ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0303.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Livelihoods; Sustainability; Vulnerability; Small-scale Fishers; Bangladesh
Online: 24 June 2020 (14:34:34 CEST)
Small-scale fishers are considered as one of the most vulnerable communities in Bangladesh but very few studies focused on the livelihood sustainability and vulnerabilities of this professional group. A fieldwork in lower Padma and upper Meghna hilsa sanctuaries identifies different livelihood characters and associated vulnerabilities of the fishers. A conceptual framework known as Sustainable Livelihood Approaches (SLA) has been introduced to analyses the qualitative and quantitative data. The insights of the livelihood strategies provide on small-scale fishers and fisheries management have been explained and explored. Fishers are found solely dependent on fishing, economically insolvent and neglected. In addition, some socio-economic abstractions such as low income, credit insolvency, lack of substitute earning flexibility make them more vulnerable. A number of effective suggestions are elicited from fishers’ perceptions, the implementation of which is crucial to ensure livelihood sustainability of the small-scale fishers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0311.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: resource integration; network analysis; sustainability; small-scale farm
Online: 14 December 2020 (09:26:08 CET)
Shrinking farm size and fragile farm resources pose a significant challenge to the sustainability of small-scale farms. Efficient resource utilization in small-scale farms is crucial to achieving farm sustainability through endogenous mechanisms. However, the precise mechanisms to integrate physical resources to achieve farm sustainability are not very clear yet. By capturing the interaction among farm resources as a network phenomenon, we identify the discrete resource interactions (RIs) in different types of small-scale farms of Indian Sundarbans, which are associated with higher farm sustainability. Thirty-two linkages, 11 reciprocal linkages, 22 triads, and three ‘core elements’ that occurred and cooccurred on highly sustainable farms are found to be critical in achieving farm sustainability. Using the properties of resource interaction networks as explanators of farm sustainability, we anticipate that sustainability in small-scale farms can be achieved by strategically creating new RIs on the farm. However, there may be limitations to such achievement depending on the nature of RI and type of farm. The analytical approach helps to understand the structural basis of sustainability in small-scale farms, and this approach can be used to achieve farm sustainability through the strategic integration of existing farm resources in the smallholder systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0520.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Intuitive learning; Dynamic response; Small-scale model; Image-recognition; Shaking table
Online: 22 March 2021 (11:21:47 CET)
In the last years, more and more studies highlight the advantages of complementing traditional master classes with additional activities that improve students´ learning experience. This combination of teaching techniques is specially advised in the field of structural engineering, where intuition of the structural response it is of vital importance to understand the studied concepts. This paper deals with the introduction of a new (and more encouraging) educational tool to introduce intuitively students in the dynamic response of structures excited with an educational shaking table. Most of the educational structural health monitoring systems use sensors to determine the dynamic response of the structure. The proposed tool is based on a radically different approach, as it is based on low-cost image-recognition techniques. In fact, it only requires the use an amateur camera, a black background and a computer. In this study, the effects of both the camera location and the image quality are also evaluated. Finally, to validate the applicability of the proposed methodology, the dynamic response of small-scale buildings with different typologies is analyzed. In addition, a series of surveys were conducted in order to evaluate the activity based on student´s satisfaction and the actual acquisition and strengthening of knowledge.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0076.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: mercury; exposure assessment; human health; artisanal and small-scale gold mining
Online: 14 March 2017 (08:40:59 CET)
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has been an important source of income for communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin in Peru for hundreds of years. However, in recent decades, the scale of ASGM activities in the region has increased dramatically, and exposures to a variety of occupational and environmental hazards related to ASGM, including mercury, are becoming more widespread. The aims of our study were to: (1) examine patterns in the total hair mercury level of human participants in several communities in the region and compare these results to the 2.2 µg/g total hair mercury level equivalent to the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA)’s Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI); and (2), to measure the mercury levels of paco (Piaractus brachypomus) fish raised in local aquaculture ponds, in order to compare these levels to the EPA Fish Tissue Residue Criterion of 0.3 µg Hg/g fish (wet weight). We collected hair samples from 80 participants in four communities (one control and three where ASGM activities occurred) in the region, and collected 111 samples from fish raised in 24 local aquaculture farms. We then analyzed the samples for total mercury. Total mercury levels in hair were statistically significantly higher in the mining communities than in the control community, and increased with increasing distance away from the Madre de Dios headwaters (as the crow flies), did not differ by sex, and frequently exceeded the reference level. Regression analyses indicated that higher hair mercury levels were associated with residence in ASGM communities. The analysis of paco fish samples found no samples that exceeded the EPA tissue residue criterion. Collectively, these results align with other recent studies showing that ASGM activities are associated with elevated human mercury exposure. The fish farmed through the relatively new process of aquaculture in ASGM areas appeared to have little potential to contribute to human mercury exposure. More research is needed on human health risks associated with ASGM to discern occupational, residential, and nutritional exposure, especially through tracking temporal changes in mercury levels as fish ponds age, and assessing levels in different farmed fish species. Additionally, research is needed to definitively determine that elevated mercury levels in humans and fish result from the elemental mercury from mining, rather than from a different source, such as the mercury released from soil erosion during deforestation events from mining or other activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0682.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: semi-arid hydrology, small-scale storage, checkdams, tanks, farm bunds, Cauvery, GWAVA
Online: 29 March 2021 (11:22:07 CEST)
Recently, there has been renewed interest in the performance, functionality, and sustainability of traditional small-scale storage interventions (check dams, farm bunds and tanks) used across India for the improvement of local water security. The Central Groundwater Board of India is en-couraging the construction of such interventions for the alleviation of water scarcity. It is of critical importance to understand the hydrological effect of these interventions at basin scales to maximise their effectiveness. The quantification of small-scale interventions in hydrological modelling is often neglected, especially in large-scale modelling exercises. A bespoke version of the GWAVA model was developed to assess the impact of interventions on the water balance of the Cauvery Basin and two smaller sub-catchments. Model results demonstrate that farm bunds appear to have a negligible effect on the estimated average annual simulated streamflow at the outlets of the two sub-catchments and the basin whereas tanks and check dams have a more significant effect. In-terventions generally were found to increase evaporation losses across the catchment. The model adaption used in this study provides a step-change in the conceptualisation and quantification of the consequences of small-scale storage interventions in large- or basin-scale hydrological models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0094.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Small-scale bean farmers, marketing arrangements, formal and informal marketing, intensification models
Online: 5 September 2018 (11:30:25 CEST)
This case study assessed marketing arrangements used by small scale farmers in the Lake Basin and Lower Eastern bean corridors of Kenya to determine which markets work for rural producers and what changes are needed to produce and supply sufficient quantities for trade. Using exploratory research, data was collected through focus group discussions with six farmer groups representing a total of 1255 bean farmers and key informant interviews with extension staff. The results indicated that 94% of the farmers produced beans before identifying buyers with only 6% participating in group marketing. Though spot-market transactions with brokers and traders provided ready cash for the farmers, formal buyers were perceived to be more reliable but difficult to find and, operated stringent requirements which were a barrier to entry. A theory of change to integrate smallholders into formal markets to sustainably produce and supply sufficient volumes for trade should entail a transformation agenda at four levels of the value chain: intensification of production through pure stand models with greater use of certified high yielding varieties; stable price guarantees; a market-driven research and extension service and; an enabling political, policy and business environment in the bean value chain. Further research is needed to pilot these changes in a case control study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201607.0068.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: Fishermen; Lake Ziway; Small scale irrigation users; Socioeconomic benefit; Wetland ecosystem service
Online: 22 July 2016 (16:02:46 CEST)
ABSTRACT This study focused for socio-economic benefit of Western shoreline of Lake Ziway ecosystem. The data collected from two woredas they are Adami Tulu Jidu Kombolch (ATJK) and Dugda woreda of fishermen and small scale irrigation users. Lake Ziway great importance food and water for both groups of respondents and additionally sources of raw material, energy, cultivation, organic fertilizers, genetic and medicinal plants. Lake Ziway also has a major economic benefit for both groups of respondents. The sampled fishermen cached mean amount of 2,524Kg per year with minimum and maximum amount of fish 504Kg and 16,800Kg per year respectively and with this fish catching they got average income of 51,398 Birr ($2,570) per year with range of 7,200 Birr ($360) and 288,000 Birr ($14,400) per year. As like of fishermen small scale irrigation also got economic benefit with their production of cereal crops, fruits and vegetables. They produce in average 13.47Quintal of cereal crop and 69.56Quintal of fruits and vegetables per year and they got average income of 7,727 Birr ($386) and with range of 13,714 Birr ($686) per year respectively. this incurred that wetland ecosystem has a lot of socio-economic benefit for the people live near by specially for developing countries like Ethiopia they are more dependent on natural ecosystem like of Lake Ziway. Because of its high importance, we have to protect and conserve and use sustainably of Lake Ziway and similar wetland ecosystems. Key Words: Wetland ecosystem service; Lake Ziway; Socioeconomic benefit; Fishermen; Small scale irrigation users
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0143.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: COVID-19; Corona virus; Aquatic food system; Food security; Small-scale fisheries; Bangladesh
Online: 12 June 2020 (08:25:09 CEST)
COVID-19 is now a major global health crisis, can lead to severe food crisis unless proper measures are not taken. Though a number of scientific studies have addressed the possible impacts of COVID-19 in Bangladesh on variety of issues, problems and food crises associated with aquatic resources and communities are missing. Therefore, this study aimed at bridging the gap in the existing situation and challenges of COVID-19 by linking its impact on aquatic food sector and small-scale fisheries with dependent population. The study was conducted based on secondary data analysis and primary fieldwork. Secondary data focused on COVID-19 overview and number of confirmed, recovered and death cases in Bangladesh; at the same time its connection with small-scale fisheries, aquatic food production, demand and supply was analyzed. Community perceptions were elicited to present how the changes felt and how they affected aquatic food system and small-scale fisheries and found devastating impact. Sudden illness, reduced income, complication to start production and input collection, labor crisis, transportation abstraction, complexity in food supply, weak value chain, low consumer demand, rising commodity prices, creditor’s pressure were identified as the primary affecting drivers. Dependent people felt the measures taken by the Government should be based on protecting the health and food security, although it could be detrimental to economic growth in the short term. The study provides insight into policies adopted by the policy makers to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on aquatic food sector and small-scale fisheries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0006.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: climate-smart agriculture; adoption; small-scale irrigation farming; household income; Chinyanja Triangle; Southern Africa
Online: 1 February 2018 (09:33:20 CET)
This article concerns the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice and its influence on household income in the Chinyanja Triangle. Chinyanja Triangle is a region that experiences mid-season dry spells and an increase in occurrences of drought due to low and erratic rainfall patterns which is attributed largely to climate variability and change. This poses high agricultural production risks, which aggravate poverty and food insecurity. For this region, adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice is very important. Through a binary logistic and ordinary least squares regression, the article determines factors that influence the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice and its influence on income among smallholder farmers. The results show that off-farm employment, access to irrigation equipment, access to reliable water sources and awareness of water conservation practices, such as rainwater harvesting have a significant influence on the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming. On the other hand, the farmer’s age, distance travelled to the nearest market and nature of employment negatively influenced the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming decisions. Ordinary least squares regression results showed that the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice has a significant positive influence on agricultural income. We therefore conclude that to empower smallholder farmers to quickly respond to climate variability and change, practices that will enhance adoption of small-scale irrigation farming in the Chinyanja Triangle are critical as this will significantly impact on agricultural income.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0287.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; small scale fisheries; artisarnal fishers; coastal communities; marine protected area; Malaysia; fisheries; impacts
Online: 17 May 2020 (08:46:10 CEST)
As early as February 2020, many countries have started imposing measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. Despite the right intention, it is a challenging moment for the people, especially the rural population living in the coastal areas. The document presents the preliminary findings on the impacts of Covid-19 on the small scale fisheries in Tun Mustapha Park, Sabah, Malaysia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0046.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Microeconomics And Decision Sciences Keywords: small scale hydroelectric power; neumann-mortenstern utility theory; environmental effects of hydro power; hydropower and risk
Online: 5 May 2017 (05:32:02 CEST)
The development of small scale hydroelectric power plants in Norway is determined by natural conditions, policies, attitudes and property rights. The owner of the river is the central decision maker. It is he who decides whether he will develop the power plant himself, Whether he wants to enter into a contract with an external investor and let him develop the power plant, whether he will sell his property rights or postpone the decisions. All available choices will involve risk. In order for him to make the best choice he must find the certainty equivalent to each of the choices and choose the one with the highest certainty equivalent. This is the first time the utility theory of John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern has been applied to decision makers in the hydro power industry in Norway.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0273.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: small-scale fishers; resilience; Adaptive Cycle Model; Sustainable Livelihood Framework; COVID-19; coping strategy; alternative livelihood; Trang Province; Thailand
Online: 19 January 2022 (14:20:19 CET)
Researchers have reported various impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on small-scale fishers, such as stagnating market demands, reduction of market price and income, etc. While literature have heeded to these impacts in a relatively short time frame, scant evidence exists on the changing impacts over time and on the detailed processes of how fishers have been coping with the challenges in a longer time period. Furthermore, few studies have comprehensively analysed the impacts and strategies from multiple perspectives. This study aims to explore the perceived impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on small-scale fishing communities and to highlight the coping strategies adopted by fishers over a year since the initial outbreak, through a case study in Trang Province, Thailand. Analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data obtained through semi-structured interviews indicated that fishers wisely utilised natural, financial and social capitals at the early stages of the outbreak, while human capitals were essential for recovering from the impacts in the later stages. Our findings suggest that the adaptive capacity to flexibly change livelihood strategies are crucial, while alternative income source may not necessarily help small-scale fishers under stagnating global economy.
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: drying; materials processing; vacuum oven; small-scale; lab equipment; air-powered; open hard-ware; open source; digital manufacturing; dehydration
Online: 22 April 2021 (09:16:02 CEST)
Vacuum drying can dehydrate materials further than dry heat methods while protecting sensitive materials from thermal degradation. Many industries have shifted to vacuum drying as cost- or time-saving measures. Small-scale vacuum drying, however, has been limited by high costs of specialty scientific tools. To make vacuum drying more accessible, this study provides design and performance information for a small-scale open source vacuum oven, which can be fabricated from off-the-shelf and 3-D printed components. The oven is tested for drying speed and effective-ness on both waste plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and a consortium of bacteria developed for bioprocessing of terephthalate wastes to assist in distributed recycling of PET for both additive manufacturing as well as potential food. Both materials can be damaged when exposed to high temperatures, making vacuum drying a desirable solution. The results showed the open source vacuum oven was effective at drying both plastic and biomaterials, drying at a higher rate than a hot-air dryer for small samples or for low volumes of water. The system can be constructed for less than 20% of commercial vacuum dryer costs for several laboratory-scale applications including dehydration of bio-organisms, drying plastic for distributed recycling and additive manufacturing, and chemical processing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0361.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: Common Middle Point; Propagator; Spatial Reflector; small-scale heterogeneities; diffraction/scattering imaging; finite-difference simulation; local grid refinement in time and space.
Online: 15 November 2018 (11:18:18 CET)
Computation of Common Middle Point seismic sections and their subsequent time migration and diffraction imaging provides very important knowledge about the internal structure of 3D heterogeneous geological media and are key elements for successive geological interpretation. Full-scale numerical simulation, that computes all single shot seismograms, provides a full understanding of how the features of the image reflect the properties of the subsurface prototype. Unfortunately, this kind of simulations of 3D seismic surveys for realistic geological media needs huge computer resources, especially for simulation of seismic waves’ propagation through multiscale media like cavernous fractured reservoirs. In order to significantly reduce the query of computer resources we propose to model these 3D seismic cubes directly rather than the shot-by-shot simulation with subsequent CMP stacking. To do that we modify the well known "exploding reflectors principle" for 3D heterogeneous multiscale media by use of the finite-difference technique on the base of grids locally refined in time and space. To be able to simulate realistic models and acquisition we develop scalable parallel software, which needs reasonable computational costs. Numerical results for simulation of Common Middle Points sections and their time migration are presented and discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0576.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, Transaction costs, Small businesses, Credit accessibility
Online: 24 October 2018 (12:05:42 CEST)
This study investigated the roles of transactions cost in MSMEs access to finance. This was done by investigating the impact of transactions cost on access to credit from both MSMEs and financial institutions (commercial banks and microfinance banks). From the MSMEs’ side, borrowing experience, decision lag, firm size and borrowers’ distance to the loan office were investigated. On the financial institution’s side, the costs of information gathering, loan administration, monitoring and loan enforcement were investigated. We used the questionnaire survey method, in-depth interviews and case studies, as well as the annual financial statements of the banks. We identified interest rate and collateral value as constraints to access to finance for MSMEs. We also found financial institutions’ attitude to MSMEs access to credit was not friendly. Financial institutions need to do more to bring down transaction cost of lending. This hopefully can be achieved by investing more in agent banking which would lower operating costs, as well as spreading risk, and ultimately increase credit intermediation to small businesses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0057.v1
Online: 6 June 2022 (03:56:53 CEST)
Small RNAs (sRNA) and microRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous noncoding single-stranded RNAs that regulate gene expression in eukaryotes. Experiments in mice and humans have revealed that a typical small RNA can affect the expression of a wide range of genes, implying that small RNAs function as global regulators. Here, we used small RNA deep sequencing to investigate at how jararhagin, a metalloproteinase toxin produced from the venom of Bothrops jararaca, affected mmu-miRs expression in mice 2 h and 24 h after injection. The findings revealed that seven mmu-miRs were substantially differentially expressed (p-value (p (Corr) cut-off 0.05, FC 2) at 2h after jararhagin exposure, and that the majority of them were upregulated when compared to PBS. In contrast to these findings, a comparison of Jar 24h vs PBS 24hrs demonstrated that the majority of identified mmu-miRs were downregulated. Furthermore, the studies demonstrated that mmu-miR can target the expression of several genes involved in the MAPK signaling pathway. The steady antithetical regulation of mmu-miRs may correlates with the expression of genes that trigger apoptosis via MAPK in the early stages, and this effect intensifies with time. The findings expand our understanding of the effects of jararhagin on local tissue lesions at the molecular level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0368.v1
Online: 16 October 2018 (16:54:25 CEST)
[NiFe]-hydrogenases are gas-processing metalloenzymes that catalyze the conversion of dihydrogen (H2) to protons and electrons in a broad range of microorganisms. Within the framework of green chemistry, the molecular proceedings of biological hydrogen turnover inspired the design of novel catalytic compounds for H2 generation. The bidirectional “O2-sensitive” [NiFe]-hydrogenase from Escherichia coli HYD-2 has recently been crystallized; however, a systematic infrared characterization in the presence of natural reactants is not available yet. In this study, we analyze HYD-2 from E. coli by in situ ATR FTIR spectroscopy under quantitative gas control. We provide an experimental assignment of all catalytically relevant redox intermediates alongside the O2- and CO-inhibited cofactor species. Furthermore, the reactivity and mutual competition between H2, O2, and CO was probed in real time, which lays the foundation for a comparison with other enzymes, e.g., “O2-tolerant” [NiFe]-hydrogenases. Surprisingly, only Ni-B was observed in the presence of O2 with no indications for the “unready” Ni-A state. The presented work proves the capabilities of in situ ATR FTIR spectroscopy as an efficient and powerful technique for the analysis of biological macromolecules and enzymatic small molecule catalysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0068.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: cost-effectiveness; pembrolizumab; etoposide-platinum; extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer; small cell lung cancer.
Online: 1 February 2021 (18:10:59 CET)
Background: The phase III KEYNOTE-604 study confirmed the benefit of pembrolizumab combined with chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer(ES-SCLC). Intergrated the clinical benefits of pembrolizumab and its high cost into account, this study aim to assess the cost-effectiveness of adding pembrolizumab to standard first-line etoposide-platinum (EP) for patients with ES-SCLC from the the US payer perspective. Methods: A Markov model was developed to compared the costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) of pembrolizumab plus EP and placebo plus EP over a 10-year time horizon. Clinical efficacy, treatment utilization and safety data were pooled from the KEYNOTE-604 trial. Utilities were obtained from published resources. Costs were mainly collected from Medicare in 2020. Sensitivity analyses were performed to examined the robustness of our model. Results: Adding pembrolizumab to standard first-line EP, resulted in better effectiveness than the use of EP alone for ES-SCLC by 0.22 QALYs. Pembrolizumab plus EP was dominated economically by placebo plus EP, leading to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio(ICER) of $334,373/ QALY. Deterministic sensitivity analyses indicated that the uncertainty in model parameters exerts no substantial effect on our results. Probability sensitivity analysis indicated that probabilities for pembrolizumab plus EP being cost-effective within a wide rang of willingness to pay were modest. Conclusion: From the US payer perspective, the first-line treatment for ES-SCLC with pembrolizumab plus EP was not cost-effective compare with placebo plus EP. Although pembrolizumab combination chemotherapy was beneficial to the survival of ES-SCLC, price reduction may be the necessary measure to improve its cost-effectiveness.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0044.v3
Online: 19 October 2021 (13:23:01 CEST)
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), with 10.4 million new cases per year reported in the human population. Recent studies on the Mtb transcriptome have revealed the abundance of noncoding RNAs expressed at various phases of mycobacteria growth, in culture, in infected mammalian cells and in patients. Among these noncoding RNAs are both small RNAs (sRNAs) between 50-350 nts in length and smaller RNAs (sncRNA) <50 nts. In this review, we provide an up-to-date synopsis of the identification, designation, and function of these Mtb-encoded sRNAs and sncRNAs. The methodological advances including RNA sequencing strategies, small RNA antagonists and locked nucleic acid sequence specific RNA probes advancing the studies on these small RNA are described. Initial insights into the regulation of the small RNA expression and putative processing enzymes required for their synthesis and function are discussed. There are many open questions remaining about the biological and pathogenic roles of these small non-coding RNAs, and potential research directions needed to define the role of these mycobacterial noncoding RNAs summarized.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0365.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: pharmacological chaperones; mucopolysaccharidoses; mps; small molecules
Online: 31 October 2019 (09:33:43 CET)
The mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a group of 11 lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) produced by mutations in the enzymes involved in the lysosomal catabolism of glycosaminoglycans. Most of the mutations affecting these enzymes may lead to changes in processing, folding, glycosylation, pH stability, protein aggregation, and defective transport to the lysosomes. The use of small molecules, called pharmacological chaperones (PCs), that can restore the folding, trafficking and biological activity of mutated enzymes has been extensively explored in LSDs as a therapeutic alternative. PCs have the advantage of wide tissue distribution, potential oral administration, lower production cost, and fewer issues of immunogenicity. In this paper, we will review the advances in the identification and characterization of PCs for the MPS. These molecules, mainly based in molecules mimicking the enzyme substrates, have been described for MPS II, IVA, and IVB, showing a mutation-dependent enhancement of the mutated enzymes. Although the results show the potential of this strategy, further studies should focus in the development of disease-specific cellular models that allow a proper screening and evaluation of the identified PCs. In addition, in vivo evaluation, both pre-clinical and clinical, should be performed, before they can become a real therapeutic strategy for the treatment of MPS patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0028.v9
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: heat energy; photon energy; fundamental forces; nanoscale phenomenon; atomic scale phenomenon; electron scale phenomenon
Online: 8 December 2017 (03:46:45 CET)
Technology is in the way to reach in its climax but the basic understanding of science in many phenomena is still awaited even though the nature witnesses it. Scientific research reveals strong analogy between photon and electron. When an atom deals neutral state, it levitates electron of outer ring from the back surface while placing the bit-energy at front surface. Gravitation behavior of that electron starts at the centre of relaxation point by including the force of side pole where the pulling force of nearby unfilled state of that atom from the front surface results into depict forcing energy shape like Gaussian distribution symbol with both ends turned called unit photon. The inertia is being involved at each stage of changing direction of that electron by introducing the disappearances of forces of two poles against the appearances of forces of two opposite poles during rest to motion and motion to rest in the first half-cycle. The same is the case in the second half-cycle of that electron during rest to motion and motion to rest but it is under different introduction of the disappearances of forces against appearances of forces. However, at stage of levitating or gravitating period of electron, only one force is being involved at one time where the opposite force is disappeared. The uninterrupted confined inter-state electron-dynamics of atom under the availability of several bits of bit-energy results into generate forcing energy shape like a wave. Two bits of bit-energy where shape of bit for first half-cycle is like integral symbol and second half-cycle is like opposite integral symbol which are being placed along the configuring trajectory of inter-state electron-dynamics during forward-direction cycle and two bits of bit-energy shape in opposite order are being placed along the trajectory of inter-state electron-dynamics during back-direction cycle. Generating forcing energy of unit photon in each cycle is pushing to the rear side by remaining connected till the electron is not restoring the state of rest. Silicon atom is considered as a model system under neutral state. Uninterrupted confined inter-state electron-dynamics result into generate forcing energy that can travel immeasurable length and unavailability of necessitating bit-energy at any interrupted stage result into generate an overt photon. Inter-state electron-dynamics for at least two cycles generate an overt photon –a photon length twice to unit photon. Under certain interaction of unit photon, it divides equally into two bits of bit-energy instead of dividing into tits and bits of heat. The mechanism of generating photon characteristic current by the electron of neutral state atom validates that atoms are four-dimensional discs at centre of dealing no force. An isolated electron is being grounded under directed forcing energy to impinge a neutral state atom where the gained instantaneous velocity under merged energy resulting into distort atom at that point. Matter changes the role of energy and force under various sorts of interactions. Here, heat energy and photon energy explore matter at atomic and electron levels, thus, devise basis of science to describe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0664.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19 lockdown; psychological impact; perceived stresses-R scale; PSS scale; young adults
Online: 28 July 2020 (04:39:39 CEST)
Context: COVID-19 pandemic and the Lockdown implemented as a measure to contain the virus spread has taken a toll over the psychological well-being of the people especially the young adults, the confinement along with the environment of a highly infectious pandemic around the induvial are put under great stress.Aims: The current study aims to assess the psychological impact and perceived stress due to COVID-19 lockdown in Young Adult population of India.Settings and Design: It is a cross sectional, observational study.Methods and Material: The survey was conducted using Google forms involving snowball sampling technique which obtained 267 responses in total. (IES-R) and (PSS) scales were used for the study.Statistical analysis used: Descriptive analysis were performed on the sociodemographic parameters and the comparison of means were done by Chi-square test in SPSS Statistic 21.0 (IBM SPSS Statistics, New York, United States). Results: The mean IES-R and PSS scores obtained for the population in this study was 25.64±18.95 and 18.27±6.10 respectively. Out of the 267 respondents in total 61.4% (n=164) of them were males. Maximum of the respondents 62.54%(n=167) belonged to the age group of 18-23 with mean age being 23.14± 2.913. 92.5% of the respondents were unmarried and only 26.6% belonged to the rural part of India. Females, younger individuals were found to have higher IES-R and PSS scores. Conclusions: There is significant psychological burden and stress on the young Indian population with females and younger individuals particularly students are the most vulnerable population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0318.v1
Subject: Engineering, Marine Engineering Keywords: Hull-propeller interaction; Full-scale CFD; Scale effect; Self-propulsion; Statistical sea trails
Online: 24 December 2019 (11:16:25 CET)
Accurate prediction of the self-propulsion performance is one of the most important factors for energy-efficient design of a ship. In general, the hydrodynamic performance of a full-scale ship could be achieved by model-scale simulation or towing tank test with extrapolations. With the development of CFD methods and computing power, directly predict ship performance with full-scale CFD is an important approach. In this article, a numerical study on the full-scale self-propulsion performance with propeller operating behind ship at model- and full-scale is presented. The study includes numerical simulations using RANS method with double-model and VOF model respectively and scale effect analysis based on overall performance, local flow fields and detailed vortex identification. Verification study on grid convergence is also performed for full-scale simulation with global and local mesh refinements. And a series of sea trail tests were performed to collect reliable data for the validation of CFD predictions. The analysis of scale effect on hull-propeller interaction shows that the difference on hull boundary layer and flow separation is the main source of scale effect on ship wake. And the results of the fluctuations of propeller thrust and torque along with circulation distribution and local flow field show that propeller’s loading is significantly higher for model-scale ship. It is suggested that the difference on vortex evolution and interaction is more pronounced and have larger effects on ship’s powering performance at model-scale than full-scale according to the simulation results. From the study on self-propulsion prediction, it could be concluded that the simplification on free surface treatment does not only affect the wave-making resistance for bare hull but also the propeller performance and propeller induced ship resistance which can produced up to 5% uncertainty to the power prediction. Roughness is another important factor in full-scale simulation because it has up to approximately 7% effect on the delivery power. As a result of validation study, the numerical simulations of full-scale ship self-propulsion shows good agreement with the sea trail data especially for cases that have considered both roughness and free surface effects. This result will largely enhance our confidence to apply full-scale simulation in the prediction of ship’s self-propulsion performance in the future ship designs.
Online: 30 October 2019 (09:31:14 CET)
A naked human eye can perceive objects down to a millimeter length. While lenses and microscopes have overcome this limit, the human mind still lacks perspective when navigating conventional scales (1), especially in the range that are less palpable to naked human eye (2,3). This problem is particularly acute in the context of science communication, where the conventional scale bar units facilitate little comprehension regarding the perception for factorial size differences (3). Here we aim to bridge the gap of scale factors and perspectives using a universal toolkit of objects, which can help comprehend the relative change in length dimensions up to 13 orders of magnitude difference. We further have demonstrated the use of such a universal object toolkit as a length perceptive scale by illustrating and narrating biological phenomena. The meter to picometer ‘length perceptive scale’ proposed here has the potential to cover majority of length scales present in the biological realm, and is analogous to the time compression methods widely used in explaining cosmos timeline (4). Our toolkit can also be calibrated according to the users need in their scientific communication and illustrations, which will aid the readers’ benefit in understanding the length scale perception of illustrated phenomenon.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0596.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: biogenesis; microRNAs; ribosomal RNA-derived fragment (rRF); ribosomes; small ribosomal RNA (srRNA); ribosomal DNA (rDNA); small RNAs
Online: 25 October 2018 (05:59:58 CEST)
The advent of RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) technologies has markedly improved our knowledge and expanded the compendium of small non-coding RNAs, most of which derive from the processing of longer RNA precursors. In this review article, we will discuss about the biogenesis and function of small non-coding RNAs derived from eukaryotic ribosomal RNA (rRNA), called rRNA fragments (rRFs), and their potential role(s) as regulator of gene expression. This relatively new class of ncRNAs remained poorly investigated and underappreciated until recently, due mainly to the a priori exclusion of rRNA sequences—because of their overabundance—from RNA-Seq datasets. The situation surrounding rRFs resembles that of microRNAs (miRNAs), which used to be readily discarded from further analyses, for more than five decades, because we could not believe that RNA of such a short length could bear biological significance. As if we had not yet learned our lesson not to restrain our investigative, scientific mind from challenging widely accepted beliefs or dogmas, and from looking for the hidden treasures in the most unexpected places.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0252.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: alternative parameterization; normal distribution; dispersion estimators; location-invariance; scale-invariance; scale-and-location-invariance
Online: 19 September 2022 (02:06:09 CEST)
Location-and-scale transformation of a random variable underpins normal distribution, but it is however fundamentally incorrect for scale estimation such as relative dispersion. In this paper, a parametrized alternative to a normal distribution, called scaloc-normal distribution, is proposed that efficiently works and is fundamentally correct with absolute and relative dispersion estimators. The Monte Carlos simulation experiment was used to generate a total of 600,000 artificial datasets in 600 different simulation scenarios from loc-normal (normal) and scaloc-normal distributions. The absolute and relative dispersion were estimated and compared from the two distributions. The results show that scaloc-normal distribution is a good parametrized alternative to loc-normal distribution, fundamentally correct and efficient with both standard deviation and coefficient of variation. The key statistical advancement from loc-normal to scaloc-normal distribution is its fundamental correctness (i.e., scale-invariant property) with an efficient relative estimator of dispersion (i.e., coefficient of variation). Parametrically, the loc-normal and scaloc-normal distributions are very different, but both have linear transformations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0006.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: resilience; Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale; Brief Resilience Scale; depression; life satisfaction; confirmatory factor analysis
Online: 4 January 2022 (12:34:37 CET)
The Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) and the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) are two widely used scales to measure resilience. Although both scales seek to assess an individual’s ability to recover from and adapt to disruptions or stressful events, they may capture different aspects of resilience. While the CD-RISC focuses on resources that can help individuals recover from and adapt to disruptions or stressful events, the BRS directly measures one’s ability to bounce back or be resilient. The aim of this study is to empirically examine the differences between the CD-RISC and the BRS. Two samples (n = 202, 246) consisting of undergraduate students from Taiwan were used. The results of confirmatory factor analysis show that the CD-RISC and the BRS are highly correlated but still distinct. The results of regression analyses show that the CD-RISC and the BRS have unique predictive effects on depression and life satisfaction. The research findings suggest that the CD-RISC and the BRS capture different aspects of resilience. For future research on resilience, researchers should pay attention to the differences between these scales and choose the one that most closely fits their research purpose.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0146.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: homocysteine; small vessel disease; neuroinflammation; neurodegneration; endothelium
Online: 6 September 2020 (15:53:11 CEST)
Homocysteine (Hcy) is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is generated during methionine metabolism. Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is typically defined as levels >15 micro mols/L. Elevated plasma levels of Hcy can be caused by the deficiency of either vitamin B12 or folate. The active role of homocysteine is quite ambivalent: many studies detected its potential impact on neurological events; others try to identify it as one of the possible risk factors of cardiovascular events, but with a complementary and secondary role. HHcy has been reported in many neurologic disorders, including cognitive impairment and stroke, independent of long-recognized factors such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and smoking. Nowadays, homocysteine could be considered as a possible link between a common vascular risk factor and potential alterations in degenerative neuronal disorders. HHcy-induced oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress; all these aspects have been considered to play an essential role in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including atherosclerosis, major stroke, and vascular dementia. Specific models of astrocytes impairment in HHcy-mice, which mimic small vessel disease, have been developed with a three-step investigation (at 6, 10, 14 weeks of B6, B9, and B12 detrimental diet in wild type HHcy mouse). These studies found out that after ten weeks on a diet (at the most after 14 weeks), end-feet disruption occurs. This phenomenon is concomitant to reduced vascular labeling for aquaporin -4-water channels, lower protein/mRNA levels for Kir4.1, and BK potassium channels, associated with a higher expression of MMP-9. The most exciting finding is that microglial activation in this mice model was evident since the precocious time of observation (6-week time) and precedes astrocytic changes. Our research aims to review the possible role of HHcy in neurodegenerative disease and small-vessel disease and to understand its pathogenic impact.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0085.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: alfalfa; drought; microRNA; small RNA; differential expression
Online: 23 February 2017 (09:50:07 CET)
Alfalfa, an important legume forage, is an ideal crop for sustainable agriculture and a potential bioenergy plant. Drought, one of the most common environmental stresses, substantially affects plants’ growth, development and productivity. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are newly discovered gene expression regulators that have been linked to several plant stress responses. To elucidate the role of miRNAs in drought stress regulation of alfalfa, a high-throughput sequencing approach was used to analyze 12 small RNA libraries comprising of 4 samples, each with 3 biological replicates. We identified 348 known miRNAs, belonging to 80 miRNA families, from the 12 libraries and 281 novel miRNAs using Mireap software. 18 known miRNAs in roots and 12 known miRNAs in leaves were screened out as drought-responsive miRNAs. Except for miR319d and miR157a which were upregulated under drought stress, the expression pattern of drought-responsive miRNAs were different between roots and leaves in alfalfa. This is the first study discovering miR157a, miR1507, miR3512, miR3630, miR5213, miR5294, miR5368 and miR6173 are drought-responsive miRNAs. Target transcripts of drought-responsive miRNAs were computationally predicted. All 447 target genes for the known miRNAs were predicted using an online tool. This study provides a significant insight on understanding drought-responsive mechanisms of alfalfa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0381.v1
Online: 22 November 2021 (11:08:58 CET)
Our work uses Iterative Boltzmann Inversion (IBI) to study the coarse-grained interaction between 20 amino acids and the representative carbon nanotube CNT55L3. IBI is a multi-scale simulation method that has attracted the attention of many researchers in recent years. It can effectively modify the coarse-grained model derived from the Potential of Mean Force (PMF). IBI is based on the distribution result obtained by All-Atom molecular dynamics simulation, that is, the target distribution function, the PMF potential energy is extracted, and then the initial potential energy extracted by the PMF is used to perform simulation iterations using IBI. Our research results have gone through more than 100 iterations, and finally, the distribution obtained by coarse-grained molecular simulation (CGMD) can effectively overlap with the results of all-atom molecular dynamics simulation (AAMD). In addition, our work lays the foundation for the study of force fields for the simulation of the coarse-graining of super-large proteins and other important nanoparticles.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: scale spaces; differential invariants; segmentation; classification
Online: 5 July 2021 (09:22:00 CEST)
Image segmentation and classification still represent an active area of research since no universal solution can be identified. Established segmentation algorithms like thresholding are problem specific, treat well the easy cases and mostly relied on single parameter i.e intensity. Machine learning approaches offer alternatives where predefined features are combined into different classifiers. On the other hand, the outcome of machine learning is only as good as the underlying feature space. Differential geometry can substantially improve the outcome of machine learning since it can enrich the underlying feature space with new geometrical objects, called invariants. In this way, the geometrical features form a high-dimensional feature space for each pixel, where original objects can be resolved. Alternatives based on the geometry of the image scale-invariant interest points have been exploited successfully in the field of computer vision. Here, we integrate geometrical feature extraction based on signal processing, machine learning, and input relying on domain knowledge. The approach is exemplified on the ISBI 2012 image segmentation challenge data set. As a second application, we demonstrate powerful image classification functionality based on the same principles, which was applied to the HeLa and HEp-2 data sets. Obtained results demonstrate that feature space enrichment properly balanced with feature selection functionality can achieve performance comparable to deep learning approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0657.v1
Online: 26 April 2021 (11:02:39 CEST)
We are using information from a paper deriving a Lorentz-violating energy-momentum relation entailing an exact mo_mentum cutof as stated by G. Salesi . Salesi in his work allegedly defines Pre Planckian physics, whereas we restrict our given application to GW generation and DE formation in the first 10^-39s to 10^-33s or so seconds in the early universe. This procedure is inacted due to an earlier work whereas referees exhibited puzzlement as to the physical mechanism for release of Gravitons in the very early universe. The calculation is meant to be complementary to work done in the Book “Dark Energy” by M. Li, X-D. Li, and Y. Wang, and also a calculation for Black hole destruction as outlined by Karen Freeze, et. al. The GW generation will be when there is sufficient early universe density so as to break apart Relic Black holes but we claim that this destruction is directly linked to a Lorentz violating energy-momentum G. Salesi derived, which we adopt, with a mass m added in the G. Salesi energy momentum results proportional to a tiny graviton mass, times the number of gravitons in the first 10^-43 seconds
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0116.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: mixed-reality; perception; scale; color; HMD
Online: 9 August 2019 (04:25:07 CEST)
With continued technological innovation in the fields of mixed reality (MR), wearable-type MR devices, such as helmets, have been released and are frequently used in various fields, such as entertainment, training, and education. However, because each product has different parts and specifications in terms of the design and manufacturing process, users feel that the virtual objects overlaying real environments in MR are visualized differently depending on the scale and color used by the MR device. In this paper, we compare the effect of scale and color parameters on users’ perception in using different types of MR devices to improve MR experience. We conducted two experiments (scale and color), and our experimental study showed that the subjects who participated in the scale perception experiment clearly tended to underestimate virtual objects, compared with real objects, and overestimate color in MR environments. [MM1]Please confirm meaning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0065.v1
Online: 11 April 2017 (17:32:40 CEST)
Local air quality is a major concern for the population regularly exposed to high levels of air pollution. The airport, mainly due to its aircraft engines activities during taxiing and take off, is often submitted to heterogeneous but important concentrations of NOx and PM. The study suggests an innovative approach to determine the air traffic impact on air quality at the scale of the airport, its runways and terminals, in order to be able to locate the persistent high concentrations spots. The pollutants concentrations at 10 m resolution and 1 s time step are calculated in order to identify the most affected areas of an airport platform. A real day of air traffic on a regional airport is simulated, using real data as aircraft trajectories (from radar streams). In order to estimate the aircraft emissions, the Air Transport Systems Evaluation Infrastructure (IESTA) is used. Regarding local air quality, IESTA relies on the non-hydrostatic meso-scale atmospheric model Meso-NH using grid-nesting capabilities with 3 domains, for this study. The detailed cartography of the airport distinguishes between grassland, parking and terminals, allowing to compute exchanges of heat, water and momentum between the different types of surfaces and the atmosphere as well as the interactions with the building using a drag force. The dynamic parameters like wind, temperature, turbulent kinetic energy and pollutants concentration are computed at 10 m resolution over the 2 × 4 km airport domain. The pollutants are considered in this preliminary study as passive tracers, without chemical reactions. This preliminary study aims at proving the feasibility of high scale modelling over an airport with state of the art physical models.
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: depression; measurement scale; ratings; literature review
Online: 16 December 2016 (07:57:02 CET)
The range of rating instruments in depression measurement and the depth of their analytical relevance constitutes a major development in this psychiatric and psychotherapeutic field of mental health. Though the competition is acute amongst these various instruments, the results for the public have been outstandingly positive. A depression rating scale is essentially a psychiatric measuring instrument utilized in the identification and ranking of depression severity within the patient. The scale provides the practitioner, psychiatrist or psychotherapist, with sufficient information to assess the severity of the depression plotted on the scale. Not used as a “diagnostic tool” itself, nevertheless, the depression rating scale does function as an effective device for designating and assigning a behavioral score which may, then, be used in establishing the severity of depression of value in the designation of a diagnosis and treatment formula. In this paper, we will take a close look at the leading depression rating scales and briefly summarize their scope of assessment value in rating depression.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0005.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: cancer; gene regulation; small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA); small nucleolar derived RNA (sdRNA); microRNA (miRNA); RNA; snoRNA; sdRNA; miRNA; genetics
Online: 1 June 2022 (05:58:58 CEST)
In the past decade, RNA fragments derived from full length small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) have been shown to be specifically excised and functional. These sno-derived RNAs (sdRNAs) have been implicated as gene regulators in a multitude of cancers, controlling a variety of genes post-transcriptionally via association with the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). In this review, we have summarized the literature connecting sdRNAs to cancer gene regulation. SdRNAs possess miRNA-like functions, and are able to fill the role of tumor-suppressor or tumor-promoter in a tissue context-dependent manner. Indeed, there are many miRNAs that are actually derived from snoRNA transcripts, meaning that they are truly sdRNAs and as such are included in this review. As sdRNAs are frequently discarded from ncRNA analyses, we emphasize that sdRNAs are functionally relevant gene regulators and likely represent an overlooked subclass of miRNAs. Based on the evidence provided by the papers reviewed here, we propose that sdRNAs deserve more extensive study to better understand their underlying biology and to identify previously overlooked biomarkers and therapeutic targets for a multitude of human cancers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0306.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: simulated value stream mapping; small and medium enterprise
Online: 17 August 2022 (08:19:22 CEST)
The accumulation of process waste in the production line causes fluctuations, bottlenecks, and increased inventory in workstations disrupting process flow. In this paper, the aim is the use a simulated value stream mapping (SVSM) as a lean assessment tool for decision-making in the continuous improvement process to influence and provide consideration and consistency on productivity improvement in the production system. The proposed methodology applied discrete event simulation for production process operations improvement to eliminate non-value adding times and provides good quality products at the lowest cost and highest efficiency. The results are the analysis of the current state of the production system in a South African truck manufacturing industry small and medium enterprise (SMEs) as a potential solution for the production system future state. The identified non-value adding times in the 6 most critical workstations was eliminated by SVSM which resulted in a productivity improvement of 4%, most importantly bringing the productivity to 95% and total cycle time improvement to 451 for small units and 466 for large units. The results proposed combined VSM and Simulation techniques which enhance the LEAN application by DES to increase productivity and performance improvement to remain competitive in the global economy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0425.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Goat; Sheep; Small Ruminants; Animal Models; Regenerative Medicine.
Online: 21 January 2021 (15:01:17 CET)
Medical and translational scientific research requires the use of animal models as an initial approach to the study of new therapies and treatments, but when the objective is an exploration of translational potentialities, classical models fail to adequately mimic problems in humans. Among the larger animal models that have been explored more intensely in recent decades, small ruminants, namely sheep and goats, have emerged as excellent options. The main advantages associated to the use of these animals in research works are related to their anatomy and dimensions very similar to those of humans in most physiological systems, in addition to their low maintenance and feeding costs, tendency to be docile, long life expectancies and few ethical complications raised in society. The most obvious disadvantages are the significant differences in some systems such as the gastrointestinal, and the reduced amount of data that limits the comparison between works and the validation of the characterization essays. Despite everything, recently these species have been increasingly used as animal models for diseases in different systems, and the results obtained open doors for their more frequent and advantageous use in the future. The purpose of this review is to summarize the general principles related to the use of small ruminants as animal models, with focus on regenerative medicine, to group the most relevant works and results published recently and to highlight the potentials for the near future in medical research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0071.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: chlorophyll-a; downwelling; IOD; small pelagic fish; upwelling
Online: 2 November 2020 (19:45:51 CET)
Although researchers have investigated widely the impact of IOD phases on human lives, only a few have examined such impacts on fisheries. In this study, we analyzed the influence of negative (positive) of IOD on a chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentration as an indicator of phytoplankton biomass and small pelagic fish production in the eastern Indian Ocean (EIO) off Java. We also conducted field surveys in the EIO off Palabuhanratu Bay at the peak (October) and the end (December) of the 2019 positive IOD phase. Our findings show that the Chl-a concentration had a strong and robust association with the 2016 (2019) negative (positive) IOD phases. The negative (positive) anomalous Chl-a concentration in the EIO off Java associated with the negative (positive) IOD phase induced strong downwelling (upwelling), leading to the preponderant decrease (increasing) of small pelagic fish production in the EIO off Java.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0005.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, small molecule inhibitors, human diseases
Online: 2 November 2020 (09:09:37 CET)
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are essential enzymes for translating amino acids for protein synthesis. Their function in pathogen-derived infectious diseases has been well established, which has led to development of small molecule therapeutics. The applicability of ARS inhibitors for other human diseases such as fibrosis has recently been explored in the clinical setting. There are active studies to find small molecule therapeutics for cancers. Studies on central nervous system (CNS) disorders are burgeoning as well. In this regard, we present a concise analysis of the recent development of ARS inhibitors based on small molecules from the discovery research stage to clinical studies as well as a recent patent analysis from the medicinal chemistry point of view.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0292.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: circadian rhythms; small molecules; luciferase reporters; period estimations
Online: 25 January 2020 (00:33:40 CET)
We present a summary of our protocol for employment of small-molecule circadian rhythm modulators. The abilities of compounds to affect oscillations have received significant attention. We outline assessments of circadian changes using indirubin-3’-oxime (IO), 5-iodo-indirubin-3’-oxime (5I-IO), and 5-sulfonic acid-indirubin-3’-oxime (5SA-IO), analyzing effects on Bmal1 and Per2 oscillations and oncogenic features.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0173.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: coral reef; Landsat; population; remote sensing; small islands
Online: 15 November 2019 (04:14:59 CET)
In general, remote sensing has proven to be a powerful tool in the overall understanding of natural and anthropogenic phenomena. Satellites have become useful tools for tasks such as characterization, monitoring, and the continuous prospecting of natural resources. This research aims to analyze spatial dynamic and destructive on coral reefs area and correlation between live coral reduction and population on small islands. Landsat MSS, TM, ETM, and OLI-TIRS are used to spatial analyze of coral reef dynamics from 1972 to 2016. The image processing includes gap-filling, atmospheric correction, geometric correction, image composite (true color), water column correction, unsupervised classification, reclassification, accuracy assessment. The statistical analysis identifies the relationship between dynamic population data with a reduction of live coral, namely Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Multiple Regression Analysis. The effect of the population shows a positive correlation with the reduction in the area of live coral, although it is significant. The fact is the practice of coral destruction on an island; it is usually not only caused or carried out by residents who live on the island but also carried out by other residents of different islands.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0093.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: fia; forest inventory; small area estimation; survey weight
Online: 9 October 2019 (07:38:07 CEST)
We propose a new estimator for creating expansion factors for survey plots in the USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis program. This is a regularized version of the raking estimator widely used in sample surveys. The regularized raking method differs from other predictive modeling methods for integrating survey and ancillary data in that it produces a single set of expansion factors that can have general purpose use to produce small area estimates and wall-to-wall maps of any plot characteristic. This method also differs from other more widely used survey techniques, such of GREG estimation, in that it is guaranteed to produce positive expansion factors. We extend the previous method here to include cross-validation, and provide a comparison to expansion factors between the regularized raking and ridge GREG survey calibration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0065.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: small towns; mapping; urban sanitation; access; SDG; Tanzania
Online: 26 August 2019 (09:08:09 CEST)
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2 sets an ambitious target of leaving no one without adequate sanitation by 2030. The key concern is the lack of local human and financial capital to fund the collection of reliable information to monitor progress towards the goal. As a result, national and local records may be telling a different story of the proportion of safely managed sanitation that counts towards achieving the SDGs. This paper unveils such inconsistency in sanitation data generated by urban authorities and proposes a simple approach for collecting reliable and verifiable information on access to safely managed sanitation. The paper is based on a study conducted in Babati Town Council in Tanzania. Using a smartphone-based survey tool, city health officers were trained to map 17,383 housing units in the town. A housing unit may comprise of two or more households. The findings show that 5% practice open defecation, while 82% of the housing units have some forms of sanitation. Despite the extensive coverage, only 31% of the faecal sludge generated is safely contained, while 64% is not. This study demonstrates the possibility of using simple survey tools to collect reliable data for monitoring progress towards safely managed sanitation in the towns of global south.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0310.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: Kardashev scale; civilization; energy consumption and supply
Online: 23 March 2022 (05:19:37 CET)
The level of technological development of any civilization can be gaged in large part by the amount of energy they produce for their use, but also encompasses that civilization’s stewardship of their home world. Following the Kardashev definition, a Type I civilization is able to store and use all the energy available on its planet. In this study, we develop a model based on Carl Sagan’s K formula and use this model to analyze the consumption and energy supply of the three most important energy sources: fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, natural gas, crude, NGL and feedstocks), nuclear energy and renewable energy. We also consider environmental limitations suggested by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Energy Agency, and those specific to our calculations to predict when humanity will reach the level of a Kardashev scale Type I civilization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0172.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: object detection; larger-scale dataset; stacked carton
Online: 11 March 2022 (15:48:23 CET)
Carton detection is an important technique in the automatic logistics system and can be applied to many applications such as the stacking and unstacking of cartons, the unloading of cartons in the containers. However, there is no public large-scale carton dataset for the research community to train and evaluate the carton detection models up to now, which hinders the development of carton detection. In this paper, we present a large-scale carton dataset named Stacked Carton Dataset (SCD) with the goal of advancing the state-of-the-art in carton detection. Images are collected from the Internet and several warehouses, and objects are labeled using per-instance segmentation for precise localization. There are total of 250,000 instance masks from 16,136 images. Naturelly, a suite of benchmarks are established with several popular detectors. In addition, we design a carton detector based on RetinaNet by embedding our proposed Offset Prediction between Classification and Localization module (OPCL) and Boundary Guided Supervision module (BGS). OPCL alleviates the imbalance problem between classification and localization quality which boosts AP by 3.1%∼4.7% on SCD at the model level while BGS guides the detector to pay more attention to boundary information of cartons and decouple repeated carton textures at the task level. To demonstrate the generalization of OPCL to other datasets, we conduct extensive experiments on MS COCO and PASCAL VOC. The improvements of AP on MS COCO and PASCAL VOC are 1.8%∼2.2% and 3.4%∼4.3% respectively. Source dataset is available here.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0140.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Adsorption; Scale Inhibitors; Fine sands; Colloids; Reservoir
Online: 7 May 2021 (10:42:36 CEST)
Scale inhibitors are deployed as preventive and rejuvenation operation in oil and gas industry when production operations are under threat or menace of scale blockage. The application of scale inhibitors is carried out through a method known as squeezing. In general, the squeeze process is governed by inhibitor-rock interaction which is described by adsorption/desorption isotherm. Most reservoirs produce loose sand grains or fine sand which float and flow within the pore spaces along with the squeezed scale inhibitors. Hypothetical reports have shown that not all scale inhibitors pumped into the formation adsorb onto the formation rock. A number of factors (irreversible adsorption, pH changes, competing ions, concentration and temperature) have been considered to affect the adsorption and return profile of these scale inhibitors. This review work examines the performances of most common scale inhibitors used in the oil and gas production activities, theoretical application in reservoirs and how loose fine sand grains affect the adsorption and desorption characteristics of squeezed scale inhibitors. Additionally, presented were overviews of previous reports on fine sand production and migration of fine sands through formation pores in reservoirs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0171.v1
Online: 7 December 2020 (15:13:05 CET)
The Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS) was developed 10 years ago to assess pain through characterisation of changes in five facial features or action units. The strength of the technique is that it is proposed to be a measure of spontaneous or non-evoked pain. A comprehensive scoping review of the academic literature was performed. The MGS has been employed mainly in evaluation of acute pain, particularly in the pain and neuroscience research fields. There has however been use of the technique in a wide range of fields, and based on limited study it does appear to have utility for pain assessment across a spectrum of animal models. Use of the method does allow detection of pain of a longer duration, up to a month post-initial insult. There has been less use of the technique using real-time methods and this is an area in need of further research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0159.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: Firebrat; Friction; AFM; Colloidal probe; Scale; Microstructure34
Online: 10 September 2018 (09:22:12 CEST)
Friction is an important subject for sustainability due to problems associated with energy loss. Recent years, surface micro- and nanostructures have attracted much attention to reduce friction; however, suitable structures are still under consideration. Many functional surfaces are present in nature, such as the friction reduction surfaces of snake skins. In this study, we focused on firebrats, Thermobia domestica, living in narrow spaces such as under bark, so their surface frequently contacts with surrounding surfaces. We speculate that their body surface would be adapted to reduce friction. To investigate the firebrat surface functions, firebrat surfaces were observed by using a field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and a colloidal probe atomic force microscope (AFM), respectively. Results of surface observations by the FE-SEM revealed that firebrats are entirely covered with scales, whose surfaces have micro groove structures. Scale groove periods around the firebrat's head are almost uniform within a scale but vary between scales. AFM friction force measurements revealed that firebrat scale reduces friction by decreasing contact area between scales and a colloidal probe. The heterogeneity of groove periods of the scales suggest that it is difficult to fix the whole body in particular rough surfaces and that lead to be "fail-safe".
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0415.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Fusarium graminearum, mycelial growth, RGB, gray scale.
Online: 28 May 2018 (16:31:22 CEST)
Size-based fungal growth studies have limitations. For example, the growth in size stops in closed systems once it reaches the borders and poorly describes the metabolic status, especially in the stationary phase. This might lead mycotoxin studies to unrealistic results. Color change could be a viable alternative as pigments are results of the mold’s metabolic activity. This study aimed to verify the possibility of using gray values and the RGB system to analyze the growth of Fusarium graminearum. It consisted color and area measurement using the ImageJ software for specimens grown in yeast extract agar (YEA). The results suggest the usability of color and gray values as reliable tools to analyze the growth of F. graminearum.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0411.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: small urban green areas; timeseries; GEOBIA; NDVI; MSAVI2; Planet
Online: 27 September 2022 (03:59:34 CEST)
The importance of small urban green areas has increased in the context of rapid urbanization and densification of the urban tissue. The analysis of these areas through remote sensing has been limited due to the low spatial resolution of freely available satellite images. We propose a timeseries analysis on 3 m resolution Planet images, using GEOBIA and vegetation indices, with the aim of extracting and assessing the quality of small urban green areas in two different climatic and biogeographical regions – temperate (Bucharest, Romania) and mediterranean (Athens, Greece). Our results have shown high accuracy (over 91%) regarding the extraction of small urban green areas in both cities, across all analysed images. The timeseries analysis showed consistency in location for around 55% of the identified surfaces throughout the entire period. The vegetation indices registered higher values in the temperate region, due to the vegetation characteristics and the planning of the two cities. For the same reasons, the increase in vegetation density and quality, as a result of the distance from the city centre and the decrease in the density of built-up areas is more obvious in Athens. The proposed method provides valuable insights in the distribution and quality of small urban green areas at city level and can represent the ground basis for many analyses, currently limited by poor spatial resolution.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0641.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: packing density; product density; small porous particles; corrugated particles
Online: 29 July 2021 (10:18:51 CEST)
This manuscript critically reviews the design and delivery of spray-dried particles for the achievement of high total lung doses (TLD) with a portable dry powder inhaler. We introduce a new metric termed the product density, which is simply the TLD of a drug divided by the volume of the receptacle it is contained within. The product density is given by the product of three terms: the packing density (the mass of powder divided by the volume of the receptacle), the drug loading (the mass of drug divided by the mass of powder), and the aerosol performance (the TLD divided by the mass of drug). This manuscript discusses strategies for maximizing each of these terms. Spray drying at low drying rates with small amounts of a shell-forming excipient (low Peclet Number) leads to formation of higher density particles with high packing densities. This enables ultrahigh TLD (>100 mg of drug) to be achieved from a single receptacle. Emptying of powder from capsules is directly proportional to the mass of powder in the receptacle, requiring an inhaled volume of about 1 L for fill masses between 40 and 50 mg and up to 3.2 L for a fill mass of 150 mg.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer; cisplatin; chemoresistance; molecular mechanisms
Online: 14 July 2021 (11:25:13 CEST)
Cancer cells utilize a number of mechanisms to increase their survival and progression as well as their resistance to anticancer therapy: deregulation of growth regulatory pathways by acquiring grow factor independence, immune system suppression, reducing the expression of antigens activating T lymphocyte cells (mimicry), induction of anti-apoptotic signals to counter the action of drugs, activation of several DNA repair mechanisms and driving the active efflux of drugs from the cell cytoplasm and epigenetic regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs). Due to the fact that it is commonly diagnosed late, lung cancer remains a major malignancy with a low five-year survival rate; when diagnosed, the cancer is often highly advanced and the cancer cells may have acquired drug resistance. This review summarizes the main mechanisms involved in cisplatin resistance and in interactions between cisplatin-resistant cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment. It also analyses changes in the gene expression profile of cisplatin sensitive vs. cisplatin resistant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cellular model using the GSE108214 Gene Expression Omnibus database. It describes a protein-protein interaction network that indicates highly-dysregulated TP53, MDM2 and CDKN1A genes as they encodes the top networking proteins that may be involved in cisplatin tolerance, these all being upregulated in cisplatin-resistant cells. Furthermore, it illustrates the multifactorial nature of cisplatin resistance by examining the diversity of dysregulated pathways present in cisplatin-resistant NSCLC cells based on KEGG pathway analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0577.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Melanoma patients; Small Extracellular Vesicles; Proteomics; Fatty acids; Biomarkers
Online: 24 May 2021 (15:07:09 CEST)
The early detection of cutaneous melanoma, a potentially lethal cancer with rising incidence, is key to increase survival and therapeutic adjustment. Especially in stages II-IV biomarkers are urgently needed for adjuvant therapy purposes after resection and for treatment of metastatic patients. We here investigated if fatty acid (FA) and protein composition of small extracellular vesicles (sEV) deriving from plasma of 0-I, II, and III-IV stage melanoma patients (n=38) could reflect disease stage and thus function as biomarker. The subpopulation of sEV expressing CD81 (CD81sEV) was isolated by an ad hoc immune affinity technique from microvesicle-depleted plasma. Biological macromolecules were investigated by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry in CD81sEV. A higher content of FA and a decrease in Saturation Index (C18:0/C18:1), already detectable in early stages, distinguished patients’ from healthy donor CD81sEV. Proteomics (identifier PXD024434) detected an exclusive and significant increase of CD14, PON1, PON3 and APOA5 in stage II and a significant decrease of Rap1b in stage III-IV CD81sEV. The FA and proteomic stage dependent CD81sEV signature strengthens the potential of circulating sEV studies in providing discriminatory information for early diagnosis, prediction of metastatic behavior and follow up of melanoma patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0179.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: RNA interference; dsRNA delivery; small RNA production; dsRNA formulation
Online: 5 March 2021 (10:01:04 CET)
Plant pathogenic fungi are the largest group of disease-causing agents on crop plants and represent a persistent and significant threat to agriculture worldwide. Conventional approaches based on the use of pesticides raise social concern for the impact on the environment and human health and alternative control methods are urgently needed. The rapid improvement and extensive implementation of RNAi technology for various model and non-model organisms has provided the initial framework to adapt this post-transcriptional gene silencing technology for the management of fungal pathogens. In this review, we describe exogenous RNAi involved in plant pathogenic fungi and discuss small RNA production, formulation, and RNAi delivery methods. We explore some challenges with possible solutions. Furthermore, exogenous RNAi holds great potential for RNAi-mediated plant pathogenic fungal disease control.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0033.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Nicotine; carcinogenesis; growth; toxicity; Carcinoma; Non-Small-Cell Lung
Online: 4 June 2020 (12:14:49 CEST)
Nicotine exposure may affect NSCLC is associated with lung cancer in humans. Whether nicotine exhibits carcinogenesis promoted activities in tumor growth still unknown. Nicotine is known to have dichotomous effects on cancer biology, acting like a pro- or anti-carcinogenesis agent. There are different functions between adenocarcinoma and squamous NSCLC cancer cells. Excess generation of nicotine may inhibit mitochondrial metabolism, protein modification, and DNA cleavage. Materials and Methods: We used the H520 NSCLC line obtained from human lung epithelial cells to detected nicotine growth and toxicity using MTT assay and western blotting. The concentration of nicotine stimulated cell growth to correspond to low concentration, while high concentration was cytotoxic. Results: According to MTT assay results, at 1.0 μM nicotine has significantly enhanced the H520 cell viability (%). Nicotine induced lung cancer carcinogenesis through mechanisms of α7nAchR, EGFR, HDAC2/4/5, Cyclin D/Cyclin E, Bcl-2, p-Akt, and inflammatory proteins of NF-KappaB and COX2 increases at 1.0 μM. Apoptosis proteins were decreases at 1.0 μM nicotine by p21, p27, c-jun, and p38α using western blotting. Nicotine stimulates tumor growth is mediated through α7nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChR), possibly involving inflammation. On the other hand, at high nicotine concentrations (> 1.0 μM) with consistent cytotoxic effects and appeared to be due to direct cell kill. Nicotine can prevent apoptosis induced by NSCLC. Conclusion: Therefore, the effects on chemotherapeutics by NSCLC malignant cell lines, nicotine in concentrations as low as 1.0 μM decreased. These mechanisms are responsible for the genotoxic effects caused by nicotine. This leads to downstream effects on decreased apoptosis, increased cell proliferation and transformation. The malignant NSCLC cells respond to the treatment with nicotine in lung cancer, the nicotine-mediated induction of growth may provide one of its links to α7nAchR or EGFR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0428.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: small hydropower plant; river flow; seasonal forecast; energy production
Online: 28 February 2020 (12:15:43 CET)
The operation feasibility of small hydropower plants in mountainous sites is subjected to the run-of-river flow which is also depending on a high variability in precipitation and snow cover. Moreover, the management of this kind of systems has to be performed with some particular operation conditions of the plant (e.g. turbine minimum and maximum discharge) but also some environmental flow requirements. In this context, a technological climate service is conceived in tight connection with end users, perfectly answering the needs of the management of small hydropower systems in a pilot area, and providing forecast of river streamflow together with other operation data. This paper presents an overview of the service but also a set of lessons learnt related to features, requirements and considerations to bear in mind from the point of view of climate services developers. In addition, the outcomes give insight into how this kind of services could change the traditional management (normally based on the past experience), providing a probability range of future river flow based on future weather scenarios according to the range of future weather possibilities. This highlights the utility of the co-generation process to implement climate services for water and energy fields but also that seasonal climate forecast could improve the business as usual of this kind of facilities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0281.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: migrants; sense of belonging; small town; stranger; South Sudanese
Online: 30 January 2018 (10:35:53 CET)
Australian regional areas are now receiving significant numbers of migrants from the African continent. Predominantly Anglo-Saxon communities perceive these ‘newcomers’ as physically and culturally different. Asking, however, how African migrants themselves construct relationships with local communities and build a sense of belonging in regional and rural areas is a very different question. This paper explores South Sudanese migrants’experiences conceptualising their sense of belonging in a small county town: Castlemaine, Victoria. Focus group discussions show that even with the welcoming atmosphere and support from the local community, South Sudanese migrants are still attracted to metropolitan environments that have greater diversity, feeling more at home in such settings. Using the theoretical background of a stranger, this paper argues the cities allow strangers be un-noticed letting them feel at ‘home’. Findings from the study show settings with greater diversity encourage negotiating difference openly and easing power imbalances among different groups.Finally, the locality of Castlemaine, within easy commuting distance to metropolitan Melbourne and suburbs, is considered in relation to hypermobility reducing the capacity to construct ‘bridging capital’ within such local communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0048.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: microbial contamination; bacteria; contamination sources; small watershed; Tibetan Plateau
Online: 12 September 2017 (16:01:26 CEST)
Microbial contamination is now more common than chemical contamination in Tibet, and water-borne microbes can cause a number of diseases that threaten public health. Thus, in order to clarify the spatiotemporal distribution of bacteria in small watersheds for which there is no data in Tibet, we set up four sampling points along an upstream-downstream transect of the Xincang River Basin. We collected 239 water samples in 2014 and 2015, and evaluated their total constituent numbers of bacteria (TB) and coliforms (TC). The results of this study show that the microbial contamination of the Xincang River Basin is mild-to-moderate in terms of TB and TC contents, and that these concentrations vary significantly in different seasons. Results show that in summer TB and TC concentrations in the downstream section of this river were highest and that microbial contamination was most serious. Data also demonstrate that precipitation is the most important factor underlying increases in TB and TC concentrations during the summer months; both these variables are significantly correlated with precipitation, while animal husbandry and domestic sewage are the main sources of microbial contamination overall. The results of this study are likely to reflect the basic characteristics of small watersheds for which there is no data to some extent, and are thus of significant practical importance for protecting their ecological environments and promoting sustainable development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0396.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics Keywords: Galaxies; Large-scale structure of Universe; Cosmic anisotropy
Online: 26 July 2022 (08:08:06 CEST)
The paper shows an analysis of the large-scale distribution of galaxy spin directions of 739,286 galaxies imaged by DES. The distribution of the spin directions of the galaxies exhibits a large-scale dipole axis. Comparison of the location of the dipole axis to a similar analysis with data from SDSS, Pan-STARRS, and DESI Legacy Survey shows that all sky surveys exhibit dipole axes well within 1$\sigma$ error from each other. While non-random distribution is unexpected, the findings are consistent across all sky surveys, regardless of the telescope or whether the data were annotated manually or automatically. Possible errors that can lead to the observation are discussed. The paper also discusses previous studies showing opposite conclusions, and analyzes the decisions that led to these results. Although the observation is provocative, and further research will be required, the existing evidence justifies to consider the contention that galaxy spin directions as observed from Earth are not necessarily randomly distributed. Possible explanations can be related to mature cosmological theories, but also to the internal structure of galaxies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0024.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: multi scale; quality of life; wavelets; mathematical models
Online: 1 March 2022 (13:32:59 CET)
The present paper is concerned with the study of the quality of life index. Such an index has become an important index for measuring the well-being of individuals. However, the quality of life index is always a subjective, intangible, and often hard to quantify with precision due to the lack of quantitative models dealing with. The main goal of the present paper is thus to propose a mathematical, quantitative model for the measurement of a quality of life index. The main novelty is firstly the construction of a wavelet dynamic multiscale model to quantify and investigate the effect of time scale on the quality of life index measuring. The proposed procedure is acted empirically on a sample corresponding to Saudi Arabia as a case of study during the period from 2003 to 2020 as part of the 2030-vision plan. Saudi Arabia has implemented the so-called 2030-vision plan where the quality of life improvement is one of the main goals to be attempted. The findings show that wavelets are capable to localize the time-wise behavior of the index contrarily to classical studies which estimate a global view of the index. Moreover, the study shows the link between the quality of life behavior and many other indices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0195.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: large-scale model; hydrology; groundwater; reservoirs; Cauvery; Narmada.
Online: 13 September 2021 (09:17:28 CEST)
A robust hydrological assessment is challenging in regions where human interference, within all aspects of the hydrological system, significantly alters the flow regime of rivers. The challenge was to extend a large-scale water resources model, GWAVA, to better represent water resources without increasing the model complexity. A groundwater and a regulated reservoir routine were incorporated into GWAVA using modifications of the existing AMBHAS-1D and Hanasaki methodologies, respectively. The groundwater routine can be varied in complexity when sufficient input data is available but fundamentally is driven by three input parameters. The reservoir routine was extended to account for the presence of large, regulated reservoirs using two calibratable parameters. The additional groundwater processes and reservoir regulation was tested in two highly anthropogenically influenced basins in India: the Cauvery and Narmada. The inclusion of the revised groundwater routine improved the simulation of streamflow in the headwater catchments and was successful in improving the representation of the baseflow component. In addition, the model was able to produce a time series of daily groundwater levels, recharge to groundwater and groundwater abstraction. The regulated reservoir routine improved the simulation of streamflow in catchments downstream of major reservoirs, where the streamflow was largely reflective of reservoir releases, when calibrated using downstream observed streamflow records. The model was able to provide a more robust representation of the annual volume and daily outflow released from the major reservoirs and simulate the major reservoir storages adequately. The addition of one-dimensional groundwater processes and a regulated reservoir routine proved successful in improving the model performance and traceability of water balance components, without excessively increasing the model complexity and input data requirements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0770.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: shear test; scale effect; roughness; photogrammetry; friction angle
Online: 31 May 2021 (12:35:04 CEST)
An accurate understanding of jointed rock mass behavior is important in many applications ranging from deep geological disposal of nuclear waste to deep mining to urban geoengineering projects. The roughness of rock fractures and the matching of the fracture surfaces are the key contributors to the shear strength of rock fractures. In this research, push shear tests with three normal stress levels of 3.6, 6.0, and 8.5 kPa were conducted with two granite samples with artificially induced well-matching tensile fractures with sizes of 500 mm × 250 mm and 1000 mm × 500 mm. The large sample reached on average a -60 % weaker peak shear stress than the medium-sized sample, and a strong negative scale effect was observed in the peak shear strength. The roughness of the surfaces was measured using a profilometer and photogrammetry. The scale-corrected profilometer-based method (JRC) underestimates the peak friction angle for the medium-sized slabs by -27 % for the medium sample and -9 % for the large sample. The photogrammetry-based (Z’2) method produces an estimate with -7% (medium) and +12 % (large) errors. The photogrammetry-based Z’2 is an objective method that consistently produces usable estimates for the JRC and peak friction angle.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0674.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: fast catamaran; shallow water resistance; full-scale CFD
Online: 26 April 2021 (13:25:12 CEST)
The present paper investigates numerically the resistance at full-scale of a zero-emission, high-speed catamaran in both deep and shallow water, with the Froude number ranging from 0.2 to 0.8. The numerical methods are validated by two means: a) comparison with available model tests; b) a blind validation using two different flow solvers. The resistance, sinkage and trim of the catamaran, as well as the wave pattern, longitudinal wave cuts and cross-flow fields, are examined. The total resistance curve in deep water shows a continuous increase with the Froude number while in shallow water, a hump is witnessed near the critical speed. This difference is mainly caused by the pressure component of total resistance, which is significantly affected by the interaction between the wave systems created by the demihulls. The pressure resistance in deep water is maximised at a Froude number around 0.58, whereas the peak in shallow water is achieved near the critical speed (Froude number ≈ 0.3). Insight into the underlying physics is obtained by analysing the wave creation between the demihulls. Profoundly different wave patterns within the inner region are observed in deep and shallow water. Specifically, in deep water, both crests and troughs are generated and moved astern as the increase of the Froude number. The maximum pressure resistance is accomplished when the secondary trough is created at the stern, leading to the largest trim angle. In contrast, the catamaran generates a critical wave normal to the advance direction in shallow water, which significantly elevates the bow and creates the highest trim angle as well as pressure resistance. Moreover, significant wave elevations are observed between the demihulls at supercritical speeds in shallow water which may affect the decision for the location of the wet deck.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0110.v1
Online: 7 June 2020 (16:42:16 CEST)
Perovskite based solar cells have achieved tremendous progress reaching record efficiency in the past 5 years. Numerous new processes and chemistry have been reported and contribute to the perovskite rapid progress. Continuous efficiency improvements are still necessary for perovskite solar cells, and an exploratory data analysis on devices performance over multiple studies could boost the technology development. Such analysis could identify patterns or provide insights that are not obvious in a single study. Here we present a high quality dataset containing only independently certified Pb-based perovskite solar cells summarizing their efficiency, relevant I-V metrics, manufacturing processes and materials used. Analysis over the dataset provides insights on how aperture size, perovskite deposition methods and materials used in each functional layer affect the final solar cell efficiency and I-V metrics. Future directions are also suggested for efficiency improvements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0426.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: information; cities; interaction; environmental information; entropy; scale; enaction
Online: 10 October 2018 (05:32:09 CEST)
From physics to the social sciences, information is now seen as a fundamental component of reality. However, a form of information seems still underestimated, perhaps precisely because it is so pervasive that we take it for granted: the information encoded in the very environment we live in. We still do not fully understand how information takes the form of cities, and how our minds deal with it in order to learn about the world, make daily decisions, and take part in the complex system of interactions we create as we live together. This paper addresses three related problems that need to be solved if we are to understand the role of environmental information: (1) the physical problem: how can we preserve information in the built environment? (2) The semantic problem: how do we make environmental information meaningful? And (3) the pragmatic problem: how do we enact environmental information in our daily lives? Attempting to devise a solution to these problems, we introduce a three-layered model of information in cities, namely environmental information in physical space, environmental information in semantic space, and the information enacted by interacting agents. We propose forms of calculating entropy in these different layers, and apply these measures to archetypal urban cases and simulated scenarios. Our results suggest that ordered spatial structures and diverse land use patterns encode information, and that aspects of physical and semantic information affect coordination in interaction systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0171.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: geomechanics; fractures; multi-scale; x-ray tomography; carbonates
Online: 10 May 2018 (16:24:06 CEST)
Abstract: Comparing outcrop data to laboratory results is important to verify and validate experiments of analogue and reservoir materials especially regarding conditions for deformation experiments. This is important better understand highly complex carbonate reservoir strata and their response to changes in subsurface conditions, reducing subsurface uncertainty. This study develops methods to allow for a more straightforward comparison of outcrop data (m-scale) with experimentally created fracture arrays developed in cylindrical samples (cm-scale). The main objective is to assess usefulness of experimentally-produced fracture networks as analogues for subsurface structures, typically at the meter and above scale by developing new techniques to use the lab deformation. It analyses key characteristics of laboratory-induced fracture networks by adapting scanline methods to use with x-ray tomography (XRT) images to allow for comparison with outcrop and field data. To test and verify these new methods two low permeability carbonate samples were used for deformation testing and analysis. Applying the different scanline methods we show that they can be used to analyse lab induced fractures (mm to cm-scale) identified in XRT images for comparison with outcrop data (m-scale). In addition, these methods also allow for quantification of fracture network attributes e.g. fracture spacing, fracture apertures, orientation. This new data bridges the gap between micro-scanlines using thin sections and outcrop scanlines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0600.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: heparan sulfate; glycosaminoglycan; carbohydrate biosynthesis; azido sugar; small molecule inhibitor
Online: 25 May 2021 (10:17:59 CEST)
The glycosaminoglycan, heparan sulphate (HS), orchestrates many developmental processes. Yet its biological role has not yet fully been elucidated. Small molecule chemical inhibitors can be used to perturb HS function and these compounds pro-vide cheap alternatives to genetic manipulation methods. However, existing chemical inhibition methods for HS also interfere with chondroitin sulphate (CS), complicating data interpretation of HS function. Herein, a simple method for the selective inhibition of HS biosynthesis is described. Using endogenous metabolic sugar pathways, Ac4GalNAz produces UDP-GlcNAz, which can target HS synthesis. Cell treatment with Ac4GalNAz resulted in defective chain elongation of the polymer and decreased HS expression. Conversely, no adverse effect on CS production was observed. The inhibition was transient and dose-dependent, affording rescue of HS expression after removal of the unnatural azido sugar. The utility of inhibition is demonstrated in cell culture and in whole or-ganisms, demonstrating that this small molecule can be used as a tool for HS inhibition in biological systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0155.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Sustainability; Processes; Small boats; Catch handling; Standardisation of operations; Efficiency.
Online: 5 April 2021 (16:44:28 CEST)
Small boat fishers are often the lifeblood of remote coastal communities in Iceland, contributing to employment, jobs and economic prosperity. This study conducts exploratory but highly practical research into the efficiency of onboard catch handling practices by Icelandic small boat fishers using fish handling tools called automatic jigging machines. Using applied research methods, this study researches whether standardisation of operations could be applied to make catch handling practices on small boats more time and resource efficient, leading to reduced waste, a consistently higher quality product, and potential increases in economic efficiency and sustainability. Thematic analysis, value stream mapping, flow analysis and Kaizen ideology were adopted to identify gaps and continuous improvement opportunities to standardise processes, leading to exemplary performance. Eight core recommendations are identified, seven of which are classed as straight-forward, ‘do now’ measures according to a Kaizen Priority Matrix. These include human and technological interventions in the areas of safety, organisational arrangements, hygiene, fish handling and bleeding, and cooling. Questionnaire responses reveal four main themes of importance to the sub-sector: changes in recent decades; the importance of small boat fishers; education and improvement; and the particularities of the sub-industry. The latter include the perception of a ‘race against time’ to land the catch, an issue that sometimes contributes to sub-optimal catch handling practices. Although this study has decidedly practical connotations for small boat fishers, its outcomes are also likely to be of interest to academics, particularly those focused on the organisational management of natural resources and general applications of the project management methodology and applied research methods as a means of solving practical problems in everyday life.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0496.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: non-coding; leukemia; B-cell; RNA-sequencing; small RNA-sequencing
Online: 22 February 2021 (16:33:30 CET)
Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) comprise a diverse class of non-protein coding transcripts that regulate critical cellular processes associated with cancer. Advances in RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) have led to the characterization of non-coding RNA expression across different types of human cancers. Through comprehensive RNA-Seq profiling, a growing number of studies demonstrate that ncRNAs, including long non-coding RNA (lncRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNA), play central roles in progenitor B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL) pathogenesis. Furthermore, due to their central roles in cellular homeostasis and their potential as biomarkers, the study of ncRNAs continues to provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms of B-ALL. This article reviews the ncRNA signatures reported for all B-ALL subtypes, focusing on technological developments in transcriptome profiling and recently discovered examples of ncRNAs with biologic and therapeutic relevance in B-ALL.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0167.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Island nations, Tourism, Small Island Nations, economic development, tropical islands
Online: 8 January 2021 (14:29:52 CET)
In the past few decades, the tourism sector has emerged as a significant economic activity in island nations, particularly in tropical regions. However, most of the tropical islands face similar constraints. National and international tourists visit the SIDS including A & N Islands and contribute to the GDP to significant share. The Covid-19 outbreaks in SIDs including A & N islands shows that number of people infected were less as compared to metros or big cities. However, tourism activities completely stopped due to lockdown resulting in decreasing tourist’s arrival, declined GDP and per capita income of SIDs to greater extent. The information gathered from various sources, mass media and net analysed and interpreted in this chapter. Due to Covid-19 tourist’s arrival declined which has serious consequences on the livelihood of islander. Our analysis revealed A&N Islands deficit in energy available at from different sources by 18.26%. However, they are surplus in protein. The burden of high expenditure coupled with poor infrastructure makes them more vulnerable in the circumstance of pandemic outbreaks. This outbreak has created the question of survival due to loss of jobs, halted economic activates, psychological, health unrest and livelihood threats among the depending people of these Island nations. Therefore, government interventions and subsidized package is very much essential to revive the tourism industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0477.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Exportin-1; Eriodictyol; Juglans mandshurica; Non-small cell lung cancer
Online: 23 October 2020 (10:19:32 CEST)
Exportin-1, the ubiquitous nuclear protein transporter, is widely confirmed as an active chemotherapeutic target in non-small cell lung cancer condition while Juglans mandshurica is a well-studied anticancer plant in some lung cancer cell lines. We intend to find novel exportin-1 inhibitor from Juglans mandshurica with better potential tolerability and pharmaco-dynamo-kinetic properties than the current selective inhibitors of nuclear export in non-small cell lung cancer treatment. Osiris property explorer DataWarrior, Glide standard precision docking, quantum mechanics polarized ligand docking, MMGBSA binding free energy calculations, Jaguar density functional theory analysis, and the online web-based SwissADME were employed respectively in this study to filter the retrieved compounds based on tolerability, toxicity, and Lipinsky’s rule of five violation potential, determine their druggability, establish relative stability of the lead compound in water solvation model, and evaluates druglikeness, lead-likeness, as well as synthetic accessibility of the lead compound. This study reveals eriodictyol as having higher binding free energy (-40 kcal/mol) than that of standard (-39.56 kcal/mol) in exportin-1 active site, better synthetic accessibility score (3.15 versus 3.29), high GI absorption, non-blood brain barrier permeant, lacks Brenk and PAINS alert, obeying Lipinski’s, Ghose’s, Veber’s, Egan’s, and Muegge’s rule of druglikeness and lead-likeness as well as non-cytotoxic to HepG2 cells. We therefore found eriodictyol as a lead-like, non-toxic exportin-1 inhibitor with good predictive stability and pharmacokinetic potential and thus provided data for further validation of eriodictyol as a candidate exportin-1 inhibitor in both preclinical and clinical studies involving lung cancer therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0146.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: conventional agriculture; land degradation; small-holders; multinomial logistic regression; Nepal
Online: 9 March 2020 (01:24:35 CET)
Land degradation is a critical issue globally putting our future generations at risk. The decrease in farm productivity over the years is evidence of land degradation severity in Nepal. Among the many strategies in place, agroforestry, which is an integrated tree-based farming, is widely recommended to address this productivity issue. This paper thoroughly examines what influences the choice of agroforestry adoption by farmers and what discourages the adoption. For this, a total of 288 households were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. Two agroforestry practices were compared with conventional agriculture with the help of the Multinomial Logistic Regression (MNL) model. The likelihood of adoption was found to be influenced by gender; the male-headed households were more likely to adopt the tree-based farming practice. Having a source of off-farm income was positively associated with the adoption decision of farmers. Area of farmland was found being the major constraint to agroforestry adoption for smallholder farmers. Some other variables that affected positively included livestock herd size, provision of extension service, home-to- forest distance, farmers’ group membership and awareness of farmers about environmental benefits of agroforestry. Irrigation was another adoption constraint that the study area farmers were faced with. The households with means of transport and with larger family (household) size were found to be reluctant towards agroforestry adoption. A collective farming practice could be a strategy to engage the smallholder farmers in agroforestry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0185.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: rainfall-runoff; multiple temporal scales; non-linearity; small catchments; Mediterranean
Online: 15 November 2019 (16:56:57 CET)
Mediterranean catchments are characterized by significant spatial and temporal hydrological variability caused by the interaction of natural as well human-induced abiotic and biotic factors. This study investigates the (non-)linearity rainfall-runoff relationship at multiple temporal scales in representative small Mediterranean catchments (i.e., < 10 km2) to achieve a better understanding of the hydrological response. Rainfall-runoff relationship was evaluated in 44 catchments at annual and event –203 events in 12 of these 44 catchments– scales. A linear rainfall-runoff relation was observed at annual scale with higher scatter in pervious than impervious catchments. Larger scattering was observed at event scale, although pervious lithology and agricultural land use promoted significant rainfall-runoff linear relations in winter and spring. These relationships were particularly analysed during five hydrological years in Es Fangar catchment (3.35 km2; Mallorca, Spain) as a temporal downscaling to assess intra-annual variability in which antecedent wetness conditions played a significant role in runoff generation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0328.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: proton exchange membranes; semi-crystalline polymers; small-angle neutron scattering
Online: 29 September 2019 (06:25:39 CEST)
Membranes based on sulfonated synditoactic polystyrene were thoroughly characterized by contrast variation SANS over a wide Q-range in dry and hydrated states. The film samples were prepared by solid-state sulfonation that allowed a uniform sulfonation of only the amorphous phase while preserving the crystallinity of the membrane. The samples were loaded with different guest molecules in either the amorphous (fullerenes) or the crystalline (toluene) regions, in order to vary the neutron contrast or to reproduce the conditions enabling an increased resistance of the membranes to chemical decomposition. The use of uni-axially deformed film samples and contrast variation with different H2O/D2O mixtures allowed for the identification and characterization of different structural levels with sizes between nm and μm, which form and evolve in the membrane morphology in dry and hydrated states and produce scattering features on different detection sectors and at different detection distances after the sample, depending on their size and orientation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0254.v1
Subject: Keywords: metabolomics; sphingomyelins; plasma; cerebral small vessel disease; neurodegeneration; brain atropy
Online: 28 March 2019 (05:27:23 CET)
Background: Plasma metabolites are associated with cognitive and physical function in the elderly. Because cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) and neurodegeneration are common causes of cognitive and physical function decline, the primary objective of this study was to investigate the associations of six plasma metabolites (two plasma phosphatidylcholines [PCs]: PC aa C36:5 and PC aa 36:6 and four sphingomyelins [SMs]: SM C26:0, SM [OH] C22:1, SM [OH] C22:2, SM [OH] C24:1) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of cerebral SVD and neurodegeneration in older adults. Methods: This study included 238 older adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study at the fifth exam. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the association of each metabolite (log-transformed) in separate models with MRI measures except lacunar infarcts, for which binary logistic regression was used. Results: Higher concentrations of plasma PC aa C36:5 had adverse associations with MRI features of cerebral SVD (odds ratio of 1.69 [95% confidence interval: 1.01, 2.83] with lacunar infarct, and beta of 0.16 log [cm3] [0.02, 0.30] with log [White Matter Hyperintensities (WMH) volume]) while higher concentrations of 3 plasma SM (OH)s were associated with higher total brain volume (beta of 12.0 cm3 [5.5, 18.6], 11.8 cm3 [5.0, 18.6], and 7.3 cm3 [1.2, 13.5] for SM [OH] C22:1, SM [OH] C22:2, and SM [OH] C24:1, respectively). Conclusions: This study identified associations between certain plasma metabolites and brain MRI measures of SVD and neurodegeneration in older adults, particularly higher SM (OH) concentrations with higher total brain volume.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0022.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: pressure drop; CFD; Casson fluid; blood; hematocrit; small-vessel; microfluidics
Online: 3 September 2018 (10:58:39 CEST)
The aim of this study is to provide the scientists with a straightforward correlation that can be applied for predicting the Fanning friction factor and consequently the pressure drop during blood flow in small caliber vessels. Due to the small diameter of the conduit, the Reynolds numbers are low and thus the flow is laminar. The study has been conducted using CFD simulations validated with relevant experimental data acquired using an appropriate experimental set-up. The experiments concern pressure drop measurement during the flow of a blood analogue that follows the Casson model, i.e. an aqueous glycerol solution that contains a small amount of xanthan gum and exhibits similar behavior to blood, in a smooth, stainless steel microtube (L=5.6cm and D=400 μm). The interpretation of the resulting numerical data led to the proposal of a simplified model that incorporates the effect of the flow rate, the hematocrit value (35-55%) and the vessel diameter (300-1800 μm) and predicts with better than ±10% the Fanning friction factor and consequently the pressure drop during laminar blood flow in small caliber vessels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0067.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: Wavelets; Multi scale; Mathematical models; Brand sales.; Brand prices
Online: 6 May 2022 (09:11:54 CEST)
Marketing is the manner of how to make our sales the best in the market, our prices the most accessible, our clients satisfactory, and thus our brand is the largest distributed. This needs sophisticated and advanced understanding of the total network related. Indeed, marketing data may be seen in different forms such as qualitative and quantitative. However, in the literature, it is easily noticed that large bibliography may be collected about qualitative studies, against few studies on the quantitative point of view. This is a major drawback that makes the marketing science still focusing on the design, although the market is strongly depending on quantities such as money and time. Indeed, marketing data may be a time series such as brand sales per specified periods, brand related-prices over specified periods, market shares, ..., etc. The purpose of the present work is to investigate some marketing models based on time series due to brands. We will precisely study the effect of the time scale on the persistence of brands sales in the market and on the forecasting of such a persistence according to the characteristics of the brand and the related market competition or competitors. Our study is acted on a sample of Saudi brands during the period November 22, 2017 to December 30, 2021.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0208.v1
Subject: Keywords: Adaptation; Failure; Feedback; Innovation; Learning; Sanitation; Scale-up; Success
Online: 14 October 2021 (08:21:38 CEST)
Background This paper draws learnings and successes based on field implementation experience spanning four years (2016–2019) of implementing CLTS by Prince of Peace Orphans and Widows Vision, a community-based organization located in Kaberamaido district in eastern Uganda. Methods The study aimed to document, disseminate and inform from an evidence-based point of view how adaptation and collaborative engagements triggers learning from mistakes to inform iterative changes from improvements and success.This is a descriptive paper that used project documents review based on field implementation experience. Existing project reports were synthesised, collated and curated for evidence. Data were drawn from project reports and records to inform narratives in writing. Implementation of the project was executed in homogenous rural communities occupied by people of the same dialect, cultural and social settings. Results We note that success in CLTS implementation can hardly be achieved by merely following prescriptions in handbooks and guidelines but rather by devising innovative community engagement and other participatory and community-driven techniques that foster adaptive management, promote ownership, and buy-in.Having learned from our failures, we used data to inform decisions and transformatively deviated from traditional CLTS implementation and introduced high impact and innovative approaches such as the use of CLTS helpdesks and Situation room, the Pamoja approach, learning labs and iterative feedback loops, innovatively tackling slippage and carefully introducing the follow-up mandona approach. These enhanced experiential learning and ultimately resulted in sustained sanitation behaviour. Conclusions The CLTS approach as outlined in the handbook needs to be flexibly adapted to address contextual needs. Reflective and learning sessions reinforced with routine feedback loops from implementers and beneficiaries yields tremendous results, propagates experiential learning, and ultimately results in a transformative deviation from undesirable to desired sanitation behaviours. These innovative approaches once carefully blended have proved to be sustainable, are adaptable and can work in an even larger scale and in a variety of contexts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0197.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: fishery waste; epoxy; fish scale; ammonium polyphosphate; flame retardant
Online: 8 July 2021 (11:04:10 CEST)
In this study, a composite flame retardant was created by combining fish scale (FS), fishery waste, and ammonium polyphosphate (APP), a commercially available flame retardant. The composite flame retardant was added to epoxy resin (EP) to form an EP/APP/FS composite that prevents burns and is environmentally friendly. The use of FS conforms to the concept of circular economy and lowers costs by reducing the consumption of APP. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), integral procedural decomposition temperature (IPDT), pyrolysis kinetics, limiting oxygen index (LOI), the Underwriters Laboratories 94 (UL94) flammability test, scanning election microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to determine the thermal properties, flame retardant properties, flame retardant mechanism, char morphology, and composition of the composites. The TGA results indicated that the addition of 40% flame retardant raised the char residue from 16.45 wt% (pure EP) to 36.07 wt%, IPDT from 685.6 °C (pure EP) to 1143.1°C, LOI from 21% (pure EP) to 30%, and UL94 classification from fail (pure EP) to V-0. These results suggest an increase in char residue, which indicates better protection of the polymer matrix material. The improvements in IPDT, LOI, and UL94 classification, which indicate greater thermal stability, lower flammability (from flammable to fireproof), and higher flammability rating (from fail to V-0), respectively, suggest that the composite material has favorable thermal properties and is less inflammable.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0003.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Eco-friendly; water-based nanolubricant; industrial-scale; hot rolling
Online: 1 October 2020 (08:52:21 CEST)
Eco-friendly and low-cost water-based nanolubricants containing rutile TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) were developed for accelerating their applications in industrial-scale hot steel rolling. The lubrication performance of developed nanolubricants was evaluated in a 2-high Hille 100 experimental rolling mill at a rolling temperature of 850 ℃ in comparison to that of pure water. The results indicate that the use of nanolubricant enables to decrease the rolling force, reduce the surface roughness and the oxide scale thickness, and enhance the surface hardness. In particular, the nanolubricant consisting of 4 wt% TiO2, 10 wt% glycerol, 0.2 wt% sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) and 1 wt% Snailcool exhibits the best lubrication performance by lowering the rolling force, surface roughness and oxide scale thickness up to 8.1%, 53.7% and 50%, respectively. The surface hardness is increased by 4.4%. The corresponding lubrication mechanisms are attributed to its superior wettability and thermal conductivity associated with the synergistic effect of rolling, mending and laminae forming that are contributed by TiO2 NPs.
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: Penetration mechanisms; gels, particles; mucus, biofilms; multi-scale modeling
Online: 7 August 2020 (04:03:13 CEST)
Biological gels (bio-gels) are hydrated polymer networks that serve diverse biological functions, which often lead to intentional or unintentional exposure to particulate matter. In this work, we derive a microscopically motivated framework that enables the investigation of penetration mechanisms into bio-gels. We distinguish between two types of mechanisms: spontaneous (unforced) penetration and forced penetration. Using experimental data available in literature, we exploit the proposed model to characterize and compare between the micro-structures of respiratory, intestinal, and cervicovaginal mucus and two types of biofilms. Next, we investigate the forced penetration process of spherical and ellipsoidal particles into a locally quadrilateral network. The proposed framework can be used to improve and complement the analysis of experimental findings in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. Additionally, the insights from this work pave the way towards enhanced designs of nano-medicines and allow to assess risk factors related to the nano-pollutants exposure.
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics Keywords: cosmology; large scale structure; huge filaments; space-time deformation
Online: 20 May 2020 (06:52:32 CEST)
Huge filaments with scales from several hundred megaparsecs to gigaparsecs are detected in the distribution of galaxies and clusters, quasars, gamma-bursters. The hypothesis on the nature of the huge filaments as regions of space-time deformation is proposed. An anisotropic deformation of the local region is described by the strain tensor, it depends on the velocities of matter. Galaxies get an extra velocity in the region, which leads to the formation of filamentary structures. The class of exact solution of the GR equations is constructed by introducing the special definition of the Christoffel symbols as function of the velocity of matter. With a definition of these symbols, the motion matter equation turns into identity. For the sake of simplicity, an ideal fluid is considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0093.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Anesthesiology Keywords: Ketamine; Paravertebral block; Posterolateral thoracotomy; Thoracotomy; Visual analog scale
Online: 7 February 2020 (09:28:16 CET)
Severe postoperative pain affects most patients after thoracotomy and is a risk factor for post-thoracotomy pain syndrome (PTPS). This randomized controlled trial compared preemptively administered ketamine versus paravertebral block (PVB) versus control in patients undergoing posterolateral thoracotomy. The primary outcome was acute pain intensity on the visual analog scale (VAS) on the first postoperative day. Secondary outcomes included morphine consumption, patient satisfaction, and PTPS assessment with Neuropathic Pain Syndrome Inventory (NPSI). Acute pain intensity was significantly lower with PVB compared to other groups at four out of six time points. Patients in the PVB group used significantly less morphine via a patient-controlled analgesia pump than participants in other groups. Moreover, patients were more satisfied with postoperative pain management after PVB. PVB, but not ketamine, decreased PTPS intensity at 1, 3, and 6 months after posterolateral thoracotomy. Acute pain intensity at hour 8 and PTPS intensity at month 3 correlated positively with PTPS at month 6. Bodyweight was negatively associated with chronic pain at month 6. Thus, PVB but not preemptively administered ketamine decreases both acute and chronic pain intensity following posterolateral thoracotomies. The trial was prospectively registered at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (https://www.anzctr.org.au/; ACTRN12616000900415; 07 July 2016).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0096.v1
Online: 9 October 2019 (10:16:32 CEST)
In this work a modified version of the well-known Simple Water Balance (SWB) model, comprising here three parameters instead of one, was used. Although simple, the model was tested in large-scale river basins in east-central Greece, upstream two hydrometric stations. The available historic runoff records comprised 19 hydrologic years each, on a monthly basis. Thirteen among them were used for calibrating the model, whereas the six subsequent, for validating it. Two different efficiency criteria were used as a measure of performance of the modified model. Their values, calculated for both calibration and validation stages, were close and relatively high. Thus, keeping in mind both the size and complexity of the river basins studied, one can conclude that the modified model, despite its simplistic concept and lumped form, fits satisfactorily the historic runoff series.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0132.v1
Online: 14 June 2019 (10:09:59 CEST)
Mill scale is the by-product of iron and steel industry. It can be recycled via sinter plant or solid as sinter feed materials. 85 to 90% of the constituent particles are more than 0.008 inches. The iron content is near around 70 %, with a very small amount of alkaline compounds and non-ferrous metals. Mill scale is polluted and contaminated with lubricants, oils and greases from the equipment. In this experiment for recovering of oil from mill scale, it is treated with three different methods. Then all methods were compared according to the ability of oil elimination and iron recovered. After washing and boiling with surfactants, large amount of polluted waste water becomes a problem for environment so this wastewater was utilized for making of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), production of electricity in MFC depends on the biodegradation of organic materials, so different waste were added in wastewater for making MFC. The remaining of MFC was converted in bioethanol, biodiesel and biofertilizer. So this research is economical and environmentally friendly and fulfilled the important aspect of green environment with zero waste. It will be a mile stone in the research of metallurgy, environmental engineering, recycling technology and zero waste management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0113.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Landsat; artisanal-scale gold mining; infrastructure; protected areas; commodity
Online: 30 November 2018 (10:02:42 CET)
While deforestation rates decline globally they are rising in the Western Amazon. Artisanal-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a large cause of this deforestation and brings with it extensive environmental, social, governance, and public health impacts, including large carbon emissions and mercury pollution. Underlying ASGM is a broad network of factors that influence its growth, distribution, and practices such as poverty, flows of legal and illegal capital, conflicting governance, and global economic trends. Despite its central role in land use and land cover change in the Western Amazon and the severity of its social and environmental impacts, it is relatively poorly studied. While ASGM in Southeastern Peru has been quantified previously, doing so is difficult due to the heterogeneous nature of the resulting landscape. Using a novel approach to classify mining that relies on a fusion of CLASlite and the Global Forest Change dataset, two Landsat-based deforestation detection tools, we sought to quantify ASGM-caused deforestation in the period 1984–2017 in the southern Peruvian Amazon and examine trends in the geography, methods, and impacts of ASGM across that time. We identify nearly 100,000 ha of deforestation due to ASGM in the 34-year study period, an increase of 21% compared to previous estimates. Further, we find that 10% of that deforestation occurred in 2017, the highest annual amount of deforestation in the study period, with 53% occurring since 2011. Finally, we demonstrate that not all mining is created equal by examining key patterns and changes in ASGM activity and techniques through time and space. We discuss their connections with, and impacts on, socio-economic factors, such as land tenure, infrastructure, international markets, governance efforts, and social and environmental impacts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0223.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Condensed Matter Physics Keywords: multi-scale modeling; lubrication; viscous heating; entangled polymeric liquid
Online: 8 November 2018 (15:00:16 CET)
The thermal lubrication of an entangled polymeric liquid in wall-driven shear flows between parallel plates is investigated by using a multiscale hybrid method coupling molecular dynamics and the hydrodynamics (i.e., the synchronized molecular dynamics method). The temperature of the polymeric liquid rapidly increases due to viscous heating once the drive force exceeds a certain threshold value. The rheological properties of the polymeric liquid drastically change at around the critical drive force. In the weak viscous-heating regime, the conformation of polymer chains is dominated by the local shear flow so that the anisotropy of the bond orientation tensor grows as the drive force increases. However, in the large viscous-heating regime, the conformation dynamics is dominated by the thermal agitation of polymer chains so that the bond orientation tensor recovers more uniform and random structures as the drive force increases, even though the local shear flows are further enhanced. Remarkably, these counter-intuitive transitional behaviors give an interesting re-entrant transition in the stress--optical relation, where a linear formalism in the stress--optical relation approximately holds even though each of the macroscopic quantities behaves nonlinearly. The robustness of the linear stress--optical relation is also confirmed in the spatiotemporal evolution at the hydrodynamic level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0635.v1
Online: 26 October 2018 (15:26:12 CEST)
Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are widely used in geographic and environmental studies. In the current work, the fusion of multi-source DEMs is investigated to improve the overall accuracy of public domain DEMs. Multi-scale decomposition is an important analytical method in data fusion. Three multi-scale decomposition methods – the wavelet transform (WT), bidimensional empirical mode decomposition (BEMD) and nonlinear adaptive multi-scale decomposition (N-AMD) - are applied to the 1-arc-second Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Global digital elevation model (SRTM-1 DEM) and the Advanced Land Observing Satellite World 3D – 30 m digital surface model (AW3D30 DSM) in China. Of these, the WT and BEMD are popular image fusion methods. A new approach for DEM fusion is developed using N-AMD (which is originally invented to remove the cycle from sunspots). Subsequently, a window-based rule is proposed for the fusion of corresponding frequency components obtained by these methods. Quantitative results show that N-AMD is more suitable for multi-scale fusion of multi-source DEMs, taking the ice cloud and land elevation satellite (ICESat) global land surface altimetry data as a reference. The vertical accuracy of the fused DEM shows significant improvements of 29.6% and 19.3% in a mountainous region and 27.4% and 15.5% in a low-relief region, compared to the SRTM-1 and AW3D30 respectively. Furthermore, a slope position-based linear regression method is developed to calibrate the fused DEM for different slope position classes, by investigating the distribution of the fused DEM error with topography. The results indicate that the accuracy of the DEM calibrated by this method is improved by 16% and 13.6%, compared to the fused DEM in the mountainous region and low-relief region respectively, proving that it is a practical and simple means of further increasing the accuracy of the fused DEM.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0256.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Nuclear & High Energy Physics Keywords: wind speed; wind power; scale factor and shape factor
Online: 12 October 2018 (05:13:33 CEST)
The research sought to investigate the long term characteristics of wind in the Kisii region (elevation 1710m above sea level, 0.68oS, 34.79o E). Wind speeds were analyzed and characterized on short term (per month for a year) and then simulated for long term (ten years) measured hourly series data of daily wind speeds at a height of 10m. The analysis included daily wind data which was grouped into discrete data and then calculated to represent; the mean wind speed, diurnal variations, daily variations as well as the monthly variations. The wind speed frequency distribution at the height 10 m was found to be 2.9ms-1 with a standard deviation of 1.5. Based on the two month’s data that was extracted from the AcuRite 01024 Wireless Weather Stations with 5-in-1 Weather Sensor experiments set at three sites in the region, averages of wind speeds at hub heights of 10m and 13m were calculated and found to be 1.7m/s, 2.0m/s for Ikobe station, 2.4m/s, 2.8m/s for Kisii University stations, and 1.3m/s, 1.6m/s for Nyamecheo station respectively. Then extrapolation was done to determine average wind speeds at heights (20m, 30m, 50m, and 70m) which were found to be 85.55W/m2, 181.75W/m2, 470.4W/m2 and 879.9W/m2 respectively. The wind speed data was used statistically to model a Weibull probability density function and used to determine the power density for Kisii region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0110.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: polymer networks; scale-free networks; mechanical relaxation; eigenvalue problem
Online: 22 September 2017 (16:21:16 CEST)
We focus on macromolecules which are modelled as sequentially growing dual scale-free networks. The dual networks are built by replacing star-like units of the primal treelike scale-free networks through rings, which are then transformed in a small-world manner up to the complete graphs. In this respect, the parameter γ describing the degree distribution in the primal treelike scale-free networks regulates the size of the dual units. The transition towards the networks of complete graphs is controlled by the probability p of adding link between non-neighbouring nodes of the same initial ring. The relaxation dynamics of the polymer networks is studied in the framework of generalized Gaussian structures by using the full eigenvalue spectrum of the Laplacian matrix. The dynamical quantities on which we focus here are the averaged monomer displacement and the mechanical relaxation moduli. For several intermediate values of the parameter’s set (γ, p) we encounter for these dynamical properties regions of constant in-between slope.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0130.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Metallurgy Keywords: wüstite; magnetite; eutectoid transformation; oxide scale; hot strip mill
Online: 29 January 2017 (10:47:49 CET)
It is important to realize the transformation behavior of wüstite because it greatly affects the final structure of the oxide layer and the surface quality of the steel products. In the present study, the transformation behaviors of the wüstite layer are examined under nearly-oxygen-free conditions, to simulate the cooling processes after the hot rolled strip is coiled. As the single phase wüstite was prepared at 950˚C, the 460˚C transformed oxide layer was composed of a mixture of iron and magnetite formed through eutectoid reactions. For the 750˚C-fabricated wüstite, only magnetite was observed after transformation, without iron precipitates and residual wüstite. It is speculated that the unusual transformation behavior of the low-temperature-made wüstite results from the pseudo-structural intermediate phase transformation between wüstite and magnetite. This pseudo-structure is a pre-transformed wüstite and of various concentration of ferrous ion, which is determined by the fabrication conditions. During the hot strip mill process, the so-called wet scale, wüstite, is produced continuously from finish mill to laminar flow sections and ended at 570˚C. Consequently, the final eutectoid transformation below 570˚C is dominantly controlled by the surface temperature ranged from 750˚C to 950˚C for low carbon steel.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0056.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: Injection moulding; Crystallisation; Flow; Small-angle X-ray Scattering; isotactic polypropylene
Online: 5 September 2022 (10:01:27 CEST)
We describe the design and fabrication of an industrial injection moulding system which can be mounted and used on the NCD-SWEET Small-angle X-Ray Scattering Beamline at ALBA. We show how highly useful time-resolved data can be obtained using this system. We are able to evaluate the fraction of material in the mould cavity and identify the first material to solidify and how this varies with the injection tem-perature. The design follows current industrial practice and provides opportunities to collect time-resolved data at several points within the mould cavity so we can build up a 4D perspective of the morphology and its temporal development. The quantitative data obtained will prove invaluable for the optimisation of the next generation of in-jection moulding techniques. This preliminary work used results from the injection moulding of a general purpose isotactic polypropylene.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0360.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: tourism and related; SMEs; small particulate matters; association rules; data mining
Online: 27 June 2022 (10:24:27 CEST)
In northern Thailand, the problem of small particulate matter happens every year, with the pri-mary source being agricultural weed burning and wildfire. The tourism industry is strongly impacted and has been the spotlight for the past few years. Thus, the study aims to investigate the effect of small particulate matter on tourism and related SMEs in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The data was collected from 286 entrepreneurs in the tourism and related SMEs sectors. The data was analyzed using data mining and association rule techniques. The study revealed that small particulate matter has a considerable impact on customer factors, especially the number of customers has decreased. Operational factors and prod-uct/service factors are also affected by the dust in the form of adjustments to keep the business running and the protection of the health of employees and customers. Certainly, financial factors are affected by the small particulate matter situation, both lower revenues and higher costs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0232.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: Small RNA sequencing; miRNAs; Target prediction; Chemosensory-associated genes; Apolygus lucorum
Online: 18 February 2022 (10:01:58 CET)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs, which function as regulators of gene expression and contribute in numerous physiological processes. However, little is known referring to miRNAs function in insect chemosensation. In the current study, nine small RNA libraries were constructed and sequenced from the antennae of nymphs, adult males and females of Apolygus lucorum. In total, 399 miRNAs were identified including 275 known and 124 novel miRNAs. Known miRNAs were classified into 71 families, amongst which, 23 families were insect-specific. Expression profile analysis showed that miR-7-5p_1 was the most abundant miRNAs in the antennae of A. lucorum. Altogether, 69708 target genes related to biogenesis, membrane and binding activities were predicted for 399 miRNAs. Particularly, 15 miRNAs were found to target 16 olfactory genes. These miRNAs could be involved in regulation of olfactory-associated genes ex-pression. Comparing the antennae of nymphs, adult males and females, 94 miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed. The expression levels of some differentially expressed miRNAs measured by qPCR were consistent with sequencing results. This study provides a global miRNAs transcriptome in the antennae of A. lucorum and valuable information for further investigation on miRNA-mRNA interactions, especially the functions of miRNAs in regulating chemosensation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0565.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: HIV-1 transcription; HIV-1 Tat; TAR RNA; small molecule inhibitors
Online: 23 June 2021 (11:04:21 CEST)
HIV-1 Tat protein interacts with TAR RNA and recruits CDK9/cyclin T1 and other host factors to induce HIV-1 transcription. Thus Tat-TAR RNA interaction, which is unique for HIV-1, represents an attractive target for anti-HIV-1 therapeutics. To target Tat-TAR RNA interaction, we used a crystal structure of TAR RNA with acetylpromazine bound to the bulge of TAR RNA, to dock compounds from Enamine database containing 1.6 million individual compounds. Docking identified 173 compounds that were analyzed for the inhibition of HIV-1 infection. Top ten inhibitory compounds with IC50 ≤ 6 µM were selected and the three least toxic compounds, T6780107 (IC50=2.97 μM), T0516-4834 (IC50=0.2 μM) and T5628834 (IC50=3.46 μM), were further tested for HIV-1 transcription inhibition. Only T0516-4834 compound showed selective inhibition of Tat-induced HIV-1 transcription, whereas T6780107 compound inhibited equally basal and Tat-induced transcription and T5628834 compound only inhibited basal HIV-1 transcription. The T0516-4834 compound also showed strongest inhibition of HIV-1 gag RNA expression and p24 production in CEM T cells infected with HIV-1 IIIB. Of the three compounds, only the T0516-4834 compound disrupted Tat-TAR RNA interaction indicating that it might target TAR RNA. Also, of the three tested compounds, T5628834 but not T6780107 or T0516-4834 disrupted Tat-CDK9/cyclin T1 interaction. Taken together, our study identified novel compound T0516-4834 that disrupted Tat-TAR RNA interaction and inhibited Tat-induced transcription and HIV-1 infection suggesting that this compound might serve as a new lead for anti-HIV-1 therapeutics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0087.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Myelodysplastic syndrome; Positron Emission Tomography; [18F]fluoro-thymidine; small animal imaging
Online: 5 April 2021 (10:14:33 CEST)
Higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (HR-MDS) has a poor prognosis in the absence of efficient therapy. The evaluation of new therapies in animal models of HR-MDS is hampered by the absence of accurate in vivo biomarkers of the disease. In this study we compared [18F]Fluoro-desoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET) and [18F]Fluoro-thymidine (FLT)-PET imaging for disease follow-up in a triple transgenic MMTVtTA/TetoBCL-2/MRP8NRASD12 mouse model of HR-MDS. Normal control FVB/N mice (G1,n=9) and HR-MDS mice (G2,n=12) underwent both FDG- and FLT-PET procedures at 2-day intervals, on a dedicated small animal device. Blood cell counting, BCL-2 and Mac-1hi/Gr-1lo expression measurements in blood were performed before each PET procedure. Visually, PET images of G2 mice demonstrated homogeneous FDG uptake in the whole skeleton similar to that observed in G1 mice, and abnormal FLT hot spots in bone marrow not observed in G1 mice. The intensity of FLT hot spots in bone marrow was higher in 3-months old G2 mice than in 2-months old G2 mice, concordant with a higher percentage of cells expressing Mac-1hi/Gr-1lo and lower platelets counts. We conclude that FLT-PET/CT imaging is a more valuable surrogate non-invasive quantitative marker of HR-MDS bone marrow involvement than FDG-PET/CT in our mouse model of HR-MDS.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0698.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Small gatherings cancellation; Cognitive linguistics; Corpus analysis; Semantic frame; Covid-19.
Online: 29 March 2021 (14:41:29 CEST)
In an insightful article published in Nature human behavior on November 2020, the effectiveness of 46 “non-pharmaceutical interventions” (NPI) regarding Covid-19 pandemic have been compared1. One of these 46 categories, the one which is ranked as the most effective measure, is named “small gatherings cancelation”. In the discussion section of that article, the authors introduce a list of what they probably assume to be representative examples of this category, namely, “closures of shops”, “closure of restaurants,” “mandatory home–working”, “gathering of 50 people or less” and so on. The name that the authors have given to this category could give rise to confusions and misunderstandings. We used corpus analysis to show that “small gathering” is commonly used to denote a planned or spontaneous “event”, and consequently does not convey what the authors intend this term to cover as its most representative instances i.e., Simultaneous presence of people (crowd) in shops or offices. Furthermore, taking a top-down approach, we focused on the information which was provided in reference material like CDC and WHO documents. The analysis showed that “small gatherings” is encoded in those sources to denote “events” and “small gatherings cancelation” is used to denote cancelling preplanned events. In conclusion, neither unspecialized language nor official/institutional discourse uses “small gathering” the way that the authors of the aforementioned article use it i.e., to refer to simultaneous presence of people (crowd) in shops or offices. Therefore, when language users come across this phrase, if they do not read the entire article, the only semantic frame that is evoked in their mind would be that of a festive or social “event” rather than of crowded shops or offices; this misunderstanding is cognitively justified and consequently changing this terminology is recommended.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0061.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: limits; adaptation; small island developing states; impacts; sustainable development; policy-making
Online: 4 January 2021 (16:26:11 CET)
Small Island States (SIDS) are among the nations most exposed to climate change (CC) and are characterised by a high degree of vulnerability. Their special nature means there is a need for more studies focused on the limits to CC adaptation on such fragile nations, particularly in respect of their problems and constraints. This paper addressed a perceived need for research into the limitations of adaptation on SIDS, focusing on the many restrictions which are unique to them. The main research question raised by this study was that how and to what extent the challenges by human activities (e.g., agriculture and tourism) posed to coastlines of SIDS could be addressed. This paper identified and described the adaptation limits they have, by using a review of the literature and an analysis of case studies from a sample of five SIDS in the Caribbean and Pacific regions (Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Tonga). The findings of this research showed that an adaptable SIDS is characterised by awareness of various values, appreciation and understanding of a diversity of impacts and vulnerabilities, and acceptance of certain losses through change. The implications of this paper are two-fold. It explains why island nations continue to suffer from the impacts of CC, and suggest some of the means via which adequate policies may support SIDS in their efforts to cope with the threats associated with a changing climate. This study concluded that, despite the technological and ecological limits (hard limits) affecting natural systems, adaptation to CC is not only limited by such complex forces, but also by societal factors (soft limits) that could potentially be overcome by more adequate adaptation strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0560.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: HCMV; protein-protein interactions; small molecules; ppUL44; PAP; pUL54; antivirals; screening
Online: 23 November 2020 (08:29:23 CET)
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a leading cause of severe diseases in immunocompromised individuals, including AIDS and transplanted patients, and in congenitally infected newborns. The utility of available drugs is limited by poor bioavailability, toxicity, and emergence of resistant strains. Therefore, it is crucial to identify new targets of therapeutic intervention. Among the latter, viral protein-protein interactions are becoming increasingly attractive. Since dimerization of HCMV DNA polymerase processivity factor ppUL44 plays an essential role in the viral life cycle being required for oriLyt-dependent DNA replication, we performed an in silico screening and selected 18 small molecules (SMs) potentially interfering with ppUL44 homodimerization. Antiviral assays using recombinant HCMV TB40-UL83-YFP in the presence of the selected SMs led to the identification of four active compounds. The most active one, B3, also efficiently inhibited AD169 in plaque reduction assays and impaired replication of an AD169-GFP reporter virus and its ganciclovir-resistant counterpart to a similar extent. As assessed by Western blotting experiments, treatment of infected cells with B3 specifically reduced viral gene expression starting from 48 h post infection, consistent with activity on viral DNA synthesis. Therefore, inhibition of ppUL44 dimerization could represent a new class of HCMV inhibitors, complementary to those targeting the DNA polymerase catalytic subunit or the viral terminase complex.