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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: The introduction of nanofertilizers (Nfs) in agriculture has allowed the development of new technologies that enhance the productivity of crops. Within the most studied Nfs we find metal oxides, especially ZnO; however, the results of various experiments provide contradictory data on the growth variables. Therefore, this study intended to evaluate the efficiency associated with the use of nanoparticles, sulfates, and zinc-chelates in Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Strike grown in acid soil, as well as to evaluate its production, total biomass, and nitrogen assimilation. Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Strike plants were sprouted and grown in polyethylene bags containing 3 kg of acid soil (pH 6.8) in an experimental greenhouse and were watered with a nutritious solution. A completely randomized design including ten treatments and five repetitions was used. Treatments consisted of applying different zinc sources (sulfate, DTPA chelate, and zinc oxide nanoparticles) to four different doses (0, 25, 50, and 100 ppm of zinc). Results obtained indicated that the doses best favoring an increase in biomass, production, and nitrogen assimilation were 50 ppm of ZnSO4, 100 ppm of DTPA-Zn, and 25 ppm of zinc oxide nanofertilizers (NfsOZn). Hence, the dose containing 25 ppm of NfsOZn was the most efficient dose, since at a lower dose it was able to equalize biomass accumulation, production, and nitrogen assimilation as compared to ZnSO4 and DTPA-Zn sources. However, further research is required, given that high-concentration doses were toxic for beans. Finally, it is worth highlighting that zinc oxide nanoparticles have a huge potential to be used as nanofertilizers if applied in optimal concentrations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4395
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition , Economics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Photoluminescence properties of cubic zinc blende ZnO thin films grown on glass substrates prepared by the spray pyrolysis method are discussed. X-ray diffraction spectra show the crystalline wurtzite with preferential growth in the (002) orientation and a metastable cubic zinc blende phase highly oriented in the (004) direction. Raman measurements support the ZnO cubic modification growth of the films. Photoluminescence (PL) spectra of zinc blende films are characterized by a new PL band centerd at 2.70 eV, the blue emission, in addition there are two principal bands that are also found in hexagonal ZnO films with the peak positions at 2.83 eV and 2.35 eV. The origin of the 2.70 eV band can be attributed to transitions from Zn-interstitial to Zn-vacancies. It is also important to mention that the PL intensity of the 2.35 eV band of the zinc blende thin films is relatively higher than in the band present in hexagonal ZnO films, which means that zinc blende films have more oxygen vacancies, as was corroborated by means of the energy dispersion spectroscopy (EDS) measurements. PL spectra at 77 °K were measured and the 2.70 eV band was confirmed for the zinc blende films. Some PL bands of cubic films also appeared for the hexagonal phase, which is due, to a certain extent, to the similar ions stacking of both wurtzite and zinc blende symmetries.
    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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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-12-13
    Description: © The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Estrada-Gomez, S., Caldas Cardoso, F., Johana Vargas-Munoz, L., Carlos Quintana-Castillo, J., Arenas Gomez, C. M., Steffany Pineda, S., & Maria Saldarriaga-Cordoba, M. Venomic, transcriptomic, and bioactivity analyses of Pamphobeteus verdolaga venom reveal complex disulfide-rich peptides that modulate calcium channels. Toxins, 11(9), (2019): 496, doi:10.3390/toxins11090496.
    Description: Pamphobeteus verdolaga is a recently described Theraphosidae spider from the Andean region of Colombia. Previous reports partially characterized its venom profile. In this study, we conducted a detailed analysis that includes reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (rp-HPLC), calcium influx assays, tandem mass spectrometry analysis (tMS/MS), and venom-gland transcriptome. rp-HPLC fractions of P. verdolaga venom showed activity on CaV2.2, CaV3.2, and NaV1.7 ion channels. Active fractions contained several peptides with molecular masses ranging from 3399.4 to 3839.6 Da. The tMS/MS analysis of active fraction displaying the strongest activity to inhibit calcium channels showed sequence fragments similar to one of the translated transcripts detected in the venom-gland transcriptome. The putative peptide of this translated transcript corresponded to a toxin, here named ω-theraphositoxin-Pv3a, a potential ion channel modulator toxin that is, in addition, very similar to other theraphositoxins affecting calcium channels (i.e., ω-theraphotoxin-Asp1a). Additionally, using this holistic approach, we found that P. verdolaga venom is an important source of disulfide-rich proteins expressing at least eight superfamilies.
    Keywords: theraphosidae ; Pamphobeteus ; peptides ; disulfide-rich peptide (DRP) ; inhibitory cysteine knot (ICK) ; venomics ; transcriptome ; ion channels
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: This paper is focused on searching for the suitable discount rate to be applied to the valuation of a project related to forests in the USA, e.g., a recreational area inside a national park. To do this, we propose a new model based on hazard rate concepts, i.e., based on the risk that waiting time implies. More specifically, we derive the discount function whose instantaneous discount rate is the hazard rate of the system supporting the investment. We determine the rate of failure corresponding to different partition criteria of the whole system; in our case, we can use the information on forest fires caused in different ways, in different states or in different types of forest surfaces. After showing independence between the forest fires by states and causes, we derive a specific discount function for each cause which can be applied to every state or set of states which agree to fight against a concrete cause of forest fire. Additionally, we obtain a unique discount function by weighting the partial discount functions by type of forest surfaces. Our results are in line with the recommendations from several authors about using decreasing discount rates for projects with very long-term impacts.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Published by MDPI
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: The application of Value-based Healthcare requires not only the identification of key processes in the clinical domain but also an adequate analysis of the value chain delivered to the patient. Data Science and Big Data approaches are technologies that enable the creation of accurate systems that model reality. However, classical Data Mining techniques are presented by professionals as black boxes. This evokes a lack of trust in those techniques in the medical domain. Process Mining technologies are human-understandable Data Science tools that can fill this gap to support the application of Value-Based Healthcare in real domains. The aim of this paper is to perform an analysis of the ways in which Process Mining techniques can support health professionals in the application of Value-Based Technologies. For this purpose, we explored these techniques by analyzing emergency processes and applying the critical timing of Stroke treatment and a Question-Driven methodology. To demonstrate the possibilities of Process Mining in the characterization of the emergency process, we used a real log with 9046 emergency episodes from 2145 stroke patients that occurred from January 2010 to June 2017. Our results demonstrate how Process Mining technology can highlight the differences between the flow of stroke patients compared with that of other patients in an emergency. Further, we show that support for health professionals can be provided by improving their understanding of these techniques and enhancing the quality of care.
    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: The performance analysis of Emergency Room episodes is aimed at providing decision makers with knowledge that allows them to decrease waiting times, reduce patient congestion, and improve the quality of care provided. In this case study, Process Mining is used to determine which activities, sub-processes, interactions, and characteristics of episodes explain why some episodes have a longer duration. The employed method and the results obtained are described in detail to serve as a guide for future performance analysis in this domain. It was discovered that the main cause of the increment in the episode duration is the occurrence of a loop between the Examination and Treatment sub-processes. It was also found out that as the episode severity increases, the number of repetitions of the Examination–Treatment loop increases as well. Moreover, the episodes in which this loop is more common are those that lead to Hospitalization as discharge destination. These findings might help to reduce the occurrence of this loop, in turn lowering the episode duration and, consequently, providing faster attention to more patients.
    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: The implementation of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) is increasing due to their advantages, which transcend runoff control. As a result, it is important to find the appropriate SUDS locations to maximize the benefits for the watershed. This study develops a multiscale methodology for consolidated urban areas that allows the analysis of environmental, social, and economic aspects of SUDS implementation according to multiple objectives (i.e., runoff management, water quality improvements, and amenity generation). This methodology includes three scales: (a) citywide, (b) local, and (c) microscale. The citywide scale involves the definition of objectives through workshops with the participation of the main stakeholders, and the development of spatial analyses to identify (1) priority urban drainage sub-catchments: areas that need intervention, and (2) strategic urban drainage sub-catchments: zones with the opportunity to integrate SUDS due the presence of natural elements or future urban redevelopment plans. At a local scale, prospective areas are analyzed to establish the potential of SUDS implementation. Microscale comprises the use of the results from the previous scales to identify the best SUDS placement. In the latter scale, the SUDS types and treatment trains are selected. The methodology was applied to the city of Bogotá (Colombia) with a population of nearly seven million inhabitants living in an area of approximately 400 km2. Results include: (a) The identification of priority urban drainage sub-catchments, where the implementation of SUDS could bring greater benefits; (b) the determination of strategic urban drainage sub-catchments considering Bogotá’s future urban redevelopment plans, and green and blue-green corridors; and (c) the evaluation of SUDS suitability for public and private areas. We found that the most suitable SUDS types for public areas in Bogotá are tree boxes, cisterns, bioretention zones, green swales, extended dry detention basins, and infiltration trenches, while for private residential areas they are rain barrels, tree boxes, green roofs, and green swales.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: In the last few years, entropy has been a fundamental and essential concept in information theory [...]
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Developing high levels of competence in the execution of surgical procedures through training is a key factor for obtaining good clinical results in healthcare. To improve the effectiveness of the training, it is advisable to provide feedback to each student tailored to how the student has performed the procedure on each occasion. Current state-of-the-art feedback is based on Checklists and Global Rating Scales, which indicate whether all process steps have been carried out and the quality of each execution step. However, there is a process perspective that is not captured successfully by these instruments, e.g., steps performed, but in an undesired order, group of activities that are repeated an unnecessary number of times, or an excessive transition time between two consecutive steps. In this research, we propose a novel use of process mining techniques to effectively identify desired and undesired process patterns regarding rework, the order in which activities are performed, and time performance, in order to complement the tailored feedback for surgical procedures using a process perspective. The proposed approach was applied to analyze a real case of ultrasound-guided Central Venous Catheter placement training. It was quantitatively and qualitatively validated that the students who participated in the training program perceived the process-oriented feedback they received as favorable for their learning.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: There is a lack of research into green exercise which investigates and compares motivational drivers between the different types of outdoor activities. The current paper addressed this gap by classifying and comparing three types of green exercise: (i) Recreational physical activity, (ii) competitive sport, and (iii) outdoor adventure sport. Using a mixed methodological approach, the present study investigated the motivations for adhering to green exercise and directly compared the differences between these three forms of green exercise. Online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data. The results demonstrated that within all types of green exercise, enjoyment was the greatest motivator. Based on analysis of the qualitative materials, extrinsic motivators such as the environment, family, and friends were highlighted as key factors in beginning and continuing their activity. However, intrinsic motivators were also emphasised as more important in adherence to green exercise. Furthermore, as seen in other research, numerous psychological benefits were reported over time. The results of the study may act as a starting point in understanding how we may increase public engagement in green exercise by prompting participants to select a form of green exercise that best suits them based on their motivational profile.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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