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    Democratic innovation in Australasia

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    Diversity in political regimes and cultures across the region of Australasia demand a nuanced understanding of democratic innovation. In this chapter, we highlight prominent democratic innovations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Small Island Developing States. Whilst Australia has seen a proliferation of mini-publics commissioned by state and local governments, New Zealand has taken action at the national level in terms of representative innovation. In the Pacific region, it is civil society organisations that take the lead enhancing democracy, in the absence of well-functioning democratic institutions. This varied experience demonstrates that democratic innovation can and does occur at all levels of, and outside of, government institutions. We argue that this also presents a valuable opportunity for democratic learning across this region, with each example discussed here offering an important contribution to the practice of democratic innovation

    Infrared Spectroscopy

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    Efficiently Answering Minimum Reachable Label Set Queries in Edge-Labeled Graphs

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    The reachability query is a fundamental problem in graph analysis. Recently, many studies focus on label-constraint reachability queries, which tries to verify whether two vertices are reachable under a given label set. However, in many real-life applications, it is more practical to find the minimum label set required to ensure the reachability of two vertices, which is neglected by previous research. To fill the gap, in this paper, we propose and investigate the minimum reachable label set (MRLS) problem in edge-labeled graphs. Specifically, given an edge-labeled graph and two vertices s, t, the MRLS problem aims to find a label set L with the minimum size such that s can reach t through L. We prove the hardness of our problem, and develop different optimization strategies to improve the scalability of the algorithms. Extensive experiments on 6 datasets demonstrate the advantages of the proposed algorithms

    The Woman President: Leadership, Law and Legacy for Women Based on Experiences from South and Southeast Asia

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    Too much attention is paid to the absence of women leaders around the world rather than their presence, leaving a gap in our understanding of the difference women leaders make on the lives of fellow women. With women leaders an under-studied group and with the law profoundly important in advancing women’s rights, The Woman President brings together these two domains to become the first-ever comparative study of women’s leadership and the law. It offers the legal and political science scholarship new ways for understanding the impact of female presidential leadership on women’s everyday lives by analysing the legal legacies of four women presidents: Corazon Aquino (1986–1992), Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001–2010), Megawati Sukarnoputri (2001–2004) and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (1994–2005). The book relies on aninnovative methodology, which includes the use of new the Gender Legislative Index. The findings challenge and expand our understanding of what constitutes a woman’s issue, bringing within its analysis labour law reform, democracy, anti-corruption, poverty-alleviation and pro-peace interventions, alongside more oft-considered terrain such as gender-based violence, reproductive rights, gender equality quotas and women’s rights at work. This book also offers important insights into the institutional and social mechanisms that enable women leaders to lead for women, including women’s movements, women legislators, women bureaucrats and global networks of women presidents and prime ministers. The Woman President offers new tools and sharpens old ones to provide an essential comparative contribution to our knowledge about the dynamics and impact of female presidencies, drawing from the realities of the Asia region

    Stakeholder Requirements And Value Co-Creation In Events

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    The festival and events sector comprises a wide range of stakeholders across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. In order to achieve stakeholder satisfaction it is necessary to understand what is important to stakeholders, what they consider constitutes project success and what the factors and measures of that success may be. Once identified and effectively managed, meaningful evaluation can then be undertaken to assess success on stakeholder’s terms.&lt;br&gt; This approach also provides an opportunity to consider value creation for stakeholders in relation to their measures of success. The purpose of this research is to develop a robust framework that enables success factors and measures to be identified and effectively measured as part of a holistic evaluation process which contributes to the identification of stakeholder value. Whilst research is regularly undertaken to assess impacts of festivals and their benefits to stakeholders, there can be competing agendas, project success can be interpreted in different ways with tensions and disagreements in relation to expected outcomes. It is therefore necessary to clearly understand stakeholder expectations, community dynamics and visitors and residents’ perceptions of impacts of festivals. &lt;br&gt; A multi‐method inductive approach was used to capture the motivations and influences of the stakeholders as social actors during the Tour de Yorkshire (TdY) event. Using this event as a longitudinal case study over an 18-month period, the methodology comprised of qualitative questionnaires and interviews to engage a wide range of stakeholders and used the conceptual Stakeholder Sandwich as the core model to produce a framework and methodology to generate richer data. &lt;br&gt;Results indicated that this model, framework and methodology proved to be effective for the understanding of stakeholder success factors and contributes towards the understanding of value co-creation for stakeholders in events and festivals. With the immense challenges currently facing the sector, such a framework could prove to be of significant value for practitioners and researchers alike. </jats:p

    Conversion of the toxic and hazardous Zanthoxylum armatum seed oil into methyl ester using green and recyclable silver oxide nanoparticles

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    The cleaner and sustainable production of biodiesel from toxic and hazardous non-edible seed oils offer a remarkable opportunity to deal with energy crises and provide a renewable substitute to depleting fossil fuels. In the current study, the potential of the novel, toxic and non-edible seed oil of Zanthoxylum armatum was investigated for eco-friendly production of biodiesel catalysed by green nanoparticles of silver oxide. Silver oxide nanoparticles were synthesised with aqueous leaf extract of Silybum marianum. Heterogeneous green nanocatalysts were preferred due to their recyclable nature and easy recovery. The maximum yield of 95% of methyl ester was obtained at optimum reaction conditions of oil to methanol molar ratio 1:7, catalyst loading 0.5 (wt.%), reaction temperature 90 °C and reaction time 2 h. Characterisation of synthesised nanoparticles of silver oxide was carried out with X-Ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy diffraction X-ray (EDX). Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) confirmed the formation of methyl esters. 5, 8-octadecenoic acid was found to be the major fatty acid methyl ester in the biodiesel sample. Fuel properties of biodiesel were investigated and found comparable to international standards of ASTM D-6571 and EN-14214. It was concluded from the current investigation that Zanthoxylum armatum is a potential biomass feedstock for the sustainable production of biodiesel using green nanoparticles of silver oxide

    On the orchestration of robust virtual LTE-U networks from hybrid half/full-duplex Wi-Fi APs

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    Two promising solutions have been recently proposed to address the massive growth in mobile traffic and wireless devices: LTE-U and in-band full-duplex (FD) wireless. LTE-U extends the benefits of LTE-A to the unlicensed 5 GHz band, used mainly by Wi-Fi users. However, the uncertainty in Wi-Fi user activities makes provisioning QoS guarantees to LTE-U users challenging. On the other hand, FD wireless can double spectrum efficiency by enabling simultaneous transmission and reception over the same frequency band. Our objective in this paper is to exploit excess capacity of deployed Wi-Fi networks (operating in the 5 GHz band) to orchestrate a 'robust' virtual LTE-U network from a hybrid set of half-duplex (HD) and FD Wi-Fi access points (APs). Although the orchestrated LTE-U network does not support deterministic QoS guarantees, it is designed to provide prespecified probabilistic QoS guarantees (hence, it is robust). Towards achieving our goal, we develop novel stochastic resource allocation formulations that optimally orchestrate a virtual LTE-U network from a hybrid set of HD/FD APs with the minimum cost. We first consider the single small-cell problem and propose a stochastic formulation, which we refer to as CCLTEUsingle. Then, we study the multi-cell stochastic allocation problem and develop another formulation, which we refer to as CCLTEUmulti. Our formulations adopt a 'chance-constrained stochastic programming' approach. We derive the deterministic equivalent programs of CCLTEUsingle and CCLTEUmulti and evaluate them numerically under various system parameters

    Correlating alkali-silica reaction (ASR) induced expansion from short-term laboratory testings to long-term field performance: A semi-empirical model

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    Correlating short-term expansion of concrete specimens in the laboratory and long-term expansion of concrete in the field is crucial to evaluate the reliability of laboratory test methods and essential for the prognosis of alkali-silica reaction (ASR) in concrete infrastructures. In this study, a novel semi-empirical approach is proposed for forecasting ASR-induced expansion of unrestrained concrete in the field using laboratory measurements data. In addition to the use of short-term laboratory expansion data, the model accounts for the effects of alkali leaching, alkali contribution from aggregates, and environmental conditions (i.e., temperature and relative humidity). A comprehensive database from the literature was gathered for the development and calibration of the proposed model. Finally, the model was used for various concrete blocks incorporating different reactive aggregates and exposed to three outdoor conditions in Canada and the USA. Model outcomes show that it is highly promising for forecasting the induced expansion of concrete in the field from the accelerated laboratory tests data. Analysing the modelling results also highlights the importance of alkali leaching and environmental conditions on the correlation between laboratory and field performance

    Ergosterol isolated from cloud ear mushroom (Auricularia polytricha) attenuates bisphenol A-induced BV2 microglial cell inflammation.

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    Bisphenol A (BPA) has been reported to have neurotoxic properties that may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases by inducing neuroinflammation. Auricularia polytricha (AP) is an edible mushroom with several medicinal properties. Herein, the anti-neuroinflammatory effects of AP extracts against BPA-induced inflammation of BV2 microglial cells were investigated. Hexane (APH) and ethanol (APE) extracts of AP inhibited BPA-induced neuroinflammation in BV2 microglia by reducing microglial activation and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These anti-inflammatory effects were regulated by the NF-κB signaling pathway. In addition, APH and APE exhibited antioxidative effects by increasing the activity of the SOD-1 enzyme and restoring the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in BPA-induced BV2 cells. Moreover, the conditioned medium prepared using BPA-induced BV2 cells demonstrated that the presence of APH or APE could attenuate ROS production in HT-22 cells. Further, ergosterol was isolated from APE and also showed anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities. In conclusion, AP extracts and ergosterol attenuated neuroinflammation against BPA induction in BV2 microglial cells through the NF-κB signaling pathway

    Microalgae binary culture for higher biomass production, nutrients recycling, and efficient harvesting: a review

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    Microalgae are photosynthetic cell factories of global interest for fuels, food, feed, bioproducts, carbon sequestration, waste mitigation, and environmental remediation. Actually, microalgal monocultures are used for biomass production and pollutant removal, yet are limited by moderate production and contaminations. Here we review binary cultures of autotrophic microalgae with bacteria, yeast, fungi, and heterotrophic microalgae, with focus on growth, lipid accumulation, bioremediation, wastewater treatment, and cost-effective harvesting. We found that a controlled, symbiotic binary culture facilitates waste bioremediation and biomass harvesting, with 96% efficiency, and reduces cost by 20–30%. Noteworthy, in binary or polyculture systems, autotrophic microalgae often develop a symbiosis by exchanging nutrients and metabolites with heterotrophic microalgae, bacteria, yeast, fungi, which may help to achieve higher biomass production


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