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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-01-08
    Description: Pig farming produces more manure than can reasonably be spread onto surrounding fields, particularly in regions with high livestock densities and limited land availability. Nutrient recycling offers an attractive solution for dealing with manure excesses and is one main objective of the European commission-funded project “BioEcoSIM”. Phosphate salts (“P-Salt”) were recovered from the separated liquid manure fraction. The solid fraction was dried and carbonized to biochar. This study compared the fertilizing performance of P-Salt and conventional phosphate fertilizer and determined whether additional biochar application further increased biomass yields. The fertilizers and biochar were tested in pot experiments with spring barley and faba beans using two nutrient-poor soils. The crops were fertilized with P-Salt at three levels and biochar in two concentrations. Biomass yield was determined after six weeks. Plant and soil samples were analysed for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contents. The P-Salt had similar or even better effects than mineral fertilizer on growth in both crops and soils. Slow release of nutrients can prevent leaching, rendering P-Salt a particularly suitable fertilizer for light sandy soils. Biochar can enhance its fertilizing effect, but the underlying mechanisms need further investigation. These novel products are concluded to be promising candidates for efficient fertilization strategies.
    Electronic ISSN: 2077-0472
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Published by MDPI
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Stigma and discrimination are among the greatest challenges that people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) face, and both are known to negatively affect quality of life as well as treatment outcomes. We analyzed the growing research and current understanding of HIV-related stigma and contextual factors in HIV/AIDS (human Immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) bibliography. A total of 5984 publications published from 1991 to 2017 were retrieved from the Web of Science database. The number of papers and their impacts have been considerably grown in recent years. Research landscapes related to stigma and discrimination include clinical, physical and mental health outcomes, risk behaviors of most-at-risk populations, and HIV-related services. We found a lack of empirical studies not only on social, cultural and economic contexts, but also on specific interventions for particular settings and sub-populations. This study highlights certain gaps and provides a basis for future studies and interventions on this critical issue given the changing drivers of HIV epidemics.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: In this study, the introduction of Origanum majorana L. essential oil into a polyamidoamine (PAMAM) G4.0 dendrimer was performed for creation of a potential nanocide against Phytophthora infestans. The characteristics of marjoram oil and PAMAM G4.0 was analyzed using transmission electron spectroscopy (TEM), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The success of combining marjoram oil with PAMAM G4.0 was evaluated by FT-IR, TGA analysis, and the antifungal activity of this system was also investigated. The results showed that the antifungal activity of oil/PAMAM G4.0 was high and significantly higher than only PAMAM G4.0 or marjoram essential oil. These results indicated that the nanocide oil/PAMAM G4.0 helped strengthen and prolong the antifungal properties of the oil.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Environmental exposure to lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), manganese (Mn), and aluminum (Al) has been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We conducted a pilot study during May 2015–May 2107 to estimate blood concentrations of six metals (Pb, Hg, As, Cd, Mn, and Al) and identify their associated factors for children with ASD or suspected of having ASD in Romania. Sixty children, age 2–8 years, were administered versions of ADOS or ADI-R translated from English to Romanian. After assessment, 2–3 mL of blood was obtained and analyzed for the concentrations of the six metals. The mean age of children was 51.9 months and about 90% were male. More than half (65%) of the children were born in Bucharest. Over 90% of concentrations of As and Cd were below limits of detection. Geometric mean concentrations of Pb, Mn, Al, and Hg were 1.14 μg/dL, 10.84 μg/L, 14.44 μg/L, and 0.35 μg/L, respectively. Multivariable linear regression analysis revealed that children who were female, had less educated parents, exhibited pica, and ate cold breakfast (e.g., cereal), watermelon, and lamb had significantly higher concentrations of Pb compared to their respective referent categories (all p 〈 0.05 except for eating lamb, which was marginally significant, p = 0.053). Although this is the first study that provides data on concentrations of the six metals for Romanian children with ASD, the findings from this study could be useful for designing future epidemiologic studies for investigating the role of these six metals in ASD in Romanian children.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Road traffic injuries (RTIs) cause a substantial disease burden in Vietnam. Evaluating health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among patients having a diversity of RTIs informs an integral part of treatment effectiveness. This study aims to examine HRQOL of patients suffering different RTIs in Vietnam’s urban areas. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 408 patients from October to December 2018 in six hospitals in Thai Binh. The EuroQol-5 dimensions-5 levels (EQ-5D-5L) and visual analog scale (VAS) were used to assess the HRQOL of patients. Multivariable Tobit regression was applied to measure the difference of HRQOL among different kinds of injuries. The mean EQ-5D-5L and VAS score was 0.40–0.66, respectively. Mean EQ-5D-5L index was lowest in patients with oral and facial injuries (0.22) and fracture injuries (0.23), while patients having hand injuries had the highest EQ-5D-5L index (0.54). EQ-5D-5L index had a negative association with oral, facial, and fracture injuries. Meanwhile, patients with brain, fracture, and multiple injuries tended to have lower VAS score. Poor HRQOL among patients injured in road traffic were observed. Pain management, early rehabilitation, and mental health counseling services should be considered during treatment time, especially among those having the brain, oral and facial trauma, fracture, and multiple injuries.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the association between epilepsy and suicide. We systematically searched PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and Web of Science for studies that reported the prevalence of suicidality in the form of suicide ideation, attempts and deaths among people with epilepsy (PWE). Studies were included if they reported the numbers of patients who died by suicide and concurrently suffered from epilepsy, assessed suicide ideation, or studied suicide attempts in PWE by validated instruments or diagnostic interviews. We used the random effects model to calculate the pooled odds ratios (OR) and standard mean differences (SMDs). We performed subgroup analyses. Seven case-control studies were included in the comparison of rates of suicide attempts between PWE and controls, with a total of 821,594 participants. Our analyses demonstrated a positive association between epilepsy and suicide attempts (pooled OR = 3.25, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.69–3.92, p 〈 0.001), indicating that PWE have an elevated risk of suicide. The pooled prevalence for suicide ideation (24 studies) and suicide attempts (18 studies) were 23.2% (95% CI: 0.176–0.301) and 7.4% (95% CI: 0.031–0.169) respectively. The pooled rate of death due to suicide (10 studies) was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.002–0.016). Meta-regression showed that mean age and proportion of male gender were significant moderators for prevalence of suicide attempts and death due to suicide in PWE. Young PWE could be triggered by relationship problems and male PWE might use more lethal methods to attempt suicide. This meta-analysis provides the most up-to-date information on the prevalence of suicide among people with epilepsy and guidance on strategies to improve current psychiatric services provided for this population.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Big data technologies have a strong impact on different industries, starting from the last decade, which continues nowadays, with the tendency to become omnipresent. The financial sector, as most of the other sectors, concentrated their operating activities mostly on structured data investigation. However, with the support of big data technologies, information stored in diverse sources of semi-structured and unstructured data could be harvested. Recent research and practice indicate that such information can be interesting for the decision-making process. Questions about how and to what extent research on data mining in the financial sector has developed and which tools are used for these purposes remains largely unexplored. This study aims to answer three research questions: (i) What is the intellectual core of the field? (ii) Which techniques are used in the financial sector for textual mining, especially in the era of the Internet, big data, and social media? (iii) Which data sources are the most often used for text mining in the financial sector, and for which purposes? In order to answer these questions, a qualitative analysis of literature is carried out using a systematic literature review, citation and co-citation analysis.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Depressive disorders have been found to be a significant health issue among industrial workers, resulting from work-related factors and causing serious burdens for the workers as well as their employers. Literature on mental health problems of Vietnamese industrial workers has been limited, despite the rapid foreign investment-fueled industrialization process of the country. This study aimed to fill the gap in literature by examining the prevalence of depressive disorders and their potential associated factors among a cohort of Vietnamese industrial workers. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 3 industrial areas in Hanoi and Bac Ninh. A total of 289 workers agreed to participate in the study. Generalized linear mixed models were applied to identify associated factors with depression status of respondents. 38.6% of participants reported suffering depression. Factors found to be positively associated with the possibility of having depression and higher PHQ9 score were long working hours, suffering more health problems, and health hazards exposure at work. Meanwhile, being females, having more children, living with parents, engaging in smoking, and being local workers were found to correlate with lower likelihood of being depressed. The findings suggested the importance of regular health screening, work safety assurance, and social support outside of workplace on the mental health of the workers.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Lanthanum (La)-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles were synthesized with different La concentrations by employing a gel combustion method using poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). The as-synthesized photocatalysts were characterized using various techniques, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, and UV–visible absorption spectroscopy. The average size of ZnO nanoparticles decreased from 34.3 to 10.3 nm with increasing concentrations of La, and the band gap, as evaluated by linear fitting, decreased from 3.10 to 2.78 eV. Additionally, it was found that the photocatalytic activity of doped samples, as investigated by using methyl orange dye under visible lights, improved in response to the increase in La concentration. The decomposition of methyl orange reached 85.86% after 150 min in visible light using La0.1Zn0.9O as the photocatalyst.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: The applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in aiding clinical decision-making and management of stroke and heart diseases have become increasingly common in recent years, thanks in part to technological advancements and the heightened interest of the research and medical community. This study aims to provide a comprehensive picture of global trends and developments of AI applications relating to stroke and heart diseases, identifying research gaps and suggesting future directions for research and policy-making. A novel analysis approach that combined bibliometrics analysis with a more complex analysis of abstract content using exploratory factor analysis and Latent Dirichlet allocation, which uncovered emerging research domains and topics, was adopted. Data were extracted from the Web of Science database. Results showed topics with the most compelling growth to be AI for big data analysis, robotic prosthesis, robotics-assisted stroke rehabilitation, and minimally invasive surgery. The study also found an emerging landscape of research that was centered on population-specific and early detection of stroke and heart disease. Application of AI in health behavior tracking and improvement as well as the use of robotics in medical diagnostics and prognostication have also been found to attract significant research attention. In light of these findings, it is suggested that the currently under-researched issues of data management, AI model reliability, as well as validation of its clinical utility, need to be further explored in future research and policy decisions to maximize the benefits of AI applications in stroke and heart diseases.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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