ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0463.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Architecture Keywords: Design model; Interactions; Coevolution; Study of objects
Online: 27 March 2023 (13:47:04 CEST)
Design has often been interpreted as a practice of creating novel objects. However, the relationships between objects analysed upstream the process of creation have been under-studied. Here it is presented a model for enhancing the design practice by fostering a deep work on the relationships of mundane objects. The Three-dimensional Narratives (TdN) model comprises a stepwise five phases work package that facilitates a varied range of analyses to improve the creativity and innovation of any project led by any type of participants. One particular feature of the TdN model is the appropriation of concepts coming from non-design fields such physics and biology to both developing the work of the model and to improve the comprehension and outcomes of the enrolled participants. During three Case Studies with children, youngsters, and older participants the TdN model was validated, and its usability was successfully assessed. The TdN model shows that there is a need for a deeper design practice and that it is relevant to improve the lexicon of designers in order to facilitate a broader and design practice, irrespectively of the aim of the proposed project and nuances of the audience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0388.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: time-restricted feeding; controlled feeding study; study design; nutrition interventions
Online: 22 August 2022 (19:16:58 CEST)
The efficacy of time-restricted feeding for weight loss has not been established as prior studies were limited by lack of controlled isocaloric designs. This study describes the design and implementation of a controlled feeding study evaluating time-restricted feeding. We designed a randomized, controlled, parallel-arm, feeding study comparing time restricted feeding (TRF) to a usual feeding pattern (UFP) for the primary outcome of weight change. Participants were aged 18-69 years with prediabetes and obesity. TRF consumed 80% of calories by 1300, and UFP consumed ≥50% of calories after 1700. Both arms consumed identical macro- and micro-nutrients, based on a healthy palatable diet. We calculated individual calorie requirements which were maintained throughout the intervention. We randomized 41 participants who all completed the study. The desired distribution of calories across feeding windows in both arms was achieved, as were weekly averages for macronutrients and micronutrients. All randomized participants completed the study. We actively monitored participants and adapted diets to facilitate adherence. We provide the first report, to our knowledge, on the design and implementation of a feeding study that isolated the effect of meal timing on weight, while maintaining constant caloric intake and identical diets during the study period.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0427.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Correlation study; Regression analysis; Physicochemical parameters; quality of water; Electrical conductivity
Online: 24 March 2023 (07:50:50 CET)
Water is an essential commodity to sustain life. The condition of water in Tiruchirappalli was measured using different Physicochemical parameters like Temperature, pH, TDS, Total Solids, Salinity, Total Hardness, and Electrical Conductivity. Water samples were collected from different places in Tiruchirappalli city, Tamil Nadu. Water samples were examined by different chemical methods. According to the results, Thiruvarambur-1 showed comparatively higher results in the case of every parameter compared to other sampling stations. Obtained results were further interpreted using statistical tools. Considering ECs as a principal component for the regression and correlation analysis with other parameters significant correlation was found. A strong correlation was observed between ECs and TDS, Total Hardness, Turbidity, and Salinity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0086.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Architecture Keywords: Communication Processes; Graphic Design; Communication Design; Cohort Study; Branding.
Online: 6 March 2023 (03:55:03 CET)
The basis of this project is a health literacy cohort study (LISA) being developed in the county of Leiria. The study aims to reach and monitor the adult population of the county over time. Counting with a multidisciplinary team, the study stakeholders asked the designers to develop the study’s brand so it could be more advertisable to the population, turning the communication between the stakeholders and the public easier. The development of the brand identity and elements of communication used some graphic design approaches. These approaches were reinforced by the opinions given by the interviewed sample of the population, that answered some of the study’s questions. The interviews held by designers allowed the team to receive information about what was expected the study to be, and how and where to better communicate the LISA’s Study. Trough the aforementioned process resulted in the current finalized outcomes of the study’s brand and communication materials. Both printable and digital communication elements (i.e., roll-up, id cards, flyers, QR Code, and website) were developed and disseminated according to the brand's strategy. Concluding, the communication elements created are seen as the first phase of this project, leaving a second phase related to the design and structuration of the Study to be developed, and published in future articles.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0257.v2
Online: 24 July 2019 (11:53:34 CEST)
Through history, particular attention has been paid of the study of the relationship between the energy use and the city structure. Improving energy efficiency in modern agglomerations is the most promising means to mitigate climate change and its impacts. In this current context of globalisation, European Union proposes initiatives and policy targets to rethink the urban development strategies towards the ‘zero energy objectives’. Providing a methodological approach with a simulation district analysis, the present article summarizes how the ‘zero energy’ challenge is analyzed in an existing district (Epinlieu) to articulate the users’ requirements in energy. This study contributes to the scientific discussion of the districts’ urban structure and energy planning by establishing a linkage among the beneficial influence of the KPIs of the districts’ form to increase their energy efficiency and its application in a real case study in Belgium.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0352.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Anthropology Keywords: folklore, ethnographic study, Indian tribes, myths, social anthropology, Gujarat
Online: 24 May 2018 (14:25:07 CEST)
The focus of this ethnographic expedition is to study the folklore and traditions amongst the existing tribal populations of Barumal village in southern Gujarat, India. The fieldwork revolves around cultural and socio-economic aspects of their livelihood and this paper encompasses the knowledge from one such lens out of many. It tries to identify the importance of mythology and its roots. The data collected from three different population groups are Varlis, Kukanas, Dhodiya Patels that are set within the caste system based hierarchy inhabiting in the same region. The interview method was employed throughout with open-ended questions. The varied customs and traditions appearing in their lifestyle, occupation, and festivals are always associated with one god or another. The key informants felt the need to distinguish the history of their own tribe from the others by taking the help of myths passed down from their ancestors. Most of the key informants were mature adults including both males and females.
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: sustainability; inclusive education; pedagogy; degrees; study plans
Online: 26 March 2021 (10:19:56 CET)
An inclusive curriculum with a socio-cultural approach must include content on sustainability. This study raised the following problem: What is the presence of contents related to sustainability in the curricula of 24 degrees of Pedagogy of the Spanish state.? Through an explicit study, subjects directly related to sustainability were identified and analyzed through the qualitative data analysis program Atlas-ti. The categories of analysis used were those present in the Sustainability Thesaurus  to which the professional category was incorporated. The results showed, on the one hand, the low presence in these grades of subjects whose name indicates a direct link with sustainability and, on the other hand, On the other hand, the presence of professional competencies was detected, which were not subsequently specified in the corresponding learning outcomes or in the training content.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0044.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Vision And Graphics Keywords: Dry eye disease; Artificial Intelligence; diagnosis; bibliographic study
Online: 2 November 2022 (04:21:40 CET)
Dry eye disease (DED) is one of the most common eye diseases. There is at least one DED patient in almost every five people. AI-based research methods increasingly become the focus of DED diagnosis research. This study utilizes a systematic review method on DED AI-based diagnosis. 2112 unduplicated records are extracted from Google Scholar, Web of Science (WOS), PubMed, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Scopus databases. The most contributed countries, institutions, authors, journals, references, and disciplines are recognized. Keyword distribution and hot topics are identified. Popular databases of ophthalmic images, videos, and electronic demographic medical records are discussed. The DED diagnosis, classification, and grading criteria are identified. The major diagnosing methods are clustered, compared, and investigated. Findings show that diagnosing method research could be classified into three categories based on the relationship between AI techniques, which are (1) ground truth and/or comparable standards for AI DED diagnosis (TBUT, S Ⅰ T, TMH, and OSDI), (2) potential methods for AI-based methods have a great advantage(DED detection based on meibometry Images, CASPs, IVCM Images, OCT Images, blink videos and ultrasonic imaging), (3) and the potential direction and supplemented methods for AI-based DED detection (DED detections based on tear osmolarity, proteomic analysis, TCM and demographic information). AI-based approaches based on digital ophthalmologic images play an important role in early screening. Challenges and future perspectives are discussed at the end of this article, academically and practically.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0143.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: Marburg virus disease (MVD); Vaccine design; Immunoinformatic; Molecular Docking Study.
Online: 10 May 2022 (14:16:20 CEST)
Marburg virus disease (MVD) is a hemorrhagic fever and cause death up to 88% of people and is the same as Ebola virus, It is transmitted through skin contact or mucous membrane in the eyes, nose or mouth with blood or body fluids like urine, saliva sweat, feces and by object contaminated with body fluids. Despite these facts, yet there is no approved vaccine have been developed for the eradication of Marburg virus infections. Therefore, this study described a multi epitope-based peptide vaccine against Marburg virus viral protein 35, using several immunoinformatics tools combined with molecular docking studies. Utilizing Vaxijen 2.0 server, the V35 protein revealed to be antigenic with a score of 0.4316. Prediction of the T-cell and B-cell epitopes was then conducted. RTFDAFLGV epitope was found to be the most promising one with binding affinity to the highest numbers of MHC I alleles, a positive score in the Class I immunogenicity study and non-allergen. These results were further confirmed by the good interaction of RTFDAFLGV to the groove of HLA-A*02:01 with binding energy of -8.1 kcal/mole. Finally, the vaccine was cloned in silico to ensure its validity and efficiency of expression. To ensure its safety and immunogenic profile, in-vitro and in-vivo bioassays are recommended to confirm these findings.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1418.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dentistry And Oral Surgery Keywords: Clinical study; Gingival recession; Periodontics; Surgical procedures
Online: 21 August 2023 (09:54:10 CEST)
Purpose: The goal of this article was to introduce a new technique for root coverage (RC), the Mixed-Thickness Tunnel access (MiTT), approaching a full-split design, showing the results obtained in a case series and demonstrating it step-by-step. Methods: Healthy individuals, non-smokers, and non-diabetics, who were diagnosed with gingival recession (GR) type 1 or 2 (RT1 or RT2). After all necessary evaluations, prophylaxis was performed 14 days before the surgical procedure. Then, after the basics clinical conduct and anesthesia, one or two vertical incision(s) on the mucosa (around 1-2 mm apical to the MGJ), lateral to the papilla base, were done. Initial detachment of the mucosa from the muscles (split design); it was permitted (but not mandatory) to do intrasulcular incisions; from the MGJ to coronal, subperiosteal access was done to raise the full-thickness tunnel. It must communicate up to the gingival sulcus area and the papilla’s base, keeping the papilla’s tip intact. A connective tissue graft was harvested, which was inserted through the linear incision or intrasulcularly. Interrupted sutures were done and may be used as adjunctive material. Results: Nine healthy individuals (7 females and 2 males) aged 19 and 43 years were enrolled. They were treated following the MiTT steps. There were four cases with a single GR, 2 patients with 2 teeth involved, and three with 3 or 4 GR. Seven cases were RT1 and two RT2. All RT1 cases achieved 100% RC, while the mean RC obtained for RT2 was around 80%. Conclusion: MiTT can be considered a more straightforward approach for minimally invasive surgical technique, which is a feasible option to treat RC with a high success rate, predictability, and esthetic preservation. There is a technical sensitivity to performing the full-split design procedure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0253.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: halogen bonding; fluorine; iodine; pentafluorosulfanyl; titration; ab initio calculation; NMR study; drug design
Online: 25 August 2019 (15:41:59 CEST)
The activation of halogen bonding by the substitution of the pentafluorosulfanyl (SF5) group was studied using a series of SF5-substituted iodobenzenes. The simulated electrostatic potential values of SF5-substituted iodobenzenes, ab initio molecular orbital calculations of intermolecular interactions of SF5-substituted iodobenzenes with pyridine, and the 13C NMR titration experiments of SF5-substituted iodobenzenes in the presence of pyridine or tetra (n-butyl) ammonium chloride (TBAC) indicated the obvious activation of halogen bonding, although this was highly dependent on the position of SF5-substitution on the benzene ring. 3,5-Bis-SF5-iodobenzene was the most effective halogen bond donor followed by o-SF5-substituted iodobenzene, while the m- and p-SF5 substitutions did not activate the halogen bonding of iodobenzenes. The 2:1 halogen bonding complex of 3,5-bis-SF5-iodobenzene and 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) was also confirmed. Since SF5-containing compounds have emerged as promising novel pharmaceutical and agrochemical candidates, the 3,5-bis-SF5-iodobenzene unit should be an attractive fragment of rational drug design capable of halogen bonding with biomolecules.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0038.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacy Keywords: Lagenaria siceraria; In silico study; Drug design; Diabetes mellitus; Molecular docking; ADMET
Online: 1 June 2023 (05:41:13 CEST)
Background: Currently, limited number of therapeutic options are available to treat Diabetes mellitus, and to find a potential candidate, laboratory work takes time and also needs animal studies. So, the aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of some natural phytocompounds with the aid of molecular docking, bioinformatics and in silico drug design approaches. Method: Two proteins (Human CYP3A4 linked to metformin and Human dipeptidyl peptidase-IV) were selected and molecular docking studies were conducted using Pymol, AutoDock Vina, PyRx, and Discovery Studio. Different important pharmacokinetic parameters like ADME and toxicity data were obtained from online databases SwissADME and pkCSM program. Results: It was found that human dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (PDB ID: 4A5S) has exhibited a maximal affinity of -9.7 Kcal/mol for bryonolic acid and hesperidin, but only -6.7 kcal/mol for metformin hydrochloride. Similarly, the highest affinity of hesperidin for human CYP3A4 bound to metformin (PDB ID: 5G5J) is -10.7 Kcal/mol compared to metformin hydrochlor (-6.3 Kcal/mol). Besides, all the compounds have been documented outstanding ADMET profile, and accepted by drug-likeness or Lipinski rule. Conclusions: The present study suggested that these compounds can be further investigated in vitro and in vivo to establish them as lead compounds against Diabetes mellitus..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1000.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: superior gluteal nerve; greater sciatic notch; bony landmarks; cadaver study; dissection; surgical anatomy
Online: 14 June 2023 (07:22:01 CEST)
Because most of the recognized causes of superior gluteal nerve (SGN) injury are iatrogenic, detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the SGN is crucial to prevent its injury associated with surgical procedures. This study aims to describe the precise location of SGN or its branches at the greater sciatic foramen, measure the distances of these nervous structures to palpable bony landmarks, and evaluate the possible correlation between these parameters and pelvis size. Twenty human cadaveric hemipelvises were studied. After dissection to expose the SGN or its branches at the greater sciatic foramen, the distances from these nervous structures to the greater trochanter (GT), to the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS), to the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS), to the ischial tuberosity (IT), and to the greater sciatic notch were measured. We found that at the greater sciatic foramen the SGN emerges as a common trunk in 75% of hemipelvises, and already divided in its superior and inferior branches in 25% of hemipelvises. When the SGN exits the pelvis as a common trunk, it does so, in most cases, in contact with the bone at the apex of the greater sciatic notch or superior to it. The median distance from the SGN at the greater sciatic notch to the PSIS, ASIS, GT and IT is 7.6 cm, 10.9 cm, 7.5 cm and 10.8 cm, respectively. We found a positive correlation between some of the analyzed parameters and the size of the pelvis. The anatomical data of this study may serve as pivotal guides during orthopedic pelvic surgery, contributing to minimize SNG iatrogenic lesions with significant implications in the patient's quality of life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0506.v1
Online: 29 April 2020 (12:18:52 CEST)
This case study was conducted to disentangle the stories of unsuccessful LET examinees, their responses to failure, and their perspectives of the factors that contributed to their failure. The results demonstrate five themes related to the failure experience. Factors related to the physical environment, psychological well-being, and preparedness influenced the performance of the examinees. Contributory factors to failure provided several implications to teacher education practice. Educators have a responsibility to identify, inform, and intervene with students who are at high risk of failing the LET, and this responsibility could be executed capably. However, the role should be extended beyond graduation. The responsibility to help graduates transition from failure to licensure is the final step of successful undergraduate teacher education.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0438.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: history of science; study of invertebrates; research patterns; study of velvet worms
Online: 30 March 2020 (04:46:22 CEST)
Velvet worms, or onychophorans, include placental species and, as a phylum, have survived all mass extinctions since the Cambrian. They capture prey with an extraordinary adhesive net that appears in an instant. The first naturalist to formally mention them was Lansdown Guilding (1797-1831), a British priest from the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent. His life is as little known as the history of the field he initiated, onychophorology. This is the first general history of onychophorology, and I have divided it into half century periods. The beginning, 1826-1879, was defined by former students of great names in the history of biology, like Cuvier and von Baer. This generation included Milne-Edwars and Blanchard, and the greatest advances came from France, with smaller but still important contributions from England and Germany. In the 1880-1929 period, work concentrated in anatomy, behavior, biogeography and ecology, but of course the most important work was Bouvier’s mammoth monograph. The next half century, 1930-1979, was important for the discovery of Cambrian species; Vachon’s explanation of how ancient distribution defined the existence of two families; Pioneer DNA and electron microscopy from Brazil; and primitive attempts at systematics using embryology or isolated anatomical characteristics. Finally, the 1980-2020 period, with research centered in Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica and Germany, is marked by an evolutionary approach to everything, from body and behavior to distribution; for the solution of the old problem of how they form their adhesive net and how the glue works; the reconstruction of Cambrian onychophoran communities, the first experimental taphonomy; the first country-wide map of conservation status (from Costa Rica); the first model of why they survive in cities; the discovery of new phenomena like food hiding, parental feeding investment and ontogenetic diet shift; and for the birth of a new research branch, Onychophoran Ethnobiology, founded in 2015. While a few names appear often in the literature, most knowledge was produced by a mass of researchers who entered the field only briefly.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0054.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Media Studies Keywords: Social Media; PMBOK knowledge areas; Delphi Study; Structured Case Study; Team effectiveness
Online: 4 December 2019 (12:37:54 CET)
Social media has become part and parcel of the world of today. These days, it’s still the most talked about thing. It cannot be overlooked because it plays a key role in our business functions such as marketing and advertising. Social Media is all about collaboration on files, ideas and projects that help users and stakeholders to successfully complete the project. It influences how people communicate, develop relationship, build trust, increase transparency and provide cultural context. The fundamental aim of this research is to investigate the capacity for project management in social media. This paper explains how social media is used for project management knowledge areas and process groups. Also this research aims to identify SM tools that can be suitable for project management processes. Two studies Delphi Study of three rounds and structured case study interview are used to investigate the impact on the performance of the project team and process robustness. These studies support social media use by accessing the contribution to relationship building, trusts, coordination and cohesion.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2203.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: arrhythmic sudden cardiac death; risk stratification; non-invasive risk factors; NIRFs; electrophysiology study; two-step approach; cardiomyopathy
Online: 1 September 2023 (03:36:09 CEST)
Arrhythmic sudden cardiac death (SCD) has an annual prevalence of 1 per 1000 while 75% of the victims suffer from ischemic and 10% from non-ischemic or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Altogether, these three entities account for more than 80% of the total SCD victims. Guidelines for implantable cardiac defibrillators are still dominated by LVEF<30% from the MADIT II study. In terms of arrhythmic risk stratification, the PRESERVE-EF study restored in clinical practice the two-step arrhythmic risk stratification approach based on Electrocardiographic non-invasive risk factors (NIRFs) guiding to electrophysiological study. In our times with the multiple cardiac imaging methods and artificial intelligence applications availability, this two-step approach based on integrated arrhythmia mechanisms detection, emerges as an efficient SCD risk stratification paradigm for these three entities but also for the patients with congenital heart disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0497.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: COVID-19; Epidemiology; Ecologic study
Online: 28 April 2020 (10:23:16 CEST)
Objectives: The impact of COVID-19 in metropolitan areas has been extensively studied. The geographic spread to smaller cities is of great concern and may follow hierarchical influence of urban centers. With that in mind, we investigated factors that affect vulnerability of inner municipalities in São Paulo State, Brazil, an area with 24 million inhabitants. Methods: Surveillance data for confirmed COVID-19 cases and admissions for severe acute respiratory disease (SARD) up to April 18th were recorded for each of 604 municipalities that lay outside São Paulo metropolitan area. Vulnerability was assessed in Multivariable models, including sociodemographic indexes, road distance to the State Capital and the municipalities classification proposed by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. Municipalities of great regional relevance were used as reference category for that classification. The outcome of interest for Cox regression was having COVID-cases, with time counting from the first report in São Paulo State. For binomial negative regression models, the outcomes of interest were rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases and admissions for SARD.Results: A total of 198 (32.8%) municipalities had autochthonous COVID-19 cases. In Cox models, affected municipalities were likely to have greater population density (Hazard Ratio[HR] for each 100 inhabitants per square kilometer, 1.07; 95% Confidence Interval [CI], (1.05-1.10)), proportion of inhabitants in urban area (HR, 1.02; 95%CI, 1.00-1.04), higher human development index (HDI, HR for 1%, 1.06; 95%CI, 1.00-1.13) and Gini Index for Inequality of income (HR for 1%, 1.04, 95% CI, 1.00-1.07). On the other hand, distance from the Capital was protective (HR for each 100Km, 0.82; 95%CI, 0.74-0.90). The HR95%[95%CI] also varied negatively according to the categories of influence of major centers (0.41 [0.22-0.77], 0.16 [0.09-0.32], 0.07 [0.03-0.15]). The binomial negative regression models for COVID-19 incidence also detected positive association with population density (Incidence Rate Ratio[IRR], 1.13; 95%CI, 1.07-1.18) and proportion of urban population (IRR, 1.04; 95%CI, 1.01-1.05), protection for cities distant to the Capital (IRR=0.73; 95%CI, 0.68-0.81) and increasing negative association for categories of influence (0.19 [0.09-0.42], 0.07 [0.03-0.15] and 0.03 [0.02-0.08]). Similar findings were detected when we used SARD incidence as outcome.Conclusion: Municipalities with greater population, density and regional influence were more likely to be affected earlier and more intensely by COVID-19. Non-pharmacological measures should be strengthened in those areas of greater risk.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0038.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: historical reconstruction; modeling; drinking water; water quality; VOC; epidemiological study; health study; Camp Lejeune
Online: 4 August 2016 (10:09:23 CEST)
A U.S. government health agency conducted epidemiological studies to evaluate whether exposures to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were associated with increased health risks to children and adults. These health studies required knowledge of contaminant concentrations in drinking water—at monthly intervals—delivered to family housing, barracks, and other facilities within the study area. Because concentration data were limited or unavailable during much of the period of contamination (1950s–1985), the historical reconstruction process was used to quantify estimates of monthly mean contaminant-specific concentrations. This paper integrates many efforts, reports, and papers into a synthesis of the overall approach to, and results from, a drinking-water historical reconstruction study. Results show that at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant (WTP) reconstructed (simulated) tetrachloroethylene (PCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 183 micrograms per liter (ug/L) compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 215 ug/L and exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 5 ug/L during the period November 1957–February 1987. At the Hadnot Point WTP, reconstructed trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 783 ug/L compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 1,400 ug/L during the period August 1953–December 1984. The Hadnot Point WTP also provided contaminated drinking water to the Holcomb Boulevard housing area continuously prior to June 1972, when the Holcomb Boulevard WTP came on line (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 32 ug/L) and intermittently during the period June 1972–February 1985 (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 66 ug/L). Applying the historical reconstruction process to quantify contaminant-specific monthly drinking-water concentrations is advantageous for epidemiological studies when compared to using the classical exposed versus unexposed approach.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0260.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacy Keywords: thymoquinone; transethosomes; ethosomes; langmuir study transdermal
Online: 5 October 2023 (08:14:08 CEST)
The bioactive compound, thymoquinone (TQ), found in Nigella sativa seeds is known for its various therapeutic properties. Thymoquinone (TQ), a bioactive compound found in Nigella sativa seeds, is known for its various therapeutic properties. However, TQ as a compound is challenging for a pharmaceutical formulator due to its hydrophobic nature and chemical instability, limiting its skin penetration. Transethosomes, as a formulation, provide an environment that enhances the solubility of TQ, stability, as well as skin permeation. To optimize TQ transethosomal formulations, we introduced a combination of surfactants namely nonionic Tween 20 and ionic sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium lauroyl glutamate (SLG). These surfactants stabilize the formulation, reduce aggregation, and improve biocompatibility, as well as minimizing potential toxicity. Using the Langmuir monolayer technique, we fine-tuned the formulation composition and gained insights into its interfacial behavior. We conducted skin penetration studies using Rhodamine B as a model lipophilic compound to understand the skin penetration mechanisms. Our findings revealed that the transethosomes formulation, a combination of ionic and nonionic surfactants in the F2 formulation, resulted in the smallest particle sizes (115.4 nm) and demonstrated the highest skin permeation after 24 hours (267.13 μg/cm²), surpassing the control and ethosomal formulations. Additionally, this transethosomal formulation exhibited antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, with a zone of inhibition of 26.4 ± 0.3 mm. Importantly, we assessed the cytotoxicity of both ethosomes and transethosomes at concentrations ranging from 3.5 μM to 50 μM on HaCaT cell lines and found no cytotoxic effects in comparison to TQ solution controls. These results suggest the potential safety and efficacy of these TQ formulations and their further development in skin delivery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1612.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: rapeseed; glucosinolate; phenolics; GBS; association study
Online: 23 May 2023 (08:09:23 CEST)
The phenolics concentrations of rapeseed are important because they are antinutritional com-pound or directly positive related to antioxidant actives. In this study, single nucleotide poly-morphisms (SNPs) identified from genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), and genome-wide associa-tion study of phenolic contents were investigated in 95 rapeseed mutant lines derived from gamma rays and their original cultivar. A total of 3,196,318 SNPs were detected, identifying a set of 70,208 union SNPs used to perform association studies. Six phenolics and glucosinolate (pro-goitrin) were identified, sinapine was the major phenolic compound (91.2–99.2%) in all geno-types. The association study was conducted for six phenolic compounds, progoitrin, total sinap-ine content (TSC), total phenolic content (TPC) and seed yield. The association study identified 241 SNPs that were significantly associated with six phenolic compounds, progoitrin, TSC and TPC. Based on the detected SNP markers, BnaA06g31740D, a gene associated progoitrin, BnaC-nng39930D, a gene associated trans-sinapine 1, BnaA07g31720D, a gene associated trans-sinapine 2, BnaC03g31950D and BnaA06g09180D, a gene associated TSC, and BnaAnng27700D, a gene associ-ated TPC, were selected as candidate genes. The SNP makers associated major phenolic com-pounds identified and could be used as targets for breeding programs aimed at improving anti-oxidant contents and reducing antinutritional components.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0296.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Clinical Medicine Keywords: inferior vena cava filter; randomized study
Online: 17 January 2023 (06:36:43 CET)
The purpose of this study is to compare IVC Celect and ALN filters in regard to their efficacy, retrievability, and 1-year follow-up after retrieval. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective randomized study, conducted in three centers between April 2020 and May 2021. A total of 115 participants were randomized, of which 15 participants were excluded for various reasons. Each group of 50 participants was finally assigned a type of filter (Celect n= 50 and ALN= 50). Tilt angles at placement and retrieval together with rates of overall filter retrieval, complications, complex retrieval, and clinical follow-up at 12 months were compared. Results: One hundred participants (59 men and 41 women) were included. The mean age was 62.4±13.3 with no significant differences between both groups (p 0.503). The mean of dwelling time was 44.7±93 days. (p 0.520) Filter retrieval was successful in all participants (100%). The main complication in CT prior to removal was inclination > 15º (31%) and filter tip embedment (16%). No significant differences were observed in the type of retrieval (standard or complex) between both filters (p 0.24); however, fluoroscopy time was significantly longer in the complex removal of the Celect filter 29.1±12 min vs 17.5±10.3 (p 0.005). After one year, no recurrent pulmonary embolism was observed in both types of filters. Conclusion: The ALN filter had a significantly lower rate of tip and filter tip embedding with no differences in complexity or removal success rate. There were significant differences in the fluoroscopy time consumed for standard and complex retrievals between both filters with less time in the ALN filter
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0095.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Transportation Keywords: elderly study; mobility; transportation; scoping review
Online: 6 July 2022 (10:12:39 CEST)
The rapid development of transportation infrastructure in Malaysia had changed the mobility landscape of the country. While it would be a welcome advancement for many, older adults might find it difficult to keep up with their transportation uses and remain active. This study reviewed published articles on the travel behavior of older adults and its associated transportation determinants to explore how sustainable the transportation system is for this vulnerable cohort. Four databases were searched: PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, and EBSCOhost. Inclusion criteria were older respondents, living in a community in Malaysia, addressing any travel behavior characteristics and written in English language. Review paper, letters, book citations, comments, editorials, and experimental and animal studies were excluded from this study. All in all, this review included seven studies extending from the year 2007 to 2020. The result showed that transportation use of older adults had shifted from relying on public transports to driving their own vehicle to move around. According to the finding of this study, besides personal and health factors, transport use of older adults was affected mainly by cost, public transport availability, road traffic and safety, the complexity of the transportation system, distance to public transit, availability of parking space, road condition and signage. It is concluded that an effective strategy to improve the transportation system is lauded to prevent unmet travel needs among the older adults in Malaysia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0461.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: chiroptera; Pteropodidae; longitudinal study; Henipavirus; Pararubulavirus
Online: 20 July 2021 (16:05:26 CEST)
Bats have been identified as the natural hosts of several emerging zoonotic viruses, including paramyxoviruses, such as Hendra and Nipah viruses, that can cause fatal disease in humans. Recently, African fruit bats with populations that roost in or near urban areas have been shown to harbour a great diversity of paramyxoviruses, posing potential spillover risks to public health. Understanding the circulation of these viruses in their reservoir populations is essential to predict and prevent future emerging diseases. Here, we identify a high incidence of multiple paramyxoviruses in urine samples collected from a closed, captive colony of circa. 115 straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum). The sequences detected have high nucleotide identities with those derived from free ranging African fruit bats and form phylogenetic clusters with the Henipavirus genus, Pararubulavirus genus and other unclassified paramyxoviruses. As this colony had been closed for 5 years prior to this study, these results indicate that within-host paramyxoviral persistence underlies the role of bats as reservoirs of these viruses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0547.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: General Practitioner; Prevention; Suicide; Qualitative study
Online: 24 May 2021 (09:23:49 CEST)
Background: General Practitioners (GP) have an important role in the prevention of suicidal behavior. The purpose of this study was to explore their views and experiences of identifying and assessing suicidal ideation. Methods: Ten GPs were recruited through convenience sampling, based on accessibility, interest and willingness to participate. In-depth interviews were carried out and results transcribed ver-batim. Aspects of experiences with suicidal patients emerged through the thematic analyses process. Results: The GPs described the varied clinical picture when patients presented in their office. How they identified depressive symptoms apart from originally somatic complaints, formed a trusting relationship and addressed suicide ideation. They described customized interventions as well as obstacles and factors that facilitated communication: time, own personal traits, pa-tient’s disclosure and organizational barriers. Conclusions: The levels of the suicidal process among patients in general practice vary greatly. GPs adjust their appraisals to profundity understand and intervene in order to prevent a crisis to escalate into subsequent suicidal behavior.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0556.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Iran; active ageing; elderly; qualitative study
Online: 27 October 2020 (15:14:45 CET)
Background: Active ageing is a multidimensional, relative, and context-dependent concept with different paths and outcomes. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore personal active ageing strategies in a specific context. Method: Following a directed content analyze procedure, we conduct semi structured individual interview with 39 elder (men and women) between the ages of 60-97 years that selected with purposeful sampling .data collection and analysis were concurrent. We analyzed the data from interviews, written narratives, and field notes using directed content analyze. The Reliability of data was fulfilled in accordance Lincoln and Guba criteria. We stopped data collection when no new concept was added and data saturation occurred. Results: Based on the experience of elders, we identified 5 categories: 1) Preventive 2) Coping 3) Internal self-control 4) Coherence maintenance strategies 5) Opportunity exploiting strategies. These described the active ageing strategies when encountering with age related change. Utilizing these strategies, the elder accompanied the life time. Conclusion: The finding suggests that active ageing is a continuous process in confronting age related change. The identified strategies can help to promote active ageing by familiarizing older with opportunities of life and training them in how to use these strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0386.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: genome-wide association study; transcriptome-wide association study; meta-analysis; expression quantitative trait loci; nicotine addiction
Online: 22 November 2021 (11:46:13 CET)
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified and reproduced thousands of diseases associated loci but many of them are not directly interpretable due to the strong linkage disequilibrium among variants. Transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) incorporated expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) cohorts as reference panel to detect associations with the phenotype at the gene level and were gaining popularity in recent years. For nicotine addiction, several important susceptible genetic variants were identified by GWAS, but TWAS that detected genes associated with nicotine addiction and unveiled the underlying molecular mechanism were still lacking. In this study, we used eQTL data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) consortium as reference panel to conduct tissue specific TWAS on cigarettes per day (CPD) over 13 brain tissues in two large cohorts: UK Biobank (UKBB; N=142,202) and the GWAS & Sequencing Consortium of Alcohol and Nicotine use (GSCAN; N=143,210), and then meta-analyzed the results across tissues while considering the heterogeneity across tissues. We identified three major clusters of genes with different meta-patterns across tissues consistent in both cohorts, including homogenous genes associated with CPD in all brain tissues, partially homogeneous genes associated with CPD in cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus tissues, and lastly the tissue-specific genes associated with CPD in only few specific brain tissues. Downstream enrichment analyses on each gene cluster identified unique biological pathways associated with CPD and provided important biological insights into the regulatory mechanism of nicotine dependence in the brain.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1840.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: HSP90 protein; HSC70 protein; docking study; hypericin
Online: 29 November 2023 (09:58:27 CET)
Heat Shock Proteins play a crucial role in maintaining cellular integrity during thermal stress conditions, acting as chaperones and participating in the regulation of cellular responses. The focus was to contribute valuable insights into the potential role of hypericin in modulating these heat shock proteins and its implications for anti-tumoral properties. This study employs computational methods, specifically molecular docking, to investigate the potential biological interactions between the chaperone proteins HSP90 and HSC70 and Hypericin, a natural compound recognized for its anti-tumor properties. Despite the limited existing studies in this domain, this research aims to uncover structural insights into the binding mechanisms between Hypericin and these heat shock proteins. In the docking assessments, hypericin demonstrated notable binding energy results, exhibiting a binding energy of -10.5 kcal/mol with Heat Shock Cognate 71 kDa protein and -11.2 kcal/mol with Heat Shock Protein HSP90-alpha.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0257.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Surgery Keywords: abdominal wall hernias; hernias; cross-sectional study
Online: 5 October 2023 (06:33:40 CEST)
Background: Abdominal wall hernias are a common condition that is seen in daily general surgery patients. However, still more researches are needed to be conducted regarding hernias. The aim of this study is to see the prevalence of hernias among patients admitted to the Department of Surgery of a tertiary care center. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed among patients who admitted to the department of surgery in a tertiary care center between 1 August 2023 and 20 September 2023. All patients data were extracted to an excel sheet. Results: We had 760 patients who visited in this period. Only 272 patients (27.9 %) were diagnosed with hernias. We found 52.6 % of patients were male and 47.4 % of patients were female. The age between 46- 60 years old was the most to have hernias (97 patients). Inguinal hernias were the common among other types. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, COPD, and hydrocele were found in 10.7 % of all patients. Conclusion: The prevalence of hernias in this study was nearly to other studies that conducted in the same conditions. Early diagnosis and patient’s education are the corner stone to prevent morbidities and mortalities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1517.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Sustainable Tourism; Blockchain; Digital Innovation; Cases Study
Online: 21 June 2023 (09:54:27 CEST)
This article presents a comprehensive review of the relationship in sustainable tourism and blockchain technology. The aim of this research is to explore the potential of blockchain to promote sustainable tourism, as well as to evaluate the current state of research and practical implementations in this field. The findings demonstrate the potential of blockchain in enhancing sustainability practices in tourism, while also highlighting the challenges and limitations. The study provides valuable insights for policymakers, industry practitioners, and researchers, and proposes future research directions to further advance the field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0946.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: bibliometrics; methodological study; systematics reviews; meta-analyses
Online: 12 May 2023 (12:29:53 CEST)
Objective: To carry out a bibliometric analysis study of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in dentistry, divided into different thematic areas. Material and method: A search was conducted in the Science Citation Index-Expanded on the core collection of Web of Science, they were selected from the area of Dentistry and Oral Surgery and Medicine categories, the data was downloaded on April 20, 2022 and The 100 most cited articles from each of the thematic areas were selected. Results: An increase in this type of articles was observed in the last decade in the areas of pediatric and medical dentistry and oral pathology. The thematic area that received the most citations was periodontics. The two authors with the most citations are Zwahlen, Marcel and Pjetursson, Bjarni Eluar. The countries that receive the most citations are European, along with the USA and China. The topics that are most published in this type of article deal with Cancer with 50 publications, caries treatment with 25 and fluoridation with 1. The entities that finance this type of articles the most are private companies (26.76%). Conclusions: Together with an exponential increase in the number of publications in dentistry, there has been an increase in the number of publications in systematic reviews. The areas publishing the most articles and having the most citations are Periodontics and Implantology, despite the fact that the most studied topic is cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; Protection Measures; Observational Study; Pandemics
Online: 6 March 2023 (15:36:27 CET)
Preventive behavior is one of the main strategies to contain the spread of the coronavirus, understand the factors that influence adherence or hesitation to protective measures and the way the population behaves during a health crisis is of great importance. Aim: To analyze the factors associated with adherence to protection measures against Covid-19 in Brazil. Method: cross-sectional study, survey type online, between the period of August 2020 and February 2021. The population included in the study were Brazilians, aged 18 years or older. Non-probabilistic sampling was used to obtain the sample. The data was stored on the "Redcap" platform and analyzed in a descriptive and inferential approach. Results: The sample consisted of 1,516 people, women adopted 10% more protective measures than men, people with higher education level and higher income, within the age group between 40-59 years, were those who most adhered to the measures imposed by health agencies. Carrier of Asthma, Diabetes Mellitus, Systemic Arterial Hypertension, Obesity and smoking were factors that increased the adherence of protective measures in the fight against COVID-19. Conclusion: Being female, aged between 40 and 59 years, higher education, smoking, not having a religion, having health insurance, and being a carrier of chronic diseases were associated with greater adherence to protective measures against COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0304.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: engine; gasoline; oxygenated fuel; blend; experimental study
Online: 20 October 2022 (11:01:24 CEST)
Alternative fuels have the potential to reduce exhaust emissions in the transportation sector. In this study, the effects of oxygenated fuels on the performance and emissions of a gasoline single-cylinder spark-ignition engine have been investigated experimentally. Experiments were conducted using a DIDACTA-T85 testbed under full load conditions and variable engine speed. Performance tests were performed by measuring the brake torque, brake power, brake mean effective pressure (BMEP), brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC), and brake thermal efficiency (BTE). The tested fuel blends were G0, E10, A10, and M10. G0 represented the base fuel and pure gasoline. E10, A10, and M10 were represented by a 10% volume of ethanol, acetone, and methanol in gasoline respectively. Results showed that M10 produced better engine performance in terms of brake torque, brake power, and BMEP, while E10 performed better results in terms of BSFC and BTE. A10 gave the lowest value in NOx emission at all engine speeds. On the other hand, it increased the NOX emission for E10 and M10 blends. This study showed that oxygenated fuel blends significantly reduced carbon monoxide emission at all engine speeds whereas carbon dioxide emission was higher at the highest engine speed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0047.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation Keywords: Rehabilitation; new technology; validation; study design; methods
Online: 3 June 2022 (11:12:44 CEST)
Important current limitations of the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in the rehabilitation field are related to the validation process of new technologies and interventions. Indeed, most of the strict guidelines that have been developed for the validation of new drugs (i.e., double or triple blinded, strict control of the doses and intensity) cannot – or only partially – be applied in rehabilitation. Well powered high quality randomized controlled trials are more difficult to organize in rehabilitation (e.g., longer duration of the intervention in rehabilitation, more difficult to standardize the intervention compared to drugs’ validation studies, limited funding’s since not sponsorized by big pharma companies), which reduces the possibility of conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses, as currently high level of evidence is sparse. The current limitations of EBP in rehabilitation are presented in this paper and innovative solutions are suggested such as: technology-supported rehabilitation systems, continuous assessment, pragmatic trials, rehabilitation treatment specification systems, and advanced statistical methods, to tackle the limitations to increase the quality of the research in rehabilitation. The development and implementation of new technologies should increase the quality of research and the level of evidence supporting rehabilitation provided some adaptation in our research methodology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0374.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: Business Model Innovation; Exponential Organizations; Case Study
Online: 27 May 2022 (09:06:31 CEST)
As a representative of Exponential Organizations, MI went from obscurity to the Fortune 500 in just ten years. Mi's success is inextricably linked to its outstanding business model. This paper summarizes the elements of MI's business model from four perspectives: value proposition, value creation, value delivery, and value capture, as well as its measures for developing into an exponential organization. Expecting to provide theoretical references for the transformation and upgrading of manufacturing organizations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0419.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: study participation; communication; survey; general research results
Online: 15 April 2021 (14:48:49 CEST)
There is a need for multimodal strategies to keep research participants informed about study results. Our aim was to characterize preferences of genomic research participants from two institutions along four dimensions of general research result updates: content, timing, mechanism, and frequency. Methods: We conducted a web-based cross-sectional survey that was administered from 6-25-2018 to 12-5-2018. Results: 397 participants completed the survey, most of whom (96%) expressed a desire to receive research updates. Preferences with high endorsement included: update content (brief descriptions of major findings, descriptions of purpose and goals, and educational material); update timing (when the research is completed, when findings are reviewed, when findings are published, and when the study status changes); update mechanism (email with updates, and email newsletter); and update frequency (every three months). Hierarchical cluster analyses based on the four update preferences identified four profiles of participants with similar preference patterns. Very few participants in the largest profile were comfortable with budgeting less money for research activities so that researchers have money to set up services to send research result updates to study participants. Conclusion: This work provides evidence of a need for funders to incentivize researchers to communicate results to participants.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0107.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Plasticizers; Cancer; microRNA; in vitro study; PRISMA.
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:04:17 CEST)
The environmental exposure of human in the daily and occupational activities to plasticizers may adversely affect human health, and thus represents a global issue. The altered expression of MicroRNAs (miRNAs) exerts an important pathogenic role linked also to the exposure to plasticizers. This systematic review summarizes the recent findings showing modified ex-pression of miRNAs in cancer due to plasticizers exposures. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology, we performed a systematic review of the past ten years, focusing on the relationship between plasticizer exposures and expression of miRNAs cancer. Starting by 535 records, 17 articles were included. Results support the hypothesis that exposure to plasticizers cause changes or deregulation of a number of oncogenic miRNAs and showed that plasticizers interaction with several redundant miRNAs, such as let-7f, let-7g, miR-125b, miR-134, miR-146a, miR-22; miR-192, miR-222, miR-26a, miR-26b, miR-27b, miR-296, miR-324, miR-335, miR-122, miR-23b, miR-200, miR-29a and miR-21, might induce deep alterations. These genotoxic and oncogenic responses can eventually lead to abnormal cell signaling pathways and metabolisms that participate in many overlapped cellular processes, and miRNA level changes can be a useful tool for the toxicological assessment of environmental pollutants, including plastic additives and plasticizers
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0293.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Hsp70; biomarker; glioblastoma; NK cells; clinical study
Online: 26 January 2021 (11:33:34 CET)
Despite rapid progress in the treatment of many cancers, glioblastoma remains a devastating disease with dismal prognosis. The aim of this study was to identify immune-related biomarkers that more effectively predict outcome of glioblastoma. Since heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and IL-2 are known to increase the expression of activatory NK cell receptors, recognizing aggressive human tumor cells that present Hsp70 on their cell surface, extracellular Hsp70 levels were determined in glioma patients together with activatory NK cell receptors. All gliomas are membrane Hsp70-positive (mHsp70+) and high grade gliomas more frequently show an overexpression of Hsp70 in the nucleus and cytosol. Significantly increased extracellular Hsp70 levels are detected predominantly in glioblastomas with large necrotic areas. Overall survival (OS) is more favorable in patients with low Hsp70 serum levels indicating that a high Hsp70 expression is associated with an unfavorable prognosis. Elevated frequencies of NK cells are associated with a more favorable outcome. Of caution, a glucocorticoid therapy reduces the prevalence of NK cells. In summary, elevated frequencies of Hsp70-reactive NK cells at diagnosis and lower Hsp70 levels predict a more favorable prognosis in glioblastoma patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0206.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Crinipellin; Alliacol-B; cycloaddition; dearomatization; docking study
Online: 8 December 2020 (16:58:31 CET)
In this present work, we are reporting a novel route for the synthesis of the tetracyclic ring systems, which is a common core of crinipellin via oxidative dearomatization, cycloaddition and oxa- di-pi-methane rearrangement. We considered to exploring a route to tetracyclic core (1e) of Crinipellin and tricyclic core (1g) of Allicaol B through intermolecular diels alder reaction and photochemically 1,2 acyl shift. Moreover, docking study of compound 13 and 16has been investigated against AcrB multidrug efflux pump of Escherichia coli (PDB ID: 1T9U), main protease of SARS COV-2 (PDB ID: 6W63), DNA gyrase of Streptococcus pneumonia (PDB ID: 4Z2C), human estrogen receptor alpha (PDB ID: 3ERT), human lanosterol 14-alpha-demethylase (CYP51)(PDB ID: 3JUS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (Prostaglandin Synthase-2) (PDB ID: 1CX2). The obtained results herein are important for the exploitation of the therapeutic potential of these derivatives as antimicrobial, antiviral, anticancer, antifungal or anti-inflammatory agents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0617.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: coronavirus; mental health; Norway; population study; PTSD
Online: 24 November 2020 (13:33:17 CET)
The COVID-19 outbreak and the sudden lockdown of society in March 2020 had a large impact on people’s daily life and gave rise to concerns for the mental health in the general population. The aim of the study was to examine post-traumatic stress reactions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of symptom-defined post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and factors associated with post-traumatic stress in the Norwegian population during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. A survey was administered via social media channels, to which a sample of 4527 adults (≥18 years) responded. Symptom-defined PTSD was measured with the PTSD Checklist for the DSM-5. The items were specifically linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. We used the DSM-5 diagnostic guidelines to categorize participants as fulfilling the PTSD symptom criteria or not. Associations with PTSD were examined with single and multiple logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of symptom-defined PTSD was 12.5% for men and 19.5% for women. PTSD was associated with lower age, female gender, lack of social support, and a range of pandemic-related variables such as economic concerns, expecting economic loss, having been in quarantine or isolation, being at high-risk for complications from COVID-19 infection, and having concern for family and close friends. In conclusion, posttraumatic stress reactions were common in the Norwegian population in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Concerns about finances, health, and family and friends seem to matter.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Gastroenterology And Hepatology Keywords: diarrhea; wood creosote; Seirogan; retrospective study; capsule
Online: 6 November 2019 (11:49:10 CET)
Seirogan, a wood creosote, is a nonprescription drug used to treat diarrhea. However, reports of its clinical use are rare. Here, we report on the efficacy of wood creosote (3 capsules daily) for the alleviation of diarrheal symptoms in 148 patients from 10 clinics in Japan. The wood creosote capsules were classified as remarkably effective (44 patients), effective (71 patients), and partially effective (13 patients) based on the degree of alleviation of diarrheal symptoms that were induced by a variety of causes. The antidiarrheal efficacy of the capsules did not differ between males and females, and young patients (21–30 years) showed greater improvement in diarrheal symptoms than did old patients (> 61 years). Although this report is based on the re-evaluation of old data that had been preserved by our company, the effectiveness and range of symptoms that were treatable with wood creosote has likely remained unchanged. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first public report on the clinical effectiveness of wood creosote capsules for the treatment of a wide range of diarrheal symptoms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0066.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; risk factors; nutrition; ecological study
Online: 8 February 2018 (03:22:54 CET)
The aim of this study was a large-scale ecological analysis of nutritional and other environmental factors potentially associated with the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in the global context. Indicators of CVDs from 158 countries were compared with the statistics of mean intake (supply) of 60 food items between 1993 and 2011, obesity rates, health expenditure and life expectancy. This comparison shows that the relationship between CVD indicators (raised blood pressure, CVD mortality, raised blood glucose) and independent variables in the global context is influenced by various factors such as short life expectancy, religiously conditioned dietary customs, the imprecision of some statistics and undernutrition. However, regardless of the statistical method used, the results always show very similar trends and identify high carbohydrate consumption (mainly in the form of cereals and wheat in particular) as a dietary factor most consistently associated with the risk of CVDs. These findings are in line with the changing view of the causes of CVDs. Because only the statistics of raised blood glucose include people using medications and reflect true prevalence that is independent of healthcare, more objective data on the prevalence of CVDs are needed to confirm these observed trends.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0090.v1
Online: 24 February 2017 (07:18:39 CET)
While the majority of previous studies assessing pain-related variables in psychopaths used electric shocks, little is known about the effectiveness of alternative pain-inducing methods to increase emotional responses such as fear and anxiety. A small sample of healthy undergraduate men (N = 15) was recruited to assess the effectiveness of a heat stimulus to induce pain in an immediate versus delayed punishment paradigm. Although pain catastrophizing, anxiety, and threat of pain did not increase throughout the experiment, participants experienced a significant increase of fear of pain and pain intensity, indicating that the heat stimulus was effective in inducing pain. Furthermore, subjects were slower in initiating the pain stimulus during the first five trials, but no time difference was found during the 15 remaining trials. No correlation was found between psychopathic traits and pain-related variables, with the exception of inconsistent results within the Fearless Dominance factor. Findings are discussed in terms of improvement for a larger scale study involving psychopathic individuals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0093.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: metastatic breast cancer; taxanes; eribulin; observational study
Online: 26 September 2016 (11:39:32 CEST)
Taxanes have been shown to be the most effective treatment for recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. However, for patients pretreated with taxanes, more active and possibly less toxic drugs are needed. In this retrospective study, we investigated on the effectiveness and safety of eribulin mesylate in 91 taxane-refractory subjects, extracted from the ESEMPIO database, which included 497 metastatic breast cancer patients treated with eribulin allover the Italy. This analysis included only those patients who have shown disease progression while receiving taxane therapy (primary refractory), or those who achieved a response followed by progression while still on therapy (taxane failure). Overall, 41/91 patients (45.2%) showed a clinical benefit; 1 complete response (2.2%) and 16 partial responses (17.6%) were observed. The median progression free survival was 3.1 months (95% CI: 2.8–3.5) and the median overall survival was 11.6 months (95% CI: 8.7–16.7). With regard to toxicity, 53 patients (58%) experienced asthenia/fatigue, 23 (25%) showed peripheral neurotoxicity, 18 (20%) alopecia, 12 (13%) mild constipation and 27 (30%) neutropenia. The toxicity related to the treatment led to eribulin dose reduction in 19 (21%) and discontinuation in 9 (10%) patients, respectively. In conclusion, this study suggests that eribulin is effective and well tolerated also in taxane-refractory patient.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0121.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Allergy; Asthma; Wheeze; Rhinitis; Home Allergens; Household Dust; Mildew; Cockroach; Dust mites; Pets; Endotoxin; Population Study; Prevalence Study; NHANES
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:23:09 CEST)
Our study examines the association of the presence of mildew, cockroaches, and pets in homes as well as household dust allergens with the prevalence and/or severity of allergic diseases. No study has concurrently assessed home environment exposures in relation to allergic conditions in the general US population. Data from 5,409 participants from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey living in their current homes for ≥1 year were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses between home exposures and allergic diseases prevalence and severity were performed. In adjusted analyses, mildew was associated with higher current asthma, allergies, and allergic rhinitis prevalence; endotoxin, with higher current asthma prevalence), and dust Canis familiaris (Can f) 1, with higher allergic rhinitis prevalence. However, presence of cockroaches and dust Dermatogoides farinae (Der f) 1 were associated respectively with lower current asthma and allergies prevalence. Presence of mildew, dust Der f1, Dermatogoides pteronyssinus (Der p) 1, Feline domesticus (Fel d) 1, and endotoxin were all associated with asthma and/or wheeze severity. Non-atopic asthma was more frequent with mildew and/or musty smell dust and higher dust Fel d1 concentration, while atopic asthma was more prevalent with higher Can f1and endotoxin concentrations in dust. This study confirms previous relationships and reports novel associations, generating hypotheses for future research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0281.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: amputation; body image; validation study; reproducibility of results
Online: 6 November 2023 (07:43:49 CET)
Background: Assessing body image and personalized rehabilitation in lower limb amputation is essential to measure impact on an individual’s quality of life and psychosocial wellbeing. The aim of this study was to develop a Spanish version of the Amputee Body Image Scale (ABIS-E) for Spanish-speaking lower limb amputee. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted including amputee patients in local in Madrid, Spain. Clinical outcomes about body image (Amputee Body Image Scale, ABIS), health-related quality of life (EuroQol-5D-5L), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), pain (Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form, BPI-SF) and functional capacity (Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire, PEQ) were collected. Results: Seventy-three participants were assessed. Excellent test-retest reliability (ICC=0.847) and good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.753) were obtained. Three factors were extracted in the factor analyses. Convergent validity with Pearson's and Spearman's correlation coefficients were calculated for the depression and anxiety questionnaires (HADS) (values between .57 and .67), functional capacity (PEQ) (values between -.35 and .71) and quality of life (EQ-5D-5L) (values between -.37 and .61). Conclusions: The ABIS-E is a reliable and valid tool for measuring body image in the Spanish population with a lower limb amputation, potentially useful in primary care to identify psychosocial problems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0253.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Occupational Stress; Burnout; Turnover Intentions; Motivation; Quantitative Study
Online: 3 November 2023 (12:41:12 CET)
The main objective of this study was to study the effect of occupational stress on turnover intentions, as well as whether this relationship is mediated by burnout levels and moderated by motivation. The sample of this study consisted of 603 participants, all employees of the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority, which is part of the Ministry of Finance and belongs to the Direct State Administration. The results indicate that occupational stress (with managers, with career and remuneration and with work overload) has a positive and significant effect on turnover intentions and that this relationship is mediated by burnout. Motivation (intrinsic and identified) has a negative and significant effect on turnover intentions. Intrinsic motivation moderates the rela-tionship between occupational stress (with managers, with colleagues, with career and pay and with family problems) and turnover intentions. These results indicate that among the dimensions of occupational stress, the most critical are stress with managers, work overload and career and pay. These are factors that the Direct State Administration should be concerned about in trying to minimize their causes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1309.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Biofilm matrix; Bibliometric Study; Proteins; Polysaccharides; Extracellular DNA
Online: 21 October 2023 (03:37:40 CEST)
Biofilm matrix is akin to bacterial abodes, primarily composed of proteins, polysaccharides, extracellular DNA, and lipids, providing essential structural support to bacteria. While some biofilm matrix offers significant benefits, such as engineered biofilm reactors that assist in water pollutant removal, others pose risks to human health, potentially leading to conditions like lung infections. Realizing the potential of advantageous biofilm matrix and mitigating the harmful effects of detrimental ones necessitates a comprehensive and systematic exploration of this intricate domain. To facilitate this examination, our study leveraged a dataset of the 1000 most pivotal papers in the field and conducted an exhaustive bibliographic review. This paper serves as a valuable resource for understanding the current progress in biofilm matrix research and delving into vital avenues for future exploration in this dynamic field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2007.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: levonorgestrel; thermal analysis; kinetic study; decomposition; isoconversional methods
Online: 30 August 2023 (04:01:50 CEST)
In this study, we have focused on studying the heterogenous degradation kinetics of regarding the decomposition of emergency contraceptive agent levonorgestrel (LNG), which is a second-generation synthetic progestogen that is the active component of the racemic mixture of norgestrel. The degradation processes of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) were compared with the ones obtained from model system containing the API along with the excipients that are found in a commercialized pharmaceutical formulation in a mass ratio of 1:1 (LNGMIX), in order to observe if the excipients have a stabilizing or destabilizing effect for the degradation of this progestogen. To achieve this, the following investigational methods were used: FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectroscopy and thermal analysis (TG/DTG/DSC analysis). For the kinetic analysis the data obtained from two main decomposition processes observed on the DTG curves were used and processed with a preliminary method, namely ASTM E698 and two isoconversional methods: Friedman and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa. The isoconversional study revealed that the decomposition mechanism of both LNG and LNGMIX are complex, and the excipients have a stabilizing effect over decomposition of API in tablet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0524.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: immunosenescence; biological age; biomarker; flow cytometry; longitudinal study
Online: 7 August 2023 (10:05:00 CEST)
Immunological aging type definition requires establishing reference intervals from the distribution of immunosenescence biomarkers conditional on age. For 1,605 individuals (18–97 years), we determined the comprehensive IMMmune Age indeX IMMAX from flow cytometry-based blood cell sub-populations, and identified age-specific centiles by fitting generalized additive models for location, scale and shape. The centiles were uncorrelated with age, and facilitated the categorization of individuals as immunologically slow or fast aging types. Using its 50th percentile as reference, we rescaled IMMAX to equivalent years-of-life (EYOL), and computed the immunological age gap as difference between EYOL and chronological age. Applied to preliminary baseline and follow-up measurements from 53 participants of the Dortmund Vital Study (Clinical-Trials.gov Identifier: NCT05155397), the averaged changes in IMMAX and EYOL conformed to the 5-year follow-up period, whereas no significant changes occurred concerning IMMAX centiles and age gap. This suggested that the participants immunologically adapted to aging, and kept their relative positions within the cohort. Sex was non-significant. Methodical comparisons indicated that future confirmatory analyses with the completed follow-up examinations could rely on percentile curves estimated by simple linear quantile regression, while the selection of the immunosenescence biomarker will greatly influence the outcome, with IMMAX representing the preferable choice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0258.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: MnO2-nanozymes; Gold-nanozymes; Kinetic parameters; Comparative study
Online: 5 July 2023 (04:17:32 CEST)
Gold- and MnO2- nanozymes are well-known for their enzyme-like activity. In this regard, initially, gold- and MnO2- nanozymes were synthesized by simple and green methods. Afterward, the kinetic studies were performed using the Michaelis–Menten model for both gold- and MnO2- nanozymes. The kinetic parameters including Km and Vmax were calculated via the construction of the linear plot of Lineweaver–Burk for both nanozymes. The results showed a Vmax and Km of 185 nM sec-1 and 47 nM sec-1 for the gold- and MnO2- nanozymes, in order. The ratio of Vmax(gold)/Vmax(MnO2) was found to be about 4.0 which pointed that the catalytic efficiency of gold-nanozymes is 4.0-fold higher than the catalytic efficiency of MnO2- nanozymes. The Km value was found to be 0.72 mM and 1.6 mM for the as-prepared gold- and MnO2- nanozymes, respectively, and the Km of MnO2-nanozymes is 2.2-fold higher than that of gold nanozymes. Since the Km shows the affinity of substrate for binding to nanozyme active nodes (lower Km=higher affinity), it is consultable that the substrate affinity toward MnO2-nanozymes is 2.2-fold lower than that of the gold-nanozymes. Considering the above results, the as-prepared gold nanozymes are very stronger peroxidase-like mimics than the metal oxide MnO2-nanozymes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1434.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: chronic disease; self-management; elder patients; qualitative study
Online: 21 June 2023 (08:52:39 CEST)
Living with a chronic disease involves a variety of daily life limitations that severely affect people in their daily life. Identifying and promoting self-management strategies may improve health outcomes and increase patients’ autonomy. The purpose of the present study was to explore the perceived limitations and self-management strategies of elder patients suffering from chronic diseases. An inductive content analysis was applied, with a purposive sampling of 21 patients living with chronic conditions. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Two main-categories were emerged from content analysis, namely “Limitations of daily life” and “Disease Management”. Physical restrictions and negative feelings were referred to as daily burdens, while scheduling and self-care, supporting environment and technology were related to disease management. Information, training and provision of digital literacy may increase patients' self-efficacy in managing their chronic condition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0256.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Toxicology Keywords: Heavy metals; lead exposure; growth outcomes; cohort study
Online: 15 August 2022 (11:22:35 CEST)
Studies suggest that elevated postnatal blood lead levels (BLLs) are negatively associated with child growth. This study aimed to investigate associations of childhood BLLs at age one-year and growth outcomes at age six-years (n=661) in a cohort of children in Allada, Benin. The growth outcomes studied are weight-for-age Z-score (WAZ), height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) and BMI-for-age Z-score (BMIZ), head circumference (HC), underweight, stunting, and wasting. Multivariable regression models examined associations between blood lead levels, growth outcomes with adjustment for potential confounders. The geometric mean BLLs was 59.3 μg/L and 82% of children had BLLs >35 μg/L at one year. After adjusting for confounding factors, no association was found between BLLs quartiles and HAZ, WAZ, BMIZ, and height and weight growth velocities. However, boys in the highest quartile had 1.02 cm lower HC (95% CI: [-1.81, -0. 24]) as compared to those in the lowest quartile with a dose-response trend across quartiles (Ptrend =0.02). Furthermore, an increased risk of being stunted was observed in children in the highest quartile of exposure compared to the first (OR: 2.43; 95% CI: [1.11 – 5.33]) with a dose-response trend (Ptrend =0.03). Blood lead was found to be associated with an increased risk of childhood stunting and lower head circumference in a resource-limited setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0062.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Keywords: Subcondylar fracture; Histopathologic study; TMJ; MMF; Miniplate fixation
Online: 2 August 2022 (10:20:48 CEST)
Objectives: The present study was performed to compare between two different fixation techniques and evaluate the histopathological changes which occur in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of the dogs after surgically induced unilateral subcondylar fracture. Methods: Twenty- One healthy beagle male dogs with a mean age of 30 months were used in the present study. One of these animals was sacrificed to study the normal histology of the dog TMJ. The rest of the animals (20 animals) were operated on to induce a displaced unilateral subcondylar fracture then, the animals were randomly equally divided into 2 groups. After surgery, 5 dogs of each group were sacrificed at 2 months after surgery (Short-Term), while the remaining 5 were sacrificed at 4 months after surgery (Long-Term). The heads were separated and fixed, oscillating saw was used to articulate the entire TMJ. Specimens were decalcified, then the specimens were washed, grossed and sectioned in a sagittal plane. Tissue sections of 4 um thick were cut and stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin to be studied microscopically. Results: In group I animals, at 2 months after surgery, there was a marked hypertrophy of the articular fibrous covering of the condylar head, while at 4 months after surgery, the articular fibrous covering appeared thinner than normal, with marked decrease in thickness of the articular cartilage layer. In group II, at 2 months after plate insertion, the articular fibrous covering became hypertrophic, and the articular cartilage was markedly reduced but it was of a uniform thickness, while at 4 months after subcondylar fracture and plate fixation, no significant changes could be detected either in thickness or structure of the articular fibrous covering. Conclusion: Based on this study, it is obvious that the plate fixation group gave the most favorable results, when compared with maxillomandibular fixation (MMF) group.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0078.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Endocrinology And Metabolism Keywords: rehospitalization; transition care; pilot study; prospective randomized trial
Online: 6 January 2022 (11:40:43 CET)
Hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge (30-day readmission) is a high-priority quality measure and cost target. The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility and efficacy of the Diabetes Transition of Hospital Care (DiaTOHC) Program on readmission risk in high-risk adults with diabetes. This was a non-blinded pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) that compared usual care (UC) to DiaTOHC at a safety-net hospital. The primary outcome was all-cause 30-day readmission. Between 10/16/2017 and 05/30/2019, 115 patients were randomized. In the intention-to-treat (ITT) population, 14 (31.1%) of 45 DiaTOHC subjects and 15 (32.6%) of 46 UC subjects had a 30-day readmission (p=0.88) while 35.6% DiaTOHC and 39.1% UC subjects had a 30-day readmission or ED visit (p=0.72). The Intervention:UC cost ratio was 0.33 (0.13-0.79)95%CI (p<0.01). Among the 69 subjects with baseline HbA1c >7.0% (53 mmol/mol), 30-day readmission rates were 23.5% (DiaTOHC) and 31.4% (UC, p=0.46) and composite 30-day readmission or ED visit rates were 26.5% (DiaTOHC) and 40.0% (UC, p=0.23). In this subgroup, the Intervention:UC cost ratio was 0.21 (0.08-0.58)95%CI (p=0.002). The DiaTOHC Program is feasible and may decrease combined 30-day readmission/ED visit risk as well as healthcare costs among patients with higher HbA1c levels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0061.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Mathematical And Computational Biology Keywords: COVID-19; Computational Thinking; Computational Modeling; Lesson Study
Online: 4 October 2021 (14:37:30 CEST)
COVID-19 has been extremely difficult to control. The lack of understanding of key aspects of pandemics has affected virus transmission. On the other hand, there is a demand to incorporate Computational Thinking (CT) in the curricula with applications in STEM. However, there are still no exemplars in the curriculum that apply CT to real-world problems such as controlling a pandemic or other similar global crises. In this paper, we fill this gap by proposing exemplars of CT for modeling the pandemic. We designed exemplars following the three pillars of the APEC InMside framework for CT: algorithmic thinking, computational modeling, and machine learning. For each pillar, we designed a progressive sequence of activities that covers from elementary to high school. In an experimental study with elementary and middle school students from 2 schools of high vulnerability, we found that the computational modeling exemplar can be implemented by teachers and correctly understood by students. We conclude that it is feasible to introduce the exemplars at all grade levels, and that this is a powerful example of STEM integration that helps reflect and tackle real-world and challenging public health problems of great impact for students and their families.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0571.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: university; HEI; students; sustainability; UBC; qualitative study; perception
Online: 26 July 2021 (11:48:43 CEST)
As sustainability gains significance within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide, the University of British Columbia (UBC) stands as one of the global champions of sustainability. In 2019, Times Higher Education ranked UBC as number one in the world for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and ranked one in Canada for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Over the years, UBC students have been instrumental to sustainability on the UBC campus by advocating for divestment, climate justice, and other sustainability commitments and projects in the university. Hence, this qualitative study examines students’ engagement with or their perception of the university’s sustainability programs and image. The study found that students acknowledged and commended the university’s sustainability efforts in teaching, research, providing sustainability-related opportunities for students, and in sustainability operations. However, students also addressed hesitation on the part of university administration in championing climate justice and bolder climate action. The conclusion is that continued support and engagement with students are critical for UBC to achieve its climate action plans and sustainability goals in general. The study contributes to the ongoing discourse on the influential role of young people and the youth climate movement in catalyzing ambitious global climate action at all levels.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0764.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: creative legal study; creativity; medical curriculum; medical student
Online: 31 March 2021 (12:15:46 CEST)
In Thailand, the topic of medical ethics and laws related to medical professions has been one part of the national competency assessment criteria. The objective of this article was to design legal issues into the medical curriculum and to share experiences of creative legal study. Legal contents were inserted into 10 subjects and taught for year 1 to year 6 medical students. Students were divided into multi-groups or received individual tasks and then, shared their knowledge and idea for solving legal problems. The results showed they could interpret and create novel ideas for legal and ethical reconstruction, including the topic of the principle of laws, criminal laws, civil and commercial laws, public health laws, organ donation/transplantation, end of life decisions, and legal liability for the medical profession. Finally, the creative legal study can be used as a novel approach to support creativity among medical students.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0127.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Case study; Collaborative ecosystem; Governance; Smart city; Sustainability
Online: 6 October 2020 (12:55:13 CEST)
Despite the increasing interest in ‘smart city’ initiatives worldwide, current literature still lacks the approaches and models that address challenges in organization and collaboration, which boost sustainability and ‘smartness’ in modern cities. This paper provides an overview of ‘smart city’ ecosystems as a mechanism to promote the expected outcomes of their sustainable development, and highlights the importance of conceptualizing cities from organizational and managerial perspectives. Representative exploratory models of ‘city organization’, which emphasize on the role of ‘governance’ and synergies, are presented to ‘decode’ complex city mechanisms and to determine key components that lead to ‘smart’ initiatives. Interesting case studies and applications are then analysed to examine the practical dimension of these approaches. As a review paper, this article lays out a general framework on the importance of ‘collaboration’, ‘governance’, ‘management’, and ‘ecosystem’. However, 'planning smartly’ and achieving ‘sustainability’ at the level of city ‘organization’ remain as challenges in this pioneering study of smart cities.
DATASET | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0226.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: candidate-gene association; estimation; bias; confounding; case study
Online: 18 June 2020 (07:50:33 CEST)
Estimation of the reality can easily be flawed, hence, in order to result in accurate and useful estimates the process has to be protected from bias and confounding and should follow other methodological milestones inherent to different types of empirical observations. Candidate-gene association studies are a specific form of observations that have been rather extensively applied in psychiatry yielding valuable information on various aspects – when methodologically adequate and used in appropriate settings. However, certain flaws that may occur in such studies might not be bluntly obvious, at least not at first glance, and may pass unnoticed by researchers and reviewers. This case study uses two recent published candidate-gene association reports suggesting involvement of cannabinoid receptor type 1 and of heat shock protein single nucleotide polymorphisms in development of neurocognitive performance and psychopathology in a cohort of adult first episode psychosis patients to point-out the types of flaws inevitably resulting in inaccurate and useless estimates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0257.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Library And Information Sciences Keywords: Library and Information Sciences; comparative study; education; profession
Online: 18 February 2020 (03:34:33 CET)
In a context of global mobility of skilled professionals, this is a comparative study of library science education and librarianship in the USA and Iran. The study attempts to determine how education and professional skills may transfer from one country to another. Historically, the USA and Iran are two different major centers of development of knowledge, science and technology and culture. Each one of these two countries developed its own system of general education and library science education and professional practice. This study investigates the definition of the librarian profession, historical perspectives, types of librarians and librarian-related positions, the initial academic training of librarian (schools, duration, curriculum, and accreditation), daily activities of librarians, continuing education, and opportunities and challenges of the profession in each country. The qualitative research methods was selected to conduct this study. This investigation leads to a comparative analysis pointing out similarities and differences. The first part of the paper present historical perspectives and library science education and librarianship. The second part of the paper presents contemporary library science education and librarianship in each country. The last part of the paper is a comparative critical discussion of both systems. This study concludes that, even though both systems are different, with the globalization of knowledge, education, and communications, under certain circumstances, one could consider a librarian “qualified” to practice across the border. Contributions: The comparative investigation of LIS profession and education have been conducted for the first time.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0241.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: vegetable intake; vegetable cultivation; qualitative study; Japanese, adults
Online: 26 March 2019 (10:49:20 CET)
Objective: We examined the reasons why vegetable cultivation increases or does not increase vegetable intake among adult Japanese vegetable growers.Materials and Methods: A qualitative cross-sectional study using a self-completed anonymous questionnaire was sent to participants (aged 20–74 years residing in three areas of a city in Gunma Prefecture, Japan) in September 2016. The questionnaire addressed perceptions of whether vegetable cultivation would increase vegetable intake, with four possible answers: strongly disagree, disagree, agree, and strongly agree. Respondents were then asked reasons for their view, with free-text responses. We also asked about participants’ characteristics and whether they found that growing vegetables had changed their vegetable intake and access to vegetables. We categorized the free-text answers by content.Results: We analyzed 442 answers, and reasons for vegetable growing increasing vegetable intake were grouped into five categories: “availability,” “purpose of cultivation,” “quality,” “increased positive emotions toward vegetables,” and “unconsciousness”; for it not increasing intake were also grouped into five categories: “limited quantities,” “negative emotions toward vegetables,” “cultivation for a purpose other than eating vegetables,” “access to vegetables from other sources,” and “limits associated with self-cultivation.”Conclusion: We found five main reasons why vegetable growing may and may not increase vegetable intake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0547.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Tornadoes; CAPE; Overview; Case Study; Klerksdorp; South Africa
Online: 26 November 2018 (10:02:42 CET)
This paper contributes to the understating of tornadoes in South Africa using case study analysis. In South Africa tornadoes are the recurring phenomenon (the climatology) but so far they have received less attention. Damages from storms itself (tornadoes inclusive) are significant in South Africa relative to other weather-related disasters for example floods, heat waves, and droughts. For their understanding, a case study approach was adopted in the current study. Data were in courtesy of the following, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Predictions (NCEP), Eumetsat Germany, and South African Weather Service (SAWS). The aim of the study was to provide an overview of the occurrence of tornadoes in South Africa using a Klerksdorp tornado, which occurred on March 4, 2007, Northwest Province in South Africa. From the case study analysis, the tornado was associated with the cold front and cut-off low (both are extratropical circulation) which were the dominant weather systems of the day. Therefore we conclude that, a case study approach may be the best way to study events of these nature for a more informed decision, for example, issuing an early warning system. In future, case studies, for example, involving interaction between extratropical and tropical circulation will also be an interesting study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0384.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: dechlorination; hydrothermal treatment; thermogravimetric study; pyrolysis; chlorophenols; chlorobenzenes
Online: 19 September 2018 (12:13:23 CEST)
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) electric wires were subjected to dechlorination in subcritical water at three different temperatures in a high-pressure reactor. About 2.09, 73.08 and 95.96 wt. % of chlorine in PVC wires was removed during dechlorination at 200, 250 and 300 °C, respectively. The solid residues were analyzed and characterized by thermogravimetry, at three different heating rates (5, 10 and 20 °C/min) in inert and oxidizing atmosphere. With the purpose of studying the emission of chlorinated pollutants, pyrolysis experiments at 850 °C were also performed in a laboratory scale reactor with the dechlorinated materials, as well as with the original PVC electric wire. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) formation increased, but chlorobenzenes (ClBz) and chlorophenols (ClPh) formation decreased as the temperature of dechlorination increased; naphthalene was the most abundant PAH and monochlorobenzene and monochlorinated phenols (3-+4-) were the most abundant chlorinated compounds.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0098.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: condensation; non-condensable gas; experimental study; containment cooling
Online: 7 May 2018 (05:09:47 CEST)
According to the operation conditions of time unlimited passive containment heat removal system (TUPAC), a separate effect experiment facility was established to investigate the heat transfer performance of steam condensation in presence of non-condensable gas. The effect of wall subcooling temperature, total pressure and mass fraction of the air on heat transfer process was analyzed. The heat transfer model was also developed. The results showed that the heat transfer coefficient decreased with the rising of subcooling temperature, the decreasing of the total pressure and air mass fraction. It was revealed that Dehbi’s correlation predicted the heat transfer coefficient conservatively, especially in the low pressure and low temperature region. The novel correlation was fitted by the data obtained in the following range: 0.20~0.45 MPa in pressure, 20% ~ 80% in mass fraction, 15°C ~ 45°C in temperature. The discrepancy of the correlation and experiment data was with ±20%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0056.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: cervical spondylosis; migraine; retrospective cohort study; population-based
Online: 7 February 2018 (06:40:48 CET)
Background: Few studies have investigated the longitudinal association between cervical spondylosis (CS) and migraine by using a nationwide population-based database. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study from 2000 to 2011 identifying 27,930 cases of cervical spondylosis and 111,720 control subjects (those without cervical spondylosis) from a single database. The subjects were frequency-matched on the basis of sex, age, and diagnosis date. The non- cervical spondylosis cohort was four times the size of the cervical spondylosis cohort. To quantify the effects of cervical spondylosis on the risk of migraine, univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analyses were used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: After a 10-year follow-up controlling for potential confounding factors, overall migraine incidence was higher in the cervical spondylosis cohort than in the non- cervical spondylosis cohort (5.16 and 2.09 per 1,000 people per year, respectively; crude hazard ratio = 2.48, 95% confidence interval = 2.28–2.69) with an adjusted hazard ratio of 2.03 (95% confidence interval = 1.86–2.22) after accounting for sex, age, comorbidities, and medication. Individuals with myelopathy in the cervical spondylosis cohort had a 2.19 times (95% confidence interval = 1.80–2.66) higher incidence of migraine compared than did those in the non- cervical spondylosis cohort. Conclusion: Individuals with cervical spondylosis exhibited a higher risk of migraine than those without cervical spondylosis. The migraine incidence rate was even higher among individuals with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0164.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Nursing Keywords: pre-hospital emergency; review; qualitative study; patient satisfaction
Online: 25 December 2017 (06:41:26 CET)
Objective. To describe patient satisfaction with pre-hospital emergency knowledge and determine if patients and professionals share a common vision on the satisfaction predictors. Methods. A qualitative study conducted in two phases. First, a systematic review following the PRISMA protocol was carried out searching publications between January 2000 and July 2016 in Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane. Second, three focus groups involving professionals (advisers and healthcare providers) and a total of 79 semi-structured interviews involving patients were conducted to obtain information about what dimensions of care were a priority for patients. Results. Thirty-three relevant studies were identified. A majority conducted in Europe using questionnaires. They pointed out a very high level of satisfaction of callers and patients. Delay with the assistance and the ability for resolution of the case are the elements that overlap in fostering satisfaction. The published studies neither reviewed the overall care process nor related the measurement of the real time in responding to an emergency with the satisfaction. The patients and professionals concurred in their assessments about the most relevant elements for patient satisfaction, although safety was not a predictive factor for patients. Response capacity and perceived capacity for resolving the situation were crucial factors for satisfaction. This qualitative approach yielded assistance targets to be improved. Conclusions. Published studies have assessed similar dimensions of satisfaction. Furthermore, despite the fact that few explanations may be given due to the no face to face attention, taking into account the patient’s emotional needs or maintaining contact with the patient until the emergency services arrive are high predictors of the satisfaction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0023.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: visceral leishmaniasis; risk factors; sandfly; Kenya; case-control study
Online: 1 November 2023 (05:23:53 CET)
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a severe parasitic disease transmitted by phlebotomine sandflies. VL is endemic in West Pokot County, Kenya, where effective strategies to interrupt transmission are impeded by the limited understanding of VL risk factors. Therefore, this case-control study aimed to explore environmental, behavioral and household determinants of VL in West Pokot. From November 2022 to January 2023, a structured questionnaire was administered to 36 symptomatic primary VL cases attending the Kacheliba Sub-County Hospital and to 50 controls from local villages. The VL status of all participants was confirmed using an rK39 rapid diagnostic test. In an age-corrected univariate logistic regression analysis, significant associations were found between VL and housing characteristics, such as window presence and floor type. Furthermore, outdoor activities, including traveling outside the residence for more than 2 weeks, activities near termite mounds, and forest activities during the rainy season increased the risk of VL. VL cases more frequently reported the presence of cattle, dogs and sheep in their house yards at night. VL was also associated with cutting down trees in the house yard and house proximity to several Acacia tree species. To conclude, this work reports a number of previously undescribed risk factors for VL in the understudied West Pokot focus. Our findings warrant further research into sandfly ecology and potential zoonotic parasite reservoirs in West Pokot.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0861.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Internal Medicine Keywords: antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis; tuberculosis; population-based study
Online: 13 October 2023 (08:10:55 CEST)
Background and Objectives: Treatment for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV) must deal with immunosuppression as well as infections associated with compromised immune system, such as tuberculosis (TB). Our aim was to overcome the gap in the literature concerning the risk of incidental TB after diagnosis of AAV. Materials and Methods: This retrospective population-based cohort study was based on the data from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. We used a novel algorithm to identify patients with newly diagnosed granulomatous polyangiitis (GPA) or microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2012. The primary outcome was risk of incidental TB. Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate the association between AAV and incidental TB. Results: A total of 2,257 patients with AAV and a propensity-score matched cohort of 9,028 patients were studied. Overall, patients with AAV were at a 1.48x higher risk of contracting incidental TB than were patients in the matched cohort (adjusted HR 1.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-2.15). Note that the highest risk of contracting incidental TB was in the first two years following a diagnosis of AAV, with a nearly 1-fold increase in risk (adjusted HR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.01-3.60). Female AAV patients were 3.24x more likely than females without AAV to develop TB (adjusted HR 3.24; 95%CI, 1.85-5.67). Conclusion: Patients with AAV face an elevated risk of contracting incidental TB, particularly within the first two years after AAV diagnosis. The risk of contracting TB is higher among female AAV patients than among females without AAV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0033.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Ethnic And Cultural Studies Keywords: Christmas; future of festivity; Post-pandemic realm; qualitative study
Online: 2 October 2023 (04:15:32 CEST)
This study intricately explores the evolving tapestry of Christmas celebrations in a post-pandemic era, where tradition delicately intertwines with technology. The literature review presents a global panorama of Christmas observances, delving into varied religious perspectives. Within this exploration, a Southeast Asian country discreetly initiates its festivities as early as September—a nuanced response to the profound significance of Christmas. Navigating the digital age, the paper dissects the impact of virtual gatherings, the surge in e-commerce, and digital church services on festive traditions. Employing diverse research methods, including thematic analysis, nuanced insights are synthesized from extensive literature reviews, interviews, and observations. Scrutinizing challenges posed by the digital divide, the erosion of personal connections in virtual gatherings, and sustainability concerns in online celebrations, the qualitative research methodology reveals the interplay between tradition and technology. The paper contemplates the future of Christmas in this transformative era, offering implications for future celebrations, technology developers, policymakers, and beyond. This endeavor invites contemplation on the dynamic interplay shaping the festive landscape and prompting reflection on future celebrations.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1750.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Bone remodelling; Mg implants; In-silico study; stress-shielding
Online: 26 September 2023 (10:15:27 CEST)
The type of implant at the fracture site has effects not only from biological perspective but also from mechanical perspective in fracture healing. Biodegradable implants such as magnesium (Mg) based alloys have shown faster secondary bone healing properties as compared to bioinert implants such as titanium (Ti). The general reasoning behind this is the benefit of Mg from biocompatibility perspectives. We study the effect of Ti and Mg as base materials for implants with their different mechanical properties. The focus of our work is on the displacements at the fracture site of the tibia and their influence on the stimulus for bone healing. We have found that in comparison to Ti, Mg implants have minimal stress shielding problem, only which led to better mechanical stimulus at the fracture site.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1218.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: quay wall; piles; port; finite element analysis; case study
Online: 19 September 2023 (15:33:05 CEST)
In recent years, with the increase in maritime trade, the necessity of increasing the capacities of the ports has emerged. However, while it is planned to increase the capacities of the ports, it is important that the port continues to operate at the same time. In this respect, the old port structures should not be damaged during the capacity increase. In this study, the strengthening of a port in Guinea is discussed as a case study. In the study, the existing quay wall was evaluated, and geotechnical and structural alternatives of the new structure to be built for capacity increase were evaluated. A combined system was designed as a pile foundation and a reinforced foundation with plastic piles so as not to damage the existing quay wall. The pile capacities obtained as a result of the analyses were verified by loading tests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1569.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Keywords: Cervical Pain; Patient-Reported Outcome Measure; Validation Study; Poland
Online: 22 August 2023 (11:33:55 CEST)
This study aimed to translate and psychometrically validate the Neck Outcome Score (NOOS) in the Polish population according to the recommendations of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) for the Cross-Cultural Adaptation of Health Status Measures. Participants completed the NOOS, Neck Disability Index (NDI), and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain assessment. The questionnaires were completed by 57 women and 32 men with cervical spine ailments. A retest was performed in all patients after 48 hours. The analysis confirmed the high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha of 0.95) of the Polish NOOS. No floor / ceiling effects were observed. The Polish NOOS showed a significant correlation with NDI (0.87; p<0.001) and VAS (0.79; p<0.001). The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for the test-retest was found to be high (0.97). The Polish version of NOOS can be used for clinical and research purposes as an equivalent to the original English version. This study contributes to the area of patient-reported outcome measures available in the Polish language.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0234.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dentistry And Oral Surgery Keywords: Cross-sectional Study; Epidemiology; Panoramic Radiography; Periapical Lesions; Prevalence
Online: 2 August 2023 (14:29:57 CEST)
(1) Background: We aimed to identify factors associated with the presence of apical lesions (AL) on panoramic radiographs and to evaluate the predictive value of the identified factors. (2) Methodology: Panoramic radiographs from 1071 patients (age: 11-93 a, mean: 50.6 a ± 19.7 a) with 27532 teeth were included. Each radiograph was independently assessed by five experienced dentists for AL. A range of shallow machine learning algorithms (logistic regression, k-nearest neighbor, decision tree, random forest, support vector machine, adaptive and gradient boosting) were employed to identify factors on patient and tooth level associated with AL and to predict AL. (3) Results: AL were detected in 522 patients (48.7%) and 1133 teeth (4.1%), whereas males showed a significantly higher prevalence than females (52.5%/44.8%; p<0.05). Logistic regression found that an existing root canal treatment was the most important risk factor (adjusted Odds Ratio 16.89; 95% CI: 13.98-20.41), followed by the tooth type ‘molar’ (2.54; 2.1-3.08) and the restoration with a crown (2.1; 1.67-2.63). Associations between factors and AL were stronger and accuracy higher when using less complex models like decision tree (F1 score: 0.9 (0.89-0.9)). (4) Conclusions: The presence of AL was higher in root-canal treated teeth, those with crowns and molars. More complex machine learning models did not outperform less complex ones.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1433.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Japanese apricot; scab; resistance; genome-wide association study (GWAS)
Online: 19 May 2023 (10:46:02 CEST)
Japanese apricot (Prunus mume) is a culturally and economically important fruit tree in East Asia. ‘Nanko’, the primary cultivar of the Japanese apricot well known in Japan, usually suffers from scab, a disease caused by Venturia carpophila. Scab results in the development of black spots on the fruit surface, which considerably reduces its commercial value. Despite being an economic concern for Japanese apricot, there have been few reports on the phenotypic variation in scab resistance/susceptibility, the underlying genetic factors, and the development of DNA markers. Therefore, in this study, we performed a comprehensive trait analysis for scab resistance and susceptibility for four years and conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify the associated loci. The results showed that significant GWAS peaks were detected in 2017 and 2018. Promising candidate gene encoding domains associated with disease resistance were found at the nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in 2017 and 2018. These SNPs were thought to be associated with scab susceptibility of ‘Nanko’ lineages. These findings shed light on the mechanisms of scab resistance in P. mume and will assist future breeding programs to improve scab resistance in ‘Nanko’ lineages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0043.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Genome-Wide Association Study; Genomic Selection, Marker-Assisted Selection
Online: 2 May 2023 (02:33:16 CEST)
Advancement in biotechnology and genomics research have promoted access to DNA markers and their use in breeding programs. Genome-wide association study (GWAS), Genomic selection (GS) and Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) are some of the applications of DNA markers in plant breeding. Researchers have suggested combining these individual applications for better selection accuracies. This study examines the potential advantages of incorporating GWAS-results into MAS and GS as well as the validity of the different methods for combining these approaches. From this study, it was concluded that number of QTNs have greater effects on prediction accuracies compared to heritability estimates. Also, the increase in prediction accuracy from the invalid method of incorporating GWAS results into GS and MAS model is similar to results recorded with using the valid approach. However, greater difference may be observed in another scenario which can lead to spurious results when used to make breeding decisions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0286.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: ICT; EMI; worker well-being; perceived stress; ecological study
Online: 15 December 2022 (15:05:30 CET)
Based on ICT, specifically smartphones and their mobile apps, this exploratory study questions the impact of EMIs on employees’ perceived stress during work days. A sample of 15 workers, working at least 3 days a week - divided into one control groups (n=5) and one experimental group (n=10) - have used an EMI application “Mon Sherpa” for one-week length. Participants responded to two questionnaires at the beginning of the study: a sociodemographic questionnaire and the PSM-9 (Psychological Stress Measure). They completed the PSM-9 once again in the middle and at the end of the experiment, to compare the score’s evolution depending on the formed groups. Additionally, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with participants of the experimental group (n=9) to identify their application’s perception. Statistics results indicate no effects of the EMIs. However, interviews indicated somatic, behavioral, and cognitive evolutions throughout the experiment in the field of stress, anxiety, and invasive thoughts. These conflicting results might be explained by an immediate but not lasting effect of EMI’s on work-related stress. It may also be partly explained by some limitations of the study. More cross-disciplinary and larger research is required.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0429.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; perceived risk; communication; psychophysical strain; longitudinal study.
Online: 28 October 2021 (09:58:00 CEST)
The perceived risk of being infected at work (PRIW) with COVID-19 represents a potential risk factor for workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the job demands-resources (JD-R) model applied to safety at work, in this longitudinal study we propose that PRIW can be conceptualized as a job demand, whereas communication (i.e., the exchange of good-quality information across team members) can be conceived as a job resource. Accordingly, we hypothesized that PRIW at Time 1 (T1) would positively predict psychophysical strain at Time 2 (i.e., four months later). Furthermore, we hypothesized that communication at T1 would negatively predict psychophysical strain at T2. Overall, 297 workers took part in the study. The hypothesized relationships were tested using multiple regression analysis. Results supported our predictions: PRIW positively predicted psychophysical strain over time, whereas communication negatively predicted psychophysical strain over time. Also, results did not change after controlling for age, gender, and type of contract. Overall, this study suggests that PRIW and communication can be considered as a risk and a protective factor for work-related stress, respectively. Hence, to promote more sustainable working conditions, interventions should encourage organizations to optimize the balance between job demands and job resources related to COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0160.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: allergic severe asthma; anti-IgE; Omalizumab; observational study; children
Online: 11 October 2021 (13:54:56 CEST)
Background: Asthma is the most common chronic disease affecting children and altering their quality of life. The severity of asthma is often modulated by immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergen sensitization and is associated with comorbid allergic dis-eases. Omalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody anti-IgE, the first biological therapy approved to treat patients aged ≥6 years with severe allergic asthma. The primary objective of our study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of Omali-zumab in Romanian paediatric patients with severe allergic asthma. Methods: In this observational real-life study, 12 children aged 6 to 18 years, (mean age 12.4 years ) with severe allergic asthma received Omalizumab as an add-on treatment. The levels of asthma control, exacerbations, lung function and adverse events were evaluated at baseline and after the first year of treatment. Results: We noticed general improvements in total asthma symptom scores and the rate of exacerbation of severe asthma. Omalizumab increased the initial variables of lung function, and no serious adverse reactions were reported. FEV1 improved statistically significant after one year of treatment with Omalizumab, [ΔFEV1 (% pred.) =18.3, and similarly, ΔMEF50 (%) = 25.8]. The mean severe exacerbation rates due to asthma decreased from 4.1 (2.8 SD) to 1.15 (0.78 SD) during the treatment year (p<0.0001) with Omalizumab. Conclusions: Treatment with Omalizumab can be an effective and safe therapeutic option for Romanian children with severe allergic asthma, providing clinically relevant in-formation on asthma control and exacerbation rate in children and adolescents. The results highlighted the effect of Omalizumab in young patients, starting from the first year of treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0741.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: dancing; dual-task; older adults; qualitative study; Zumba; cognition
Online: 31 May 2021 (11:10:45 CEST)
Despite the popularity of Zumba in several countries, research is scarce about its impact on older adults. Meanwhile, the integration of cognitive tasks with physical exercises, known as dual-tasking, is an evolving strategy to facilitate activities for older people. This study investigated the perceptions of older adults regarding Zumba and the potential of implementing it in a dual-task program. We conducted a qualitative-descriptive research involving 44 Filipino older adults from August to November 2020. Content analysis was employed to analyze the data. Four themes were identified: moving towards match or mismatch; balancing benefits with burdens; dual-tasking as innovative yet potentially challenging; and overcoming barriers with enablers. While Zumba is an inclusive and beneficial activity, individual and contextual limitations could hinder its suitability for older people. Dual-tasking in Zumba was also recognized as an innovative approach, although challenges should be addressed to promote its utility. Several strategies could support the design of these programs in communities. This is the first study to explore older adults’ perceptions towards Zumba and its potential utilization as a dual-tasking program. Findings could guide the implementation of appropriate Zumba and dual-tasking activities that seek to integrate cognitive and physical training for older adults.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Canephron, antibiotic, urinary tract infections, cohort study, herbal treatment
Online: 13 April 2021 (13:11:11 CEST)
Objective: The goal of the present study was to evaluate the treatment with Canephron® after the diagnosis of acute cystitis or urinary tract infection (UTI) with regards to the risk of a sporadic recurrent UTI, frequent recurrent UTIs, UTI associated sick leave, additional antibiotic prescriptions, and renal complications (pyelonephritis) compared to standard antibiotic treatment. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was based on data from the IMS® Disease Analyzer database (IQVIA), and included outpatients in Germany with at least one diagnosis of acute cystitis or UTI with a prescription of either Canephron® or standard antibiotics between January 2016 and June 2019 in general practitioner (GP), gynecologist, or urologist practices from which data were obtained. Multivariable regression models were used to investigate the association between Canephron® prescription and the amount of sporadic or frequent recurrent UTIs, as well as the duration of UTI associated sick leave, amount of additional antibiotic prescriptions, and cases of pyelonephritis. The effects of Canephron® were adjusted for age, sex, insurance status, and Charlson Comorbidity Score (CCI). Results: 2,320 Canephron® patients and 158,592 antibiotic patients were available for analysis. Compared to antibiotic prescription, Canephron® prescription was significantly associated with less sporadic recurrences of UTI infections 30-365 days after the index date (odds ratio [OR]: 0.66; 95% conﬁdence interval [CI]: 0.58–0.72), as well as with less frequent recurrences of UTI infections (OR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.49–0.88), and with minor additional antibiotic prescription within 31-365 days (OR: 0.57; 95% CI: 0.52-0.63). No significant differences were observed between the Canephron® and antibiotic cohorts with regard to the likelihood of sick leave (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.86–1.14), new antibiotic prescription within 1-30 days (OR: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.87-1.16) and occurrences of pyelonephritis (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.00; 95% CI: 0.67-1.48). Conclusion: These real world data show that Canephron® is an effective and safe symptomatic treatment for acute cystitis or UTI. It should be considered as an alternative treatment in particular also to strengthen antimicrobial stewardship strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0685.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Anthropology Keywords: death; grief; Internet; photograph; comparative study; social network sites
Online: 29 March 2021 (11:34:58 CEST)
Abstract: As innovative way to express grief, social media posts about the deceased have become fairly common. However, few studies examined grief photos commonly posted. The purpose of the present study was to examine such pictures, as well as the motivation and reactions of those who posted, among Italians and Americans. Surveys were sent to both Italian and U.S. participants. The U.S. group yielded 262 responses (Mean age = 22 years; 81% female), the Italian yielded 51 (Mean age = 32. Several key issues emerged, such as the need to receive empathic support from other users, the desire to maintain continuing bonds, the wish to remember the deceased, and the desire to share beauty and symbolic pictures. The images were analyzed using content analysis. Both samples posted photos to remember and to enhance their posts. A strong preference for pictures with a positive emotional connotation appeared, depicting the deceased in a conjoint appearance with the participant. Results suggest that imagery used for the expression of grief in social media sites, an “iconography of grief,” is a popular means of expression for grievers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0516.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Algebra And Number Theory Keywords: benefits; c++; comparative study; execution speed; memory management; python
Online: 21 December 2020 (11:57:01 CET)
In this era of technology, programming has become more significant than ever before. Python and C++ are both widely used programming languages. Python, the most popular programming language in today’s world, is a high-level object-oriented language whereas C++, the language behind most operating systems, is a low-level object-oriented language. In this paper, we present a comparative study of Python and C++. This paper discusses the introduction to these languages, their memory management techniques, and the reasons behind their program execution speed. Furthermore, we analyzed the execution time and memory used by multiple algorithms in both the languages with best, average, and worst cases. They are also compared with respect to the benefits and issues related to them. Results indicate that C++ is faster than Python in execution speed but Python serves as a better language for beginners due to its simplicity. Moreover, for the best results, the language should be selected according to the type of project.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0615.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Industry 4.0; Enabling technologies; Eyewear Sector; Case Study; Innovation
Online: 24 November 2020 (13:22:26 CET)
This paper aims to provide the reader with an organic view of the eyewear sector considering both market and quality aspects and evaluating the role of Industry 4.0 in process and product innovation for managing consumer health, analyzing a case study of a leading multinational company in the eyewear and ophthalmic lenses sector. The research has been developed with a qualitative approach. The study is a conceptual development and it uses an exploratory interview to create a single case study. The case study was developed with the realization by the researcher of a semi-structured interview. The selected interlocutor was the Innovation Manager of Alpha Optics. it has been decided to focus the attention on this figure, as it was responsible for the realization and introduction into the company of Industry 4.0 enabling technologies for developing health innovations. From this case study it was possible to observe how the connection with the trends that influence the demand for eyeglasses is a driving factor for product innovation. Products increasingly adapted to the needs of young people and the use of digital devices seem to be the ones on which the greatest number of innovations are concentrated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0130.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: Synthesis; triazinoindole; thiosemicarbazide; alpha-glucosidase; molecular docking study; SAR
Online: 13 September 2019 (10:54:30 CEST)
New class of triazinoindole bearing thiosemicarbazide (1-25) was synthesized and evaluated for α-glucosidase inhibitory potential. All synthesized analogues exhibited excellent inhibitory potential having IC50 values ranging from 1.30 ± 0.01 to 35.80 ± 0.80 µM when compared with the standard acarbose having IC50 value 38.60 ± 0.20 µM. Among series the analogues 1 and 23 was found the most potent having IC50 values 1.30 ± 0.05 and 1.30 ± 0.01 µM respectively. Structure activity relationship (SAR) was mainly based upon by bring about difference of substituents on phenyl rings. To confirm the binding interactions, molecular docking study was performed. Synthesized analogues were characterized through HREI-MS, 1H and 13C-NMR analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0102.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: microglia exosomes; 3D culture; proteomic study; glioma; neurites outgrowth
Online: 8 July 2019 (04:26:49 CEST)
Using a combination of pan proteomic platform associated with systemic biology analyses, we demonstrate that neonatal microglial cells derived from cortex and spinal cord expressed different phenotypes upon the physiological or pathological conditions. They also highlight great variability in protein production on both cellular and exosome levels. Bioinformatics data indicate for the cortical microglia anti-inflammatory and neurogenesis/tumorigenesis characteristics, while for the spinal cord microglia involvement in the inflammatory response. We confirmed these results by performing functional testing including neurite outgrowth assays in DRGs cell line, and glioma proliferation analysis in 3D spheroid cultures. Results from these in vitro assays indicate that the microglia located at different CNS areas reveal differential biological functions. While both microglia sources enhanced growth of DRGs axons, only the spinal microglia significantly attenuated glioma proliferation. Overall these findings are pointing to the fact that the origin of neonatal microglia affects the physio-pathological function, which may address the prevalence of the glioma in the brain in comparison with the spinal cord in adult.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0162.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Clinical Medicine Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis; obstructive sleep apnea; population-based cohort study
Online: 17 January 2019 (04:52:29 CET)
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients in a nationwide population. Methods: We conducted a nationwide cohort study between 2003 and 2013 using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The AS cohort included 2210 patients who were newly diagnosed between 2003 and 2013. Randomly selected non-AS controls were matched at a 1:4 ratio based on age, sex and index date. The endpoint of OSA was occurrence or the end of 2013. Cumulative incidences, hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated after adjusting for age, gender, comorbidities and co-medications. Multivariate analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazards model. Due to violation of the proportionality assumption, landmark analysis was conducted to explore the risk of OSA during specific follow-up periods. Results: The adjusted HR (aHR) of OSA for the AS group was 2.826 (95% C.I. = 1.727–4.625) compared to the control group. On landmark analysis, aHR was 7.919 (95% C.I. = 3.169–19.792) for AS group 0–24 months from index date, and decreased to 1.816 (95% C.I. = 0.944–3.494) at ≥ 24 months from index date. On subgroup analyses increased risks of OSA in AS group compared to the control group were found for both males and females (aHRs were 4.533 (95% C.I. = 1.441–14.262) and 2.672 (95% C.I. = 1.522–4.692) for females and males, respectively). On age stratified analysis, there was significant risk only for the 40–59 age group with aHR of 3.913 (95% C.I. = 1.890–8.102). Conclusions: A higher risk of developing OSA was found among newly diagnosed AS cohort during the 12-year follow-up period, especially within 2 years after AS index date and in the 40–59 age group.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0706.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: food security; paediatrics; cohort study; New Zealand; developed country
Online: 30 October 2018 (05:29:12 CET)
Food security (FS) during infancy is associated with lifelong outcomes. New Zealand is a developed economy that reports poor childhood nutrition-related health statistics, particularly among minority children, yet has no measure of FS applicable to infancy. The objective was to develop a FS index for New Zealand infants and examine its association with demographic covariates and health outcomes. Within a large (n=6853) nationally representative cohort, variables describing infant food consumption, breastfeeding, and maternal food-related coping methods were collected from mothers during late infancy. A FS index was derived using confirmatory factor analysis. Associations were assessed by logistic regressions and described using odds ratios (OR) and ≥95% confidence intervals (CI). 15% of the cohort was highly FS, 43% tenuously food insecure (FIS), and 16% highly food insecure (FIS). Infants from minority ethnic groups had lower odds of being food secure, as did those born to the youngest mothers, mothers who smoked, or lived in low-income households. FIS infants had higher odds of morbidity. Interventions to improve infant FS should focus on improving dietary quality, and give particular consideration to minority infants. We identified that FIS shows wide ethnic and socioeconomic inequity, and is associated with poorer health. The most important driving factors of FIS included poor quality weaning diets, and poverty and its proxies. Any interventions to improve infant FS should focus on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to recommended intake levels, and give particular consideration to minority infants.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0334.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: coffee; temperature; esophageal cancer; thermosensing; sensory thresholds; methodological study
Online: 26 April 2018 (08:05:50 CEST)
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluates “very hot (>65 °C) beverages” as probably carcinogenic to humans. However, there is a lack of research regarding what temperatures consumers actually perceive as “very hot” or as “too hot”. A methodology for organoleptical assessment of such threshold temperatures was developed. The participants were asked to mix a very hot coffee step by step into a cooler coffee. Because of that, the coffee to be tasted was incrementally getting hotter during the test. The participants took a sip at every addition, until they perceive the beverage as too hot for consumption. The protocol was evaluated using 87 participants. Interestingly, the average pain threshold of the test group (67 °C) and the preferred drinking temperature (63 °C) iterated around the IARC threshold for carcinogenicity. The developed methodology was found as fit for the purpose and may be applied in larger studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0146.v2
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: Circular Economy; sustainability; family business; model; case study; Mercadona
Online: 22 February 2018 (10:33:56 CET)
Sustainability addresses environmental and social issues affecting this and future generations. When family businesses perceive that the community is disrupted, recognize an environmental problem and respond by implementing new environmental policies or regulations, the family business’s socio-emotional values press to transition to a more sustainable production system, such as the ‘Circular Economy.’ Drawing on the Dubin (1978) methodology—a paradigm for building models through deduction—we design a sustainable model, which shows family businesses’ responses to changes in the environment. It explains the reasons why family firms transition to the Circular Economy, based on the theory of Socio-Emotional Wealth (SEW). We check the model through the case study of the food retail leader in the Spanish market—Mercadona—which applies policies about energy, resources and waste to become a Circular Economy business model. Because of the strong family character of Mercadona, this case can be useful for the decision-making of other family businesses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0149.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: pancreatic cancer; alcohol intake; folate intake; case-control study
Online: 20 March 2017 (08:29:00 CET)
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal common cancers affecting both men and women, representing about 3 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association of pancreatic cancer risk with alcohol consumption as well as folate intake. We performed a case-control study of 384 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer from May 2004 to December 2009 and 983 primary care healthy controls. Our findings showed no significant association between risk of pancreatic cancer and either overall alcohol consumption or type of alcohol consumed (drinks/day). Our study showed dietary folate intake was modestly but significantly inversely associated with pancreatic cancer (OR=0.99, P <.0001). The current study supports the hypothesis that pancreatic cancer risk is reduced with higher food-based folate intake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1832.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Agroecology; LSD; LSD outbreak; Sero Epidemiology Risk factor; Qualitative study
Online: 29 November 2023 (07:51:53 CET)
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) vaccination and epidemiological distribution remain unknown in some parts of Ethiopia including the Sidama regional state. With this, an assessment of LSD vaccine-related problems and serological study was performed in selected districts of Sidama regional state representing three agroecological zones from September 2021 to June 2022. A cross-sectional study of qualitative and quantitative studies was used. The result showed a few portion of respondents know about LSD (29.2%), and vaccinate their cattle (23.3%). 20.8% of the respondents stated LSD occurrence in their vaccinated cattle while focus group discussion with the professionals stated the possible reasons related to electric power disruption that impacted LSD vaccine cold-chain. The other study was on sero-epedimiology of LSD which showed an overall animal and herd level sero-prevalence of 40.8% and 81%, respectively. Higher and lower sero-prevalence was observed in lowland (48%) and highland (28%) areas, respectively. Furthermore, risk factor analysis showed the existence of a significant association between management systems, breed, and body condition score (BCS) of cattle. In conclusion, both qualitative and quantitative study results showed the need for intervention in terms of community-based awareness creation about LSD clinical signs, vaccination advantages, and options for electric power supply together with the frequently updated information on LSD prevalence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0458.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation Keywords: musculoskeletal pain; COVID-19 era; physiotherapy studies; study hours; questionnaires
Online: 6 June 2023 (12:11:56 CEST)
Background: Online teaching has resulted in university students adopting a sedentary lifestyle. Prolonged sitting and reduced physical activity due to pandemic restrictions have led to musculoskeletal pain in various body areas, significantly impacting the students’ quality of life. This study aims to investigate the effects of remote learning on Sicilian physiotherapy students during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically focusing on the occurrence of musculoskeletal pain. Methods: An observational study was conducted using an online survey administered through Google Forms. The survey consisted of 26 multiple-choice questions and was distributed to students enrolled in Physiotherapy programs at the Universities of Catania, Messina, and Palermo. Participants were contacted via social channels or email, and data collection spanned 5 weeks. The collected data were analyzed using R software. Results: A total of 128 questionnaires were collected. More than half of the students (51.6%) reported dedicating 15–22 h per week to distance learning for a duration of 6–12 months (50%). Regarding study location, most students preferred studying at a desk (82.8%), with slightly over half (57.8%) adopting a backrest while studying remotely. Analysis of the students’ posture during study hours revealed common positions, including tilting the head forward by more than 20 degrees (47.8%), leaning the trunk forward by more than 20 degrees (71.9%), both shoulders being hunched forward (57.0%), wrists positioned above the level of the elbows (46.1%), thighs pointing upwards (41.4%), and one or both feet in a downward or dorsiflexed position (69.5%). Conclusion: The questionnaire responses indicate that the lifestyle of university students, influenced by online teaching, has deteriorated, leading to musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial pain. These results are primarily influenced by the adopted posture and the duration of time spent in these positions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1102.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Alfalfa; Plant Growth Vigor; Alphafold; Protein 3D Structure; Association Study
Online: 16 May 2023 (05:32:22 CEST)
Plant breeding aims to develop elite crop varieties appropriate for various environments with higher quality and quantity of production. Researchers use quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and association studies to identify regions in the genome responsible for the variation of the quantitative traits of interest. However, mapped regions do not always translate to functional proteins, which makes it challenging to identify genes associated with traits of interest. The biological functions of proteins are strongly dependent on their 3D structure. Alternatively, if proteins can be directly linked with the phenotypes, the effect of mutations on phenotypic changes can be assessed. Innovation of deep learning models in biology opens new avenues of exploration. AlphaFold is an AI system that predicts the 3D structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence with near experimental accuracy and was used in this study. Point mutations with a significant influence on the 3D structure of a protein can capture the effect on phenotypes through association study, and this provides insights into the regions that are of functional importance. In the current study, 534 plants were selected based on plant vigor, and 154 missense variants that change amino acid sequences, including 5 significant hits from previous study, were included. The changes in protein 3D structure were assessed by association with the phenotype. The analysis identified five significant associations, four of which were also identified in previous study of SNPs GWAS, however, a new fifth association was also identified which was annotated as disease resistance gene in Medicago truncatula. This study helps to associate SNPs that could be missed by GWAS due to stringent Bonferroni corrected p-values by providing a more robust filter for SNPs using features from predicted protein 3D structures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0989.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: genome-wide association study; carcass length; meat color; genetic parameter
Online: 15 May 2023 (07:25:43 CEST)
Ningxiang pig is renowned breed for its exceptional meat quality, but it possesses suboptimal carcass traits. To elucidate the genetic architecture of meat quality and carcass traits in Ningxiang pigs, we assessed heritability and executed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) concerning carcass length, backfat thickness, meat color parameters (L.LD, a.LD, b.LD), and pH at two postmortem intervals (45 minutes and 24 hours) within a Ningxiang pig population. Heritability estimates ranged from moderate to high (0.30 ~ 0.80) for carcass traits and from low to high (0.11 ~ 0.48) for meat quality traits. We identified 21 significant SNPs, the majority of which were situated within previously documented QTL regions. Furthermore, the HMGA1 gene emerged as a pleiotropic gene correlated with carcass length and backfat thickness. The ADGRF1, FKBP5, and PRIM2 genes were associated with carcass length, while the NIPBL gene was linked to backfat thickness. These genes hold potential for use in selective breeding programs targeting carcass traits in Ningxiang pigs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0158.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: China; Covid-19; Health Silk Road; Case Study; Global Heath
Online: 3 May 2023 (13:08:37 CEST)
This study examines the Health Silk Road (HSR) as a critical component of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its implications for global health and international relations. The HSR aims to enhance public health and foster international cooperation in the healthcare sector, with objectives including strengthening healthcare infrastructure, expanding China's global health leadership, and enhancing international health cooperation. Through an in-depth analysis of the China-Pakistan collaboration on healthcare under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a case study, this research explores the motives, implications, and potential concerns associated with the HSR. This research posits that the HSR has a mix of positive and negative implications, making it challenging to categorize the initiative as simply good or bad. While the HSR contributes to improved healthcare services, infrastructure, and capacity-building in participating countries, it also raises concerns about debt sustainability, transparency, and China's geopolitical influence. This research contributes to a nuanced understanding of the HSR's multifaceted impacts and underscores the importance of open dialogue, cooperation, and the sharing of best practices among stakeholders in order to maximize the initiative's benefits and minimize potential negative consequences. By assessing the motives, implications, and concerns of the HSR, this study offers valuable insights for policymakers, global health practitioners, and scholars, highlighting the significance of international collaboration in addressing shared health challenges and promoting sustainable development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0097.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation Keywords: physical activity; mortality risk; ischaemic heart disease; longitudinal cohort study
Online: 3 May 2023 (04:52:51 CEST)
Background: The prevalence of physical inactivity has been rising in many countries in recent years, adding to the burden of non-communicable diseases and affecting overall health worldwide. The aim of this study is to determine the impact of physical activity on mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) separately for those respondents who were diagnosed with IHD and for those who were not diagnosed with IHD in their baseline health survey. Methods: In the baseline survey (2006–2008), 7100 men and women ages 45–72 were examined within the framework of the international study Health, Alcohol, and Psychosocial Factors in Eastern Europe (HAPIEE). 6770 participants were available for statistical analysis (after excluding 330 respondents due to missing information on study variables). Physical activity was determined by leisure-time physical activities (hours/week). All participants in the baseline survey were followed up for IHD mortality events until December 31, 2018. Results: Using multivariate Cox regression analysis, it was found that moderate and higher levels of physical activity significantly reduced the risk of IHD mortality (HR=0.54 and HR=0.60 respectively) in men who were not diagnosed with IHD at baseline compared with physically inactive subjects. It was found that among men and women who were diagnosed with IHD at baseline, physical activity reduced the risk of mortality from IHD compared with those who were physically inactive (HR=0.54 and HR=0.41 respectively). Using mediation analysis, was found that physical activity directly predicted statistically lower IHD mortality (P<0.05) in men and women. Conclusion: Physical activity was a significant factor that directly predicted statistically lower IHD mortality, regardless of whether subjects had IHD at baseline or not.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0443.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: Rabies; dogs; Tunisia; risk factors; odds ratio; case-control study
Online: 27 March 2023 (04:06:12 CEST)
Since 2012, the northeast of Tunisia has been experiencing an emergence of dog rabies. Published data revealed that the disease is widespread in the north of Tunisia. Even with studies on rabies, lacking knowledge on the associated risk factors was highlighted. Therefore, we conducted a case-control study on dog rabies in northeast Tunisia to identify potential risk factors for dog rabies occurrence. The cases group (n=77) included positive dog rabies confirmed at the referral laboratory using Fluorescent Antibody Test (FAT) in 2014 and 2018. The controls group (n=77) involved all negative cases received at the laboratory and 15-days quarantine dogs that received a certificate of absence of rabies after the observation period. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was conducted to explore the risk factors (age, sex, breed, confinement, vaccination status, presence of bites, owned or not and origin of dogs, sector, presence of rabies cases, and slaughterhouses, etc.…) related to the occurrence of rabies. The final logistic regression model revealed that unconfined dogs were almost twice as likely to be affected as confined dogs (OR=1.9; 95% CI: 1.17 to 3.27). The odds of rabies occurrence were 25 times higher in areas where rabies cases have been reported between 3 months and 1 year compared to the uninfected areas (25.7; 95% CI: 3.02-219.14). Similarly, the risk of rabies is significantly higher in dogs born in the home to the owner bitch (OR=2.41; 95% CI: 1.14-5.13). Living in areas with rabies cases in the last three months increases by 2.8 times the risk of getting rabies (2.8; 95% CI: 1.16-6.77). However, vaccination reduces by 1.6 times the risk of contracting rabies (0.6; 95% CI: 0.38-0.97). Our findings provide reliable data on dog rabies that will be very useful for decision-makers and could contribute to improving the ongoing national control program of rabies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0508.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Endocrinology And Metabolism Keywords: cholesterol; cross-sectional study; dyslipidemia; lipids; Mali; type 2 diabetes
Online: 28 January 2023 (01:29:07 CET)
Dyslipidemia is a disorder where abnormally lipid concentrations circulate in the bloodstream. The disorder is common in type 2 diabetics (T2D) and is linked with T2D comorbidities, particularly cardiovascular disease. Dyslipidemia in T2D is typically characterized by elevated plasma triglyceride and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. There is a significant gap in the literature regarding dyslipidemia in rural parts of Africa, where lipid profiles may not be routinely captured through standard surveillance activities. This study aimed to characterize the prevalence and demographic profile of dyslipidemia in T2D patients in the rural community of Ganadougou, Mali. We performed a cross-sectional study of 104 subjects with T2D in Ganadougou between November 2021 and March 2022. Demographic and lipid profiles were collected through cross-sectional surveys and blood tests. The overall prevalence of dyslipidemia in T2D patients was 87.5% (91/104), which did not differ by sex (p = .368). High low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was the most common lipid abnormality (78.9%, [82/104]). Dyslipidemia was associated with age and hypertension status (p = .013 and p = .036, respectively). High total and high LDL-C parameters were significantly associated with hypertension (p = .029 and p = .006, respectively). In low-resource settings such as rural Mali, there is a critical need to improve infrastructure for routine dyslipidemia screening to guide its prevention and intervention approaches. The high rates of dyslipidemia observed in Gandadougou, consistent with concomitant increases in cardiovascular diseases in Africa suggest that lipid profile assessments should be incorporated into routine medical care for T2D patients in African rural settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0198.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: gout; urate-lowering therapy; serum uric acid; pharmacoepidemiologic study; comorbidities
Online: 11 January 2023 (10:37:41 CET)
Introduction: Individuals with gout are at higher risk of developing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and cardiovascular diseases. In this study, the association between urate-lowering therapy (ULT) use and the prevalence of these conditions was evaluated. Methods: This observational, cross-sectional pharmacoepidemiologic study used the 2013-2018 biannual cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The inclusion criteria were adults 30 years of age and older with a diagnosis of gout. The association between ULT treatment status and dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease was evaluated, as well as associations with select clinical laboratory biomarkers. Results: Use of ULT was 28.9% (95%CI 24.3%-33.9%). There was no significant association between ULT use and the prevalence of heart failure, coronary heart disease, hypertension, or dyslipidemia (p>0.05). Those on ULT had a lower mean eGFR compared to those not on treatment (68.03 versus 74.74 mL/min/1.73m², p=0.014). LDL- and HDL- and total cholesterol were significantly lower among those receiving ULT treatment (p<0.05). Conclusion: ULT use continues to be low among those with gout. Those on ULT were more likely to be diagnosed with CKD, college graduates and above, older males, and obese. Clinical guidelines conditionally recommend ULTs in co-morbid kidney disease; while our results may reflect guidelines recommendation for ULT use in CKD patients, worsening kidney function while taking ULT is unlikely. Further research is necessary to determine the long-term impact of ULTs on kidney function and cardiovascular biomarkers.