The Alienation of Social Sciences from “The Social”: The Experience of Sociology Education at Kurdish Universities (KUs), Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Authors: Hewa H. Khedir, Sangar Y. Salih

This paper examines the extent to which sociology in Kurdish Universities (KUs), Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is connected to the reality of Kurdish society. In this regard, the reflections of Kurdish “the social” in teaching and sociological research have been studied. Methodologically, the research employed qualitative research techniques by conducting (16) semi-structured interviews with professors and three focus-group interviews with students from sociology departments at three prominent universities in KRI. Findings show that the alienation of sociology as a discipline has apparent manifestations in teaching sociology and to a lesser extent in sociological research. Sociology curricula in the three departments have not effectively made Kurdish society, culture, politics the subject matter for sociology education. Writings about Kurdish society, though not plentiful in Kurdish language, have scarcely if ever, been used in teaching. Assignments remain primarily traditional (paper-based exams) and the field work is not systematically oriented and supervised. As to sociological research in KUs, in spite of the connection of those projects to a wide array of social issues in Kurdistan, challenges remain with the usage of research in teaching and lack of methodological diversity in most of the projects.


Journal: Advances in Applied Sociology
DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2020.102003 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98430 (metadata)

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Evaluation of Multiparametric MRI of the Prostate: Impact of Standardized Examination Protocols and the Endorectal Coil

Authors: Finn Rampoldt, Frank Huebner, Stephan Zangos, Andreas Bucher,
Jan-Erik Scholtz, Moritz Kaup, Sebastian Fischer, Thomas J. Vogl, Boris Bodelle

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the patient population, different MRI examination protocols and the patient’s acceptance of the endorectal coil in the diagnosis of prostate cancer regarding the current discussion in PI-RADS v2.1. Material and Methods: In our institute, 256 patients were examined with different protocols and separated into six groups. The value of the different MRI protocols was identified by analyzing sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value and positive predictive value. The patient population was tested for statistically significant differences in their characteristics to detect a distortion of the results. The patients’ acceptance of endorectal coil was evaluated by a query. Results: In total 4.7% of the patients would not recommend a MRI examination because of subjective physical strain and 65.6% of all patients subjectively saw a benefit in the examination in regard to an optimal diagnostic process. The protocol groups reached a sensitivity from 66.7% – 100%, a specificity from 40% – 75%, a positive predictive value from 33.3% – 80% and a negative predictive value from 66.7% – 100%. Conclusion: MRI of the prostate is a safe and comfortable tool with high sensitivity and negative predictive value and the potential of ruling out a clinically significant prostate cancer. However, a general recommendation for the use of biparametric MRI could not be given, considering a higher sensitivity could be performed when using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI or spectroscopy.


Journal: Open Journal of Medical Imaging
DOI: 10.4236/ojmi.2020.101003

Paper Id: 98408 (metadata)

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Two-Dimensional Stochastic Rotation Dynamics for Fluid Simulation

Authors: Benoît Crespin, Công Tâm Tran, Manuella Cerbelaud, Arnaud Videcoq, Emmanuelle Darles

This paper presents a new method for fluid simulation based on Stochastic Rotation Dynamics. The SRD model relies on a particle-based representation, but does not consider incompressibility. We generalize this model by introducing additional computation steps in order to handle this type of behavior, and also two-way coupling between the fluid and immersed objects. As a proof of concept, our method is implemented on the CPU to produce different types of simulations such as dam-break flood, falling droplets and mixing of two fluids.


Journal: Journal of Computer and Communications
DOI: 10.4236/jcc.2020.82003 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98351 (metadata)

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Modeling of Adhesive Particles Using a Combination of the Two-Body Interaction and Phase-Field Methods

Author: Takuya Uehara

Discrete materials such as powders and granular materials have been widely used due to their specific characteristics. The precise evaluation is accordingly becoming important, and various numerical schemes have been developed. However, the interactions among the constituent particles are still difficult to model precisely. Especially, contact conditions, which vary with material properties and circumstances, are difficult to formulate. In this study, a computational model for simulating adhesive particles on contact in a many-particle system is proposed. The interaction between the particles was represented by a two-body repulsive force that depends on the distance between particles and an additional adhesive force at the contact point. A phase-field variable was introduced to express the surface of each particle, and the adhesive force was formulated using the phase-field distribution. As a result, the adhesion of particles was properly expressed. For a mono-particle system, neighboring particles adhered and uniformly aggregated, while for a dual-particle system, several characteristic patterns were obtained depending on the initial arrangement of the particles. Repulsive contact was also considered as a specific case, and the corresponding results were obtained.


Journal: Open Journal of Modelling and Simulation
DOI: 10.4236/ojmsi.2020.82003 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98347 (metadata)

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Expression of Fusion Lytic Peptides Promotes Fungal Disease Resistance in Transgenic Plants

Authors: George S. Biliarski, Bakhyt Yertaeva, Amitava Mitra

Many organisms produce small proteins which exhibit antimicrobial activities. In recent decades, the biological role of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) has been recognized as the main factor in the defense mechanisms against a broad range of pathogenic microbes. The increased worldwide incidence of microbial resistance to antibiotics makes AMPs promising alternative for the control of microbial disease. Exploring the potential of AMPs in transgenic crops could lead to the development of new and improved cultivars which are resistant to various economically important diseases. In the present study, two fusion lytic peptide gene constructs coding for antimicrobial peptides were expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana tobacco plants and tested against three fungal pathogens, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Pythium sp. Detached-leaf bioassay was employed for the transgenic plants carrying the fusion lytic peptide constructs (ORF13 and RSA1), transgenic vector only control plants (1234), and wild-type control plants (WT) against the three fungal pathogens. Symptom area of each leaf was measured with high accuracy and data were recorded and processed by statistical analyses. The results showed that transgenic plant lines ORF13 and RSL1 have substantial resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum infection, producing significantly smaller lesion areas compared to vector only plant line 1234 and wild type plants. These transgenic lines also provided resistance against Rhizoctonia solani, however, these lines were not effective against the other fungal pathogen Pythium sp.


Journal: American Journal of Plant Sciences
DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2020.112012 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98325 (metadata)

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Herbivory Effects on Ephedra spp. in the Chihuahuan Desert

Authors: Walter G. Whitford, Yosef Steinberger

Two species of Ephedra: E. trifurca and E. torreyana inhabit shrub and grassland habitats in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. E. torreyana is limited to black grama grasslands where grasses are taller than the shrub. E. torreyana is heavily browsed by vertebrates and E. trifurca is browsed during some years. We established an experiment with cylindrical exclosures that excluded rabbits and rodents, rabbits but accessible to rodents, for comparison with E. torreyana plants available to all herbivores. Plants accessible to all vertebrate herbivores were significantly smaller with shorter stem lengths than plants in exclosures. We concluded that E. torreyana in black grama grassland are largely hidden from vertebrate herbivores and that intense herbivory reflects the degraded state of the study site which makes the E. torreyana evergreen shrubs apparent to vertebrates.


Journal: Open Journal of Ecology
DOI: 10.4236/oje.2020.102003 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98285 (metadata)

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Analysis of the Mechanism of Foreign Trade Affecting Energy Consumption: Based on Chinese City Data

Author: Chaohua Ma

The vigorous development of China’s economy and the rapid growth of foreign trade are inseparable from the huge energy consumption. In this paper, the decomposition analysis method is used to decompose the energy consumption growth of 285 prefecture-level and above cities in China from 2004 to 2013 into the scale, composition and technique effects. Based on the decomposition results, the IV method is used to solve the endogenous problem in the impact mechanism of China’s foreign trade on energy consumption growth. It is concluded that there was a significant positive correlation between foreign trade and total energy consumption growth, mainly through positive correlation of the scale effect and negative correlation of the technique effect, and the scale effect plays a leading role, the composition effect is not significant.


Journal: Journal of Service Science and Management
DOI: 10.4236/jssm.2020.131008 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98259 (metadata)

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Microwave Irradiation Effect on Intermolecular and Intramolecular Friedel-Crafts Acylation Reaction

Authors: Yutaka Okada, Arisa Fujitsu

The effect of microwave irradiation on the intermolecular and intramolecular Friedel-Crafts acylation of aromatic compounds was investigated. Microwave irradiation had no effect on the intermolecular reaction but had an accelerating effect on the intramolecular reaction. This enhanced intramolecular reactivity that was attributed to the high probability of close proximity between the reaction sites.


Journal: Green and Sustainable Chemistry
DOI: 10.4236/gsc.2020.101002 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98230 (metadata)

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A Dynamic Model of Mentoring for Hospitality Leadership Development

Authors: Lori J. Sipe, Mark Testa

Mentoring programs have become mainstay methods of developing leadership skills in the hospitality and tourism context. The following provides the theoretical foundation and overview of a mentoring program implemented for a blended graduate hospitality management program. This provides a model for others seeking to create hybrid mentoring for leadership development. Through structured reflection assignments and industry mentors, the Mentor EDGE program has countered many of the potential drawbacks of traditional mentoring programs, particularly in the online space.


Journal: Open Journal of Leadership
DOI: 10.4236/ojl.2020.91002 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98212 (metadata)

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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Automatic Evaluation Strategies for Paraphrase Generation Systems

Authors: Tulu Tilahun Hailu, Junqing Yu, Tessfu Geteye Fantaye

Paraphrase is an expression of a text with alternative words and orders to achieve a better clarity. Paraphrases have been found vital for augmenting training dataset, which aid to enhance performance of machine learning models that intended for various natural language processing (NLP) tasks. Thus, recently, automatic paraphrase generation has received increasing attention. However, evaluating quality of generated paraphrases is technically challenging. In the literature, the importance of generated paraphrases is tended to be determined by their impact on the performance of other NLP tasks. This kind of evaluation is referred as extrinsic evaluation, which requires high computational resources to train and test the models. So far, very little attention has been paid to the role of intrinsic evaluation in which quality of generated paraphrase is judged against predefined ground truth (reference paraphrases). In fact, it is also very challenging to find ideal and complete reference paraphrases. Therefore, in this study, we propose semantic or meaning oriented automatic evaluation metric that helps to evaluate quality of generated paraphrases against the original text, which is an intrinsic evaluation approach. Further, we evaluate quality of the paraphrases by assessing their impact on other NLP tasks, which is an extrinsic evaluation method. The goal is to explore the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic evaluation methods. To ensure the effectiveness of proposed evaluation methods, extensive experiments are done on different publicly available datasets. The experimental results demonstrate that our proposed intrinsic and extrinsic evaluation strategies are promising. The results further reveal that there is a significant correlation between intrinsic and extrinsic evaluation approaches.


Journal: Journal of Computer and Communications
DOI: 10.4236/jcc.2020.82001 (PDF)
Paper Id: 98203 (metadata)

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