Ljubljana, Slovenia


Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Zvab Rozic P.,Askerceva | Dolenec T.,Askerceva | Lojen S.,Jozef Stefan Institute | Kniewald G.,Ruder Boskovic Institute | Dolenec M.,Askerceva
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2015

Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope analysis of particulate organic matter (POM) was used to assess the impact of anthropogenically derived organic matter in coastal parts of the Istra Peninsula (Northern Adriatic). The investigation was conducted in areas potentially impacted and enriched with different amounts of organic matter. Elevated δ15N values in POM reflect enrichment of organic matter near the coast due to inadequate municipal infrastructure in cities and local septic systems as well as inputs from riverine terrestrial material. On the contrary, negative δ15N values reflect the depleting effect of purification plants. Significant differences in nitrogen stable isotope ratios were observed between western and southeastern coasts. The δ13C values show small depletion at sites with potentially greater anthropogenic impact. A weak temporal increase of δ15N from spring to late summer was observed. The results for nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios of POM and their comparisons with other areas suggest diverse amounts and sources of organic matter as well as differences in movement of floating POM within the water column. The δ15N and δ13C values reflect the ratios of marine and terrigenous organic matter, the latter being mainly anthropogenically influenced. The results finally suggest precaution in applicability of POM as tracers for detecting anthropogenic organic matter in marine coastal ecosystem. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Svajger U.,Biomedical Center | Obermajer N.,Askerceva | Obermajer N.,Jozef Stefan Institute | Jeras M.,Biomedical Center
Journal of Leukocyte Biology | Year: 2014

Lately, there is increasing evidence that emphasizes the regulatory functions of IFN-γ, which serve as negative-feedback mechanisms after, e.g., pathogen clearance, to prevent unnecessary tissue destruction. Inflammatory processes involving Th1 and cytotoxic responses are characterized by high, local IFN-γ concentrations, followed by resolution and immune silencing. Although this is a well-known course of events, extensive attempts to address potential differential effects of IFN-γ in the manner of its availability (quantitatively) in the environment do not exist. We demonstrate that high doses of IFN-γ do not induce DC maturation and activation but instead, induce specific regulatory characteristics in DCs. Considering their phenotype, high doses of IFN-γ extensively induce the expression of ILT-4 and HLA-G inhibitory molecules. Interestingly, the well-known priming effect of IFN-γ for IL-12p70 production is lost at these conditions, and the DC cytokine profile is switched toward an increased IL-10/IL-12p70 ratio upon subsequent stimulation with CD40L. Furthermore, such DCs are capable of silencing cellular immune responses and activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes, resulting in reduced cell proliferation and down-regulation of granzyme B expression. Additionally, we find that in this manner, immune regulation mediated by IFN-γ is not mainly a result of increased enzymatic activity of IDO in DCs but rather, a result of HLA-G signaling, which can be reversed by blocking mAb. Altogether, our results identify a novel mechanism by which a Th1-like environment programs the functional status of DCs to silence ongoing cytotoxic responses to prevent unwanted tissue destruction and inflammation. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.

Zvab Rozic P.,Askerceva | Dolenec T.,Askerceva | Bazdaric B.,Dalmar d.o.o. | Karamarko V.,Dalmar d.o.o. | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Geochemistry and Health | Year: 2014

In this study, the role of aquaculture activity as a source of selected metals was analyzed. Significant differences in element content between cultured (Dicentrarchus labrax, Sparus aurata) and wild fishes as well as between fish muscle and their feed were detected. Higher concentrations of trace elements (i.e., As, Cu, Hg, Se) in wild fish tissues in comparison with cultured ones indicate additional sources of metals beside fish feed as natural and/or anthropogenic sources. Generally, mean Cd, Cu, Pb, Se, and Zn concentrations in cultured (0.016, 1.79, 0.14, 0.87, and 34.32 μg/g, respectively) and wild (0.011, 1.97, 0.10, 1.78, and 23,54 μg/g, respectively) fish samples were below the permissible levels, while mean As (2.57 μg/g in cultured, 4.77 μg/g in wild) and Cr (5.25 μg/g in cultured, 2.92 μg/g in wild) values exceeded those limits. Hg values were lower in cultured (0.17 μg/g) and higher in wild (1.04 μg/g) fish specimens. The highest elemental concentrations were observed in almost all fish samples from Korčula sampling site. The smallest cultured sea basses showed As (4.01 μg/g), Cr (49.10 μg/g), Pb (0.65 μg/g), and Zn (136 μg/g) concentrations above the recommended limits; however, values decreased as fish size increased. Therefore, the majority of metal concentrations in commercial fishes showed no problems for human consumption. Also calculated Se:Hg molar ratios (all >1) and selenium health benefit values (Se-HBVs) (all positive) showed that consumption of all observed fishes in human nutrition is not risk. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Zabukovec V.,Askerceva | Vilar P.,Askerceva
Communications in Computer and Information Science | Year: 2015

This paper presents Slovenia’s results as part of an international study investigating student preferences of class readings regarding format (print or electronic) and factors impacting these preferences and behaviours. Common beliefs are that digital media is about to prevail over print materials, but several studies have found the contrary: most students still prefer print format over digital for their academic readings. They feel their comprehension and retention is better in print, but they like the convenience and accessibility of electronic. This issue is relevant to both libraries and teachers and instructors. The main research question of this study is: What are students’ format preferences when engaging with their academic readings? Secondary questions ask about the factors that impact their behaviors. An online survey of 25 questions was distributed in spring 2015 to students in different disciplines and levels at three public universities. Results were obtained using descriptive statistical analysis. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

Gorjanc D.S.,Askerceva | Bizjak M.,Askerceva
Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics | Year: 2015

The comfort characteristics of fabrics (especially thermal insulation and permeability properties) are closely associated with the changes in their structural parameters. The reaction of a stretchable fabric, either after the finishing process or after a mechanical deformation, is higher than the reaction of conventional fabrics. The reaction after the finishing process is usually expressed in terms of density, thickness or mass increase, and in dimensional changes. The structural changes influence thermal insulation and water vapor permeability properties, which are the most important properties associated with the comfort of textiles. This paper focuses on the impact of the pre-finishing process on the comfort characteristics of pure cotton fabrics and of cotton fabrics with elastane in the weft direction in plain and twill weave. The results indicate that after the pre-finishing process (scouring/bleaching) for the analyzed fabrics, water vapor resistance and thermal resistance decrease. These decreases occur due to the structural changes inside the fabrics (warp yarn density and mass increase, whereas thickness decreases). © 2015, Association Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. All rights reserved.

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