International Science Index
Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Sunflower Oil Using Central Composite Design
The current study investigated the effect of catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio on biodiesel production by using central composite design. Biodiesel was produced by transesterification using sodium hydroxide as a homogeneous catalyst, a laboratory scale reactor consisting of flat bottom flask mounts with a reflux condenser and a heating plate was used to produce biodiesel. Key parameters, including, time, temperature and mixing rate were kept constant at 60 minutes, 60 oC and 600 RPM, respectively. From the results obtained, it was observed that the biodiesel yield depends on catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio. The highest yield of 50.65% was obtained at catalyst ratio of 0.5 wt.% and methanol to oil mole ratio 10.5. The analysis of variances of biodiesel yield showed the R Squared value of 0.8387. A quadratic mathematical model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield in the specified parameters ranges.
Comparing Test Equating by Item Response Theory and Raw Score Methods with Small Sample Sizes on a Study of the ARTé: Mecenas Learning Game
The purpose of the present research is to equate two
test forms as part of a study to evaluate the educational effectiveness
of the ARTé: Mecenas art history learning game. The researcher
applied Item Response Theory (IRT) procedures to calculate item,
test, and mean-sigma equating parameters. With the sample size
n=134, test parameters indicated “good” model fit but low Test
Information Functions and more acute than expected equating
parameters. Therefore, the researcher applied equipercentile equating
and linear equating to raw scores and compared the equated form
parameters and effect sizes from each method. Item scaling in IRT
enables the researcher to select a subset of well-discriminating items.
The mean-sigma step produces a mean-slope adjustment from the
anchor items, which was used to scale the score on the new form
(Form R) to the reference form (Form Q) scale. In equipercentile
equating, scores are adjusted to align the proportion of scores in each
quintile segment. Linear equating produces a mean-slope adjustment,
which was applied to all core items on the new form. The study
followed a quasi-experimental design with purposeful sampling of
students enrolled in a college level art history course (n=134) and
counterbalancing design to distribute both forms on the pre- and posttests.
The Experimental Group (n=82) was asked to play ARTé:
Mecenas online and complete Level 4 of the game within a two-week
period; 37 participants completed Level 4. Over the same period, the
Control Group (n=52) did not play the game. The researcher
examined between group differences from post-test scores on test
Form Q and Form R by full-factorial Two-Way ANOVA. The raw
score analysis indicated a 1.29% direct effect of form, which was
statistically non-significant but may be practically significant. The
researcher repeated the between group differences analysis with all
three equating methods. For the IRT mean-sigma adjusted scores,
form had a direct effect of 8.39%. Mean-sigma equating with a small
sample may have resulted in inaccurate equating parameters.
Equipercentile equating aligned test means and standard deviations,
but resultant skewness and kurtosis worsened compared to raw score
parameters. Form had a 3.18% direct effect. Linear equating
produced the lowest Form effect, approaching 0%. Using linearly
equated scores, the researcher conducted an ANCOVA to examine
the effect size in terms of prior knowledge. The between group effect
size for the Control Group versus Experimental Group participants
who completed the game was 14.39% with a 4.77% effect size
attributed to pre-test score. Playing and completing the game
increased art history knowledge, and individuals with low prior
knowledge tended to gain more from pre- to post test. Ultimately,
researchers should approach test equating based on their theoretical
stance on Classical Test Theory and IRT and the respective assumptions. Regardless of the approach or method, test equating
requires a representative sample of sufficient size. With small sample
sizes, the application of a range of equating approaches can expose
item and test features for review, inform interpretation, and identify
paths for improving instruments for future study.
The Role of Food Labeling on Consumers’ Buying Decision: Georgian Case
The paper studies the role of food labeling in order to promote healthy eating issue in Georgia. The main focus of the research is directed to consumer attitudes regarding food labeling. The methodology of the paper is based on the focus group work, as well as online and face to face surveys. The data analysis has been provided through ANOVA. The study proves that the impact of variables such as the interest, awareness, reliability, assurance and satisfaction of consumers' on buying decision, is statistically important. The study reveals that consumers’ perception regarding to food labeling is positive, but their level of knowledge and ability is rather low. It is urgent to strengthen marketing promotions strategies in the process of implementations of food security policy in Georgia.
Off-Policy Q-learning Technique for Intrusion Response in Network Security
With the increasing dependency on our computer
devices, we face the necessity of adequate, efficient and effective
mechanisms, for protecting our network. There are two main
problems that Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) attempt to solve.
1) To detect the attack, by analyzing the incoming traffic and inspect
the network (intrusion detection). 2) To produce a prompt response
when the attack occurs (intrusion prevention). It is critical creating an
Intrusion detection model that will detect a breach in the system on
time and also challenging making it provide an automatic and with
an acceptable delay response at every single stage of the monitoring
process. We cannot afford to adopt security measures with a high
exploiting computational power, and we are not able to accept a
mechanism that will react with a delay. In this paper, we will
propose an intrusion response mechanism that is based on artificial
intelligence, and more precisely, reinforcement learning techniques
(RLT). The RLT will help us to create a decision agent, who will
control the process of interacting with the undetermined environment.
The goal is to find an optimal policy, which will represent the
intrusion response, therefore, to solve the Reinforcement learning
problem, using a Q-learning approach. Our agent will produce an
optimal immediate response, in the process of evaluating the network
traffic.This Q-learning approach will establish the balance between
exploration and exploitation and provide a unique, self-learning and
strategic artificial intelligence response mechanism for IDS.
Study on the Impact of Size and Position of the Shear Field in Determining the Shear Modulus of Glulam Beam Using Photogrammetry Approach
The shear modulus of a timber beam can be determined
using torsion test or shear field test method. The shear field test
method is based on shear distortion measurement of the beam at the
zone with the constant transverse load in the standardized four-point
bending test. The current code of practice advises using two metallic
arms act as an instrument to measure the diagonal displacement of
the constructing square. The size and the position of the constructing
square might influence the shear modulus determination. This study
aimed to investigate the size and the position effect of the square
in the shear field test method. A binocular stereo vision system has
been employed to determine the 3D displacement of a grid of target
points. Six glue laminated beams were produced and tested. Analysis
of Variance (ANOVA) was performed on the acquired data to evaluate
the significance of the size effect and the position effect of the square.
The results have shown that the size of the square has a noticeable
influence on the value of shear modulus, while, the position of the
square within the area with the constant shear force does not affect
the measured mean shear modulus.
Performance Assessment of Multi-Level Ensemble for Multi-Class Problems
Many supervised machine learning tasks require
decision making across numerous different classes. Multi-class
classification has several applications, such as face recognition, text
recognition and medical diagnostics. The objective of this article is
to analyze an adapted method of Stacking in multi-class problems,
which combines ensembles within the ensemble itself. For this
purpose, a training similar to Stacking was used, but with three
levels, where the final decision-maker (level 2) performs its training
by combining outputs from the tree-based pair of meta-classifiers
(level 1) from Bayesian families. These are in turn trained by pairs
of base classifiers (level 0) of the same family. This strategy seeks to
promote diversity among the ensembles forming the meta-classifier
level 2. Three performance measures were used: (1) accuracy, (2)
area under the ROC curve, and (3) time for three factors: (a)
datasets, (b) experiments and (c) levels. To compare the factors,
ANOVA three-way test was executed for each performance measure,
considering 5 datasets by 25 experiments by 3 levels. A triple
interaction between factors was observed only in time. The accuracy
and area under the ROC curve presented similar results, showing
a double interaction between level and experiment, as well as for
the dataset factor. It was concluded that level 2 had an average
performance above the other levels and that the proposed method
is especially efficient for multi-class problems when compared to
Noise Reduction in Web Data: A Learning Approach Based on Dynamic User Interests
One of the significant issues facing web users is the amount of noise in web data which hinders the process of finding useful information in relation to their dynamic interests. Current research works consider noise as any data that does not form part of the main web page and propose noise web data reduction tools which mainly focus on eliminating noise in relation to the content and layout of web data. This paper argues that not all data that form part of the main web page is of a user interest and not all noise data is actually noise to a given user. Therefore, learning of noise web data allocated to the user requests ensures not only reduction of noisiness level in a web user profile, but also a decrease in the loss of useful information hence improves the quality of a web user profile. Noise Web Data Learning (NWDL) tool/algorithm capable of learning noise web data in web user profile is proposed. The proposed work considers elimination of noise data in relation to dynamic user interest. In order to validate the performance of the proposed work, an experimental design setup is presented. The results obtained are compared with the current algorithms applied in noise web data reduction process. The experimental results show that the proposed work considers the dynamic change of user interest prior to elimination of noise data. The proposed work contributes towards improving the quality of a web user profile by reducing the amount of useful information eliminated as noise.
Optimization of Process Parameters Affecting on Spring-Back in V-Bending Process for High Strength Low Alloy Steel HSLA 420 Using FEA (HyperForm) and Taguchi Technique
In this study, process parameters like punch angle, die opening, grain direction, and pre-bend condition of the strip for deep draw of high strength low alloy steel HSLA 420 are investigated. The finite element method (FEM) in association with the Taguchi and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) techniques are carried out to investigate the degree of importance of process parameters in V-bending process for HSLA 420&ST12 grade material. From results, it is observed that punch angle had a major influence on the spring-back. Die opening also showed very significant role on spring back. On the other hand, it is revealed that grain direction had the least impact on spring back; however, if strip from flat sheet is taken, then it is less prone to spring back as compared to the strip from sheet metal coil. HyperForm software is used for FEM simulation and experiments are designed using Taguchi method. Percentage contribution of the parameters is obtained through the ANOVA techniques.
Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane for Selective Extraction and Separation of Dysprosium
Dysprosium is a rare earth element which is essential for many growing high-technology applications. Dysprosium along with neodymium plays a significant role in different applications such as metal halide lamps, permanent magnets, and nuclear reactor control rods preparation. The purification and separation of rare earth elements are challenging because of their similar chemical and physical properties. Among the various methods, membrane processes provide many advantages over the conventional separation processes such as ion exchange and solvent extraction. In this work, selective extraction and separation of dysprosium from aqueous solutions containing an equimolar mixture of dysprosium and neodymium by emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) was investigated. The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisting of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as carrier, kerosene as base fluid, and nitric acid solution as internal aqueous phase. Factors affecting separation of dysprosium such as carrier concentration, MWCNT concentration, feed phase pH and stripping phase concentration were analyzed using Taguchi method. Optimal experimental condition was obtained using analysis of variance (ANOVA) after 10 min extraction. Based on the results, using MWCNT nanofluid in ELM process leads to increase the extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement and separation factor of 6 for dysprosium over neodymium can be achieved under the optimum conditions. Additionally, demulsification process was successfully performed and the membrane phase reused effectively in the optimum condition.
Minimizing the Drilling-Induced Damage in Fiber Reinforced Polymeric Composites
Fiber reinforced polymeric (FRP) composites are finding wide-spread industrial applications because of their exceptionally high specific strength and specific modulus of elasticity. Nevertheless, it is very seldom to get ready-for-use components or products made of FRP composites. Secondary processing by machining, particularly drilling, is almost always required to make holes for fastening components together to produce assemblies. That creates problems since the FRP composites are neither homogeneous nor isotropic. Some of the problems that are encountered include the subsequent damage in the region around the drilled hole and the drilling – induced delamination of the layer of ply, that occurs both at the entrance and the exit planes of the work piece. Evidently, the functionality of the work piece would be detrimentally affected. The current work was carried out with the aim of eliminating or at least minimizing the work piece damage associated with drilling of FPR composites. Each test specimen involves a woven reinforced graphite fiber/epoxy composite having a thickness of 12.5 mm (0.5 inch). A large number of test specimens were subjected to drilling operations with different combinations of feed rates and cutting speeds. The drilling induced damage was taken as the absolute value of the difference between the drilled hole diameter and the nominal one taken as a percentage of the nominal diameter. The later was determined for each combination of feed rate and cutting speed, and a matrix comprising those values was established, where the columns indicate varying feed rate while and rows indicate varying cutting speeds. Next, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) approach was employed using Minitab software, in order to obtain the combination that would improve the drilling induced damage. Experimental results show that low feed rates coupled with low cutting speeds yielded the best results.
Case Study of the Exercise Habits and Aging Anxiety of Taiwanese Insurance Agents
The rapid aging of the population is a common trend in the world. However, the progress of modern medical technology has increased the average life expectancy. The global population structure has changed dramatically, and the elderly population has risen rapidly. In the face of rapid population growth, it must be noted issues of the aging population must face up to, which are the physiological, psychological, and social problems associated with aging. This study aims to investigate how insurance agents are actively dealing with an aging society, their own aging anxiety, and their exercise habits. Purposive sampling was the sampling method of this study, a total of 204 respondents were surveyed and 204 valid surveys were returned. The returned valid ratio was 100%. Statistical method included descriptive statistics, t-test, and one-way ANOVA. The results of the study found that the insurance agent’s age, seniority, exercise habits to aging anxiety are significantly different.
The Effect of Strength Training and Consumption of Glutamine Supplement on GH/IGF1 Axis
Physical activity and diet are factors that influence the body's structure. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of four weeks of resistance training, and glutamine supplement consumption on growth hormone (GH), and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) Axis. 40 amateur male bodybuilders, participated in this study. They were randomly divided into four equal groups, Resistance (R), Glutamine (G), Resistance with Glutamine (RG), and Control (C). The R group was assigned to a four week resistance training program, three times/week, three sets of 10 exercises with 6-10 repetitions, at the 80-95% 1RM (One Repetition Maximum), with 120 seconds rest between sets), G group is consuming l-glutamine (0.1 g/kg-1/day-1), RG group resistance training with consuming L-glutamine, and C group continued their normal lifestyle without exercise training. GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels were measured before and after the protocol. One-way ANOVA indicated significant change in GH, IGF, and IGFBP-III between the four groups, and the Tukey test demonstrated significant increase in GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels in R, and RG group. Based upon these findings, we concluded that resistance training at 80-95% 1RM intensity, and resistance training along with oral glutamine shows significantly increase secretion of GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III in amateur males, but the addition of oral glutamine to the exercise program did not show significant difference in GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III.
Methods for Preparation of Soil Samples for Determination of Trace Elements
It is generally accepted that only about ten microelements are vitally important to all plants, and approximately ten more elements are proved to be significant for the development of some species. The main methods for their determination in soils are the atomic spectral techniques - AAS and ICP-OAS. Critical stage to obtain correct results for content of heavy metals and nutrients in the soil is the process of mineralization. A comparative study of the most widely spread methods for soil sample preparation for determination of some trace elements was carried out. Three most commonly used methods for sample preparation were used as follows: ISO11466, EPA Method 3051 and BDS ISO 14869-1. Their capabilities were assessed and their bounds of applicability in determining the levels of the most important microelements in agriculture were defined.
Experimental Analysis and Optimization of Process Parameters in Plasma Arc Cutting Machine of EN-45A Material Using Taguchi and ANOVA Method
This paper presents an experimental investigation on the optimization and the effect of the cutting parameters on Material Removal Rate (MRR) in Plasma Arc Cutting (PAC) of EN-45A Material using Taguchi L 16 orthogonal array method. Four process variables viz. cutting speed, current, stand-off-distance and plasma gas pressure have been considered for this experimental work. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) has been performed to get the percentage contribution of each process parameter for the response variable i.e. MRR. Based on ANOVA, it has been observed that the cutting speed, current and the plasma gas pressure are the major influencing factors that affect the response variable. Confirmation test based on optimal setting shows the better agreement with the predicted values.
Effects of External and Internal Focus of Attention in Motor Learning of Children Cerebral Palsy
The purpose of study was to examine the effects of external and internal focus of attention in the motor learning of children with cerebral palsy. The study involved 30 boys (7 to 12 years old) with CP type 1 who practiced throwing beanbags. The participants were randomly assigned to the internal focus, external focus, and control groups, and performed six blocks of 10-trial with attentional focus reminders during a practice phase and no reminders during retention and transfer tests. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures on the last factor was used. The results show that significant main effects were found for time and group. However, the interaction of time and group was not significant. Retention scores were significantly higher for the external focus group. The external focus group performed better than other groups; however, the internal focus and control groups’ performance did not differ. The study concluded that motor skills in Spastic Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy (SHCP) children could be enhanced by external attention.
Application of Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Evaluation of the Main Digestion Methods for Determination of Macroelements in Plant Tissue
Three commonly used digestion methods (dry ashing, acid digestion, and microwave digestion) in different variants were compared for digestion of tobacco leaves. Three main macroelements (K, Ca and Mg) were analysed using AAS Spectrometer Spectra АА 220, Varian, Australia. The accuracy and precision of the measurements were evaluated by using Polish reference material CTR-VTL-2 (Virginia tobacco leaves). To elucidate the problems with elemental recovery X-Ray and SEM–EDS analysis of all residues after digestion were performed. The X-ray investigation showed a formation of KClO4 when HClO4 was used as a part of the acids mixture. The use of HF at Ca and Mg determination led to the formation of CaF2 and MgF2. The results were confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. SPSS program for Windows was used for statistical data processing.
Optimization of Machining Parametric Study on Electrical Discharge Machining
Productivity and quality are two important aspects that have become great concerns in today’s competitive global market. Every production/manufacturing unit mainly focuses on these areas in relation to the process, as well as the product developed. The electrical discharge machining (EDM) process, even now it is an experience process, wherein the selected parameters are still often far from the maximum, and at the same time selecting optimization parameters is costly and time consuming. Material Removal Rate (MRR) during the process has been considered as a productivity estimate with the aim to maximize it, with an intention of minimizing surface roughness taken as most important output parameter. These two opposites in nature requirements have been simultaneously satisfied by selecting an optimal process environment (optimal parameter setting). Objective function is obtained by Regression Analysis and Analysis of Variance. Then objective function is optimized using Genetic Algorithm technique. The model is shown to be effective; MRR and Surface Roughness improved using optimized machining parameters.
An Investigation on Material Removal Rate of EDM Process: A Response Surface Methodology Approach
In the present work response surface methodology (RSM) based central composite design (CCD) is used for analyzing the electrical discharge machining (EDM) process. For experimentation, mild steel is selected as work piece and copper is used as electrode. Three machining parameters namely current (I), spark on time (Ton) and spark off time (Toff) are selected as the input variables. The output or response chosen is material removal rate (MRR) which is to be maximized. To reduce the number of runs face centered central composite design (FCCCD) was used. ANOVA was used to determine the significance of parameter and interactions. The suitability of model is tested using Anderson darling (AD) plot. The results conclude that different parameters considered i.e. current, pulse on and pulse off time; all have dominant effect on the MRR. At last, the optimized parameter setting for maximizing MRR is found through main effect plot analysis.
Optimization of Process Parameters using Response Surface Methodology for the Removal of Zinc(II) by Solvent Extraction
A factorial design of experiments and a response surface methodology were implemented to investigate the liquid-liquid extraction process of zinc (II) from acetate medium using the 1-Butyl-imidazolium di(2-ethylhexyl) phosphate [BIm+][D2EHP-]. The optimization process of extraction parameters such as the initial pH effect (2.5, 4.5, and 6.6), ionic liquid concentration (1, 5.5, and 10 mM) and salt effect (0.01, 5, and 10 mM) was carried out using a three-level full factorial design (33). The results of the factorial design demonstrate that all these factors are statistically significant, including the square effects of pH and ionic liquid concentration. The results showed that the order of significance: IL concentration > salt effect > initial pH. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showing high coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.91) and low probability values (P < 0.05) signifies the validity of the predicted second-order quadratic model for Zn (II) extraction. The optimum conditions for the extraction of zinc (II) at the constant temperature (20 °C), initial Zn (II) concentration (1mM) and A/O ratio of unity were: initial pH (4.8), extractant concentration (9.9 mM), and NaCl concentration (8.2 mM). At the optimized condition, the metal ion could be quantitatively extracted.
Entrepreneurs’ Perceptions of the Economic, Social and Physical Impacts of Tourism
The objective of this study is to determine how entrepreneurs perceive the economic, social and physical impacts of tourism. The study was conducted in the city of Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, which is rich in thermal tourism resources and investments. A survey was used as the data collection method, and the questionnaire was applied to 472 entrepreneurs. A simple random sampling method was used to identify the sample. Independent sampling t-tests and ANOVA tests were used to analyse the data obtained. Additionally, some statistically significant differences (p<0.05) were found based on the participants’ demographic characteristics regarding their opinions about the social, economic and physical impacts of tourism activities.
The Impact of Community Settlement on Leisure Time Use and Body Composition in Determining Physical Lifestyles among Women
Leisure time is an important component to offset the
sedentary lifestyle of the people. Women tend to benefit from leisure
activities not only to reduce stress but also to provide opportunities
for well-being and self-satisfaction. This study was conducted to
investigate body composition and leisure time use among women in
Selangor from the influences of community settlement. A total of 419
women aged 18-65 years were selected to participate in this study.
Descriptive statistics, t-test and ANOVA were used to analyze the
level of physical activity and the relationship between leisure-time
use and body composition were made to analyze the physical
lifestyles. The results showed that women with normal body
composition seem to be involved in more passive activities than
women with less weight gain and obesity. Thus, the study
recommended that the government and other health and recreational
agencies should develop more places and activities suitable for
leisure preference for women in their community settlement so they
become more interested to engage in more active recreational and
Exploring the Importance of Different Product Cues on the Selection for Chocolate from the Consumer Perspective
The purpose of this paper is to deepen the understanding of the product cues that influence purchase decision for a specific product category – chocolate, and to identify demographic differences in the buying behavior. ANOVA was employed for analyzing the significance level for nine product cues, and the survey showed statistically significant differences among different age and gender groups, and between respondents with different levels of education. From the theoretical perspective, the study adds to the existing knowledge by contributing with the research results from the new environment (Southeast Europe, Macedonia), which has been neglected so far. Establishing the level of significance for the product cues that affect buying behavior in the chocolate consumption context might help managers to improve marketing decision-making, and better meet consumer needs through identifying opportunities for packaging innovations and/or personalization toward different target groups.
Effect of Compost Application on Uptake and Allocation of Heavy Metals and Plant Nutrients and Quality of Oriental Tobacco Krumovgrad 90
A comparative research on the impact of compost on uptake and allocation of nutrients and heavy metals and quality of Oriental tobacco Krumovgrad 90 has been carried out. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the lead zinc smelter near the town of Kardzali, Bulgaria, after closing the lead production. The compost treatments had significant effects on the uptake and allocation of plant nutrients and heavy metals. The incorporation of compost leads to decrease in the amount of heavy metals present in the tobacco leaves, with Cd, Pb and Zn having values of 36%, 12% and 6%, respectively. Application of the compost leads to increased content of potassium, calcium and magnesium in the leaves of tobacco, and therefore, may favorably affect the burning properties of tobacco. The incorporation of compost in the soil has a negative impact on the quality and typicality of the oriental tobacco variety of Krumovgrad 90. The incorporation of compost leads to an increase in the size of the tobacco plant leaves, the leaves become darker in colour, less fleshy and undergo a change in form, becoming (much) broader in the second, third and fourth stalk position. This is accompanied by a decrease in the quality of the tobacco. The incorporation of compost also results in an increase in the mineral substances (pure ash), total nicotine and nitrogen, and a reduction in the amount of reducing sugars, which causes the quality of the tobacco leaves to deteriorate (particularly in the third and fourth harvests).
Potential of Salvia sclarea L. for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals
A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Salvia sclarea L. for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The content of heavy metals in different parts of Salvia sclarea L. (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) was determined by ICP. The essential oil of the Salvia sclarea L. was obtained by steam distillation in laboratory conditions and was analyzed for heavy metals and its chemical composition was determined. Salvia sclarea L. is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils. Based on the obtained results and using the most common criteria, Salvia sclarea L. can be classified as Pb hyperaccumulator and Cd and Zn accumulators, therefore, this plant has suitable potential for the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the Salvia sclarea L., as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. For clary sage oil obtained from the processing of clary sage grown on highly contaminated soils, its key odour-determining ingredients meet the quality requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia and BS ISO 7609 regarding Bulgarian clary sage oil and/or have values that are close to the limits of these standards. The possibility of further industrial processing will make Salvia sclarea L. an economically interesting crop for farmers of phytoextraction technology.
Evaluation of Microleakage of a New Generation Nano-Ionomer in Class II Restoration of Primary Molars
Objective: This in vitro study was carried out to assess the microleakage properties of nano-filled glass ionomer in comparison to resin-reinforced glass ionomers. Material and Methods: 40 deciduous molar teeth were included in this study. Class-II cavity was prepared in a standard form for all the specimens. The teeth were randomly distributed into two groups (20 per group) according to the restorative material used either nano-glass ionomer or Photac Fill glass ionomer restoration. All specimens were thermocycled for 1000 cycles between 5 and 55 °C. After that, the teeth were immersed in 2% methylene blue dye then sectioned and evaluated under a stereomicroscope. Microleakage was assessed using linear dye penetration and on a scale from zero to five. Results: Two way ANOVA test revealed a statistically significant lower degree of microleakage in both occlusal and gingival restorations (0.4±0.2), (0.9±0.1) for nano-filled glass ionomer group in comparison to resin modified glass ionomer (2.3±0.7), (2.4±0.5). No statistical difference was found between gingival and occlusal leakage regarding the effect of the measured site. Conclusion: Nano-filled glass ionomer shows superior sealing ability which enables this type of restoration to be used in minimum invasive treatment.
Impact of Regulation on Trading in Financial Derivatives in Europe
Financial derivatives are considered to be risky investment instruments which could possibly bring another financial crisis. As prevention, European Union and its member states have released new legal acts adjusting this area of law in recent years. There have been several cases in history of capital markets worldwide where it was shown that legislature may affect behavior of subjects on capital markets. In our paper we analyze main events on selected European stock exchanges in order to apply them on three chosen markets - Czech capital market represented by Prague Stock Exchange, German capital market represented by Deutsche Börse and Polish capital market represented by Warsaw Stock Exchange. We follow time series of development of the sum of listed derivatives on these three stock exchanges in order to evaluate popularity of those exchanges. Afterwards we compare newly listed derivatives in relation to the speed of development of these exchanges. We also make a comparison between trends in derivatives and shares development. We explain how a legal regulation may affect situation on capital markets. If the regulation is too strict, potential investors or traders are not willing to undertake it and move to other markets. On the other hand, if the regulation is too vague, trading scandals occur and the market is not reliable from the prospect of potential investors or issuers. We see that making the regulation stricter usually discourages subjects to stay on the market immediately although making the regulation vaguer to interest more subjects is usually much slower process.
Financial Literacy Testing: Results of Conducted Research and Introduction of a Project
The goal of the study is to provide results of a conducted study devoted to financial literacy in the Czech Republic and to introduce a project related to financial education in the Czech Republic. Financial education has become an important part of education in the country, yet it is still neglected on the lowest level of formal education–primary schools. The project is based on investigation of financial literacy on primary schools in the Czech Republic. Consequently, the authors aim to formulate possible amendments related to this type of education. The gained dataset is intended to be used for analysis concerning financial education in the Czech Republic. With regard to used methods, the most important one is regression analysis for disclosure of predictors causing different levels of financial literacy. Furthermore, comparison of different groups is planned, for which t-tests are intended to be used. The study also employs descriptive statistics to introduce basic relationship in the data file.
Hypertension and Its Association with Oral Health Status in Adults: A Pilot Study in Padusunan Adults Community
The association between general and oral health is clearly important, particularly in adults with medical conditions. Many of the medical systemic conditions are either caused or aggravated by poor oral hygiene and vice versa. Hypertension is one of common medical systemic problem which has been a public health concern worldwide due to its known consequences. Those consequences must be related to oral health status as well, whether it may cause or worsen the oral health conditions. The objective of this study was to find out the association between hypertension and oral health status in adults. This study was an analytical observational study by using cross-sectional method. A total of 42 adults both male and female in Padusunan Village, Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia were selected as subjects by using purposive sampling. Manual sphygmomanometer was used to measure blood pressure and dental examination was performed to calculate the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) scores in order to represent oral health status. The data obtained was analyzed statistically using One Way ANOVA to determine the association between hypertensive adults and their oral health status. The result showed that majority age of the subjects was ranging from 51-70 years (40.5%). Based on blood pressure examination, 57.1% of subjects were classified to prehypertension. Overall, the mean of DMFT score calculated in normal, prehypertension and hypertension group was not considered statistically significant. There was no significant association (p>0.05) between hypertension and oral health status in adults.
Structure and Activity Research of Hydrocarbons Refining Catalysts Based on Wastes of Ferroalloy Production
An effective way of utilization of ferroalloy production wastes is preparing hydrocarbon refining catalysts from them. It is possible due to accordable transition metals containing in the wastes. In the work, we are presenting the results on elemental analysis of sludge samples from Aksu ferroalloy plant (Aksu, Kazakhstan), method of catalysts preparing, results of physical-chemical analysis of obtained catalysts (X-ray analysis, electron microscopy, the BET method etc.), results of using the catalysts in some hydrocarbons refining processes such as hydrocracking of rubber waste, cracking of gasoil, oxidation of cyclohexane. The main results of catalytic activity research are: a) In hydrocracking of rubber waste 64.9% of liquid products were fuel fractions; b) In cracking of gasoil conversion was 51% and selectivity by liquid products was 99%; c) In oxidation of cyclohexane the maximal product yield 87.9% and selectivity by cyclohexanol 93.0% were achieved.
Overcoming the Obstacles to Green Campus Implementation in Indonesia
One way that has been aggressively implemented in creating a sustainable environment nowadays is through the implementation of green building concept. In order to ensure the success of its implementation, the support and initiation from educational institutions, especially higher education institutions are indispensable. This research was conducted to figure out the obstacles restraining the success of green campus implementation in Indonesia, as well as to propose strategies to overcome those obstacles. The data presented in this paper are mainly derived from interview and questionnaire distributed randomly to the staffs and students in 10 (ten) major institutions around Jakarta and West Java area. The data were further analyzed using ANOVA and SWOT analysis. According to 182 respondents, it is found that resistance to change, inadequate knowledge, information and understanding, no penalty for any environmental violation, lack of reward for green campus practices, lack of stringent regulations/laws, lack of management commitment, insufficient funds are the obstacles to the green campus movement in Indonesia. In addition, out of 6 criteria considered in UI GreenMetric World Ranking, education was the only criteria that had no significant difference between public and private universities in generating the green campus performance. The work concludes with recommendation of strategies to improve the implementation of green campus in the future.