Search

Search

Search Results (10)

An Applied Local Wisdom to Manage Water for Developing Riverside Community: A Case Study of the Lam Ta Kong River Basin

Problem statement: An integrated water resource management is accepted technique to solve the water resource problems both water shortage and flood plane in order to improve human life. The combination between local wisdom and modern technology by farmer participation is a main part of integrated management. The mentioned techniques had been being applied for human life in the northeast region of Thailand. Approach: This study investigated the local wisdom of water resource management and an application of the local wisdom to manage water resource for developing the economic, society and culture of Lam Ta Kong’s community, Nakhorn Ratchasima province, Thailand. Information was investigated from relevant document and field survey including questionnaire and interview. Results: The result founded that there were two types of the local wisdoms including an original local wisdom on water management and a combination of original and modern science local wisdom to manage available water. For original wisdom, there were earth dam, rock dam, rocks dyke, wooden weir, waterwheel and shallow well that were found in source and midst of the river basin. They constructed the dams and weirs barrier flow river along the Lam Ta Kong River in order to storage water for using purposes in dry season and to mitigate flood plane during rainy season as an early age of the local wisdom. The waterwheel was used to bail water from river to their community. For the combination of original and modern science, there were concrete dam, Watergate, irrigating tube, irrigation channel, water pump, water pump dynamo and underground water drilling that were found at the source, midst and tide tail of the river basin. These combined local wisdoms are considered as a current apparatus in water resource management of the area. The stored water was managed with annual rainfall for cultivation, industrial, family activity and residences for the necessaries of life. Conclusion/recommendations: The original local wisdom had the most important role to develop the Lam Ta Kong’s community and farmer life from past to present that is disappearing. In the present, the community and farmers still have been being used the combined local wisdom to manage water for developing the economic, society and culture of Lam Ta Kong’s Community.

Citation :
Kongsat, S., A. Kangrang and K. Srisa-Ard, 2009. An Applied Local Wisdom to Manage Water for Developing Riverside Community: A Case Study of the Lam Ta Kong River Basin. J. Soc. Sci., 5: 134-138.
DOI: 10.3844/jssp.2009.134.138

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/jssp.2009.134.138

Assessing the Environmental Attitude among Pupil Teachers in Relation To Responsible Environmental Behavior: A Leap towards Sustainable Development

Problem statement: Recognizing the importance of ’Environmental Education’ to be introduced in every level of school education, agencies responsible for curriculum reforms and text books preparation in India have made the subject as an integral part. It is felt necessary to investigate whether the teachers, who are disseminating the knowledge, are equipped with environmental attitude and the behavior towards environment so that they may shape up the behavior of their students. Thus, the present study is pertinent to be conducted over trainee teachers perusing B.Ed course intended to hone the skills for future profession and desirable criteria to be a ‘School Teacher’ to ascertain relationship of Responsible Environmental Behavior (REB) with Environmental Attitude (EA) and Scientific Attitude (SA). Approach: Present study involves descriptive survey research with a sample of 300 pupil teachers from randomly selecting four Teachers’ training institute affiliated to University of Calcutta, India. Data is subjected to descriptive statistics, t-test, F-test as well as coefficient of correlation over pre-service and in-service pupil teachers belonging to Science; Commerce and Humanities streams of studies. Results: The result shows low correlation between EA and REB of pupil teachers while there is a significant correlation between REB and SA. Similarly, there are significant differences for both EA and REB between in-service and pre-service teachers whereas a significant effect of courses of study on EA is reported with no significant effect on REB of pupil teachers. Conclusion: The study suggests redesigning activities involved in teachers’ training courses and assessing the determinant attitudes which may lead to responsible behavior of pupil teachers towards the green earth. The curriculum for teacher training should focus on developing scientific attitude irrespective of stream of affiliation of prospective teachers along with opening a field of research, eco-psychology, for further research.

Citation :
Lahiri, S., 2011. Assessing the Environmental Attitude among Pupil Teachers in Relation To Responsible Environmental Behavior: A Leap towards Sustainable Development. J. Soc. Sci., 7: 33-41.
DOI: 10.3844/jssp.2011.33.41

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/jssp.2011.33.41

Contributions on Laser Driven Inertial Confinement Fusion

The following modified preprint of a chapter in the forthcoming book by Guillermo Velarde and Natividad Carpintero Santamaria Inertial Confinement Nuclear Fusion: A Historical Approach by its Pioneers with personal comments is presented here as an example about the long years difficult developments towards the aim for producing unlimited, safe and clean nuclear energy in the same way as it is the energy source of the sun. There are arguments that the most recent developments with the plasma block ignition using petawatt-picosecond laser pulses may lead to a fusion power station with a highly simplified operation such that the cost of electricity may be three or more times lower than any energy source on earth, opening the golden age with dramatic consequences for human life and the environment. Applied sciences in all fields, economics and politics may be stimulated just by considering these consequences though these new results on Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) need to be further examined and developed on a broad basis.

Citation :
Hora, H., 2005. Contributions on Laser Driven Inertial Confinement Fusion. Am. J. Applied Sci., 2: 1085-1094.
DOI: 10.3844/ajassp.2005.1085.1094

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/ajassp.2005.1085.1094

Eclecticism Beyond Orthodoxies: African Social Science Research in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

This study examines the importance of social science research on HIV/AIDS in Africa. There is a dearth of social science research on HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa as available literature focus essentially on biomedical and epidemiological aspect of HIV/AIDS research and behavioral changes. In Africa however, efforts at preventing and mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic will have to consider the social dimension of the epidemic. This study argues for a distinct social science research on HIV/AIDS which will, first, enhance ownership of Africans in participation in HIV/AIDS research; second, developed within a specific African orientation in mind and third, relevant/ essential to Africa. Such research must equally be multi/interdisciplinary involving stakeholders and responsive to the methodological challenges posed by HIV/AIDS research.

Citation :
Nom, T.A. 2005. Eclecticism Beyond Orthodoxies: African Social Science Research in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS. J. Soc. Sci., 1:178-183.
DOI: 10.3844/jssp.2005.178.183

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/jssp.2005.178.183

Re-Paving the Road Built by Chemistry: A Challenge to Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Biochemistry’s birth can be placed at the end of the nineteenth century, when Eduard Buchner made a clever interpretation of experimental observations on the generation of gas bubbles after addition (the original purpose was preservation) of sucrose to a yeast crude extract (Lagerkvist, 2005). Intelligently, Buchner concluded that the disaccharide had been fermented by broken cells’ suspension to produce CO2, as it would have happened in intact yeast. This finding revealed the fallacy of the vitalist theory, thus opening the door to biochemistry, which emerged with the challenge to identify structure and function of cell molecular components. The characterization of many biomolecules and the discovery of diverse metabolic routes constitute significant achievements obtained in the first half of the twentieth century (Nelson and Cox, 2013). Later, the elucidation of the double-helix DNA structure by Watson and Crick (1953) and works by Ochoa and Kornberg making clear the action mechanisms of enzymes that process nucleic acids (Nobel Media AB, 2014), gave a new perspective in biosciences. The emergence of the so-called molecular biology established an approach to characterize structural components that appropriately complement with those from biochemistry. The combination of both strategies potentiated the capacity to gain data on structure-function relationships that are critical for the understanding of cellular processes. This allowed us to reach the huge advance in knowledge in biosciences that we now dispose.Organic chemistry experienced stunning developments throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. To a large degree, the advance of chemistry (that had been started earlier as a science) took place separately and with scarce (if any) links to biological chemistry. The accomplishments singularly obtained in the areas of chemistry of synthesis and petrochemstry (Yeh and Lim, 2007) strongly modified manufacturing processes after the industrial revolution. This consolidated a means to produce many materials and compounds that provide most of the goods and services of high technological standard in modern human society. Nevertheless, together with the success reached from refining petroleum and the synthesis of novel and helpful molecules, a crucial obstacle arose because of lack of sustainability and care respect to environmental conservation (Joyce and Stewart, 2012). Three main facts result in a critical scenario. One (and merely) is that oil reserves are limited and, sooner of later, they will run out. Also, materials currently utilized are highly recalcitrant to degradation, complicating their disposal or recycling. Third, but not least, the massive use of carbon fossil sources unbalanced the concentration of gases in the atmosphere, with a rise in those that cause green-house effect and the consequent climate change. The whole situation is untenable and demands quick responses including the establishment of sweeping change in the procedures to fulfill the demands for fuels, lubricants, polymers and assorted materials required by the world’s growing population.The first initiatives to reconvert petrochemical processes include methodologies to produce bioethanol (from starch and soluble sugars) and biodiesel (from natural fats and oils). While these methods for first-generation biofuels are an important response, they have some associated drawbacks including the following (between others): (i) They generate sub-products needing recycling; (ii) the “bio” component is limited mainly to the starting material, but the rest of the process involves chemical methods with little use of biological tools; and (iii) the natural sources used are important feeding stock for humans, thus creating an ethic dilemma (employ resources for food or for fuels?). A broader vision which seeks to solve these critical issues, also using multifunctional strategies is given by the biorefinery approach (Kamm and Kamm, 2007). This approach includes the development of industrial biotechnology processes (not only for the production of fuels, but also to obtain energy, lubricants, polymers, as well as special chemicals) with use of raw materials with low or no nutritious value and the waste recycling. Thus, the objective is an integrated biorefinery for conversion of oil refineries, from sources and with procedures based (ideally entirely) on biological tools. Perhaps the ultimate goal of the biorefinery approach could be associated with developing technologies to reach something close to the “brown revolution” imagined by Spinrad (2008) in his science fiction short story.Given the urgent demands for establishing strategies to produce goods and services in a framework of sustainability and friendly relationship with environment, the call for basic research in biochemistry and molecular biology has never been greater. Clearly, the development of appropriate biorefinery resources requires obtaining different cellular systems and biomolecules suitable for application in various industrial processes. The stage is set to develop new compounds that replace those currently derive from petroleum, with strategic benefit of being of renewable source and with high degree of (bio) degradability. It will be critical carry out studies to increase knowledge on the occurrence and regulation of metabolic pathways in different autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms; including exhaustive analysis of genomic data from many prokaryotes (e.g., anaerobic bacteria) as well as eukaryotes (as different algae, including diatoms). This will allow us to characterize mechanisms for synthesis of biomolecules having the physicochemical and rheological properties desirable to be used as plastics, plasticizers, lubricants, adhesives and many other applications. Also, these studies will contribute to identify pathways able to break down different functional chemical groups for their recycling and bioremediation. It is worth noting that the characterization of enzymes is an area of high potential, with the identification of different catalytic domains and the establishment of structure-to-function relationships to optimize the efficiency of different reactions and modify the affinity of proteins toward different molecules. Increasing understanding at the structural and functional biochemical level will strengthen the platform for the design of novel enzymes by approaches of theozyme/compuzyme type (Tantillo et al., 1998; Dechancie et al., 2007), complemented by practice of protein engineering. The latter will be a powerful tool to be used in combination with technology allowing us to construct living cells with a synthetic genome (Venter, 2013). In our view, relevant biotechnological advances would be developed within coming decades if the resources are properly invested to achieve these objectives, vital for the successful coexistence of humankind and earth.AcknowledgmentThe research thanks Drs. Hannah Sivak and Luciana Funtowicz for critical reading. AAI is a Superior Investigator from CONICET and his work is supported by UNL, CONICET and ANPCyT.

Citation :

DOI: 10.3844/ajbbsp.2015.3.4

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/ajbbsp.2015.3.4

The Role of Developmental Psychology to Understanding History, Culture and Social Change

Developmental psychology of the past generations has evidenced that the whole pre-modern humankind stood on pre-operational or concrete-operational stages. Only the modern humankind has also developed the fourth stage of human development, the adolescent stage of formal operations. Lew Vygotski was 1933 one of the first to earmark convincingly the connection of socialisation (school education) and cognitive development as a precondition to reach the “higher psychological processes”, as the Russian school designated what the school of Geneva called “formal operations”. The essay documents that developmental psychology is necessary to reconstruct the history of magic, religion, sciences, philosophy, law, morals, politics, economy, population, arts, customs and mentality. It is impossible to understand human’s history on earth and social change from Pleistocene up to modern times without developmental psychology. Moreover, the emergence of the formal operations during the early modern times caused the rise of modern, industrial society, including its main parts “industrialism”, “sciences”, “Enlightenment”, “humanism” and “democracy”. These five main phenomena of modernity manifest higher stages of psyche and cognition, having arisen in the same region and in the same era. Developmental psychology is able to explain their nature and their internal coherence, while traditional social sciences have no means available to deal with these phenomena, considering their common origination as an accidental phenomenon or misinterpreting it.

Citation :
Oesterdiekhoff, G.W., 2014. The role of developmental psychology to understanding history, culture and social change. J. Soc. Sci., 10: 185.195.
DOI: 10.3844/jssp.2014.185.195

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/jssp.2014.185.195

Protecting crop species from biotic and abiotic constraints in the era of Global Change: are we ready for this challenge?

Reliable and affordable supply of food is of crucial importance to the progress and stability of human societies. During the last century, we have assisted to an extraordinary increase of crop yields, especially for the most widespread and consumed crop species, such as rice, wheat, corn and soybean. The Broadbalk experiment, one of the oldest continuous agronomic experiments in the world, have showed how half of the increase of crop productivity is mainly due to the improvements introduced through plant breeding and half through to agronomical practices, although both are dependent on each other (Rasmussen et al., 1998). The development of a huge numbers of scientific plant breeding programs has been of vital relevance in improving crop varieties and productivity. In addition, collection and spread of improved germplasm around the world have ensured that all breeders could quickly benefit from the advances obtained by others. On the other side, based on Lawes and Gilbert's work in the previous century, the main advances in agronomy consisted on the continued use of fertilizers, the true value of which could only be realized in the presence of suitable varieties and in the absence (or under controlled pressure) of competition from weeds, pest and diseases. Therefore, crop protection became crucial and it was achieved by the improvements of the agrochemical industry, which has developed sophisticated, hightargeting and more efficient agrochemicals. Taken together, the use of new high-yield varieties in association with chemical fertilizers and agrochemicals, controlled water-supply (irrigation), and new methods of cultivation, including mechanization, are commonly identified under the term “Green Revolution” which was conied between '30 and '60 and was responsible in some cases for doubling (or even triplicating) the agricultural production for many crops species, in particular cereals. The incremented crop productivity has brought many social gains, such as reducing the malnutrition, lowering food price, increasing food security. Moreover, since the economic sustainability is the most important factor for the adoption of a crop for farmers (Sgroi et al., 2014; Testa et al., 2015), the increased crop productivity occurred in the last decades, has determined a positive impact on the development of several rural areas. The increase of crop yield, has caused, on the other side, large changes in rural societies due to the migration of population from the countryside (caused by the decrease of manpower needs) to towns and cities where the industrialization offered more opportunities. The better living conditions lead to the highest increment of word population that has ever been documented: from 2.5 b people to 5.2 b in 40 years (1950-1990; UNR, 2004). Nowadays, word population is predicted to increase from 7.4 b people (May, 2016), to 8.4 b in 2030 and 9.5 b in 2050 (U.S Census Bureau). In addition, people rise out of poverty, higher living standards, such as greater meat consumption, and personal mobility will increase even more the demand on food production (and quality), animal feed, fiber, and fuels. Thus feeding, clothing and fueling a more densely populated planet is probably the key challenge of our century. Industrialization and anthropic activities have also imposed profound alterations to the environment and, decade after decade, have contributed to alter dramatically the life conditions on Earth leading to the so called “Global Change” (also referred as “Global Warming” or “Climate Change”), phenomenon from which we are actually trying to run for cover. Based on several reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it emerges as the most hazardous effects of Global Change, such as rising temperatures and heat waves, prolonged periods of drought, and incremented levels of pollutants in all the compartments of biosphere can cause more frequent and severe fluctuations in crop productivity, but also can seriously threaten the availability of arable land; for example increasing the amplitude of soil/water salinization or soil erosion. The total surface of arable soil is also undermined by the constant requirement of lands for human activities that, beyond the direct effect of overbuilding, in many cases also increase the pollution of surrounding areas, for example through the release of heavy metals, hydrocarbons, xenobiotics or other pollutants in soil, water, and/or in the atmosphere. Global Change also influences the ecology of weeds, pests and disease, with possible implications for crop protection and pesticide use. The ability of science to make predictions on the impact of Global Change on ecosystem interactions is limited because models that include multiple interactive effects of Global Change are still relatively rare and the comprehension of results obtained from model systems results quite complicated. For this reason, despite the scientific community concords on the dramatic impact of Global Change on crop productivity, predictions may have sometimes-different facets depending on the information source. Some researchers reported however that in the time span 1981-2001, changes in precipitation and increased temperatures have already induced annual losses of wheat, maize and barley production of about 40 million tons per year (Lobell and Field, 2007). Thus, beyond future prediction(s) of Global Change effect, humanity is still experiencing the effects this phenomenon for at least three decades. It is evident that in a near future a key challenge for humanity is to increase the productivity of crop species while decreasing water supply, the use of fossil fuels, chemical fertilizer, pesticides (and more in general agrochemicals), and other negative environmental inputs. On the other side, less clear is how agriculture's output can increase so substantially without significantly increasing its environmental footprint. Plant physiology and biochemistry have developed as powerful disciplines during the 20th century, but only in a few cases they have led to relevant crop improvement, and in any case, nothing as compared to the amazing gains on crop productivity obtained through the classical genetic breeding from 1930 to 1960. This is likely because the links between the biochemistry and genetics of the processes described were not established, but rather high-yield genotypes were selected only for this desired feature lacking to explore the reason on the bases of this gain. The situation has changed after the discovery of the DNA structure by Watson and Crick (1953) and even more after '70, when the first positive results with transgenic plants were obtained. From that time onward, the ability to control one or few genes has also deepened the knowledge on the biochemical mechanisms underlying the genetic process that has been modified. This new approach, associated with the rapid development of “omic” sciences, has the potentiality to lead to significant advances either in crop yield, quality, and/or plant protection in a near future. The future need for higher crop productivity must parallel with a reduction of agronomical inputs as in the past high-yield genotypes have been selected for their performances with high inputs, especially fertilizers and pesticides. Agricultural emissions from crop and livestock production grew from 4.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 eq) in 2001 to over 5.3 billion tons in 2011. In the same period, annual emissions from fertilizers increased by 37% and in 2011 the world total annual emissions from synthetic fertilizers averaged 725 Mt CO2 eq, about 14% of total emissions from agriculture in the same year (Tubiello et al., 2014). Advances in the basic knowledge of plant genetic, physiology and biochemistry should thereby be address to increase the efficiency of input utilization by plants in order to reduce the input level. Technological advances on instrumentations, such as precision farming tools (such as GPS tracking devices designed for farming), as well as agronomical practices (i.e. advanced organic farming, eco-friendly soil amendments) can also significant contribute to achieve this goal. The extensive employ of synthetic pesticides against pests of agricultural and veterinary importance, especially in developing countries, lead to important concerns for human health and the environment (Desneux et al., 2007; Hemingway and Ranson, 2000; Naqqash et al., 2016). In this scenario, the need for effective and eco-friendly control tools has gained increasing attention in latest years (Benelli, 2015; 2016). Besides this, a further challenge for crop and livestock protection nowadays, is the improvement of the success of biological control programs, developing effective quarantine procedures and proper evaluation of the nontarget effects of biocontrol agents (Hajek et al., 2016). Furthermore, chemoecological knowledge about pests and biocontrol agents may represent a valid help to improve integrated pest management strategies. Indeed, foraging kairomones exploited by carnivorous arthropods have been successfully tested as field lures to attract carnivores in damaged agricultural habitats. However, practical applications of foraging kairomones seem to be restricted by major concerns including carnivorous arthropod habituation, carnivorous arthropod time-wasting on victim-free crops, exploitation of host-borne cues by hyperparasitoids and lack of foraging kairomones specificity due to tritrophic interactions sharing a given habitat that use identical chemical signals, thus confounding speciesspecific biological control agents (Kaplan, 2012). Further research on new applications of physical and chemical signals exploited by carnivorous arthropods is urgently required. Physical and olfactory cues can be used to experience mass-reared predators and parasitoids, via sensitization or associative learning practices (Giunti et al., 2016). This could help to overcome critical steps in mass rearing of biocontrol organisms and improve beneficial performances of carnivorous arthropods in the field. In view of the growing scientific interest on the effects of Global Changes factors on the relationship between plant-pest-environment, in this issue a collection of papers focused on this topic are presented. Beyond awareness of the deleterious impact of Global Change, factor which should lead humanity to a wiser use Earth's resources, we believe that only the in-depth comprehension of mechanisms adopted by crop species to endurance under stress (Landi et al., 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015; Pardossi et al., 2015; Penella et al., 2016; Tattini et al., 2014) associated with new eco-friendly methods to control crop pests and diseases may represent a way to contrast the effect of Global Change meanwhile we are attempting to increase crop productivity for supporting the needs of an increasingly crowded planet. References Benelli, G., 2015. Research in mosquito control: current challenges for a brighter future. Parasitol. Res, 114: 2801-2805. Benelli, G., 2016. Plant-mediated biosynthesis of nanoparticles as an emerging tool against mosquitoes of medical and veterinary importance: A review. Parasitol. Res., 115: 23-34. Desneux, N., A. Decourtye and J.M. Delpuech, 2007. The sublethal effects of pesticides on beneficial arthropods. Annu. Rev. Entomol., 52: 81-106. Giunti, G., A. Canale, R.H. Messing, E. Donati and C. Stefanini et al., 2015. Parasitoid learning: Current knowledge and implications for biological control. Biol. Control., 90: 208-219. Hemingway, J. and H. Ranson, 2000. Insecticide resistance in insect vectors of human disease. Annu. Rev. Entomol., 45: 371-391. Hajek, A.E., B.P. Hurley, M. Kenis, J.R. Garnas and S.J. Bush et al., 2016. Exotic biological control agents: A solution or contribution to arthropod invasions? Biol. Invasions.
DOI: 10.1007/s10530-016-1075-8 Kaplan, I., 2012. Attracting carnivorous arthropods with plant volatiles: The future of biocontrol or playing with fire? Biol. Control, 60: 77-89. Landi, M., E. Degl'Innocenti, A. Pardossi and L. Guidi, 2012. Antioxidant and photosynthetic responses in plants under boron toxicity: A review. Am. J. Agric. Biol. Sci., 7: 255-270.
DOI: 10.3844/ajabssp.2012.255.270 Landi, M., L. Guidi, A. Pardossi, M. Tattini and K.S. Gould, 2014. Photoprotection by foliar anthocyanins mitigates effects of boron toxicity in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). Planta, 240: 941-953. Landi, M., A. Pardossi, D. Remorini and L. Guidi, 2013. Antioxidant and photosynthetic response of a purple-leaved and a green-leaved cultivar of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) to boron excess. Environ. Exp. Bot., 85: 64-75. Landi, M., M. Tattini and K.S. Gould, 2015. Multiple functional roles of anthocyanins in plantenvironment interactions. Environ. Exp. Bot., 119: 4-17. Lobell, D.B. and C.B. Field, 2007. Global scale climatecrop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming. Environ. Res. Lett., 2: 014002-014002.
DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/2/1/014002 Naqqash, M.N., A. Gökçe, A. Bakhsh and M. Salim, 2016. Insecticide resistance and its molecular basis in urban insect pests. Parasitol Res.
DOI: 10.1007/s00436-015-4898-9. Pardossi, A., M. Romani, G. Carmassi, L. Guidi and M. Landi et al., 2015. Boron accumulation and tolerance in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) with green or purple leaves. Plant Soil, 395: 375-389. Penella, C., M. Landi, L. Guidi, S.G. Nebauer and E. Pellegrini et al., 2016. Salt-tolerant rootstock increase yeld of pepper under salinity through maintenance of photosynthetic performances and sink strength. J. Plant Physiol., 193: 1-11. Rasmussen, P.E., K.W.T Goulding, J.R. Brown, P.R. Grace and H.H. Janzen et al., 1998. Agroecosystem-longterm agroecosystem experiments: Assessing agricultural sustainability and global change. Science, 282: 893-896.
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5390.893 Sgroi, F., A.M. Di Trapani, R. Testa and S. Tudisca, 2014. Economic sustainability of early potato production in the Mediterranean area. Am. J. Appl. Sci., 11: 1598-1603.
DOI: 10.3844/ajassp.2014.1598.1603 Tattini, M., M. Landi, C. Brunetti, D. Remorini and K.S. Gould et al., 2014. Epidermal coumaroyl anthocyanins protect sweet basil against excess light stress: Multiple consequences of light attenuation. Physiol. Plantarum, 152: 585-598. Testa, R., M. Foderà, A.M. Di Trapani, S. Tudisca and F. Sgroi, 2015. Choice between alternative investments in agriculture: The role of organic farming to avoid the abandonment of rural areas. Ecol. Eng., 83: 227-232. Tubiello, F.N., M. Salvatore, R.D. Cóndor Golec, A. Ferrara and S. Rossi et al., 2014. Agriculture, forestry and other land use emissions by sources and removals by sinks. FAO report, EES/14-02 Working Paper No. 2 http://www.fao.org/docrep/019/i3671e/i3671e.pdf UNR, 2014. United Nations report. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/sixbi llion/sixbilpart1.pdf U.S Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/population/international/

Citation :

DOI: 10.3844/ajabssp.2016.51.53

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/ajabssp.2016.51.53

International Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research: A New Open Platform for Materials Science

Editorial
The International Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research (IJSGAMR) is a new peer-reviewed, open access journal, which covers all aspects of theoretical and practical research of materials science. The journal aims to promote international exchange of knowledge and broad discussion on advancements, outcomes and recent developments in materials research for engineering applications.

In the last years, the development of new materials and relevant technologies (i.e., industrial processes as well as constructional requirements) has been an ongoing challenge for researchers and engineers to answer to current societal demands: Energy savings, urban resilience and smart cities. In particular, buildings and civil infrastructures are very complex systems, in which single components are strongly linked to each other and their own actual performance/value (including structural, architectural, thermal aspects, etc) is actually affected by reciprocal interactions of single parts belonging to a complex assembly. In this view, buildings can represent both energy consumers and sources (thanks to solar cells or other renewable energies), while the infrastructures provide connections and information to this system. Nevertheless, given that both economical and environmental resources are limited and should be preserved, sustainable and resilient design solutions are unavoidable as well as necessary.
It is clear that the knowledge of the mechanical and durability features of constructional materials, as well as the related technologies, should be enhanced in order to allow the designers to control and effectively conceive the structural behavior, but even the infrastructure owners to plan the maintenance scenarios throughout the entire life cycle considering the potential impacts on the environment. Novel studies on recycled concrete have shown, for example, that the latter can be designed and produced reducing the environment pollution, without affecting its usual structural performances. On the other hand, nowadays metallurgical technology is developing even more challenging metal alloys reducing the emission of equivalent CO2 and minimizing the energy consumptions.
Nowadays, at the same time, the issue of structural safety under natural (e.g., seismic events, floods, landslides, etc.) and anthropic (e.g., blast, fire, impacts, etc.) exceptional loading scenarios is an urgent criticism still far from being solved. Indeed, examples of extreme loading scenarios are even more frequent. The tragic news of the terrorist attacks of recent years raise important questions regarding the real safety and reliability of existing and new buildings. In addition, often an explosion is followed or anticipated by fire. In these conditions, where materials and structures are pushed to their limits, the high performance features of new materials can represent a smart contribution to the design of robust buildings or to retrofit existing structural systems.
In this framework, the use of structural glass represents a key example. Originally considered for non-structural and secondary components in buildings only, glass has been strongly used in the last decades to ensure transparency, for windows and cladding walls. Despite glass is a well-known brittle material with limited tensile resistance, several studies and design applications proved that - especially once combined with other materials (e.g., steel, Fiber-Reinforced-Polymers, timber, etc.) - glass can offer very interesting structural performances and act as a novel constructional material. Hybrid glass systems have been successfully used as load-carrying components, in the form of beam, fins and columns, as well as in even geometrically complex façades, cladding walls, roofs, stairs. Interesting and promising safe design performances can be obtained also for blast-resistant glazing curtain walls, where most of the incoming energy can be dissipated by special connectors. Laminates and meta-materials are other examples of engineering answer to rising structural demands. The global structural behavior of laminates depends on the lamination stacking sequence, while the microstructure or lattice of meta-materials can provide a tuned property on the macro-scale. For example, it is possible to design materials with negative Poisson’s ratio or negative density. In addition, very promising results have been obtained for the so-called invisibility cloak that can shelter structures from earthquake or provide isolation from wave in a specific frequency range.
Metal alloys are other effective examples of challenging materials that have great impact on the market of constructions in terms of mechanical properties, recyclability and sustainability, optimization of constructional processes and limitation of related costs. For example, metal foams (i.e., cellular materials consisting of a solid metal with gas-filled pores comprising a large portion of the volume) are becoming very popular to anti-impact and/or anti-blast retaining systems, but some applications for composite deck with steel girders are also proposed with very promising spin-off. The metallurgic industry is also promoting and developing high performance steels, which guarantee very effective mechanical features (e.g., high yield stress, high toughness at low temperature, high ductility, low residual stress, etc.). The potential use of this class of steels ranges from high-rise tower, mega-structures, long span bridges to innovative fasteners. However, applications in seismic areas are very promising, because the use of high strength materials for non-dissipative members is effective to guarantee the fulfillment of the hierarchy of resistance. On the other hand, some interesting novel alloys (e.g., either steel or aluminum based) characterized by very low yield stress but high ductility are becoming very popular to design dissipative components in structural systems as well as anti-seismic devices based on the hysteretic dissipation. It is also worth noting that novel metal alloys are recently adopted for civil constructions. Indeed, brass has been recently used for dissipative devices due to its high friction coefficient. Titanium is widely used for aerospace structures, but recently some interesting applications in civil engineering are under development due to its resistance against corrosion and its stability at high temperature. Other examples of metal alloys with a wide range of application are the Shape-Memory Alloys (SMA). SMA is an alloy that recover its original shape after applied loads are removed. These lightweight materials are adopted in robotics, automotive, aerospace, biomedical industries and recently also in civil engineering for anti-seismic devices.
All themes related to the above mentioned and others innovative materials will be covered by the International Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research. In this regard, careful consideration is paid especially for theoretical, experimental and numerical investigation on novel solutions, including structural glass as well as hybrid systems, fiber-reinforced pultruded composites, laminates, polymers, metal alloys, high performance (both high and low strength) steels and shape memory alloys. Coverage also includes (but is not limited to): Design philosophy and safety concepts for extreme loading conditions, strength and stability, structural innovation, sustainability and architectural aspects, thermal performance of civil engineering materials, fabrication techniques relevant to the application of advanced materials as load-bearing components or assemblies in buildings.
The International Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research aims to serve as an effective platform and key resource for the promotion of scientific and technical exchange between academic scientists, professional engineers, designers. In this perspective, International Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research publishes high-quality research, including full-length original papers, as well as review articles, case studies, technical notes and short research letters. To this aim, all papers are subjected to blind review process by a distinguished team of international experts.On behalf of the Editorial Office and Editorial Board, we invite all Authors and Reviewers and thank them for the valuable contributions that they are going to give to the Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research.
We believe that we can develop the International Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research as a premier interdisciplinary open platform for materials science. 

The Editor-In-Chief and the Associate Editors.

Citation :

DOI: 10.3844/sgamrsp.2017.1.2

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/sgamrsp.2017.1.2

NASA Satellites Help us to Quickly Detect Forest Fires

The main idea is that, as the forests of the planet are getting smaller, too much wood is cut and the forests are made too slow, there are also large forest fires due to excessive heat, of people arguing with the law, or simply by chance. Extinguishing fires are generally difficult, interventions being difficult anyway due to the increased fire, the heavy access of the firefighters to the forest, the wind that often attacks the fire and especially due to the late intervention of the specialized firefighters. A first aid could come from finding out the moment when such a fire broke out and instantly signaling it with modern wireless systems. Today, the planet's best surveillance system is the one made with artificial geostationary satellites, which instantly signals the outbreak of the fire. The system set up by NASA is indeed the most efficient possible. Find out quickly by the outbreak of fire the chances for him to be controlled quickly grow very much. NASA's satellite tools are often the first to detect fires that are burning in distant regions and new fire locations are sent directly to field managers around the world in a few hours of satellite travel. Together, NASA's tools, including a number built and run by the JAS NASA lab in Pasadena, California, have detected fire-fighting actions by tracking fires by providing information on fire management and stair scaling in scar scars. NASA has a fleet of earth observation tools, many of which contribute to our understanding of the Earth's fire. Satellites in orbit around the poles provide observations of the entire planet several times a day, while satellites in geostationary orbit offer rough resolution images of fire, smoke and clouds every five to fifteen minutes. "NASA's satellite, land and space survey captures the total impact of the fire on the Earth, from early detection of smoke and ecosystems to decades after the fire," said Doug Morton, a researcher at Greenbelt, Maryland. Much of the remote sensing data that NASA collects for fires is quickly available to help disaster response efforts around the world. The NASA earthquake program supports this application science and mobilizes for high-risk global events that cover a range of natural hazards - not only fires, but also earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, severe weather, winter, tropical cyclones and volcanoes. In this study we want to propose the future use of robots instead of humans for such dangerous fire-fighting interventions in a forest in flame. Robotic and automated vehicles may be prepared to take over this difficult task for man, extinguishing such a fire making it simpler and less dangerous for humans.

Citation :

DOI: 10.3844/ajeassp.2018.288.296

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/ajeassp.2018.288.296

Educational Challenges in Computer-based Finite Element Analysis and Design of Structures

Computer simulations and computational methods, such as the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) have become essential methodologies in science and engineering during the last decades, in a wide variety of academic fields. Six decades after the invention of the digital computer, advanced FE simulations are used to enhance and leapfrog theoretical and experimental progress, at different levels of complexity. Particularly in Civil and Structural Engineering, significant research work has been made lately on the development of FE simulation codes, methodologies and validation techniques for understanding the behavior of large and complex structures such as buildings, bridges, dams, offshore structures and others. These efforts are aimed at designing structures that are resilient to natural excitations (wind loads, earthquakes, floods) as well as human-made threats (impact, fire, explosion and others). The skill set required to master advanced FEA is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring in-depth knowledge of advanced mathematics, numerical methods and their computational implementation, as well as engineering sciences. In this paper, we focus on the importance of sound and profound engineering education and knowledge about the theory behind the Finite Element Method to obtain correct and reliable analysis results for designing real-world structures. We highlight common mistakes made by structural engineers while simulating complex structures and the risk of structural damage because of human-made mistakes or errors in the model assumptions. The event of the collapse and eventual sinking of a concrete offshore platform in the North Sea is presented as a case study where a serious error in the finite element analysis played a crucial role leading to structural failure and collapse.

Citation :

DOI: 10.3844/jcssp.2018.1351.1362

PDF Link : https://thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/jcssp.2018.1351.1362