REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0133.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: epidemic; viral sequences; genomics; metadata; data harmonization; integration and search
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:58:27 CEST)
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, the research community is producing unprecedented efforts dedicated to better understand and mitigate the affects of the pandemic. In this context, we review the data integration efforts required for accessing and searching genome sequences and metadata of SARS-CoV2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease, which have been deposited into the most important repositories of viral sequences. Organizations that were already present in the virus domain are now dedicating special interest to the emergence of COVID-19 pandemics, by emphasizing specific SARS-CoV2 data and services. At the same time, novel organizations and resources were born in this critical period to serve specifically the purposes of COVID-19 mitigation, while setting the research ground for contrasting possible future pandemics. Accessibility and integration of viral sequence data, possibly in conjunction with the human host genotype and clinical data, are paramount to better understand the COVID-19 disease and mitigate its effects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0132.v1
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:51:29 CEST)
Henry Vidal first introduced the concept of using strips, grids, and sheets for reinforcing soil masses. Since then, a large variety of materials such as steel bars, tire shreds, polypropylene, polyester, glass fibers, coir, jute fibers etc. have been widely added to the soil mass randomly or in a regular, oriented manner. In this investigation, a new concept of multi-oriented plastic reinforcement (hexa-pods), is discussed. A systematic and comprehensive laboratory tests were conducted on unreinforced and reinforced soil samples. Laboratory tests such as direct shear teat and California bearing ratio (CBR) test were analyzed on soil samples consisting of only soil samples, soil sample with random inclusion of hexapods and soil samples with layered inclusion of hexapods. From the results obtained through direct shear test it could be observed that cohesion value of both the soil sample has increased and the angle of internal friction has been decreased after reinforcing it with inclusions in both randomly and layered conditions. CBR test indicates that for same amount of compactive effort, both random and layered inclusions of hexapods show improvement in strength and stiffness. Random inclusions of hexapods give better resistance to penetration as compared to layered inclusions. The hexa-pods also changed the brittle behavior of unreinforced sand samples to ductile ones.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0131.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Pan-Africanism; African Diaspora; human rights; liberation; transformational leadership; civil rights; colonialism; Martin Luther King Jr.; Nelson Mandela
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:48:12 CEST)
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela were two of the world's most iconic civil (political) (human) rights advocates and leaders of all time. Both advocated for, and to varying degrees, applied elements of peaceful protests to the achievement of their goals. Both spent time in jail, often concurrently, but eventually forced their respective countries to extend the same rights that white populations had denied Africans and African Americans. For the US, civil rights, voting rights, right to education, housing and housing loans suggested that equality had been achieved, capped in South Africa by the election of Nelson Mandela as the first majority-rule president, and in the US, by Barack Obama’s election to the presidency. Yet the historical over-policing, police mistreatment and more generally, the judicial system’s inordinate ‘targeting’ of African Americans, with egregious cases running from Emmett Till to Rodney King to Walter Scott to Breonna Taylor to George Floyd to Rayshard Brooks and thousands of others shows the danger of such magical thinking. The now-persistent global wave pursuing human rights, civil rights and the right to be treated equally, primarily driven by the loosely-organized Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, has become the leading voice in pursuit of equality. Riots such as those in LA, protests in Ferguson and everywhere in summer 2020 has ushered new civil rights campaign. In the US and elsewhere, it has morphed to include historical issues such as monuments to colonialism, the US civil war, slavery and slave owners and traders, institutions, companies and people whose wealth and existence has links to slavery. Instructively, the protests persisted even as COVID-19, the hundred-year plague, continues to ravage the world. Lost in the moment is the absence of central leadership and leaders such as MLK or Mandela. Their charisma and effectiveness has been lacking for 50 years. This paper evaluates whether this has led to inconsistent civil and human rights pursuit for equality, or whether perchance, Mandela and MLK were extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime transformative leaders uniquely selected by history for their time.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0128.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: reinforced concrete; deep beams; Strut-and-Tie models; experimental research
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:44:20 CEST)
This paper presents the results of the experimental research and numerical analysis of three reinforced concrete deep beams with openings, designed by the Strut-and-Tie method according to the EN 1992-1-1 recommendations. All tested specimens were made in full size, with the same geometric characteristics and quality of the materials. The specimens, constructed as simply supported beams, were loaded with two concentrated forces and were tested for bending until failure. Each specimen was reinforced with different reinforcement layout determined by parameter variation within the Strut-and-Tie method. Based on the results of experimental research, it was concluded that the behavior of loaded members was in agreement with the proposed forms of the Strut-and-Tie models that were used for their design.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0130.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: antioxidant; C2C12 cell; Jakyakgamcho-tang; muscle atrophy; oxidative stress
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:43:24 CEST)
Oxidative stress is a major contributor to muscle aging and loss of muscle tissue. Jakyakgamcho-tang has been used in traditional Eastern medicine to treat muscle pain. Here, we compared various solvent-based Jakyakgamcho-tang extracts in terms of their effects against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in murine C2C12 skeletal muscle cells. Total phenolic content and total flavonoid content in 30% ethanol extracts of Jakyakgamcho-tang were higher than those of water extracts of Jakyakgamcho-tang. Ethanol extracts of Jakyakgamcho-tang had stronger antioxidant and 2,2-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid and 2,2´-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl-scavenging activity than water extracts of Jakyakgamcho-tang. The ethanol extract of Jakyakgamcho-tang inhibited peroxide-induced cell viability and intracellular reactive oxygen species generation more effectively than the water extract of Jakyakgamcho-tang in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that the ethanol extract of Jakyakgamcho-tang is relatively more efficacious at protecting against oxidative stress-induced muscle cell death because it prevents reactive oxygen species generation in C2C12 cells. Moreover, the current study indicated that the effective dose of the ethanol extract of Jakyakgamcho-tang required to alleviate muscle pain might be lower than that required for Jakyakgamcho-tang.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0129.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Streaming data; Optical camera communications; rolling shutter camera
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:40:12 CEST)
This paper addresses a method to transmit streaming data via rolling shutter camera-based optical camera communications (OCC). Since the amount of data that can be contained within one frame is limited, and the continuity of received data cannot be guaranteed due to OCC environmental variations, we introduce the concept of dividing the streaming data into several fragmented sets that are transmitted sequentially. We propose a superframe to contain sequential packets of fragmented data and corresponding indexes, so that sequential packets for streaming data can be continuously collected. When redundant frame transmission is considered, any packet lost due to OCC environmental conditions can be recovered. Experimental results show that the proposed method can be successfully used to transmit streaming data, with the number of redundant frames required to acquire all data packets based on image resolution. In addition, we describe how to identify missing packets from a network point of view to reduce the number of redundant frames needed to acquire all the data. This paper presents baseline results of communication performance when sending streaming data via a rolling shutter-based OCC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0127.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, General Humanities Keywords: sustainability; Sustainable Development Goals; Africa/Ghana; women and gender; agriculture; food security; climate change; capital economics; patriarchal governance; care labor/logics/practices
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:38:58 CEST)
Africa was the only continent not to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of 50% poverty reduction. This paper asks whether Africa will fare better in meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing poverty and hunger by 2030. To answer this question we examine literature, including our field research published over the last thirteen years. We find that ‘sustainable development’ is a failed concept immersed in the contemporary global economic system that favors growth over ecosystem stability and patriarchal systems of governance that undervalue women’s capacity for sustainability in their care-work as food providers. We examine barriers to women’s farming (climate change, gender bias, limited access to land, technology, finance) and provide examples of women’s innovative strategies for overcoming these barriers in their care practices toward family and community well-being and ecosystem health. We conclude that sustainability is only possible through transformation of thinking away from approaches that value profit over people and ecosystems and toward gender-based approaches for achieving the goals laid out in the SDGs through holistic, integrative systems of ecosystem fit.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0098.v2
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:36:55 CEST)
Raindrop erosion is a significant materials limiting issue. It can affect materials for transportation and renewable energy converters such as wind turbines as well as all external structures used in the construction industries. In such cases, the raindrop effects can occur over a wide range of impact velocities and particles sizes. In understanding tribological variable effects, it is useful to study using reference materials. This is because the reference material is well characterized, from previous knowledge of the tribological and corrosion patterns. Further, the well established chemical composition and stochiometry of the corrosion products provide some background understanding of how effectively, during tribological action, the surface scale adheres to the substrate. In this study, a carbon steel was used as a reference to study the effects of velocity and drop diameter in a whirling arm erosion test rig. The results were used to establish the conditions where corrosion was accelerated and the environments where aerodynamic effects may have resulted in droplets being deflected the surfaces. Erosion maps were generated to illustrate such mechanisms based on the results.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0126.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Seagrass; Ocean Turf grass; climax communities; Indian Ocean region; IUCN; Population traits; conservation; management
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:33:17 CEST)
We reviewed the current status of a Vulnerable seagrass, Halophila beccarii from the coast of India using the published data from 1977-2020. We found that the seagrass, H. beccarii has a pan India distribution on both east and west coast. It is abundant in the intertidal silty-muddy region on the west coast, while on the east coast it is found on sandy habitats, with few exceptions of muddy habitat. H. beccarii was found to be associated with mangroves or smaller seagrass species within a depth limit of 1.7m. Low salinity and high nitrate levels were observed for the H. beccarii meadows of the west coast due to its association with mangroves. The nutrient levels in H. beccarii meadows of India were comparatively lower than other seagrass meadows. Most of the research on H. beccarii has focoused on its morphometrics (41%), reproductive (33%) and distribution (29%) along the coast of India. Reproductive traits such as flowering and fruiting varying according to the seasons of each coast due to the influence of monsoon and its associated temperature, salinity and nutrient influx. H. beccarii has a great potential of various bioactive compounds, which needs further investigation. Habitat disturbance, anthropogenic pollution and coastal development are the major cause of declining H. beccarii ecosystems in India. Significant loss of the seagrass was observed from the west coast of India due to increased coastal development activities. There is a significant need in quantifying H. beccarii population trends, impact of climate and anthropogenic stressors, economic values of ecosystem services and the role of ecological connectivity for better conservation and management of H. beccarii seascapes across India. There is a need for integration of research outcomes in policy framing for preventing the decline and further loss of this vulnerable seagrass ecosystem.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0125.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: Approximation computation; Multigranulation rough set; Knowledge acquisition; Decision making;
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:28:20 CEST)
With the revolution of computing and biology technology, data sets containing information could be huge and complex that sometimes are difficult to handle. Dynamic computing is an efficient approach to solve some of the problems. Since neighborhood multigranulation rough sets(NMGRS) were proposed, few papers focused on how to calculate approximations in NMGRS and how to update them dynamically. Here we propose approaches for computing approximations in NMGRS and updating them dynamically. First, static approaches for computing approximations in NMGRS are proposed. Second, search region in data set for updating approximations in NMGRS is shrunk. Third, matrix-based approaches for updating approximations in NMGRS while decreasing or increasing neighborhood classes are proposed. Fourth, incremental algorithms for updating approximations in NMGRS while decreasing or increasing neighborhood classes are designed. Finally, the efficiency and validity of the designed algorithms are verified by experiments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0123.v1
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:26:55 CEST)
This paper presents a comparative analysis of the ZVZCS soft switching technique with the ZVS and the ZCS counterpart. The generalization of the voltage-current crossover or the energy loss factor obtained from simulation of the prototype converter shows that the ZVZCS significantly reduces the loss and helps to improve the efficiency of the converter as compared to the ZVS or the ZCS. On the other hand, it is also found that the soft switching range of operation of the ZVS and the ZCS are largely affected by the maximum switch voltage and switch current respectively. In contrary, these factors have a negligible effect on the ZVZCS operation which results in an extended range of soft switching operation. Additionally, a detailed LTPICE simulation is performed for selected ZVS, ZCS and ZVSCS topologies from the recent literature and the switching losses in the main switches of the converters are measured. It is observed that the energy losses in the ZVZCS mode are reduced on average by approximately 26 % at turn on and 20 % at the turn off as compared to the ZVS and the ZCS. Besides, the low standard deviation in this mode confirms a stable low loss profile which renders extended soft switching range. An experimental test is also conducted by building the prototype converter to verify the simulation results. It is found that the switching losses are minimum while the converter is operated in the ZVZCS mode. Besides, the efficiency drop remains consistently low as compared to the ZVS and the ZCS in the whole operating range. Resultantly, the simulation and the experimental results are both found to be consistent.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0124.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: animal suffering; animal welfare; fires; wild animals
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:26:16 CEST)
Animals living in the wild are exposed to numerous challenges, such as fires, that can lead to animal suffering. The impacts of fire have been studied in different branches of ecology, but studies of its effects on the welfare of individual animals remain scarce. The current review aims to synthesize a sample of relevant aspects regarding fire’s negative effects on wild animals. This review provides a better understanding of how fire compromises animal welfare, providing an example of how to use the knowledge gathered in ecology studies to examine the welfare of wild animals. It can help raise concern for the situation of wild animals as individuals, and to develop the field of welfare biology, by identifying promising future lines of research. The fundamentals of carrying out future work to design protocols for rescuing animals or preventing the harms they can suffer in fires is also explored.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0122.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: bragg grating sensor; auxetic sensor; silica helical core; wrap angle; braid angle
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:08:12 CEST)
This study's objective was to propose the use of textile braiding manufacturing methods, thus facilitating the application of the high precision and accurate measurability of optical fiber Bragg grating sensors to various structures. The purpose of this study was to Combine 3d braid processing with the optical Bragg grating sensor's accurate metrology. Out of limits of the sensor's epoxy attachment methods, the textile braiding method can make applicable scope diversify. The braiding processing is capable of designing a 3D fabric module processing, multiple objective mechanical fiber arrangement, and material characteristics. Optical stress-strain response conditions were explored through the optimization of design elements between the Bragg grating sensor and braiding. For this study, Bragg grating sensors were located 75% apart from the fiber center. The sensor core structure is helical of 1.54 pitch. A polyurethane synthetic yarn was braided together with the sensor on the Weaving machine core part in a braiding. Prototyping results, a negative Poisson's ratio makes curled the braided Bragg grating sensor. The number of polyurethane string yarns has been conducted the role of wrap angle in braiding. The 12 strands condition showed an increase in double stress-strain response rate at a Poisson ratio of 1.3%, and 16 strands condition was found to affect the sensor with noise at a Poisson ratio of 1.5%. This study can suggest applying braid processing of the Bragg grating sensor, which is expected to create and develop a new monitoring sensor.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0121.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Bragg grating sensor; auxtic sensor; silica helical core; wrap angle; braid angle
Online: 5 August 2020 (10:01:16 CEST)
This study's objective was to propose the use of textile braiding manufacturing methods, thus facilitating the application of the high precision and accurate measurability of optical fiber Bragg grating sensors to various structures.The purpose of this study was to Combine 3d braid processing with the optical Bragg grating sensor's accurate metrology. Out of limits of the sensor's epoxy attachment methods, the textile braiding method can make applicable scope diversify. The braiding processing is capable of designing a 3D fabric module processing, multiple objective mechanical fiber arrangement, and material characteristics. Optical stress-strain response conditions were explored through the optimization of design elements between the Bragg grating sensor and braiding. For this study, Bragg grating sensors were located 75% apart from the fiber center. The sensor core structure is helical of 1.54 pitch. A polyurethane synthetic yarn was braided together with the sensor on the Weaving machine core part in a braiding.Prototyping results, a negative Poisson's ratio makes curled the braided Bragg grating sensor. The number of polyurethan string yarns has been conducted the role of wrap angle in braiding. The 12 strands condition showed an increase in double stress-strain response rate at a Poisson ratio of 1.3%, and 16 strands condition was found to affect the sensor with noise at a Poisson ratio of 1.5%. This study can suggest applying braid processing of the Bragg grating sensor, which is expected to create and develop a new monitoring sensor.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0120.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: intestine microbiota; Cattle Egret; Pied Crows; Kinshasa
Online: 5 August 2020 (09:59:45 CEST)
Purpose: Our study focused on Pied Grow and Cattle Egret, two commensal and ubiquitous birds feeding in dumps and frequenting our homes. Our aim was to identify the bacteria that birds bring to our homes and could be a potential risk to Congolese health. Method: We have done bacteriological analyses of bird feces for to explore its gut micriobiota composition. The feces were collected in the uricotelic cloaca by using a swab in 52 Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and 23 Pied Crows (Corvus albus) from Kinshasa city. Results: Bacteriological analyses revealed the presence of Proteus vulgaris (3.8%) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (5.8%) on Cattle Egret, Salmonella sp. (8.7%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (8.7%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (21.7%), Proteus vulgaris (30.4%) on Pied Crow, Citrobacter spp and Escherichia coli (100%) on both Cattle Egret and Pied Crow respectively. Conclusion: The presence of these pathogenic germs, suggesting these commensal and ubiquitous birds may be potential vectors of various Diseases which pose serious health problems in the region.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0119.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: astaxanthin; cardiovascular disease; atherosclerosis; inflammation; oxidative stress; carotenoids; antioxidant
Online: 5 August 2020 (09:53:14 CEST)
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death. Oxidative stress and inflammation are pathophysiological processes involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases, so anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents that modulate redox balance have become the targets of research to evaluate their molecular mechanisms and therapeutic properties. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid of the xanthophyll group, has potent antioxidant effects due to its molecular structure and its arrangement in the plasma membrane, factors that favor the neutralization of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. This carotenoid also stands out for its anti-inflammatory activity, possibly interrelated with its antioxidant effect, as well as for its modulation of lipid and glucose metabolism. Considering the potential positive effects of astaxanthin on cardiovascular health evidenced by preclinical and clinical studies, this paper describes the molecular and cellular mechanisms related to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this carotenoid in cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0118.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Sarcopenia; β-hydroxy-β-methyl butyrate Calcium; Black ginger
Online: 5 August 2020 (09:51:06 CEST)
Muscle mass and strength decrease with aging, but habitual exercise can maintain muscle health. β-Hydroxy-β-methyl butyrate calcium (HMB) and black ginger (BG) are anti-oxidants that have been reported to improve muscle protein metabolism and energy production; these molecules may have synergistic effects. The senescence-accelerated mouse-prone 8 (SAMP8) model is a useful model of muscle aging. Therefore, in this study, we explored how the combination of habitual exercise, HMB, and BG affected muscle aging. We used 28-week-old SAMP8 mice divided into five groups: control, exercise (Ex), Ex+BG, Ex+HMB, and Ex+BG+HMB (Ex+Comb). Mice were required to run on a treadmill for 16 weeks at 5 days per week. In 44-week-old mice, grip strength tests and dissection were conducted. Muscle weight was measured, and the gastrocnemius muscle was subjected to quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunoblotting. Muscle mass and strength were preserved in the Ex+Comb group, and mitochondrial function was preserved through suppressing oxidative stress. Muscle protein synthesis signaling was improved in the Ex+Comb group. Autophagy and the ubiquitin system were normalized by Ex+Comb treatment. Overall, habitual exercise and HMB plus BG treatment maintained muscle health by suppressing oxidative stress, preserving mitochondrial function, and maintaining muscle protein metabolism in SAMP8 mice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0117.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: prostatic neoplasms/mortality; prostatic neoplasms/epidemiology; SEER program
Online: 5 August 2020 (09:46:50 CEST)
The real-world outcomes of patients with metastatic prostate cancer (mPCa) are largely unexplored. We investigated the improvements in overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) in patients with de novo mPCa in latest years. The USA SEER Research Data (2000-2017) were analyzed using the SEER*Stat software. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression were used. Patients with de novo mPCa were allocated to 3 cohorts based on year of diagnosis: A (2000-2003), B (2004-2010), C (2011-2014). Maximum follow-up was fixed to 5 years. Overall, 26434 patients were included. Age, race and metastatic stage significantly affected OS and CSS. After adjustment for age and race, patients in cohort C showed 9% reduced risk of death (HR:0.91 [95% CI, 0.87-0.95], p<0.001) and 8% reduced risk of cancer-specific death (HR:0.91 [95% CI, 0.87-0.95], p<0.001) compared to those in cohort A. After adjustment for age, race and metastatic stage, patients in cohort C showed an improvement in OS and CSS compared to cohort B (HR:0.94 [95% CI, 0.91-0.97], p=0.001 and HR:0.89 [95% CI, 0.85-0.92], p<0.001). Patients with M1c disease had a more pronounced improvement in OS and CSS compared with the other stages. No differences were found between cohort B and C. In conclusion, the prognosis of de novo mPCa remains poor with a median OS of 30 months and a median CSS of 35 months. Limited OS and CSS improvements were observed in latest years.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0116.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: probiotics; cancer; safety; clinical trials
Online: 5 August 2020 (09:27:01 CEST)
In recent years, the consumption of over-the-counter probiotics used to promote health has grown rapidly worldwide and become an industry. In medicine, various studies have proven that probiotics can help improve the immune system and intestinal health. They are usually safe, but in some rare cases, they may cause concerning adverse reactions. Although the use of probiotics has been widely popularized in the public, the results of many probiotics clinical trials are contradictory. Especially for the cancer patients, the feasibility of probiotics management to provide benefits by targeting cancer and lessening anti-cancer side effects requires further investigations. And this review summarizes the interactions between probiotics and the host and current pros and cons of applying probiotics in the cancer patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0576.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: carbon dioxide; global warming; sequestration; carbon cycle; biomass sequestration, carbon sequestration
Online: 5 August 2020 (08:54:39 CEST)
Mitigation of global warming requires an understanding of where energy is produced and consumed, the magnitude of carbon dioxide generation, and proper understanding of the Carbon Cycle. The latter leads to the distinction between and need for both CO2 and biomass CARBON sequestration. Short reviews are provided for prior technologies proposed for reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels or substituting renewable energy, focusing on their limitations. None offer a complete solution. Of these, CO2 sequestration is poised to have the largest impact. We know how to do it. It will just cost money, and scale-up is a huge challenge. Few projects have been brought forward to semi-commercial scale. Transportation accounts for only about 30% of U.S. overall energy demand. Biofuels penetration remains small, and thus, they contribute a trivial amount of overall CO2 reduction, even though 40% of U.S. corn and 30% of soybeans are devoted to their production. Bioethanol is traced through its Carbon Cycle and shown to be both energy inefficient, and an inefficient use of biomass carbon. Both biofuels and CO2 sequestration reduce FUTURE CO2 emissions from continued use of fossil fuels. They will not remove CO2 ALREADY in the atmosphere. The only way to do that is to break the Carbon Cycle by growing biomass from atmospheric CO2 and sequestering biomass CARBON. Theoretically, sequestration of only a fraction of the world’s tree leaves, which are renewed every year, can get the world to Net Zero CO2 without disturbing the underlying forests. Thoughts are put forth on how to achieve secure permanent biomass sequestration.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0115.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: screening; dementia; intellectual disability; early-onset; neuropsychology
Online: 5 August 2020 (08:17:40 CEST)
Background and Aims: Screening and assessment of cognitive changes in adults with Intellectual Disabilities, mainly Down Syndrome (DS), is crucial to offer appropriate services to their needs. We present a systematic review of the existing instruments assessing dementia, aiming to support researchers and clinicians’ best practice. Methods: Searches were carried out in the databases Web of Science; PubMed; PsycINFO in March 2019 and updated in May 2020. Studies were selected and examined if they: (1) focused on assessing age-related cognitive changes in person with ID; (2) included adults and/or older adults; (3) included scales and batteries for cognitive assessment. Results: Forty-eight cross-sectional studies and twenty-six longitudinal studies were selected representing a total sample of 5,851 participants (4,089 DS and 1,801 with other ID). In those studies, we found 38 scales, questionnaires, and inventories, and 14 batteries for assessing cognitive and behavioural changes in adults with DS and other ID. Conclusion: The most used instrument completed by an informant or carer was the Dementia Questionnaire for Learning Disabilities (DLD), and its previous versions. We discuss the strengths and limitations of the instruments and outline recommendations for future use.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Immune response; SARS-CoV-2 antibodies response; Covid-19 management; Maglumi; Architect; method comparison.
Online: 5 August 2020 (08:09:11 CEST)
The role of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is not yet well known, in particular about the persistence of circulating antibodies. The aim of the study is to compare the results of two automated systems for the determination of IgG antibodies against SARS CoV-2 and to assess the time course of the IgG response after the onset of symptoms for a period longer than that evaluated to date. IgG were measured in 98 specimens of 55 subjects with COVID-19 (time from the onset of symptoms from 3 to 109 days) using the automated tests "Abbott SARS-COV-2 IgG" and the "MAGLUMI 2019-nCoV IgG". The two methods had a concordance of 91.8%, but the quantitative correlation showed very dispersed results. All the specimens resulted positive after 17 days from the onset of the synptoms. However, the median concentrations of IgG, after a rapid increase up to about 20 days, quickly decrease to about 15% of the maximum for Maglumi. The same samples measured by Architect showed a quite constant trend up to 80 day, and then an only moderate decline. The titer of IgG against SARS-CoV-2 in patients exposed to COVID-19 may significantly and rapidly decrease, with a different time-course depending on the method used for the determination.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0113.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Scene classification; Deep Learning; Convolutional Neural Networks; Feature learning
Online: 5 August 2020 (06:19:27 CEST)
State-of-the-art remote sensing scene classification methods employ different Convolutional Neural Network architectures for achieving very high classification performance. A trait shared by the majority of these methods is that the class associated with each example is ascertained by examining the activations of the last fully connected layer, and the networks are trained to minimize the cross-entropy between predictions extracted from this layer and ground-truth annotations. In this work, we extend this paradigm by introducing an additional output branch which maps the inputs to low dimensional representations, effectively extracting additional feature representations of the inputs. The proposed model imposes additional distance constrains on these representations with respect to identified class representatives, in addition to the traditional categorical cross-entropy between predictions and ground-truth. By extending the typical cross-entropy loss function with a distance learning function, our proposed approach achieves significant gains across a wide set of benchmark datasets in terms of classification, while providing additional evidence related to class membership and classification confidence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0112.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: AKT/PI3K signaling pathway; apoptosis; human hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells; migration activity; proliferation; oxidative stress; ROS level; uvaol
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:58:26 CEST)
Natural products have a significant role in the development of new drugs, being relevant the pentacyclic triterpenes extracted from Olea europaea. Anticancer effect of uvaol, a natural triterpene, has been scarcely studied. The aim of this study was to understand the anticancer mechanism of uvaol in HepG2 cell line. Cytotoxicity results showed a selectivity effect of uvaol with higher influence in HepG2 than WRL68 cells used as control. Uvaol presented anti-migratory capacity in HepG2, supported by the morphological changes and higher HSP-60 expression. This compound also induced arrest in G0/G1 phase and an increase in apoptosis rate. These results are supported by decreased Bcl-2 expression and down-regulation of AKT/PI3K signaling pathway. A reduction in reactive oxygen species levels in HepG2 cells was observed. Altogether, results showed anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect of uvaol on hepatocellular carcinoma, constituting an interesting challenge in the development of new treatments against this type of cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0415.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Structuralism; Set Theory; Type Theory; Arithmetic Model; Data Type; Tree; Group
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:43:50 CEST)
We provide an axiomatic base for the set of natural numbers, that has been proposed as a canonical construction, and use this definition of $\mathbb N$ to find several results on finite group theory. Every finite group $G$, is well represented with a natural number $N_G$; if $N_G=N_H$ then $H,G$ are in the same isomorphism class. We have a linear order on all finite groups, that is well behaved with respect to cardinality. In fact, if $H,G$ are two finite groups such that $|H|=m<n=|G|$, then $H<\mathbb Z_n\leq G$. There is also a canonical order for the elements of $G$ and we can define equivalent objects of $G$. This allows us to find the automorphisms of $G$. The Cayley table of $G$ takes canonical block form, and a minimal set of independent equations that define the group is obtained. We show how to find all groups of order $n$, and order them. Examples are given using all groups with order smaller than $10$. The canonical block form of the symmetry group $\Delta_4$ is given and we find its automorphisms. These results are extended to the infinite case. A real number is an infinite set of natural numbers. A real function is a set of real numbers, and a sequence of real functions $f_1,f_2,\ldots$ is well represented by a set of real numbers, as well. We make brief comments on treating the calculus of real numbers. In general, we represent mathematical objects using the smallest possible data-type. In the last section, mathematical objects are well assigned to tree structures. We conclude with brief comments on type theory and future work on computational and physical aspects of these representations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0111.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: computational neutronics; European Pressurised Reactor; Monte Carlo simulation; nuclear physics; nuclear reactor core modelling; nuclear energy; nuclear power; nuclear safety; Shannon entropy; thermal hydraulics
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:24:13 CEST)
Computationally modelling a nuclear reactor startup core for a benchmark against the existing models is highly desirable for an independent assessment informing nuclear engineers and energy policymakers. This work presents a startup core model of the UK’s first Evolutionary Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR) based on Monte Carlo simulations of particle collisions using Serpent 2, a continuous-energy Monte Carlo reactor physics burnup code. Coupling between neutronics and thermal-hydraulic conditions with the fuel depletion is incorporated into the multi-dimensional branches, obtaining the thermal flux and fission rate (power) distributions radially and axially from the three dimensional (3D) single assembly level to a 3D full core. Shannon entropy is employed to characterise the convergence of the fission source distribution, with 3 billion neutron histories tracked by parallel computing. Source biasing is applied for the variance reduction. Benchmarking the proposed Monte Carlo 3D full-core model against the traditional deterministic transport computation suite used by the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), a reasonably good agreement within statistics is demonstrated for the safety-related reactivity coefficients, which creates trust in the EPR safety report.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0110.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: physical activity; active live; motivational factors; health; Europe; structural equation modelling
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:18:39 CEST)
Low levels of physical activity (PA) and sedentarism are associated with the onset of different pathologies and health problems. Regular physical activity has been linked with being beneficial to the health of the general population. Within this framework of analysis, the aim of the present study is to analyse the existing association between the time spent doing physical activity and the expressed motives for doing so, from which the first innovative aspect of the paper emerges: the use of the time spent doing PA as a study variable of the phenomenon. The data analysed come from the latest special Eurobarometer survey about the sport and physical activity done in Europe. Using an exploratory factorial analysis and a structural equations model, we were able to find a six-dimensional factorial model that explains the reasons for doing PA, demonstrating that there is no relationship between the reasons for and time spent doing PA. Therefore, motivation is not a variable that explains the time spent doing PA and another type of variable must be used to explain the phenomenon if PA is to be incentivised.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0137.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Lysosomal Storage Disorders; GM2 gangliosidoses; Tay-Sachs disease; Sandhoff disease; β-Hexosaminidases; Therapeutic alternatives
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:05:13 CEST)
GM2 gangliosidoses are a group of pathologies characterized by GM2 ganglioside accumulation into the lysosome due to mutations on the genes encoding for the β-hexosaminidases subunits or the GM2 activator protein. Three GM2 gangliosidoses have been described: Tay-Sachs disease, Sandhoff disease, and the AB variant. Central nervous system dysfunction is the main characteristic of GM2 gangliosidoses patients that include neurodevelopment alterations, neuroinflammation, and neuronal apoptosis. Currently, there is not approved therapy for GM2 gangliosidoses, but different therapeutic strategies have been studied including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, enzyme replacement therapy, substrate reduction therapy, pharmacological chaperones, and gene therapy. The blood-brain barrier represents a challenge for the development of therapeutic agents for these disorders. In this sense, alternative routes of administration (e.g. intrathecal or intracerebroventricular) have been evaluated, as well as the design of fusion peptides that allow the protein transport from the brain capillaries to the central nervous system. In this review, we outline the current knowledge about clinical and physiopathological findings of GM2 gangliosidoses, as well as the ongoing proposals to overcome some limitations of the traditional alternatives by using novel strategies such as molecular Trojan horses or advanced tools of genome editing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0109.v1
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:02:17 CEST)
With the increasing societal expectation that animals are afforded greater protection in emergencies, the legal process from entering a property to rescue a companion animal, through to how to dispose of such animals if they remain unclaimed has not been well examined in New Zealand. It is hypothesised that the legal framework for such response is flawed. In this study, each phase of animal disaster rescue is evaluated against four key statues that may apply in each phase, in that does any statute provide clear end to end provisions with clear legal authority to do so. The study found that all statutes evaluated contained flaws and that the current legal provisions are insufficient to provide clear authority for the sequential process of undertaking rescue of animals during emergencies. A major flaw was discovered in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a key statute, that provided for the seizure of property and animals but omitted a procedure for the disposal of such seized things leaving them all in legal limbo. It is recommended that animal disaster laws are updated to be more animal inclusive. The method also may be applicable to assist evaluating animal disaster management legal frameworks in other countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0047.v2
Subject: Engineering, General Engineering Keywords: design for society; design for sustainability; design under uncertainty; circular design; donut economics; life cycle analysis
Online: 5 August 2020 (04:50:02 CEST)
Since the beginning, humans advanced their civilization by making better tools to improve their lives. Tools and products were designed for better living considering manufacturing issues, cost and time as predominant criteria. It has become clear that not considering environment and society, both at local/global levels, has now become a major impediment affecting living conditions on a large portion of the Earth and in many societies. Design methodologies should lead to creative solutions with consideration to engineering and economics for practicality but also to environmental and social constraints for sustainability. We propose a comprehensive design methodology based on multidisciplinary design to include the knowledge of humanities, environmentalists, science and engineering, and allowing for experts’ inputs from these areas to provide a holistic approach to engineering design . For example, experts in humanities are expected to interact with stakeholders to evaluate their value systems to provide guidance for the design. The methodology that we synthesize is new and combines (i) Societal level impacts at all scales, (ii) Environmental impacts and (iii) Engineering design with economic impacts, including uncertainty considerations. The proposed design methodology is called Social-Environmental-Economical-Engineering Framework (SEEEF). It can utilize concepts and tools such as Circular Design, Doughnut Economics, design based on environmental life cycle analysis, among others. SEEEF is quantity based and provides steps for evaluating any project or product in an objective manner and will help train engineers in design for sustainability. It also provides non-engineers with a significant role in design to increase their understanding of the hard constraints of engineering. Ultimately, SEEEF allows society to take an informed decision considering short/long term and local/global impacts of the design and the pertinent uncertainties.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0108.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: sustainable distribution; food perishability; multi-objective optimization; temperature prediction; shelf life; food waste; NSGA-II
Online: 5 August 2020 (04:34:06 CEST)
The food distribution process is responsible for significant quality loss in perishable products. However, preserving quality is costly and consumes a tremendous amount of energy. To tackle the challenge of minimizing transportation costs and CO2 emissions while also maximizing product freshness, a novel multi-objective model is proposed. The model integrates a vehicle routing problem with temperature, shelf life, and energy consumption prediction models, thereby enhancing its accuracy. Non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II is adapted to solve the proposed model for the set of Solomon test data. The conflicting nature of these objectives and the sensitivity of the model to shelf life and shipping container temperature settings are analyzed. The results show that optimizing freshness objective degrade the cost and the emission objectives, and the distribution of perishable foods are sensible to the shelf life of the perishable foods and temperature settings inside the container.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0107.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Urban Geomorphology; geoarchaeology; suitability Model-GIS; Environmental Analytical Hierarchical process (EAHP); Failaka Island
Online: 5 August 2020 (04:24:17 CEST)
Failaka Island, located in the far east of Kuwait Bay, is about 20 km from the State of Kuwait’s coast, and represents a focal point for regional geography and history, with pristine beaches and archaeological sites dating to the Bronze, Iron, Hellenistic, Christian and Islamic periods. According to environmental data and in coordination with local authorities to develop an urban plan, the island is set to become the first tourist destination for the State of Kuwait. To achieve the Vision of Kuwait 2035, one of the planning objectives focuses around Urban Planning for the Establishment of Environmental Cities that Achieve (UPEECA) environmental sustainability criteria. The paper then, aims to propose the environmental urban plan for Failaka Island. Based around Environmental Analytical Hierarchical Processes (EAHP), and using the Field Calculator and ModelBuilder functions in ArcGIS, this research centres on the feasibility of carrying out an urban plan using suitability modelling that includes four factors and 13 criteria covering the island’s ecological and human composition. This study utilizes both remote sensing (UAVs for 3D imaging) and field study (ground truthing) to identify changes in land use and land cover – such as using sample analysis of the historical sites and soils for tracing evidence and creating/updating a soil map – and create the first GIS database for the island that can lead to generating a suitability model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0072.v1
Online: 5 August 2020 (03:43:11 CEST)
Measures of graph symmetry, similarity, and identity have been extensively studied in graph automorphism and isomorphism detection problems. Nevertheless, graph isomorphism detection remains an open (unsolved) problem for many decades. In this paper, a new and efficient methodological paradigm, called optinalysis, is proposed for symmetry detections, similarity, and identity measures between isometric isomorphs or automorphs. Optinalysis is explained and expressed in clearly stated definitions and prove theorems, which conform to the definitions and theorems of isometry, isomorphism, and automorphism. Analogous to the polynomiality formalization for an efficient algorithm for graph isomorphism detection, optinalysis is however deterministic on polynomial and non-polynomial graph models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0106.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: citrus pectin; lemon; grapefruit; IntegroPectin; flavonoids; citrus terpenes; polyphenols; antimicrobial resistance; Staphylococcus aureus; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Online: 5 August 2020 (03:34:49 CEST)
Grapefruit and lemon pectin obtained from the respective waste citrus peels via hydrodynamic cavitation in water only are powerful, broad-scope antimicrobial alternatives to antibiotics against Gram-negative and -positive pathogens. Dubbed IntegroPectin, these pectic polymers functionalized with citrus flavonoids and terpenes show superior antimicrobial activity when compared to commercial citrus pectin. Similarly to commercial pectin, lemon IntegroPectin determined ca. 3 log reduction of Staphylococcus aureus cells, while an enhanced activity of commercial citrus pectin was detected in the case of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells with a minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 15 mg mL-1. Although grapefruit and lemon IntegroPectin share equal MBC in the case of P. aeruginosa cells, grapefruit IntegroPectin shows boosted activity upon exposure of S. aureus cells with a 40 mg mL-1 biopolymer concentration being sufficient to achieve complete killing of the bacterial cells. Insight on the mechanism of action of these biocompatible antimicrobials and their effect on bacterial cells, at the morphological level, were obtained indirectly through Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and directly through scanning electron microscopy. In the era of antimicrobial resistance, these results are of great societal and sanitary relevance as they open new avenues to develop innovative antimicrobials for the treatment of polymicrobial infections unlikely to develop drug resistance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0105.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: mono fiber; concrete strength; tensile strength; kenaf; polypropylene
Online: 5 August 2020 (02:55:35 CEST)
In the past decades, Fiber Reinforced Concrete has been gaining more attention in the concrete research development. There are many advantages of the inclusion of fiber into reinforced concrete structures. It was found that the inclusion of fibers in concrete, be it synthetic or natural, resulted in the improvement of the thermal properties of concrete, as well as its strength to some extent. However, the inclusion of fibers in concrete does affects its thermo-mechanical properties. The objective of this study is to identify the potential of the addition Polypropylene and Kenaf fibers in cement mortar at different compositions (0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.3%). Eight mixes were analyzed for this purpose. Upon investigating the flow ability, compressive strength, tensile strength, and thermal conductivity of the mortar samples, it was found that the incorporation of PP and Kenaf fibers reduced the flow ability. Cement mortar samples containing 0.1% addition of PP and Kenaf fibers show the highest compressive strength compared to other percentages, while samples containing 0.3% addition of PP and Kenaf fibers show the highest tensile strength compared to other percentages. The thermal conductivity of mortar samples shows reduction when high percentages of both fibers were used.
Weekly/Monthly article feeds
Choose the subject area that interest you and we will send you notifications of new preprints at your preferred frequency.