions of the worker are predicted as probabilistic distributions. A Model Predictive Control (MPC) based trajectory planner is used to calculate a robot trajectory that supplies the required parts and tools to the worker and follows the predicted future positions of the worker. We have installed our proposed scheme in a collaborative robot system with a 2-DOF planar manipulator. Experimental results show that the proposed scheme enables the robot to provide anytime assistance to a worker who is moving around in the workspace while ensuring the safety and comfort of the worker.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0180.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: ferromagnetic fibre network; human albumin; fibrin hydrogel; human foetal osteoblasts; human endothelial cells
Online: 17 September 2019 (04:48:21 CEST)
Porous coatings on prosthetic implants encourage implant fixation. Enhanced fixation may be achieved using a magneto-active porous coating that can deform elastically in vivo on application of an external magnetic field, straining in-growing bone. Such coating, made of 444 ferritic stainless steel fibres, was previously characterised in terms of its mechanical and cellular responses. In this work, co-cultures of human osteoblasts and endothelial cells were seeded into a novel fibrin-based hydrogel embedded in a 444 ferritic stainless steel fibre network. Albumin was successfully incorporated into fibrin hydrogels improving the specific permeability and the diffusion of fluorescently-tagged dextrans without affecting their Young’s modulus. The beneficial effect of albumin was demonstrated by upregulation of osteogenic and angiogenic gene expression. Furthermore, mineralisation, extracellular matrix production and formation of vessel-like structures were enhanced in albumin-enriched fibrin hydrogels compared to fibrin hydrogels. Collectively, the results indicate that the albumin-enriched fibrin hydrogel is a promising bio-matrix for bone tissue engineering and orthopaedic applications.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: mostly studied human protein structure; human diseases; biophysics
Online: 16 October 2020 (12:11:04 CEST)
Of the roughly 20,000 canonical human protein sequences, as of September 15, 2020, 6,937 proteins have had their full or partial, medium- to high-resolution structures determined by x-ray crystallography or other methods. Which of these proteins dominate the Protein Data Bank (the PDB) and why? In this paper, we list the 273 top human protein structures based on the number of their PDB entries. This set of proteins accounts for more than 40% of all available human PDB entries and represent past trends as well as current status for protein structural biology. We briefly discuss the relationship which some of the prominent protein structures have with protein research as a whole and mention their relevance to human diseases. The top-10 soluble and membrane proteins are all well-known (most of their first structures being deposited more than 30 years ago). Overall, there is no dramatic change in recent trends in the PDB. Remarkably, the number of structure depositions has grown nearly exponentially over the last 10 or more years (with a doubling time of 7 yrs for proteins from all organisms). Growth in human protein structures is slightly faster (at 5.9 yrs, while E.Coli and Mouse+Rat protein structures accumulate more slowly, Zebrafish protein structures are growing most, at a doubling every 3.7 years, albeit starting from only approx. 100 structure entries in 2010). The information may be informative to senior scientists but also inspire researchers who are new to protein science, providing the year 2020 snap-shot for the state of protein structural biology.
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: irrationality; human senses; human mind; material continuity; existence
Online: 22 October 2018 (12:57:08 CEST)
It has been a challenge to visualize in nature some concepts from abstract subjects such as mathematics and philosophy. Irrationality is certainly among the least comprehensive. This essay aimed to propose that irrationality is simply an illusion resulting from the human inability to grasp the full nature of reality, rather than actual continuity flaws in the fabric of existence. There are three major arguments: (1) human senses have limitations and these are likely to be extended to the intellect, (2) there are no observable existential discontinuities in everyday experience, and (3) some rational phenomena have irrational components. These arguments point towards the existence of a physical existence of irrational quantities or distances, visible to the human eye but not fully comprehended through arithmetic abstraction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0101.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Human virome; human microbiome; elderly; viral dark matter
Online: 5 July 2018 (16:23:36 CEST)
The human virome is an area of increasing interest with relation to human health and disease. It has been demonstrated to alter in concert with the bacterial microbiome in early life and was also found to be different in patients with certain diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. However, all virome analyses are hampered by a lack of annotated representative database sequences, often referred to as the ‘viral dark matter’. Here we provide the first description of the gut DNA virome in elderly individuals (>65 years old) as well as the description of novel bacteriophages not present in current reference databases. Diversity analysis comparing elderly persons from different residence locations (community living vs long term care facilities) did not reveal any difference in their virome diversity profiles despite the reported differences at the bacteriome level. An abundance of Microviridae of the subfamily Gokushovirinae were present in the faeces of elderly individuals. Several novel members of the order Caudovirales were also characterized and annotated. Assignment of host bacteria to detected viral genomes was attempted using a combination of CRISPR spacers, tRNA genes and a probabilistic approach. Further characterization of the viral dark matter is necessary for developing tools and expanding databases to study the human virome. This study focused on the virome of an aging human cohort with the goal of illuminating part of the viral dark matter.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0470.v1
Online: 18 December 2020 (14:03:16 CET)
Ancient DNA has given a new vision to the recent history of human evolution. However, by always relying on the information provided by whole genome sequencing, some relevant relationships between modern humans and its archaic relatives have been misinterpreted by hybridization and recombination causes. In contrast, the congruent phylogeny, obtained from non-recombinant uniparental markers, indicates that humans and Neanderthals are sister subspecies, and that the most recent common ancestor of modern humans was not of African origin but Eurasian.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0368.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: proteoform; human genome project; proteomics; post-translational modification; human proteome
Online: 19 October 2020 (10:49:39 CEST)
Proteins are the primary effectors of function in biology, and thus complete knowledge of their structure and properties is fundamental to deciphering function in basic and translational research. The chemical diversity of proteins is expressed in their many proteoforms, which result from combinations of genetic polymorphisms, RNA splice variants and post-translational modifications. This knowledge is foundational for the biological complexes and networks that control biology, yet remains largely unknown. We propose here an ambitious initiative to define the human proteome; that is to generate a definitive reference set of the proteoforms produced from the genome. Several examples of the power and importance of proteoform-level knowledge in disease-based research are presented, along with a call for improved technologies in a two-pronged strategy to accomplish the Human Proteoform Project.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0031.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: first heartbeat; human embryonic heart; human embryos; onset of blood circulation
Online: 5 May 2022 (09:56:10 CEST)
The onset of embryonic heart beating may be regarded as the defining feature for the beginning of personal human life. Clarifying the timing of the 1st human heartbeat, therefore, has religious, philosophical, ethical, and medicolegal implications. This article reviews the historical and contemporary sources of knowledge on the beginning of human heart activity. Special attention is given to the problem of the determination of the true age of human embryos and to the problem of visualization of the human embryonic heart activity. It is shown that historical and current textbook statements about the onset of blood circulation in man do not derive from observations on living human embryos but derive from the extrapolation of observations on animal embryos to the human species. This fact does not preclude the existence of documented observations on human embryonic heart activity: Modern diagnostic (ultrasound) and therapeutic (IVF) procedures facilitate the visualization of early embryonic heart activity in precisely dated pregnancies. Such studies showed that the human heart started its pumping action during the 4th post-fertilization week. A small number of direct observations on the heart activity of aborted human embryos were reported since the 19th century but did not receive much recognition by embryologists.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0684.v1
Subject: Keywords: human-wildlife interactions; non-human primates; zooanthropology; primate sanctuary; Lemur catta
Online: 30 July 2021 (09:18:23 CEST)
The aim of the present study is to investigate themes related to visitors’ perceptions of captive wildlife in particular, attitudes towards non-human primates (henceforth, primates). This research took place in free-roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary, Monkeyland (South Africa), where 400 visitors were interviewed using an anonymous survey both before and after attending a guided tour. The answers were divided into different categories, in order to standardize the motivations behind tourists’ choices. The results of the survey demonstrated that most visitors agree that a primate would not be a good companion animal. Visitors’ desire to touch primates was found to be positively correlated with desire for companion primates and inversely associated with visitor age. In response to: “would you like to touch a monkey?”, the majority of tourists who expressed this desire seemed aware that such interactions are not appropriate, with concern for animal welfare and human health. Of the various primate species present in the sanctuary, visitors preferred the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and, generally speaking, expressed appreciation for primates’ “cuteness”. Our results indicate a general awareness by the visitors on the importance of animal welfare in the human interactions with captive wildlife, in agreement with the “hands-off” policy of Monkeyland primate sanctuary. We discuss the findings from a general to zooanthropological point of view, proposing some reflections on the attitudes of visitors toward non-human primates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0313.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: artificial intelligence; human-AI interaction; human factors; safety challenges; black-box challenge
Online: 8 January 2021 (13:50:32 CET)
In response to the need to address the safety challenges in the use of artificial intelligence (AI), this research aimed to develop a framework for a safety controlling system (SCS) to address the AI black-box mystery in the healthcare industry. The main objective was to propose safety guidelines for implementing AI black-box models to reduce the risk of potential healthcare-related incidents and accidents. The system was developed by adopting the multi-attribute value model approach (MAVT), which comprises four symmetrical parts: extracting attributes, generating weights for the attributes, developing a rating scale, and finalizing the system. On the basis of the MAVT approach, three layers of attributes were created. The first level contained 6 key dimensions, the second level included 14 attributes, and the third level comprised 78 attributes. The key first level dimensions of the SCS included safety policies, incentives for clinicians, clinician and patient training, communication and interaction, planning of actions, and control of such actions. The proposed system may provide a basis for detecting AI utilization risks, preventing incidents from occurring, and developing emergency plans for AI-related risks. This approach could also guide and control the implementation of AI systems in the healthcare industry.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Keywords: Nature-based Solutions; transformation; framing; human-nature dichotomy; human-nature relations
Online: 25 December 2020 (15:05:31 CET)
Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have rapidly been gaining traction across the research, policy, and practice spheres, touted as transformative actions to jointly address biodiversity loss and climate change. However, there are multiple, alternative ways to imagine NbS in those three spheres. To inform the NbS discourses across these three spheres, we critically reflect on the prevailing framing of NbS and consider the potential of a different framing of NbS to support transformations towards regenerative relationships between humans and nature. Such reflection is urgently needed to ensure that research, policy, and practice delivers on the transformative ambitions of NbS. We propose a novel “core framing” of NbS, charting two pathways for how such a framing can support a human value-based transformation – first through influencing individual beliefs and values, and second through the communication and application of the NbS concept in research, policy, and practice. We argue that for NbS to support transformation, it must support a reframing of human-nature relationships, one where the interdependencies between people and nature are recognized as essential for social and environmental well-being. We elaborate on how such a framing is key to support inclusivity and collaboration between diverse research perspectives, policy objectives across scales, and implementation practices, to deliver successful NbS.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0070.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: decision-making; human-autonomous systems interaction; human performance; intelligent machines; overreliance; situational awareness
Online: 23 January 2023 (13:19:41 CET)
Autonomous systems and intelligent machines are involved in almost all areas of human activity and they are now more and more present in our everyday life. The reason for this extensive use certainly resides in all the benefits these machines offer to the users. In experimental settings, numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects that the introduction of autonomous systems have on human decision-making and performance. However, studies have shown in addition that the introduction of these systems can have important negative effects as well. Considering that autonomous systems are now introduced in sensitive domains like the military or medicine, we need more than ever a comprehensive understanding of the effects they cause on human performance and decision-making, and particularly in tasks and contexts with a social or moral dimension. The aim of this narrative review is threefold. First, we will provide an overview of the main effects on a human agent’s decision-making and performance produced by the introduction of autonomous systems. Second, we will review the conditions identified as underlying factors of these effects, and see how current models of human – autonomous systems interaction integrate those conditions. Third, we will conclude this review by highlighting new directions for future investigations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0352.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: artificial agents; human machine teaming; metrics; synthetic agents; human factors; ergonomics; empirical studies
Online: 12 November 2020 (14:48:50 CET)
This paper presents a multi-year research study conducted at the University of Toledo, aimed at improving human-machine teaming (HMT) methods and technologies. With the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) into 21st-century machines, collaboration between humans and machines has become highly complicated for real-time applications. The penetration of intelligent and synthetic assistants (IA/SA) in virtually every field has opened a path for the new area of HMT. When it comes to crucial tasks such as patient treatment and care, defense, and industrial production, the use of non-standardized HMT technologies may pose a risk to human lives as well as up to billions of taxpayer dollars. A thorough literature survey revealed that there are not many established standards or benchmarks for HMT. In this paper, we aim to address the lack of HMT design and development standards. We propose a method to design an HMT based on a generalized architecture. This design includes the development of an intelligent collaborative system and human team. Followed by processes and metrics to test and validate the proposed model, we present a novel human-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation method using two controlled HMT scenarios; first, emergency care provider (ECP) training, and second, patient treatment by an experienced medic. Both scenarios include humans processing visual data and performing actions that represent real-world applications while responding to a Voice-Based Synthetic Assistant (VBSA) as a collaborator that keeps track of actions. As part of these HMT simulation studies, the impact of each parameter related to machines, humans, and HMT (such as errors made by humans and by the VBSA) is presented from the perspective of performance, rules, roles, and operation limitations. In addition, based on the analysis of results from two case studies, we presented guidelines for designing future HMT. Our conclusions indicate that the proposed HIL can be used to perform standardization studies in the pursuit of developing techniques for benchmarking HMT that can be used in critical situations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0481.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Irukandji syndrome; box jellyfish; CSL antivenom; nematocyst extracts; antigenicity; human sera; human antibodies
Online: 29 August 2018 (05:23:55 CEST)
Carukia barnesi (Cb), Malo kingi (Mk) and Chironex fleckeri (Cf) are dangerous Australian box jellyfish species that provoke distinct and not well understood envenomation syndromes. Specifically, Cb and Mk are small, rare and able to induce a systemic syndrome of generalised muscle pain and catecholamine excess termed “Irukandji syndrome”; Cf has been widely regarded as one of the most venomous organisms in the animal kingdom causing severe sting site pain combined with potentially lethal cardiotoxicity. Building on past studies of major chirodropid and carybdeid species venoms, this study compared the utility of various cubozoan specific antibody reagents to better define the relationships between venom proteins from both exemplar Irukandji species (Cb and Mk) and the archetype C. fleckeri box jellyfish. With the aid of commercial ovine derived Cf-specific antivenom, mouse antibodies reactive to Cb and Mk and rabbit antibodies specific to two Cf toxins (CfTX-1 and 2), as well as human sera, the cross-reactivity of jellyfish species-specific polyclonal antibodies against these three cubozoan venoms was investigated. Immunoblot assays revealed distinc levels of immune recognition across the three species, indicating that Mk specific reagents may bind both Irukandji and Cf venoms. Irukandji venom appears to be antigenic with the exception of a few proteins in the range of 43/46 kDa maybe homologous to CfTX-1 and 2. The implications of such antibody binding for future antivenom development require further investigation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0075.v1
Online: 3 November 2021 (09:16:52 CET)
Is human capital heterogeneity a decisive factor for Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa? Based on the Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI） data of Chinese enterprises in 37 African countries from 2007 to 2017, this paper using the FGLS model, is the empirical analysis of the mechanism and effect of the human capital heterogeneity of host countries on OFDI location selection. The human capital heterogeneity can be divided into four dimensions: scale, quality, cost and structure, which can be measured by health level, education level, wage level, child dependency ratio and old-age dependency ratio. The results show that: (1) the host country's human capital scale and child dependency ratio structure have a significant positive impact on decision-making for OFDI; (2) the cost of human capital and the structure of old-age dependency ratio are negatively correlated with the inflow of OFDI; (3) different from the existing conclusions, the quality of human capital will inhibit the inflow of OFDI in the sample period; (4) the extended test shows that the quality of human capital has a significant positive impact on OFDI decision-making. The results of robustness test are reliable. Finally, according to the conclusion of this paper, policy recommendations are put forward.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0199.v1
Online: 13 October 2021 (11:37:27 CEST)
With the advent of Neural Machine Translation, the more the achievement of human-machine parity is claimed at WMT, the more we come to ask ourselves if their evaluation environment can be trusted. In this paper, we argue that the low quality of the source test set of the news track at WMT may lead to an overrated human parity claim. First of all, we report nine types of so-called technical contaminants in the data set, originated from an absence of meticulous inspection after web-crawling. Our empirical findings show that when they are corrected, about 5% of the segments that have previously achieved a human parity claim turn out to be statistically invalid. Such a tendency gets evident when the contaminated sentences are solely concerned. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first attempt to question the “source” side of the test set as a potential cause of the overclaim of human parity. We cast evidence for such phenomenon that according to sentence-level TER scores, those trivial errors change a good part of system translations. We conclude that to overlook it would be a mistake, especially when it comes to an NMT evaluation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0237.v1
Online: 11 May 2021 (10:48:34 CEST)
Human milk (HM) is the gold standard for feeding infants but has been associated with slower growth in preterm infants compared with preterm formula. This systematic review and meta-analysis summarises the post-1990 literature to examine the effect of HM feeding on growth during the neonatal admission of preterm infants with birth weight ≤1500g and/or born ≤28 weeks’ gestation. Medline, PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus were searched, and comparisons grouped as: exclusive human milk (EHM) vs exclusive preterm formula (EPTF), any HM vs EPTF and higher vs lower doses of HM. We selected studies that used fortified HM and compared that with a PTF; studies comparing unfortified HM and term formula were excluded. Experimental and observational studies were pooled separately. The GRADE system was used to evaluate risk of bias and certainty of evidence. Forty-four studies were included with 37 (n =9,963 infants) included in the meta-analyses. In general, due to poor quality studies, evidence of the effect of any HM feeds or higher versus lower doses of HM was inconclusive. There was a possible effect that lower doses of HM compared with higher doses of HM improved weight gain during the hospital admission, and separately, a possible effect of increased head circumference growth in infants fed EPTF vs any HM. The clinical significance of this is unclear. There was insufficient evidence to determine the effects of an exclusive HM diet on any outcomes.
Online: 27 August 2020 (05:33:14 CEST)
Human factors are the things that go wrong in the interactions between a team of people and a system of technology. This is part of a broader transdisciplinary field called engineering psychology, which as the name suggests, draws from both engineering and psychology. Many, if not most, catastrophic accidents involve a socio-technical interaction, i.e. are not solely due to technology failure. Hence, there is a need to consider human factors in the development or deployment of any technical system. This article is about the human factors involved in an aviation accident in New Zealand between a Yak and a cherry picker. The types of human error are identified, and the barrier bowtie method is used to represent them. The analysis gives different insights into the accident compared to the formal accident report, and better represents the human error characteristics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0143.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: human papillomaviruses; immunosuppression; renal recipients
Online: 27 November 2018 (14:10:17 CET)
OBJECTIVES: Most of human papilomavirus (HPV) infections are “cleared” by the immune system, however, in cases of immune system suppression infections could lead to development of malignancies. The aim of this study was to find out the frequency of HR-HPV infection in early period after renal transplantation in Latvian recipients receiving immunosuppressive therapy and to follow the progression of the infection up to one year. METHODS: 43 female renal recipients (median age of 48 IQR= 39-58) and 79 practically healthy female individuals (median age of 48 IQR= 42-57) as a control group were enrolled in this investigation. For the detection of HPV infection patients' samples (blood and vaginal swabs) where collected two weeks after transplantation with following collection of six months and one year. Different polymerase chain reactions for HR-HPV genomic sequences detection and commercial ELISA kit for detection of anti-HPV IgG antibodies were used. RESULTS: In this study we show that frequency rate of HR-HPV infection has increased by the one year after transplantation from early stage of immumosuppressive therapy (from 24% to 36%). Also increase of HR-HPV load was detected over the time, showing the highest median viral load at sixth month after transplantation. CONCLUSIONS: From the obtained data follows that it is very important to carefully monitor patients receiving immunosuppression therapy on progression of HR-HPV. In the case of this viral infection presence, immunosuppressive therapy must be attentively adjusted to avoid the HR-HPV infection rapid progression with the subsequent development of CIN or cervical cancer.
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Safe physical Human-Robot Collaboration; collision detection; human action recognition; artificial intelligence; industrial automation
Online: 5 November 2020 (11:08:19 CET)
Digital enabled manufacturing systems require high level of automation for fast and low-cost production but should also present flexibility and adaptiveness to varying and dynamic conditions in their environment, including the presence of human beings; However, this presence of workers in the shared workspace with robots decreases the productivity as the robot is not aware about the human position and intention which leads to concerns about the human safety. This issue is addressed in this work by designing a reliable safety monitoring system for collaborative robots (Cobots). The main idea here is, to significantly enhance safety by a combination of recognition of human actions using visual perception and at the same time interpreting physical human-robot contact by tactile perception. Two datasets containing contact and vision data are collected by using different volunteers. The action recognition system classifies human actions using the skeleton representation of the latter when entering the shared workspace and the contact detection system distinguishes between intentional and incidental interactions if a physical contact between human and cobot takes place. Two different deep learning networks are used for human action recognition and contact detection which in combination, are expected to lead to the enhancement of human safety and an increase of the level of cobot perception about human intentions. The results show a promising path for future AI-driven solutions in safe and productive human–robot collaboration (HRC) in industrial automation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0256.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: Extracellular matrices; Macromolecular crowding; human iPSC derived astrocytes; human iPSC derived dopaminergic neurons; drug testing
Online: 19 May 2022 (08:50:28 CEST)
The neuroglial extracellular matrix (ECM) provides critical support and physiological cues for the proper growth, differentiation, and function of neuronal cells in the brain. However, in most in vitro settings that study neural physiology, cells are grown as monolayers on stiff surfaces that maximize adhesion and proliferation, and therefore lack the physiological cues that ECM in native neuronal tissues provides. Macromolecular crowding (MMC) is a biophysical phenomenon based on the principle of excluded volume that can be harnessed to induce native ECM deposition by cells in culture. Here, we show that MMC using two species of Ficoll with vitamin C supplementation significantly boosts deposition of relevant brain ECM by cultured human astrocytes. Dopaminergic neurons co-cultured on this astrocyte-ECM bed prepared under MMC treatment showed longer and denser neuronal extensions, a higher number of pre ad post synaptic contacts, and increased physiological activity as evidenced by higher frequency calcium oscillation, compared to standard co-culture conditions. When the pharmacological activity of various compounds was tested on MMC-treated co-cultures, their responses were enhanced, and for apomorphine, a D2-receptor agonist, it was inverted in comparison to control cell culture conditions, thus emulating responses observed in in vivo settings. These results indicate that macromolecular crowding can harness the ECM-building potential of human astrocytes in vitro forming an ultra-flat 3D microenvironment that makes neural cultures more physiological and pharmacological relevant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0484.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: analytical index; continental U.S.; Human Footprint; human perception; landscape modification; landscape transformation; systematic conservation planning
Online: 29 September 2021 (10:04:40 CEST)
We assessed how close human perceptions of landscape modification matched a multivariate index based on remotely sensed data of the same locations. Using a Human Footprint (HF) map of the continental U.S. (scaled 0-100), we created three series of aerial images, each with ten images distributed evenly across the 10 deciles of HF score. Using a web-based survey, 290 members of the global public ranked the images in one series based on their perception of the degree of human modification. Respondents also reported age, sex, and country. The degree of correspondence between rankings by respondents and by HF score was high, an average of 1.29 units of difference out of a maximum possible of 5.0. Differences among respondents were not explained by age, sex, or general geographic location. These results suggest that human perception of relative landscape modification conforms closely with the relative ranking made by a multivariate, analytical index.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0310.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: IoT; implementation; human factors; Europe; survey
Online: 19 December 2022 (01:23:50 CET)
The commonly accepted definition of sustainability considers the availability of relevant resources to make an activity feasible and durable while also recognizing users' support as essential part of the social side of sustainability. IoT represents a disruption in the general scenario of computing for both users and professionals, The real expansion and integration of applications based on IoT depend on our capacity of exploring the necessary skills and professional profiles that are essential for implementation of IoT projects, but also on the perception of relevant aspects for users, e.g., on privacy, legal, IPR and security issues. Our participation in several EU-funded projects with focus in this area has enabled the collection of information on both sides of IoT sustainability through surveys but also collecting data from a variety of sources. Thanks to these varied and complementary sources of information, this article will explore the user and professional aspects for sustainability of Internet of Things in practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0002.v1
Online: 1 June 2022 (03:37:03 CEST)
Scientific theories on the functioning and dysfunction of the human brain require a good understanding of both its development — before and after birth, and through maturation to adulthood — and its evolution from the ancestral primate brain. Adopting a complex-systems approach, here we propose that the apparent uniqueness of humans’ cognitive capacities might best be understood as emerging from multiple nested “virtuous cycles.” In particular, we propose that the intimate link that exists between oxygen metabolic loops, cortical expansion, and ultimately cognitive and social demands is a key driver of genetic developmental programs for the human brain. Overall, our proposed evolutionary model makes explicit mechanistic links between metabolism, molecular and cellular brain heterogeneity, and behaviour that may in time provide a clearer understanding of brain developmental trajectories and their disorders.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0275.v1
Online: 19 January 2022 (14:24:50 CET)
According to several evidence, forest environmental seems able to provide beneficial effects on functional and psychological parameters, related to cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory functions as well depression and anxiety. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a one-day forest walking in Selva di Castelfidardo (AN, Italy) on 37 participants aged 21-68, most of them living in either urban or suburban areas of large cities. We observed a statistically significant effect on sympathovagal balance by the means of heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body temperature, skin temperature, skin conductance, HRV parameters (AVNN, SDNN, rMSSD, pNN50, LF, HF, LF/HF ratio), oxygen oximetry, PEF, FEV1. A significant difference was also detected on the Perceived Stress Scale responses (19.27 pre vs 13.81 post-immersion, p=<0,05; -28,3% variation). Our data contribute to increase the body of literature about the effect of forest walking, adding data on an Italian area qualified for forest bathing.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Glyphosate; Roundup; formulants; toxicity; placenta; human
Online: 6 July 2021 (12:23:50 CEST)
Glyphosate (G)-based herbicidal formulations, such as the most commonly used one, Roundup (R), are major pesticides used worldwide on food and feed. Pregnant women may thus be frequently exposed to R compounds. These are composed of G, which is declared as the active principle, and other products contained in formulations, named formulants, which have been declared as inerts and diluents by the manufacturers. These formulants have, in fact, been demonstrated to be much more toxic than G, in particular to placental and embryonic human cells. In this work, we thus compared the effect of G and R, using placental perfusion ex vivo. R, but not G alone, was demonstrated to alter the placental permeability of a known small model molecule, antipyrine. Similar results were observed for the fetal venous flow rate. The transfer of G alone increases with time, but is significantly decreased in presence of its formulants. The perfusion of R provokes a destruction of fetal vessels, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. Formulants obviously alter the fetal-placental circulation and placental integrity according to time of exposure. Therefore, G does not appear to be the main toxic agent of R. Formulants, although undeclared, include polyoxyethanolamines, PAHs, or heavy metals, and may be responsible for this toxicity. These compounds are also present in other pesticides. The progressive blood flow reduction due to the toxic compounds of formulations may diminish the nutrient supply to the fetus, alter the development, and may enhance the poisoning effects. Although these are preliminary results, they could at least partially explain some adverse pregnancy outcomes in mothers exposed to pesticides or other environmental pollutants. The debate on glyphosate alone is proven insufficient for the understanding of the toxicity.
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Human factor; hazardous materials; transport; safety
Online: 9 June 2021 (10:49:20 CEST)
The article discusses the issues related to the safety of transport of dangerous goods by road. Research on accidents in transport unambiguously points to the human factor, which is most responsible for causing the accident. Determining the causes of driver unreliability in the hu-man-vehicle-environment system requires thorough research. Unfortunately, in this case, experimental research with human involvement is limited in scope. This leaves modeling and simulation of the behavior of the human factor, i.e., the driver transporting dangerous goods. The human being, due to its complexity, is a challenging element to parameterize. The literature presents various attempts to model human actions. In their work, the authors used heuristic methods, specifically fuzzy set techniques, to build a human factor model. In these models, human actions were specified using a verbal or linguistic description. The specificity of fuzzy sets allows to "naturally" limit the "precision" in describing human behavior. The model was built based on the author's questionnaire and expert research, based on which individual features were selected. Then, the traits were assigned appropriate states. The output parameter of the model is λL - the intensity of human error. The obtained values of the intensity of the accident caused by the driver's error were implemented into the author's method of risk assessment. They constituted one of the factors determining the probability of an accident in the transport of dangerous goods, which allowed to determine the optimal route of transport of these goods characterized by the lowest risk of an undesirable event on the route. The article presents the model's assumptions, structure, and features included in the model, which have the most significant influence on shaping the intensity of human error. The results of the simulation studies showed a diversified effect of the analyzed characteristics on the driver's efficiency.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0309.v1
Online: 11 March 2021 (10:55:07 CET)
Background: Endogenous Peptide Inhibitor of CXCR4 (EPI-X4) is a natural antagonist of the CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). EPI-X4 is a 16-mer peptide that is released from human serum albumin (HSA) by acidic aspartic proteases such as Cathepsin D and E. Since human serum albumin (HSA) is an important medicinal substance we asked whether different pharmaceutical HSA products contain EPI-X4 which could have been generated during manufacturing and whether HSA can serve as a substrate for cathepsins despite of the presence of stabilizers like caprylate. Methods: Eight pharmaceutical HSA preparations representing all currently used fractionation technologies were analyzed. The previously described specific EPI-X4 ELISA was used for quantification; in vitro EPI-X4 generation by acidification in the presence or absence of cathepsins was followed by quantification with ELISA. Results: None of the pharmaceutical HSA preparations tested contained EPI-X4. Acidification of HSA did not generate EPI-X4. Addition of cathepsins D and E to acidified HSA yielded high concentrations of EPI-X4 in all HSA preparations, indistinguishable between individual products. Conclusion: Medicinal HSA preparations per se do not contain EPI-X4, but will replenish its precursor which can be cleaved to EPI-X4 in vivo, environmental conditions permitting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0074.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Human papillomavirus; vaccine; pregnancy; attitudes; knowledge
Online: 2 March 2021 (10:47:19 CET)
We aimed to assess awareness, knowledge, and attitudes of healthy pregnant women towards human papillomavirus (HPV), to estimate factors associated with a positive attitude towards HPV immunization and to assess the uptake of the vaccine among their children. A cross-sectional study was conducted at the University Clinic of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Belgrade, Serbia among pregnant women attending their regular gynecological check-ups at the 12th gestational week. Knowledge about HPV and HPV vaccine was assessed using a specifically designed 12-item and 5-item questionnaires. Out of total 265 included women, 79.3% had heard of HPV, and 37.5% knew that HPV vaccine exists. HPV vaccine knowledge score was associated with higher odds for a positive attitude towards vaccination of both female (OR = 4.10, 95% CI 1.50-11.29) and male (OR = 3.71, 95% CI 1.52-9.01) child. The number of children (OR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.04-1.67) and high vaccine knowledge score (OR = 1.64 95% CI 1.13-2.39) were independent predictors associated with willingness to vaccinate child against HPV. The gynecologist was the preferable point of reference for information seeking about the HPV vaccine. Despite relatively high HPV awareness and knowledge among pregnant women in Serbia, about one-third of them are HPV vaccine aware, and are willing to vaccinate their children against HPV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0515.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: air pollution; MASP; human health; quarantine
Online: 30 April 2020 (03:11:40 CEST)
Social distancing policies put in place during COVID-19 epidemic in addition to helping to limit the spread of the disease also contributed to improving urban air quality. Here we show a decrease in air pollutant concentration as a consequence of mobility reduction in São Paulo during the containment measure which began on 22nd March 2020. When comparing to foregoing weeks to equivalent periods of 2019, the concentration of most air pollutants sharply decreased in the first days of mobility restriction, to then increase again after government officials downplayed the threat of the disease. This trend is also followed by a decrease in hospital admissions by SARS-influenza. Therefore, despite the great economic and social unrest caused by the pandemic, this unique situation shows that large-scale mobility reduction policy had a significant impact on air quality, benefiting, directly and indirectly, the public health system.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0405.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: cancer; Cathepsin K; human; metastasis; physiology
Online: 27 March 2020 (10:33:50 CET)
The effect of proteolytic enzymes including Cathepsin K, a cysteine cathepsin, in onset and progression of cancers in human has been research intensive. Cathepsin K involves in many aspects and stages of cancers including apoptosis, cell proliferation, cancer immunology, inflammatory cell recruitment to tumors and aiding in the process of mobilization of normal healthy cells from their tissue compartments assisting in metastasis and angiogenesis. The objective of this review is to collect together and summarize and analyze the biochemical and physiological pathways of how cathepsin K is involved in onset and progression of cancers with more emphasis on breast and prostate cancers and cathepsin K regulated mechanisms underlying metastasis of such cancers to bones. Information for the review was gathered through published literature from global databases such as Google Scholar, PUBMED and NCBI on different studies on physiological interactions between enzymatic activity of cathepsin K with cancers and metastasis to bones. Analysis of published studies reveal that immunohistochemical studies of breast cancer cells indicate that they overexpress cathepsin K resulting in induction of aberrant mechanisms of cell signaling in breast cancers, creating a higher tendency for their metastasis to bones. Immunohistochemical, immunoprecipitation and fluorgenic assays of several studies done on the association of the same enzymatic activity on prostate cancers shows elevated levels of cathepsin K. Lesions derived from prostate cancer cell masses were observed to undergo increased bone formation and resorption levels. Such resorption levels cause secretion of biological factors promoting tumor expansion. In addition, studies indicate that Cathepsin K was observed to be a key component promoting higher bone resorption levels in patients suffering from cancer. Authors suggest that, to completely understand the association of cathepsin K on cancerous cells and their mechanism in metastasis, distributary patterns of cathepsin K in healthy human tissues needs to be extensively studied initially. It is also suggested that metastasis of breast and prostate cancers to bone could be terminated and overcome by successful production of efficient and precise inhibitory therapeutics targeting the enzymatic activity of Cathepsin K with minimum unintended adverse health effects.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0358.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Coronavirus; China; human; infectious diseases; pneumonia
Online: 25 February 2020 (05:10:58 CET)
The emergence of novel coronavirus strain 2019 (COVID-19) linked with pneumonia poses a serious threat to public health worldwide. Firstly, the COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Initially, the major proportion of virus-infected cases (i.e. about 99%) was reported in China and now it is being reported in other counties as well. Humans begin to be infected within their communities and transmittance of the viral epidemic increased rapidly due to lack of understanding of its transmission routes and precautionary measures. The existence of COVID-19 in China threatened the population greatly due to the high incidence of fatal respiratory infections. Current investigations speculated that this virus transferred into a human from viral-infected bats. However, the process of interspecies viral transmission is an important scientific question to be addressed. Due to the continuous increase in the patients infected with COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has included this viral epidemic to the priority list of diseases. Therefore, accelerated research developments are required to control the spread of this outbreak, as it is declared as a public health emergency by WHO especially in the absence of efficacious drugs and vaccines. Our review encompasses the recent status of disease severity in China, a particular replication mechanism of COVID-19 and potential risks and precautionary measures required to avoid contact with this fatal viral infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0361.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: human resource; management; environmental protection; Serbia
Online: 27 December 2019 (10:27:44 CET)
Starting from the fact that the units of local self-government of the Republic of Serbia are not sufficiently oriented towards innovations related to human resources and the environment, the application of quantitative research tradition examines the positioning and understanding of certain procedures and decisions of human resources management regarding the functioning of the environmental protection system, on the one hand, and future strategies for changing the given system, on the other. A series of 105 face-to-face interviews were conducted during the whole of 2016 in 105 of the 191 municipalities in the Republic of Serbia. Examination of the attitudes of the local self-government was carried out using a specially designed closed electronic questionnaire. The results of the multivariate regressions show that the most important predictor of the possible improvement of the environment is the size of the municipality. The remaining variables (e.g., human resources policy, human resources service) did not have significant effects on the ability to improve the environment. In more than half of local self-governments, there was no clearly defined human resources strategy in the field of environmental protection, an environmental protection service, an Environmental Action Plan, as well as an employment plan for waste management in local governments, etc. The research has shown that top managers of local governments agree that the management of human resources in environmental protection represents a significant opportunity to improve the quality of the environment. The results of the research can be used to improve the organization of human resource competence in environmental protection and the quality of a working and sustainable environment in the area of local self-government.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0325.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: biodynamic interface; environment; human; health; conjecture
Online: 24 December 2019 (15:03:37 CET)
The environment impacts human health in profound ways, yet few theories define the form of the relationship between human physiology and the environment. Under current epidemiological constructs of causation, it is assumed that two complex systems (environment and humans) can transfer information directly. This is the underlying structure of the relationship when studies examine, for example, air pollution and brain health. In marked contrast, we conjecture that complex systems cannot interact directly, but rather such interaction requires the formation of an “interface”. Further, we contend that this dynamic, process-based interface incorporates components from all the interacting systems but exhibits operational independence. This property has many consequences, the foremost being that characteristics of the interface cannot be fully resolved by only studying the systems involved in the interaction. The interface itself must be the subject of inquiry. Without refocusing our attention on biodynamic interfaces, we cannot discern how our environment impacts health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0748.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: social capital; human capital; bibliometric; visualization
Online: 31 October 2018 (10:22:32 CET)
Academic interest in social and human capital is growing significantly. Similarly, their relationship with sustainability is increasing, especially compared to sustainability’s relationship with natural capital and financial and economic capital. Bibliometric and visualization research on these relationships is nonetheless insufficient. This study analyzes the evolution of the literature on natural capital, financial and economic capital, and social and human capital related to sustainability. On the other hand, the study presents a bibliometric analysis on social capital and human capital (SHC) related to sustainability. The article studies 635 references collected from the Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection database and utilizes visualization of similarities (VOS) viewer program to graphically map the material. The analysis involves co-occurrence of keywords, co-citation, and co-authorship. The results reveal not only the state of the art and the leading trends, but also the evolution regarding impact, main journals, documents, topics, authors, institutions, and countries. The study provides researchers and practitioners with a visual and schematic frame of the research on this topic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0063.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: human urine; biomonitoring; chlorophenol; demographic characteristics
Online: 8 March 2018 (09:50:42 CET)
Humans are exposed to the environmental pollutants 2, 4-dichlorophenol (2, 4-DCP) and 2, 5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP) through air, use of water and consuming products. In this study, we evaluated the urinary concentrations of these compounds in Korean people from the age of 18 to 69 years by making use of the data from the Korean National Human Biomonitoring Survey that was completed in 2009. Of 1,865 representative Koreans, 63.4% and 97.9% were found to have concentrations of 2, 4-DCP and 2, 5-DCP > 0.05 μg/L (limit of detection) in their urine. The geometric mean urinary concentrations were 0.14 μg/L (confidence interval of 95% = 0.13–0.16) and 0.44 μg/L (confidence interval = 0.41–0.48), respectively. It was fond that the adjusted proportional changes in 2, 4-DCP concentrations were significantly associated with body mass index, whereas those of 2, 5-DCP concentrations were influenced by place of residence. From these findings, it is evident that most adults in Korea have levels of 2, 4-DCP and 2, 5-DCP that are detectable in their urine and burden of these compounds on their bodies varies depending on numerous demographic factors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0073.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: graph alignment; brain network; human connectome
Online: 12 October 2017 (04:07:33 CEST)
A growing area in neurosciences is focused on the modeling and analysis the complex system of connections in neural systems, i.e. the connectome. Here we focus on the representation of connectomes by using graph theory formalisms. The human brain connectomes are usually derived from neuroimages; the analyzed brains are co-registered in the image domain and brought to a common anatomical space. An atlas is then applied in order to define anatomically meaningful regions that will serve as the nodes of the network - this process is referred to as parcellation. Recently, it has been proposed to perform atlas-free random brain parcellation into nodes and align brains in the network space instead of the anatomical image space to define network nodes of individual brain networks. In the network domain, the question of comparison of the structure of networks arises. Such question is tackled by modeling the comparison of brain network as a network alignment (NA) problem. In this paper, we first defined the NA problem formally, then we applied three existing state of the art of multiple alignment algorithms (MNA) on diffusion MRI-derived brain networks and we compared the performances. The results confirm that MNA algorithms may be applied in cases of atlas-free parcellation for a fully network-driven comparison of connectomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201707.0083.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Human papillomavirus; Network model; Vaccination strategies
Online: 28 July 2017 (12:32:26 CEST)
HPV vaccine induces a herd immunity effect in genital warts when a large number of the population is vaccinated. That aspect should be taken into account when devising new vaccine strategies, like vaccination at older ages or male vaccination. Therefore it is important to develop mathematical models with good predictive capacities. We devised a sexual contact network that was calibrated to simulate the Spanish epidemiology of different HPV genotypes. Through this model we simulated the scenario that occurred in Australia in 2007, where 12-13 year-old girls where vaccinated with a three-dose schedule of a vaccine containing genotypes 6 and 11, that protect against genital warts, and also a catch-up program in women up to 26 years of age. Vaccine coverage were 73 % in girls with three doses and with coverage rates decreasing with age until 52 % for 20-26 year-olds. A fast 59 % reduction in the genital warts diagnoses occurred in the model in the first years after the start of the program, similar to what was described in the literature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0162.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: human pluripotent stem cells; human stem cell-derived hepatocytes; in vitro; metabolic diseases; transcriptomics; maturation; characterization
Online: 14 November 2019 (11:24:24 CET)
There is a strong anticipated future for human pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes (hiPS-HEP), but so far their use has been limited due to insufficient functionality. We investigated the potential of hiPS-HEP as an in vitro model for metabolic diseases by combining transcriptomics with multiple functional assays. The transcriptomics analysis revealed that 86% of the genes were expressed at similar levels in hiPS-HEP as in human primary hepatocytes (hphep). Adult characteristics of the hiPS-HEP were confirmed by the presence of important hepatocyte features, e.g. Albumin secretion and expression of major drug metabolizing genes. Normal energy metabolism is crucial for modeling metabolic diseases, and both transcriptomics data and functional assays showed that hiPS-HEP were similar to hphep regarding uptake of glucose, LDL and fatty acids. Importantly, the inflammatory state of the hiPS-HEP was low under standard conditions, but in response to lipid accumulation and ER stress the inflammation marker TNFα was upregulated. Furthermore, hiPS-HEP could be co-cultured with primary hepatic stellate cells both in 2D and in 3D spheroids, paving the way for using these co-cultures for modeling NASH. Taken together, hiPS-HEP have the potential to serve as an in vitro model for metabolic diseases. Furthermore, differently expressed genes identified in this study can serve as targets for future improvements of the hiPS-HEP.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0535.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: mumps; parotitis; parotid gland extenstion; salivary gland; respiratory virus; human herpesvirus 4 (HHV4); human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6)
Online: 31 August 2022 (07:11:53 CEST)
Mumps is the second-most reported infectious disease in South Korea; however, due to the low pathogen confirmation rate in laboratory diagnoses, we proposed a method for reevaluating the high incidence rate via the laboratory verification of other viral diseases. In 2021, 63 cases of pharyngeal or cheek mucosal swabs of suspected mumps cases in Gwangju, South Korea, were assessed for causative pathogens using massive simultaneous pathogen testing (TaqManTM Array Cards). More than one respiratory virus was detected in 60 cases (95.2%), 44 (73.3%) of which were co-detected. Human rhinovirus was detected in 47 cases, followed by human herpesvirus (HHV)6 in 30; HHV4 (17), human bocavirus (17), HHV5 (10), and human parainfluenza virus 3 (6) were also detected. Our findings suggest the need for further investigations on the pathogenesis of diseases mimicking mumps, which are considered to aid with appropriate public health responses, treatment, and the prevention of infectious disease outbreaks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0081.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Social Robot; Empirical Research; Human-Robot Interaction; Human-Computer Interaction; Ethnomethodology; Robot development; HCI; HRI; Qualitative Research
Online: 8 April 2022 (12:48:04 CEST)
This study observes, interprets, and analyses the knowledge production in the research field of Human–Robot Interaction (HRI). It intends to foreground the hidden assumptions that are often taken for granted when roboticist design and conduct their research. By doing so, this study demonstrates how these assumptions influence the result of their research. Based on data collected through sociological field observation, this study argues that the current practise in HRI research is highly anthropocentric. In short, the robots are designed to be like human instead of for human. Therefore, the human–robot relationship embodies the existing power relations between human beings. These relations generate inequality, hierarchy, and dominance, which are the opposite of the common imagination of the robotised future among roboticists. For the purpose of enabling the robotised future closer to their ideal, this study suggests that HRI researchers to go beyond the conventional methodology, to allow a human–robot relationship that realises reciprocity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0003.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: human activity analysis; human intention understanding; affective computing; data visualisation; depth data; head pose estimation; emotion recognition
Online: 10 July 2017 (08:26:31 CEST)
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0171.v1
Online: 10 January 2023 (03:21:32 CET)
Background: Diffuse glioma is a malignant human brain cancer that is hard to overcome. This represents a high risk of mortality. The current challenge is limited to the control of tumor progression and survival improvement. Immunotherapy consists of stimulating the immune system in order to eliminate the non-self-elements that damage the human body, including cancer cells. However, in human glioma, the current immunotherapeutic targets did not show significant benefit. In this study, we aimed at evaluating the expression and potential role of a new immunosuppressive molecule, TIGIT in glioma patients. Methods: A cohort of 667 patients from the TCGA database along with a cohort of 53 Moroccan patients, were analyzed in order to assess the role of TIGIT in human glioma progression and to estimate whether blocking this immune checkpoint molecule would be of a potential therapeutic benefit. Real time RT-PCR from fresh human biopsies and RNAseq data analysis were performed in this study. Results: Our results showed that high expression of TIGIT had prognostic value with some known clinical glioma risk factors such as sex, age and IDH mutation status. High expression of TIGIT was positively associated with advanced grades of glioma. Interestingly, elevated rates of TIGIT were significantly associated to elevated levels of other inhibitory immune checkpoint molecules (PD-1, VISTA and Tim-3) in human glioma patients, also TIGIT showed strong association with Treg cell-secreted cytokines (TGF-beta and IL-10), indicating the high potential involvement of TIGIT in immunosuppression in human glioma. Moreover, we reported that high TIGIT expressing CD8 T-cells displayed more surface inhibitory molecules and, elevated levels of Treg cells and FoxP3 were linked to higher rates of TIGIT, supporting the likely involvement of TIGIT in the suppression of the intra-tumoral immune cells. Finally, high expression of TIGIT was significantly linked to advanced histological subtypes of glioma and was associated with poor overall survival in human glioma. Conclusion: TIGIT blockade might be of valuable therapeutic benefit in patients with advanced glioma.
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: fictional characters; quantum computing; human affective behavior
Online: 7 December 2022 (03:01:34 CET)
In this discussion paper, I give an account for non-experts of, arguably, quantum dynamics in the brain, underlying the modeling of affective behavior of humanoid robots in the making. Outreach to the larger audience inevitably leads to abbreviations and simplifications; nonetheless, I try to offer the backgrounds of why it is important to study the virtual aspects of ‘people’ we meet online, what dimensions play a role in assessing such creatures, what humanities, psychology, communication, and computer science provide to help us understand how we become attached to non-existent others. As its capstone for the time being, an approach derived from physics is discussed for a robot to handle emotional ambiguity and vagueness of its user. Two computational models, Silicon and Quantum Coppélia, are discussed for their potential and limitations in explaining human affective behavior while dealing with mediated characters.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0209.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Bovine Tuberculosis; Human, Interface, Livestock, Wildlife,Ethiopia
Online: 11 November 2022 (02:39:22 CET)
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is endemic in Ethiopian cattle. BTB is caused by Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) and has economic and public health significance. which has significant impact on the health of livestock and human. It has been significantly a cause for great economic loss in animal production. Associated risk factors contributed to the prevalence of the disease in cattle and its transmission. Moreover, the majority of cattle owners lack awareness about the disease and its public health significance. The presence of multiple hosts including wild animals, inefficient diagnostic techniques, absence of defined national controls and eradication programs could impede the control of bovine TB. Awareness rising about the disease, its transmission andzoonotic implication however, in Ethiopia Bovine Tuberculosis in Human-Livestock-Wildlife Interface is not well studied in the country and there were no studies concerning the burden of the disease between human ,animal and wild life which is of great importance for reduction and control measures. This paper aims to review the potential health and economic impact of bovine tuberculosis control in order to safeguard human and animal population in Ethiopia
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0149.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Honeyeater; foraging behaviour; diversity; human activity; avifauna
Online: 8 August 2022 (10:28:15 CEST)
Forests are increasingly becoming fragmented and declining due to natural causes and human-induced activities. The latter creates an imbalance which put the survival of vulnerable species such as those of avifauna at risk. Honeyeaters are group of birds common in Fiji, with certain species strictly confined to specific habitats. This study is an attempt to compare the abundance and foraging behaviours of three sympatric honeyeaters namely Kikau wattled honeyeater, Orange-breasted myzomela and Giant honeyeater at two contradicted sites (USP campus and Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve). The survey was carried out using point count method along three different transect routes of approximately 2 Km on each study sites . A higher species diversity and abundance was observed in Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve than in USP campus. Kikau wattled honeyeater are more populated at USP campus due to adequate nectar-producing plants. Whereas both Orange-breasted myzomela (highly adaptable bird species) and Giant honeyeater (forest specifics) are frequent in Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve. All exhibited a wider range of foraging techniques across forest vertical strata and plant species, except for Giant honeyeater (not observed). The statistical analysis showed that there is a significant difference (p < 0.05) in abundance as well as between the number of honeyeater species in both sites across the forest vertical strata. However, there is no significant difference in the foraging behaviour and the number of honeyeaters found foraging on diverse plant species (p > 0.05).
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0144.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: reflex; proprioception; sensorimotor; muscle spindle; fascia; human
Online: 15 April 2022 (10:40:53 CEST)
Despite more than hundred years of research since Sir Sherrington’s studies on reflexes, his questions are still somehow unanswered. On what anatomical stage do the play of spinal reflex interaction take place? What are the physiological properties of this anatomical substrate? In this paper, we address these questions in light of the most advanced theory of motor control and the anatomical discoveries on the fascia that are changing how we think about control of action and perception. There are two sides of the problem: the neurological (reflex) connections that are at the base of movement, and the anatomical substrate that regulates and coordinates the movement. We recently advanced a hypothesis on how these two elements are connected and how they interplay. Here we further explain the concept of the somatic equilibrium point – SEP – and its central role in movement control and coordination. It is our belief that the concept of SEP explains how the neuro-mechanical control of movement is organized at peripheral level. At this level, intrafusal and extrafusal muscle fibres are combined in myofascial units, organized in anatomical directions. Myofascial units are closed systems whose behaviour can be affected by neural (voluntary) control or changes in external forces. SEPs represent the intrinsic equilibrium of the myofascial units, and are connected through the continuum of the fascia so that mechanical transfer of tension from segment to segment pre-adjust muscle fibers length and hence their excitation level. This is how coordination between segments is achieved. Finally, we suggest SEPs create the neurological representation of the referent configuration for action, and configurations are linked to the architecture of the fascial system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0302.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology Keywords: overimitation; dogs; affiliation; relationship; dog-human interaction
Online: 20 December 2021 (10:07:01 CET)
Overimitation, the copying of causally irrelevant or non-functional actions, is well-known from humans but completely absent in other primates. Recent studies from our lab have provided evidence for overimitation in canines. Previously, we found that half of tested pet dogs copied their human caregiver's irrelevant action, while only few did so when the action was demonstrated by an unfamiliar experimenter. Therefore, we hypothesized that dogs show overimitation as a result of socio-motivational grounds. To test this more specifically, here we investigated how the relationship with the caregiver influenced the eagerness to overimitate. Given the high variability in the tendency to overimitate their caregiver, we hypothesized that not only familiarity, but also relationship quality influences whether dogs faithfully copy their caregiver. For this purpose, we measured on the one hand the overimitation tendency (with the same test as in the two studies before) and on the other hand the relationship quality between the dogs and their caregivers. Although not significant, results revealed that dogs who overimitated seemed to show more referential and affiliative behaviours towards the owner (like gazing, synchronization and greeting) than dogs who showed less or no copying of the irrelevant action. Possible reasons for these findings are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0002.v1
Online: 2 August 2021 (08:43:20 CEST)
Human Rhinovirus (HRV) is the most common cause of upper respiratory infections and exacerbations of asthma. In this work, we selected 14 peptides (6 from HRV A and 8 from HRV C) encompassing potential CD4 T cell epitopes. Peptides were selected for being highly conserved in HRV A and C serotypes and predicted to bind to multiple HLA II molecules. We found positive T cell recall responses by IFNγ-ELISPOT assays to 8 peptides, validating 7 of them (3 from HRV A and 4 from HRV C) as CD4 T cell epitopes through intracellular cytokine staining assays. Additionally, we verified their promiscuous binding to multiple HLA II molecules by quantitative binding assays. According to their experimental HLA II binding profile, the combination of all these 7 epitopes could be presented and recognized by > 95 % of the world population. We actually determined IFNγ responses to a pool encompassing these CD4 T cell epitopes by intracellular cytokine staining, finding positive responses in 29 out of 30 donors. The CD4 T cell epitopes identified in this study could be key to monitor HRV infections and to develop peptide-based vaccines against most HRV A and C serotypes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0471.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Human volunteer; mass decontamination; simulants; CWA; TIC
Online: 21 July 2021 (08:36:08 CEST)
Chemical simulants have long been used in human trials of mass decontamination to determine the efficacy of decontamination interventions against more toxic agents. Until now, reliance has mostly been on individual chemicals as surrogates to specific agents (e.g. methyl salicylate for sulphur mustard). A literature review was conducted to identify chemicals that had been previously tested on human volunteers and that represent diverse physicochemical characteristics in order to create a repository for chemical simulants. Of the 171 unique chemicals identified 78 were discounted for the risk they could pose to human volunteers, 39 were deemed suitable for use and a further 54 were considered to be possible simulants but would require further research. Suitable simulants included both solid and liquid chemicals spanning a wide range of physicochemical properties including molecular weight, octanol/ water partition coefficient, vapour pressure and solubility. This review has identified an array of potential simulants suitable for use in human volunteer decontamination studies and is of relevance to future studies on systemic absorption and surface decontamination.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0124.v1
Online: 4 June 2021 (08:18:09 CEST)
The Italian Peninsula, a natural pier across the Mediterranean Sea, witnessed intricate population events since the very beginning of human occupation in Europe. In the last few years, an increasing number of modern and ancient genomes from the area has been published by the international research community. This genomic perspective started unveiling the relevance of Italy to understand the post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) re-peopling of Europe, the earlier phase of the Neolithic westward migrations, and its linking role between Eastern and Western Mediterranean areas after the Iron Age. However many open questions are still waiting for more data to be addressed in full. With this review, we summarize the current knowledge emerging from the available ancient Italian individuals and, by re-analysing them all at once, we try to shed light on the avenues future research in the area should cover. In particular, open questions concern i) the fate of pre-Villabruna Europeans and to what extent their genomic components were absorbed by the post-LGM hunter-gatherers; ii) the role of Sicily and Sardinia before LGM; iii) to what degree the documented genetic structure within the Early Neolithic settlers can be described as two separate migrations; iv) what are the population events behind the marked presence of an Iranian Neolithic-like component in Bronze Age and Iron Age Italian and Southern European samples.
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: tele-rehabilitation; serious games; human-computer interaction
Online: 13 May 2021 (13:03:14 CEST)
Background: Tele-rehabilitation has grown significantly in the past years, especially in 2020 when it has been a crucial tool for supporting patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the context of tele-rehabilitation, serious games have a significant role. However, realizing software for serious games capable of responding to the variety of user needs is resource demanding. Methods: we present Proteo, a modular framework for developing serious games from scratch, but with the ability of providing a high-level interface for game customization by therapists and researchers. We also present two serious game implementation examples with analysis of end user’s and therapists/researchers’ satisfaction. Results: by involving a group of 11 specialized therapists and 9 end users we analyzed the Proteo user’s satisfaction. We found that therapists and end users scored high level of involvement, and the therapists scored also high level of suitability. More in depth, both groups showed significant differences between positive and negative feeling, with positive feeling scoring higher than negative ones. Finally, concerning Users’ level of suitability the condition of successfulness of the system, ability to control, clarity and helpfulness were reported as high while the difficulty of the system and the difficulty of the task were reported as low. Conclusions: the proposed framework is a step forward in providing a comprehensive open-source, modular framework, to develop serious games for tele-rehabilitation. Proteo is distributed with a MIT license and available to researchers on GitHub and has been well accepted by the users we involved in the evaluation tests.
Online: 7 May 2021 (12:58:42 CEST)
Every year, General Practitioners (GPs) see over 13 million patients for dermatological concerns making dermatology the highest referring speciality. Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems could improve system efficiency by supporting clinicians in making appropriate referrals, but they are, like human clinicians, imperfect and there may be a trade-off between sensitivity and specificity that is likely to result in false negatives. In this paper, a study is presented to explore two areas. Firstly, the aptitude of GPs to trust appropriately (or not trust) the outputs of a fictitious AI-based decision support tool when assessing skin lesions. Secondly, to identify which individual characteristics could make GPs less prone to adhere to erroneous diagnostics results and to refrain from passive adherence to AI. Findings suggest that when the AI is correct, there is a positive effect on GPs’ performance and confidence suggesting the potential to reduce referrals for benign lesions. However, when an inexperienced GP is presented with a false-negative result, they may passively deviate from their initial clinical judgement to accept the wrong diagnosis provided. AI systems will have a false-negative rate and, when adopting new technologies, this needs to be acknowledged and fed into risk-benefit discussions and considerations around additional safety measures.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: human metapneumovirus; whole genome sequencing; genomic epidemiology
Online: 3 February 2021 (10:08:44 CET)
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is an important cause of upper and lower respiratory tract disease in individuals of all ages. It is estimated that most individuals will be infected by HMPV by the age of 5 years old. Despite this burden of disease, there remains caveats in our knowledge of virus global genetic diversity due to a lack of HMPV sequencing, particularly at whole genome scale. The purpose of this study was to create a simple and robust approach for HMPV whole genome sequencing to be used for genomic epidemiological studies. To design our assay, all available HMPV full length genome sequences were downloaded from the NCBI GenBank database and used to design four primer sets to amplify long, overlapping amplicons spanning the viral genome and, importantly, specific to all known HMPV subtypes. These amplicons were then pooled and sequenced on an Illumina iSeq; however the approach is suitable to other common NGS platforms. We demonstrate the utility of this method using a representative subset of clinical samples and examine these sequences using a phylogenetic approach. Here we present an amplicon-based method for the whole genome sequencing of HMPV from clinical extracts that can be used to better inform genomic studies of HMPV epidemiology and evolution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0096.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Collision avoidance; redundant manipulators; human-robot collaboration
Online: 2 February 2021 (16:38:53 CET)
This paper presents a framework for the motion planning and control of redundant manipulators with the added task of collision avoidance. The algorithms that were previously studied and tested by the authors for planar cases are here extended to full mobility redundant manipulators operating in a three-dimensional workspace. The control strategy consists of a combination of off-line path planning algorithms with on-line motion control. The path planning algorithm is used to generate trajectories able to avoid fixed obstacles, detected before the robot starts to move; it is based on the potential fields method combined with a smoothing interpolation that exploits Bézier curves. The on-line motion control is designed to compensate for the motion of the obstacles and to avoid collisions along the kinematic chain of the manipulator; it is realized by means of a velocity control law based on the null space method for redundancy control. A term of the control law takes into account the speed of the obstacles as well as their position. In order to test the algorithms, a set of simulations are presented: the robot KUKA LBR iiwa is controlled in different cases, where fixed or dynamic obstacles interfere with its motion. Simulations are also used to estimate the required computational effort in order to verify the transferability to a real system.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0723.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: airlines; human resource management; COVID-19; crisis
Online: 29 December 2020 (09:24:11 CET)
In January 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency and announced a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which would later go on to be declared as a pandemic, changing the global sphere and placing the economies of almost all countries under heavy stress. The airline industry, that had just begun recovering after facing crises one after another in the last two decades, from early 2000 due to 9/11, to the global financial crisis later, is now oce again facing an enormous challenge of closed borders and greater lockdowns due to the pandemic. Borders are closed, with very few planes are in the air, while the rest are grounded. The purpose of this paper is to give a conceptual understanding of the current pandemic situation and its consequences on the airline industry. The paper takes a unique perspective of human resource management (HRM) that is rarely used in the airline industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0509.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Public Perception; Climate Change; Human Health; Bangladesh
Online: 19 November 2020 (11:50:37 CET)
The main purpose of this research is to analyze the perception of climate change impacts on human health in Bangladesh through data from nationality representative surveys conducted in some district of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh there have a few research has been conducted on public perceptions about the impact of climate change on human health. A structured questionnaire method was conducted, and data collected from 615 respondents. The findings of this study reveal that out of 615 respondents, 76.0% of the respondents replied positively while remaining 24.0%, almost one-fourth of total respondents, indicated that they have not heard the term climate change before. Knowledgeable in climate change, 92.5% of respondents agreed that climate change has an impact on human health while only 7.5% respondents disagreed with this statement. 90.5% of respondents argued that they are agreed with the opinion that climate change is a serious threat to human health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0752.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: education; human machine interaction; azure kinect; mathematics
Online: 30 September 2020 (14:36:37 CEST)
The way in which the human being learns certain complex contents has always been a focus of interest and a challenge for researchers. Given the fact that children's cognitive abilities do not fully develop until a certain age, this topic is particularly important in the young children's learning scope as they do not correctly and easily learn some content of abstract nature, such as contents in math class. This work presents the results of the use of an application called "Mathematics Learning System with Augmented Reality based on Kinect" (SAM-RAK by its acronym in Spanish), which was designed to cover basic topics of mathematics in the Basic General Education level (EGB by its acronym in Span-ish) in Ecuador. The research was carried out under an experimental quantitative approach with 30 children (18 girls and 12 boys), who study in third grade of EGB level, from 2 different educational in-stitutions in Riobamba city. In order to obtain the results that evaluate the developed application, a pre-test and a post-test were applied, which were contrasted with the student’s t-test for paired samples. The statistical evidence suggests that the proposed computer system had a positive effect on children's performance, when it was used as a support tool in the classroom. The system was more effective in low performance children compared to those of high performance. It was also proved that children were motivated and showed positive attitudes when using the proposed System.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0167.v1
Subject: Keywords: Organophosphate Pesticides, Pesticide Toxicology, Human Health, Environment
Online: 6 August 2020 (12:22:38 CEST)
Organophosphate pesticides (also known OPPs) have for many years been the choice candidate globally for pest control. OPPs have for over 80 years, been used in gardens, fields and greenhouses as crop protection agents, and even in homes as insecticides and mosquito abatement. Thus, year after year and with the repeated application of organophosphate agents, many problems have appeared as a result of excessive use of pesticides. The adverse effects of pesticides are well documented in human health, environment, pesticide residue in crops, soil and water contaminated by these pesticides. Therefore, it is necessary to shed more light on the risks associated with the irresponsible usage of organophosphate pesticides.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0404.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: milk; human; microbiota; microbiome; extracellular vesicle; breastfeeding
Online: 23 April 2020 (05:11:19 CEST)
The microbiota of human breast milk (HBM) contributes to infant gut colonization; however, whether bacterial extracellular vesicles (EVs) are present in HBM or might contribute to this process remains unknown. In the present study, we characterized the HBM microbiota of healthy Korean mothers and measured the key bacteria likely affecting infant gut colonization by analyzing both the microbiota and bacterial EVs. A total of 22 HBM samples were collected from lactating mothers. The DNA of bacteria and bacteria-derived EVs was extracted from each sample. Gene analysis was performed using Illumina MiSeq. Firmicutes accounted for the largest portion among the phyla, followed by Proteobacteria, Bacteroides, and Actinobacteria in both bacteria and bacterial EV samples. At the genus level, Streptococcus (25.1%) and Staphylococcus (10.7%) were predominant in bacterial samples, whereas Bacteroides (9.1%), Acinetobacter (6.9%), and Lactobacillaceae(f) (5.5%) were prevalent in bacterial EV samples. Several genera including Bifidobacterium were significantly positively correlated between the two samples. Our findings reveal the diverse bacterial communities in HBM of healthy lactating mothers and suggest the presence of key bacteria with metabolic activity in HBM and that EVs derived from these bacteria may contribute to the vertical transfer of gut microbiota from mother to infant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0052.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: health care, human resources, inequality, Gini coefficient.
Online: 5 February 2019 (11:33:20 CET)
Human resources are the major input of health systems therefore the equitable distribution of human resources in health care remain critical in making progress towards the goal of universal health coverage and thus to sustainable development. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the health care human resources distribution across regions of Poland between 2010 and 2017 and estimate the level of equity. This research by applying to Polish conditions will allow to fill in the gap in existing literature. Data was derived from the Knowledge Database Health and Health Care of Statistic Poland and Polish Statistical Yearbook. In purpose to examine the distribution of health resources against population size and geographic size in Poland, the Gini coefficient calculated based on the Lorenz Curve was engaged. This study has several major findings. The amount of most types of human resources – as apart from internist, obstetrics and gynecology, occupational medicine - when expressed as number of them per 10,000 population or 1 square km increased in 2017 compared to 2010. Moreover, for most types of health care human resources the level of access slightly changed during analysied period as Gini coefficients decreased. However, the geographical distribution of all types of human resources is less equitable then in case of population distribution. The most troublesome is relatively lower equity in case of oncologist, family medicine and occupational medicine and cardiologist in both population and geographical distribution. Thus this research provides some implications for policy and practice. As the main reason to establish National Health Fund (which meant the centralization of the system) in Poland was to to eliminate regional differences in access to health care, thus this research confirms that still some more corrective actions, in this field, should be undertaken.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0481.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: fluoride; fluorosis; fluoride systemic damage; human health
Online: 22 October 2018 (08:25:40 CEST)
The use of fluoride (F-) for decreasing the prevalence and incidence of tooth decay was the greatest worldwide preventive public health measure of the 20th century. There have been controversial reports about the benefits of the use of F-, because in small amounts it helps prevent dental caries, but in high concentrations it can be potentially toxic and harmful to dental and systemic health. Since the mid-20th century, F- has been studied by toxicologists, looking at its deleterious effects in human populations. During the last decade, the interest on the undesirable effects has resurfaced because of the knowledge that it interacts with the cellular system, even in low doses, with a very small safety margin. Acute ingestion of toxic amounts of fluoride can cause corrosive gastric mucosa injury. Also respiratory effects such as bleeding, pulmonary edema, tracheostomy and shortness of breath, have been observed in individuals who inhale hydrogen fluoride. Some researchers had shown that F- is an oxidizing agent and a well-known reversible enzymatic inhibitor that interferes with the enzyme activity of at least 80 proteins, can altered the intracellular redox equilibrium, lipid peroxidation, as well as, alteration in the gene expression and apoptosis induction. The primary purpose of this review is to examine findings of the action of inorganic F-, and an overview of hard and soft tissue disturbances, known as fluorosis. The goal of this review is to enhance understanding of the mechanisms by which F- affects cells with an emphasis on human tissue-specific events.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0183.v1
Online: 10 July 2018 (14:20:50 CEST)
This paper sets out to reconsider the Hohfeldian framework of rights in celebration of the centenary anniversary of Hohfeld's death. It begins by conceptualising each of the Hohfeldian incidents or rights before outlining the molecular or complex structure of rights to ‘things’. I adopt a broad use of the term of ‘right’ and apply it to Legal, Moral, Equitable and Human conceptions and constructions. It sets out an argument in favour of a further definitional model - in addition to Hohfeld’s scheme of opposites and correlatives – which focuses on the function of these conceptual rights. Finally, it will consider the broader implications of how rights are held and the relationships which these rights govern. Ultimately, this paper seeks to demonstrate the benefit, and indeed necessity, of the Hohfeldian model in any discussion of rights. Without it ‘rights talk’ is debased and impoverished.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0027.v1
Online: 5 June 2017 (05:43:56 CEST)
This study investigated the presence of human Norovirus (HuNoV) by genotype in 1,486 groundwater samples, collected from 843 groundwater wells suspected of contamination during 2007-2016, in Republic of Korea. We identified and genotyped 186 HuNoV sequences in 178 HuNoV-positive samples using the RIVM-NoroNet norovirus genotyping tool (NGT) and phylogenetic tree analysis based on RIVM-NoroNet reference sequences. HuNoV GII was more prevalent than GI. The major genotypes detected were HuNoV GII.4 (43.0%), GII.22 (15.6%), GI.5 (10.2%) and GI.1 (8.6%); 14 genotypes accounted for < 5.0%. Increasing HuNoV GII.17 has displayed a worldwide trend, including in Europe and Asia since 2010, and it was the dominant HuNoV genotype during 2013-2014 in Korea. However, HuNoV GII.4 was the major genotype detected in groundwater in Korea in 2015-2016, and it is becoming increasingly prevalent similar to HuNoV GII.17.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0143.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: human pluripotent stem cells; human embryonic stem cells; human induced pluripotent stem cells; cellular metabolism; oxygen; self-renewal; pluripotency; differentiation; volatile organic compounds; Selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry
Online: 10 March 2022 (10:23:46 CET)
Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have widespread potential biomedical applications. There is a need for large-scale in vitro production of hPSCs, and optimal culture methods are vital in achieving this. Physiological oxygen (2% O2) improves key hPSCs attributes, including genomic integrity, viability, and clonogenicity, however, its impact on hPSC metabolism remains un-clear. Here, Selected Ion Flow Tube-Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) was used to detect and quantify metabolic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the headspace of hPSCs and their differentiated progeny. hPSCs were cultured in either 2% O2 or 21% O2. Media was collected from cell cultures and transferred into glass bottles for SIFT-MS measurement. The VOCs acetaldehyde and dimethyl sulfide (DMS)/ethanethiol were significantly increased in undifferentiated hPSCs compared to their differentiating counterparts, and these observations were more apparent in 2% O2. Pluripotent marker expression was consistent across both O2 concentrations tested. Transcript levels of ADH4, ADH5, and CYP2E1, encoding enzymes involved in converting ethanol to acetaldehyde, were upregulated in 2% O2, and chemical inhibition of ADH and CYP2E1 decreased acetaldehyde levels in hPSCs. Acetaldehyde and DMS/ethanethiol may be indicators of altered metabolism pathways in physiological oxygen culture conditions. The identification of non-destructive biomarkers for hPSC characterization has the potential to facilitate large-scale in vitro manufacture for future biomedical application.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0069.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: human adipose mesenchymal stem cell; human peripheral blood mononuclear cells; cytokine; immune cell frequency; C57BL/6 mouse; ICR mouse
Online: 5 December 2022 (09:01:51 CET)
Human adipose stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles (hASC-EVs) are key mediators of paracrine signaling with promising therapeutic applications. Although hASC-EVs are derived from human cells and are less immunogenic, their immunogenicity cannot be completely excluded. Here, we evaluate the immune responses of ICR and C57BL/6 mice to high doses of hASC-EVs for 10 days after injection. Lymphocyte subpopulations are analyzed using flow cytometry at 0.5, 1, 3 and 24 h post injection. In the spleen and blood of C57BL/6 mice, neutrophils sharply increased at 0.5 h and decreased at 3 h following hASC-EV treatment. We observe increased proportions of monocytes, macrophages, and natural killer cells at 3 h but returned to similar level of vehicle control at 24 h post injection in the spleen and blood of ICR mice. Although the in vivo experiments reveal different immune responses to hASC-EV treatment in C57BL/6 and ICR strains, no major changes occur in human peripheral blood mononuclear cell composition after applying hASC-EVs in vitro. In conclusion, unlike those in mice, immune responses to hASC-EVs in humans are not detectable, indicating a minimal risk of fatal side-effects from hASC-EV-based therapies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0186.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Synthetic human airways; bifurcation angle; carina rounding radius
Online: 10 January 2023 (11:47:47 CET)
Anatomical airways parameters as length, diameter and angles have a strong effect on the flow dynamics. Aiming to explore the effect of variations of the bifurcation angle (BA) and carina rounding radius (CRR) of lower human airways on the respiratory processes, numerical simulations of airflow during inhalation and exhalation were performed using a synthetic bifurcation models. Geometries for the airways models were parameterized based on a set of different BA’s and several CRR’s. A range of Reynolds numbers (Re) relevant to the human breathing process were selected to analyzed the airflow behaviour. The numerical results show a significant influence of BA and the CRR on the development of the airflow within the airways, and therefore affecting some relevant features of the flow, namely the deformation of velocity profiles, alterations of pressure drop, the secondary flow patterns, and finally enhance or attenuation of wall shear stresses (WSS) appearing during the regular respiratory process. A particular relationship between velocity profiles, vorticity and the secondary flow patterns is also discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0199.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: human milk; DNA extraction; PCR; DNA quality, microbiota
Online: 14 October 2022 (03:19:46 CEST)
Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology have shown that the human milk microbiota of healthy women varies substantially. The gDNA extraction method may influence the observed variation, biasing the microbiological reconstruction after all. In this study, a genomic DNA extraction method for DNA isolation from human milk samples was standardized and compared with commercial and standard hose make methods. Spectrophotometric measurements, gel electrophoresis, and PCR amplifications were used as criteria for evaluating the quantity, quality, and functionality of the extracted DNA. Furthermore, the standardized method of extracting gDNA from human milk was evaluated for its ability to isolate functional DNA from gram-positive, and gram-negative bacteria and fungi, to improve the reconstruction of microbiological profiles. The novel DNA extraction method increased the quantity and quality of the gDNA extracted compared with commercial and standard house-make protocols. This method even allowed PCR amplification of the V3-V4 regions of the 16S ribosomal gene in all samples, and the ITS-1 region of the fungal 18S ribosomal gene in 95 % of the samples as well. It is concluded that the proposed method provides better performance for the extraction of gDNA from complex samples such as human milk.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0206.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: Qinzhou Bay; sediment provenance; human activities; endmember analysis
Online: 14 September 2022 (09:48:06 CEST)
Globally,coastal regions are vital areas of human activities and, as such, are centres of population growth and urban and economic development. Long-term human development has had a major impact on the ecological environment of coastal zones. Therefore, exploring the distribution and provenance of marine sediment types in coastal areas heavily influenced by human activities can provide scientific evidence and references for the current and future ecological management of these sensitive environments. For this reason, we have conducted an analysis on the sediment grain size, Endmember, organic matter content and geochemical elements in the Lu’erhuan River‒Malan Island‒Sandun Island area in the eastern part of Qinzhou Bay, a region heavily influenced by human activities. Sediment grain size clearly differs throughout the study site and the material provenances and hydrodynamic conditions are also varied, likely due to the local environmental conditions and the significant impact human activities have had on the area. The finest-grained sediment is imported from either inland or coastal areas via rivers and weak tidal currents, the next finest component is input from coastal areas through weak tidal currents, and the moderately coarse component mainly originates from nearby beaches. The two coarsest-grained sediment components are influenced by the combination of human activities, tidal currents and waves and enter the water via erosion. Organic matter provenance resembles that of the sediment components, exhibiting varied characteristics. This is due to the combination of natural and human activities in the bay. The organic matter in the upper reaches of the Lu’erhuan River originates from the river and coastal paddy fields, with obvious terrigenous characteristics; the organic matter in northern Malan Island mainly comes from external sources related to oyster farming; while organic matter in eastern Sandun Island is mainly produced endogenously by marine plankton. Al, Ti, Fe, Mg, K, Ga and other elements indicate that terrestrial sediments are significantly disturbed by human activities. However，Mn reflects the marine distribution of terrestrial sediments from the Lu’erhuan River to Jishuimen. Ca and Sr, indicators of marine sediments, are distributed in the eastern offshore area of Sandun Island, which is connected to the open waters. Due to the influence of human activities, As and Cd are highly enriched in the study area, while Cu is less affected by human activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0136.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: human trafficking, counter trafficking, refugees, Rohingya, emergency response
Online: 9 September 2022 (10:07:45 CEST)
Human trafficking is the third most lucrative form of trafficking in the world (just behind drugs and counterfeit goods). Multiple outbreaks of unrest between October 2016 and August 2017 in the Rakhine State of Myanmar triggered around 745,000 influxes of Rohingyas crossing into Bangladesh through the border boundaries at Teknaf and Ukhiya sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar. In this regard the media confirmed that over a thousand Rohingya people particularly women and girls were victims of human traffickers. This research aims to explore the underlying cause of human trafficking (HT) during emergency response and seeks how the knowledge and capacity of the refugee, local administration and law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh can be improved in promoting counter trafficking (CT) and safe migration processes. In order to achieve the objectives, this research starts with reviewing acts, rules, policies and action plans of the Government of Bangladesh on the HT, CT and safe migration processes. Then, a case study method has been applied to present ongoing the CT and safe migration programs of a NGO called Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) that received funding and technical support from the International Organization of Migration (IOM) for this purpose, the research in this paper will later evaluate the effectiveness of the program through conducting key informant interviews (KII) and focus group discussion (FGDs) with beneficiary and non-beneficiary participants from refugees, law-enforcing agencies (LEA) and non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) in Teknaf, and Ukhyia sub-districts in Bangladesh. Thus, this research identified program level strengths and weaknesses in relation to the CT, and safe migration process and provide key directions how they can be improved.
DATASET | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0346.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: dataset; NLP; Human Resource Management; classification; Job description
Online: 27 June 2022 (03:43:51 CEST)
We describe a dataset that contains job description published on a popular online website in the information and technology sector. As the website focus mainly on United Kingdom based jobs, the data have a specific focus on this country. It contains 11.501 job vacancies and 13 related meta data information. The dataset is suitable for HR analysis using machine learning techniques such as natural language processing and neural networks.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0161.v2
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: muscle spindle; proprioception; sensorimotor; fusimotor; signal processing; human
Online: 6 June 2022 (09:17:09 CEST)
Muscle spindles are encapsulated sensory organs found in most of our muscles. Prevalent models of sensorimotor control assume the role of spindles is to reliably encode limb posture and movement. Here, I argue that the traditional view of spindles is outdated. Spindle organs can be tuned by spinal γ motor neurons that receive top-down and peripheral input, including from cutaneous afferents. A new model is presented, viewing γ motor activity as an intermediate coordinate transformation that allows multimodal information to converge on spindles, creating flexible coordinate representations at the level of the peripheral nervous system. That is, I propose that spindles play a unique overarching role in the nervous system: that of a peripheral signal-processing device that flexibly facilitates sensorimotor performance, according to task characteristics. This role is compatible with previous findings and supported by recent studies with naturalistically active humans. Such studies have so far shown that spindle tuning enables the independent preparatory control of reflex muscle stiffness, the selective extraction of information during implicit motor adaptation, and for segmental stretch reflexes to operate in joint space. Incorporation of advanced signal-processing at the periphery may well prove a critical step in the evolution of sensorimotor control theories.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0187.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: human parechovirus; HPeV; PeV-A; Panama; gastrointestinal infection; respiratory infection
Online: 27 April 2022 (08:07:52 CEST)
Human Parechoviruses, officially known as Parechovirus A (PeV-A), is associated with mild gastrointestinal and respiratory illness in young children, however, they may also give rise to Central Nervous System (CNS) infections and neonatal sepsis. While studies have delved into the detection of PeV-A in different populations, the detection of PeV-A in Hispanic populations in Latin American countries is not well-known. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of PeV-A in respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological clinical samples of pediatric patients in Panama. Two hundred samples of pediatric patients with a negative diagnosis for the main respiratory viruses, rotavirus and neurological viruses such as herpesvirus, enterovirus and cytomegalovirus, collected between 2014 and 2015, were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. Eight positive PeV-A infections were detected, 2 in respiratory samples, 5 in stool samples and one detected in cerebrospinal fluid. This is the fisrt report of PeV-A in Panamá.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0565.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Human cytomegalovirus; seronegative; NK cells; viral IL-10
Online: 26 July 2021 (10:32:17 CEST)
The majority of adults in the world (around 83%) carry antibodies reactive with HCMV and are thought to retain inactive or latent infections lifelong. The virus is transmitted via saliva so infection events are likely to be common. Indeed it is hard to imagine a life without exposure to HCMV. From 45 seronegative individuals (13 renal transplant recipients, 32 healthy adults), we present seven cases who had detectable HCMV DNA in their blood and/or saliva, or a CMV-encoded homologue of IL-10 (vIL-10) in their plasma. One case displayed NK cells characteristic of CMV infection, and HCMV DNA became undetectable. In other cases, the infection may persist with seroconversion blocked by vIL-10. Future research should seek mechanisms that can prevent an individual from seroconverting despite a persistent HCMV infection, as HCMV vaccines may not work well in such people.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0736.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Bifidobacteria; fucosidases; glycosyl hydrolases; conserved domains; human milk
Online: 30 June 2021 (12:30:31 CEST)
Fucosylated carbohydrates and glycoproteins from human breast milk are essential for the development of the gut microbiota in early life because they are selectively metabolized by bifidobacteria. In this regard, α-L-fucosidases play a key role in this successful bifidobacterial colonization allowing the utilization of these substrates. Although a considerable number of α-L-fucosidases from bifidobacteria have been identified by computational analysis, only a few of them have been characterized. Hitherto, α-L-fucosidases are classified into 3 families, GH29, GH95 and GH151 based on their catalytic structure. However, bifidobacterial α-L-fucosidases belonging to a particular family show significant differences in their sequence. Because this fact could underlie distinct phylogenetic evolves, here extensive similarity searches and comparative analyses of the bifidobacterial α-L-fucosidases identified were carried out with the assistance of previous physicochemical studies available. This work reveals 4 and 2 paralogue bifidobacterial fucosidase groups within GH29 and GH95 families, respectively. Moreover, Bifidobacterium logum subsp. infantis species exhibited the greatest number of phylogenetic lineages in their fucosidases clustered in every family GH29, GH95 and GH151. Since α-L-fucosidases phylogenetically descended from other glycosyl hydrolase families, we hypothesized that could exhibit additional glycosidase activities other than fucosidase, raising the possibility about their application to transfucosylate other substrates than lactose in order to synthesis novel prebiotics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0260.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Pancasila; Millennial Generation; Industrial Revolution; human capital management
Online: 9 June 2021 (11:20:18 CEST)
Introduction: The imbalance between technological development and ideological strengthening has resulted in the fading of the Pancasila ideological values of millennials. Technology that accompanies everyday life seems to be the main character in human life. Yet if humans themselves do not use technology wisely, technology can be a threat to both individuals and the life of the nation and state. If technology is increasingly out of control, threats to the Pancasila ideology are very likely to occur, such as in the G 30S PKI incident. Therefore, it is necessary to take action both from the government and the community as individuals to safeguard the development of technology to be used wisely. That way, we can prevent the threat to the Pancasila ideology together. Writing this article aims to analyze how the role and influence of the Pancasila ideology on the millennial generation in the 4.0 industrial revolution and to find solutions so that the values of Pancasila remain attached to the next generation of the Indonesian nation. Method: Writing This article uses a qualitative method by using literature reviews from the results of related research journals that have been published online through websites and other online media. Results: Thirteen journals and one book have met the criteria for the inclusion of a predetermined review. Research is based on the stigma of society regarding technological developments in the Industrial revolution 4.0. Therefore, the government is expected to be more severe in implementing human capital management. Conclusion: By procuring human capital management, it will be possible that Human Resources (HR) in Indonesia will be able to carry out the ideals of a golden Indonesian generation with Pancasila values inherent in the hearts of the people and the nation's future generations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0784.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Compassion, Human Sciences, Positive Plasticity
Online: 30 April 2021 (10:36:45 CEST)
This paper describes a new generation of computational intelligence founded on the ancient idea of compassion called Artificial Compassion. The creation of Artificial Compassion is the result of two coinciding historical developments. The first is the increasing discoveries of human sciences in new fields like neuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology. This provides the spark for Artificial Compassion. For example, we once thought with certainty that our brain is fixed for life but neuropsychology and a device called the fMRI have shown it is “plastic”. It changes constantly throughout our lives in response to our experiences. Remarkably, we also now know it is changed for the better through positive emotions like compassion, kindness and happiness. So, too, are the immune, endocrine, genetic, cardio and neural systems influenced and changed by our emotional experiences. This new perspective on emotions and plasticity validates much of ancient wisdom in medical systems outside the west. Long held assumptions about emotion are unsuitable for humanity. The second development is ‘machine rub off’. We are in symbiotic relation with our devices today and we are plastic. We are changed by our interactions but many people have computer rage. We need Artificial Compassion to replace computer rage with positive plasticity.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0060.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Human Memory; Long-term Memory; Episodic; Implicit; Explicit
Online: 2 April 2021 (12:02:21 CEST)
Memory is probably one of the most complex cognitive functions of the human, and in many years, thousands of studies have helped us to better recognize this brain function. One of the reference textbooks in neuroscience, which has also elaborated on the memory function, is written by Prof. Kandel and his colleagues. In this book, I encountered a number of ambiguities when it was explaining the memory system. Here, I am sharing those points, either to find an answer for them, or to let them be a suggestion for our future works. Prof. Kandel has spent most of his meritorious lifetime on studying the memory system; however, the brain is extremely complex, and as a result, we still have many years to comprehensively understand the neural mechanisms of brain functions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0237.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: graphene oxide; human keratinocytes; proliferation; gene expression; cytotoxicity
Online: 8 March 2021 (16:20:37 CET)
Few-layer graphene oxide (GO) has shown none or very weak cytotoxicity and anti-proliferative effects in a wide range of cell lines such as glyoma cells and human skin HaCaT cells, in concentrations up to 100 µg/mL However, multi-layer GO has been hardly explored in the biomedical field. Thus, multi-layer GO was examined here in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells treated with different concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 150 µg/mL during different periods of times (3, 12 and 24 hours). The results of this study showed a time-concentration dependence with two non-cytotoxic concentrations (0.01 and 0.05 µg/mL) and a median effective concentration value of 4.087 µg/mL at 24 hours of GO exposure. Contrary to what has been reported for few-layer GO, cell proliferation of the HaCaT cells in contact with the multi-layer GO at 0.01 μg/mL showed identical proliferative activity compared to an epidermal growth factor (1.6-fold greater than the control group) after 96 hours. The effects of the multi-layer GO on the expression of 13 genes (SOD1, CAT, MMP1, TGFB1, GPX1, FN1, HAS2, LAMB1, LUM, CDH1, COL4A1, FBN and VCAN) at the non-cytotoxic concentrations of GO in the HaCaT cells were analyzed after 24 hours. Thus, the lowest non-cytotoxic GO concentration was able to up-regulate the CAT, TGFB1, FN1 and CDH1 genes, which confirms the great potential of multi-layer GO in the biomedical field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0567.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Agency; HCI; Smart Devices; Human computer interaction; survey
Online: 25 February 2021 (09:52:25 CET)
In this article, we report how we constructed a dataset that contains the responses to a survey designed for investigating the relationship that humans have with their smart devices. The dataset has been collected in May-July 2020 and is a sample of over 500 respondents of various different ethnicities and backgrounds. These data have been used for modelling the ways people relate to their devices using the notion of agency. However, the data can be used for complementing any study that intends to investigate a tool-mediated communication from the perspective of the users and via a variety of attitudes and expectations the users invest in their devices and in themselves as users. This article presents the survey items as well as some preliminary data insights. The data have been collected in English and answers have been anonymized in order to ensure GDPR compliance. They are stored in a .csv file containing the respondents’ answers to the questions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0548.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: transposable elements; mobile elements; gene regulation; evolution; human
Online: 1 February 2021 (12:10:23 CET)
Transposable elements (TEs), also known as mobile elements (MEs), are interspersed repeats that constitute a major fraction of the genomes of higher organisms. As one of their important functional impacts on gene function and genome evolution, TEs participate in regulating the expression of genes nearby and even far away at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. There are two known principal ways by which TEs regulate expression of genes. First, TEs provide cis-regulatory sequences in the genome with their intrinsic regulatory properties for their own expression making them potential factors for regulating the expression of the host genes. TE-derived cis-regulatory sites are found in promoter and enhancer elements, providing binding sites for a wide range of trans-acting factors. Second, TEs encode for regulatory RNAs with their sequences showed to be present in a substantial fraction of miRNAs and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), indicating the TE origin of these RNAs. Furthermore, TEs sequences were found to be critical for regulatory functions of these RNAs including binding to the target mRNA. TEs thus provide crucial regulatory roles by being part of cis-regulatory and regulatory RNA sequences. Moreover, both TE-derived cis-regulatory sequences and TE-derived regulatory RNAs, have been implicated to provide evolutionary novelty to gene regulation. These TE-derived regulatory mechanisms also tend to function in tissue-specific fashion. In this review, we aim to comprehensively cover the studies regarding these two aspects of TE-mediated gene regulation, mainly focusing on the mechanisms, contribution of different types of TEs, differential roles among tissue types, and lineage specificity, based on data mostly in humans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0548.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Community; Human Capital; Socio-Cultural; Mobilization; Partnership; Development
Online: 26 January 2021 (16:24:22 CET)
Community is a veritable ingredient for social change and development in a society. The potentials of individuals and groups in the community are a great source or resource for promoting unity, development and patriotism. The general objective of this study is to examine the influence of diversity in community composition, on the operation of community policing style in Nigeria. The study adopted qualitative research approach to collect and analyze data. In-depth interview is the instrument of data collection while content analysis is the method of data analysis. The study took place in Kwara State, North central Nigeria. Twenty community leaders and youth groups heads were purposefully selected through snowball sampling method. Where this great resource or human capital is adequately galvanized by the leaders and community heads, the community becomes formidable and capable of solving her social problems together. However, these benefits of community are hampered by other socio-cultural and economic variables in its members. Community on its own cannot achieve much until members are mobilized to support and partner with government in any developmental projects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0539.v1
Online: 21 December 2020 (16:01:59 CET)
Starting from the importance of risk perception for taking certain preventive measures to protect people and their property from disasters, the subject of the research is to examine the factors influencing public perception of mythically-based human behavior in disaster conditions. Using the random sampling method, 250 adult respondents were surveyed in the city of Belgrade, using a specially created and adapted survey questionnaire. The results of the research show that there is no statistically significant influence of gender, age, educational and economic factors on the public perception of human behavior in disaster conditions. The results of the research can be used to improve strategies and campaigns based on risk assessment, aimed at improving the safety of people in disasters.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0005.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, small molecule inhibitors, human diseases
Online: 2 November 2020 (09:09:37 CET)
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are essential enzymes for translating amino acids for protein synthesis. Their function in pathogen-derived infectious diseases has been well established, which has led to development of small molecule therapeutics. The applicability of ARS inhibitors for other human diseases such as fibrosis has recently been explored in the clinical setting. There are active studies to find small molecule therapeutics for cancers. Studies on central nervous system (CNS) disorders are burgeoning as well. In this regard, we present a concise analysis of the recent development of ARS inhibitors based on small molecules from the discovery research stage to clinical studies as well as a recent patent analysis from the medicinal chemistry point of view.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0412.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Human Osteoblast; MG-63; Staphylococcus aureus; internalization mechanisms
Online: 20 October 2020 (12:08:32 CEST)
Bacterial internalization is a strategy that non-intracellular microorganisms use to escape the host immune system and survive inside the human body. Among bacteria species, Staphylococcus aureus showed ability to interact and infect osteoblasts causing osteomyelitis as well as bone and joint infection, while also becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic therapy and a reservoir of bacteria that can make the infection difficult to cure. Despite being a serious issue in orthopedic surgery, little is known about the mechanisms that allow bacteria to enter and survive inside the osteoblasts, also due to the lack of consistent experimental models. In this review, we describe the current knowledge about S. aureus internalization mechanisms and various aspects of the interaction between bacteria and osteoblasts (e.g. best experimental conditions, bacteria-induced damages and immune system response), focusing on studies performed using the MG-63 osteoblastic cell line, so far the best model for the study of this phenomenon.