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Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
Transportation systems help in shaping an area’s economic health and quality of life, providing the infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods. Nevertheless, the negative externalities of car-oriented urban-metropolitan planning have heightened awareness for the need of urban planning approaches that incorporate sustainable mobility. Consequently, cities worldwide have increasingly produced sustainable mobility plans. This points to the need of creating mechanisms to implement these sustainable plans, particularly in large, complex, and fast-growing cities. This paper provides guidelines to facilitate the implementation of Sustainable Mobility Plans by focusing on the case of Mexico City. This is achieved by applying the complex large-scale integrated open systems (CLIOS) systemic analysis, in two steps: first, we facilitate the identification of the complexities and relationships among the essential systems of Mexico City’s urban structure, along with the recognition of their most important components and the institutions involved within the urban planning process. Second, we assess the effectiveness of the public policies–strategies that form part of Mexico City’s Sustainable Mobility Plan and organize them in order of importance. The results show which principal subsystems should be considered for sustainable mobility and which public policies–strategies should be prioritized in order to implement the aforementioned plan effectively.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
The study of the institutional characteristics that create favorable environments for opportunity entrepreneurship is critical. We seek to determine how government programs intended to support entrepreneurship impact how potential entrepreneurs view the business environment. We evaluate the effectiveness of institutional programs and the interactions between them and market optimism. We conduct a binomial regression to evaluate the probability of opportunity entrepreneurship, given the perceived quality of the business and regulatory environments. The results indicate that both have a significant influence, while the regulatory dimensions interact with the effects of the perceived quality of the business environment. We find that individuals who have optimism regarding entrepreneurship still seek assurance of a positive regulatory environment before they act. We find that those who consider it to contain promising entrepreneurship opportunities still seek a positive regulatory climate and supportive government programs before acting. Programs that create favorable financial access can encourage entrepreneurs attracted by financial returns. Similarly, favorable government programs that ensure expansion and growth may reinforce this financial optimism. Our study also adds to the literature on institutional economics, providing evidence that effective institutional factors require productive behaviors from individuals.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
Cognitive impairment is frequent in pediatric cancer, and behavioral and psychological disturbances often also affect children who have survived cancer problems. Furthermore, pediatric tumors are also often associated with sleep disorders. The interrelationship between sleep disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and pediatric cancer, however, is still largely unexplored. In this narrative review we approach this important aspect by first considering studies on pediatric cancer as a possible cause of neurodevelopmental disorders and then describing pediatric cancer occurring as a comorbid condition in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Finally, we discuss the role of sleep disorders in children with cancer and neurodevelopmental disorders. Even if the specific literature approaching directly the topic of the role of sleep in the complex relationship between pediatric cancer and neurodevelopmental disorders was found to be scarce, the available evidence supports the idea that in-depth knowledge and correct management of sleep disorders can definitely improve the health and quality of life of children with cancer and of their families.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
Extrapulmonary drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-EPTB) poses a formidable diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.Besides associated with high morbidity, it is a major financial burden for the patient and the health system. In spite of this, it has often been neglected as it does not “pose” a visible public health threat. We study clinical profiles, treatment outcomes, and factors associated with unfavourable outcomes among DR-EPTB patients under programmatic settings in New Delhi, India, and evaluate how this could impact TB elimination. A retrospective analysis of all DR-EPTB patients registered at three nodal DR-TB centres in Delhi in 2016 was carried out. Of the 1261 DR-TB patients registered, 203 (16%) were DR-EPTB, with lymph nodes (118, 58%) being the most common site, followed by bone (69, 34%). Nearly 29% (n = 58) experienced adverse drug reactions with severe vomiting (26, 13 %), joint pain (21, 10%) and behavioral disorder (15, 7%). History of previous TB treatment was observed in a majority of the cases (87.7%). Nearly one-third of DR-EPTB cases (33%) had unfavourable treatment outcomes, with loss-to-follow-up (n = 40, 58%) or death (n = 14, 20%) being the most common unfavourable outcomes. In the adjusted analysis, weight band 31–50 kilograms (aRR = 1.8, 1.2–3.4) and h/o previous TB (aRR = 2.1, 1.1–4.8) were mainly associated with unfavourable outcomes. TB elimination efforts need to focus on all forms of TB, including DR-EPTB, leaving no one behind, in order to realise the dream of ending TB.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
This study pursues to clarify the effect of environmental management systems (EMS) comprehensiveness on environmental performance and financial performance using an extensive quantitative dataset obtained in Brazil over an eight-year period. It is recognized that the implementation of environmental management differs per company varying in how many environmental practices are adopted and hence how comprehensive the EMS is. The relationship between EMS comprehensiveness, environmental performance, and financial performance proves to be complex. First of all, the overall negative effect of environmental performance on financial performance may indicate that the resources needed to realize an improved environmental performance do not outweigh the cost reductions resulting from eco-efficiency or improved reputation. The effect of EMS comprehensiveness on financial performance is in line with that, indicating that an above average EMS comprehensiveness results in lower financial performance, which may correspond to high environmental management- and overhead costs. Across sectors, the companies operating in sector industries have high quality EMS comprehensiveness, while the companies in agriculture, commerce, and services exhibit a lower EMS.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
Attractiveness is perceived based on both facial physical features and prior experience for adults. Infants also prefer attractive or familiar faces, but it is unclear whether facial physical features and prior experience affect their preference. In this study, we investigated whether infants’ preference for faces was shaped by both facial physical features and facial looking experience. This experiment comprised two tasks, observation and preference looking. We manipulated fixation durations in the first task (observation experience) to differ between presented faces and measured the preference for faces in the second task right after the observation task. We conducted two experiments: the same faces in the same positions through both tasks in Experiment 1, and the same faces in different positions in Experiment 2, and analyzed the interaction between observation experience and attractiveness of face images in terms of preference. Observation experience and facial attractiveness only affected preference in Experiment 2: Infants generally looked longer at the flickered position but different face, but looked for the attractive face when the face in the flickered position changed from attractive to unattractive. We suggest that observation experience arouses spatial attention, and that facial attractiveness attracts infants’ attention only when they notice changes of faces.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
High-resolution real-time satellite-based precipitation estimation datasets can play a more essential role in flood forecasting and risk analysis of infrastructures. This is particularly true for extended deserts or mountainous areas with sparse rain gauges like Iran. However, there are discrepancies between these satellite-based estimations and ground measurements, and it is necessary to apply adjustment methods to reduce systematic bias in these products. In this study, we apply a quantile mapping method with gauge information to reduce the systematic error of the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks-Cloud Classification System (PERSIANN-CCS). Due to the availability and quality of the ground-based measurements, we divide Iran into seven climate regions to increase the sample size for generating cumulative probability distributions within each region. The cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) are then employed with a quantile mapping 0.6° × 0.6° filter to adjust the values of PERSIANN-CCS. We use eight years (2009–2016) of historical data to calibrate our method, generating nonparametric cumulative distribution functions of ground-based measurements and satellite estimations for each climate region, as well as two years (2017–2018) of additional data to validate our approach. The results show that the bias correction approach improves PERSIANN-CCS data at aggregated to monthly, seasonal and annual scales for both the calibration and validation periods. The areal average of the annual bias and annual root mean square errors are reduced by 98% and 56% during the calibration and validation periods, respectively. Furthermore, the averages of the bias and root mean square error of the monthly time series decrease by 96% and 26% during the calibration and validation periods, respectively. There are some limitations in bias correction in the Southern region of the Caspian Sea because of shortcomings of the satellite-based products in recognizing orographic clouds.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
Tomato and cucumber seedlings were grown in a growth chamber to evaluate the effects of different cycles of light–dark exposure conditions (T0 (control treatment) (1 cycle of 24 h distributed in 18 h of light exposure and six hours of dark), T1 (two cycles of 12 h distributed in nine hours of light exposure and three hours of dark) and T2 (three cycles of eight hours distributed in six hours of light exposure and two hours of dark) on growth, nutrient status, pigment concentration and physiological changes. Total dry weight showed different behaviors in both species, since in tomato the total dry weight remained unchanged under varying light–dark cycles, whereas in cucumber seedlings there was a clear decrease compared to the control treatment. In both species, plants grown under T2 showed the best water content. Nitrogen, P and K content—as well as partitioning in the different organs of the plants—displayed different patterns under varying cycles of light–dark conditions in both species. Chlorophyll (b and a + b) concentration decreased significantly in both species in T1 and T2 compared to the control treatment (T0). At physiological level, the concentration of total soluble sugars and proline in leaf showed the highest value in the control treatment with 18 h of light and six hours of dark.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
Background: This study aimed to evaluate and identify the specific CT findings by focusing on abnormalities in the main pancreatic duct (MPD) and pancreatic parenchyma in patients with small pancreatic cancer (PC) including carcinoma in situ (CIS). Methods: Nine CT findings indicating abnormalities of MPD and pancreatic parenchyma were selected as candidate findings for the presence of small PC ≤ 10 mm. The proportions of patients positive for each finding were compared between small PC and benign MPD stenosis groups. Interobserver agreement between two independent image reviewers was evaluated using kappa statistics. Results: The final analysis included 24 patients with small PC (including 11 CIS patients) and 28 patients with benign MPD stenosis. The proportion of patients exhibiting partial pancreatic parenchymal atrophy (PPA) corresponding to the distribution of MPD stenosis (45.8% vs. 7.1%, p < 0.01), upstream PPA arising from the site of MPD stenosis (33.3% vs. 3.6%, p = 0.01), and MPD abrupt stenosis (45.8% vs. 14.3%, p = 0.03) was significantly higher in the small PC group than in the benign MPD stenosis group. Conclusions: The presence of partial PPA, upstream PPA, and MPD abrupt stenosis on a CT image was highly suggestive of the presence of small PCs including CIS.
Published: 1 July 2020
by MDPI
Abstract:
This paper investigates an initial model for Zero Defect Manufacturing (ZDM) using a cost function where the operation and condition of a production process are reflected, and the quality of the output/product and the production process (as well as safety aspects) can be considered. The outset of the study is based on empirical data collected from five manufacturing companies, and proposes an initial model for ZDM with an Industry 4.0 perspective. The initial ZDM model has a generic setup for a real-life system and its replication as a digital twin using system models based on a representation of a generic production process with its connected control system, and potential interconnections between unit processes. It is based on concepts from system theory of dynamic systems and principles from condition monitoring and fault detection. In that way the model is deemed as highly generalizable for manufacturing and process industry companies as well as for some critical infrastructures with production and distribution systems. The proposed model with its cost function setup is analyzed and discussed in the context of ZDM. It is concluded that production processes in the manufacturing and process industry can be made more intelligent and interoperable using this approach. Improved sustainability, competitiveness, efficiency and profitability of companies are foreseen welcomed secondary effects. Finally, the proposed ZDM model further develops the ZDM by adding to it a systematic approach based on a solid mathematical foundation.
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