REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0071.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: nutrition screening tools; malnutrition; nutritional assessment
Online: 6 May 2022 (10:01:24 CEST)
Malnutrition is a serious problem with negative impact on the quality of life and the evolution of our patients, contributing to an increase in morbidity, hospital stay, mortality and health spending. Early identification is fundamental to implement the necessary therapeutic actions involving adequate nutritional support to prevent or reverse malnutrition. This review presents two complementary methods of fighting malnutrition: nutritional screening and nutritional assessment. Nutritional risk screening is conducted using simple, quick-to-perform tools and is the first line of action in detecting at-risk patients. It should be implemented systematically and periodically on admission to hospital or residential care, as well as on an outpatient basis for patients with chronic conditions. Once patients with a nutritional risk have been detected they should undergo a more detailed nutritional assessment to identify and quantify the type and degree of malnutrition. This should include health history and clinical examination, dietary history, anthropometric measurements, evaluation of the degree of aggression determined by the disease, functional assessment and, whenever possible, some method of measuring body composition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0097.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Protein structure and dynamics; Molecular structure and modeling; Protein and macromolecules; Computational methods and bioinformatics; Computer-based teaching tools; Learning materials and teaching tools; Multimedia teaching tools
Online: 7 February 2020 (11:42:09 CET)
Biomolecular structure drives function, and computational capabilities have progressed such that the prediction and computational design of biomolecular structures is increasingly feasible. Because computational biophysics attracts students from many different backgrounds and with different levels of resources, teaching the subject can be challenging. One strategy to teach diverse learners is with interactive multimedia material that promotes self-paced, active learning. We have created a hands-on education strategy with a set of fifteen modules that teach topics in biomolecular structure and design, from fundamentals of conformational sampling and energy evaluation to applications like protein docking, antibody design, and RNA structure prediction. Our modules are based on PyRosetta, a Python library that encapsulates all computational modules and methods in the Rosetta software package. The workshop-style modules are implemented as Jupyter Notebooks that can be executed in the Google Colaboratory, allowing learners access with just a web browser. The digital format of Jupyter Notebooks allows us to embed images, molecular visualization movies, and interactive coding exercises. This multimodal approach may better reach students from different disciplines and experience levels as well as attract more researchers from smaller labs and cognate backgrounds to leverage PyRosetta in their science and engineering research. All materials are freely available at https://github.com/RosettaCommons/PyRosetta.notebooks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0161.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: length compensation; non-bar system; machine tools
Online: 13 December 2018 (08:10:36 CET)
Facing with errors of a product after machining was a big title in this field. That will affect to product’s quality with unpredictable situation when products is in use for some particular application such as in medical facilities. Improving the precision of machine tools by exploring temperature on multiple points and measuring differential locations of the spindle is going to be executed in this study. A temperature measurement tool and a software running on Windows platform have been developed and combining with Non-bar system in order to support analyzing the temperature rising with the changes of length of the spindle to find the compensation solution based on eccentricity and length distortion. In this study, the whole tests have done on UX300 five – axis CNC machine tools for this investigation and the errors after applying compensation function have reduced 70% at least, with respect to the errors after machining without using compensation function.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0013.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: flexible abrasive tools; finishing; rounding edge; superalloys
Online: 3 December 2018 (08:57:22 CET)
Many manufacturing sectors require high surface finishing. After machining operations such as milling or drilling, undesirable burrs or insufficient edge finishing may be generated. For decades, many finishing processes have been handmade-basis; this fact is accentuated when dealing with complex geometries especially for high value-added parts. In recent years, it’s a tendency of trying to automate as far as possible this kind of processes, repeatability and time/money savings are main purposes. Based on that idea, the aim of this work is to check new tools and strategies for finishing aeronautical parts, especially critical engine parts made on Inconel 718, a very ductile nickel alloy. Automating edge finishing of chamfered holes is a complicated but really important goal. In this paper, flexible abrasive tools were used for this purpose. A complete study of different abrasive possibilities was carried out, mainly focusing on roughness analysis and final edge results obtained.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0085.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Legal research; Disruption; Legal AI tools
Online: 5 October 2021 (13:04:06 CEST)
Legal research is an indispensable skill for lawyers. Therefore, it is always necessary for lawyers to engage in legal research in due course of trying to alleviate various legal problems. Although the purpose and methodology of the research may vary from lawyer to lawyer, doing research is a common activity. As a result, the quest to assess the impacts of artificial intelligence (hereinafter ‘AI’) on legal research allows one to measure the influence of AI on the legal profession in general. Moreover, with the advent of Legal AI, it is now evident that the legal profession is not immune from disruption. According to the above, this article discusses the impacts of AI on research in the legal profession in general in accomplishing various lawyerly tasks by different legal professionals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0067.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Diagnostic Tools; Sex; Differential Diagnostic.
Online: 2 March 2021 (10:05:57 CET)
Studies on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders show a gender disproportion. In the last years, there has been an increasing interest in the search for an explanation. There are two main lines of research; the first one looks for sex-related biological reasons that justifies the low prevalence of ASD in women (some protective factor related to hormones or immune system among others), and the second line of studies is related to the possible biases introduced in the diagnostic tools or procedures. In this article, a review of the latter line of research is made. Theoretical analysis following two objectives: a) Analysis of possible biases in diagnostic tools and b) Other non-biological explanations for gender differences in the prevalence of ASD. The literature analyzed provides contradictory results although it evidences the possible bias both in the construction of the diagnostic tools and in the assessment and determination of their standards. It is necessary to develop specific or complementary tools and diagnostic procedures differentiated by gender in order to control for this bias.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: molecular graphics; protein visualization; software tools; virtual reality
Online: 12 January 2020 (16:26:54 CET)
Molecular visualisation is fundamental in the current scientific literature, textbooks and dissemination materials, forming an essential support for presenting results, reasoning on and formulating hypotheses related to molecular structure. Visual exploration has become easily accessible on a broad variety of platforms thanks to advanced software tools that render a great service to the scientific community. These tools are often developed across disciplines bridging computer science, biology and chemistry. Here we first describe a few Swiss Army knives geared towards protein visualisation for everyday use with an existing large user base, then focus on more specialised tools for peculiar needs that are not yet as broadly known. Our selection is by no means exhaustive, but reflects a diverse snapshot of scenarios that we consider informative for the reader. We end with an account of future trends and perspectives.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0054.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: smart transport tools; ‘smart’ and sustainable; social-sustainability
Online: 3 May 2018 (08:17:38 CEST)
In the smart city, information and communications technologies (ICTs) are proposed as solutions to urban challenges, including sustainability concerns. While sustainability commonly refers to economic and environmental dimensions, the concept also contains a social component. Our study asked how smartphone applications (apps) address social sustainability challenges in urban transport, if at all. We focused on transport disadvantages experienced due to low income, physical disability, and language barriers. A review of 60 apps showed that transport apps respond to these equity and inclusion issues in two ways: (a) by employing universal design in general-use apps; including cost-conscious features; and providing language options (b) by specifically developing smartphone apps for persons with disabilities. The article discusses the study by positioning it in the literature of smart cities as well as socially sustainable transport.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0121.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Architecture And Design Keywords: social criteria; building assessment tools; sustainable development; social sustainability
Online: 15 January 2018 (07:55:41 CET)
The social criteria of sustainable development have remained underexplored. Moreover, a large number of green building assessment tool and social sustainability documentations have been developed which, has had a direct impact on social criteria issues, but there seems to be a substantial gap in the study of social criteria in green building assessment tools. In examining the problem facing social sustainability, taking into consideration social sustainability in sustainable development reviews and green building assessment tool towards social aspects. This paper through analysis identified a centripetal conceptual framework composed of seven key components equity, education, participation & control, social cohesion, health & safety, accessibility & satisfaction, and cultural values. The interpretation of the social sustainability in green building assessment tool would impact building practitioners towards implementing social criteria in GBAT. The aim was to identify social categories as well as consider a starting point for the development of an effective social criteria assessment tool for green building.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0020.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: heterogeneity; autism models; subgroups in autism; ASD-questionnaires; analysis tools
Online: 1 March 2022 (11:51:15 CET)
The goal of this paper is to review the relevant literature on autism questionnaires, models, analytic tools, and subgrouping, focusing on the opportunities and limitations. We examined how the size and nature of the database and the number and type of parameters measured determine the use of analytic tools and the expected type of results. To support our position about the examined aspects, we rely on various parts of the reviewed articles. We emphasize that the individual results in each article can only be interpreted in the light of the methods that brought about the conclusions. The reviewed literature suggests a heterogeneous palette in autism subtypes instead of distinct, well-characterized subgroups, or a single-dimensional continuous spectrum.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0663.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: equine; arenas; sand; base layers; portable tools; safety; equine welfare
Online: 29 July 2021 (14:07:06 CEST)
Quantitative measurements of performance parameters has the potential to increase consistency and enhance performance of the surfaces as well as to contribute to the safety of horses and riders. This study investigates how factors known to influence the performance of the surface, incorpo-ration of a drainage package, control of the moisture control, and introduction of a geotextile reinforcement, affect quantitative measurements of arena materials. The measurements are made by using affordable lightweight testing tools which are readily available or easily constructed. Sixteen boxes with arena materials at a consistent depth were tested with the Going Stick (GS), both penetration resistance and shear, the impact test device (ITD), and the rotational peak shear device (RPS). Volumetric moisture content (VMC %) was also tested with time-domain reflectometry (TDR). Results obtained using GS, RPS, ITD, and TDR indicate that the presence of the drainage package, moisture content, and geotextile addition were detected. Alterations due to combinations of treatments could also be detected by GS, ITD, and TDR. While the testing showed some limi-tations of these devices, the potential exists to utilize them for quality control of new installations as well as for the monitoring of maintenance of the surfaces.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0454.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: LaiPen; Management Tools; Remote sensing; Vegetation indices; Spatio-temporal changes
Online: 17 June 2021 (09:26:34 CEST)
The leaf area index (LAI) is an important vegetation biophysical index that provides broad information on the dynamic behavior of ecosystems productivity and related climate, topography, and edaphic impacts. The spatio-temporal changes of LAI were assessed throughout Ardabil Province, a host of relevant plant communities within the critical ecoregion of a semi-arid climate. In a comparative study, novel data from Google Earth Engine- GEE was tested against traditional ENVI measures to provide LAI estimations. Besides, it is of important practical significance for institutional networks to quantitatively and accurately estimate LAI at large areas in a short time and using appropriate baseline vegetation indices. Therefore, LAI was characterized for ecoregions of Ardabil Province using remote sensing indices extracted from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), including Enhanced Vegetation Index calculated in GEE (EVIG) and ENVI5.3 software (EVIE), as well as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index estimated in ENVI5.3 software (NDVIE). Besides, a new field measurement method, i.e., the LaiPen LP 100 portable device (LP 100), was used to evaluate the accuracy of the derived indices. Accordingly, the LAI was measured on June and July 2020 in 822 ground points distributed in 16 different ecoregions-sub ecoregions having various Plant Functional Types (PFTs) of the shrub, bush, and tree. The analyses revealed heterogeneous spatial and temporal variability in vegetation indices and LAIs within and between ecoregions. The mean (standard deviation) value of EVIG, EVIE, and NDVIE at Province scale yielded 1.1 (0.41), 2.20 (0.78), and 3.00 (1.01), respectively in June, and 0.67 (0.37), 0.80 (0.63), and 1.88 (1.23), in that respect in July. The highest mean values of EVIG-LAI, EVIE-LAI, and NDVIE-LAI in June are found in Meshginshahr (1.40), Meshginshahr (2.80), and Hir (4.33) ecoregions and in July are found in Andabil ecoregion respectively with values of 1.23, 1.5, and 3.64. The lowest mean values of EVIG-LAI, EVIE-LAI, and NDVIE-LAI in June were observed for Kowsar (0.67), Meshginshahr (1.8), and Neur (2.70), ecoregions and in July were for Bilesavar ecoregion respectively with values of 0.31, 0.31, and 0.81. High correlation and determination coefficients (r>0.83 and R2>0.68) between LP 100 and remote sensing derived LAI were observed in all three PFTs (except for NDVIE-LAI in June with r=0.56 and R2=0.31). On average, all three examined LAI measures tended to underestimation compared to LP 100-LAI (r>0.42). The findings of the present study can be promising for effective monitoring and proper management of vegetation and land use in Ardabil Province and other similar areas.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0376.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: virus bioinformatics; SARS-CoV-2; sequencing; epidemiology; drug design; tools
Online: 23 May 2020 (11:01:11 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a novel virus of the family Coronaviridae. The virus causes the infectious disease COVID-19. The biology of coronaviruses has been studied for many years. However, bioinformatics tools designed explicitly for SARS-CoV-2 have only recently been developed as a rapid reaction to the need for fast detection, understanding, and treatment of COVID-19. To control the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is of utmost importance to get insight into the evolution and pathogenesis of the virus. In this review, we cover bioinformatics workflows and tools for the routine detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the reliable analysis of sequencing data, the tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluation of containment measures, the study of coronavirus evolution, the discovery of potential drug targets and development of therapeutic strategies. For each tool, we briefly describe its use case and how it advances research specifically for SARS-CoV-2. All tools are freely available online, either through web applications or public code repositories.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0285.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: children with autism; education; learning tools; design; intervention; assistive technology
Online: 30 March 2019 (06:27:17 CET)
The prevalence of autism in children in the world is estimated as one per 62 children, higher levels reported in some countries. These children experience significant problems with the development of social, behavioural and verbal and non-verbal communication skills. The skills impairment levels varies from an individual to another and that made teaching autistics a challenge for caregivers such as teachers and relatives. Hence, there are quite a number of frameworks of a software learning systems which focus on gaining the children’s attention using representational visual illustration as a learning method instead of the textual form. However, majority of these tools are lacking the personalisation ability to suite everyone in the spectrum. Assistive technology offers an alternative way to attract children with autism. Therefore, this research is proposing an Adaptive Content Management Learning System (ACMLS) model to assist caregivers to produce, design and fine-tune or customise the learning materials appropriately so that the system interface and the materials are suitable for every individual in the spectrum according to each child personal profile aiming to make learning attractive and to contribute in improving their social, communication and behavioural skills and nonetheless, their attention level to the delivered educational topics. The ACMLS model design adopts four main components which are: (1) Design component: which covers the visual design, design principles and the mental model of the children with autism. (2) Technology component: which covers the assistive technology tools and the architecture of the ACMLS system. (3) Education component: Which covers the learning objectives, styles, strategies, methods and the cognitive model. (4) Participants component: which covers the main participants who’re playing a role in the ACMLS model such as: caregivers and children with autism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0228.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Requirements Engineering; Authoring Tools; 3D content; IEEE 830 standard; Social Media
Online: 8 April 2021 (10:16:52 CEST)
This paper presents a requirements specification analysis for driving the design of new systems that will allow 3D media creators to further promote and monetize from their work. The provided requirements analysis is based on the IEEE 830 standard for requirements specification. It allows us to elucidate system requirements through existing (AS-IS) and envisioned (TO-BE) scenarios affected by the latest trends on design methodologies and content promotion in social media. A total of 30 tools for content creation, promotion and monetization are reviewed. The target groups, i.e. creator groups, are divided in 10 types according to their role in 3D media production. Based on this division 10 candidate TO-BE scenarios have been identified and out of these 10 scenarios, we have selected 6 scenarios for validation by media creators. The validation was performed through a survey of 24 statements on a 5 Likert scale by 47 individuals from the domains of Media, Fine arts, Architecture, and Informatics. Useful evaluation results and comments have been collected that can be useful for future systems design.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: web server; rational design; functionalizing enzymes; enzyme discovery; user-friendly tools
Online: 28 January 2021 (07:51:45 CET)
Enzymes are in high demand for very diverse biotechnological applications. However, natural biocatalysts often need to be engineered for fine-tuning their properties towards the end applications, such as the activity, selectivity, stability to temperature or co-solvents, and solubility. Computational methods are increasingly used in this task, providing predictions that narrow down the space of possible mutations significantly and can enormously reduce the experimental burden. Many computational tools are available as web-based platforms, making them accessible to non-expert users. These platforms are typically user-friendly, contain walk-throughs, and do not require deep expertise and installations. Here we describe some of the most recent outstanding web-tools for enzyme engineering and formulate future perspectives in this field.
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: process design; sustainable development; chemical industry; process industry; megatrends; design tools
Online: 5 January 2021 (11:32:26 CET)
This paper describes the state of the art and future opportunities for process design and sustainable development. In the Introduction the main global megatrends and European Union's response to two of them, the European Green Deal, are presented. The organization of professionals in the field, their conferences and publications support the two topics. A brief analysis of the published documents in the two most popular databases shows that the environmental dimension predominates, followed by an economic one, while the social pillar of sustainable development is undervalued. The main design tools for sustainability are described. As an important practical case, the European chemical and process industries are analyzed and their achievements in sustainable development are highlighted; in particular, their strategies are presented in more detail. The conclusions cover the most urgent future development areas of the process industries, carbon capture with utilization or storage, process analysis, simulation, synthesis and optimization tools; zero waste, circular economy and resource efficiency already play an important role. However, more profound changes are needed in the coming decades, including a shift away from growth with changes in habits, lifestyles and business models. Lifelong education for sustainable development will play a very important role in the growth of democracy and happiness instead of consumerism and neoliberalism.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0080.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: cancer-related viruses; CRISPR-Cas diagnostic tools; DETECTR; infectious disease; SHERLOCKv2
Online: 7 April 2020 (09:43:22 CEST)
Sensitive and precise nucleic acid detection is critical for clinical diagnostics and biotechnological advancements. Diagnostic in infectious disease field is very unique from diagnosing any other disease, that is time is of the essence; in outbreaks people die even with each passing hour in some cases, if the correct diagnosis wasn't make; for example Zika in particularly is a very challenging virus to diagnose, because it's in very few numbers of copies in the infected person, so it need high sensitive diagnostic approach to spot it, In particular, the advanced tools SHERLOCKv2 and DETECTR, give almost an immediate detection of attomolar amounts of pathogenic nucleic acids with specificity similar to that of PCR but with slight technical settings and that will guide the correct intervention for the patient. SHERLOCKv2 and DETECTR technologies are game changers for our ability to identify infectious disease and rapid detection of tumor DNA or cancer-related viruses with ultra-sensitive tests that don’t require a lot of complicated processing to go through. In this paper, we will review cutting-edge infectious disease diagnosis by CRISPR-Cas systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0282.v1
Subject: Engineering, General Engineering Keywords: content creation tools; plugin; Moodle; e-learning technologies; LMS; XML file; quiz
Online: 22 February 2022 (16:23:33 CET)
The use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) has had a rapid growth over the last decades. Great efforts have been recently made to assess the level of performance of the students online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty members with limited experience in the use of LMS such as Moodle, Edmodo, MOOC, Blackboard and Google Classroom can have some problems creat-ing online tests. In this work, a new plugin for Moodle is presented: FastTest PlugIn. This plugin is based on a Microsoft® Excel spreadsheet and it can be used to export questions to Moodle. Us-ers of FastTest PlugIn can create question pools in an easy and intuitive way. A literature review about plugins used to import/export questions in Moodle is carried out. Then, the characteristics of FastTest PlugIn are presented. At the end, the characteristics of the main plugins found in the literature are discussed and compared with the ones of FastTest PlugIn.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0375.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Community Engagement; Needs Assessment; Digital Tools; Indigenous Health; Data Sovereignty; Evaluation Framework.
Online: 22 December 2021 (16:25:57 CET)
In community-based participatory projects, needs assessments are one of the first steps to identify priority areas. Access-related issues often pose significant barriers to participation for rural and remote communities, particularly Indigenous communities which have a complicated relationship with academia due to a history of exploitation and trauma. In order to bridge this gap, work with Indigenous communities requires consistent and meaningful engagement. The prominence of digital devices (i.e., smartphones) offers an unparalleled opportunity to ethically and equitably engage citizens across jurisdictions, particularly in remote communities. We propose a framework to guide needs assessments which embed digital tools in partnership with Indigenous communities. Guided by this framework, a needs assessment was conducted with a subarctic Métis community in Saskatchewan, Canada. This project is governed by a Citizen Scientist Advisory Council which includes Traditional Knowledge Keepers, Elders, and youth. An environmental scan of relevant programs, key informant interviews, and focus groups were conducted to systematically identify community priority areas. Given the timing of the needs assessment, the community identified the Coronavirus pandemic as a key priority area requiring digital initiatives. Recommendations for community-based needs assessments to conceptualize and implement digital infrastructure are put forward, with an emphasis on self-governance and data sovereignty.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0345.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: student academic performance; educational data mining; methods; algorithms; tools; higher education; overview
Online: 16 August 2021 (14:04:57 CEST)
This overview study set out to compare and synthesise the findings of review studies conducted on predicting student academic performance (SAP) in higher education using educational data mining (EDM) methods, EDM algorithms and EDM tools from 2013 to June 2020. It conducted multiple searches for suitable and relevant peer-reviewed articles on two online search engines, on nine online databases, and on two online academic social networks. It, then, selected 26 eligible articles from 2,050 articles. Some of the findings of this overview study are worth mentioning. First, only 2 studies explicitly stated their precise sample sizes with maths and science as the two most mentioned subject areas. Second, 16 review studies had purposes related to either EDM techniques, EDM methods, EDM models, or EDM algorithms employed to predict SAP and student success in the higher education sector. Third, there are six commonly used typologies of input variables reported by 26 review studies, of which student demographics was the most commonly utilised variable for predicting SAP. Fourth and last, seven common EDM algorithms employed for predicting SAP were identified, of which Decision Tree emerged both as the most used algorithm and as the algorithm with the highest prediction accuracy rate for predicting SAP.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0018.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: emerging model organism; evo-devo; development; evolution; regeneration; genetic tools; live imaging
Online: 1 June 2021 (10:37:04 CEST)
Arthropods are the most abundant and diverse animals on earth. Among them, pancrustaceans are an ancient and morphologically diverse group, comprising a wide range of aquatic and semi-aquatic crustaceans as well as the insects, which emerged from crustacean ancestors to colonise most terrestrial habitats. Within insects, Drosophila stands out as one of the most powerful animal models, making major contributions to our understanding of development, physiology and behaviour. Given these attributes, crustaceans provide a fertile ground for exploring biological diversity through comparative studies. However, beyond insects, few crustaceans are developed sufficiently as experimental models to enable such studies. The marine amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis is currently the best established crustacean system, offering year-round accessibility to developmental stages, transgenic tools, genomic resources, and established genetics and imaging approaches. The Parhyale research community is small but diverse, investigating the evolution of development, regeneration, aspects of sensory biology, chronobiology, bioprocessing and ecotoxicology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0250.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Blockchain; Decentralization; Innovation Policy; National Innovation Systems; Policy Tools; Legal and Regulatory
Online: 9 March 2021 (09:50:38 CET)
Blockchain technology can achieve decentralization, multi-party verification, anti-tampering, anonymity, traceability of transactions, and the application of distributed ledger. Countries around the world continue to seek the blockchain business models, technologies and applications, and have different visions and policies for the development of blockchain. This study conducts a comparative policy framework of theoretical analysis of the blockchain technology between the USA and China. Using the innovative policy tools proposed by Rothwell and Zegveld, the above mentioned governments are analyzed from the viewpoint of twelve policy tools. The results show that the USA and China all prefer to use “Environmental-side” policy. The USA has paid more attention to “Legal and regulatory”, “Public services” and “Procurement”. China has the highest proportion of policies in “Political tools”, followed by “Legal & regulatory”, while “Scientific and technical”, “Education” and “Overseas agent” come in third . The blockchain technology has developed vigorously among industries and its applications have gradually diversified. The results are provided to various stakeholders as a reference for policy planning.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0127.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: Tools and Metrology; Time and Frequency; Philosophy of Science; Special Relativity; Semiconductors
Online: 6 January 2021 (15:09:15 CET)
Time is a component quantity of various measurements and is also used on its own to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience . The measuring equipment well might happen to be a clock. By making a presupposition that clock is Time, it is perceived experimentally that “Time exhibits wave-like properties”
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0018.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: green infrastructure; urban heat island; human thermal comfort, modelling tools; ENVI-met.
Online: 1 September 2020 (12:19:13 CEST)
Research on urban heat mitigation has been growing in recent years with many of the studies focusing on green infrastructure (GI) as a strategy to mitigate the adverse effects of Urban Heat Island (UHI). This paper aims at presenting a review of the range of findings from GI research for urban heat mitigation through a review of scientific articles published during the years 2009-2019. This research includes a review of the different types of GI and its contribution for urban heat mitigation and human thermal comfort. In addition to analyzing different mitigation strategies, numerical simulation tools that are commonly used are also reviewed. It is seen that ENVI-met is one of the modelling tools that is considered as a reliable tool to simulate different mitigation strategies and hence has been widely used in the recent past. Considering its popularity in urban microclimate studies, this article also provides a review of ENVI-met simulation results that were reported in the reviewed papers. It was observed that the majority of the research was conducted on a limited spatial scale and focused on temperature and human thermal comfort.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: pathway optimization; machine learning tools; enzyme activity prediction; promoter classification; expression tuning
Online: 26 August 2020 (04:05:47 CEST)
Successful engineering of a microbial host for efficient production of a target product from a given substrate can be viewed as an extensive optimization task. Such a task involves the selection of high activity enzymes as well as their gene expression regulatory control elements (i.e., promoters and ribosome binding sites). Finally, there is also the need to tune expression of multiple genes along a heterologous pathway to relieve constraints from rate-limiting step and help reduce metabolic burden on cells from unnecessary over-expression of high activity enzymes. While the aforementioned tasks could be performed through combinatorial experiments, such an approach incurs significant cost, time and effort, which is a handicap that can be relieved by application of modern machine learning tools. Such tools could attempt to predict high activity enzymes from sequence, but they are currently most usefully applied in classifying strong promoters from weaker ones as well as combinatorial tuning of expression of multiple genes. This perspective reviews the application of machine learning tools to aid metabolic pathway optimization through identifying challenges in metabolic engineering that could be overcome with the help of machine learning tools.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0461.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; personality traits; screening tools; Covid-19
Online: 20 August 2020 (13:11:08 CEST)
This article aims to review the screening and diagnostic tools for eating disorders (ED). Eating disorders represent a complex pathology defined by an imbalance between hunger and satiety, installed in an emotional, traumatic, or conflictive context. Recently, the emphasis regarding ED is focused on the link between genetics, mental pathology, and the somatic and metabolic phenotype and early detection. Early detection and intervention can assure a better recovery and can improve a lot the quality of life of these patients. Methods: We selected ten articles of central importance on the topic in a systematic search on eight databases, articles selected on the type of scales, and size of the study. Results: We identified eight questionnaire scales used in large trials in ED disorders in the scanned literature, choose because we consider it the most accurate and the ones that evaluate best the pathology and the elements that are important as specific traits in ED. There are interview-type scales and self-administered scales. Interview scales are characterized by assessments of symptoms and diagnosis, while self-administered assess particular traits and the possibility of further development of eating disorders. The majority of the scales evaluated were described and used in adult populations. From all the scales assessed and analyzed, only three are described at the child population – it is EAT-26 (> 16 years), EDI-3 (>13 years), and ANSOCQ (> 13 years). Conclusions: It is essential to develop specific scales for people under 18 years of age, given the increasing incidence of ED among children and the need for early detection and appropriate intervention. Early detection of ED in children implies a simple and accurate evaluation at the primary care level or in schools, as the course of the disease can be subclinical for several years. Moreover, the need for accurate scales and telemedicine testing and diagnosis is of high importance during the COVID-19 pandemic as youth are at particular risk being psychologically affected due to disrupted education and social interactions - at a critical time.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0297.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: genome engineering; synthetic biology; yeasts; Metschnikowia; genetic tools; DNA delivery; CUG-Ser
Online: 13 November 2018 (05:17:45 CET)
Yeasts belonging to the Metschnikowia genus are particularly interesting for the unusual formation of only two needle-shaped ascospores during their mating cycle. Presently, the meiotic process that can lead to only two spores from a diploid zygote is poorly understood. The expression of fluorescent nuclear proteins should allow the meiotic process to be visualized in vivo; however, no large-spored species of Metschnikowia has ever been transformed. Accordingly, we aimed to develop a transformation method for Metschnikowia borealis, a particularly large-spored species of Metschnikowia, with the goal of enabling the genetic manipulations required to study biological processes in detail. Genetic analyses confirmed that M. borealis, and many other Metchnikowiacea, are CUG-Ser yeasts. Codon-optimized selectable markers lacking CUG codons were used to successfully transform M. borealis by electroporation and lithium acetate, and transformants appeared to be the result of random integration. Mating experiments confirmed that transformed-strains were capable of generating large asci and undergoing recombination. Finally, random integration was used to transform an additional 18 yeast strains, and all attempts successfully generated transformants. The results provide a simple method to transform many yeasts from an array of different clades and can be used to study or develop many species for various applications.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0111.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Library & Information Science Keywords: improve citations; research tools; research visibility; research impact; documents publishing; highly cited
Online: 26 June 2017 (04:20:47 CEST)
Researchers, journals, and universities want to receive more citations for their scholarly publications. However, a paper citations depend on its quality, visibility and author’s online profile. Research support documents (unpublished papers, white papers, project reports, datasets, software, posters, online resources and teaching materials) can be additional source for increasing the author’s visibility. To enhance research visibility and impact, the full range of scholarly output should be available online on the open access platform. With open access platform, key research findings are made accessible immediately to the scientific community. Therefore, the publicly available research support documents may result in receiving more citations in addition to the published papers. In this paper we conducted a simplified three stages study on the benefits of research support documents publications on open access platform. We also elaborated on approaches of improving your research visibility and impact through these document.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0193.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: metabolomics; plant biology; metabolomics databases; data analysis; metabolomics software tools; mass spectrometry; omics
Online: 8 July 2021 (10:46:55 CEST)
Metabolomics is now considered to be a wide-ranging, sensitive and practical approach to acquire useful information on the composition of a metabolite pool present in any organism, including plants. Investigating metabolomic regulation in plants is essential to understand their adaptation, acclimation and defense response to environmental stresses through the production of numerous metabolites. Moreover, metabolomics can be easily applied for the phenotyping of plants; and thus, it has great potential to be used in molecular breeding and genome editing programs to develop superior next generation crops. This review describes the recent analytical tools and techniques available to study plants metabolome, along with their significance of sample preparation using targeted and non-targeted method. Advanced analytical tools, like gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), liquid chromatography mass-spectroscopy (LC-MS), capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS), fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) have speed up metabolic profiling in plants. Further, we deliver a complete overview of bioinformatics tools and plant metabolome database that can be utilized to advance our knowledge to plant biology.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0447.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: circular economy; Covid-19; Voyant tools; environmental sustainability; social sustainability; economic sustainability; text mining
Online: 20 February 2021 (01:42:10 CET)
The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has created both negative and positive changes, including implementing the circular economy across the globe. This Systematic Review follows the PRISMA statement and employs the Text Mining (Voyant Tools) technique to visualize and analyze the impacts of the Covid-19 on three aspects of the circular economy: economic, social, and environmental. The research employs Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to identify five major topics: (1) Shortage of medical equipment but high medical waste during Covid-19 due to the high demand in healthcare; (2) The long term negative impacts of lockdown on economic and social activities because of Covid-19 pandemic; (3) The reports on impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on the manufacturing globally, and their coping strategies and new opportunities; (4) The impacts of international restriction on the tourism, trade, shipping, and aviation industry, causing billion-dollar losses; (5) The reduction of pollution with health environment improvements with example cases from China and EU. The research identifies current literature gaps in the circular economy and Covid- 19 topics and encourages the application of text mining tools into researching to stimulate the research process and assist in communicating with the public.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0525.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19; evolution of SARS-CoV-2; replication; emerging disease 2019 and diagnostic tools
Online: 30 April 2020 (10:39:54 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an etiologic agent of the respiratory disease in humans that is known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19). The first outbreak of the disease was initially documented in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late December 2019 where people had experienced SARS pneumonia-like symptoms with unknown etiology. Since then it has been observed that COVID-19 positive patients have been showing mild to severe upper respiratory illness symptoms. The type of virus is known to make its transfer from animals to humans and for the concerned virus; researchers have claimed its origin from bat coronavirus at whole-genome level with a 96 % sequence identity. The COVID-19 virus is very contagious and communicable in nature and has been spread throughout the globe since its first outbreak in China. On March 9, 2020, WHO declared it as a Pandemic, and within a month it was already reported to have shown its presence in 213 countries and territories or areas. As of April 29, 2020, this novel virus infected 3,218,183 people and caused 228,029 mortalities worldwide with a variable mortality rate from 3-13 % across the planet and also varied by age and gender. Diagnosis of the disease is a key component in understanding and controlling the spread of the virus and several techniques have been devised including RT-PCR, ELISA, and sequencing-based approaches. To cure COVID-19 patients as of now we do not have proven to be a safe and effective treatment. Therapeutic options currently under investigation in various parts of the world. However, there are various effective therapeutic targets to repurpose the present antiviral therapy for developing potential interventions against SARS-CoV-2. Boosting the immune system can also help to prevent and spread of COVID-19 using various medication and exercises. In this review, our goal to summarize and discussed the present scientific advancements to fight against this novel pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0016.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: open research practices; digital humanities; scholarly communication; publication formats; infrastructure; research methodology; research tools
Online: 1 March 2020 (15:50:52 CET)
The digital transformation has initiated a paradigm shift in research and scholarly communication practices towards a more open scholarly culture. Although this transformation is slowly happening in the Digital Humanities field, open is not yet default. The article introduces the OpenMethods metablog, a community platform that highlights open research methods, tools, and practices within the context of the Digital Humanities by republishing open access content around methods and tools in various formats and languages. It also describes the platform’s technical infrastructure based on its requirements and main functionalities, and especially the collaborative content sourcing and editorial workflows. The article concludes with a discussion of the potentials of the OpenMethods metablog to overcome barriers towards open practices by focusing on inclusive, community sourced information based around opening up research processes and the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve its goals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0063.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: FABP4; A-FABP; aP2; antidiabetes; antiobesity; antiatherosclerosis; anticancer; computational tools; computer-aided drug discovery
Online: 5 September 2019 (15:39:58 CEST)
Small molecule inhibitors of adipocyte fatty-acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) have got interest following the recent publication of their pharmacologically beneficial effects. Recently it comes out that FABP4 is an attractive molecular target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, other metabolic diseases, and some type of cancers. In the past years, hundreds of effective FABP4 inhibitors have been synthesized and discovered but, unfortunately, none of them is in the clinical research phase. The field of computer-aided drug design seems to be promising and useful for the identification of FABP4 inhibitors; hence, different structure- and ligand-based computational approaches were already performed for their identification. In this paper, we searched for new potentially active FABP4 ligands in the Marine Natural Products (MNP) database. 14,492 compounds were retrieved from this database and filtered through a statistical and computational filter. Seven compounds were suggested by our methodology to possess a potential inhibitory activity upon FABP4 in the range of 79–245 nM. ADMET properties prediction were performed to validate the hypothesis of the interaction with the intended target and to assess the drug-likeness of these derivatives; from these analyses, three molecules resulted as excellent candidates for becoming new drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0328.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: built environment efficiency; CASBEE; MURNInets; climate change; low carbon; carbon emission; urban tools; city
Online: 31 January 2019 (14:18:50 CET)
CASBEE-City tool determines the city’s Built Environment Efficiency (BEE) by calculating the improvement of Quality of Life (Q) over human activities’ Environmental Load (L) within the city’s hypothetical boundary. A total of 58 variables (57 Q indicators and one variable for L) are used in the worldwide version of CASBEE-City which were grounded using ISO 37120:2014 Sustainable Development of Communities and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations (UN). This paper examines the application of CASBEE-City for Malaysian cities using the case of Johor Bahru City and identifies assessment indicators which are customised based on the data availability, reliability and suitability through focus group discussions (FGDs) which involved 36 respondents (researchers, urban planners and stakeholders). This paper reveals Johor Bahru with moderate score B+ in 2010 and 2025. Consensus were also achieved from the 36 FGD respondents for the practicability and future potential of CASBEE-City and BEE framework in Johor Bahru.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0234.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: sonification apps; auditory displays; torpedo level; spirit level; tools; accessibility; auditory feedback; auditory user interface
Online: 8 April 2021 (11:25:41 CEST)
This paper presents Tiltification, a multi modal spirit level application for smartphones. The non-profit app was produced by students in the master project “Sonification Apps” in winter term 2020/21 at the University of Bremen. In the app, psychoacoustic sonification is used to give feedback on the device’s rotation angles in two plane dimensions, allowing users to level furniture or take perfectly horizontal photos. Tiltification supplements the market of spirit level apps with the unique feature of auditory information processing. This provides for additional benefit in comparison to a physical spirit level and for more accessibility for visu- ally and cognitively impaired people. We argue that the distribution of sonification apps through mainstream channels is a contribution to establish sonification in the market and make it better known to users outside the scientific domain. We hope that the auditory display community will support us by using and recommending the app and by providing valuable feedback on the app functionality and design, and on our communication, advertisement and distribution strategy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0564.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Remote sensing data; variable rate irrigation; irrigation management; fuzzy systems; decision support tools; intelligent center pivot
Online: 23 June 2021 (11:03:08 CEST)
Growing agricultural demands for the global population are unlocking the path to developing innovative solutions for efficient water management. Herein, an intelligent variable rate irrigation system (fuzzy-VRI) is proposed for rapid decision-making to achieve optimized irrigation in various delimited zones. The proposed system automatically creates irrigation maps for a center pivot irrigation system for a variable-rate application of water. Primary inputs are spatial imagery on remotely sensed soil moisture (SSM), soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), canopy temperature (CT), and nitrogen content (NI). To eliminate localized issues with soil characteristics, we used the crop nitrogen content map to provide a focused insight on issues related to water shortage. The system relates these inputs to set reference values for the rotation speed controllers and individual openings of each central pivot sprinkler valve. The results showed that the system can detect and characterize the spatial variability of the crop and further, the fuzzy logic solved the uncertainties of an irrigation system and defined a control model for high-precision irrigation. The proposed approach is validated through the comparison between the recommended irrigation and actual irrigation at two field sites, and the results showed that the developed approach gives an accurate estimation of irrigation with a reduction in the volume of irrigated water of up to 27% in some cases. Future research should implement the fuzzy-VRI real-time during field trials in order to quantify its effect on irrigation use, yield, and water use efficiency.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0286.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Clinical Neurology; Neuroinvasive Disease; Encephalitis; Meningitis; MRI Brain Scans; West-Nile Virus; Infectious Diseases; Diagnostic Tools
Online: 9 November 2020 (17:36:58 CET)
A case report of the diagnosis of Long Term Sequelae of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease in a patient with 9 years history. Empirical data of symptoms and test reports has been presented and based on the available data likely pathogenesis of the disease has been discussed. The empirical data has been compared to the published literature to reach a highly confident diagnosis.
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Business Intelligence; Data warehouse; Data Marts; Architecture; Data; Information; cloud; Data Mining; evolution; technologic companies; tools; software
Online: 24 March 2021 (13:06:53 CET)
Information has been and will be a vital element for a person or department groups in an organization. That is why there are technologies that help us to give them the proper management of data; Business Intelligence is responsible for bringing technological solutions that correctly and effectively manage the entire volume of necessary and important information for companies. Among the solutions offered by Business Intelligence are Data Warehouses, Data Mining, among other business technologies that working together achieve the objectives proposed by an organization. It is important to highlight that these business technologies have been present since the 50's and have been evolving through time, improving processes, infrastructure, methodologies and implementing new technologies, which have helped to correct past mistakes based on information management for companies. There are questions about Business Intelligence. Could it be that in the not-too-distant future it will be used as an essential standard or norm in any organization for data management, since it provides many benefits and avoids failures at the time of classifying information. On the other hand, Cloud storage has been the best alternative to safeguard information and not depend on physical storage media, which are not 100% secure and are exposed to partial or total loss of information, by presenting hardware failures or security failures due to mishandling that can be given to such information.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0529.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Caver Web; databases; libraries; microbial products; PredictSNPonco; molecular docking; molecular targets; mutations; treatment; virtual screening; web tools
Online: 23 February 2021 (15:59:19 CET)
The development of microbial products for cancer treatment has been in the spotlight in recent years. In order to accelerate the lengthy and expensive drug development process, in silico screening tools are systematically employed, especially during the initial discovery phase. Moreover, considering the steadily increasing number of molecules approved by authorities for commercial use, there is a demand for faster methods to repurpose such drugs. Here we present a review on virtual screening web tools, publicly available databases of molecular targets and libraries of ligands, with the aim to facilitate the discovery of potential anticancer drugs based on microbial products. We provide an entry-level step-by-step description of the workflow for virtual screening of microbial metabolites with known protein targets, as well as two practical examples using freely available web tools. The first case presents a virtual screening study of drugs developed from microbial products using Caver Web, a web tool that performs docking along a tunnel. The second case comprises a comparative analysis between a healthy isocitrate dehydrogenase 1, a mutant that results in cancer, using the recently developed web tool PredictSNPOnco. In summary, this review provides the basic and essential background information necessary for virtual screening experiments, which may accelerate the discovery of novel anticancer drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0139.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: kinematic model; fiber Bragg grating; deformations; machine tools calibration; predicted model; multiple regression analysis; finite element analysis
Online: 29 December 2016 (07:39:26 CET)
Structural deformations are one of the most significant factor that affects machine tool (MT) positioning accuracy. These induced errors are complex to be represented by a model, nevertheless they need to be evaluated and predicted in order to increase the machining performance. This paper presents a novel approach to calibrate a machine tool in real-time, analyzing the thermo-mechanical errors through Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors embedded in the MT frame. The proposed configuration consists of an adaptronic structure of passive materials, Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers (CFRP), equipped by FBG sensors that are able to measure in real-time the deformed conditions of the frame. By using a proper thermo-mechanical kinematic model, the displacement of the end effector may be predicted and corrected when it is subjected to external undesired factors. By starting from a set of FE simulations to develop a model able to describe the MT structure stresses, a prototype has been fabricated and tested. The scope was to compare the numerical model with the experimental tests using FBG sensors. The experimental campaign has been performed varying the structure temperature over time and measuring the tool tip point (TTP) positions. The obtained results showed a substantial matching between the real and the predicted position of TTP confirming the effectiveness of the proposed calibration system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0574.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: activity cliff; activity landscape plotter; epigenetics; docking; drug discovery; D-tools; molecular dynamics; Epi-polypharmacology; SmART; structure-activity relationships
Online: 26 November 2018 (07:14:05 CET)
In this work we discuss the insights from activity landscape, docking and molecular dynamics towards the understanding of the structure-activity relationships of dual inhibitors of major epigenetic targets: lysine metiltransferase (G9a) and DNA metiltranferase 1 (DNMT1). The study was based on a novel data set of 50 published compounds with reported experimental activity for both targets. The activity landscape analysis revealed the presence of activity cliffs, e.g., pairs of compounds with high structure similarity but large activity difference. Activity cliffs were further rationalized at the molecular level by means of molecular docking and dynamics simulations that led to the identification of interactions with key residues involved in the dual activity or selectivity with the epigenetic targets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0047.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: organizational changes; ICT; management tools; work experience; employee outcomes; comparison of public and private sectors; linked employer-employee survey
Online: 6 March 2018 (16:30:15 CET)
We investigate the human sustainability of ICT and management changes using a French linked employer-employee survey on organizational changes and computerization (COI). We approach the human sustainability of changes through the evolutions of work intensity, skill utilization and the subjective relationship to work. We compare in the private sector and the State civil service the impacts of ICT and management changes on the evolution of these three dimensions of work experience. We find that when ICT and management changes are intense, they are positively associated in the public sector with work intensification and new knowledge. In the private sector ICT and management changes increase the use of skills, but at a rate decreasing with their intensity and without favoring the accumulation of new knowledge. However, their impacts on the subjective relationship to work are much stronger, with public sector employees expressing discouragement as well as the feeling of an increased effort-reward imbalance when private sector employees become more committed. We tested that the self-selection of employees, the specific sources and paths of changes and the implementation of performance pay did not explain this divergence. We identify two partial explanations: one is related with employee turnover in the private sector, the other one with the role of trade unions. These results suggest that the human sustainability of ICT and management changes depends on their intensity and on how their implementation takes into account the institutional context of the organization.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0073.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Messenger RNA • Hospital-based mRNA therapeutics • circular mRNA • self-amplifying mRNA • RNA-based CAR T-cell • RNA-based gene-editing tools
Online: 6 January 2022 (11:20:59 CET)
Hospital-based programs democratize mRNA therapeutics by facilitating the processes to translate a novel RNA idea from the bench to the clinic. Because mRNA is essentially biological software, therapeutic RNA constructs can be rapidly developed. The generation of small batches of clinical grade mRNA to support IND applications and first-in-man clinical trials, as well as personalized mRNA therapeutics delivered at the point-of-care, is feasible at a modest scale of cGMP manufacturing. Advances in mRNA manufacturing science and innovations in mRNA biology, are increasing the scope of mRNA clinical applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0229.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI); CLOs; educational tools; hybrid learning; integrated management system; learning management system; PLOs; technology-embedded teaching; web-based teaching
Online: 26 January 2022 (11:54:27 CET)
With the rapid surge in technological advancements, an equal amount of investment in technology-embedded teaching has become vital to pace up with the ongoing educational needs. Distance education has evolved from the era of postal services to the use of ICT tools in current times. With the aid of globally updated content across the board, technology usage ensures all students receive equal attention without any discrimination. Importantly, web-based teaching allows all kind of students to learn at their own pace, without the fear of being judged, including professionals who can learn remotely without disturbing their job schedules. Having web-based content allows low-cost and robust implementation of the content upgradation. An improved, yet effective, version of the education using such tools is Hybrid Learning (HL). This learning mode aims to provide luxurious reinforcement to its legitimate candidates while maintaining the quality standards of various elements. Incorporated with both traditional and distance learning methods, along with exploiting social media tools for increased comfort level and peer-to-peer collaboration, HL ultimately facilitates the end user and educational setup. The structure of such a hybrid model is realized by delivering the study material via a learning management system (LMS) designed in compliance with quality standards, which is one of the fundamental tackling techniques for controlling quality constraints. In this paper, we present the recently piloted project by COMSATS University Islamabad (previously known as COMSATS Institute of Information Technology) which is driven by technology-embedded teaching model. This model is an amalgam of the traditional class room model with the aid of state-of-the-art online learning technologies. The students are enrolled as full-time students, with all the courses in traditional classroom mode, except one course offered as hybrid course. This globally adapted model helps the students to benefit from both face-to-face learning as well as gaining hands-on experience on technology-enriched education model providing flexibility of timings, learning pace, and boundaries. Our HL model is equipped with two major synchronous and asynchronous blocks. The synchronous block delivers real-time live interaction scenarios using discussion boards, thereby providing a face-to-face environment. Interactions via social network has witnessed equally surging improvement in the output performance. The asynchronous block refers to the lecture videos, slides and handouts, prepared by imminent professors, available 24/7 for students. To ensure quality output, our HL model follows the course learning outcomes (CLOs), and program learning outcomes (PLOs) as per international standards. As a proof of concept, we have deployed a mechanism at the end of each semester to verify the effectiveness of our model. This mechanism fundamentally surveys the satisfaction levels of all the students enrolled in the HL courses. With the surveys already conducted, a significant level of satisfaction has been noted. Extensive results from these surveys are presented in the paper to further validate the efficiency and robustness of our proposed HL model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0215.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: visually impaired; smart mobility; sensors; LiDAR; ultrasonic; deep learning; obstacle detection; obstacle recognition; assistive tools; edge computing; green computing; sustainability; Arduino Uno; Smart App
Online: 11 August 2022 (11:12:58 CEST)
Over a billion people around the world are disabled, among them, 253 million are visually impaired or blind, and this number is greatly increasing due to ageing, chronic diseases, poor environment, and health. Despite many proposals, the current devices and systems lack maturity and do not completely fulfill user requirements and satisfaction. Increased research activity in this field is required to encourage the development, commercialization, and widespread acceptance of low-cost and affordable assistive technologies for visual impairment and other disabilities. This paper proposes a novel approach using a LiDAR with a servo motor and an ultrasonic sensor to collect data and predict objects using deep learning for environment perception and navigation. We adopted this approach in a pair of smart glasses, called LidSonic V2.0, to enable the identification of obstacles for the visually impaired. The LidSonic system consists of an Arduino Uno edge computing device integrated into the smart glasses and a smartphone app that transmits data via Bluetooth. Arduino gathers data, operates the sensors on smart glasses, detects obstacles using simple data processing, and provides buzzer feedback to visually impaired users. The smartphone application collects data from Arduino, detects and classifies items in the spatial environment, and gives spoken feedback to the user on the detected objects. In comparison to image processing-based glasses, LidSonic uses far less processing time and energy to classify obstacles using simple LiDAR data, according to several integer measurements. We comprehensively describe the proposed system's hardware and software design, construct their prototype implementations, and test them in real-world environments. Using the open platforms, WEKA and TensorFlow, the entire LidSonic system is built with affordable off-the-shelf sensors and a microcontroller board costing less than $80. Essentially, we provide designs of an inexpensive, miniature, green device that can be built into, or mounted on, any pair of glasses or even a wheelchair to help the visually impaired. Our approach affords faster inference and decision-making using relatively low energy with smaller data sizes as well as faster communications for the edge, fog, and cloud computing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0687.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: automatic speech recognition (ASR); automatic assessment tools; foreign language pronunciation; pronunciation training; computer-assisted pronunciation training (CAPT); automatic pronunciation assessment; learning environments; minimal pairs
Online: 29 June 2021 (07:31:41 CEST)
General–purpose automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems have improved their quality and are being used for pronunciation assessment. However, the assessment of isolated short utterances, as words in minimal pairs for segmental approaches, remains an important challenge, even more for non-native speakers. In this work, we compare the performance of our own tailored ASR system (kASR) with the one of Google ASR (gASR) for the assessment of Spanish minimal pair words produced by 33 native Japanese speakers in a computer-assisted pronunciation training (CAPT) scenario. Participants of a pre/post-test training experiment spanning four weeks were split into three groups: experimental, in-classroom, and placebo. Experimental group used the CAPT tool described in the paper, which we specially designed for autonomous pronunciation training. Statistically significant improvement for experimental and in-classroom groups is revealed, and moderate correlation values between gASR and kASR results were obtained, beside strong correlations between the post-test scores of both ASR systems with the CAPT application scores found at the final stages of application use. These results suggest that both ASR alternatives are valid for assessing minimal pairs in CAPT tools, in the current configuration. Discussion on possible ways to improve our system and possibilities for future research are included.