ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0027.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, History Keywords: Heraldry in Macedonia; Macedonian civic heraldry; Republic of Macedonia.
Online: 1 September 2021 (15:10:38 CEST)
Every country has some specific heraldry. In this paper, we will consider heraldry in the Republic of Macedonia, understood by the multitude of coats of arms, and armorial knowledge and art. The paper covers the period from independence until the name change (1991-2019). It covers the state coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia especially the 2009 change. Special attention is given to the development of the municipal heraldry, including the legal system covering the subject. Also personal heraldry developed in 21 century is considered. The paper covers the development of heraldry and the heraldic thought in the given period, including the role of the Macedonian Heraldic Society and its journal Macedonian Herald in development of theoretic and practical heraldry, as well as its Register of arms and the Macedonian Civic Heraldic System.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0378.v1
Online: 21 November 2022 (06:45:03 CET)
During most of the lifespan of the Venetian republic, doges or presidents were elected for life. However, a long tenure was a rare event, which effectively resulted in term limits, as has already been deported by several authors. In this paper we examine these tenures and its evolution during the existence of the Venetian republic, trying to prove Smith et al. thesis, but also the event or events that effectively caused that limitation by design. Finally, we will discuss for the causes of this limitation and its effective consequences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0328.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Republic of Moldova; salt; sodium; potassium; iodine; population
Online: 29 October 2019 (10:15:58 CET)
In the Republic of Moldova, nearly 90% of all deaths are due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), tha majority of which (58%) are caused by cardiovascular disease (CVD). Excess salt (sodium) and inadequate potassium intakes are associated with high CVD. Moreover, salt iodisation is the preferred policy to prevent iodine deficiency and associated disorders. However, there is no survey that has directly measured sodium, potassium and iodine consumption in adults in the Republic of Moldova. The aim is to estimate population sodium, potassium and iodine intakes and explore knowledge, attitudes and behaviour (KAB) towards the use of salt, amongst the adult population in the Republic of Moldova. Proportional random samples of adults were obtained from 28 of the 37 Districts and Municipalities and one Administrative Territorial Unit of Moldova. Participants attended a screening including demographic, anthropometric and physical measurements. Dietary sodium, potassium and iodine intakes were assessed by 24h urinary sodium (UNa), potassium (UK) and iodine (UI) excretions. Creatinine was measured. KAB was collected by questionnaire. Eight hundred and fifty-eight participants (326 men and 532 women, 18–69 years) were included in the analysis (response rate 66%). Mean age was 48.5 yrs (SD 13.8). Mean UNa was 172.7 (79.3) mmoL/day, equivalent to 10.8 g of salt/day and potassium excretion 72.7 (31.5) mmoL/day, equivalent to 3.26 g/day. Men ate more sodium and potassium than women. Only 11.3% of the sample had a salt intake below the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended target of 5 g/day and approximately 39% met WHO targets for potassium excretion (>90 mmoL/day). Whilst 81.7% declared limiting their consumption of processed food and over 70% declared not adding salt at the table, only 8.8% looked at sodium content of food, 31% still added salt when cooking and less than 1% took other measures to control salt consumption. Measures of awareness were significantly more common in urban compared to rural areas. Mean urinary iodine was 225 (SD: 152; median 196) mcg/24h, with no difference between sexes. According to WHO criteria, 41.0% had adequate iodine intake, 28.6% had intake below requirements and 17.8% and 12.6% had above requirement or excessive levels, respectively. Iodine content of salt table was 21.0 (SD: 18.6) mg/kg, with no difference between men and women. However, the content was lower in rural than urban areas (16.7 [SD: 18.6] vs 28.1 [SD: 16.5] mg/kg, p<0.001). There were weak or no correlations between urinary sodium and iodine excretions, and between urinary iodine excretion and iodine concentration in the table salt used in the participants’ households, indicating that in most cases participants were not using iodised salt as their main source of salt, more so in rural areas. In the Republic of Moldova, salt consumption is unequivocally high, potassium consumption is lower than recommended, both in men and in women, whilst iodine intake is still inadequate in 1 in 3 people, although severe iodine deficiency is rare. Salt consumed is often not iodised, with less iodised salt being used in rural areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0186.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: asymptomatic malaria; Plasmodium falciparum; Dzanga Sangha; Central African Republic
Online: 8 December 2020 (09:40:22 CET)
According to the World Health Organization 94% of global malaria cases and 94% of global malaria deaths have been reported from Africa. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the exact prevalence of disease in some African countries due to a large number of asymptomatic cases. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of malaria infections in seemingly healthy children living in the Central African Republic (CAR). CareStartTM Malaria HRP2 Pf Ag RDT targeting Plasmodium falciparum was used to test a group of 500 asymptomatic children aged 1-15 years old (330 settled Bantu and 170 semi-nomadic BaAka Pygmies) inhabiting the villages in the Dzanga Sangha region (south-west CAR) in March 2020. 32.4% of asymptomatic Bantu and 40.6% of asymptomatic Pygmy children had a positive result of malaria RDT. The mean age of the study participants with RDT (+) was 8.7 in Bantu and 7.0 years in Pygmies; the mean body temperature was 36.8oC in both groups; the mean haemoglobin level was 10.6 g/dL and 10.1 g/dL, respectively. Our findings allowed us to demonstrate the high prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infections in south-west CAR. RDTs seem to be a useful tool for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum in areas with limited possibilities of using other diagnostic methods, such as light microscopy and molecular biology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0098.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: MALDI-TOF; DNA Sequencing; environment; bacteria; Microbiome; bioinformatics; Dominican Republic
Online: 7 September 2022 (04:26:40 CEST)
Our research team compared the performance of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization followed by a time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and genomic DNA extraction followed by sequencing, assembly and alignment for phylogenetic assessment. We performed these comparisons to determine our methodology’s overall efficacy and accuracy for environmental bacteria. In addition, we collected samples from various contaminated rivers in the Dominican Republic. For both methods, we analyzed these results and reported the main differences between each method.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0035.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: enterovirus; nonhuman primates; humans; genetic recombination; emergence; Republic of Congo
Online: 2 September 2020 (08:49:42 CEST)
Enteroviruses (EVs) are viruses of the family Picornaviridae that cause mild to severe infections in humans and in several animal species, including nonhuman primates (NHPs). We conducted a survey and characterization of enteroviruses circulating between humans and great apes in the Congo. Fecal samples (N=24) of gorillas and chimpanzees living close to or distant from humans in three Congolese parks were collected, as well as from healthy humans (N=38) living around and within these parks. Enterovirus were detected in 29.4% gorilla and 13.15% human feces, including wild and human-habituated gorillas, local humans and eco-guards. Two identical strains were isolated from two humans come from two remote regions. Their genomes were similar and all genes showed their close similarity to Coxsackieviruses except for 3C, 3D and 5’UTR region where they were most similar to poliovirus 1 and 2, suggesting recombination. Recombination events were found between these strains, poliovirus 1 and 2 and EV-C99. The same EV- C species detected in both humans and apes in different regions suggest a clonal distribution of the virus in Congo.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0188.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: sickle cell disease; knowledge assessment; practices; physicians; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 14 June 2020 (17:29:23 CEST)
Background: Sickle cell disease is a major public health issue in the DRC while it is still poorly understood by health professionals. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge and practices of Congolese physicians treating sickle cell disease (SCD) in order to identify areas for improvement in clinical care. Methods: This is a descriptive observational study conducted on Congolese physicians using a questionnaire. Participants were evaluated on a pre-established answer grid. Results: A total of 460 physicians participated, including 81 women (18%) with an average age of 35 years (range 25–60 years). Most physicians were general practitioners. Although self-assessment of their level of knowledge on SCD was estimated as average to good, less than half of the participants (n= 460; 46%) reported adequate management of vaso-occlusive crisis but only 1% of them had received specific training on SCD. Most physicians reported difficulties both in terms of diagnostic (65%) and management (79%) options of SCD patients. This study showed also that 85% of them did not have access to diagnostic tools for SCD. Conclusions: Insufficient knowledge on SCD, poor diagnostic and treatment options may contribute to morbidity and mortality of patients living in the DRC. Interventions aiming at improving physician’s knowledge, patient’s follow-up and treatment access are needed. Specific training alongside existing programs (HIV, malaria), early diagnosis of the disease, and creation of patients’ advocacy groups should improve SCD patient’s care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0317.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; Public views; Attitudes; Beliefs; Unaffected area; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 26 June 2020 (15:44:16 CEST)
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly spreading across the world. In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 11 out of 26 provinces have been affected on 19 June 2020. The purpose of this study was to assess the public views, attitudes and beliefs related to the COVID-19 pandemic among the population of an unaffected city.Methods: This is a descriptive observational study conducted in an unaffected city using a questionnaire. Findings: A total of 769 people participated. The average age was 36 ±14 years. The sex ratio (male: female) was 1.6. The majority of respondents (97%) is aware of the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is well informed about the signs of the disease, its severity and barrier measures, however few of them have adopted the change in habit and behavior in respect of the barrier measures. Lack of water for handwashing is the most common difficulty in complying with barrier measures (71%). The COVID-19 is considered as an artificial virus designed to reduce the world population by 26%, God’s punishment (22%). Only 36% of the participants are in favor of vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccine is, a western conspiracy to spread COVID-19 in Africa (38%), testing it on Africans (35%), sterilize Africans’ people (12%).Conclusions: Cities not yet affected by COVID-19 in DRC are aware of the existence of the disease, but insufficiently prepared to deal with it. It is important to increase awareness on barrier measures, combating false information, and improving regular water supply for regular handwashing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0305.v3
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: sickle cell disease; feasibility; regular follow-up; remote area; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 12 October 2020 (15:14:46 CEST)
Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a public health problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While reference sickle cell centers have been implemented in capital cities of African countries and have proven to be beneficial for SCD patients, they have never been set up in rural areas for families with very low sources of income. Method: A cohort of 143 children with SCD aged 10 years old (IQR (interquartile range): 6–15 years) (sex ratio male/female = 1.3) were clinically followed for 12 months without any specific intervention aside from the management of acute events, and then for 12 months with a monthly medical visit, biological follow-up, and regular prophylaxis. Results: The median age of patients at the diagnosis of SCD was 2 years (IQR: 1–5). The implementation of standardized and regular follow-ups in a new sickle cell referral center in a remote city showed an increase in the annual mean hemoglobin level from 50 to 70 g/L (p = 0.001), and a decrease in the lymphocyte count and spleen size (p < 0.001). A significant decrease (p < 0.001) in the average annual number of hospitalizations and episodes of vaso-occlusive crises, blood transfusions, infections, and acute chest syndromes were also observed. Conclusions: Creation of a sickle cell referral center and the regular follow-up of children with SCD are possible and applicable in the context of a remote city of an African country and represent simple and accessible measures that can reduce the morbimortality of children with sickle cell disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0230.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: e-commerce; m-commerce; innovation; business management; COVID-19; Czech Republic; Facebook
Online: 14 December 2021 (11:51:29 CET)
The global pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has largely changed established business practices. The aim of the study is to present the results of eighteen-month intensive research into the effects of the pandemic on e-consumer behavior. In one of the most active e-commerce markets in Europe, the Czech Republic, we analyzed a sample of more than one and a half million Facebook users in terms of their C2B interactions on the B2C activities of the five major e-commerce market players. The measurements were carried out in three periods, which corresponded to the onset of the first wave, peak, and fading of the second wave of the pandemic. This enabled us to monitor the effect of seasonality and the stabilization of patterns of consumer behavior during the coronavirus crisis. The results suggest that a specific panic pattern of e-consumer behavior was developed at the time of the onset of the pandemic. However, as the pandemic progressed, the market has adapted to a new normal, which, as evidenced by the change in trends, appears to be a combination of the pre-pandemic and pandemic behavioral patterns. Using a statistical analysis, it was possible to identify delta of changes within the patterns of consumer behavior, thus fulfilling the final condition for creating an empirical model of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on e-consumer behavior presented in this study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0028.v1
Subject: Keywords: care; neglected childhood; charity; philanthropy; newspaper publications; monarchy; First Republic; Faial; Portugal
Online: 2 October 2019 (09:29:10 CEST)
The aim of this article is to understand the symbolic representations of the assistance strategies aimed at disabled children, expressed in two newspapers published on the island of Faial, in the Azores, in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries (covering the time horizon between the end of the monarchic period and the implementation of the First Republic). The technique of documentary analysis and a subsequent qualitative thematic content analysis of childcare news collected in two local newspapers was used. The discursive records produced by the press on the assistance strategies value, on the one hand, an axiological dimension and forms of charitable intervention and, on the other hand, aggregate and reconcile the discourses and techniques inherent to charitable and philanthropic models. This mutual assimilation underlies the achievement of the same objective: the moralisation and integration of invalid childhood and, above all, the protection of the existing social order. We conclude that, perhaps contrary to what would be expected, the charitable logic articulated in a concomitant way with the philanthropic logic survived even with the stabilization of the republican period (result of a revolution that deposed the regime of the constitutional monarchy and implemented the republican regime in 1910 in Portugal whose political elites mobilized an official discourse that advocated the separation between the State and Religion, assigning the State the function of social assistance for children and youth). This demonstrates a certain dissociation, as well as a relative autonomy of conceptions about child and youth care between republican political ideology and current social practices at least in this specific context.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0443.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, General Humanities Keywords: natural dyes; synthetic dyes; silk; recipes; Ming dynasty; Qing dynasty; Republic of China
Online: 26 August 2022 (04:12:07 CEST)
The article presents a literature review of three Chinese manuscripts containing natural dyes recipes and three containing synthetic dyes from the Ming Dynasty to the Republican Period. The manuscripts mentioned were exclusively used as references and sources. Four databases were used to access the original documents, then, a translation from old mandarin to Spanish was made. For natural dyes, the results show four dyestuffs were commonly used to produce colors, sappanwood (Caesalpinia sappan L.), followed by safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.), indigo (Indigofera tinctoria L.), and sophora (S. japonicum L.). While the synthetic dyes exported to or produced in China were mainly bluish, greenish, and violet probably because they were difficult to obtain from natural ones. The literature review of the dyes and their recipes can be a key factor in any art history or conservation study, improving the understanding of how the colors were achieved and as complementary information for analytical analyses. It provides useful details that contribute to the preservation of Chinese dye history on silk heritage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0461.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: land use change; modeling; scenario; deforestation; DINAMICA EGO; PFBC landscapes; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 18 March 2021 (07:40:49 CET)
The Ituri-Epulu-Aru landscape (IEAL) is experiencing deforestation and forest degradation. This deforestation is at the root of many environmental disturbances in a region characterized by endemism in biodiversity. This article focuses on the triangulation of spatialized prospective scenarios in order to identify future trajectories based on the knowledge of historical dynamics through the diachronic analysis of three satellite images (2003-2010-2014-2016). The scenarios were de-signed in a supervised model implemented in the DINAMICA EGO platform. The three scenarios Business-As-Usual (BAU), Rapid Economic Growth (REG) and Sustainable Management of the Environment (SME), extrapolating current trends, show that by 2061 this landscape will always be dominated forests (+ 84%). Old-growth forests occupy 74.2% of the landscape area in the BAU scenario, 81.4% in the SEM scenario and 61.2% in the REG scenario. The SEM scenario gives hope that restoration and preservation of biodiversity priority habitats is still possible if policy makers become aware of it.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0570.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Household solid waste; Dominican Republic; separation at source; Organic solid waste, Household survey; Cibao; North region.)
Online: 30 November 2021 (12:56:26 CET)
One of the biggest problems that the Dominican Republic has had in recent decades is the efficient management of solid waste produced by the population. This problem has worsened in recent years due to the decrease in available areas for the construction of sanitary landfills, the lack of recycling culture in the population, the deficiency in waste collection, and the scarce legal controls aimed at preserving water and air and soil, among other factors. The objective of this study was to explore the management of solid waste by the population and the municipality of Puñal, province of Santiago, to evaluate and analyze the situation and generation of solid waste, municipal solid waste management services, and the attitudes of the population regarding recycling projects and waste management, to evaluate the viability and sustainability of the use organic waste for energy generation. A total of 275 households from 29 localities in the municipality of Puñal were surveyed, which allowed for a significant population sample. According to the results obtained, the most significant type of waste produced by families is organic waste, followed by plastic waste and paper. Of the total organic waste produced in the municipality, 53% of solid waste is disregarded through the municipal waste collection system, while 47% is used as plant fertilizers or animal feed. On the other hand, most households receive the municipal waste collection service and pay for this service. The results of our research show that the implementation of an energy production system based on organic waste would be viable in the municipality of Puñal. However, a more efficient waste collection system would be necessary and the development of programs and projects that allow all households to participate in the system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0059.v1
Subject: Keywords: History of Modern Architecture; 20th Century; Walter Gropius; Rationalization; Construction Kit; Assembly Line; Weimar Republic; Bauhaus
Online: 2 November 2018 (13:23:10 CET)
With the breakthrough of modernism, various efforts are undertaken to rationalize architecture and building processes using industrial principles. Few architects explore these as intensively as Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus. Even before World War One, and increasingly in the interwar years, Gropius and a number of colleagues undertake various experiments which manifest in a series of projects, essays, model houses and Siedlungen. These aim at conceptually different goals, i.e. they follow two different categories of industrial logic: first, a flexible construction kit and, second, an assembly line serial production. This article traces the genesis of these two concepts and analyses their characteristics using these early manifestations. Compared to existing literature, this article takes into account hitherto neglected primary sources as well as technological and construction history aspects—allowing for a distinction based not only on theoretical, but also technological and structural characteristics. This article shows that Gropius succeeds in formulating and exploring the two principles in theory and practice as well as drawing conclusions by the end of the 1920s. With them, he contributed significantly to the rationalization of architecture, and his principles have been picked up and developed further by numerous architects since then.