ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0318.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: AI; ethics; safety; autonomy; free energy principle; reductionism; symbiosis
Online: 30 August 2019 (07:42:42 CEST)
The free energy principle states that self-organization occurs through minimization of free energy, which is a measure of potential thermodynamic work. By minimizing free energy, the organism happens to also minimize surprise over its boundary, promoting chances of survival. We discuss the ethical implications of the cognitive goal in detail from an empirical point of view, highlighting the principle of least action as a physical basis of Occam's razor, the universality of the free energy principle, and its explanation of natural selection. We explain that the free energy principle extends to groups of organisms and helps us understand group-scale adaptations and selection in biology. The free energy principle applies to all scales of organization in the organism from single cells to the entire nervous system. When this principle is taken to its logical extremes of modeling groups, populations and ecosystems, we uncover a new, evolutionarily sensible path at explaining puzzling aspects of human motivation and judgement, including ethical decisions. To minimize free energy, populations have to act to maximize gathering of information, while building effective models at mitigating changes to its dynamic structure. The free energy principle thus provides a naturalistic explanation of some of our deepest ethical intuitions, and valuable principles of social behavior. We interpret the cognitive goal that corresponds to the principle as seeking a dynamic, fruitful, yet peaceful activity that sustains the organism. This state of mind is interestingly similar to the Buddhist intuition of mental equanimity; the organism's final goal is to be at peace and harmony with the environment. Another immediately relevant aspect is that assemblies must form to promote symbiotic, synergistic, positive feedback loops, which coincides with the findings of ecologists. Therefore, ethics naturally emerges in self-organizing systems. Assemblies of organisms must ultimately unite in macro-minds to achieve the greatest reduction in free energy, as well as building technological extensions of themselves to improve their capacity to do such, therefore the principle also predicts a post-singularity world-mind composed mostly of artificial intelligence.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0530.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: energy; homeostasis; neural network; behavior; free energy principle
Online: 30 September 2021 (17:49:37 CEST)
Explaining the emergence of behavior and understanding on the basis of neuronal mechanisms is still elusive. One renowned proposal is the Free Energy Principle (FEP), which uses an information-theoretic framework derived from thermodynamic considerations to describe how behavior and understanding would emerge. FEP starts from a whole organism approach, based on mental states and phenomena, mapping them into the neuronal substrate. An alternative approach, the Energy Homeostasis Principle (EHP), initiates a similar explanatory effort, but starting from single neuron phenomena and building up to the whole organism’s behavior and understanding. In this work, we develop the EHP as an alternative but complementary vision to FEP and try to explain how behavior and understanding would emerge from the local requirements of the neurons. Based on EHP and a strict naturalist approach that sees living beings as physical and deterministic systems, we explain scenarios where learning would emerge without the need for volition or goals. Given these starting points, we state several considerations of how we see the nervous system, particularly the role of function, purpose, and the conception of goal-oriented behaviors. We problematize these conceptions, giving an alternative teleology-free framework in which behavior and, ultimately, understanding would still emerge. We reinterpret neural processing explaining basic learning situations up to simple anticipatory behavior. Finally, we end the work with an evolutionary perspective of how this non-goal-oriented behavior appears. We acknowledge that in the current form of our proposal, we are still far from explaining the emergence of understanding. Still, we set the ground for an alternative neuron-based framework to ultimately explain understanding.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0632.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: Principle of equivalence; Landauer principle; Entropic forces; Information; Einstein free falling elevator
Online: 28 July 2021 (12:25:35 CEST)
Gedanken experiments illustrating exemplifications of the Landauer principle in the free falling Einstein elevator are treated. Double-well simplest information system embedded into the free falling elevator is addressed. Infinitesimal horizontal force applied to the particle m transfers it from position “0” to position “1”, emerging from the free falling double-well system confining mass m. When thermal noise is considered, the potential barrier of kBT should be surmounted for the erasing of one bit of information. Entropic forces arising in the free falling elevator are considered. The maximal change in the entropy of free-joint polymer chain attached to the free falling elevator is estimated as ΔSmax≅kB, and it is remarkably independent of the mass attached to the chain and the parameters of the chain itself. Free falling minimal Szilard engine is treated. The informational re-interpretation of the minimal Szilard process is shaped as follows: the energy kBTln2 necessary for erasing of 1 bit of information is spent for lifting up mass, whatever, is the value of this mass. Appropriate choice of frames enables elimination of gravity in the considered system; however elimination of the thermal noise (dissipation processes) by the same procedure is impossible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0240.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: maximum entropy principle; biological systems across scales; model-free data analysis; inverse problems
Online: 22 July 2019 (10:07:12 CEST)
Despite their obvious differences, biological systems at different scales tend to exhibit common organizational patterns. Unfortunately, these commonalities are usually obscured by the parcelled terminology employed by various scientific sub-disciplines. To explore these commonalities, this papers a comparative study of diverse applications of the maximum entropy principle, ranging from amino acids up to societies. By presenting these studies under a common language, this paper establishes a unified view over seemingly highly heterogeneous biological scenarios.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0422.v3
Online: 8 October 2021 (10:59:21 CEST)
Synergy, emerges from synchronized reciprocal positive feedback loops between a network of diverse actors. For this process to proceed, compatible information from different sources synchronically coordinates the actions of the actors resulting in a nonlinear increase in the useful work or potential energy the system can manage. In contrast noise is produced when incompatible information is mixed. This synergy produced from the coordination of different agents achieves non-linear gains in free energy and in information (negentropy) that are greater than the sum of the parts. The final product of new synergies is an increase in individual autonomy of an organism that achieves increased emancipation from the environment with increases in productivity, efficiency, capacity for flexibility, self-regulation and self-control of behavior through a synchronized division of ever more specialized labor. Examples that provide quantitative data for this phenomenon are presented. Results show that increases in free energy density require decreases in entropy density. This is proposed as a law of thermodynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0078.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: input current ripple-free; boost converter; coupled-inductor; voltage-doubler cell; passive lossless clamp circuits; high voltage gain; renewable energy
Online: 17 January 2017 (11:10:36 CET)
Abstract: High step-up voltage gain nonisolated DC-DC converter have attracted much attention in photovoltaic, fuel cells and other renewable energy system applications. In this paper, by combining input current ripple-free boost cell with coupled-inductor voltage-doubler cell, an input current ripple-free high voltage gain nonisolated converter is proposed. In addition, passive lossless clamp circuit is adopted to recycle the leakage inductor energy and to reduce the voltage spike across the power switch. By utilizing voltage-doubler cell consisting of diode and capacitor, the voltage stress of switch is further reduced and the resonance between the leakage inductor and the stray capacitor of the output diode is eliminated. A low switch-on-resistance low-voltage-rated MOSFET can therefore be employed to reduce the conduction loss and cost. The reverse recovery loss of output diode is reduced, and the efficiency of converter can be improved. Furthermore, the proposed converter can achieve nearly zero input current-ripple and make the design of electromagnetic interference (EMI) filter easy. Steady state analysis and operation mode of the converter is performed. Finally, experimental results are presented to verify the analysis results of the proposed converter.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0372.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Piezoelectric energy harvester; AC magnetic field; Lead-free material; Sustainable energy; High energy conversion
Online: 19 January 2021 (10:56:47 CET)
A high-performance Lead-free Piezoelectric Energy Harvester (LPEH) based on a Ba0.85Ca0.15Ti0.90Zr0.10O3 + CuO 0.3 wt% (BCTZC0.3) composite was fabricated by sintering at 1450℃. The BCTZC0.3 composite, which has an enhanced high-energy-conversion constant (〖d_33×g〗_33), shows improved piezoelectric power-generation performance when compared with conventional piezoelectric energy harvesters. The BCTZC0.3-based LPEH produces instantaneous maximum power of 8.2 mW and an energy density of 107.9 mW/cm3 in a weak magnetic field of 250 μT. This energy harvester can be used to charge a capacitor and operate a wireless sensor network (WSN) system to provide temperature sensing and radio-frequency (RF) transmission in a 250 μT magnetic field. The proposed LPEH is a promising green-energy device for potentially self-powering WSN systems when applied.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0055.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Inorganic & Nuclear Chemistry Keywords: amidophosphoric acid; diamidophosphate; prebiotic phosphoryl compound; phosphonitrogen glass; enthalpy; Gibbs Free energy; biomimetic nitrogen fixation
Online: 7 February 2018 (05:12:33 CET)
Diamidophosphate has been identified as a possible prebiotic compound used in the precursor membranes of the first ‘life’. Compounds such as these will be helpful in developing novel biomimetic approaches in synthetic chemistry. Thermochemical data for this type of compounds are not available. Hess’ law and estimates from calorimetric measurements used by Wakefield in the 1970s for other amido phosphates have been used to estimate the thermochemical values for the diamido and monoamido-phosphoric acid. Enthalpy of formation at 298.15 oC is calculated as – 821.9 kJ/mol and the free energy of formation calculated as -813.5 kJ/mol for the diamidophosphoric acid. The calculated enthalpy of formation of monoamidic phosphoric acid is -1117.1 kJ/mol and its free energy of formation is - -1105 kJ/mol.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0696.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: equations of motion; Lagrange variables; invariants; energy model of mechanics; superposition principle; kinematic parameters of energy; free oscillations; resonance
Online: 28 May 2021 (11:31:05 CEST)
The mechanisms of natural oscillations and resonance are described, considering the peculiarities of the transformation of elastic and kinetic energy in the implementation of the law of conservation of energy in local and integral volumes of the body, using the concept of mechanics based on the concepts of space, time and energy. When describing the motion in the Lagrange form, the elastic deformation energy of the particles is determined by the quadratic invariant of the tensor, whose components are the partial derivatives of Euler variables with respect to Lagrange variables. The increment of the invariant due to elastic deformation is represented as the sum of two scalars, one of which depends on the average value of the relative lengths of the edges of the particles in the form of an infinitesimal parallelepiped, the second is equal to the standard deviation of these lengths from the average value. It is shown that each of the scalars can be represented in the form of two dimensionless kinematic parameters of elastic energy, which participate in different ways in the implementation of the law of conservation of energy. One part of the elastic energy passes into kinetic energy and participates in the implementation of the law of conservation of energy for the body as a whole, considering external forces. The second part is not converted into kinetic energy but changes the deformed state of the particles in accordance with the equations of motion while maintaining the same level of the part of the elastic energy of the particles used for this. The kinematic parameters differ from the volume density of the corresponding types of energy by a factor equal to the elastic modulus, which is directly proportional to the density and heat capacity of the material and inversely proportional to the volume compression coefficient. Transverse, torsional, and longitudinal vibrations are considered free and under resonance conditions. The mechanisms of transformation of forced vibrations into their own after the termination of external influences and resonance at the superposition of free and forced vibrations with the same or similar frequency are considered. The formation of a new free wave at each cycle with an increase in the amplitude, which occurs mainly due to internal energy sources, and not external forces, is justified.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0233.v1
Subject: Chemistry, General & Theoretical Chemistry Keywords: group-additivity method; vapour pressure; Gibbs free energy of vaporization; entropy of vaporization
Online: 12 January 2021 (17:31:31 CET)
The calculation of the vapour pressure of organic molecules at 298.15K is presented using a commonly applicable computer algorithm based on the group-additivity method. The basic principle of this method rests on the complete breakdown of the molecules into their constituting atoms, further characterized by their immediate neighbour atoms. The group contributions are calculated by means of a fast Gauss-Seidel fitting algorithm using the experimental data of 2036 molecules from literature. A ten-fold cross-validation procedure has been carried out to test the applicability of this method, which confirmed excellent quality for the prediction of the vapour pressure, expressed in log(pa), with a cross-validated correlation coefficient Q2 of 0.9938 and a standard deviation of 0.26. Based on these data, the molecules' standard Gibbs free energy G°vap has been calculated. Furthermore, using their enthalpies of vaporization, predicted by an analogous group-additivity approach published earlier, the standard entropy of vaporization S°vap has been determined and compared with experimental data of 1129 molecules, exhibiting excellent conformance with a correlation coefficient R2 of 0.9598, a standard error of 8.14 J/mol/K and a medium absolute deviation of 4.68%.
Subject: Physical Sciences, Nuclear & High Energy Physics Keywords: 4G model of final unification; Four gravitational constants; Unified nuclear binding energy scheme; Free or unbound nucleons; Strong interaction; Electroweak interaction
Online: 25 December 2020 (17:29:44 CET)
An attempt is made to model the atomic nucleus as a combination of bound and free or unbound nucleons. Due to strong interaction, bound nucleons help in increasing nuclear binding energy and due to electroweak interaction, free or unbound nucleons help in decreasing nuclear binding energy. In this context, with reference to proposed 4G model of final unification and strong interaction, recently we have developed a unified nuclear binding energy scheme with four simple terms, one energy coefficient of 10.1 MeV and two small numbers 0.0016 and 0.0019. In this paper, by eliminating the number 0.0019, we try to fine tune the estimation procedure of number of free or unbound nucleons pertaining to the second term with an energy coefficient of 11.9 MeV. It seems that, some kind of electroweak interaction is playing a strange role in maintaining free or unbound nucleons within the nucleus. It is possible to say that, strong interaction plays a vital role in increasing nuclear binding energy and electroweak interaction plays a vital role in reducing nuclear binding energy. Interesting observation is that, Z can be considered as a characteristic representation of range of number of bound isotopes of Z. For medium, heavy and super heavy atoms, beginning and ending mass numbers pertaining to bound states can be understood with 2Z+0.004Z^2 and 3Z+0.004Z^2 respectively. With further study, neutron drip lines can be understood. Based on this kind of data fitting procedure and by considering the mass ratio of pions and electroweak bosons, existence of our 4G model of electroweak fermion of rest energy 584.725 GeV can be confirmed confidently.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0197.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: academic freedom; free speech; censorship; free inquiry; thought suppression
Online: 12 October 2020 (10:07:22 CEST)
This paper explores the suppression of ideas within academic scholarship by academics, either by self-suppression or because of the efforts of other academics. Legal, moral, and social issues distinguishing freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry, and academic freedom are reviewed. How these freedoms and protections can come into tension is then explored by an analysis of denunciation mobs who exercise their legal free speech rights to call for punishing scholars who express ideas they disapprove of and condemn. When successful, these efforts, which constitute legally protected speech, will suppress certain ideas. Real-world examples over the past five years of academics who have been sanctioned or terminated for scholarship targeted by a denunciation mob are then explored.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0461.v2
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: cell free protein synthesis; cell free metabolic engineering; metabolic modeling
Online: 30 April 2020 (05:19:00 CEST)
Cell free systems are a widely used research tool in systems and synthetic biology and a promising platform for manufacturing of proteins and chemicals. In the past, cell free biology was primarily used to better understand fundamental biochemical processes. Notably, E. coli cell free extracts were used in the 1960s to decipher the sequencing of the genetic code. Since then, the transcription and translation capabilities of cell free systems have been repeatedly optimized to improve energy efficiency and protein yield. Today, cell free systems, in combination with the rise of synthetic biology, have taken on a new role as a promising technology for just in time manufacturing of therapeutically important biologics and high-value small molecules. They have also been implemented in an industrial scale for the production of antibodies and cytokines. In this review, we discuss the evolution of cell free systems, advancements in cell free protein synthesis, and cell free metabolic engineering, and conclude with discussing the importance and feasibility of mathematical modeling in cell free systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0070.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Underwater sensor networks; synchronization-free; range-free; particle swarm optimization
Online: 13 March 2017 (16:41:00 CET)
Underwater Sensor Networks (UWSNs) can enable a broad range of applications such as resource monitoring, disaster prevention, and navigation-assisted. It is especially relevant for sensor nodes location in UWSNs. Global Positioning System (GPS) is not suitable for using in UWSNs because of the underwater propagation problems. Hence some localization algorithms based on the precise time synchronization between sensor nodes have been proposed which are not feasible for UWSNs. In this paper, we propose a localization algorithm called Two-Phase Time Synchronization-Free Localization Algorithm (TP-TSFLA). TP-TSFLA contains two phases, namely, range-based estimation phase and range-free evaluation phase. In the first phase, we address a time synchronization-free localization scheme base on the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm to decrease the localization error. In the second phase, we propose a Circle-based Range-Free Localization Algorithm (CRFLA) to locate the unlocalized sensor nodes which cannot obtain the location information through the first phase. In the second phase, sensor nodes which are localized in the first phase act as the new anchor nodes to help realize localization. Hence in this algorithm, we use a small number of mobile beacons to help achieve location without any other anchor nodes. Besides, to improve the precision of the range-free method, an extension of CRFLA by designing a coordinate adjustment scheme is updated. The simulation results show that TP-TSFLA can achieve a relative high localization ratio without time synchronization.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0518.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: liquid biopsy; circulating biomarkers; Alzheimer’s disease; neurodegeneration; cell-free; diagnosis
Online: 8 March 2022 (09:56:01 CET)
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and affects persons of all races, ethnic groups, and sexes. The disease is characterized by neuronal loss leading to cognitive decline and memory loss. There is no cure and the effectiveness of existing treatments is limited and depends on the time of diagnosis. The long prodromal period, during which patients’ ability to live a normal life is not affected despite neuronal loss, often leads to a delayed diagnosis because it can be mistaken for normal aging of the brain. In order to make a substantial impact on AD patients, early diagnosis may provide a greater therapeutic window for future therapies to slow AD-associated neurodegeneration. Current gold standards for disease detection include magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography scans, which visualize amyloid β and phosphorylated tau depositions and aggregates. Liquid biopsies, already an active field of research in precision oncology, are hypothesized to provide early disease detection through minimally or non-invasive sample collection techniques. Liquid biopsies in Alzheimer’s disease have been studied in cerebrospinal fluid, blood, ocular, oral, and olfactory fluids. However, most of the focus has been on blood and cerebrospinal fluid due to biomarker specificity and sensitivity attributed to the effects of the blood-brain barrier and inter-laboratory variation during sample collection. Many studies have identified amyloid β and phosphorylated tau levels as putative biomarkers, however, advances in next-generation sequencing-based liquid biopsy methods have led to significant interest in identifying nucleic acids species associated with Alzheimer’s disease from liquid tissues. Differences in cell-free RNAs and DNAs have been described as potential biomarkers for AD and hold the potential to affect disease diagnosis, treatment, and future research avenues.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0017.v1
Online: 4 May 2021 (13:44:27 CEST)
Raw materials used for producing concrete, such as sand and gravel, are in short supply worldwide. It has been reported that the production of cement, one of the main constituents of concrete, results in the emission of a large amount of CO2, accounting for 8% of total global CO2 emissions. In this study, we developed a method to produce a construction material using only sand as the solid raw material. By utilizing a technique to produce organic silicon material from sand, we placed sand, alcohol, and catalyst in a closed vessel and heated it to 240 °C. After 24 h, the sand particles were bonded to each other, and a hardened body was formed. A tradeoff in production conditions, such as temperature, time, and the amount of sand, was confirmed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0240.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: celiac disease; gluten-free diet; facebook; gluten-free ingredients; misleading information; alternative treatment
Online: 17 October 2022 (12:55:58 CEST)
Facebook (FB) is the most popular online networking platform. There are several FB pages dedicated to spreading awareness about the Celiac disease (CD). To get the latest information, a huge number of CD patients follow Celiac disease Facebook (CD-FB) pages. Such pages frequently post beneficial information. However, very less is known if they provide appropriate information to CD patients. We conducted this study to know if CD-FB pages spread misleading information to CD patients. CD-FB pages from three celiac-influenced countries were explored using the FB platform and Google search engine. From October 2021 to April 2022, a total of 147 CD-FB, Italy (n=63), the USA (n=46), and India (n=38), were found eligible. Of them, 13% of pages (followers Mean±SD; Italy 2478±2011; USA 12635±12486; India 667±313) shared misleading information, particularly about gluten-free ingredients, and treatment of CD. In total,16% of CD-FB pages discussed alternative treatments option. Surprisingly, 7% of pages (followers Mean±SD; USA 23800±10465; India 628±333) supported alternative treatments for CD. CD-FB pages are useful for disseminating celiac-related information. While most of such pages provide useful information, a few pages sometimes contain misleading information. CD patients must consult their treating unit before following any uncertain information posted on CD-FB pages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0133.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: antioxidant potential; molecular docking; molecular descriptors; binding free energy; free radicals; oxidative stress
Online: 8 May 2018 (15:38:38 CEST)
The antioxidant activity of molecules constitutes an important factor for the regulation of redox homeostasis and reduction of oxidative stress. Cells affected by oxidative stress can undergo genetic alteration, causing structural changes and promoting the onset of chronic diseases, such as cancer. The in silico study performed here was developed to evaluate the antioxidant potential of two molecules, ZINC08706191 (Z91) and ZINC08992920 (Z20), with recognized epithelial anticancer potential. Molecular docking, chemical-quantum calculations and Pearson's correlation were performed. The Z91 and Z20 molecules showed lower binding free energy (ΔG) values for the receptor-ligand interaction than the reference molecules (caffeine – CAF and ascorbic acid – AA), and better results for values of molecular descriptors correlated with ΔG, resulting in a decrease of ΔG. Strong correlations were observed between ΔG values for the five receptors evaluated and ΔG values of the potential epithelial anticancer activity available in literature. These results attest to the significant antioxidant potential of the Z91 and Z20 molecules and their strong relation with the potential epithelial anticancer activity and may be indicated for further analysis in relation to the control of oxidative stress and epithelial anticancer activity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0225.v1
Online: 8 April 2021 (10:11:23 CEST)
In cancer, the lymphatic system is hijacked by tumor cells to escape from primary tumor and to metastasize to the sentinel lymph nodes. Tumor lymphangiogenesis is stimulated by the vascular endothelial growth factors-C (VEGFC) after binding to its receptor VEGFR-3. However, how VEGFC cooperates with other molecules to promote lymphatic neovessels growth is not fully determined. Here, we found that tumor lymphangiogenesis developed in tumoral lesions and in their surrounding adipose tissue (AT). Interestingly, lymphatic vessel density correlated with an increase of circulating free fatty acids (FFA) in the lymph from tumor-bearing mice. We found that adipocyte-released FFA are uploaded by lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC) to stimulate their sprouting. Lipidomic analysis identified the monounsaturated oleic acid (OA) as the major circulating FFA in the lymph in tumoral context. OA transporters FATP-3, -6 and CD36 were only upregulated on LEC in the presence of VEGFC showing a collaborative effect of these molecules. OA released from adipocytes is taken up by LECs to stimulate the fatty acid β-oxidation, leading to increase adipose tissue lymphangiogenesis. Our results provide new insights on the dialogue between tumors and adipocytes via the lymphatic system and identify a key role for adipocyte-derived FFA in the promotion of lymphangiogenesis, revealing novel therapeutic opportunities for inhibitors of lymphangiogenesis in cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0585.v1
Online: 28 January 2021 (13:15:37 CET)
It has been recognized for some time that even for perfect conductors, the interaction Casimir entropy, due to quantum/thermal fluctuations, can be negative. This result was not considered problematic because it was thought that the self-entropies of the bodies would cancel this negative interaction entropy, yielding a total entropy that was positive. In fact, this cancellation seems not to occur. The positive self entropy of a perfectly conducting sphere does indeed just cancel the negative interaction entropy of a system consisting of a perfectly conducting sphere and plate, but a model with weaker coupling in general possesses a regime where negative self-entropy appears. The physical meaning of this surprising result remains obscure. In this paper we re-examine these issues, using improved physical and mathematical techniques, partly based on the Abel-Plana formula, and present numerical results for arbitrary temperatures and couplings, which exhibit the same remarkable features.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0464.v1
Online: 17 June 2021 (14:40:02 CEST)
An imbalance in any metabolic system can be traced to its homeostasis. When homeostatic environment is not attainable then there will be a response from the body. A new shift has emerged, “the negative feedback effect of high fructose consumption;” more pain than gain. The human metabolic system daily combat fructose sugar metabolism which emanates from high consumption. This inadvently lead to a chronological series of complications arising from the feedback. These feedbacks play pivotal roles in skeletal muscle damage and other body frameworks, it also fosters toxic advanced glycation end products (AGEs), factors that impose and inflict damaging effects to the body`s energy currency and serious threat to health. These damages are missed or overlooked because of early nonspecific physiological symptoms. High level of fructose has both long- and short-term effects on human metabolic processes. These effects which are majorly through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other free radicals, are felt in the disruption of biomolecules such as causing DNA mutation, lipid peroxidation etc. these effects in turn lead to various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and other health issues. In this review, we will focus on the damaging effects this sugar has on human health and the present solutions being applied. We will also look at the next step in combatting and controlling these negative feedbacks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0424.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: data analysis; threshold-free; differential analysis
Online: 18 September 2020 (09:11:04 CEST)
Background: Traditional omic analysis relies on p-value and fold change as selection criteria. There is an ongoing debate on their effectiveness in delivering systemic and robust interpretation, due to their dependence on assumptions of conformity with various parametric distributions.Here, we propose a threshold-free selection method based on robust, non-parametric statistics, ensuring independence from the statistical distribution properties and broad applicability. Such methods could adapt to different initial data distributions, contrary to statistical techniques based on fixed thresholds. Methods: Our work extends the Rank Products methodology with a neutral selection method of high information-extraction capacity. We introduce the calculation of the RP distribution’s entropy to isolate the features of interest by their contribution to the distribution’s information content. The aim is a methodology performing threshold-free identification of the differentially expressed features, which are highly informative about the phenomenon under scrutiny. Conclusions: Applying the proposed method on microarray (transcriptomic and DNA methylation) and RNAseq count data of varying sizes and noise presence, we observe robust convergence for the different parameterisations to stable cutoff points. Functional analysis through BioInfoMiner and EnrichR was used to evaluate the information potency of the resulting feature lists. Overall, the derived functional terms provide a systemic description highly compatible with the results of traditional statistical hypothesis testing techniques. The methodology behaves consistently across different data types. The feature lists are compact and information-rich, indicating phenotypic aspects specific to the tissue and biological phenomenon i nvestigated. Selection by information content measures efficiently addresses problems, emerging from arbitrary thresholding, thus facilitating the full automation of the analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0187.v1
Online: 18 January 2019 (12:15:17 CET)
Considering Games with the broad definition proposed by Juul (Juul, 2010), consequences outside of the magic circle can be negotiated. This definition opens up the possibility to define serious games, games developed with an utilitarian goal in mind, in addition to fun. The entertaining and utilitarian objectives may however be contradictory, leading serious games to be, more often than not, less than optimal in at least one of the two dimensions. Another way to play with the boundaries of games is to consider pervasive games, which include alternate reality games, and crossmedia games (Montola, 2005). We question here the limit between game, play and toy in the context of a mixed reality serious game. ‘Pangu’ is a game designed for bachelor students, with biochemistry as the utilitarian objective, and the origin of life as a game theme. The students are asked to play the game on their smartphone, which in turn ask them to build molecules with a tangible balls-and-sticks model typically used in chemistry classes. Pictures taken from the models allow users to ‘scan’ these models and progress in the game. The use of the game was observed in four opportunities. An unanticipated observation is that, in addition to expected behaviors, some students used briefly the models like a toy rather than in the context of the game. It is therefore tempting to speculate that the pervasive nature of the game is blurring the game/non game boundary and, in the context of this serious game, opens a door for fun.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0148.v1
Online: 7 August 2018 (23:13:29 CEST)
Despite the uptake of tobacco smoking declining in the UK, smoking is still the leading cause of preventable poor health and premature death. While improved approaches to smoking cessation are necessary, encouraging and assisting smokers to switch by using substantially less toxic non-tobacco nicotine products may be a possible option. To date few studies have investigated the rates of smoking cessation and smoking reduction associated with the free provision of electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarette) to smokers. In this study the Blu Pro e-cigarette was given to smokers for use in place of tobacco for 90 days. The rates of smoking abstinence and daily smoking patterns were assessed at baseline 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. The response rate was 87%. After 90 days, the complete abstinence rate was 36.5% from 0% at baseline. Frequency of daily smoking reduced from 88.7% to 17.5% (P<0.001) and median consumption of cigarettes/day from 15 to 5 (P<0.001). Median days per month participants smoked also dropped from 30 to 13 after 90-days (P<0.001). On the basis of these results there may be value in smoking cessation services and other services ensuring that smokers are provided with e-cigarettes at zero or minimal costs for at least a short period of time.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0330.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: consciousness; awareness; attention; free will; self-awareness
Online: 17 November 2022 (08:59:13 CET)
Consciousness is usually perceived as a state of being aware of one’s environment as well as self. Despite its omnipresence in our life, understanding this concept is challenging. This has given rise to several theories attempting to explain the nature of consciousness, as well as hard and soft problems of consciousness. In fact, the boundaries of consciousness defined by these theories are a topic of continued discussion, particularly in light of the recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Some of these theories consider consciousness as a simple integration of information while others purport the need for an agency in the process of integration for an entity to be considered conscious. Some theories consider consciousness as a graded entity and some equate consciousness with content of awareness. In this work, major theories of consciousness are reviewed and compared, focusing on awareness, attention, and sense of self. These findings are interpreted in relation to AI in order to ascertain what makes AI distinct from natural intelligence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0073.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Consciousness; awareness; free will; attention; self-awareness
Online: 6 June 2022 (09:01:24 CEST)
Consciousness is usually interpreted as a state of being aware of one’s environment as well as self, while awareness is understood as knowledge of something. Despite their semantic differences, in philosophy, these terms are often used interchangeably, as is the case of the hard problem of consciousness proposed by Chalmers, which in fact is the hard problem of awareness. Trilogy paradigm of consciousness (or simply “trilogy”) offers a new paradigm where consciousness is the result of a unique interaction between awareness and the decision-making process. By conferring the input of awareness to the decision-making process, a new mental function of awareness-based choice selection (ABCS) or true free will emerges. Likewise, application of the power of decision-making to the process of awareness gives rise to discretionary selection of information for awareness (DSIA) or intentional attention. The intertwined actions of ABCS and DSIA comprise “I” which is the faculty of our consciousness and is what sets natural intelligence (NI) apart from artificial intelligence (AI). Based on trilogy, mind is an unconscious compilation of all mental function excluding ABCS and DSIA that are the essence of consciousness. As humans, we are a union of “I,” our minds, and our bodies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0228.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: endometriosis; 12Z; spheroid; biofabrication; scaffold-free; Kenzan
Online: 12 October 2020 (10:45:35 CEST)
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterine cavity, leading to pelvic pain, infertility, and increased risk of ovarian cancer. The present study describes the optimization and characterization of cellular spheroids as building blocks for Kenzan scaffold-free method biofabrication and proof-of-concept models of endometriosis and the endometriotic microenvironment. The spheroid building blocks must be a specific diameter (~500 m), compact, round, and smooth to withstand Kenzan biofabrication. Under optimized spheroid conditions for biofabrication, the endometriotic epithelial-like cell line, 12Z, expressed high levels of estrogen-related genes and secreted high amounts of endometriotic inflammatory factors that were independent of TNF stimulation. Heterotypic spheroids, composed of 12Z and T-HESC, an immortalized endometrial stromal cell line, self-assembled into a biologically relevant pattern, consisting of epithelial cells on the outside of the spheroids and stromal cells in the core. 12Z spheroids were biofabricated into large three-dimensional constructs alone, with HEYA8 spheroids, or as heterotypic spheroids with T-HESC. These three-dimensional biofabricated constructs containing multiple monotypic or heterotypic spheroids represent the first scaffold-free biofabricated in vitro models of endometriosis and the endometriotic microenvironment. These efficient and innovative models will allow us to study the complex interactions of multiple cell types within a biologically relevant microenvironment.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0037.v1
Online: 9 January 2017 (04:46:22 CET)
Transition-metal-free synthesis of 4-pyrones via TfOH-promoted nucleophilic addition/cyclization of diynones and water has been developed. This transformation is simple, atom economical and environmentally benign, providing rapid and efficient access to substituted 4-pyrones.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0081.v3
Subject: Chemistry, Physical Chemistry Keywords: dividing and conquering; caching; coarse graining; enhanced sampling; generalized solvation free energy; molecular simulation; local free energy landscape
Online: 4 March 2021 (09:54:42 CET)
Molecular modeling is widely utilized in subjects including but not limited to physics, chemistry, biology, materials science and engineering. Impressive progress has been made in development of theories, algorithms and software packages. To divide and conquer, and to cache intermediate results have been long standing principles in development of algorithms. Not surprisingly, Most of important methodological advancements in more than half century of molecule modeling are various implementations of these two fundamental principles. In the mainstream classical computational molecular science based on force fields parameterization by coarse graining, tremendous efforts have been invested on two lines of algorithm development. The first is coarse graining, which is to represent multiple basic particles in higher resolution modeling as a single larger and softer particle in lower resolution counterpart, with resulting force fields of partial transferability at the expense of some information loss. The second is enhanced sampling, which realizes "dividing and conquering" and/or "caching" in configurational space with focus either on reaction coordinates and collective variables as in metadynamics and related algorithms, or on the transition matrix and state discretization as in Markov state models. For this line of algorithms, spatial resolution is maintained but no transferability is available. Deep learning has been utilized to realize more efficient and accurate ways of "dividing and conquering" and "caching" along these two lines of algorithmic research. We proposed and demonstrated the local free energy landscape approach, a new framework for classical computational molecular science and a third class of algorithm that facilitates molecular modeling through partially transferable in resolution "caching" of distributions for local clusters of molecular degrees of freedom. Differences, connections and potential interactions among these three algorithmic directions are discussed, with the hope to stimulate development of more elegant, efficient and reliable formulations and algorithms for "dividing and conquering" and "caching" in complex molecular systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0273.v3
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: mutations; disease-causing mutations; polymorphism; folding free energy change; binding free energy change; drug discovery; in silico screening
Online: 28 January 2019 (11:39:23 CET)
Structural information of biological macromolecules is crucial and necessary to deliver predictions about the effects of mutations—whether polymorphic or deleterious (i.e., disease causing), wherein, thermodynamic parameters, namely, folding and binding free energies potentially serve as effective biomarkers. It may be emphasized that the effect of a mutation depends on various factors, including the type of protein (globular, membrane or intrinsically disordered protein) and the structural context to which it occurs. Such information may positively aid drug-design. Furthermore, due to the intrinsic plasticity of proteins, even mutations involving radical change of the structural and physico-chemical properties of the amino acids (native vs. mutant) can still have minimal effects of protein thermodynamics. However, if a mutation causes significant perturbation of either folding or binding free energies, it is quite likely to be deleterious. Mitigating such effects is a promising alternative to the traditional approaches of designing inhibitors. This can be done by structure-based in silico screening of small molecules for which binding to the dysfunctional protein restores its wild type thermodynamics. In this review we emphasize on the effects of mutations on two important biophysical characteristics, stability and binding affinity, and how structures can be used for structure-based drug design to mitigate the effects of disease-causing variants on the above biophysical characteristics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0669.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: dielectric elastomer; generation; carbon dioxide free; rare earths free; high efficiency; CNT; high power; artificial muscle; actuator; large deformation
Online: 26 April 2021 (13:09:45 CEST)
Abstract: Power generation using dielectric elastomer (DE) artificial muscle is attracting attention because of its light weight, low cost, and high efficiency. Since this method is a system that produces electricity without emitting carbon dioxide nor using rare earths, it would contribute to the goal of environmental sustainability. In this paper, the background of DEs, the associated high-efficient wave energy generation (WEG) systems that we developed using DEs, as well as the latest development of its material are summarized. By covering the challenges we face and the achievements that we’ve reached, we can discuss the opportunities to build the foundation of a recycled energy society through the usage of these WEGs. On the other hand, to make these possibilities commercially successful, the advantages of DEs need to be integrated with traditional technologies. To achieve this, we also consider the method of using DEs alone and a system used in combination with an oscillating water column. Finally, the current status and future of DEGs are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0021.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Epitaxial graphene; buffer layer; quasi-free standing graphene; high-temperature sublimation; terahertz Optical Hall effect; free charge carrier properties
Online: 4 January 2021 (11:48:08 CET)
In this work we have critically reviewed the processes in high-temperature sublimation growth of graphene in Ar atmosphere using enclosed graphite crucible. Special focus is put on buffer layer formation and free charge carrier properties of monolayer graphene and quasi-freestanding monolayer garphene on 4H-SiC. We show that by introducing Ar at different temperatures, TAr one can shift to higher temperatures the formation of the buffer layer for both n-type and semi-insulating substrates. A scenario explaining the observed suppresed formation of buffer layer at higher TAr is proposed and discussed. Increased TAr is also shown to reduce the sp3 hybridization content and defect densities in the buffer layer on n-type conductive substrates. Growth on semi-insulating substrates results in ordered buffer layer with significantly improved structural properties, for which TAr plays only a minor role. The free charge density and mobility parameters of monolayer graphene and quasi-freestanding monolayer graphene with different TAr and different environmental treatment conditions are determined by contactless terahertz optical Hall effect. An efficient annealing of donors on and near the SiC surface takes place in intrinsic monolayer graphene grown at 2000∘C, and which is found to be independent of TAr. Higher TAr leads to higher free charge carrier mobility parameters in both intrinsically n-type and ambient p-type doped monolayer graphene. TAr is also found to have a profound effect on the free hole parameters of quasi-freestanding monolayer graphene. These findings are discussed in view of interface and buffer layer properties in order to construct a comprehensive picture of high-temperature sublimation growth and provide guidance for growth parameters optimization depending on the targeted graphene application.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0185.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: pediatric pharmacy; complementary alternative medicine; dietary interventions; oral manifestations; chronic pediatric conditions; ketogenic diet; gluten free casein free diet
Online: 8 November 2018 (03:55:15 CET)
Complementary and alternative treatment approaches are becoming more common among children with chronic conditions. The pravelance of CAM use among US adults was estimated to be around 42% in 2015, and around 44% to 50% among adults with neurologic disorders. Studies report children with chronic illnesses such as cancer, asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), genetic disorders, and other neurodevelopmental disorders are treated with complementary and alternative treatments at higher rates. Dietary therapies are gaining increasing popularity in the mainstream population, due to the heavy media involvement. Although, majority of “fad” diets do not have enough supporting evidence, some dietary therapies have been utilized for decades and have numerous published studies. The objective of this review is to describe the dietary interventions used in children with the specific chronic conditions, to evaluate their efficacy based on published data, and to encourage pharmacist involvement in the management and care of such patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0470.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Antioxidant; free radical stress; endothelial dysfunction; dyslipidemia; diet
Online: 26 January 2023 (08:20:52 CET)
There is evidence that behavioral risk factors such as western type diet, and life style can predispose to oxidative stress, deficiency in antioxidant status, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and increase in inflammation in tissues of various organs: beta cells of the pancreas, LDL receptors in the hepatocytes, endothelium, neurons, osteocytes and gut. Further studies indicate that diets rich in antioxidant flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber in foods were inversely associated whereas western-type foods were positively associated with risk of mortality due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). One important cause for beneficial effects of diet may be certain foods and nutrients such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains that are rich in fiber and flavonoids, known to produce liters og molecular hydrogen in the gut. It seems that, high-fiber diets, prebiotic and probiotics can produce greater hydrogen, which acts as an antioxidant and may inhibit free radical generation. Recent studies indicate that molecular hydrogen can inhibit hydroxyl and nitrosyl radicals and can directly act as antioxidant in the cells and tissues, which can cause marked decline in oxidative stress and inflammation leading to significant decline in CVDs and metabolic diseases. Clinical and experimental studies indicate that hydrogen therapy such as hydrogen rich water can provide benefits in the management of CVDs and metabolic diseases. Larger studies are necessary to verify the role of hydrogen administration in CVDs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0198.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: (Bi0.5Na0.5)TiO3-BaTiO3; Electrocaloric effect; Lead-free piezoelectric
Online: 7 April 2021 (11:46:41 CEST)
Considering that the electric refrigeration temperature range of 0.94BNT-0.06BT ceramic materials is 100~140˚C, the electric refrigeration performance of the 0.94BNT-0.06BT ceramic material system was modified by LiNbO3 doping to reduce the cooling temperature. As a result, the refrigeration temperature range of the 0.94BNT-0.06BT ceramic material system was lowered to 25~80 ˚C, achieving its cooling effect near room temperature, and in this temperature range, the adiabatic temperature changes ∆T>0.6K.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0362.v1
Online: 24 March 2020 (14:46:29 CET)
With the current rapid spread of COVID-19, global health systems are increasingly overburdened by the sheer number of people that need diagnosis, isolation and treatment. Shortcomings are evident across the board, from staffing, facilities for rapid and reliable testing to availability of hospital beds and key medical-grade equipment. The scale and breadth of the problem calls for an equally substantive response not only from frontline workers such as medical staff and scientists, but from skilled members of the public who have the time, facilities and knowledge to meaningfully contribute to a consolidated global response. Here, we summarise community-driven approaches based on Free and Open Source scientific and medical Hardware (FOSH) currently being developed and deployed to bolster access to personal protective equipment (PPE), patient treatment and diagnostics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0100.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: graphene; graphene oxide; mechanochemistry; solvent-free; one-step
Online: 9 October 2019 (10:39:18 CEST)
Graphene oxide was synthesized by a one-step environmentally friendly mechanochemistry process directly from graphite and characterized by Raman, FT-IR and UV/vis spectroscopies, Atomic Force Microscopy, X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy and Thermogravimetric Analysis. Spectroscopic analysis shows that the functional groups and oxygen content of the synthesized material are comparable with those of graphene oxide synthesized by other previously reported methods (Hummers). Thermogravimetric analysis reveals thermal stability up to 400 °C.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: 5-hmC; ELISA; TET; HNSCC; disease-free survival
Online: 22 July 2019 (08:55:04 CEST)
Ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes are implicated in DNA demethylation through dioxygenase activity, which converts 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC). However, the specific roles of TET enzymes and 5-hmC levels in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have not yet been evaluated. In this study, we analyzed 5-hmC levels and TET mRNA expression in a well-characterized dataset of 117 matched pairs of HNSCC tissues and normal tissues. 5-hmC levels and TET mRNA expression were examined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. 5-hmC levels were evaluated according to various clinical characteristics and prognostic implications. Notably, we found that 5-hmC levels were significantly correlated with tumor stage (P = 0.032) and recurrence (P = 0.018). Univariate analysis revealed that low levels of 5-hmC were correlated with poor disease-free survival (DFS; log-rank test, P = 0.038). The expression of TET family genes was not associated with outcomes. In multivariate analysis, low levels of 5-hmC were evaluated as a significant independent prognostic factor of DFS (hazard ratio: 2.352, 95% confidence interval: 1.136–4.896; P = 0.021). Taken together, our findings showed that reduction of TET family gene expression and subsequent low levels of 5-hmC may affect the development of HNSCC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0072.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Caesarean section, free maternal health care, inequality, Nigeria
Online: 7 May 2019 (10:21:13 CEST)
Background User fee exemption for maternal and child health care service policy was introduced with a focus on providing free caesarean sections (CS) in Nigeria from 2011 to 2015. This policy had a positive impact on access to facility-based delivery, but its effect on socioeconomic and geographical inequality remains unclear. This study’s main objective is to examine access to birth by CS in the context of free maternal health care. Specifically, the study examines socio-demographic and geographical inequality in access to birth by CS among women who gave birth between 2011 and 2015 under the free maternal health care policy using a population-based survey data obtained from two of the six main regions of the country. Methods Data were obtained from 1227 women who gave birth during the period the policy was in operation selected using cluster random sampling between May and August 2016. Adjusted and unadjusted binary logistic regression models were used to examine whether there is socio-demographic and geographical inequality in access to birth by caesarean section. Results The overall caesarean section rate of 6.1% was found but varies by income (14.1% in monthly income of over $150 versus 4.9% in income of $150 and below), education (11.8% in women with higher education versus 3.9% among women with secondary education and less) and place of residence (7.8% in urban areas versus 3.6% in rural areas). Women who earn a monthly income of $150 or less were 48% less likely to have a birth by CS compared to those who earn more. Compared to women who were educated to tertiary level, women who had secondary education or less were 54% less likely to have birth by caesarean section. Conclusion This study shows that inequality in access to CS persists despite the implementation of free maternal health care services. Given the poor access to facilities with capabilities to offer CS in most rural areas, free maternal healthcare policy is not enough to make birth by CS universally accessible to all pregnant women in Nigeria.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0618.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: WTO, Jordan, customs law, free trade, imports, tariffs
Online: 29 November 2018 (10:54:29 CET)
Customs law and procedures are important part of the trade system in Jordan. They regulate the flow of goods across the borders. The purpose of this paper is to examine Jordan's import regime by analyzing customs law, rules of origin, free trade zones, and tariffs reform.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0317.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: celiac disease; body composition; gluten free diet; children
Online: 15 October 2018 (13:19:09 CEST)
The primary and proven therapy, in cases of celiac disease (CD), is a rigorous gluten-free diet. However, there are reports of its negative effects in the form of nutritional deficiencies, obesity and adverse changes in body composition. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of a gluten free diet (GFD) on the body composition of children with CD. In a case-controlled study (n = 41; mean age 10.81 y; SD = 3.96) children with CD, in various stages of treatment, underwent medical assessment. The control group consisted of healthy children and adolescents, strictly matched for gender and age in a 1:1 case-control manner. More than half of the examined children (n = 26) followed a GFD. CD children had significantly higher mean values of the fat free mass (FFM% = 80.68 vs. 76.66, p = 0.015), and total body water (TBW% = 65.22 vs. 60.47, p = 0.012), and lower mean values of the fat mass (FM% = 19.32 vs. 23.34, p = 0.015). Children who were on a GFD presented slightly higher, but not statistically significant, mean values of FM and FFM, than children who did not follow dietary recommendations (FM [kg] = 7.48 vs. 5.24, p = 0.064; FM% = 20.81 vs. 16.73, p = 0.087; FFM [kg] = 28.19 vs. 22.62, p = 0.110). After minimum one year of a GFD, CD children showed significantly higher values of FFM [kg] (p = 0.001), MM [kg] (p < 0.001), TBW [L] (p < 0.001) and BCM [kg] (p < 0.001). Furthermore, CD children who were on a GFD presented significantly higher weight (p = 0.034) and body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.021) increase. The children adhering to a GFD demonstrate a tendency towards higher indices of selected body composition components.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0066.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: nucleotide triphosphate, label-free, K-Ras, apyrase, terbium
Online: 3 October 2018 (17:32:44 CEST)
A new label-free molecular probe for luminescent nucleotide detection in neutral aqueous solution is presented. Phosphate-containing molecules such as nucleotides possess vital role in cell metabolism, energy economy, and signaling. Thus the monitoring of nucleotide concentration and nucleotide related enzymatic reactions is of high importance. Two component lanthanide complex formed from Tb(III) ion carrier and light harvesting antenna, readily distinguishes nucleotides containing different number of phosphates and enable direct detection of enzymatic reactions converting nucleotide triphosphate (NTP) to nucleotide di/monophosphate or the opposite. Developed sensor enables the detection of enzymatic activity with a low nanomolar sensitivity, as highlighted with K-Ras and apyrase enzymes in there hydrolysis assays performed in high throughput screening compatible 384-well plate format.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0505.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: renewable energy, microwave, free fatty acid, crude oil
Online: 26 September 2018 (10:31:20 CEST)
A novel method proposed in the production of Calophyllum inophyllum biodiesel has been investigated experimentally. In this study, we report the results of biodiesel processing with electromagnetic induction technology. The method used is to compare the results of Calophyllum inophyllum biodiesel processing between conventional, microwave and electromagnetic induction. The degumming, transesterification, and esterification process of the 3 methods are measured by stopwatch to obtain time comparison data. Characteristics of viscosity, density, and Fatty Acid Metil Ester (FAME) were obtained from testing of a Gas Chromatography-mass Spectrometry (GCMS) at the Polytechnic Chemistry Laboratory of the State of Malang. The results show that the biodiesel produced by this method satisfies the biodiesel standards and their characteristics are better than the biodiesel produced by conventional and microwave methods. The electromagnetic induction method also offers a fast and easy route to produce biodiesel with the advantage of increasing the reaction rate and improving the separation process compared to other methods. This advanced technology has the potential to significantly increase biodiesel production with considerable potential to reduce production time and costs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0095.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: bimetallic nanoparticles, solvent free hydrogenation, nitrobenzene and chloronitrobenzene.
Online: 5 August 2018 (23:00:14 CEST)
Selective hydrogenation of nitrobenzene was carried out under solvent-free conditions using supported AuPd nanoparticles catalyst, prepared by modified impregnation method (MIm), as efficient catalyst. >99% yield of aniline (AN) was obtained after 15 hours at 90 °C, 3 bar H2 that can be used without any further purification or separation, therefore reducing cost and energy input. Supported AuPd nanoparticles catalyst, prepared by MIm, was found to be active and stable even after 4 recycle experiments whereas the same catalyst prepared by SIm deactivated during the recycle experiments. The most effective catalyst was tested for the chemoselective hydrogenation of 4-chloronitrobenzene (CNB) to 4-chloroaniline (CAN). The activation energy of CNB to CAN was found to be 25 kJ mol-1, while that of CNB to AN was found to be 31 kJ mol-1. Based on this, the yield of CAN was maximized (92%) by lowering the reaction temperature to 25 °C.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0303.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: photothermal microscopy; label-free imaging; melanoma; texture analysis
Online: 19 June 2018 (15:28:53 CEST)
Label-free confocal photothermal (CPT) microscopy was utilized for the first time to investigate malignancy in mouse skin cells. A laser diode (LD) with 405nm or 488nm was used as a pump and 638nm LD as a probe for the CPT microscope. The Grey Level Cooccurrence Matrix (GLCM) for texture analysis was applied to the CPT images. Nine parameters of GLCM were calculated for the intracellular super-resolved CPT images, and the parameters Entropy and Prominence were found to be most suited among the nine parameters to discriminate between healthy cells and MM cells in case pump wavelength of 488nm is used.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0142.v1
Online: 8 June 2018 (16:20:20 CEST)
The aim of this study (first analytical approach) was to obtain data on the fatty acid composition of gluten-free foods (bakery products) for celiac people. The study included 35 different products (snacks, biscuits, bakery products, pasta, flours, etc.) from several manufacturers. After extraction and esterification, the fatty acid content was determined by GC-MS. The monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are the major constitutes (57%) of the fatty acids pool followed by saturated fatty acids (SFAs) (30%) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (13%). Only fifteen, of the thirty-five gluten free samples analyzed, provide adequate energy intake, while in eleven samples, saturated fatty acids take more energy than that recommended by EFSA. It has emerged that local producers generally use the finest raw materials (olive oil, etc.) compared to the industries which, as has been pointed out, in many cases use palm and palm kernel oils although gluten free commercial products are high added value foods, expensive and intended for a particularly sensitive public.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0053.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: petroleum sludge; cement clinker; free lime content; burnability
Online: 5 June 2018 (08:32:29 CEST)
The objective of this study is to investigate the performance of incorporating petroleum sludge waste as raw materials into the cement clinker production. The burnability and the structural analysis of the produced clinker were studied. The results showed that the addition of petroleum sludge into the clinker matrices improved the burnability of the clinker by lowering the free lime content. Moreover, 2.5% and 5% of this waste was effective and did not affect the quality of the cement clinker negatively. This study, which is the first to investigate the incorporation of petroleum sludge into cement production, provides also a complete elimination of this waste from the environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0095.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: indigenous goats; free range; milk production; milk composition
Online: 11 May 2017 (07:52:28 CEST)
This study was conducted to evaluate the yield and quality parameters of milk from 60 indigenous South African goats of different genotypes namely Nguni, Boer and Non- descript reared under a free ranging system. Milk yield and quality parameters (milk fat, protein, lactose, solid non-fat and minerals) from Nguni (10), Boer (10) and Non-descript (10) goats was measured and analysed per week at each stage of lactation. Result showed that, Nguni goats produced (1.2±0.09, 1.3±0.11 and 1.2±0.07 litres per day) more milk (P ˂ 0.05) at early, mid and late stages of lactation than Boer (0.6±0.10, 1.0±0.17 and 0.6±0.09 litres per day) and Non-descript (0.3±0.10, 0.3±0.12 and 0.3±0.09 litres per day) goats, respectively. The mean value of milk fat, protein and lactose content from Nguni goat was (3.98, 3.54 and 5.31); Boer goat (2.9, 3.59 and 5.04) and Non-descript goat (4.05, 3.39 and 5.02), respectively. There was significant effect (P ˂ 0.05) of genotypes on milk fat, milk magnesium and sodium contents of Nguni, Boer and Non-descript goats. It could be concluded that, Nguni goat produced more milk than Boer and Non-descript goats, but the Non-descript goat had higher mean percentage of milk fat compared to Nguni and Boer goats.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0028.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: free-range system; hen runs; nitrogen; phosphorus; organic matter.
Online: 1 December 2022 (16:11:03 CET)
To evaluate the nutrient load due to the grazing of laying hens in outdoor runs, soil characteristics were monitored in three Italian organic farms. For each farm, soil samples were taken from three increasing distances from the hen house and two depths and different chemical parameters were evaluated. The comparison among the results from the different distances shows that N-NO3 and Olsen P are the most affected parameters by hen faeces: both present high values with a statistically significant difference in the area close to the poultry house and for the most superficial layer. Even TKN and TOC show significant differences between the concentrations of the first layer (more concentrated) and those of the second layer (less concentrated). In general, the surface soil layer closest to the chicken house is the portion of the outdoor run most affected by chicken droppings and represents the most critical point in terms of potential environmental impact. Therefore, it is necessary to intensify the management of the outdoor run with tools that can facilitate the grazing of animals and with vegetation that can absorb nutrients by limiting leaching and run-off.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0537.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Backpropagation-free Network, Information Theory, Maximal Coding Rate Reduction
Online: 29 November 2022 (08:13:27 CET)
We propose a forward-only multi-layer encoding-decoding framework based on the principle of Maximal Coding Rate Reduction (MCR$^2$), an information-theoretic metric that measures a statistical distance between two sets of feature vectors up to the second moment. The encoder directly transforms data vectors themselves via gradient ascent to maximize the MCR$^2$ distance between different classes in the feature space, resulting in class-wise mutually orthogonal subspace representations. The decoder follows a process symmetric to the encoder, and transforms the subspace feature vectors via gradient descent to minimize the MCR$^2$ distance between the reconstructed data and the original data. We show that the encoder transforms data to linear discriminative representations without breaking the higher-order manifolds, and the decoder reconstructs the data with high fidelity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0125.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: ‘Orch OR’ theory; free will; quantum mechanics; microtubuli; Leibowitz
Online: 7 November 2022 (12:45:07 CET)
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Sir Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff, a renowned American physician and scientist, have put forward an innovative theory that the human brain has a quantum mechanism located in the microtubular protein system within neurons, known as the "Orch OR" theory. According to the researchers, this mechanism is responsible for the brain's non-computational actions such as consciousness and free will. This theory has been criticized by several researchers from both the biological and physical sides. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there is a possible basis for this theory in the philosophy of science.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0376.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: free will; undecidability; temporal asymmetry; compatibilism; predictability; dynamic systems
Online: 23 August 2022 (11:28:17 CEST)
One of the central criteria for free will is “Could I have done otherwise?” But because of a temporal asymmetry in human choice, the question makes no sense. The question is backward-looking, while human choices are forward-looking. At the time when any choice is actually made, there is as of yet no action to do otherwise. Expectation is the only thing to contradict (do other than). So the ability to do something not expected by the ultimate expecter, Laplace’s demon, is a better criterion for free will. If human action is fundamentally unpredictable, then we have free will. Scientists have studied a form of fundamental unpredictability, known as undecidability. The features that make a system capable of undecidable dynamics have been identified: program-data duality; potential to access an infinite computational medium; and the ability to implement negation. Humans have all three of these features, so we very likely are fundamentally unpredictable, so we have free will.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0136.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Consciousness; awareness; free will; decision-making; attention; self-awareness
Online: 9 June 2022 (07:27:39 CEST)
The notion of free will seems so intuitive to us that it would be hard, even impossible, to imagine that we live in a world without ever exerting any willpower. This view of reality is not only hindrance to inspiration, it poses a serious threat to our moral and social responsibilities. Nonetheless, many scientific and philosophical schools of thought such as determinism purport free will as a mere illusion. As an attempt to rescue free will put forward by libertarianism, compatibilism or physical indeterminism that either exempts our mind from the universal rules of cause and effect by offering our minds a metaphysical status or substitute free will with random will rooted in the laws of quantum mechanics. This manuscript offers an alternative perspective under a new paradigm of consciousness called physical libertarianism that explicates true free will through the unwavering laws of cause and effect. Based on this paradigm, consciousness is the result of interaction of awareness and decision-making process. By applying awareness to the process of decision-making awareness-based choice selection or true free will is conceived. In return, by assigning the power of decision making to the process of awareness discretionary selection of information for attention or intentional attention is emerged. Through integration of these two mental functions, an independent entity called “I” is formed that differentiates natural intelligence from artificial intelligence. While determinism can aptly describe the world of inanimate objects and artificial intelligence, because of “I,” determinism has no jurisdiction over the realm of natural intelligence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0462.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Celiac disease; diagnostic process; gluten free diet; delayed diagnosis
Online: 29 December 2021 (11:22:00 CET)
The diagnosis of celiac disease (CD) may be delayed due to non-specific clinical symptoms. The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical manifestation and diagnostic process of CD in Polish children and adults. Methods: The members of the Polish Coeliac Society (n=2 500) were asked to complete a questionnaire on socio-demographic factors, clinical and diagnostic aspects of CD. The analysis was based on 796 responses from patients with confirmed CD diagnosis, and included 224 (28.1%) children and 572 (71.9%) adults. Results: The mean duration of symptoms prior to CD diagnosis in children was significantly shorter than in adults (p < 0.001), and amounted to 3.1 and 9 years respectively. The most frequent symptoms before CD diagnosis were abdominal pain and bloating in children (70.4%), and chronic fatigue in adults (74.5%). Although almost all CD patients claimed to strictly avoid gluten after CD diagnosis, symptoms were still present in the majority of these respondents. No comorbid diseases were reported by 29.8% of children and by 11.7% of adults (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The results indicate that CD diagnosis is delayed in Poland, espe-cially in adults, and clinicians should be aware of the diversity in CD presentation.
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: clams; physiological status; stress; cold chain; free amino acid
Online: 30 June 2021 (11:58:19 CEST)
With the extension of the post-catch circulation time, a series of changes had taken place in the soft tissue of the live clams, resulting in the decline of its quality. This study investigated the quality changes of clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) in cold chain and was mainly focused on the rehydration process, which included gradient heating rehydration (GR) and sudden heating rehydration (SR). It was found that the GR had a better effect on the quality of clams than the SR. The GR stage clams showed a higher survival rate, glycogen content and adenylate energy charge (A.E.C) value than the SR stage clams. Conversely, the GR stage clams showed lower lactic acid content and K-value than the SR stage clams. The results indicated that the gradient heating rehydration was beneficial to the quality of clams. The transportation and rehydration strategies benefited both producers and shellfish merchants to save total cost.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0533.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: free radicals; oxidative stress; hepatocellular carcinoma; anti-oxidants; kaempferol
Online: 21 May 2021 (17:21:59 CEST)
Keywords: free radicals; oxidative stress; hepatocellular carcinoma; anti-oxidants; kaempferol
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0782.v2
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: electrospinning; negative electrode materials; carbon nanofibers; free-standing; supercapacitor
Online: 10 May 2021 (09:34:34 CEST)
The development of smart negative electrode materials with high capacitance for use in supercapacitors remains challenging. Although there have been several types of electrode materials with high capacitance used in energy storage, carbon-based materials are the most reliable electrodes due to their high conductivity, high power density and excellent stability. The most common complaint about general carbon materials is that these as-formed electrode materials can hardly ever be used as free-standing electrodes. Free-standing carbon-based electrodes are in high demand and are a passionate topic of energy storage research. Electrospun nanofibers are a potential candidate to fill this gap. However, the as-spun carbon nanofibers (ECNFs) have low capacitance and energy density on their own. To this end, several attempts have been made to improve these characteristics. In this review, we introduce negative electrode materials that have been developed. Moreover, this review places special attention to the advances of electrospun nanofiber-based negative electrode materials and their limitations. Based on the above information, we put forth a future perspective on how these limitations can be overcome to meet the demands of next-generation smart devices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0476.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Ovarian cancer; mapping-based; mapping-free; SNVs; survival prognosis
Online: 18 December 2020 (15:15:50 CET)
Ovarian cancer is the most frequent cause of deaths in gynecologic malignancies. Many possible mechanisms have been proposed via RNAseq and DNAseq technique recently. However, the driving factors are still obscure. The possible reasons are attributed to the incomplete human reference. This study integrated the canonical mapping-based and mapping-free protocols to extract reliable variations and novel events. We eventually obtained 450 reliable SNVs from the WES data and novel events from the RNAseq data, including 154 SNVs, 462 intron events, two repeats and six splice events. We identified six differentially expressed genes and six contigs that are significantly related to survival prognosis. The recurrent SNVs in significantly differentially expressed genes can be validated in an independent cohort of 20 Chinese ovarian cancer patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0709.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Escherichia coli; Clostridium perfringens; broiler; antibiotic-free; production; chicken
Online: 29 September 2020 (12:46:00 CEST)
United States is the largest producer and the second largest exporter of broiler meat in the world. In the U.S, broiler production is largely converting to antibiotic-free programs which has caused an increase in morbidity and mortality within broiler farms. Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens are two important pathogenic bacteria readily found in the broiler environment and result in annual billion-dollar losses from colibacillosis, gangrenous dermatitis, and necrotic enteritis. Broiler industry is in search of non-antibiotic alternatives including novel vaccines, prebiotics, probiotics, and housing management strategies to mitigate production losses due to these diseases. This review provides an overview of the broiler industry and antibiotic free production, current challenges, and emerging research on antibiotic alternatives to reduce pathogenic microbial presence and improve bird health.
Online: 18 August 2020 (05:03:02 CEST)
A label-free four-step procedure to identify amino acids (AAs) is described. In Step 1 molecules of AA, a tRNA, the related tRNA synthetase (AARS), and ATP are confined in a cavity to enable charging of tRNA. In Step 2 the tRNA, charged or uncharged, is separated from the other reactants (ATP, AARS, and possibly AMP and free AAs). In Step 3 the separated tRNA is subjected to non-enzymatic deacylation to dissociate the AA if tRNA is charged. In Step 4 the products are transferred to an electrolytic cell with a nanopore, where a current blockade occurs if and only if there is a dissociated AA. If a blockade is observed AA is immediately known, identification is unambiguous because of tRNA superspecificity. The exact blockade size need not be known (for any AA) in Step 4 so there is no need to distinguish among different AAs. This is unlike other nanopore-based methods, which are crucially dependent on precise blockade level measurements. The procedure is done in parallel with N (20 ≤ N ≤ 61) copies of AA, N reservoir-cavities, and N pairs of e-cells each with a different tRNA, related AARS, and ATP. At least one of the tRNAs gets charged. Assuming no charging errors, if N1 tRNAs get charged in Step 1 and at least one of N2 (≤ N1) charged tRNAs is deacylated in Step 3, then with N1N2 tRNA molecules entering Step 1 AA can be identified with probability 1.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0038.v1
Online: 4 December 2019 (04:27:21 CET)
The genus Naegleria, of free-living amoeba (FLA) group, has been investigated mainly due to its human health impact resulting in deadly infections and their worldwide distribution on freshwater systems. Naegleria fowleri, colloquially known as the “brain-eating amoeba”, is the most studied Naegleria species because it causes Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) of high lethality. The assessment of FLA biodiversity is fundamental to evaluate the presence of pathogenic species and the possibility of human contamination. However, the knowledge of FLA distribution in Brazil is unknown, and to rectify this situation we present a research on identifying Naegleria spp. in the Monjolinho River, as a model study. The river is a public Brazilian freshwater source that crosses the city of São Carlos. Five distinct sampling sites were examined through limnological features, trophozoites culturing and PCR against internal transcribed spacers (ITS) regions and 5.8S rRNA sequence. The results identified N. philippinensis, N. canariensisi, N. australiensis, N.gruberi, N. dobsoni sequences, as well as a Vahlkampfia sequence. The methodology delineated here represents the first Brazilian Naegleria spp. study on a freshwater system. Our result stresses the urgency of a large scale evaluation of the presence of free-living amoebas in Brazil.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0113.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: polyethylene; friction; wear; hardness; surface free energy; stress; strain
Online: 8 August 2019 (17:54:11 CEST)
Polymer materials are increasingly being used for sliding machine elements due to their numerous advantages. They are used even where they are deformed and in such a state they interact frictionally e.g. in machine hydraulics or lip seals. Few publications deal with the influence of deformation, which is the effect of e.g. assembly on tribological properties of polymeric material. This deformation can reach up to ε ≈ 20% and is achieved without increasing the temperature of the polymer material. The paper presents the results of investigations in which high-density polyethylene (PE-HD) was maintained in deformation by means of a special grip (holder). The wear of the sample was significantly higher than that of the undeformed sample. This effect persisted even after partial relaxation of the stress in the sample after 24 hours. Additional investigations were carried out to explain the obtained results. There were the microscopic observations of the surface after friction, measurements of microhardness and free surface energy. Changes in the value of surface free energy and a significant decrease in microhardness with deformation under tension were observed. Strained material had a different surface appearance after friction and a different size and form of wear products. It was indicated that it is probable that the cohesion of the material will decrease and that the character of the wear process will change as a result of tension. Tension without heating of polymeric material (PE-HD), e.g. as a result of assembly, has been qualified as a hazard to be taken into account when designing and analysing polymeric sliding elements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0355.v1
Subject: Keywords: blood lead; plasmodium malaria parasites; anemia; free erythrocytes protoporphyrin
Online: 31 July 2019 (11:52:32 CEST)
Lead pollutants mainly from urban agricultural practices, Leaded paints, Leaded fuels spillages, Lead-contaminated air, soils, and water sources pause a health threat to urban children in Uganda. Prolonged Lead exposure affects iron metabolism, by competitively blocking iron absorption leading to anemia. Blood Lead (BL) inhibits key enzymes ferrochelatase and aminolevulinic acid dehydrogenase (ALAD) involved in hemoglobin (Hb) biosynthesis even at very low levels. Lead poisoning and malaria infection geographically overlap, and both produce similar hematological outcome especially in children. Malaria parasites cause anemia by destroying parasitized red blood cells, therefore, co-existence of BL and malaria parasites infection worsens the anemia status of the host. This study aimed at expounding the extent of heme synthesis inhibition by BL levels among a study group of malaria positive children by measuring levels of free erythrocyte protoporphyrin (FEP) in blood samples. Briefly venous blood samples from 198 children were analyzed for malaria parasite densities by the thick smear method, hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations determined by the standard cyan methemoglobin method, BLL were analyzed on an atomic absorption spectrophotometer and FEP levels were fluorometrically measured. The results showed means of BLL (9.3 µg/dL), Hb (7.5 g/dL), FEP/Hb (8.3 µg/g) and parasite density (PD) (3.21×103 parasites / µL) among the study group. A majority of 151/198 (76.3%) of the children were moderately anemic while 8/198 (4%) were severely anemic. There was weak correlation between PD and Hb (R²= -0.15, P-value < 0.001), as compared to one between FEP/Hb and Hb (R²= -0.6, P-value=0.001). The study concludes that BL is a significant contributor to malaria anemia and should be considered in the management of anemia in malaria-endemic areas.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0355.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Orbital angular momentum; free-space optical communications; turbulence mitigation
Online: 20 August 2018 (12:34:41 CEST)
We review recent progress in high-speed orbital angular momentum (OAM) multiplexed free-space optical communication systems. The outdoor atmospheric turbulence is emulated by an indoor turbulence emulator, which is based on split-step beam propagation method. Adaptive optics, channel coding, Huffman coding combined with LDPC coding, and spatial offset are used for turbulence mitigation; while OAM multiplexing and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) are applied to boost aggregate capacity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0110.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: polymer networks; scale-free networks; mechanical relaxation; eigenvalue problem
Online: 22 September 2017 (16:21:16 CEST)
We focus on macromolecules which are modelled as sequentially growing dual scale-free networks. The dual networks are built by replacing star-like units of the primal treelike scale-free networks through rings, which are then transformed in a small-world manner up to the complete graphs. In this respect, the parameter γ describing the degree distribution in the primal treelike scale-free networks regulates the size of the dual units. The transition towards the networks of complete graphs is controlled by the probability p of adding link between non-neighbouring nodes of the same initial ring. The relaxation dynamics of the polymer networks is studied in the framework of generalized Gaussian structures by using the full eigenvalue spectrum of the Laplacian matrix. The dynamical quantities on which we focus here are the averaged monomer displacement and the mechanical relaxation moduli. For several intermediate values of the parameter’s set (γ, p) we encounter for these dynamical properties regions of constant in-between slope.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0041.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: cluster variation method; entropy; approximation methods; free energy; free energy minimization; artificial intelligence; neural networks; deep learning; statistical thermodynamics; brain networks; neural connectivity
Online: 4 January 2021 (13:16:18 CET)
One of the biggest challenges in characterizing 2-D image topographies is finding a low-dimensional parameter set that can succinctly describe, not so much image patterns themselves, but the nature of these patterns. The 2-D Cluster Variation Method (CVM), introduced by Kikuchi in 1951, can characterize very local image pattern distributions using configuration variables, identifying nearest-neighbor, next-nearest-neighbor, and triplet configurations. Using the 2-D CVM, we can characterize 2-D topographies using just two parameters; the activation enthalpy and the interaction enthalpy. Initial investigations with two different representative topographies (``scale-free-like'' and ``rich club-like'') produce interesting results when brought to a CVM free energy minimum. Additional phase space investigations, where one of these two parameters has been set to zero, identify useful parameter ranges. Careful comparison of the analytically-predicted configuration variables versus those obtained when performing computational free energy minimization on a 2-D grid show that the computational results differ significantly from the analytic solution. The 2-D CVM can potentially function as a secondary free energy minimization within the hidden layer of a neural network, providing a basis for extending node activations over time and allowing temporal correlation of patterns.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0312.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Electromagnetic propulsion; High power; Propellant free; General Relativity; nuclear fusion
Online: 16 November 2022 (13:10:17 CET)
In this paper a high-power and propellant-free electromagnetic propulsion is proposed based on the General Relativity and nuclear fusion technology. We find that Riemann curvature vanish and geodesic motion is free from gravitational field locally in a special space-time, which demonstrates the feasibility of propellant-free electromagnetic propulsion. To achieve high-power propulsion in Schwarzschild background, we choose current loop as axisymmetric field source and obtain exact solution of Einstein-Maxwell field equation using Killing symmetry and Ernst generation technique. An implementation with superconductor shield is given according to the Meissner effect, calculation implies that the device can be sufficiently free from gravitational field with the aid of existing nuclear fusion engineering.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0348.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: Naltrexone; mu-opioid receptor; MD simulations; MMGBSA; binding free energy
Online: 27 June 2022 (04:09:30 CEST)
Naltrexone (NTX) is a potent opioid antagonist with good blood-brain barrier permeability, targeting different endogenous opioid receptors, particularly the mu-opioid receptor (MOR). Therefore, it represents a promising candidate for drug development against drug addiction. However, the details of the molecular interactions of NTX and its derivatives with MOR are not fully understood, hindering ligand-based drug discovery. In the present study, taking advantage of the high-resolution X-ray crystal structure of the murine MOR (mMOR), we constructed a homology model of the human MOR (hMOR). A solvated phospholipid bilayer was built around the hMOR and submitted to microsecond (µs) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to obtain an optimized hMOR model. NTX and its derivatives were docked into the optimized hMOR model and submitted to µs MD simulations in an aqueous membrane system. The MD simulation results were submitted to Molecular Mechanics Generalized-Born surface area (MMGBSA) binding free energy calculations and principal component analysis. Our results revealed that NTX and its derivatives showed differences in protein-ligand interactions; however, they shared contact with residues at TM2, TM3, H6, and TM7. The binding free energy and principal component analysis revealed the structural and energetic effects responsible for the higher potency of NTX compared to its derivatives.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0195.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: circular meshes; free-form surfaces; 3D concrete printing; shell structures
Online: 15 March 2022 (06:51:19 CET)
Shell-like, double curved and thus above-average performance structures, are usually produced monolithically on site. For industrial advancement, however, they must be divided into transportable modules which can be assembled on the construction site (design for assembly). Models are lattice shells made of steel and glass, in which predominantly flat sub-surfaces (modules) are used. Therefore, the main question is: Which modularizations are suitable for flow production with mineral building materials? In this paper designed free-form surface is going to be discretized as PQ circular mesh system, suitable modules for 3D concrete printing. Moreover, the multi-criteria optimization is done with Response Surface Methodology (RSM) in order to get optimal final shape. The goal is to start from the arbitrary shape, that can be generated from two curves, with possible two-way division into modules and compare it with the resulted discretized PQ circular mesh system, realized with new algorithm. The comparison can be defined through two main criteria: geometrical and structural.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0217.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Gravitational vortex; Free-flow vortex; Cross flow turbine; Propeller turbine.
Online: 14 October 2021 (13:00:14 CEST)
This study aimed to enhance a micro hydroelectric generator system driven by free-flow vortex and to compare efficiency of Propeller and Crossflow turbines. Series of turbines in each type were designed and tested at water-flowrate of 0.02 m3/s. The turbine housing has 1 meter in diameter and 0.5-meter height with 2 meters outlet drain at the bottom. The best efficiency extracted from Crossflow turbines with the same height (0.3 meter) but different in diameter (0.4, 0.5, 0.6, and 0.7 meter) and numbers of blade (12, 18, 24, 30, and 23) was from an 18 blades turbine at 23.01% of efficiency. The best efficiency extracted from Propeller turbines with 5 blades was from a 0.4-meter-high turbine with a diameter of 0.7 meter at 13.92% of efficiency. There were 12 Propeller turbines designed in this study. They were different in height (0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 meter) and, in each height, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, and 0.7 of diameter was applied. The result revealed that Cross Flow turbine had more efficiency to the system than Propeller turbine (9.09%) at the water-flowrate of 0.02 m3/s
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0274.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: polymerization kinetics; photoinitiator; free radical polymerization; photo-oxidation; 3D printing.
Online: 12 July 2021 (22:22:54 CEST)
This article presents, for the first time, the kinetics and the general conversion features of free radical polymerization (FRP) in a 3-component system (A/B/N), with [A] being the initiator, and [B] and [N] are additives, based on the proposed mechanism of Rahal et al. Higher FRP can be achieved by additives [B] and [N], via the dual function of (i) regeneration [A], and (ii) generation of extra radicals (R) via the radicals (S' and S) produced by N.The initiator (coumarin) shows a dual photo-oxidation and photo-reduction character for high efficacy. The FRP conversion efficacy (CE) depends not only on the property of the initiator [A], the additives [B] and [N}, but also the types of monomers. For example, when [A]=CoumC, [A]/NPG is more efficient than [A]/Iod, but revserse trend occurs in some monomers. However, 2-component systems (with CE=0% to 80%) are always less efficient than that of 3-component systems (with CE=70% to 86%, in TMPTA). Specific systems with [A]=coumarins, [B]=Iodonium salt, and N=NPG are analyzed. Analytical formulas for the role of each component concentration, light intensity and coupling rates on the conversion efficacy are derived.
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Bioactive glasses; Alkali-free; Sol-gel; Bone regeneration; Tissue engineering.
Online: 1 July 2021 (11:20:51 CEST)
In bone tissue engineering, ceramics have been the choice due to their excellent biological properties. But the paradigm changed with the discovery of bioactive glasses (BGs) in 1969 by Larry Hench and co-workers, due to their ability to bond to living tissues through the formation of an interfacial bone-like hydroxyapatite layer when the bioglass was put in contact with biological fluids in vivo. Among a number of tested compositions, the one exhibiting the highest bioactivity index is the well-known trademarked 45S5 Bioglass®. The topic received increasing attention particularly after 1985 when this material entered in the market of biomedical devices, inspiring many other investigations aiming at further exploring the in vitro and in vivo performances of this BG, or developing other related BG compositions. The research efforts gradually revealed a number of shortcomings of 45S5 Bioglass®, mostly derived from its high sodium content, initially intended to decrease the melting temperature and accelerating the degradation of the silicate network over time. But the extensive release of sodium from 45S5 Bioglass® in the biological fluids creates a high pH cytotoxic environment. Other serious drawbacks include a fast degradation rate, and a poor sintering ability, which hinders the reliable fabrication of porous scaffolds. Therefore, sol-gel was regarded as an attractive alternative to prepare alkali-free BG compositions. The process uses inorganic and/or organic precursors, which undergo hydrolysis and condensation at room-temperature, being less costly. When properly conducted, the sol-gel process might result in amorphous structures with all the components intimately mixed at the atomic scale. Moreover, developing new better performing materials for bone tissue engineering is a growing concern, as the ageing of the world’s population leads to lower bone density and osteoporosis. This work describes the sol-gel synthesis of a novel quaternary silicate-based BG with the composition 60 SiO2 – 34 CaO – 4 MgO – 2 P2O5 (mol%) was prepared using acidified distilled water as single solvent. By controlling the kinetics of the hydrolysis and condensation steps, an amorphous glass structure could be obtained. The results of XRD of samples calcined within the temperature range from 600-900 ºC demonstrated that amorphous nature was maintained until 800 ºC, followed by partial crystallization at 900 ºC. The specific surface area, an important factor in osteoconduction, was also evaluated over different temperatures, ranging from 160.6 ± 0.8 m2/g at 600 ºC down to 2.2 ± 0.1 m2/g at 900 ºC, being accompanied consistent changes in average pore size and agreeing pore size distribution. The immersion of the BG particles in simulated body fluid (SBF) led to the formation of an extensive apatite layer on its surface. These overall results indicate the proposed material is very promising for biomedical applications in bone regeneration and tissue engineering.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0582.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: polymerization kinetics; free radical, cationic polymerization, copper complex, photoredox catalyst.
Online: 23 June 2021 (12:37:02 CEST)
. This article presents, for the first time, the kinetics and the general conversion features of a 3-component system (A/B/N), based on proposed mechanism of Mau et al, for both free radical polymerization (FRP) of acrylates and the free radical promoted cationic polymerization (CP) of epoxides using various new copper complex (G2) as the initiator. Higher FRP and CP conversion can be achieved by co-additive of [B] and N, via the dual function of (i) regeneration [A], and (ii) generation of extra radicals. The FRP and CP conversion efficacy (CE) are proportional to the nonlinear power of bI[A][B], where b and I are the effective absorption coefficient and the light intensity, respectively. In the interpenetrated polymer network (IPN) capable of initiating both FRP and CP in a blend of TMPTA and EPOX, (as the monomer for FRP and CP, respectively), the synergic effects due to CP include:: (i) CP can increase viscosity limiting the diffusional oxygen replenishment, such that oxygen inhibition effects are reduced; (ii) the cationic monomer also acts as a diluting agent for the IPN network , and (iii) the exothermic property of the CP. Many new findings are explored via our analytical formuals include: (i) the CE of FRP is about twice of the CE of CP, due to the extra radicals involved in FRP; (ii) the catalytic cycle enhancing the efficacy is mainly due to the regenaration of the initiator, and (iii) the nonlinear dependence of light intensity of the CE (in both FRP and CP). For the first time, the catalytic cycle, synergic effects, and the oxygen inhibition are theoretically confirmed to support the experimental hypothesis. The measured results of Mau et al are well analyzed and matching the predicted features of our modeling. .
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0593.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Optimal Splines; Linear Programming; Data Interpolation; Splines with Free Knots
Online: 22 April 2021 (09:07:02 CEST)
Studies have shown that in many practical applications, data interpolation by splines leads to better approximation and higher computational efficiency as compared to data interpolation by a single polynomial. Data interpolation by splines can be significantly improved if knots are allowed to be free rather than at a priori fixed locations such as data points. In practical applications, the smallest possible curvature is often desired. Therefore, optimal splines are determined by minimizing a derivative of continuously differentiable functions comprising the spline of the required order. The problem of obtaining an optimal spline is tantamount to minimizing derivatives of a nonlinear differentiable function over a Banach space on a compact set. While the problem of data interpolation by quadratic splines has been accomplished analytically, interpolation by splines of higher orders or in higher dimensions is challenging. In this paper, to overcome difficulties associated with the complexity of the interpolation problem, the interval over which data points are defined, is discretized and continuous derivatives are substituted by their discrete counterparts. It is shown that as the mesh of the discretization approaches zero, a resulting near-optimal spline approaches an optimal spline. Splines with the desired accuracy can be obtained by choosing an appropriate mesh of the discretization. By using cubic splines as an example, numerical results demonstrate that the linear programming (LP) formulation, resulting from the discretization of the interpolation problem, can be solved by linear solvers with high computational efficiency and resulting splines provide a good approximation to the optimal splines.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: structural entropy; dimensionality; flow dynamics; spin; directed network; scale-free
Online: 27 January 2021 (15:35:38 CET)
Complex systems can be described as the network of interactions between their components. In directed networks, information, energy and matter flow in dominant directions. Undirected networks, on the other hand, cannot easily capture these asymmetries. The local flow of information depends on the node spin, which is a function of the number of incoming and outgoing links attached to it. And yet, how the heterogeneous association between in-degree and out-degree constraints global dynamics remains poorly understood. Here, we develop a new theoretical model to study the relationship between node directionality and global flow dynamics. Our computational analysis of random and scale-free directed networks indicates that structural diversity constrains the dimensionality of reachable dynamical space. These results suggest how local directionality might be an universal driver of global dynamics in many systems, from social networks, to technological systems to the connectome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0386.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: reproduction number; disease-free equilibrium; co-existence equilibrium; Yersinia; gastroenteritis
Online: 19 October 2020 (14:40:09 CEST)
The complex interplay among pathogens, host factors, and the integrity and composition of the endogenous microbiome determine the course and outcome of gastrointestinal infections. The model organism Yersinia entercolitica (Ye) is one of the five top frequent causes of bacterial gastroenteritis based on the Epidemiological Bulletin of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) published on September 10, 2020. A fundamental challenge in predicting the course of an infection is to understand whether co-infection with two Yersinia strains differing only in their capacity to resist killing by the host immune system may decrease the overall virulence by competitive exclusion or increase it by acting cooperatively. Herein, we study the primary interactions among Ye, the host immune system and the microbiota, and their influence on Yersinia population dynamics. The employed model considers two host compartments, the intestinal mucosa and lumen, commensal bacteria, the co-existence of wild-type and mutant Yersinia strains, as well the host immune responses. We determine four possible equilibria: the disease-free, wild-type-free, mutant-free, and co-existence of wild-type and mutant equilibrium. We also calculate the reproduction number for each strain as a threshold parameter to determine if the population may either be eradicated or persist within the host. We conclude that the infection should disappear if the reproduction numbers for each strain fall below one, and the commensal bacteria’s growth rate exceeds the pathogens’ growth rates. These findings will help inform public health control strategies. The supplement includes MATLAB source script, Maple workbook, and figures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0001.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: magnetic bound state; magnetic levitation; polarity free repulsion; magnetic trapping
Online: 1 September 2020 (03:01:47 CEST)
This is a report on a dynamic autonomous magnetic interaction which does not depend on polarities resulting in short ranged repulsion involving one or more inertial bodies and a new class of bound state based on this interaction. Both effects are new to the literature, found so far. Experimental results are generalized and reported qualitatively. Working principles of these effects are provided within classical mechanics and found consistent with observations and simulations. The effects are based on the interaction of a rigid and finite inertial body (an object having mass and moment of inertia) endowed with a magnetic moment with a cyclic inhomogeneous magnetic field which does not require to have a local minimum. Such a body having some DoF involved in driven harmonic motion by this interaction can experience a net force in the direction of the weak field regardless of its position and orientation or can find stable equilibrium with the field itself autonomously. The former is called polarity free magnetic repulsion and the latter magnetic bound state. Experiments show that a bound state can be obtained between two free bodies having magnetic dipole moment. Various schemes of trapping bodies having magnetic moments by rotating fields are realized as well as rotating bodies trapped by a static dipole field in presence of gravity. Also, a special case of bound state called bipolar bound state between free dipole bodies is investigated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0276.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Free-range; backfat layers; intramuscular fat; Iberian pig; subcutaneous fat.
Online: 12 August 2020 (08:11:09 CEST)
Twenty-four extensively-reared Iberian pigs were used to study the influence of fattening period length (30, 60 or 90 days) on the fatty acid profiles of intramuscular and subcutaneous fat and the relationships between both profiles. Regarding fatty acid (FA) percentage, PUFA was greater in backfat and MUFA was greater in intramuscular fat (IMF), regardless fattening period length. The longer fattening period increased MUFA content in backfat (which had a more marked change in oleic acid) and decreased PUFA content in backfat and IMF, but it did not affect SFA content. Within the 3-layers subcutaneous backfat, SFA content was greater in the inner layer, MUFA was greater in the outer layer and PUFA was greater in both of these layers. The few differences in FA composition between both adipose tissues suggest that the changes due to the feeding regime are slow and, therefore, although the length of the fattening phase was increased, the fatty acid profile did not change substantially. The strong relationship between the FA profiles of IMF and backfat might be used to predict one profile from the other one when this latter was more readily available for sampling or analytical reasons.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0049.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics Keywords: nonlinear electrodynamics; black holes; heat capacity; free energy; phase transitions
Online: 5 January 2020 (17:27:07 CET)
The principles of causality and unitarity are studied within rational nonlinear electrodynamics proposed earlier. We investigate dyonic and magnetized black holes and show that in the self-dual case, when the electric charge equals the magnetic charge, corrections to Coulomb's law and Reissner-Nordstrom solutions are absent. In the case of the magnetic black hole, the Hawking temperature, the heat capacity and the Helmholtz free energy are calculated. It is shown that there are second-order phase transitions and it was demonstrated that at some range of parameters the black holes are stable.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0075.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: ITO-free polymer solar cells; resonant microcavity; ultrathin Cu film
Online: 7 November 2019 (09:51:49 CET)
Here we report highly efficient, indium tin oxide (ITO)-free polymer solar cells (PSCs) with an ultrathin copper (Cu) film(~10 nm) coated with a thin layer of poly[(9,9-bis(3‘-(N,N-dimethylamino)propyl)-2,7-fluorene)-alt-2,7-(9,9-dioctylfluorene)] (PFN) as transparent electrode. Despite of its lower far-field transmittance of the electrode, the obtained ITO-free device based on the ultrathin Cu film can delivery higher absorption efficiency than that of the device based on ITO substrate in the long wavelength region, which can be attributed to the formation of metal resonant microcavity between the opaque back metal mirror (MoO3/Al electrode) and the transparent Cu film with high reflectance. As a result, polymer solar cells based on poly[[2,6'-4,8-di(5-ethylhexylthienyl)benzo[1,2-b;3,3-b]dithiophene][3-fluoro-2[(2-ethylhexyl)carbonyl]thieno[3,4-b]thiophenediyl]] (PTB7-Th) and [6,6]-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) blend show a high power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.21 %, comparable to that of the control device based on ITO electrode (with a PCE of 9.60% ). The results demonstrate that thermally evaporated Cu thin film electrode can be promising candidate to replace ITO for highly efficient PSCs, thus may open up the possibility for massive production of PSCs with low cost.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0250.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: diazotroph; rhizosphere; nitrogen-fixation; free-living non-symbiotic diazotrophs; Betaproteobacteria
Online: 22 October 2019 (04:18:16 CEST)
Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the type strain of Ideonella azotifigens DSMZ21438T (formally 1a22T = JCM15503T). Ideonella azotifigens DSMZ21438T a novel betaproteobacterial non-symbiotic nitrogen-fixing grass rhizosphere dwelling microbe. The 891,561 paired-end shotgun reads were quality filtered and decontaminated with the ATLAS pipeline, then assembled with Unicycler. The genome size is 6,257,981 bp, an N50 size of 7,849 bp, with a G+C content of 66.71%, and with 5,882 predicted protein-coding genes. I. azotifigens DSMZ21438T represents the first member of the genus isolated from rhizosphere soil, providing a framework for further study into non-alphaproteobacterial nitrogen fixation and synthetic biology applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0578.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: WTO, Arab countries, international trade, free trade, accession, dispute settlement
Online: 26 November 2018 (09:57:36 CET)
The WTO is here to stay. Institutions are never perfect. The way the WTO, as an institution, runs its business may not be perfect either. Arab countries are attempting to broaden their engagement in the multilateral trading system in a manner that has many implications. This engagement includes accession to the WTO, participation in WTO dispute resolution mechanism, and representations at the WTO.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0196.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: gluten neuropathy; coeliac disease; gluten free diet; quality of life
Online: 16 April 2018 (08:19:54 CEST)
Background: Gluten neuropathy (GN) is defined as an otherwise idiopathic peripheral neuropathy in the presence of serological evidence of gluten sensitivity (positive antigliadin and/or transglutaminase or endomysium antibodies). We aimed to compare the quality of life (QoL) of GN patients with control subjects and to investigate the effect of a gluten free diet (GFD) on the QoL. Methods: All consecutive patients with GN attending a specialist neuropathy clinic were invited to participate. Overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale (ONLS) was used to assess the severity of neuropathy. The SF-36 questionnaire was used to measure participants’ QoL. A strict GFD was defined as effectively been able to eliminate all circulating gluten sensitivity-related antibodies whilst on the diet. Results: Fifty-three patients with GN and 53 age and gender matched controls were recruited. Compared to controls, GN showed significantly worse scores in physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health, energy/fatigue and general health subdomains of SF-36. After having adjusted for age, gender and disease severity, being on a strict GFD correlated with better SF-36 scores on the pain domain of the SF-36 (beta 0.317, p=0.019) and the overall health change domain of the SF-36 (beta 0.306, p=0.017). Conclusion: In GN physical dysfunctioning is the major determinant of poor QoL compared to controls. Routine checking for elimination of gluten sensitivity-related antibodies that results from a strict GFD should be encouraged as such elimination ameliorates the overall pain and health scores, indicating better QoL.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0056.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Keywords: active subunit combination; sulfonylurea benzothiazoline; solvent-free synthesis; safener activity
Online: 14 September 2017 (10:01:38 CEST)
A series of novel sulfonylurea benzothiazoline were designed by splicing active groups and bioisosterism. A solvent-free synthetic route was developed for the sulfonylurea benzothiazoline derivatives via the cyclization and carbamylation. All the compounds were characterized by IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, HRMS. The biological activity tests indicated the compounds could protect maize against the injury caused by chlorsulfuron to some extent. The molecular docking result showed that the new compound competed with chlorosulfuron to bind with the herbicide target enzyme active site to attain detoxification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0007.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: natural mineral water; free living protozoa; Nontuberculous mycobacteria; Legionella; qPCR
Online: 3 August 2017 (09:11:03 CEST)
Italian Directives recommends the good quality of natural mineral waters but literature data assert a potential risk from several microorganisms colonizing wellsprings and mineral water bottling plants. Aim of study is the identification of microorganisms from spring waters (SW) and bottled mineral waters (BMW) samples. Methods: Routine microbiological indicators, Legionella spp., Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), protozoa (FLA) and physical-chemical parameters were assessed in 24 SW and 10 BMW samples performing culture methods and molecular tests as PCR and qPCR. Results: In 33 out of 34 samples no cultivable bacteria were isolated with the exception of 83 CFU/L of Mycobacterium gilvum, detected in one warm rich-mineralized SW. qPCR showed the presence of Legionella genomic units in 24% of samples (mean 2,9x102±1,7x102 GU/L) and NTM genomic units in 18% of samples (mean 5,7x103±4,1x103 GU/L). Vermamoeba vermiformis and Acanthamoeba polyphaga were recovered respectively in 70% of BMW samples (counts from 1,3x103 to 1,2x105) and 42% of SW samples (counts from 1,1x103 to 1,3x104). Vahlkampfia spp. was detected in 42% of SW and 70% of BMW samples (mean 1,3x104 ±2,9x103 GU/L). Conclusion: The study highlights a low rate of microbial risk and the importance of risk assessment in natural mineral waters.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0524.v1
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: lead-free perovskites; hydrogen evolution; photocatalysis, carbon nitride, perovskites, ball milling
Online: 29 November 2022 (02:54:05 CET)
Heterojunctions based on metal halide perovskites (MHPs) are promising systems for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In this work, we coupled Cs3Bi2Br9 nanocrystals (NCs), obtained by wet ball milling synthesis, with g-C3N4 nanosheets (NSs) produced by thermal oxidation of bulk g-C3N4 in air. These methods are reproducible, inexpensive, and easy to scale up. Heterojunctions with different loadings of Cs3Bi2Br9 NCs were fully characterized and tested for HER. A relevant improvement of H2 production with respect to pristine carbon nitride was achieved at low NCs levels reaching values up to about 4600 µmol g-1 h-1. This work aims to provide insights on the synthesis of inexpensive and high performing heterojunctions using MHP for photocatalytic applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0267.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: early childhood education (ECE); free early childhood education; policy cycle; sustainability
Online: 23 May 2022 (03:42:52 CEST)
Many countries have implemented free early childhood education to solve the affordability and accessibility problems without considering the sustainability of policy; thus, they have to discontinue the policy. The city of Nanjing, China, is no exception. This case study adopted a mixed-methods approach to understanding how and why the policy was formulated, implemented, and failed in the city, using the “policy cycle” framework. Altogether 232 kindergarten principals and teaching/research staff were randomly sampled and surveyed, and 5 kindergarten principals and 5 teaching/researcher staff were interviewed. The results indicated that there were many obstacles to the policy’s sustainability, including the conflict of interest, the inefficient policy implementation, the insufficient funding, and more social inequality issues. And the policymakers made mistakes in the five domains of the policy cycle: the context of influence, the context of policy text production, the context of practice, the context of outcomes, and the context of political strategy. Finally, the lessons for a more sustainable policy decision process are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0381.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: DNA transcription factors; genes; finitely-generated groups; free groups; aperiodic order
Online: 10 January 2022 (11:52:04 CET)
Transcription factors (TFs) are proteins that recognize specific DNA fragments in order to decode the genome and ensure its optimal functioning. TFs work at the local and global scales by specifying cell type, cell growth and death, cell migration, organization and timely tasks. We investigate the structure of DNA-binding motifs with the theory of finitely generated groups. The DNA ‘word’ in the binding domain -the motif- may be seen as the generator of a finitely generated group Fdna on four letters, the bases A, T, G and C. It is shown that, most of the time, the DNA-binding motifs have subgroup structure close to free groups of rank three or less, a property that we call ‘syntactical freedom’. Such a property is associated to the aperiodicity of the motif when it is seen as a substitution sequence. Examples are provided for the major families of TFs such as leucine zipper factors, zinc finger factors, homeo-domain factors, etc. We also discuss the exceptions to the existence of such a DNA syntactical rule and their functional role. This includes the TATA box in the promoter region of some genes, the single nucleotide markers (SNP) and the motifs of some genes of ubiquitous role in transcription and regulation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0689.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: canine, carbohydrates, grain-free, pet food, pharmacokinetic mathematical modelling, acetaminophen tracking.
Online: 30 July 2021 (09:29:05 CEST)
Gastric emptying rate (GER) may impact diabetes and obesity in humans and could provide a method to reduce canine weight gain. Starch, the most common source of carbohydrates (CHOs) in pet food, is classified as rapidly or slowly digestible, or resistant to digestion. This study investigated starch source effects in commercial extruded dog foods on the GER of 11 healthy adult Siberian Huskies (5.63±0.72 years; mean±SEM). Test diets were classified as traditional, grain-free, whole-grain, and vegan. Dogs received each diet once, a glucose control twice, and acetaminophen (Ac) as a marker for GER in a randomized, partially-replicated, 6x6 Latin square design. Pre- and post-prandial blood samples were collected at 16 timepoints from -15 to 480 minutes. Serum Ac concentrations were assessed via standard spectrophotometric assays and fitted with a mathematical model to estimate parameters of GER. Data was analyzed using a repeated measures ANOVA, followed by a Tukey-Kramer post-hoc test when significant (p<0.05). More total emptying (p= 0.0430) occurred at faster rate (p=0.0668) in dogs fed the grain-free diet, which contained the lowest total starch (34.03 ± 0.23%) and highest resistant starch (0.52 ± 0.007%). This research may benefit future diet formulations to reduce the prevalence of canine weight gain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0676.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: ultrasound; endometrial cancer; lymph nodes metastasis; myometrial invasion; tumor-free distance
Online: 30 July 2021 (09:06:16 CEST)
Background: Ultrasonography’s usefulness in endometrial cancer (EC) diagnosis consists of its staging and predictive roles. Ultrasound-measured tumor-free distance from the tumor to the uterine serosa (uTFD) is a promising marker for this variable. The aim of the study was to determine the usefulness of this biomarker in locoregional staging, and thus in the prediction of lymph node metastasis (LNM). Methods: We conducted a single-institutional, prospective study on 116 consecutive patients with EC who underwent 2D transvaginal ultrasound examination. The uTFD marker was compared with the depth of ultrasound-measured myometrial invasion (uMI). Univariate and multivariate logit models were evaluated to assess the predictive power of the uTFD and uMI in regard to LNM. The reference standard was a final histopathology result. Survival was assessed by the Kaplan-Meyer method. Results: LNM was found in 17% of the patients (20/116). In the univariate analysis, uMI and uTFD were significant predictors of LNM. Accuracy was 70.7%, and NPV was 92.68% (OR 4.746, 95% CI 1.710-13.174) for uMI (p = 0.002), and 63.8%, and 89.02% (OR 0.842, 95% CI 0.736 – 0.963), respectively, for uTFD (p = 0.01). The cut-off value for uTFD in the prediction of LNM was 5.2 mm. The absence of LNM was associated more with biomarker values uMI <1/2 and uTFD >=5.2 mm than with the presence of metastases with uMI >1/2 and uTFD values <5.2 mm. In the multivariate analysis, the accuracy of the uMI-uTFD model was 74%, and NPV was 90.24% (p = NS). Neither uMI nor uTFD are surrogates for overall and recurrence-free survivals in endometrial cancer. Conclusions: Both uMI and uTFD, either alone or in combination, are valuable tools for gaining additional preoperative information on expected lymph node status. Negative lymph nodes status is better described by ultrasound biomarkers than a positive status. It is easier to use uTFD measurement as a biomarker of EC invasion than uMI, and the former still maintains a similar predictive value for lymph node metastases to the latter at diagnosis.
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: polymerization kinetics; photoinitiator; free radical, cationic polymerization, copper complex, photoredox catalyst.
Online: 25 May 2021 (09:50:35 CEST)
This article presents, for the first time, the kinetics and the general conversion features of a 3-initiator system (A/B/N), based on proposed mechanism of Mokbel et al, for both free radical polymerization (FRP) of acrylates and the free radical promoted cationic polymerization (CP) of epoxides using copper complex as the initiator. Higher FRP and CP conversion can be achieved by co-initiators concentration [B] and [N], via the dual function of (i) regeneration [A], and (ii) generation of extra radicals S' and S. The FRP and CP conversion is proportional to, respectively, the nonlinear and linear power of bI[A][B], where b and I are the absorption coefficient and the light intensity, respectively. System in air has lower conversion than in laminate due to the oxygen inhibition effects. For thick samples (with thickness z), there is an optimal concentration [A*] which is inverse proportional (bzI), in contrast with very thin sample, in which the conversion is an increasing function of [A] and [B]. The unique feature of dark polymerization in CP conversion enables the polymerization to continue in living mode, in contrasts with that of the radical-mediated pathway in most conventional FRP. The measured results of Mokbel et al are well analyzed and matching the predicted features of our modeling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0405.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: extrusion; 52In-48Sn alloy; wire; lead-free solder; rod; simulation; software.
Online: 15 April 2021 (10:27:48 CEST)
In this article, a technology for producing wire and rod solder from 52In-48Sn alloy has been developed and investigated in the conditions of small-scale production. The use of direct extrusion of wire and rods instead of the traditional technology for producing solder, which includes pressing, rolling and drawing, can significantly reduce the fleet of required equipment. Using only a melting furnace and a hydraulic press, solder wires and rods can be produced in various sizes. Shortening the production cycle allows you to quickly fulfill small orders and be competitive in sales. The article developed a mathematical model of direct extrusion, which allows you to calculate: extrusion ratio, extrusion speed and pressing force. The results of modeling the process of extrusion of wire ∅2.00 mm and rods ∅8.0 mm made of 52In-48Sn alloy are presented. The temperature of the solder and the tool is simulation in software QForm based on the finite element method. Experimental results of manufacturing ∅2.0 mm solder wire and ∅8.0 mm rods are presented. The microstructure of the direct extruded solder is a eutectic of phases γ and β. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping of the 52In-48Sn alloy showed that the solder obtained by direct extrusion has a uniform distribution of structural phases. The developed technology can be used in the manufacture of wires and rods from other low-melting alloys.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0618.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Binding sites; Optimization; cell free bacteria condition for metal bio-sorbents
Online: 25 March 2021 (13:59:50 CET)
Bacteria a Microscopic organisms are the most inexhaustible and flexible of microorganisms and constitute a huge division of the whole living earthly biomass, certain microorganisms were found to amass metallic components at a high limit Was Known as Bacterial Bio-sorption Due to their little size, capacity to become under controlled conditions, and their Accommodation to an extensive variety of ecological situations; Potent metal bio-sorbents among microorganisms, at low pH esteems, cell divider ligands are protonated and contend essentially with metals for official. With expanding pH, more ligands, such as amino and carboxyl groups, could be exposed, leading to attraction between these negative charges and the metals, and consequently increment bio-sorption onto the cell surface. Starting with Isolation and identification of heavy metal-resistant bacteria from rock Ore. Studying Factors Affecting Uranium Bio-sorption, Optimization of bacterial growth conditions and optimum for metal uptake by free and immobilized bacterial cells and Desorption ratio of uranium ions adsorbed by Coli. /alginate, All this evidence suggest that functions groups Represented in our study are responsible for metal uptake in our bacterial biomass beside change in peaks position which assigned for it's groups confirm bio-sorption of metal ions from waste due to ions charge interaction comparing with immobilized we found increase in no of binding sites indicate that immobilized bacterial have high efficiency for metal up take which also change in peaks position which assigned for its groups confirm bio-sorption of metal ions from waste due to ions charge interaction, Where the high bio-sorption yield obtained by bacteria, the Uranium & heavy metal bioremediation process expects microorganisms to be joined to a strong surface.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0589.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: mineral suspension; thinner; free radical polymerization; molecular weight regulator; sodium polyacrylate
Online: 23 December 2020 (13:50:07 CET)
The synthesis of additives for thinning mineral suspensions based on sodium polyacrylate was carried out. The effect of molecular weight regulators on the molecular weight characteristics of the polymer and the effect of such polymers on the rheological properties of suspensions was studied. Sodium acrylate polymers are synthesized by free radical polymerization in aqueous solution using molecular weight regulators. The molecular weight characteristics of the polymeric samples were estimated by viscometry using Mark-Houwink-Kuhn-Sakurada (MHKS) equation. Synthesized polymers were used as thinners ceramic slurries, prepared according to the recipe of the enterprises producing ceramic products. The thinning ability of polymer samples with different molecular weights was estimated using an Engler viscometer from the time of the ceramic slurry flow. The influence of the type and amount molecular weight regulator on polyacryates was revealed. It was found that molecular weight synthesized samples was in the range of 21000 - 91000. It was determined that samples with a molecular weight of 28000 - 35000 synthesized using mercaptoethanol (at a dosage of 0.5-1.5% by weight of the monomer) provide optimal fluidity to the ceramic slurry.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: liquid biopsy; ctDNA; cell free DNA; non-operative management; neoadjuvant therapy
Online: 10 December 2020 (12:52:27 CET)
As non-operative management (NOM) of esophageal and rectal cancer is becoming more prevalent, blood-biomarkers such as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) may provide clinical information in addition to endoscopy and imaging to aid in treatment decisions following chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In this feasibility study, we prospectively collected plasma samples from locally advanced esophageal (n=3) and rectal cancer (n=2) patients undergoing multimodal neoadjuvant therapy to assess the feasibility of serial ctDNA monitoring throughout neoadjuvant therapy. Using the DIDA-Seq error-correction method, we serially interrogated plasma cell-free DNA at 28-41 tumor-specific genomic loci throughout therapy and in surveillance with an average limit of detection of 0.016% mutant allele frequency. In both rectal cancer patients, ctDNA levels were persistently elevated following total neoadjuvant therapy with eventual detection of clinical recurrence prior to salvage surgery. Among the esophageal cancer patients, ctDNA levels closely correlated with tumor burden throughout and following neoadjuvant therapy, which was associated with a pathologic complete response in one patient. In this feasibility study, patient and tumor-specific ctDNA levels correlated with clinical outcomes throughout multi-modality therapy suggesting that serial monitoring of patient ctDNA has the potential to serve as a highly sensitive and specific biomarker to risk-stratify esophageal and rectal cancer patients eligible for NOM. Further prospective investigation is warranted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0199.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Optics Keywords: microring resonator; inner-wall grating; slot waveguide; label-free; bulk sensing
Online: 17 October 2019 (12:40:03 CEST)
In this paper, we present and analyze a compact inner-wall grating slot microring resonator (IG-SMRR) with the footprint of less than 13 μm × 13 μm on the SOI platform for label-free sensing, which comprises a slot microring resonator (SMRR) and inner-wall grating (IG). Its detection range is significantly enhanced without the limitation of the free spectral region (FSR) owing to the combination of SMRR and IG. Structural parameters of IG and SMRR are investigated and optimized for favorable transmission properties. The simulation results shows that the IG-SMRR has an ultra-large quasi-FSR of 84.6 nm, and the concentration sensitivities of sodium chloride solutions and D-glucose solutions are up to 960.61 pm/% and 933.06 pm/%, respectively. The investigation on the combination of SMRR and IG is a valuable exploration of label-free sensing application for ultra-large detection range and ultra-high sensitivity in future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0179.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: atherogenesis; passiflora edulis sims; lipid profile; free radicals; pre-clinical trial
Online: 15 July 2019 (05:59:18 CEST)
High oxidative stress in cells due to inflammation process or excessive cell proliferation would produce oxidants or free radicals with biomarkers, one of which is malondialdehyde (MDA). Passion fruit seed’s contain high antioxidant and are expected to decrease the level of cholesterol and MDA. The objective is to identify the effect of passion fruit seed’s ethanol extract in Wistar rats that have been fed with atherogenic feed. The method was preclinical trial (post-test control group design) in rats, by administering passion fruit seed’s ethanol extract for 14 days. This study used 26 male rats aged two months, divided into 5 groups. The result showed significant difference in MDA level which was found in group that was given passion fruit seed extract 10mg/kg BW with positive control group that was given standard feed. Passion fruit seed’s extract showed significant difference in level of triglyceride, which was found in negative control group that was given atherogenic feed with group that was given passion fruit seed’s extract 5mg/kg BW (mean±standard deviation: 1.09±0.30 mg/dL vs 0.77±0.25mg/dL; p=0.048). This study showed that passion fruit seed’s ethanol extract had significant lowering effect in level of MDA, total cholesterol, and triglyceride for 14 days.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0232.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: Bomb Detection; Interaction Free Measurement; Mach Zhender Interferometer; IBM Quantum Expeience
Online: 25 February 2019 (15:23:20 CET)
According to Copenhagen interpretation, a quantum particle can exist in a superposition of all possible states, out of which only one state is observed when it is measured. Interestingly, it has been observed that interaction with the quantum particle during measurement can also affect the outcome of the state. A scheme for interaction free measurement was proposed by Elitzur and Vaidman [Found. Phys. 23, 987 (1993)], where they used Mach Zehnder interferometer to detect whether a bomb is alive or dead. In 25 % of the cases they were able to detect that the bomb is alive without exploding it. Here, we demonstrate the above experiment using quantum computing, which can be realized in a quantum computer designing quantum circuits on it. We explicate all the cases, including whether the bomb is alive or dead by proposing new quantum circuits and executing those in QISKit as provided by IBM Quantum Experience platform and verify the obtained results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0001.v2
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: color; free fatty acids; iodine absorption value; paraanisidine value; peroxide value
Online: 6 February 2019 (06:36:41 CET)
Deep fat frying is not novel, but a classical antiquity culinary technique preferred chiefly for its swiftness, amenity, conferment of a crisp texture, attractive sensorial and organoleptic qualities and thus delectableness of the fries. Regrettably, repeated use of oils for deep frying impacts the storage life and nutritional suitability of fries. This concerted study investigated the effects of continuous deep fat frying on the physicochemical properties of ten brands of edible cooking oils: Fortune Butto, Roki, Tamu, Best Fry, Golden Fry, Mukwano, Sunny, Sunvita, Sunlite and Sunseed used in deep frying of potato chips in Kampala, Uganda. Three oil samples from local Irish chip fryers were also collected. The color value (CV) and the acidification of the oils as free fatty acid (FFA), peroxide value (POV), paraanisidine value (AnV) and iodine adsorption value (IV) before and between ten successive deep-fryings using potato chips were determined. The possible reuse of the oils was estimated from the frying round when a quality criterion surpassed national or CODEX specifications for the respective edible cooking oils. For fresh oils, the statistical parameter ranges were: CV (0.4R 3.4Y-7.7R 70Y), % FFA (0.0430-0.1508), POV (0.5951-6.6134 meqO2/Kg), AnV (0.90-4.30) and IV (57.62-128.35gI2/100g). By the tenth fry, the values were respectively 3.0R 23Y-20.4R 70Y, 0.2286-0.4817, 11.1138-15.7525 meqO2/Kg, 10.31-22.16 and 53.66-126.03 gI2/100g. Reuse of the oils for continuous frying of potatoes on the same day can be done only up to 7 times on average for hard oils and 6 times for soft oils.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0544.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Acrylamide, Free Asparagine, Cropping Systems, Organic, Conventional, Agriculture, Cereals, Species, Cultivars
Online: 23 October 2018 (16:19:26 CEST)
As bakery products contribute considerably to the daily intake of the carcinogen acting substance acrylamide (AA), the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the cropping system (conventional vs. organic farming) on AA precursor levels of free asparagine (Asn) across different cultivars of the cereal species, namely winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), winter spelt (Triticum aestivum ssp. spelta) and winter rye (Secale cereale) with simultaneous consideration of gained grain yields and flour qualities. For this purpose, orthogonal field trials were established at two sites in Southwest Germany over two growing seasons (2006-2007 and 2007-2008). The results indicated a significant impact of the cropping system on free Asn contents. Across all species, free Asn contents in the flour were 26 % lower under organic compared to conventional farming. The impact of the cropping system on individual cultivars was obvious with a maximum reduction in free Asn contents of 50 % (e.g. for cultivars Ludwig, Privileg, Capo) if organically produced. For spelt, a significant impact of the cropping system was only found in 2008 with a reduction in free Asn of up to 25 % if organically produced. Across both cropping systems, cultivar Franckenkorn reached the lowest levels of free Asn. For rye, a significant impact of the cropping system was observed only in 2007 with 33 % higher Asn amounts in the conventional cropping system. Independent of the cropping system, rye reached the highest levels of free Asn followed by wheat and spelt. Across both cropping systems, species and cultivars, the amount of free Asn correlated with the AA content in heated flour with R2=0.63***. Furthermore, the results indicated that lower AA contents in bakery products can be achieved by proper selection of species (e.g. 66 % lower if rye is replaced by wheat) and cultivars. With an appropriate choice of the cultivar, a reduction of up to 65 % was possible within wheat, along with a reduction of 44 % within spelt and 12.5 % within rye. In summary, the results indicated that organically produced wheat especially offers the opportunity to significantly lower the AA potential of bread and bread rolls by the choice of raw materials low in free Asn.