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Open AccessArticle
Religious Commitment, Subjective Income, and Satisfaction towards the Functioning of Democracy in Latin America. A Mediation Analysis Model Based on Latinobarómetro
Religions 2018, 9(6), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9060198 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Religion and politics in Latin America maintain a close relation that, along with a historical background in European colonization, remains in force through both being institutionalized in some political parties or ideologies, and diluted in the societies that make up this region. This
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Religion and politics in Latin America maintain a close relation that, along with a historical background in European colonization, remains in force through both being institutionalized in some political parties or ideologies, and diluted in the societies that make up this region. This paper examines the relation between three variables: religious commitment, subjective income, and satisfaction toward the functioning of Latin American democracies. To do so, we have constructed a hypothetical model based on a mediation analysis of 20,204 surveys that were collected by Latinobarómetro in 2016. The results confirm the existence of an indirect positive effect that is motivated by religious commitment, and mediates between perceived income and being satisfied with democracy in Latin America. In other words, as the respondents recognize that they have a greater subjective income and a greater religious commitment, they will probably manifest greater satisfaction toward the functioning of democracy. Such behavior highlights the referential nature of the religious experience by contributing to the emotional reinforcement of the social context perceived by Latin Americans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Alumina Porous Ceramics Obtained by Freeze Casting: Structure and Mechanical Behaviour under Compression
Ceramics 2018, 1(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/ceramics1010008 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The aim of the work is to analyse the mechanical behaviour of anisotropic porous alumina ceramics processed by freeze casting (ice templating). The freeze cast specimens were characterised by a lamellar structure with ellipsoidal pore shape, with a size ranging from 6 to
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The aim of the work is to analyse the mechanical behaviour of anisotropic porous alumina ceramics processed by freeze casting (ice templating). The freeze cast specimens were characterised by a lamellar structure with ellipsoidal pore shape, with a size ranging from 6 to 42 µm and 13 to 300 µm for the minor and major axes, respectively, as a function of the freezing rate and the powder and binder contents. The pore volume fraction ranged from 40 to 57%. SEM analysis of the porous structures after the compression test showed a typical deformation pattern caused by the porosity gradient through the specimen, as determined by X-ray radiography. The apparent elastic modulus of the anisotropic porous alumina ranged from 0.2 to 14 GPa and the compressive strength from 6 to 111 MPa, varying as a function of the process parameters which determine the pore network characteristics. The relationships between stress-strain behaviour in compression and the microstructure and texture were established. An analytical model based on a Gibson and Ashby relationship was used and adapted from SEM microstructural analysis after a mechanical test in order to predict the compressive strength of processed anisotropic alumina. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Construction of Red Fox Chromosomal Fragments from the Short-Read Genome Assembly
Genes 2018, 9(6), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9060308 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The genome of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was recently sequenced and assembled using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The assembly is of high quality, with 94X coverage and a scaffold N50 of 11.8 Mbp, but is split into 676,878 scaffolds, some of
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The genome of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was recently sequenced and assembled using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The assembly is of high quality, with 94X coverage and a scaffold N50 of 11.8 Mbp, but is split into 676,878 scaffolds, some of which are likely to contain assembly errors. Fragmentation and misassembly hinder accurate gene prediction and downstream analysis such as the identification of loci under selection. Therefore, assembly of the genome into chromosome-scale fragments was an important step towards developing this genomic model. Scaffolds from the assembly were aligned to the dog reference genome and compared to the alignment of an outgroup genome (cat) against the dog to identify syntenic sequences among species. The program Reference-Assisted Chromosome Assembly (RACA) then integrated the comparative alignment with the mapping of the raw sequencing reads generated during assembly against the fox scaffolds. The 128 sequence fragments RACA assembled were compared to the fox meiotic linkage map to guide the construction of 40 chromosomal fragments. This computational approach to assembly was facilitated by prior research in comparative mammalian genomics, and the continued improvement of the red fox genome can in turn offer insight into canid and carnivore chromosome evolution. This assembly is also necessary for advancing genetic research in foxes and other canids. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lifting the Lid on Financial Inclusion: Evidence from Emerging Economies
Int. J. Financial Stud. 2018, 6(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijfs6020059 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Financial inclusion has become a subject of growing interest for academics, professionals, and policy-makers in recent times. Researchers stress the importance of financial inclusion and highlight the significant role of financial institutions, such as banks, in promoting financial inclusion. Therefore, it is imperative
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Financial inclusion has become a subject of growing interest for academics, professionals, and policy-makers in recent times. Researchers stress the importance of financial inclusion and highlight the significant role of financial institutions, such as banks, in promoting financial inclusion. Therefore, it is imperative to analyse the role and commitment of banks in promoting financial inclusion, especially those financial institutions (i.e., Islamic banks) which came into existence to promote socio-economic justice through redistribution of wealth in society. The study is built on the argument that Islamic banking business model is based on intangible sources i.e., Shari’ah law and such sources are exploited to create value i.e., stability, profitability and financial inclusion. The empirical analysis support the hypothesis that Islamic banks utilize various tangible and non-tangible resources to promote financial inclusion. Hence, Islamic banks are serving as the ultimate source of financial inclusion in the society. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Three-D Mineralogical Mapping of the Kovdor Phoscorite–Carbonatite Complex, NW Russia: I. Forsterite
Minerals 2018, 8(6), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8060260 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The Kovdor alkaline-ultrabasic massif (NW Russia) is formed by three consequent intrusions: peridotite, foidolite–melilitolite and phoscorite–carbonatite. Forsterite is the earliest mineral of both peridotite and phoscorite–carbonatite, and its crystallization governed evolution of magmatic systems. Crystallization of forsterite from Ca-Fe-rich peridotite melt produced Si-Al-Na-K-rich
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The Kovdor alkaline-ultrabasic massif (NW Russia) is formed by three consequent intrusions: peridotite, foidolite–melilitolite and phoscorite–carbonatite. Forsterite is the earliest mineral of both peridotite and phoscorite–carbonatite, and its crystallization governed evolution of magmatic systems. Crystallization of forsterite from Ca-Fe-rich peridotite melt produced Si-Al-Na-K-rich residual melt-I corresponding to foidolite–melilitolite. In turn, consolidation of foidolite and melilitolite resulted in Fe-Ca-C-P-F-rich residual melt-II that emplaced in silicate rocks as a phoscorite–carbonatite pipe. Crystallization of phoscorite began from forsterite, which launched destruction of silicate-carbonate-ferri-phosphate subnetworks of melt-II, and further precipitation of apatite and magnetite from the pipe wall to its axis with formation of carbonatite melt-III in the pipe axial zone. This petrogenetic model is based on petrography, mineral chemistry, crystal size distribution and crystallochemistry of forsterite. Marginal forsterite-rich phoscorite consists of Fe2+-Mn-Ni-Ti-rich forsterite similar to olivine from peridotite, intermediate low-carbonate magnetite-rich phoscorite includes Mg-Fe3+-rich forsterite, and axial carbonate-rich phoscorite and carbonatites contain Fe2+-Mn-rich forsterite. Incorporation of trivalent iron in the octahedral M1 and M2 sites reduced volume of these polyhedra; while volume of tetrahedral set has not changed. Thus, trivalent iron incorporates into forsterite by schema (3Fe2+)oct → (2Fe3+ + □)oct that reflects redox conditions of the rock formation resulting in good agreement between compositions of apatite, magnetite, calcite and forsterite. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Fully Coupled Numerical Model for Microwave Heating Enhanced Shale Gas Recovery
Energies 2018, 11(6), 1608; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061608 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Formation heat treatment (FHT) can be achieved by converting electromagnetic energy into heat energy (that is microwave heating or MWH). Experimental evidence shows that such FHT can significantly enhance oil and gas recovery. As relatively few research studies have been reported on microwave
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Formation heat treatment (FHT) can be achieved by converting electromagnetic energy into heat energy (that is microwave heating or MWH). Experimental evidence shows that such FHT can significantly enhance oil and gas recovery. As relatively few research studies have been reported on microwave heating enhanced shale gas recovery (MWH-EGR), a fully coupled electromagnetic-thermo-hydro-mechanical (ETHM) model is developed for the MWH-EGR in the present study. In the ETHM model, a thermal-induced gas adsorption model is firstly proposed for shale gas adsorption and fitted by experimental data. This thermal-induced adsorption model considers the increase of matrix pore space due to the desorption of the adsorbed phase. Further, a thermal-induced fracture model in shale matrix is established and fitted by experimental data. Finally, this ETHM model is applied to a fractured shale gas reservoir to simulate gas production. Numerical results indicated that the thermal-induced fracturing and gas desorption make predominant contributions to the evolution of matrix porosity. The MWH can increase cumulative gas production by 44.9% after 31.7 years through promoting gas desorption and matrix diffusion. These outcomes can provide effective insights into shale gas recovery enhancement by microwave assistance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Quorum Sensing System of Yersinia enterocolitica 8081 Regulates Swimming Motility, Host Cell Attachment, and Virulence Plasmid Maintenance
Genes 2018, 9(6), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9060307 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Although Yersinia enterocolitica genomes are highly heterogeneous, they contain a conserved N-acylhomoserine lactone-dependent (AHL) quorum sensing (QS) system consisting of the luxR and luxI orthologs yenR and yenI respectively. Certain hypervirulent strains also contain a putative orphan luxR gene, ycoR, that
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Although Yersinia enterocolitica genomes are highly heterogeneous, they contain a conserved N-acylhomoserine lactone-dependent (AHL) quorum sensing (QS) system consisting of the luxR and luxI orthologs yenR and yenI respectively. Certain hypervirulent strains also contain a putative orphan luxR gene, ycoR, that is not linked to an AHL synthase. To explore the contribution of yenR/yenI/ycoR to QS-dependent phenotypes in Yersinia enterocolitica strain 8081, single and multiple mutants were constructed. AHL profiling identified N-(3-oxohexanoyl) homoserine lactone, N-hexanoylhomoserine lactone, and N-(3-oxoseptanoyl) homoserine lactone as the most abundant. The AHL profiles of the yenR, ycoR and yenR/ycoR mutants were similar to the parent suggesting that the two LuxR homologues do not regulate AHL production while the yenI mutants were AHL-negative. A role for QS in swimming motility and cell attachment was demonstrated. Down-regulation of the virulence plasmid partition gene, spyA, in yenI and yenI/yenR/ycoR mutants is consistent with the greater loss of the Y. enterocolitica pYVe virulence plasmid in the yenI mutant during serial passage at 37 °C but not at 22 °C. A role for QS-regulated spyA in virulence plasmid maintenance is suggested. Full article
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