REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0928.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: Multidrug resistance; Sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 14 November 2023 (12:56:25 CET)
This article describes the challenges, pharmacological strategies, and recommendations for managing multidrug-resistant breast cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). By examining the current breast cancer treatment landscape, region-specific challenges, and promising pharmacological interventions, the objective is to bring to light the insufficient research on breast cancer and its multidrug resistance in this part of the world and guide healthcare professionals, policymakers, and researchers in developing evidence-based strategies for improved breast cancer care in SSA. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer morbidity in SSA, necessitating continuous advancements in its management. This overview explores the evolution of breast cancer treatment, including surgery, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Despite these advancements, multidrug resistance poses a significant challenge, impacting treatment efficacy and patient outcomes.The article provides insights into various breast cancer treatment modalities, emphasizing surgery, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Each approach is discussed in detail, highlighting its significance in managing breast cancer. The effectiveness of these treatments is contingent on timely diagnosis and intervention. Multidrug resistance is examined as a critical obstacle in breast cancer treatment, elucidating its impact on treatment failure and patient outcomes. Mechanisms such as the efflux system, enhanced DNA repair, apoptosis inhibition, alterations in drug targets, and the tumor microenvironment contribute to multidrug resistance, emphasizing the need for a multifaceted understanding.The unique challenges faced in SSA regarding multidrug-resistant breast cancer are delineated. These include the lack of comprehensive data, late presentation and diagnosis, poor genomic studies, limited access to specialized care, financial constraints, inadequate infrastructure, and psychosocial support issues. Addressing these challenges is crucial for devising effective strategies. In response to multidrug resistance, the article discusses contemporary treatment strategies such as P-glycoprotein inhibitors, combined chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Notable advancements, including the use of Tariquidar and synergistic effects of combined chemotherapy, are highlighted, presenting promising avenues for overcoming resistance.The article proposes recommendations to enhance breast cancer management in SSA, encompassing strengthening primary healthcare services, creating specialized oncology facilities and long-term monitoring and data collection. Breast cancer management in SSA is multifaceted, marked by challenges and evolving solutions. Multidrug resistance remains a significant hurdle, demanding a holistic approach. Promising advancements in pharmacological interventions offer hope, while comprehensive recommendations serve as a roadmap for progress. By implementing these strategies, SSA can substantially improve multidrug-resistant breast cancer care and overall patient well-being.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0217.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: cervical cancer; HPV vaccination; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 12 July 2018 (14:32:40 CEST)
In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), cervical cancer is a critical public health issue; it is the second leading cause of cancer among women and the leading cause of female cancer deaths. Incidence and mortality rates are substantially higher than in high-income countries with population-based screening programs, yet implementing screening programs in SSA has so far proven to be challenging due to financial, logistical and sociocultural factors. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is an effective approach for primary prevention of cervical cancer and presents an opportunity to reduce the burden from cervical cancer in SSA. With a number of SSA countries now eligible for GAVI support for vaccine introduction, it is timely to consider the factors that impede and facilitate implementation of vaccine programs in SSA. This article reviews the epidemiological and clinical features of cervical cancer in SSA and describes the current status of HPV vaccine implementation in SSA countries. The review considers the challenges that will need to be addressed, and effective approaches to the design and implementation of HPV vaccination programs, using Rwanda as a case study. The review aims to provide suggestions and guidance to those involved in the development and implementation of HPV vaccination programs in SSA.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0995.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Respiratory infection; etiology; viruses; bacteria; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 14 August 2023 (08:44:59 CEST)
(1) Background: Respiratory infections are a major public health problem worldwide, with potentially serious consequences. Indeed, these infections remain one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in children under 5 years old in developing countries. Etiological information on respiratory infections is crucial for prevention and case management strategies. This systematic review aims to describe the etiology of respiratory infections reported in studies carried out in sub-Saharan African countries; (2) Methods: Using PubMed, HINARI and Google scholar search engines, a systematic search was carried out to identify published articles on the etiology of viral and/or bacterial respiratory infections in sub-Saharan Africa in patients of all ages. We have only considered data from sub-Saharan Africa. Papers published from 2010 to 2021, in English or French have been included in this review; (3) Results: After reviewing 115 articles reporting studies carried out in the African continent, only 32 articles were selected of which, studies were conducted in 15 sub-Saharan African countries, including 6/32 (18.75%) in Cameroon. Twenty (62.5%) were cross-sectional studies, and twenty-four (75%) were hospital-based investigations. In these studies, RT-PCR and culture methods were respectively used for viruses and bacteria investigations. Respiratory syncytial virus was the most frequently identified, with prevalence ranging from 0.6% to 59%, followed by rhinovirus (9.3% -73%), influenza virus (flu) A/B (0.9%-69.1%), and human adenovirus (0.9% - 30.8%). Streptococcus pneumoniae (14.2% - 96%), followed by Haemophilus influenzae type b (2.5% - 54%), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (1.4% - 49.9%) were the most frequently detected bacteria; (4) Conclusions: This review has reported that many pathogens, mainly viruses, are associated with acute respiratory infections in sub-Saharan Africa in both children and adults. Unfortunately, the limited geographical distribution of data across sub-Saharan Africa does not allow most of countries to develop an effective strategy for the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0149.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Acute liver failure; viral hepatitis; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 3 May 2023 (12:40:38 CEST)
Though there has been a decline in the number of new cases of viral hepatitis-induced acute liver failure in Europe and the United States of America, viral hepatitis still remains the leading cause of acute liver failure in Asia-Pacific and South America. However, the epidemiology of viral-hepatitis-induced acute liver failure in sub-Saharan Africa-the world epicenter of viral hepatitis-is unclear. The aim of this review was to collate data on the incidence, prevalence, specific etiologic agents, features/diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of viral-induced acute liver failure in sub-Saharan Africa. One hundred and forty-seven cases of viral-induced acute liver failure were recorded in 11 studies conducted in six countries between 1981-2020. Etiological agents were: Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, and E, as well as Adenovirus, Enterovirus, Parvovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and EBV. HAV was the most frequent in paediatric subjects: (11/16) 69% and (19/30) 63%. HBV was the only etiological agent in the study that only included adults. HEV (genotype 2 in one study) contracted amidst hepatitis E outbreaks was the most commonly reported cause of ALF in pregnant women. Treatment was mainly supportive, and liver transplantation reported only in South Africa. Where reported, case fatality rates were high. In conclusion, viral-hepatitis induced acute liver failure is largely understudied in sub-Saharan Africa. The few available data are consistent with literature from the other parts of the world regarding aetiologic agents. Liver transplantation is not available in most sub-Saharan African countries, and short-term case fatality rates of individuals with acute liver failure could outstrip current rates from the other world regions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0295.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Urinary schistosomiasis; Schistosoma haematobium; sub-Saharan Africa; Genetic Diversity
Online: 22 March 2022 (04:25:24 CET)
: Urinary schistosomiasis caused by the parasite Schistosoma haematobium is the most common form of schistosomiasis. This parasite has a high potential for genetic exchange within parasite populations giving rise to the genetic diversity that is important for its survival. Genetic differ-ences may lead to some parasite strains being more immunogenic which may have a negative impact on management and control of schistosomiasis. Therefore, understanding these genetic differences in the parasite may lead to better management of the disease. A literature search was done on PubMed, African Journals online and Google scholar using predefined search terms such as urinary schistosomiasis, S. haematobium, genetic diversity in sub-Saharan Africa in com-bination with Boolean operators (AND, OR). The search included studies published from 2000-2020 that emphasised on genetic diversity of Schistosoma haematobium in sub-Saharan Africa. Sixteen studies from 18 sub-Saharan African countries that met the inclusion criteria were se-lected. Most studies conducted in these countries showed a high genetic diversity of Schistosoma haematobium studies with microsatellite markers being the most commonly used method for ge-netic diversity determination. Fisher’s exact test showed that the distribution of genetic diversity in sub-Saharan African regions was not statistically significant (p=0.768). The highest number of studies on genetic diversity of Schistosoma haematobium were conducted in West Africa with Ni-geria and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa conducting the most studies, 4/36 (11%) each. Results obtained show the need for continued monitoring of genetic variations in Schistosoma haemato-bium in sub- Saharan Africa. This will aid in understanding the epidemiology of disease, ad-vancing novel treatment and vaccine strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0097.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: vulnerability; resilience; rice value chains; climate change; Sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 9 August 2016 (12:09:07 CEST)
Abstract: Rice is one of the most important food crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change, variability, and economic globalization threaten to disrupt rice value chains across the subcontinent, undermining their important role in economic development, food security, and poverty reduction. This paper maps existing research on the vulnerability of rice value chains, synthesizes the evidence and the risks posed by climate change and economic globalization, and discusses agriculture and rural development policies and their relevance for the vulnerability of rice value chains in sub-Saharan Africa. Important avenues for future research are identified. These include the impacts of multiple, simultaneous pressures on rice value chains, the effects of climate change and variability on parts of the value chain other than production, and the forms and extent to which different development policies hinder or enhance the resilience of rice value chains in the face of climatic and other pressures.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0447.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Sustainable development goals (SDGs); Rwanda; South Africa; Zambia; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:34:03 CEST)
Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a global agenda consisting of 17 goals which are to be achieved in 2030 by all member states. SDGs are more holistic goals i.e. these goals are closely interrelated and they affect the progress of one another. Sub-Saharan Africa countries are, once more lagging behind in the implementations of SDGs despite the efforts by governments, non-government organisations and international agencies. Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia where the three Sub-Saharan Africa countries on which the study focused. The three countries in this study were chosen on the basis that they cater to the general overview of African countries performance on SDGs. To conduct this study, a desk research method was adopted and secondary data was utilised. An in-depth analysis was done on the on three subs Saharan African countries i.e. Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia. Those goals where serious attention is needed are goals 1-9, 16 and 17. Most Sub-Saharan African countries performed better on goals 11, 12 and 15. It was concluded that the achievement of Sustainable development goals remains a mere dream for Sub Saharan Africa unless serious interventions are made.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0373.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: mHealth devices; diagnosis; accuracy; sensitivity; specificity; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 14 April 2021 (12:27:39 CEST)
Mobile health devices are emerging applications that could help deliver point-of-care (POC) diagnosis, particularly in settings with limited laboratory infrastructure, such as sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The advent of coronavirus has resulted in an increased deployment and use of mHealth-linked POC diagnostics in SSA. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the accuracy of mobile-linked point-of-care diagnostics in SSA. Our systematic review and meta-analysis were guided by the Preferred Reporting Items requirements for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). We exhaustively searched PubMed, Science Direct, Google Scholar, MEDLINE, and CINAHL with full-text via EBSCOhost databases from mHealth inception to March 2021. The statistical analyses were conducted using OpenMeta-Analyst software. All 11 included studies were considered for the meta-analysis. The included studies focused on malaria infections, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma mansoni, soil-transmitted helminths, and trichuris trichiura. The pooled summary of sensitivity and specificity estimates were moderate compared to the gold reference standard. The overall pooled estimates of sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odds ratio of mobile-linked POC diagnostic devices were as follows: 0.499 (95% CI: 0.458-0.541); 0.535 (95% CI: 0.401-0.663); 0.952 (95% CI: 0.60-1.324); 1.381 (95% CI: 0.391-4.879); and 0.944 (95% CI: 0.579-1.538), respectively. Evidence shows that mobile-linked POC diagnostics' diagnostic accuracy is presently moderate in detecting infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Future research is recommended to evaluate mHealth devices' diagnostics with excellent sensitivities and specificities in diagnosing diseases in this setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0187.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Vitamin D; under five; healthy; sick; sub-Saharan
Online: 8 December 2020 (09:42:07 CET)
Studies shows that, normal to high serum 25(OH)D status appears to have some beneficial influence on the incidence and severity of some, though not all, types of infections. However, studies with vitamin D supplementation on young children produced conflicting results with respect to the level of vitamin D deficiency among common medical illnesses among children. Method: A systematic review of literatures from PubMed, CINAHL, Web of science, global health and Google scholar electronic databases was conducted to assess the pooled prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among healthy and sick children in sub-Saharan Africa. The data was extracted by two authors independently using standard data extraction format and STATA Version 14 was used for analysis. The heterogeneity of the studies was assessed by using I2 test. A random-effects model was used to estimate the pooled prevalence among both healthy and sick children. Presence of publication bias was checked using Funnel plot and Egger's test. Result: A total of 1212 articles were identified by the total search of utilized data bases of which 13 papers fulfilled the inclusion criteria and accessible with full document. The meta-analysis revealed that the pooled prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among healthy children in this study was 50.06% (95%CI 33.46%, 66.67%) with mean serum vitamin D level of 41.06 nm/L (CI range from 23.82nm/L to 58.31nm/L). The pooled prevalence among the sick children was 39.36% (CI 20.57%, 57.96%) with 66.96nm/L (95% CI 54.81nm/L, 79.11nm/L) mean concentration of vitamin D. Comparing the two level of the pooled prevalence, the prevalence among the healthy children was significantly higher compared to those who have common medical illnesses and the pooled mean concentration among the sick was much higher than the mean concentration among healthy children. Conclusion: The level of pooled prevalence among both group of population was significantly of public health concern and the prevalence among the healthy children was much higher among the sick children implying the need for reconsideration of available recommendations for the prevention of vitamin D deficiency
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0058.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: ambient air pollution; epidemiology; narrative review; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 8 January 2018 (09:52:02 CET)
An important aspect of the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) is a greater emphasis on reducing the health impacts of urban ambient air pollution (AAP) in developing countries. Meanwhile, the burden of disease attributable to AAP in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is growing, yet estimates of its impact in the region are likely underestimated due to a lack of air quality monitoring, the paucity of epidemiological studies, and important population vulnerabilities in the region. The lack of studies in the SSA region also represents an important global health disparity and environmental justice issue because thousands of air pollution health effects studies have been conducted in Europe and North America rather than in some of the most polluted regions of the world, such as SSA. In this review, we synthesize all of the ambient air pollution epidemiological studies that have been conducted in SSA to date. We highlight the gaps in AAP epidemiological studies conducted in different sub-regions of SSA and provide methodological recommendations for future environmental epidemiology studies addressing AAP in the SSA region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0546.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Area Studies Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; Transition Management; WASH; informal settlements; sustainability transitions
Online: 31 August 2018 (11:22:13 CEST)
The unsustainability of the services related to water, sanitation and hygiene in informal settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa services is deeply embedded in current societal and governance structures, cultures and practices; it is context-dependent and involves numerous actors with different interests. The field of sustainability transitions research addresses such persistent and large scale societal challenges, with transition management being one of its widely applied governance approach. By drawing on an analysis of the root causes of unsustainability and unreliability of WASH services in three case studies in Sub-Saharan Africa (Arusha-Tanzania, Dodowa-Ghana, Kampala-Uganda), we explore how a transition management approach can be designed to support a transition towards sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Sub-Saharan Africa. We distinguish the following contextual dimensions related to the unsustainability of WASH services: a) Multiplicity of WASH practices, structures and arrangements, b) Governance capacities for WASH services and maintenance, c) Landownership for sustainable access to WASH, d) Public participation in decision-making related to WASH, e) socio-economic structures governing access to WASH. These dimensions prompt the identification of conceptual and application challenges for transition management. Based on these challenges, recommendations were formulated for the design of a prescriptive transition management process that is not only functional but also emancipatory of character.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2064.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Fusarium species; Sarocladium species; rice; pathogenic variability; genetic diversity; mycotoxins; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 31 August 2023 (03:52:29 CEST)
Sarocladium and Fusarium species are commonly identified as causal agents of rice sheath rot disease worldwide. However, limited knowledge exists about their genetic, pathogenic, and toxigenic diversity in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, where an increasing incidence of this disease has been observed. This study aimed at identifying, characterizing, as well as assessing the genetic, pathogenic, and toxigenic diversity of the pathogens associated with rice sheath rot disease in Mali, Nigeria, and Rwanda. In this study seventy fungal isolates were obtained from rice plants displaying disease symptoms on research and farmer’s fields in Mali, Nigeria, and Rwanda. Thus, an extensive comparative analysis was conducted to assess their genetic, pathogenic, and toxigenic diversity. The Fusarium spp. were characterized using the translation elongation factor (EF-1α) region, while a concatenation of Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) and Actin-encoding regions were used to resolve Sarocladium species. Phylogenetic analysis revealed four Fusarium species complexes. The dominant complex in Nigeria was the Fusarium incarnatum-equiseti species complex (FIESC), comprising F. hainanense, F. sulawesiense, F. pernambucatum, and F. tanahbumbuense, while F. incarnatum was found in Rwanda. The Fusarium fujikuroi species complex (FFSC) was predominant in Rwanda and Mali, with species such as F. andiyazi, F. madaense, and F. casha in Rwanda, and F. annulatum and F. nygamai in Mali. F. marum was found in Nigeria. Furthermore, Fusarium oxysporum species complex (FOSC) members, F. callistephi and F. triseptatum, were found in Rwanda and Mali, respectively. Two isolates of F. acasiae-mearnsii, belonging to the Fusarium sambucinum species complex (FSAMSC) were obtained in Rwanda. Isolates of Sarocladium which were previously classified in three phylogenetic groups were resolved into three species which are: attenuatum, oryzae and sparsum. S. attenuatum was dominant in Rwanda, while S. oryzae and S. sparsum were found in Nigeria. Also, the susceptibility of FARO44, a rice cultivar released by Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice) was tested against isolates from the four Fusarium species complexes and the three Sarocladium species. All isolates evaluated could induce typical sheath rot symptoms albeit with varying disease development levels. In addition, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to determine variation in the in vitro mycotoxins of the Fusarium species. Regional differences were observed in the in vitro mycotoxins profiling. Out of the forty-six isolates tested, nineteen were able to produce one to four mycotoxins. Notably, very high zearalenone (ZEN) production was specific to the two F. hainanense isolates from Ibadan-Nigeria, while Fusarium nygamai isolates from Mali produced high amounts of fumonisins. To the best of our knowledge, it seems this study is the first to elucidate genetic, pathogenic, and toxigenic diversity of Fusarium species associated with the rice sheath rot disease complex in selected countries in SSA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0099.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: diabetes; survey; sub-Saharan Africa; coronavirus; vaccine; hesitancy; refusal; qualitative; lockdown
Online: 15 June 2022 (05:56:25 CEST)
Abstract: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with severe COVID-19 infection and complications. This study assessed COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in diabetes and explored reasons for nonvaccinating. This was a web-based cross-sectional survey using a mixed-method approach conducted between March-May 2021 corresponding to most SSA countries' early vaccine rollout period. Participants were those aged ≥18 years with self-reported DM in 11 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Responses to comments on reasons for vaccine hesitancy and facilitators for vaccine uptake were analyzed. Of the 73 participants with DM, 65.8% were males older than 35 years (86.3%), had post-secondary education (90%), and a significant proportion was from South Africa (39.7%), Nigeria (28.8%) and Ghana (13.7%). 64.4% had COVID-19 symptoms, 46.6% were tested for COVID-19, of which 19.2% tested positive. Few participants (6.8%) had taken the COVID-19 vaccination, 65.8% were willing to take the vaccine, while 26.0% either refused or hesitated to take the vaccine. The main reasons identified for not taking the vaccine were: advice from religious leaders, concerns about the vaccine safety, its effects, and efficacy, mistrust of the pharmaceutical companies, the conspiracy theories around the vaccines, the process of production, and the personal belief of the participants. However, participants stated they would take the vaccine if given more education about it, receive positive feedback from those vaccinated, are rewarded for taking the vaccine or if vaccination becomes a condition for travel and employment. The findings of this study showed that uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine was very low in this high-risk group. It is imperative that efforts to increase the uptake of vaccines, such as the provision of education and relevant information, are made.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0009.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Agroecology; Local Resources; Sustainable Food Production; Climate Change; Policy; Sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 1 May 2023 (03:46:44 CEST)
Agroecology is a holistic approach to farming that emphasizes the use of local resources and ecological processes to increase productivity, reduce environmental impact, and enhance resilience. Despite its potential benefits, the adoption of agroecological practices in Sub-Saharan Africa has been slow. This paper examines the opportunities for promoting agroecology in the region, including the growing demand for organic and sustainable food, the availability of local knowledge and resources, and the potential for agroecology to improve rural livelihoods and support climate change adaptation. The premise is that the promotion of agroecology faces several challenges. which include, inadequate policy and institutional support, lack of access to credit and markets, limited extension services, and weak land tenure systems. The paper draws on case studies from across Sub-Saharan Africa to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of promoting agroecology in the region. These case studies highlight the diversity of agroecological practices and the importance of context-specific approaches. Overall, the paper maintains that agroecology has the potential to transform agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, but that realizing this potential will require concerted efforts from governments, civil society, and the private sector.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0613.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: PM2.5 monitor; Ambient Air pollution; Measurement sensor; Low-cost; Feasibility; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 25 September 2020 (12:04:05 CEST)
Urban cities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are faced with ambient air pollution. This is an important public health problem with models and limited monitoring data indicating high concentrations of pollutants such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Going through most global air quality index maps, however, information about ambient pollution from SSA is scarce. We evaluated the feasibility and practicality of longitudinal measurements of ambient PM2.5 using low-cost air quality sensors (Purple Air-II-SD) across thirteen locations in seven countries in SSA. Devices were used to gather data over a 30-day period with the aim of assessing the efficiency of its data recovery rate and identifying challenges experienced by users in each location. The median data recovery rate was 94% (range: 72% to 100%). The mean 24-hour concentration measured across all sites was 38 µg/m3 with the highest PM2.5 period average concentration of 91 µg/m3 measured in Kampala, Uganda and lowest concentrations of 15 µg/m3 measured in Faraja, The Gambia. Kampala-Uganda and Nnewi-Nigeria recorded the longest periods with concentrations>250µg/m3. Power outages, SD memory card issues, internet connectivity problems and device safety concerns were important challenges experienced when using Purple Air-II-SD sensors. Despite some operational challenges, this study demonstrated that it is reasonably practicable and feasible to establish a network of low-cost devices to provide data on local PM2.5 concentrations in SSA countries. Such data are crucially needed to raise public-, societal and policymaker awareness about air pollution across SSA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0486.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; mental healthcare; primary healthcare nurses; Sub-Saharan Africa; challenges; adaptation; outreach; telehealth; vaccine hesitancy; mental health awareness
Online: 7 August 2023 (05:28:56 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the mental health of individuals globally, and primary healthcare (PHC) nurses play a critical role in providing mental healthcare services. However, limited research has explored the experiences of PHC nurses in providing mental healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study explored the experiences of PHC nurses in providing mental healthcare services during the pandemic in Durban, South Africa. The aim was to identify the challenges faced by healthcare providers and the potential for innovative approaches to improve access to care. A qualitative, exploratory design guided the study, and data were collected through in-depth interviews with twelve PHC nurses purposively selected. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings from interviews with primary healthcare nurses reveal that the pandemic exacerbated existing challenges, including medication adherence issues, fear and uncertainty among patients, vaccine hesitancy, decreased clinic visits, and the mental and emotional toll on both patients and healthcare workers. PHC nurses adapted their services by increasing outreach efforts, prioritising patient care, and utilising technology and non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) support. Challenges included reduced patient visits, complexities in healthcare provision, and lack of adequate support. Positive changes observed include increased mental health awareness among healthcare professionals and younger generations. Recommendations include implementing outreach and awareness campaigns, providing accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccinations, and promoting cultural sensitivity in mental healthcare provision.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0121.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: economic growth; public expenditure; panel cointegration; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 8 May 2018 (05:20:33 CEST)
In this paper, the validity of the Wagner’s law is investigated in tenth selected Sub- Saharan African countries, namely Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and DR Congo. Five variants of the Wagner’s law were tested for the period 2005-2014, using panel econometric approaches encompassing cointegration and causality. The study found a long run relationship between the public expenditure and the various explanatory variables used as proxies of income. The long-run causality tests indicate that there is bidirectional causality between expenditure and income in all models with the exemption of the Gupta model. It is concluded that for Sub-Saharan Africa, both the Wagner’s law the Keynesian hypothesis tend to be valid under the period of investigation. The explanation is that there has been the tendency for public expenditure to grow relative to national income (Wagner’s law) and that public expenditure is a policy instrument (an exogenous factor) for improving national income (Keynesian hypothesis) during the 10-year period.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0126.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Urology And Nephrology Keywords: nephrotic syndrome; pediatrics; nephrology; steroids; FSGS; Chad; sub-Saharan countries
Online: 4 September 2023 (03:44:10 CEST)
Introduction: Nephrotic syndrome (NS) remains the most frequent mode of presentation of glo-merular diseases in children; in addition, the NS is primitive, i.e., idiopathic in 90% of cases with an average age of onset between 2 and 10 years. The objective of our study was to describe the char-acteristics and outcome of NS in children from 3 major hospitals from one of the poorest countries worldwide (Chad). Patients and Methods: Observational, cross-sectional, descriptive and multicenter study which took place over a period of 36 months (January 1,2019-December 31,2021) carried out in 3 hospitals in N’Djamena (Chad). All children aged 1-15 years presenting with NS were included. Results: Out of 16,776 children hospitalized or followed-up in outpatient clinics, 24 cases of NS were identified, giving a prevalence of 0.14%. The median age at presentation was 6.16(1-10) years. Nineteen children were male (sex ratio 3.8). There were 8 impure NS (33.3%). Edema was present in all patients, oliguria in 29.16%(n=7), and arterial hypertension in 20.83%(n=5) of cases. Mean proteinuria, albuminemia and total proteins were 2.86g/L, 19.13g/L and 30.41g/L respectively. Median serum creatinine was 87.3 µmol/L(75-1375µmol/L); three patients had acute renal failure on admission. Four patients had secondary NS. All patients (n=20) with idiopathic NS had received corticosteroid therapy; steroid-sensitivity was found in 90% of patients. Those who were not ster-oid-sensitive or relapsed underwent kidney biopsy (n=7); the most represented histological lesion was focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS; n=4), followed by minimal change disease (n=2), and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (n=1). The median length of hospitalization stay was 10.67 (5-27) days. None of the patients with idiopathic NS died. At last follow-up sixteen patients (80%) achieved long-term complete remission with normal renal function; however, 4 had subse-quent relapses. 16 patients. One patient with secondary NS died. Conclusion: In Chad childhood idiopathic nephrotic syndrome involves mostly young male; steroid sensitivity is as high as 95% and in the long-term 80% of the patients are in remission with normal renal function.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0249.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: cervical cancer screening; HPV self-sampling; sub-Saharan Africa; preference
Online: 15 November 2021 (10:55:02 CET)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling (Self-HPV) is a promising strategy to improve cervical cancer screening coverage in low-income countries. However, issues associated with women who prefer conventional HPV clinical-sampling over HPV self-sampling may affect screening participation. To address this issue, our study assessed factors associated with women’s preferences related to Self-HPV. This study was embedded in a large clinical trial recruiting women aged 30–49 years in a primary HPV-based study termed “3T-Approach” (for Test-Triage-Treatment), launched in 2018 at Dschang District Hospital, West Cameroon. Participants were invited to perform a Self-HPV. After the sampling and before receiving the results, participants completed a questionnaire about cervical cancer screening and their preferences and perceptions around Self-HPV. The median age of the 2201 participants was 40.6 (IQR 35–45) years. Most (1693 (76.9%)) preferred HPV self-sampling or had no preference for either method and 508 (23.1%) preferred clinician-sampling. Factors associated with an increased likelihood of reporting a clinician-sampling preference were tertiary educational level (14.4% CI: 12.8–16.1 vs 29.5% CI: 25.6–33.6) and being an employee with higher grade professional or managerial occupations (5.5% CI: 3.8–7.9 vs 2.6% CI: 2.3–2.8). The main reported reason for women preferring clinician-sampling was a lack of “self-expertise”. Most women (>99%) would agree to repeat HPV self-sampling and would recommend it to their relatives. HPV self-sampling in the cultural context of central Africa was well accepted by participants, but some participants would prefer to undergo clinician sampling. Health systems should support well-educated women to increase self-confidence in using HPV self-sampling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0442.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: asymmetry; exchange rate pass-through; NARDL; inflation; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 19 October 2018 (08:03:04 CEST)
This paper examines the asymmetrical relationship between exchange rate and consumer prices in 40 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries from 1990q1 to 2017q4. The exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) to consumer prices is estimated for each country by using the nonlinear autoregressive distributed lags (NARDL) framework and dynamic panel estimators robust to cross-sectionally correlated errors. Firstly, our findings suggest an asymmetrical ERPT in the SSA region during the short-term, whereas there are mixed results across sub-regions in the long-term. Next, we find incomplete and significant ERPT to consumer prices in the entire SSA region which is higher during the depreciation of the local currency than after appreciations. Third, we find nonlinear ERPT with respect to the size of the exchange rate. The pass-through is higher during large exchange rate changes than after small changes. Finally, we find that the pass-through is greater in the countries with fixed exchange rate regime (CFA franc zone) having low inflationary environment than in the other SSA countries with flexible exchange rate regime and high inflation levels. As a result, policymakers should take into account these asymmetries and non-linearities to improve the credibility of monetary policy, strengthen trade liberalization and establish competitive market structures in the Sub-Saharan region.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0272.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: agroecology; physical reproduction; social reproduction; agency; sub-Saharan Africa; smallholder agriculture
Online: 16 August 2022 (03:31:35 CEST)
This paper investigates how agroecology in Africa is researched for two purposes. First, we present evidence of links between agroecology and food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, we investigate which pathways of influence are dominant in the existing research and which pathways are under-represented. To achieve these objectives we anchor our analysis within feminist economics, thereby making use of the concepts of social reproduction and agency in our analysis of the literature. By employing a systematic literature review of empirical studies from African countries, starting from 1996 to 2020, we consolidate evidence that agroecology has contributed to food and nutrition security by acting toward sustainability at the farm level. However, our review shows in a second step that social and household dimensions of agroecology at the level of households and territories are not well documented in research linking agroecology to food security and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Given that sustainable production practices such as agroecological practices are not mutually exclusive from the social activities of farmers and cultural contexts in which farmers are embedded, it is important to consider social and ecological processes concomitantly when assessing the value of Agroecology programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0199.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: informal settlements; population; displacement; GHS; WSF; HRSL; GRID3; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 8 July 2021 (11:48:58 CEST)
Satellite-based broad-scale (i.e., global and continental) human settlement data offer foundational information for diverse applications spanning climate hazard mitigation, sustainable development monitoring, spatial epidemiology, and demographic modeling. While many human settlement products report exceptional detection accuracies above 85%, there is a substantial blind spot in that product validation is typically centered on large urban areas rather than rural, small-scale settlements that are home to 3.4 billion people. In this study, we make use of a data-rich collection of 30 refugee settlements in Uganda to produce a targeted assessment of small-scale settlement detection by four broad-scale human settlement products: Global Human Settlements Built-Up Sentinel-2 (GHS-BUILT-S2), World Settlement Footprint (WSF), High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL), and Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3). We measured each product’s areal coverage within refugee settlements, assessed product detection accuracies in comparison to an independent dataset of 317,416 refugee settlement building footprints, and examined agreement between products. For refugee settlements established before 2016, the human settlement products had a low median F1-Score (F1) of 0.24, a high median false alarm rate of 0.59, and tended to only agree at locations of highest building density. Individually, WSF entirely overlooked 8 of the 30 study refugee settlements (median F1=0.17); GHS-BUILT-S2 underestimated the building footprint area by a median 50% (F1=0.15); GRID3 overestimated the building footprint area by a median 280% (F1=0.38); and HRSL underestimated the median area by 7% (F1=0.34). All products suffer from low detection accuracy and high false alarm rates, but GRID3 and HRSL, based on 0.5 meter resolution imagery, offer better detection accuracy than GHS-BUILT S2 and WSF, which are based on 10-30 meter resolution imagery. These results show that human settlement products have far to go in providing an accurate depiction of small-scale refugee settlements and would benefit from incorporating refugee settlements in training and validation of broad-scale human settlement detection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0119.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Lead poisoning; environmental health; toxic metals; sub-Saharan Africa; environmental exposure
Online: 6 October 2020 (10:55:42 CEST)
Lead exposure is associated with poor cognitive development in children. Very few studies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have studied blood lead levels (BLLs) and non-gasoline sources of exposure in children. Data from a birth cohort in Benin (2011-2013) suggested that 58% of one-year-old children had BLLs > 50 ug/L. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of elevated BLLs (>50 µg/L and >100 µg /L) among 425 of these children at six-years-of-age in 2016-18 and to compare BLLs between age one-year and six-years and study sources of lead at six years. BLLs were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Multiple linear regression and quantile regressions were used to study potential sources of lead. The prevalence of BLLs >50 µg/L in children was 59.5% [Geometric Mean (GM) 56.4 µg/L, 95% CI: 54.1 - 58.7] at six years of age compared to 54.8% [GM 56.5 µg/L, 95% CI: 53.4-59.6] at one year of age. The prevalence of children with BLLs >100 µg/L decreased from 14.4% at one year of age to 8.2% at six years of age. After adjustment for all other covariates, consumption of peanut more than once per month was significantly associated with a 22.0% (95% CI: 4.6, 42.5) increment in BLLs at six years compared with no consumption. Consumption of bushmeat killed by lead bullets at six years was associated with an increase in the higher percentiles of BLLs (P75) compared with the absence of this source. Other potential sources of lead associated with BLLs with marginal significance were consumption of rice, paternal occupational exposure, and the presence of activity with the potential use of lead. This prospective cohort confirms the persistently high prevalence of elevated BLLs in children residing in a rural region in the south of Benin as well as the presence of multiple and continuous sources of lead. These results highlight the need for prevention programs to reduce and eliminate lead exposure in children.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0419.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: Climate; Temperature change; Food security; sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 16 November 2020 (12:51:44 CET)
To bring to the fore the aim of this research, effects of fluctuating temperature, was measured against food and nutrition security in the region using food production index, and undernourished population growth rate as proxies; controlled over share of arable land, irrigation, population and labour share for agriculture. Dynamic panel of generalized method of moments (GMM) was adopted, the period 2000 to 2016 were considered and 29 countries in sub-Sahara Africa were selected within the empirical framework of global water balance as mentioned by Rai and Singh (2012). Findings from the study reveals that the short run effect of temperature increase in degrees pose at least -3.1% negative and significant impact effects on the food production while the long run elasticity hits -7.5% and the controlled effect on arable land revealed a positive impact on the food production to the tune of 3.9%. Contrarily, arable land expansion reduces the under nourished population by -8.55%. Population increase on the other hand increases undernourished population in the region to the tune of 11.95%. The study therefore recommended expansion in the arable land and encourages population control policy in order to negate the undesired effects of temperature on food and nutritional security.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0350.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: aflatoxins; incidence; Sub-Saharan Africa; Southeast Asia; tumorigenicity; carcinogenicity; acute toxicity; immunogenicity; genotoxicity
Online: 28 November 2019 (03:37:24 CET)
Aflatoxins continue to raise health concerns as unavoidable and widespread natural contaminants of foods and feeds with serious impact on health, agricultural and livestock productivity, and food safety. They are secondary metabolites produced by Aspergillus species distributed on three main sections of the genus (section Flavi, section Ochraceorosei, and section Nidulantes). Aflatoxin-producing species, mainly A. flavus and A. parasiticus thrive under hot and humid conditions in the field or during storage, which are met in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Poor economic status of a country exacerbates the risk and the extent of crop contamination due to faulty storage conditions that are usually suitable for mold growth and mycotoxin production; temperature of 22 to 29°C and water activity of 0.90 to 0.99. This situation paralleled the prevalence of high liver cancer and the occasional acute aflatoxicosis episodes that have been associated with these regions. Few of the presently known aflatoxins (>18) have been sufficiently studied for their incidence, health-risk, and mechanisms of toxicity to allow effective intervention and control means that would significantly and sustainably reduce their incidence and adverse effects on health and economy. Among these, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) has by far been the most studied; and yet, many aspects of the range and mechanisms of the diseases it causes remain to be elucidated. Its mutagenicity, tumorigenicity, and carcinogenicity, which are the best known still suffer from many limitations regarding the relative contribution of the oxidative stress and the reactive epoxide derivative (Aflatoxin-exo 8,9-epoxide) in the induction of the diseases, as well as its metabolic and synthesis pathways. Additionally, despite the well-established additive effects for carcinogenicity between AFB1 and other risk factors, e.g., hepatitis viruses B and C, and the algal hepatotoxic microcystins, the mechanisms of this synergy remain unclear. A review of publications on the incidence and concentrations of aflatoxins in selected foods and feeds from countries whose crops are classically known for their highest contamination with aflatoxins, reveals that despite the intensive efforts made to reduce such an incidence, there has been no clear tendency, with the possible exception of South Africa, towards sustained improvements. The levels and incidence are essentially influenced by the rainfall and temperature during the cultivation year or two successive years with alternating dry and wet seasons. This review aimed to update the main aspects of aflatoxin production, occurrence and incidence in selected countries, and associated adverse health effects. In addition to AFB1 which was the main focus of the review, other aflatoxins were addressed whenever relevant data were available.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0027.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Humanities Keywords: COVID-19; Deadly disease; Education; Resolution; Africa; Sub-Sahara
Online: 3 July 2020 (08:57:38 CEST)
The eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every sphere of life and may forever change how we have always lived and conducted our businesses, and no one can resist the wind of change that is blowing. Of all the sectors of governance, the educational sector, particularly at the tertiary level, appears to have been most greatly affected and therefore requires a more pragmatic approach to resolution. As of 29th June, Sub-Sahara Africa has reported 382,190 cases of COVID-19. In rejoinder to the virus epidemic, several Sub Sahara African governments implement the resolution to slam learning institutions to enclose the infection. Consequently, advanced schooling institutions obliged to reorganize their loom, becoming more digitally become forward, and changing to online platforms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0136.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Area Studies Keywords: Land dispute, customary land tenure, statutory land tenure, tenure security, Ghana, sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 8 January 2021 (10:31:29 CET)
Despite the ongoing land administration reforms being implemented across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including Ghana as viable pathway to achieve tenure security and greater efficiency in land administration, the subject of land dispute resolution has received relatively less attention. Whereas customary tenure institutions play a central role in land administration (controlling ~80% of all land in Ghana), they remain at the fringes of the formal land dispute adjudicatory process. Recognizing the pivotal role traditional institutions as development agents and potential vehicles for promoting good land governance, recent discourse on land tenure have geared towards mainstreaming traditional land disputes institutions into the architecture of formal judicial process via alternative dispute resolution pathways. Yet little is known at least empirically as to the operations of traditional dispute resolution institutions in the contemporary context. This study therefore explores the importance of traditional dispute resolution institutions in the management of land-related disputes in southcentral and western Ghana. Drawing on data collated from 380 farming households operating 746 plots. The results show that contrary to the conventional thinking that traditional institutions are anachronistic and not fit for purpose, they remain strong and preferred forum for land dispute resolution (proving resilient and adaptable) given the changing socio-economic and tenurial conditions. Yet these forums have differing implications for different actors within the customary spheres accessing them. The results highlight practical ways for incorporating traditional dispute resolution in the overall land governance setup in Ghana and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. This has implications for redesigning context-specific and appropriate land-use policy interventions that address local land dispute resolution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0077.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; phosphorus XANES; fertilizer microdosing; African leafy vegetables; synchrotron; sustainability; nutrient stewardship
Online: 6 December 2019 (04:48:26 CET)
This study investigated the speciation, transformation and availability of P during indigenous vegetable production by employing a combination of chemical and spectroscopic techniques. The study focused upon sites in two ecozones of SSA, the Dry Savanna (lna, Benin Republic) and Rainforest (Ilesha, Nigeria). Both sites were cultivated with two indigenous vegetable species; local amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus (AV)) and African eggplant (Solanum macrocarpon (SM)). The soils were treated with 5 t/ha poultry manure and urea fertilizer at the rate of 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80 kg N/ha. Soil samples were collected before planting and after harvest. Phosphorus K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy was used to determine P speciation in these soils. Quantitative analysis showed that adsorbed and organic P were the two dominant P species in the manure amended Dry Savanna (DS) soils before planting and after harvest in soils cultivated with both AV and SM, with the addition of urea (40 kg N/ha) causing an increase in the organic P form in Dry Savanna soils cultivated with AV. Soils of the Rainforest (RF) cultivated with AV initially had large amounts of apatite P in the manure amended soils prior to planting which was transformed to adsorbed and organic P after harvest. Urea addition to the Rainforest soils shifted the dominant P species from organic P to adsorbed and apatite P, which is likely to limit P availability. Soils cultivated with SM had similar proportions of both organic and adsorbed P forms, with 40 kg N/ha addition slightly increased the proportion of adsorbed P.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0341.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19; sub-Saharan Africa; mental health; feeling anxious; worried; frustrated; psychological problem; bored and angry
Online: 18 January 2021 (13:56:06 CET)
Mental health and emotional responses to the effects of COVID-19 lockdown in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are of serious public health concern and may negatively affect the mental health status of people. Hence, this study assessed the prevalence of mental health symptoms as well as emotional reactions among sub-Saharan Africans (SSAs) and associated factors among SSAs during the COVID-19 lockdown period. This was a web-based cross-sectional, a study on mental health and emotional features from 2005 respondents in seven SSA countries. This study was conducted between April 27 and May 17, 2020 corresponding to the lockdown period in most SSA countries. Respondents aged 18 years and above and the self-reported symptoms were feeling anxious, being worried, angry, bored and frustrated. These were the main outcomes and were treated as dichotomous variables. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify the factors associated with these symptoms. We found that over half (52.2%) of the participants reported any of the mental health symptoms in SSA and the prevalence of feeling bored was 70.5% followed by feeling anxious (59.1%), being worried (57.5%), frustrated (51.5%) and angry (22.3%) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multivariate analysis revealed that males, those aged >28 years, Central and Southern Africans, those who were not married, the unemployed, those living with more than six persons in a household, had higher odds of mental health and emotional symptoms. Similarly, people who perceived low risk of contracting the infection, and those who thought the pandemic would not continue after the lockdown had higher odds of mental health and emotional symptoms. Health care workers had lower odds for feeling angry than non-healthcare workers. During COVID-19 lockdown periods in SSA, about one in two participants reported mental health and emotional symptoms. Public health measures can be effectively used to identify target groups for prevention and treatment of mental health and emotional symptoms. Such interventions should be an integral component of SSA governments’ response and recovery strategies of any future pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1703.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Recirculating aquaculture system; water quality; (peri-)urban farming; Nigeria; sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 27 November 2023 (12:10:41 CET)
Food and nutrition insecurity, affecting 30% of the global population in 2020, poses a significant challenge to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 - Zero Hunger. Urbanization, particularly in sub-Saharan African cities e.g. Lagos, Nigeria, exacerbates these issues, impacting resources and contributing to informal settlements. There is emphasis on innovative solutions in urban farming, with Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) emerging as one of the promising approach due to its efficiency in space and capital utilization. However, maintaining optimal conditions in RAS, crucial for SDG 2 and 11, requires robust water quality monitoring. This study explores the availability of digital tools for water quality monitoring in small-scale urban RAS, evaluating handheld devices and IoT sensors' reliability through t-test statistical method. The results aim to guide practitioners in selecting effective monitoring tools, contributing valuable insights for sustainable aquaculture in urban areas, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where access to affordable digital solutions is pivotal for success and can attract youth to agri-food technologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0175.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; FTIR spectroscopy; fertilizer microdosing; African leafy vegetables; greenhouse gas mitigation; sustainability; tropical agriculture; soil fertility
Online: 17 January 2020 (04:23:44 CET)
Fertility management techniques being promoted in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) seek to grow indigenous vegetables economically and sustainably. This study was conducted in a phytotron chamber and compared yield, soil carbon (C) speciation and greenhouse gas (nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2)) emissions from SSA soils of two ecoregions; the dry savanna (lna, Republic of Benin) and rainforest (Ife, Nigeria) cultivated with local amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) under manure (5 t/ha) and/or urea (80 kg N/ha) fertilization. Vegetable yield ranged from 1753 kg/ac to 3198kg/ac in the rainforest, RF, soils and 1281 kg/ac to 1951 kg/ac in the dry savanna, DS, soils. Yield in the urea treatment was slightly higher compared to the manure+urea treatment, but the difference was not statistically significant. Cumulative CO2 emissions over 21 days ranged from 497.06 to 579.47 g CO2 in the RF, and 322.96 to 624.97 g CO2 in the DS, while cumulative N2O emissions ranged from 60.53 to 220.86 mg N2O in the RF, and 24.78 to 99.08 mg N2O in the DS. In the RF samples, the combined use of manure and urea reduced CO2 and N2O emissions but led to an increase in the DS samples. ATR-FTIR analysis showed that the combined use of manure and urea increased the rate of microbial degradation in the soils of the DS, but no such effect was observed in soils of the RF. We conclude that combining manure and urea fertilization has different effects on soils of the two ecoregions, and that RF farmers can reduce agricultural emissions without compromising soil productivity and yield potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0041.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: Food security; Urban farming; Fish protein; RAS; Land; Water; Sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 5 October 2022 (12:30:37 CEST)
The urban population in developing countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa, is rapidly increas-ing. As towns and cities grow, so does the demand for fish protein. While flow-through aqua-culture can provide fresh, healthy and nutritious fish protein, it is plagued by extensive land re-quirement as well as effluent discharge, thus, unsuitable for city regions. Alternatively, small-scale Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) could improve food and nutritional security (FNS), livelihoods as well as reduce environmental degradation in urban areas despite land and water constraints. The question however remains - what are the key technical, business and managerial issues, surrounding small-scale RAS in urban farming? This study reviews the RAS prototype of the Sustainable Aquaponics for Nutritional and Food Security in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa (SANFU) II project based on mass balance and stock density, relevant for fish survival and/or availability as well as net cash-flow analyses. The results suggest that small-scale RAS are technically and financially viable only with family labor having proper aquaculture monitoring and management skills. Furthermore, access to adequate equipment and inputs as well as electricity for the recirculating system are crucial. Urban innovation actors will adopt RAS if operations are profitable given that family labor is employed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0529.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Enterobacteriaceae, blaCTX-M, blaTEM
Online: 7 December 2023 (13:52:04 CET)
: Poultry products in Zambia form an integral part of the human diet in many households, as they are cheap and easy to produce. The burden of poultry diseases has, however, remained a major challenge. Growing consumer demand for poultry products in Zambia has resulted in non-prudent antimicrobial use on farms, intending to prevent and treat poultry diseases for growth optimization and maximising profits. This cross-sectional study aimed to identify the different types of bacteria causing diseases in chickens in Lusaka and to detect the extended-spectrum-lactamase (ESBL)-encoding genes. We collected 215 samples from 91 diseased chickens at three post-mortem facilities and screened them for gram-negative bacteria. Of these samples, 103 tested positive for various clinically relevant Enterobacteriaceae, including Enterobacter (43/103, 41.7%), Escherichia coli (20/103, 19.4%), Salmonella (10/103, 9.7%), and Shigella (8/103, 7.8%). Other isolated bacteria included Yersinia, Morganella, Proteus, and Klebsiella, which accounted for 21.4%. E. coli, Enterobacter, Salmonella, and Shigella were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The results revealed that E. coli, Enterobacter, and shigella were highly resistant to tetracycline, ampicillin, amoxicillin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, while Salmonella showed complete susceptibility to all antibiotics. The observed resistance patterns correlated with antimicrobial usage estimated from sales data from a large-scale wholesale and retail company. Six (6/14, 42.9%) E. coli isolates tested positive for blaCTX-M, whilst eight (8/14, 57.1%) Enterobacter samples tested positive for blaTEM. Interestingly, four (4/6, 66.7%) of the E. coli isolates carrying blaCTX-M-positive strains were also positive for blaTEM. Sanger sequencing of the PCR products revealed that five (5/6,83.3%) of the abovementioned isolates possessed the blaCTX-M-15 allele. The results suggest the presence of potentially pathogenic ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in poultry, threatening public health. Keywords:. Enterobacteriaceae, blaCTX-M, blaTEM
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci1020039
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Electrochemistry Keywords: hydrothermal reaction; nanoparticles; Li2TiO3; anode; ionic transport; lithium batteries
Online: 10 July 2019 (00:00:00 CEST)
Li2TiO3 nanopowders were synthesized by hydrothermal process using anatase TiO2 and LiOH H2O as raw materials. Li2TiO3 crystallizes in the layered monoclinic structure (space group C2/c) with average crystallite size of 34 nm. Morphology, elemental composition and local structure of products were carried out using HRTEM, FESEM, EDS, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy. Transport properties investigated by d.c. (4-probe measurements) and a.c. (complex impedance spectroscopy) show the activation energy of 0.71 and 0.65 eV, respectively. The ionic transport properties of Li+ ions in nanocrystalline Li2TiO3 characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) validate the good electrochemical properties of this anode material for lithium-ion batteries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0867.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Inorganic And Nuclear Chemistry Keywords: ternary chalcogenide; X-ray diffraction; single-crystal; energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy; magnetism; vanadium chalcogenide; VwSeyTe2– y
Online: 14 November 2023 (10:25:21 CET)
Vanadium(IV) chalcogenide materials are of increasing interest for use in catalysis and energy conversion-related applications. Since no ternary compounds are yet known in the V–Se–Te system, we studied ternary VwSeyTe2–y (w = 1.10, 1.13; y = 0.42, 0.72) phases crystallizing in space group P3m1 (no. 164). Two single-crystal specimens with differing compositions of a solid solution were obtained using the ceramic method. All products were characterized by either single-crystal or powder X-ray diffraction. The lattice parameters increase with rising tellurium content in accordance to the larger ionic radius of the tellurium anion compared to selenium. The chemical compositions were confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Further, magnetic measurements revealed mostly antiferromagnetic properties. Simultaneous differential scanning calorimetry/thermogravimetric analyses in nitrogen atmosphere showed endothermic decomposition accompanied by the formation of VN. The results of this work can serve as a basis for the synthesis of new phases in the V–Se–Te and related vanadium chalcogenide systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0421.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: AgIO3/CTF; heterojunction; photocatalysis; degradation; organic pollutants
Online: 7 December 2023 (01:34:35 CET)
With the development of modern industry, the issue of water pollution has garnered increasing attention. Photocatalysis, as a novel green environmental technology that is resource-efficient, environmentally friendly, and highly promising, has found extensive applications in the field of organic pollutant treatment. However, common semiconductor materials exhibit relatively low photocatalytic efficiency in the visible light range or inefficient separation of photogenerated charges, resulting in their limited ability to harness solar energy effectively. Consequently, the development of new photocatalysts has become a pivotal focus in current photocatalysis research to enhance solar energy utilization. This revision provides a brief explanation of the photocatalytic mechanism of the AgIO3/CTF heterojunction photocatalyst. Due to the Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effect, Ag nanoparticles demonstrate significant absorption in the visible light region, playing a crucial role in the highly efficient photocatalytic reduction of organic pollutants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0856.v1
Subject: Engineering, Aerospace Engineering Keywords: air mobility; efuel; hydrogen; battery electric; CO2
Online: 14 November 2023 (16:54:19 CET)
Despite significant technical progress, the aviation industry carbon footprint keeps growing. Recent articles demonstrate that the decarbonization of air mobility will almost exclusively rely on the decarbonization of its energy. While biofuels will play an important role in the near and long-term, low carbon electricity is now considered, either with direct electrification, or using energy vectors such as hydrogen or efuels. In this study we compare each energy vector using the well to rotor methodology applied to a standard air mobility mission to capture the different conversions losses and the integration effects on the carrier. The energy required is first expressed in the unit of the energy vector before being translated into kWh at the well, the electricity grid in our central scenario. The results are than translated in CO2 emissions and direct energy cost. Based on the assumptions in this study, the electricity carbon intensity and price can significantly impact the results. While liquid H2 has the highest cost and CO2 emissions in most scenarios, the results indicate that when electricity carbon intensity is below 35 gCO2/kWh, efuel can have lower CO2 emissions than battery electrification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci2040077
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: temperature; global warming; greenhouse gases; atmospheric CO2 concentration
Online: 20 October 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)
It is common knowledge that increasing CO2 concentration plays a major role in enhancement of the greenhouse effect and contributes to global warming. The purpose of this study is to complement the conventional and established theory that increased CO2 concentration due to human emissions causes an increase of temperature, by considering the reverse causality. Since increased temperature causes an increase in CO2 concentration, the relationship of atmospheric CO2 and temperature may qualify as belonging to the category of “hen-or-egg” problems, where it is not always clear which of two interrelated events is the cause and which the effect. We examine the relationship of global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at the monthly time step, covering the time interval 1980–2019, in which reliable instrumental measurements are available. While both causality directions exist, the results of our study support the hypothesis that the dominant direction is
T → CO2. Changes in CO2 follow changes in T by about six months on a monthly scale, or about one year on an annual scale. We attempt to interpret this mechanism by involving biochemical reactions, as at higher temperatures soil respiration, and hence CO2 emission, are increasing.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1245.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Air pollution; Human health; Environment; Carbon monoxide (CO); Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Ozone (O3), Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Online: 20 November 2023 (14:00:14 CET)
Air pollution has been a major environmental issue worldwide from the last few decades. It is a man-made issue that has a serious harmful impact on the environment and the health of humans. There are different sources of emission, but industrial processes and motor vehicles contribute to a chief part of air pollution. It has acute as well as chronic effects on the health of humans and affects different organs. It is thought the main environmental risk factor in the incidence and progression of several diseases such as lung cancer, asthma, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Long-term exposure to air pollution has different toxicological impacts on humans such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, neuropsychiatric complications, eye irritation and skin diseases. As per the study by the World Health Organization (WHO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals are the major air contaminants. These pollutants are different in their properties, composition and time of disintegration. The aim of this study is to review the different sources, types, impacts, challenges and mitigation of air pollution in detail.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1389.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: Diagnostics; Lower and Middle-Income Countries; Extreme Poverty; Limited-resource settings; infectious diseases; Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Nigeria; Antimicrobial; poverty; paper devices; mobile phone; smartphones; microfluidics; multiplexing; inexpensive diagnostics; medical devices; repairability
Online: 20 June 2023 (05:17:19 CEST)
Diagnostics is believed to drive about 70% of medical interventions, but this may not be true for all demographics. With more than 30% of the African population living in extreme poverty ($1.9 per day - 2022); and healthcare costs competing unfavorably against unbridled access to antibiotics and herbal concoctions, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, how do you convince such a people to choose diagnostics first? More importantly, how do you design a medical device targeted at meeting the diagnostic needs of this demographic? In developing diagnostic devices for such a market, what is worth sacrificing? How dire is the need for advanced technologies in devices developed for such a demographic? These are questions that remain unaddressed by the technological breakthroughs and current research in medical device development, especially for infectious disease diagnostics. The objective of this paper is to underscore critical concerns which must be considered in the bid to successfully design medical diagnostic devices for Africa and perhaps, other limited-resource settings. It is also written as a suggestive guidance document for researchers whose interest is in the development of infectious disease diagnostic platforms for rural Africa and similar limited-resource environments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0233.v1
Subject: Engineering, Chemical Engineering Keywords: H2S adsorption; 13X molecular sieve; adsorption capacity; ion exchange; silver modification
Online: 5 December 2023 (15:10:02 CET)
The removal of H2S from natural gas and other gases such as biogas, refinery gases, and coal gas is required because H2S is toxic and corrosive, even in traces. Zeolites are widely used in the removal of H2S from the above-mentioned gases. In this work, we prepared an Ag-exchanged 13X molecular sieve by using different concentrations of AgNO3 to increase its adsorption properties. XRD, SEM, and BET techniques were used to characterize samples. When compared to unmodified 13X, the adsorption capacity of AgII-13X increased by about 50 times. The results of this study suggest that the silver-modified 13X molecular sieve is highly effective at extracting H2S from natural gas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0404.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Materials Science And Technology Keywords: Anisotropic Growth; YCl3-substituted Perovskite; 1D Nanorods; Transition Dipole Moments; Outcoupling Efficiency
Online: 23 March 2023 (01:15:20 CET)
Cesium lead iodide (CsPbI3) perovskite nanocrystals (NCs) are a promising material for red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) due to their excellent color-purity and high luminous efficiency. However, small-sized CsPbI3 colloidal NCs, such as nanocubes, used in LEDs suffer from confinement effects, negatively impacting their photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY) and overall efficiency. Here, we introduced YCl3 into the CsPbI3 perovskite, which formed anisotropic, one-dimensional (1D) nanorods. This was achieved by taking advantage of the difference in bond energies between Cl− and I− ions, which caused YCl3 to promote the anisotropic growth of CsPbI3 NCs. The YCl3-based nanorods improved the PLQY and storage stability by passivating the defects reducing the nonradiative recombination rates. When the YCl3-substituted CsPbI3 nanorods are applied to the emissive layer in LEDs, we achieve an external quantum efficiency of ~3.16% which is 1.86-fold higher than the pristine CsPbI3 NCs (1.69%) based LED. Notably, the ratio of horizontal transition dipole moments (TDMs) in the anisotropic YCl3:CsPbI3 nanorods was determined to be 75%, which is higher than the isotropically oriented TDMs in CsPbI3 nanocrystals (67%). This increased TDM ratio led to higher light outcoupling efficiency in nanorods-based LEDs. Overall, the results suggest that YCl3-substituted CsPbI3 nanorods could be promising for achieving high-performance perovskite LEDs.
OPINION | doi:10.3390/sci2030057
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: blue carbon; carbon; carbon stock; carbon sequestration; climate change; CO2 emissions; mangrove; mitigation
Online: 23 July 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)
Mangrove forests store and sequester large area-specific quantities of blue carbon (Corg). Except for tundra and peatlands, mangroves store more Corg per unit area than any other ecosystem. Mean mangrove Corg stock is 738.9 Mg Corg ha−1 and mean global stock is 6.17 Pg Corg, which equates to only 0.4–7% of terrestrial ecosystem Corg stocks but 17% of total tropical marine Corg stocks. Seagrasses sequester more Corg per unit area than mangroves (179.6 g Corg m−2·a−1) but twice the Corg sequestered by mangroves globally (15 Tg Corg a−1). Mangroves sequester only 4% (range 1.3–8%) of Corg sequestered by terrestrial ecosystems, indicating that mangroves are a minor contributor to global C storage and sequestration. CO2 emissions from mangrove losses equate to 0.036 Pg CO2-equivalents a−1 based on rates of C sequestration but 0.088 Pg CO2-equivalents a−1 based on complete destruction for conversion to aquaculture and agriculture. Mangrove CO2 emissions account for only 0.2% of total global CO2 emissions but 18% of CO2 emissions from the tropical coastal ocean. Despite significant data limitations, the role of mangrove ecosystems in climate change mitigation is globally insignificant but may be more significant and effective at the national and regional scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0212.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Geophila obvallata; toxicity; Sub-acute; Drug therapy
Online: 13 April 2020 (11:38:46 CEST)
The study evaluates the toxic effects of acute and sub-acute oral administration of methanol extracts of Geophila obvallata in rats. During acute study, a dose of 1600, 2900 and 5000 mg/kg bw of extract was orally administered to rats. Rats were observed for signs of toxicity for two weeks. During sub-acute study (28 days), the extract, at doses of 100, 500 and 1000 mg/kg bw were administered orally to rats while control rats were given only tap water. At the end of the study, samples were collected for analyses. In acute toxicity studies, the extract did not induce death after single dose administration. Hence, the LD50 was estimated above 5000mg/kg. The results of sub-acute toxicity study show that no significant changes were observed in the body weights, organ weights, kidney function and organ histology. There were significant changes in hematology and biochemical indices investigated at elevated doses of 500 and 1000 mg/kg bw compared to the control. GOE may be considered non-toxic at a dose of 100 mg/kg with promising applications in drug therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0201.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: Particle Flow, Sub-Surface Water, Reservoirs Pollution
Online: 8 November 2018 (10:24:30 CET)
Pollution of sub-surface water reservoirs mainly rivers and streams through contaminated water point sources (CWPS) was studied. The objective was to formulate a discrete time delay mathematical model which describes the dynamics of reservoir pollution using mixing-problem processes that involve single species contaminants such as nitrates, phosphorous and detergents. The concentration of pollutants was expressed as a function of the inflow and outflow rates using the principle for the conservation of mass. Systems of ODEs generated from principles of mixing problems were refined into a system of DDEs so that the concentration of pollutant leaving the reservoir at time would be determined at some earlier instant, for the delay. The formulated model is a mathematical discrete time delay model which would be used to describe the dynamics of sub-surface water reservoir pollution. The results from the validation of the model were analyzed to determine how time delays in the mixing processes affect the rate of particle movement in water reservoirs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0147.v1
Online: 9 May 2018 (14:34:35 CEST)
Abstract: In this study the semi-distributed model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool), were applied to evaluate stream flow of Didessa sub basin, which is one of the major sub basins in Abay river basin of Ethiopia. The study evaluated the quality of observed meteorological and hydrological data, established SWAT hydrological model, identified the most sensitive parameters, evaluated the best distribution for flow and developed peak flow for major tributary in the sub basin. The result indicated that the SWAT model developed for the sub basin evaluated at multi hydro-gauging stations and its performance certain with the statistical measures, coefficient about determination (R2) and also Nash coefficient (NS) with values ranging 0.62 to 0.8 and 0.6 to 0.8 respectively at daily time scale. The values of R2 and NS increases at monthly time scale and found ranging 0.75 to 0.92 and 0.71 to 0.91 respectively. Sensitivity analysis is performed to identify parameters those were most sensitive for the sub basin. CN2, GWQMN, CH_K, ALPHA_BNK and LAT_TIME are the most sensitive parameters in the sub basin. Finally, the peak flow for 2-10000 returns periods were determined after the best probability distribution is identified in EasyFit computer program.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1681.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: hemoglobin sub-micron particles; CD163; monocytes; scavenger receptors
Online: 24 May 2023 (04:04:06 CEST)
Hemoglobin based oxygen carriers (HBOC) as blood substitutes are one of the great hopes of modern transfusion and emergency medicine. After the major safety-relevant challenges of the last decades seem to be largely overcome, current developments have in common that they are affected by degradation and excretion at an early stage in test organisms. Several possible mechanisms that may be responsible for this are discussed in the literature. One of them is CD163, the receptor of the complex of haptoglobin (Hp) and hemoglobin (Hb). The receptor has been shown in various studies to have an affinity for Hb in the absence of Hp. Thus, it seems reasonable that CD163 could possibly also bind Hb within HBOC and cause phagocytosis of the particles. In this work we investigated the role of CD163 for the uptake of our HbMP (hemoglobin sub-micron particles) in monocytes and additionally screened for alternative ways of particle recognition by monocytes. In our experiments, blockade of CD163 by specific monoclonal antibody proved to partly inhibit HbMP-uptake by monocytes. It appears however, that several other phagocytosis pathways for HbMP might exist, independent of CD163 and also Hb.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0279.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID19; sub-Sahara Africa; PCR testing; Capacity building
Online: 13 July 2020 (06:32:48 CEST)
The novel COVID-19 pandemic prompted an unprecedented Institutional reaction to aggregate existing capacity from silos of research laboratories to establish a multidisciplinary research laboratory for COVID19 testing. In less than two weeks, resources were mobilized from the community to strengthen public health response and epidemic control. Such strengthening of institutional research capacity to support public health response contributes to a natural knowledge transfer, facilitates collaboration, and generates new frontiers for knowledge production that should ultimately lead to professional development and retention of skilled human resources. This report describes the pre-established mechanisms and involvement of the authors that made it possible to set-up a multidisciplinary laboratory in a remarkably short period of time. We also discuss the opportunities and sustainability of multidisciplinary laboratory research post-COVID19. Existing institutional capacity can be repurposed to establish multidisciplinary research laboratories to support the strengthening of basic and clinical translational research capacity in resource limited settings and impact on public health and scientific knowledge for socioeconomic development.
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: queer theory; human geography; sub-discipline; new perspectives; scholarship
Online: 31 July 2023 (03:00:50 CEST)
This essay critically discusses the integration of queer theory into human geography while emphasizing its ties to the principles of traditional geography. The need for a separate sub-discipline called queer geography is questioned. At the same time, legitimate concerns about possible departures from the fundamental goals of geography and the risks of anachronistic interpretations in applying modern concepts to historical landscapes are acknowledged. In this discourse, we strongly advocate for values such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and international human rights. It is important to emphasize that it is not the intent of this essay to denigrate campaigns for feminism or equality or to disparage the scholarship that emerges from the application of queer theory. On the contrary, we recognize the emergence of gender theories out of a need to advance social justice approaches. We believe that traditional human geography, itself, is capable of comprehensively examining space, time, and the complexity of human experience and offering workable solutions within its established framework. We therefore believe that the inclusion of queer theory can be harmoniously integrated into the contours of human geography, eliminating the need for a separate sub-discipline while preserving the integrity and purpose of the discipline.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0516.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: REDD; Carbon Stock; MRV; Remote Sensing; Sal; Sub-national
Online: 22 March 2021 (11:17:20 CET)
United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCC) conventions in their conference of parties (COPs) has continuously considered and agreed reducing emission level in order to minimize the impact of global climate change. Reducing emission due to deforestation and degradation (REDD) ,was considered as one of the major activities in this regard during Kyoto protocol in 2009 which laid foundation for the participating countries to be compensated financially for reduced carbon emission. Mexico convention -2012 required the countries to develop and implement a transparent and consistent monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) process. Later in Paris agreement-2015, the parties agreed to limit the global warming to 2 degree centigrade and with further efforts to 1.5-degree centigrade furthering entailing the parties to prepare and communicate nationally determined contributions (NDCs) every five years. Nepal aimed to decrease the average annual deforestation rate by 0.05 percent from existing 0.44 percent in the terai region and 0.1 percent in the Chure. Nepal decided to develop its forest reference level (FRL) in national level for the historical period 2000-2010 considering Carbon dioxide and carbon pools above and below ground. As per the Forestry Sector Strategy, Nepal aims to increase carbon stock growth by at least 5% by 2025 as compared to 2015 and decrease mean annual deforestation rate to 0.05. After major change in administrative division in Nepal, forest management responsibility has shifted down to the Sub-national level. But forest resource studies have not been conducted yet in these levels. Despite a small country, Nepal has at least four clear physiological regions. The amount of carbon stock stored by different forest type are different depending upon species distribution, carbon volume and density for each species, and their distribution along ecological and physiological regions. Sal (shorea Robusta), for example, having one of the highest carbon densities, is a major forest types in Nepal. The purpose of this study was to generate forest map of the country, calculate carbon stock, gain and loss, and their rate in each province due to deforestation/afforestation using remote sensing data. Further Sal forest map was generated and its contribution in carbon stock was calculated using averaged national carbon density as well as using regional density method. According to the study, around 5.1 million hectares of Nepali land was forest in 2015 increasing from 4.2 million hectares in 2005. However, Sal forest has decreased during the same period. Province 1 contributed the maximum (130 Tg) and Province 2 the minimum (40Tg) of Carbon stock in 2015. Using the conventional method of calculation with national average density (108.08 t/ha), a total of 36.7T CO2 yr-1 carbon sink was observed in the Country. Whereas, with the new approach of calculation, a total of 44.7 T CO2 e of carbon sink per year was estimated during the same period. This approach holds potential for qualifying as an MRV process of Nepal. The subnational level forest and carbon statistics produced during this study can be important assets for the better forest governance. This can also pave way for policy formation and preparation of action plan for sustainable forest management and intervention strategy and obtaining better financial incentives participating in the reduction of emission due to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) plus programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0679.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Sub Clinical Mastitis; prevalence; Surf Field Mastitis Test; Jhenaidah
Online: 28 July 2020 (10:40:34 CEST)
A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of subclinical mastitis (SCM) among medium to large scale household dairy farms in southwestern district, Jhenaidah, Bangladesh during July to December 2019. A total of 78 (n=100) lactating cows from household dairy farms (N=32) having three or more dairy cows were selected randomly as sampled populations. Milk samples were screened for SCM by using Surf Field Mastitis Test (SFMT). The prevalence of SCM varied among farm level [71.9% (95% CI: 53.3-86.3)], individual animal level [67.9% (95% CI: 56.4-86.3)] and quarter level [29.5% (95% CI: 24.5-34.9)]. Descriptive statistics represented the farmers and farm demography, characteristics of the sampled population, and overall management feature. Random Effect Logistic Regression identified, Body Condition Score (BCS) [OR=3.8 and 2.9, at cows level and quarter level respectively (BCS-2 vs. BCS-≥3)], and breed [OR=5.1 and 2.9, at cows level and quarter level respectively (HF× Sahiwal vs. HF × Local)] as potential risk factors. This study shows that SCM is highly prevalent in the study area, which is a major threat to the dairy industry's production performance. Regular screening by SFMT, proper hygiene, improve the management system, and farmer’s awareness is required to control the disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0022.v1
Subject: Engineering, Bioengineering Keywords: under-potential deposition; bismuth sub-layer; lead ions; DPV
Online: 4 April 2017 (10:43:35 CEST)
The accumulation of high levels of lead or lead ions in a human body is harmful, particularly to children. Its neurotoxic effect is profound, damaging the central and peripheral nervous systems, resulting in stunted growth, behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The major source of lead or lead ions comes from the drinking water and tap water. The assessment of the water quality, including lead or lead ion content, is usually completed by a regional water department professional. This assessment is time-consuming and requires expensive instruments and skilled operators. Therefore, there is a need to produce a simple-use and relatively inexpensive method to detect lead or lead ions in water samples. This research has developed a simple-use, cost effective sensor system for the detection of lead ions in tap water. An under-potential deposited bismuth sub-layer on a thin gold film based electrochemical sensor was designed, manufactured and evaluated. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) measurement technique was employed in this detection. Tap water from the Cleveland, Ohio, USA regional water district was the test medium. Concentrations of lead ion in the range of 8 X 10-8 M to 8 x 10-4 M were evaluated. This DPV detection system required 3 -6 minutes to complete the detection measurement. A longer measurement time of 6 minutes was used for the lower lead ion concentration. The selectivity of this lead ion sensor was very good, and Fe III, Cu II, Ni II and Mg II at a concentration level of 5×10-4 M did not interfere with the lead ion measurement.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1917.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computational Mathematics Keywords: PageRank; inner-outer iterations; multi-parameter iteration; inner sub-systems
Online: 27 June 2023 (13:35:48 CEST)
In this paper, a new multi parameter iterative algorithm is proposed to address the PageRank problem based on the multi-splitting iteration method described by Gu et al . The proposed method in each iteration needs to solve two linear subsystems by splitting the coefficient matrix, therefore, we consider inner and outer iteration to find the approximate solutions of these linear subsystems. It can be shown that the iterative sequence generated by the multi parameter iterative algorithm finally converges to the PageRank vector when the parameters satisfy the certain conditions. Numerical experiments show that the proposed algorithm has better convergence and numerical stability than the existing algorithms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0933.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Opisthorchis viverrini; geographic weighted regression; sub-basin; Sakon Nakhon, Thailand.
Online: 14 June 2023 (02:11:11 CEST)
Infection of liver flukes (Opisthorchis viverrini) is partly due to their suitability for habitats in sub-basin areas, which causes the intermediate host to remain in the watershed system in all seasons. Spatial monitoring of fluke infection at the small -basin analysis scale is important because this can enable analysis at the level of the spatial factors involved and influencing infections. A geographic weighted regression model was developed to analyze the spatial characteristics of liver fluke infection, aiming to 1. analyze the spatial factors associated with human liver fluke infection according to sub-basin boundaries and 2. generate an alternative model for enhancing the effectiveness of preventive public health management to reduce the risk of liver fluke infection in humans. The number of infected persons was obtained from local authorities and converted into a percentage of infected people and generated as raster data with a heat map so that the data were continuous and defined as dependent variables. The independent set consisted of nine variables, both vector and raster data, that correlated the location with the village location of an infected person. The results showed that the variables X5stream, X7ndmi, and X9savi were statistically significantly correlated to the percentage of infected people, with the t-stat and p-value being (-2.068, 1.875, and -2.661) and (0.048, 0.034, and 0.021), respectively. The GWR model was able to increase accuracy more than the comparable models such as OLS, in all tests of the four alternative models, with an accuracy increase in R2 of 7.69% (0.576 to 0.624). This study confirms that the development of spatial models with GWR models can screen for factors associated with liver fluke infection at the level of small spatial units such as sub-basins.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0041.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Land use; landscape; climate change; Carbon; sub-humid tropic; Himalayas
Online: 2 February 2023 (09:35:57 CET)
Land resources have been under tremendous anthropogenic pressure with the consequence of their degradation. It is therefore necessary that the land resources must be managed effectively for sustainable development. Different from the developed countries, carbon inventories and data bank to monitor carbon sequestration potential of different ecosystems are unavailable in India. Micro-level studies are essential for sustainable land use management for a land scarce nation like India. To achieve the desirable goal of the present study, a total of 33 tree-based land uses were identified from forested and agricultural landscapes. Of these total land uses, five were in forest landscapes and rest in agricultural landscapes categorized into forest tree plantations (8 land uses), agroforestry (nine land uses), commercial crop plantations (six land uses) and fruit orchards (five land uses). A stratified random nested quadrate sampling method was adopted for vegetation analysis of the different land uses. The SOC, biomass and carbon accumulation in the tree-based land uses were significantly different from each other. Mixed forest soil had the highest amount of SOC, primary nutrients, standing biomass carbon, and ecosystem carbon. Positive correlations were observed between SOC, total standing biomass, litter production, and ecosystem carbon. The sequence of best tree based land uses in terms of total SOC (up to 60 cm depth), total plant biomass, total plant biomass carbon and ecosystem carbon was mixed species forest (126.67, 781.21, 390.61 and 517.27) > sole tree species stands in forest landscape (109.71, 192.56, 96.28 and 205.98) > tea plantations (103.19, 77.07, 38.54 and 141.74) > homegardens (90.34, 97.38, 48.69 and 139.02) > mixed plantation of Anthocephalus cadamba + Swietenia macrophylla (60.07, 111.86, 55.93 and 116.02) > Swietenia macrophylla based agroforestry (62.49, 83.82, 41.91 and 104.40) > mixed plantation of Tectona grandis + Milvus migrans (60.0, 85.97, 42.99 and 102.90). Similarly, the order of the major land uses was forest > commercial crop plantation > forest tree plantations > agroforestry > fruit orchards. The overall average ecosystem carbon accumulation in forests was 3.24 times more than the land uses in agricultural landscapes. The ecosystem carbon accumulation in the tree-based land uses in both forest and agricultural landscape was highly variable and was significantly different from each other. Land use conversion from forest to agriculture can reduce more than half of the carbon stock, but converting into homegardens, tree plantations or agroforestry enhanced carbon storage of the land use systems. The present findings can be used as baseline information for developing prediction models for probable effects of different land use, future intervention and sustainable management of land use systems.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0281.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: Sub-pixel mapping; Super-resolution mapping; Downscaling; Gulf of California
Online: 22 February 2022 (16:07:26 CET)
The quantification of sea surface temperature (SST) through space platforms has revolutionized how we obtain information at a global level. However, the main disadvantage of obtaining SST with satellite images consists of its inherent coarse spatial resolution. One solution could be the use of downscaling algorithms to create sequences of matrices at a higher resolution. We used the same SST data source from the MODIS-Aqua sensor at three spatial resolutions of 9 km, 4.5 km, and 1 km in the Gulf of California. Based on an open-source algorithm, the original SST images were downscaled to 4.5 km, 1 km, 500 m, 250 m, and 125 m per pixel scales. Results indicate a strong linear relationship between the original SST-MODIS data and the modeled data for all spatial resolutions. This study demonstrates the feasibility of an open-source downscaling algorithm to enhance the spatial resolution of SST images in a marginal sea.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0260.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: sea surface salinity; sampling mismatch; sub footprint variability; uncertainty; validation
Online: 22 February 2022 (02:44:05 CET)
Validation of satellite sea surface salinity (SSS) products is typically based on comparisons with in-situ measurements at a few meters depth, that are mostly done at a single location and time. The difference in term of spatio-temporal resolution between the in-situ near-surface salinity and the two-dimensional satellite SSS results in a sampling mismatch uncertainty. The Climate Change Initiative (CCI) project has merged SSS from three satellite missions. Using an optimal interpolation, weekly and monthly SSS and their uncertainties are estimated at a 50 km spatial resolution over the global ocean. Over the 2016-2018 period the mean uncertainty on weekly CCI SSS is 0.13, whereas the standard deviation of weekly CCI minus in-situ Argo salinities is 0.24. Using high resolution SSS simulations, we estimate the expected uncertainty due to the CCI versus Argo sampling mismatch. Most of the largest spatial variability of the satellite minus Argo salinity are observed in regions with large mismatch. A quantitative validation is performed by considering the statistical distribution of the CCI minus Argo salinity normalized by the sampling and retrieval uncertainties. This quantity should follow a Gaussian distribution with a standard deviation of 1, if all uncertainty contributions are properly considered. We find that 1) the sampling mismatch can explain most of the observed differences between Argo and CCI data, especially for monthly products and in dynamical regions (river plumes, fronts), 2) overall, the uncertainties are well estimated in CCI version 3, much better compared to CCI version 2. There are a few dynamical regions where discrepancies remain, and where the satellite SSS, their associated uncertainties and the sampling mismatch estimates should be further validated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0086.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Malaria transmission; Sub-microscopic; low-density; parasitaemia; rapid diagnostic test
Online: 7 February 2022 (12:55:46 CET)
Global malaria epidemiology has changed in the last decade with a substantial increase in cases and death being recorded. Over 90% of global cases and deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Tanzania accounts for about 4% of all cases and deaths reported in recent years. It is believed that several factors contribute to the resurgence of malaria, parasite resistance to antimalarials and mosquito resistance to insecticides being at the top of the list. The presence of sub-microscopic infections poses a significant challenge to malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDT), particularly in low-endemic areas. Our cross-sectional surveys in Handeni and Moshi, Tanzania assessed the effect of low parasite density on mRDT. A significant difference (P˂0.001) in malaria prevalence by mRDT, light microscopy (LM) and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was found among age groups. In comparison to all other groups, school-age children (5-15 years) had the highest prevalence of malaria. Based on the results of this study, mRDT may miss up to 6% of cases of malaria mainly due to low-density parasitaemia. Routinely used mRDT will likely miss the sub-microscopic parasitemia which will ultimately contribute to the continued spread of malaria and hinder efforts to control and eliminate it.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0026.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Cefotaxime; S. haemolyticus; neonates; sub-MIC; biofilms; short-term evolution
Online: 1 September 2021 (14:39:54 CEST)
Critical care of neonates involves substantial usage of antibiotics and exposure to multidrug resistant (MDR) nosocomial pathogens. These pathogens are often exposed to sub-MIC doses of antibiotics which might result in a range of physiological effects. Therefore, to understand the outcome of sub-inhibitory dosage of antibiotics on Staphylococcus populations, nasal swab specimens were collected from 34 neonates admitted to the Sick Newborn Care Unit between 2017-2018, a total of 41 non-repetitive isolates were included in this study. Staphylococcus haemolyticus was the prevalent species (58.54%) with high non-susceptibility to cefotaxime (CTX) (79.16%), gentamicin (87.50%), and meropenem (54.17%). Biofilm forming abilities of S. haemolyticus isolates in the presence of sub-optimal CTX (30μg/mL), the predominantly prescribed β-lactam antibiotic, were then determined by crystal violet assays and extracellular DNA (eDNA) quantitation. CTX was found to significantly enhance biofilm production among the non-susceptible isolates (p-valueWilcoxin test- 0.000008) with increase in eDNA levels (p-valueWilcoxin test- 0.000004). Additionally, no changes in non-susceptibility were observed among populations of two MDR isolates, JNM56C1 and JNM60C2 after >500 generations of growth in the absence of antibiotic selection in vitro. These findings demonstrate that sub-MIC concentration of CTX induces biofilm formation and short-term non-exposure to antibiotics does not alter non-susceptibility among S. haemolyticus isolates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0514.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: nano-alloy; Si-Cr; Si nano-needles; sub-100 nm; nanoscale
Online: 27 December 2022 (08:41:50 CET)
Ultra-short 230 fs laser pulses of 515 nm wavelength were tightly focused into 700 nm focal spots and utilised in opening ~ 400 nm nano-holes in a Cr etch mask that was tens-of-nm thick. Nano-holes ablated at slightly above the threshold of ablation irradiance became nano-disks and nano-rings at slightly lower pulse energies. Subtle sub-1 nJ pulse energy control was harnessed to pattern large surface areas with controlled nano-alloying of Si and Cr. This technique is extendable to vacuum-free large area patterning of nanolayers by alloying them at distinct locations with sub-diffraction resolution. Such metal masks with nano-hole opening can be used for formation of random patterns of nano-needles with sub-100 nm separation when applied to dry etching of Si.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0199.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: Microfluidics; Micro-Jet; Sub-millisecond mixing; Simulation; Sample delivery for XFEL
Online: 8 February 2021 (12:12:47 CET)
Microfluidic devices which integrate both rapid mixing and liquid jetting for sample delivery are an emerging solution for studying molecular dynamics via X-ray diffraction. Here we use finite element modelling to investigate the efficiency and time-resolution achievable using microfluidic mixers within the parameter range required for producing stable liquid jets. Three-dimensional simulations, validated by experimental data, are used to determine the velocity and concentration distribution within these devices. The results show that by adopting a serpentine geometry, it is possible to induce chaotic mixing, which effectively reduces the time required to achieve a homogeneous mixture for sample delivery. Further, we investigate the effect of flow rate and the mixer microchannel size on the mixing efficiency and minimum time required for complete mixing of the two solutions whilst maintaining a stable jet. In general, we find that the smaller the cross-sectional area of the mixer microchannel, the shorter the time needed to achieve homogeneous mixing for a given flow rate. The results of these simulations will form the basis for optimised designs enabling the study of molecular dynamics occurring on millisecond timescales using integrated mix-and-inject microfluidic devices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0163.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: information source; smallholder farmers; ICTs; adoption; conceptual framework; sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 10 March 2020 (10:29:14 CET)
The importance of ICTs for dissemination of information to farmers has been verified by extension practitioners, information and communication scholars, policy makers and development agencies. Information related to new seed varieties, production technologies, livestock breeds, vaccines, including weed and pest control, as well as relevant market information is constantly required by smallholder farmers. The identification of specific attributes among smallholder farmers which contributes to their adoption of a proposed ICT-based information source provides an important tool for developing interventions which address the information needs of farmers. Using a literature survey methodology, pertinent studies related to adoption of ICTs, farmers’ information source usage and relevant frameworks were identified, including applicable theories and models in technology adoption and information behaviour. In the proposed framework, the socio-economic characteristics of smallholder farmers were posited as key variables influencing smallholder farmers, within a farming system, to adopt ICT-based information sources. The framework contributes to discern the prospects of adopting ICT-based information sources by individual farmers within a farming system, and may also envisage other related welfare outcomes and market participation pathways among smallholder farmers. The review also addresses the paucity of conceptual discourse, while contributing to a growing pool of research on ICT in African agriculture.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0651.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: Olive mill waste water; Culex laticinctus; Aedes albopictus; larvicide; Sub-lethal concentrations
Online: 20 April 2023 (10:34:12 CEST)
The larvicidal potential of olive mill waste water (OMWW) extract against mosquito larvae was evaluated. We exposed second instar Culex laticinctus (Edwards) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) larvae to increasing OMWW concentrations. In addition, we tested the effects of long term exposure to a low OMWW concentration on larval development. The two mosquito species responded differently to OMWW extracts. Larval Cx. laticinctus showed higher vulnerability to increasing OMWW concentrations in comparison to Ae. albopictus. By contrast, Cx. laticinctus exposed to a low OMWW concentration until pupation did not exhibit survival differences, but rather sex-specific development responses. These trends were not observed in Ae. albopictus whose survival was significantly reduced following long exposer to OMWW extraction. These results showed that OMWW, which is known as agricultural byproduct waste, may be reused as a biopesticide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0531.v2
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: Sector coupling; 100% renewable; Sub-national energy model; Energy transition; Open science.
Online: 24 March 2021 (13:32:30 CET)
The energy transition requires integration of different energy carriers, including electricity, heat, and transport sectors. Energy modeling methods and tools are essential to provide a clear insight into the energy transition. However, the methodologies often overlook the details of small-scale energy systems. The study states an innovative approach to facilitate sub-national energy systems with 100% renewable penetration and sectoral integration. An optimization model, OSeEM-SN, is developed under the Oemof framework. The model is validated using the case study of Schleswig-Holstein. The study assumes three scenarios representing 25%, 50%, and 100% of the total available biomass potentials. OSeEM-SN reaches feasible solutions without additional offshore wind investment, indicating that they can be reserved for supplying other states’ energy demand. The annual investment cost varies between 1.02 bn – 1.44 bn €/yr for the three scenarios. The electricity generation decreases by 17%, indicating that with high biomass-based combined heat and power plants, the curtailment from other renewable plants can be decreased. Ground source heat pumps dominate the heat mix; however, their installation decreases by 28% as the biomass penetrates fully into the energy mix. The validation confirms OSeEM-SN as a beneficial tool to examine different scenarios for sub-national energy systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0621.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Clustering; Mutation; Amino acid substitution; Structural proteins; Biochemical properties; Functional sub-domains
Online: 4 March 2021 (10:17:15 CET)
SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and creating divergent variants across the world. An in-depth investigation of the amino acid substitution in the genomic signature of SARS-CoV-2 proteins is highly essential for understanding its host adaptation and infection biology. A total of 9587 SARS-CoV-2 structural protein sequences collected from 49 different countries are used to characterize protein-wise variants, substitution pattern (type and location), and major substitution changes. The majority of the substitutions are distinct, occurred mostly in a particular location, and leads to a change in amino acid's biochemical properties. In terms of mutational changes, Envelope (E) and Membrane (M) proteins are relatively stable than Nucleocapsid (N) and Spike (S) proteins. Several co-occurrence substitutions are observed, particularly in S and N proteins. Substitution specific to active sub-domains reveals that Heptapeptide Repeat, Fusion peptides, Transmembrane in S protein, and N-terminal and C-terminal domains in N protein are remarkably mutated, and also found few deleterious mutations in these domains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0213.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Algebra And Number Theory Keywords: social networks; influence maximization; information diffusion model; reverse reachable set; sub-modularity
Online: 8 February 2021 (14:18:57 CET)
Most of the existing influence maximization algorithms are not suitable for large-scale social networks due to their high time complexity or limited influence propagation range. Therefore, a D-RIS influence maximization algorithm is proposed based on the independent cascade model and combined with the reverse reachable set sampling. Under the premise that the influence propagation function satisfies monotonicity and submodularity, the D-RIS algorithm uses automatic debugging method to determine the critical value of the number of reverse reachable sets, which not only obtains a better influence propagation range, and greatly reduce the time complexity. The experimental results on the two real data sets of Slashdot and Epinions show that D-RIS algorithm is close to the CELF algorithm and higher than RIS algorithm, HighDegree algorithm, LIR algorithm and pBmH algorithm in influence propagation range. At the same time, it is significantly better than the CELF algorithm and RIS algorithm in running time, which indicates that D-RIS algorithm is more suitable for large scale social network.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0072.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Soil Science Keywords: LULCC; SWC; soil erosion risk; Erer Sub-Basin; RUSLE; ArcGIS; SWC; MCDR
Online: 6 August 2019 (09:03:58 CEST)
Land use and land cover change (LULCC) is a critical factor for enhancing the soil erosion risk and land degradation process in the Wabi Shebelle Basin. Up-to-date spatial and statistical data on basin-wide erosion rates can provide an important basis for planning and conservation of soil and water ecosystems. The objectives of this study were to examine the magnitude of LULCC and consequent changes in the spatial extent of soil erosion risk, and identify priority areas for Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) in the Erer Sub-Basin, Wabi Shebelle Basin, Ethiopia. The soil loss rates were estimated using an empirical prediction model of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) outlined in the ArcGIS environment. The estimated total annual actual soil loss at the sub-basin level was 1.01 million tons in 2000 and 1.52 million tons in 2018 with a mean erosion rate of 75.85 t ha–1 y–1 and 107.07 t ha–1 y–1, respectively. The most extensive soil loss rates were estimated in croplands and bare land cover, with a mean soil loss rate of 37.60 t ha–1 y–1 and 15.78 t ha−1 y−1, respectively. The soil erosion risk has increased by 18.28% of the total area, and decreased by 15.93%, showing that the overall soil erosion situation is worsening in the study area. We determined SWC priority areas using the Multi-Criteria Decision Rule (MCDR) approach, indicates that the top three levels identified for intense SWC account for about 2.50%, 2.38%, and 2.14%, respectively. These priority levels are typically situated along the steep slopes in Babile, Fedis, Fik, Gursum, Gola Oda, Haramaya, Jarso, and Kombolcha districts that need emergency SWC measures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0516.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: imperceptible; stimulation; vibrotactile; Gaussian noise; stochastic resonance; somatosensory system; sub-sensory threshold
Online: 21 November 2018 (06:39:21 CET)
Imperceptible vibratory noise stimulation has shown to be an effective means of improving stability for both whole body postural control and simple motor control tasks. While the physiological mechanism affording this improvement is uncertain, it is suspected that sensory noise stimulation may elicit a stochastic resonance-like effect within the somatosensory system. A stochastic resonance effect describes the phenomenon in which noise added to a non-linear system improves signal detection rather than degrading it. One hallmark of stochastic resonance is the existence of an optimal noise level which elicits the best system performance. There is disagreement in the literature regarding the presence of an optimal stimulation level for motor stability in humans. The goals of this study were to: 1) determine optimal stimulation level as a function of an individual’s sub-sensory threshold level, and 2) to determine whether performance of a force stability task was significantly better when subjects received stimulation at this identified optimal level compared to other sub-sensory threshold stimulation levels. Eighteen (18) participants completed an isometric finger flexion task with visual feedback while receiving noise stimulation scaled to varying percentages of their individual sub-sensory threshold level. Performance for this force stabilization task was quantified as the root-mean-square (RMS) error between the target force and the actual generated force values. Despite controlling all other signal properties and varying only amplitude, optimal noise stimulation values still varied widely across participants (10-100% sub-sensory threshold level). Statistical modeling revealed a significant improvement in task performance with optimal noise stimulation compared to other sub-sensory stimulation levels (p ≤ 0.019) with estimated marginal mean differences in force errors ranging from 0.13 to 0.23 N. Moderate significant Spearman correlations (rs = 0.49 and rs = 0.56, respectively) were found between finger flexion maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and sub-sensory threshold level and MVC and optimal stimulation level. A strong, significant Spearman correlation (rs = 0.65) was observed between sub-sensory threshold level and optimal stimulation level. Although these correlations do not provide a means to predict optimal stimulation level as a function of these other measures, optimal stimulation level appears to increase with sub-sensory threshold and MVC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1694.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: Cu-(In,Ga)-Se2 (CIGSe) solar cells; Two-segment process; Metal-alloy compositions; Internal/External quantum efficiencies (IQE/EQE); Sustainable development goal; Eco-friendly community
Online: 27 November 2023 (11:51:53 CET)
In this paper, the overall performance of Cu-(In,Ga)-Se2 (CIGSe) solar cells was improved in the ultraviolet (UV)–visible wavelength region by two-segment process. In which, adjusting DC sputtering powers (20–40 W) for absorbers (segment I), and metal-alloy compositions (CdS, ZnO/CdS, ZnMgO/CdS and ZnMgO) for buffers (segment II) were explored and characterized. Upon choosing the optimal-30-W CIGSe-absorber (with 0.95-CGI ratio) sputtered by the segment-I process, the Cu-rich film can distinctly boost grain growth, thus reducing the trap state density. After segment-II process as the toxic-CdS alternative, the optimal Zn0.9Mg0.1O-alloy buffer can reach the best conversion efficiency (η = 8.70%) was attained for the environmental protection. Meanwhile, and the overall internal/external quantum efficiencies (IQE/EQE) were improved by 13.15%, respectively for the 2.48–3.62-eV bandgap (short wavelength) range. The developed photovoltaic (PV) module (with 9 optimum-CIGSe cells) exhibits acceptable stability with a variance within ±5% over the 60-day experiment. This discovery in PV-device research contributes to a new scientific understanding of renewable energy. Furthermore, this study undeniably enhances the progress of practical applications for PV-modules in alignment with sustainable development goals. It also actively supports the development of eco-friendly communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0158.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Dhidhessa; Sub-basin; RCP; stream flow; SWAT; Climate Models; Surface Water Availability; Scenario
Online: 11 July 2022 (10:15:11 CEST)
The main target of this study was to evaluate the impact of future climate change on the available surface water resources in the Dhidhessa Sub-basin, Abbay Basin, Ethiopia. For the prediction, high-resolution Regional Climate Models (RCMs) from multiple climate models with data from Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) prepared by the CCAFS were used. The predictions of future discharge (stream flow) were based on climate scenarios data of baseline period of 1991 to 2020 and for the future with two time windows, 2044 (2030–2059) and 2084 (2070–2099), on a monthly time step after bias correction was conducted to both precipitation and temperature in the future climate under each RCP scenario. After sensitivity analysis, calibration (1994–2011), and validation (2012–2020) of the model for the Dhidhessa Sub-basin with the SUFI-2 program in the SWAT-CUP model, the SWAT model was used to determine water balance and stream flow from the SWAT model system. The SWAT model performed well in predicting stream flow in the Dhidhessa Sub-basins, with a coefficient of determination (R2) ranging from 0.8 to 0.94 and a Nash Sutcliffe value (NSE) ranging from 0.76 to 0.89. The percent decrease in mean annual stream flow from 2044 and 2084 were 10 %, in 2044, and 6.3% in 2084 respectively. The seasonal result under short-term 2044 of stream flow present change significantly decreased in spring, winter, and autumn with 20.2%, 67.4%, and 67.4% respectively. While summer season increased by 43.1%, under short-term 204. In long-term 2084 percent change declined except summer seasons, with 14.7%, 58.1%, and 3.3%, change in spring, winter, and autumn, respectively, and summer, with 51.1% increased and With RCP4.5 (1.64%) and RCP8.5 (2.1%) changed. In the future Dhidhessa stream flow increases and decreases from the baseline era. The decreasing stream flow in 2044 and 2084 will negatively affect agricultural production. This study revealed that any effect on this river resulting in a drop in flow will have a direct impact on ongoing water resource development and socio-economic development of the area.
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: Single-pixel; spectroscopy; near-infrared; DMD; multiplexing; spectral coding; sub-millisecond; compressive measurement
Online: 31 July 2021 (15:10:23 CEST)
In this contribution, we present a high-speed multiplex grating spectrometer based on a spectral coding approach that is founded on principles of compressive sensing. The spectrometer employs a single-pixel InGaAs detector to measure the signals encoded by an amplitude spatial light modulator (digital micromirror device, DMD). This approach leads to a speed advantage and multiplex sensitivity advantage atypical for standard dispersive systems. Exploiting the 18.2 kHz pattern rate of the DMD, we demonstrate 4.2 ms acquisition times for full spectra with a bandwidth of 450 nm (5250 cm-1 – 4300 cm-1; 1.9 µm – 2.33 µm). Due to the programmability of the DMD, spectral regions of interest can be chosen freely, thus reducing acquisition times further, down to the sub-millisecond regime. The adjustable resolving power of the system accessed by means of computer simulations is discussed, quantified for different measurement modes, and verified by comparison with a state-of-the-art Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer. We show measurements of characteristic polymer absorption bands in different operation regimes of the spectrometer. The theoretical multiplex advantage of 8 was experimentally verified by comparison of the noise behavior of the spectral coding approach and a standard line-scan approach.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0163.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), temperate sub-continental climate, Lombardy, temperature, solar radiation
Online: 6 August 2020 (11:39:41 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is the defining global health and socioeconomic crisis of our time and represents the greatest challenge faced by the world since the end of the Second World War. The academic literature indicates that climatic features, specifically the temperature and absolute humidity, are very important factors affecting infectious pulmonary disease epidemics (e.g., SARS, MERS); however, the influence of climatic parameters on COVID-19 remains extremely controversial. The goal of this study is to quantify the existing relationship between several daily climate parameters (temperature, relative humidity, accumulated precipitation, solar radiation, wind direction and intensity, and evaporation), local morphological parameters, and new daily positive swabs for COVID-19, which represents the only parameter that can be statistically used to quantify the pandemic. The daily deaths parameter was not considered because it is not reliable due to frequent administrative errors. Daily data on meteorological conditions and new cases of COVID-19 were collected for the Lombardy area from March 1, 2020, to April 20, 2020. This region in Italy exhibited the largest number of official deaths in the world per million inhabitants, with a value of approximately 1700 per million on june 30, 2020. Moreover, the apparent lethality was approximately 17% in this area, mainly due to the considerable housing density and the extensive presence of industrial and craft areas. The Mann-Kendall test and multivariate statistical analysis showed that none of the considered climatic variables exhibited statistically significant relationships with the epidemiological evolution of COVID-19, at least in the spring months in temperate subcontinental climate areas, with the exception of solar radiation, which was directly related and showed an otherwise low explained variability of approximately 20%. Furthermore, the average temperatures of two highly representative meteorological stations of Molise and Lucania, the most weakly affected by the pandemic. The temperatures at these stations were approximately 1.5°C lower than that in the cities in Lombardy of Bergamo and Brescia, again confirming that a significant relationship between the increase in temperature and decrease in virology from COVID-19 was not evident, at least in the Italian peninsula.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0362.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: drought; extended rainfall; sub-seasonal predictability; low-level jet; circumglobal teleconnection; EOF; CFS; NARR
Online: 6 December 2023 (08:16:21 CET)
This study leverages the relationships between the Great Plains low-level jet (GP-LLJ) and the circumglobal teleconnection (CGT) to enhance the 30-day rainfall forecast skill in the Northern Great Plains (NGP). The assessment of 30-day simulated precipitation using the Climate Forecast System (CFS) is contrasted with the North American Regional Reanalysis, searching for sources of precipitation predictability associated with extended wet and drought events. We analyze the 30-day sources of precipitation predictability using (1) the characterization of dominant statistical modes of variability of 900-mb winds associated with the GP-LLJ, (2) the large-scale atmospheric patterns based on 200-mb geopotential height (HGT), and (3) the use of GP-LLJ and CGT conditional probability distributions using a continuous correlation threshold approach to identify when and where the forecast of NGP precipitation occurs. Two factors contributing to the predictability of precipitation in the NGP are documented. We found that multi-scale geospatial interactions occur at the daily and sub-seasonal time windows. The CFS reforecast suggests that the ability to forecast sub-seasonal precipitation increases in response to the enhanced simulation of the GP-LLJ and CGT. Finally, the multi-dimensional analysis of covariance reveals that high-precipitation forecasting skill is associated with a better prognostic of GP-LLJ and CGT.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0103.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); HepG2; Transglutaminase 2 (TG2); Cisplatin; Chemoresistance; Sub-cellular localisation; Apoptosis; Autophagy
Online: 6 February 2023 (10:56:44 CET)
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous malignancy with complex carcinogenesis. Although there has been significant progress in the treatment of HCC over the past decades, drug resistance to chemotherapy remains a major obstacle in its successful management. In this study we were able to reduce chemoresistance in cisplatin-resistant HepG2 cells by either silencing the expression of transglutaminase type 2 (TG2) using siRNA or by pre-treatment of cells with the TG2 enzyme inhibitor cystamine. Further analysis revealed that, whereas the full-length TG2 isoform (TG2-L) was almost completely cytoplasmic in its distribution, the majority of the short TG2 isoform (TG2-S) was membrane-associated in both parental and chemoresistant HepG2 cells. Following induction of cisplatin toxicity in non-chemoresistant parental cells, TG2-S together with cisplatin quickly relocated to the cytosolic fraction. Conversely, no cytosolic relocalisation of TG2-S or nuclear accumulation cisplatin was observed following identical treatment of chemoresistant cells, where TG2-S remained predominantly membrane-associated. This suggests that deficient subcellular relocalisation of TG2-S from membranous structures into the cytoplasm may limit the apoptic response to cisplatin toxicity in chemoresistant cells. Structural analysis of TG2 revealed the presence of binding motifs for interaction of TG-S with the membrane scaffold protein LC3/LC3 homologue that could contribute to a novel mechanism of chemotherapeutic resistance in HepG2 cells.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0250.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Emergence of Omicron and its mechanism; mutation and sub-lineages; Monoclonal antibodies; Antiviral drugs
Online: 18 July 2022 (07:48:00 CEST)
With the ongoing COVID pandemic, the emergence of a novel omicron variant in November 2021 has chaos the world. Despite mass vaccination, this omicron has spread rapidly raising concerns around the globe. The Omicron variant has a vast array of mutations as compared to another variant of concern with overall 50 mutations where 30 mutations are present in its spike protein. This mutation has led to immune escape and more transmissibility compared to other variants, including Delta. A cluster of mutations (H655Y, N679K, and P681H) present at the omicron spike protein could aid in transmission. Currently, no virus-specific data are available to predict the efficacy of anti-viral and mAbs drugs. However, two monoclonal antibody drugs: Sotrovimab and Evusheld are authorized for emergency use in COVID patients. This virus is not fading away soon. The easiest solution and less expensive measure to fight against this pandemic are following COVID appropriate protocols.There is need to strengthen the level of research for development of potential vaccines and anti-viral drugs. It is also important to monitor and expand genomic surveillance to keep track of the emergence of new variants thus avoiding the spread of new diseases worldwide. This article highlights the emergence of omicron and vast number of mutation in its protein. In addition, recent advancement in drugs approved by FDA to treat COVID patients has been listed and focused in this paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0301.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Geometry And Topology Keywords: E-convex sets; preinvex; E-convex functions; geodesic; sub-preinvex; Riemannian manifolds; Hadamard manifolds.
Online: 27 October 2019 (10:41:01 CET)
In the present work we study the properties of geodesic sub-$ (\alpha,b,s) $-preinvex functions on Hadamard manifolds and establish some basic properties in both general and differential cases. Further, we study sufficient conditions of optimality and proved some new inequalities under geodesic sub-($ \alpha,b,s $)-preinvexity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1582.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: time-fractional complex three coupled maccari’s system; sardar sub-equation scheme; new exact wave solutions
Online: 24 July 2023 (10:56:19 CEST)
In this paper, we succeed to discover the new exact wave solutions to the truncated M-fractional complex three coupled Maccari’s system by utilizing the Sardar sub-equation scheme. The obtained solutions are in the form of trigonometric and hyperbolic forms. These solutions have many applications in nonlinear optics, fiber optics, deep water-waves, plasma physics, mathematical physics, fluid mechanics, hydrodynamics and engineering where the propagation of nonlinear waves is important. Achieved solutions are verified with the use of Mathematica software. Some of the achieved solutions are also described graphically by 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional and contour plots with the help of Maple software. The gained solutions are helpful for the further development of concerned model. Finally, this technique is simple, fruitful and reliable to handle the nonlinear FPDEs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1147.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: locally convex topological space, subconvexlikeness; sub convexlikeness; vector Lagrangian multiplier theorems; vector saddle-point theorems
Online: 15 June 2023 (12:53:52 CEST)
In this paper, we prove that the sub convexlikeness introduced by V. Jeyakumar , and the subconvexlikeness defined in V. Jeyakumar  are equivalent in loccallly convex topological spaces. And then, we work with set-valued vector optimization problems and obtain some vector saddle-point theorems and vector Lagrangian theorems.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: essential oil; Mentha pulegium; Mentha suaveolens; Listeria monocytogenes; Salmonella enterica; antioxidant; sub-lethally injured bacteria
Online: 5 May 2019 (12:05:03 CEST)
The essential oils (EOs) obtained from aromatic plants are rich in natural compounds with interesting biological effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition of EOs of Mentha pulegium (MP-EO) and Mentha suaveolens (MS-EO) collected from Morocco, and their antioxidant properties and antibacterial activity against Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes. The EOs were extracted by hydro-distillation, while the chemical compositions were determined by GC-MS. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH and FRAP assay. Antibacterial activity was tested with disc diffusion assay; determination of minimum inhibitory concentration, minimum bactericidal concentration and the evaluation of sub-lethally injured cell were also performed. The results of chemical composition showed the presence of compounds not still reported in EOs obtained from these plants. MS-EO was characterized by the best antioxidant and antibacterial activity vs S. enterica and L. monocytogenes respect to MP-EO. The EOs tested in this study were rich in compounds with interesting activities and they could be applied in the medical fields, as well as in food industries as natural preservatives against tested food borne pathogens.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0053.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: effective discharge; suspended sediment load; magnitude–frequency analysis; sub-bankfull flow; temporal variation; geomorphic threshold
Online: 4 September 2018 (04:54:01 CEST)
Effective discharge, which represents the flow, or range of flows, that transport the most sediment over long term, was determined based on the mean daily flow discharge and mean daily suspended sediment discharge recorded between 1994 and 2014 at four gauging stations along the Trotuș River. This study proposes an efficient method for the estimation of effective discharge based on observed values of the suspended sediment load. By employing this method the suspended sediment load is no longer either under- or overestimated as in the cases when the assessment is based on sediment rating curves. The assessment on effective discharge was performed at two distinct levels: for the entire data series during the investigated time spans and, subsequently, for flows less than the bankfull discharge. The effectiveness curves of the suspended sediment transport characteristics revealed highly multimodal characteristics with many peaks, indicating ample ranges for the effective discharges. The main effective discharge corresponded to large flood events, which are typical for the upper end of the discharge range, whereas the secondary effective discharges corresponded to sub-bankfull flows, which are more frequent. The changes that occurred in the channel bed are reflected by the temporal variations in the effective discharge.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: sub-surface flow constructed wetland; nutrient removal; wastewater treatment; Lactuca sativa; Medicago sativa; Phragmites australis
Online: 28 November 2016 (10:34:49 CET)
The main objective of this study was to compare the removal efficiency of nutrients using Lactuca sativa, Medicago sativa and Phragmites australis in subsurface flow constructed wetlands with horizontal flow. In order to test water quality, fabricated reactors designed and the plants cultivated in the soil while their root were inside the wastewater. A long time study carried out from spring till end of autumn (9 months) in order to evaluate the difference in removal rate based on the seasonal changes. The highest removal rate was during summer which followed by spring and autumn. Thus, the effect of plants on the removal efficiency of organic matter (COD, BOD), TSS and nutrient (P and TN) appeared to be dependent on the seasonal growth. Phragmites australis the most sensitive species in order the removal of nutrient from wastewater.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0186.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: mineral dust; north African dust; Saharan dust; Bodélé depression; bias correction; machine learning; aerosol optical depth; chemistry-transport model; aerosols; particulate matter
Online: 14 September 2022 (03:02:59 CEST)
We develop a machine learning (ML) approach for improving the accuracy of the horizontal dis-tribution of the aerosol optical depth (AOD) simulated by the CHIMERE chemistry-transport model over Northern Africa using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) AOD satellite observations. These observations are used during the training phase of the ML method for deriving a regional bias correction of AODs simulated by CHIMERE. The results are daily maps of regional bias corrected AODs with full horizontal coverage over Northern Africa. We test four types of ML models: multiple linear regression (MLR), random forests (RF), gradi-ent boosting (XGB), and multiple layer perceptron networks (NN). We perform comparisons with satellite and independent ground-based observations of AOD that are not used in the training phase. They suggest that all models have overall comparable performances with a slight advantage of the RF model which expresses less spatial artifacts. While the method slightly underestimates the very high AODs, it significantly reduces biases and absolute errors, and clearly enhances linear correlations with respect to independent observations. This im-provement for deriving the AOD is particularly relevant for high dust pollution regions like the Sahara Desert, which dramatically lack ground-based measurements for validations of chemis-try-transport modeling which currently remains challenging and imprecise.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0073.v2
Subject: Engineering, Telecommunications Keywords: antenna for handset; m-MIMO; sub-6 GHz; LTE bands 42/43/48/49; future generation
Online: 29 August 2023 (07:30:57 CEST)
This paper presents a design and performance analysis of a 10-element 5G massive MIMO antenna array for sub-6GHz mobile handsets, specifically for LTE bands 42 (3400-3600 MHz), 43 (3600-3800 MHz), 48/49 (3550-3700 MHz) applications. The proposed antenna array consists of 10 closely spaced linearly polarized inverted-F antennas with a compact size of 20 × 9 mm2 of a single element. The proposed antenna array provides high gain, high efficiency, and low correlation between the antenna elements, which results in improved channel capacity, increased data rate, and enhanced signal quality. The performance of the antenna array is evaluated in terms of the radiation pattern, gain, efficiency, and correlation coefficient. The simulation and measured results show that the proposed antenna array achieves an approximate peak gain of 3.1 dBi at the resonance frequency, a total efficiency of 65 %, and a low correlation coefficient of 0.06 between the antenna elements. Therefore, the proposed 5G massive MIMO antenna array is a promising candidate for sub-6 GHz mobile handsets, particularly for LTE bands 42/43/48/49 applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0247.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Symbolic Computing; Sub-symbolic Computing; Super-symbolic Computing; Knowledge Networks; General Theory of Information
Online: 15 November 2021 (10:41:34 CET)
The holy grail of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been to mimic human intelligence using computing machines. Autopoiesis which refers to a system with well-defined identity and is capable of re-producing and maintaining itself and cognition which is the ability to process information, apply knowledge, and change the circumstance are associated with resilience and intelligence. While classical computer science (CCS) with symbolic and sub-symbolic computing has given us tools to decipher the mysteries of physical, chemical and biological systems in nature and allowed us to model, analyze various observations and use information to optimize our interactions with each other and with our environment, it falls short in reproducing even the basic behaviors of living organisms. We present the foundational shortcomings of CCS and discuss the science of infor-mation processing structures (SIPS) that allows us to fill the gaps. SIPS allows us to model su-per-symbolic computations and infuse autopoietic and cognitive behaviors into digital machines. They use common knowledge representation from the information gained using both symbolic and sub-symbolic computations in the form of system-wide knowledge networks consisting of knowledge nodes and information sharing channels with other knowledge nodes. The knowledge nodes wired together fire together to exhibit autopoietic and cognitive behaviors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0328.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; enhanced surveillance; real-time forecasts; phenomenological models; sub-exponential growth; Kadiogo; Burkina Faso
Online: 19 April 2020 (05:23:40 CEST)
On 9 March 2020, two cases of COVID-19 were reported in Burkina Faso. As of 10 April 2020, a total number of 484 cases (404 cases in the Kadiogo province) were reported nationwide. Real-time forecasts of COVID-19 are important to inform decision-making in the country. Here, we propose an approach that tests the performance of four models (Exponential Growth model, the Generalized Growth model (GGM), the Generalized Logistic Growth, and Richards Growth model) to select the model that best fit data and to generate short-term forecasting (5-, 10-, and 15-day forecasts from 11 to 25 April 2020) in Kadiogo, the epicenter of the outbreak. Using daily number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the results suggests that GGM performed the best out of the 4 models. Overall, our GGM predictions suggested an average total number of cumulative cases of 514 (95% CI, 464–559), 629 (95% CI, 559–691), and 750 (95% CI, 661–840) between 11 to 15 April, 16 to 20 April, and 20 to 25 April 2020, respectively. COVID-19 in this province was best approximated by sub exponential growth rather than exponential or logistic growth. Current data suggest that COVID-19 cases would continue to increase over the next 15-days.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0143.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Keywords: acid-etching; micro-rough; bone regeneration; sub-micro-rough; bone integration; osseointegration; dental implants; orthopedic implants
Online: 12 August 2019 (12:35:48 CEST)
Titanium micro-scale topography results in excellent osteoconductivity and bone-implant integration. However, the biological effects of sub-micron topography are unknown. We compared osteoblastic phenotypes and in vivo bone and implant integration abilities between titanium surfaces with micro- (1–5 µm) and sub-micro-scale (0.1–0.5 µm) topographies and machined titanium. Average roughness was 12.5 ± 0.65 nm, 123 ± 6.15 nm, and 24 ± 1.2 nm for machined, micro-rough, and sub-micro-rough surfaces, respectively. The micro-rough surface showed the fewest cells attaching during the initial stage and the lowest proliferation. Calcium deposition and expression of osteoblastic genes were highest on the sub-micro-rough surface and lowest on the machined surface. Bone-to-implant integration was strongest for the micro-rough surface, consistent with it having the greatest ability to retain cells in vitro. Thus, the biological effects of titanium surfaces are not necessarily proportional to the degree of roughness in osteoblastic cultures or in vivo. Sub-micro-rough titanium ameliorates the disadvantage of micro-rough titanium by restoring cell attachment and proliferation and enhances the rate of osteoblastic differentiation over that of micro-rough titanium; however, bone integration and the ability to retain cells are compromised due to its lower interfacial mechanical locking compared to that of micro-rough titanium.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0196.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Quantum Science And Technology Keywords: Quantum Rayleigh emission, optically linear parametric interactions, dynamic and coherent number states, sub-Poissonian photon distributions
Online: 8 November 2018 (10:03:09 CET)
By imposing the condition of non-vanishing expectation values for the amplitude and phase of field operators, pure quantum states are identified composed of two consecutive number states. These pure states also deliver noise-free radiation modes restricting the “half-photon noise” to the expectation value of the lowest level of dynamic and coherent number states. As a result, instantaneous phase-sensitive amplification of photons is easily controlled and direct evaluation of time or distance - varying wavefront distributions of photons and phases can be carried out for sub-Poissonian distributions of photons without the need for quasi-probabilities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0028.v4
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Materials Science And Technology Keywords: Heat energy and photon energy; Materials Science; Nanoscale Phenomena; Atomic Scale Phenomena; Sub-Atomic Scale Phenomena
Online: 19 April 2017 (11:26:33 CEST)
Technology is in the way to reaching in its climax but the basic understanding of science in many phenomena is still awaited. Scientific research reveals strong analogy between electron and photon. Atoms that execute suitable electronic transitions, on absorbing heat energy at shunt level, excite their electrons. De-excitation of an electron under the gravitational force of its nucleus, where inertia is involved, results depicting energy in the shape like Gaussian distribution. The wavelength of photon remains in inter-state electron’s gap where the source of generating energy in wave-like fashion is due to electronic transitions under confined electron-dynamics; energy configures under electron’s trajectory in the excitation period is due to inertia-levitation-inertia behaviours while energy configures under electron’s trajectory in the de-excitation period is due to inertia-gravitation-inertia behaviours. Silicon atom is a model system of it. Uninterrupted confined inter-state electron-dynamics results into configure energy in a wave-like fashion that can travel immeasurable length and on interruption from the point of generation, it becomes a photon. Such photons increase wavelength on decreasing energy while travelling through inherently built gap of splitted inert gas atoms where they give light (glow) on reaching wavelength in the visible range. Here, I discuss that heat energy is due to merged photons, photons characteristic current are due to photons having wavelength in inter-state electron’s gap and light is due to photons, following the wavelength in the visible range. Force of repulsion or attraction in certain materials engages the phenomenon of levitism or gravitism where inertia is exempted. All structural motifs and dynamics are subjected to characteristic photons as long as atoms are under neutral behavior of field force. A structural design delivers straight-forward application on dealing photons at different wavelengths. Here, materials science explores matter at electronic level while absorbing heat energy and generating photon energy. Thus, devise science to describe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0744.v2
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: Wireless Sensor Networks; MAC sub-layer; RTS/CTS/ non-beacon mode; packet concatenation; channel use; IEEE 802.15.4
Online: 9 March 2022 (08:11:56 CET)
This paper studies the performance improvement of the IEEE 802.15.4 nonbeacon-enabled mode originated by the inclusion of the Request-To-Send/Clear-To-Send (RTS/CTS) handshake mechanism resulting in frame concatenation. Under IEEE 802.15.4 employing RTS/CTS, the backoff procedure is not repeated for each data frame sent but only for each RTS/CTS set. The maximum throughput and minimum delay performance are mathematically derived for both the Chirp Spread Spectrum and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum Physical layers for the 2.4 GHz band. Results show that the utilization of RTS/CTS significantly enhances the performance of IEEE 802.15.4 applied to healthcare in terms of bandwidth efficiency.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0778.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Alphavirus; chikungunya virus; East Central South African lineage; Indian Ocean sub-lineage; acute febrile illness; viremia; arthritides
Online: 31 December 2020 (09:22:52 CET)
Chikungunya virus is an Alphavirus belonging to the family Togaviridae that is transmitted to humans by an infected Aedes mosquito. Patients develop fever, inflammatory arthritis, and rash during the acute stage of infection. Although the illness is self-limiting, atypical and severe cases are not uncommon, and 60% may develop chronic symptoms that persist for months or even for longer durations. Having a distinct periodical epidemiologic outbreak pattern, chikungunya virus reappeared in Thailand in December 2018. Here, we describe a cohort of acute chikungunya patients who had presented to the Bangkok Hospital for Tropical Diseases during October 2019. Infection was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR using serum collected at presentation to the Fever Clinic. Other possible acute febrile illnesses such as influenza, dengue, and malaria were excluded. We explored the sequence of clinical manifestations at presentation during the acute phase and associated the viral load with the clinical findings. Most of the patients were healthy individuals in their forties. Fever and arthralgia were the predominant clinical manifestations found in this patient cohort, with a small proportion of patients with systemic symptoms. Higher viral loads were associated with arthralgia, and arthralgia with the involvement of the large joints was more common in female patients
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0308.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Clinical Medicine Keywords: older patients; hospital acute care units; sub-intensive care units; clinical challenges; medical complexity; frailty syndrome; frailty diagnosis
Online: 6 December 2023 (04:33:50 CET)
The study aimed to assess the prevalence of the frailty syndrome in older patients hospitalized in the geriatric ward depending on the diagnostic criteria used, the feasibility of particular diagnostic scales in hospitalized patients, and their compatibility. Material and methods: Patients admitted to the Department of Geriatrics of Hospital of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration in Bialystok within eight months were included in the study. Four diagnostic scales were used to identify the frailty syndrome: Fried criteria, 7-point Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), 40-item Frailty Index (FI), and FRAIL Scale. The compatibility of the scales was determined using Cohen's Kappa statistics. Results: 416 patients (mean age 81.2 ± 6.91 years, 77.4% women) were included in the study. Depending on the scale, the prevalence of frailty syndrome varied from 26.8% ( FRAIL Scale), 52.3% (Clinical Frailty Scale), and 58.1% (Fried criteria) up to 62.9% (Frailty Index). We observed the highest feasibility for CFS (100%), intermediate for Frailty Index (95.2%), FRAIL Scale (89.7%), and the lowest for Fried scale (79.8%). The highest level of agreement was found between the CFS and Fried scale, with 70.2% consistent ratings (Cohen Kappa 0.49). Conclusions: Patients in the geriatric ward are characterized by a high prevalence of frailty, although it differs depending on the criteria. The Frailty Index found the highest prevalence and the lowest in the case of the FRAIL scale. The feasibility of scales and their comparability differed; the most difficult to use in daily practice was the Fried scale, while the Clinical Frailty Scale was determined feasible in all patients. The highest agreement was observed between the Fried criteria and the Clinical Frailty Scale and the lowest between the FRAIL scale and the remaining ones.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2240.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: improved U-Net; seabed sediment classification; sub-bottom profiling; multibeam bathymetry; Northern Slope of the South China Sea
Online: 31 May 2023 (11:52:27 CEST)
The determination and classification of seafloor sediment types are crucial for the exploitation of marine resources, construction of marine engineering, and maintenance of marine ecological en-vironments. Automatic classification of seafloor sediment based on acoustic telemetry data is an important method to quickly understand the type of a large range of sediment. Currently, most studies on sediment classification are based on multi-beam backscattering intensity data, which is a relatively single data type. Besides, the low-dimensional details of standard U-Net gradually weaken in the propagation process, limiting the accuracy of sediment classification. Therefore, this study proposes an automatic classification method of seafloor sediment types based on an im-proved U-Net and K-means clustering algorithm, using multi-beam water depth, sub-bottom profile, and sample test data in the Northern Slope of the South China Sea. Six sediment types, including gravelly muddy sand, sand, silty sand, less muddy silt, muddy silt, and silty mud, were identified in the study area. Additionally, the study area was divided into four sedimentary en-vironment zones, including the shelf sedimentary area, the upper shelf slope break sedimentary area, the lower shelf slope break mixed sedimentary area, and the slope deposition area, based on the results of sediment classification and geological background. The sedimentary environment zones were found to be distributed along the trend of the shelf slope break line. The results of this study not only provide an important supplement to the existing classification methods of seafloor sediments but also contribute to the understanding of the sedimentary environment and process of the Northern Slope of the South China Sea.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0384.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Quantum Science And Technology Keywords: De Sitter-Planck background; sub-Planckian bubbles; quantum-Boltzmann statistics; generalized uncertainty relations; Quantum Black Holes; cosmological wormholes.
Online: 22 August 2022 (11:53:37 CEST)
– Every physical theory involving quantum fields does require a model of the quantum vacuum. The vacuum associated to quantum gravity must incorporate the prescriptions from both the theory of relativity and quantum physics. In this work, starting from the hypothesis of nucleation of sub-Planckian bubbles from a de Sitter vacuum, we study the necessary conditions to obtain baby universes, black holes and particles. The de Sitter-Planck background is described by an “infinite” Quantum Boltzmann statistics that generates fermions and bosons, and manifests itself as a deformation of the geometry that leads to a generalized uncertainty principle and a unified expression for the generalized Compton wavelength and event horizon size, drawing a connection between quantum black holes and elementary particles, the latter seen as a collective organization of the bubbles of the vacuum described by the generalized Compton wavelength. The quantum thermodynamics of black holes is then outlined and the physical history of each bubble is found to depend on the cosmological constant described in terms of thermodynamic pressure. Finally, a suggestive treatment of the Casimir effect is provided in the de Sitter-Planck background with Quantum-Boltzmann statistics and wormholes are explored as bubble coalescence processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0256.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Quantum Science And Technology Keywords: quantum ontology; sub-quantum dynamics; micro-constituents; emergent space-time; emergent quantum gravity; entropic gravity; black hole thermodynamics
Online: 30 March 2018 (05:57:25 CEST)
In this work it is acknowledged that important attempts to devise an emergent quantum (gravity) theory require space-time to be discretized at the Planck scale. It is therefore conjectured that reality is identical to a sub-quantum dynamics of ontological micro-constituents that are connected by a single interaction law. To arrive at a complex system-based toy-model identification of these micro-constituents, two strategies are combined. First, by seeing gravity as an entropic phenomenon and generalizing the dimensional reduction of the associated holographic principle, the universal constants of free space are related to assumed attributes of the micro-constituents. Second, as the effective field dynamics of the micro-constituents must eventually obey Einstein’s field equations, a sub-quantum interaction law is derived from a solution of these equations. A Planck-scale origin for thermodynamic black hole characteristics and novel views on entropic gravity theory result from this approach, which eventually provides a different view on quantum gravity and its unification with the fundamental forces.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0429.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: thrombosis; kinetic parameters; cell growth; protein purification; biomass production; Chlorophyceae; agro-industrial sub-product; extraction methods; molecular weight; chromatography
Online: 4 August 2023 (10:49:13 CEST)
Thrombosis is characterized by the pathological formation of fibrin clots within a blood vessel, leading to the obstruction of blood flow. Fibrinolytic enzymes from microorganisms have exhibited promising effects to dissolve clots in a more efficient and safe way. Then, the aim of this study was to evaluate the biomass and fibrinolytic enzyme production of Tetradesmus obliquus under autotrophic and mixotrophic conditions using different concentration of corn steep liquor (CSL). Different extraction and precipitating methods were tested, and the enzyme was purified by ion exchange chromatography. More advantageous culture condition was mixotrophic using 0.25% CSL, showing the highest values of biomass productivity (Px = 169.3 ± 44.36 mg∙L-1day-1) and specific growth rate (µmax = 0.17 ± 0.00 day-1), and significant fibrinolytic production (391.34 ± 40.03 U∙mg-1). Moreover, fibrinolytic activity was higher when extracted by homogenization and precipitated using acetone, which exhibited clear zone of fibrin degradation in the fibrinolytic plate assay. Additionally, the purified enzyme showed specific activity of 1176.90 ± 140.37 U∙mg-1 and molecular weight around 97 kDa. Finally, the enzyme has higher enzymatic activity than various fibrinolytic enzymes, and the obtained enzyme has potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent in thrombosis treatment. Additional studies are need to investigate the biochemical properties and biological profile of this enzyme.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1299.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: Space-time fractional simplified modified Camassa-Holm model; Sardar sub-equation technique; Modified simplest equation technique; Generalized Kudryashov technique; Solitons
Online: 20 September 2023 (03:15:55 CEST)
In this paper, new types of M-fractional wave solutions of mathematical physics model named as truncated M-fractional (1+1)-dimensional non-linear simplified Modified Camassa-Holm model are achieved by applying the modified simplest equation (MSE), Sardar sub-equation and generalized Kudryashov techniques. The gained solutions containing dark, bright, periodic and mixed wave solitons. Effect of fractional order derivative is also discussed. Achieved wave solitons are verified by Mathematica tool. Few of the gained wave solitons are also described through 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional and contour graphs through Mathematica tool. The gained solutions are helpful for the further development of concerned model. Finally, these techniques are simple, fruitful and effective to deal with non-linear FPDEs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0243.v1
Subject: Engineering, Aerospace Engineering Keywords: thermal deformation; bivariate angle; ultra sub arc; position sensitive device; displacement coordinate analysis algorithm; matrix comparison method; integrated measurement equipment
Online: 3 August 2023 (08:20:55 CEST)
In light of the current situation where no testing equipment is available for measuring thermal deformation of objects, this paper proposes a novel method for accurate and precise measurement. The method overcomes the limitations of previous approaches that relied on pitch angle. By utilizing the principle of biplane multiple reflections, a bivariate laser spot displacement analysis algorithm is devised to attain highly precise measurements of bivariate angles. Additionally, a temperature gradient comparison algorithm is introduced to calculate the indicator test results under specific temperature conditions. To validate the effectiveness and reliability of this method, a testing system is constructed and utilized. The results demonstrate that the thermal deformation angle change test achieves an impressive accuracy of 0.015″ and a rate of thermal deformation angle change of 0.3247″/°C. These values are in close agreement with the previously simulated analysis result of 0.359″/°C, with only a relative error of 9.55%. Therefore, the test results confirm the efficacy and reliability of this testing method along with the feasibility of the algorithm processing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0149.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy And Astrophysics Keywords: planetary nebulae; AGB & post-AGB stars; binarity; accretion disks; jets; mass-loss; circumstellar matter; (sub)millimeter interferometry; ultraviolet radiation; X-rays
Online: 9 July 2018 (13:58:51 CEST)
It is widely believed that the dramatic transformation of the spherical outflows of AGB stars into the extreme aspherical geometries seen during the planetary nebula (PN) phase is linked to binarity and driven by the associated production of fast jets and central disks/torii. The key to understanding the engines that produce these jets and the jet-shaping mechanisms lies in the study of objects in transition between the AGB and PN phases. I discuss the results of our recent studies with high-angular-resolution (with ALMA & HST) and at high-energies (with GALEX, XMM-Newton & Chandra) of several such objects, which reveal new details of close binary interactions and high-speed outflows. These include two PPNe (the Boomerang Nebula and IRAS16342-3814), and the late carbon star, V Hya. The Boomerang is notable for a massive, high-speed outflow that has cooled below the microwave background temperature, making it the coldest object in the Universe. IRAS16342 is the prime example of the class of water-fountain PPNe (very young PPNe with high-velocity H2O masers) and shows the signature of a precessing jet. V Hya ejects high-speed bullets every 8.5 years associated with the periastron passage of a companion in an eccentric orbit. I discuss our work on AGB stars with strongly-variable high-energy (FUV, X-ray) emission, suggesting that these objects are in the early stages of binary interactions that result in the formation of accretion disks and jets.
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Algebra And Number Theory Keywords: Large deviation principle; Sub-critical SINR random network model; Poisson point process; Empirical power measure; Empirical connectivity measure; Relative entropy; Kullback action
Online: 13 April 2021 (09:17:54 CEST)
The article obtains large deviation asymptotic for sub-critical communication networks modelled as signal-interference-noise-ratio(SINR) random networks. To achieve this, we define the empirical power measure and the empirical connectivity measure, as well as prove joint large deviation principles(LDPs) for the two empirical measures on two different scales. Using the joint LDPs, we prove an Asymptotic equipartition property(AEP) for wireless telecommunication Networks modelled as the subcritical SINR random networks. Further, we prove a Local Large deviation principle(LLDP) for the sub-critical SINR random network. From the LLDPs, we prove the large deviation principle, and a classical McMillan Theorem for the stochastic SINR model processes. Note that, the LDPs for the empirical measures of this stochastic SINR random network model were derived on spaces of measures equipped with the $\tau-$ topology, and the LLDPs were deduced in the space of SINR model process without any topological limitations. We motivate the study by describing a possible anomaly detection test for SINR random networks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0137.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: Satellite altimetry, Topex/Poseidon, Jasons missions, self-crossover points, inter-crossover points, Sub-Arctic Seas, Southern Ocean, sea level, wind speed, wave height, virtual buoy
Online: 8 January 2021 (11:08:47 CET)
Satellite altimetry is successfully developing during the past three decades for the sea level, ocean dynamics, coastal oceanography, planetary waves, ocean tides, wind and wave, ice cover, Earth’s gravity field, and climatology research. We propose a new essential add-on of satellite altimetry related to the peculiarities of the orbits of the Topex/Poseidon and Jasons’ satellite missions which were not mentioned before in the scientific publications. Derived subsets of “self-crossover” and “inter-crossover” points in sub-polar latitudes are discussed in detail in the context of water exchange, and wind-wave dynamics, and potential challenges to be solved. The relatively short time lags between measurements at these crossovers provide additional information on anomalies of magnitudes and directions of ocean currents, and characteristics of wind-driven waves. Resulting data snapshots with constant space and time intervals can be regarded as time series of virtual buoys, an analog of continuous buoy measurements of the sea level, wind speed, and wave height. Areas of the World Ocean where these specific crossovers occur are described in the context of water exchange, wind wave studies, and potential challenges to be solved. The value of these special crossovers for studies and monitoring of the sub-polar seas is illustrated by a case study.