University of Constantinus the Philosopher in Nitra - Univerzita Konstant’na Filozofa v Nitre
Recent publications
The article analyses the problems (dilemmas) in approach to the environmental protection and management. EU has declared the plan for the Great Reset of global economy and environmental politics. The idea is not new, but the approach is expected to be completely different. While the EU leaders set the strategy of centralisation, there are strong claims for opposite way – decentralisation. The second dilemma we analyse in our article is the problem of European Commission massive support of green investments (including using of renewable sources of energy and focus of environmental protection), especially after lockdowns connected with covid pandemic which meets with the strong negative position of those economical circles which see such types of initiatives as green shooting to the economy. Terra Carta as an integral part of Sustainable Markets Initiative was launched in 2020. The third dilemma we pay our attention is connected with the efficiency of new environmental taxes. The article focuses also on the good practice as can be seen in environmental protection management efforts and green solutions for using and saving energy resources. As an examples we assess the projects supporting use of renewable energy in Africa (e.g. Lights for Africa), Cradle to Cradle Program (C2C) and we go back to the Come2CoM. The whole is analysed in the context of corporate social responsibility.
In the present study, the sol-gel route assisted with heat treatment was used to synthesize a novel mixture of hydroxyapatite (HAp) powders, and a computational study via first principle atomistic simulations was utilized to understand the structural properties of the compounds. To reveal the morphological features and nano-mechanical properties of the powders and pellets, respectively, a scanning electron microscope was used for samples imaging, while nano-indentation was conducted using grid nano-indentation arrays. Data from ab-initio calculations were close to experimental data obtained through X-ray diffraction studies, while a gradient in the particle shapes and sizes were evident from the microstructures. The BC 25/75 sample showed enhanced mechanical properties comparatively.
Influence of oil‐related product toluene and herbal remedy puncturevine Tribulus terrestris L. (TT) on female reproduction is known. However, mechanisms of their action on ovaries in different species and potential protective effect of TT against adverse toluene action remain to be established. We studied effect of toluene, TT, and their combination on ovarian granulosa cells from two mammalian species (cows and horses). Viability, markers of proliferation (PCNA) and apoptosis (bax), steroid hormones, IGF‐I, oxytocin, and prostaglandin F (PGF) release were analyzed by trypan blue exclusion test, quantitative immunocytochemistry, and EIA/ELISA. Toluene suppressed all analyzed parameters. In both species, TT stimulated proliferation and reduced progesterone, oxytocin, and PGF. In horses, TT inhibited testosterone and IGF‐I. In both species, TT supported toluene effect on viability, steroids, IGF‐I, and PGF, inverted its action on apoptosis. In cows, TT promoted toluene effect on proliferation. In horses, TT supported toluene effect on oxytocin but suppressed its influence on proliferation. In both species, toluene induced inhibitory action of TT on viability, steroids, IGF‐I, and PGF, prevented its stimulatory action on proliferation. In cows, toluene supported inhibitory action of TT on oxytocin and prevented its stimulatory action on apoptosis. In horses, toluene induced stimulatory effect of TT on apoptosis. Our results indicate potential toxic toluene effect on farm animal ovaries, applicability of TT as a biostimulator of farm animal reproduction and as a protector against adverse influence of toluene on female reproduction.
Mast seeding causes strong fluctuations in populations of forest animals. Thus, this phenomenon can be used as a natural experiment to examine how variation in host abundance affects parasite loads. We investigated fleas infesting yellow‐necked mice in beech forest after two mast and two non‐mast years. We tested two mutually exclusive scenarios: (1) as predicted by classical models of density‐dependent transmission, an increase in host density will cause an increase in ectoparasite abundance (defined as the number of parasites per host), vs. (2) an increase in host density will cause a decline in flea abundance (“dilution”, which is thought to occur when parasite population growth is slower than that of the host). In addition, we assessed whether masting alters the relationship between host traits (sex and body mass) and flea abundance. We found a hump‐shaped relationship between host and flea abundance. Thus, the most basic predictions are too simple to describe ectoparasite dynamics in this system. In addition, masting modified seasonal dynamics of flea abundance, but did not affect the relationship between host traits and flea abundance (individuals with the highest body mass hosted the most fleas; after controlling for body mass, parasite abundance did not vary between sexes). Our results demonstrate that pulses of tree reproduction can indirectly, through changes in host densities, drive patterns of ectoparasite infestation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Speculative fiction texts and their translation, particularly from English, have been gradually rising in prominence. However, not only do speculative fiction and its sub-genres remain only vaguely defined in general despite numerous attempts by both writers and theoreticians, but their specific features are often even less explored from the perspective of translation studies. This article aims to enrich translation studies understanding of irrealia as signature features of speculative fiction texts. It builds on existing conceptions of both irrealia and realia in order to propose the concept of genre-specific irrealia. Hence, it discusses how irrealia relate to individual sub-genres of speculative fiction and how such distinctions can help the recipient or translator realise the specificity of these elements. The paper has a particular focus on science fiction, although it also discusses fantasy and supernatural horror specific irrealia. The article then illustrates the concept of genre-specific irrealia and discusses its implications for translation on examples drawn from the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and its Slovak translation by the translator Jozef Klinga.
Studies to date have provided evidence for damage that can occur from hydrocarbon benzene on different tissues/organs. However, little is known regarding the possible influence of this hydrocarbon on female reproduction. In this study, female Wistar rats were treated with low (2000 ppm), middle (4000 ppm), and high (8000 ppm) doses of benzene by inhalation for 30 min daily for 28 days. Benzene exposure adversely affected ovarian function and structure by inducing histopathological changes and altering reproductive steroid hormone release. In addition, benzene-exposed ovaries exhibited increased TMR red fluorescent signals at middle and high doses, revealing significant apoptosis. Interestingly, the investigation of the autophagic protein marker LC3 showed that this protein significantly increased in all benzene-treated ovaries, indicating the occurrence of autophagy. Moreover, ovaries from benzene-treated groups exhibited differential regulation of several specific genes involved in ovarian folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis, including the INSL3, CCND1, IGF-1, CYP17a, LHR, ATG5, and GDF9 genes.
Ti3SiC2 MAX phase was prepared from Ti, TiC, and SiC using spark plasma sintering. Three sintering temperatures, namely 1450, 1550, and 1600 °C were employed. The effect of the atmosphere, dwell time, and SiC grain size were studied. The prepared samples were subjected to XRD, Vickers hardness, and SEM analyses. Phase composition of the samples revealed that a maximum MAX phase content of ∼90 wt% is achieved at the sintering temperature of 1550 °C. TiC (∼9 wt%) and small amount of SiC were identified as secondary phases. Values of the Vickers hardness exhibited a steady decrease with an increasing sintering temperature from 704 HV at 1450 °C to 544 HV at 1600 °C due to the reduction of the TiC content in the sample. The porosity of the samples with the highest Ti3SiC2 content reached 5%. The coefficient of thermal expansion fell into the interval from 9.8 to 11 × 10⁻⁶ K⁻¹.
The so-called “trickster” is a special and important archfigure in the mythological and fairy-tale images of each civilization and cultural circle. The trickster is a controversial and often (seemingly) contradictory character that belongs to the “culture of popular laughter” (Bakhtin) or picaresque mythology (Kerényi). The aim of this paper is to present a brief initial analysis of the selected characters on a trans-genre and trans-cultural sample of ancient texts.
Wider participation in ecosystem governance has been called for as a means to reach pluralism in biodiversity conservation research and practice. The logical arguments given are that plurality in worldviews, priorities and values (social plurality) should be brought to the table to be reflected in decision-making, via participation. In this chapter, we give critical insight into participation as a pathway to recognizing social plurality in ecosystem governance. We highlight how different disciplines, beyond ecology, have tackled the topic of participation; including development studies and anthropology, governance and policy studies and transformations/transitions research. We look across this diverse literature to understand the ways in which different participatory approaches contribute to ecosystem governance. We outline how governance systems create multiple spaces for participation. We then explore key challenges faced when working within these spaces with the intention of addressing social plurality. We discuss challenges of complexity, inclusion, conflict and power. In doing so, we present an argument that participation itself must be plural, in order to reflect the positioning within the governance system, and the context of power that it is taking place within. In recognizing that participation as a pathway to plurality cannot be a prescriptive process, we provide seven reflexive questions to steer its design and implementation.
Brown bear is a powerful, intelligent and robust beast that hides in the woods of Slovakia. Despite the bear’s intense environmental, geographical and behavior research, a detailed analysis of its bone microstructure is still absent. Therefore, our study aims to analyse the effect of age, sex and body weight on bone parameters in compact bear bone. Qualitative histological observations of compact femoral bone show a high amount of dense Haversian bone tissue in brown bears confirming that this is a mammal with high locomotory capability. Only in 8–9 month old cub lack on the subperiosteal zone lines of arested growth. The histomorphometric analysis reported weak significant alternations in the sizes of Haversian canals. On the contrary, no significant differences in the osteons size were observed among groups. The correlation between osteon and Haversian canal diameters shows that all bears together have a little correlation (r = 0.284). In particular, the greater difference is between cub bears (r = 0.268) and all adult bears together (r = 0.394). Based on the results of our work, we can state that the different locomotor behavior could influence the differences between cubs and adults.
It is now approximately 25 years since the sheep Dolly, the first cloned mammal where the somatic cell nucleus from an adult donor was used for transfer, was born. So far, somatic cell nucleus transfer, where G1-phase nuclei are transferred into cytoplasts obtained by enucleation of mature metaphase II (MII) oocytes followed by the activation of the reconstructed cells, is the most efficient approach to reprogram/remodel the differentiated nucleus. In general, in an enucleated oocyte (cytoplast), the nuclear envelope (NE, membrane) of an injected somatic cell nucleus breaks down and chromosomes condense. This condensation phase is followed, after subsequent activation, by chromatin decondensation and formation of a pseudo-pronucleus (i) whose morphology should resemble the natural postfertilization pronuclei (PNs). Thus, the volume of the transferred nuclei increases considerably by incorporating the content released from the germinal vesicles (GVs). In parallel, the transferred nucleus genes must be reset and function similarly as the relevant genes in normal embryo reprogramming. This, among others, covers the relevant epigenetic modifications and the appropriate organization of chromatin in pseudo-pronuclei. While reprogramming in SCNT is often discussed, the remodeling of transferred nuclei is much less studied, particularly in the context of the developmental potential of SCNT embryos. It is now evident that correct reprogramming mirrors appropriate remodeling. At the same time, it is widely accepted that the process of rebuilding the nucleus following SCNT is instrumental to the overall success of this procedure. Thus, in our contribution, we will mostly focus on the remodeling of transferred nuclei. In particular, we discuss the oocyte organelles that are essential for the development of SCNT embryos.
Background: Psychotic symptoms in BPD are not uncommon, and they are diverse and phenomenologically similar to those in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Despite their prevalence in BPD patients, knowledge about the characteristics and severity of hallucinations is limited, especially in modalities other than auditory. Aim: This review summarises the causes, phenomenology, severity, and treatment options of hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms in BPD. Methods: The PubMed database was used with the following key terms: "borderline personality disorder" and 'hallucinations' and "psychotic symptoms". Articles were selected between January 1990 and May 2021. The primary keyword search yielded a total of 545 papers, of which 102 articles met the inclusion criteria and were fully screened. Papers from the primary source reference lists were also screened, assessed for eligibility, and then added to the primary documents where appropriate (n = 143). After the relevance assessment, 102 papers were included in the review. We included adult and adolescent studies to gather more recent reviews on this topic. Results: Hallucinations are significantly prevalent in BPD, mainly auditory, similar to schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The relationship between hallucinations and depression, anxiety, suicidality, schizotypy, and loneliness in BPD has been discovered but requires more research. Studies for treatment options for hallucinations in BPD are lacking. Conclusion: Recognition of psychotic symptoms in patients with BPD as distinguished psychopathological phenomena instead of diminishing and overlooking them is essential in the clinical assessment and can be useful in predicting complications during treatment. More focused research in this area is needed.
Melting and other first-order phase changes usually occur in phase change materials (PCMs) within a noticeable temperature range rather than at a unique phase change temperature (Tpc). Then the enthalpy and heat capacity have rather wide jumps and peaks, respectively, spread over such ranges of temperatures. Surprisingly, wide jumps and peaks are observed even in plain and simple cases when PCMs are pure substances with negligible hysteresis and/or supercooling and the measurements are quasi-equilibrium using very slow heating/cooling rates, as in adiabatic scanning calorimetry (ASC). We show that in such cases a unique Tpc can be identified and calculated from the measured heat capacity peaks. It suffices to take into account that PCM samples do not have an ideal microstructure but are rather composed of many micro- to nano-sized domains. The heat capacity peak is then an average of individual peaks that (a) come from all domains and (b) have different shifts from Tpc for different domain sizes. Interpreting a heat capacity peak measured by ASC in this way, we present a procedure from which Tpc can be evaluated. We apply the procedure to three examples of materials using available ASC data and point out the importance of the size distribution of domains.
Mining activity has one of the most fundamental influences on the landscape (in terms of both aesthetics and use). Its activity and manifestations, even when mining takes place underground, have visual manifestations on the surface. The impact of subsurface mining has a synergistic effect on the elements of the landscape structure. This manifestation is continuous in the context of mining intensity. Using the Earth remote sensing method, we identified several fundamental changes. The most significant of these was the creation of wetlands and the modification of watercourse lines. In the area in which there was no permanent water sources, several water areas with a total area of more than 30 ha were created. We also found that the length of watercourses has halved, the area of grassland has doubled, and urban area has decreased. It was the creation of water areas that supported not only better ecological stability of the landscape, but also the growth of biodiversity. Wetlands can be a dynamic element of future development. Understanding the development of land-cover changes is necessary for the purpose of planning nature and landscape conservation, as well as to identify areas of conflict with economic use.
The present study aims to examine the role of kisspeptin (KP), FSH, and its receptor (FSHR), and their interrelationships in the control of basic human ovarian granulosa cells functions. We investigated: (1) the ability of granulosa cells to produce KP and FSHR, (2) the role of KP in the control of ovarian functions, and (3) the ability of KP to affect FSHR and to modify the FSH action on ovarian functions. The effects of KP alone (0, 10 and 100 ng/mL); or of KP (10 and 100 ng/mL) in combination with FSH (10 ng/mL) on cultured human granulosa cells were assessed. Viability, markers of proliferation (PCNA and cyclin B1) and apoptosis (bax and caspase 3), as well as accumulation of KP, FSHR, and steroid hormones, IGF-I, oxytocin (OT), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release were analyzed by the Trypan blue exclusion test, quantitative immunocytochemistry, and ELISA. KP given at a low dose (10 ng/mL) stimulated viability, proliferation, inhibited apoptosis, promoted the release of progesterone (P4), estradiol (E2), IGF-I, OT, and PGE2, the accumulation of FSHR, but not testosterone (T) release. KP given at a high dose (100 ng/mL) had the opposite, inhibitory effect. FSH stimulated cell viability, proliferation and inhibited apoptosis, promoted P4, T, E2, IGF-I, and OT, but not PGE2 release. Furthermore, KP at a low dose promoted the stimulatory effect of FSH on viability, proliferation, P4, E2, and OT release, promoted its inhibitory action on apoptosis, but did not modify its action on T, IGF-I, and PGE2 output. KP at a high dose prevented and inverted FSH action. These results suggest an intra-ovarian production and a functional interrelationship between KP and FSH/FSHR in direct regulation of basic ovarian cell functions (viability, proliferation, apoptosis, and hormones release). The capability of KP to stimulate FSHR, the ability of FSH to promote ovarian functions, as well as the similarity of KP (10 ng/mL) and FSH action on granulosa cells’ viability, proliferation, apoptosis, steroid hormones, IGF-I, OT, and PGE2 release, suggest that FSH influence these cells could be mediated by KP. Moreover, the capability of KP (100 ng/mL) to decrease FSHR accumulation, basal and FSH-induced ovarian parameters, suggest that KP can suppress some ovarian granulosa cell functions via down-regulation of FSHR. These observations propose the existence of the FSH-KP axis up-regulating human ovarian cell functions.
The aim of the study was to examine viability of cattle oocytes after cryopreservation. Oocytes after in vitro maturation (IVM) were vitrified in minimum volume on the nickel electron microscopy grids by ultra-rapid cooling technique. After warming and subsequent in vitro fertilization the presumptive zygotes were cultured to reach the stage of the blastocyst (Bl). Several devitrified oocytes were processed for electron microscopy assay. Although, embryo cleavage and Bl percentages in the vitrified group were slightly lower than in the control group (P < 0.05), the Bl total cell number (TCN), apoptosis and dead cell percentages did not differ between both groups. However, significant difference was found between day 7 (D7) and day 8 (D8) Bl in the TCN in control (108.0 vs. 90.5) and vitrified group (103.75 vs 98.14). Electron microscopy of frozen oocytes revealed slight reversible injuries in mitochondria and the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER), nevertheless, the development of devitrified oocytes to the Bl stage was comparable to those in fresh oocytes. In conclusion, higher proportion of slower developing Bl (D8) compared to D7 Bl may be related to the mentioned minor damages of some organelles in vitrified oocytes.
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Jaromir Simonek
  • Department of Physical Education and Sport
Maria Hajnalova
  • Department of Archaeology
Filip Tulis
  • Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Stefan Benus
  • Department of English and American Studies
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Tr. A. Hlinka 1, 949 74, Nitra, Nitra, Slovakia
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prof. RNDr. Libor Vozár, CSc.
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