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  • Author: Gordana Nikolić x
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Abstract

Recent research demonstrates that entrepreneurs who learn contribute to lower failure rates of their startups. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of financial management, where the entrepreneurs’ lack of skills and competencies – and their willingness to acquire them - can be a critical factor to the success of the business venture. The purpose of this paper is to examine the financial management practices among Croatian entrepreneurs in relation to budgeting, raising capital, cash flow management, and the use of ICT tools for enhanced efficiency of their businesses. The survey was conducted on a sample of 58 entrepreneurs whose answers provide valuable insight into their grasp of financial concepts in the context of smart ICT use. The ensuing analysis of the level of proficiency in combining smart tools with financial management reveals increased adoption of ICT practices for budgeting and purchasing among Croatian entrepreneurs. Additionally, the findings indicate that the entrepreneurs’ acquisition of skills and competencies for smart financial management presents a sound basis for increased overall financial sustainability of the startups.

Abstract

Capital structure refers to the delicate balance between equity and debt that a company uses to finance its assets. It is typically expressed as a debt-to-equity or debt-to-capital ratio, with the components usually located on the right side of the company’s balance sheet. Capital structure can exert great influence on the company’s risk profile and ability to leverage its operations. For this reason, the authors conducted an investigation of the capital structure of 16 joint stock companies listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange comprising CROBEX, the equity index of Croatia for a three-year period starting in 2015 and ending in 2017. The study demonstrates that many CROBEX-listed companies are very risk averse and choose to remain debt-free. Some are, however, starting to discover the potential offered by financial leverage and have slowly started adjusting their capital structure. In conclusion, capital structure is slowly becoming an issue worthy of discussion on the corporate agendas in Croatia.

Abstract

New zinc(II)-complexes with S-alkyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid (alkyl = benzyl-(L1), methyl-(L2), ethyl-(L3), propyl-(L4), butyl-(L5)) have been synthesized and characterized by elemental microanalysis, IR spectroscopy, and 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. The S-alkyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid were prepared by alkylation of thiosalicylic acid by adding alkyl halides to an alkaline water-ethanol solution, while the corresponding zinc(II)-complexes were obtained via the direct reaction of ZnCl2 with S-alkyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid in water. Based on the microanalysis results and the IR and NMR spectra of the S-alkyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid and the corresponding zinc(II)-complexes, we concluded that the ligands are bidentately coordinated to the zinc(II)-ion.

Abstract

New platinum(IV)-complexes with S-alkyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid (alkyl = benzyl-(L1), methyl-(L2), ethyl-(L3), propyl-(L4), butyl-(L5)) have been synthesized and characterized by microanalysis, infrared spectroscopy, and 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. Th e bidentate S,O ligand precursor, the S-butyl derivative of thiosalicylic acid (S-bu-thiosal), was prepared, and its crystal structure was determined. Single crystals suitable for X-ray measurements were obtained by slow crystallization from a DMSO-water system. S-bu-thiosal crystallized in a P21/c space group of a monoclinic crystal system with a = 8.0732 (3) Å, b = 19.6769 (4) Å, c = 8.2291 (3) Å and Z = 4. S-bu-thiosal also has a coplanar geometry.

Abstract

New complexes of copper(II) with S-alkenyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid (alkenyl = propenyl-(L1), isobutenyl-(L2)) have been synthesized and characterized by microanalysis, infrared spectra, magnetic measurements, and by NMR spectra. The cytotoxic activity of two newly synthesized precursor S-alkenyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid were tested using an MTT colorimetric technique on HCT-116 human colon carcinoma cells. The cytotoxic effect of the copper(II)- complexes were higher compared to the cytotoxicity of the corresponding ligand (for concentrations from 31.25 to 250 μM). Copper(II)-complexes showed a slightly lower cytotoxicity compared to cisplatin. Complexes of copper(II) with S-alkenyl derivatives of thiosalicylic acid (at concentrations from 250 to 1000 μM) had a cytotoxic effect on HCT-116 cells compared to cisplatin.

Abstract

The second most important source of indoor radon, after soil beneath dwelling, is building material. With the increase in environmental awareness and new energy-saving policies, residents tend to replace the existing windows with tighter windows, which leads to a decrease in air exchange rate and consequently an increase in indoor radon concentration. In case of low exchange rates, dose caused by inhalation of radon and its progeny can exceed external dose originating from the radium content in the surrounding building material. In this paper, surface exhalation rates of radon (222Rn) and thoron (220Rn) from typical building materials used for construction and interior decoration of houses in Serbia were investigated. Surface exhalation rate measurements were performed using the closed-chamber method, while concentrations of radon and thoron in the chamber were continuously measured using an active device, RTM1688-2, produced by SARAD® GmbH. Finally, the impact of the replacement of windows on the indoor radon concentration was estimated.

Abstract

Since the early 1940s, a significant amount of research has been conducted to describe the impact of the high-G acceleration on the cardiovascular system. The objective of the present study was to examine the role of the antioxidant enzyme system under biodynamic stress in the liver, heart and gastric mucosa in response to high-magnitude +Gz exposure in a rat model. Twenty adult male Wistar albino rats (10 rats per group; 9-11 weeks old, 200-250 g b.w.) were divided into the following two groups: control and G (exposed to a biodynamic stress model under positive (+7 Gz) acceleration for 40 s). The influence of acute biodynamic stress on pro-oxidative parameters in the rat liver (xanthine oxidase (XOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (Px), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), total content of glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation (LPx)) and on histopathological alterations in the liver, cardiac muscle and gastric mucosa was examined. Biodynamic stress resulting from positive (+7 Gz) acceleration resulted in a highly statistically signifi cant increase of CAT GSH-Px activity compared to the control group. The LPx levels were significantly decreased, but the GSH contents and the activities of other enzymes were not significantly changed. Significant microscopic changes in the liver, heart and gastric mucosa were observed in the G group. These results clearly indicate that +Gz acceleration alters biochemical systems. These alterations in cellular processes may be mediated by influences of hypoxia or ischaemia via changes in the antioxidant capacity.

Summary

Background: The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a frequent endocrine disorder that affects women of reproductive age. As the syndrome is strongly associated with obesity, it is of interest to examine the gene expression diffe rences that accompany its development and the associ a ted metabolic disturbances. Real-time RT PCR is a standard method for studying changes in gene expression. However, to obtain accurate and reliable results, validation of reference genes is obligatory. The aim of this study was to identify a suitable reference for the normalization of gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from obese and normal-weight women with PCOS.

Methods: The expression stability of four potential reference genes: hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl trans-ferase 1 (HPRT), β-actin (BA), β2-microglobulin (B2M) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), was assessed in PBMCs from healthy women, and from normal-weight and obese women with PCOS. The variability in the expression of potential reference genes was analyzed by the TaqMan real-time RT PCR method, using GeNorm and NormFinder software packages.

Results: Direct comparison of cycle threshold (Ct) values showed inter-individual variations for all validated genes, the Ct values of HPRT being less variable than those of BA, GAPDH and B2M. Both software packages pointed to HPRT as the most steadily expressed gene in the PBMCs of women with PCOS and healthy controls.

Conclusions: Cross-validation of the expression stability of four potential reference genes identified HPRT as the most stable reference, suitable for further investigations of gene expression in PBMCs from women with PCOS.