142,034 research outputs found

    Application of lactic acid bacteria for the biopreservation of meat products: A systematic review

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    .The increasing concern of consumers about food quality and safety and their rejection of chemical additives has promoted the breakthrough of the biopreservation field and the development of studies on the use of beneficial bacteria and their metabolites as potential natural antimicrobials for shelf life extension and enhanced food safety. Control of foodborne pathogens in meat and meat products represents a serious challenge for the food industry which can be addressed through the intelligent use of bio-compounds or biopreservatives. This article aims to systematically review the available knowledge about biological strategies based on the use of lactic acid bacteria to control the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms in different meat products. The outcome of the literature search evidenced the potential of several strains of lactic acid bacteria and their purified or semi-purified antimicrobial metabolites as biopreservatives in meat products for achieving longer shelf life or inhibiting spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, especially when combined with other technologies to achieve a synergistic effect.S

    How Does Reciprocity Affect Undergraduate Student Orientation towards Stakeholders?

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    5987Nowadays, students are more aware of the impact of companies on their stakeholders and the need for properly handling their expectations to operationalize corporate social responsibility. Nevertheless, little is known about how certain individual traits may relate to their stance on the issue. This exploratory research contributes to stakeholder theory by analysing the e ect of the individual’s decision-making process, including the consideration of their social preferences, on their orientation toward stakeholder management. Here, we draw upon a theoretical model for resource-allocation decision-making consisting of reciprocal and non-reciprocal components. Our data, from undergraduate students enrolled in di erent degrees, were collected through a questionnaire and two social within-subject experiments (ultimatum and dictator games). Thus, our results show that the presence of a reciprocal component when decisions are made is positively linked to an instrumental orientation toward stakeholders. In addition, a greater non-reciprocal component in the decision-making process corresponds to a more normative orientation.S

    Identification of Hindbrain Neural Substrates for Motor Initiation in the hatchling Xenopus laevis Tadpole

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    Animal survival profoundly depends on the ability to detect stimuli in the environment, process them and respond accordingly. In this respect, motor responses to a sensory stimulation evolved into a variety of coordinated movements, which involve the control of brain centres over spinal locomotor circuits. The hatchling Xenopus tadpole, even in its embryonic stage, is able to detect external sensory information and to swim away if the stimulus is considered noxious. To do so, the tadpole relies on well-known ascending sensory pathway, which carries the sensory information to the brain. When the stimulus is strong enough, descending interneurons are activated, leading to the excitation of spinal CPG neurons, which causes the undulatory movement of swimming. However, the activation of descending interneurons that marks the initiation of motor response appears after a long delay from the sensory stimulation. Furthermore, the long-latency response is variable in time, as observed in the slow-summating excitation measured in descending interneurons. These two features, i.e. long-latency and variability, cannot be explained by the firing time and pattern of the ascending sensory pathway of the Xenopus tadpole. Therefore, a novel neuronal population has been proposed to lie in the hindbrain of the tadpole, and being able to 'hold' the sensory information, thus accounting for the long and variable delay of swim initiation. In this work, the role of the hindbrain in the maintenance of the long and variable response to trunk skin stimulation is investigated in the Xenopustadpole at developmental stage 37/38. A multifaceted approach has been used to unravel the neuronal mechanisms underlying the delayed motor response, including behavioural experiments, electrophysiology analysis of fictive swimming, hindbrain extracellular recordings and imaging experiments. Two novel neuronal populations have been identified in the tadpole's hindbrain, which exhibit activation patterns compatible with the role of delaying the excitation of the spinal locomotor circuit. Future work on cellular properties and synaptic connections of these newly discovered populations might shed light on the mechanism of descending control active at embryonic stage. Identifying supraspinal neuronal populations in an embryonic organism could aid in understanding mechanisms of descending motor control in more complex vertebrates

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    The Idiosyncrasy of Involuntary Musical Imagery Repetition (IMIR) Experiences: The Role of Tempo and Lyrics

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    Involuntary musical imagery repetition (IMIR), colloquially known as “earworms,” is a form of musical imagery that arises involuntarily and repeatedly in the mind. A growing number of studies, based on retrospective reports, suggest that IMIR experiences are associated with certain musical features, such as fast tempo and the presence of lyrics, and with individual differences in music training and engagement. However, research to date has not directly assessed the effect of such musical features on IMIR and findings about individual differences in music training and engagement are mixed. Using a cross-sectional design (Study 1, n = 263), we examined IMIR content in terms of tempo (fast, slow) and presence of lyrics (instrumental, vocal), and IMIR characteristics (frequency, duration of episode and section) in relation to 1) the musical content (tempo and lyrics) individuals most commonly expose themselves to (music-listening habits), and 2) music training and engagement. We also used an experimental design (Study 2, n = 80) to test the effects of tempo (fast or slow) and the presence of lyrics (instrumental or vocal) on IMIR retrieval and duration. Results from Study 1 showed that the content of music that individuals are typically exposed to with regard to tempo and lyrics predicted and resembled their IMIR content, and that music engagement, but not music training, predicted IMIR frequency. Music training was, however, shown to predict the duration of IMIR episodes. In the experiment (Study 2), tempo did not predict IMIR retrieval, but the presence of lyrics influenced IMIR duration. Taken together, our findings suggest that IMIR is an idiosyncratic experience primed by the music-listening habits and music engagement of the individual

    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 países miembros de la ONU emplean para enmarcar sus políticas. Entre las metas del ODS 4 “educación de calidad” encontramos: “asegurar que todos los alumnos adquieran los conocimientos teóricos y prácticos necesarios para promover el desarrollo sostenible, entre otras cosas mediante la educación para el desarrollo sostenible y los estilos de vida sostenibles, los derechos humanos, la igualdad de género, la promoción de una cultura de paz y no violencia, la ciudadanía mundial y la valoración de la diversidad cultural y la contribución de la cultura al desarrollo sostenible”. La educación, se considera el motor de la Agenda 2030 porque, además de representar el centro del ODS 4, desempeña también un papel notable en la implementación de los demás, mejorando su alcance y efectividad. Así pues, entre las disciplinas que sustentan este trabajo se escogió la Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible y la Ciudadanía Global como marco de acción y punto de partida en la formación de los ciudadanos de un futuro viable, equitativo y habitable. Se continuó 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 cómo la educación permitiría su aprovechamiento. Con todo ello, se planteó el marco didáctico de interacción en el cual se implementó la interculturalidad en el ejercicio educativo. Se estudió así el poder de las artes como medio de motivación e inspiración a la hora de transmitir de la manera más eficaz posible los valores considerados más arriba. El objetivo del presente estudio se centra en demostrar el potencial de las artes para fomentar las competencias comunicativas, sociales, interculturales, emocionales, de ciudadanía y sostenibilidad. Para ello, se ha realizado una investigación aplicada que deriva en una propuesta concreta de intervención con un programa educativo destinado a la enseñanza de lenguas, tanto primera como extranjera, en distintos niveles de la educación formal en Mali y en España, aplicando un método holístico basado en el paradigma interpretativo. A través 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 crítico, la empatía, la resiliencia, la comunicación, la cooperación y la educación intercultural, como competencias esenciales para la consecución de los 17 ODS, la construcción de un mundo transcultural sostenible y el desarrollo de una ciudadanía global preparada para los retos del siglo XXI. En la metodología de este proceso educativo innovador, multidisciplinar, flexible y adaptable, se ha empleado un análisis del proceso de investigación para monitorizarlo adecuadamente (DAFO). Cada una de las propuestas presenta una recogida de datos cualitativos (observación, rúbricas) y cuantitativos (encuestas, entrevistas) y se ofrece un análisis 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 más bajos de la misma y en todos los niveles de la educación formal) de en qué consisten los ODS y su relevancia para hacer de todas las personas corresponsables directas en su consecución para garantizar un futuro sostenible para toda la ciudadanía 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 “quality education,” we find the one that seeks: “to 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”. 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

    Rainfall Prediction: A Comparative Analysis of Modern Machine Learning Algorithms for Time-Series Forecasting

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    Rainfall forecasting has gained utmost research relevance in recent times due to its complexities and persistent applications such as flood forecasting and monitoring of pollutant concentration levels, among others. Existing models use complex statistical models that are often too costly, both computationally and budgetary, or are not applied to downstream applications. Therefore, approaches that use Machine Learning algorithms in conjunction with time-series data are being explored as an alternative to overcome these drawbacks. To this end, this study presents a comparative analysis using simplified rainfall estimation models based on conventional Machine Learning algorithms and Deep Learning architectures that are efficient for these downstream applications. Models based on LSTM, Stacked-LSTM, Bidirectional-LSTM Networks, XGBoost, and an ensemble of Gradient Boosting Regressor, Linear Support Vector Regression, and an Extra-trees Regressor were compared in the task of forecasting hourly rainfall volumes using time-series data. Climate data from 2000 to 2020 from five major cities in the United Kingdom were used. The evaluation metrics of Loss, Root Mean Squared Error, Mean Absolute Error, and Root Mean Squared Logarithmic Error were used to evaluate the models' performance. Results show that a Bidirectional-LSTM Network can be used as a rainfall forecast model with comparable performance to Stacked-LSTM Networks. Among all the models tested, the Stacked-LSTM Network with two hidden layers and the Bidirectional-LSTM Network performed best. This suggests that models based on LSTM-Networks with fewer hidden layers perform better for this approach; denoting its ability to be applied as an approach for budget-wise rainfall forecast applications

    The Online Elicitation of Personal Utility Functions (OPUF) tool: a new method for valuing health states [version 1; peer review: 1 approved]

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    Introduction Standard valuation methods, such as TTO and DCE are inefficient. They require data from hundreds if not thousands of participants to generate value sets. Here, we present the Online elicitation of Personal Utility Functions (OPUF) tool; a new type of online survey for valuing EQ-5D-5L health states using more efficient, compositional elicitation methods, which even allow estimating value sets on the individual level. The aims of this study are to report on the development of the tool, and to test the feasibility of using it to obtain individual-level value sets for the EQ-5D-5L. Methods We applied an iterative design approach to adapt the PUF method, previously developed by Devlin et al., for use as a standalone online tool. Five rounds of qualitative interviews, and one quantitative pre-pilot were conducted to get feedback on the different tasks. After each round, the tool was refined and re-evaluated. The final version was piloted in a sample of 50 participants from the UK. A demo of the EQ-5D-5L OPUF survey is available at: https://eq5d5l.me Results On average, it took participants about seven minutes to complete the OPUF Tool. Based on the responses, we were able to construct a personal EQ-5D-5L value set for each of the 50 participants. These value sets predicted a participants' choices in a discrete choice experiment with an accuracy of 80%. Overall, the results revealed that health state preferences vary considerably on the individual-level. Nevertheless, we were able to estimate a group-level value set for all 50 participants with reasonable precision. Discussion We successfully piloted the OPUF Tool and showed that it can be used to derive a group-level as well as personal value sets for the EQ-5D-5L. Although the development of the online tool is still in an early stage, there are multiple potential avenues for further research

    Responding to research evidence in Parliament: a case study on selective education policy

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    This research focusses on how members of the UK Parliament engaged with evidence in relation to the policy decision leading to the Selective Schools Expansion Fund, a policy designed to enable the existing 163 English Grammar Schools to apply for additional funds to expand their intake. Although a small case study, the narrow focus provides a fertile setting for analysis of the relationship between research evidence, Parliamentary debates, and policy decisions. The article provides contextual background in relation to the dominant political parties’ (Conservative and Labour) education policy manifesto statements and a discussion on the nature and understanding of evidence. Particular attention is given to how evidence can be used to support claims and the importance of justified warrants. Using NVivo software, we identified the thematic content of 11 Parliamentary debates and analysed the findings using descriptive statistics, which we tested with a playful, carnivalesque extrapolation of the data. Argumentative analysis shows that within the debates a number of rhetorical tools are used to avoid empirical evidence, including the deployment of a ‘moral sidestep’ which discourse analysis reveals in this case to be the repeated communication that grammar schools are ‘good’. In this way, Ofsted ratings are conflated with moral goodness, leading to a disproportionate diversion of school funding in their favour. This case study exposes strengths and weaknesses of Parliamentary debate, which might be relevant to educational researchers who focus on evidence-based policy and to the policy makers and other stakeholders who engage with the evidence such researchers offer
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