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.
In an energy-intensive world, minimizing energy consumption is paramount to cost saving and reducing the carbon footprint. Improving mixture procedures utilizing warm mix additive Fischer-Tropsch (FT) wax in ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and modified bitumen highlights a greener and sustainable approach to modified bitumen. In this study, the impact of FT wax on optimized EVA/waste crumb rubber modified bitumen is assayed with a maximum loading of 2.5%. The rationale of the FT wax loading is to maintain the original maximum loading of EVA in the optimized mixture. The phase change abilities of FT wax enable EVA co-crystallization with the support of the elastomeric backbone of crumb rubber. Less than 1% loading of FT wax worked in the EVA/crumb rubber modified bitumen energy-sustainability nexus. Response surface methodology approach to the mixture design is implemented amongst the different loadings of FT wax, EVA for a consistent amount of crumb rubber and bitumen. Rheological parameters (complex shear modulus, phase angle and rutting parameter) were the factors used as performance indicators of the different optimized mixtures. The low temperature chemistry of the optimized mixtures is analyzed using elementary beam theory and the elastic-viscoelastic correspondence principle. Master curves and black space diagrams are developed and used to predict age-induced cracking of the different long term aged mixtures. Modified binder rheology reveals that the strain response is not linear and that there is substantial re-arrangement of polymer chains as stress is increased, this is based on the age state of the mixture and the FT wax and EVA loadings. Dominance of individual effects is evident over effects of synergy in co-interaction of EVA and FT wax. All-inclusive FT wax and EVA formulations were best optimized in mixture 4 with mixture 7 reflecting increase in ease of workability. Findings show that interaction chemistry of bitumen, crumb rubber EVA, and FT wax is first and second order in all cases involving individual contributions and co-interaction amongst the components of the mixture.
The aim of the paper is to explore the role of social marketing in changing the behavior of consumers on road safety, identify critical aspects and priority needs which impede the implementation of road safety program in Georgia. Given the goals of the study, a quantitative method was used to carry out interviews for primary data collection. This research identified the awareness level of road safety, legislation base, and marketing interventions to change behavior of drivers and pedestrians. During several years the non-governmental sector together with the local authorities and media have been very intensively working on the road safety issue in Georgia, but only seat-belts campaign should be considered rather successful. Despite achievements in this field, efficiency of road safety programs far from fulfillment and needs strong empowering.
Food contaminated with biological, chemical and physical hazards usually leads to foodborne illnesses which in turn increase the disease burden of developing and developed economies. Restaurants play a key role in the food service industry and violations in application of standardized food safety management systems in these establishments have been associated with foodborne disease outbreaks. This study was undertaken to assess the level of compliance to the Code of practice that was developed and implemented after conducting needs assessment of the food safety management systems employed by the Food Service Establishments in Ghana. Data on pre-licence inspections were reviewed to assess the compliance of the Food Service Establishments. During the period under review (2012-2016), 74.52% of the food service facilities in the hospitality industry were in compliance with the FDA’s code of practice. Main violations observed during the study bordered on facility layout and fabrication (61.8%) and this is because these facilities may not have been built for use as a food service establishment. Another fact that came to the fore was that the redesigning of the facilities to bring them into compliance required capital intensive investments, which some establishments are not prepared for. Other challenges faced by the industry regarded issues on records and documentations, personnel facilities and hygiene, raw materials acquisition, storage and control, and cold storage.
The need for national space legislation is pivotal, particularly in light of the fact that in recent years space activities have grown immensely both in volume and diversity. Countries are progressively developing capabilities in space exploration and scientific discoveries, market their capabilities to manufacture satellites, provide launch services from their facilities and are looking to privatize and commercialize their space resources. Today, nations are also seeking to comprehend the technological and financial potential of the private sector and are considering to share their financial burdens with them and to limit their exposures to risks, but they are lagging behind in legal framework in this regard. In the perspective of these emerging developments, it is therefore, felt that national space legislation should be enacted with the goal of building and implementing a vibrant and transparent legal framework at the national level to hasten investments and to ensure growth in this capital intensive - highly yield strategic sector. This study looks at (I) the international legal framework that governs space activities; (II) motivation behind making national space laws; and (III) the need for national space legislation. The paper concludes with some recommendations with regards to the conceivable future direction for national space legislation, in particular space empowered sub-areas for countries.
Strategic Management is highly critical for all types of organizations. This paper examines maturity level of strategic management practices of public and private sector organizations in Turkey, and presents a conceptual model for assessing the maturity of strategic management in any organization. This research focuses on R&D intensive organizations (RDO) because it is claimed that such organizations are more innovative and innovation is a critical part of the model. The Strategic management maturity model (S-3M) is basically composed of six maturity levels with five different dimensions. Based on 63 organizations, the findings reveal that the average maturity of all organizations in the sample group is three out of five. It corresponds to the stage of ‘performed’. Results simply show that the majority of organizations from various industries and sectors implement strategic management activities; however, they experience multiple challenges to optimize strategic management processes and integrate organizational components with business strategies. Briefly, they struggle to become an innovative organization.
Adiponectin is a cytokine secreted by the adipose tissue that functions as an anti-inflammatory, antiathrogenic and anti-diabetic substance. Its density is inversely correlated with body mass index. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of 12 weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT) with the level of serum adiponectin and some selected adiposity markers in overweight and fat college students. This was a clinical research in which 24 students with BMI between 25 kg/m2 to 30 kg/m2. The sample was purposefully selected and then randomly assigned into two groups of experimental (age =22.7±1.5 yr.; weight = 85.8±3.18 kg and height =178.7±3.29 cm) and control (age =23.1±1.1 yr.; weight = 79.1±2.4 kg and height =181.3±4.6 cm), respectively. The experimental group participated in an aerobic exercise program for 12 weeks, three sessions per weeks at a high intensity between 85% to 95% of maximum heart rate (considering the over load principle). Prior and after the termination of exercise protocol, the level of serum adiponectin, BMI, waist to hip ratio, and body fat percentages were calculated. The data were analyzed by using SPSS: PC 16.0 and statistical procedure such as ANCOVA, was used. The results indicated that 12 weeks of intensive interval training led to the increase of serum adiponectin level and decrease of body weight, body fat percent, body mass index and waist to hip ratio (P < 0.05). Based on the results of this research, it may be concluded that participation in intensive interval training for 12 weeks is a non-invasive treatment to increase the adiponectin level while decreasing some of the anthropometric indices associated with obesity or being overweight.
We investigated magneto-optical Kerr effect in transparent region of implanted ferrite-garnet films for the (YBiCa)3(FeGe)5O12. The implantation process was carried out at room temperature by Ne+ ions with energy of 100 KeV and with various doses (0.5-2.5) 1014 ion/cm2. We discovered that slight deviation of the plane of external alternating magnetic field from plane of sample leads to appearance intensive magneto-optical maximum in transparent region of garnet films ħω=0.5-2.0 eV. In the proceeding, we have also found that the deviation of polarization plane from P- component of incident light leads to the appearance of the similar magneto-optical effects in this region. The research of magnetization processes in transparent region of garnet films showed that the formation of magneto-optical effects in region ħω=0.5-2.3 eV has a rather complex character.
Forest inventories are essential to assess the composition, structure and distribution of forest vegetation that can be used as baseline information for management decisions. Classical forest inventory is labor intensive and time-consuming and sometimes even dangerous. The use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) in forest inventory would improve and overcome these restrictions. This study was conducted to determine the possibility of using LiDAR derived data in extracting high accuracy forest biophysical parameters and as a non-destructive method for forest status analysis of San Manual, Pangasinan. Forest resources extraction was carried out using LAS tools, GIS, Envi and .bat scripts with the available LiDAR data. The process includes the generation of derivatives such as Digital Terrain Model (DTM), Canopy Height Model (CHM) and Canopy Cover Model (CCM) in .bat scripts followed by the generation of 17 composite bands to be used in the extraction of forest classification covers using ENVI 4.8 and GIS software. The Diameter in Breast Height (DBH), Above Ground Biomass (AGB) and Carbon Stock (CS) were estimated for each classified forest cover and Tree Count Extraction was carried out using GIS. Subsequently, field validation was conducted for accuracy assessment. Results showed that the forest of San Manuel has 73% Forest Cover, which is relatively much higher as compared to the 10% canopy cover requirement. On the extracted canopy height, 80% of the tree’s height ranges from 12 m to 17 m. CS of the three forest covers based on the AGB were: 20819.59 kg/20x20 m for closed broadleaf, 8609.82 kg/20x20 m for broadleaf plantation and 15545.57 kg/20x20m for open broadleaf. Average tree counts for the tree forest plantation was 413 trees/ha. As such, the forest of San Manuel has high percent forest cover and high CS.
Growing environmental and sustainability concerns have driven continual modernization of horticultural practices, especially for urban farming. Controlled environment and soilless production methods are increasing in popularity because of their efficient resource use and intensive cropping capabilities. However, some popular substrates used for hydroponic cultivation, particularly rock wool, represent a large environmental burden in regard to their manufacture and disposal. Substrate-less hydroponic systems are effective in producing short cropping cycle plants such as lettuce or herbs, but less information is available for the production of plants with larger root-systems and longer cropping times. Here, we investigated the viability of a hybrid aeroponic/nutrient film technique (AP/NFT) system for the cultivation of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Panovy’). The plants grown in the AP/NFT system had a more compact phenotype, accumulated more Na+ and less P and S than the rock wool grown counterparts. Due to forced irrigation interruptions, we propose that the differences observed were cofounded by the differing severity of water-stress for plants with and without substrate. They may also be caused by a higher root zone temperature predominant in plants exposed to AP/NFT. However, leaf area, stem diameter, and number of trusses did not differ significantly. The same was found for leaf pigments and plant photosynthetic efficiency. Overall, the AP/NFT system appears to be viable for the production of greenhouse tomato, enabling the environment to be relieved by way of lessening rock wool usage.
In recent years, citizens have become an important source of geographic information and, therefore, geo-crowdsourcing, often known as volunteered geographic information, has provided an interesting alternative to traditional mapping practices which are becoming expensive, resource-intensive and unable to capture the dynamic nature of urban environments. In order to address a gap in research literature, this paper deals with a survey conducted to assess the current state of geo-crowdsourcing, a recent phenomenon popular with people who collect geographic information using their smartphones. This article points out that there is an increasing body of knowledge of geo-crowdsourcing mobile applications in the Visegrad countries marked by the ubiquitous Internet connection and the current massive proliferation of smartphones. This article shows how geo-crowdsourcing can be used as a complement, or in some cases a replacement, to traditionally generated sources of spatial data and information in public management. It discusses the new spaces of citizen participation constructed by these geo-crowdsourcing practices.
Modern computing technology enters the era of parallel computing with the trend of sustainable and scalable parallelism. Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) is an important way to go along with the trend. It is able to gather more and more computing ability by increasing the number of processor cores without the need of modifying the program. Meanwhile, in the field of scientific computing and engineering design, many computation intensive applications are facing the challenge of increasingly large amount of data. Data parallel computing will be an important way to further improve the performance of these applications. In this paper, we take the accurate collision detection in building information modeling as an example. We demonstrate a model for constructing a data parallel algorithm. According to the model, a complex object is decomposed into the sets of simple objects; collision detection among complex objects is converted into those among simple objects. The resulting algorithm is a typical SIMD algorithm, and its advantages in parallelism and scalability is unparalleled in respect to the traditional algorithms.
This paper will explore the influence of energy sector in Arab Republic of Egypt which has shared its responsibilities of many environmental challenges as the second largest economy in the Middle East (after Iran). Air and water pollution, desertification, inadequate disposal of solid waste and damage to coral reefs are serious problems that influence environmental management in Egypt. The intensive reliance of high population density and strong industrial growth are wearing Egypt's resources, and the rapidly-growing population has forced Egypt to breakdown agricultural land to residential and relevant use of commercial ingestion. The depletion effects of natural resources impose the government to apply innovation techniques in emission control and focus on sustainability. The cogeneration will be presented to control thermal losses and increase efficiency of energy power system.
Worldwide, about two-thirds of industrial and domestic wastewater effluent is discharged without treatment, which can cause contamination and eutrophication of the water. In particular, for Mediterranean countries, irrigation with treated wastewater would mitigate the water stress and support the agricultural sector. Changing global weather patterns will make the situation worse, due to increased susceptibility to drought, which can cause major environmental, social, and economic problems. The study was carried out in open field in an intensive agricultural area of the Apulian region in Southern Italy where freshwater resources are often scarce. As well as providing a water resource, irrigation with treated wastewater represents a significant source of nutrients for soil–plant systems. However, the use of wastewater might have further effects on soil. This study thus investigated the long-term impact of irrigation with reclaimed agro-industrial wastewater on the chemical characteristics of the soil. Two crops (processing tomato and broccoli) were cultivated in succession in Stornarella (Foggia) over four years from 2012 to 2016 using two types of irrigation water: groundwater and tertiary treated agro-industrial wastewater that had undergone an activated sludge process, sedimentation filtration, and UV radiation. Chemical analyses were performed on the irrigation waters and soil samples. The treated wastewater was characterised by high levels of several chemical parameters including TSS, EC, COD, BOD5, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NH4-N, PO4-P, K+, SAR and CaCO3, as compared with the groundwater. However, despite these higher levels, the mean content of several chemical parameters in the soil did not show relevant differences between the irrigation treatments, in terms of the chemical features of the soil.
The goal of the article is to present a novel Multimedia Firearms Training System. The system was developed in order to compensate for major problems of existing shooting training systems. The designed and implemented solution can be characterized by five major advantages: algorithm for automatic geometric calibration, algorithm of photometric recalibration, firearms hit point detection using thermal imaging camera, IR laser spot tracking algorithm for after action review analysis, and implementation of ballistics equations. The combination of the abovementioned advantages in a single multimedia firearms training system creates a comprehensive solution for detecting and tracking of the target point usable for shooting training systems and improving intervention tactics of uniformed services. The introduced algorithms of geometric and photometric recalibration allow the use of economically viable commercially available projectors for systems that require long and intensive use without most of the negative impacts on color mapping of existing multi-projector multimedia shooting range systems. The article presents the results of the developed algorithms and their application in real training systems.
Remotely sensed data are a significant source for monitoring and updating databases for land use/cover. Nowadays, changes detection of urban area has been a subject of intensive researches. Timely and accurate data on spatio-temporal changes of urban areas are therefore required. The data extracted from multi-temporal satellite images are usually non-stationary. In fact, the changes evolve in time and space. This paper is an attempt to propose a methodology for changes detection in urban area by combining a non-stationary decomposition method and stochastic modeling. We consider as input of our methodology a sequence of satellite images I1, I2, … In at different periods (t = 1, 2, ..., n). Firstly, a preprocessing of multi-temporal satellite images is applied. (e.g. radiometric, atmospheric and geometric). The systematic study of global urban expansion in our methodology can be approached in two ways: The first considers the urban area as one same object as opposed to non-urban areas (e.g. vegetation, bare soil and water). The objective is to extract the urban mask. The second one aims to obtain a more knowledge of urban area, distinguishing different types of tissue within the urban area. In order to validate our approach, we used a database of Tres Cantos-Madrid in Spain, which is derived from Landsat for a period (from January 2004 to July 2013) by collecting two frames per year at a spatial resolution of 25 meters. The obtained results show the effectiveness of our method.
Recommender systems, also known as recommender engines, have become an important research area and are now being applied in various fields. In addition, the techniques behind the recommender systems have been improved over the time. In general, such systems help users to find their required products or services (e.g. books, music) through analyzing and aggregating other users’ activities and behavior, mainly in form of reviews, and making the best recommendations. The recommendations can facilitate user’s decision making process. Despite the wide literature on the topic, using multiple data sources of different types as the input has not been widely studied. Recommender systems can benefit from the high availability of digital data to collect the input data of different types which implicitly or explicitly help the system to improve its accuracy. Moreover, most of the existing research in this area is based on single rating measures in which a single rating is used to link users to items. This paper proposes a highly accurate hotel recommender system, implemented in various layers. Using multi-aspect rating system and benefitting from large-scale data of different types, the recommender system suggests hotels that are personalized and tailored for the given user. The system employs natural language processing and topic modelling techniques to assess the sentiment of the users’ reviews and extract implicit features. The entire recommender engine contains multiple sub-systems, namely users clustering, matrix factorization module, and hybrid recommender system. Each sub-system contributes to the final composite set of recommendations through covering a specific aspect of the problem. The accuracy of the proposed recommender system has been tested intensively where the results confirm the high performance of the system.
Knowledge management (KM) literature has mainly focused on the antecedents of KM. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of specific human resource management (HRM) practices on employee knowledge sharing and its outcome as individual knowledge capability. Based on previous literature, a model is proposed for the study and hypotheses are formulated. The cross-sectional dataset comes from a sample of 19 knowledge intensive firms (KIFs). This study has run an item parceling technique followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) on the latent constructs of the research model. Employees’ collaboration and their interpersonal trust can help to improve their knowledge sharing behaviour and knowledge capability within organisations. This study suggests that in future, by using a larger sample, better statistical insight is possible. The findings of this study are beneficial for scholars, policy makers and practitioners. The empirical results of this study are entirely based on employees’ perceptions and make a significant research contribution, given there is a dearth of empirical research focusing on the subcontinent.