Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 46035

Searching for Novel Scaffolds of Triazole Non-Nucleoside Inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase
Azoles are a promising class of the new generation of HIV-1 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). From thousands of reported compounds, many possess the same basic structure of an aryl substituted azole ring linked by a thioglycolamide chain with another aromatic ring. To find novel extensions for this primary scaffold, we explored the 5-position substitution of triazole NNRTIs using molecular docking followed by synthesis of selected compounds. We discovered that heterocyclic substituents in 5-position of the triazole ring are detrimental to the inhibitory activity of compounds with 4-membered thioglycolamide linker. This substitution seems to be viable only for compounds with a shorter 2-membered linker such as in derivatives of 4‐benzyl‐3‐(benzyl-sulfanyl)‐5‐(thiophen‐2‐yl)‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazole reported earlier. A new scaffold of 2‐[(4‐benzyl‐5‐methyl‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazol‐3‐yl)sulfanyl]‐N‐phenylacetamide has been identified in this study.
Evaluation and Selection of Construction Contractors by Polish Public Clients
Contracting authorities in the public sector are obligated to apply the principles provided for in the Polish law for the evaluation and selection of contractors. To analyze the methods of contractors, applied in practice by public clients, the notices of contract award results for construction works were analyzed. The analysis shows that the procedure selected more and more often is open to competitive bidding, where the assessment of the competence of contractors is not very precise, as well as non-competitive bidding, i.e. single source procurement. The share of procurement procedures, where the only criterion is price, is increasing. The solution to the problems existing here might be the introduction of one of the forms of pre-selection of contractors. The article also briefly discusses verification systems for companies applying for public contracts used in EU countries.
Technical Determinants of the Success of the Quality Management Systems Implementation in Automotive Industry
The popularity of the quality management system models continues to grow despite the transitional crisis in 2008. Their development is associated with the demands of the new requirements for entrepreneurs, such as risk analysis projects and more emphasis on supervision of outsourced processes. In parallel appropriate to focus attention on the selection of companies aspiring to quality management system. This is particularly important in the automotive supplier industry, where requirements transferred to the levels in the supply chain should be clear, transparent and fairly satisfied. The author has carried out series of researches aimed at finding the factors that allow for the effective implementation of the quality management system in automotive companies. The research was focused on four groups of companies: 1) manufacturing (parts and assemblies for the purpose of sale or for vehicle manufacturers), 2) service (repair and maintenance of the car), 3) services for the transport of goods or people, 4) commercial (auto parts and vehicles). Identified determinants were divided in two types of criteria into: internal and external, as well as: hard and soft. The article presents hard - technical factors that automotive company must meet in order to achieve the goal of the quality management system implementation.
Multiscale Computational Approach to Enhance the Understanding, Design and Development of CO₂ Catalytic Conversion Technologies
Reducing carbon dioxide, CO₂, is one of the greatest global challenges. Conversion of CO₂ for utilisation across synthetic fuel, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries offers a promising option, yet requires significant research to understanding the complex multiscale processes involved. To experimentally understand and optimize such processes at that catalytic sites and exploring the impact of the process at reactor scale, is too expensive. Computational methods offer significant insight and flexibility but require a more detailed multi-scale approach which is a significant challenge in itself. This work introduces a computational approach which incorporates detailed catalytic models, taken from experimental investigations, into a larger-scale computational flow dynamics framework. The reactor-scale species transport approach is modified near the catalytic walls to determine the influence of catalytic clustering regions. This coupling approach enables more accurate modelling of velocity, pressures, temperatures, species concentrations and near-wall surface characteristics which will ultimately enable the impact of overall reactor design on chemical conversion performance.
Electronic Nose for Monitoring Fungal Deterioration of Stored Rapeseed
Investigations were performed to examine the possibility of using an electronic nose to monitor the development of fungal microflora during the first eighteen days of rapeseed storage. The Cyranose 320 device with polymer-composite sensors was used. Each sample of infected material was divided into three parts, and the degree of spoilage was measured in three ways: analysis of colony forming units (CFU), determination of ergosterol content (ERG), and measurement with the eNose. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the generated patterns of signals, and six groups of different spoilage levels were isolated. The electronic nose with polymer-composite sensors under laboratory conditions distinguished between species of spoiled and unspoiled seeds with 100% accuracy. Despite some minor differences in the CFU and ergosterol content, the electronic nose provided responses correctly corresponding to the level of spoilage with 85% accuracy. Therefore, the main conclusion from the study is that the electronic nose is a promising tool for quick and non-destructive detection of the level of oil seed spoilage. The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Response Evaluation of Electronic Nose with Polymer-Composite and Metal Oxide Semiconductor Sensor towards Microbiological Quality of Rapeseed
Rapeseeds were evaluated and classified by the static-headspace sampling method using electronic noses during the 25 days spoilage period. The Cyranose 320 comprising 32 polymer-composite sensors and VCA (Volatile Compound Analyzer - made in Institute of Agrophysics) built of 8 metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) sensors were used to obtain sensor response (∆R/R). Each sample of spoiled material was divided into three parts and the degree of spoilage was measured four ways: determination of ergosterol content (ERG), colony forming units (CFU) and measurement with both e-noses. The study showed that both devices responsive to changes in the fungal microflora. Cyranose and VCA registered the change of domination microflora of fungi. After 7 days of storage, typical fungi for soil disappeared and appeared typical for storeroom was observed. In both cases, response ∆R/R decreased to the end of experiment, while ERG and JTK increased. The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Synthesis of Beetosan's Hydrogels with Yellow Tea
The aim of the study was to select the best conditions for the synthesis of Beetosan's hydrogels with yellow tea. The study determined recipe hydrogel matrix by selecting the appropriate ratio of substrates and to investigate the effect of yellow tea, on the structure and properties of the hydrogel materials. The scope of the research included both to obtain of raw materials required for the synthesis of hydrogel materials, as well as an assessment of their properties. In the first stage of research Beetosan (chitosan derived from bees), and extract the yellow tea China Kekecha was obtained. The second stage was synthesis hydrogels modified by yellow tea. The synthesis of polymeric matrix was preparation under UV radiation. Obtained hydrogel materials were investigated extensively using incubation investigations, absorption capacity, and spectroscopic (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods. Moreover, there was also performed the surface wettability test and a photomicrograph of the structure using scanning electron microscope. Analysis of the obtained results confirms that presence of yellow tea does not significantly affect the behavior of the hydrogels in the incubation fluids. The results show that hydrogel materials exhibit compatibility with the incubatory solutions and they also retain the stability in the tested liquids. Hydrogels obtained in this method might be applied in the cosmetics industry and in the field of medicine. This is possible due to the many interesting properties of tea and biocompatibility and non-toxicity hydrogel materials. The authors would like to thank the The National Centre for Research and Development (Grant no: LIDER/033/697/L-5/13/NCBR/2014) for providing financial support to this project.
The Influence of Colloidal Metal Nanoparticles on Growth and Proliferation of in Vitro Cultures of Potato
Colloidal metal nanoparticles are widely applied in various areas and have great potential in different biotechnological applications. Their particular properties associated with both the antiseptic, antioxidant and anti aging properties as well as ability to penetrate most of the biological barriers, synergy in the absorption of nutrients and nontoxic to plants. The properties make them potentially useful in the fast and safe production of healthy, certified starting material in the production of plants exposed to many pathogenic microorganisms causing serious diseases, significantly affecting yield and causing the economic losses. In this case it is crucial to provide appropriate conditions for the production, storage and distribution of the plant material. Therefore, the aim of the proposed research was to develop and identify the influence of four colloidal metal nanoparticles on growth and proliferation of in vitro cultures of potato (Solanum tuberosum) - one of the most economically important strategic crops in the world. The research on different varieties of potato was performed by placing the explants of the in vitro cultures on sterile Murashige and Skoog (MS) type medium. The influence of the nanocolloids was evaluated using the MS medium impregnated with the examinated nanoparticles. The vigour of growth and the rate of proliferation was examinated for 6-8 weeks with both night/day-length and temperature over the ranges 8/16 h and 20–22 °C respectively. The results of our preliminary work confirmed high usefulness of the nanocolloids in the safe production of the examinated in vitro cultures.
Relationship between Response of the Resistive Sensors on the Chosen Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Their Concentration
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the fungi metabolites in the gaseous form produced during improper storage of agricultural commodities (e.g. grain, food). The spoilt commodities produce a wide range of VOCs including alcohols, esters, aldehydes, ketones, alkanes, alkenes, furans, phenols etc. The characteristic VOCs and odours can be determined by using electronic nose (e-Nose) which contains a matrix of different kinds of sensors e.g. resistive sensors. The aim of the present studies was to determine relationship between response of the resistive sensors on the chosen volatiles and their concentration. According to the literature, it was chosen volatiles characteristic for the cereals: ethanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol and hexanal. Analysis of the sensor signals shows that a signal shape is different for the different substances. Moreover, each VOC signal gives information about a maximum of the normalized sensor response (R/Rmax), an impregnation time (tIM) and a cleaning time at half maximum of R/Rmax (tCL). These three parameters can be regarded as a ‘VOC fingerprint’. Seven resistive sensors (TGS2600-B00, TGS2602-B00, TGS2610-C00, TGS2611-C00, TGS2611-E00, TGS2612-D00, TGS2620-C00) produced by Figaro USA Inc., and one (AS-MLV-P2) produced by AMS AG, Austria were used. Two out of seven sensors (TGS2611-E00, TGS2612-D00) did not react to the chosen VOCs. The most responsive sensor was AS-MLV-P2. The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Low Influenza Vaccine Coverage Rates among Polish Nurses
Introduction: Influenza is an important clinical and epidemiological problem and should be considered as a possible nosocomial infection. The aim of the study was to determine the influenza vaccine coverage rates among Polish nurses and to find out drivers and barriers for influenza vaccination among this group of health care workers (HCWs). Material and methods: The self- fulfilled survey with 26 questions about the knowledge, perception, and influenza coverage rates was distributed among 461 nurses. Results: Only 15% of nurses were vaccinated against influenza in the consecutive seasons. The majority (75%) of the regularly vaccinated nurses were ambulatory careworkers. The difference between the number of vaccinated hospitals and ambulatory care nurses was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The main motivating factors for an influenza vaccination were: a fear of the illness and its complications (97%) and a free of charge vaccine available at the workplace (87%). Ambulatory care nurses more often declared that they were vaccinated mainly to protect themselves while hospital care nurses more often declared the will to protect their patients, these differences in the perception and attitudes to an influenza vaccination among hospital and ambulatory care nurses were statistically significant (p < 0.05). The main barriers for an influenza vaccination among the nursing staff were: a lack of reimbursement of the vaccine (95%), a lack of insufficient knowledge about the effectiveness, and safety of the influenza vaccine (54%). The ambulatory care nurses more often found influenza vaccination as the ethical duty compared to hospital care nurses (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The influenza vaccine coverage rates among the Polish nurses are low and must be improved in the future. More educational activities dedicated to HCWs may result in the increased awareness of influenza vaccination benefits for both medical professionals and patients.
Participatory Democracy to the Contemporary Problems of Polish Social Policy
Nowadays the participation of citizens in public life increasingly effect on management at all levels of public authority. Today, however, democratic systems in many countries, also in Poland, based on the first - on the institutions of representative democracy, which is mainly on elections, party activity, on the other hand - on the basic instruments of direct democracy, which, in particular, we can include a referendum or initiative of citizenship - although these are often rather complementary. Other forms of participatory democracy, such as deliberative democracy, participatory budgeting, public consultation in practice in many countries are still rare. Appropriate use of the potential invested in participatory democracy can bring enormous and multilateral benefits. On the one hand, local and regional communities taking an active part in public life express their needs, point out problems and thus affect the decisions of public authorities. Authorities using knowledge acquired from the citizens also implement the policy tailored to their needs, thus obtaining support in the next election. The purpose of this study is to show how the Polish citizens affect to resolve issues of social policy pursued at different levels of government. This problem is very important because today the observed changes seen in virtually all fields of life create new social problems, which nowadays are no longer only the problems of the region, the country but they are international, global issues. From such this perspective we should talk about them, discuss, try to solve at all levels. Article will be useful not only theorists involved in the management of the public, local government, or social but also practitioners - local government acting as their functions at different levels of government. Conclusions drawn from the publication will also be useful to politicians and those directly affecting for: functioning social security systems, the scope and quality of public services and the overall shape of the contemporary social policy in different countries.
Consumer Preferences towards Sorbets: A Questionnaire Study
Food choice is a complex human behaviour, that is influenced by many interrelating factors. It is important to understand what consumers really want to eat. Nowadays, the growing popularity of frozen desserts is observed. Among them, sorbets are of the special interest. They are made primarily of fruit juice or fruit purée, water and sugar. A questionnaire study was done to evaluate the consumer preferences towards sorbets. A hundred respondents were included in the study. The respondents answered the questions concerning, inter alia, on the favourite taste of sorbets, additional ingredients (pieces of fruits, nuts etc.), the reason for choosing the product and also the opinion about potential purchasing or not the new product. Women, more frequently than men, indicated strawberry sorbet or the product on the basis of citrus fruits as a favourite one. In turn, 14% of men chose the apple taste. Pieces of chocolate were chosen by most of respondents. Men, more often than women, regarded raisins, alcohol and nuts as the most desirable additional ingredients of sorbets. The candied fruits and spices were indicated more frequently by women. Most of respondents indicated the taste as the major reason for sorbet buying. In turn, for 20% women the most important determinant was the care for their figure. It was observed that more than a half of women regarded sorbets as healthier than traditional ice creams. Answering the question: 'If you had the opportunity to try a new sorbet, containing the ingredient with proven healthy properties, would you buy it?', significantly more men than women answered 'yes, because I like novelty'. Meanwhile, for 14% respondents (independently of gender) it would be only a publicity stunt. Knowing what the consumers desire in selecting a product, is a very important information to design and offer them a new one. Sorbets could be an interesting alternative to ice creams.
The Effect of Colloidal Metals Nanoparticles on Quarantine Bacterium - Clavibacter michiganensis Ssp. sepedonicus
Colloidal metal nanoparticles have drawn increasing attention in the field of phytopathology because of their unique properties and possibilities of applications. Their antibacterial activity, no induction of the development of pathogen resistance and the ability to penetrate most of biological barriers make them potentially useful in the fighting against dangerous pathogens. These properties are very important in the case of protection of strategic crops in the world, like potato - fourth crop in the world - which is host to numerous pathogenic microorganisms causing serious diseases, significantly affecting yield and causing the economic losses. One of the most important and difficult to reduce pathogen of potato plant is quarantine bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis ssp. sepedonicus (Cms) responsible for ring rot disease. Control and detection of these pathogens is very complicated. Application of healthy, certified seed material as well as hygiene in potato production and storage are the most efficient ways of preventing of ring rot disease. Currently used disinfectants and pesticides, have many disadvantages, such as toxicity, low efficiency, selectivity, corrosiveness, and the inability to eliminate the pathogens in potato tissue. In this situation, it becomes important to search for new formulations based on components harmful to health, yet efficient, stable during prolonged period of time and a with wide range of biocide activity. Such capabilities are offered by the latest generation of biocidal nanoparticles such as colloidal metals. Therefore the aim of the presented research was to develop newly antibacterial preparation based on colloidal metal nanoparticles and checking their influence on the Cms bacteria. Our preliminary results confirmed high efficacy of the nano-colloids in controlling the this selected pathogen.
Relationship between Prolonged Timed up and Go Test and Worse Cardiometabolic Diseases Risk Factors Profile in a Population Aged 60-65 Years
Introduction: Functional capacity is one of the basic determinants of health in older age. Functional capacity may be influenced by multiple disorders, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Nevertheless, there is relatively little evidence regarding the association of functional status and cardiometabolic risk factors. Aim: The aim of this research is to check possible association between functional capacity and cardiovascular risk factor in a group of younger seniors. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 300 participants aged 60-65 years (50% were women). Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), glucose, uric acid, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and blood pressure were measured. Smoking status and physical activity level (by Seven Day Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire ) were analysed. Functional status was assessed with the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. The data were compared according to gender, and then separately for both sexes regarding prolonged TUG score (>7 s). The limit of significance was set at p≤0.05 for all analyses. Results: Women presented with higher serum lipids and longer TUG. Men had higher blood pressure, glucose, uric acid, the prevalence of hypertension and history of heart infarct. In women group, those with prolonged TUG displayed significantly higher obesity rate (BMI, WHTR), uric acid, hypertension and ischemic heart disease (IHD), but lower physical activity level, TC or LDL-C. Men with prolonged TUG were heavier smokers, had higher TG, lower HDL and presented with higher prevalence of diabetes and IHD. Discussion: This study shows association between functional status and risk profile of cardiometabolic disorders. In women, the relationship of lower functional status to cardiometabolic diseases may be mediated by overweight/obesity. In men, locomotor problems may be related to smoking. Higher education level may be considered as a protective factor regardless of gender.
The Relationship Between Weight Gain, Cyclicality of Diabetologic Education and the Experienced Stress: A Study Involving Pregnant Women
Introduction: In recent years, there has been an intensive development of research into the physiological relationships between the experienced stress and obesity. Moreover, strong chronic stress leads to the disorganization of a person’s activeness on various levels of functioning, including the behavioral and cognitive sphere (also in one’s diet). Aim: The present work addresses the following research questions: Is there a relationship between an increase in stress related to the disease and the need for the cyclicality of diabetologic education in gestational diabetes? Are there any differences in terms of the experienced stress during the last three months of pregnancy in women with gestational diabetes and in normal pregnancy between the patients with normal weight gains and those with abnormal weight gains? Are there any differences in terms of stress coping styles in women with gestational diabetes and in normal pregnancy between the patients with normal weight gains and those with abnormal weight gains? Method: The study involved pregnant women with gestational diabetes (treated with diet, without insulin therapy) and in normal pregnancy – 206 women in total. The following psychometric tools were employed: Perceived Stress Scale (PSS; Cohen, Kamarck, Mermelstein), Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler, Parker) and authors’ own questionnaire. Gestational diabetes mellitus was diagnosed on the basis of the results of fasting oral glucose tolerance test (75 g OGTT). Body weight measurements were confirmed in a diagnostic interview, taking into account medical data. Regularities in weight gains in pregnancy were determined according to the recommendations of the Polish Gynecological Society and American norms determined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Conclusions: An increase in stress related to the disease varies in patients with differing requirements for the cyclical nature of diabetologic education (i.e. education which is systematically repeated). There are no differences in terms of recently experienced stress and stress coping styles between women with gestational diabetes and those in normal pregnancy. There is a relationship between weight gains in pregnancy and the stress experienced in life as well as stress coping styles – both in pregnancy complicated by diabetes and in physiological pregnancy. In the discussion of the obtained results, the authors refer to scientific reports from English-language magazines of international range.
Prevalence of Cyp2d6 and Its Implications for Personalized Medicine in Saudi Arabs
Background: CYP2D6 is a member of the cytochrome P450 mixed-function oxidase system. The enzyme is responsible for the metabolism and elimination of approximately 25% of clinically used drugs, especially in breast cancer and psychiatric therapy. Different phenotypes have been described displaying alleles that lead to a complete loss of enzyme activity, reduced function (poor metabolizers – PM), hyperfunctionality (ultrarapid metabolizers–UM) and therefore drug intoxication or loss of drug effect. The prevalence of these variants may vary among different ethnic groups. Furthermore, the xTAG system has been developed to categorized all patients into different groups based on their CYP2D6 substrate metabolization. Aim of the study: To determine the prevalence of the different CYP2D6 variants in our population, and to evaluate their clinical relevance in personalized medicine. Methodology: We used the Luminex xMAP genotyping system to sequence 305 Saudi individuals visiting the Blood Bank of our Institution and determine which polymorphisms of CYP2D6 gene are prevalent in our region. Results: xTAG genotyping showed that 36.72% (112 out of 305 individuals) carried the CYP2D6_*2. Out of the 112 individuals with the *2 SNP, 6.23% had multiple copies of *2 SNP (19 individuals out of 305 individuals), resulting in an UM phenotype. About 33.44% carried the CYP2D6_*41, which leads to decreased activity of the CYP2D6 enzyme. 19.67% had the wild-type alleles and thus had normal enzyme function. Furthermore, 15.74% carried the CYP2D6_*4, which is the most common nonfunctional form of the CYP2D6 enzyme worldwide. 6.56% carried the CYP2D6_*17, resulting in decreased enzyme activity. Approximately 5.73% carried the CYP2D6_*10, consequently decreasing the enzyme activity, resulting in a PM phenotype. 2.30% carried the CYP2D6_*29, leading to decreased metabolic activity of the enzyme, and 2.30% carried the CYP2D6_*35, resulting in an UM phenotype, 1.64% had a whole-gene deletion CYP2D6_*5, thus resulting in the loss of CYP2D6 enzyme production, 0.66% carried the CYP2D6_*6 variant. One individual carried the CYP2D6_*3(B), producing an inactive form of the enzyme, which leads to decrease of enzyme activity, resulting in a PM phenotype. Finally, one individual carried the CYP2D6_*9, which decreases the enzyme activity. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that different CYP2D6 variants are highly prevalent in ethnic Saudi Arabs. This finding sets a basis for informed genotyping for these variants in personalized medicine. The study also suggests that xTAG is an appropriate procedure for genotyping the CYP2D6 variants in personalized medicine.
Synthesis and Catalytic Activity of N-Heterocyclic Carbene Copper Catalysts Supported on Magnetic Nanoparticles
Carbenes - species which possess neutral carbon atom with two shared and two unshared valence electrons, are known for their high reactivity and instability. Nevertheless, it is also known, that some carbenes i.e. N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), can form stable crystals. The usability of NHCs in organic synthesis was studied. Due to their exceptional properties (high nucleophilicity) NHCs are commonly used as organocatalysts and also as ligands in transition metal complexes. NHC ligands possess better electron-donating properties than phosphines. Moreover, they exhibit lower toxicity. Due to these features, phosphines are frequently replaced by NHC ligands. In this research is discussed the synthesis of five-membered NHCs which are mainly obtained by deprotonation of azolium salts, e.g., imidazolium or imidazolinium salts. Some of them are immobilized on a solid support what leads to formation of heterogeneous, recyclable catalysts. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are often used as a solid support for catalysts. MNPs can be easily separated from the reaction mixture using an external magnetic field. Due to their low size and high surface to volume ratio, they are a good choice for immobilization of catalysts. Herein is presented synthesis of N-heterocyclic carbene copper complexes directly on the surface of magnetic nanoparticles. Formation of four different catalysts is discussed. They vary in copper oxidation state (Cu(I) and Cu(II)) and structure of NHC ligand. Catalysts were tested in Huisgen reaction, a type of copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. Huisgen reaction represents one of the few universal and highly efficient reactions in which 1,2,3-triazoles can be obtained. The catalytic activity of all synthesized catalysts was compared with activity of commercially available ones. Different reaction conditions (solvent, temperature, the addition of reductant) and reusability of the obtained catalysts were investigated and are discussed. The project was financially supported by National Science Centre, Poland, grant no. 2016/21/N/ST5/01316. Analyses were performed in Centre of Synthesis and Analyses BioNanoTechno of University of Bialystok. The equipment in the Centre of Synthesis and Analysis BioNanoTechno of University of Bialystok was funded by EU, as a part of the Operational Program Development of Eastern Poland 2007-2013, project: POPW.01.03.00-20-034/09-00 and POPW.01.03.00-20-004/11.
Isotope Effects on Inhibitors Binding to HIV Reverse Transcriptase
In order to understand in details the interactions between ligands and the enzyme isotope effects were studied between clinically used drugs that bind in the active site of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reverse Transcriptase, HIV-1 RT, as well as triazole-based inhibitor that binds in the allosteric pocket of this enzyme. The magnitudes and origins of the resulting binding isotope effects were analyzed. Subsequently, binding isotope effect of the same triazole-based inhibitor bound in the active site were analyzed and compared. Together, these results show differences in binding origins in two sites of the enzyme and allow to analyze binding mode and place of newly synthesized inhibitors. Typical protocol is described below on the example of triazole ligand in the allosteric pocket. Triazole was docked into allosteric cavity of HIV-1 RT with Glide using extra-precision mode as implemented in Schroedinger software. The structure of HIV-1 RT was obtained from Protein Data Bank as structure of PDB ID 2RKI. The pKa for titratable amino acids was calculated using PROPKA software, and in order to neutralize the system 15 Cl- were added using tLEaP package implemented in AMBERTools ver.1.5. Also N-terminals and C-terminals were build using tLEaP. The system was placed in 144x160x144Å3 orthorhombic box of water molecules using NAMD program. Missing parameters for triazole were obtained at the AM1 level using Antechamber software implemented in AMBERTools. The energy minimizations were carried out by means of a conjugate gradient algorithm using NAMD. Then system was heated from 0 to 300 K with temperature increment 0.001 K. Subsequently 2 ns Langevin−Verlet (NVT) MM MD simulation with AMBER force field implemented in NAMD was carried out. Periodic Boundary Conditions and cut-offs for the nonbonding interactions, range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å, are used. After 2 ns relaxation 200 ps of QM/MM MD at 300 K were simulated. The triazole was treated quantum mechanically at the AM1 level, protein was described using AMBER and water molecules were described using TIP3P, as implemented in fDynamo library. Molecules 20 Å apart from the triazole were kept frozen, with cut-offs established on range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å. In order to describe interactions between triazole and RT free energy of binding using Free Energy Perturbation method was done. The change in frequencies from ligand in solution to ligand bounded in enzyme was used to calculate binding isotope effects.
The Relationship between Environmental Factors and Purchasing Decisions in the Residential Market in Sweden
The Swedish Green Building Council (SGBC) was established in 2009. Since then, over 1000 buildings have been certified, of which approximately 600 are newly produced and 340 are residential buildings. During that time, approximately 2000 apartment buildings have been built in Sweden. This means that over a five- year period 17% of residential buildings have been certified according to the environmental building scheme. The certification of the building is not a guarantee of environmental progress but it gives us an indication of the extent of the progress. The overarching aim of this study is to investigate the factors behind the relatively slow evolution of the green residential housing market in Sweden. The intention is to examine stated willingness to pay (WTP) for green and low energy apartments, and to explore which factors have a significant effect on stated WTP among apartment owners. A green building was defined as a building certified according to the environmental scheme and a low energy building as a building designed and constructed with high energy efficiency goals. Data for this study were collected through a survey conducted among occupants of comparable apartment buildings: two green and one conventional. The total number of received responses was 429: green A (N=160), response rate 42%; green B (N=138) response rate 35%, and conventional (N=131) response rate 43%. The study applied a quasi-experimental method. Survey responses regarding factors affecting purchase of apartment, stated WTP and environmental literacy have been analysed using descriptive statistics, the Mann–Whitney (rank sum) test and logistic models. Comments received from respondents have been used for further interpretation of results. Results indicate that environmental education has a significant effect on stated WTP. Occupants who declared higher WTP showed a higher level of environmental literacy and indicated that energy efficiency was one of the important factors that affected their decision to buy an apartment. Generally, the respondents were more likely to pay more for low energy buildings than for green buildings. This is to a great extent a consequence of rational customer behaviour and difficulty in apprehending the meaning of green building certification. The analysis shows that people living in green buildings indicate higher WTP for both green and low energy buildings, the difference being statistically significant. It is concluded that growth in the green housing market in Sweden might be achieved if policymakers and developers engage in active education in the environmental labelling system. The demand for green buildings is more likely to increase when the difference between green and conventional buildings is easily understood and information is not only delivered by the estate agent, but is part of an environmental education programme.
Study of Mechanical Properties of Large Scale Flexible Silicon Solar Modules on the Various Substrates
Crystalline silicon (Si) solar cells are the main product in the market among the various photovoltaic technologies concerning such advantages as: material richness, high carrier mobilities, broad spectral absorption range and established technology. However, photovoltaic technology on the stiff substrates are heavier, more fragile and less cost-effective than devices on the flexible substrates to be applied in special applications. The main goal of our work was to incorporate silicon solar cells into various fabric, without any change of the electrical and mechanical parameters of devices. This work is realized for the GEKON project (No. GEKON2/O4/268473/23/2016) sponsored by The National Centre for Research and Development and The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. In our work, the polyamide or polyester fabrics were used as a flexible substrate in the created devices. Applied fabrics differ in tensile and tear strength. All investigated polyamide fabrics are resistant to weathering and UV, while polyester ones is resistant to ozone, water and ageing. The examined fabrics are tight at 100 cm water per 2 hours. In our work, commercial silicon solar cells with the size 156 × 156 mm were cut into nine parts (called single solar cells) by diamond saw and laser. Gap and edge after cutting of solar cells were checked by transmission electron microscope (TEM) to study morphology and quality of the prepared single solar cells. Modules with the size of 160 × 70 cm (containing about 80 single solar cells) were created and investigated by electrical and mechanical methods. Weight of constructed module is about 1.9 kg. Three types of solar cell architectures such as: -fabric/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/film for lamination, -backsheet PET/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/film for lamination, -fabric/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/tempered glass, were investigated taking into consideration type of fabric and lamination process together with the size of solar cells. In investigated devices EVA, it is ethylene-vinyl acetate, while PET - polyethylene terephthalate. Depend on the lamination process and compatibility of textile with solar cell an efficiency of investigated flexible silicon solar cells was in the range of 9.44-16.64 %. Multi folding and unfolding of flexible module has no impact on its efficiency as was detected by Instron equipment. Power (P) of constructed solar module is 30 W, while voltage about 36 V. Finally, solar panel contains five modules with the polyamide fabric and tempered glass will be produced commercially for different applications (dual use).
No-Par Shares Working in European LLCs
Capital companies are based on monetary capital. In the traditional model, the capital is the sum of the nominal values of all shares issued. For a few years within the European countries, the limited liability companies’ (LLC) regulations are leaning towards liberalization of the capital structure in order to provide higher degree of autonomy regarding the intra-corporate governance. Reforms were based primarily on the legal system of the USA. In the USA, the tradition of no-par shares is well-established. Thus, as a point of reference, the American legal system is being chosen. Regulations of Germany, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Finland, Poland and the USA will be taken into consideration. The analysis of the share capital is important for the development of science not only because the capital structure of the corporation has significant impact on the shareholders’ rights, but also it reflects on relationships between creditors of the company and the company itself. Multi-level comparative approach towards the problem will allow to present a wide range of the possible outcomes stemming from the novelization. The dogmatic method was applied. The analysis was based on the statutes, secondary sources and judicial awards. Both the substantive and the procedural aspects of the capital structure were considered. In Germany, as a result of the regulatory competition, typical for the EU, the structure of LLCs was reshaped. New LLC – Unternehmergesellschaft, which does not require a minimum share capital, was introduced. The minimum share capital for Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung was lowered from 25 000 to 10 000 euro. In France the capital structure of corporations was also altered. In 2003, the minimum share capital of société à responsabilité limitée (S.A.R.L.) was repealed. In 2009, the minimum share capital of société par actions simplifiée – in the “simple” version of S.A.R.L. was also changed – there is no minimum share capital required by a statute. The company has to, however, indicate a share capital without the legislator imposing the minimum value of said capital. In Netherlands the reform of the Besloten Vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (B.V.) was planned with the following change: repeal of the minimum share capital as the answer to the need for higher degree of autonomy for shareholders. It, however, preserved shares with nominal value. In Finland the novelization of yksityinen osakeyhtiö took place in 2006 and as a result the no-par shares were introduced. Despite the fact that the statute allows shares without face value, it still requires the minimum share capital in the amount of 2 500 euro. In Poland the proposal for the restructuration of the capital structure of the LLC has been introduced. The proposal provides among others: devaluation of the capital to 1 PLN or complete liquidation of the minimum share capital, allowing the no-par shares to be issued. In conclusion: American solutions, in particular, balance sheet test and solvency test provide better protection for creditors; European no-par shares are not the same as American and the existence of share capital in Poland is crucial.
Thermal Method Production of the Hydroxyapatite from Bone By-Products from Meat Industry
Introduction: Request for compound of phosphorus grows continuously, thus, it is searched for alternative sources of this element. One of these sources could be by-products from meat industry which contain prominent quantity of phosphorus compounds. Hydroxyapatite, which is natural component of animal and human bones, is leading material applied in bone surgery and also in stomatology. This is material, which is biocompatible, bioactive and osteoinductive. Methodology: Hydroxyapatite preparation: As a raw material was applied deproteinized and defatted bone pulp called bone sludge, which was formed as waste in deproteinization process of bones, in which a protein hydrolysate was the main product. Hydroxyapatite was received in calcining process in chamber kiln with electric heating in air atmosphere in two stages. In the first stage, material was calcining in temperature 600°C within 3 hours. In the next stage unified material was calcining in three different temperatures (750°C, 850°C and 950°C) keeping material in maximum temperature within 3.0 hours. Bone sludge: Bone sludge was formed as waste in deproteinization process of bones, in which a protein hydrolysate was the main product. Pork bones coming from the partition of meat were used as a raw material for the production of the protein hydrolysate. After disintegration, a mixture of bone pulp and water with a small amount of lactic acid was boiled at temperature 130-135°C and under pressure4 bar. After 3-3.5 hours boiled-out bones were separated on a sieve, and the solution of protein-fat hydrolysate got into a decanter, where bone sludge was separated from it. Results of the study: The phase composition was analyzed by roentgenographic method. Hydroxyapatite was the only crystalline phase observed in all the calcining products. XRD investigation was shown that crystallization degree of hydroxyapatite was increased with calcining temperature. Conclusion: The researches were shown that phosphorus content is around 12%, whereas, calcium content amounts to 28% on average. The conducted researches on bone-waste calcining at the temperatures of 750-950°C confirmed that thermal utilization of deproteinized bone-waste was possible. X-ray investigations were confirmed that hydroxyapatite is the main component of calcining products, and also XRD investigation was shown that crystallization degree of hydroxyapatite was increased with calcining temperature. Contents of calcium and phosphorus were distinctly increased with calcining temperature, whereas contents of phosphorus soluble in acids were decreased. It could be connected with higher crystallization degree of material received in higher temperatures and its stable structure. Acknowledgements: “The authors would like to thank the The National Centre for Research and Development (Grant no: LIDER//037/481/L-5/13/NCBR/2014) for providing financial support to this project”.
The Effects of Heavy Metal and Aromatic Hydrocarbon Pollution on Bees
Bees are effective pollinators of plants using by humans. However, there is a concern about the fate different species due to their recently decline. Pollution of the environment is described in the literature as one of the causes of this phenomenon. Due to human activities, heavy metals and aromatic hydrocarbons can occur in bee organisms in high concentrations. The presented study aims to provide information on how pollution affects bee quality, taking into account, also the biological differences between various groups of bees. Understanding the consequences of environmental pollution on bees can help to create and promote bee friendly habitats and actions. The analyses were carried out using two contamination gradients with 5 sites on each. The first, mainly heavy metal polluted gradient is stretching approx. 30km from the Bukowno Zinc smelter near Olkusz in the Lesser Poland Voivodship, to the north. The second cuts through the agglomeration of Kraków up to the southern borders of the Ojców National Park. The gradient near Olkusz is a well-described pollution gradient contaminated mainly by zinc, lead, and cadmium. The second gradient cut through the agglomeration of Kraków and end below the Ojców National Park. On each gradient, two bee species were installed: red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) and honey bees (Apis mellifera). Red mason bee is a polylectic, solitary bee species, widely distributed in Poland. Honey bees are a highly social species of bees, with clearly defined casts and roles in the colony. Before installing the bees in the field, samples of imagos of red mason bees and samples of pollen and imagos from each honey bee colony were analysed for zinc, lead cadmium, polycyclic and monocyclic hydrocarbons levels. After collecting the bees from the field, samples of bees and pollen samples for each site were prepared for heavy metal, monocyclic hydrocarbon, and polycyclic hydrocarbon analysis. Analyses of aromatic hydrocarbons were performed with gas chromatography coupled with a headspace sampler (HP 7694E) and mass spectrometer (MS) as detector. Monocyclic compounds were injected into column with headspace sampler while polycyclic ones with manual injector (after solid-liquid extraction with hexane). The heavy metal content (zinc, lead and cadmium) was assessed with flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS AAnalyst 300 Perkin Elmer spectrometer) according to the methods for honey and bee products described in the literature. Pollution levels found in bee bodies and imago body masses in both species, and proportion of sex in case of red mason bees were correlated with pollution levels found in pollen for each site and colony or trap nest. An attempt to pinpoint the most important form of contamination regarding bee health was also be undertaken based on the achieved results.
The Location of Park and Ride Facilities Using the Fuzzy Inference Model
Contemporary cities are facing serious congestion and parking problems. In urban transport policy the introduction of the park and ride system (P&R) is an increasingly popular way of limiting vehicular traffic. The determining of P&R facilities location is a key aspect of the system. Criteria for assessing the quality of the selected location are formulated generally and descriptively. The research outsourced to specialists are expensive and time consuming. The most focus is on the examination of a few selected places. The practice has shown that the choice of the location of these sites in a intuitive way without a detailed analysis of all the circumstances, often gives negative results. Then the existing facilities are not used as expected. Methods of location as a research topic are also widely taken in the scientific literature. Built mathematical models often do not bring the problem comprehensively, e.g. assuming that the city is linear, developed along one important communications corridor. The paper presents a new method where the expert knowledge is applied to fuzzy inference model. With such a built system even a less experienced person could benefit from it, e.g. urban planners, officials. The analysis result is obtained in a very short time, so a large number of the proposed location can also be verified in a short time. The proposed method is intended for testing of car parks location in a city. The paper will show selected examples of locations of the P&R facilities in cities planning to introduce the P&R. The analysis of existing objects will also be shown in the paper and they will be confronted with the opinions of the system users, with particular emphasis on unpopular locations. The research are executed using the fuzzy inference model which was built and described in more detail in the earlier paper of the authors. The results of analyzes are compared to documents of P&R facilities location outsourced by the city and opinions of existing facilities users expressed on social networking sites. The research of existing facilities were conducted by means of the fuzzy model. The results are consistent with actual users feedback. The proposed method proves to be good, but does not require the involvement of a large experts team and large financial contributions for complicated research. The method also provides an opportunity to show the alternative location of P&R facilities. The performed studies show that the method has been confirmed. The method can be applied in urban planning of the P&R facilities location in relation to the accompanying functions. Although the results of the method are approximate, they are not worse than results of analysis of employed experts. The advantage of this method is ease of use, which simplifies the professional expert analysis. The ability of analyzing a large number of alternative locations gives a broader view on the problem. It is valuable that the arduous analysis of the team of people can be replaced by the model's calculation. According to the authors, the proposed method is also suitable for implementation on a GIS platform.
Computer Aided Design Solution Based on Genetic Algorithms for FMEA and Control Plan in Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is one of the most important industries in the world that concerns not only the economy, but also the world culture. In the present financial and economic context, this field faces new challenges posed by the current crisis, companies must maintain product quality, deliver on time and at a competitive price in order to achieve customer satisfaction. Two of the most recommended techniques of quality management by specific standards of the automotive industry, in the product development, are Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Control Plan. FMEA is a methodology for risk management and quality improvement aimed at identifying potential causes of failure of products and processes, their quantification by risk assessment, ranking of the problems identified according to their importance, to the determination and implementation of corrective actions related. The companies use Control Plans realized using the results from FMEA to evaluate a process or product for strengths and weaknesses and to prevent problems before they occur. The Control Plans represent written descriptions of the systems used to control and minimize product and process variation. In addition Control Plans specify the process monitoring and control methods (for example Special Controls) used to control Special Characteristics. In this paper we propose a computer-aided solution with Genetic Algorithms in order to reduce the drafting of reports: FMEA analysis and Control Plan required in the manufacture of the product launch and improved knowledge development teams for future projects. The solution allows to the design team to introduce data entry required to FMEA. The actual analysis is performed using Genetic Algorithms to find optimum between RPN risk factor and cost of production. A feature of Genetic Algorithms is that they are used as a means of finding solutions for multi criteria optimization problems. In our case, along with three specific FMEA risk factors is considered and reduce production cost. Analysis tool will generate final reports for all FMEA processes. The data obtained in FMEA reports are automatically integrated with other entered parameters in Control Plan. Implementation of the solution is in the form of an application running in an intranet on two servers: one containing analysis and plan generation engine and the other containing the database where the initial parameters and results are stored. The results can then be used as starting solutions in the synthesis of other projects. The solution was applied to welding processes, laser cutting and bending to manufacture chassis for buses. Advantages of the solution are efficient elaboration of documents in the current project by automatically generating reports FMEA and Control Plan using multiple criteria optimization of production and build a solid knowledge base for future projects. The solution which we propose is a cheap alternative to other solutions on the market using Open Source tools in implementation.
Parp1 Links Transcription of a Subset of Rbl2-Dependent Genes with Cell Cycle Progression
Apart from protecting genome, PARP1 has been documented to regulate many intracellular processes inter alia gene transcription by physically interacting with chromatin bound proteins and by their ADP-ribosylation. Our recent findings indicate that expression of PARP1 decreases during the differentiation of human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells to monocytes as a consequence of differentiation-associated cell growth arrest and formation of E2F4-RBL2-HDAC1-SWI/SNF repressive complex at the promoter of this gene. Since the RBL2 complexes repress genes in a E2F-dependent manner and are widespread in the genome in G0 arrested cells, we asked (a) if RBL2 directly contributes to defining monocyte phenotype and function by targeting gene promoters and (b) if RBL2 controls gene transcription indirectly by repressing PARP1. For identification of genes controlled by RBL2 and/or PARP1,we used primer libraries for surface receptors and TLR signaling mediators, genes were silenced by siRNA or shRNA, analysis of gene promoter occupation by selected proteins was carried out by ChIP-qPCR, while statistical analysis in GraphPad Prism 5 and STATISTICA, ChIP-Seq data were analysed in Galaxy On the list of 28 genes regulated by RBL2, we identified only four solely repressed by RBL2-E2F4-HDAC1-BRM complex. Surprisingly, 24 out of 28 emerged genes controlled by RBL2 were co-regulated by PARP1 in six different manners. In one mode of RBL2/PARP1 co-operation, represented by MAP2K6 and MAPK3, PARP1 was found to associate with gene promoters upon RBL2 silencing, which was previously shown to restore PARP1 expression in monocytes. PARP1 effect on gene transcription was observed only in the presence of active EP300, which acetylated gene promoters and activated transcription. Further analysis revealed that PARP1 binding to MA2K6 and MAPK3 promoters enabled recruitment of EP300 in monocytes, while in proliferating cancer cell lines, which actively transcribe PARP1, this protein maintained EP300 at the promoters of MA2K6 and MAPK3. Genome-wide analysis revealed a similar distribution of PARP1 and EP300 around transcription start sites and the co-occupancy of some gene promoters by PARP1 and EP300 in cancer cells. Here, we described a new RBL2/PARP1/EP300 axis which controls gene transcription regardless of the cell type. In this model cell, cycle-dependent transcription of PARP1 regulates expression of some genes repressed by RBL2 upon cell cycle limitation. Thus, RBL2 may indirectly regulate transcription of some genes by controlling the expression of EP300-recruiting PARP1. Acknowledgement: This work was financed by Polish National Science Centre grants nr DEC-2013/11/D/NZ2/00033 and DEC-2015/19/N/NZ2/01735. L.V. is funded by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office grants GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00020 TUMORDNS, GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00048-STAYALIVE and OTKA K112336. AR is supported by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education 776/STYP/11/2016.
Chaenomeles superba Leaves Extract as Natural Preservative of Pork Meat Products
Curing salt is a commonly used preservative in meat products which consists of sodium chloride – 99.5% and sodium nitrate (III) – 0.5%. However, during heating processes (e.g., grilling), nitrates (III) react with proteins, peptides or amines and as a result, carcinogenic nitrosoamines are released. Therefore, more and more research focus on searching for new, natural methods of meat products preservation. Due to strong antioxidant and antibacterial activity, as well as health benefits, polyphenolic extracts are of great interest now. Even though polyphenols occur in all parts of plants, leaves contain the highest amounts of these compounds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility of using Chaenomeles superba leaves extract as natural preservative of pork meat products and potential substitute of curing salt. Leaves were collected in August in central Poland, and polyphenols were extracted with water. Identification and quantification of polyphenols were performed using LC-MS (liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry) and HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) methods. The influence of polyphenolic extract (concentration of 1-10%) on the viability of selected meat spoilage bacteria (Brochothrix thermosphacta MMAP4, Staphylococcus aureus ŁOCK 0891, Pseudomonas fragi ATCC 4973, Enterobacter aerogenes PCM 532) was analyzed using acridine orange dye and fluorescence microscopy method. The following pork meat products were produced: sausage with the addition of 2% of Chaenomeles superba leaves extract, control sausage with NaCl, sausage with curing mixture. During refrigerated storage in MAP (modified atmosphere packaging), microbiological analysis, measurement of lipid oxidation (TBARS), water holding capacity, color measurement (CIEL*a*b*) and sensory analysis were performed. The following polyphenols were identified in Chaenomeles superba leaves extract: hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives (caffeic, chlorogenic, cryptochlorogenic and p-coumaroylquinic acids), flavons (luteolin-rutinoside), flavanons (naringenin-glucoside) and flavonols (kaempferol-glucoside). The highest concentration of hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives was detected. The extract showed antibacterial activity at minimal concentration of 1% against B. thermosphacta, S. aureus and P. fragi and 2% against E. aerogenes. Chaenomeles superba leaves extract slightly improved microbial quality of pork sausages during refrigerated storage in MAP compared to sausage with NaCl. The extract significantly inhibited lipid oxidation and improved water holding capacity of meat products. No influence was observed on color parameters and only curing salt gave characteristic pink-red color of sausages. The extract did not have any negative effect on sensory attributes of pork sausages. In conclusion, Chaenomeles superba leaves extract is an interesting antibacterial and antioxidant agent and show potential as natural preservative of pork meat products. More research should be conducted to improve microbial quality, and color parameters of pork sausages with Chaenomeles superba leaves extract.
Socio-Economic Determinants of Physical Activity of Non-Manual Workers, Including the Early Senior Group, from the City of Wroclaw in Poland
Physical activity as a part of people&rsquo;s everyday life reduces the risk of many diseases, including those induced by lifestyle, e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, degenerative arthritis, and certain types of cancer. That refers particularly to professionally active people, including the early senior group working on non-manual positions. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and the socio-economic status of non-manual workers from Wroclaw&mdash;one of the biggest cities in Poland, a model setting for such investigations in this part of Europe. The crucial problem in the research is to find out the percentage of respondents who meet the health-related recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the volume, frequency, and intensity of physical activity, as well as to establish if the most important socio-economic factors, such as gender, age, education, marital status, per capita income, savings and debt, determine the compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations. During the research, conducted in 2013, 1,170 people (611 women and 559 men) aged 21&ndash;60 years were examined. A diagnostic poll method was applied to collect the data. Physical activity was measured with the use of the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire with extended socio-demographic questions, i.e. concerning gender, age, education, marital status, income, savings or debts. To evaluate the relationship between physical activity and selected socio-economic factors, logistic regression was used (odds ratio statistics). Statistical inference was conducted on the adopted ex ante probability level of p&lt;0.05. The majority of respondents met the volume of physical effort recommended for health benefits. It was particularly noticeable in the case of the examined men. The probability of compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations was highest for workers aged 21&ndash;30 years with secondary or higher education who were single, received highest incomes and had savings. The results indicate the relations between physical activity and socio-economic status in the examined women and men. People with lower socio-economic status (e.g. manual workers) are physically active primarily at work, whereas those better educated and wealthier implement physical effort primarily in their leisure time. Among the investigated subjects, the youngest group of non-manual workers have the best chances to meet the WHO standards of physical activity. The study also confirms that secondary education has a positive effect on the public awareness on the role of physical activity in human life. In general, the analysis of the research indicates that there is a relationship between physical activity and some socio-economic factors of the respondents, such as gender, age, education, marital status, income per capita, and the possession of savings. Although the obtained results cannot be applied for the general population, they show some important trends that will be verified in subsequent studies conducted by the authors of the paper.
Biocellulose as Platform for the Development of Multifunctional Materials
Nowadays the interest on green nanocomposites and on the development of more environmental friendly products has been increased. Bacterial cellulose has been recently investigated as an attractive environmentally friendly material for the preparation of low-cost nanocomposites. The formation of cellulose by laboratory bacterial cultures is an interesting and attractive biomimetic access to obtain pure cellulose with excellent properties. Additionally, properties as molar mass, molar mass distribution, and the supramolecular structure could be control using different bacterial strain, culture mediums and conditions, including the incorporation of different additives. This kind of cellulose is a natural nanomaterial, and therefore, it has a high surface-to-volume ratio which is highly advantageous in composites production. Such property combined with good biocompatibility, high tensile strength, and high crystallinity makes bacterial cellulose a potential material for applications in different fields. The aim of this investigation work was the fabrication of novel hybrid inorganic-organic composites based on bacterial cellulose, cultivated in our laboratory, as a template. This kind of biohybrid nanocomposites gathers together excellent properties of bacterial cellulose with the ones displayed by typical inorganic nanoparticles like optical, magnetic and electrical properties, luminescence, ionic conductivity and selectivity, as well as chemical or biochemical activity. In addition, the functionalization of cellulose with inorganic materials opens new pathways for the fabrication of novel multifunctional hybrid materials with promising properties for a wide range of applications namely electronic paper, flexible displays, solar cells, sensors, among others. In this work, different pathways for fabrication of multifunctional biohybrid nanopapers with tunable properties based on BC modified with amphiphilic poly(ethylene oxide-b-propylene oxide-b-ethylene oxide) (EPE) block copolymer, sol-gel synthesized nanoparticles (titanium, vanadium and a mixture of both oxides) and functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles will be presented. In situ (biosynthesized) and ex situ (at post-production level) approaches were successfully used to modify BC membranes. Bacterial cellulose based biocomposites modified with different EPE block copolymer contents were developed by in situ technique. Thus, BC growth conditions were manipulated to fabricate EPE/BC nanocomposite during the biosynthesis. Additionally, hybrid inorganic/organic nanocomposites based on BC membranes and inorganic nanoparticles were designed via ex-situ method, by immersion of never-dried BC membranes into different nanoparticle solutions. On the one hand, sol-gel synthesized nanoparticles (titanium, vanadium and a mixture of both oxides) and on the other hand superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION), Fe2O3-PEO solution. The morphology of designed novel bionanocomposites hybrid materials was investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In order to characterized obtained materials from the point of view of future applications different techniques were employed. On the one hand, optical properties were analyzed by UV-vis spectroscopy and spectrofluorimetry and on the other hand electrical properties were studied at nano and macroscale using electric force microscopy (EFM), tunneling atomic force microscopy (TUNA) and Keithley semiconductor analyzer, respectively. Magnetic properties were measured by means of magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Additionally, mechanical properties were also analyzed.