5,177 research outputs found

    Chemical composition and antifungal effects of three species of Satureja (S. hortensis, S. spicigera, and S. khuzistanica) essential oils on the main pathogens of strawberry fruit

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    Due to an increasing risk of chemical contamination upon the application of synthetic fungicides to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables, essential oils are gaining increasing attentions. In this research, besides chemical analysis of the essential oils of three Satureja species (S. hortensis, S. spicigera, and S. khuzistanica) by GC-MS, their fungicidal and/or fungistatic effects on postharvest pathogens of strawberry were investigated. Essential oils were extracted by means of hydro-distillation and afterwards GC/MS analysis was performed to identify their components. Carvacrol, γ-terpinene and p-cymene were detected as the repeating main constituents of the spices, while thymol and carvacrol methyl ether were found as major components only in S. spicigera oil. In vitro results showed that at the maximum concentration, the essential oils did not possess fungicidal effects on Aspergillus niger but they exhibited fungicidal activities against Penicillium digitatum, Botrytis cinerea and Rhizopus stolonifer. However, S. khuzistanica was the strongest oil in fungicidal activity. S. hortensis oil was more effective than S. spicigera against B. cinerea whereas S. spicigera oil showed stronger fungicidal activity against R. stolonifer. In conclusion, essential oils isolated from three savory species could be suitable for applications in the food industry to control molds and improve the safety of fruits and vegetables. © 2015 Elsevier B.V

    Chemical compound and therapeutic effects of Hypericum perforatum

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    Hypericum perforatum is native to parts of Europe and Asia but has spread worldwide as a cosmopolitan invasive weed, including to temperate regions of India, China, Canada, Africa, and the United States. The aim of this study was to overview its therapeutic effects. This review article was carried out by searching studies in PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, and Iran Medex databases. The initial search strategy identified about 98 references. In this study, 42 studies was accepted for further screening and met all our inclusion criteria [in English, full text, therapeutic effects of Hypericum perforatum and dated mainly from the year 1987 to 2016.The search terms were "Hypericum perforatum", lemon balm, "therapeutic properties", "pharmacological effects". It is commonly used for antimicrobial effect, neuroprotective effect, anti-depressive effect, antioxidant effect, menopause, dental practice, anti-inflammatory, wound healing effect, anti-cancer effect, anti-herpes effect, phototoxicological effect. Hypericum perforatum is widely used for therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes that trigger its significant value. Various combinations and numerous medicinal properties of its extract, oil, and leaves demand further and more studies about the other useful and unknown properties of this multipurpose plant

    Mothers’ Empowerment, Children’s Inoculations and Schooling in Pakistan: Urban vs Rural Areas, Daughters vs Sons and 1998-99 vs 2007-08

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    Mothers’ empowerment is thought to have considerable impact on children’s health and schooling. But the evidence for developing countries of the magnitudes of such effects, how they differ between urban and rural areas, whether they differ for daughters versus sons and whether they are changing over time is limited, particularly for countries that are characterized as having relatively great gender inequality. We construct a mothers’ empowerment index from Pakistani household survey data for 1998-99 and 2007-08 and investigate the associations between mothers’ empowerment and children’s inoculations and schooling. Because mothers’ empowerment may be endogenous, we explore instrumental variable estimates using women’s ages at the time of marriage as the identifying instrument. We find that the greater mothers’ empowerment: the more likely that preschool-age children have complete inoculations and the younger is the age of starting school and the greater is the schooling progression rate. These effects are larger in absolute magnitude for urban than for rural areas (though significantly so at the 5% level only for inoculations), suggesting that the urban context facilitates the effectiveness of mothers’ empowerment on investments in children’s human capital. They also are larger in absolute magnitude for daughters than for sons (though significantly so only for the schooling progression rate), suggesting some intergenerational own-gender reinforcement. Finally, these effects are significantly larger in absolute magnitudes for 2007-08 than for 1998-99, suggesting increased impact of a given degree of mothers’ empowerment in the first decade of the 21st century

    Integration of Direction Cues Is Invariant to the Temporal Gap between Them

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    Many decisions involve integration of evidence conferred by discrete cues over time. However, the neural mechanism of this integration is poorly understood. Several decision-making models suggest that integration of evidence is implemented by a dynamic system whose state evolves toward a stable point representing the decision outcome. The internal dynamics of such point attractor models render them sensitive to the temporal gaps between cues because their internal forces push the state forward once it is dislodged from the initial stable point. We asked whether human subjects are as sensitive to such temporal gaps. Subjects reported the net direction of stochastic random dot motion, which was presented in one or two brief observation windows (pulses). Pulse strength and interpulse interval varied randomly from trial to trial. We found that subjects' performance was largely invariant to the interpulse intervals up to at least 1 s. The findings question the implementation of the integration process via mechanisms that rely on autonomous changes of network state. The mechanism should be capable of freezing the state of the network at a variety of firing rate levels during temporal gaps between the cues, compatible with a line of stable attractor states

    The Use Of Altman Equation For Bankruptcy Prediction In An Industrial Firm (Case Study)

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    Financial analysis provides the basis for understanding and evaluating the results of business operations and explaining how well a business is doing. In addition, the financial statement analysis can help creditors, investors, and managers answer the following questions: Can the company pay the interest and principal on its debt? Does the company reply too much on non-owner financing? Does the company earn an acceptable return on invested capital?  Is the gross profit margin growing or shrinking? Does the company effectively use non-owner financing?  Are costs under control? Is the company’s market growing or shrinking? Do observed changes reflect opportunities or threats? Is the allocation of investment across different assets too high or too low?  Furthermore, financial statement analysis reduces our reliance on hunches, guesses, and intuition. Above all, it reduces risk and/or uncertainty in decision making. Therefore, to reduce risk, uncertainty, and avoid bankruptcy one must appreciate the usefulness of financial statement analysis by using some tools and techniques to evaluate and project the future performance of the firm within a given industry.The researchers used the Altman z-score analysis to predict a firm’s insolvency. The study results for the period 2002-2004 indicated the weaknesses of “Jordan Establishment for Marketing Durable goods”.  The z-score from the analysis (for the given period) was less than 1.81 (z-score <1.81).   Evidence suggests that the firm has increased its debt and will be facing bankruptcy in the near future. In liquidity ratios, the percentage of the working capital is less than 1, indicating an increase in liabilities over assets. Leverage ratios increased from 41.7% to 56.7%, while inventory turnover decreased by 1.2 times through the given period.  Net profit to total sales reduced from (–1.3) to (–1.8) for the same period. Also, the assets return percentage declined from (-9.29%) to (-10.3%), while the stock book value declined from (0.95) JD to (0.67) JD through the given period.  The main features provide a gloomy picture and indicate inefficiencies within the firm

    Product states optimize quantum pp-spin models for large pp

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    We consider the problem of estimating the maximal energy of quantum pp-local spin glass random Hamiltonians, the quantum analogues of widely studied classical spin glass models. Denoting by E(p)E^*(p) the (appropriately normalized) maximal energy in the limit of a large number of qubits nn, we show that E(p)E^*(p) approaches 2log6\sqrt{2\log 6} as pp increases. This value is interpreted as the maximal energy of a much simpler so-called Random Energy Model, widely studied in the setting of classical spin glasses. Our most notable and (arguably) surprising result proves the existence of near-maximal energy states which are product states, and thus not entangled. Specifically, we prove that with high probability as nn\to\infty, for any E<E(p)E<E^*(p) there exists a product state with energy E\geq E at sufficiently large constant pp. Even more surprisingly, this remains true even when restricting to tensor products of Pauli eigenstates. Our approximations go beyond what is known from monogamy-of-entanglement style arguments -- the best of which, in this normalization, achieve approximation error growing with nn. Our results not only challenge prevailing beliefs in physics that extremely low-temperature states of random local Hamiltonians should exhibit non-negligible entanglement, but they also imply that classical algorithms can be just as effective as quantum algorithms in optimizing Hamiltonians with large locality -- though performing such optimization is still likely a hard problem. Our results are robust with respect to the choice of the randomness (disorder) and apply to the case of sparse random Hamiltonian using Lindeberg's interpolation method. The proof of the main result is obtained by estimating the expected trace of the associated partition function, and then matching its asymptotics with the extremal energy of product states using the second moment method.Comment: Added a disclaimer about error in current draf

    Speed and Accuracy of Static Image Discrimination by Rats

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    When discriminating dynamic noisy sensory signals, human and primate subjects achieve higher accuracy when they take more time to decide, an effect attributed to accumulation of evidence over time to overcome neural noise. We measured the speed and accuracy of twelve freely behaving rats discriminating static, high contrast photographs of real-world objects for water reward in a self-paced task. Response latency was longer in correct trials compared to error trials. Discrimination accuracy increased with response latency over the range of 500-1200ms. We used morphs between previously learned images to vary the image similarity parametrically, and thereby modulate task difficulty from ceiling to chance. Over this range we find that rats take more time before responding in trials with more similar stimuli. We conclude that rats' perceptual decisions improve with time even in the absence of temporal information in the stimulus, and that rats modulate speed in response to discrimination difficulty to balance speed and accuracy

    A systematic review of assessment approaches to predict opioid misuse in people with cancer.

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    CONTEXT: Cancer prevalence is increasing, with many patients requiring opioid analgesia. Clinicians need to ensure patients receive adequate pain relief. However, opioid misuse is widespread, and cancer patients are at risk. OBJECTIVES: This study aims (1) to identify screening approaches that have been used to assess and monitor risk of opioid misuse in patients with cancer; (2) to compare the prevalence of risk estimated by each of these screening approaches; and (3) to compare risk factors among demographic and clinical variables associated with a positive screen on each of the approaches. METHODS: Medline, Cochrane Controlled Trial Register, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase databases were searched for articles reporting opioid misuse screening in cancer patients, along with handsearching the reference list of included articles. Bias was assessed using tools from the Joanna Briggs Suite. RESULTS: Eighteen studies met the eligibility criteria, evaluating seven approaches: Urine Drug Test (UDT) (n = 8); the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain (SOAPP) and two variants, Revised and Short Form (n = 6); the Cut-down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-opener (CAGE) tool and one variant, Adapted to Include Drugs (n = 6); the Opioid Risk Tool (ORT) (n = 4); Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) (n = 3); the Screen for Opioid-Associated Aberrant Behavior Risk (SOABR) (n = 1); and structured/specialist interviews (n = 1). Eight studies compared two or more approaches. The rates of risk of opioid misuse in the studied populations ranged from 6 to 65%, acknowledging that estimates are likely to have varied partly because of how specific to opioids the screening approaches were and whether a single or multi-step approach was used. UDT prompted by an intervention or observation of aberrant opioid behaviors (AOB) were conclusive of actual opioid misuse found to be 6.5-24%. Younger age, found in 8/10 studies; personal or family history of anxiety or other mental ill health, found in 6/8 studies; and history of illicit drug use, found in 4/6 studies, showed an increased risk of misuse. CONCLUSIONS: Younger age, personal or familial mental health history, and history of illicit drug use consistently showed an increased risk of opioid misuse. Clinical suspicion of opioid misuse may be raised by data from PMP or any of the standardized list of AOBs. Clinicians may use SOAPP-R, CAGE-AID, or ORT to screen for increased risk and may use UDT to confirm suspicion of opioid misuse or monitor adherence. More research into this important area is required. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: This systematic review summarized the literature on the use of opioid misuse risk approaches in people with cancer. The rates of reported risk range from 6 to 65%; however, true rate may be closer to 6.5-24%. Younger age, personal or familial mental health history, and history of illicit drug use consistently showed an increased risk of opioid misuse. Clinicians may choose from several approaches. Limited data are available on feasibility and patient experience. PROSPERO registration number. CRD42020163385

    Efficient classical algorithms for simulating symmetric quantum systems

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    In light of recently proposed quantum algorithms that incorporate symmetries in the hope of quantum advantage, we show that with symmetries that are restrictive enough, classical algorithms can efficiently emulate their quantum counterparts given certain classical descriptions of the input. Specifically, we give classical algorithms that calculate ground states and time-evolved expectation values for permutation-invariant Hamiltonians specified in the symmetrized Pauli basis with runtimes polynomial in the system size. We use tensor-network methods to transform symmetry-equivariant operators to the block-diagonal Schur basis that is of polynomial size, and then perform exact matrix multiplication or diagonalization in this basis. These methods are adaptable to a wide range of input and output states including those prescribed in the Schur basis, as matrix product states, or as arbitrary quantum states when given the power to apply low depth circuits and single qubit measurements
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