143,992 research outputs found

    Does international patent collaboration have an effect on entrepreneurship?

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    .Entrepreneurship is one of the main pillars of growth in any economy. Achieving a high rate of entrepreneurship in a region has become the priority objective of governments and firms. However, in many cases, new firm creation is conditioned by relations or collaboration in innovation with agents from other countries. Previous literature has analyzed the mechanisms that foster entrepreneurship. This paper attempts to shed light on the influence of international patent collaboration (IPC) on entrepreneurial activity at country level taking into account the timing of this relationship. An empirical study is proposed to verify whether IPC leads to greater entrepreneurship and to analyze the gestation period between international patenting actions and firm creation. Using the Generalized Method of Moments, the two hypotheses proposed were tested in a data panel of 30 countries for the period 2005‚Äď2017. Results show the influence of IPC in promoting entrepreneurship in the same year, but especially in the following year. The study offers implications for entrepreneurs and public agents. IPC affects the integration and interaction of international agents in a country, favors the production of new knowledge, and increases positive externalities in a territory. All this facilitates the creation of new companies with a high innovative component.S

    What is the importance of sperm subpopulations?

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    .The study of sperm subpopulations spans three decades. The origin, meaning, and practical significance, however, are less clear. Current technology for assessing sperm morphology (CASA-Morph) and motility (CASA-Mot) has enabled the accurate evaluation of these features, and there are many options for data classification. Subpopulations could occur as a result of the stage of development of each spermatozoon in the subpopulation. Spermatogenesis might contribute to the production of these subpopulations. Insights from evolutionary biology and recent molecular research are indicative of the diversity among male gametes that could occur from unequal sharing of transcripts and other elements through cytoplasmic bridges between spermatids. Sperm cohorts exiting the gonads would contain different RNA and protein contents, affecting the spermatozoon physiology and associations with the surrounding environmental milieu. Subsequently, these differences could affect how spermatozoa interact with the environmental milieu (maturation, mixing with seminal plasma, and interacting with the environmental milieu, or female genital tract and female gamete). The emergence of sperm subpopulations as an outcome of evolution, related to the reproductive strategies of the species, genital tract structures, and copulatory and fertilization processes. This kind of approach in determining the importance of sperm subpopulations in fertilization capacity should have a practical impact for conducting reproductive technologies, inspiring and enabling new ways for the more efficient use of spermatozoa in the medical, animal breeding, and conservation fields. This manuscript is a contribution to the Special Issue in memory of Dr. Duane GarnerS

    Bioinformatic characterization of a triacylglycerol lipase produced by Aspergillus flavus isolated from the decaying seed of Cucumeropsis mannii

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    Lipases are enzymes of industrial importance responsible for the hydrolysis of ester bonds of triglycerides. A lipolytic fungus was isolated and subsequently identified based on the ITS sequence analysis as putative Aspergillus flavus with accession number LC424503. The gene coding for extracellular triacylglycerol lipase was isolated from Aspergillus flavus species, sequenced, and characterised using bioinformatics tools. An open reading frame of 420 amino acid sequence was obtained and designated as Aspergillus flavus lipase (AFL) sequence. Alignment of the amino acid sequence with other lipases revealed the presence GHSLG sequence which is the lipase consensus sequence Gly-X1-Ser-X2-Gly indicating that it a classical lipase. A catalytic active site lid domain composed of TYITDTIIDLS amino acids sequence was also revealed. This lid protects the active site, control the catalytic activity and substrate selectivity in lipases. The 3-Dimensional structural model shared 34.08% sequence identity with a lipase from Yarrowia lipolytica covering 272 amino acid residues of the template model. A search of the lipase engineering database using AFL sequence revealed that it belongs to the class GX-lipase, superfamily abH23 and homologous family abH23.02, molecular weight and isoelectric point values of 46.95‚ÄČKDa and 5.7, respectively. N-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 164, 236 and 333, with potentials of 0.7250, 0.7037 and 0.7048, respectively. O-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 355, 358, 360 and 366. A signal sequence of 37 amino acids was revealed at the N-terminal of the polypeptide. This is a short peptide sequence that marks a protein for transport across the cell membrane and indicates that AFL is an extracellular lipase. The findings on the structural and molecular properties of Aspergillus flavus lipase in this work will be crucial in future studies aiming at engineering the enzyme for biotechnology applications

    Structural and Attitudinal Barriers to Bicycle Ownership and Cycle-Based Transport in Gauteng, South Africa

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    Policies that aim to facilitate and promote non-motorised transport (NMT), and in particular cycling, have been developed by many high-income countries facing increasingly congested roads and saturated public transport systems. Such policies are also emerging in many low- and middle-income settings where high rates of urbanisation have led to similar problems with motorised transport. The aim of the present study was to better understand the potential structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport in one such context: South Africa‚Äôs Gauteng Province, the industrial powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa that has recently made a firm commitment to NMT. The study focussed on demographic and socioeconomic variation in bicycle and car ownership, and related this to: (1) the reported use of motorised and non-motorised transport (both private and public); and (2) perceived ‚Äėproblems‚Äô with cycling. The analyses drew on interviews with key respondents from n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ27,490 households conducted in 2013 as part of the third Quality of Life survey undertaken by the Gauteng City Regional Observatory. The survey contained items on three outcomes of interest: household vehicle ownership (bicycles and cars); modes of transport used for the ‚Äútrips‚ÄĚ most often made; and respondents‚Äô ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ. Respondent- and household-level demographic and socioeconomic determinants of these outcomes were examined using descriptive and multivariable statistical analyses, the latter after adjustment for measured potential confounders identified using a theoretical causal path diagram (in the form of a directed acyclic graph). Of the n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ26,469 households providing complete data on all of the variables examined in the present study, only n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ8722 (32.9%) owned a car and fewer still (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ2244; 8.4%) owned a bicycle. The ownership of these assets was commonest amongst wealthier, economically active households; and those that owned a car had over five times the odds of also owning a bicycle, even after adjustment for potential confounding (OR 5.17; 95% CI 4.58, 5.85). Moreover, of household respondents who reported making ‚Äėtrips‚Äô during the preceding month (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ18,209), over two-thirds of those whose households owned a car (70.1%) reported private car-based transport for such trips, while only 3.2% of those owning a bicycle reported cycling. Amongst the specific responses given to the item requesting the ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ by far the commonest was ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt know how to cycle‚ÄĚ (32.2%), less than half as many citing ‚ÄúVehicle accident risk‚ÄĚ (15.9%), and fewer still: ‚ÄúDestination is too far‚ÄĚ (13.9%); ‚ÄúCrime‚ÄĚ (10.3%); ‚ÄúToo much effort‚ÄĚ (9.2%); or ‚ÄúLack of good paths‚ÄĚ (4.6%). While the first of these reasons was commonest amongst poorer households, concerns about risk and effort were both most common amongst better educated, economically active and wealthier/better serviced households. In contrast, concerns over (cycle) paths were only common amongst those owning bicycles. The low prevalence of household bicycle ownership, and the disproportionate number of households owning bicycles that also owned cars, might explain the very small proportion of the ‚Äėthe trips most often made‚Äô that involved cycle-based transport (0.3%), and the preferential use of cars amongst households owning both bicycles and cars. Low levels of bicycle ownership might also explain why so many respondents cited ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt know how‚ÄĚ as the ‚Äúsingle biggest problem with‚Ķ cycling‚ÄĚ; although risk and effort were also substantial concerns (presumably for many who did, and some who did not, know how to cycle); the lack of suitable cycle lanes being only primarily a concern for those who actually owned bicycles. Structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport limit the use of cycle-based transport in Gauteng, not only amongst the vast majority of household respondents who lack the means to cycle (and the means to learn how), but also amongst those dissuaded from learning to cycle, purchasing a bicycle and/or using a bicycle they own by: the risks and effort involved; the lack of suitable cycle paths; and/or because they also own a car and prefer to drive than cycle

    Paradoxes in the Management of Timebanks in the UK’s Voluntary Sector: Discursive Bricolage and its Limits

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    This paper contributes to our understanding of volunteer management by charting some important challenges associated with the governance of one of the UK‚Äôs largest timebanking networks. While timebanking is often treated as a form of volunteering, many timebank advocates are keen to distinguish it sharply from traditional volunteering. We suggest that this tension generates a fundamental ‚Äėperformance paradox‚Äô in the management of timebanks in the voluntary sector. We draw on political discourse theory to characterise and evaluate associated challenges, suggesting that, when viewed against a host of context-specific organisational and policy pressures, the progressive potential of timebanking cannot be realised as a distinct community economy without adequate support. Instead of taking up a position alongside more traditional forms of volunteering, timebanking is more likely to be subsumed by them

    Tense times for young migrants: temporality, life-course and immigration status

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    This article explores the intersection between immigration status, life-course and the experience of time. It looks at how time and life-course transitions are experienced by young people who are in constant encounter with the immigration regime in the UK. The encounters at this intersection produce a complex landscape for young people to navigate during their transitions to adulthood. What emerges from unpicking the relations of this messy and complex temporal-immigration status matrix, are distinct experiences of time and life-course transitions for young migrants. First, in dealing with the immigration regime young people are confined to a passive role of waiting that results in a sense of feeling stuck. Secondly, pre-18 young people experience a growing up too early and upon turning 18 and gaining legal independence, their situation paradoxically leads to practical dependence. And thirdly, the immigration status renewal system produces long-term uncertainty for young people’s futures

    Metodología de intervención para trabajar ODS. Educación a través de las artes

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    La Agenda 2030 presenta 17 Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS), con sus metas e indicadores universales que los pa√≠ses miembros de la ONU emplean para enmarcar sus pol√≠ticas. Entre las metas del ODS 4 ‚Äúeducaci√≥n de calidad‚ÄĚ encontramos: ‚Äúasegurar que todos los alumnos adquieran los conocimientos te√≥ricos y pr√°cticos necesarios para promover el desarrollo sostenible, entre otras cosas mediante la educaci√≥n para el desarrollo sostenible y los estilos de vida sostenibles, los derechos humanos, la igualdad de g√©nero, la promoci√≥n de una cultura de paz y no violencia, la ciudadan√≠a mundial y la valoraci√≥n de la diversidad cultural y la contribuci√≥n de la cultura al desarrollo sostenible‚ÄĚ. La educaci√≥n, se considera el motor de la Agenda 2030 porque, adem√°s de representar el centro del ODS 4, desempe√Īa tambi√©n un papel notable en la implementaci√≥n de los dem√°s, mejorando su alcance y efectividad. As√≠ pues, entre las disciplinas que sustentan este trabajo se escogi√≥ la Educaci√≥n para el Desarrollo Sostenible y la Ciudadan√≠a Global como marco de acci√≥n y punto de partida en la formaci√≥n de los ciudadanos de un futuro viable, equitativo y habitable. Se continu√≥ investigando las oportunidades del desarrollo de la Competencia Intercultural en las relaciones humanas, aquello que diferencia a unas personas de otras puede aportar al conjunto de la sociedad y c√≥mo la educaci√≥n permitir√≠a su aprovechamiento. Con todo ello, se plante√≥ el marco did√°ctico de interacci√≥n en el cual se implement√≥ la interculturalidad en el ejercicio educativo. Se estudi√≥ as√≠ el poder de las artes como medio de motivaci√≥n e inspiraci√≥n a la hora de transmitir de la manera m√°s eficaz posible los valores considerados m√°s arriba. El objetivo del presente estudio se centra en demostrar el potencial de las artes para fomentar las competencias comunicativas, sociales, interculturales, emocionales, de ciudadan√≠a y sostenibilidad. Para ello, se ha realizado una investigaci√≥n aplicada que deriva en una propuesta concreta de intervenci√≥n con un programa educativo destinado a la ense√Īanza de lenguas, tanto primera como extranjera, en distintos niveles de la educaci√≥n formal en Mali y en Espa√Īa, aplicando un m√©todo hol√≠stico basado en el paradigma interpretativo. A trav√©s de la pintura, la literatura y el cine, se plantean una serie de actividades ideadas para crear un entorno educativo integrador, favorecer el empoderamiento del alumnado y promover el pensamiento cr√≠tico, la empat√≠a, la resiliencia, la comunicaci√≥n, la cooperaci√≥n y la educaci√≥n intercultural, como competencias esenciales para la consecuci√≥n de los 17 ODS, la construcci√≥n de un mundo transcultural sostenible y el desarrollo de una ciudadan√≠a global preparada para los retos del siglo XXI. En la metodolog√≠a de este proceso educativo innovador, multidisciplinar, flexible y adaptable, se ha empleado un an√°lisis del proceso de investigaci√≥n para monitorizarlo adecuadamente (DAFO). Cada una de las propuestas presenta una recogida de datos cualitativos (observaci√≥n, r√ļbricas) y cuantitativos (encuestas, entrevistas) y se ofrece un an√°lisis de contraste de los resultados finales. Con todo, se espera facilitar la exigente tarea que supone hacer consciente a la sociedad de base (desde la misma infancia; desde los niveles m√°s bajos de la misma y en todos los niveles de la educaci√≥n formal) de en qu√© consisten los ODS y su relevancia para hacer de todas las personas corresponsables directas en su consecuci√≥n para garantizar un futuro sostenible para toda la ciudadan√≠a global.The 2030 Agenda presents 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their universal targets and indicators that UN member countries use to frame their policies. Among the targets of SDG 4 ‚Äúquality education,‚ÄĚ we find the one that seeks: ‚Äúto ensure that all students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to promote sustainable development, among other things through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, world citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development‚ÄĚ. Education is considered the engine of the 2030 Agenda because, in addition to representing the centre of SDG 4, it also plays a notable role in the implementation of the others, improving their scope and effectiveness. Among the disciplines that support this research, Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship sets the framework for action and represents a starting point in the formation of citizens for a viable, equitable and habitable future. Global citizenship implies human relations and those and intrinsically shaped by culture. Intercultural Education and, more specifically, the development of Intercultural Competence needed to be considered. What differentiates some people from others can contribute to society as a whole and education is the means to explore and understand. For the design of a didactic framework of interaction, the power of the arts was studied as a means of motivation and inspiration when transmitting the values considered above in the most effective way possible. The objective of this study focuses on proving the potential of the arts to promote communicative, social, intercultural, emotional, citizenship and sustainability skills. For this, the theoretical research derived in a concrete intervention proposal with an educational program in language teaching, both first and foreign languages, at different levels of formal education in Mali and Spain, applying a holistic method based on the interpretive paradigm. Through painting, literature and cinema, a series of activities were designed to create an inclusive educational environment, favour the empowerment of students and promote critical thinking, empathy, resilience, communication, cooperation and intercultural education, as essential skills for the achievement of the 17 SDGs, the construction of a sustainable transcultural world and the development of global citizenship prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. In the methodology of this innovative, multidisciplinary, flexible and adaptable educational process, an analysis of the research process has been used to adequately monitor it (SWOT). Each of the proposals presents a collection of qualitative data (observation, rubrics) and quantitative data (surveys, interviews) and contrast analysis of the final results is offered. All in all, it is expected to facilitate the demanding task of making basic society aware (from childhood itself, from its lowest levels and at all levels of formal education) of what the SDGs consist of and their relevance to make all people directly co-responsible in its achievement to guarantee a sustainable future for all global citizens

    The influence of blockchains and internet of things on global value chain

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    Despite the increasing proliferation of deploying the Internet of Things (IoT) in global value chain (GVC), several challenges might lead to a lack of trust among value chain partners, e.g., technical challenges (i.e., confidentiality, authenticity, and privacy); and security challenges (i.e., counterfeiting, physical tempering, and data theft). In this study, we argue that Blockchain technology, when combined with the IoT ecosystem, will strengthen GVC and enhance value creation and capture among value chain partners. Thus, we examine the impact of Blockchain technology when combined with the IoT ecosystem and how it can be utilized to enhance value creation and capture among value chain partners. We collected data through an online survey, and 265 UK Agri-food retailers completed the survey. Our data were analyzed using structural equation modelling (SEM). Our finding reveals that Blockchain technology enhances GVC by improving IoT scalability, security, and traceability when combined with the IoT ecosystem. Which, in turn, strengthens GVC and creates more value for value chain partners ‚Äď which serves as a competitive advantage. Finally, our research outlines the theoretical and practical contribution of combining Blockchain technology and the IoT ecosystem
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