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In Vitro Investigation of Potential Anti-Diabetic Activity of the Corm Extract of Hypoxis Argentea Harv. Ex Baker

Abstract

The corms of Hypoxis argentea are widely used as a traditional remedy for diabetes mellitus in South Africa. In this study, we investigated the effects of non-toxic concentrations (12.5-100 μg mL-1) of the aqueous extract of H. argentea (HAA) corms on glucose uptake, pancreatic beta cell proliferation, and adipocyte differentiation. HAA stimulated glucose uptake in HepG2 cells up to 19.6 % and 17.0 % in L6 myotubes. Live-cell imaging microscopy revealed significant increases (p < 0.001) in total INS-1 cell numbers exposed to HAA, although no effect was observed on adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. HAA produced weak to moderate inhibition of porcine pancreatic α-amylase, α-glucosidase, porcine pancreatic lipase, dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) activities, as well as protein glycation. Our results suggest that the acclaimed anti-diabetic effects of H. argentea could be mediated by its promotion of glucose utilization and preservation of pancreatic beta cell populations while preventing fat accumulation in adipocytes.

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Process of Deindustrialization in Montenegro

Abstract

Deindustrialization is a dynamic process that began to attract the attention of economic theorists in the 60s of the 20th century, which is characterized by a reduction in the share of the industrial sector in GDP and employment. A descriptive analysis of the deindustrialization process in Montenegro was carried out. It was established that throughout the observed period, the process of deindustrialization in Montenegro has characteristics present in developed countries. However, a deeper analysis and taking into account the key indicators showed that deindustrialization in Montenegro did not just arise as a sole consequence of positive economic trends. In addition, the entire process took place under the influence of various non-economic indicators. Moreover, the global economic crisis had a significant economic impact on Montenegro's industrial sector. In the process of accession to the EU and in addressing global challenges, the country's industrial sector, in line with key development strategies, is heading towards reindustrialization, i.e. development and progress under changing conditions.

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Understanding Changes on the Country-of-origin Effect of Portugal

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to understand the international perception of Portugal, as well as the strategies used by Portuguese companies to overcome any possible negative country-of-origin (COO) effect. The paper focuses on companies belonging to different Portuguese businesses: wine, footwear and electromechanical. Cases were chosen because of the dynamic process that was correctly put forward at different levels. The results show that Portuguese companies are interested in getting to know how to accommodate or be part of that dynamic process, as this seems to be crucial if they want to succeed in international markets. The perception of Portugal is improving, and there seems to be signs of a positive COO effect being created in some instances. Most of the achievements are due to the previous success of Portuguese businesses and businesspeople in international markets that have been able to create a positive reputation. The key to success seems to be rooted in how companies combine their unique resources with technological innovations and strategic tools, backed by public policy. This study contributes to enhance the knowledge of managers on the COO effect and its effects on companies, by presenting different levels of analysis: company, industry and country level.

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Deindustrialization and Implementation of Industry 4.0 - Case of The Republic of Croatia

Abstract

The industrial sector of the Republic of Croatia is subject to deindustrialization, which was globally recognized as early as in the 1960s. Such a situation is a challenge in terms of implementing new sources of economic growth and industrial production, with a particular emphasis on investing in research and development, education and their products. Since 2011, special emphasis has been placed on the need to implement the concept of Industry 4.0. The problem surveyed in this research derives from insufficient readiness of the Republic of Croatia to implement Industry 4.0, mainly resulting from its major orientation towards traditional industrial sectors and a low share of high value added activities, which is particularly visible through the share of high technology products in total exports. However, the Republic of Croatia is characterized by low levels of scientific research and innovative activities, which greatly slows down this process. The aim of the conducted research is to present the theoretical aspects of the process of deindustrialization and Industry 4.0, to make projections of the key indicators of deindustrialization and Industry 4.0 until 2025, and to propose scientifically based measures to be taken in the direction of securing digital transformation of the Croatian industry. The purpose of the conducted research is to analyse trends in the industrial sector in the Republic of Croatia and to determine the current state of the (de)industrialization process and the level of implementation of Industry 4.0.

The research has showed that the process of deindustrialization in the Republic of Croatia is characterized by a reduction in the share of employment in the primary sector, by a growing employment in the secondary sector, and by a relative increase in industrial production and labour productivity. However, since 2015 there has been an increase in employment in the secondary sector, which is in contrast to the theoretical concepts of deindustrialization and indicates a new trend in the industrial sector. This situation is a challenge concerning the implementation of Industry 4.0, which requires increased investment in research and development and the improvement of knowledge and the ability of the population and their implementation in the economic sector. By analysing this segment of the Croatian economy, some progress has been made. Also, it has also been found that in some segments it significantly lags behind the EU levels.

Open access
Endogeneity and Specialization in the European Monetary Union

Abstract

There has been a broad discussion about the viability of the European Monetary Union (EMU) in its present and prospective confines. Generally, the EMU, consisting of 19 countries, is not considered an optimal currency area due to low labor market flexibility, autonomous fiscal policies, and structural differences among its members. Considerations about the endogeneity effect of currency unions lead to the question whether the EMU will become more viable over time. According to the endogenity hypothesis formulated by Frankel and Rose [1996, 2000], a common currency area may gradually become an optimal currency area at some future point (ex post unification), despite not having been an optimal currency area (OCA) prior to (ex ante) currency unification. Currency unification should bring about increased intra-industry trade and greater business cycle synchronization among member states. The most recent literature and analyses presented in this paper suggest that the endogenity effect in the EMU has been frail since its onset. While real convergence between EMU member states has not advanced, divergence in i.a. economic structures, national income and productivity levels is observed. The most important economic mechanisms reinforcing convergence and divergence among monetary union members are presented in this paper. Using recent data and related research results, we show a significant divergence in economic structures, business cycle synchronization and productivity levels among Eurozone members in the last decade. The Krugman sectorial dissimilarity index is applied to measure changes in industrial similarity among member countries and the Hodrick-Prescott filter to estimate business cycle synchronization in the EMU. These divergence tendencies have been strengthened by the global financial crisis of 2008 and persist, calling for reforms and new policies within the EMU.

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Effect of Tinospora crispa on glucose uptake in skeletal muscle: role of glucose transporter 1 expression and extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 activation

between adipose tissue and muscle tissue. Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2004; 27:303-31. 20. Ciaraldi TP, Knudsen KH, Hickman M, Olefsky JM. Regulation of glucose transport in cultured muscle cells by novel hypoglycemic agents. Metabolism. 1995; 44: 976-81. 21. Klip A, Guma A, Ramlal T, Bilan PJ, Lam L, Leiter LA. Stimulation of hexose transport by metformin in L6 muscle cells in culture. Endocrinology. 1992; 130: 2535-44. 22. Hundal HS, RamLal T, Reyes R, Leiter LA, Klip A. Cellular mechanism of metformin action involves

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The Road Towards Lean Six Sigma: Sustainable Success Factors in Service Industry

Abstract

It has been widely investigated that the application of operations management techniques is not only based on technical factors, but it is mainly associated with organisational factors such as culture, previous polices and procedures, etc. A prime example of promisng operations practices is Lean Six Sigma (L6σ). The main research question for L6σ is related to its liabilities and constrains regarding its implementation. Therefore, this paper aims to explore the critical factors related to the application L6σ. The context of the analysis is service industry since it seems that it has been neglected from the literature that mainly focuses on manufacturing. The methodology was based on the qualitative exploration of three case studies from the service industry. Secondary data were collected through an analysis of companies' documents, written procedures and quality assurance policies and primary data were collected through a number of in-depth face-to-face interviews with managers and quality experts. The findings show that there are ten (10) particular factors that influence the implementation of L6σ in service organizations.

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Isolation of coagulase negative Enterococcous sp. strains from non-broiler chicken producing bacteriocin active against Staphylococcus aureus

Abstract

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were isolated from the bile, gizzard, intestine and caecum of the Malaysian domestic non-broiler chicken. Of the 56 isolates grown on MRS agar plates, 7 - namely, B3L3, B4L4, G5L5, B5L6, B10L7, I1L8, and C4L10 - showed inhibition against the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These isolates were all Gram positive cocci, non-spore forming, and catalase negative. The purified fraction from the three phase partitioning (TPP) method, employing t-butanol and ammonium sulfate, produced inhibitory zones of 8 to 18 mm in diameter on the indicator organism, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The TPP purified fraction contained heat stable proteins of about 10 kDa in size and was inactivated by trypsin. Based on the partial rDNA sequences (>89% similarity), isolates B4L4 and G5L5 belonged to Enterococcus hirae; isolate B3L3 belonged to Enterococcus faecium; isolates B5L6, B10L7, I1L8 to Enterococcus faecalis; and isolate C4L10 to Enterococcus mundtii. These probiotic strains, exclusively isolated from the Malaysian non-broiler chicken, produced an antimicrobial protein or bacteriocin which was active against a pathogenic strain of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Open access
Nanoparticles Ecotoxicity on Daphnia magna

Abstract

In recent years, development of nanotechnology as well as the toxicity potential of nanomaterials on the environment has received much attention. In order to assess the potential toxic impact of nanoparticles on aquatic environments, we used three kinds of nanoparticles, including titanium dioxide (TiO2), copper oxide (CuO), and zinc oxide (ZnO) on an aquatic model species, Daphnia magna. In fact, Daphnia magna was exposed to different concentrations for 24, 48, 72, and 96 h at 20-25°C. All the important water quality parameters, such as temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen (DO) were controlled to meet the standard requirements during the experiment. The LC50 values for 24, 48, 72, and 96 h were estimated statistically using Probit methods. The LC50 48 h values for TiO2, CuO, and ZnO were 171.88 mg/l, 6.62 mg/l, and 3.23 mg/l, respectively.

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In vivo quercetol effect in lead acetate poisoning

Abstract

The present study investigated the influence of quercetol upon δ-aminolevulinic acid (△ -ALA) urine concentration as marker of lead poisoning. The study was conducted on six lots of 6 mature Wistar rats of both sexes, lots not poisoned treated with different concentrations of quercetol (Q1, Q2), control (L6M), lot poisoned untreated (L3Pb), lots poisoned and treated with Q (L4Q1Pb and L5Q2Pb). After 11 days urine from 24 hours was collected for △-ALA spectrophotometric assay and testing the significance of mean difference of by "t" test Student at p <0.05. Statistical analysis of the data presented shows that compared to L2Q2 and L6M the amount of δ-ALA excreted in urine under quercetol influence (L4Q1Pb) shows statistical significance compared to (L2Q2) the amount of δ-ALA excreted in urine compared to (L3Pb) shows statistical significance. Different concentrations of quercetol (Q1, Q2), did not produce significant changes in the δ-ALA excreted compared with values of (L3Pb). Difference between means is probably due to sampling fluctuation, is not significant, reduced growth to eliminate δ-ALA on L4Q1Pb and L5Q2Pb is believed to be due to iron complex formation, reducing hemoglobin synthesis. From the results we conclude that hem biosynthesis does not start to grow under quercetol protection. The obtained data are not relevant statistical since interpretations were performed on non homogeneous groups in number of individuals, the percentage of mortality variability and high levels of standard deviation calculated from each lot.

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