Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.
A bio-sensing method, based on the plasmonic property of gold nano-islands, has been developed for detection of exosomes in a clinical setting. The position of the gold plasmon band in the UV-Visible spectrum depends on the size and shape of gold nanoparticles as well as on the surrounding environment. By adsorbing various chemical entities, or binding them, the gold plasmon band will shift toward longer wavelengths and the shift is proportional to the concentration. Exosomes transport cargoes of molecules and genetic materials to proximal and distal cells. Presently, the standard method for their isolation and quantification from body fluids is by ultracentrifugation, not a practical method to be implemented in a clinical setting. Thus, a versatile and cutting-edge platform is required to selectively detect and isolate exosomes for further analysis at clinical level. The new sensing protocol, instead of antibodies, makes use of a specially synthesized polypeptide (Vn96), to capture and quantify the exosomes from different media, by binding the heat shock proteins from exosomes. The protocol has been established and optimized by using a glass substrate, in order to facilitate the next stage, namely the transfer of the protocol to a microfluidic environment. After each step of the protocol, the UV-Vis spectrum was recorded and the position of gold Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) band was measured. The sensing process was modelled, taking into account the characteristics of the nano-island structure, prepared by thermal convection and annealing. The optimal molar ratios of the most important chemical entities, involved in the detection of exosomes were calculated as well. Indeed, it was found that the results of the sensing process depend on the two major steps: the molar ratios of streptavidin to biotin-PEG-Vn96 and, the final step, the capture of exosomes by the biotin-PEG-Vn96 complex. The microfluidic device designed for sensing of exosomes consists of a glass substrate, sealed by a PDMS layer that contains the channel and a collecting chamber. In the device, the solutions of linker, cross-linker, etc., are pumped over the gold nano-islands and an Ocean Optics spectrometer is used to measure the position of the Au plasmon band at each step of the sensing. The experiments have shown that the shift of the Au LSPR band is proportional to the concentration of exosomes and, thereby, exosomes can be accurately quantified. An important advantage of the method is the ability to discriminate between exosomes having different origins.
Water and sediment samples from the Danube River and Moson Danube Arm (Hungary) have been collected and analyzed for contamination by 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and eight trace metal(loid)s (As, Cu, Pb, Ni, Cr, Cd, Hg and Zn) in the period of 2014-2015. Moreover, the trace metal(loid) concentrations were measured in the Rába and Marcal rivers (parts of the tributary system feeding the Danube). Total PAH contents in water were found to vary from 0.016 to 0.133 µg/L and concentrations in sediments varied in the range of 0.118 mg/kg and 0.283 mg/kg. Source analysis of PAHs using diagnostic concentration ratios indicated that PAHs found in sediments were of pyrolytic origins. The dissolved trace metal and arsenic concentrations were relatively low in the surface waters. However, higher concentrations were detected in the water samples of Rába (Zn, Cu, Ni, Pb) and Marcal (As, Cu, Ni, Pb) compared to the Danube and Moson Danube. The concentrations of trace metals in sediments were higher than those found in water samples.
Industrial heritage reflects the traces of an industrial past that have contributed to the economic development of a country. This heritage should be included within the scope of preservation to remind of and to connect the city and its inhabitants to the past. Through adaptive conservation, industrial heritage can be reintroduced into contemporary urban life, with suitable functions and unique identities sustained. The conservation of industrial heritage should protect the material fabric of such heritage and maintain its cultural significance. Emphasising the historical and cultural significance of industrial areas, this research argues that industrial heritage is primarily impacted by political and economic thinking rather than by informed heritage and conservation issues. Waterfront redevelopment projects create similar landscapes around the world, transforming industrial identities and cultural significances. In the case of The Rocks and Darling Harbour, the goal of redevelopment was the creation of employment opportunities, and the provision of places to work, live and shop, through tourism promoted by the NSW State Government. The two case study areas were pivotal to the European industrial development of Sydney. Sydney Cove was one of the largest commercial wharves used to handle cargo in Australia. This paper argues, together with many historians, planners and heritage experts, that these areas have not received the due diligence deserved in regards to their significance to the industrial history of Sydney and modern Australia.
In a parliamentary system, party discipline is the impulse; when it falls short, the government usually falls. Conceivably, the platform of Indian politics suffers with innumerous practical disorders. The politics of defection is one such specie entailing gross miscarriage of fair conduct turning politics into a game of thrones (powers). This practice of political nomaditude can trace its seed in the womb of British House of Commons. Therein, if a legislator was found to cross the floor, the party considered him disloyal. In other words, the legislator lost his allegiance to his former party by joining another party. This very phenomenon, in practice has a two way traffic i.e. ruling party to the opposition party or vice versa. The democracies like USA, Australia and Canada were also aware of this fashion of swapping loyalties. There have been several instances of great politicians changing party allegiance, for example Winston Churchill, Ramsay McDonald, William Gladstone etc. Nevertheless, it is interesting to cite that irrespective of such practice of changing party allegiance, none of the democracies in the west ever desired or felt the need to legislatively ban defections. But, exceptionally India can be traced to have passed anti-defection laws. The politics of defection had been a unique popular phenomenon on the floor of Indian Parliamentary system gradually gulping the democratic essence and synchronization of the Federation. This study is both analytical and doctrinal, which tries to examine whether representative democracy has lost its essence due to political nomadism. The present study also analyzes the classical as well as contemporary pulse of floor crossing amidst dynastic politics in a representative democracy. It will briefly discuss the panorama of defections under the Indian federal structure in the light of the anti-defection law and an attempt has been made to add valuable suggestions to streamline remedy for the still prevalent political defections.
The purpose of computing the similarity and the diversity in the species is to trace the process of evolution and to find the relationship between the species and discover the unique, the special, the common and the universal proteins. The proteins of the whole genome of 40 species are compared with the cronobacter genome which is used as reference genome. More than 3 billion pairwise alignments are performed using blastp. Several findings are introduced in this study, for example, we found 172 proteins in cronobacter genome which have insignificant hits in other species, 116 significant proteins in the all tested species with very high score value and 129 common proteins in the plants but have insignificant hits in mammals, birds, fishes, and insects.
Hardly any neat biodiesel satisfies the European EN14214 standard for compression ignition engine application. To satisfy the EN14214 standard, various additives are doped into biodiesel; however, biodiesel additives might cause other problems such as increase in the particular emission and increased specific fuel consumption. In addition, the additives could be expensive. Considering the increasing level of greenhouse gas GHG emissions and fossil fuel depletion, it is forecasted that the use of biodiesel will be higher in the near future. Hence, the negative aspects of the biodiesel additives will likely to gain much more importance and need to be replaced with better solutions. This study aims to satisfy the European standard EN14214 by blending the biodiesels derived from sustainable feedstocks. Waste Cooking Oil (WCO) and Animal Fat Oil (AFO) are two sustainable feedstocks in the EU (including the UK) for producing biodiesels. In the first stage of the study, these oils were transesterified separately and neat biodiesels (W100 & A100) were produced. Secondly, the biodiesels were blended together in various ratios: 80% WCO biodiesel and 20% AFO biodiesel (W80A20), 60% WCO biodiesel and 40% AFO biodiesel (W60A40), 50% WCO biodiesel and 50% AFO biodiesel (W50A50), 30% WCO biodiesel and 70% AFO biodiesel (W30A70), 10% WCO biodiesel and 90% AFO biodiesel (W10A90). The prepared samples were analysed using Thermo Scientific Trace 1300 Gas Chromatograph and ISQ LT Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS). The GS-MS analysis gave Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) breakdowns of the fuel samples. It was found that total saturation degree of the samples was linearly increasing (from 15% for W100 to 54% for A100) as the percentage of the AFO biodiesel was increased. Furthermore, it was found that WCO biodiesel was mainly (82%) composed of polyunsaturated FAMEs. Cetane numbers, iodine numbers, calorific values, lower heating values and the densities (at 15 oC) of the samples were estimated by using the mass percentages data of the FAMEs. Besides, kinematic viscosities (at 40 °C and 20 °C), densities (at 15 °C), heating values and flash point temperatures of the biomixture samples were measured in the lab. It was found that estimated and measured characterisation results were comparable. The current study concluded that biomixture fuel samples W60A40 and W50A50 were perfectly satisfying the European EN 14214 norms without any need of additives. Investigation on engine performance, exhaust emission and combustion characteristics will be conducted to assess the full feasibility of the proposed biomixture fuels.
In this work, a practical study on a commissioned Giga Passive Optical Network (GPON) fiber to the home access network in Kuwait is presented. The work covers the framework of the conceptual design of the deployed Passive Optical Networks (PONs), access network, optical fiber cable network distribution, technologies, and standards. The work also describes methodologies applied by system engineers for design of Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) and Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) transceivers with respect to the distance, operating wavelengths, splitting ratios. The results have demonstrated and justified the limitation of transmission distance of a PON link in Fiber to The Premises (FTTP) to not exceed 20 km. Optical Time Domain Reflector (OTDR) test has been carried for this project to confirm compliance with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) specifications regarding the total length of the deployed optical cable, total loss in dB, and loss per km in dB/km with respect to the operating wavelengths. OTDR test results with traces for segments of implemented fiber network will be provided and discussed.
Diclofenac sodium, a member of the acetic acid family of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, is used to retard inflammation, arthritis pain and ankylosing spondylitis. The drug is known to cause severe injury in different tissues due to formation of reactive oxygen species. The present study is focused on the effect of different doses of diclofenac (4 mg/kg/body weight and 14 mg/kg/body weight on histoarchitecture of the liver from 7-28 days of the investigation. Diclofenac administration resulted in distorted hepatic degeneration and formation of wide areas in the form of sinusoidal gaps. Hepatic fibrosis noticed in different stages of investigation could be attributed to chronic inflammation and reactive oxygen species which results in deposition of extracellular matrix proteins. The abrupt degenerative changes observed during later stages of the experiment showed maximum damage to the liver, and there was enlargement of sinusoidal gaps accompanied by maximum necrosis in the tissues.
The evolution of groundwater chemistry and its quality is largely controlled by hydrogeochemical processes and their understanding is therefore important for groundwater quality assessments and protection of the water resources. A study was conducted in Bloemfontein town of South Africa to assess and compare the groundwater chemistry and quality characteristics in an alluvial aquifer and single-plane fractured-rock aquifers. 9 groundwater samples were collected from monitoring boreholes drilled into the two aquifer systems during a once-off sampling exercise. Samples were collected through low-flow purging technique and analysed for major ions and trace elements. In order to describe the hydrochemical facies and identify dominant hydrogeochemical processes, the groundwater chemistry data are interpreted using stiff diagrams and principal component analysis (PCA), as complimentary tools. The fitness of the groundwater quality for domestic and irrigation uses is also assessed. Results show that the alluvial aquifer is characterised by a Na-HCO3 hydrochemical facie while fractured-rock aquifer has a Ca-HCO3 facie. The groundwater in both aquifers originally evolved from the dissolution of calcite rocks that are common on land surface environments. However the groundwater in the alluvial aquifer further goes through another evolution as driven by cation exchange process in which Na in the sediments exchanges with Ca2+ in the Ca-HCO3 hydrochemical type to result in the Na-HCO3 hydrochemical type. Despite the difference in the hydrogeochemical processes between the alluvial aquifer and single-plane fractured-rock aquifer, this did not influence the groundwater quality. The groundwater in the two aquifers is very hard as influenced by the elevated magnesium and calcium ions that evolve from dissolution of carbonate minerals which typically occurs in surface environments. Based on total dissolved levels (600-900 mg/L), groundwater quality of the two aquifer systems is classified to be of fair quality. The negative potential impacts of the groundwater quality for domestic uses are highlighted.
Coal mining is well known to cause considerable environmental impacts, including trace element contamination of soil. This study aimed to assess the trace element (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn) contamination of soil in the vicinity of coal mining activities, using the case study of Asam-asam River basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and to assess the human health risk, incorporating total and bioavailable (water-leachable and acid-leachable) concentrations. The results show the enrichment of As and Co in soil, surpassing the background soil value. Contamination was evaluated based on the index of geo-accumulation, Igeo and the pollution index, PI. Igeo values showed that the soil was generally uncontaminated (Igeo ≤ 0), except for elevated As and Co. Mean PI for Ni and Cu indicated slight contamination. Regarding the assessment of health risks, the Hazard Index, HI showed adverse risks (HI > 1) for Ni, Co, and As. Further, Ni and As were found to pose unacceptable carcinogenic risk (risk > 1.10-5). Farming, settlement, and plantation were found to present greater risk than coal mines. These results show that coal mining activity in the study area contaminates the soils by particular elements and may pose potential human health risk in its surrounding area. This study is important for setting appropriate countermeasure actions and improving basic coal mining management in Indonesia.
The construction industry generates large amounts of waste, usually mixed, which can be composed of different origin materials, most of them catalogued as non-hazardous. The European Union targets for this waste for 2020 have been already achieved by the UK, but it is mainly developed in downcycling processes (backfilling) whereas upcycling (such as recycle in new concrete batches) still keeps at a low percentage. The aim of this paper is to explore further in the use of recycled aggregates from construction and demolition waste (CDW) in concrete mixes so as to improve upcycling. A review of most recent research and legislation applied in the UK is developed regarding the production of concrete blocks. As a case study, initial tests were developed with a CDW recycled aggregate sample from a CDW plant in Swansea. Composition by visual inspection and sieving tests of two samples were developed and compared to original aggregates. More than 70% was formed by soil waste from excavation, and the rest was a mix of waste from mortar, concrete, and ceramics with small traces of plaster, glass and organic matter. Two concrete mixes were made with 80% replacement of recycled aggregates and different water/cement ratio. Tests were carried out for slump, absorption, density and compression strength. The results were compared to a reference sample and showed a substantial reduction of quality in both mixes. Despite that, the discussion brings to identify different aspects to solve, such as heterogeneity or composition, and analyze them for the successful use of these recycled aggregates in the production of concrete blocks. The conclusions obtained can help increase upcycling processes ratio with mixed CDW as recycled aggregates in concrete mixes.
An aesthetic facial profile is one of the goals in Orthodontics treatment. However, this is not easily achieved, especially in patients with Class II Division 1 malocclusion who have the clinical characteristics of convex profile and significant skeletal discrepancy due to mandibular growth deficiency. Malocclusion with skeletal problems require proper treatment timing for growth stimulation, and it must be done in early age and in need of good cooperation from the patient. If this is not done and the patient has passed the growth period, the ideal treatment is orthognathic surgery which is more complicated and more painful. The growth stimulation of skeletal malocclusion requires a careful cephalometric evaluation ranging from diagnosis to determine the parts that require stimulation to post-treatment evaluation to see the success achieved through changes in the measurement of the skeletal parameters shown in the cephalometric analysis. This case report aims to describe skeletal changes cephalometrically that were achieved through orthodontic treatment in growing period. Material and method: Lateral Cephalograms, pre-treatment, and post-treatment of cases of Class II Division 1 malocclusion is selected from a collection of cephalometric radiographic in a private clinic. The Cephalogram is then traced and measured for the skeletal parameters. The result is noted as skeletal condition data of pre-treatment and post-treatment. Furthermore, superimposition is done to see the changes achieved. The results show that growth stimulation through orthodontic treatment can solve the skeletal problem of Class II Division 1 malocclusion and the skeletal changes that occur can be verified through cephalometric analysis. The skeletal changes have an impact on the improvement of patient's facial profile. To sum up, the treatment timing on a skeletal malocclusion is very important to obtain satisfactory results for the improvement of the aesthetic facial profile, and skeletal changes can be verified through cephalometric evaluation of pre- and post-treatment.
Faced with a sudden, unexpected, and overwhelming event, the individual's normal cognitive processing may cease to function, trapping the psyche in "speechless terror", while images, feelings and sensations are experienced with emotional intensity. Unable to master such situation, the individual becomes a trauma victim who will be susceptible to traumatic recollections like intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and repetitive re-living of the primal event in a way that blurs the distinction between past and present, and forecloses the future. Trauma is timeless, repetitious, and contagious; a trauma observer could fall prey to "secondary victimhood". Central to the process of healing the psychic wounds in the aftermath of trauma is verbalizing the traumatic experience (i.e., putting it into words) – an act which provides a chance for assimilation, testimony, and reevaluation. In light of this paradigm, this paper proposes a reading of Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol, written shortly after his release from prison, as a post-traumatic text which traces the disruptive effects of the traumatic experience of Wilde's imprisonment for homosexual offences and the ensuing reversal of fortune he endured. Post-traumatic writing demonstrates the process of "working through" a trauma which may lead to the possibility of ethical agency in the form of a "survivor mission". This paper draws on fundamental concepts and key insights in literary trauma theory which is characterized by interdisciplinarity, combining the perspectives of different fields like critical theory, psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, history, and social studies. Of particular relevance to this paper are the concepts of "vicarious traumatization" and "survivor mission", as The Ballad of Reading Gaol was written in response to Wilde's own prison trauma and the indirect traumatization he experienced as a result of witnessing the execution of a fellow prisoner whose story forms the narrative base of the poem. The Ballad displays Wilde's sense of mission which leads him to recognize the social as well as ethical implications of personal tragedy. Through a close textual analysis of The Ballad of Reading Gaol within the framework of literary trauma theory, the paper aims to: (a) demonstrate how the poem's thematic concerns, structure and rhetorical figures reflect the structure of trauma; (b) highlight Wilde's attempts to come to terms with the effects of the cataclysmic experience which transformed him into a social outcast; and (c) show how Wilde manages to transcend the victim status and assumes the role of ethical agent to voice a critique of the Victorian penal system and the standards of morality underlying the cruelties practiced against wrong doers and to solicit social action.
The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.
The State Park Jalapão - PEJ proved to be one of the protected areas that has attracted tourists from all over the world with its unique scenic landscapes. Although the region already has a considerable tourist flow, to our knowledge there is a lack of continuity of studies in the region capable of drawing a plan of activities, such as the profile of the tourist and analysis of their experiences in the region, carried out from 2006-2007. Therefore, this study was proposed to know the profile and experiences of tourists visiting the park today, making a connection with the earlier study, in order to generate subsidies to trace improvement actions. We conducted interviews with tourists in the main tourism season 2015. The results show that after eight years of carrying out the first study, there were no changes, highlighting the lack of a tourism plan for the park.
The aim of this study was to analyze long term changes of surface water quality in Latvia, spatial variability of water chemical composition, possible impacts of different pollution sources as well as to analyze the measures to protect national water resources - river basin management. Within this study, the concentrations of major water ingredients and microelements in major rivers and lakes of Latvia have been determined. Metal concentrations in river and lake waters were compared with water chemical composition. The mean concentrations of trace metals in inland waters of Latvia are appreciably lower than the estimated world averages for river waters and close to or lower than background values, unless regional impacts determined by local geochemistry. This may be explained by a comparatively lower level of anthropogenic load. In the same time in several places, direct anthropogenic impacts are evident, regarding influences of point sources both transboundary transport impacts. Also, different processes related to pollution of surface waters in Latvia have been analyzed. At first the analysis of changes and composition of pollutant emissions in Latvia has been realized, and the obtained results were compared with actual composition of atmospheric precipitation and their changes in time.
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.
Alkaline niobate (Na0.5K0.5)NbO3 ceramic system has attracted major attention in view of its potential for replacing the highly toxic but superior lead zirconate titanate (PZT) system for piezoelectric applications. Recently, a more detailed study of this system reveals that the ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties are optimized in the Li- and V-modified system having the composition (K0.485Na0.5Li0.015)(Nb0.98V0.02)O3. In the present work, we further study the pyroelectric behaviour of this composition along with another doped with Mn4+. So, (K0.485Na0.5Li0.015)(Nb0.98V0.02)O3 + x MnO2 (x = 0, and 0.01 wt. %) ceramic compositions were synthesized by conventional ceramic processing route. X-ray diffraction study reveals that both the undoped and Mn4+-doped ceramic samples prepared crystallize into a perovskite structure having orthorhombic symmetry. Dielectric study indicates that Mn4+ doping has little effect on both the Curie temperature (Tc) and tetragonal-orthorhombic phase transition temperature (Tot). The bulk density, room-temperature dielectric constant (εRT), and room-c The room-temperature coercive field (Ec) is observed to be lower in Mn4+ doped sample. The detailed analysis of the P-E hysteresis loops over the range of temperature from about room temperature to Tot points out that enhanced ferroelectric properties exist in this temperature range with better thermal stability for the Mn4+ doped ceramic. The study reveals that small traces of Mn4+ can modify (K0.485Na0.5Li0.015)(Nb0.98V0.02)O3 system so as to improve its ferroelectric properties with good thermal stability over a wide range of temperature.
This study aims at contributing to the characterization of the process of biological incorporation of chromium by two benthonic species, the macroalgae Ulva sp. and the aquatic macrophyte Ruppia maritima, to subsidize future activities of monitoring the contamination of aquatic biota. This study is based on laboratory experiments to characterize the incorporation kinetics of the radiotracer 51Cr in two oxidation states (III and VI), under different salinities (7, 15, and 21 ‰). Samples of two benthonic species were collected on the margins of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), acclimated in the laboratory and subsequently subjected to experiments. In tests with 51Cr (III and IV), it was observed that accumulation of the metal in Ulva sp. has inverse relationship with salinity, while for R. maritima, the maximum accumulation occurs in salinity 21‰. In experiments with Cr(III), increases in the uptake of ion by both species were verified. The activity of Cr(III) was up to 19 times greater than the Cr(VI). As regards the potential for accumulation of metals, a better sensitivity of Ulva sp. for any chromium tri or hexavalent forms was verified, while for the Cr(VI) it will require low salinities and longer exposure (>24h). For R. maritima, the results showed the uptake of Cr(VI) increase along with time (>20h), because this species is more resistant for the hexavalent form and useful for any salinity as well.
Atmospheric concentrations of some heavy metal compounds (Pb, Cd, Ni) and the metalloid As were identified and determined in airborne PM2.5 particles in urban sites of Győr, northwest area of Hungary. PM2.5 aerosol samples were collected in two different sampling sites and the trace metal(loid) (Pb, Ni, Cd and As) content were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The concentration of PM2.5 fraction was varied between 12.22 and 36.92 μg/m3 at the two sampling sites. The trend of heavy metal mean concentrations regarding the mean value of the two urban sites of Győr was found in decreasing order of Pb > Ni > Cd. The mean values were 7.59 ng/m3 for Pb, 0.34 ng/m3 for Ni and 0.11 ng/m3 for Cd, respectively. The metalloid As could be detected only in 3.57% of the total collected samples. The levels of PM2.5 bounded heavy metals were determined and compared with other cities located in Hungary.
Recent advances in genetics have allowed increasing acutely the capacities of the formation of reliable evidence in conducting forensic examinations. Thus, traces of biological origin are important sources of information about a crime. Currently, around the world, sexual offenses have increased, and among them are those in which the criminals use various detergents to remove traces of their crime. A feature of modern synthetic detergents is the presence of biological additives - enzymes. Enzymes purposefully destroy stains of biological origin. To study the nature and extent of the impact of modern washing powders on saliva stains on the physical evidence, specially prepared test specimens of different types of tissues to which saliva was applied have been examined. Materials and Methods: Washing machines of famous manufacturers of household appliances have been used with different production characteristics and advertised brands of washing powder for test washing. Over 3,500 experimental samples were tested. After washing, the traces of saliva were identified using modern research methods of forensic medicine. Results: The influence was tested and the dependence of the use of different washing programs, types of washing machines and washing powders in the process of establishing saliva trace and identify of the stains on the physical evidence while washing was revealed. The results of experimental and practical expert studies have shown that in most cases it is not possible to draw the conclusions in the identification of saliva traces on physical evidence after washing. This is a consequence of the effect of biological additives and other additional factors on traces of saliva during washing. Conclusions: On the basis of the results of the study, the feasibility of saliva traces of the stains on physical evidence after washing is established. The use of modern molecular genetic methods makes it possible to partially solve the problems arising in the study of unlaundered evidence. Additional study of physical evidence after washing facilitates detection and investigation of sexual offenses against women and children.
Parabens are the antimicrobial molecules largely used in cosmetic products as a preservative agent. Among them, the methylparaben (MP) is the most frequently used ingredient in cosmetic preparations. Nevertheless, their potential dangers led to the development of sensible and reliable methods for their determination in environmental samples. Firstly, a sensitive and selective molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) based on screen-printed gold electrode (Au-SPE), assembled on a polymeric layer of carboxylated poly(vinyl-chloride) (PVC-COOH), was developed. After the template removal, the obtained material was able to rebind MP and discriminate it among other interfering species such as glucose, sucrose, and citric acid. The behavior of molecular imprinted sensor was characterized by Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) techniques. Then, the biosensor was found to have a linear detection range from 0.1 pg.mL-1 to 1 ng.mL-1 and a low limit of detection of 0.12 fg.mL-1 and 5.18 pg.mL-1 by DPV and EIS, respectively. For applications, this biosensor was employed to determine MP content in four wastewaters in Meknes city and two cosmetic products (shower gel and shampoo). The operational reproducibility and stability of this biosensor were also studied. Secondly, another MIP biosensor based on tungsten trioxide (WO3) functionalized by gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) assembled on a polymeric layer of PVC-COOH was developed. The main goal was to increase the sensitivity of the biosensor. The developed MIP biosensor was successfully applied for the MP determination in wastewater samples and cosmetic products.
Kuosheng nuclear power plant (NPP) is a BWR/6 plant in Taiwan. There is more concern for the safety of Spent Fuel Pools (SFPs) in Taiwan after Fukushima event. In order to estimate the safety of Kuosheng NPP SFP, by using MELCOR2.1 and SNAP, the safety analysis of Kuosheng NPP SFP was performed combined with the mitigation strategy of NEI 06-12 report. There were several steps in this research. First, the Kuosheng NPP SFP models were established by MELCOR2.1/SNAP. Second, the Station Blackout (SBO) analysis of Kuosheng SFP was done by TRACE and MELCOR under the cooling system failure condition. The results showed that the calculations of MELCOR and TRACE were very similar in this case. Second, the mitigation strategy analysis was done with the MELCOR model by following the NEI 06-12 report. The results showed the effectiveness of NEI 06-12 strategy in Kuosheng NPP SFP. Finally, a sensitivity study of SFP quenching was done to check the differences of different water injection time and the phenomena during the quenching. The results showed that if the cladding temperature was over 1600 K, the water injection may have chance to cause the accident more severe with more hydrogen generation. It was because of the oxidation heat and the “Breakaway” effect of the zirconium-water reaction. An animation model built by SNAP was also shown in this study.
Extracellular laccases are copper-containing microbial enzymes with many industrial biotechnological applications. This study evaluated the ability of nutrients in coconut coir to enhance the yield of extracellular laccase of Galactomyces reesii IFO 10823 and develop a co-culture between this yeast and other filamentous fungi isolated from the fungus comb of Macrotermes sp. The co-culture between G. reesii IFO 10823 and M. indicus FJ-M-5 (G3) gave the highest activity at 580.20 U/mL. When grown in fermentation media prepared from coconut coir and distilled water at 70% of initial moisture without supplement addition, G3 produced extracellular laccase of 113.99 U/mL.