human environment
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Electronics ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 226
Muhammad Ehatisham-ul-Haq ◽  
Fiza Murtaza ◽  
Muhammad Awais Azam ◽  
Yasar Amin

Advancement in smart sensing and computing technologies has provided a dynamic opportunity to develop intelligent systems for human activity monitoring and thus assisted living. Consequently, many researchers have put their efforts into implementing sensor-based activity recognition systems. However, recognizing people’s natural behavior and physical activities with diverse contexts is still a challenging problem because human physical activities are often distracted by changes in their surroundings/environments. Therefore, in addition to physical activity recognition, it is also vital to model and infer the user’s context information to realize human-environment interactions in a better way. Therefore, this research paper proposes a new idea for activity recognition in-the-wild, which entails modeling and identifying detailed human contexts (such as human activities, behavioral environments, and phone states) using portable accelerometer sensors. The proposed scheme offers a detailed/fine-grained representation of natural human activities with contexts, which is crucial for modeling human-environment interactions in context-aware applications/systems effectively. The proposed idea is validated using a series of experiments, and it achieved an average balanced accuracy of 89.43%, which proves its effectiveness.

2022 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Huw S. Groucutt ◽  
W. Christopher Carleton ◽  
Katrin Fenech ◽  
Ritienne Gauci ◽  
Reuben Grima ◽  

The small size and relatively challenging environmental conditions of the semi-isolated Maltese archipelago mean that the area offers an important case study of societal change and human-environment interactions. Following an initial phase of Neolithic settlement, the “Temple Period” in Malta began ∼5.8 thousand years ago (ka), and came to a seemingly abrupt end ∼4.3 ka, and was followed by Bronze Age societies with radically different material culture. Various ideas concerning the reasons for the end of the Temple Period have been expressed. These range from climate change, to invasion, to social conflict resulting from the development of a powerful “priesthood.” Here, we explore the idea that the end of the Temple Period relates to the 4.2 ka event. The 4.2 ka event has been linked with several examples of significant societal change around the Mediterranean, such as the end of the Old Kingdom in Egypt, yet its character and relevance have been debated. The Maltese example offers a fascinating case study for understanding issues such as chronological uncertainty, disentangling cause and effect when several different processes are involved, and the role of abrupt environmental change in impacting human societies. Ultimately, it is suggested that the 4.2 ka event may have played a role in the end of the Temple Period, but that other factors seemingly played a large, and possibly predominant, role. As well as our chronological modelling indicating the decline of Temple Period society in the centuries before the 4.2 ka event, we highlight the possible significance of other factors such as a plague epidemic.

2022 ◽  
Vol 119 (3) ◽  
pp. e2106843119
Fengbo Yu ◽  
Wei Zhao ◽  
Tao Qin ◽  
Wang Zhao ◽  
Yulian Chen ◽  

Preventing pathogenic viral and bacterial transmission in the human environment is critical, especially in potential outbreaks that may be caused by the release of ancient bacteria currently trapped in the permafrost. Existing commercial disinfectants present issues such as a high carbon footprint. This study proposes a sustainable alternative, a bioliquid derived from biomass prepared by hydrothermal liquefaction. Results indicate a high inactivation rate of pathogenic virus and bacteria by the as-prepared bioliquid, such as up to 99.99% for H1N1, H5N1, H7N9 influenza A virus, and Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores and 99.49% for Bacillus anthracis. Inactivation of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis confirmed that low-molecular-weight and low-polarity compounds in bioliquid are potential antibacterial components. High temperatures promoted the production of antibacterial substances via depolymerization and dehydration reactions. Moreover, bioliquid was innoxious as confirmed by the rabbit skin test, and the cost per kilogram of the bioliquid was $0.04427, which is notably lower than that of commercial disinfectants. This study demonstrates the potential of biomass to support our biosafety with greater environmental sustainability.

Gels ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
pp. 46
Sihang Liu ◽  
Jingyi Tang ◽  
Fangqin Ji ◽  
Weifeng Lin ◽  
Shengfu Chen

Nonspecific protein adsorption impedes the sustainability of materials in biologically related applications. Such adsorption activates the immune system by quick identification of allogeneic materials and triggers a rejection, resulting in the rapid failure of implant materials and drugs. Antifouling materials have been rapidly developed in the past 20 years, from natural polysaccharides (such as dextran) to synthetic polymers (such as polyethylene glycol, PEG). However, recent studies have shown that traditional antifouling materials, including PEG, still fail to overcome the challenges of a complex human environment. Zwitterionic materials are a class of materials that contain both cationic and anionic groups, with their overall charge being neutral. Compared with PEG materials, zwitterionic materials have much stronger hydration, which is considered the most important factor for antifouling. Among zwitterionic materials, zwitterionic hydrogels have excellent structural stability and controllable regulation capabilities for various biomedical scenarios. Here, we first describe the mechanism and structure of zwitterionic materials. Following the preparation and property of zwitterionic hydrogels, recent advances in zwitterionic hydrogels in various biomedical applications are reviewed.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2 (1) ◽  
pp. e0000095
Alexandra Boccarossa ◽  
Horace Degnonvi ◽  
Télesphore Yao Brou ◽  
Marie Robbe-Saule ◽  
Lucille Esnault ◽  

Buruli ulcer is a neglected tropical disease caused by M. ulcerans, an environmental mycobacterium. This cutaneous infectious disease affects populations with poor access to sanitation, safe water and healthcare living in rural areas of West and Central Africa. Stagnant open bodies of surface water and slow-running streams are the only risk factor identified in Africa, and there is no human-to-human transmission. Appropriate and effective prevention strategies are required for populations living in endemic areas. Based on a multidisciplinary approach in an area in which Buruli ulcer is endemic in South Benin, we investigated the link between all human-environment interactions relating to unprotected water and behaviors associated with Buruli ulcer risk likely to affect incidence rates. We characterised the sources of water as well as water bodies and streams used by communities, by conducting a prospective case-control study directly coupled with geographic field observations, spatial analysis, and the detection of M. ulcerans in the environment. A full list of the free surface waters used for domestic activities was generated for a set of 34 villages, and several types of human behaviour associated with a higher risk of transmission were identified: (i) prolonged walking in water to reach cultivated fields, (ii) collecting water, (iii) and swimming. Combining the results of the different analyses identified the risk factor most strongly associated with Buruli ulcer was the frequency of contact with unprotected and natural water, particularly in regularly flooded or irrigated lowlands. We confirm that the use of clean water from drilled wells confers protection against Buruli ulcer. These specific and refined results provide a broader scope for the design of an appropriate preventive strategy including certain practices or infrastructures observed during our field investigations. This strategy could be improved by the addition of knowledge about irrigation practices and agricultural work in low-lying areas.

2022 ◽  
Vol 41 (1) ◽  
Douglas E. Crews

AbstractBefore developing agriculture, herding or metallurgy, humans occupied most of the world. Multiple socioculturally-based responses supported their migration, including building shelters and constructing niches to limit environmental stressors. Sheltered settings provided social support and security during stressful times, along with opportunities for injured, aging, and frail members to survive. Modern built environments are designed for similar purposes, to support human growth, development, reproduction, and maintenance. However, extended survival in modern settings has costs. With age, muscle (sarcopenia) and bone loss (osteopenia, osteoporosis), along with somatic, physiological, and sensory dysfunction, reduce our physical capabilities, increase our frailty, and impede our abilities to interface with built and natural environments and manufactured artifacts. Thereby, increasing our dependence on built environments to maintain autonomy and quality of life.What follows is a conceptual review of how frailty may limit seniors within modern built environments. It suggests age-related frailty among seniors provides specific data for those designing environments for accessibility to all users. It is based in human ecological theory, and physiological and gerontological research showing senescent alterations, including losses of muscle, bone, and sensory perceptions, produce a frail phenotype with increasing age limiting our mobility, activity, use of space, and physical abilities. As an individual phenotype, frailty leads to age-related physical and performance declines. As a physiological assessment, frailty indices amalgamate individual measures of functional abilities into a single score. Such frailty indices increase with age and differ betwixt individuals and across groups. To design built environments that improve access, usability, and safety for aging and frail citizens, today’s seniors provide living samples and evidence for determining their future abilities, limitations, and design needs. Designing built environments to accommodate and improve the quality of human-environment interactions for frail seniors will improve usability and accessibility for most user groups.

Laura Silici ◽  
Jerry Knox ◽  
Andy Rowe ◽  
Suppiramaniam Nanthikesan

AbstractThe literature on smallholder farming and climate change adaptation (CCA) has predominantly investigated the barriers to and determinants of farmer uptake of adaptation interventions. Although useful, this evidence fails to highlight the changes or persistence of adaptation responses over time. Studies usually adopt a narrow focus on incremental actions that provide limited insights into transformative adaptation pathways and how fundamental shifts in policy can address the root causes of vulnerability across different sectors and dimensions. Drawing on an evidence synthesis commissioned by the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Independent Office of Evaluation, this chapter outlines how lessons from CCA interventions can be transferred via three learning domains that are essential for transformational change: scaling-up (in its multiple forms), knowledge management, and the human-environment nexus. We discuss the implications of our findings on monitoring, evaluation, and learning, highlighting the challenges that evaluators may face in capturing (a) the persistence or durability of transformational pathways, (b) the complexity of “super-wicked” problems, and (c) the relevance of context-dependent dynamics, within a landscape setting. We also address the contribution of evidence reviews to contemporary debates around development policy linked to climate change and agriculture, and the implications and value of such reviews to provide independent scientific rigor and robustness to conventional programmatic evaluations.

2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
pp. 74-88
Mohammad Obaidullah Ibne Bashir

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the dredging systems and dredging machinery used in "capital" and "maintenance" dredging in Bangladesh can enhance the efficiency of the machines and dredging process, enabling the operators to perform regular and repetitive dredging tasks safely in the rivers, ports, and estuaries all over the country. AI, including Big Data, Machine Learning, Internet of Thing, Blockchain and Sensors and Simulators with their catalytic potentials, can systematically compile and evaluate specific data collected from different sources, develop applications or simulators, connect the stakeholders on a virtual platform, store lakes of information without compromising their intellectual rights, predicting models to harness the challenges, minimise the cost of dredging, identify possible threats and help protect the already dredged areas by giving timely signals for further maintenance. Furthermore, the application of AI modulated dredging devices and machinery can play a significant role when monitoring aspects becomes crucial, keeping environmental impacts mitigated without affecting the quality of the human environment. This study includes the evaluation of the application of AI – its prospect and challenges in the existing dredging systems in Bangladesh against the backdrop of the challenges faced in capital and maintenance dredging in the major rivers – and assess whether such inclusion of AI is likely to minimise the cost of dredging in the rivers of Bangladesh and facilitate the materialisation of the objectives of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.This paper studies the organisation's infrastructural requirement for the integration of AI into dredging systems, using benchmarking such as 1- "Understanding AI Ready Approach", 2-"Strategies for Implementing AI", 3-"Data Management", 4-"Creating AI Literate Workforce and Upskilling", and 5-"Identifying Threats" concerning the management and dredging operations of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), under Bangladesh Ministry of Shipping and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). The paper also uses several case studies such as channel dredging to show that the use of AI can bring a significant change in the dredging operations both in reducing the cost of dredging and in terms of harnessing the barriers in adaptive management and environmental impacts.

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