International Science Index

2294
10009055
A Pilot Study of Robot Reminiscence in Dementia Care
Abstract:

In care for older adults, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) like agitation and aggression are distressing for patients and their caretakers, often resulting in premature institutionalization with increased costs of care. To improve mood and mitigate symptoms, as a non-pharmaceutical approach, emotion-oriented therapy like reminiscence work is adopted in face-to-face communication. Telecommunication support is expected to be provided by robotic media as a bridge for digital divide for those with dementia and facilitate social interaction both verbally and nonverbally. The purpose of this case study is to explore the conditions in which robotic media can effectively attract attention from older adults with dementia and promote their well-being. As a pilot study, we introduced the pillow-phone Hugvie®, a huggable humanly shaped communication medium to five residents with dementia at a care facility, to investigate how the following conditions work for the elderly when they use the medium; 1) no sound, 2) radio, non-interactive, 3) daily conversation, and 4) reminiscence work. As a result, under condition 4, reminiscence work, the five participants kept concentration in interacting with the medium for a longer duration than other conditions. In condition 4, they also showed larger amount of utterances than under other conditions. These results indicate that providing topics related to personal histories through robotic media could affect communication positively and should, therefore, be further investigated. In addition, the issue of ethical implications by using persuasive technology that affects emotions and behaviors of older adults is also discussed.

Paper Detail
10
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2293
10009057
Ultrasound Assisted Extraction and Microwave Assisted Extraction of Carotenoids from Melon Shells
Abstract:
Cantaloupes (muskmelon and watermelon) contain biologically active molecules such as carotenoids which are natural pigments used as food colorants and afford health benefits. ß-carotene is the major source of carotenoids present in muskmelon and watermelon shell. Carotenoids were extracted using Microwave assisted extraction (MAE) and Ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) utilising organic lipophilic solvents such as acetone, methanol, and hexane. Extraction conditions feed-solvent ratio, microwave power, ultrasound frequency, temperature and particle size were varied and optimized. It was found that the yield of carotenoids was higher using UAE than MAE, and muskmelon had the highest yield of carotenoids when was ethanol used as a solvent for 0.5 mm particle size.
Paper Detail
10
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2292
10008872
A Literature Review on Nutritional Supplements for the Treatment of Obesity
Abstract:

The problem of obesity is one that continues to be faced in the United States health care system and across the developing world. Prescription medications are available, but are often very expensive with minimal insurance coverage. The over-the-counter diet aid industry is a robust one, selling billions of dollars in products every year. It is important for clinicians to understand the myriad of different nutritional supplements marketed for obesity, and to weigh the evidence behind these products. This manuscript outlines the most commonly used nutritional supplements currently marketed for weight loss, reviewing the evidence with a focus on the efficacy and safety of these products.

Paper Detail
89
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2291
10008875
Immunolabeling of TGF-β during Muscle Regeneration
Abstract:

Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration. They are secreted by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. On the other hand, it has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. Therefore, we investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. Muscle regeneration was studied in an irradiated muscle of minipig animal model in presence or absence of ASC treatment (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). We characterized macrophage populations by immunolabeling in the different conditions. In our study, we found mostly M2 and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, only few M2b macrophages were noticed in the IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization and immunolabeling, we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages and we showed that M2d macrophage are the most abundant in the IRR+ASC samples. By in situ hybridization, strong expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed in the IRR+ASC but very week in the IRR samples. But when we analyzed TGF-β level with immunolabeling the expression was very different: many M2 macrophages showed week expression in IRR+ASC and few cells expressing stronger level in IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.

Paper Detail
72
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2290
10008876
Collective Redress in Consumer Protection in South East Europe: Cross-National Comparisons, Issues of Commonality and Difference
Abstract:

In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.

Paper Detail
118
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2289
10008914
Neuropalliative Care in Patients with Progressive Neurological Disease in Czech Republic: Study Protocol
Abstract:

Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.

Paper Detail
55
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2288
10008938
Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Using a Combination of Images Processing and Brain Signals
Abstract:

Alzheimer's prevalence is on the rise, and the disease comes with problems like cessation of treatment, high cost of treatment, and the lack of early detection methods. The pathology of this disease causes the formation of protein deposits in the brain of patients called plaque amyloid. Generally, the diagnosis of this disease is done by performing tests such as a cerebrospinal fluid, CT scan, MRI, and spinal cord fluid testing, or mental testing tests and eye tracing tests. In this paper, we tried to use the Medial Temporal Atrophy (MTA) method and the Leave One Out (LOO) cycle to extract the statistical properties of the three Fz, Pz, and Cz channels of ERP signals for early diagnosis of this disease. In the process of CT scan images, the accuracy of the results is 81% for the healthy person and 88% for the severe patient. After the process of ERP signaling, the accuracy of the results for a healthy person in the delta band in the Cz channel is 81% and in the alpha band the Pz channel is 90%. In the results obtained from the signal processing, the results of the severe patient in the delta band of the Cz channel were 89% and in the alpha band Pz channel 92%.

Paper Detail
60
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2287
10008941
Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity
Abstract:

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

Paper Detail
58
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2286
10008942
Associations between Metabolic Syndrome and Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Postmenopausal Women with Non-Vertebral Fractures
Abstract:

Medical, social, and economic relevance of osteoporosis is caused by reducing quality of life, increasing disability and mortality of the patients as a result of fractures due to the low-energy trauma. This study is aimed to examine the associations of metabolic syndrome components, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in menopausal women with non-vertebral fractures. 1161 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into three groups: A included 419 women with increased body weight (BMI - 25.0-29.9 kg/m2), B – 442 females with obesity (BMI >29.9 kg/m2)i and C – 300 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm was investigated with usage of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The bone quality indexes were measured according to Med-Imaps installation. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package 6.0. BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body, and ultradistal radius was significant higher in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to the pre-obese ones (p<0.001). TBS was significantly higher in women with increased body weight compared to obese and metabolic syndrome patients. Analysis showed significant positive correlation between waist circumference, triglycerides level and BMD of lumbar spine and femur. Significant negative association between serum HDL level and BMD of investigated sites was established. The TBS (L1-L4) indexes positively correlated with HDL (high-density lipoprotein) level. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were better in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of non-vertebral fractures was significantly higher in this group of patients.

Paper Detail
49
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2285
10008964
Causes and Implications of Obesity in Urban School Going Children
Abstract:

Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.

Paper Detail
54
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2284
10008972
Memory Types in Hemodialysis Patients: A Study Based on Hemodialysis Duration, Zahedan, South East of Iran
Abstract:

Neuropsychological problems are more common in hemodialysis (HD) patients than in healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long term HD on memory types of HD patients. To assess the different type of memory, we used memory parts of the Persian Papers and Pencil Cognitive assessment package (PCAP) and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-R). Our study included 80 HD patients of whom 39 had less than six months of HD and 41 patients and another group which had a history of HD more than six months. The population had a mean age of 51.60 years old and 27.5% of them were female. The scores of patients who have been hemodialyzed for a long time (median time of HD was up to 4 years) had lower score in anterograde, explicit, visual, recall and recognition memory (5.44±1.07, 9.49±3.472, 22.805±6.6913, 5.59±10.435, 11.02±3.190 score) than the HD patients who underwent HD for a shorter term, where the median time was 3 to 5 months (P<0.01). The regression result shows that, by increasing the HD duration, all memory types are reduced (R2=0.600, P<0.01). The present study demonstrated that HD patients who were under HD for a long time had significantly lower scores in the different types of memory. However, additional researches are needed in this area.

Paper Detail
48
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2283
10008975
The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Paper Detail
52
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2282
10008977
When Psychology Meets Ecology: Cognitive Flexibility for Quarry Rehabilitation
Abstract:

Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.

Paper Detail
53
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2281
10008979
Analysis of Construction Waste Generation and Its Effect in a Construction Site
Abstract:

The generation of solid waste and its effective management are debated topics in Sri Lanka as well as in the global environment. It was estimated that the most of the waste generated in global was originated from construction and demolition of buildings. Thus, the proportion of construction waste in solid waste generation cannot be underestimated. The construction waste, which is the by-product generated and removed from work sites is collected in direct and indirect processes. Hence, the objectives of this research are to identify the proportion of construction waste which can be reused and identify the methods to reduce the waste generation without reducing the quality of the process. A 6-storey building construction site was selected for this research. The site was divided into six zones depending on the process. Ten waste materials were identified by considering the adverse effects on safety and health of people and the economic value of them. The generated construction waste in each zone was recorded per week for a period of five months. The data revealed that sand, cement, wood used for form work and rusted steel rods were the generated waste which has higher economic value in all zones. Structured interviews were conducted to gather information on how the materials are categorized as waste and the capability of reducing, reusing and recycling the waste. It was identified that waste is generated in following processes; ineffective storage of material for a longer time and improper handling of material during the work process. Further, the alteration of scheduled activities of construction work also yielded more waste. Finally, a proper management of construction waste is suggested to reduce and reuse waste.

Paper Detail
54
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2280
10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

Paper Detail
50
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2279
10009000
Replicating Brain’s Resting State Functional Connectivity Network Using a Multi-Factor Hub-Based Model
Abstract:
The brain’s functional connectivity while temporally non-stationary does express consistency at a macro spatial level. The study of stable resting state connectivity patterns hence provides opportunities for identification of diseases if such stability is severely perturbed. A mathematical model replicating the brain’s spatial connections will be useful for understanding brain’s representative geometry and complements the empirical model where it falls short. Empirical computations tend to involve large matrices and become infeasible with fine parcellation. However, the proposed analytical model has no such computational problems. To improve replicability, 92 subject data are obtained from two open sources. The proposed methodology, inspired by financial theory, uses multivariate regression to find relationships of every cortical region of interest (ROI) with some pre-identified hubs. These hubs acted as representatives for the entire cortical surface. A variance-covariance framework of all ROIs is then built based on these relationships to link up all the ROIs. The result is a high level of match between model and empirical correlations in the range of 0.59 to 0.66 after adjusting for sample size; an increase of almost forty percent. More significantly, the model framework provides an intuitive way to delineate between systemic drivers and idiosyncratic noise while reducing dimensions by more than 30 folds, hence, providing a way to conduct attribution analysis. Due to its analytical nature and simple structure, the model is useful as a standalone toolkit for network dependency analysis or as a module for other mathematical models.
Paper Detail
37
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2278
10009017
Main Tendencies of Youth Unemployment and the Regulation Mechanisms for Decreasing Its Rate in Georgia
Abstract:

The modern world faces huge challenges. Globalization changed the socio-economic conditions of many countries. The current processes in the global environment have a different impact on countries with different cultures. However, an alleviation of poverty and improvement of living conditions is still the basic challenge for the majority of countries, because much of the population still lives under the official threshold of poverty. It is very important to stimulate youth employment. In order to prepare young people for the labour market, it is essential to provide them with the appropriate professional skills and knowledge. It is necessary to plan efficient activities for decreasing an unemployment rate and for developing the perfect mechanisms for regulation of a labour market. Such planning requires thorough study and analysis of existing reality, as well as development of corresponding mechanisms. Statistical analysis of unemployment is one of the main platforms for regulation of the labour market key mechanisms. The corresponding statistical methods should be used in the study process. Such methods are observation, gathering, grouping, and calculation of the generalized indicators. Unemployment is one of the most severe socioeconomic problems in Georgia. According to the past as well as the current statistics, unemployment rates always have been the most problematic issue to resolve for policy makers. Analytical works towards to the above-mentioned problem will be the basis for the next sustainable steps to solve the main problem. The results of the study showed that the choice of young people is not often due to their inclinations, their interests and the labour market demand. That is why the wrong professional orientation of young people in most cases leads to their unemployment. At the same time, it was shown that there are a number of professions in the labour market with a high demand because of the deficit the appropriate specialties. To achieve healthy competitiveness in youth employment, it is necessary to formulate regional employment programs with taking into account the regional infrastructure specifications.

Paper Detail
27
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10009022
Microfluidic Plasmonic Bio-Sensing of Exosomes by Using a Gold Nano-Island Platform
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
29
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10008803
Discrepant Views of Social Competence and Links with Social Phobia
Abstract:

Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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96
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10008807
Oxidantantioxidant Status in Calves Supplemented with Green Tea Extract
Abstract:

The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of green tea extract on serum oxidant and antioxidant profile, liver and kidney function. 40 Friesian calves are included in this study and allocated into two groups: Group I (n=20) clinically healthy calves showing no clinical abnormalities, not receiving any treatment and served as control; group II (n=20) received green tea extract (GTE) for 30 days. Non-significant changes in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were detected between groups, on contrary, serum creatinine and activities of liver enzymes aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) were significantly different between two groups. There were significant increases in the mean values of serum antioxidative parameters (total antioxidant capacity, catalase, superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione and glutathione peroxidase) in group II. Whereas, the activity of lipid peroxidase significantly decreased in GTE treated calves when compared to control.

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99
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10008818
Emotion Regulation: An Exploratory Cross-Sectional Study on the Change and Grow Therapeutic Model
Abstract:

Emotion dysregulation has been linked to psychopathology in general and, in particular, to substance abuse and other addiction-related disorders, such as eating disorders, impulsive disorder, and gambling. It has been proposed that a lessening of the difficulties in emotion regulation can have a significant positive impact on the treatment of these disorders. The present study explores the association between the progress in the Change & Grow® therapeutic model (5 stages of treatment), and the decrease in the difficulties related to emotion regulation. The Change & Grow® model has five stages of treatment according to the model’s five principles (Truth, Acceptance, Gratitude, Love and Responsibility) and incorporates different therapeutic approaches such as positive psychology, cognitive and behavioral therapy and third generation therapies. The main objective is to understand the impact of the presented therapeutic model on difficulties in emotion regulation in patients with addiction-related disorders. The exploratory study has a cross-sectional design. Participants were 44 (15 women and 29 men) Portuguese patients in the residential Villa Ramadas International Treatment Centre. The instrument used was the Portuguese version of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), which measures six dimensions of emotion regulation (Strategies, Non-acceptance, Awareness, Impulse, Goals, and Clarity). The mean rank scores for both the DERS total score and the Impulse subscale showed statistically significant differences according to Stage of Treatment/Principles. Furthermore, Stage of Treatment/Principles held a negative correlation with the scores of the Non-acceptance and Impulse subscales, as well as the DERS total score. The results indicate that the Change & Grow® model seems to have an impact in lessening the patient’s difficulties in emotion regulation. The Impulse dimension suffered the greater impact, which supports the well-known relevance of impulse control, or related difficulties, in addiction-related disorders.

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10008822
Antibody Reactivity of Synthetic Peptides Belonging to Proteins Encoded by Genes Located in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Specific Genomic Regions of Differences
Abstract:

The comparisons of mycobacterial genomes have identified several Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific genomic regions that are absent in other mycobacteria and are known as regions of differences. Due to M. tuberculosis-specificity, the peptides encoded by these regions could be useful in the specific diagnosis of tuberculosis. To explore this possibility, overlapping synthetic peptides corresponding to 39 proteins predicted to be encoded by genes present in regions of differences were tested for antibody-reactivity with sera from tuberculosis patients and healthy subjects. The results identified four immunodominant peptides corresponding to four different proteins, with three of the peptides showing significantly stronger antibody reactivity and rate of positivity with sera from tuberculosis patients than healthy subjects. The fourth peptide was recognized equally well by the sera of tuberculosis patients as well as healthy subjects. Predication of antibody epitopes by bioinformatics analyses using ABCpred server predicted multiple linear epitopes in each peptide. Furthermore, peptide sequence analysis for sequence identity using BLAST suggested M. tuberculosis-specificity for the three peptides that had preferential reactivity with sera from tuberculosis patients, but the peptide with equal reactivity with sera of TB patients and healthy subjects showed significant identity with sequences present in nob-tuberculous mycobacteria. The three identified M. tuberculosis-specific immunodominant peptides may be useful in the serological diagnosis of tuberculosis.

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95
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10008890
Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots
Abstract:
Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living, but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not previously been automated, since there existed no description of a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.
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10008891
A Pre-Assessment Questionnaire to Identify Healthcare Professionals’ Perception on Information Technology Implementation
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Health information technologies promise higher quality, safer care and much more for both patients and professionals. Despite their promise, they are costly to develop and difficult to implement. On the other hand, user acceptance and usage determine the success of implemented information technology in healthcare. This study provides a model to understand health professionals’ perception and expectation of health information technology. Extensive literature review has been conducted to determine the main factors to be measured. A questionnaire has been designed as a measurement model and submitted to the personnel of an in vitro fertilization clinic. The respondents’ degree of agreement according to five-point Likert scale was 72% for convenient access to data and 69.4% for the importance of data security. There was a significant difference in acceptance of electronic data storage for female respondents. Also, other significant differences between professions were obtained.

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10008901
The Role of Food Labeling on Consumers’ Buying Decision: Georgian Case
Authors:
Abstract:
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.
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98
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10008910
A Dose Distribution Approach Using Monte Carlo Simulation in Dosimetric Accuracy Calculation for Treating the Lung Tumor
Abstract:

This paper presents a Monte Carlo (MC) method-based dose distributions on lung tumor for 6 MV photon beam to improve the dosimetric accuracy for cancer treatment. The polystyrene which is tissue equivalent material to the lung tumor density is used in this research. In the empirical calculations, TRS-398 formalism of IAEA has been used, and the setup was made according to the ICRU recommendations. The research outcomes were compared with the state-of-the-art experimental results. From the experimental results, it is observed that the proposed based approach provides more accurate results and improves the accuracy than the existing approaches. The average %variation between measured and TPS simulated values was obtained 1.337±0.531, which shows a substantial improvement comparing with the state-of-the-art technology.

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98
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10008984
Identification of Promiscuous Epitopes for Cellular Immune Responses in the Major Antigenic Protein Rv3873 Encoded by Region of Difference 1 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Abstract:

Rv3873 is a relatively large size protein (371 amino acids in length) and its gene is located in the immunodominant genomic region of difference (RD)1 that is present in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis but deleted from the genomes of all the vaccine strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and most other mycobacteria. However, when tested for cellular immune responses using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and BCG-vaccinated healthy subjects, this protein was found to be a major stimulator of cell mediated immune responses in both groups of subjects. In order to further identify the sequence of immunodominant epitopes and explore their Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-restriction for epitope recognition, 24 peptides (25-mers overlapping with the neighboring peptides by 10 residues) covering the sequence of Rv3873 were synthesized chemically using fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chemistry and tested in cell mediated immune responses. The results of these experiments helped in the identification of an immunodominant peptide P9 that was recognized by people expressing varying HLA-DR types. Furthermore, it was also predicted to be a promiscuous binder with multiple epitopes for binding to HLA-DR, HLA-DP and HLA-DQ alleles of HLA-class II molecules that present antigens to T helper cells, and to HLA-class I molecules that present antigens to T cytotoxic cells. In addition, the evaluation of peptide P9 using an immunogenicity predictor server yielded a high score (0.94), which indicated a greater probability of this peptide to elicit a protective cellular immune response. In conclusion, P9, a peptide with multiple epitopes and ability to bind several HLA class I and class II molecules for presentation to cells of the cellular immune response, may be useful as a peptide-based vaccine against tuberculosis.

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38
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10008989
Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and Mini Mental State Examination-2 in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Case Studies
Abstract:

From a psychological perspective, psychopathology is the area of clinical psychology that has at its core psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In day-to-day clinical practice, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy are used independently, according to their intended purpose and their specific methods of application. The paper explores how the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Mini Mental State Examination-2 (MMSE-2) psychological tools contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This combined approach, psychotherapy in conjunction with assessment of personality and cognitive functions, is illustrated by two cases, a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms and a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. The order in which CBT, MMPI-2, and MMSE-2 were used in the diagnostic and therapeutic process was determined by the particularities of each case. In the first case, the sequence started with psychotherapy, followed by the administration of blue form MMSE-2, MMPI-2, and red form MMSE-2. In the second case, the cognitive screening with blue form MMSE-2 led to a personality assessment using MMPI-2, followed by red form MMSE-2; reapplication of the MMPI-2 due to the invalidation of the first profile, and finally, psychotherapy. The MMPI-2 protocols gathered useful information that directed the steps of therapeutic intervention: a detailed symptom picture of potentially self-destructive thoughts and behaviors otherwise undetected during the interview. The memory loss and poor concentration were confirmed by MMSE-2 cognitive screening. This combined approach, psychotherapy with psychological assessment, aligns with the trend of adaptation of the psychological services to the everyday life of contemporary man and paves the way for deepening and developing the field.

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10008623
A Close Study on the Nitrate Fertilizer Use and Environmental Pollution for Human Health in Iran
Abstract:

Nitrogen accumulates in soils during the process of fertilizer addition to promote the plant growth. When the organic matter decomposes, the form of available nitrogen produced is in the form of nitrate, which is highly mobile. The most significant health effect of nitrate ingestion is methemoglobinemia in infants under six months of age (blue baby syndrome). The mobile nutrients, like nitrate nitrogen, are not stored in the soil as the available forms for the long periods and in large amounts. It depends on the needs for the crops such as vegetables. On the other hand, the vegetables will compete actively for nitrate nitrogen as a mobile nutrient and water. The mobile nutrients must be shared. The fewer the plants, the larger this share is for each plant. Also, this nitrate nitrogen is poisonous for the people who use these vegetables. Nitrate is converted to nitrite by the existing bacteria in the stomach and the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. When nitrite is entered into the blood cells, it converts the hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which causes the anoxemia and cyanosis. The increasing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, especially the fertilizers with nitrates compounds, which have been common for the increased production of agricultural crops, has caused the nitrate pollution in the (soil, water, and environment). They have caused a lot of damage to humans and animals. In this research, the nitrate accumulation in different kind of vegetables such as; green pepper, tomatoes, egg plants, watermelon, cucumber, and red pepper were observed in the suburbs of Mashhad, Neisabour, and Sabzevar cities. In some of these cities, the information forms of agronomical practices collected were such as; different vegetable crops fertilizer recommendations, varieties, pesticides, irrigation schedules, etc., which were filled out by some of our colleagues in the research areas mentioned above. Analysis of the samples was sent to the soil and water laboratory in our department in Mashhad. The final results from the chemical analysis of samples showed that the mean levels of nitrates from the samples of the fruit crops in the mentioned cities above were all lower than the critical levels. These fruit crop samples were in the order of: 35.91, 8.47, 24.81, 6.03, 46.43, 2.06 mg/kg dry matter, for the following crops such as; tomato, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, green pepper, and red pepper. Even though, this study was conducted with limited samples and by considering the mean levels, the use of these crops from the nutritional point of view will not cause the poisoning of humans.

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173
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10008625
Evaluation of the MCFLIRT Correction Algorithm in Head Motion from Resting State fMRI Data
Abstract:

In the last few years, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was widely used to investigate the architecture of brain networks by investigating the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent response. This technique represented an interesting, robust and reliable approach to compare pathologic and healthy subjects in order to investigate neurodegenerative diseases evolution. On the other hand, the elaboration of rs-fMRI data resulted to be very prone to noise due to confounding factors especially the head motion. Head motion has long been known to be a source of artefacts in task-based functional MRI studies, but it has become a particularly challenging problem in recent studies using rs-fMRI. The aim of this work was to evaluate in MS patients a well-known motion correction algorithm from the FMRIB's Software Library - MCFLIRT - that could be applied to minimize the head motion distortions, allowing to correctly interpret rs-fMRI results.

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143
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