ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0111.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Heatwaves; health protection; perception; key informant interviews
Online: 26 October 2016 (09:52:01 CEST)
National heatwave plans are aimed at reducing the avoidable human health consequences due to heatwaves, by providing warnings to and improving communication between relevant stakeholders. The aim of this study was to assess the perceptions of key stakeholders within plans in Belgium and the Netherlands on their responsibilities, the partnerships, and the effectiveness of the local implementation in Brussels and Amsterdam. Key informant interviews were held with stakeholders that had an important role in development of the heatwave plan in these countries, or its implementation in Brussels or Amsterdam. Care organisations, including hospitals and elderly care organisations, had a lack of familiarity with the national heatwave plan in both cities, and prioritised heat the lowest. Some groups of individuals, specifically socially isolated individuals, are not sufficiently addressed by the current national heatwave plans and most local plans. Stakeholders reported that responsibilities were not clearly described and that the national plan does not describe tasks on a local level. We recommend to urgently increase awareness on the impact of heat on health among care organisations. More emphasis needs to be given to the variety of heat risk groups. Stakeholders should be involved in the development of updates of the plans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0060.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: microgrid; multi-microgrid; measured admittance; protection scheme
Online: 16 February 2017 (09:17:26 CET)
Multi-microgrid has many new characteristics, such as bi-directional power flows, flexible operation modes and variable fault currents with different control strategy of inverter interfaced distributed generations (IIDGs). All these featuring aspects pose challenges to multi-microgrid protection. In this paper, current and voltage characteristics of different feeders are analyzed when fault occurs in different positions of multi-microgrid. Based on the voltage and current distribution characteristics of the line parameters, a new protection scheme for the internal fault of multi-microgrid is proposed, which takes the change of phase difference and amplitude of measured bus admittance as the criterion. This scheme with high sensitivity and reliability, has a simple principle and is easy to be adjusted. PSCAD/EMTDC is used in simulation analysis, and simulation results have verified the correctness and effectiveness of the protection scheme.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0091.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: sustainable waste management behaviors; protection motivation theory; pro-environmental behaviors; threat appraisal, coping appraisal
Online: 9 August 2016 (10:29:00 CEST)
This study aims to explain individual engagement in sustainable waste management behaviors (SWMBs) based on the application of protection motivation theory (PMT). SWMBs include waste avoidance, green purchasing behavior, reuse and recycle, and waste disposal behaviors. This study applies PMT to explore how individuals’ SWMBs are influenced by their perceived threats caused by environmental contamination from waste disposal and their perceived coping capability. The Bangkok metropolitan area was selected as a case study because it has faced serious waste management problems caused by massively increasing amounts of solid waste during the last ten years. Questionnaire surveys were conducted with 193 public and private officers residing in the city of Bangkok. The one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to justify the effect of individual threat appraisal and coping appraisal on the engagement in SWMBs. The results demonstrated that respondents’ self-efficacy highly influenced all types of SWMBs. The perceived probability of being impacted from pollutants influenced all of the SWMBs except green purchasing behaviors. Response efficacy did not influence all SWMBs; however, the perceived severity of adverse consequences caused by pollutants highly influenced reuse and recycle behaviors. It could be suggested that PMT is well suited for investigating low-cost and simple SWMBs. It could also be suggested that different communication campaigns should be established to enhance citizens’ engagement in each type of SWMB.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0332.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings & Films Keywords: cobalt; ZnO; photocathodic protection; corrosion protection
Online: 29 October 2019 (10:30:46 CET)
In this work, cobalt doped ZnO nanorod arrays with anticorrosion function were successfully prepared on FTO substrate by a simple aqueous solution method. XRD and EDS results indicate the doped Co2+ has successfully incorporated into the ZnO crystal lattice. Photocurrent density and open circuit potential (OCP) results indicate the photocathodic protection performance for 316 stainless steel (316 SS) and Q235 carbon steel in 3.5 wt.% NaCl solution under 300 W Xe lamp enhanced with the increase of cobalt concentration, and the photoanode with 15% Co/Zn ratio has the optimal photocathodic protection effect. The mechanism of enhancement may be result from the narrowed band gap, the lower recombination rate of photogenerated electron-holes, the intermediate impurity level and the split of the hypo-outer shell of cobalt ions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0251.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: adaptive protection; decentralized protection; microgrid protection; backup protection; instantaneous relays characteristic curve; instantaneous relays coordination; DG; GOOSE message; IEC 61850
Online: 23 July 2019 (07:50:46 CEST)
In this paper a protection scheme is provided to protect microgrid by considering the problems that are generated by addition of distributed generators to distribution networks and change these networks from passive to active. At first, changes in microgrid conditions that can affect short-circuit current is explained. Then Based on these changes, an algorithm is proposed to update relays settings. The algorithm can be used for both instantaneous and inverse time relays. In this protection scheme, central unit has no place and relays are responsible for monitoring microgrid and update their settings. In other words, this protection scheme is an adaptive and decentralized microgrid protection scheme. Instantaneous overcurrent relays are used in this paper. To avoid storing large amounts of setting data in relays memory, a method for calculating pickup current of instantaneous relay is provided. Since digital relays used, a new characteristic curve for instantaneous relay for better performance in the field of backup protection is defined. This new characteristic curve has two peakup currents: one of them for main protection and the other one for backup protection. Then coordination of instantaneous relay using the new characteristic curve is explained. At the end, this protection scheme is implemented on a microgrid.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0299.v2
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Art History & Restoration Keywords: Relics protection; Protection of material heritage; VR animation; Stone statue; The Ming Xiao Mausoleum
Online: 25 February 2022 (13:54:51 CET)
This paper takes the VR animation display of the Ming Xiao Mausoleum General stone statue life as an example to study the advantages of VR animation in the display of material heritage. Combined with literature and pictures, the digital restoration of the Ming Xiao Mausoleum stone statue is carried out in MAYA and Z brush, and the construction of the scene and the output of the final effect are realized in UE4.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0085.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: FMD; vaccine; cross-protection; heterologous protection; potency test; foot-and-mouth disease
Online: 9 January 2020 (12:10:31 CET)
Since 2015, outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Middle East have been caused by a new emerging viral lineage, A/ASIA/G-VII. In-vitro vaccine matching data indicated that this virus poorly matched (low r1-value) with vaccines that were being used in the region as well as most other commercially available vaccines. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of two candidate vaccines against challenge with a representative field virus from the A/ASIA/G-VII lineage. The results from an initial full dose protection study provided encouraging data for the A/MAY/97 vaccine, while the A22/IRQ/64 vaccine only protected 2/7 vaccinated animals. In view of these promising results, this vaccine was tested in a potency test (PD50) experiment in which 5 cattle were vaccinated with a full dose, 5 cattle with a 1/3 dose and 5 cattle with a 1/9 dose of vaccine. Vaccines were prepared as would be done during an emergency vaccination campaign using a double oil emulsion adjuvant. At 21 days post vaccination these vaccinated cattle and 3 control cattle were subsequently challenged intradermolingually with a field isolate from the A/ASIA/G-VII lineage. All cattle from the full vaccine dose, 4 cattle from the 1/3 vaccine dose and 2 cattle from the 1/9 vaccine dose were clinically protected against challenge with FMDV A/ASIA/G-VII, resulting in a heterologous potency of 6.5 PD50/dose. These data support previous studies showing that a high potency emergency vaccine can protect against clinical disease when challenged with a heterologous strain of the same serotype. Not only the r1-value of the vaccine, but also the homologous potency of a vaccine should be taken into account when advising vaccines to control an outbreak.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0231.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: patient confidentiality; privacy; data protection; Saudi Arabia
Online: 22 August 2019 (10:50:10 CEST)
The concept of patient confidentiality is nearly as old as the practice of health professions and, has evolved and transformed over the years, from one jurisdiction to the other. Patient confidentiality can be a fundamental human right, an ethical duty or, a legal duty. The Saudi laws have evolved around its Shari’ah-based legal culture, its history and the international human right laws (IHRLs). These elements have moulded the Saudi Arabia’s unique perspective on patient confidentiality. Its confidentiality laws are found scattered in several legislations. Is the Saudi patient confidentiality law able to adequately deal with the contemporary challenges? The study reviewed the relevant Saudi laws in the light the International Humana Rights Laws. Findings suggest that there are issues bordering on the lack of quality comprehensive data protection laws, on clarity and foreseeability of the existing laws, and on the accessibility of the courts. Furthermore, the lack of a system of law reporting and stare decisis potentially gave the judges a wider latitude of discretion in interpreting the laws. Therefore, the study recommends for a comprehensive data protection law with a clear definition of “confidential information”, of data controllers and their role, and of specific safeguards against potential abuses. Others include defining legitimate purposes for using the patient’s data, and his role, and the extent to which he can control the use of his own data. Consistency in legal interpretations, and an improved law reporting system could positively enhance the overall outcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0266.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Collecting line current protection (CLPC); coordination protection; large-scale WGs trip-off; risk indicator
Online: 18 June 2018 (13:48:38 CEST)
There have been several cases of large-scale wind generators (WGs) tripping off caused by untimely fault removing in recent years. Currently, the discoordination between the box-type transformer fuse protection (BTFP) and two-section collecting line current protection (CLCP) brings a security risk to wind farm. In order to ensure the selectivity, the first section (Sec-I) CLCP should be set a enough interval that is longer than the fuse melting time, and another interval is set for the Sec-II CLCP, which weakens the speed of the CLCP. When a fault occurs on the collecting line, there is no doubt that WGs cannot work too long in abnormal operation, which may cause WGs to be placed off the grid. For a power system with high penetration of wind power, large-scale WGs tripping off will cause a great power shortage, and affect the stability of the power system. The selectivity and sensitivity of the CLCP is analyzed in detail to make the CLCP speed better. Considering the fault ride-through ability of WGs, the fault clear time is an important factor to lead to large-scale WGs tripping off. Two main works are done in this paper. The first is to accelerate the speed of the Sec-I CLCP though reducing the protection zone. Another one is introduce the risk assessment module into the CLCP, which not only improve the speed of the CLCP but also ensure the safety of the wind farm during faults. According to the deference in trip-off causes of WGs, the matching functions are created to assess the trip-off risk of WGs on the spot. In the case of fault, the trip-off risk indicators of WGs are timely updated to data sharing center and open to the CLCPs. The set of risk indicators is divided into several subsets according to the risk range. The dynamic changes of the subsets during fault help to improved CLCP scheme. This scheme can accelerate protection speed based on the increasing risk of large-scale WGs tripping off in wind farms. Compared with traditional CLCP, this approach can make the CLCP combines selectivity and speed better based on the analysis of the ride- through ability of WGs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0389.v1
Online: 22 April 2020 (05:50:16 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic provoked a number of restrictive measures, such as the closure or severe restriction of border transit for international trading traffic, quarantines and self-isolation. This caused a series of interrelated consequences that not only prevent or slow down the spread of disease, but also impact the medical systems’ capability to treat the patients and help their recovery. In particular, steeply growing demand for medical safety goods cannot be satisfied by regular suppliers due to the shortage of raw materials originating from other countries or remotely located national sources, under conditions of quarantined manpower. The current context inevitably brings back memories (and records!) of the situation 80 years ago, when WWII necessitated major effort directed at the rapid build-up of low cost mass production to satisfy all aspects of war-time need. In the present short report we document a successful case of fast mass-production of light transparent medical safety face shields (thousands per day) realized in Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) fabrication laboratory (FabLab). The demand for safety face shields by tens of hospitals in Moscow City and Region rapidly ramped up due to the need to protect medical staff during patient collection and transportation to hospitals, and within both the infected (“red”) and uninfected (“green”) zones. Materials selection for sterilizable transparent materials was conducted based on the analysis of merit indices, namely, minimal weight at given stiffness and minimal cost at given stiffness. Due to the need for permanent wear, design was motivated by low weight and comfortable head fixation, along with high production efficiency. The selection of minimal tooling in University fabrication workshops and the use of distributed volunteer labor are discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0470.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; facial protection; masks; PAPR
Online: 31 May 2020 (15:02:43 CEST)
We live in extraordinary times, where COVID-19 pandemic has brought the whole world to a screeching halt. Tensions and contradictions that surround the pandemic ridden world include the availability, and the lack thereof, various facial protection measures to mitigate the viral spread. Here, we comprehensively explore the different type of facial protection measures, including masks, needed both for the pubic and the health care workers (HCW). We discuss the anatomy, the critical issues of disinfection and reusability of masks, the alternative equipment available for the protection of the facial region from airborne diseases, such as face shields and powered air purifying respirators (PAPR), and the skin-health impact of prolonged wearing of facial protection by HCW. Clearly, facial protection, either in the form of masks or alternates, appears to have mitigated the pandemic as seen from the minimal COVID-19 spread in countries where public mask wearing is strictly enforced. On the contrary, the healthcare systems, that appear to have been unprepared for emergencies of this nature, should be appropriately geared to handle the imbalance of supply and demand of personal protective equipment including face masks. These are two crucial lessons we can learn from this tragic experience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0272.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Microgrid; Protection; bagged decision tree; Wavelet; FFT
Online: 30 March 2018 (13:57:00 CEST)
Microgrids of varying size and applications are regarded as a key feature of modernizing the power system. The protection of those systems, however, has become a major challenge and a popular research topic for the reason that it involves greater complexity than traditional distribution systems. This paper addresses the issue through a novel approach which utilizes detailed analysis of current and voltage waveforms through windowed fast Fourier and wavelet transforms. The fault detection scheme involves bagged decision trees which use input features extracted from the signal processing stage and selected by correlation analysis. The technique was tested on a microgrid model developed using PSCAD/EMTDS, which is inspired from an operational microgrid in Goldwind Sc. Tech. Co. Ltd, in Beijing, China. The results showed great level of effectiveness to accurately identify faults from other non-fault disturbances, precisely locate the fault and trigger opening of the right circuit breaker/s under different operation modes, fault resistances and other system disturbances.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0545.v1
Subject: Biology, Horticulture Keywords: LCIA; plant protection; compost; sustainable greenhouse production
Online: 22 December 2020 (09:32:12 CET)
Italian floriculture is facing structural changes. Possible options to maintain competitiveness of the involved companies include promotion of added values, from local productions to environmental sustainability. To quantify value and benefits of cleaner production processes and choices, a holistic view is necessary, and could be provided by life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Previous studies on ornamental products generally focused on data from one company or a small sample. The aim of this study was a gate-to-gate life cycle assessment of two ornamental species (Cyclamen persicum Mill. and Pelargonium ×hortorum Bailey) using data from a sample of 20 companies belonging to a floriculture district in Treviso, Veneto region. We also assessed the potential benefits for the environmental impact of the selected species of alternative management choices regarding plant protection and reuse of composted waste biomass. Life cycle impact assessment showed the higher impact scores for the zonal geranium, mainly as a consequence of greenhouse heating with fossil fuels. This factor, along with higher uniformity of production practices and technological level of equipment, translated in lower variability observed in comparison with cyclamen production, which shows a wider results range, in particular for eutrophication, acidification and human toxicity potentials. The application of integrated pest management had significant benefits in terms of impact reduction for acidification and human toxicity of cyclamen, while reduced use of mineral nutrients through compost amendment of growing media resulted in a reduced eutrophication potential. The achievable benefits for zonal geranium were not observable because of the dominant contribution of energy inputs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0204.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: time; space; motion; timelike curves; chronology protection conjecture
Online: 21 April 2022 (10:37:05 CEST)
In experimental physics, we understand time as the duration of material changes that run into space. This fact is the standpoint for our model of time-invariant space in which causality is only a principle and not a physical actuality, and entropy runs only in space and not in time. Time is merely a duration of entropy that is increasing in time-invariant space. Time is entering existence when measured by the observer. In time-invariant space, motion happens only in space and not in time which means that also in open timelike curves motion happens only in space and not in time.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0398.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: intellectual property; intellectual property protection; plant variety protection, plant breeders’ rights, essentially derived variety; utility patent; plant breeding; biotechnology.
Online: 17 May 2021 (17:03:30 CEST)
This review examines the categorization of Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV) introduced in the 1991 revision of the Convention of the Union internationale pour la protection des obtentions végétales (UPOV). Challenges in the implementation of the concept and progress made on a crop-by-crop basis to provide greater clarity and more efficient implementation are reviewed. The current approach to EDV remains valid provided i) clarity on thresholds can be achieved including through resource intensive research on an individual crop species basis and ii) that threshold clarity does not lead to perverse incentives to avoid detection of essential derivation. However, technological advances leading to new varieties resulting from the simultaneous introduction or change in expression of more than “a few” genes will so challenge the concept to require a new Convention. Revision could include deletion of the concept of essential derivation and revision on a crop-by-crop basis of the breeder exception. Countries that allow utility patents for individual plant varieties per se should consider removing that possibility unless plant breeders utilize those encouragements for risk taking and investment to broaden the germplasm base upon which the long-term sustainability of plant breeding resides.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0061.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: dam; hazard protection measure; water conduit
Online: 6 December 2021 (11:48:24 CET)
Studies have shown the unconditional danger of biological attacks on underground hydroelectric pumped-storage power stations. A hypothetical list of biological damage to water conduits and dams is determined. Relevant predictions are given, as well as accident events of hydraulic structures are described. A universal scheme for the application of hazard protection measures, which can be comprehensive, has been developed. Praemonitus praemunitus – precautions should be taken.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0361.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: human resource; management; environmental protection; Serbia
Online: 27 December 2019 (10:27:44 CET)
Starting from the fact that the units of local self-government of the Republic of Serbia are not sufficiently oriented towards innovations related to human resources and the environment, the application of quantitative research tradition examines the positioning and understanding of certain procedures and decisions of human resources management regarding the functioning of the environmental protection system, on the one hand, and future strategies for changing the given system, on the other. A series of 105 face-to-face interviews were conducted during the whole of 2016 in 105 of the 191 municipalities in the Republic of Serbia. Examination of the attitudes of the local self-government was carried out using a specially designed closed electronic questionnaire. The results of the multivariate regressions show that the most important predictor of the possible improvement of the environment is the size of the municipality. The remaining variables (e.g., human resources policy, human resources service) did not have significant effects on the ability to improve the environment. In more than half of local self-governments, there was no clearly defined human resources strategy in the field of environmental protection, an environmental protection service, an Environmental Action Plan, as well as an employment plan for waste management in local governments, etc. The research has shown that top managers of local governments agree that the management of human resources in environmental protection represents a significant opportunity to improve the quality of the environment. The results of the research can be used to improve the organization of human resource competence in environmental protection and the quality of a working and sustainable environment in the area of local self-government.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0219.v1
Online: 18 December 2018 (10:42:48 CET)
A Smart Home is characterized by the presence of a huge number of small, low power devices, along with more classical devices. According to the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm, all of them are expected to be always connected to the Internet in order to provide enhanced services. In this scenario, an attacker can undermine both the network security and the user’s security/privacy. Traditional security measures are not sufficient, because they are too difficult to setup and are either too weak to effectively protect the user or too limiting for the new services effectiveness. The paper suggests to dynamically adapt the security level of the smart home network according to the user perceived risk level what we have called network sentiment analysis. The security level is not fixed, established by a central system (usually by the Internet Service Provider) but can be changed with the users cooperation. The security of the smart home network is improved by a distributed firewalling and Intrusion Detection Systems both to the smart home side as to the Internet Service Provider side. These two parts must cooperate and integrate their actions for reacting dynamically to new and ongoing threats. Moreover, the level of network sentiment detected can be propagate to nearby home networks (e.g. the smart home networks of the apartments inside a building) to increase/decrease their level of security, thus creating a true in-line Intrusion Prevention System (IPS). The paper also presents a test bed for Smart Home to detect and counteract to different attacks against the IoT devices,,Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections .
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0311.v2
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: biodiversity education; knowledge; perspective; biodiversity conservation; biodiversity protection
Online: 18 November 2021 (17:20:15 CET)
Rich biodiversity is one of the Philippines’ greatest assets. Unfortunately, there is a continuous decline in the diversity of flora and fauna across the world. This calls for the need to educate people, especially younger generations, to value and protect biodiversity and natural resources. The study aimed to assess the students’ extent of knowledge and identify their perspectives towards biodiversity and its protection and conservation. A total of 268 randomly selected students at Aurora State College of Technology Zabali Campus were involved in the study. Survey questionnaires were used to obtain data and information which were subjected to statistical tests. The students had a moderate knowledge level on biodiversity with a mean score of 6.65 out of 10 items (SD = 1.50). Their perspective on biodiversity was leaning toward its protection and conservation, with a mean score of 7.2 out of 10 items (SD = 1.29). Factors affecting the students’ knowledge were gender (p = .003) and academic department (p = 0.003). Females and those associated with the Department of Forestry and Environmental Sciences and Department of Industrial technology were found to have more knowledge than the others. Males, on the other hand, were found to have a more positive perspective towards biodiversity. Knowledge and perspective had a weak correlation with r = 0.39. Students were not well-aware, but were in support of the Philippines’ biodiversity-related laws, which could help shape their mindset and actions towards biodiversity conservation and protection. As an implication, the college administration must revisit the curricula of all degree programs and ensure that students from each degree program are environmentally educated, emphasizing biodiversity conservation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0247.v1
Online: 9 June 2021 (08:55:06 CEST)
The nature of Artisanal mining in Ghana exposes its workers to various levels of health, safety and environmental (HSE) threats. These miners are mostly liable for their own HSE state at work. In an attempt to understand the HSE dynamics of artisanal miners, this study sought to assess the effect of HSE conditions on self-protection at work by artisanal goldminers in Ghana. A nested binary logistic regression model was fitted to a cross sectional survey of 500 artisanal goldminers while controlling for compositional and contextual factors. Of the HSE conditions, only health (OR= 1.653, p<0.001) and safety conditions (OR= 1.935, p<0.001) were robust in predicting self-protection in all three models. Goldminers who reported good health and safety conditions were more likely to fully protect themselves at work as compared to their counterparts who reported poor health and safety conditions. For compositional factors, female goldminers were 84% less likely to protect themselves. Miners who had senior high (OR= 1.759, p<0.001) or tertiary education (OR= 1.875, p<0.001) were more likely to protect themselves at work as compared to those with no formal education. Likewise, miners who undertook routine medical checkups (OR= 2.533, p<0.001) and the most experienced miners (OR= 2.734, p<0.001) were more likely to protect themselves at work. Counterintuitively, miners who earned more monthly income ($174 and above) were less likely to protect themselves. At the contextual level, miners who worked in non-production departments (OR= 2.001, p<0.001) and miners who worked in the medium scale subsector (OR= 5.311, p<0.001) were more likely to protect themselves at work. To increase consciousness of self-protection in artisanal mining, there is the need for a national dialogue on how to improve HSE conditions and in the absence of legislation, the complexities in managing HSE in the sector needs to be decoupled to achieve fair and standard HSE conditions as championed by the World Health Organization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0152.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: chlorophyll; carotenoids; methanol; photo-protection; phytoextraction; Portulaca oleracea
Online: 15 September 2019 (15:04:55 CEST)
The chlorophyll is one of the most important natural pigments used extensively in the food industry. Two important factors for the production of chlorophyll are the use of plants rich in chlorophyll and efficiency of extraction method. Present investigation was performed to compare the extraction of photosynthetic pigments by using solvents of different chemical nature. The purslane plants with different growth behavior viz. Scrollable and standing were grown under shade and sunshine stress condition. Different solvents including diethyl ether, 5% ethanol, pure acetone, 20% acetone, pure methanol and 10% methanol were used to extract chlorophyll and carotenoids from the purslane plant. The results indicated that stress, growth type and different solvents had a significant effect on the extraction of chlorophyll and carotenoids. Different trend was observed in extraction rate for chlorophylls and carotenoids. Among the solvents, pure methanol was the best for extraction of chl a. Methanol and acetone were appropriate solvents to achieve the highest amount of chlorophyll from plant tissues. Among different solvents, pure methanol for chl a, pure acetone and methanol for carotenoids were best solvent for purslane plant with a growing type scrollable of under shade.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0100.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: cancer; carotenoid; chemoprevention; Cucurbita; cytotoxicity; DNA-protection; tumor cells
Online: 11 May 2017 (17:31:47 CEST)
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo) is a seasonal vegetable with high nutritional and medical value. Many useful properties of this fruit are attributed to its bioactive compounds. Zucchini fruits (“Yellow” and “Light Green” varieties) and four distinctive components (lutein, β-carotene, zeaxanthin and dehydroascorbic acid)were selected. Firstly it was determinated the lutein, β-carotene, zeaxanthin and dehydroascorbic acid content in these fruits and then, in order to measure the safety and suitability of their use different assays were carried out: (i) Genotoxicity and antigenotoxicity tests to determine the safety and DNA-protection against hydrogen peroxide; (ii) cytotoxicity and (iii) DNA fragmentation assay to evaluate the proapoptotic effect. Results showed that: (i) all the substances were non-genotoxic, (ii) all the substances were antigenotoxic except the highest concentration of lutein, (iii) “Yellow” Zucchini epicarp and mesocarp exhibited the highest cytotoxic activity (IC50 > 0.1 mg/mL and 0.2 mg/mL, respectively) and iv) “Light Green” Zucchini skin and pulp induced internucleosomal DNA fragmentation . To sump up, Zucchini fruit could play a positive role in human health and nutrition due to this fruit and its components were safe, able to inhibit significantly the H2O2-induced damage and exhibit antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic properties toward HL60 tumour cells. The information generated from this research should take into account to select potential accessions for breeding programs purposes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0368.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV2; personal protection devices; snorkel masks; safety test
Online: 30 June 2020 (07:43:58 CEST)
Introduction: The SARS-CoV2 pandemic has led to an worldwide shortage of Personal Protection Devices (PPD) for medical and paramedical personnel. Adaptation of commercially available snorkel masks to serve as full face masks has been proposed. Even not formally approved as PPD, they are publicized on social media as suitable for this use. Concerns about actual protection levels and risk of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulation while wearing them for extended periods made us perform a systematic testing of various brands, in order to verify whether they are as safe and effective as claimed. Methods: A ‘fit’ test was performed, analogous to gas mask testing. Respiratory safety was evaluated by measuring end-tidal CO2 and oxygen saturation while wearing the masks in rest and during physical exercise. Masks were tested with 3D adaptors to mount regular bacterial-viral ventilator filters when available, or with snorkel openings covered with N95/FFP2 cloth. Results: Modified masks performed reasonably well on the fit test, comparable to regular N95/FFP2 masks. Not all ventilator filters are equally protective. For all masks, a small initial increase in end-tidal CO2 was noted, remaining within physiological limits. Masks with specific adaptors (3D printed or provided by the manufacturer) are safer, have more flexibility and reliability than makeshift adaptations. Conclusions: These masks can offer benefit as a substitute for complete protective gear as they are easier to don and remove and offer full-face protection. They may be more comfortable to wear for extended periods. Proper selection of mask size, fit testing, quality of 3D printed parts and choice of filter are important.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0349.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: neurodegeneration; tauopathies; cancer, Tau protein, DNA protection
Online: 16 October 2020 (12:31:41 CEST)
For its microtubule-binding properties, the expression level of the neurodegeneration-associated protein Tau is pondered as a potential modifier of cancer resistance to chemotherapy since decades. Indeed, Tau binds microtubules at the same site as taxanes, a class of chemotherapeutic drugs designed to stabilize the microtubule network in order to stall cell division and to induce tumor cell death. Whilst independent studies report the association between low Tau expression and superior taxane response, the data were refused by a meta-analysis, suggesting interference of other parameters. Unpredictably, Tau expression level was identified as a prognostic cancer marker, whereby its positive or negative predictive value for survival depended on the cancer type. With recent experimental evidence linking Tau to P53 signaling, DNA stability and protection and to the implication of Tau in cancer is strengthened. The identification of a role of Tau at the interface between two major aging-related disorder families, neurodegeneration and cancer, offers clues for the epidemiological observation inversely correlating these disorders. Elucidating how Tau is mechanistically implicated in cellular pathways common to these devastating illnesses may extend the Tau-targeting therapeutic opportunities to cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0118.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: child protection; poverty; inequality; neoliberalism; new paradigm
Online: 10 April 2018 (08:21:26 CEST)
This article sets out to deconstruct and challenge the psychologised and pathologising approach that has come to dominate child protection practice in Aotearoa-New Zealand and comparable societies in neoliberal times. Within a risk and protection focused paradigm circumstances and behaviours associated with material deprivation are construed as indicators of heightened danger and harm as opposed to a means of better understanding family life. In this way, although poverty may be classified as an issue that is worthy of attention in the realm of broader economic and social policy, structural inequality is rendered largely irrelevant to the practice of statutory child protection. This article sets out to trouble this construction. It will be argued that understandings of how the effects of material inequality are played out in the lives of children and their families are critical to the development of more effective child protection social work. This ‘life-world’ is generally populated by young women parenting in poverty. Poverty exacerbates the everyday struggle of parenting - it shames and dis-empowers; reducing confidence and perceptions of competence (Gupta, 2015). A paradigm shift is needed. Child protection policy and practice needs to re-engage with the every-day struggles that accompany the lives of socially marginalised families in increasingly stratified late capitalist society. The future of social work in child protection depends on it.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0420.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: conversational commerce; data protection; law of obligations of data
Online: 24 August 2022 (10:55:06 CEST)
The possibilities and reach of social networks are increasing, the designs are becoming more diverse, and the ideas more visionary. Most recently, the former company “Facebook” announced the creation of a metaverse. With these technical possibilities, however, the danger of fraudsters is also growing. Using social bots, consumers are increasingly influenced on such platforms and business transactions are brought about through communication, i.e. conversational commerce. Minors or the elderly are particularly susceptible. This technical development is accompanied by a legal one: it is permitted by the Digital Services Directive and the Sale of Goods Directive to demand the provision of data as consideration for the sale of digital products. This raises legal problems at the level of the law of obligations and data protection law, whose regulations are intended to protect the aforementioned groups of individuals. This protection becomes even more important the more manipulative consumers are influenced by communicative bots. We show that there is a lack of knowledge about what objective data value can have in business transactions. Sufficient transparency of an objective data value can maintain legal protection, especially of vulnerable groups, and ensure the purpose of the laws.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0074.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Solid-state DC circuit breaker; Coupled inductor; Pole-to-ground fault protection; LVDC(Low voltage DC) microgrid protection
Online: 5 July 2021 (07:58:00 CEST)
Ensuring a protection scheme in DC distribution is more difficult to achieve against pole-to-ground fault than in AC distribution system because of the absence of zero crossing points and low line impedance. To complement the major obstacle of limiting the fault current, several compositions have been proposed related to mechanical switching and solid-state switching. Among them, solid-state circuit breakers(SSCBs) are considered a possible solution to limit fast fault current. However, they may cause problems in circuit complexity, reliability and cost-related troubles due to the use of multiple power semiconductor devices and additional circuit configuration to commutate current. This paper proposes the SSCB with a coupled inductor(SSCB-CI) which has symmetrical configuration. The circuit is comprised of passive components like commutation capacitors, a CI and damping resistors. Thus, proposed SSCB-CI offers the advantages of simple circuit configuration and fewer utilized power semiconductor devices than another typical SSCBs in LVDC microgrid. For analysis, six operation states are described for the voltage across main switches and fault current. The effectiveness of the SSCB-CI against a short-circuit fault is proved via simulation and experimental results in a lab-scale prototype.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0089.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Pig; Porcine Circovirus 2; ORF2 capsid protein; vaccine; protection.
Online: 3 August 2021 (15:01:17 CEST)
Porcine Circovirus 2 (PCV2) vaccines are based on either inactivated whole virion, or recombinant ORF2 capsid protein assembled into Virus-like Particles (VLPs). No data are available instead about the immunizing properties of free, non-assembled capsid protein. To investigate this issue, ORF2 of a reference PCV2b strain was expressed in a Baculovirus-based expression system without assembly into VLPs. The free purified protein was formulated into an oil vaccine at three distinct Ag payloads: 10.8 / 3.6 / 1.2 micrograms /dose. Each dose was injected intramuscularly into five, 37-day old piglets, carefully matched for maternally-derived antibody. Five control piglets were injected with sterile PBS in oil adjuvant. Twenty-eight days later, all the pigs were challenged intranasally with 200,000 TCID50 of PCV2b strain DV6503. After challenge infection, all the pigs remained in good clinical conditions. The recombinant vaccine did not induce significant antibody and PCV2-specific IFN-gamma responses. ELISPOT and lymphocyte proliferation data confirmed poor induction of cell-mediated immunity. In terms of PCV2 viremia, there was no significant difference between vaccinated and control animals. The histological data indicated the absence of a detectable viral load and of PCVAD lesions in both vaccinated and control animals, as well as of histiocytes and multi-nucleated giant cells. We conclude that free, non-assembled ORF2 capsid protein does not induce protective immunity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0577.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Cloud Computing; Health Systems; Security; Privacy; Data Protection; GDPR
Online: 28 October 2020 (10:00:55 CET)
Currently, there are several challenges that Cloud-based health-care Systems, around the world, are facing. The most important issue is to ensure security and privacy or in other words to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data. Although the main provisions for data security and privacy were present in the former legal framework for the protection of personal data, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduces new concepts and new requirements. In this paper, we present the main changes and the key challenges of the General Data Protection Regulation, and also at the same time we present how the Cloud-based Security Policy methodology proposed in  could be modified in order to be compliant with the GDPR and how Cloud environments can assist developers to build secure and GDPR compliant Cloud-based health Systems. The major concept of this paper is, primarily, to facilitate Cloud Providers in comprehending the framework of the new General Data Protection Regulation and secondly, to identify security measures and security policy rules for the protection of sensitive data in a Cloud-based Health System, following our risk-based Security Policy Methodology that assesses the associated security risks and takes into account different requirements from patients, hospitals, and various other professional and organizational actors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0539.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: concrete protection; infrared detection; image processing; cluster analysis; uniformity evaluation
Online: 23 July 2021 (11:02:54 CEST)
With the continuous development of urbanization and industrialization in the world, concrete is widely used in various engineering constructions as an engineering material. However, the consequent problem of durability of concrete structures is also becoming increasingly prominent. As an important additional measures, protective coating can effectively improve the durability of concrete performance. Moreover, the uniformity of the concrete surface coating will directly affect its protective effect. Therefore, we propose a nondestructive inspection and evaluation method of coating uniformity based on infrared imaging and cluster analysis for concrete surface coating uniformity detection and evaluation. Based on the obtained infrared images, a series of processing and analysis of the images were carried out using MATLAB software to obtain the characteristics of the infrared images of concrete surface. Finally, by extracting the temperature distribution data of the pixel points on the concrete surface, an evaluation method of concrete surface coating uniformity based on a combination of cluster analysis and hierarchical analysis was established. The evaluation results show that the determination results obtained by this method are consistent with the actual situation. This study has a positive contribution to the testing of concrete surface coating uniformity and its evaluation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0272.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Archaeology Keywords: Chinese pyramids; Han dynasty; Feng-Shui; protection of ancient landscapes
Online: 24 December 2018 (10:48:36 CET)
The so-called “Chinese pyramids” are huge burial mounds covering the tombs of the Emperors of the Western Han dynasty. If we include also the mounds of the members of the royal families, these monuments sum up to more than 40, scattered throughout the western and the southern outskirts of modern Xi'an. They are mostly unexcavated and poorly known although, taken together, they form a fascinating sacred landscape, which was conceived as a perennial witness of one of the most magnificent Chinese dynasties. This sacred landscape is today encroached by the frenetic urban development of the Xi’an urban area. We discuss and elaborate here some of the results of a recent, new satellite-imagery survey of these monuments, highlighting the aspects which may contribute to solutions for a sustainable and compatible development within this important ancient landscape.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0288.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Adaptive Protection; Fault Detection; Microgrids; Directional Overcurrent Relay
Online: 11 February 2021 (16:19:02 CET)
In this research work, an adaptive scheme for the coordinated protection of AC Microgrids using directional overcurrent (DOCR) relays is presented. Protection of AC MGs is a complex and challenging issue due to the dynamic nature of the network including, a) its capability to reconfigure the modes of operation ranging from grid-connected to the islanded mode, c) bidirectional-power flow capability, and c) integration of intermittent renewable energy resources with real-time variations in the resource availability. Consequently, the fault current contributions may largely vary depending upon the incident conditions on the network. Conventional protection schemes, generally designed for radial networks, and unidirectional power flow from the source end to the load may either mal-operate or exhibit very poor performance, if not adapted according to the dynamic conditions of the network. To address this issue, a communication-based adaptive protection scheme capable to adapt its settings according to the generation resource availability and network configuration is presented in this work. The proposed scheme consists of an intelligent central protection unit (ICPU) capable to update the settings and communicate it to the individual relays based on the pre-calculated offline settings. The directional overcurrent relays employed in the scheme use two-stage settings, i.e. definite time and inverse definite minimum time characteristics for the effective coordination among the downstream and upstream relays. An adaptive algorithm for ICPU operation is presented and a case study is implemented for a modified IEEE 9-bus system using DigSilent Power factory. The results for various scenarios including, a) grid-connected mode of operation, b) islanded mode of operation, and c) variable distributed generation mode are obtained and compared to the static scheme, which validates the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci2020022
Online: 2 April 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)
On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)Article 17, the Right to Erasure (‘Right to be Forgotten’) came into force making it vital for organisations to identify, locate and delete all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) where a valid request is received from a data subject to erase their PII and the contractual period has expired. This must be done without undue delay and the organisation must be able to demonstrate reasonable measures were taken. Failure to comply may incur significant fines, not to mention impact to reputation. Many organisations do not understand their data, and the complexity of a hybrid cloud infrastructure means they do not have the resources to undertake this task. The variety of available tools are quite often unsuitable as they involve restructuring so there is one centralised data repository. This research aims to demonstrate compliance with GDPR’s Article 17 Right to Erasure (‘Right to be Forgotten’) is achievable in a Hybrid cloud environment by following a list of recommendations. However, 100% retrieval, 100% of time will not be possible, but we show that small organisations running an ad-hoc Hybrid cloud environment can demonstrate that reasonable measures were taken to be Right to Erasure (‘Right to be Forgotten’) compliant.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0419.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Resveratrol; Cardiovascular disease; Bioavailability; Diet; COVID-19; Resveratrol carriers; Cardiovascular protection
Online: 16 March 2021 (12:00:17 CET)
Resveratrol is a phytoalexin produced by many plants as a defense mechanism against stress-inducing conditions. The richest dietary sources of resveratrol are berries and grapes, their juices and wines. Good bioavailability of resveratrol is not reflected in its high biological activity in vivo because of resveratrol isomerization and its poor solubility in aqueous solutions. Proteins, cyclodextrins and nanomaterials have been explored as innovative delivery vehicles for resveratrol to overcome this limitation. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated beneficial effects of resveratrol in cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Main beneficial effects of resveratrol intake are cardioprotective, anti-hypertensive, vasodilatory, anti-diabetic, and improvement of lipid status. As resveratrol can alleviate the numerous factors associated with CVD, it has potential as a functional supplement to reduce COVID-19 illness severity in patients displaying poor prognosis due to cardio-vascular complications. Resveratrol was shown to mitigate the major pathways involved in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 including regulation of the renin-angiotensin system and expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, stimulation of immune system and downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines release. Therefore, several studies already have anticipated potential implementation of resveratrol in COVID-19 treatment. Regular intake of resveratrol rich diet, or resveratrol-based complementary medicaments, may contribute to a healthier cardio-vascular system, prevention and control of CVD, including COVID-19 disease related complications of CVD.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Drug-induced hearing loss; cochlea; outer hair cells; hearing protection; SIRT3
Online: 9 August 2021 (07:50:36 CEST)
A single paragraph of about 200 words maximum. For research articles, abstracts should give a pertinent overview of the work. We strongly encourage authors to use the following style of structured abstracts, but without headings: (1) Background: Place the question addressed in a broad context and highlight the purpose of the study; (2) Methods: briefly describe the main methods or treatments applied; (3) Results: summarize the article's main findings; (4) Conclusions: indicate the main conclusions or interpretations. The abstract should be an objective representation of the article and it must not contain results that are not presented and substantiated in the main text and should not exaggerate the main conclusions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0162.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: road alleys; protection of road trees; tree cutting; roadside trees management
Online: 18 February 2019 (10:55:14 CET)
Road alleys, especially on areas of Warmia (north-east Poland), are multifunctional features in open landscapes. They serve as ecological corridors connecting habitats and play an important role in sustaining ecological stability. However, multiple road authorities claim that tree-lined routes are a threat for traffic safety and therefore should be removed. The aspect of safety seems to be crucial to them, significantly overwhelming alley benefits. The vitality problems of the trees (which are mainly mature and aging) deliver arguments to cutting them down. The aim of this paper is examination of environmental and natural value of the road alleys (based on a 14 km long-distance of the Gamerki – Jonkowo road), and verification of the degree of hazard posed by trees designated for cutting because of safety reasons. The six-examination framework for the research was developed. Tree risk assessment and vitality evaluation, pulling tests, examination of protected beetle species - hermit beetle, the lichens species, and examination of bat fauna were performed. The results revealed no trees in the resignation phase and confirmed that the alley is a unique natural and landscape habitat with protected species of lichens, a few bats species and valuable insect species, among others hermit beetle (Osmoderma barnabita) existing there. The environmental value of the alley is, therefore, hard to overestimate and cannot be perceived only as a component of the road infrastructure. The maintenance of the trees seems to be essential when taking into account environmental stability of the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0342.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: Citrus flavonoids; naringin; naringenin; pectin; byproducts; anti-ischemic myocardial protection; hydrodynamic cavitation
Online: 18 August 2022 (10:54:33 CEST)
Citrus flavonoids are well-known for beneficial effects at the cardiovascular and cardio-metabolic level, but often the encouraging in vitro results are not confirmed by in vivo approaches; also clinical trials are inconsistent. The limited bioavailability of them can be, at least in part, the reason of these discrepancies. Therefore many efforts were performed towards the improvement of their bioavailability. Hydrodynamic cavitation methods were successfully applied to the extraction of byproducts of the Citrus fruits industry, showing high process yields and affording stable phytocomplexes, known as IntegroPectin, endowed with great amounts of bioactive compounds and high water solubility. Cardioprotective effects of grapefruit IntegroPectin were evaluated by an ex vivo ischemia/reperfusion protocol. A further pharmacological characterization was carried out to assess the involvement of mitochondrial potassium channels. Grapefruit IntegroPectin, where naringin represented 98% of flavonoids, showed anti-ischemic cardioprotective activity, better than pure naringenin (the bioactive aglycone of naringin). On cardiac isolated mitochondria, this extract confirmed that naringenin/naringin were involved in the activation of mitochondrial potassium channels. The hydrodynamic cavitation-based extraction confirmed a valuable opportunity for the exploitation of Citrus fruits waste, with the end product presenting high levels of Citrus flavonoids and an improved bioaccessibility that enhances its nutraceutical and economic value.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0487.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Inorganic & Nuclear Chemistry Keywords: CeO2-NPs; Musa sapientum; A549; MTT assay UV protection
Online: 21 July 2020 (12:44:32 CEST)
In recent years, the nanoparticles applications have been well recognized in various fields. It is known that nanoparticles as an active ingredient in sunscreens are widely used. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide nanoparticles are common nanoparticles utilized in sunscreens. In this study, we aimed to suggest new nanoparticles for this purpose. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2-NPs) were synthesized by using Musa sapientum fruit peel extract. Synthesized nanoparticles were identified through Raman, Powder X-ray Diffraction (PXRD), Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Field Energy Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and Energy-Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDX). The results showed that size of synthesized nanoparticles are in range 4-13 nm. The cytotoxic activity of synthesized nanoparticles on lung (A549) cancer cell line was performed through MTT assay. The results showed that synthesized nanoparticles are non-toxicity against A549 cell line to below 500 μg/mL of nanoparticles concentration. The Sun protection factor (SPF) was estimated ~ 40 for synthesized CeO2-NPs. So, synthesized nanoparticles can be a good option for use in the cosmetics industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0266.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Keywords: cyclic nucleotide monophosphate; bio-reversible protection; acyloxybenzyl phosphate ester
Online: 12 October 2018 (11:32:45 CEST)
Adenine nucleotide (AN) 2nd messengers such as 3’,5’-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) are central elements of intracellular signaling, but many details of underlying processes remain still elusive. Like all nucleotides, cyclic nucleotide monophosphates (cNMPs) are net-negatively charged at physiologic pH which limits their applicability in cell-based settings. Thus, many cellular assays rely on sophisticated techniques like microinjection or electroporation. This setup is not feasible for medium- to high-throughput formats, and the mechanic stress that cells are exposed to raises the probability of interfering artefacts or false-positives. Here, we present a short and flexible chemical route yielding membrane-permeable, bio-reversibly masked cNMPs for which we employed the octanoyloxybenzyl (OB) group. We further show hydrolysis studies on chemical stability and enzymatic activation, and present results of real-time assays, where we used cAMP and Ca2+ live cell imaging to demonstrate high permeability and prompt intracellular conversion of some selected masked cNMPs. Consequently, our novel OB-masked cNMPs constitute valuable precursor-tools for non-invasive studies on intracellular signaling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0165.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: infectious bronchitis virus; protection; co-expressing; subunit vaccine; challenge
Online: 10 May 2018 (12:02:08 CEST)
Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is the causative agent of infectious bronchitis, which causes considerable economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. It is imperative to develop safe and efficient candidate vaccines to control IBV infection. In the current study, recombinant baculoviruses co-expressing S1 and N proteins, mono-expressing S1 or N proteins alone of IBV were constructed and prepared into subunit vaccines rHBM-S1-N, rHBM-S1 and rHBM-N. The levels of immune protection of these subunit vaccines were evaluated by inoculating specific pathogen-free (SPF) chickens at 14 days of age, boosting with the same dose 14 days later, and following challenge with a virulent GX-YL5 strain of IBV 14 days post-booster (dpb). The commercial vaccine strain H120 was used as a control. The IBV-specific antibody levels as well as the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes were detected within 28 days post-vaccination (dpv). The morbidity, mortality, and re-isolation of virus from the tracheas and kidneys of challenged birds were evaluated at 5 days post-challenge (dpc). The results showed that the IBV-specific antibody levels and the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte in rHBM-S1-N group were higher than those of rHBM-S1 and rHBM-N groups, especially the cellular immunity response. At 5 dpc, the mortality, morbidity and virus re-isolation rate of rHBM-S1-N were slightly higher than those of H120 group, but were lower than those of rHBM-S1 group and rHBM-N group. The present study demonstrated that the protection of recombinant baculovirus co-expressing S1 and N proteins was better than that of recombinant baculoviruses mono-expressing S1 or N protein alone. Thus, the recombinant baculovirus co-expressing S1 and N proteins could serve as a potential IBV vaccine and this demonstrates that the bivalent subunit vaccine including the S1 and N proteins might be a strategy for the development of an IBV subunit vaccine.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0516.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: health attitudes; health knowledge; skin cancer; sun protection; ultraviolet radiation; UV index
Online: 31 December 2021 (11:56:09 CET)
More than twenty-five years ago the Global Solar UV index (UVI) has been introduced as a simple means of visualizing the intensity of ultraviolet radiation and to alert people to the need for sun protection. In our survey among directors of 436 kindergartens in southern Germany we investigated the level of awareness and knowledge about the UVI as well as the practical consequences for sun protection in kindergartens. Less than half of the directors (n=208, 47.7%) had ever heard of the UVI, and only a small minority of them (n=34, 8.7%) used the daily UVI information to adapt sun protective measures in their kindergartens. Detailed knowledge about the UVI was a rarity among the respondents. The proportion of respondents with self-perceived detailed UVI knowledge was five times higher than actual knowledge assessed by an in-depth structured interview using open-ended questions about the UVI (14.2% vs. 2.8%). No clear relationship of UVI awareness, knowledge, and use to directors' age and gender was found. The UVI-related variables also showed no association with directors' knowledge of risk factors for skin cancer and their attitudes towards tanned skin. Overall, the results paint a sobering picture regarding the penetration of the UVI into sun protection policies of German kindergartens. Future public health campaigns should target increasing awareness and understanding of the UVI as well as its importance for sun protection of children.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0496.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: power system protection; renewable energy sources; fault elimination; power system security
Online: 23 October 2020 (15:37:19 CEST)
In the development of power systems it is indicated very often, that transformation of power systems should be carried out in accordance with the idea of energy democracy. This will develop energy communities, that are trying to meet energy needs by using local renewable generation sources. This may result with a temporary low load on the MV lines connecting the community grid and the power system. Such state may cause incorrect operation of power protection systems. This can cause an extended protection operation time, due to decision algorithms inactivity at low values of measurement currents. Therefore, the detailed MV lines overcurrent digital protection model and a dynamic model of the power network were developed. The simulation results are showing that the settings of the parameters activating the protection decision algorithms affect their operation time in dynamic conditions. The conclusion is that the development of the power protection automatics must be carried out in the same time (preferably in advance) with the change of the power system operation model. This is very important for future power systems with high penetration energy communities and renewable generation sources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0132.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: V2X; vehicle-to-network; blockchain; distributed registry; data protection; network; decentralized systems
Online: 5 September 2020 (08:21:40 CEST)
Over the past decade, wireless communication technologies have developed significantly for intelligent applications in road transport. This paper provides an overview of telecommunications-based intelligent transport systems with a focus on ensuring system safety and resilience. In vehicle-to-everything, these problems are extremely acute due to the specifics of the operation of transport networks, which requires the use of special protection mechanisms. In this regard, it was decided to use blockchain as a system platform to support the needs of transport systems for secure information exchange. This paper describes the technological aspects of implementing blockchain technology in vehicle-to-network; the features of such technology are presented, as well as the features of their interaction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0160.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Aronia melanocarpa berries; cadmium; liver; oxidative/antioxidative balance; oxidative stress; protection
Online: 7 November 2018 (10:47:33 CET)
The study investigated, in a rat model of low-level and moderate environmental exposure to cadmium (Cd; 1 or 5 mg Cd/kg diet, respectively, for 3-24 months), whether the co-administration of 0.1% extract from Aronia melanocarpa L. berries (AE) may protect against oxidative stress in the liver. The intoxication with Cd, dose- and duration-dependently, weakened the enzymatic antioxidative barrier (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione S-transferase), decreased the concentrations of non-enzymatic antioxidants (reduced glutathione and total thiol groups), and increased the concentrations of oxidized glutathione, hydrogen peroxide, xanthine oxidase, and myeloperoxidase in this organ. These resulted in a decrease in the total antioxidative status (TAS), an increase in the total oxidative status (TOS), and development of oxidative stress in the liver (evaluated based on the index of oxidative stress calculated as the ratio of TOS and TAS). The administration of AE at both levels of Cd treatment significantly improved the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidative barrier, decreased the concentration of pro-oxidants, and protected from the development of oxidative stress in the liver. In conclusion, consumption of aronia products may prevent Cd-induced destroying the oxidative/antioxidative balance and development of oxidative stress in the liver protecting against this organ damage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0694.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Salt Marsh; Coastal Protection; Long Island Sound; Connecticut; Green Structures; Ecosystem based
Online: 28 December 2020 (12:08:11 CET)
Connecticut marshes, like other marshes in the world, are vulnerable to anthropogenic and climate change effects. However, assessment of current sea level rise and average marsh accretion rates in Connecticut demonstrate sea level rise is not the main vulnerable factor for salt marshes loss. The study on the feasibility of developing an ecosystem-based on two coastlines in Connecticut, Guilford and Stratford, shows that both coastlines, like other coastlines in Connecticut, have limited wave energy, which is a positive factor for marsh growth. The available data assessment represents that sediment supply is the most important parameter to guarantee the resilience and sustainability of a newly developed salt marsh system in Connecticut. In Stratford, conditions for establishing a new ecosystem seem to be better, as the fetch length is pretty small, and there is some sediment supply for the ecosystem. In Guilford, wave energy is limited, but it is more than in Stratford case. Besides, sediment availability is low and the coastline experienced considerable erosion during hurricane Sandy and has not recovered yet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0671.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Dengue; Dengue vaccine trials; vaccine efficacy; cross-protection; serotypes; serostatus; Bayesian approach
Online: 27 September 2020 (08:37:14 CEST)
There is a growing public health need for effective preventive interventions against dengue, and a safe, effective and affordable dengue vaccine against the four serotypes would be a significant achievement for disease prevention and control. Two tetravalent dengue vaccines, Dengvaxia (Sanofi Pasteur) and DENVax (Takeda Pharmaceutical Company), have now completed phase 3 clinical trials. While Dengvaxia resulted in serious adverse events and is restricted to individuals with prior dengue infections, DENVax has shown, at first glance, some encouraging results. Using the available data for the TAK 003 trial, we estimate, via the Bayesian approach, vaccine efficacy (VE) of the post-vaccination surveillance periods. Although better measurement over long time was expected for the second part of the post-vaccination surveillance, variation in serotype-specific efficacy needs careful consideration. Besides observing that individual serostatus prior to vaccination is determinant of DENVax vaccine efficacy, we also compare the VE estimations for 12 and 18 months and we observe that the efficacy is decreasing over time. The comparison of efficacies over time is informative and very important, bring up the discussion of the role of temporary cross-immunity in dengue vaccine trials and the impact of serostatus prior to vaccination in the context of dengue fever epidemiology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0439.v2
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Index Terms—Distributed Generation; protection coordination; optimal DG location; optimal DG sizing
Online: 12 October 2018 (12:52:59 CEST)
The radial distribution networks are designed for unidirectional power flows and are passive in nature. However, with the penetration of Distributed Generation (DG), the power flow becomes bidirectional and the network becomes active. The integration of DGs into distribution network creates many issues with: system stability, protection coordination, power quality, islanding, proper placement and sizing etc. Among these issues, the two most significant are optimal sizing and placement of DGs and their protection coordination in utility network. The proper coordination of relays with high penetration of DGs placed at optimal location increases the availability and reliability of the network during abnormal operating conditions.This research addresses most of the available methods for efficient sizing and placement of DGs in distribution system (numerical, analytical and heuristic) as well as the developed protection coordination techniques for utility networks in the presence of DGs (Artificial Intelligence (AI), adaptive and non-adaptive, multi-agent, hybrid). This paper indicates the possible research gaps and highlights the applications possibilities and methods’ limitations in the area of DGs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0121.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: REBF; protection levels; agricultural economic loss; Baoji section of the Weihe River
Online: 18 December 2017 (11:36:05 CET)
Many agricultural water uses crowd the river ecology of the river water, thus leading to irreversible habitat damage. This paper presents an agricultural economic loss calculation model that is based on river ecological basic flow (REBF) protection by introducing a typical crop water requirement coefficient. First, the water balance equation is used according to a set of REBF protection values to compute the agricultural water shortage that results in the REBF. Second, the agricultural water shortage that results in REBF protection and a typical crop water requirement coefficient are used to determine the food production generated by REBF protection. Finally, the loss of food production and the food market prices are used to determine the agricultural economic loss caused by the different protection levels of REBF. A case study of the Weihe River in China is conducted. The calculation model is used to compute the agricultural economic loss on the basis of REBF protection in the Baoji section of the Weihe River, and the change law of the agricultural economic loss that results in different levels of the REBF is discussed. In addition, changes in the canal water use coefficient and the crop structure that affect agricultural economic loss are analyzed. Results show that the spatial and temporal variations in the runoff affect the changes in time and space of the agricultural economic loss. The higher the REBF protection level, the higher the agricultural economic loss. In addition, agricultural economic loss can provide a quantitative basis for reasonable REBF protection. The size of agricultural economic loss helps the government sector in decision-making on REBF protection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0454.v2
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: food waste recovery; maggot production; environmental protection; animal feed; solid waste management
Online: 24 January 2022 (14:16:03 CET)
Waste recovery is an important aspect towards human and environmental health protection. Unfortunately, proper food waste management is among the serious challenges in the field of solid waste management worldwide. Therefore, it is of great importance to conduct studies towards achieving efficient and cost-effective approaches for food waste management. This study investigated the potential of recovering food waste through maggots’ production as animal feed. The influence of fly attractant application on maggot production was also investigated. The study also investigated the potential of maggot production for waste recovery and reduction. Four different types of food waste (starch food leftovers, rotten bananas and peels, rotten pineapple and peels, and rotten oranges) were used in the investigation process. From the results, it was observed that the application of fly attractants had a significant effect on the production of maggots as determined by the weights after harvesting. Average weight of 94 g/kg of maggot was achieved from banana materials with an application of fly attractant during the 8th day of the cultivation; which is equivalent to a 32.4% increase from the same day when the material was cultured without applying fly attractant. Also, from the starch materials, about 77 g/kg of maggot weight was achieved; which is a 54.6% increase from the same day and the same material but without application of fly attractant. Moreover, the relative dry weight reduction in the trials varied from 52.5% to 82.4%.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0141.v3
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; pneumococcal vaccine; vaccination; cross-reactivity; protection; molecular mimicry; CRM197; rubella vaccine
Online: 4 September 2020 (10:45:26 CEST)
Various studies indicate that vaccination, especially with pneumococcal vaccines, protects against symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and death. This paper explores the possibility that pneumococcal vaccines in particular, but perhaps other vaccines as well, contain antigens that might be cross-reactive with SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Comparison of the glycosylation structures of SARS-CoV-2 with the polysaccharide structures of pneumococcal vaccines yielded no obvious similarities. However, while pneumococcal vaccines are primarily composed of capsular polysaccharides, some are conjugated to CRM197, a modified diphtheria toxin, and all contain about three percent protein contaminants, including the pneumococcal surface proteins PsaA, PspA and probably PspC. All of these proteins have very high degrees of similarity, using very stringent criteria, with several SARS-CoV-2 proteins including the spike protein, membrane protein and replicase 1a. CRM197 is also present in Hib and meningitis vaccines. Equivalent similarities were found at lower rates, or were completely absent, among the proteins in diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and poliovirus vaccines. Notably, PspA and PspC are highly antigenic and new pneumococcal vaccines based on them are currently in human clinical trials so that their effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 disease is easily testable.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: antibodies; COVID-19; glycans; immunoglobulin M; SARS-CoV-2; pneumonia; prediction; protection
Online: 24 April 2020 (10:25:27 CEST)
The natural history of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is extremely variable, ranging from asymptomatic infection, to pneumonia, and to complications eventually fatal. We propose here the first model, explaining how the outcome of first, crucial 10-15 days after infection, hangs on the balance between the cumulative dose of viral exposure and the efficacy of the local innate immune response (natural IgA and IgM antibodies, MBL). If SARS-CoV-2 runs the blockade of this innate immunity and spreads from the upper airways to the alveoli in the early phases of the infections, it can replicate with no local resistance, causing pneumonia and releasing high amounts of antigens. The delayed and strong adaptive immune response (high affinity IgM and IgG antibodies) that follows, causes severe inflammation and triggers mediator cascades (complement, coagulation, and cytokine storm) leading to complications often requiring intensive therapy and being, in some patients, fatal. Strenuous exercise and high flow air in the incubation days and early stages of COVID-19, facilitates direct penetration of the virus to the lower airways and the alveoli, without impacting on the airway’s mucosae covered by neutralizing antibodies. This allows the virus to bypass the efficient immune barrier of the upper airways mucosa in young and healthy athletes. In conclusion, whether the virus or the adaptative immune response reach the lungs first, is a crucial factor deciding the fate of the patient. This “quantitative and time-sequence dependent” model has several implications for prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0414.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Food Chemistry Keywords: Sweet cherry; Anthocyanins; Non-coloured phenolics; Antioxidant activity; Erythrocytes protection; Caco-2 cells.
Online: 20 September 2018 (14:23:18 CEST)
This study aimed to compare three different extracts of Saco sweet cherry, namely non-coloured fraction, coloured fraction and total extract concerning phenolic composition, antioxidant and antidiabetic potential, erythrocytes’ protection and effects on Caco-2 cells. A total of 22 phenolic compounds were identified by LC-DAD. Hydroxycinnamic acids were the most predominant in both non-coloured fraction and total extract, while cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside was the main anthocyanin found in the coloured fraction. The total extract was the most effective against DPPH, nitric oxide and superoxide radicals, and in the inhibition of α-glucosidase enzyme. Finally, the protective effect of the extracts to prevent oxidative damage in human erythrocytes was assessed. The coloured fraction revealed the best activity against hemoglobin oxidation and hemolysis. Regarding to Caco-2 cells, the coloured extract exhibited the most cytotoxic effects, while the total extract was the most efficient in protecting these cells against oxidative damage induced by t-BHP.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0120.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Aronia melanocarpa berries; bone biomechanical properties; cadmium; chokeberries; female rats; polyphenols; procollagen; protection
Online: 16 May 2017 (07:45:30 CEST)
The hypothesis that consumption of Aronia melanocarpa berries (chokeberries) extract, recently reported by us to improve bone metabolism in female rats at low-level and moderate chronic exposure to cadmium (1 and 5 mg Cd/kg diet for up to 24 months), may increase the bone resistance to fracture was investigated. Biomechanical properties of the neck (bending test with vertical head loading) and diaphysis (three-point bending test) of the femur of rats administered 0.1% aqueous chokeberry extract (65.74% of polyphenols) or/and Cd in the diet (1 and 5 mg Cd/kg) for 3, 10, 17, and 24 months were evaluated. Moreover, procollagen I was assayed in the bone tissue. The low-level and moderate exposure to Cd decreased procollagen I concentration in the bone tissue and weakened biomechanical properties of the femoral neck and diaphysis. Chokeberry extract administration under the exposure to Cd improved the bone collagen biosynthesis and femur biomechanical properties. The results allow for the conclusion that consumption of chokeberry products under exposure to Cd may improve the bone biomechanical properties and protect from fracture. This study provides support for Aronia melanocarpa berries being a promising natural agent for the skeleton protection under low-level and moderate chronic exposure to Cd.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0376.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Photo-taking Behavior; photo capturing and sharing; bystanders; human behavior analysis; identity protection
Online: 13 September 2020 (11:16:17 CEST)
Nowadays, with smartphones people can easily take photos, post photos to any social networks and use the photos for some purposes. This leads to a social problem that unintended appearance in photos may threaten the privacy of photographed person. Some solutions to protect facial privacy in photos have already been proposed. However, most of them rely on different techniques to de-identify photos which can be done only by photographers, giving no choice to photographed person. To deal with that, we propose an approach that allows photographed person to proactively detect whether someone is intentionally/unintentionally trying to take pictures of him/her. Thereby, he/she can have appropriate reaction to protect the privacy. In this approach, we assume that the photographed person uses a wearable camera to record the surrounding environment in real-time. The skeleton information of likely photographers who are captured in the monitoring video is then extracted to be put into the calculation of dynamic programming score which is eventually compared with a threshold for recognition of photo-taking behavior. Experimental results demonstrate that by using the proposed approach, the photo-taking behavior is precisely recognized with high accuracy of 92.5%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0635.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Intellectual property protection; independent R&D investment; green technology innovation; masking effect; threshold effect
Online: 25 November 2020 (11:20:02 CET)
Due to the continuous trade friction between China and the United States, for domestic enterprises in China, the cost of importing foreign technologies is increasing. Thus, the independent research and development (R&D) becomes particularly important for the realization of green technology innovation (GTI). This paper establishes a non-linear mediating effect model based on the data of various regions in China from 2012 to 2018. The main results are shown in the following. Firstly, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the intensity of intellectual property protection (IPP) and the level of GTI. Furthermore, the independent R&D investment has a masking effect between them. Secondly, by taking the independent R&D investment as a threshold variable, we prove our findings. Considering that the intensity of IPP is at a high level in most regions of China, the above statements mean that the enterprises need to continuously increase their investment in R&D, in order to further improve the regional ability in GTI. Meanwhile, local governments should also stimulate enterprises' willingness to expand their scale in R&D by issuing incentive policies, such as R&D tax incentives and government subsidies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0277.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: ADM Formalism; ANEC; Einstein-Dirac-Maxwell Fields; Chronology Protection; Noether Current; Conjugate Momenta
Online: 12 April 2021 (09:56:00 CEST)
Chronology unprotected mechanisms are considered with a very low gravitational polarization to make the wormhole traversal with positive energy density everywhere. No need of exotic matter has been considered with the assumption of the Einstein-Dirac-Maxwell Fields, encountering above the non-zero stress-energy-momentum tensor through spacelike hypersurfaces by a hyperbolic coordinate shift.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0259.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: CR-39 detector; Euratom 59/2013; Italian radiation protection legislation; radon indoor; radon survey
Online: 12 May 2021 (07:30:53 CEST)
Radon gas represents the major contributor to human health risk from environmental radiological exposure. In confined spaces radon can accumulate to relatively high levels so that mitigation actions are necessary. The Italian legislation on radiation protection has set a reference value for the activity concentration of radon at 300 Bq/m3. In this study, measurements of the annual radon concentration in 62 bank buildings, spread on Campania region (Southern Italy), were carried out. Using CR-39 solid-state nuclear track detectors, radon level was assessed in 136 confined spaces (127 at underground and 9 at ground floors), frequented by workers and/or the public. The survey parameters considered in the analysis of the results were: floor types, wall cladding materials, number of openings, door/window opening duration for air exchange. Radon levels were found to be between 17 and 680 Bq/m3, with an average value of 130 Bq/m3 and a standard deviation of 120 Bq/m3. About 7% of the results gave a radon activity concentration above 300 Bq/m3. The analysis showed that the floor level and air exchange have the most significant influence. This study highlighted the importance to assess the indoor radon levels, even in particular environments, to protect public and workers by radon-induced effects on health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0011.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Malthusian theory; Population growth; Species protection index; Sustainability; Wetland area size
Online: 1 June 2022 (09:55:14 CEST)
The ongoing exponential growth of human population poses a risk to sustainable development goals (SDGs). Unless we understand the drivers of this growth and inform policy development accordingly, SDGs would remain a dream. One of the old theories of population growth known as the Malthusian theory predicts that resource availability drives population growth to a certain time when population growth outrun resource availability, leading to all sort of crises known as Malthusian crisis. Although the link between economic growth and population has been widely investigated while testing the theory, little is known about environmental and social factors po-tentially driving population growth. Here, because of various crises of our time recalling the Malthusian crisis, we revisited the theory by fitting structural equation models to environmental, social and economic data collected over 30-year period in South Africa. None of the social varia-bles tested predicts population growth. Instead, we found that biodiversity (species protection index) correlates positively with population growth. Biodiversity provides various resources through ecosystem goods and services to human, thus supporting population growth as pre-dicted in the Malthusian theory. However, we also found that this population growth may lead to conservation conflict as we found that biodiversity habitat (wetland area) correlates negatively with population growth, thus raising the compromising effect of population growth on life on earth. What’s more, we found a significant link between economic growth measured as GDP and population growth, further supporting the Malthusian prediction. Overall, our study re-affirms the value of biodiversity to human and suggests that the Malthusian theory should continuously be tested with predictors other than economic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0527.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Toxoplasmosis; Toxoplasma gondii; tachyzoite; antiparasitic effect; dehydroepiandrosterone; DHEA; proteomic profile; protection
Online: 23 February 2021 (15:55:27 CET)
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the apicomplexa protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. This disease is a health burden, mainly in pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has proved to be an important molecule that could drive resistance against a variety of infections, including intracellular parasites such as Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanozoma cruzi, among others. However, to date it has not been explored the role of DHEA on T. gondii. In here, we demonstrated for the first time the toxoplasmicidal effect of DHEA on extracellular tachyzoites. Ultrastructural analysis of treated parasites showed that DHEA alters the cytoskeleton structures, leading to the loss of the organelle structure and organization, as well as the loss of the cellular shape. In vitro treatment with DHEA reduces the viability of extracellular tachyzoites and passive invasion process. 2D SDS-PAGE analysis revealed that in the presence of the hormone a progesterone receptor membrane component (PGRMC) with a cytochrome b5 family heme/steroid binding domain-containing protein was expressed, while the expression of proteins that are essential for motility and virulence was highly reduced. Finally, in vivo DHEA treatment induced a reduction of parasitic load in male, but not in female mice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0330.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Data Privacy; Mobile devices; Environment Privacy; General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Online: 15 July 2020 (09:30:42 CEST)
The mobile devices caused a constant struggle for the pursuit of data privacy. Nowadays, it appears that the number of mobile devices in the world is increasing. With this increase and technological evolution, thousands of data associated with everyone are generated and stored remotely. Thus, the topic of data privacy is highlighted in several areas. There is a need for control and management of data in circulation inherent to this theme. This article presents an approach of the interaction between the individual and the public environment, where this interaction will determine the access to information. This analysis was based on a data privacy management model in public environments created after reading and analyzing the current technologies. A mobile application based on location via Global Positioning System (GPS) was created to substantiate this model, which it considers the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to control and manage access to the data of each individual.
Subject: Chemistry, Electrochemistry Keywords: titanium dental implant; vitamin D3; bioactive coating; anticorrosion protection; EIS; DFT
Online: 10 September 2019 (11:35:26 CEST)
In recent years extensive studies have been continuously undertaken on the design of bioactive and biomimetic dental implant surfaces due to the need for improvement of the implant-bone interface properties. In this paper, the titanium dental implant surface was modified by a bioactive vitamin D3 coating prepared by self-assembly process. Surface characterization of the modified implant was performed by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), and contact angle measurements (CA). Implant’s electrochemical stability during exposure to an artificial saliva solution was monitored in situ by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Experimental results obtained were corroborated by means of quantum chemical calculations at the density functional theory level (DFT). The formation mechanism of the coating onto the titanium implant surface was proposed. During a prolonged immersion period, the bioactive vitamin D3 coating effectively prevented the underlying titanium from corrosive attack (polarization resistance in order of 107 Ω cm2) with ~95% protection effectiveness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0101.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: air pollution; air quality standard; spatial pattern; variability; human health protection
Online: 5 October 2018 (14:15:36 CEST)
Shenzhen is China’s top ten clean air city and the cleanest air megacity. Even so, epidemiologic studies have shown ambient air pollution had significant adverse impacts on human health in this less polluted city. In this study, the concentrations of six criteria air pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, O3, NO2, SO2, and CO) from 2014 to 2017 were analyzed and compared to thresholds of both national and international air quality standards. The results showed concentrations of all air pollutants were below target values of current national air quality standard, but levels of particulate matter (PM) and O3 were still much higher than the recommended levels by the World Health Organization. Within national air quality standards, the number of over-limit days was rare with few variations between highly polluted and low pollution areas. The air quality improvement was slowing down recently. Our results suggest annual and daily thresholds for PM are too loose for air quality improvement in Shenzhen. Hence, we call for evaluation and establishment of tougher air quality standard.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0381.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: double ceramic coating; arc aluminum plating; stress; protection mechanism; finite element sim-ulation
Online: 22 September 2021 (11:52:46 CEST)
To understand the enhanced protection mechanism of CoCrNiAlY-YSZ-LaMgAl11O19 dou-ble-layer ceramic coating with aluminum plating, a finite element simulation method was used to simulate the distribution of thermal stress in the coating in all directions. The results show that in the air exposure of the un-aluminized coating, high temperature causes a large radial thermal stress on the surface of the LaMgAl11O19 (LMA) layer, and it increases with the increase in temperature, which is the main reason for the initiation of axial cracks. After arc aluminum plating, the aluminum plating layer effectively inhibited the volume shrinkage of the coating through good adhesion to the coating and internal diffusion, the thermal stress of the coating was considerably reduced, and the CoCrNiAlY-YSZ-LMA coating had an effective enhancement and protection effect; however, there was still a certain amount of shear thermal stress inside the LMA layer, the top of the crack, and the bottom of the crack. This thermal stress caused the initi-ation of radial microcracks in the LMA layer, which also becomes a risk point for the failure of the aluminum coating.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0004.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: IEC 61850; merging unit, digital substation; relay protection; SCL; Substation Configuration Language; IED; GOOSE
Online: 1 August 2018 (08:10:51 CEST)
With the introduction of the IEC 61850 standard, the path is set for a single communication topology covering all substation levels. The standard has the potential to change the way substations are designed, build, tested and maintained. This means that the key segment of the substation, its protection system, will go through a transition period with the end goal of having a digitalized substation where all information exchange is performed over an Ethernet communication bus. The goal of this paper is to analyse the performance impact of the IEC 61850-9-2LE on the protection system. To do this, a laboratory hardware-in-the-loop test setup is developed representing traditional, hybrid and digital substation topology. This setup served to simulate faults and create transient waveforms in an extended IEEE 123 node test system, which were then used to detect the reaction times of protection relay devices. To verify protection relay results significant number of tests are performed clearly showing benefits which can be gained by distribution system digitalization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0139.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: drought; water management; thermal remote sensing; habitats protection; land surface temperature; CWSI
Online: 12 December 2018 (05:27:14 CET)
The research carried out concerned the laboratory assessment of the applicability of the Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) as a practical tool for assessing the risk of desiccation for selected wetland habitats: transition mires and quaking bogs as well as alkaline fens. The analysis was carried out on 3 soil samples with a vegetation cover (with the dimensions of 40×40×30 cm) collected during the full vegetation season for each mentioned habitat, with a characteristic species composition. Experimental research was carried out between 17th May 2018 and 19th June 2018. Thermal, RGB and multispectral images, chlorophyll content, volumetric soil moisture, air temperature and relative humidity measurements were taken for each sample every two days. The obtained results clearly indicate the dependence between CWSI and plant condition parameters in the first phase of desiccation. At the same time, as a result of the observations taken, thresholds have been set, indicating different desiccation phases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0199.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: wide area protection system (WAPS); reliability; Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) model; information flow; multi-service
Online: 16 May 2019 (10:10:54 CEST)
Based on the topology of wide area protection system (WAPS), after studying the reliability of hardware system and information flow in the WAPS and establishing the reliability assessment model, the multi-service reliability analysis method with multi monitoring and protection tasks in WAPS was proposed. In the model, the impact of network quality of service (QoS) such as information flow loss and delay, is studied. On the base of the model, the multi-service reliability evaluation method is employed to analyze the reliability of a WAPS of IEEE14 node power system, and the key nodes of the WAPS is given, which provides a basis for improving the reliability of the WAPS.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0009.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: sustainable development; sustainability; biosphere reserves; business models; sustainable business models; climate protection; climate change adaptation; resilience
Online: 5 May 2019 (10:15:35 CEST)
The goal of Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme is to support sustainable development through effective management, innovative technologies, policy suggestion and governance. Today, the concept of Biosphere Reserves plays an important role in scientific investigations, generating knowledge, and experiences to link socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation for human well-being. This research, through an independent study which takes place in the Hungarian Biosphere Reserves of Pilis and Kiskunság aims at identifying practical sustainable business models which are suitable for supporting livelihood of locals. In this research, the two Biosphere Reserves serve as the learning sites under the light of global principles and state-of-the-art-of knowledge on sustainable development and sustainable business models. To do so, the state-of-the-art-of sustainable business model has been investigated through a comprehensive academic research. The lessons that learned from this investigation are used to support the data gathering method and planning the field trips to identify the sustainable business models currently in use at the Biosphere Reserves. This research particularly had been interested in small-sized sustainable business models practiced by small communities or families in various zones of Biosphere Reserves. First set of interviews and questionnaires designed to identify the business models in practice. The results identify foraging the wild plants in the buffer zone and transition areas as a potential sustainable business model in practice. Further interviews and surveys were conducted with foragers shows the beneficial of their practice on the local ecosystem and in increasing awareness on the deep connection with the ecosystems. The sustainable business model of foraging in addition to providing a sustainable livelihood for the locals maintains a spiritual connection between people and land. The identified sustainable business model can further be educational and practical for other 685 biosphere reserves.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0422.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: extravirgin olive oil; cryogen; Citrus genus; phytochemical; nutraceutical value; Citrus x aurantium; Citrus limon; cardiovascular protection
Online: 24 April 2020 (03:03:29 CEST)
Recently the use of food by products as natural sources of biologically active substances has been extensively investigated especially for the development of functional foods fortified with natural antioxidants. Due to their content of bioactive compounds, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and limonoids, Citrus peels could be suitable to formulate enriched olive oils able to boost a healthy nutrition. The aim of this study was: (i) to determine the compositional and sensory profiles of the Citrus olive oil and (ii) to evaluate its nutraceutical properties in rats with high fat diet-induced-metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress. The results obtained show the potential of using the Citrus peels as a source of bioactive compounds to improve the sensory profile as well as the phytochemical composition of olive oil. We demonstrated that the production system of C. aurantium olive oil and C. limon olive oil improves their organoleptic properties without altering their beneficial effects, which, like control extra virgin olive oil, showed protective effects on glucose and serum lipid levels, metabolic activity of adipocytes, myocardial tissue functionality, oxidative stress markers and endothelial function at blood vessel level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0028.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Expired Plant Variety Protection (ex-PVP); maize; nitrogen stress; Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE); U.S. Corn Belt Germplasm
Online: 4 November 2017 (07:39:11 CET)
Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in maize (Zea mays L.) is an important trait to maximize yield with minimal input of nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Expired Plant Variety Protection (ex-PVP) Act-certified germplasm may be an important genetic resource for public breeding sectors. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the genetic variation of N-use traits and to characterize maize ex-PVP inbreds adapted to the U.S. Corn Belt for NUE performance. Eighty-nine ex-PVP inbreds [36 stiff stalk synthetic (SSS), and 53 non-stiff stalk synthetic (NSSS)] were genotyped using 26,769 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, then 263 single-cross maize hybrids derived from these inbreds were grown in eight environments from 2011 to 2015 at two N fertilizer rates (0 and 252 kg N ha−1) and three replications. Genetic utilization and the yield response to N fertilizer were stable across environments and were highly correlated with yield under low and high N conditions, respectively. Cluster analysis identified inbreds with desirable NUE performance. However, only one inbred (PHK56) was ranked in the top 10% for yield under both N-stress and high N conditions. Broad-sense heritability across 12 different N-use traits ranged from 0.11 to 0.77, but was not associated with breeding value accuracy. Nitrogen-stress tolerance was negatively correlated with the yield increase from N fertilizer.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0261.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: self-replicating RNA viruses; vaccines; infectious diseases; cancer; immune response; tumor regression; protection; approval
Online: 12 July 2021 (12:38:49 CEST)
Alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles viruses and rhabdoviruses are enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses, which have been engineered as expression vector systems for recombinant protein expression and vaccine development. Due to the presence of non-structural genes encoding the replicase complex, a 200,000-fold amplification of viral RNA occurs in the cytoplasm of infected cells providing extreme transgene expression levels, which is why they are named self-replicating RNA viruses. Expression of surface proteins of pathogens causing infectious disease and tumor antigens provide the basis for vaccine development against infectious diseases and cancer. The self-replicating RNA viral vectors can be administered as replicon RNA, recombinant viral particles, or layered DNA/RNA replicons. Self-replicating RNA viral vectors have been applied for vaccine development against influenza virus, HIV, hepatitis B virus, human papilloma virus, Ebola virus and recently coronaviruses, especially SARS-CoV-2 the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measles virus and rhabdovirus vector-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates have been subjected to clinical trials. Moreover, RNA vaccine candidates based on self-amplifying alphaviruses have also been evaluated in clinical settings. Various cancers such as brain, breast, lung, ovarian, prostate cancer and melanoma have also been targeted for vaccine development. Robust immune responses and protection have been demonstrated in animal models. Clinical trials have shown good safety and target-specific immune responses. Ervebo, the VSV-based vaccine against Ebola virus disease has been approved for human use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0105.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: 1; brain protection 2; HTK 3; cardiac arrest 4; hypoxic injury 5; HIF-1α
Online: 5 October 2018 (15:45:43 CEST)
Ischemic neuron loss contributes to brain dysfunction in patients with cardiac arrest (CA). Histidine–tryptophan–ketoglutarate (HTK) solution is a preservative used during organ transplantation. Can HTK also protect neurons from severe hypoxia (SH) following CA? We isolated rat primary cortical neurons and induced SH with or without HTK. Changes in caspase-3, hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α), and NADPH oxidase-4 (NOX4) expression were evaluated at different time points till 72 h. Using a rat asphyxia model, we induced CA-mediated brain damage and then completed resuscitation. HTK or sterile saline was administered into the left carotid artery. Neurological deficit scoring and mortality were evaluated for 3 days. Then the rats were sacrificed for evaluating NOX4 and H2O2 level in blood and brain. In the in vitro study, HTK attenuated SH- and H2O2-mediated cytotoxicity in a volume- and time-dependent manner, associated with persisted HIF-1α expression, reductions in procaspase-3 activation and NOX4 expression. The inhibition of HIF-1α abrogated HTK’s effect on NOX4. In the in vivo study, neurological scores were significantly improved by HTK. H2O2 level, NOX4 activity and NOX4 gene expression were all decreased in the brain specimen of HTK-treated rats. Our results suggest that HTK acts as an effective neuroprotective solution.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0381.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings & Films Keywords: surface erosion; polymer; nanocomposite; fiber-reinforced composites; thermoplastic polymers; thermoset polymers; surface protection; erosive wear; erosion rate; erosion efficiency
Online: 28 June 2022 (08:13:04 CEST)
Erosion caused by the repeated impact of particles on a substance surface is a usual wear method resulting in gradual and continual loss of objects. It is a crucial problem in several modern industries because their surfaces are frequently subjected to destructive erosive situations. Polymers and their hybrid materials include several applications to be used as a coating in the form of powder for different applications. This review paper aims to provide extensive information on the erosion behavior of thermoset and thermoplastic neat resin and their hybrid materials composites. Focus is specifically paid to highlight the influence of properties of selected materials, impingnation parameters such as incident Angle of erodent, impact velocity of erodent, erodent nature, and the erosion mechanism. The review further extends the information about the erosion techniques and numerical simulation methods used for wear studies of surfaces. An investigation has been carried out for researchers to explore the selection of materials and methods in terms of conditions and parameters to meet the current and future needs and challenges for the protection of surfaces of the advanced industries. During review according to the findings achieved from the literature of the past fifty years, it has been noted that the thermoplastic nature of the composite is a key component to determine the anti-wear properties, the composites with lower glass transition, higher ductility, and greater crystallinity can provide better protection to erosion in advance surface applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0093.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Patients involvement; research interests; ART treatments; treatment personalization; psychological effects; healthy habits; fertility protection; infertility prevention; lifestyle; diet
Online: 8 April 2019 (12:46:17 CEST)
STUDY QUESTION: Which are the main research interests among patients of assisted reproductive technologies (ART)? SUMMARY ANSWER: Patients identified as research priorities that deserve further investigation: success rates and risks of ART, side-effects of treatments, resources to cope with infertility, effectiveness of alternative therapies, lifestyle habits to protect fertility, oocyte quality and ovarian reserve, and causes of genetic or hereditary infertility. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: The involvement of patients and caregivers in setting research agendas in medicine has gathered significant momentum in the last decade. Patients’ involvement in setting research priorities offers several benefits: improved patient knowledge and awareness of their condition; greater understanding of the medical professionals of the impact of the condition on patients’ quality of life; reduced costs associated with redundant research activities. This is may be also applicable to research in infertility and ART, where patients’ interests have never been explored before. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This is a cross-sectional study that consists of an anonymous online survey, which was sent up to three times to 2112 patients from 11 fertility centers in 5 countries between January-December 2018. The study design was based on the James Lind Alliance priority setting partnership model, which comprises the identification of patients groups, the exploration of the research agenda, the analysis of collected data and identification of priorities. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Overall, 2112 patients were contacted, and 945 surveys were answered (RR: 44.7%). Patients were asked to identify research questions relevant to them in the areas of infertility causes and prevention, fertility treatments (medication and ART), and the emotional aspects of infertility. Answers were categorized in topics and ranked by frequency. A long list of the top-30 research topics was extracted from the aggregate results, from which, a short list of the top-10 research topics was created. At the end, 10 research questions related to each of the 10 research topics were constructed, based on the answers given by patients. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Female (845, 89.4%) and male (100, 10.6%) patients were included. The mean age of patients was 37.8 (SD 1.74). Most of the patients did not have children at the time of the survey (523, 59%), while 51 (5.7%) were pregnant. Sixty (6.3%) patients did not start treatment, 579 (61.3%) were performing a treatment with their own gametes and 304 (32.2%) were treated through gamete donation. Patients were mainly interested in the effectiveness of ART -especially per clinical profile-, side effects of drugs, protection of fertility and prevention of infertility –especially through diet and exercise-, and psychological aspects of the infertility journey. The top-10 research questions (and weight) obtained were: 1) What are the side-effects of ART treatments? (41.6%); 2) What are the most effective methods to cope with infertility from the psychological point of view? (37.2%); 3) What effects could diet have on fertility? (25.9%); 4) What are ART success rates per clinical profile? (25.9%); 5) Are there habits and lifestyle factors that could prevent infertility? (20.0%); 6) What are the long-term risks associated to ART? (18.5%); 7) Are alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, and meditation effective to treat/prevent infertility? (18.5%); 8) What is the impact of exercise on fertility? (15.4%); 9) How does oocytes quantity and quality affect fertility? (9.5%); 10) What are the genetic patterns or hereditary conditions causing/related to infertility? (9.5%). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Although all respondents had attended a fertility center, not all of them were diagnosed as infertile (i.e. single women) and had started treatment at the time of response, while a few were pregnant; their priorities for research might have been influenced by their infertility journey. Also, all participants attended private fertility centers: areas of interest may be different in public settings. WIDER IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FINDINGS: Researchers and clinicians should keep in mind that, in addition to improvement of treatments’ success rates and side-effects, patients greatly value research on causes, prevention and emotional aspects of infertility. As their views might differ from those of medical professionals, patients’ voices should be incorporated in setting infertility research priorities.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS‐CoV‐2; CoVID-19; healthcare workers; HCWs protection; Lodi; infection prevention and control strategies
Online: 26 May 2020 (08:25:05 CEST)
The report describes organizational and occupational strategies adopted by Lody Public Hospital (the first epicentre of Covid-19 outbreak in Italy) in order to face pandemic. Occupational Safety System (OSH) introduced infection prevention and control strategies (IPC) for the protection of healthcare workers (HCWs, while a reorganization of whole hospital based on the level of intensity of care for COVID-19 patients was estabilished. Screening on HCWs (N= 248) by nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 and comparison between HCWs and local population (N=1123) are shown. These preliminary data, collected from 25th February till 25th March 2020, confirms that measures adopted mitigate the effects of virus transmission within the hospital and reduced the HCW component of the transmission of the infection. Additional studies in depth are currently underway.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0040.v3
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Dengue; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; epidemiology; infection; mortality; cross-protection; Dengue vaccine; ELISA; Dengvaxia
Online: 5 May 2020 (03:00:34 CEST)
Global severity maps of ongoing dengue epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic do not overlap. Countries with high dengue endemicity (>1.5 million cases/year) are observably less hit by COVID-19 in terms of infection, transmission and mortality. Based on non-overlap of dengue and COVID-19 severity maps and evidence of SARS-CoV-2 serological cross-reactions with dengue, we wonder whether immediate immunization of susceptible populations in Europe, North America and Asia (China, Iran) with available live-attenuated dengue vaccines, will cue the anti-viral immune response to thwart COVID-19 (viral interference). Risk of developing post-vaccination “Antibody-dependent Enhancement” is low as dengue is not endemic in the aforesaid regions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0051.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: chemical plant environmental protection; stackelberg security games; source estimation methods; historical monitoring data; game theory
Online: 14 August 2017 (04:42:56 CEST)
The chemical industry is an integral part of the world economy and a substantial income source for developing countries. However, existing regulations or the enforcement of these regulations, on controlling atmospheric pollutants sometimes may be insufficient, leading to the deterioration of surrounding ecosystems and to a quality decrease of the atmospheric environment. Previous works in this domain fail to generate executable solutions for inspection agencies due to practical challenges. In addressing these challenges, we introduce a so-called Chemical Plant Environment Protection Game (CPEP) to generate reasonable schedules of high-accuracy air quality monitoring stations for inspection agencies. First, Stackelberg Security Games (SSGs) are incorporated together with source estimation methods into this research. Second, high-accuracy air quality monitoring stations as well as gas sensors are modeled into the CPEP. Third, simplified data analysis on the regularly discharging of chemical plants is utilized to construct the CPEP. Finally, an illustrative case study is used to investigate the effectiveness of the CPEP Game, and a realistic case study is conducted to illustrate how the models and algorithms being proposed in this paper, work. Results show that playing a CPEP Game can reduce operational costs of high-accuracy air quality monitoring stations; moreover, playing the game leads to more compliance from the chemical plants towards the inspection agencies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0045.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Drinking Water Source Protection; Drinking Water Safety; System Theoretic Process Analysis; Principle Components Analysis; Hazard Analysis.
Online: 3 April 2019 (11:43:49 CEST)
The success of source protection in ensuring safe drinking water is centered around being able to understand the hazards present in the catchment then plan and implement control measures to manage water quality risk to levels which can be controlled through downstream barriers. The programs in place to manage source protection are complex sociotechnical systems involving policy, standards, regulators, technology, human factors and so on. This study uses System Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) to analyze the operational hazards of a typical drinking water source protection (DWSP) program and identify control measures to ensure safe operations. To validate the results a questionnaire was developed and distributed to specialists in DWSP in Taiwan, Australia and Greece. Using Principle Components Analysis (PCA) of the questionnaire responses, the study identified four critical success factors (CSFs) for DWSP. The four factors identified are ‘Policy and Government Agency Support of Source Protection’, ‘Catchment Risk Monitoring and Information’, ‘Support of Operational Field Activities’ and ‘Response to Water Quality Threats’. The results of this study provide insight into the approach of grouping of source protection measures to identify a series of targeted CSF for operational source protection programs. Using CSF can aide catchment management agencies in ensuring that the risk level in the catchment is managed effectively and that threats to public health from drinking water are managed appropriately.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0016.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: wine; mediterranean diet; okinawa diet; health; nrf2; alcohol; polyphenols; hormesis; cardiovascular protection; cancer; Alzheimer; metabolic disease
Online: 2 November 2018 (05:08:46 CET)
Hippocrate, the father of medicine, already said:"Wine is a thing wonderfully appropriate to man if, in health as in disease, it is administered with appropriate and just measure according to the individual constitution." wine has always accompanied humanity, for religion or for health. Christians and Jews need wine for the liturgy. For Platon the wine was an indispensable element in society and took all its importance in the symposium. In this second part of the banquet, mixed with water, the wine gave the word. If the french paradox made a lot of ink flow; it was the wine that was originally responsible for it. Many researchers have tried to share the alcohol and polyphenols in order to solve the mystery. Beyond its cardiovascular effects, there are also effects on longevity, metabolism, cancer prevention and neuroprotection, and the list goes on. The purpose of this work is to make an analysis of current knowledge on the subject. Indeed, if the paradigm of the antioxidants is seductive, it is perhaps by their prooxidant effect that the polyphenols could act, by an epigenetic process mediated by nrf2. Wine is a preserve of antioxidants for the winter and it is by this property that the wine acts, in alcoholic solution. A wine without alcohol is pure heresy. By the way, we were not talking about elixir to design all this millennial pharmacopee that made the man was able to heal and prosper on the planet. From Alvise Cornaro to Serge Renaud, nutrition was the key to health and longevity, whether Cretan or Okinawa diet, it is the small dose of alcohol (wine or sake) that allows the bioavailability of polyphenols. Moderate drinking give a protection for diseases and a longevity potential. In conclusion, let’s drink fewer, but drink better to live older.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0186.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: proactive policies; land protection; inter-generational solidarity; land sustainability; economic valuation; imputed preferences; imputed expenses; gis; cost-benefit analysis, social discount rate
Online: 31 October 2017 (02:47:04 CET)
Although floods, as well as other natural disasters, can be considered relevant causes of intra-generational inequalities, the frequent catastrophes and the resulting damages to territory reflect the generalized indifference about inter-generational justice. Societal concerns, such as land protection, typically involve the administrative system performing proactive policies in the perspective of inter-generational solidarity, but subsidiarity has made more and more independent the local communities. As a consequence, the attention toward the long run effects – typically concerning the territorial system, as a whole, at the geographical scale – has been dispersed, and the proactive policies coming from the central government has became more ineffective. Regarding the case of the flood happened in 2009 in the Fiumedinisi-Capo Peloro hydraulic basin, in the northeastern part of Sicily, Italy, we propose an economic valuation – carried out by performing the method of the imputed preferences – in order to compare the expenses incurred by the public authorities responsible for protecting the territory to the costs of the rehabilitation of the damaged areas. Some considerations about the economic significance of the proactive policies for the arrangement of territory are addressed according to the role played by the social discount rate in the inter-temporal economic calculation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0217.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Software protection, Privacy, Innovation and Technology, Web Services Modeling, Distributed Objects, Services Software, Cryptographic Controls, Authentication, Data Encryption
Online: 26 March 2018 (13:18:20 CEST)
This paper presents a method for a decentralised peer-to-peer software license validation system using cryptocurrency blockchain technology to ameliorate software piracy, and to provide a mechanism for software developers to protect copyrighted works. Protecting software copyright has been an issue since the late 1970's and software license validation has been a primary method employed in an attempt to minimise software piracy and protect software copyright. The method described creates an ecosystem in which the rights and privileges of participants are observed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0076.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Smart Energy Grids; Critical Infrastructure Protection; Artificial Immune System; Izhikevich Spiking Neural Networks; Clonal Selection Algorithm; Transfer Learning; Ensemble Learning
Online: 6 June 2022 (09:14:03 CEST)
The rate of technical innovation, system interconnection, and advanced communications undoubtedly boost distributed energy networks' efficiency. However, when an additional attack surface is made available, the possibility of an increase in attacks is an unavoidable result. The energy ecosystem's significant variety draws attackers with various goals, making any critical infrastructure a threat, regardless of scale. Outdated technology and other antiquated countermeasures that worked years ago cannot address the complexity of current threats. As a result, robust artificial intelligence cyber-defense solutions are more important than ever. Based on the above challenge, this paper proposes an ensemble transfer learning spiking immune system for adaptive smart grid protection. It is an innovative Artificial Immune System (AIS) that uses a swarm of Evolving Izhikevich Neural Networks (EINN) in an Ensemble architecture, which optimally integrates Transfer Learning methodologies. The effectiveness of the proposed innovative system is demonstrated experimentally in multiple complex scenarios that optimally simulate the modern energy environment. In this way, the proposed system fully automates the strategic security planning of energy networks with computational intelligence methods. It allows the complete control of the digital strategies of the potential infrastructure that frames it, thus contributing to the timely and valid decision-making during cyber-attacks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0558.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Yersinia pestis; vaccine; guinea pigs; bubonic plague; inactivated vaccine; phage; bacterial ghost; protection; protein-E-mediated lysis, holin-endolysin system
Online: 30 November 2021 (11:08:18 CET)
To develop a modern plague vaccine, we used hypo-endotoxic Yersinia pestis bacterial ghosts (BGs) with combinations of genes encoding the bacteriophage ɸX174 lysis-mediating protein E and/or holin-endolysin systems from λ or L-413C phages. Expression of the protein E gene resulted in the BGs that retained the shape of the original bacterium. Co-expression of this gene with genes coding for holin-endolysin system of the phage L-413C caused formation of structures resembling collapsed sacs. Such structures, which have lost their rigidity, were also formed as a result of the expression of only the L-413C holin-endolysin genes. Similar holin-endolysin system from phage λ containing mutated holin gene S and intact genes R-Rz coding for the endolysins caused generation of mixtures of BGs that had (i) practically preserved and (ii) completely lost their original rigidity. The addition of protein E to the work of this system shifted the equilibrium in the mixture towards the collapsed sacs. The collapse of the structure of BGs can be explained by endolysis of peptidoglycan sacculi. Immunizations of laboratory animals with the variants of BGs followed by infection with a wild-type Y. pestis strain showed that bacterial envelopes protected only cavies. BGs with peptidoglycan maximally hydrolyzed had a greater protectivity compared to BGs with preserved peptidoglycan skeleton.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0320.v1
Subject: Keywords: reciprocal personal/public protection; mask discriminating mouth and nose; mouth cover; mask; face covering; source control; source classification; Covid-19; active source; liquid droplets
Online: 14 September 2020 (11:45:27 CEST)
Reciprocal Personal/Public Protection (RPPP) featured with source control is introduced, Mask Discriminating Mouth and Nose (MDMN) is employed to serve the purpose, which includes polymer based mouth cover with optional nose cover. The new knowledge that mouth is a primary, active and dominant source of the virus has been well established, which is the base of MDMN. Source classification and related source control tools are discussed, mouth cover is recommended as the tool prioritized to use. Liquid droplets is identified as a hard issue related to mask, liquid droplets, mask fitting, comfort and facial recognition constitute real challenges of mask in addition to efficiency, All of these have been addressed with MDMN. Comparisons between MDMN and masks/face covering are taken on four aspects: efficiency and efficacy, tolerance and comfort, cost and waste, and civil rights and public interest. Mouth cover is recommended to replace the face covering and act as both a personal tool and a public utensil, mouth cover with nose cover can provide better protection than N95 etc. RPPP with MDMN, could be an alternative for lockdown, a parallel strategy to vaccine, and a collectively living way during the pandemic era. MDMN, featured with high efficiency protection, high degree comfort, easy wearing, tight-fitting, easy facial recognition & communication, reusability, cost-effective, environment friendly and scale manufacturing more readily and widely etc., is a simple and sustainable solution, which is essential for ordinary people to keep wearing it properly for protection.
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: sustainable business model; sustainable development; sustainability; business model; review; survey; state-of-the-art; climate change; climate protection; global warming; research method; circular economy; sustainable mobility; mitigation; adaptation
Online: 28 March 2019 (08:49:06 CET)
During the past two decades of e-commerce growth, the concept of a business model has become increasingly popular. More recently, the research on this realm has grown rapidly, with diverse research activity covering a wide range of application areas. Considering the sustainable development goals, the innovative business models have brought a competitive advantage to improve the sustainability performance of organizations. The concept of the sustainable business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value, in economic, social, cultural, or other contexts, in a sustainable way. The process of sustainable business model construction forms an innovative part of a business strategy. Different industries and businesses have utilized sustainable business models’ concept to satisfy their economic, environmental, and social goals simultaneously. However, the success, popularity, and progress of sustainable business models in different application domains are not clear. To explore this issue, this research provides a comprehensive review of sustainable business models literature in various application areas. Notable sustainable business models are identified and further classified in fourteen unique categories, and in every category, the progress -either failure or success- has been reviewed, and the research gaps are discussed. Taxonomy of the applications includes innovation, management and marketing, entrepreneurship, energy, fashion, healthcare, agri-food, supply chain management, circular economy, developing countries, engineering, construction and real estate, mobility and transportation, and hospitality. The key contribution of this study is that it provides an insight into the state of the art of sustainable business models in various application areas and future research directions. This paper concludes that popularity and the success rate of sustainable business models in all application domains have been increased along with the increasing use of advanced technologies.
REVIEW | doi:10.3390/sci2030068
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; pooling clinical trials; hyperinfection; steroids; treatment; targeted healthcare; population health management; cancer treatment; clinical research; clinical trials; developing vaccines; ranking and rating hospital quality; school closures; interventions for delirium; assessments of COVID-19 death inequities; regulatory safeguards; preventing child abuse and maltreatment; prevalence of health care worker burnout; nursing home ratings; challenging oncology practice; addressing racial; ethnic; social and economic divides; violence against sexual minority adolescents; primary tumors; metastasis; stages of cancer; reforming cancer clinical trials; supporting carers; protection and prevention; benign and malignant tumors; reforming cancer clinical trials; protection of healthcare personnel; comparing excess deaths in NYC; 1918 influenza pandemic; the possibility of full recovery from COVID-19; mental health impact of COVID-19 on young adults; ranking and rating nursing home quali
Online: 21 August 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease has wreaked havoc on the world community in terms of every imaginable parameter. The research output on COVID-19 has been nothing short of phenomenal, especially in the medical and biomedical sciences, where the search for a potential vaccine is being conducted in earnest. Much of the advanced research has been distributed in the leading medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), where the latest research is distributed on a daily basis. The purpose of this paper is to provide some perspectives on 44 interesting and highly topical research papers that have been published in JAMA, at the time of writing, within the past two weeks. The diverse topics include public health, general medicine, internal medicine, oncology, paediatrics, geriatrics, and biostatistics.