ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0497.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: Product innovation; enterprise survival; competitive intensity; competitive advantage
Online: 31 May 2020 (19:45:30 CEST)
Product innovation is a crucial factor in enterprise survival. Even though there are sources from strategic theory that guides the clear comprehension towards appreciating the nexus between these two variables (product innovation and enterprise survival), there are still many lacunas that should be addressed and filled. Consequently, the need for additional empirical corroboration or support is pertinent. This study aimed at verifying the nexus between product innovation and enterprise survival, and how they are affected by the existence of antecedent variables such as competitive intensity and competitive advantage. In the methodology, this study adopts the conduct of explanatory and cross-sectional investigations through the use of structural equation modelling (SEM) to a sample of selected food and beverages enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria. Regarding the food and beverage enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria, this study discovered that competitive intensity has huge positive implication on product innovation at (0.39; t = 5.69, p < 0.05). This gives numerical evidence that, in the face of more market competition, enterprises will be pressured to adopt the model of costs reduction on products which will enhance the reduction of product prices, and will have significant impact on profit. However, the findings reveal that there is no significance between competitive advantage and product innovation at (0.002; t = 0.203, p > 0.05), and there is no significance between product innovation and enterprise survival at (-0.035; t = -1.583, p > .05). As a result, the food and beverage enterprises should concentrate more on product innovation so that they will be able to stand the intensity of competition. The results emanated from the study is germane as it make significant contribution to literature and the body of knowledge and on strategic management by enlightening that competitive intensity is a necessary inducement for product innovation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0043.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: organic private labels, competitive advantage, retailing
Online: 2 May 2018 (13:09:27 CEST)
The main aim of the study was to analyze/determine how international modern retailers’ chains can achieve a competitive advantage by introducing private labels (PLs) in the organic category and in turn stimulate consumption of food produced with respect of sustainability principles. Following a review of the relevant literature data collection process involved two steps. First, to select retailers with organic private labels (OPLs) and producers delivering products under OPLs, there were conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with the representatives of the management board of 17 enterprises. A group of 6 enterprises was selected, including 3 retailers having OPLs, 2 producers delivering products under OPLs and one enterprise that was categorized as producer and distributor. Based on the results of the interviews, six sources of the competitive advantage of the OPLs were identified and further discussed. Second, to analyze more in depth assortment-based competitive advantage of the OPLs, 8 enterprises (5 retailers having OPLs, 2 producers delivering products under OPLs and one enterprise categorized as a producer and distributor) were approached for the interviews. To explore price-related competitive advantage three products offered under the premium PLs, the economy PLs, the organic PLs, the producer brands and the imported brands were selected for the subsequent analysis. Increasing competition in the food retailing sector pose many challenges on the retailers and stimulate them to develop the PLs that is in line with global trends. In case of the OPLs, the more popular strategy while introducing them is to differentiate the PLs with quality and image related attributes comparable to leading producer brands. Retail chains introducing the OPLs achieve the competitive advantage related to six sources: price, range of assortment, type of PLs, image of retailer, sustainability and specific process and product related attributes of organic food. Additionally the retailers use their reputation and image of retailers’ brand to guarantee the quality of new organic products introduced under the PLs. To achieve or maintain the competitive advantage, retailers tend to introduce the OPLs positioned as value added PLs. They perceive the OPLs as a way to influence the consumers' decision to buy and increase their loyalty towards store brands. The strategies of the retailers evolve and the largest retailers decided to create the premium OPLs, the others focus on introduction of the international OPLs or aim at development of new PLs based on the analysis of consumers' preferences. There are several factors behind the decision to introduce or extend the premium OPLs i.e. to expand the assortment of organic products and green products line, to increase category margins and to enhance retailer’s image among customers. Other large retailers create the OPLs with special product line design focusing on health- and environmental related attributes and high quality guaranteed by the organic regulations and the certification. The process of the introducing the premium PLs should be influenced by the inherent characteristic of organic food and its production methods that respect the principles of the sustainable development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0532.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: geothermal power plant; environment issues; rural Tompaso; competitive intelligence
Online: 23 February 2021 (19:01:29 CET)
The vision of the community around Geothermal Power Plant (GPP) is the development of GPP should be based on sustainable development principles, without jeopardizing the quality of life and justice for communities surrounding the power plant. This research aims to: (i) identifying issues that arise as an impact of the development of GPP in the rural Tompaso, and (ii) finding solutions to the issues to minimize the conflict that arises from further GPP development in rural Tompaso and its surroundings. This study is based on the competitive intelligence (CI) research method. The results show that the development of GPP in Tompaso has a negative impact on the natural environment and social environment. The technical solutions offered include: (i) bioremediation by cultivating plants that absorb arsenic; (ii) biosulfurization and desulfurization for reducing air pollution, especially sulfur; (iii ) floods and extreme drought are managed by improving infrastructure and reforestation; (iv) social conflicts (land acquisition, working days, labor recruitment and settlement security) are solved by intensifying program dissemination to the community and involving local communities in decision making. The recommended policy is providing incentives to the local community through strategic programs for the development of human and natural resources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0178.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: strategies; design; footwear industry; structural equation model; competitive edge
Online: 13 December 2019 (05:27:06 CET)
The potential of Thai industrial product design is still inferior to those of leading competitors in world market that give more importance on the design during their product development to increase their competitive edges on commercial scale. The product design is very important part for sustainable growth in this industry. Thus, this research aims at investigating footwear design strategies for Thai footwear industry to be excellence in world market. The research has been designed with the mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative study. The quantitative data were collected through semi-structure interview from 500 designers who presented their designs to join the award competition. The results revealed that the footwear design strategies consisted of 4 factors, i.e. 1) design, 2) market analysis, 3) innovation, and 4) information technology. This paper utilizes the method of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to establish a strategies model for competitive advantage in Thai footwear industry. The analysis results indicated that the footwear design strategies model could help make more effective policies and organization strategies for enterprises and designers to develop themselves to be excellence in world market.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0219.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Bayesian networks; self determined motivation; competitive anxiety; Entropy reduction.
Online: 10 October 2018 (11:48:18 CEST)
This study is framed on the Information Theory as a constructive criterion to generate probabilistic distributions –through the elaboration of Bayesian Networks- and to reduce the uncertainty in the occurrence and relationship between two key psychological variables associated with the sports’ performance: Self-Determined Motivation and Competitive Anxiety. We analyzed 674 universitary students/athletes who competed in the 2017 Universitary Games (Universiade) in México, from 44 universities, with an average age of 21 years old (SD = 2.07), and with a sportive experience of 8.61 years of average (SD = 5.15). Methods: Regarding the data analysis, first of all a CHAID algorithm was carried out for to know the independence links among variables, and then two Bayesian networks (BN) were elaborated. The validation of the BN revealed AUC values ranging from 0.5 to 0.92. Subsequently, various instantations were carried out with hypothetical values applied to the “bottom” variables. Results showed two probability trees that have Extrinisic Motivation and Amotivation at the top, while the anxiety/activation due to the worry for performance was at the bottom of probabilities. The instantiations carried out support the existence of these probabilistic relationships, demonstrating the little influence on the competition anxiety generated by the intrinsic motivation. In conclusion, the reduction of the uncertainty made up by the restricted BN may aloe to re-introduce Information Theory principles in psychosocial studies, allowing authors to obtain useful probabilities values upon target psychological variables related with sportive performance.
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: higher education; competitive advantage; PEST analysis; strategic planning; SWOT analysis
Online: 29 October 2021 (10:24:57 CEST)
Utilising Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) as a case example, this report will provide information about the strategic challenges that many modern universities in the UK face in creating a flexible delivery of education. Using strategic concepts and analysis, the current short report will examine the competitiveness within the higher education sector in the UK and explore key external and internal environmental factors of CCCU, gaining a greater understanding of their current position. From these analyses, strategic recommendations as to how universities such as CCCU can create a competitive advantage through a new form of flexible learning delivery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0210.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: pharmacokinetics; tissue distribution; indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; puerarin
Online: 30 May 2017 (07:47:09 CEST)
Puerarin (PUE) is a compound isolated from the roots of Pueraria lobata. We studied the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution kinetics of PUE in Sprague-Dawley rats following intraperitoneal administration of three concentrations. Indirect competitive ELISA based on an anti-PUE monoclonal antibody was used to determine the concentration of PUE in the blood, heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and striatum. The plasma and tissue distribution kinetic characteristics following a single injection of PUE (20, 40, and 80 mg/kg) were calculated using a non-compartment model. In the high-dose (80 mg/kg) and medium-dose (40 mg/kg) groups, the kinetic profile of PUE in blood and kidney samples showed two absorption peaks, while that of the other tissues showed only one peak. In the low-dose (20 mg/kg) group, there was only one peak, irrespective of the sample type. Pharmacokinetic parameters such as the area under the curve, Cmax, and Tmax varied according to the administered dose. AUC and Cmax values increased dose-dependently. PUE was widely distributed in areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and striatum, providing a foundation for guiding the use of PUE in the treatment of cerebral ischaemic stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0117.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: Big data predictive analytics; competitive strategies; strategic alliance performance; Telecom sector
Online: 5 November 2021 (11:29:12 CET)
Based on the resource-based theory, the current study examines the relationship between competitive strategies and strategic alliance performance. Furthermore, big data predictive analytics is treated as a boundary condition between competitive strategies and strategic alliance performance. Big data of predictive analytics in operations and industrial management has been a focal point in the current era. There has been little attention has about big data predictive analytics influences on competitive strategies and strategic alliance performance, especially in developing countries like Pakistan. A survey instrument was used to record the responses from 331 employees of the telecom sectors companies working in Pakistan. Study findings show that big competitive strategies have a positive and significant relationship with strategic alliances performance. It was also found that big data predictive analytics plays the role of moderator between competitive strategies and strategic alliance performance. The study add a new perspective and contribution to the literature on big data predictive analytics, strategic alliance performance, and competitive strategies in Pakistan's telecom sector companies. Further, the study results explain that big data analytics is just like the companies' lifeblood in the current era. The efficient and effective use of big data analytics, companies can boost their standards in a competitive environment.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0458.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: strategy; national security; competitive gaming; wargaming; military; defense force; arboviruses; crisis management
Online: 18 March 2021 (07:20:31 CET)
The emergence of existing and novel vector-borne disease pathogens is highly unpredictable because there are so many possible causal factors of sociological, ecological, biological, behavioral and political origin. Traditional data-driven forecasting tools have limited use in circumstances featuring low-probability crises for which trend data is unreliable and non-predictive. Commercial and security sectors have been quick to adopt various forms of wargames to address this gap and provide intelligent insights on possible outcomes in the short, mid and long term future. The lack of commitment and action against vector-borne diseases by governments and local authorities requires a new approach that presents risk in terms of potential actions, possible outcomes and resulting consequences.
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: culture; co-evolution; meme; altruism; natural selection; competitive equilibrium; Fermi Paradox: memetics; genetics
Online: 10 February 2021 (16:31:42 CET)
Abstract. Background: This paper investigates the propagation of behaviorally transmitted traits with negative effect on host fitness. Methods: We analyze equilibrium between genetically transmitted and behaviorally transmitted competing propagators and consider whether a behavioral propagator is linked to reproduction (e.g. vertical culture transmission), or not. We employ combined genetic and behavior-induced fitness components for hosts, while behavioral propagators have replication factors to distinguish from what’s good for the host (fitness). Results: A trait which spreads faster than its marginal host fitness contribution reduces population will establish itself. The often transient nature of laterally transmitted traits may be a defense against accumulation of deleterious traits. Laterally transmitted traits with high spreading rate often do not equalize with genetic traits, spreading outside natural selection of the hosts. Vertical transmission reduces replication rate and allows group selection against deleterious behaviorally transmitted traits. Competing mutually exclusive propagators contribute to inequality and altruism, but compete through adverse fitness since exclusivity assumes low conversion. Conclusion: Behaviorally transmitted traits, in some cases a tremendous advantage, may also be a significant problem in the development of societies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0424.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: financial resources ability; R & D; innovation orientation; competitive position; new product performance (NPP)
Online: 21 January 2021 (14:50:19 CET)
This study aims to test empirical research on the effect of financial resource ability, research and development (R & D) on innovation orientation and competitive position. This study also examines the critical mediating role of innovation orientation and competitive position to achieving new products performance (NPP). This study used a quantitative research approach by comparing data from service industry and manufacture industry in Indonesia included in Indonesian-State-Ownership companies. The analysis unit in this study used middle managers and top managers who responsible for managing divisions within the Indonesian-State-Ownership companies. The number of respondents studied in this study was 287 sample. The purposive sampling technique was used in taking the research sample. This study indicated that financial resources abilities, research and development (R & D) abilities positive effect on innovation orientation and competitive position. This study also testing the importance role of innovation orientation and a competitive position to enhancing new products performance (NPP).
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Hybrid machine learning; artificial neural networks; imperialist competitive algorithm; gray wolf optimization; crop yield
Online: 24 February 2020 (14:00:43 CET)
Prediction of crop yield is essential for food security policymaking, planning, and trade. The objective of the current study is to propose novel crop yield prediction models based on hybrid machine learning methods. In this study, the performance of artificial neural networks-imperialist competitive algorithm (ANN-ICA) and artificial neural networks-gray wolf optimizer (ANN-GWO) models for the crop yield prediction is evaluated. According to the results, ANNGWO, with R of 0.48, RMSE of 3.19, and MEA of 26.65, proved a better performance in the crop yield prediction compared to the ANN-ICA model. The results can be used by either practitioners, researchers or policymakers for food security.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0365.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Computational Mathematics Keywords: Hopfield Neural Networks; Election Algorithm; Imperialistic Competitive Algorithm; Exhaustive Search; Random Satisfiability; Logic Programming
Online: 30 January 2020 (11:46:31 CET)
Election Algorithm (EA) is a powerful metaheuristics model motivated by phenomena of the socio-political mechanism of the presidential election conducted in many countries. EA is selected as a topic of discussion due to its capability and robustness to carry out complex problems in the random-2SAT logic program. This paper utilizes a hybridized EA assimilated with the Hopfield neural network (HNN) in carrying out random logic program (HNN-R2SATEA). The efficiency of the proposed method was compared with the existing traditional exhaustive search (HNN-R2SATES) model and the recently introduced HNN-R2SATICA model. From the result obtained, clearly proven that based on our proposed hybrid model outperformed other existing model based on the Global Minima Ratio (ZM), Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) and Execution Time (ET). The expected outcome portrays that the EA algorithm outperformed the other two algorithms in doing random-kSAT logic program. The results proved the robustness, effectiveness, and compatibility of the HNN-R2SATEA model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0115.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: Commercial agency, Exclusivity, Agency termination, Agency disputes, Agency committee, Jordan, GATS, Competitive markets, Monopolization
Online: 11 December 2018 (08:59:38 CET)
The Jordanian Law of Commercial Agents and Intermediaries No. 28 of 2001 and the Emirati Commercial Agency Law No. 2 of 2010 cover all forms of sale contracts through intermediaries. These Laws provide express restrictions and protective provisions on the conduct by local agents of internal commercial agency activities. However, these statutory protections are granted only to registered agencies conducted by national agents.The Jordanian legislator does not regulate the issue of agency exclusivity, which can constitute a restraint of trade and leads to a state of market monopolization. Courts in Jordan have exclusive jurisdiction in settling disputes arising out of agency agreements. However, this exclusive jurisdiction does not cover unregistered commercial agencies which are treated as enforceable commercial contracts under the general provisions prescribed in the Commercial Code.Under the Jordanian Law the principal cannot terminate the agency agreement at any time, but he can dismiss its renewal upon the expiry of its date without justified grounds. Certain statutory protections provided by the Jordanian laws raise barriers to entry to their national markets. This statutory policy violates the specific commitments made by Jordan with respect to market access and national treatment established by the GATS.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0477.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Other Keywords: Li-Al-OH LDH; mechanochemical preparation; boron adsorption; physical and chemical synergism; competitive adsorbent
Online: 20 November 2018 (04:02:33 CET)
In this study, Li-Al-OH layered double hydroxide (LDH), which was prepared by solvent-free one-step mechanochemical reaction of LiOH and Al(OH)3, was applied to remove boron from aqueous solution. Dry-grinding for 3 h at a rotational speed of 500 rpm, Li/Al molar 1/2 was the optimum condition to prepare highly crystalline of Li-Al LDH phase with no evident impure phases. Two milling products with Li/Al molar ratio at 1/2 and 2/2 were evaluated for boron adsorption. The results confirmed that Li/Al molar ratio 2/2 sample showed high boron adsorption capacity due to the physical adsorption of Li-Al-OH LDH and chemical synergism of phase gel Al(OH)3. The adsorption isotherms, described by the Langmuir model, indicated maximum monolayer boron uptake capacity 45.45 mg/g, implying competitive adsorption capacity of the material in our experiment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0057.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: tomato cultivar; allelopathy; competitive ability; plant-plant interactions; weed suppression; sustainable agriculture; weed management; vegetable
Online: 3 September 2021 (10:33:20 CEST)
The present study aims to identify tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivars with weed-suppressive ability against target weed species in the tomato growing season. A greenhouse study was conducted with 17 tomato cultivars and target weeds Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats), yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.), and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis L.). Tomato plants and weed species were grown in the same pot. The height, chlorophyll, and dry weight biomass of the weeds were measured 28 days after sowing. The largest effect of tomato interference was on Palmer amaranth. Cultivar 15 reduced Palmer amaranth height, chlorophyll, and biomass by 58, 28, and 83%, respectively. Chlorophyll percentage of yellow nutsedge seedlings was suppressed by 15% by cultivar 64, whereas 13% of its height was reduced by cultivar 20. Cultivar 15 reduced biomass of yellow nutsedge by 40%. The percentage of chlorophyll of large crabgrass was reduced by 22% with cultivar 5, whereas the height and biomass were reduced by 35 and 44% with cultivars 38 and 63, respectively. Factoring all parameters evaluated, cultivars 38, 33, and 7 were most suppressive against the problematic weed species in tomato.
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: generational responsibility; sustainable consumption; economic crises; long‐term orientation; collectivism; corporate social responsibility; competitive strategies
Online: 24 December 2020 (14:23:51 CET)
The rise of Asian and the stagnation of Western middle classes over the last thirty years have resulted in gradual convergence of income of large parts of the world’s population. Recent global crises ‐ the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic ‐ have led to a decline in income and increase in income uncertainty. Rise in consumption of lower quality goods of shorter durability and an overall decline in demand and economic activity resulted as challenges to the global economy. In this paper, we argue that generational responsibility in consumption can be an environmentally sustainable response to crises which enables the economies to overcome the crisis of confidence and reaffirms community ties. As an element of long‐term orientation in consumption, generational responsibility is a cultural phenomenon dependent on solidarity within family and the wider community. It is characterized by consideration of consequences of consumption choices on the environment, and the abundance of savings and the usability of goods to be inherited by future generations. For companies, willing to revisit their traditional business models and incorporate principles of sustainability in their competitive strategies, promotion of generational responsibility can become a new source of competitive advantage and a driver of economic recovery.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0178.v2
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; biogeography; competitive exclusion; ecological niche model; molecular taxonomic identification; PCR-RFLP; Reticulitermes; saproxylic; species richness
Online: 17 January 2019 (03:55:36 CET)
In both managed and unmanaged forests, termites are functionally important members of the dead-wood-associated (saproxylic) insect community. However, little is known about regional-scale environmental drivers of geographic distributions of termite species, and how these environmental factors impact co-occurrence among congeneric species. Here we focus on the southern Appalachian Mountains—a well-known center of endemism for forest biota—and use Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) to examine the distributions of three species of Reticulitermes termites (i.e., R. flavipes, R. virginicus, and R. malletei). To overcome deficiencies in public databases, ENMs were underpinned by field-collected high-resolution occurrence records coupled with molecular taxonomic species identification. Spatial overlap among areas of predicted occurrence of each species was mapped, and aspects of niche similarity were quantified. We also identified environmental factors that most strongly contribute to among-species differences in occupancy. Overall, we found that R. flavipes and R. virginicus showed significant niche divergence, which was primarily driven by dry-season precipitation. Also, all three species were most likely to co-occur in the mid-latitudes of the study area (i.e., northern Alabama and Georgia, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina), which is an area of considerable topographic complexity. This work provides important baseline information for follow-up studies of local-scale drivers of these species’ distributions. It also identifies specific geographic areas where future assessments of the frequency of true syntopy vs. micro-allopatry, and associated interspecific competitive interactions, should be focused.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0006.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; protein design; complementarity; competitive inhibitor; homology-based threading in rational protein design
Online: 4 March 2021 (10:14:39 CET)
COVID-19 is characterized by an unprecedented abrupt increase in the viral transmission rate (SARS-CoV-2) relative to its pandemic evolutionary ancestor, SARS-CoV (2003). The complex molecular cascade of events related to the viral pathogenicity is triggered by the Spike protein upon interacting with the ACE2 receptor on human lung cells through its receptor binding domain (RBDSpike). One potential therapeutic strategy to combat COVID-19 could thus be limiting the infection by blocking this key interaction. In this current study, we adopt a protein design approach to predict and propose non-virulent structural mimics of the RBDSpike which can potentially serve as its competitive inhibitors in binding to ACE2. The RBDSpike is an independently foldable protein domain, resilient to conformational changes upon mutations and therefore an attractive target for strategic re-design. Interestingly, in spite of displaying an optimal shape fit between their interacting surfaces (attributed to a consequently high mutual affinity), the RBDSpike–ACE2 interaction appears to have a quasi-stable character due to a poor electrostatic match at their interface. Structural analyses of homologous protein complexes reveal that the ACE2 binding site of RBDSpike has an unusually high degree of solvent-exposed hydrophobic residues, attributed to key evolutionary changes, making it inherently ‘reaction-prone’. The designed mimics aimed to block the viral entry by occupying the available binding sites on ACE2, are tested to have signatures of stable high-affinity binding with ACE2 (cross-validated by appropriate free energy estimates), overriding the native quasi-stable feature. The results show the apt of directly adapting natural examples in rational protein design, wherein, homology-based threading coupled with strategic ‘hydrophobic ↔ polar’ mutations serve as a potential breakthrough.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0050.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: competitive learning and memory functions; cognitive development; basal ganglia; medial temporal lobe; prefrontal cortex; model-based learning; model-free learning
Online: 5 June 2020 (14:10:15 CEST)
There has been a growing interest in incorporating psychological and neuroscientific knowledge about the development of cognitive functions in educational policies and academic practices. In this paper, we argue that the current knowledge about the interactions between these functions and their neurodevelopmental characteristics should also be considered in order to develop practices that could be better suited to pupils depending on their age. To facilitate this, we review current neuroscientific knowledge on the competitive interactions between two neural circuitry underlying distinct learning functions, their developmental trajectories and how they are linked to other functions such as cognitive control. The incorporation of this knowledge in education could help improve academic outcomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0493.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Weed competitive ability; early seed germination and seedling vigor traits; quantitative trait loci (QTLs); single nucleotide polymorphism; direct seeded rice
Online: 29 August 2018 (10:46:02 CEST)
Weed competitive ability (WCA) is a desirable key trait for the improvement of grain yield under direct-seeded rice (DSR) and the aerobic rice ecosystem. The present study targeted screening of 167 introgression lines (ILs) of a Green Super Rice (GSR) IR2-6 population derived from a cross between Weed Tolerant Rice 1 (WTR1) as the recipient parent and Y134 as the donor parent developed at IRRI for weed competitiveness in screen house conditions (SHC). The ILs were phenotyped for WCA traits such as early seed germination (ESG) and early seedling vigor (ESV) in Petri dishes and pot experiment conditions. The results of phenotypic variance revealed ESG-related traits, especially first germination count (1st GC) that positively correlated with second germination count (2nd GC), germination percentage (GP), total dry weight (TDW), total fresh weight (TFW), and vigor index (VI-1), whereas, in ESV, all the traits were positively correlated with each other except for three traits: root dry weight (RDW), 1st GC, and GP-2. The ESG and ESV traits are vital for weed competitiveness. A 6K SNP array was used to study the genetic association for the WCA traits. Forty-four QTLs for WCA traits were mapped on all chromosomes (except on chromosomes 4 and 8) through single marker analysis (SMA). Out of 44 QTLs, 29 were associated with ESG traits and 15 with ESV traits, with LOD scores of 2.93 to 8.03 and 2.93 to 5.04 and explained phenotypic variance ranging from 7.85% to 19.9% and from 7.85% to 13.2%, respectively. However, 31 QTLs were contributed by a negative additive allele from Y134, whereas a positive additive allele was contributed by WTR1 in 13 QTLs. Among them, two QTL hotspot regions were mapped on chromosome 11 (24.7-27.9 Mb) and chromosome 12 (14.8-17.4 Mb). The majority of the QTLs related to WCA traits were grouped into two QTL hotspots: QTL hotspot-I (qAFW11.1, qFC11.1, qFC11.2, qSC11.1, qGP-111.1, qGP-111.2, qTFGS11.1, qVI-111.1, and qVI-111.2) and QTL hotspot-II (qFC12.1, qFC12.2, qSC12.1, qFC12.2, qGP-112.1, qGP-112.2, qTFGS12.1, qTFGS12.2, qVI-112.1, qIV12.2, qFC12.1, and qGC12.2), and a few of them were co-localized on chromosomes 11 and 12. Further, we fine-tuned in the genomic regions of QTL hotspots and identified a total of 13 putative candidate genes on chromosomes 11 and 12 collectively. The present study is the first report on the genetic basis of WCA-related traits and the co-localized QTLs, which could be highly valuable in future breeding programs aiming to improve WCA in rice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0010.v3
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: sustainability; competitive advantage, Sassuolo tile ceramic district; Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA); Italian ceramic industry; meso-economic level; interpretative method
Online: 13 June 2018 (09:49:25 CEST)
Talking about sustainable development refers mainly to the environmental sphere, but the concept is much broader and also takes into account the social and economic conditions. The concept of sustainability, in this sense, is linked to the compatibility between the development of economic activities, the related social phenomena, and the protection of the environment. Therefore, the ability to balance social, economic and environmental sustainability is the very meaning of the concept of sustainable development. Firms that choose to develop policies and strategies to enhance and pursue sustainable development in the medium to long term have the burden of having to quantitatively document the improvements in production processes with the aim of sustainable development. As a result, one of the biggest challenges for European industry is to introduce sustainability principles into business models leading to competitive advantage. This is particularly important in raw material and energy intensive manufacturing sectors such as the ceramic industry. The present state of knowledge lacks a comprehensive operational tool for industry to support decision-making processes geared towards sustainability. In the ceramic sector, the economic and social dimensions of the product and processes have not yet been given sufficient importance. Moreover, the traditional research on industrial districts lacks an analysis of the relations between firms and the territory with a view to sustainability. Finally, the attention of scholars in the field of economic and social sustainability, has not yet turned to the analysis of the Sassuolo district. Therefore, in this paper we introduce the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), as a method that can be a suitable tool to fill this gap, because through a mathematical model it is possible to obtain the information useful for decision makers to integrate the principles of sustainability both at the microeconomic level in enterprises, and at the meso-economic level for the definition of economic policies and territorial governance. Environmental and socio-economic analysis was performed from the extraction of raw materials to the packaging of the product on different product categories manufactured by the Italian ceramic industries of the Sassuolo district (northern Italy). For the first time the LCSA model, usually applied to unitary processes, is extended to the economic and industrial activities of the entire district, extending the prospect of investigation from the enterprise and its value chain to the integrated network of district enterprises.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0023.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: monoclonal antibodies; Mabs; fusion; false positives; hapten immunoassays; competitive immunoassays; ELISA; antibody validation; antibody quality; microarray; hybridoma technology; linker recognition; high-throughput screening; HTS; heterology concept
Online: 3 November 2019 (17:00:59 CET)
The primary screening of hybridoma cells is a time-critical and laborious step during the development of monoclonal antibodies. Often critical errors occur in this phase, which supports the notion that the generation of monoclonal antibodies with hybridoma technology is difficult to control and hence a risky venture. We think that it is crucial to improve the screening process to eliminate most of the immanent deficits of the conventional approach. With this new microarray-based procedure, several advances could be achieved: Selectivity for excellent binders, high throughput, reproducible signals, avoidance of misleading avidity (multivalency) effects, and simultaneous performance of competition experiments. The latter can directly be used to select clones of desired cross-reactivity properties. In this paper, a model system with two excellent clones against carbamazepine, two weak clones and blank supernatant has been designed to examine the effectiveness of the new system. The excellent clones could be detected largely independent of the IgG concentration, which is unknown during the clone screening since the determination and subsequent adjustment of the antibody concentration is not possible in most cases. Furthermore, in this approach, the enrichment, isolation, and purification of IgG for characterization is not necessary. Raw cell culture supernatant can be used directly, even when fetal calf serum (FCS) or other complex media had been used. In addition, an improved method for the oriented antibody-immobilization on epoxy-silanized slides is presented. Based on the results of this model system, we conclude that this approach should be preferable to most other protocols leading to many of false positives, causing expensive and lengthy confirmation steps to weed out the poor clones.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0521.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Online detection, security; biosensor; flow injection assay; monoclonal antibody; fluorescence microscope; lab-on-a-chip; microfluidic systems; antibody labeling; CMOS; diode laser; monolithic column; laser-induced fluorescence detector (LIF); low-cost; high-speed; non-competitive immunoassay; immunometric assay
Online: 22 July 2021 (14:13:46 CEST)
The trafficking of illegal drugs by criminal networks at borders, harbors, or airports is an increasing issue in public health as these routes ensure the main supply of illegal drugs. The prevention of drug smuggling, including the installation of scanners and other analytical devices to detect ultra-small traces of drugs within a reasonable time frame, remains a challenge. The presented immunosensor is based on a monolithic affinity column with a large excess of immobilized hapten, which traps fluorescently labeled antibodies as long as the analyte cocaine is absent. In the presence of the drug, some binding sites of the antibody will be blocked, which leads to an immediate breakthrough of the labeled protein, detectable by highly sensitive laser-induced fluorescence with the help of a Peltier-cooled complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) camera. Liquid handling is performed with high-precision syringe pumps and microfluidic chip-based mixing devices and flow cells. The biosensor achieved limits of detection of 23 pM (7 ppt) of cocaine with a response time of 90 seconds and a total assay time below 3 minutes. With surface wipe sampling, the biosensor was able to detect 300 pg of cocaine. This immunosensor belongs to the most sensitive and fastest detectors for cocaine and offers near-continuous analyte measurement.