ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0411.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: community participatory asset mapping; asset-based approaches to health; health inequalities; basic healthcare services; community-based healthcare; democratic republic of congo
Online: 6 September 2023 (10:32:40 CEST)
Populations with healthcare needs often reside in post-conflict settings where basic services needed to maintain good health may be non-existent or hard to access. Therefore, there is a need for better identification and reallocation of resources as part of the post-conflict health rehabilitation effort. This study applies an asset-based approach to explore the more optimal design of health services and to identify the resource constraints for basic health service delivery to the most vulnerable communities in eastern Congo. We implemented the asset mapping in two phases. Firstly, we combined a qualitative survey with community walks to identify the assets already present in the communities. Secondly, we conducted group discussions to map out assets that are the core of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) practice. We finally documented all assets in a Community Asset Spreadsheet. Overall, 209 assets were identified as available and potentially valuable resources for the communities in eastern Congo. Among them, 60 were local associations, 24 were land and physical environment, 43 were local institutions, 46 were individuals, 32 to economy and exchange, and only 6 were related to culture, history, and stories. Drawing upon the findings from the qualitative survey, community walks, and group discussions, we conclude that an important number of resources were in place for basic health service delivery. By activating the existing and potential resources, the most vulnerable populations in eastern Congo might have the required resources for basic health service delivery. Our findings support the use of an asset-mapping research method as appropriate to identify existing and potential resources for basic health services in a post-conflict setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0083.v2
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: RAMI4.0; Asset Administration Shell (AAS); Multi-Agent Systems (MAS); Evolutionary Assembly Systems (EAS); Engineering Capabilities Based, Production Flow Scheme (PFS); Petri Net (PN).
Online: 18 November 2021 (14:26:42 CET)
Manufacturing systems need to meet I4.0 guidelines to deal with uncertainty in scenarios of turbulent demand for products. The engineering concepts to define the service’s resources to manufacture the products will be more flexible, ensuring the possibility of re-planning in operation. These can follow the engineering paradigm based on capabilities. The virtualization of industry components and assets achieves the RAMI 4.0 guidelines and (I4.0C), which describes the Asset Administration Shell (AAS). However, AAS are passive components that provide information about I4.0 assets. The proposal of specific paradigms is exposed for managing these components, as is the case of multi-agent systems (MAS) that attribute intelligence to objects. The implementation of resource coalitions with evolutionary architectures (EAS) applies cooperation and capabilities’ association. Therefore, this work focuses on designing a method for modeling the asset administration shell (AAS) as virtual elements orchestrating intelligent agents (MAS) that attribute cooperation and negotiation through contracts to coalitions based on the engineering capabilities concept. The systematic method suggested in this work is partitioned for the composition of objects, AAS elements, and activities that guarantee the relationship between entities. Finally, Production Flow Schema (PFS) refinements are applied to generate the final Petri net models (PN) and validate them with Snoopy simulations. The results achieved demonstrate the validation of the procedure, eliminating interlocking and enabling liveliness to integrate elements behavior.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0656.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: COVID-19; AI-based approach; vaccine development
Online: 9 November 2023 (14:51:09 CET)
AI-based approaches are increasingly being used to revolutionize vaccine development for COVID-19. Small molecules, peptides, and epitopes are being collected for therapy discovery, which could also direct AI-based models, screening, or generation . AI-based models are being used for drug discovery and vaccine development, and pre-existing data is being leveraged through machine learning approaches for COVID-19 drug discovery and vaccine development . The best candidate targets for future treatment development are being identified and evaluated using AI-based models . AI-based approaches can be used to overcome challenges in manufacturing, storage, logistics, and safety and efficacy issues related to different vaccine candidates for COVID-19 . AI algorithms can help identify the best vaccine candidates for COVID-19 while considering the efficiency of antigenic peptides for immune response generation . The presentation of antigenic peptides by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules is the first step after COVID-19 vaccine administration for any vaccine-induced immune response . Thus, AI-based models are being used to identify the best vaccine candidates for COVID-19 and to ensure that the vaccine-induced immune response is efficient and safe. The utilization of AI-based methods to address logistical, manufacturing, storage, safety, and efficacy issues regarding several COVID-19 vaccine candidates will be examined in this study. Additionally, while considering the effectiveness of antigenic peptides for the induction of an immune response, we will determine the best potential targets for the next treatment development and assess how AI-based models can help discover the best vaccine candidates for COVID-19. This research ultimately intends to offer insights into how AI-based techniques can transform COVID-19 vaccine development and how they can be applied to address vaccine development issues. In this paper, we focus on recent advances in using artificial intelligence to develop COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, as well as the potential of intelligent training in discovering COVID-19 therapeutics, highlighting potential challenges and solutions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0069.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantation; phenology; Xishuangbanna; Landsat; object-based approach; pixel-based approach
Online: 6 August 2016 (11:54:28 CEST)
Effectively mapping and monitoring rubber plantation is still changing. Previous studies have explored the potential of phenology features for rubber plantation mapping through a pixel-based approach (pixel-based phenology approach). However, in fragmented mountainous Xishuangbanna, it could lead to noises and low accuracy of resultant maps. In this study, we investigated the capability of an integrated approach by combining phenology information with an object-based approach (object-based phenology approach) to map rubber plantations in Xishuangbanna. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data were firstly used to acquire the temporal profile and phenological features of rubber plantations and natural forests, which delineates the time windows of defoliation and foliation phases. Landsat images were then used to extract a phenology algorithm comparing three different approaches: pixel-based phenology, object-based phenology, and extended object-based phenology to separate rubber plantations and natural forests. The results showed that the two object-based approaches achieved higher accuracy than the pixel-based approach, having overall accuracies of 96.4%, 97.4%, and 95.5%, respectively. This study proved the reliability of a phenology-based rubber mapping in fragmented landscapes with a distinct dry/cool season using Landsat images. This study indicated that the object-based phenology approaches can effectively improve the accuracy of the resultant maps in fragmented landscapes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0074.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: animal emotions; animal welfare; sensors; animal-based measures; affective states; emotion modelling
Online: 4 February 2022 (12:20:22 CET)
Emotions or affective states recognition in farm animals is an underexplored research domain. Despite significant advances in the animal welfare research, the animal affective computing through the development and application of devices and platforms that can not only recognize but interpret and process the emotions, are in nascent stage. By capitalizing on the immense potential of biometric sensors, the artificial intelligence enabled big data methods substantially offers advancement of animal welfare standards and meet the urgent need of caretakers to respond effectively to maintain the wellbeing of their animals. Farm animals, numbering over 70 billion worldwide, are increasingly managed in large-scale, intensive farms. With both public awareness and scientific evidence growing that farm animals experience suffering, as well as affective states such as fear, frustration and distress, there is an urgent need to develop efficient and accurate methods for monitoring their welfare. At present, there are no scientifically validated ‘benchmarks’ for quantifying transient emotional (affective) states in farm animals, and no established measures of good welfare, only indicators of poor welfare, such as injury, pain and fear. Conventional approaches to monitoring livestock welfare are time consuming, interrupt farming processes and involve subjective judgments. Biometric sensors data enabled by Artificial Intelligence are an emerging smart solution to unobtrusively monitoring livestock, but their potential for quantifying affective states and groundbreaking solutions in their application are yet to be realized. This review provides innovative methods for collecting big data on farm animal emotions, which can be used to train artificial intelligence models to classify, quantify and predict affective states in individual pigs and cows. Extending this to the group level, social network analysis can be applied to model emotional dynamics and contagion among animals. Finally, ‘digital twins’ of animals capable of simulating and predicting their affective states and be-havior in real time are a near-term possibility.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0440.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: value-based care; healthy ageing; frailty; social care; barriers; health promotion; community; digital solution
Online: 4 August 2023 (14:45:00 CEST)
A new intervention model for promoting healthy ageing grounded on integrated value-based care was developed and tested in the city of Valencia (Spain). Its implementation raised relevant barriers for older adults in their access to health, health promotion, and health self-management linked with their health and digital literacy. This new intervention model included several aspects. On the one hand, researchers together with older adults and their informal caregivers participating in the study, designed personalised care plans, based on older adults’ specific needs, to be implemented with the support of a digital solution. On the other hand, researchers and health and social professionals implemented a series of six workshops in different locations of the city to encourage the sense of community among participants, reinforcing their trust in the new care model and increasing their adherence. Social activities were at the core of the workshops to understand older people’s interaction with the health and social services provided in the neighbourhood. Qualitative and quantitative methods were combined to extract information from older participants on how to engage them as active actors of their own health and understanding their values and preferences. Qualitative results show that after a post-pandemic situation, they were more concerned about social isolation and desired face-to-face contact with their professional care team; however, feelings of loneliness and/or sadness were not considered amongst the reasons to visit health professionals. Some of the conclusions reveal that the use of technology as a supportive tool is well received but with a stress on its role as “supportive”, and not replacing the close contact with healthcare professionals. Professionals recognised the benefits of this new approach but required more time and incentives to dedicate the effort needed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0197.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Vision And Graphics Keywords: 3D human pose estimation; systematic literature survey; deep learning based methods
Online: 3 November 2023 (03:48:59 CET)
3D human pose estimation has made significant advancements through the integration of deep learning techniques. This survey provides a comprehensive review of recent 3D human pose estimation methods, with a focus on monocular images, videos, and multi-view cameras. Our approach stands out through a systematic literature review methodology, ensuring an up-to-date and meticulous overview. Unlike many existing surveys that categorize approaches based on learning paradigms, our survey offers a fresh perspective, delving deeper into the subject. For image-based approaches, we not only follow existing categorizations but also introduce and compare significant 2D models. Additionally, we provide a comparative analysis of these methods, enhancing the understanding of image-based pose estimation techniques. In the realm of video-based approaches, we categorize them based on the types of models used to capture inter-frame information. Furthermore, in the context of multi-person pose estimation, our survey uniquely differentiates between approaches focusing on relative poses and those addressing absolute poses. Our survey aims to serve as a pivotal resource for researchers, highlighting state-of-the-art deep learning strategies and identifying promising directions for future exploration in 3D human pose estimation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0295.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Data integration; Decision Support System; Information Systems; Infrastructure Asset Management; Water supply systems
Online: 16 November 2022 (03:31:31 CET)
This paper presents a new information technology platform specially tailored for infrastructure asset management of urban water systems operated by water utilities of lower digital maturity level, developed in the scope of DECIdE research project. This platform aims at the integration of different data from the water utilities with several information systems and the assessment of the system performance, in terms of water losses, energy efficiency and quality of service by using developed tools (i.e., water and energy balances and key performance indicators). This platform was tested with data from five small to medium size Portuguese water utilities with different maturity levels in terms of technological and human resources. Obtained results are very promising since the platform allows to assess the systems performance periodically which constitute an important part of the infrastructure asset management for small and medium-sized water utilities
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0257.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: asset pricing; volatility; price probability; market trades
Online: 5 July 2023 (04:12:09 CEST)
This paper considers the theoretical framework of the consumption-based asset-pricing model and derives successive approximations of the modified basic pricing equation using Taylor series expansions of the investor’s utility function during the averaging time interval Δ. For linear and quadratic Taylor approximations we derive new expressions for the mean asset price, mean payoff, their volatilities, skewness and amount of asset that delivers max to investor’s utility. We introduce new market-based price probability determined by statistical moments of the market trade values and volumes. We show that the market-based price probability results zero correla-tions between time-series of n-th power of price pn and trade volume Un, but doesn’t cause statis-tical independence and we derive correlation between time-series of price p and squares of trade volume U2. The market-based treatment of the random trade price describes impact of the size of market trade values and volumes on price probability. Predictions of the market-based price probability at horizon T should match forecasts of statistical moments of the trade values and volumes at the same horizon T. The market-based price probability emphasizes direct dependence on random properties of market trades.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0156.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Health care risk waste, home-based caregivers
Online: 8 October 2018 (16:02:59 CEST)
The quadruple burden of diseases, early discharge from hospital and hospital at home have resulted in home-based care services becoming a requirement in South Africa. The home-based care services generate a significant amount of health care risk waste that is mismanaged. However, more attention is given to the health care risk waste generated in hospitals and clinics than to health care risk waste generated by home-based caregivers. Therefore, this study investigates the health care risk waste management practices by home-based caregivers. The study adopted a mixed research approach, qualitative and quantitative methods, using a literature review, interviews, and questionnaires as means of data collection. Results show that there are different types of health care risk waste generated as a result of different activities performed by home-based caregivers, but that the waste was found to be managed in an unsafe manner. The majority of households receiving home-based care did not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets, running water and waste removal services, aggravating the issue of health care risk waste mismanagement. The study recommends a new policy framework that will lead to safe management practices of generated health care risk waste to be adopted by home-based caregivers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0169.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: asset allocation; risk factor; risk exposure; macro-factor
Online: 12 May 2022 (10:44:13 CEST)
Since financial institutions faced to fatal scenario like subprime mortgage crisis and COVID-19, the factor-based asset allocation methodology is noticed. Asset-only approach which make to consider restrictive risk volatility as individual assets had limitation of macro factor risk. For instance, an institution which allocated assets by asset-only approach cannot deal with the inflation crisis. We review the problem of the traditional modern portfolio approach that is used by Korean financial institutions. For reasonable investment of institution, we notice improved factor-based allocation approach. The first result of this paper is that Mean-variance approach as considered only return of asset recorded lower performance than multi factor-based portfolio in macro factor crisis. Second, we notice allocation model which can minimize probability passing the liability risk exposed macro factors to investment risk exposed macro factors. There are three steps in multi-macro factor-based asset allocation approach: discovering macro factors and mapping asset classes to individual macro factor. Second, define liability account and mapping as considering income and pay out of institution. Third, minimize correlation of fac-tor-based asset risk with liability volatility. Furthermore, using covariance return of assets to allocate makes Pareto improvement and supports to break Home-bias problems.
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Climate change risk; carbon dioxide; asset pricing modeling
Online: 12 July 2021 (12:01:49 CEST)
In this study, I extend the Fama and French five-factor asset pricing model with a sixth factor, namely, carbon risk, to investigate its impact on equity returns. To measure carbon risk, a new factor ‘pollutant minus green,’ is developed using the difference between the weighted average returns of pollutant and green firms across 51 developed and emerging countries across four categories—North America, Europe, Emerging Markets, and the Asia Pacific. The results reveal that North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific markets have a carbon risk premium that gets eliminated in small-cap firms. The carbon risk factor is further tested in left-hand side (LHS) test asset portfolios and found to be more pronounced with size-effect anomaly; specifically, small stock firms report greater declining average returns because of more exposure than the mega-cap stocks to carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, size-effect anomaly prevails with profitability and investment factors across firms. Therefore, high profitability, as well as high investment small firms, show a greater decline than the big stock firms in average returns when their carbon dioxide emissions increase. The asset pricing model evaluation is carried out through the Gibbons, Ross, and Shanken test. The six-factor model directed at capturing carbon risk patterns in average equity returns performs better than the three-factor and five-factor models of Fama and French (1993 and 2015) in the majority of categories under 3x3 sorting and compete with both Fama and French model under 2x4x4 sorted LHS portfolios. The finding of this study offers various useful applications for investors, policymakers, brokers, corporations, governmental pollution abatement institutions, and other stakeholders who wish to obtain carbon risk premium.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0128.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: men's sheds; men's health; health promotion; evaluation; community based health promotion; physical activity
Online: 9 March 2022 (09:36:03 CET)
Abstract Issue Addressed: Men’s Sheds (‘Sheds’) have been identified as inherently health promoting and as potential settings to engage ‘hard-to-reach’ men in more structured health promotion initiatives. However, little is known about the sociodemographic or health and wellbeing characteristics of Shed members (‘Shedders’) on which such initiatives might be based. This study captures a baseline cross sectional analysis of Shedders (n=384) who participated in ‘Sheds for Life’, a health promotion initiative tailored to Sheds. Methods: Objective health measure, (body composition, blood pressure, blood lipids) captured via health screening as well as sociodemographic and health and wellbeing measures (physical activity, subjective wellbeing, mental health, social capital, cooking and diet) via questionnaires were assessed. Results: Participants were mostly over 65 years, retired with limited educational attainment. The majority were in the ‘at-risk’ categories for objective health measures, with most being referred to their GP following health screening. Older Shedders were also more likely to meet physical activity guidelines. Mental wellbeing was positively correlated with life satisfaction and increased social capital and these were also positively correlated with physical activity. Conclusions: Findings highlight the potential of Sheds in reaching a ‘hard-to-reach’ and ‘at-risk’ cohort of men. Despite a high prevalence of ‘at-risk’ objective health measures, participants report their health in positive terms. Future health promotion initiatives should capitalise on the inherent health promoting properties of Sheds. So what? Findings raise important implications for prioritising and designing health promotion initiatives in Shed settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0177.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Digital Health; Mobile; mobile-based applications; medical apps; Saudi Arabia
Online: 11 April 2023 (02:58:44 CEST)
This study aimed at assessing the extent to which the Saudi general population has embraced digital health medical applications to meet their health-related needs so that the Saudi Ministry of Health and government can appropriately be guided on scaling up of digital health across the country. As such, this study was guided by the question of to what extent do the Saudi people use digital health mobile-based applications?. This was a cross-sectional study utilizing snowballing sampling approach. Frequencies, Chi-square, and Spearman rank correlation statistics were used to offer descriptive and inferential analysis of the variables. The majority of the participants were economically able to afford smart devices that have medical apps, had at least an app on such devices, and highly regarded the benefits of the apps. Unfortunately, their understanding of how to use such apps was limited and this posed a barrier to embracing digital health alongside difficulty downloading apps, and medical ethical concerns. Although there is a willingness, extra effort is needed from the Saudi Ministry of Health and government to promote the uptake of digital health in Saudi Arabia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1627.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: Health providers; female adolescents; slums; sexual and gender-based violence; barriers
Online: 25 July 2023 (08:56:28 CEST)
Survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are often hindered in their quest to access quality healthcare. This could complicate the achievement of the laudable SDG Target 3.7. The study used an ethnographic approach to solicit information from health providers, adolescents, and young women (AYW) in 10 communities from Lagos and Ibadan; two major cities in Nigeria. Findings indicated that the structural system of services provided in the health services at the primary healthcare level was limited, which posed a great challenge in AYW’s utilization of services for sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Some of the challenges identified by health providers included non-existing counseling services, rehabilitation centers, referral problems, and a lack of training for health providers in handling victims of SGBV. The study provided the context of the health providers’ inadequacy and structural problem of health services in providing comprehensive support services to victims of SGBV like adolescents and young women in the slum setting. This poses a barrier to the utilization of services by the survivors. Necessary inclusive services that will meet the need of the victims of SGBV should be in place at primary healthcare centers close to the people in the community for accessibility.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0284.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: Safe price; multi asset options; Bermudan options; incomplete markets
Online: 8 September 2022 (09:18:40 CEST)
In this note we describe a new approach to the option pricing problem by introducing the notion of the safe (and acceptable) for the writer price of an option, in contrast to the fair price used in the Black-Scholes model. Our starting point is that the option pricing problem is closely related with the hedging problem by practical techniques. Recalling that the Black - Scholes model does not give us the price of the option but the initial value of a replicating portfolio we observe easily that has a serious disadvantage because assumes the building of this replicating portfolio continuously in time and this is a disadvantage of any model that assumes such a construction. Here we study the problem from the practical point of view concerning mainly the over the counter market. This approach is not affected by the number of the underlying assets and is particularly useful for incomplete markets. In the usual Black-Scholes or binomial or some other approaches one assumes that one can invest or borrow at the same risk free rate $r>0$ which is not true in general. Even if this is the case one can immediately observes that this risk free rate is not a universal constant but is different among different people or institutions. So, the fair price of an option is not so much fair! Moreover, the two sides are not, in general, equivalent against the risk therefore the notion of a fair price has no meaning at all. We also define a variant of the usual binomial model, by estimating safe upward and downward rates $u,d$, trying to give a cheaper safe or acceptable price for the option.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0182.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Probability And Statistics Keywords: financial ruin, withdrawal strategy, asset allocation, rebalancing method, portfolio
Online: 19 January 2018 (09:42:46 CET)
An optimal withdrawal strategy beginning at age 65 provides a lifetime income from a portfolio, adjusted annually for inflation, while reducing the probability of living in financial ruin to an ac-ceptable level. This paper analyzes the probability of living in financial ruin, potentially for multiple years, rather than just the event of ruin. A stochastic Excel model was developed to simulate the effect of varying investment returns on a portfolio with two asset classes; large company stocks and long-term government bonds. A stochastic model is also applied to retiree mortality. The following variables were analyzed to determine their relative impact on withdrawal strategies: • Withdrawing a constant percentage of the portfolio, • Gender, • Initial asset allocation, • Asset allocation rebalancing methods, and • Low investment return environments. For both genders and most withdrawal rates, an approximately equal initial asset allocation of stocks and bonds, combined with a level rebalancing function, provided the lowest probability of living in financial ruin. Because each investment return followed its own probability distribution function, some retirees experienced financial ruin even in the most conservative simulations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0117.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: stable value; defined contribution; optimal asset allocation; stochastic dominance
Online: 18 December 2017 (09:22:13 CET)
Little in the scholarly economics literature is directed specifically to the performance of stable value funds, although they occupy a leading place among retirement investment vehicles. They are currently offered in more than one-third of all defined contribution plans in the USA, with more than $800 billion of assets under management. This paper rigorously examines their performance throughout the entire period since their inception in 1973. We produce a composite index of stable value returns. We next conduct mean-variance analysis, Sharpe and Sortino ratio analysis, stochastic dominance analysis, and optimal multi-period portfolio composition analysis. Our evidence suggests that stable value funds dominate (on average) two major asset classes based on a historical analysis, and that they often occupy a significant position in optimized portfolios across a broad range of risk aversion levels. We discuss factors that contributed to stable value funds’ past performance and whether they can continue to perform well into the future. We also discuss considerations regarding whether or not to include stable value as an element in target date funds within defined contribution pension plans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0115.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Nursing Keywords: Evidence-based practice; nurses; competency; attitude; knowledge; skills; utilization
Online: 2 August 2023 (03:14:38 CEST)
Nurses’ competency towards Evidence-based Practice (EBP) has been extensively investigated by several studies worldwide. However, factors affecting the competence of Greek nurses working in the NHS have not been fully investigated in terms of EBP. Thus, this study aimed to explore the impact of individual qualifications of nurses on their competence towards EBP. Data from 473 registered nurses working in 10 hospitals of in the Greek National Health Service (NHS) were collected between October and December 2022 using a convenience-sampling method in a cross-section design. The Greek version of the 35-item (5-point Likert scale) Evidence-Based Practice Competency Questionnaire for Professional Registered Nurses (EBP-COQ Prof) was used to assess the competence level of nurses focusing on the attitudes, skills, and knowledge as well as the utilization of EBP in clinical practice. One-way ANOVA and Pearson coefficient tests were applied to compare possible differences among variables (two or more groups) as appropriate. A multi-factorial regression model was applied to explore participants’ qualifications, including demographics (MSc degree, gender, English language knowledge, etc.) as independent variables, and to control for potential confounding effects toward EBP competency. P-values <0.05 were considered statistically significant. The mean age of 473 participants (402 women and 71 men) was 44.7 ± 9.2 years old. The mean value of competence subscales was found as follows: attitudes 3.9±0.6, knowledge 3.7±0.6, skills 3.1±0.8, and utilization 3.4±0.7. A multivariate regression analysis revealed that associates of “Master's degree” (t=3.039, p=0.003), “Writing an academic article” (3.409, p=0.001), “Working in a University clinic” (2.203, p=0.028) and, “Computer Skills” (2.404, p=0.017) are positively affecting ‘Attitudes’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Utilization’. Respectively. The research data suggest that nurses working in Greek NHS are limited in competence towards EBP in comparison to other European countries. Therefore, Vocational, Educational and Training programs tailored to EBP enhancement are crucially important.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1521.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: cement based grout materials; freeze-thaw cycle; frost heaving stress; critical free water content; frost heave enhancement mechanism; frost heave enhancement approaches
Online: 24 October 2023 (09:44:05 CEST)
In the seasonally frozen regions, during the grouting of prestressed bridge ducts in low-temperature environments, incompletely cured grout materials undergo volumetric changes due to the freeze-thaw cycling, resulting in structural cracks along the prestressing ducts of the bridge, thereby diminishing the bridge's operational lifespan. To investigate the frost heaving characteristics of grout materials under freeze-thaw cycles and propose potential enhancements, this study was devised to conduct frost heaving stress tests on grout materials. Through this research, we gained insights into how various additives affect the frost heaving stress characteristics of grout materials under freeze-thaw cycles. Incorporating analyses of free water content, setting time, compressive strength, as well as macroscopic examinations such as XRD and SEM, this study delves into the mechanisms for enhancing frost heaving characteristics of grout materials. Furthermore, it proposes a research approach that utilizes multiple admixtures to improve the frost heaving properties of grout materials. Through frost heaving stress tests and other macroscopic experiments, the study investigates the influence of these combined admixtures on frost heaving stress in grout materials and elucidates the underlying improvement mechanisms. The results indicate that reducing the water-cement ratio, incorporating calcium formate, sulfoaluminate cement, air-entraining agents, and carbamide all have a positive impact on mitigating frost heaving stress in grout materials. However, the improvement mechanisms differ, and employing a single measure alone is insufficient to effectively reduce frost heaving stress while meeting performance criteria such as compressive strength, setting time, and flowability. Free water content emerges as a crucial indicator determining the magnitude of frost heaving stress in grout materials, with 11.5% of free water content representing the critical threshold for frost heaving in grout materials. Utilizing composite admixtures can simultaneously decrease free water content, lower the freezing point of free water, and alleviate frost heaving deformation, resulting in more efficient reduction of frost heaving stress. When the admixture content reaches 9.9%, frost heaving stress is eliminated, and the comprehensive performance parameters including compressive strength, setting time, and flowability meet the specified requirements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0706.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: Asset management; Sustainability management; Geographical information system; Building integrated modelling
Online: 12 September 2023 (02:54:52 CEST)
The efficiency success status of organization built environment assets management needs robust and comprehensive maintenance processes which depends on the efficiency of the contract information documents for the maintenance management within the assets life cycle and achieve positive return of the investments. Therefore, this paper highlights on the appropriate interactive approach to structuring information flow scope of the asset facilities management contract for construction projects based on GIS and BIM integration processes, sustainability standards, and As-built contractual documents of the project to support the organization owner and stakeholder to improve the asset management processes. Using expert interviews with comprehensive understand for the information type in several facility management contracts conducted in common Organization types based on reviewing available international facility management standards manual and contract of procedures for different services types, and required information flow inside international facility management firms. The study classify and build significant integrated information and data flow model contract drafting with measures and indicators of performance efficiency as guideline for monitoring, technically evaluating, and financially procedures for performance efficiency and quality of services provided in the facilities management contract for King Faisal University campus projects as a case study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2001.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: Feedback Trading; Investor Sentiment; the Abnormal Volatility of Asset Prices
Online: 28 June 2023 (10:54:03 CEST)
Feedback trading theory is one of the most primitive theories about financial market. But for a long time，researches and modelings on this topic are rarely seen. The model in this paper shows the effects of sentiment shocks on asset prices in a market characterized by feedback trading in the long run. We find that，generally，feedback trading will lead to cognitive bias effect and trading inducement effect. Cognitive bias effect increases with the feedback trading parameter ( FTP) . In our model，the abnormal volatility of asset prices is captured by cognitive bias effect，sentiment shock effect and trading inducement effect．
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0027.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Zoo animal welfare; Five Domains; Validity; Animal-based; Resource-based; Scoring
Online: 22 December 2021 (11:59:32 CET)
Zoos are increasingly putting in place formalized animal welfare assessment programs to allow monitoring of welfare over time, as well as to aid in resource prioritization. These programs tend to rely on assessment tools that incorporate resource-based and observational animal- focused measures since it is rarely feasible to obtain measures of physiology in zoo-housed animals. A range of assessment tools are available which commonly have a basis in the Five Domains framework. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted to bring together recent studies examining welfare assessment methods in zoo animals. A summary of these methods is provided with advantages and limitations of the approach es presented. We then highlight practical considerations with respect to implementation of these tools into practice, for example scoring schemes, weighting of criteria, and innate animal factors for consideration. It is concluded that would be value in standardizing guidelines for development of welfare assessment tools since zoo accreditation bodies rarely prescribe these. There is also a need to develop taxon or species- specific assessment tools to inform welfare management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0801.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Plastic Waste Management; Land-Based Sources; Microplastics; Tap and Drinking Water
Online: 13 September 2023 (02:56:07 CEST)
The growing population with changing consumption patterns in developing countries is causing significant challenges with regards to solid waste management. Plastic wastes are particularly problematic, with single-use plastics leaking into the environment, including the marine environment, at an unprecedented rate. Approximately 80 percent of ocean plastics come from land-based sources or about 8 million tons are dumped into the ocean every year. Thailand was identified as one of the top 10 countries ranked by mass of mismanaged plastic wastes, with more than 60,000 tons per year entering the ocean through multiple outlets, including rivers. In the environment, plastic wastes can be degraded into small sizes (less than 5 mm), called microplastics (MPs), which could contaminate the ecosystems and the food chain, including foodstuffs and water supply. Tap water samples collected from a water supply treatment plant and Academic Institutions 1 and 2 in central Thailand were found to contain MPs about 304 ±90, 270 ±109 and 386 ±102 particles/L, respectively. In addition, MPs concentrations of 211 ±70 and 122 ±60 particles/L were also found in drinking water samples collected from commercial bottled water and membrane filtration water, respectively. The MPs sizes of 0-50 µm were most abundant in both the tap and drinking water samples whose shapes were mainly fragments and fiber. These data indicated potential health risks to the people who consume these water sources, and recommendations for health impacts minimization were proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1866.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: networks; portfolio optimization; equal risk portfolio; asset allocation; centrality; market graph
Online: 29 November 2023 (10:49:16 CET)
This article combines the traditional definition of portfolio risk with minimum spanning tree based “interconnectedness risk" to improve the equal risk contribution portfolio performance. We use betweenness centrality to measure an asset’s importance in a market graph (network). After filtering the complete correlation network to a minimum spanning tree, we calculate the centrality score and convert it to a centrality heuristic. We develop an adjusted variance-covariance matrix using the centrality heuristic, to bias the model to assign peripheral assets in the minimum spanning tree higher weights. We test this methodology using the constituents of the S&P 100 index. The results show that the centrality equal risk portfolio can improve upon the base equal risk portfolio returns, with a similar level of risk. We observe that during bear markets, the centrality-based portfolio can surpass the base equal risk portfolio risk.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0545.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: ISO 5500X; sustainability; asset management; physical assets; SAMP; balanced scorecard; KPI
Online: 10 July 2023 (08:34:48 CEST)
The purpose of this paper is to propose a tool to measure the performance of a Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) based on a Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The SAMP converts organizational objectives into asset management objectives, also specifies the role of the asset management system and brings support to achieve asset management objectives. The SAMP becomes the heart of the organization and integrates with long-term, medium-term, and short-term financial plans integrated with same term activity plans. In the SAMP, the balance among performance, costs and risks is also taken into consideration in order to achieve the organization’s objectives. On the other side, the SAMP is a guide to set the asset management objectives while describing the role of the Asset Management System (AMS) in meeting those objectives. While SAMP is the central figure of AMS, it is important to measure its performance and needs to be build and improved through an iterative process, what means that is not just a document, it is “the document”, and should be treated as a “living being” that needs to adapt to internal and external changes quickly. The BSC is an excellent tool where, through the appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the progress can be measured, and is supported by four perspectives: Financial; Customer; Internal Process; and Learning and Growth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0019.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Industry 4.0; Database; Data models; Big Data & Analytics; Asset Administration Shell
Online: 1 November 2021 (13:01:51 CET)
The data-oriented paradigm has proven to be fundamental for the technological transformation process that characterizes Industry 4.0 (I4.0) so that Big Data & Analytics is considered a technological pillar of this process. The literature reports a series of system architecture proposals that seek to implement the so-called Smart Factory, which is primarily data-driven. Many of these proposals treat data storage solutions as mere entities that support the architecture's functionalities. However, choosing which logical data model to use can significantly affect the performance of the architecture. This work identifies the advantages and disadvantages of relational (SQL) and non-relational (NoSQL) data models for I4.0, taking into account the nature of the data in this process. The characterization of data in the context of I4.0 is based on the five dimensions of Big Data and a standardized format for representing information of assets in the virtual world, the Asset Administration Shell. This work allows identifying appropriate transactional properties and logical data models according to the volume, variety, velocity, veracity, and value of the data. In this way, it is possible to describe the suitability of SQL and NoSQL databases for different scenarios within I4.0.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0068.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: community-based health insurance; cooperative; benefit package; social inclusion; healthcare; Nepal
Online: 6 August 2016 (11:54:03 CEST)
Background: Health insurance (HI) run by government is providing health care service to large population. Due to poor accountability, participation and sustainability, cooperative health insurance is becoming more popular and effective in low and middle income and some high-income countries too. In Nepal, there are public and cooperative HI is in practice. The aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of public (government) and cooperative HI in relation to benefit packages, population coverage, inclusiveness, health care utilization, and promptness for treatment in these two health insurance models in Nepal. Method: This is an institution based concurrent mixed study consists of qualitative and quantitative variables from public and cooperative groups. We included all public HI operated by government hospitals and cooperatives groups those purchased hospital service in contract. Two separate study tools were applied to access the effectiveness of insurance models. The key questions were asked for the representatives of government and private health insurance. The numeric information consisted of in quantitative data and subjective response was included in qualitative approach. Descriptive statistics and Mean Whitney U test was applied in numeric data and qualitative information were analyzed by inductive approach Results: The study revealed that new enrolment was not increased, health care utilization rate was increased and the benefit package was almost same in both groups. The overall inclusiveness was higher for the government HI, but enrolment from the religious minority, proportion of negotiated amount during treatment were significantly higher (p<0.05). During illness, the response time to reach hospital was significantly faster in cooperative health insurance than government health insurance. Qualitative findings showed that level of participation, accountability, transparency and recording system was better in cooperative health insurance than public. Conclusion: Cooperative HI could be more sustainable and accountable to the community for all; low, middle and high-income countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0296.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: Acceptance; antenatal care; facility-based delivery; South Africa
Online: 6 July 2023 (13:21:39 CEST)
For women giving birth, every moment of delay in receiving skilled care significantly increases the risks of stillbirth, neonatal and maternal death. More than half of all births in developing countries including South Africa, take place outside a health facility and without skilled birth attendants. This has therefore, made it difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of global reduction in maternal mortality, which is a key health challenge globally, especially in developing countries and sub-Saharan Africa in particular. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the views of pregnant women regarding facility-based delivery. Focus group discussions were used to gather information from the pregnant women. Information was collected from six groups of pregnant women who had delivered babies at the antenatal care facilities in the past years. Results showed several factors associated with the failure to use institutional delivery service, such as long distance from the health care facility, lack of transport, lack of transport fare, shortages of skilled staff, failure to disclose pregnancy, cultural and religious beliefs, and staff attitudes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0523.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: game-based learning; game design; project-based teaching; informatics and society, cybersecurity
Online: 26 July 2018 (16:38:48 CEST)
This article discusses the use of game design as a method for interdisciplinary project-based teaching in secondary school education to convey informatics and society topics. There is a lot of knowledge about learning games but little background on project-based teaching using game design as a method. We present the results of an analysis of student-created games and an evaluation of a student-authored database on learning contents found in commercial off-the-shelf games. We further contextualise these findings using a group discussion with teachers. Results underline the effectiveness of project-based teaching to raise awareness for informatics and society topics. We further outline informatics and society topics that are particularly interesting to students, genre preferences and potentially engaging game mechanics stemming from our analyses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0061.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Social engagement; social rehabilitation; community-based; financial analysis; Momentum Center
Online: 2 May 2023 (05:28:57 CEST)
Cost-effective community engagement is needed to address causes of mental illness related to social issues (i.e. isolation, stigma and lack of purpose) that are typically outside the scope of healthcare. This pilot study evaluated the relationship between clinical healthcare resources and a community-based social engagement organization in a medium-sized community in the midwestern US. Analyses were based on a retrospective longitudinal comparison of clinical visit frequency from two cohorts that joined the Momentum Center for Social Engagement (MC) and either frequently participated (Engaged; n = 9) or had extenuating circumstances limiting participation (Non-engaged; n = 3). The frequency of >1800 visits to the member’s primary mental healthcare provider were compared during the period from November 2016 - May 2021. Engaged MC members reduced frequency of regular visits to their primary mental healthcare provider by 50%, while Non-engaged MC members maintained clinical visit frequency. The financial value of reduced healthcare visits and associated wellbeing improvements was estimated to be $1.0 million, 95% CI: [$0.6-1.4 million], or roughly four times the budget received by the MC from the healthcare provider. Thus, the MC appears to be a valuable approach to improving mental health in conjunction with existing community healthcare services. Clinical implications include considering the unique MC-style community-based support as a component of practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1155.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: Problem solving; Wicked problem; Hard OR; Soft OR; Problem Structuring Methods; Decision-Making; Subdivision-based PSM
Online: 15 June 2023 (14:06:11 CEST)
Because of hyper complexity, difficulty to define, multiple stakeholders with conflicting perspectives, and lack of clear-cut solutions, wicked problems necessitate innovative and adaptive strategies. Operations Research has been a valuable tool for managers to make informed decisions for years. However, as we face increasingly complex and messy problems, it has become apparent that relying solely on either hard or soft OR approaches is no longer sufficient. We need to explore more innovative methodologies to address these wicked problems effectively. This study has bridged the research gap by proposing a structured process encompassing a subdivision-based problem structuring method for defining the wicked problem, a multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) for prioritizing sub-problems, and a hard OR technique, data envelopment analysis (DEA) for tackling one of the most critical sub-divisions. The proposed methodology, implemented in a case study, focuses on a higher education institution experiencing a decline in student admissions and involves five steps. First, a diverse group of stakeholders is formed to ensure comprehensive consideration of perspectives. Second, the wicked problem is defined, considering long-term consequences, multiple stakeholders, and qualitative stakeholder opinions. Third, a hierarchical structure is created to break down the wicked problem into manageable sub-problems. Fourth, a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) method prioritizes sub-problems. Finally, the sub-problems are addressed one by one using a combination of soft and hard OR tools. The findings highlight the benefits of integrating hard and soft OR approaches. The article concludes with reflections on the implications of using a combined OR approach to tackle wicked problems in higher education and beyond.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0613.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Materials Science And Technology Keywords: high density graphite; mesophase tar pitch; petroleum coke; pitch based binder; carbon based filler
Online: 10 October 2023 (10:40:23 CEST)
In this study, graphite, the most stable form of carbon, was examined for its hexagonal crystalline structure with specific dimensions (ao=2.46 Ǻ; co=6.70 Ǻ). Its framework comprises parallel carbon atom planes forming regular hexagons (side length 1.415 Ǻ) and 120° angles between adjacent atoms. Two structural variations exist: hexagonal symmetry (1-2-1-2-1-2 planes) and rhomboidal symmetry (1-2-3-1-2-3 planes). The research aimed to produce high-density graphite utilizing carbonaceous raw materials. Graphite-based materials often exhibit high porosity, necessitating additional treatments. The study successfully obtained mesophase tar pitch (yield: 45%), a pivotal raw material, and high-density graphite. The resulting graphite underwent characterization for physical properties (apparent and real density, porosity and compression strength), demonstrating conformity with existing literature data.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0560.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: MIGI; microbiome-inspired green infrastructure; microbiome; urban microbiome; nature-based intervention; biodiversity; greenspace; green infrastructure; multispecies urbanism; EcoHealth
Online: 21 April 2021 (09:01:13 CEST)
Background: Microbiome-Inspired Green Infrastructure (MIGI) was recently proposed as an integrative system to promote healthy urban ecosystems, through multidisciplinary design. Specifically, MIGI is defined as nature-centric infrastructure restored and/or designed and managed to enhance health-promoting interactions between humans and environmental microbiomes, whilst sustaining microbially-mediated ecosystem functionality and resilience. MIGI also aims to stimulate a research agenda that focuses on considerations for the importance of urban environmental microbiomes. Objectives: In this paper we provide details of what MIGI entails from a bioscience and biodesign perspective, highlighting the potential dual benefits for human and ecosystem health. We present ‘what is known’ about the relationship between urban microbiomes, green infrastructure and environmental factors that may affect urban ecosystem health (ecosystem functionality and resilience as well as human health). We discuss how to start operationalising the MIGI concept based on current available knowledge, and present a horizon scan of emerging and future considerations in research and practice. We conclude by highlighting challenges to the implementation of MIGI and propose a series of workshops to discuss multi-stakeholder needs and opportunities. Discussion: This article will enable urban landscape managers to incorporate initial considerations for the microbiome in their development projects to promote human and ecosystem health. However, overcoming the challenges to operationalising MIGI will be essential to furthering its practical development. Although the research is in its infancy, there is considerable potential for MIGI to help deliver sustainable urban development driven by considerations for reciprocal relations between humans and the foundations of our ecosystems –– the microorganisms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0745.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Microbiome; Breast Cancer; Microbial diversity; Microbiota-based cancer therapies; One Health; Microbiome immunomodulation
Online: 13 November 2023 (14:14:43 CET)
This comprehensive review elucidates the profound relationship between the human microbiome and breast cancer managrement. Recent findings highlight the significance of microbial alterations in tissues, such as the gut and the breast, and their role in influencing breast cancer risk, development, progression, and treatment outcomes. We delve into how the gut microbiome can modulate systemic inflammatory responses and estrogen levels, thereby impacting cancer initiation and therapeutic drug efficacy. Furthermore, we explore the unique microbial diversity within breast tissue, indicating potential imbalances brought about by cancer and highlighting specific microbes as promising therapeutic targets. Emphasizing a holistic One Health approach, this review underscores the importance of integrating insights from human, animal, and environmental health to gain a deeper understanding of the complex microbe-cancer interplay. As the field advances, strategic manipulation of the microbiome and its metabolites presents innovative prospects for enhancing cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. However, rigorous clinical trials remain essential to confirm the potential of microbiota-based interventions in breast cancer management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0691.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Alerts; Village Health Teams; Community Based Surveillance; Integrated Disease Surveillance and Reporting; Elgon; Climate Change; One Health
Online: 28 May 2021 (10:20:13 CEST)
In mountain communities like Sebei, Uganda, that are highly vulnerable to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, community-based surveillance plays an important role in the monitoring of public health hazards. In this survey, we explored capacities of Village Health Teams (VHTs) in Sebei communities of Mount Elgon in undertaking surveillance tasks for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases in the context of a changing climate. We used participatory epidemiology techniques to elucidate VHTs’ perceptions on climate change and public health and assess their capacities in conducting surveillance for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Overall, VHTs perceived climate change to be occurring with wider impacts on public health. However, they have inadequate capacities in collecting sur-veillance data. The VHTs lack transport to navigate through their communities and have in-sufficient capacities in using mobile phones for sending alerts. They do not engage in reporting other hazards related with the environment, wildlife and domestic livestock that would ac-celerate infectious disease outbreaks. Records are not maintained for disease surveillance ac-tivities and the abilities of VHTs to analyze data are also limited. However, VHTs have access to platforms that can enable them to disseminate public health information. The VHTs thus need to be retooled to conduct their work effectively and efficiently through equipping them with adequate logistics and knowledge on collecting, storing, analyzing, and relaying data, which will improve infectious disease response and mitigation efforts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0523.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: angle-based outlier detection: percentile-based outlier detection; multiphilda, noise; irrelevant software requirements
Online: 30 August 2022 (11:25:24 CEST)
Noise in requirements has been known to be a defect in software requirements specifications (SRS). Detecting defects at an early stage is crucial in the process of software development. Noise can be in the form of irrelevant requirements that are included within a SRS. A previous study had attempted to detect noise in SRS, in which noise was considered as an outlier. However, the resulting method only demonstrated a moderate reliability due to the overshadowing of unique actor words by unique action words in the topic-word distribution. In this study, we propose a framework to identify irrelevant requirements based on the MultiPhiLDA method. The proposed framework distinguishes the topic-word distribution of actor words and action words as two separate topic-word distributions with two multinomial probability functions. Weights are used to maintain a proportional contribution of actor and action words. We also explore the use of two outlier detection methods, namely Percentile-based Outlier Detection (PBOD) and Angle-based Outlier Detection (ABOD), to distinguish irrelevant requirements from relevant requirements. The experimental results show that the proposed framework was able to exhibit better performance than previous methods. Furthermore, the use of the combination of ABOD as the outlier detection method and topic coherence as the estimation approach to determine the optimal number of topics and iterations in the proposed framework outperformed the other combinations and obtained sensitivity, specificity, F1-score, and G-mean values of 0.59, 0.65, 0.62, and 0.62, respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1383.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: Mindfulness based stress reduction; mental health; mindfulness; sleep quality; post COVID period
Online: 20 July 2023 (05:16:48 CEST)
(1) Background: COVID-19 had devastating effects on both physical and mental well-being, prompting the need for interventions. This study aimed to explore the impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction on mental health, mindfulness, and sleep disorders in COVID-19 survivors.; (2) Methods: In this interventional parallel study, the sample was selected university students in nursing and midwifery faculties using total population sampling. The intervention included providing counseling on mindfulness methods by trained experts. General health, mindfulness and sleep quality questionnaires were used for data collection. Data were analyzed using SPSS22, descriptive and interferential statistic. A significance level of 0.05 was considered; (3) Results: In this study, the mean age of the students was 20.29 ± 2.03 years. 69.5% of the participants were female and 96% were single. 71.3% were studying nursing and 67% had a history of Corona infection. The intervention was only effective on general health questionnaire and the mean score of this questionnaire was 1.7 higher than the control group; (4) Conclusions: the study indicated that MBSR intervention improves mindfulness, mental health, and sleep quality in COVID-19 survivors. Regular assessment and use of this intervention can help address long-term challenges and improve overall well-being.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0074.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: shareholder value; return-on-asset; days-sales-outstanding; current ratio; supply chain capability
Online: 5 March 2020 (02:35:22 CET)
The purpose of this paper is to explore which financial performance indicators (FPIs) evaluate the level of supply chain capability (SCC) that explicitly touches all of the business functions and processes within and beyond the company. The authors investigated nine FPIs that were selected from the financial statements of 155 companies within nine industries. The authors find that suitable FPIs to measure SCC for shareholders’ value are return-on-assets (ROA), days-sales-outstanding (DSO), and current ratio (CR). This means that higher ROA, shortened DSO, and an appropriate level of CR could reach a sustainable supply chain. These results will help the industry to avert a major disruption in supply chain processes and activities using suitable financial performance indicators.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0125.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; green space; planetary health; nature connectedness; public health; nature-based interventions
Online: 6 January 2021 (15:04:09 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes to human lifestyles across the world. The virus and associated social restriction measures have been linked to an increase in mental health conditions. A considerable body of evidence shows that spending time in and engaging with nature can improve human health and wellbeing. Our study explores nature’s role in supporting health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We created web-based questionnaires with validated health instruments and conducted spatial analyses in a geographic information system (GIS). We collected data on people’s patterns of nature exposure, associated health and wellbeing responses, and potential socioecological drivers such as relative deprivation, access to greenspaces, and land-cover greenness. We applied a range of statistical analyses including bootstrap resampled correlations and binomial regression models, adjusting for several potential confounding factors. We found that respondents significantly changed their patterns of visiting nature as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People spent more time in nature and visited nature more often during the pandemic. People generally visited nature for a health and wellbeing benefit and felt that nature helped them cope during the pandemic. Greater land-cover greenness within a 250 m radius around a respondent’s postcode was important in predicting higher levels of mental wellbeing. There were significantly more food-growing allotments within 100 m and 250 m of respondents with high mental wellbeing scores. The need for a mutually-advantageous relationship between humans and the wider biotic community has never been more important. We must conserve, restore and design nature-centric environments to maintain resilient societies and planetary health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0772.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: plant-based beverages; lupine; chickpea; Lactobacillus plantarum; probiotic drinks; bioactive compounds.
Online: 11 May 2023 (02:56:52 CEST)
: Consumption of plant-based milk replacers has increased in recent years due to health benefits, benefits attributed mainly to the content of phenolic compounds, fatty acids, or bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity. In this context, we proposed to obtain two types of less studied plant-based beverages, namely lupine and chickpea beverages, as well as the possibility of getting these beverages using germinated seeds and even obtaining probiotic drinks through fermentation with Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. To evaluate the quality of the obtained products, we determined their content of proteins, fatty acids, organic acids, volatile compounds, and phenolic compounds. We evaluated the antioxidant activity of the obtained herbal drinks, and a load of probiotic microorganisms present after the fermentation process. Both lupine and chickpea drinks have the desired properties, high content of fatty acids and phenolic compounds, that bring probiotic benefits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0118.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: Deep Learning; Optimization; Benchmarking; Gradient based optimizers
Online: 6 January 2023 (06:31:40 CET)
Initial choice of Learning Rate is a key part of gradient based methods and has a great effect on the performance of the Deep Learning Model.This paper studies the behavior of multiple gradient based optimization algorithm which are commonly used in Deep Learning and compare their performance on various learning rate. As observed popular choice of optimization algorithms are highly sensitive to various choice of learning rates. Our goal is to find which optimizer has an edge over others for a specific setting. We look at two datasets namely MNIST and CIFAR10 for benchmarking. The results are quite surprising, and it will help us to choose a learning rate more efficiently.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1788.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: macrophage-based biochip; CD206; bronchoalveolar lavage; diagnostics
Online: 25 August 2023 (07:51:34 CEST)
Progress in macrophage research is crucial for numerous applications in medicine, including cancer and infectious diseases. However, the existing methods to manipulate living macrophages are labor intense and inconvenient. Here we show that macrophage membranes can be reconstituted after storage for months at 4C, with their CD206 receptor selectivity and specificity being similar to that in the living cells. Then, we have developed a mannose ligand, specific to CD206, linked with PEG as IR spectroscopy marker to detect binding with the macrophage receptor. PEG was selected due to its unique adsorption band of C-O-C group at IR spectra, which does not overlap with other biomolecule’s spectroscopic feature. Next, competitive binding assay versus the PEG-bound ligand, has enabled selection of other higher-affinity ligands specific to CD206. Further, those higher-affinity ligands were used to differentiate activated macrophages in patient’s bronchoalveolar (BAL) or nasopharyngeal (NPL) lavage. CD206- control cells (HEK293T) showed only non-specific binding. Therefore, biochips based on reconstituted macrophage membranes as well as PEG-trimannoside as an IR spectroscopic marker, can be used to develop new methods facilitating macrophage research and macrophage-focused drug discovery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0038.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: asset pricing; credit risk modeling; unilateral; bilateral; multilateral credit risk; collateralization; comvariance; comrelation; correlation
Online: 3 October 2019 (04:49:57 CEST)
This article presents a comprehensive framework for valuing financial instruments subject to credit risk. In particular, we focus on the impact of default dependence on asset pricing, as correlated default risk is one of the most pervasive threats in financial markets. We analyze how swap rates are affected by bilateral counterparty credit risk, and how CDS spreads depend on the trilateral credit risk of the buyer, seller, and reference entity in a contract. Moreover, we study the effect of collateralization on valuation, since the majority of OTC derivatives are collateralized. The model shows that a fully collateralized swap is risk-free, whereas a fully collateralized CDS is not equivalent to a risk-free one.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0192.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Analysis Keywords: Knowledge-based Systems; Ontology; Knowledge Engineering; MCDA.
Online: 13 October 2022 (09:54:49 CEST)
Decision making as a result of system dynamics analysis requires, in practice, a straightforward and systematic modelling capability as well as a high-level of customisation and flexibility to adapt to situations and environments that may vary very much from each other. While in general terms a completely generic approach could be not as effective as ad-hoc solutions, the proper application of modern technology may facilitate agile strategies as a result of a smart combination of qualitative and quantitative aspects. In order to address such a complexity, we propose a knowledge-based approach that integrates the systematic computation of heterogeneous criteria with open semantics. The holistic understanding of the framework is described by a reference architecture and the proof-of-concept prototype developed can support high-level system analysis, as well as it suitable within a number of applications contexts - i.e. as a research/educational tool, communication framework, gamification and participatory modelling. Additionally, the knowledge-based philosophy, developed upon Semantic Web technology, increases the capability in terms of holistic knowledge building and re-use via interoperability. Last but not least, the framework is designed to constantly evolve in the next future, for instance by incorporating more advanced AI-powered features.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0793.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: edge computing; human vocalization; emergence vehicle siren; EfficientNet-based; fuzzy rank-based ensemble model; hearing impairment.
Online: 9 August 2023 (15:18:17 CEST)
Wearable assistant devices play an important role in daily life for people with disabilities. Those who are hearing impaired may face dangers while walking or driving on the road. The major danger is their inability to hear warning sounds from cars or ambulances. Thus, the goal of this study is to develop a wearable assistant device for the hearing impaired to recognize emergency vehicle sirens on the road using edge computing. An EfficientNet-based fuzzy rank-based ensemble model was proposed to classify seven audio sounds, including human vocalizations and emergency vehicle sirens. This model was embedded in an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense development board. The audio files were respectively obtained from the CREMA-D dataset and Large Scale Audio dataset of emergency vehicle sirens on the road, with a total number of 8756 files. The seven audio sounds included neutral vocalization, anger vocalization, fear vocalization, happy vocalization, car horn sound, siren sound, and ambulance siren sound. The audio signal was converted into a spectrogram by the short-time Fourier transform as the feature. When one of the car horns, sirens, or ambulance sirens was detected, the wearable assistant device presented alarms through vibration and messages on the OLED panel. The performances of the EfficientNet-based fuzzy rank-based ensemble model in offline computing achieved an accuracy of 97.1%, precision of 97.79%, sensitivity of 96.8%, and specificity of 97.04%. In edge computing, the results were an accuracy of 95.2%, precision of 93.2%, sensitivity of 95.3%, and specificity of 95.1%. Thus, the proposed wearable assistant device has the potential benefit of helping the hearing impaired avoid traffic accidents.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0203.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Additive manufacturing; Fused Deposition Modelling; Robot-based additive manufacturing; Polylactic acid (PLA) and PLA-based composite.
Online: 7 April 2021 (12:24:16 CEST)
Over the last decade, a significant literature has emerged that advocates the potential of different Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies and printable polymeric materials. Nevertheless, large scale printing and complex geometric shapes, with curvatures and non-planar layer deposition, are a challenging process for the traditional gantry-based machine. The 3 degrees of freedom cartesian configuration restricted their capability to planar layered printing and restricted part dimensions. To date, many researchers have used industrial robots to overcomes this limitation. This review gives the reader a good overview of the FDM technique due to its scalability, cost efficiency and a wide range of material printability. A strong emphasis is laid on the PLA and PLA-based composites as promising materials for the FDM process applications. The second part of this paper links the successful use of these materials in the traditional printing process to large scale printing using the robot-based FDM process. This survey presents representative setups for robot-based AM and works that have been used these setups for non-planar material deposition. Finally, we conclude this paper by identifying opportunities for realizing new functional capabilities by exploiting robot-based AM, and we also present the future trends in this area.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0107.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: Inverter-based resources; Measure-based method; Model identification; Non-linear dynamics; Power system; SINDy; Synchronous generators; System-level nonlinearity; Volterra-based nonlinearity index
Online: 1 November 2023 (17:22:36 CET)
The complexity of modern power grids, exacerbated by integrating diverse energy sources, espe-cially inverter-based resources (IBRs), presents a significant challenge to grid operation and plan-ning since linear models fail to capture the intricate IBR dynamics. This study employs the Sparse Identification of Nonlinear Dynamics (SINDy) method to bridge the gap between theoretical un-derstanding and practical implementation in power system analysis. It introduces the novel Volterra-based Nonlinearity Index (VNI) to examine system-level nonlinearity comprehensively. The distinction of dynamics into first-order linearizable terms, second-order nonlinear dynamics, and third-order noise elucidates the intricacy of power systems. The findings demonstrate a fundamental shift in system dynamics as power sources transit to IBRs, revealing system-level nonlinearity compared to module-level nonlinearity in conventional syn-chronous generators. The VNI quantifies nonlinear-to-linear relationships, enriching our comprehension of power system behavior and offering a versatile tool for distinguishing between different nonlinearities and visualizing their distinct patterns through the proposed VIN profile.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1148.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: antecedent-based intervention; function-based intervention; children of deaf adults; pre-session pairing; independent group contingency
Online: 16 May 2023 (10:11:00 CEST)
This study was designed to extend the literature on multicomponent interventions for the children of deaf adults (CODA) population. This study used two evidence-based behavior intervention strategies: pre-session pairing (PSP) and independent group contingency (GC). These strategies have been successfully used to decrease off-task behavior in elementary school children with various abilities and diverse backgrounds. However, the research on multicomponent interventions has yet to examine their effects on the CODA population in inclusive classrooms. This study used a concurrent multiple baseline design across participants with an ABC sequence to examine teacher-implemented PSP with independent GC in reducing the off-task behavior of three CODAs in an inclusive classroom at a public elementary school. The results show that the intervention successfully decreased off-task behavior for all participating CODAs. The results suggest that CODAs can adapt to classroom rules and expectations when PSP and independent GC are systematically applied to them in classrooms.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0338.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: normative grading; criterion-based grading; clinic evaluations; clinic interns
Online: 17 November 2022 (11:29:06 CET)
Background: Grades in clinical courses matter. They are often used to determine clinical academic awards, scholarships, and—most importantly—interns’ suitability for graduate medical education opportunities. Aware of these stakes, clinic preceptors may feel pressure to grade too leniently or uniformly. A fair method of adjusting for differences in preceptor bias is then needed. Approach: The authors propose a technique that employs the advantages of both criterion- and normative-based grading to adjust for differences in both grader leniency and uniformity. Evaluation: The technique produces fair adjustments to any raw assign grades, and the authors demonstrate how easily this process can be administered in any clinical setting where multiple preceptors are evaluating interns. Implications: This work provides a grading framework that is transparent to all stakeholders but places responsibilities at the appropriate level. That is, clinic performance evaluations are left to clinic preceptors but grading to clinic academic managers.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: telehealth; teleoncology; telerehabilitation; telemedicine; coronavirus disease; management; video conferencing; web-based platforms; breast cancer patients
Online: 6 September 2021 (17:34:49 CEST)
Telehealth is the delivery of many health care services and technologies to individuals at different geographical areas and is categorized as asynchronously or synchronously. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused major disruptions in health care delivery to breast cancer (BCa) patients and there is increasing demand for telehealth services. Globally, telehealth has become an essential means of communication between patient and health care provider. The application of telehealth to the treatment of BCa patients is evolving and increasingly research has demonstrated its feasibility and effectiveness in improving clinical, psychological and social outcomes. Two areas of telehealth that have significantly grown in the past decade and particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic are telerehabilitation and teleoncology. There two technological systems provides opportunities at every stage of the cancer care continuum for BCa patients. We conducted a systematic literature review that examined the use of telehealth services via its various modes of delivery among BCa patients particularly in areas of screening, diagnosis, treatment modalities, as well as satisfaction among patients and health care professionals. The advantages of telehealth models of service and delivery challenges in delivery to patients in remote arears are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0047.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: bank asset quality; real GDP; inflation; average lending rate; real exchange rate; changing market conditions
Online: 3 July 2023 (12:54:53 CEST)
This study assesses the dynamic relationship between macroeconomic factors and bank asset quality based on changes in the condition of stock market returns. A Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) model is employed, using panel data from 18 universal banks spanning the period 2007 to 2021. The analysis revealed that the real GDP growth rate, the average lending rate, and the real exchange rate represent a set of macroeconomic factors with a marked influence on banks' asset quality. In addition, a high inflation rate was found to exert an adverse effect on asset quality, as it affects borrowers' financial ability to meet loan repayment obligations. Furthermore, the study verified the existence of a positive relationship between market condition and asset quality, which implies that bank performance adapts to changes in market conditions as posited under the Adaptive Market Hypothesis (AMH). Bank managers should consolidate banks' asset bases during conditions of market stability to withstand periodic market fluctuations to boost trading momentum. Policy recommendations are suggested to foster a conducive business environment for bank stability.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1668.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: Asset; Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS); IoT; LoraWAN; Low-power wide area networks; Real-time; Tracking.
Online: 24 May 2023 (02:21:29 CEST)
With the vast amount of goods being shipped around the world, there is a need to track and manage various types of assets, particularly shipping containers. Logistics industries dealing with small facilities, shipments, equipment, and vehicles must be tracked. There are many applied asset tracking systems such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacon, and Long-Range Radio (LoRa). This paper presents these systems and focuses on locating assets using LoRaWAN technology, which has a positive impact on the responsive and sustainable cities in Egypt. IoT-based Long Range (LoRa) is a low-power, wide-area communication technology that uses radio frequencies to transmit data over long distances. The extended range, low power consumption, low maintenance, and the ability to store location data when the end node that needs to connect to the asset is out of the gateway's coverage make LoRa a good choice for developing asset-tracking applications. This paper introduces a real-time tracking experiment as a result of a project implementation, whose goals are aligned with industry, innovation, and infrastructure and Sustainable Cities and Communities, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No. 9 and 11.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0257.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: Mobile-based mentoring; girl-child; mentoring; mobile technology
Online: 10 February 2021 (12:44:24 CET)
In some parts of Nigeria, many girls do not attend school, and among those sent to school, many still drop out early. This and other socio-cultural factors affect girls psychologically. There is no doubt that girls need consistent love and tutoring to guide them through the turbulent teen years and beyond. They need a mentor who acts as a friend and a role model. The Mobile-based Mentoring Platform seeks to leverage on mobile technology's affordances to focus on the needs of the girl-child, such as improvement in academic achievement, guidance in career choice, development of self-concept, and esteem. The girl-mentees comments revealed that using the platform provided them frequent access to mentors and access to learning opportunities. The challenges they faced include epileptic internet network, intrusions by parents, and others. Therefore, this paper examined the challenges and benefits of mentoring girls via a mentoring platform.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0351.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: lecture based instruction; actual community-based instruction; maternal and child care; social competency skills; community awareness
Online: 13 April 2021 (12:47:52 CEST)
Maternal-child care is one of the foundations of primary health care. Nurses’ competency skills they have been taught. Community awareness is an important part of preventive healthcare, and nurses must be aware of the factors that impact the health of the community. This study examines the effectiveness of lecture-based instructions in maternal and child care and its implications to students' social competency skills and community awareness in Nursing Colleges in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. The researcher uses survey questionnaire and employed the descriptive design where fifteen (15) nursing students and five (5) teachers were purposively selected. The findings revealed that the weighted mean for the effectiveness of lecture based instruction in maternal and child care is 3.91 with verbal description of “Effective”, the effects of lecture based instruction in maternal and childcare to students’ social competency skills and community awareness got the weighted mean of 3.87 and interpreted as “very satisfactory” and the effectiveness of actual community-based instruction is very effective with weighted mean of 4.25 and is higher compare to lecture based instruction. The results also revealed that students and teachers were challenged in lecture-based instruction in maternal and chi8ldcare during distance learning. Recommendations for the enhancement of lecture-based instruction in maternal and childcare in social competency skills and community awareness were also made.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0150.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Mathematics Keywords: Gregorian Calendar; weekly-based calendar; original calendar
Online: 8 July 2020 (11:25:27 CEST)
Has anyone ever missed an event because he was confused in days and dates? Do we remember the date of any day without looking at a calendar? Is the current Gregorian Calendar efficient enough for use, and does it facilitate our life or make it more complicated? Have you ever thought about a much simpler way to calculate days and dates in a year? All these questions are answered in this paper, in which the author proposes original optimization algorithm that creates optimal perennial calendars. Results show that there is more than one way to create a perennial calendar, in which the number of days in each month does not change, neither the dates. Hence, all months have the same sequence of days and dates. In other meaning, Monday becomes the first day of every month, and Sunday becomes the last day. Consequently, the calendars become much easier to memorize and very simple to predict the days and dates in any year.
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: mindfulness; mindfulness-based stress reduction; mindfulness-based stroke recovery; stroke recovery; social support for stroke survivors; medical education; stroke rehabilitation
Online: 12 September 2020 (11:29:22 CEST)
Decades of research suggest that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training supports a greater capacity to live with chronic medical conditions and contributes to lowering stress levels. This paper introduces a model for a Mindfulness-Based Recovery from Stroke (MBRfS) for promoting stroke recovery, informed by the lived experience of the author (a stroke survivor and certified MBSR instructor), the research literature regarding MBSR training, and the specific challenges of stroke recovery. Four themes emerged from the autoethnographic analysis that informed the proposed model: Readiness to accept the stroke event and the acquired brain injury; Navigating uncertainties of stroke recovery with awareness and self-responsibility for outcomes; Trusting the inherent wisdom of the body as a stroke recovery “teacher”; and Increased capacity to integrate complex emotions with self-compassion, and a sense of wholeness. A four component MBRfS model is offered, which consists of an integration amongst a modified MBSR framework, emergent attitudinal themes, and insights from the autoethnographic vignettes. The MBRfS model offers a path for providing participants with a supportive experience within stroke recovery. Recommendations and suggestions for future studies are offered to support the development of MBRfS for stroke survivors and their caregivers, as well as contributing to health care providers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0108.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Data Management; Utilization and Analysis; Capacity Building; Health professionals; Workforce Development; Evidence Based
Online: 7 June 2018 (08:54:20 CEST)
The objective of the study was to investigate the gap between data and evidence-based decisions among healthcare professionals considering the enormous amount of individual and aggregate data collected. Our study assessed the capacity, skills, and knowledge of the Ministry of Health leadership staff to understand data management, analysis, utilization, and dissemination. Three key components were assessed: 1) Knowledge through true/false questions, 2) Level of Skill (and Competency) using a Likert scale, and 3) Understanding of Key Concepts and Tools based on a Likert scale. The 183 study respondents were diverse healthcare professionals from Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Majority of respondents had not received any training on data management, analysis, interpretation, and utilization techniques, further there was a significant difference between those who had received training versus those who had not(p=0.005). The respondents were competent in work-related experiences but lacked skills and knowledge on: data concepts and tools, study designs, and types of data analysis. These findings explain the gap between data management, analysis, utilization, and dissemination among health professional’s cadre. To enhance service delivery and optimal provision of health care, it is imperative to have all health care professionals receive a well-designed training on data management, analysis, interpretation, and utilization.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0074.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: NetDevOps; NetOps; Intent-Based Networking; artificial intelligence; Neural Network; Natural Language Processing; transformer
Online: 8 April 2022 (08:19:09 CEST)
The computer network world is changing and the NetDevOps approach has brought the dynamics of applications and systems into the field of communication infrastructure. Businesses are changing and businesses are faced with difficulties related to the diversity of hardware and software that make up those infrastructures. The "Intent-Based Networking - Concepts and Definitions" document describes the different parts of the ecosystem that could be involved in NetDevOps. The recognize, generate intent, translate and refine features need a new way to implement algorithms. This is where artificial intelligence comes in.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0536.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE); repetition; iteration
Online: 26 January 2021 (11:37:54 CET)
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students with opportunities for the same gains that apprenticed research with faculty members offer. As their popularity increases, it is important that critical elements of CUREs are supported by thoughtful design. Student experiences in CUREs can provide important insights into why CUREs are so effective. We present evidence from students who participated in CUREs at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as from graduate teaching assistants for an introductory lab course that included a CURE. Students and teaching assistants describe repetition as a valuable element in CUREs and other laboratory experiences. We used student work and open-ended interviews to identify which of five previously described elements of CUREs students found important. Because repetition was particularly salient, we characterized how students described repetition as they experienced it in courses that contained full-length or “micro”-CUREs. In prompted interviews, students described how repetition in CUREs provided cognitive (learning concepts) and practical (learning technical skills) value. Recent graduates who had participated in CUREs at each level of their Biology education were particularly aware that they placed value in repetition and acknowledged it as motivational in their own learning. Many students described repetition in metacognitive terms, which also suggests that as students advance through laboratory and CURE curricula, their understanding of how repetition supports their learning becomes more sophisticated. Finally, we integrated student descriptions to suggest ways in which repetition can be designed into CUREs or other laboratory courses to support scientific learning and enhance students’ sense of scientific identity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0713.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Flood management; ecosystems; climate change; indicators; benchmarking; nature-based
Online: 30 November 2020 (09:55:54 CET)
This paper discusses devastating urban floods in the year 2019 that caused human and socioeconomic losses in many countries, including Iran. The main question addressed by this paper is the choice between two flood management models, namely, the optimal and nature-based flood management or the existing hazardous situation that damage the ecosystem and natural resources. The analysis of this paper will find the main responsible factors in the mentioned floods in Iran. For this reason, it examines the impacts of the existing flood management that neglects the ecosystems, environmental components, and nature. The method of this research includes theoretical studies, case studies with the help of structured interviews, and observations. A benchmarking technique compares the two alternatives. The comparisons use seven indicators abstracted from successful global experiences and local knowledge. Finally, this research presents a model for optimal flood management that is applicable everywhere in the world.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0403.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Nature-based solutions; climate change adaptation; climate change vulnerability; social-ecological systems
Online: 20 September 2022 (12:35:06 CEST)
Nature-based solutions (NbS) - working with and enhancing nature to address societal challenges - are increasingly being featured in climate change adaptation policy and plans. While there is growing evidence that NbS can reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts in general, there is a lack of understanding on the mechanisms through which this can be achieved, particularly in the Global South. To address this, we analyse 85 nature-based interventions in rural areas across the Global South, and factors mediating their effectiveness, based on a systematic map of peer-reviewed studies encompassing a wide diversity of ecosystems, climate impacts, and intervention types. We develop and apply an analytical framework of people’s social-ecological vulnerability to climate change, in terms of six pathways of vulnerability reduction: social and ecological exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Most cases (95%) report a reduction in vulnerability, primarily by lowering ecosystem sensitivity to climate impacts (73% of interventions), followed by reducing social sensitivity (52%), reducing ecological exposure (36%), increasing social adaptive capacity (31%), increasing ecological adaptive capacity (19%) and/or reducing social exposure (14%). An analysis of mediating factors shows that social dimensions are equally important as technical factors in NbS to achieving equitable and effective outcomes. Attention to the distinct social and ecological pathways through which vulnerability is reduced helps to harness the multiple benefits of working with nature in a warming world.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1098.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Transcriptional meta-analysis; molecular docking; RT-qPCR; Bioinformatics; Structural-based virtual screening
Online: 15 August 2023 (11:47:28 CEST)
Gastric cancer (GC) is a highly heterogeneous, complex disease and the fifth most common cancer worldwide (about one million cases and 784 000 deaths worldwide in 2018). CG is lately diagnosed and guarantees a poor prognosis for GC (the 5-year survival rate is less than 20%, but in early detection can reach 90%). This study evaluated the transcriptional profile in tumor gastric samples to find genes highly expressed during tumor establishment and use the related proteins as targets to find new anticancer molecules. Data was collected at Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) bank to obtain 3 dataset matrices that analyze gastric tumor tissue versus normal gastric tissue, performed microarray using GPL570 platform, and from different sources. The genes found in silico analysis were confirmed in several lines of GC cells by RT-qPCR. The protein data bank was used to find the correspondent proteins. Then a structural-based virtual screening was done to find molecules, and docking analysis was done using the DockThor server. Our results of transcriptomic analysis, together with RT-qPCR, confirm the high expression of the genes AJUBA, FBXL13, CCDC69, CD80 and NOLC1 in GC lines. Based on that, the correspondent proteins were used in SBVS analysis. Five molecules, one each target, MCULE-2386589557-0-6, MCULE-7343047040-0-1, MCULE-5230409338-0-3, MCULE-9178344200-0-1 and MCULE -5881513100-0-29. All molecules have favorable pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and toxicological properties. Molecular docking analysis revealed that the molecules interact with proteins in critical sites for their activity. Using a virtual screening approach, a molecular docking study was performed for proteins encoded by genes that play important roles in cellular functions for carcinogenesis. Combining a systematic collection of public microarray data with a comparative meta-profiling, RT-qPCR, SBVS, and molecular docking analysis provided a suitable approach to find genes involved in GC and work the correspondent protein to strive for new molecules with anticancer properties.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0335.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: Packaging materials; Bioactive compounds; Nanotechnology; Nanoencapsulation; Sustainability; Plant-based.
Online: 22 October 2021 (15:45:23 CEST)
There is great interest in developing biodegradable biopolymer-based packaging materials whose functional performance is enhanced by incorporating active compounds into them, such as light blockers, plasticizers, crosslinkers, diffusion blockers, antimicrobials, antioxidants, and sensors. However, many of these compounds are volatile, chemically unstable, water-insoluble, matrix incompatible, or have adverse effects on film properties, which makes them difficult to directly incorporate into the packaging materials. These challenges are being overcome by incorporating the bioactive compounds into nanoparticles, which are then introducing into the packaging materials. The presence of these nanoencapsulated active compounds in biopolymer-based coatings or films can greatly improve their functional performance. This article reviews the different kinds of nanocarriers available for loading active compounds into these types of materials, and then discusses their impact on the optical, mechanical, thermal, barrier, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties of the packaging materials. Furthermore, this article highlights the different kinds of bioactive compounds that can be incorporated into biopolymer-based packaging.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0066.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: structure-based studies; ABC transporter; multidrug resistance (MDR); cancer therapy
Online: 6 October 2022 (12:28:26 CEST)
The discovery of first ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter, whose overexpression in cancer cells is responsible for exporting anticancer drugs out of tumor cells, initiated enormous efforts to overcome tumor cell multidrug resistance (MDR) by inhibition of ABC-transporter. Because of its many physiological functions, diverse studies have been conducted on the mechanism, function and regulation of this important group of transmembrane transport proteins. In this review, we will focus on the structural aspects of this transporter superfamily. Since the resolution revolution of electron microscope, experimentally solved structures increased rapidly. A summary of the structures available and an overview of recent structure-based studies are provided. More specifically, the artificial intelligence (AI)-based predictions from AlphaFold 2 will be discussed.
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: COVID-19; agent-based modelling; dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models; scenario analyses
Online: 18 November 2020 (11:30:24 CET)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has raised numerous questions concerning the shape and range of state interventions whose goals are to reduce the number of infections and deaths. The lockdowns, which have become the most popular response worldwide, are assessed as being an outdated and economically inefficient way to fight the disease. However, in the absence of efficient cures and vaccines, there is a lack of viable alternatives. In this paper we assess the economic consequences of the epidemic prevention and control schemes that were introduced in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analyses report the results of epidemic simulations that were obtained using the agent-based modelling methods under the different response schemes and their use in order to provide conditional forecasts of the standard economic variables. The forecasts were obtained using the DSGE model with the labour market component.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0077.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; climate change; forests; nature-based solutions; policy; resilience
Online: 6 December 2018 (07:39:13 CET)
The current focus on afforestation in climate policy runs the risk of compromising both longterm carbon storage and human adaptation. It also works against efforts to stem the tide of biodiversity loss. We outline why an emphasis on diverse, intact natural ecosystems—as opposed to tree plantations with fast-growing exotic species—will help nations deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and much more.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0526.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: suicide, men, help-seeking, engagement, community-based intervention
Online: 22 March 2021 (12:04:18 CET)
Due to the continuing high suicide rates among young men, there is a need to understand help-seeking behaviour and engagement with tailored suicide prevention interventions. The aim of this study was to explore help-seeking behaviour and engagement for young men aged 18 to 30 years who attended a therapeutic centre for men in a suicidal crisis. In this prospective cohort study, data were collected from 546 men who were referred into a community-based therapeutic service in North West England. Of the 546 men, 337 (52%) received therapy; 161 (48%) were aged between 18 and 30 years (mean age 24 years, SD=3.4). One third (n=54; 34%) of the men were seen within 48 hours of their referral. Analyses included baseline differences, symptom trajectories for the CORE-34 Clinical Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) and engagement with the therapy. For the CORE 34 there was a clinically significant reduction in mean scores between assessment and discharge (p<0.001), with all outcomes demonstrating a large effect size. Future research needs to assess the long-term effects of help-seeking using a brief psychological intervention for young men in order to understand whether the effects of the therapy are sustainable over a period of time following discharge from the service.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0232.v3
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: food safety; risk assessment; Cannabis sativa; tetrahydrocannabinol; food supplements; cannabidiol; benchmark dose; health-based guidance value (HBGV); liver toxicity
Online: 24 November 2022 (02:53:03 CET)
In the European Union (EU), cannabidiol products require pre-marketing authorisation under the novel food regulation. Currently, 19 CBD applications are under assessment at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). During the initial assessment of the application files, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) located several knowledge gaps in their 07 June 2022 statement on safety of cannabidiol as a novel food that need to be addressed before the evaluation of CBD can be concluded. Namely, the effect of CBD on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system, psychological function, and reproductive system needs to be clarified. Nevertheless, the available literature allows a benchmark dose (BMD)-response modelling of several bioassays, resulting in a BMD lower confidence limit (BMDL) of 20 mg/kg bw/day for liver toxicity in rats. Human data in healthy volunteers found increases in the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in a study at 4.3 mg/kg bw/day, which was defined by EFSA NDA panel as a lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL). The EFSA NDA panel currently concluded that the safety of CBD as a novel food cannot be evaluated, leading to a so-called clock stop of the applications until the applicants provide the required data. Meanwhile, the authors suggest that CBD products still available as food supplements on the EU market despite the lack of authorisation must be considered as “unsafe”. Products exceeding a health-based guidance value of 10 mg/day must be considered as being “unfit for consumption” (Article 14(1) and (2) (b) of Regulation No 178/2002), while the ones in exceedance of the human LOAEL must be considered “injurious to health” (Article 14(1) and (2) (a) of Regulation No 178/2002).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0043.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Collaborative Problem Based Learning; Metacognitive; Chemistry Students; Systematic Literature Review
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:23:11 CEST)
Increasing the metacognitive abilities of chemistry students is an indisputable output of the teaching and learning process today. Collaborative problem based learning is a learning method that has been tested and proven to be applied, especially in Western countries in increasing the metacognitive abilities of students, but it is still very minimal applied in Asian countries, including Indonesia. Thus, this study was conducted to explore previous studies that examined collaborative problem-based learning in improving students' metacognitive abilities. The research design used in this study is a Systematic Literature Review with the requirements of the inclusion of articles on collaborative problem-based learning in improving the metacognitive abilities of chemistry students, accredited national and international publications between 2010 and 2020, full text, journal articles, and open access. The results of the exploration that were carried out found 102 articles, then the title and abstract were read into 20 articles, and 4 articles were read in full, which fulfilled all the stipulated inclusion requirements. The results of the systematic literature review conducted in this study provide empirical evidence of literacy that problem based learning improves the metacognitive abilities of chemistry students. However, most of research conducted still uses various instruments, which are not standardized and validated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0098.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: rule-based classification model; wetland remote sensing; SVM; TC-Wetness; China
Online: 11 May 2017 (08:03:34 CEST)
Wetlands are among the most bio-diverse and highest productivity ecosystems on earth, making their monitoring a high priority to conservation, protection and management interests. Although visual interpretation of satellite images is generally precise for monitoring wetlands, recent works have emphasized computerized classification methods because of the reduction in analyst time. However, it is difficult to automatically identify wetland solely based on spectral characteristics due to the complexity of wetland ecosystems. The ability to extract wetland information rapidly and accurately is the basis and the key to wetland mapping at a large scale. Here we propose an operational method to map China wetlands based on Landsat TM data and ancillary data. On the basis of theoretical analysis of wetland automatic classification, we developed a revised multi-layer wetland classification scheme and a rule-based classification model. In the latter, supervised classification (SVM and decision tree) and unsupervised classification (ISODATA) methods were tested. Four Landsat TM images, representing various wetland eco-regions in China (i.e. the Sanjiang Plain in the northeast China, the North China Plain, the Zoige Plateau in the southwest China and the Pearl River Estuary in southeast China), were automatically classified. The overall classification accuracies were 86.57%, 96.00%, 84.51% and 88.30%, respectively, which we considered to be satisfactory accuracy. Our results indicate that issues such as the resolution of geographic data and the understanding of wetland samples should be carefully addressed in the future.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201607.0012.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: role-based access control; attribute-based access control; attribute-based encryption
Online: 8 July 2016 (10:12:21 CEST)
Cloud Computing is a promising and emerging technology that is rapidly being adopted by many IT companies due to a number of benefits that it provides, such as large storage space, low investment cost, virtualization, resource sharing, etc. Users are able to store a vast amount of data and information in the cloud and access it from anywhere, anytime on a pay-per-use basis. Since many users are able to share the data and the resources stored in the cloud, there arises a need to provide access to the data to only those users who are authorized to access it. This can be done through access control schemes which allow the authenticated and authorized users to access the data and deny access to unauthorized users. In this paper, a comprehensive review of all the existing access control schemes has been discussed along with analysis. Keywords: role-based access control, attribute-based access control, attribute-based encryption
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0236.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Art Keywords: holography; holograms; digital animated hologram; holographic space; practice-based research
Online: 22 July 2019 (08:44:42 CEST)
A critical context is an essential aspect of practice-based research; however, a lack of structure exists to obtain and evaluate criticism from peers. This paper presents a case study of how the ‘silent student’ critique method used in Higher Education settings in the UK (Elkins, 2014) was adapted for a holographic arts research study. A ‘silent researcher’ critique session with nine experts was held in Aveiro, Portugal, June 2018 to evaluate the author’s digital holographic artwork, on display at the City Museum. The experts asked the author critical questions about the artwork while the author remained silent. The session was filmed, transcribed and processed using a general inductive approach for analysing qualitative evaluation data (Thomas, 2006). This paper outlines the benefits and drawbacks of using this new critique method for research. The benefits included; participant’s careful response to the artwork avoiding engagement of egos of critic and researcher, the drawbacks included the difficulty of evaluating against a pre-determined research question when the discussion could not be steered. This paper evaluates the artwork critiqued describing how the work contributes to the aesthetic development of the medium of holography; which used the Z-axis of holographic space to depict a chronological narrative.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0203.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; climate change adaptation; ecosystems; Paris agreement; policy; nature-based solutions
Online: 14 September 2019 (12:07:15 CEST)
Ecosystems are not merely vulnerable to climate change but, if sustainably restored and protected, are a major source of human resilience. Not only is the evidence-base for the importance of these “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) growing rapidly, but NbS are featuring with increasing prominence in global climate change policy. Here we report on the prominence of NbS in the 141 adaptation components of the 167 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that were submitted to UNFCCC by all signatories of the Paris Agreement. In total, 103 nations include NbS in the adaptation component of their NDC, 76 nations include them in both their adaptation and mitigation component, and an additional 27 include them as part of their mitigation plans only. In other words, 130 nations—or 66% of all signatories to the Paris Agreement—have articulated intentions of working with ecosystems, in one form or another, to address the causes and consequences of climate change. However, commitments rarely translate into robust science-based targets. As climate pledges are revised in 2020, we urge the ecosystem science community to work closely with policymakers to identify meaningful adaptation targets that benefit both people and the ecosystems on which they depend.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0105.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: chief executive officer; compensation; firm performance; Nigeria banking industry; chief executive officer compensation; firm size; return on asset
Online: 16 October 2017 (07:56:04 CEST)
This is a quantitative research based on secondary sources of data. The study examines the influence of Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) compensation on a firm's performance. The objectives of the study were to determine if CEO compensation and firm size do significantly influence a firm’s performance. In other to elicit information to examine the relationship between the variables, the convenience sampling technique, with the combination of both the cross-sectional and time-series data (panel data) were used since they provide greater precision and guard against having an illusory sample. 10 banks quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange were sampled for easy accessibility of data. The least square regression technique was used to test the hypotheses of the study. Two hypotheses were tested using panel least square (EViews 8) and from the research work, we summarize the following results; there is a significant relationship between CEO compensation and firm performance in the Nigerian banking industry. In addition, firm size does significantly influence firm performance in the Nigerian banking industry. The study recommends that there should be proper compensation review as this will increase the productivity of the executives. Since increased pay is necessary for the efficiency of the workers, it is advised to ensure a considerable pay as this will ensure for efficiency in the organization. In addition, since the core goal of setting up any business is to make a profit, business organisations should sort out ways at maximising profit and this could include cutting down expenses such as cutting down excessive employees’ pay (CEOs pay especially) and setting apposite pay package for employees. Therefore, policymakers (board of directors) should make an effort to align CEO’s paywith the firm’s capability to pay.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1520.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Environmental management accounting; Environmental Sustainability; green practices; institutional pressure; Resource-Based View; Technology, Organization-Environment Framework
Online: 21 June 2023 (10:03:24 CEST)
Current and dynamic developments in green technologies have led to several innovation practices in the manufacturing sector only to become the top approaches used for achieving and accelerating sustainable development (SD) in the current business markets. In addition, manufacturing firms is in need of green innovation to be able to monitor and control their operations and enhance their environmental performance. However, regardless of its many benefits, the level of green innovation adoption and implementation is still lower than expected among manufacturing industries. Thus, this study aimed to minimize the gap by developing and validating a study model underpinned by Resource based view and Institutional theories, along with the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework in combination to convince firms to adopt green innovation. The study gathered data from 179 respondents using a survey distributed to manufacturing firms, after which data was exposed to Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) approach, for analysis. Based on the approach deliverables, all the integrated constructs of the model, namely perceived benefits, top management support, coercive pressure, normative pressure and mimetic pressure all predicted green management accounting practices. Moreover, green management accounting practices were found to directly and significantly affect green environmental performance. The developed integrated model provides a clear implication to decision-makers, indicating the importance of adopting and using green practices and innovative technologies for enhancing environmental performance. Based on the results from the reviewed advanced green technologies studies, there is considerable connection between green management accounting practices and environmental performance in the context of developing economies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0110.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Teacher identity; Video essay; Video elicitation; Shared heritage; Arts-based Research
Online: 4 December 2023 (04:16:33 CET)
This paper presents an approach to teacher identity heritage as result of the implementation of a research device created through Arts-based Research (ABR) methods, specifically with video elicitation and video essay used as research tools. Two main objectives were raised. The first one, to establish the real relevance of focusing performance on teacher identity. The second one, testing a new methodological proposal specifically designed for this purpose, but still useful in other contexts where heritage identity is as present as in teaching. The device, Body-camera, involves a process that allows new ways to understand the creation of identities using video to encourage the production of new meanings by visual and oral data. The participants were teachers in training during their internship period. Some notions about teachers' identity heritage were revealed, and also preserved, firstly, through personal perspectives by video elicitations and secondly, through collective perspectives by video essays. Both are video structures used in ABR which mix creative experience, memories, life experiences, relationships and links that shape the teachers’ professional identity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0185.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: bioeconomy; bio-based products; GDP; policy measures; sustainability assessment; sustainable development
Online: 16 April 2018 (04:54:19 CEST)
Developments in technology have enabled envisioning the derivation of materials and products from renewable biomass, as an alternative to finite fossil-based resource consumption. Therefore, bioeconomy is regarded as an opportunity for sustainable economic growth. Countries are formulating strategies in accordance with their goals to attain from bioeconomy. Proper measurement, monitoring and reporting of the outcomes of these strategies is crucial for long-term success. This study aims to critically evaluate the national methods used for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of bioeconomy contribution to the total economy. For this purpose, research and surveys have been conducted on selected countries (Argentina, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United States). The results reveal that the bioeconomy targets set up in the strategies often reflect country’s priorities and comparative advantages. However, comprehensive approaches to measure and monitor bioeconomy progress are frequently lacking. Most countries only measure the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), turnover and employment of the sectors included in their bioeconomy definition, which may provide an incomplete picture. In addition, this study identifies the mismatch between the targets and measurement methods, as the environmental and social impacts of bioeconomy are often foreseen, but not measured. It is concluded that existing global efforts towards a sustainable bioeconomy monitoring can be strengthened and leveraged to measure progress towards sustainable goals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0297.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; carbon-based nanomaterials; antiviral properties; pneumonia
Online: 15 January 2021 (13:30:21 CET)
Therapeutic options for the highly pathogenic human Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the current pandemic Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are urgently needed. COVID-19 is associated with viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome causing significant morbidity and mortality. The proposed treatments for COVID-19, such as hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir and lopinavir/ritonavir, have shown little or no effect in the clinic. Additionally, bacterial and fungal pathogens contribute to the SARS-CoV-2 mediated pneumonia disease complex. The antibiotic resistance in pneumonia treatment is increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore, carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNs), such as fullerene, carbon dots, graphene, and their derivatives constitute a promising alternative due to their wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity, biocompatibility, biodegradability and capacity to induce tissue regeneration. Furthermore, the antimicrobial mode of action is mainly physical (e.g. membrane distortion), which is characterized by a low risk of antimicrobial resistance. In this review, we evaluated the literature on the antiviral activity and broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties of CBNs. CBNs had antiviral activity against 12 enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2. CBNs with low or no toxicity to the humans are promising therapeutics against COVID-19 pneumonia complex with other viruses, bacteria and fungi, including those that are multidrug-resistant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0430.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: Nimonic C-263 alloy; surface roughness; Taguchi based Grey relational analysis
Online: 20 August 2020 (05:44:27 CEST)
Nickel based superalloys finds extensive usage in manufacturing of intricate part shapes in gas turbine, aircraft, submarine, and chemical industries owing their excellent mechanical property and heat resistant abilities. However, machining of such difficult-to-machine alloys up to the desired accuracy and preciseness is a complex task owing to a rapid tool wear and failure. In view of this, present work proposes an experimental investigation and optimization of process parameters of the cryogenic assisted turning process during machining of Nimonic C-263 super alloy with a multilayer CVD insert. Taguchi’s L-27 orthogonal array is used plan the experiments. Effect of input parameters viz. cutting speed (N), cutting feed (f), depth of cut (d) are studied on responses viz. surface roughness (SR), nose wear (NW) and cutting forces (F) under hybrid cryogenic (direct+indirect) machining environment. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis is carried out to explore the post-machining outcomes on the performance measures. The multiple responses are converted in to single response and ranked according to Taguchi based gray relational grade (TGRG). Feed rate (f) is found to be the most influential parameter from the analysis of variance of GRG. The means of GRG for each level of process parameters are used to improve the optimal process parameters further. Finally, the confirmative experiment is performed with these optimal set of process parameters which showed an improvement of 9.34% in the value of GRG. The proposed work can be beneficial to choose ideal process conditions to enhance the performance of turning operation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0429.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: Adolescents; passive drinking; forced drinking; alcohol misuse; interactive video-based education; pre-post intervention study
Online: 27 October 2022 (08:50:37 CEST)
Passive and forced drinking harm was prevalent but less recognized in Chinese adolescents. We educated adolescents on such harm to reduce their intention to drink. Students (n=1244) from 7 secondary schools in Hong Kong participated in a video-based health talk on passive and forced drinking harm. Paired t-test was used to assess their change in knowledge of passive and forced drinking, health and social harm of drinking after the health talk. McNemar's chi-squared test and adjusted multivariable logistic regression (AOR) were used to assess their change in intention to drink and intention to quit. Students were less likely to drink (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.19-0.42) and more likely to quit drinking (OR 3.50, 1.10-14.6) after the health talk. Increased knowledge of passive drinking was associated with less intention to drink (AOR 0.93, 0.90-0.97), increased knowledge of health harm (adjusted b 0.06, 0.05-0.08), and social harm of drinking (adjusted b 0.12, 0.10-0.16). Similar associations were observed in forced drinking (intention to drink: AOR 0.87, 0.79-0.96; health harm: adjusted b 0.16, 0.12-0.19; social harm: adjusted b 0.36, 0.28-0.43). We showed preliminary evidence that the health talk on passive and forced drinking reduced the intention to drink in adolescents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0482.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: FMECA; Fuzzy Inference Systems; fuzzy-based FMECA, Risk assessment, cyber-power grids
Online: 26 January 2023 (16:10:15 CET)
In this paper, we introduce the application of Type-I fuzzy inference systems (FIS) as an alternative to improve the prioritization in the FMECA analysis applied in cyber-power grids. Classical FMECA assesses the risk level through the Risk Priority Number (RPN). The multiplication between three integer numbers computes this, called risk factors, representing the severity, occurrence, and detectability of each failure mode and are defined by a team of experts. The RPN does not consider any relative importance between the risk factors and may not necessarily represent the real risk perception of the FMECA team members, usually expressed by natural language; this is the main FMECA shortcoming criticized in the literature. Our approach considers fuzzy variables defined by FMECA experts to represent the uncertainty associated with the human language and a rule base consisting of 125 fuzzy rules to represent the risk perception of the experts. To test our approach, we select a cyber-power grid previously analyzed by the authors using the classical FMECA. The results reveal our proposed fuzzy approach as promissory to represent the uncertainty associated with expert knowledge and to perform an accurate prioritization of failure modes in the context of electrical power systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0268.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: environmental health science; community engagement; community based participatory research; community-university partnerships
Online: 20 December 2019 (07:07:29 CET)
Community-engaged research is understood as existing on a continuum from less to more community engagement, defined by participation and decision-making authority. It has been widely assumed that more is better than less engagement. However, we argue that what makes for good community engagement is not simply the extent but the fit or alignment between the intended approach and the various contexts shaping the research projects. This article draws on case studies from three Community Engagement Cores (CECs) of NIEHS-funded Environmental Health Science Core Centers (Harvard University, UC Davis and University of Arizona,) to illustrate the ways in which community engagement approaches have been fit to different contexts and the successes and challenges experienced in each case. We analyze the processes through which the CECs work with researchers and community leaders to develop place-based community engagement approaches and find that different strategies are called for to fit distinct contexts. We find that alignment of the scale and scope of the environmental health issue and related research project, the capacities and resources of the researchers and community leaders, and the influences of the socio-political environment are critical for understanding and designing effective and equitable engagement approaches. These cases demonstrate that the types and degrees of alignment in community-engaged research projects are dynamic and evolve over time. Based on this analysis, we recommend that CBPR scholars and practitioners select a range of project planning and management techniques for designing and implementing their collaborative research approaches and both expect and allow for the dynamic and changing nature of alignment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0222.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: hyper point cloud (HPC); HPC-based intensity surface; percentile height; gridding; full waveform LiDAR; tree segmentation; vegetation structure
Online: 8 November 2018 (14:56:35 CET)
Full waveform (FW) LiDAR holds great potential for retrieving vegetation structure parameters at a high level of detail, but this prospect is constrained by practical factors such as lack of available handy processing tools and technical intricacy of waveform processing. This study introduces a new product, named the Hyper Point Cloud (HPC) derived from FW LiDAR data, and explore its potential applications such as tree crown delineation using the HPC-based intensity and percentile height (PH) surfaces, which show a promising solution to the constraints of using FW LiDAR data. Results of the HPC present a new direction to handle FW LiDAR data and offer prospects for studying the mid-story and understory of vegetation with high point density (~ 182 points/m2). The intensity-derived digital surface model (DSM) generated from the HPC shows that the ground region has larger maximum intensity (MAXI) and mean intensity (MI) than the vegetation region while having smaller total intensity (TI) and number of intensities (NI) at the given grid cell. Our analysis of intensity distribution contours at individual tree level exhibit similar patterns, indicating that the MAXI and MI are decreasing from the tree crown center to tree boundary while a rising trend is observed for TI and NI. These intensity variable contours provide a theoretical justification for using HPC-based intensity surfaces to segment tree crowns and exploit their potential for extracting tree attributes. The HPC-based intensity surfaces and the HPC-based PH Canopy Height Models (CHM) demonstrate promising tree segmentation results comparable to the LiDAR derived CHM for estimating tree attributes such as tree locations, crown widths and tree heights. We envision that products such as the HPC and the HPC-based intensity and height surfaces introduced in this study can open new perspectives to use FW LiDAR data and alleviate the technical barrier of exploring FW LiDAR data for detailed vegetation structure characterization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0142.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: behaviour; captivity; hippocamelus bisulcus; huemul; animal-based measures; welfare assessment; deer
Online: 2 June 2023 (07:06:06 CEST)
Animal welfare assessment protocols are important for identifying welfare problems in conservation programs. This study aimed to develop a baseline welfare protocol for the assessment of welfare in huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) in conservation centers. This protocol is based on the Welfare Quality® (WQ) framework for cattle, considering the available literature on the behaviours, ecology, conservation plans, captive management of this species, and welfare assessment protocols for other ungulate species. As a result, the protocol was specifically developed for huemuls and included four principles, 12 criteria, and 23 animal- and resource-based indicators. The 12 criteria of the WQ protocol were reduced to nine, and three new criteria were added because they were both feasible and essential for welfare assessment in captive huemuls. This protocol is mainly intended to identify welfare problems in endangered species in the context of conservation centers (reproduction, rescue, rehabilitation, or treatment centers). Thus, aggregation of different measures to obtain a global score has not been proposed. However, a scoring system that assigns a value on a 0-2 scale (0= No welfare concern; 1= welfare concern; 2= urgent welfare concern) is proposed for each category. Although further research is still needed to fully validate the protocol, this is the first development of a completed protocol for huemul welfare assessment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0230.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: plastic; bio-based plastic; willingness to pay; attitudes; recycling
Online: 24 March 2021 (16:54:11 CET)
Fossil-based plastics are significant contributors to global warming through CO2 emissions. For more sustainable alternatives to be successful, it is important to ensure that consumers become aware of the benefits of innovations such as bio-based plastics, in order to create demand and a willingness to initially pay more. Given that consumer attitudes and (inaccurate) beliefs can influence the uptake such new technologies, we investigated participants’ attitudes towards fossil-based and bio-based plastic, their perceived importance of recycling both types of plastic, their willingness to pay, and their perceptions of bio-based plastic in four studies (total N = 961). The pre-registered fourth study experimentally manipulated information about bio-based plastic and measured willingness to pay for different types of plastic. The results suggest participants hold very favourable attitudes and are willing to pay more for bio-based products. However, they also harbour misconceptions, especially overestimating bio-based plastic’s biodegradability, and they find it less important to recycle bio-based than fossil-based plastic. Study 4 provided evidence that educating consumers about the properties of bio-based plastic can dispel misconceptions, retain a favourable attitude and a high willingness to pay. We found mixed evidence for the effect of attitudes on willingness to pay, suggesting other psychological factors may also play a role. We discuss how attitudes and misconceptions affect the uptake of new sustainable technologies such as bio-based plastics and consumers’ willingness to purchase them.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1529.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Materials Science And Technology Keywords: wool waste; wool keratin; deep eutectic solvent; electrospinning; gel-based nanofibers; waste valorization
Online: 24 July 2023 (03:07:39 CEST)
Millions of tons of wool waste are produced yearly by textile industries, which may become a serious environmental hazard in the near future. Given this concern, it is crucial to explore strategies to reduce the amount of wool waste generated worldwide and adopt more sustainable practices for dissolving and regenerating wool keratin (WK) from textile waste. Most traditional methods involve the use of expensive, toxic, harmful, and poorly biodegradable compounds. To overcome these limitations and facilitate the reuse of wool waste through a cascade valorization strategy, researchers have started testing the use of deep eutectic solvents (DES) as a more sus-tainable and eco-friendlier alternative for WK dissolution and regeneration. In this study, the potential of two different DES mixtures, Choline chloride (ChCl): Urea and L-Cysteine (L-Cys): Lactic acid (LA), was explored for dissolving wool waste. Subsequently, the obtained gels based on DES-WK were blended with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) in different ratios to produce nanofibers using the electrospinning technique. The effect of pH and the properties of the electrospinning solutions, namely electrical conductivity and viscosity, on the morphology of the gel solutions were evaluated. Moreover, the morphological features of the produced gel-based electrospun PVA/DES-WK nanofibrous membranes were analyzed using scanning electron mi-croscopy (SEM). Additionally, the PVA/L-Cys: LA DES-WK, which proved to be the most effective DES mixture for fabricating WK gel-based nanofibers, were characterized through Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and tensile tests. Furthermore, their antioxidant and an-timicrobial abilities were evaluated. The results obtained revealed that this approach to valorize textile waste offers a unique avenue for the development of sustainable functional materials with potential applications in various biomedical and industrial fields.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0989.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: sealants; dental; fluoride; marginal integrity; caries prevention; resin-based sealants; composition
Online: 14 August 2023 (10:17:48 CEST)
The scope of this paper is to compare different dental sealants and flow materials indicated for sealing pit and fissures considering their chemical formula. The narrative review aims to address the questions: What is the essence of different dental sealants’ activity, how their chemical formula affects their mechanisms of caries prevention and what makes a dental sealant efficient mean of caries prevention. Another vital issue is whether the sealants which contain fluoride, or any other additions have potentially increased antimicrobial properties. Methods: An electronic search of the PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science and Scopus databases was performed. The following keywords were used: (dental sealants) AND (chemical composition). Additionally, information about composition and indications for clinical use provided by manufacturers were utilized. The review aims are to find crucial elements of sealants’ composition which affect their cariostatic mechanisms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0750.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: forest model; radiative transfer; vegetation indices; individual based; forest reflectance
Online: 12 June 2023 (03:41:12 CEST)
To understand forest dynamics under today’s changing environmental conditions, it is important to analyze the state of forests at large scales. Forest inventories are not available for all regions, so it is important to use other additional sources of information, e.g. remote sensing observations. Increasingly, remotely sensed data based on optical instruments and airborne LIDAR are becoming widely available for forests. There is great potential in analyzing these measurements and gaining an understanding of forests state. In this work, we combine the new generation radiative transfer model mScope with the individual-based forest model FORMIND to generate reflectance spectra for forests. Combining the two models allows us to account for species diversity at different height layers in the forest. We compare the generated reflectances for forest stands in Finland, in the region of North Karelia, with Sentinel-2 measurements. We investigate which level of forest representation gives the best results. For the majority of the forest stands, we generated good reflectances with all levels forest representation compared to the measured reflectance. Good correlations were also found for the vegetation indices (especially NDVI with R²=0.62). This work provides a forward modelling tool for relating forest reflectance to forest characteristics. With this tool it is possible to generate a large set of forest stands with corresponding reflectances. This opens the possibility to understand how reflectance is related to succession and different forest conditions.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0052.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: RNA-based NGS; EGFR mutated NSCLC; acquired resistance; RET-fusion; rebiopsy
Online: 2 November 2021 (22:19:36 CET)
The unavoidable progression of EGFR-mutated NSCLC on EGFR-TKIs forces us to discover solutions for further therapies. Herein, we discuss the necessity of accurate genomic mapping of progressive disease illustrated by a patient case. Tumor rebiopsies at progression are strongly needed to characterize acquired resistance to EGFR-TKI. The necessary data, however, may be reliably obtained only by deep targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) of both DNA and RNA. The reported case is a patient with EGFR-mutant NSCLC, who progressed during second line Osimertinib with subsequent targeted treatment determined by the detection of an acquired intergenic ANK3-RET-fusion with concomitant PTEN-mutation and MDM2-amplification. These three acquired gene alterations represent potential mechanisms of TKI-resistance, not previously reported on second line Osimertinib. Yet, while PTEN-mutations and MDM2-amplification are currently undruggable, the ANK3-RET fusion allowed further personalized treatment by combining continuation of Osimertinib with the RET-TKI Pralsetinib, which resulted in objective partial response, so far for 7 months, and significant clinical improvement. Hence, complementary DNA- and RNA-based targeted NGS may be of importance in clinical routine to better reveal the current molecular state of the disease and contribute to the identification of further targeted therapy strategies. Indeed, further cases with acquired RET-fusions, including ANK3-RET, should be investigated to fully determine the effectiveness of RET-TKI-Osimertinib combinations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0062.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Vision And Graphics Keywords: graph neural network; motif-based representation; molecular property prediction; graph matching; interpretability; GPU-enabled accelerating.
Online: 5 December 2022 (06:57:41 CET)
This work considers the task of representation learning on the attributed relational graph (ARG). Both the nodes and edges in an ARG are associated with attributes/features allowing ARGs to encode rich structural information widely observed in real applications. Existing graph neural networks offer limited ability to capture complex interactions within local structural contexts, which hinders them from taking advantage of the expression power of ARGs. We propose Motif Convolution Module (MCM), a new motif-based graph representation learning technique to better utilize local structural information. The ability to handle continuous edge and node features is one of MCM’s advantages over existing motif-based models. MCM builds a motif vocabulary in an unsupervised way and deploys a novel motif convolution operation to extract the local structural context of individual nodes, which is then used to learn higher-level node representations via multilayer perceptron and/or message passing in graph neural networks. When compared with other graph learning approaches to classifying synthetic graphs, our approach is substantially better in capturing structural context. We also demonstrate the performance and explainability advantages of our approach by applying it to several molecular benchmarks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0156.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: rule-based system; reservoir management model; land management model; SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool)
Online: 10 May 2018 (06:27:38 CEST)
Decision tables have been used for many years in data processing and business applications to simulate complex rule sets. Several computer languages have been developed based on rule systems and they are easily programmed in several current languages. Land management and river-reservoir models simulate complex land management operations and reservoir management in highly regulated river systems. Decision tables are a precise yet compact way to model the rule sets and corresponding actions found in these models. In this study, we discuss the suitability of decision tables to simulate management in the river basin scale Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT+) model. Decision tables are developed to simulate automated irrigation and reservoir releases. A simple auto irrigation application of decision tables was developed using plant water stress as a condition for irrigating corn in Texas. Sensitivity of the water stress trigger and irrigation application amounts were shown on soil moisture and corn yields. In addition, the Grapevine Reservoir near Dallas, Texas was used to illustrate the use of decision tables to simulate reservoir releases. The releases were conditioned on reservoir volumes and flood season. The release rules as implemented by the decision table realistically simulated flood releases as evidenced by a daily NSE (Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency) of 0.52 and a percent bias of -1.1%. Using decision tables to simulate management in land, river and reservoir models was shown to have several advantages over current approaches including: 1) mature technology with considerable literature and applications, 2) ability to accurately represent complex, real world decision making, 3) code that is efficient, modular and easy to maintain, and 4) tables that are easy to maintain, support, and modify.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0017.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Digital Mental Health; deprivation; service activity; Mental health concerns; ethnicity; time-series analysis; Covid-19; Text-based online therapy
Online: 2 February 2023 (01:30:05 CET)
The adoption of digital health technologies accelerated during Covid-19, with concerns over the equity of access due to digital exclusion. Using data from a text-based online mental health service for children and young people we explore the impact of the pandemic on service access and presenting concerns and whether differences were observed by sociodemographic characteristics in terms of access (gender, ethnicity and deprivation). We used interrupted time-series models to assess whether there was a change in the level and rate of service use during the Covid-19 pandemic (April 2020-April 2021) compared to pre-pandemic trends (June 2019-March 2020). Routinely collected data from 61221 service users were extracted for observation, those represented half of the service population as only those with consent to share their data were used. The majority of users identified as female (74%) and White (80%), with an age range between 13 and 20 years of age,. There was evidence of a sudden increase (13%) in service access at the start of the pandemic (RR 1.13 95% CI 1.02, 1.25), followed by a reduced rate (from 25% to 21%) of engagement during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic trends (RR 0.97 95% CI 0.95,0.98). There was a sudden increase in almost all presenting issues apart from physical complaints. There was evidence of a step increase in the number of contacts for Black/African/Caribbean/Black British (38% increase; 95% CI: 1%-90%) and White ethnic groups (14% increase; 95% CI: 2%-27%) ), the sudden increase in service use at the start of the pandemic for the most (58% increase; 95% CI: 1%-247%) and least (47% increase; 95% CI: 6%-204%) deprived areas. During the pandemic, contact rates decreased, and referral sources change at the start. Findings on access and service activity align with other studies observing reduced service utilisation. The lack of differences in deprivation levels and ethnicity at lockdown suggests exploring equity of access to the anonymous service. The study provides unique insights into changes in digital mental health use during Covid-19 in the UK.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0937.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: Endometrial cancer; microsatellite instability; mismatch repair deficiency; platinum-based chemotherapy
Online: 13 June 2023 (12:27:39 CEST)
Background: There is poor evidence about sensitivity to chemotherapy according to microsatellite instability (MSI)/mismatch repair (MMR) status in endometrial cancer (EC). Methodology: The RAME study is a retrospective analysis aiming to assess response to chemotherapy in MSI-high (h) /deficient (d) MMR and MSI- low (l)/proficient (p)MMR EC patients. Primary endpoints were recurrence-free survival (RFS) for patients with localized disease and progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced/recurrent disease. Results: 312 patients treated between 2010-2022 in 4 high volume Multicenter Italian Trial in Ovarian cancer and gynecological malignancies (MITO) centers were selected. 239 patients had endometrioid EC (76.6%), 151 had FIGO stage I at diagnosis (48.9%) and 71 were MSI-h/dMMR (22.8%). Median age was 65 (range 31–91) years. Among patients with localized disease, median RFS was 100.0 months (95%CI 59.4–140.7) for MSI-l/pMMR and 120.9 months (60.0-181.8) for MSI-h/dMMR (p=0.39). Seventy-seven patients received first-line chemotherapy for advanced/recurrent disease. Patients with MSI-h/dMMR ECs had a significantly worse OS (p=0.039). In patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy, no statistically significant difference in PFS (p=0.21) and OS (p=0.057) were detected, although PFS and OS were numerically longer in the MSI-l/pMMR population. Conclusion: Patients with metastatic MSI-h/dMMR EC receiving first-line chemotherapy had a significantly worse OS.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0388.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Electrochemistry Keywords: oxygen evolution reaction; water electrolysis; iridium-based catalysts; engineering strategy; acidic OER
Online: 25 October 2022 (10:56:06 CEST)
Proton exchange membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWEs) for water electrolysis have received tremendous attention due to their immediate response, high proton conductivity, low ohmic losses and gas crossover rate. However, design high activity, economical and long-term durable electrocatalysts in an acidic environment is still the bottleneck to realize the large-scale commercialization of PEMWEs. Iridium-based materials represent one of the most promising classes of oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts due to their intrinsic stability in acid media over ruthenium-based counterparts. However, only a few innovative approaches have been developed to synthesizing iridium-based catalysts (IBCs) in the past decade, mainly due to achieving high activity may deteriorate the stability of IBCs. Accordingly, various engineering strategies of optimizing IBCs have been proposed to address this issue, including doping engineering, morphology engineering, crystal phase engineering and support engineering. Herein, a critical overview focusing on various synthesis and modulation strategies of IBCs is presented, based on an in-depth understanding of the relationship between electronic structures, charge redistribution and activity as well as stability of the electrocatalysts. In addition, the unprecedented achievements in PEMWEs are summarized. The reaction mechanisms and future perspectives are critically discussed to inspire more rational design of IBCs toward practical applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0229.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle networks (UAVNs); secure communication; agent-based self-protective; HIS
Online: 21 January 2020 (03:02:34 CET)
UAVNs (unmanned aerial vehicle networks) may become vulnerable to threats and attacks due to their characteristic features such as high mobility, highly dynamic network topology, and open-air wireless environments. Since previous work has focused on classical and metaheuristic-based approaches, none of these approaches have a self-adaptive approach. In this article, we examine the challenges of cyber detection methods to secure UAVNs and review exiting security schemes proposed in the current literature. Furthermore, we propose an agent-based self-protective method (ASP-UAVN) for UAVNs that is based on the Human Immune System (HIS). In ASP-UAS, the safest route from the source UAV to the destination UAV is chosen according to a self-protective system. In this method, a multi-agent system using an Artificial Immune System (AIS) is employed to detect the attacking UAV and choose the safest route. In the proposed ASP-UAVN, the route request packet (RREQ) is initially transmitted from the source UAV to the destination UAV to detect the existing routes. Then, once the route reply packet (RREP) is received, a self-protective method using agents and the knowledge base is employed to choose the safest route and detect the attacking UAVs. The method is evaluated here via extensive simulations carried out in the NS-3 environment. The experimental results of four scenarios demonstrated that the ASP-UAS increases the Packet Delivery Rate (PDR) by more than 17.4, 20.8, and 25.91%, and detection rate by more than 17.2, 23.1, and 29.3%, and decreases the Packet Loss Rate (PLR) by more than 14.4, 16.8, and 20.21%, the false-positive and false-negative rate by more than 16.5, 25.3, and 31.21% those of SUAS-HIS, SFA and BRUIDS methods, respectively.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1710.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: prostate cancer; immunotherapy; dendritic cell-based vaccines; castration-resistant prostate cancer; tumor microenvironment; biomarkers
Online: 24 May 2023 (10:47:44 CEST)
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of death due to cancer. About 30% of patients with PCa who have been castrated develop a castration-resistant form of the disease (CRPC), which is incurable. In the last decade, new treatments that control the disease have emerged, slowing progression and spread, and prolonging survival while maintaining the quality of life. These include immunotherapies; however, we do not yet know the optimal combination and sequence of these therapies with the standard ones. All therapies are not always suitable for every patient due to co-morbidities or adverse effects of therapies or both, so there is an urgent need for further work on new therapeutic options. Advances in cancer immunotherapy with an immune checkpoint inhibition mechanism (e.g., ipilimumab, an anti-CTLA-4 inhibitor) have not shown a survival benefit in patients with CRPC. Other immunological approaches have also not given clear results, which has indirectly prevented breakthrough for this type of therapeutic strategy into clinical use. Currently, the only approved form of immunotherapy for patients with CRPC is a cell-based medicine, but it is only available to patients in some parts of the world. Based on the experience gained from recently completed clinical research on immunotherapy with dendritic cell-based immunohybridomas, the aHyC dendritic cell vaccine, for patients with CRPC, we highlight the current status, and possible alternatives that should be considered in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0220.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: breast cancer; disease-free survival; semiquantitative paramaters; volume-based parameters; 18F-FDG; PET/CT
Online: 13 March 2023 (07:25:28 CET)
Aim: This study aimed to investigate whether baseline 18F-FDG PET-derived semiquantitative parameters could predict disease-free survival in patients with grade III breast cancer of different molecular subtypes undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Materials and Methods: Patients were retrospectively retrieved from the databases of two Italian hospitals (University of Padua and University Hospital of Ferrara). Inclusion criteria were: 1) histologically proven diagnosis of grade III breast cancer; 2) history of NAC; 3) execution of a baseline 18F-FDG PET/CT scan before the start of NAC; 4) adequate follow-up time to compute the 3Y-DFS. For each 18F-FDG-PET/CT scan, the following parameters were calculated in the primary tumor (SUVmax, SUVmean, MTV, TLG) and whole-body (WB_SUVmax, WB_MTV, and WB_TLG). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used for each parameter to assess the prediction capability for 3Y-DFS. DFS differences between groups were assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves and compared by log-rank test. Results: Ninety-five grade III breast cancer patients with different molecular types were retrieved (luminal A: 5; luminal B: 34; luminal B-HER2: 22; HER2-enriched: 7; triple-negative: 27). In the whole group of patients, WB_SUVmax was the best predictor of recurrence (AUC: 0.66; best cut-off: WB_SUVmax>9.43; SS: 96%; SP: 38.1%; p<0.008). Patients with luminal A and Her-2-enriched breast cancer types were excluded from the molecular subgroup analysis due to the small study samples (5 and 7, respectively). In luminal B patients (n=34), WB_MTV (AUC: 0.75; best cut-off: WB_MTV>195.33; SS: 55.56%, SP: 100%; p=0.002) and WB_TLG (AUC: 0.73; best cut-off: WB_TLG>1066.21; SS: 55.56%, SP: 100%; p=0.05) were the best predictors of 3Y-DFS. Patients had a higher probability of DFS in case of a WB_MTV≤195.33 (3429±210 vs. 446±144 days; p<0.001) or WB_TLG≤ 1066.33 (937.35±19 vs. 496±131 days; p<0.001). In luminal B-HER2 patients (n=22), WB_SUVmax was the only predictor of 3Y-DFS (AUC: 0.857; best cut-off: WB_SUVmax>13.12; SS: 100%; SP: 71.43%; p<0.001); patients with WB_SUVmax≤13.12 had a significantly longer DFS (3857 days) than patients with a WB_SUVmax >13.12 (1693±430 days; p<0.004). No parameter resulted significant in the prediction of 3Y-DFS in patients with grade III triple-negative cancer. Conclusion: Volume-based parameters, extracted from baseline 18F-FDG PET, seem to be promising tools in the prediction of recurrence within 3 years in patients with grade III luminal B and luminal B- HER2 breast cancer undergoing NAC. Larger study samples are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0557.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Civil Society; Climate Politics; Environmental Governance; Faith-Based Environmentalism; Faith-Based Nonprofits; Global Governance; International Relations; Religion and Ecology; Religion and Society; Sustainability
Online: 24 February 2021 (16:45:12 CET)
How much is religion quantitatively involved in global climate politics? After assessing the role of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from a normative perspective, this descriptive, transdisciplinary and unconventional study offers the first comprehensive quantitative examination of religious nongovernmental organizations that formally participate in its annual meetings, the largest attempts to solve the climate crisis through global governance. This study finds that although their numbers are growing, only about 3 percent of registered nongovernmental organizations accredited to participate in the conference are overtly religious in nature — and that more than 80 percent of those faith-based groups are Christian. Additionally, this study finds that religious nongovernmental organizations that participate in the conference are mostly from the Global North. The results call for greater participation of religious institutions in the international climate negotiations in order for society to address the planetary emergency of climate change.
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: PCM-based heat sink; Operation time; Optimal; Horizontal Fin; Aspect ratio
Online: 11 July 2020 (15:56:19 CEST)
In this study, the thermal behavior of a PCM-based heat sink in the presence of horizontal fins was numerically investigated. These types of heat sink can be effective in electronic cooling applications. Independent variables included aspect ratio (AR), number of horizontal fins (n) and their length (LR), while the objective function was defined to maximize the safe operation time (tmax). The incorporation of horizontal fins has a positive effect (thermal conductivity enhancement) as well as a negative effect (latent heat reduction). Based on the results, the optimal number of horizontal fins was five. As the number of fins rises up to five, the incremental effect of thermal conductivity improvement (positive effect) was superior to the decremental effect of the latent heat reduction (negative effect), hence the objective function (tmax) improved. However, with a further increase in the number of fins upon five, the negative effect prevailed over the positive effect and therefore the safe operation time diminished.