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Open access

Pedro J. Llanos, Kristina Andrijauskaite, Vijay V. Duraisamy, Francisco Pastrana, Erik L. Seedhouse, Sathya Gangadharan, Leonid Bunegin and Mariel Rico

Abstract

Cell Research Experiment In Microgravity (CRExIM) was launched aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, from the West Texas Launch Site in Van Horn, Texas. One of the aims of this science experiment was to assess the effects of microgravity on murine T-cells during suborbital flight. These cells were placed in a NanoLab with a data logger that sensed the acceleration, temperature, and relative humidity during preflight, flight, and postflight operations. Some discrepancies in sensor measurement were noticed, and these errors were attributed partly to the difference in sampling rates and partly to the different locations of the sensors, which made it difficult to obtain highly accurate measurements of the accelerations and to correlate both sets of data. This paper discusses the setbacks and lessons learned, which made our team find new alternatives while meeting all milestones as mandated by NanoRacks and Blue Origin. This manuscript highlights these alternatives that led to the success of the mission and gives recommendations that will enable customers to alleviate some of these challenges in future flights.

Open access

Antoni F. Tulla

Abstract

In a peripheral rural area like the Pyrenees, it is necessary to promote local resources, which can be converted in value-added activities with comparative advantages in relation with other areas. The Comparative Advantage Theory and Second-Best Option (SBO) methodology are presented here. Each local territory can develop activities or services, even though there are other places that may be more suitable for them, when these are the best specialization option for this territory. The idea of SBO methodology means engaging in activities that make it possible to achieve a comparative advantage. Four cases are discussed: a) transformation of dairy products into competitive value-added commodities; b) promotion of extensive cattle farming based on local natural grass feed; c) development of value-added tourist activities linked to local landscape; and d) planning value-added cultural activities related with cultural heritage.

Open access

Olli Lehtonen, Toivo Muilu and Hilkka Vihinen

Abstract

In the simplest definition, multi-local living means that a person or family have more than one residence or place to stay. In Finland, multi-locality has become a common phenomenon in recent decades, but the effects of it are not yet considered in decision-making or planning. This is because the “invisible population” created by multi-locality is not reflected in traditional population statistics. The assumption in this article is that multi-locality would provide opportunities to improve accessibility of health and social services in rural areas. The assumption is tested in the North Kymenlaakso region, Finland. The results point to that one-stop services and mobile services are cost-efficient and flexible provision models for rural areas. The results call for making the increasing multi-locality in society more visible and to utilize it better than at present as a resource for the development of rural areas.

Open access

Helena Hudečková, Jakub Husák and Rudolfina Voleská

Abstract

The paper is focused on Family Policy of rural municipalities. National strategic documents, documents intended for implementation of Family Policy at regional and local levels and local plans/conceptions for Family Policy within municipalities of up to 5,000 inhabitants are analysed. Special attention is paid to the competition: “Family-friendly Community”. Results of the analysis show that this competition does not fulfil its mission, despite the favourable environment for Family Policy within rural municipalities. The results of the study in accordance with generally prevailing opinion show, that it is not efficient to elaborate conceptions of Family Policy within such small municipalities.

Open access

Eileen O’Rourke

Abstract

Land abandonment is a complex multi-dimensional process with interlinked economic, environmental and social aspects. This paper presents a case study of an isolated hill sheep farming community in SW Ireland, where a combination of low incomes, ageing population, lack of successors and strong environmental constraints are perceived to be among the main factors leading to their demise. However, the uplands they have grazed for generations are of high nature conservation value, and depend on active management to maintain both their ecology and landscapes. The research, which is based on a combination of interviews and farming systems research, highlights the misfit between what the mountain can produce, light hill lamb, and what the globalised market demands. The paper argues that if ‘farming for conservation’ is the new function of such farming systems, then we should consider decoupling public goods payments from agricultural subsidies, along with integrating agriculture in disadvantaged areas within a broader rural development framework. The research aims to fill the gap between macro policy and the micro reality of an upland community on a self-declared ‘tipping point’.

Open access

Ondrej Beňuš

Abstract

New Member States have been part of the Single market since joining the European Union in 2004. This step brought various challenges in each of these countries because of appreciable difference in competitiveness compared to old EU Member States. This article puts to the test the competitiveness of the Czech meat industry. This is one of the most important parts of the agri-food production, which is still a very important part of regional economics in less developed regions. Thus, it represents cultural heritage of the countryside. The main aim is to investigate specific branches of the Czech meat industry according to their competitiveness on the Single market. In the article, we make conclusion on different states of the competitiveness of three main branches of the Czech meat industry, which represents 85.6% of the overall meat export. Conducted research provided information on positive change in the export during the observed period of time, but the comparison of absolute export and import numbers did not refer to a positive development of the Czech meat industry. Furthermore, we observed tendency to locate meat production near local markets and in developed regions.

Open access

Bogna Zawieja, Sylwia Lewandowska, Tomasz Mikulski and Wiesław Pilarczyk

Summary

An analysis is made of results from early stages of testing of promising hybrids. The data consist of single-replicate trials performed by Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht in 6 locations (5 in Poland and one in Germany). In total 165 hybrids were tested with 3 standard varieties. The subject of the analysis was the seed yield. Three measures of stability were used. The yield of tested hybrids is expressed as percentage of that of standard varieties. Wricke’s ecovalence expressed as a contribution to G x E interaction was used as a measure of stability. Additional characterization of the tested hybrids was performed by regressing hybrid yield on the mean yields of the experiment, as described by Finlay and Wilkinson and by Eberhart and Russel. The methods applied enabled selection of the most promising hybrids for further yield testing.

Open access

Andrej Martinčič, Tone Wraber and Igor Dakskobler

Abstract

In the alpine belt of the Julian Alps (glacial cirque Na Jezerih under Mt. Veliki Rokav, Jarečica, the Mangart Saddle and Prodi under Mt. Mangart as well as Mt. Plešivec in the rock wall of Loška Stena) we studied the phytosociology and ecology of snow-bed vegetation with dominating flowering plants Salix herbacea, Luzula alpinopilosa, Gnaphalium supinum, Soldanella pusilla and Salix retusa, and numerous moss species. Based on the comparison with similar snow-bed communities in the Central, Eastern and Southern Alps we described a new association Salicetum retuso-herbaceae and classified it into the alliance Salicion herbaceae and class Salicetea herbaceae. We determined several successional stages of snow-bed vegetation on mixed calcareous-silicate bedrock that we treat as variants, in two relevés also the initial association Polytrichetum sexangularis.

Open access

Moawia Alghalith

Summary

We develop a simple method that completely eliminates the specification error and spurious relationships in regression. Furthermore, we introduce a stronger test of causality. We apply our method to oil prices.

Open access

Nathalia Yeremenko

Abstract

The present paper studies the ruderal vegetation of the class of Robinietea in Kryvyi Rih. We present the spontaneous woody vegetation of parks and other artificial plantations. Urban landscapes remain unstudied phytosociologically despite the highly diverse habitat niches. We have carried out the comparisons of communities from other regions of Ukraine and adjacent territories. In total, four associations and one derivate community, belonging to three alliances, were identified and categorized as follows: Chelidonio-Acerion negundi (synanthropic tree communities with Acer negundo), Chelidonio majoris-Robinion pseudoacaciae (artificial and spontaneous plantations of Robinia pseudoacacia), Geo-Acerion platanoidis (artificial plantations of broad-leaved tree species). The ordination analysis indicates ecological differentiation of syntaxa investigated in Kryvyi Rih. The most important of them are soil aeration (Ae), the cryo-climate (Cr) and nitrogen content in soil (Nt). Critical revision of the class Robinietea syntaxonomy demands further current research.