Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 48555

22
20177
Searching for Novel Scaffolds of Triazole Non-Nucleoside Inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase
Abstract:
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.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
21
51751
Investing in Shares of Innovative Companies: The Risk and the Return, Evidence from Polish Capital Market
Abstract:
Due to the growing global interest of investment society in innovative enterprises, as the objective of this research was adopted to examine the investment efficiency in shares of companies with innovative characteristics in the risk-return layout. The research was carried out for companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange taking into various consideration time ranges of investment. Obtained results show that in shorter periods of time, investors buy expectations connected with innovative companies and therefore the efficiency of investment in their shares is relatively high, but in the longer term expectations are revised by companies financial results, which in turn negatively affects the efficiency of investment in their shares.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
20
65737
Non-Destructing Testing of Sandstones from Unconventional Reservoir in Poland with Use of Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Technique and X-Ray Computed Microtomography
Abstract:
This study concerns high-resolution X-ray computed microtomography (µCT) and ultrasonic pulse analysis of Cambrian sandstones from a borehole located in the Baltic Sea Coast of northern Poland. µCT and ultrasonic technique are non-destructive methods commonly used to determine the internal structure of reservoir rock sample. The spatial resolution of the µCT images obtained was 27 µm, which enabled the author to create accurate 3-D visualizations of structure geometry and to calculate the ratio of pores volume to the total sample volume. A copper X-ray source filter was used to reduce image artifacts. Furthermore, samples Young’s modulus and Poisson ratio were obtained with use of ultrasonic pulse technique. µCT and ultrasonic pulse technique provide complex information which can be used for explorations and characterization of reservoir rocks.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
19
31313
Effect of UV Radiation to Change the Properties of the Composite PA+GF
Abstract:
The development of composite materials and the related design and manufacturing technologies is one of the most important advances in the history of materials. Composites are multifunctional materials having unprecedented mechanical and physical properties that can be tailored to meet the requirements of a particular application. Some composites also exhibit great resistance to high-temperature corrosion, oxidation, and wear. Polymers are widely used indoors and outdoors, therefore they are exposed to a chemical environment which may include atmospheric oxygen, acidic fumes, acidic rain, moisture heat and thermal shock, ultra-violet light, high energy radiation, etc. Different polymers are affected differently by these factors even though the amorphous polymers are more sensitive. Ageing is also important and it is defined as the process of deterioration of engineering materials resulting from the combined effects of atmospheric radiation, heat, oxygen, water, micro-organisms and other atmospheric factors.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
18
20179
Biological Evaluation and Molecular Modeling Study of Thiosemicarbazide Derivatives as Bacterial Type IIA Topoisomerases Inhibitors
Abstract:
In this contribution, we will describe the inhibitory potency of nine thiosemicarbazide derivatives against bacterial type IIA topoisomerases, their antibacterial profile, and molecular modeling evaluation. We have found that one of the tested compounds, 4-benzoyl-1-(2-methyl-furan-3-ylcarbonyl) thiosemicarbazide, remarkably inhibits the activity of S. aureus DNA gyrase with the IC50 below 5 μM. Besides, this compound displays antibacterial activity on Staphylococcus spp. and E. faecalis at non-cytotoxic concentrations in mammalian cells, with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) values at 25 μg/mL. Based on the enzymatic and molecular modeling studies we propose two factors, i.e. geometry of molecule and hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance as important molecular properties for developing thiosemicarbazide derivatives as potent Staphylococcus aureus DNA gyrase inhibitors.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
17
50663
Usage of Internet Technology in Financial Education and Financial Inclusion by Students of Economics Universities
Authors:
Abstract:
The paper analyses the usage of the Internet by university students in Visegrad Countries (4V Countries) who study economic fields in their formal and informal financial education and captures the areas of untapped potential of Internet in educational processes. Higher education and training, technological readiness, and the financial market development are in the group of pillars, that are key for efficiency driven economies. These three pillars have become an inspiration to the research on using the Internet in the financial education among economic university students as the group of the best educated people in finance. The financial education is a process that allows for improving the level of financial literacy. In turn, the financial literacy it is the set of financial knowledge, skills, awareness and patterns influencing the financial decisions. The level of financial literacy influences the level of financial well-being of individuals, determines the scale of saving of households and at the same time gives the greater chance for sustainable and more predictable development of the financial market with the positive impact on economy. The financial literacy is necessary for each group of society but its appropriate level is desirable especially in respect of economics students as future participants of financial markets as well as the experts and advisors in financial decision making. The low level of financial literacy is the great problem of many target groups in both developing and developed countries and the financial education is seen as the best way of improving this situation. Also the financial inclusion plays the special role in enhancing the level of financial literacy in the aspect of education by practice as well as due to interrelation between level of financial literacy and degree of financial inclusion. Despite many initiatives under financial education, the level of financial literacy is still very low. Scientists still search for new ways of solving this problem. One of the proposal is more effective usage of the new technology in financial education, especially the Internet, because of the growing popularity of e-learning and the increasing number of Internet users, especially among young people who are called the Generation Net. Due to special role of the university students studying the economics fields for the future financial markets, students of four universities from Visegrad Countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) were invited to participate in the survey. The aim of the article is to present the level and ways of using the Internet technology in financial education and indicating the so far unused or underused opportunities.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
16
65758
The Use of X-Ray Computed Microtomography in Petroleum Geology: A Case Study of Unconventional Reservoir Rocks in Poland
Abstract:
High-resolution X-ray computed microtomography (µCT) is a non-destructive technique commonly used to determine the internal structure of reservoir rock sample. This study concerns µCT analysis of Silurian and Ordovician shales and mudstones from a borehole in the Baltic Basin, north of Poland. The spatial resolution of the µCT images obtained was 27 µm, which enabled the authors to create accurate 3-D visualizations and to calculate the ratio of pores and fractures volume to the total sample volume. A total of 1024 µCT slices were used to create a 3-D volume of sample structure geometry. These µCT slices were processed to obtain a clearly visible image and the volume ratio. A copper X-ray source filter was used to reduce image artifacts. Due to accurate technical settings of µCT it was possible to obtain high-resolution 3-D µCT images of low X-ray transparency samples. The presented results confirm the utility of µCT implementations in geoscience and show that µCT has still promising applications for reservoir exploration and characterization.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
15
81042
The Bright Side of Organizational Politics as a Driver of Firm Competitiveness: The Mediating Role of Corporate Entrepreneurship
Abstract:
This study seeks to contribute to the literature on firm competitiveness by advancing the perspective of organizational politics that views this process as a driver which creates identifiable differences in firm performance. The testing hypothesized relationships were used data from 355 Polish medium and large-sized enterprises. The main result of the analyses conducted is proving the coexistence, known in the literature, of corporate entrepreneurship and firm performance. The research findings obtained made it possible to add organizational politics to a wide range of elements determining corporate entrepreneurship, followed by competitive advantage, in addition to antecedents such as strategic leadership, corporate culture, opportunity-oriented resource-based management, etc. Also, the empirical results suggest that four dimensions of organizational politics (dominant coalition, influence exertion, making organizational changes, and information openness) are positively related to firm competitiveness. In addition, these findings seem to underline a supposition that corporate entrepreneurship is an important mediator which strengthens the competitive effects of organizational politics.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
14
74956
The Bright Side of Organizational Politics as a Driver of Firm Competitiveness: The Mediating Role of Corporate Entrepreneurship
Abstract:
This study seeks to contribute to the literature on firm competitiveness by advancing the perspective of organizational politics that views this process as a driver which creates identifiable differences in firm performance. The hypothesized relationships were tested on the basis of data from 355 Polish medium and large-sized enterprises. Data were analyzed using correlation analysis, EFA and robustness tests. The main result of the conducted analyses proved the coexistence, previously examined in the literature, of corporate entrepreneurship and firm performance. The obtained research findings made it possible to add organizational politics to a wide range of elements determining corporate entrepreneurship, followed by competitive advantage, in addition to antecedents such as strategic leadership, corporate culture, opportunity-oriented resource-based management, etc. Also, the empirical results suggest that four dimensions of organizational politics (dominant coalition, influence exertion, making organizational changes, and information openness) are positively related to firm competitiveness. In addition, these findings seem to underline a supposition that corporate entrepreneurship is an important mediator which strengthens the competitive effects of organizational politics.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
13
46482
Use of Fuzzy Logic in the Corporate Reputation Assessment: Stock Market Investors’ Perspective
Abstract:
The growing importance of reputation in building enterprise value and achieving long-term competitive advantage creates the need for its measurement and evaluation for the management purposes (effective reputation and its risk management). The paper presents practical application of self-developed corporate reputation assessment model from the viewpoint of stock market investors. The model has a pioneer character and example analysis performed for selected industry is a form of specific test for this tool. In the proposed solution, three aspects - informational, financial and development, as well as social ones - were considered. It was also assumed that the individual sub-criteria will be based on public sources of information, and as the calculation apparatus, capable of obtaining synthetic final assessment, fuzzy logic will be used. The main reason for developing this model was to fulfill the gap in the scope of synthetic measure of corporate reputation that would provide higher degree of objectivity by relying on "hard" (not from surveys) and publicly available data. It should be also noted that results obtained on the basis of proposed corporate reputation assessment method give possibilities of various internal as well as inter-branch comparisons and analysis of corporate reputation impact.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
12
58310
Support for Planning of Mobile Personnel Tasks by Solving Time-Dependent Routing Problems
Abstract:
Implementation concepts of a decision support system for planning and management of mobile personnel tasks (sales representatives and others) are discussed. Large-scale periodic time-dependent vehicle routing and scheduling problems with complex constraints are solved for this purpose. Complex nonuniform constraints with respect to frequency, time windows, working time, etc. are taken into account with additional fast adaptive procedures for operational rescheduling of plans in the presence of various disturbances. Five individual solution quality indicators with respect to a single personnel person are considered. This paper deals with modeling issues corresponding to the problem and general solution concepts. The research was supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme ‘Innovative Economy’ for the years 2007-2013; Priority 1 Research and development of modern technologies under the project POIG.01.03.01-14-076/12: 'Decision Support System for Large-Scale Periodic Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Problems with Complex Constraints.'
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
11
29592
Transmission of Values among Polish Young Adults and Their Parents: Pseudo Dyad Analysis and Gender Differences
Abstract:
Young women and men differ from their parents in preferred values. Those differences enable their adaptability to a new socio-cultural context and help with fulfilling developmental tasks specific to young adulthood. At the same time core values, with special importance to family members, are transmitted within families. Intergenerational similarities in values may thus be both an effect of value transmission within a family and a consequence of sharing the same socio-cultural context. These processes are difficult to separate. In our study we assessed similarities and differences in values within four intergenerational family dyads (mothers-daughters, fathers-daughters, mothers-sons, fathers-sons). Sixty Polish young adults (30 women and 30 men aged 19-25) along with their parents (a total of 180 participants) completed the Schwartz’ Portrait Value Questionnaire (PVQ-21). To determine which values may be transmitted within families, we used a correlation analysis and pseudo dyad analysis that allows for the estimation of a baseline likeness between all tested subjects and consequently makes it possible to determine if similarities between actual family members are greater than chance. We also assessed whether different strategies of measuring similarity between family members render different results, and checked whether resemblances in family dyads are influenced by child’s and parent’s gender. Reported similarities were interpreted in light of the evolutionary and the value salience perspective.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
10
61665
Portfolio Optimization with Reward-Risk Ratio Measure Based on the Mean Absolute Deviation
Abstract:
In problems of portfolio selection, the reward-risk ratio criterion is optimized to search for a risky portfolio with the maximum increase of the mean return in proportion to the risk measure increase when compared to the risk-free investments. In the classical model, following Markowitz, the risk is measured by the variance thus representing the Sharpe ratio optimization and leading to the quadratic optimization problems. Several Linear Programming (LP) computable risk measures have been introduced and applied in portfolio optimization. In particular, the Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD) measure has been widely recognized. The reward-risk ratio optimization with the MAD measure can be transformed into the LP formulation with the number of constraints proportional to the number of scenarios and the number of variables proportional to the total of the number of scenarios and the number of instruments. This may lead to the LP models with huge number of variables and constraints in the case of real-life financial decisions based on several thousands scenarios, thus decreasing their computational efficiency and making them hardly solvable by general LP tools. We show that the computational efficiency can be then dramatically improved by an alternative model based on the inverse risk-reward ratio minimization and by taking advantages of the LP duality. In the introduced LP model the number of structural constraints is proportional to the number of instruments thus not affecting seriously the simplex method efficiency by the number of scenarios and therefore guaranteeing easy solvability. Moreover, we show that under natural restriction on the target value the MAD risk-reward ratio optimization is consistent with the second order stochastic dominance rules.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
9
63347
Wear Resistance and Thermal Stability of Tungsten Boride Layers Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering
Abstract:
Tungsten and boron compounds belong to the group of superhard materials and its hardness could exceed 40 GPa. In this study, the properties of the tungsten boride (WB) layers deposited in magnetron sputtering process are investigated. The sputtering process occurred from specially prepared targets that were composed of boron and tungsten mixed in molar ratio of 2.5 or 4.5 and sintered in spark plasma sintering process. WB layers were deposited on silicon (100) and stainless steel 304 substrates at room temperature (RT) or in 570 °C. Layers deposited in RT and in elevated temperature varied considerably. Layers deposited in RT are amorphous and have low adhesion. In contrast, the layers deposited in 570 °C are crystalline and have good adhesion. All deposited layers have a hardness about 40 GPa. Moreover, the friction coefficient of crystalline layers is 0.22 and wear rate is about 0.67•10-6 mm3N-1m-1. After material characterization the WB layers were annealed in argon atmosphere in 1000 °C for 1 hour. On the basis of X-Ray Diffraction analysis, it has been noted that the crystalline layers are thermally stable and do not change their phase composition, whereas the amorphous layers change their phase composition. Moreover, after annealing, on the surface of WB layers some cracks were observed. It is probably connected with the differences of the thermal expansion between the layer and the substrate. Despite of the presence of cracks, the wear resistance of annealed layers is still higher than the wear resistance of uncoated substrate. The analysis of the structure and properties of tungsten boride layers lead to the discussion about the application area of this material.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
8
62319
Exploration of Hydrocarbon Unconventional Accumulations in the Argillaceous Formation of the Autochthonous Miocene Succession in the Carpathian Foredeep
Abstract:
The article shows results of the project which aims at evaluating possibilities of effective development and exploitation of natural gas from argillaceous series of the Autochthonous Miocene in the Carpathian Foredeep. To achieve the objective, the research team develop a world-trend based but unique methodology of processing and interpretation, adjusted to data, local variations and petroleum characteristics of the area. In order to determine the zones in which maximum volumes of hydrocarbons might have been generated and preserved as shale gas reservoirs, as well as to identify the most preferable well sites where largest gas accumulations are anticipated a number of task were accomplished. Evaluation of petrophysical properties and hydrocarbon saturation of the Miocene complex is based on laboratory measurements as well as interpretation of well-logs and archival data. The studies apply mercury porosimetry (MICP), micro CT and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (using the Rock Core Analyzer). For prospective location (e.g. central part of Carpathian Foredeep – Brzesko-Wojnicz area) reprocessing and reinterpretation of detailed seismic survey data with the use of integrated geophysical investigations has been made. Construction of quantitative, structural and parametric models for selected areas of the Carpathian Foredeep is performed on the basis of integrated, detailed 3D computer models. Modeling are carried on with the Schlumberger’s Petrel software. Finally, prospective zones are spatially contoured in a form of regional 3D grid, which will be framework for generation modelling and comprehensive parametric mapping, allowing for spatial identification of the most prospective zones of unconventional gas accumulation in the Carpathian Foredeep. Preliminary results of research works indicate a potentially prospective area for occurrence of unconventional gas accumulations in the Polish part of Carpathian Foredeep.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
7
83857
Phantom Phenomena in Subjects after Limb Amutation Who Regularly Practice High Intensity Sports
Abstract:
Introduction: Phantom phenomena are often reported by subjects who have undergone limb amputation. Mostly, patients feel the amputated part of the limb as if it was still attached to the body. Two types of phantom phenomena: painless (phantom sensation) and painful (phantom pain) were described. Triggers of phantom sensations and phantom pain, as well as fully effective treatment, have not been clearly described yet. Purpose: To assess the influence of psychosocial factors and some clinical conditions on the occurrence of phantom phenomena in amputee athletes. Subjects: 21 men (age: 31 years, SD = 7.5 years) after lower or upper extremity amputation, who regularly performed high-intensity sports (Amp Football Team Players) were included to the study. Method and equipment: In the research, the following method and tools were used: Questionnaire [Pirowska] adapted for athletes with disabilities, Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) - for phantom pain assessment, McGill Pain Assessment Questionnaire (short version), Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI), State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI): X-1 and X-2, shortened version of The World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOLBREFF). Results: In the study group, the lower leg amputations with traumatic etiology were predominant. Phantom sensations were present in all subjects. Half of the respondents claimed to experience phantom sensations at least once a day, paroxysmally. There was a prevalence of phantom sensations characterized as incomplete, immobile limb. Phantom pain was reported by over 85% of respondents. The nature of phantom pain was frequently described as stabbing, squeezing, shooting, pulsing, tiring. There was a significant correlation between phantom pain intensity and anxiety, quality of life, depressive tendencies, perception of phantom pain as the obstacle in daily functioning and intensity of the limb pain before amputation. Conclusions: The etiology of phantom phenomena is complex. Psychological factors seem to have a significant influence on the intensity of the phantom pain. Particular attention should be paid to patients who complain about persistent limb pain before the amputation. These are patients with an increased risk of the phantom pain of relatively high intensity.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
6
60679
Relationship between Prolonged Timed up and Go Test and Worse Cardiometabolic Diseases Risk Factors Profile in a Population Aged 60-65 Years
Abstract:
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.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
5
41607
Enhanced Photocatalytic Activities of TiO2/Ag2O Heterojunction Nanotubes Arrays Obtained by Electrochemical Method
Abstract:
During the last years, TiO2 nanotubes have been widely studied due to their unique highly ordered array structure, unidirectional charge transfer and higher specific surface area compared to conventional TiO2 powder. These photoactive materials, in the form of thin layer, can be activated by low powered and low cost irradiation sources (such as LEDs) to remove VOCs, microorganism and to deodorize air streams. This is possible due to their directly growth on a support material and high surface area, which guarantee enhanced photon absorption together with an extensive adsorption of reactant molecules on the photocatalyst surface. TiO2 nanotubes exhibit also lots of other attractive properties, such as potential enhancement of electron percolation pathways, light conversion, and ion diffusion at the semiconductor-electrolyte interface. Pure TiO2 nanotubes were previously used to remove organic compounds from the gas phase as well as in water splitting reaction. The major factors limiting the use of TiO2 nanotubes, which have not been fully overcome, are their relatively large band gap (3-3,2 eV) and high recombination rate of photogenerated electron–hole pairs. Many different strategies were proposed to solve this problem, however titania nanostructures containing incorporated metal oxides like Ag2O shows very promising, new optical and photocatalytic properties. Unfortunately, there is still very limited number of reports regarding application of TiO2/MxOy nanostructures. In the present work, we prepared TiO2/Ag2O nanotubes obtained by anodization of Ti-Ag alloys containing 5, 10 and 15 wt. % Ag. Photocatalysts prepared in this way were characterized by X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), luminescence spectroscopy and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The activities of new TiO2/Ag2O were examined by photocatalytic degradation of toluene in gas phase reaction and phenol in aqueous phase using 1000 W Xenon lamp (Oriel) and light emitting diodes (LED) as a irradiation sources. Additionally efficiency of bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) removal from the gas phase was estimated. The number of surviving bacteria was determined by the serial twofold dilution microtiter plate method, in Tryptic Soy Broth medium (TSB, GibcoBRL).
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
4
81856
Hardware Implementation on Field Programmable Gate Array of Two-Stage Algorithm for Rough Set Reduct Generation
Abstract:
The rough sets theory developed by Prof. Z. Pawlak is one of the tools that can be used in the intelligent systems for data analysis and processing. Banking, medicine, image recognition and security are among the possible fields of utilization. In all these fields, the amount of the collected data is increasing quickly, but with the increase of the data, the computation speed becomes the critical factor. Data reduction is one of the solutions to this problem. Removing the redundancy in the rough sets can be achieved with the reduct. A lot of algorithms of generating the reduct were developed, but most of them are only software implementations, therefore have many limitations. Microprocessor uses the fixed word length, consumes a lot of time for either fetching as well as processing of the instruction and data; consequently, the software based implementations are relatively slow. Hardware systems don’t have these limitations and can process the data faster than a software. Reduct is the subset of the decision attributes that provides the discernibility of the objects. For the given decision table there can be more than one reduct. Core is the set of all indispensable condition attributes. None of its elements can be removed without affecting the classification power of all condition attributes. Moreover, every reduct consists of all the attributes from the core. In this paper, the hardware implementation of the two-stage greedy algorithm to find the one reduct is presented. The decision table is used as an input. Output of the algorithm is the superreduct which is the reduct with some additional removable attributes. First stage of the algorithm is calculating the core using the discernibility matrix. Second stage is generating the superreduct by enriching the core with the most common attributes, i.e., attributes that are more frequent in the decision table. Described above algorithm has two disadvantages: i) generating the superreduct instead of reduct, ii) additional first stage may be unnecessary if the core is empty. But for the systems focused on the fast computation of the reduct the first disadvantage is not the key problem. The core calculation can be achieved with a combinational logic block, and thus add respectively little time to the whole process. Algorithm presented in this paper was implemented in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) as a digital device consisting of blocks that process the data in a single step. Calculating the core is done by the comparators connected to the block called 'singleton detector', which detects if the input word contains only single 'one'. Calculating the number of occurrences of the attribute is performed in the combinational block made up of the cascade of the adders. The superreduct generation process is iterative and thus needs the sequential circuit for controlling the calculations. For the research purpose, the algorithm was also implemented in C language and run on a PC. The times of execution of the reduct calculation in a hardware and software were considered. Results show increase in the speed of data processing.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
3
65773
Hampering The 'Right to Know': Consequences of the Excessive Interpretation of the Notion of Exemption from the Right to Information
Abstract:
The right to know becomes gradually recognised as an increasing number of states adopts national legislations regarding access to state-held information. Laws differ from each other in the scope of the right to information (hereinafter: RTI). In all regimes of RTI, there are exceptions from the general notion of the right. States’ authorities too often use exceptions to justify refusals to requests for state-held information. This paper sets out how states hamper RTI basing on the notion of exception and by not providing an effective procedure that could redress unlawful denials. This paper bases on two selected examples of RTI incorporation into the national legal regime, United Kingdom, and South Africa. It succinctly outlines the international standard given in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter: ICCPR) and its influence on the RTI in selected countries. It shortly demonstrates as a background to further analysis the Human Rights Committee’s jurisprudence and standards articulated by successive Special Rapporteurs on freedom of opinion and expression. Subsequently, it presents a brief comparison of these standards with the regional standards, namely the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. It critically discusses the regimes of exceptions in RTI legislations in respective national laws. It shows how excessive these regimes are, what implications they have for the transparency in general. Also, the objective is to divide exceptions enumerated in legislations of selected states in relation to exceptions provided in Article 19 of the ICCPR. Basing on the established division of exceptions by its natures, it compares both regimes of exceptions related to the principle of national security. That is to compare jurisprudence of domestic courts, and overview practices of states’ authorities applied to RTI requests. The paper evaluates remedies available in legislations, including contexts of the length and costs of the subsequent proceedings. This provides a general assessment of the given mechanisms and present potential risks of its ineffectiveness. The paper relies on examination of the national legislations, comments of the credible non-governmental organisations (e.g. The Public's Right to Know Principles on Freedom of Information Legislation by the Article 19, The Tshwane Principles on National Security and the Right to Information), academics and also the research of the relevant judgements delivered by domestic and international courts. Conclusion assesses whether selected countries’ legislations go in line with international law and trends, whether the jurisprudence of the regional courts provide appropriate benchmarks for national courts to address RTI issues effectively. Furthermore, it identifies the largest disadvantages of current legislations and to what outcomes it leads in domestic courts jurisprudences. In the end, it provides recommendations and policy arguments for states to improve transparency and support local organisations in their endeavours to establish more transparent states and societies.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2
41587
Photocatalytic Properties of Pt/Er-KTaO3
Abstract:
Photoactive materials have attracted attention due to their potential application in the degradation of environmental pollutants to non-hazardous compounds in an eco-friendly route. Among semiconductor photocatalysts, tantalates such as potassium tantalate (KTaO3) is one of the excellent functional photomaterial. However, tantalates-based materials are less active under visible-light irradiation, the enhancement in photoactivity could be improved with the modification of opto-eletronic properties of KTaO3 by doping rare earth metal (Er) and further photodeposition of noble metal nanoparticles (Pt). Inclusion of rare earth element in orthorhombic structure of tantalate can generate one high-energy photon by absorbing two or more incident low-energy photons, which convert visible-light and infrared-light into the ultraviolet-light to satisfy the requirement of KTaO3 photocatalysts. On the other hand, depositions of noble metal nanoparticles on the surface of semiconductor strongly absorb visible-light due to their surface plasmon resonance, in which their conducting electrons undergo a collective oscillation induced by electric field of visible-light. Furthermore, the high dispersion of Pt nanoparticles, which will be obtained by photodeposition process is additional important factor to improve the photocatalytic activity. The present work is aimed to study the effect of photocatalytic process of the prepared Er-doped KTaO3 and further incorporation of Pt nanoparticles by photodeposition. Moreover, the research is also studied correlations between photocatalytic activity and physico-chemical properties of obtained Pt/Er-KTaO3 samples. The Er-doped KTaO3 microcomposites were synthesized by a hydrothermal method. Then photodeposition method was used for Pt loading over Er-KTaO3. The structural and optical properties of Pt/Er-KTaO3 photocatalytic were characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), volumetric adsorption method (BET), UV-Vis absorption measurement, Raman spectroscopy and luminescence spectroscopy. The photocatalytic properties of Pt/Er-KTaO3 microcomposites were investigated by degradation of phenol in aqueous phase as model pollutant under visible and ultraviolet-light irradiation. Results of this work show that all the prepared photocatalysis exhibit low BET surface area, although doping of the bare KTaO3 with rare earth element (Er) presents a slight increase in this value. The crystalline structure of Pt/Er-KTaO3 powders exhibited nearly identical positions for the main peak at about 22,8o and the XRD pattern could be assigned to an orthorhombic distorted perovskite structure. The Raman spectra of obtained semiconductors confirmed demonstrating perovskite-like structure. The optical absorption spectra of Pt nanoparticles exhibited plasmon absorption band for main peaks at about 216 and 264 nm. The addition of Pt nanoparticles increased photoactivity compared to Er-KTaO3 and pure KTaO3. Summary optical properties of KTaO3 change with its doping Er-element and further photodeposition of Pt nanoparticles.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
1
71571
Differential Expression Analysis of Busseola fusca Larval Transcriptome in Response to Cry1Ab Toxin Challenge
Abstract:
Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), the maize stem borer, is a major pest in sub-Saharan Africa. It causes economic damage to maize and sorghum crops and has evolved non-recessive resistance to genetically modified (GM) maize expressing the Cry1Ab insecticidal toxin. Since B. fusca is a non-model organism, very little genomic information is publicly available, and is limited to some cytochrome c oxidase I, cytochrome b, and microsatellite data. The biology of B. fusca is well-described, but still poorly understood. This, in combination with its larval-specific behavior, may pose problems for limiting the spread of current resistant B. fusca populations or preventing resistance evolution in other susceptible populations. As part of on-going research into resistance evolution, B. fusca larvae were collected from Bt and non-Bt maize in South Africa, followed by RNA isolation (15 specimens) and sequencing on the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Quality of reads was assessed with FastQC, after which Trimmomatic was used to trim adapters and remove low quality, short reads. Trinity was used for the de novo assembly, whereas TransRate was used for assembly quality assessment. Transcript identification employed BLAST (BLASTn, BLASTp, and tBLASTx comparisons), for which two libraries (nucleotide and protein) were created from 3.27 million lepidopteran sequences. Several transcripts that have previously been implicated in Cry toxin resistance was identified for B. fusca. These included aminopeptidase N, cadherin, alkaline phosphatase, ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins, and mitogen-activated protein kinase. MEGA7 was used to align these transcripts to reference sequences from Lepidoptera to detect mutations that might potentially be contributing to Cry toxin resistance in this pest. RSEM and Bioconductor were used to perform differential gene expression analysis on groups of B. fusca larvae challenged and unchallenged with the Cry1Ab toxin. Pairwise expression comparisons of transcripts that were at least 16-fold expressed at a false-discovery corrected statistical significance (p) ≤ 0.001 were extracted and visualized in a hierarchically clustered heatmap using R. A total of 329,194 transcripts with an N50 of 1,019 bp were generated from the over 167.5 million high-quality paired-end reads. Furthermore, 110 transcripts were over 10 kbp long, of which the largest one was 29,395 bp. BLAST comparisons resulted in identification of 157,099 (47.72%) transcripts, among which only 3,718 (2.37%) were identified as Cry toxin receptors from lepidopteran insects. According to transcript expression profiles, transcripts were grouped into three subclusters according to the similarity of their expression patterns. Several immune-related transcripts (pathogen recognition receptors, antimicrobial peptides, and inhibitors) were up-regulated in the larvae feeding on Bt maize, indicating an enhanced immune status in response to toxin exposure. Above all, extremely up-regulated arylphorin genes suggest that enhanced epithelial healing is one of the resistance mechanisms employed by B. fusca larvae against the Cry1Ab toxin. This study is the first to provide a resource base and some insights into a potential mechanism of Cry1Ab toxin resistance in B. fusca. Transcriptomic data generated in this study allows identification of genes that can be targeted by biotechnological improvements of GM crops.
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