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2021 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Author(s):  
Wei Tang ◽  
Meimei Zhang ◽  
Guofang Chen ◽  
Rui Liu ◽  
Yuxing Peng ◽  
...  

The triangular ridged surface can improve the grip reliability of products, but the sharp edge of triangular ridge induces sharp and uncomfortable feeling. To study the effect of edge shape (sharp, round, and flat shape) of triangular ridges on brain activity during touching, electroencephalograph (EEG) signals during tactile perception were evaluated using event-related potentials (ERP) and non-linear analysis methods. The results showed that the early component of P100 and P200, and the late component of P300 were successfully induced during perceiving the ridged texture. The edge shape features affect the electrical activity of brain during the tactile perceptions. The sharp shape feature evoked fast P100 latency and high P100 amplitude. The flat texture with complex (sharp and flat) shape feature evoked fast P200 latency, high P200 amplitude and RQA parameters. Both of the sharp shape and complex shape feature tended to evoke high peak amplitude of P300. The large-scale structures of recurrence plots (RPs) and recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) parameters can visually and quantitatively characterize the evolution regulation of the dynamic behavior of EEG system along with the tactile process. This study proved that RPs and RQA were protential methods for the feature extraction and state recognition of EEG during tactile perception of textured surface. This research contributes to optimize surface tactile characteristics on products, especially effective surface textures design for good grip.


2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (2) ◽  
pp. 295-306
Author(s):  
Ilise Feitshans

No one has been untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, which underscores the principle that there is an inextricable link between health, work and the global economy of civil society. The goal of this article is to describe law in the USA that was written during the 2020 pandemic to mobilize occupational health tools that could stem the tide of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 transformed previously stoic economic sectors such as airlines, hotels, food service and major stores into marginal employers. Essential workers in food, retail delivery and health care workers confronted health risks from occupational, transmission of communicable disease. Among workers with school children impacted by COVID-19 Emergency Executive orders to stay in place, e-learning and remote work, e-hospital data collection and health status monitoring, returning to school as teachers or nonessential workers also generated fear of workplace transmission of disease that might infect their family. Using legislative policy analysis methods, this article describes the traditional principles of state labor relations that were rewritten using the legislative pen, now instead requiring risk assessment for all employees and employers to thereby prevent occupational transmission of disease. As discussed here, Virginia, the USA state, responded with a COVID-19 prevention law deploying modern industrial hygiene tools with broader jurisdiction compared to state labor law precedents. As a result, swift administrative action, justified for pandemic response, underscores that marginal employers and their workers need strong occupational health and safety laws, because health is inextricably linked to creating thriving commerce.


Sensors ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 21 (13) ◽  
pp. 4309
Author(s):  
Maria Maddalena Calabretta ◽  
Martina Zangheri ◽  
Donato Calabria ◽  
Antonia Lopreside ◽  
Laura Montali ◽  
...  

Since the introduction of paper-based analytical devices as potential diagnostic platforms a few decades ago, huge efforts have been made in this field to develop systems suitable for meeting the requirements for the point-of-care (POC) approach. Considerable progress has been achieved in the adaptation of existing analysis methods to a paper-based format, especially considering the chemiluminescent (CL)-immunoassays-based techniques. The implementation of biospecific assays with CL detection and paper-based technology represents an ideal solution for the development of portable analytical devices for on-site applications, since the peculiarities of these features create a unique combination for fitting the POC purposes. Despite this, the scientific production is not paralleled by the diffusion of such devices into everyday life. This review aims to highlight the open issues that are responsible for this discrepancy and to find the aspects that require a focused and targeted research to make these methods really applicable in routine analysis.


2021 ◽  
Vol 66 (2) ◽  
pp. 53-58
Author(s):  
I. Shafransky ◽  
A. Tukov ◽  
O. Prokhorova ◽  
M. Kalinina

Purpose: Assessment of the health of persons working under the influence of certain adverse environmental factors. Material and methods: The work includes all male liquidators registered in the Sectoral Register of persons exposed to radiation as a result of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This is about 18.5 thousand people. More than half of them have a verified dose load, all of which were exposed to radiation while working in the 30-km zone of the Chernobyl NPP. At this stage of the study, estimates were obtained for the corresponding retirement intensity function for two cohorts of liquidators – 1986 and subsequent years of work.In order to assess the dynamics of the age-specific mortality of the liquidators, the data for the years 2000 and 2014 are considered. It did not make sense to take earlier years due to the relatively young age of the liquidators at that point in time. The second estimate is related to exactly 15 years – half the entire period of observation of the register. 2014 turned out to be more preferable compared to 2015 due to the fact that it was in 2014 that a significant number of people were deregistered and thus dropped out of consideration. Empirical analysis methods are used – survival curves are considered (data such as the lifetime) both in terms of morbidity and mortality. And a comparison is made of the curves obtained in different rank groups. For fitting curves, risk functions of various parametric distributions constructed using the likelihood function can be used. The main problem of this analysis is a large number of censored data at this stage of the study. Results: The death rate of the liquidators differs significantly from the death rate of the male population of the Russian Federation, however, this difference decreases with time, primarily due to a decrease in the death rate of the population in the Russian Federation. If the trends in the dynamics of age-specific mortality in the Russian Federation correspond to global standards, which corresponds to a positive dynamic, the dynamics of the age-specific mortality of the liquidators is paradoxical, which primarily concerns the cohort of liquidators of 1986. The weather smoothed mortality of the liquidators of 1986 exceeds that calculated for all the liquidators of the register, which may indicate the presence of some additional factors determining the health of this group of persons. By the years 2007–2010, a significant increase in the slope of the mortality curve is observed as a sign of the cohort selection, relegation of the weaker ones first. Using the Kaplan –Meier method, survival curves for cohorts were constructed, and the presence of significant differences in their mortality was shown.


Materials ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 14 (13) ◽  
pp. 3501
Author(s):  
Ewa Maria Szefer ◽  
Tomasz Mariusz Majka ◽  
Krzysztof Pielichowski

This work aims to study the thermal degradation and combustion behavior of single-use masks commonly used during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden increase in plastic waste underlines the crucial need for a proper disposal method. Therefore, to develop a suitable method of thermal disposal, it is first necessary to identify the primary waste materials and then study their thermal and flammability behaviors using thermal analysis methods. This research focuses on the characterization of individual parts of the masks, their thermal degradation, and pyrolysis processes via FTIR, TG, and MCC analyses. FTIR analysis indicated that all three masks were made out of polypropylene sheets, while two of the ear straps contained polyamide 6. One of the samples was composed mainly of poly (ethylene terephthalate) fiber and thin inner EPDM rubber. The EPDM ear strap left the highest residue and showed the lowest flammability among all samples. The analysis of heat of combustion and thermogravimetry shows that the most heat is generated above 450 °C. Therefore, for the disposal of single-use masks to be effective, it should be carried out in the temperature range from 450 to 750 °C.


Risks ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (7) ◽  
pp. 121
Author(s):  
Beata Bieszk-Stolorz ◽  
Krzysztof Dmytrów

The aim of our research was to compare the intensity of decline and then increase in the value of basic stock indices during the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The survival analysis methods used to assess the risk of decline and chance of rise of the indices were: Kaplan–Meier estimator, logit model, and the Cox proportional hazards model. We observed the highest intensity of decline in the European stock exchanges, followed by the American and Asian plus Australian ones (after the fourth and eighth week since the peak). The highest risk of decline was in America, then in Europe, followed by Asia and Australia. The lowest risk was in Africa. The intensity of increase was the highest in the fourth and eleventh week since the minimal value had been reached. The highest odds of increase were in the American stock exchanges, followed by the European and Asian (including Australia and Oceania), and the lowest in the African ones. The odds and intensity of increase in the stock exchange indices varied from continent to continent. The increase was faster than the initial decline.


Author(s):  
Anna Wójtowicz ◽  
Agata Mitura ◽  
Renata Wietecha-Posłuszny ◽  
Rafał Kurczab ◽  
Marcin Zawadzki

AbstractVitreous humor (VH) is an alternative biological matrix with a great advantage of longer availability for analysis due to the lack of many enzymes. The use of VH in forensic toxicology may have an added benefit, however, this application requires rapid, simple, non-destructive, and relatively portable analytical analysis methods. These requirements may be met by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy technique (FT-IR) equipped with attenuated total reflection accessory (ATR). FT-IR spectra of vitreous humor samples, deposited on glass slides, were collected and subsequent chemometric data analysis by means of Hierarchical Cluster Analysis and Principal Component Analysis was conducted. Differences between animal and human VH samples and human VH samples stored for diverse periods of time were detected. A kinetic study of changes in the VH composition up to 2 weeks showed the distinction of FT-IR spectra collected on the 1st and 14th day of storage. In addition, data obtained for the most recent human vitreous humor samples—collected 3 and 2 years before the study, presented successful discrimination of all time points studied. The method introduced was unable to detect mephedrone addition to VH in the concentration of 10 µg/cm3. Graphic abstract


Author(s):  
Mauro Aimar ◽  
Sebastiano Foti

ABSTRACT The possible amplification of seismic waves in soil deposits is crucial for the seismic design of buildings and geotechnical systems. The most common approaches for the numerical simulation of seismic site response are the equivalent linear (EQL) and the nonlinear (NL). Even though their advantages and limitations have been investigated in several studies, the relative field of applicability is still under debate. This study tested both methods over a wide population of soil models, which were subjected to a set of acceleration time histories recorded from strong earthquakes. A thorough comparison of the results of the EQL and the NL approaches was carried out, to identify the conditions in which the relative differences are significant. This assessment allowed for the definition of simplified criteria to predict when the two schemes are or are not compatible for large expected shaking levels. The proposed criteria are based on simple and intuitive parameters describing the soil deposit and the ground-motion parameters, which can be predicted straightforwardly. Therefore, this study provides a scheme for the choice between the EQL and the NL approaches that can be used even at the preliminary design stages. It appears that the EQL approach provides reliable amplification estimates in soil deposits with thickness up to 30 m, except for very deformable soils, but this depth range may be extended at long vibration periods. This result reveals a good level of reliability of the EQL approach for various soil conditions encountered in common applications, even for high-intensity shaking.


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