CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0049.v1
Subject: Keywords: diarrhoeal cases; drinking water; water sources; water pollution; Darbandikhan Lake
Online: 2 August 2020 (17:41:51 CEST)
Water pollution in Iraq has been extended disaster edge; this pollution is caused by wastes and sewages into soil and rivers, pollutant water sources influence the outbreak and serious epidemic status among the population.. The aim of this study is to determine the bacteriological quality of drinking water sources and characteristics of water-borne diseases especially diarrheal cases in Darbandikhan city. 166 water samples, collected from the different sources and areas, were tested for the presences of coliform bacteria as an indicator for pathogen contamination. Most probable number index was used for coliform enumeration. 161 diarrheal cases were taken as a sample from the patients were admitted to the general hospital in Darbandikhan district.. The questionnaire form was planned to view characteristics of diarrheal cases and patients were interviewed directly, the data was analyzed by STATA software application. 46% of the diarrheal cases used tap water for drinking. On the other hand, the reminder (54%) used other sources for the same purpose. All the risk factor such as type of water source, sufficiency of the water, duration of water storage and chlorination were associated with diarrhea. Almost half of the cases were children and three quarters were single. The data was analyzed by STATA version 13.1.This study indicated that the majority of drinking water sources in Darbandikhan city are not suitable for drinking, although net pipe system supplied chlorine significantly it has been proven that the tap water from the homes is not suitable for consumption.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0048.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: 8505C cell line; apoptosis; BCPAP cell line; CFLAR; DDX19B; IL6; oxidative phosphorylation; SPINT2; thyroid hormone synthesis; weighted pathway regulation
Online: 2 August 2020 (17:32:47 CEST)
Publically available (own) transcriptomic data were re-analyzed to quantify the alteration of functional pathways in the thyroid cancer, establish the gene hierarchy, identify potential gene targets and predict the effects of their manipulation. The expression data were generated from one case of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and from genetically manipulated BCPAP (papillary) and 8505C (anaplastic) human thyroid cancer cell lines. The study used the genomic fabric perspective that considers the transcriptome as a multi-dimensional mathematical object based on the three independent characteristics that can be derived for each gene from the expression data. We found remarkable remodeling of the thyroid hormone synthesis, cell cycle, oxidative phosphorylation and apoptosis pathways. Serine peptidase inhibitor, Kunitz type, 2 (SPINT2) was identified as the Gene Master Regulator of the investigated PTC. The substantial increase of the expression synergism of SPINT2 with apoptosis genes in the cancer nodule with respect to the surrounding normal tissue (NOR) suggests that its experimental overexpression may force the PTC cells into apoptosis with negligible effect on the NOR cells. The predictive value of the expression coordination for the expression regulation was validated with data from 8505C and BCPAP cells before and after lentiviral transfection with DDX19B.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0047.v1
Subject: Engineering, General Engineering Keywords: design for society; design for sustainability; design under uncertainty; circular design; donut economics; life cycle analysis
Online: 2 August 2020 (16:58:27 CEST)
Since the beginning, humans advanced their civilization by making better tools to improve their lives. Tools and products for better living were designed considering engineering (manufacturing) issues and cost (time and money 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 of large parts of earth and society. Design methodologies should lead to creative solutions considering engineering and economics for practicality but also environmental and social constraints for longevity. We propose a comprehensive design methodology based on multidisciplinary design for including the knowledge of humanities, and science and engineering and allowing for experts from these areas to provide various necessary inputs. 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 the consideration of uncertainties. The proposed Social-Environmental-Economical-Engineering-based-design Framework (SEEEF) can utilize tools such as circular design, donut economics, design based on environmental life cycle analysis, among others. SEEEF is quantity based and provide steps for evaluating any project or product in an objective manner and will help train engineers in design for sustainability and provide non-engineers a significant role in design and 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 much of which are affected by uncertainty.
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: filtering; information; degeneracy; entropy; relevance; resolution; complexity; complex networks
Online: 2 August 2020 (16:44:25 CEST)
We explored the statistics of filtering of simple patterns on a number of deterministic and random graphs as a tractable simple example of information processing in complex systems. In this problem, multiple inputs map to the same output, and the statistics of filtering is represented by the distribution of this degeneracy. For a few simple filter patterns on a ring we obtained an exact solution of the problem and described numerically more difficult filter setups. For each of the filter patterns and networks we found a few numbers essentially describing the statistics of filtering and compared them for different networks. Our results for networks with diverse architectures appear to be essentially determined by two factors: whether the graphs structure is deterministic or random, and the vertex degree. We find that filtering in random graphs produces a much richer statistics than in deterministic graphs. This statistical richness is reduced by increasing the graph’s degree.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0045.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Coral; Health; Bleaching; Review; Hyperspectral Imaging; Survey methods
Online: 2 August 2020 (16:37:46 CEST)
Rapidly and repeatedly ascertaining the health status of coral reefs is an ever more pressing issue as part of activities to understand and monitor the damaging impacts of climate change. A combination of increasing ocean temperatures, acidity and frequency of extreme storm events continues to alter the marine environment beyond what sensitive organisms, such as coral, can cope with. It is therefore vital to establish technologies and validated methods to provide a metric or indication into the health of these organisms. There are currently many surveys and techniques used by coral scientists to uncover insights into the status and assessment of coral reefs, from colour wheels to multispectral satellite surveys. Here we outline an array of current techniques and methods focused specifically on coral monitoring and health diagnosis, ranging across the length scales from simple diver-based surveyance to satellite remote sensing. The technique of using hyperspectral fluorescence imaging is also introduced as a viable novel addition to aid and extend the current toolbox of available technologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0044.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics Keywords: cosmology theory; cosmological parameters; distances and redshifts; variable physical constants; VSL; CMB; BAO
Online: 2 August 2020 (16:32:16 CEST)
We have shown that our varying physical constant model is consistent with the recently published variational approach wherein Einstein equations are modified to include the variation of the speed of light c, gravitational constant G and cosmological constant Λ using the Einstein-Hilbert action. The general constraint resulting from satisfying the local conservation laws and contracted Bianchi identities provides the freedom to choose the form of the variation of the constants as well as how their variations are related. When we choose dG/Gdt=3dc/cdt, ̇the same as in our quasi-phenomenological model, c=c0 exp(aα-1), G=G0 exp[3(aα-1)] and Λ=Λ0 exp[(a-α-1)], where a is the scale factor and α=1.8, we are able to confirm the success of our the model in explaining three astrometric anomalies and the null results on the variation of G and the fine structure constant. We show that the model: (a) fits the supernovae 1a observational data better than the ΛCDM model; (b) determines the first peak in the power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies at multipole value of l=217.3; (c) calculates the age of the universe as 14.1 Gyr; and (d) finds the BAO acoustic scale to be 145.2 Mpc. These numbers are within less than 3% percent of the observed values and the values obtained by the ΛCDM model. Surprisingly we find that the dark-energy density is negative in a universe that has significant negative curvature and whose expansion is accelerating at a faster rate than predicted by the ΛCDM model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0043.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Displacement measurement; High performance computing; Radar interferometry; Synthetic aperture radar
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:57:56 CEST)
Sentinel-1 satellite system continuously observes European countries in a relatively high revisit frequency of 6 days per orbital track. Given the Sentinel-1 configuration, most areas in Czechia are observed every 1–2 days by different tracks in a moderate resolution. This is attractive for various types of analyses by various research groups. The starting point for processing is an original data provided by ESA, for interferometry (InSAR) this level is a Single Look Complex (SLC) data. This work represents advantages of storing data augmented to a specifically corrected level of data, SLC-C. The presented database contains Czech nation-wide Sentinel-1 data stored in burst units that have been preprocessed to the state of a consistent well-coregistered dataset of SLC-C. These are resampled SLC data with their phase values reduced by a topographic phase signature, ready for fast interferometric analyses (an interferogram is generated by a complex conjugate between two stored SLC-C files). The data can be used directly into multitemporal interferometry techniques, e.g. Persistent Scatterers (PS) or Small Baseline (SB) techniques applied here. A further development of the nation-wide system utilising SLC-C data would lead into a dynamic state where every new pre-processed burst triggers a processing update to detect unexpected changes from InSAR time series and therefore provide a signal for early warning against a potential dangerous displacement, e.g. a landslide, instability of an engineering structure or a formation of a sinkhole. An update of the processing chain would also allow use of cross-polarised Sentinel-1 data, needed for polarimetric analyses. The current system is running at a national supercomputing centre IT4Innovations in interconnection to the Czech Copernicus Collaborative Ground Segment (CESNET), providing fast on-demand InSAR results over Czech territories. A full nation-wide PS processing using data over Czechia has been performed in 2017, discovering several areas of land deformation. Its downsampled version and basic findings are demonstrated within the article.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0042.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Reputation; Android; application; sentiment analysis; reviews; security service; NLP; Google Play; polarity
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:49:51 CEST)
To keep its business reliable, Google is concerned to ensure quality of apps on the store. One crucial aspect concerning quality is security. Security is achieved through Google Play protect and anti-malware solutions. However, they are not totally efficient since they rely on application features and application execution threads. Google provides additional elements to enable consumers to collectively evaluate applications providing their experiences via reviews or showing their satisfaction through rating. The latter is more informal and hides details of rating whereas the former is textually expressive but requires further processing to understand opinions behind. Literature lacks approaches which mine reviews through sentiment analysis to extract useful information to improve security aspects of provided applications. This work goes in this direction and in a fine-grained way, investigates in terms of confidentiality, integrity, availability and authentication (CIAA). While assuming that reviews are reliable and not fake, the proposed approach determines review polarities based on CIAA-related keywords. We rely on the popular classifier Naive Bayes to classify reviews into positive, negative and neutral sentiment. We then provide an aggregation model to fusion different polarities to obtain application global and CIAA reputations. Quantitative experiments have been conducted on 13 applications including e-banking, live messaging and anti-malware apps with a total of 1050 security-related reviews and 7.835.322 functionality-related reviews. Results show that 23% of applications (03 apps) have a reputation greater than 0.5 with an accent on integrity, authentication and availability, while the remaining 77% has a polarity under 0.5. Developers should make lot of efforts in security while developing codes and that more efforts should be made to improve confidentiality reputation. Results also show that applications with good functionality-related reputation generally offer bad security-related reputation. This situation means that even if the number of security reviews is low, it does not mean that security aspect is not a consumer preoccupation. Unlike, developers put much more time to test whether applications works without errors even if they include possible security vulnerabilities. A quantitative comparison against well-known rating systems reveals effectiveness and robustness of CIAA-RepDroid to repute apps in terms of security. CIAA-RepDroid can be associated to existing rating solutions to recommend developers exact CIAA aspects to improve within source codes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0041.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: COVID-19; Lockdown; endocrine diseases; daily habits; food consumption; sleep disorders; anxiety
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:32:38 CEST)
In March 2020 the World Health Organization declared the “pandemic state” due to COVID-19 imposing strict confinement of the world population. People were forced to spend more time at home, changing some daily routines, including social interactions, the possibility to perform sports, and diet habits. These changes could exert a greater impact on patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as endocrine patients. This study aimed to assess the effects of Covid-19 induced quarantine on daily habits in a group of patients with endocrine disorders, focusing on food consumption, eating, and sleep habits during the confinement. Eighty-five endocrine patients were enrolled. A structured interview was administered investigating: socio-demographic information, general medical conditions and habits adopted during the quarantine. All patients underwent the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y1) to assess state anxiety. Subjects had mainly a sedentary lifestyle. We found a significant increase in the number of cigarettes in smokers, an increase of meals consumed during the confinement and a high rate of sleep disorder occurrence, especially insomnia. The changes of daily habits were, probably, due to the alterations of routine, that determined more bore and inactivity during the day.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0040.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: pain assessment; pain recognition; deep learning; neural network; dataset
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:28:12 CEST)
The traditional standards employed for pain assessment have many limitations. One such limitation is reliability because of inter-observer variability. Therefore, there have been many approaches to automate the task of pain recognition. Recently, deep-learning methods have appeared to solve many challenges, such as feature selection and cases with a small number of data sets. This study provides a systematic review of pain-recognition systems that are based on deep-learning models for the last two years only. Furthermore, it presents the major deep-learning methods that were used in review papers. Finally, it provides a discussion of the challenges and open issues.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0039.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: episodic rainfall; multilayered aquifer; unsaturated flow; preferential flow; kinematic dispersion wave model; random walk; confined-unconfined flow conversion
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:19:09 CEST)
The paper presents a modeling framework to analyze the effect of episodic rainfall supply on groundwater dynamics in the Ionian coastal plain multilayered aquifer. The focus is essentially on the short-term behavior of the shallowest layer, with a specific analysis on episodic rainfall events. In the studied aquifer, groundwater level responds sensitively to rainfall events, highlighting the presence of preferential recharge zones. The hydraulic head peak is a function of groundwater level antecedent to the rainfall event. A kinematic dispersion wave model was used to model infiltration processes via preferential pathways. A one-dimensional and non-linear particle based numerical model was developed. Particles with constant water volume travel according to celerity and hydraulic dispersion to simulate the infiltration rate wave through the vadose zone. The flow rate that reaches the water table represents the input function to determine groundwater level fluctuations along groundwater flow direction and according to the lithological features of the surficial levels of the multilayered aquifer, its storage capacity changes passing from unconfined to confined conditions. The model was validated with high time resolution time series of precipitation and groundwater level coming from Terra Montonata meteo-climatic and groundwater level monitoring station. The developed model represents a basis for evaluating and predicting groundwater discharge of the shallowest layers of the Ionian coastal multilayered aquifer under natural conditions including episodic rainfall.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0038.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: South African Weather Services; radiometric network; climatic zone; Angström-Prescott; Global Horizontal Irradiance; sunshine duration
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:14:49 CEST)
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) manages an in-situ solar irradiance radiometric network of 13 stations and a very dense sunshine recording network; located in all six macro-climate zones of South Africa. A sparsely distributed radiometric network and over a landscape with dynamic climate and weather shifts is inadequate for solar energy studies and applications. Therefore, there is a need to develop mathematical models to estimate solar irradiation for a multitude of diverse climates. In this study, the annual regression coefficients, a and b, of the Ångström-Prescott (AP) model that can be used to estimate global horizontal irradiance from observed sunshine hours were calibrated and validated with observed station data. The AP regression coefficients were calibrated and validated for each of the six macro-climate zones of South Africa using the observation data that spans 2013 to 2019. The predictive effectiveness of the calibrated AP model coefficients was evaluated by comparing estimated and observed daily global horizontal irradiance. The maximum annual relative Mean Bias Error (rMBE) was 0.371 %, relative Mean Absolute Error (rMAE) was 0.745 %, relative Root Mean Square Error (rRMSE) was 0.910 % and the worst-case correlation coefficient (R2) was 0.910. The statistical validation metrics results show that there is a strong correlation and linear relation between observed and estimated solar radiation values. The AP model coefficients calculated in this study can be used with quantitative confidence in estimating daily GHI data at locations in South Africa where the daily observation sunshine duration data is available.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0037.v1
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: photocatalyst; amorphous TiO2 complexes; TiO2; anatase nanostructure
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:11:36 CEST)
The TiO2 nanostructures resulted by pyrolysis of TiCl4 at low temperature of 80 oC are found to be a mixture of amorphous TiO2 complexes and anatase nanostructure that depends on the pH of the pyrolysis medium. Anatase nanostructure is predominant at low pH level and gradually converts to amorphous TiO2 complexes with increasing pH level. By means of heat treatment, the TiO2 nanostructures can be recovered from amorphous TiO2 complexes. Amongst of the TiO2 nanostructure recovered from amorphous TiO2 complexes, the anatase nanostructure shows to be the strongest photocatalyst in decomposition of methylene blue.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0036.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Arctic-alpine flora; Extinction due to climate change; Narrow endemism; Papaver alpinum aggr; Scree species; Species distribution modelling
Online: 2 August 2020 (15:06:03 CEST)
Glacial relicts, especially those with very narrow habitat requirements, are particularly affected by global warming and thus good models for studying the future biodiversity patterns of the Alps. We have used as a model taxon Papaver occidentale, a glacial relict endemic to the Western Prealps, belonging to the alpine poppy complex (P. alpinum aggr.). All known localities were visited, each population was georeferenced and the number of individuals was estimated. Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) was used to evaluate the present and future potential distribution range and habitat suitability, taking into account the specificity of its habitat (calcareous screes). According to our study, there are globally 19 natural populations of P. occidentale. The total number of individuals was estimated at 30756 (with 72% of all individuals in canton of Bern). The taxon is a highly specialized alpine plant growing preferentially between 1900 and 2100 m a.s.l. on north facing screes. Predictions for the end of the 21st century indicate that suitable area will significantly decrease, for both the entire studied area (0-30% remaining) and sites nearby current P. occidentale populations (0-17% remaining). Under the most severe scenario, the species risks complete extinction. The long-term in situ conservation of P. occidentale, and all other taxa of the P. alpinum complex, is unlikely to be achieved without slowing global climate change. More generally, our fine-scale study shows that local environmental buffering of large-scale climate change in high-mountain flora may be very limited in specialised taxa of such patchy environments as screes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0035.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Experimental radiotherapy; radiobiology; Mesenchymal stem cells; Cell therapy; Exosome; Annexin A1; Acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome; COVID-19
Online: 2 August 2020 (14:54:24 CEST)
Previously we have shown that the combination of radiotherapy with human-umbilical-cord-derived mesenchymal stem-cell therapy significantly reduces the size of the xenotumours in mice, both in the directly irradiated tumour and in the distant non-irradiated tumour or in its metastasis. We have also shown that exosomes secreted from mesenchymal stem-cells pre-irradiated with 2 Gy are quantitatively, functionally and qualitatively different from the exosomes secreted from non-irradiated mesenchymal cells and also that proteins, exosomes and microvesicles secreted by mesenchymal cells suffer a dramatic change when cells are activated or non-activated, with the amount of protein present in the exosomes of the pre-irradiated cells being 1.5-fold times greater compared to those from non-irradiated cells. This finding correlates with a dramatic increase in the anti-tumour activity of the exosomes secreted by pre-irradiated mesenchymal-cells. After the proteomic analysis of the load of the exosomes released from both irradiated and non-irradiated cells, we conclude that annexin A1 is the most important and significant difference between the exosomes released by the cells in either status. Knowing the role of annexin A1 in the control of hypoxia and inflammation which is characteristic of acute-distress-respiratory syndrome, we have designed a hypothetical therapeutic strategy, based on the transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells stimulated with radiation, to alleviate the symptoms of patients who, due to pneumonia caused by COVID-19, require the care of an intensive care unit for patients with life-threatening conditions. With this hypothesis, we would seek to improve the patients’ respiratory capacity and increase the expectations of their cure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0034.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: Acupuncture; lactate; heart rate; physical performance; sustainability
Online: 2 August 2020 (14:46:22 CEST)
Studies have demonstrated the positive effects of acupuncture on athletic performance. The aim of this study was to determine the acute effects of acupuncture on heart rate, the perceived exertion scale and lactate levels in recreational athletes. Fifteen competitive males engaged in HIIT. The characteristic was 29.86±2.51 years old, heart rate reserve 59.00±3.33, lactate 3.17±0.50 mM/DL. The subjects were submitted to two exercise sessions. Both training sessions consisted of 10 burpees, 12 thrusters and 14 box jumps (75 cm high) for 12 minutes. Activity intensity was between 85 and 95% of maximum heart rate. Acupuncture points: ST36, L3, LI11. The student’s t-test was adopted, Shapiro-Wilk test was applied for normality, and Pearson correlation. There was a positive correlation of r = 0.69 between lactate levels and heart rate. Lactate: Lac1 15.00±1.18 – Lac2 19.59± 1.46 p= 0.0001*; Heart 1rate: HRF 163.71±7.27 – HRF2 177.60±6.99 p=0.0001*; Blood pressure: SBP1 174.86±1.57 – SBP2 180.86±1.77 p= 0.0001*; PES1: 19.4±1.14; PES2 16.8±0.84 p= 0.0001*; weight1 – 182,57±12,05; weight 2 206,43±11,39 p=0.0325*. Acupuncture increased lactate accumulation, heart rate and blood pressure, suggesting that the exertion reached after acupuncture is higher than without acupuncture. The acupuncture technics improved the athlete performance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0033.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Natural Language Processing; Suspicious Text Detection; Bengali Language Processing; Machine Learning; Text Classification; Feature Extraction; Suspicious Corpora
Online: 2 August 2020 (14:38:13 CEST)
Due to the substantial growth of internet users and its spontaneous access via electronic devices, the amount of electronic contents is growing enormously in recent years through instant messaging, social networking posts, blogs, online portals, and other digital platforms. Unfortunately, the misapplication of technologies has boosted with this rapid growth of online content which leads to the rise in suspicious activities. People misuse the web media to disseminate malicious activity, perform the illegal movement, abuse other people, and publicize suspicious contents on the web. The suspicious contents usually available in the form of text, audio or video, whereas text contents have been used in most of the cases to perform suspicious activities. Thus, one of the most challenging issues for NLP researchers is to develop a system that can identify suspicious text efficiently from the specific contents. In this paper, a Machine Learning (ML)-based classification model is proposed (hereafter called STD) to classify Bengali text into non-suspicious and suspicious categories based on its original contents. A set of ML classifiers with various features has been used on our developed corpus, consisting of 7000 Bengali text documents where 5600 documents used for training and 1400 documents used for testing. The performance of the proposed system is compared with the human baseline and existing ML techniques. The SGD classifier `tf-idf’ with the combination of unigram and bigram features are used to achieve the highest accuracy of 84.57%.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0032.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; immunosuppression; malnutrition; cytokine storm; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus
Online: 2 August 2020 (13:02:10 CEST)
Seven human coronaviruses are known to infect humans. The most recent one, SARS-CoV-2, was isolated and identified in January 2020 from a patient presenting with severe respiratory illness in Wuhan, China. Even though viral coinfections have the potential to influence the resultant disease pattern in the host, very few studies have looked at the disease outcomes in patients infected with both HIV and hCoVs. Groups are now reporting that even though HIV-positive patients can be infected with hCoVs, the likelihood of developing severe CoV-related diseases in these patients is often similar to what is seen in the general population. This review aimed to summarize the current knowledge of coinfections reported for the HIV and hCoVs. Also, based on the available data, this review aimed to theorize why HIV-positive patients do not frequently develop severe CoV-related diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0031.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: wallpaper groups; planar ornaments; correlation; multi-dimensional scaling; Arabs; Armenian; Byzantium; Islam; Seljuks; cultural interaction
Online: 2 August 2020 (13:01:04 CEST)
The symmetry properties of an ornament contain information about its civilisation and its interactions with other cultural sources. Two-dimensional periodic ornaments can be strictly classified into mathematical wallpaper groups. The collection of ornaments thus classified for a civilisation is characteristic of the cultural group and serves as a fingerprint to identify that group. If the distribution of wallpaper groups is available for several societies, multi-dimensional scaling algorithms can be applied to determine similarities and differences between the art practices of these communities. This method allows a systematic approach to the general ornamental practices within a culture and their interactions in the form of similarity of fingerprints. We test the feasibility of the method on examples of medieval Armenians, Byzantium, Seljuks first in Persia and then in Anatolia and among Arabs in the Middle East. For this purpose we present the distribution of the planar ornaments and calculate the corresponding Pearson correlation coefficients in pairs. The results suggest an intense interaction between the Seljuk Turks and Arab craftsmen, as well as between Armenian and Byzantine artisans who made the ornaments.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0030.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; group testing; household; screening
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:48:19 CEST)
In the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, testing is highly essential to be able to isolate, treat infected persons, and finally curb transmission of this infectious respiratory disease. Group testing has been used previously for various infectious diseases and recently reported for large-scale population testing of COVID-19. However, possible sample dilution as a result of large pool sizes has been reported, limiting testing methods’ detection sensitivity. Moreover, the need to sample all individuals prior to pooling overburden the limited resources such as test kits. An alternative proposed strategy where test is performed on pooled samples from individuals representing different households is presented here. This strategy intends to improve group testing method through the reduction in the number of samples collected and pooled during large-scale population testing. Moreover, it introduces database system which enables continuous monitoring of the population’s virus exposure for better decision making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0029.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Condensed Matter Physics Keywords: III-V Quantum dots; Droplet Epitaxy; exciton dynamics; (311)A oriented substrate
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:35:59 CEST)
Droplet epitaxy allows the efficient fabrication of a plethora of 3D, III-V-based nanostructures on different crystalline orientations. Quantum dots grown on (311)A-oriented surface are obtained with record surface density, with or without a wetting layer. These are appealing features for quantum-dot lasing, thanks to the large density of quantum emitters and a truly 3D lateral confinement. However, the intimate photophysics of this class of nanostructures has not yet been investigated. Here we address the main optical and electronic properties of s-shell excitons in individual quantum dots grown on (311)A substrates with photoluminescence spectroscopy experiments. We show the presence of neutral exciton and biexciton as well as positive and negative charged excitons. We investigate the origins of spectral broadening, identifying them in spectral diffusion at low temperature and phonon-interaction at higher temperature, the presence of fine interactions between electron and hole spin, and a relevant heavy-hole/light-hole mixing. We interpret the level filling with a simple Poissonian model reproducing the power excitation dependence of the s-shell excitons. These results are relevant for the further improvement of this class of quantum emitters and their exploitation as single photon sources for low density samples as well as for efficient lasers for high density samples.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0028.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Oncolytic virus; Mesenchymal stem cell; Prodrug activation; P53 mutant tumor; Colorectal cancer
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:31:32 CEST)
Although oncolytic viruses are currently being evaluated for cancer treatment in clinical trials, systemic administration is hindered by many factors that prevent them from reaching the tumor cells. When administered systemically, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) target tumors, and therefore constitute good cell carriers for oncolytic viruses. Methods: MSCs were primed with trichostatin A under hypoxia, which upregulated the expression of CXCR4, a chemokine receptor involved in tumor tropism, and coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor that plays an important role in adenoviral infection. After priming, MSCs were loaded with conditionally replicative adenovirus that exhibits limited proliferation in cells with a functional p53 pathway and encodes Escherichia coli nitroreductase (NTR) enzymes (CRAdNTR) for targeting tumor cells. Results: Primed MSCs increased tumor tropism and susceptibility to adenoviral infection, and successfully protected CRAdNTR from neutralization by anti-Adenovirus antibodies both in vitro and in vivo, and specifically targeted p53-deficient colorectal tumors when infused intravenously. Analyses of deproteinized tissues by UPLC-MS/QTOF revealed that these MSCs converted the co-administered prodrug CB1954 into cytotoxic metabolites, such as 4-hydroxylamine and 2-amine, inducing oncolysis and tumor growth inhibition without being toxic for the host vital organs. Conclusion: This study shows that the combination of oncolytic viruses delivered by MSCs with the activation of prodrugs is a new cancer treatment strategy that provides a new approach for the development of oncolytic viral therapy for various cancers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0027.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Border Collie; inbreeding; purging; hip dysplasia; elbow dysplasia
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:24:28 CEST)
Pedigree data of 13 339 border collie dog was collected along with hip and elbow dysplasia records (1352 CHD and 524 CED), and an inbreeding-purging (IP) model was created to detect possible purging. Ancestral inbreeding coefficients were calculated by gene dropping simulation method (Ballou, 1997; Kalinowski, 2000) with GRain 2.0 (Baumung et al., 2015) software. GLMM models were created to the examined traits fitted with a log-link Poisson distribution, added to the estimated values of classical inbreeding coefficient (F_W), and the ancestral inbreeding (F_BAL, F_KAL, F_KAL_NEW) as covariates. The effective population size decreased in the examined period along with the increase of F_W however, slight differences were found as a consequence of breeding dog imports. CHD values were getting lower by the expansion of F_BAL as the alleles were inbred in the past. For CHD signs of purging were obtained. There was a positive trend regarding the breeding activity (both sire and dam of the future litters should be screened and certified free from CHD and CED), as years of selection increased the frequency of alleles with favorable hip and elbow conformation. Division of the ancestral inbreeding coefficient shows that alleles IBD for the first time (F_KAL_NEW) had a negative effect on both traits, while F_KAL shows favorable results for alleles IBD in the past generations. Some authors had proven this phenomenon in captive populations or experimental conditions however, no evidence of inbreeding purge has ever been described in dog populations. Despite the various breeding practices, it seems, that alleles of these polygenic disorders could be successfully purged out of the population with long term selection.
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: GPS; GNSS; Localization; Navigation; Urban Canyon; Cameras; Image segmentation
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:19:53 CEST)
3D-mapping-aided (3DMA) global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positioning that improves positioning performance in dense urban areas has been under development in the recent years, but it still faces many challenges. This paper details a new algorithm that explores the potential of using building boundary for positioning. Rather than applying complex simulations to analyze and correct signal reflections by buildings, the approach utilizes a convolutional neural network to differentiate between the sky and building in a sky-pointing fisheye image. A new skymask matching algorithm is then proposed to match the segmented fisheye images with skymasks generated from a 3D building model. Each matched skymask holds a latitude and longitude coordinate to determine the precise location of the fisheye image. The results are then compared with the conventional GNSS and advanced 3DMA GNSS positioning methods. The aims of the proposed algorithm are to increase positioning and heading accuracy in a rich urban environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0025.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: HPLC method; Curcumin; Quercetin; Thermal analysis; Nanoemulsion
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:15:13 CEST)
Biphasic oily/water nanoemulsions have been proposed as delivery systems for the intranasal administration of curcumin (CUR) and quercetin (QU), due to their high drug entrapment efficiency, the possibility of simultaneous drug administration and protection of the encapsulated compounds from the degradation. To better understand the physicochemical and biological performance of the selected formulation simultaneously co-encapsulating CUR and QU, a stability test of the compounds mixture was firstly carried out using X-ray powder diffraction and thermal analyses, such as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analyses (TGA). The determination and quantification of the encapsulated active compounds was then required being an essential tool for the development of innovative nanomedicines. Thus, a new HPLC–UV/Vis method for the simultaneous determination of CUR and QU in the nanoemulsions and their evaluation in stability studies in simulated biological fluids was developed and validated. The X-ray diffraction analyses demonstrated that no interaction between the mixture of active ingredients, if any, is strong enough to take place in the solid state. Moreover, the thermal analysis demonstrated that the CUR and QU are stable in the nanoemulsion production temperature range. The proposed analytical method for the simultaneous quantification of the two actives was selective and linear for both compounds in the range of 0.5 – 12.5 µg/mL (R2 > 0.9997), precise (RSD below 3%), robust and accurate (recovery 100 ± 5 %). The method was validated in accordance with ICH Q2 R1 “Validation of Analytical Procedures” and CDER-FDA 2validation of chromatographic methods” guideline. Furthermore, the low detection (LOD < 0.005 µg/mL for CUR and <0.14 µg/mL for QU) and quantification limits (LOQ < 0.017 µg/mL for CUR and < 0.48 µg/mL for QU) of the method were suitable for the application to drug release and permeation studies planned for the development of the nanoemulsions. The method was then applied for the determination of nanoemulsions CUR and QU encapsulation efficiencies (> 99%), as well as for the stability studies of the two compounds in simulated biological fluids over time. The proposed method represents, to our knowledge, the only method for the simultaneous quantification of CUR, and QU in nanoemulsions.
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: lying posture tracking; traditional machine learning; ensemble classification; deep neural network models; long short-term memory sequence classification model
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:12:06 CEST)
Automated lying-posture tracking is important in preventing bed-related disorders such as pressure injuries, sleep apnea, and lower-back pain. Prior research studied in-bed lying posture tracking using sensors of different modalities (e.g., accelerometer and pressure sensors). However, there remain significant gaps in research about how to design efficient in-bed lying posture tracking systems. These gaps can be articulated through several research questions as follows. First, can we design a single-sensor, pervasive, and inexpensive system that can accurately detect lying postures? Second, what computational models are most effective in the accurate detection of lying postures? Finally, what physical configuration of the sensor system is most effective for lying posture tracking? To answer these important research questions, in this article, we propose a comprehensive approach to design a sensor system that uses a single accelerometer along with machine learning algorithms for in-bed lying posture classification. We design two categories of machine learning algorithms based on deep learning and traditional classification with handcrafted features to detect lying postures. We also investigate what wearing sites are most effective in accurate detection of lying postures. We extensively evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithms on nine different body locations and four human lying postures using two datasets. Our results show that a system with a single accelerometer can be used with either deep learning or traditional classifiers to accurately detect lying postures. The best models in our approach achieve an F-Score that ranges from 95.2% to 97.8% with a coefficient of variation from 0.03 to 0.05. The results also identify the thighs and chest as the most salient body sites for lying posture tracking. Our findings in this article suggest that because accelerometers are ubiquitous and inexpensive sensors, they can be a viable source of information for pervasive monitoring of in-bed postures.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0023.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: epithelial mesenchymal plasticity (EMP); epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT); mesenchymal epithelial transition (MET); E/M Hybrid; partial EMT; computational biology; mathematical modeling; cancer
Online: 2 August 2020 (12:07:34 CEST)
The epithelial-mesenchymal (E/M) hybrid state has emerged as an important mediator of the elements of cancer progression facilitated by epithelial mesenchymal plasticity (EMP). We review here the evidence for the presence and prognostic potential of E/M hybrid state in carcinoma, modelling predictions and validations studies to demonstrate stabilised E/M hybrid intermediates along the spectrum of EMP, and computational approaches for characterising and quantifying EMP phenotypes, with particular attention to the emerging realm of single-cell approaches through RNA sequencing and protein-based approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0022.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: COVID-19; Air pollution; Air quality; Health effects; Economic burden
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:59:24 CEST)
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by spreading rapidly a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has imposed a unique situation for the humanity. Sao Paulo has reported 124,105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5,623 deaths up to June 14th, being considered the epicenter of the pandemic in Brazil and in South America. Due to the measures for social distancing, there was a drop in the air pollution concentration in Sao Paulo. Starting on March 16th, 2020, we broke 90 days of social distancing into 13 weeks and compared to an equivalent period in 2019. We investigated the air quality improvement during the quarantine period and compared the associated avoided deaths to COVID-19 burden deaths. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was the best indicator of air quality in the analyzed weeks, since its reduction reached 58 %. Our study showed that the 5,623 deaths occurred during the analyzed weeks of quarantine represents an economic health loss of US$ 10.5 billion. In opposite, we observed a significant air quality improvement due to pollutants concentrations’ reductions during the analyzed weeks. Considering PM10, PM2.5 and NO2, the decrease of concentration levels respectively avoided 78, 337 and 387 premature deaths and prevented up to US$ 1.5 billion on health costs. These results highlight the importance of continuing to enforce existing air pollution regulations and measures to protect human health both during and after COVID-19 pandemic.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0021.v1
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:55:47 CEST)
As a result of identity prejudice, certain individuals are at higher risk for conflict and violence when they are in the field. At-risk individuals include minority identities of the following: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, and/or religion. Everyone deserves to conduct fieldwork as safely as possible; therefore, it is paramount for anyone conducting fieldwork to be informed of the increased risk certain populations face when conducting field research and to define informed strategies. Research groups should adhere to best practices to minimize risk for all individuals who go into the field. Here we provide strategies that 1) acknowledge that some individuals encounter dangerous situations in the field due to their identity(ies), and 2) minimize the chance of conflict between and among researchers and other communities present at field sites. The inclusion of this document as a key resource in a research lab, a university department, or any active research or work environment sends a positive signal to at-risk individuals that their professional community acknowledges their risk and is willing to implement actions to ensure their safety. We suggest that this document be made freely available to anyone who is directly or indirectly involved in fieldwork. Supervisors who support the information in this document should publicly commit to promote a diverse and inclusive environment in order to maintain the safety of their researchers.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0020.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Immunopathogenesis; Cytokine storm; IL-6; macrophages; neutrophils
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:53:17 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now a global pandemic caused by the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Unlike other known coronaviruses, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), SARS-CoV-2 reveals new clinical, immunological, and pathologic features. The lymphocyte depletion, macrophage and neutrophil hyperactivation, cytokine dysregulation, thrombophilia, delayed antiviral response, and immune exhaustion are key immunological findings linked to the clinical progression of this disease. Understanding and identifying the underlying immunological basis of COVID-19 is crucial to designing effective therapies. Here, we provide an overview of immunopathogenesis driven by SARS-CoV-2 after its interactions with the immune system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0019.v1
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: metal additive manufacturing; sintering; tensile; mechanical analysis; metal material extrusion
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:50:12 CEST)
Metal additive manufacturing (AM) has gained much attentions in recent years due to its advantages including geometric freedom and design complexity, appropriate to a wide range of potential industrial applications. However, conventional metal AM methods have high-cost barriers due to the initial cost of the capital equipment, support and maintenance, etc. This study presents a unique low-cost metal material extrusion (MME) technology. The filaments used have polylactic acid (PLA) as the matrix and metal powders (copper, bronze, stainless steel, high carbon iron, and aluminum) as reinforcements. Using the proposed fabrication technology, test specimens were built by extruding polymer/metal composite filaments, which were then sintered in an open-air furnace to produce solid metallic parts. In this research, the mechanical and thermal properties of the built parts are examined using tensile tests, thermogravimetric-, thermomechanical- and microstructural analysis.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS CoV-2; IFN-⍺; IFN-β; IFN-λ
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:31:40 CEST)
COVID-19 disease, caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus, is a potentially fatal disease that represents a serious public health and economic problem worldwide. The SARS-CoV2 virus infects the lower respiratory tract and can cause pneumonia in humans. ARDS is the leading cause of death in COVID-19 disease. One of the main characteristics of ARDS is the cytokine storm, an uncontrolled systemic inflammatory response resulting from the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and growth factors, by immune cells. The other important aspect of the disease is represented by the involvement of the vascular organ that undergoes endothelitis. Hyperinflammation and endothelitis contribute in various ways to trigger coagulation disorders with diffuse micro thrombotic and thromboembolic phenomena. Lastly, multiple organ failure may occur (MOF). Since so far there is no approved treatment, there is an urgent need to reposition known treatments, considered safe, to be included in trials. Naturally produced interferons represent the body's first line of defense against viruses. Pharmacological forms, obtained by means of genetic recombination techniques, have long been approved and used to treat numerous pathologies. Interferons are divided into three families, within which some subfamilies are distinguishable. Only IFN-II comprises a single isoform which has completely different aspects and functions. The IFN I and III, however, each comprise different subfamilies (17 subfamilies the IFN-I and 4 subfamilies the IFN-III), share many aspects, representing the body's first antiviral response, but play different roles. The use of IFNs has been studied in two severe hCoV (Human Coronavirus) diseases, closely related to COVID-19 disease, such as SARS and MERS. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have been conducted, often in combination with other antivirals. The results have been controversial. The positive results in vitro and in experimental animals were often not replicable in humans. The possible positioning of these molecules in the right window of therapeutic opportunity requires that the complex dialogue between IFN, inflammasome, cytokines, pro-inflammatory chemokines, growth factors and barrier function be shed light.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0017.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: μ opioid receptor; receptor model; biased ligands; dependence; pain therapy; neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome; naltrexone; 6β-naltrexol; buprenorphine
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:27:40 CEST)
Opioid analgesics are effective pain therapeutics but cause various adverse effects and addiction. For safer pain therapy, biased opioid agonists selectively target distinct m opioid receptor (MOR) conformations, while the potential of biased opioid antagonists has been neglected. Agonists convert a dormant receptor form (MOR-m) to a ligand-free active form (MOR-m*), which mediates MOR signaling. Moreover, MOR-m converts spontaneously to MOR-m* (basal signaling). Persistent upregulation of MOR-m* has been invoked as a hallmark of opioid dependence. Contrasting interactions with both MOR-m and MOR-m* can account for distinct pharmacological characteristics of inverse agonists (naltrexone), neutral antagonists (6b-naltrexol), and mixed opioid agonist-antagonists (buprenorphine). Upon binding to MOR-m*, naltrexone but not 6b-naltrexol suppresses MOR-m*signaling. Naltrexone blocks opioid analgesia non-competitively at MOR-m*with high potency, whereas 6BN must compete with agonists at MOR-m, accounting for ~100-fold lower in vivo potency. Buprenorphine’s bell-shaped dose-response curve may also result from opposing effects on MOR-m and MOR-m*. In contrast, we find that 6b-naltrexol potently prevents dependence, below doses affecting analgesia or causing withdrawal, possibly binding to MOR conformations relevant to opioid dependence. We propose that 6b-naltrexol is a biased opioid antagonist modulating opioid dependence at low doses, opening novel avenues for opioid pain therapy and use management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0016.v1
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:20:39 CEST)
This study empirically investigates the complex interplay between the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, mobility changes in retail and recreation, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas, and lockdown measures in 88 countries of the word. To conduct the study, data on mobility patterns, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of people, lockdown measures, and coronavirus pandemic were collected from multiple sources (e.g., Google, UNDP, UN, BBC, Oxford University, Worldometer). A Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique is used to investigate the direct and indirect effects of independent variables on dependent variables considering the intervening effects of mediators. Results show that lockdown measures have significant effects to encourage people to maintain social distancing. However, pandemic severity and socioeconomic and institutional factors have limited effects to sustain social distancing practice. The results also explain that socioeconomic and institutional factors of urbanity and modernity have significant effects on pandemic severity. Countries with a higher number of elderly people, employment in the service sector, and higher globalization trend are the worst victims of the coronavirus pandemic (e.g., USA, UK, Italy, and Spain). Social distancing measures are reasonably effective at tempering the severity of the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0015.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: Metal oxide nanoparticles; Bioaccumulation; Recommended Dietary Allowances; Daily Values; Essential nutrients
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:18:19 CEST)
Understanding potential uptake and biodistribution of engineered nanoparticles in soil-grown plants is imperative for toxicity and risk assessment considering the oral exposure of edibles by humans. Herein, we assessed potential influence of particle size (25, 50, and 250 nm) and concentration (0, 50, 100, 200, and 500 mg/kg-soil) of Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuONPs) on: (1) the root system architecture, and the physicochemical attributes of soil at the soil-root interface, (2) leading to Cu transport and accumulation in root, stem, leaf and seed in soybean (Glycine max cv Kowsar) grown for entire lifecycle of 120 days, and compared with soluble Cu2+ ions and water-only controls, and (3) performed a comparative assessment of total seed Cu levels in soybean with other valuable food sources for Cu intake and discussed its human health implications. Our findings showed particle size- and concentration-dependent influence of CuONPs on Cu uptake and tissue distribution in root, stem, leaf and seed in soybean. Alterations in root architecture (root dry weight, root length, root volume, and root area) were dependent on the Cu compound type, Cu concentrations, and their interactions (p<0.05), except for root density. Concentration-response relationships for all three sized CuONPs, and Cu2+ ions, were linear. CuONPs and Cu2+ ions had inhibitory effects on root growth and development. Overall, soybean responses to smallest size CuONPs-25 nm were higher for all parameters investigated compared to two larger sized CuONPs (50 nm, 250 nm) or Cu2+ ions. Cu uptake/bioaccumulation differed among soybean tissues in the order: root > leaf > stem > seed. Despite reduced root architecture and seed yield, our smallest size CuONPs-25 nm led to increased total seed Cu uptake compared to the larger sized CuONPs and Cu2+ ions tested. Our findings also suggest that soil amendment by CuONPs, more so by the smallest size CuONPs-25 nm, could significantly improve nutritional Cu value in soybean seed as reflected by % Daily Values (DV), and are rated “Good” to “Very Good” according to the “World’s Healthiest Foods” rating. However, until the potential toxicity and risk from consumption of soybean seed is characterized in humans, caution should be exercised when the Cu fortified seeds are used for daily human consumption when addressing Cu deficiency and associated illnesses, globally.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0014.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Bengal slow loris; masked palm civet; common palm civet; conservation; forest canopy; density; Satchari National Park; tropical forest; Bangladesh
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:09:08 CEST)
Tropical forests harbor complex communities that are linked together by biotic relationships. Asian forests in particular have lost many apex predators due to habitat loss. We studied a small forest patch in northeastern Bangladesh, Satchari National Park, to determine density and diversity of nocturnal mammals and evaluate their relationships. Transects were walked from February 2015 to July 2016 and density was estimated using distance sampling. Nine species of mammals (5 arboreal and 4 ground-dwelling) were encountered. Densities of the common palm civets, Paradoxurus hermaphrodites, Bengal slow loris, Nycticebus bengalensis, were the highest (19.48 and 15.03 individuals/km2). Density of small Indian civets, large Indian civets and Indian mongoose were lower (2.31-5.55 individuals/km2). Unexpectedly, a wide range of nocturnal mammals co-existed in this forest patch, in spite of fragmentation and severe disturbance. We did not find any significant association between any of the species studied, although this could be an artifact of low sample size. Conservation in Bangladesh remains a challenge due to high human population density. Thus, strict conservation measures are needed to permit the long-term survival of these species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0012.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: financial anxiety; insurance behavior; economic security of the person; financial confidence after COVID-19
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:01:34 CEST)
In the context of the economic and political uncertainty associated with the 2019-nCoV pandemic, it is necessary to determine the socio-psychological factors involved in the transformation of the behavior of insurance consumers under the influence of a biogenic threat. This study measures financial anxiety and its impact on the insurance behavior of Russian citizens. The correlation, comparative, and regression analyses of the financial anxiety of Russian citizens cover three stages of observation: before the start of the 2019 nCoV pandemic (“FA up to 19 nCoV; N = 766), during the period of quarantine measures announced in Russia in March 2020 (“FA 19-nCoV-1”; N = 856), and after the relaxation of quarantine measures at the end of April 2020 (“FA 19-nCoV-2”; N = 963).Psychological analysis data were obtained from the online survey “Financial anxiety (in the context of insurance)”. The questionnaire is psychometrically reliable and easy to use. It includes five measurement scales: MR1—Physical manifestations of financial incentive anxiety, MR2—With money shortages and financial uncertainty, MR3—The value of insurance coverage, MP4—Financial Confidence, and MR5—Perception of insurance and investment risks. It was found that Russian citizens consider it important to have insurance coverage for a “rainy day”, and they showed confidence in the insurance market during the biogenic crisis. However, unfortunately, during the 19-nCoV-1 and 19-nCoV-2 periods, Russian citizens did not feel financially secure, unlike in the period before 19-nCoV. Women showed high scores for physical manifestations of financial anxiety and low financial confidence in the future, in contrast to men, regardless of the observation period.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0011.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) method; polymer; carbomer; ground-electrode electrical contact enhancement; archaeology
Online: 2 August 2020 (10:58:15 CEST)
This communication reports an improvement of the quality of the electrical data obtained from the application of electrical resistivity tomography method on archaeological studies. The electrical contact between ground and electrode enhances significantly by using carbomer-based gel during the electrical resistivity tomography measurements. Not only does the gel promote the conservation of the building surface under investigation, but it also virtually eliminates the necessity of conventional spike electrodes, which in many archaeological studies are inadequate or not permitted. Results evidenced an enhancement in the quality of the electrical data obtained in the order of thousands of units compared with those without using the carbomer-based gel. The potential and capabilities of this affordable gel make it appropriate to be applied to other geoelectrical studies beyond archaeological investigations. Moreover, it might solve corrosion issues on conventional spike electrodes, and electrical multicore cables usually provoked for added saltwater attempting to improve the electrical contact.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0010.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: ascorbate; ascorbate-glutathione cycle; capsaicin; catalase; dihydrocapsaicin; glutathione; NADP-dehydrogenases; superoxide dismutase
Online: 2 August 2020 (10:52:06 CEST)
Capsicum is the genus where a number of species and varieties have pungent features due to the exclusive content of capsaicinoids such as capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin. In this work, the main enzymatic and non-enzymatic systems in pepper fruits from four varieties with different pungent capacity has been investigated at two ripening stages. Thus, a sweet pepper variety (Melchor) from California type fruits, and three autochthonous Spanish varieties were used, including Piquillo, Padrón and Alegría riojana. The capsaicinoids contents were determined in pericarp and placenta from fruits showing that these phenyl-propanoids were mainly localized in placenta. The activity profile of catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD, total and isoenzymatic), the enzymes of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle (AGC) and four NADP-dehydrogenases indicate that some interaction with the capsaicinoid metabolism seems to occur. Among the results obtained on enzymatic antioxidant, the role of an Fe-SOD and the glutathione reductase from the AGC is highlighted. Additionally, it was found that ascorbate and glutathione content were higher in those pepper fruits which displayed the greater contents of capsacinoids. Taken together, all these data indicate that antioxidants may contribute to preserve capsaicinoids metabolism to maintain their functionality in a framework where NADPH is perhaps playing an essential role.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0009.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Atomic & Molecular Physics Keywords: quantum turbulence; Bose-Einstein condensate; out-of-equilibrium; particle cascade
Online: 2 August 2020 (10:43:39 CEST)
Quantum turbulence deals with the phenomenon of turbulence in quantum fluids, such as superfluid helium and trapped Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). Although much progress has been made in understanding quantum turbulence, several fundamental questions remain to be answered. In this work, we investigated the entropy of a trapped BEC in several regimes, including equilibrium, small excitations, the onset of turbulence, and a turbulent state. We considered the time evolution when the system is perturbed and let to evolve after the external excitation is turned off. We derived an expression for the entropy consistent with the accessible experimental data, that is, using the assumption that the momentum distribution is well-known. We related the excitation amplitude to different stages of the perturbed system, and we found distinct features of the entropy in each of them. In particular, we observed a sudden increase in the entropy following the establishment of a particle cascade. We argue that entropy and related quantities can be used to investigate and characterize quantum turbulence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0008.v1
Online: 2 August 2020 (10:38:52 CEST)
Background: Elevated respiratory rates (RR) have been described in several disease states, such as pneumonia, asthma and bronchiolitis. Despite this, there are few studies defining the range of RR found in healthy children. Available age percentiles for RR have been generated using methods that have the potential themselves to alter the rate. Aim: The aim of this study was to develop accurate percentile charts of RR specific for age in healthy children for potential use in pre-hospital care (first-aid), clinical medicine and for reference in respiratory research. Method: A newly developed optical respiratory sensor was used to measure RR which placed no restrictions on respiratory excursion. This technique enabled recording in awake children without the artefact of the observer’s presence on the subject’s RR. A cross-sectional sample of healthy children was obtained from maternity wards, childcare centres and schools in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Results: RR were observed in 560 awake and 103 sleeping children of which data from 343 awake and 94 sleeping children was used to create reference ranges for healthy children from newborn to 13 years of age. The recorded rates were significantly higher when children were awake compared to asleep. During quiet sleep, RR decreased from 40 (interquartile range 7) bpm at one month to 20 (interquartile range 3) in children aged 3 years. In awake children, RR ranged from a median of 40 bpm (interquartile range 18) at 1 year to 12 bpm (interquartile range 11) at 13 years respectively. Conclusion: The optical sensor was found to be an appropriate respiratory transducer, capable of measuring RR and reducing artefact by the subjective responses of alert children. The centile charts will be helpful as an aid to detecting abnormal RR in children and will contribute to further systematic reviews related to this vital sign.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0007.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: spatial genome architecture; 3D chromatin organization; DNA loops; noncoding mutations; enhancer; blood cancer; hematopoietic malignancies
Online: 2 August 2020 (09:33:40 CEST)
Associations between blood cancer and genetic predisposition, including both inherited variants and acquired mutations and epimutations, have been well characterized. However, the majority of these variants affect noncoding regions, making their mechanisms difficult to hypothesize and hindering the translation of these insights into patient benefits. Fueled by unprecedented progress in next-generation sequencing and computational integrative analysis, studies have started applying combinations of epigenetic, genome architecture and functional assays to bridge the gap between noncoding variants and blood cancer. These complementary tools have not only allowed us to understand the potential malignant role of these variants but also to differentiate key variants, cell types and conditions from misleading ones. Here, we briefly review recent studies that have provided fundamental insights into our understanding of how noncoding mutations at enhancers predispose and promote blood malignancies in the context of spatial genome architecture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0006.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: sustainable diet; carbon footprint; recommended nutrient intake; Malaysia
Online: 2 August 2020 (09:29:46 CEST)
A sustainable diet which is healthy and environmental friendly is a climate change mitigation option in addition to being a health promoting diet. However, there is a scarcity of information if the Asian diets are sustainable. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate if the diet of the Malaysian population is healthy and sustainable. This is a cross sectional study using dietary data generated from food frequency questionnaires (FFQ). The carbon footprint data were linked with the food items/ food groups in the FFQ. The nutrients of the participants’ diet were computed and the proportions of those who met the recommended nutrients intake were established. Contribution of carbon footprint for different food groups and total carbon footprint for each participant’s diet were computed and expressed as kgCO2eq. Comparison of carbon footprint from participants’ diets between age, sex and ethnicity were carried out. A total of 4825 participants were included in the analysis. Majority were Malays (66.4 %), females (84.0%), married (80.0%) and in the age groups of 30s to 40s (68.8%). The mean total energy intake was 2485+1000 kcal/day. Only 40 to 60% of all participants achieved the Malaysia Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) for calcium and less than half of the female participants who were aged 50 years and below fulfilled the RNI for iron. The most commonly consumed food groups were vegetables (270g/day), wheat, rice, fruits, sugar, seafood, poultry, legumes, snacks, milk and beef (46g/day). Total carbon footprint from the participants’ diets were 2.96 kgCO2eq/day, with the highest contributions of carbon footprint from rice, vegetables, beef, sugar, other cereals, poultry, seafood, wheat, milk, fruits, legume and snacks. Subgroups such as males, Malays and younger participants were more likely to consume diets with higher carbon footprint, compared to their counterparts. The participants’ diet was low in carbon footprint and environmentally friendly, however the quality of diet may need to be improved. Education measures should be targeted for all population and specifically for the sub-groups that consumed diets with higher carbon footprint.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; spike protein; ACE1; ACE2; host-virus interaction; drug repurposing
Online: 2 August 2020 (09:23:18 CEST)
Respiratory transmission is the primary route of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the known receptor of SARS-CoV-2 surface spike glycoprotein for entry into human cells. A recent study reported absent to low expression of ACE2 in a variety of human lung epithelial cell samples. Three bioprojects (PRJEB4337, PRJNA270632 and PRJNA280600) invariably found abundant expression of ACE1 (a homolog of ACE2 and also known as ACE) in human lungs compared to very low expression of ACE2. In fact, ACE1 has a wider and more abundant tissue distribution compared to ACE2. Although it is not obvious from the primary sequence alignment of ACE1 and ACE2, comparison of X-ray crystallographic structures show striking similarities in the regions of the peptidase domains (PD) of these proteins, which is known (for ACE2) to interact with the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Critical amino acids in ACE2 that mediate interaction with the viral spike protein are present and organized in the same order in the PD of ACE1. In silico analysis predicts comparable interaction of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with ACE1 and ACE2. In addition, this study predicts from a list of 1263 already approved drugs that may interact with ACE2 and/or ACE1, potentially interfere with the entry of SARS-CoV-2 inside the host cells and alleviate the symptoms of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0005.v1
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: birch; chlorophyll; leaves’ damage; plants’ pathogens; roots; secondary metabolites
Online: 2 August 2020 (08:47:32 CEST)
The purpose of this study was to better understand the interactive impact of two soil-borne pathogens, Phytophthora cactorum (as the primary pathogen) and Armillaria gallica (as secondary), on two-year-old seedlings of silver birch (Betula pendula) subjected to stress caused by mechanical defoliation simulating primary insect feeding. One year after treatments, the chlorophyll fluorescence measurement and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were used to analyze the photosynthetic activity in leaves, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by birch leaves and chemical compounds from roots. Only the infection of roots by P. cactorum increased photosynthetic rates in the leaves, which may suggest its cryptic development in contrast to fungi. The birch leaves in seedlings exposed to 50% defoliation, inoculation with P. cactorum and A. gallica emitted more aromatic carbonyls and alcohols, as well as half as much aliphatic esters, compared to untreated controls. In infected birch roots, the production of phenols, triterpenes and fatty alcohols increased, but fatty acids decreased. This was the first experimental confirmation of the pathogenicity of P. cactorum on silver birch seedlings in Poland. The most severe damage to roots took place only in the case of two-way or three-way interactions. Higher levels of aromatic carbonyls and alcohols in leaves, as well as phenolic compounds in roots of stressed birches (compared to control) suggest an activation of plant systemic acquired resistance (SAR).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0004.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: food outlet usage; obesity; energy intake; energy contents
Online: 2 August 2020 (08:21:45 CEST)
Background: The frequency of visits to restaurants has been suggested to contribute to the pandemic of obesity. However, few studies have examined how individual use of these restaurants is related to BMI using new technology of reminding to avoid memory error. Aim: To investigate the association between the usage of different types of food outlets and BMI among adults in Scotland. Method: The study was cross-sectional. Participants (n = 681) completed an online survey for seven consecutive days where all food purchased at food outlets was reported each day. We explored the relationship between BMI and usage of these restaurants using auto-reminder text system. Results: Body Mass Index (BMI) of both males and females was not related to frequency of use of Full-Service Restaurants (FSRs), Fast Food Restaurants (FFRs), delivery or takeaways, when assessed individually, or combined (TFO= Total Food Outlet). Conclusion: These data do not support the widespread belief that consumption of food out of the home at fast-food and full-service restaurants, combined with that derived from deliveries and takeaways, is a major driver of obesity in UK.
Sat, 1 August 2020
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: forensic genetic genealogy; investigative genetic genealogy; DNA; forensic DNA
Online: 1 August 2020 (16:29:22 CEST)
Forensic genetic genealogy, a technique leveraging new DNA capabilities and public genetic databases to identify suspects, raises specific considerations in a law enforcement context. Use of this technique requires consideration of its scientific and technical limitations, including the composition of current online datasets, and consideration of its scientific validity. Additionally, forensic genetic genealogy needs to be considered in the relevant legal context to determine the best way in which to make use of its potential to generate investigative leads while minimising its impact on individual privacy. This article presents these issues from an Australian perspective, with the observations and conclusions likely to be applicable to other jurisdictions.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Human papillomavirus (HPV); cervical cancer; prevalence; genotypes; China
Online: 1 August 2020 (16:25:46 CEST)
Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection plays a key role in the development of cervical cancer that ranks as the third most common gynecological cancer in China. We attempt to investigate the age and genotype-specific prevalence of HPV DNA in western Chinese females. Methods: A total of 301,880 woman were recruited from 4 different regions of western China. Routine cervical samples were collected and HPV screening was performed using 21 HPV Genotyping test (Hybribio). The overall prevalence, age-specific prevalence, and genotype distribution were analyzed. Results: The overall prevalence of HPV was 18.01%. The high-risk HPV infection rate was 79.14%, the low-risk HPV infection rate was 12.56%, and the mixed HPV infection rate was 8.30%. The most common 4 HR HPV subtypes were HPV-52, 16, 58 and 53, which accounted for 20.49 %, 19.93 %, 14.54 % and 10.01 %. In LR HPV genotype, HPV-6 ranked the highest (28.17 %), followed by HPV-81 (9.09 %), HPV-11 (3.78 %). HPV genotype subgroup analysis also showed that single-type infections had the highest prevalence rate (77.26%) among HPV positive individuals. Among muti-infection genotype, double infection was most common with frequencies of 76.04%. Conclusion: This large report shows that the overall prevalence of HPV was high in China, whose distribution exhibits different patterns across different particular age and regions. Viral genotypes HPV53, 6 were are frequently detected in this population, which is worth of significant clinical attention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0001.v1
Online: 1 August 2020 (16:18:27 CEST)
Warming-induced drought stress and El Nino associated summer precipitation failure are responsible for increased forest fire intensities of tropical and temperate forests in Asia and Australia. However, both effects are unclear for boreal forests, the largest biome and carbon stock over land. Here we combined fire frequency, burned area and climate data in the Altai boreal forests, the southmost extension of Siberia boreal forest into China, and explored their link with ENSO (El Nino and South Oscillation). Surprisingly, both summer drought severity and fire occurrence have shown significant (P<0.05) teleconnections with La Nina events of the previous year, and therefore provide an important reference for forest fire prediction and prevention in Altai. Despite a significant warming trend, the increased moisture over Altai has largely offset the effect of warming-induced drought stress, and lead to an insignificant fire frequency trend in the last decades, and largely reduced burned area since the 1980s. The reduced burned area could also benefit from the fire suppression efforts and greatly increased investment in fire prevention since 1987.
Fri, 31 July 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0754.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: ME/CFS; dentistry; interdisciplinary care; oral health
Online: 31 July 2020 (14:02:48 CEST)
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a disabling condition affecting millions of adults and children worldwide. Despite the development of multiple criteria sets for defining this disorder, agreement on the core symptoms and other implications of ME/CFS point to the importance of understanding their role in oral health care. Overall, care for the homebound and bedbound population with ME/CFS issues has been under-addressed in the literature to date and there has been little consideration of the oral health needs of this population. Evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of dental concerns may be hindered by many of the diverse symptoms of ME/CFS. The present paper utilizes the International Consensus Criteria (ICC) in discussing treatment considerations for the most severely affected patients with ME/CFS, both in oral evaluation and active care. While no specific dental pathology is linked to ME/CFS, proper care for the patient so affected must take into account the disorder’s symptoms and severity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0753.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: physical modelling; numerical modelling; construction works; growing risks; safety requirements; hybrid modelling
Online: 31 July 2020 (14:01:04 CEST)
We are witnessing a progressive divestment of some institutions with strong traditions and skills in physical modelling and their consequent impoverishment, to the detriment of numerical modelling. For many reasons, the economic imperatives and the exponential growth of computational means and numerical methods should certainly not be excluded. In this work, we aimed to highlight the new requirements of the recent sophisticated developments in physical modelling, precisely due to the new needs imposed on them by mathematical and numerical modelling and the growing risks in civil construction works. In this context, reflections are reported, justified by scientific and real-world examples, on the need for maintenance and reinforcement of investments in physical modelling, both to support the scientific community and to design buildings of significant economic, social and environmental impact.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0752.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: self-etching two bottled dental adhesive; 10-methacryloyloxidecyl dihydrogen phosphate monomer; biocompatibility; shear bond strength
Online: 31 July 2020 (13:56:28 CEST)
Dentin bonding is a key in restorative dentistry. Herein, we developed self-etching two-bottle adhesive system containing 10-methacryloyloxidecyl dihydrogen phosphate monomer (MDP) and the physical, mechanical, and biocompatible properties were evaluated. The characteristics of MDP were analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The water sorption and solubility, the shear-bond strengths to dentin and enamel, and cytotoxicity tests were performed. The newly blended experimental group showed the lowest thickness and water sorption and solubility values. The shear bond strength to enamel and dentin were comparable to control groups (the three other products) all test groups showed 60% of cell viability. In this study, the properties of the newly synthesized adhesive are comparable with the others. The fundamental goal of this study is to get the MDP patent released, as it is intended for domestic production. For this purpose, this dentin adhesive was developed and compared with the commercial product.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0751.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: tunable; genetic part; control; adaptation; cybergenetics; synthetic biology; systems biology
Online: 31 July 2020 (13:53:05 CEST)
Biological systems often need to operate in complex environments where conditions can rapidly change. This is possible due to their inherent ability to sense changes and adapt by adjusting their behavior in response. Here, we detail recent advances in the creation of synthetic genetic parts and circuits whose behaviors can be dynamically tuned through a variety of intra- and extra-cellular signals. We show how this capability lays the foundation for implementing control engineering schemes in living cells and allows for the creation of biological systems that are able to self-adapt, ensuring their functionality is maintained in the face of varying environmental and physiological conditions. We end by discussing some of the broader implications of this technology for the safe deployment of synthetic biology.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Amazon; recovery time; aboveground biomass; climate change; 3-PG
Online: 31 July 2020 (13:51:03 CEST)
In the last decades droughts, deforestation and wildfires have become recurring phenomena that have affected both human activities and natural ecosystems in Amazonia. The time an ecosystem requires to recover from carbon losses is a crucial metric to evaluate disturbance impacts on forests. However, the factors influencing and controlling the recovery time and its spatiotemporal patterns at the regional scale are still poorly understood. In this study, we combined forest growth model, remote sensing and field plots, to map Amazonia-wide (300-ha resolution) impact and recovery time of aboveground biomass (AGB) after drought, fire and a combination of logging and fire. Our simulated results indicate that AGB decreases by 4%, 19% and 46% in forests disturbed by drought, fire and logging + fire, respectively, with an average AGB recovery time of 27 years for drought, 44 years for burned and 63 years for logged + burned areas and with maximum values reaching 184 years in areas of high fire intensity. Our findings provide two major insights in the spatial and temporal patterns of drought and wildfire in the Amazon: 1) the recovery time of the forests takes longer in the southeastern part of the basin, and, 2) as droughts and wildfires become more frequent – since the intervals between the disturbances is getting shorter than forest regeneration – potentially causing a long-lasting damage in these fragile ecosystems and a permanent degradation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0749.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Bovine coronavirus; intersititial pneumonia; phylogenetic analysis; Real time PCR
Online: 31 July 2020 (13:46:21 CEST)
An outbreak of winter disease, complicated by severe respiratory syndrome, occurred in January 2020 in a high production dairy cow herd located in a hilly area of the Calabria region. Of the 52 animals belonging to the farm, 5 (9.6%) died with severe respiratory distress, death occurring 3-4 days after the appearance of the respiratory signs (caught and gasping breath). Microbiological analysis revealed absence of pathogenic bacteria whilst Real-time PCR identified the presence of RNA from Bovine Coronavirus (BCoV) in several organs: lungs, small intestine (jejunum), mediastinal lymph nodes, liver and placenta. Since being the only pathogen identified, BCoV was hypothesized to be the cause of the lethal pulmonary infection. Like the other CoVs, BCoV is able to cause different syndromes. Its role in calfhood diarrhoea and in mild respiratory disease is well known: we report instead the involvement of this virus in a severe and fatal respiratory disorder, with symptoms and disease evolution resembling that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndromes (SARS).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0748.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: Rosmarinus officinalis L.; surface and subsurface drip irrigation; bentonite; Hundz conditioner; essential oil
Online: 31 July 2020 (13:43:12 CEST)
A relevant improvement of the cultivar conditions of Rosmarinus officinalis L. in desert areas was achieved by a specific combination between irrigation system and soil conditioner. A drastic reduction of water employment was obtained without affect the quality of the plants, determined by monitoring growth parameters and essential oil characteristics. In particular, the effect of surface and subsurface drip irrigation systems and different soil conditioners on growth parameters, yield, and essential oil constituents of rosemary plant was assessed. Field experiments at the Agricultural Research Station (Al-Adlya farm), SEKEM group Company, El-Sharkiya Governorate, Egypt, conducted over the two seasons revealed the effectiveness of the subsurface irrigation system in obtaining better performances, especially in terms of water saving. The combination of subsurface irrigation and the conditioner Hundz soil with bentonite showed the maximum mean values of growth characters compared with other soil amendments during both seasons. The possibility to employ a water-saving irrigation system as the subsurface one without any drawback in the resulting plants was also explored in terms of molecular composition. GC-MS analysis of the essential oil extracted from plants growth under different irrigation conditions revealed a comparable composition in both cases. The goodness of the most performing system was also confirmed by the comparable yield of the essential oil.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0747.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: African swine fever virus; virulence; pathology; wild boar; domestic pig; macroscopy; histopathology; immunology
Online: 31 July 2020 (13:01:32 CEST)
Endemically infected European wild boar are considered a major reservoir of African swine fever virus in Europe. While high lethality was observed in the majority of field cases, strains of moderate virulence occurred in the Baltic States. One of these, “Estonia 2014”, led to a higher number of clinically healthy, antibody-positive animals in the hunting bag of North-Eastern Estonia. Experimental characterization showed high virulence in wild boar but moderate virulence in domestic pigs. Putative pathogenic differences between wild boar and domestic pigs are unresolved and comparative pathological studies are limited. We here report on a kinetic experiment in both subspecies. Three animals each were euthanized at 4, 7 and 10 days post infection (dpi). Clinical data confirmed higher virulence in wild boar although macroscopy and viral genome load in blood and tissues were comparable in both subspecies. The percentage of viral antigen positive myeloid cells tested by flow cytometry did not differ significantly in most tissues. Only immunohistochemistry revealed consistently higher viral antigen loads in wild boar tissues in particular 7 dpi, whereas domestic pigs already eliminated the virus. The moderate virulence in domestic pigs could be explained by a more effective viral clearance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0746.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: radio frequency interference detection; deep learning; transfer learning; pre-trained convolutional neural networks
Online: 31 July 2020 (12:06:33 CEST)
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) detection and characterization play a critical role to in ensuring the security of all wireless communication networks. Advances in Machine Learning (ML) have led to the deployment of many robust techniques dealing with various types of RFI. To sidestep an unavoidable complicated feature extraction step in ML, this paper proposes an efficient end-to-end method using the latest advances in deep learning to extract the appropriate features of the RFI signal. Moreover, this study utilizes the benefits of transfer learning to determine both the type of received RFI signals and their modulation types. To this end, the scalogram of the received signals is used as the input of the pre-trained convolutional neural networks (CNN), followed by a fully-connected classifier. This study considers a digital video stream as the signal of interest (SoI), transmitted in a real-time satellite-to-ground communication using DVB-S2 standards. To create the RFI dataset, the SoI is combined with three well-known jammers namely, continuous-wave interference (CWI), multi- continuous-wave interference (MCWI), and chirp interference (CI). This study investigated four well-known pre-trained CNN architectures, namely, AlexNet, VGG-16, GoogleNet, and ResNet-18, for the feature extraction to recognize the visual RFI patterns directly from pixel images with minimal preprocessing. Moreover, the robustness of the proposed classifiers is evaluated by the data generated at different signal to noise ratios (SNR).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0745.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: APT-attack; detection and classification; feature extraction; machine learning; C5.0 decision tree; Bayesian network; deep learning
Online: 31 July 2020 (11:01:59 CEST)
One of the most common and important destructive attacks on the victim system is Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)-attack. The APT attacker can achieve his hostile goals by obtaining information and gaining financial benefits regarding the infrastructure of a network. One of the solutions to detect a secret APT attack is using network traffic. Due to the nature of the APT attack in terms of being on the network for a long time and the fact that the network may crash because of high traffic, it is difficult to detect this type of attack. Hence, in this study, machine learning methods such as C5.0 decision tree, Bayesian network and deep neural network are used for timely detection and classification of APT-attacks on the NSL-KDD data set. Moreover, 10-fold cross validation method is used to experiment these models. As a result, the accuracy (ACC) of the C5.0 decision tree, Bayesian network and 6-layer deep learning models is obtained as 95.64%, 88.37% and 98.85%, respectively, and also, in terms of the important criterion of the false positive rate (FPR), the FPR value for the C5.0 decision tree, Bayesian network and 6-layer deep learning models is obtained as 2.56, 10.47 and 1.13, respectively. Other criterions such as sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, false negative rate and F-measure are also investigated for the models, and the experimental results show that the deep learning model with automatic multi-layered extraction of features has the best performance for timely detection of an APT-attack comparing to other classification models.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0744.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription; gene regulation; tandem transcriptional interference (tTI); antisense transcription; DNA processing
Online: 31 July 2020 (10:47:08 CEST)
RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) frequently transcribes non-protein coding DNA sequences in eukaryotic genomes into long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). Here, we focus on the impact of the act of lncRNA transcription on nearby functional DNA units. Distinct molecular mechanisms linked to the position of lncRNA relative to the coding gene illustrate how non-coding transcription controls gene expression. We review the biological significance of the act of lncRNA transcription on DNA processing, highlighting common themes, such as mediating cellular responses to environmental changes. This review presents the background in chromatin signaling to appreciate examples in different organisms where we can interpret functions of non-coding DNA through the act of RNAPII transcription.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0743.v1
Online: 31 July 2020 (10:32:09 CEST)
Cryptosporidiosis is a common illness in young cattle that causes high morbidity and some mortality. A common prophylactic treatment are halofuginone products but it seems likely disease could be reduced by other other pharmacological products or some management strategies. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analyses on key outcomes for treatment of calves before and after 5 days of age with any management strategy, any nutritional strategy or any non-halofuginone product. A systematic literature search was undertaken with data extracted for outcomes = oocyst shedding, diarrhea, mortality and weight gain. Experiments had to describe results for same age animals in contemporary arms. Control animals had to be observed concurrently in planned experiments (pre-post and case-control studies were not eligible). Both randomized and other clinically controlled trials were eligible. Results were subgrouped by study design and outcomes were described in detail where at least two articles described the same treatment strategy. 55 articles were found. Significantly lower incidence of oocyst shedding, diarrhea burden and mortality was reported in many experimental arms, especially when animals started treatment before 5 days old. Weight gain was not mostly affected by treatment, however, by three weeks of age. The evidence base is at least encouraging but insufficient about paromomycin, bumped kinase inhibitors and azithromycin treatment, especially for diarrhea and oocyst shedding, given late or early. Azithromycin is the most promising of these.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; Treatment outcome; Data Collection; Pharmaceutical Preparations; Outcome Assessment, Health Care
Online: 31 July 2020 (10:14:59 CEST)
Human infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) is a new pandemic disease with devastating effects worldwide. There is no scientifically proved effective prophylaxis or treatment in the early phase of the disease. To prevent harm, In parallel with the running of randomized controlled trials, there is room for developing prospective systematic data collection studies correlating therapeutic measures with safety and effectiveness outcomes, on the assumption that a medical practice is effective if it produces more good than harm. The protocol aims to provide doctors with information on reduction of harm in early COVID-19 patients by different and individualized strategies for treating them, including comparison with no treatment strategies. Besides laboratory confirmation of COVID-19, the evaluation of the clinical status is done with an individualized symptom score for each patient, self-perception of overall severity of disease, clinical improvement ordinal scale developed for WHO clinical studies on COVID-19 and doctors´ global impression on clinical prognosis at the first consultation and evolution at the closing. It respects the autonomy and preferences of doctors and patients to decide the best options for treatment in uncertain situations and allows the gathering of useful information for future more rigorous clinical trials, trying to link science, ethics, and personal clinical experience. A case report form was developed that could easily be built in free software platforms as well as dedicated platforms. All data are anonymized and could be analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0742.v1
Subject: Chemistry, General & Theoretical Chemistry Keywords: KID protocol; Global Reactivity; Conceptual DFT; Kopmans’ Theorem; Mo–oxo Complexes; Hydrogen production
Online: 31 July 2020 (10:09:50 CEST)
The KID (Koopmans in DFT) procedure usually applies in organic molecules of the closed–shell type. We used the KID procedure in an open–shell system for the first time to choose the most suitable density functional to compute global and local reactivity descriptors coming from the Conceptual Density–Functional Theory. From a set of 18 density functionals spread from the second until the fourth rung of the Jacob’s ladder: BP86, B97-D, BLYP, CAM-B3LYP, M06-L, M11-L, MN12-L, B3LYP, PBE0, N12-SX, M06-2X, M11, MN12-SX, CAM-B3LYP, LC-ωHPBE, ωB97X-D, APFD, MN15 and MN15-L, we concluded that CAM-B3LYP provides the best outcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0741.v1
Online: 31 July 2020 (09:55:18 CEST)
Loss of muscle mass and strength are progressing with aging. Exercise is a beneficial method to prevent physical disfunction and habitual exercise improve the muscle quality. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of a long-term habitual exercise on the senescence-accelerated mice prone8 (SAMP8). 27wk SAMP8 were used in this study. Mice were classified into 28 (28w) and 44 weeks old. The 44-week group was divided into the sedentary group (44w) and a group exercising for 16 weeks (44w+Ex). The 44w+Ex performed habitual exercise from 28 to 44 weeks. Additionally, grip strength tests were performed with mice aged 28 and 44 weeks. Mice were dissected and collected muscle samples and measured muscle weight at 44w. Gastrocnemius was decreased in 44w but were unchanged in 44w+Ex. Grip strength in 44w was lower trend, but there was no change in 44w+Ex. The phosphorylation levels of Akt and p70S6K as a protein synthesis marker were decreased in 44w. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV(COXIV) mRNA and protein levels decreased in 44w. These results suggested that long-term habitual exercise attenuated muscle mass and strength decline through improving muscle protein synthesis and mitochondrial function. In conclusion, long-term habitual exercise attenuated muscle mass and strength decline.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0740.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Virus Detection; Viral Diagnostics; Diagnostics; SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; PCR
Online: 31 July 2020 (09:31:18 CEST)
Accurate and timely testing has become an essential measure in combatting the COVID-19 global pandemic. Currently, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based assays are the most relied on methods for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This traditional workflow involves a viral RNA extraction from the viral transport media storing nasopharyngeal swabs collected from patients, followed by PCR based detection. While accurate, this methodology is time consuming and resource heavy, causing for delays in receiving results or limited access to testing. Herein, we demonstrate a validated method for SARS-CoV-2 detection from viral transport media using a two-step, direct-to-PCR workflow revolving around shaker-mill homogenization. This method completely bypasses the extraction steps of the traditional workflow, replacing it with 30 seconds of mechanical disruption sufficient to allow for COVID-19 detection with a 96.43% sensitivity and 100% specificity when compared to traditional extraction to PCR based methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0739.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Lung-molGPA; exon 19 deletion; Leu858Arg; rare mutation; prognostic implication
Online: 31 July 2020 (09:30:53 CEST)
EGFR mutations are heterogenous but all carry the same weighting in the Lung-molGPA. The aim of this study was to elucidate the different prognostic implications of molecular subtypes and frontline TKIs in EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma with synchronous brain metastases (BM) using the Lung-molGPA. Medical records were searched in hospital databases from 2011 to 2015. Patients with EGFR-mutated adenocarcinoma and brain metastases who received TKIs were included. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival, and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A total of 256 patients were included with a median overall survival (OS) of 17.2 months. In multivariate analysis of OS, only age (70 versus <70 years, HR:1.71, 95% CI:1.25-2.35, p<0.001), KPS (<70 versus 70, HR:1.71, 95% CI:1.26-2.31, p<0.001), and rare mutations (other versus exon 19 deletions, HR:1.78, 95% CI:1.04-3.05, p=0.037) remained statistically significant. In patients with a Lung-molGPA score 2.5, EGFR molecular subtypes had different median OS (exon 19 deletions versus Leu858Arg versus other, 18.8 vs 12.4 vs 12.1 months, p=0.021). In conclusion, different molecular subtypes treated with frontline TKIs have different prognostic implications in the Lung-molGPA. Further prospective studies are warranted to validate these findings.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0737.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: oxidative stress; redox; antioxidant; multiple sclerosis; biomarker; neurodegenerative disease; personalized medicine
Online: 31 July 2020 (08:40:46 CEST)
Worldwide, over 2.2 million people are suffered from multiple sclerosis (MS), a multifactorial demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, characterized by multifocal inflammatory or demyelinating attacks associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. The blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and postmortem brain samples of MS patients evidenced the presence of reduction-oxidation (redox) homeostasis disturbance such as the alternations of oxidative and antioxidative enzyme activities and the presence of degradation products. This review article discussed the components of redox homeostasis including reactive chemical species, oxidative enzymes, antioxidative enzymes, and degradation products. The reactive chemical species covered frequently discussed reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, rarely featured reactive chemicals such as sulfur, carbonyls, halogens, selenium, and nucleophilic species that potentially act as reductive as well as pro-oxidative stressors. The antioxidative enzyme systems covered the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (NRF2)-Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) signaling pathway, a possible biomarker sensitive to the initial phase of oxidative stress. Altered components of the redox homeostasis in MS were discussed, some of which turned to be MS subtype- or treatment-specific and thus potentially become diagnostic, prognostic, predictive, and/or therapeutic biomarkers. Finally, monitoring a battery of redox components including oxidative, antioxidative and degradation products helps evaluate the redox status of MS patients, which expedites prolongation of remission, relapse prevention, and building personalized treatment plans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0738.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: animal representation; animal-based foods; marketing; eggs; hen welfare
Online: 31 July 2020 (08:19:40 CEST)
How a species is represented by marketers of animal-based products both reflects and shapes how consumers think about that animal. By examining the explicit statements, and implicit messages encoded in the imagery on supermarket egg boxes, this paper explores how hens are represented by whole egg retailers. Content analysis reveals two prominent messages purveyed through eggbox graphics, namely those pertaining to hen welfare and human health. The later disenfranchises hens from their products by focusing on the nutritional value of eggs, whereas the former reflects a public concern for the welfare of egg-laying hens. Although claims of improvements in welfare practices are undoubtedly exploited as marketing tools, they serve to raise awareness and drive competitors to adopt similar practices. Welfare claims are a direct response to public concerns about the plight of hens, and may positively influence industry welfare standards. However, idyllic depictions displayed on eggboxes also lull consumers into the belief that those eggs are an ethically sound food choice, regardless of the actual standard of living experienced by the hens.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0736.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics Keywords: milgrom's acceleration constant; bekenstein-hawking entropy; gravitational dipole; dark matter
Online: 31 July 2020 (07:58:00 CEST)
It is shown that the Lambda component in the cosmological Lambda-CDM model can be conceived as vacuum energy, consisting of gravitational particles subject to Heisenberg’s energy-time uncertainty. These particles can be modelled as elementary polarisable Dirac-type dipoles (“darks”) in a fluidal space at thermodynamic equilibrium, with spins that are subject to the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy. Around the baryonic kernels, uniformly distributed in the universe, the spins are polarized, thereby invoking an increase of the effective gravitational strength of the kernels. It explains the dark matter effect to the extent that the numerical value of Milgrom’s acceleration constant can be assessed by theory. Non-polarized vacuum particles beyond the baryonic kernels compose the dark energy. The result is a quantum mechanical interpretation of gravity in terms of quantitatively established shares in baryonic matter, dark matter and dark energy, which correspond with the values of the Lambda-CDM model..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0735.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Variant of Unknown Significance (VUS); Single-Nucleotide Variant (SNV); Variant Effect Prediction (VEP); Stacked Ensemble of Supervised Deep Learners (SESDL); Next Generation Sequencing (NGS); Alternative Allele Frequency (AAF).
Online: 31 July 2020 (06:13:53 CEST)
Pathogenicity is unknown for the majority of human gene variants. For prioritization of sequenced somatic and germline mutation variants, in silico approaches can be utilized. In this study, 84 million non-synonymous Single Nucleotide Variants (SNVs) in the human coding genome were annotated using consensus Variant Effect Prediction (cVEP) method. An algorithm, implemented as a stacked ensemble of supervised learners, performed combination of the 39 functional, conservation mutation impact scores from dbNSFP4.0. Adding gene indispensability score, accounting for differences in the pathogenicities of the variants in the essential and the mutation-tolerant genes, improved the predictions. For each SNV the consensus combination gives either a continuous-value pathogenicity score, or a categorical score in five classes: pathogenic, likely pathogenic, uncertain significance, likely benign, benign. The provided class database is aimed for direct use in clinical practice. The trained prediction models were 5-fold cross-validated on the evidence-based categorical annotations from the ClinVar database. The rankings of the scores based on their ability to predict pathogenicity were obtained. A two-step strategy using the rankings, scores and class annotations is suggested for filtering and prioritization of the human exome mutations in clinical and biological applications of NGS technology.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0734.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: cannabinoid; CBD; dental care; dental plaque; tooth polish; polishing powder
Online: 31 July 2020 (06:02:24 CEST)
Introduction: Dental health problems including dental plaque are common health problems affecting people of different age groups globally. Air-polishing is a safe tooth polishing technique used by dental professionals for stain and plaque removal and as preventive procedure for dental health. Here we report the technical improvisation of existing air-polishing technique by supplementing cannabinoid powder into the classic polishing powder for effective removal of supragingival and subgingival plaque and inhibition of plaque forming bacteria. Methods: The cannabidiol (CBD) powder was added to the tooth polishing powder (AIR-N-GO, classic) at 1% (wt/wt) ratio. The study was conducted on 12 patients, of which 6 received regular polishing treatment and 6 received CBD-supplemented polishing treatment. The dental plaque samples were collected before and after each treatment and subjected to in vitro microbiological analysis and the colony forming units (CFU) were analyzed using automated colony counter. Results: Based on in vitro microbiological analysis, the average CFU of interdental space samples collected from post-CBD-supplemented polishing treatment was significantly reduced (linear fold change between 3.9-18.4) compared to that of post-regular polishing (linear fold change between 1.0-2.6) treatment. Conclusions: CBD-supplemented polishing powder can help in effective removal and killing of dental plaque bacteria during the polishing treatment. CBD powder can be added as enhancing supplement to the existing polishing powders.
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: supersymmetry; elementary particles; equivalence of formalisms; quantum mechanics
Online: 31 July 2020 (05:50:57 CEST)
In this article we first write a brief review of supersymmetric quantum mechanics and then we discuss the equivalence of two co-existing formalisms viz. tensor product formalism and partner hamiltonian formalism for 1-D SUSY Harmonic oscillator. Finally, we present a Mathematica code with which one can calculate the eigenstates of any 1-D SUSY partner Hamiltonian along with two illustrated examples of 1-D SUSY HO and 1-D SUSY infinite potential box.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0732.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Particle & Field Physics Keywords: String theory; Three atomic gravitational constants; 3+1 dimensions; 4G model of final unification; Microscopic Quantum Gravity;
Online: 31 July 2020 (05:17:14 CEST)
Within the scope of observed materialistic physical systems, without addressing the roots of H-Bar and big G, it is impossible to construct a workable model of final unification. With reference to our earlier proposed three large atomic gravitational constants, it is possible to reform and compactify the 10 dimensional String theory to 3+1 dimensions
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0731.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics Keywords: black hole; white hole; quantum tunneling
Online: 31 July 2020 (05:12:48 CEST)
The thermodynamics of black holes is discussed for the case, when the Newton constant G is not a constant, but is the thermodynamic variable. This gives for the first law of the Schwarzschild black hole thermodynamics: d S BH = − A d K + d M T BH , where the gravitational coupling K = 1 / 4 G , M is the black hole mass, A is the area of horizon, and T BH is Hawking temperature. From this first law it follows that the dimensionless quantity M 2 / K is the adiabatic invariant, which in principle can be quantized if to follow the Bekenstein conjecture. From the Euclidean action for the black hole it follows that K and A serve as dynamically conjugate variables. This allows us to calculate the quantum tunneling from the black hole to the white hole, and determine the temperature and entropy of the white hole.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0730.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: TSS; fruit quality; firmness; ammonium thiosulphate; skin colour; tree vigour; thinning of flowers
Online: 31 July 2020 (04:54:38 CEST)
The study’s objective was to evaluate the influence of thinning on the quality and regularity of yield of 'Regina' cherries grown on a dwarf Gisela 5 rootstock. The experiments were conducted in the years 2009-2012 in Western Poland. Trees were thinned using a chemical agent, ammonium thiosulphate (ATS) at doses of 20g ATS × L-1, 30g ATS × L-1 and 40g ATS × L-1, and by hand, and the results of chemical and hand thinning were compared with those obtained for unthinned trees. The course of weather conditions in winter and during flowering had a significant impact on yield. Chemical thinning is known to be an effective method to regulate fruiting of pome trees, but it can also be successful if applied to cherry trees, as reflected by the alternate bearing index, which was the lowest after applying ATS at a dose of 40g. ATS treatment improved fruit quality in full crop years. Thinning resulted in, among other things, larger and darker fruit and higher content of total soluble solids and titratable acidity. Treatment with 40g ATS × L-1 significantly stimulated the vegetative growth of trees.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0729.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: scientometric analysis; catalysis; bibliometric indicators; catalysis research; catalysis journals
Online: 31 July 2020 (04:36:20 CEST)
The outcomes of the present scientometric analysis of research in catalysis provide chemistry and catalysis scholars with a closer bibliometric knowledge of an old and central field of chemical research which is being reshaped by fundamental and technological advances spanning from single-atom heterogeneous catalysis to flow chemistry. Improving and widening research and education in catalysis is a strategic need for national economies. Four research policy guidelines aimed at fostering progress in catalysis research and education conclude the study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201607.0028.v7
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: Maxwell’s demon; magnetic demon; entropy decrease; entropy elimination
Online: 31 July 2020 (03:42:27 CEST)
In a vacuum tube two identical and parallel Ag-O-Cs emitters A and B (work function 0.8eV) ceaselessly emit thermal electrons at room temperature. The thermal electrons are controlled by a static uniform magnetic field so that the number of electrons migrate from A to B exceeds the one from B to A (or vice versa). The net migration of thermal electrons from A to B quickly results in a charge distribution of A charged positively and B negatively, and a potential difference between A and B emerges, enabling a continuous output current and a stable power to an external load (e.g., a resistor). Thus, the tube cools down (slightly). The (slightly) cooled tube extracts heat from ambient air, and all the heat is converted into electric energy without other effect. We believe the experiment is in contradiction to the Kelvin statement of the second law.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0728.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: parametric design; rake; picking; static analysis; CATIA; ANSYS; von Mises stress
Online: 31 July 2020 (03:34:11 CEST)
Olive picking is one of the most common social agricultural activities in many regions of Andalusia where the predominant crop is the traditional olive grove. The machinery used includes shakers, blowers and an essential low-cost type: hand-rake sweepers. The latter are generally used by the women of the squads to sweep the olives that fall from the trees. This article is focused on the design and optimisation of a hand-rake sweeper, in terms of durability and cost, for the picking of olives and other fruits, such as almonds, which are currently the main alternative to non-perennial crops in Andalusia. A parametric design of a hand-rake sweeper was created for this application using the design software CATIA, and its most vulnerable points were analysed in terms of effectiveness with varying design parameters, conducting usage simulations with ANSYS for a light material such as polypropylene. The maximum von Mises stress of the whole structure was 155.81 MPa. Using ANSYS, the dimension parameters of the hand-rake sweeper structure were optimised. The modified design was analysed again, showing a reduction of maximum tensions of 10.06%, as well as a decrease in its maximum elongations (0.0181 mm).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0727.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Sorghum; induced mutation; Striga resistance
Online: 31 July 2020 (03:25:12 CEST)
Striga species affect the potential productivity of cereals in sub-saharian Africa due to the lack of durable Striga-resistance in host crops. This study aimed at inducing new source of resistance in sorghum using gamma irradiation. Dry seeds of three Sorghum varieties; Grinkan, ICV1049 and Sariaso14 were gamma-irradiated with 200 Gy, 300 Gy, 400 Gy and 500 Gy. Screening strategies involved a 2-year field and greenhouse experiments, where mutant Sorghum families, their parents and resistant control were artificially infected with Striga hermonthica seeds. Field screenings revealedinduced genetic variability among them, forty families significantly reduced the number of emerged Striga plants or showed good Sorghum grain yield performance despite the infection by S. hermonthica ecotype from Burkina Faso. The induced putative resistant mutants were identified across the the four applied irradiation doses. Greenhouse experiment confirmed Striga resistance in seven mutant Sorghum families leading to no emergence of Burkina’s S. hermonthica ecotype along with high resistance index (RI) and low Striga damage score. Among them, two mutants SA38M5 and IC47M5 withstood S. hermonthica ecotype from Sudan and S. asiatica ecotype from Madagascar. The induced mutants will be evaluated for release to farmers for commercial production. Further studies are ongoing on confirmed mutants to highlight their Striga resistance mechanisms and explore the potential of pyramiding different mechanism to produce durable resistance to S. hermonthica in sorghum.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0726.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Carboxymethylcellulose; Pectin; Plum; Qualitative attributes; Enzymatic activity; Postharvest
Online: 31 July 2020 (03:04:33 CEST)
Polysaccharide-based edible coatings are served as an attractive preservation method for postharvest maintenance of most fruits. The current study examined the effect of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC)- and pectin (Pec)- based edible coatings on weight loss, firmness, total soluble solids (TSS), pH¬, titratable acidity (TA), vitamin C (vit C), total phenolics, anthocyanin and flavonoid contents, total antioxidant capacity (based on DPPH) and the activities of peroxidase (POD), polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and polygalacturonase (PG) enzymes during cold storage. The results showed that each coating and their combinations caused positive effects in all measured parameters except weight loss. The applied coatings preserved firmness and improved total phenols, anthocyanin and flavonoid contents, antioxidant capacity and POD activity. In addition, the coatings retarded TSS and pH enhancement and TA and vit C loss and decreased PPO and PG activities. It could be stated that CMC at 1 % and Pec at 1.5 % separately demonstrated the best results at most measured parameters; and among the combinations 0.5 % Pec + 1.5 % CMC acted better than the other treatments. Henceforth, application of CMC and/or Pec and/or their combinations would be considered as favorable approaches to improve postharvest quality characteristics of plum fruit.
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: stem cells; luminal progenitors; mammary; breast; cell hierarchy; differentiation; single cell RNA-sequencing; lineage tracing; c-Kit
Online: 31 July 2020 (02:56:15 CEST)
The identification and molecular characterization of cellular hierarchies in complex tissues is key to understanding both normal cellular homeostasis and tumorigenesis. The mammary epithelium is a heterogeneous tissue consisting of two main cellular compartments, an outer basal layer containing myoepithelial cells and an inner luminal layer consisting of estrogen receptor-negative (ER−) ductal cells and secretory alveolar cells (in the fully functional differentiated tissue) and hormone-responsive estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) cells. Recent publications have used single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis to decipher epithelial cell differentiation hierarchies in human and murine mammary glands, and reported the identification of new cell types and states based on the expression of the luminal progenitor cell marker KIT (c-Kit). These studies allow for comprehensive and unbiased analysis of the different cell types that constitute a heterogeneous tissue. Here we discuss scRNA-seq studies in the context of previous research in which mammary epithelial cell populations were molecularly and functionally characterized, and identified c-Kit+ progenitors and cell states analogous to those reported in the recent scRNA-seq studies.
Thu, 30 July 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0725.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control & Systems Engineering Keywords: fluid mechanics; effectiveness of energy conversion; single-action pneumatic actuator; analytical model; simulations; dynamics; asymmetry
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:44:12 CEST)
The asymmetry in the dynamics of an electro-pneumatic actuating device consisting of an electro-pneumatic transducer and a single-action pneumatic actuator was unexpectedly found experimentally. This asymmetry manifests in response to large step excitations. The dynamic asymmetry effect is understood as a change in the shape of the response of an actuator depending on the direction of the actuators stem movement. The questions appears: How to explain this effect? Does this phenomenon reflect thermodynamic air processes? Is it connected with air-to-mechanical energy conversion? Together, six working hypotheses explaining this effect were formulated. The asymmetry was studied in detail using analytical and simulation modeling, as well as experimental research. In this respect, a nonlinear analytical model was developed, tuned, and later solved using simulations. The simulation model was verified based on the experiment data. In addition, the problem of the efficiency in the energy conversion of a single-action actuator was discussed and, in result, the maximum theoretical energy efficiency was determined. Subsequently, all six working hypotheses were verified. Finally, the hypothesis explaining asymmetry as an effect of the different thermodynamic air processes in both actuator’s stem travel directions was confirmed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0724.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy & Astrophysics Keywords: light scalar fields; axial anomaly; SU(2) Yang-Mills thermodynamics; de-percolation of axionic lumps; cosmological and galactic dark-matter densities
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:35:00 CEST)
We review consequences for the radiation and dark sectors of the cosmological model arising from the postulate that the CMB is governed by an SU(2) rather than a U(1) gauge principle. We also speculate on the possibility of actively assisted structure formation due to the de-percolation of lump-like configurations of condensed ultralight axions with a Peccei-Quinn scale comparable to the Planck mass. The chiral-anomaly induced potential of the axion condensate receives contributions from SU(2)/SU(3) Yang-Mills factors of hierarchically separated scales which act in a screened (reduced) way in confining phases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0723.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Offshore fixed floating structures; wave current coupling; numerical modelling
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:31:33 CEST)
The effects of the surface waves generated by the wind have a significant effect on the currents. A wave current coupled model plays an important role in the design of offshore structures. The interaction between fluids such as incompressible ocean waves and current and offshore structures is significant with many real-time applications in offshore engineering. These coupled models can be applied to Offshore Floating Production Operating and offloading (FPSO), Wind or current turbines and offshore pipelines. The complex issues related to the design are analyzed by using Computational Fluid Dynamics, which requires an investigation of the multiphase flow between wave and current and the structure which is considered restrictive due to the computational cost. If viscous effects are neglected then the single-phase flow models have been recommended, where wave-current interaction have been modelled successfully. Models have been developed where velocities and pressure are computed and the results can be verified with the experimental results available in the literature. In this study the existing numerical methods, mesh types are discussed along with their coupling methods. Here single-phase and multiphase models with small and medium movement are reviewed and their applications are highlighted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0722.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Pollution; water quality; Keenjhar lake; environmental impacts; Physico-chemical parameters
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:24:53 CEST)
Keenjhar Lake is the main source of drinking water for the metropolitan city of Karachi. The release of untreated wastewater from Kotri industrial area and other sources have made the lake water polluted. This study was subjected to determine the impacts of such pollutant sources on the water quality of Keenjhar Lake. The study involves the analysis of water quality parameters of Keenjhar Lake and its Feeding source (KB Feeder). The sampling sites were selected based on the sources of contamination. The water samples are tested for physical, chemical and microbiological parameters. The result of water analysis indicates the contamination level of the lake is quite alarming for the sites of Kotri effluent and WAPDA colony where Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Chloride and other ionic metals were quite higher in concentration than other sites. These sites are also contaminated with Fluoride and Arsenic which are carcinogenic elements. The study reveals that the contamination level of feeding source is causing big non-reversible damage to the lake if continued to be uncontrolled. This contamination is mainly due to the release of toxic metals and ions in the KB feeder caused by human carelessness.
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: expanded graphite; phase change materials; heat transfer enhancement; latent heat; thermal energy storage; thermal management
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:23:53 CEST)
Phase-change materials (PCMs) are particularly attractive for latent heat storage because they provide a high energy storage density at a constant temperature, which corresponds to the phase transition temperature of the material. Various techniques have been introduced to enhance the thermal conductivity of PCMs. Expanded graphite (EG) is a thermal enhancer because of its high thermal conductivity, low density, and chemical inertness. This paper provides a brief introduction of several techniques for heat transfer enhancement and EG preparation. The present review focuses on studies that examined the preparation and characterization of EG/PCM composites, as well as the simulations and applications of EG/PCM composites in thermal management and thermal energy storage systems. , melt-blending, impregnation, and compression methods are used to prepare the binary system which only contains PCMs and EG. Melt-blending, hot-pressing, impregnation, polymerization, sol-gel, and piercing-solidifying incuber methods are used to prepare the ternary system, which contains PCMs, EG, and matrix. EG/PCMs have been used for various applications such as thermal management, thermal energy storage, heat exchanger and building applications. the coupling effects with the other systems are also introduced. The simulation and application data also confirm that EG has heat transfer reinforcement effects in thermal management and thermal energy storage systems.
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: weed management; integrated tillage; integrated mowing; herbicide; biodiversity and fruit production
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:19:14 CEST)
Despite the productivity, achieving long-term sustainability and maintaining plant biodiversity become the pivotal goals in orchard floor management, especially along tree rows. Thus, the paradigm of eradicating weeds in the tree row using chemical herbicide or repeated soil tillage needs to be substituted with more sustainable alternatives. This study was conducted in two commercial apple and peach orchards in Marche region (Italy). Two integrated mechanical approaches, integrated mowing (mower + brush or disc) and integrated tillage (blade weeder + integrated mowing), were compared with standard herbicide system in a 2-years trial. Weed species abundance, soil coverage rate, and weed biomass productions, including gas exchange parameters, tree growth, fruit yield and quality were measured. Both integrated practices had significant effects on the number of weed species, total vegetation coverage, and dry weed biomass production. No significant differences were found in terms of tree gas exchange parameters, growth and fruit yield. However, a few fruit quality parameters such as fruit firmness, solid soluble content and dry matter content responded positively to the integrated practices. These results suggest that the integrated mechanical approaches of weed management increased orchard biodiversity, and they had no adverse effects on tree growth, fruit yield, and quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0719.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; long-term; neutralization antibody; lymphocyte functionality; viral pathogenicity.
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:16:21 CEST)
COVID-19 patients can recover with a median SARS-CoV-2 clearance of 20 days post initial symptoms (PIS). However, we observed some COVID-19 patients with existing SARS-CoV-2 for more than 50 days PIS. This study aimed to investigate the cause of viral clearance delay and the infectivity in these patients. Demographic data and clinical characteristics of 22 long-term COVID-19 patients were collected. SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid, peripheral lymphocyte count, and functionality were assessed. SARS-CoV-2-specific and neutralization antibodies were detected, followed by virus isolation and genome sequencing. The median age of the studied cohort was 59.83±12.94 years. All patients were clinically cured after long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection ranging from 53 to 112 days PIS. Peripheral lymphocytes counts were normal. Interferon gamma (IFN-ƴ)-generated CD4+ and CD8+ cells were normal as 24.68±9.60% and 66.41±14.87%. However, the number of IFN-ƴ-generated NK cells diminished (58.03±11.78%). All patients presented detectable IgG, which positively correlated with mild neutralizing activity (ID50=157.2, P=0.05). SARS-CoV-2 was not isolated, and a cytopathic effect was lacking. Only three synonymous variants were identified in spike protein coding regions. In conclusion, decreased IFN-γ production by NK cells and low neutralizing antibodies might favor SARS-CoV-2 long-term existence. Further, low viral load and weak viral pathogenicity was observed in COVID-19 patients with long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0718.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Sepsis, Septic shock, Lactic acid, Dynamic monitoring, Prognosis
Online: 30 July 2020 (11:23:48 CEST)
Objectives: To investigate the value of early lactate dynamic monitoring index in predicting prognosis of patients with sepsis and septic shock. Methods: We performed our test on 50 patients. Out of 50 patients, 28 are male, and 22 are female. Prospectively studied pediatric patients with septic shock were performed. Vital signs, Lactate clearance, were obtained at presentation 6 h, 12 h, 24 h over the first 48 h of hospitalization. The therapy received, outcome parameters of mortality and duration of hospitalization were recorded. Results: The statistical data and comparative analysis showed that an average of 16.88 days after admission, 5 patients have died, 17 patients are poorly prognosis leaves the hospital, and the remaining 28 are recovered and discharged. The primary outcome variable of mean 16 days hospitalization mortality rate was 10%. Poor prognosis 34% and fully recovery 56 % were observed. In this retrospective cohort study, a lactate level of more than 2.5mmol/L was the best threshold to predict 28-day mortality among severe sepsis and septic shock patients. In our research, we found mean LC 6 h 3.08mmol/L, and after 48 h mean it is 1.79mmol/L. Significant LC 6 h found, which is 8.08mmol/L in the death group patient where 48 h mmol/L shows significant high. Poor prognosis also presents a clinical increase of lactate level high in the LC 6 h analysis, which is 3.32mmol/L. Recovered patients showed a significant improvement after administering treatment depending on the patient organ involvement and good decrease of lactate reports achieved, which is 1.20mmol/L, where admission reports show it was 1.91mmol/L in LC 6 h. Mean Heart rate 94/51mmhg, pulse 119, temperature 39℃, respiratory rate 32.26, and urine output 456 ml recorded during our study. Death patient shows a remarkable detonation of those reports but has a significant clinical report with the recovered patients. Conclusion: The early lactate dynamic monitoring index has a high value in predicting sepsis and septic shock patients' prognosis, thus worth popularizing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0717.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: soil moisture; scattering albedo; tau-omega model; allometry; vegetation fraction; vegetation water content; passive microwave remote sensing; SMOS; SMAP; AMSR-E
Online: 30 July 2020 (10:58:24 CEST)
An accurate radiative transfer model (RTM) is essential for the retrieval of soil moisture (SM) from microwave remote sensing data, such as the passive microwave measurements from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. This mission delivers soil moisture products based upon L-band brightness temperature data, via retrieval algorithms for surface and root-zone soil moisture, the latter is retrieved using data assimilation and model support. We found that the RTM based on the tau-omega (?-ω) model, can suffer from significant errors over croplands (in average between -9.4K and + 12.0K for Single Channel Algorithm SCA; -8K and + 9.7K for Dual-Channel Algorithm DCA) if the vegetation scattering albedo (omega) is treated as a constant and the temporal variations are not accounted. In order to reduce this uncertainty, we propose a time-varying parameterization of omega for the widely established zeroth order radiative transfer ?-ω model. The main assumption is that omega can be expressed by a functional relationship between vegetation optical depth (tau) and the Green Vegetation Fraction (GVF). The validation was performed from 14 May to 13 December 2015 over 61 Climate Reference Network sites (SCRN) classified as croplands. The application of the proposed time-varying vegetation scattering albedo results in a consistent improvement for the unbiased root mean square error of 16% for SCA and 15% for DCA. The reduction for positive and negative biases was 45% and 5% for SCA and 26% and 12% for DCA, respectively. This indicates that vegetation dynamics on croplands are better represented by a time-dynamic single scattering albedo.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geology Keywords: travertine; terrestrial thermal springs; Central Italy; microbial mats; EPS-mediated mineralization
Online: 30 July 2020 (10:55:30 CEST)
The study of hydrothermal travertines contributes to the understanding of the interaction between physico-chemical processes and the role played by microbial mats and biofilms in influencing carbonate precipitation. Three active travertine sites were investigated in Central Italy to identify the types of carbonate precipitates and the associated microbial mats at varying physico-chemical parameters. Carbonate precipitated fabrics at the decimetre- to millimetre-scale and microbial mats vary with decreasing water temperature: a) at high temperature (55-44°C) calcite or aragonite crystals precipitate on microbial mats of sulphide oxidizing, sulphate reducing and anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria forming filamentous streamer fabrics, b) at intermediate temperature (44-40°C), rafts, coated gas bubbles and dendrites are associated with Spirulina cyanobacteria and other filamentous and rod-shaped cyanobacteria, c) low temperature (34-33°C) laminated crusts and oncoids in a terraced slope system are associated with diverse Oscillatoriales and Nostocales filamentous cyanobacteria, sparse Spirulina and diatoms. At the microscale, carbonate precipitates are similar in the three sites consisting of prismatic calcite (40-100 µm long, 20-40 µm wide) or acicular aragonite crystals organized in radial spherulites, overlying or embedded within biofilm EPS (Extracellular Polymeric Substances). Microsparite and sparite crystal size decreases with decreasing temperature and clotted peloidal micrite dominates at temperatures < 40°C, also encrusting filamentous microbes. Carbonates are associated with gypsum and Ca-phosphate crystals; EPS elemental composition is enriched in Si, Al, Mg, Ca, P, S and authigenic aluminium-silicates form aggregates on EPS. This study confirms that microbial communities in hydrothermal travertine settings vary as a function of temperature. Carbonate precipitate types at the microscale do not vary considerably, despite different microbial communities suggesting that travertine precipitation, driven by CO2 degassing, is influenced by biofilm EPS acting as template for crystal nucleation (EPS-mediated mineralization) and affecting the fabric types, independently from specific microbial metabolism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0715.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: 3D-concrete-printing; additive manufacturing; extrusion processes simulation; regularized Bingham model; fresh concrete; particle finite element method
Online: 30 July 2020 (10:46:53 CEST)
To enable purposeful design and implementation of automated concrete technologies, precise assessment and prediction of the complex material flow at various stages of the process chain are necessary. This paper investigates the intermediate stage of the extrusion and deposition processes in extrusion-based 3D-concrete-printing, using a numerical model based on the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM). In PFEM, due to the Lagrangian description of motion, remeshing algorithms and the alpha shape method are used to track the free surface during large deformation scenarios. The Bingham constitutive model was used for describing the rheological behaviour of fresh concrete. This model is validated by comparing the numerically predicted layer geometries with those obtained from laboratory 3D printing experiments. Extensive parametric studies were then conducted using the numerical simulation, delineating the influence of process and material parameters on the layer geometries, the dynamic surface forces generated under the extrusion nozzle and the inter-layer interactions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0714.v1
Subject: Keywords: Osteoclasts; microgravity, spaceflight, osteoblasts; osteocytes; M-CSF; RANKL; bone; microgravity; cytokines.
Online: 30 July 2020 (10:46:17 CEST)
Astronauts are at risk of losing 1.0 to 1.5% of their bone mass for every month they spend in space despite their adherence to high impact exercise training programs and dietary regimens designed to preserve their musculoskeletal system. This loss is the result of microgravity-related impairment of osteocyte and osteoblast function and the consequent upregulation of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. This review describes the ontogeny of osteoclast hematopoietic stem cells, the contributions of macrophage colony stimulating factor, activator of NFkB and the calcineurin pathways make in osteoclast differentiation, and provides details of bone formation, the osteoclast cytoskeleton, the immune regulation of osteoclasts, and osteoclast mechanotransduction on Earth, in the microgravity of space, and in conditions of simulated microgravity. The article discusses the need to better understand how osteoclasts are able to function in zero gravity and reviews current and prospective therapies that may be used to treat osteoclast-mediated bone disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0713.v1
Subject: Keywords: Mesenchymal Epithelial Transition; Cellular Reprogramming; OVOL1; OVOL2; Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition
Online: 30 July 2020 (10:21:43 CEST)
OVOL proteins (OVOL1 and OVOL2), vertebrate homologs of Drosophila OVO, are critical regulators of epithelial lineage determination and differentiation during embryonic development in tissues such as kidney, skin, mammary epithelia, testis. OVOL inhibits EMT and can promote MET; moreover, they can regulate the stemness of cancer cells, thus playing an important role during cancer cell metastasis. Due to their central role in differentiation and maintenance of epithelial lineage, OVOL overexpression has been shown to be capable of reprogramming fibroblasts to epithelial cells. Here, we review the roles of OVOL mediated epithelial differentiation across multiple contexts – embryonic development, cancer progression, and cellular reprogramming.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0712.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Group-B Enterovirus; RNA domain-I; viral ribonucleoprotein complexes; Enterovirus replication; 5’ terminally deleted viral forms; antiviral innate immune response; type I Interferon
Online: 30 July 2020 (10:00:13 CEST)
Group-B enteroviruses (EV-B) are ubiquitous naked single-stranded positive RNA viral pathogens that are responsible for common acute or persistent human infections. Their genome is composed in the 5'end by a non-coding region, which is crucial for the initiation of the viral replication and translation processes. RNA domain-I secondary structures can interact with viral or cellular proteins to form viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes regulating viral genomic replication, whereas RNA domains-II to -VII (IRES) are known to interact with cellular ribosomal subunits to initiate the viral translation process. Natural 5’ terminally deleted viral forms lacking some genomic RNA domain-I secondary structures have been described in EV-B induced murine or human infections. Recent in vitro studies have evidenced that the loss of some viral RNP complexes in the RNA domain-I can modulate the viral replication and infectivity levels in EV-B infections. Moreover, the disruption of secondary structures of RNA domain-I could impair viral RNA sensing by RIG-I or MDA5 receptors, a way to overcome antiviral innate immune response. Overall, natural 5′ terminally deleted viral genomes resulting in the loss of various structures in the RNA domain-I could be major key players of host-cell interactions driving the development of acute or persistent EV-B infections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0711.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: co-expression network; residual feed intake; RNA-Seq
Online: 30 July 2020 (09:39:36 CEST)
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) can regulate several aspects of gene expression, being associated with complex phenotypes in humans and livestock species. In taurine beef cattle, recent evidence points to the involvement of lncRNA in feed efficiency (FE), a proxy for increased productivity and sustainability. Here, we hypothesized specific regulatory roles of lncRNA in FE of indicine cattle. Using RNA-Seq data from liver, muscle, hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal gland from Nellore bulls with divergent FE, we submitted new transcripts to a series of filters to confidently predict lncRNA. Then, we identified lncRNA that were differentially expressed (DE) and/or key regulators of FE. Finally, we explored lncRNA genomic location and interactions with miRNA and mRNA to infer potential function. We were able to identify 126 relevant lncRNA for FE in Bos indicus, some with high homology to previously identified lncRNA in Bos taurus and some possible specific regulators of FE in indicine cattle. Moreover, lncRNA identified here were linked to previously described mechanisms related to FE in hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and are expected to help elucidate this complex phenotype. This study contributes to expanding the catalogue of lncRNA, particularly in indicine cattle, and identifies candidates for further studies in animal selection and management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0710.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: traveling salesman problem; information theory; artificial intelligence; computational complex theory; kolmogorov-complexity; kelly criterion and logarithmic utility
Online: 30 July 2020 (09:08:04 CEST)
Distributed Systems architectures are becoming the standard computational model for processing and transportation of information, especially for Cloud Computing environments. The increase in demand for application processing and data management from enterprise and end-user workloads continues to move from a single-node client-server architecture to a distributed multitier design where data processing and transmission are segregated. Software development must considerer the orchestration required to provision its core components in order to deploy the services efficiently in many independent, loosely coupled - physically and virtually interconnected - data centers spread geographically, across the globe. This network routing challenge can be modeled as a variation of the Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP). This paper proposes a new optimization algorithm for optimum route selection using Algorithmic Information Theory. The Kelly criterion for a Shannon-Bernoulli process is used to generate a reliable quantitative algorithm to find a near optimal solution tour. The algorithm is then verified by comparing the results with heuristic solutions in 3 test cases. A statistical analysis is designed to measure the significance of the results between the algorithms and the entropy function can be derived from the distribution. The tested results shown an improvement in the solution quality by producing routes with smaller length and time requirements. The quality of the results proves the flexibility of the proposed algorithm for problems with different complexities without relying in nature-inspired models such as Genetic Algorithms and Simulated Annealing. This algorithm can be used by orchestration applications to deploy services across large cluster of nodes by making better decision in the route design.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0709.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: intrinsic multi-drug resistance; acquired multi-drug resistance; circulating tumor cells; single cells; cell clusters; cell monolayer; multi-cellular spheroids; cytometry of reaction rate constant; ovarian cancer
Online: 30 July 2020 (09:01:50 CEST)
Does cell clustering influence intrinsic and acquired multi-drug resistance (MDR) differently? To address this question, we studied cultured monolayers (representing individual cells) and cultured spheroids (representing clusters) formed by drug-naïve (intrinsic MDR) and drug-exposed (acquired MDR) lines of ovarian cancer A2780 cells by cytometry of reaction rate constant (CRRC). MDR efflux was characterized by accurate and robust “cell number vs. MDR efflux rate constant (kMDR)” histograms. Both drug-naïve and drug-exposed monolayer cells presented unimodal histograms; the histogram of drug-exposed cells was shifted towards higher kMDR value suggesting greater MDR activity. Spheroids of drug-naïve cells presented a bimodal histogram indicating the presence of two subpopulations with different MDR activity. In contrast, spheroids of drug-exposed cells presented a unimodal histogram qualitatively similar to that of the monolayers of drug-exposed cells but with a moderate shift towards greater MDR activity. The observed greater effect of cell clustering on intrinsic than on acquired MDR can help guide the development of new therapeutic strategies targeting clusters of circulating tumor cells.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0708.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Gold Nanoparticles; Lewis Lung Carcinoma; Radiosensitization; Clonogenic Assay; Comet Assay
Online: 30 July 2020 (08:08:26 CEST)
It has been suggested that particle size plays an important role in determining the genotoxicity of gold nanoparticles (GNPs). The purpose of this study was to compare the potential radio-sensitization effects of two different sized GNPs (3.9 and 37.4 nm) fabricated and examined in vitro in Lewis Lung carcinoma (LLC) as a model of non-small cell lung cancer through use of comet and clonogenic assays. After the treatment of 2Gy X-ray irradiation, both particle sizes demonstrated increased DNA damage when compared to treatment with particles only and radiation alone. This radio-sensitization was further translated into a reduction in cell survival demonstrated by clonogenicity. This work indicates that GNPs of both sizes induce DNA damage in LLC cells at the tested concentrations, whereas the 37.4 nm particle size treatment group demonstrated greater significance in vitro. The presented data aids in the evaluation of the radiobiological response of Lewis Lung carcinoma cells treated with gold nanoparticles.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0707.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: polymers; recycling; waste plastic; upcycle; circular economy; PET; additive manufacturing; distributed recycling; distributed manufacturing; 3D printing
Online: 30 July 2020 (07:49:38 CEST)
This study explores the potential to reach a circular economy for post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) packaging and bottles by using it as a distributed recycling for additive manufacturing (DRAM) feedstock. Specifically, rPET is processed using only an open source toolchain with fused particle fabrication (FPF) or fused granular fabrication (FGF) processing. In this study, first the impact of granulation, sifting and heating (and their combination) is quantified on the shape and size distribution of the rPET flakes. Then feeding studies were performed to see if they could be printed through an external feeder or needed to be direct printed with a hopper using two Gigabot X machines, one with extended part cooling and one without. Print settings were optimized based on thermal characterization and for the latter which was shown to print rPET directly from shredded water bottles mechanical testing is performed. The results showed that geometry was important for extended feeding tubes and direct printed using a hopper. Further there is a wide disparity in the physical properties of rPET from water bottles depending on source and the history of the material. Future work is needed to enable water bottles to be used as a widespread DRAM feedstock.
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