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Journal & Issues

AHEAD OF PRINT

Volume 26 (2021): Issue 1-2 (December 2021)

Volume 25 (2020): Issue 1-2 (December 2020)

Volume 24 (2019): Issue 1-2 (December 2019)

Volume 23 (2018): Issue 1-2 (December 2018)

Volume 22 (2017): Issue 1-2 (December 2017)

Volume 21 (2016): Issue 1-2 (December 2016)

Volume 20 (2015): Issue 1-2 (December 2015)

Volume 19 (2014): Issue 1-2 (December 2014)

Volume 18 (2013): Issue 1-2 (December 2013)

Volume 17 (2012): Issue 1-2 (December 2012)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2084-4506
First Published
17 Jan 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 23 (2018): Issue 1-2 (December 2018)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2084-4506
First Published
17 Jan 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

9 Articles
Open Access

Ecology and Society. Impacted Ecosystems. Part I

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 7 - 29

Abstract

Abstract

The Earth has existed for more than four billion years and has sustained life for three billion. Human beings have existed for just 200,000 years, yet our impact on the planet is so great that scientists around the world are calling for our period in the Earth’s history to be named ‘the Anthropocene’ - the age of humans. The changes we are now making have exacted a heavy toll on the natural world around us, and now threaten the planet’s ability to provide for us all. Problems of Ecology and Society in the new geological era as the Anthropocene - ‘the age of humans’ - are overviewed. The name is widely recognized as a useful classification of the period in which human activity has created and continues to generate deep and lasting effects on the Earth and its living systems. Examples of the interrelated effects of exponential population growth and massively expanding consumption of natural resources called Great Acceleration are given. Updated ‘planetary dashboard’ of environmental, economic and social indicators charts the trajectory of the Anthropocene are briefly summarized.

Keywords

  • Anthropocene
  • Great Acceleration
Open Access

What the Old Microbiologists Knew...

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 31 - 46

Abstract

Abstract

Amazing is the fact that although the organisms have been known since the end of the seventeenth century, effective study of this group of organisms started after about 160 years, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. The origins of science about bacteria were very difficult, there were many unknowns and conflict information. The research results provided by various scientists created complete chaos. From today’s perspective, it is difficult to imagine how it was possible, do research in such conditions, and obtain reliable results? Yet despite these difficulties, knowledge of our predecessors was neither so small nor so doubtful as might be supposed. On the contrary, it was surprisingly big and wide. What our predecessors knew about bacteria and especially their importance in nature? They knew that bacteria live everywhere, knew about their unlimited spread in the biosphere. The role of microorganisms in the mineralization of organic matter was known, as well as the circulation of matter in nature and role of bacteria in cycles of nutrient elements, and the solar energy as the driving force behind these changes. Today - although we understand these mechanisms much more accurately, we know a lot details and individual changes - but the basic outline of the functioning of the biosphere, valid until today created our predecessors. A look back at the beginning of the microbiology teaches us, how much can be achieved with seemingly primitive methods, if accompanied by a passion for research and imagination.

Keywords

  • history of microbiology
  • biosphere
  • cycles of elements
Open Access

Two English Chemists/Authors/Teachers: John Read and James Riddick Partington

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 47 - 69

Abstract

Abstract

John Read and James Partington were both prominent and highly respected academics, chemists, authors and teachers during the middle decades of the 20th century. Their books were widely read throughout this period and played a major role in educating and raising the awareness of chemistry among young people and adults. Today their names are forgotten. The aim of the present article is to re-establish these two remarkable men and to bring them to the forefront of educational programs. An outline is given of their careers as chemists, set against the background of the times they lived in, giving an emphasis to their formidable literary output. Although they had widely contrasting personalities, and were specialists in three different fields of chemistry, Read: organic, Partington: physical and inorganic, they both recognized the great importance of setting chemistry in an historical context. Accordingly, they both wrote many works on the origins and development of chemistry and included much historical material in their textbooks. This added not only a great interest to the subject, but also set it in a broader cultural context, which is so clearly lacking in today’s chemistry teaching programs. A chronological list of their books is given and short contrasting fragments from four of them are analysed. Not only are these books of great interest, but they serve as an outstanding foundation for teaching the principles of chemistry today. A recommendation is made to incorporate one work of each author as compulsory reading material for students today, and in future years.

Keywords

  • Read
  • Partington
  • chemistry
  • organic chemistry
  • inorganic chemistry
  • physical chemistry
  • education
Open Access

Assessing of Scientific Inquiry Skills Achieved by Future Biology Teachers

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 71 - 80

Abstract

Abstract

A successful application of scientific research in science education requires adequate professional training of teachers. The study presents the results of research focused on the level of scientific inquiry skills of future biology teachers. The results showed that students with a success rate of over 80 % solved tasks focused on applying numerical methods, determining relationships between variables and evaluating the uses and misuses of scientific information with a more than 80 % success rate. On the other side, the students had considerable problems associated with planning and implementing of the experiment. The results indicated that there is no significant difference in the level of scientific inquiry skills between students who study biology teaching in combination with other science subject, and students who study biology teaching in combination with a non-science subject.

Keywords

  • scientific inquiry skills
  • scientific knowledge
Open Access

The Level of Mastery of the Concept of Chemical Reaction Rate by 9th Grade Students

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 81 - 95

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, we focused on the results of research, which we have conducted to ascertain the knowledge of Slovak students who have just finished their lower secondary education concerning the topic of chemical reaction rate. The study was attended by a total of 320 15-year-old graduates of basic chemistry education belonged to several schools. Students’ knowledge was found through didactic test consisted of 1 item related to clustering and several two-level tasks. The results were analyzed in terms of deeper insight into the students’ understanding of the issue and students’ misconceptions were also identified. The findings related to the problems connected with acquiring the concept of chemical reaction rate, especially in relation to the students’ grasp the mentioned topic at submicroscopic, macroscopic and symbolic levels of representation were analyzed. We managed to investigate the students’ various difficulties associated with mentioned topic. Several problems were found. Students have a problem with understanding the basic term “chemical reaction rate”, relating it to bodies in motion, which they know from physics lessons and everyday life. They also have problems to distinguish and interconnect information at different levels of representation. Students often do not know which factors affect the rate of reaction and how. They do not understand the concepts of concentration and catalyst and do not distinguish the terms temperature and heat. Students’ knowledge is often only formal and lacks a real conceptual understanding of the problem. Their solving of problems does not go beyond the algorithmic level of solution and they are not able to solve tasks that are not typically school-related issues.

Keywords

  • the chemical reaction rate
  • level of understanding
  • misconceptions
  • misunderstandings
Open Access

Learners’ Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium at Submicroscopic, Macroscopic and Symbolic Levels

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 97 - 111

Abstract

Abstract

It is not easy for secondary school learners to comprehend the concept of chemical equilibrium at the level of understanding. In this context, a feedback is important for the teachers to optimize their help to students in constructing this concept. We designed and tested sets of particularly prepared tasks, the solution of which reflects the depth of understanding of the basic concept in macroscopic, submicroscopic and symbolic representation. Difficulties in understanding the chemical phenomena and concepts do not result only from the existence of these three levels or from their explanation using abstract concepts, but also from the lack of interconnection between these representations. Consistent interconnection of these levels can lead to an internal conflict in students, and consequently to a more profound understanding of the concept or relationships between concepts at multiple levels of representation to understand them or to change the meaning of one to another. There is also a close connection with the aspect of memory, algorithmic and conceptual approaches to solving educational situations, which extends dimensionally and reinforces the need for a more comprehensive grasp of learners’ mastery of the given concept. The teacher cannot expect that the learners without intensive training, e.g., only by observing the macroscopic representation, can interpret the essence of the submicroscopic representation. Therefore, these aspects need to be consistently involved in the model of learners’ cognitive process early enough to apply them in the educational practice without any problems.

Keywords

  • chemical equilibrium
  • equilibrium constant
  • chemical triangle
  • level of comprehension
Open Access

Determination of Toxicological Parameters of Selected Bioactive Organic Chemicals Using the Ostracodtoxkit FTM

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 113 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

Assessment of the impact of pharmaceutical residues on living organisms is very complex subject. Apart from taking into account the toxicity of individual compounds also their presence in mixtures should be taken into account. In this work, attempts were made to assess the ecotoxicity of biologically active substances (with 50 % effective concentration (EC50) values growing from fluoxetine (EC50 = 4.431 nM) >> gemfibrozil ≈ 17α-ethinylestradiol ≈ ketorolac > indomethacin > theophylline ≈ progesterone > naproxen ≈ trypsin > 2-(2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy)propionic acid > chloramphenicol > acetylsalicylic acid > ibuprofen > ketoprofen > 19-norethindrone to bezafibrate as the least toxic drug among studied ones) to the ISO standardized Ostracodtoxkit FTM bioassay. The Ostracodtoxkit FTM was proven to be very sensitive tool with respect to responding to presence of pharmaceuticals. Results of studies justify the statement that more research is needed in field of assessment of chronic exposure to pharmaceuticals and other newly emerging pollutants especially when they are present in complex mixture.

Keywords

  • bioassays
  • pharmaceuticals
  • toxicity
  • Ostracodtoxkit F
Open Access

Mosses as Biomonitor of Air Pollution with Analytes Originating from Tobacco Smoke

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 127 - 136

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the carried out research was the assessment of the possibility to use a popular bioindicator - Pleurozium schreberi mosses as a biosensor of the air pollution in living quarters with the analytes originating from tobacco smoke. The moss bag method of active biomonitoring, popular in environmental studies, was applied; the method is based on exposing mosses collected in clean areas in the locations polluted with, for example, heavy metals. However, this experiment involved exposing mosses in living quarters, in which approximately 10 cigarettes were smoked daily (first room - kitchen). For the purpose of comparison, moss samples were also placed in another room (bedroom), which was potentially not polluted. After three months of exposure, the following heavy metals were determined in mosses: Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb and Hg, using the atomic absorption spectrometry method. Additionally, these analytes were also determined in hair samples from the persons smoking in the room and from other smokers; the determined metal concentrations were compared with the results of the studies carried out using hair samples collected from non-smokers. On the basis of carried out research it was confirmed that, among others, the mosses exposed in living quarters accumulate heavy metals, such as Ni, Zn, Pb and Hg, which originate from tobacco smoke. Higher heavy metal concentrations were determined in hair samples from smokers, compared to hair samples from non-smokers.

Keywords

  • mosses
  • hairs
  • heavy metals
  • cigarette smoke
  • biomonitoring
Open Access

Propylene Oxide Polymerization in the Presence of Layered Double Hydroxides

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 137 - 142

Abstract

Abstract

Propylene oxide polymerization in the presence of layered double hydroxides with different concentration of basic sites on their surface has been studied. It is shown that the polymerization can be catalyzed by both basic and acidic sites. On the basis of kinetic experiments the mechanisms of reaction undergoing were proposed.

Keywords

  • propylene oxide
  • layered double hydroxides
  • polymerization
  • catalytic activity
9 Articles
Open Access

Ecology and Society. Impacted Ecosystems. Part I

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 7 - 29

Abstract

Abstract

The Earth has existed for more than four billion years and has sustained life for three billion. Human beings have existed for just 200,000 years, yet our impact on the planet is so great that scientists around the world are calling for our period in the Earth’s history to be named ‘the Anthropocene’ - the age of humans. The changes we are now making have exacted a heavy toll on the natural world around us, and now threaten the planet’s ability to provide for us all. Problems of Ecology and Society in the new geological era as the Anthropocene - ‘the age of humans’ - are overviewed. The name is widely recognized as a useful classification of the period in which human activity has created and continues to generate deep and lasting effects on the Earth and its living systems. Examples of the interrelated effects of exponential population growth and massively expanding consumption of natural resources called Great Acceleration are given. Updated ‘planetary dashboard’ of environmental, economic and social indicators charts the trajectory of the Anthropocene are briefly summarized.

Keywords

  • Anthropocene
  • Great Acceleration
Open Access

What the Old Microbiologists Knew...

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 31 - 46

Abstract

Abstract

Amazing is the fact that although the organisms have been known since the end of the seventeenth century, effective study of this group of organisms started after about 160 years, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. The origins of science about bacteria were very difficult, there were many unknowns and conflict information. The research results provided by various scientists created complete chaos. From today’s perspective, it is difficult to imagine how it was possible, do research in such conditions, and obtain reliable results? Yet despite these difficulties, knowledge of our predecessors was neither so small nor so doubtful as might be supposed. On the contrary, it was surprisingly big and wide. What our predecessors knew about bacteria and especially their importance in nature? They knew that bacteria live everywhere, knew about their unlimited spread in the biosphere. The role of microorganisms in the mineralization of organic matter was known, as well as the circulation of matter in nature and role of bacteria in cycles of nutrient elements, and the solar energy as the driving force behind these changes. Today - although we understand these mechanisms much more accurately, we know a lot details and individual changes - but the basic outline of the functioning of the biosphere, valid until today created our predecessors. A look back at the beginning of the microbiology teaches us, how much can be achieved with seemingly primitive methods, if accompanied by a passion for research and imagination.

Keywords

  • history of microbiology
  • biosphere
  • cycles of elements
Open Access

Two English Chemists/Authors/Teachers: John Read and James Riddick Partington

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 47 - 69

Abstract

Abstract

John Read and James Partington were both prominent and highly respected academics, chemists, authors and teachers during the middle decades of the 20th century. Their books were widely read throughout this period and played a major role in educating and raising the awareness of chemistry among young people and adults. Today their names are forgotten. The aim of the present article is to re-establish these two remarkable men and to bring them to the forefront of educational programs. An outline is given of their careers as chemists, set against the background of the times they lived in, giving an emphasis to their formidable literary output. Although they had widely contrasting personalities, and were specialists in three different fields of chemistry, Read: organic, Partington: physical and inorganic, they both recognized the great importance of setting chemistry in an historical context. Accordingly, they both wrote many works on the origins and development of chemistry and included much historical material in their textbooks. This added not only a great interest to the subject, but also set it in a broader cultural context, which is so clearly lacking in today’s chemistry teaching programs. A chronological list of their books is given and short contrasting fragments from four of them are analysed. Not only are these books of great interest, but they serve as an outstanding foundation for teaching the principles of chemistry today. A recommendation is made to incorporate one work of each author as compulsory reading material for students today, and in future years.

Keywords

  • Read
  • Partington
  • chemistry
  • organic chemistry
  • inorganic chemistry
  • physical chemistry
  • education
Open Access

Assessing of Scientific Inquiry Skills Achieved by Future Biology Teachers

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 71 - 80

Abstract

Abstract

A successful application of scientific research in science education requires adequate professional training of teachers. The study presents the results of research focused on the level of scientific inquiry skills of future biology teachers. The results showed that students with a success rate of over 80 % solved tasks focused on applying numerical methods, determining relationships between variables and evaluating the uses and misuses of scientific information with a more than 80 % success rate. On the other side, the students had considerable problems associated with planning and implementing of the experiment. The results indicated that there is no significant difference in the level of scientific inquiry skills between students who study biology teaching in combination with other science subject, and students who study biology teaching in combination with a non-science subject.

Keywords

  • scientific inquiry skills
  • scientific knowledge
Open Access

The Level of Mastery of the Concept of Chemical Reaction Rate by 9th Grade Students

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 81 - 95

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, we focused on the results of research, which we have conducted to ascertain the knowledge of Slovak students who have just finished their lower secondary education concerning the topic of chemical reaction rate. The study was attended by a total of 320 15-year-old graduates of basic chemistry education belonged to several schools. Students’ knowledge was found through didactic test consisted of 1 item related to clustering and several two-level tasks. The results were analyzed in terms of deeper insight into the students’ understanding of the issue and students’ misconceptions were also identified. The findings related to the problems connected with acquiring the concept of chemical reaction rate, especially in relation to the students’ grasp the mentioned topic at submicroscopic, macroscopic and symbolic levels of representation were analyzed. We managed to investigate the students’ various difficulties associated with mentioned topic. Several problems were found. Students have a problem with understanding the basic term “chemical reaction rate”, relating it to bodies in motion, which they know from physics lessons and everyday life. They also have problems to distinguish and interconnect information at different levels of representation. Students often do not know which factors affect the rate of reaction and how. They do not understand the concepts of concentration and catalyst and do not distinguish the terms temperature and heat. Students’ knowledge is often only formal and lacks a real conceptual understanding of the problem. Their solving of problems does not go beyond the algorithmic level of solution and they are not able to solve tasks that are not typically school-related issues.

Keywords

  • the chemical reaction rate
  • level of understanding
  • misconceptions
  • misunderstandings
Open Access

Learners’ Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium at Submicroscopic, Macroscopic and Symbolic Levels

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 97 - 111

Abstract

Abstract

It is not easy for secondary school learners to comprehend the concept of chemical equilibrium at the level of understanding. In this context, a feedback is important for the teachers to optimize their help to students in constructing this concept. We designed and tested sets of particularly prepared tasks, the solution of which reflects the depth of understanding of the basic concept in macroscopic, submicroscopic and symbolic representation. Difficulties in understanding the chemical phenomena and concepts do not result only from the existence of these three levels or from their explanation using abstract concepts, but also from the lack of interconnection between these representations. Consistent interconnection of these levels can lead to an internal conflict in students, and consequently to a more profound understanding of the concept or relationships between concepts at multiple levels of representation to understand them or to change the meaning of one to another. There is also a close connection with the aspect of memory, algorithmic and conceptual approaches to solving educational situations, which extends dimensionally and reinforces the need for a more comprehensive grasp of learners’ mastery of the given concept. The teacher cannot expect that the learners without intensive training, e.g., only by observing the macroscopic representation, can interpret the essence of the submicroscopic representation. Therefore, these aspects need to be consistently involved in the model of learners’ cognitive process early enough to apply them in the educational practice without any problems.

Keywords

  • chemical equilibrium
  • equilibrium constant
  • chemical triangle
  • level of comprehension
Open Access

Determination of Toxicological Parameters of Selected Bioactive Organic Chemicals Using the Ostracodtoxkit FTM

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 113 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

Assessment of the impact of pharmaceutical residues on living organisms is very complex subject. Apart from taking into account the toxicity of individual compounds also their presence in mixtures should be taken into account. In this work, attempts were made to assess the ecotoxicity of biologically active substances (with 50 % effective concentration (EC50) values growing from fluoxetine (EC50 = 4.431 nM) >> gemfibrozil ≈ 17α-ethinylestradiol ≈ ketorolac > indomethacin > theophylline ≈ progesterone > naproxen ≈ trypsin > 2-(2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy)propionic acid > chloramphenicol > acetylsalicylic acid > ibuprofen > ketoprofen > 19-norethindrone to bezafibrate as the least toxic drug among studied ones) to the ISO standardized Ostracodtoxkit FTM bioassay. The Ostracodtoxkit FTM was proven to be very sensitive tool with respect to responding to presence of pharmaceuticals. Results of studies justify the statement that more research is needed in field of assessment of chronic exposure to pharmaceuticals and other newly emerging pollutants especially when they are present in complex mixture.

Keywords

  • bioassays
  • pharmaceuticals
  • toxicity
  • Ostracodtoxkit F
Open Access

Mosses as Biomonitor of Air Pollution with Analytes Originating from Tobacco Smoke

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 127 - 136

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the carried out research was the assessment of the possibility to use a popular bioindicator - Pleurozium schreberi mosses as a biosensor of the air pollution in living quarters with the analytes originating from tobacco smoke. The moss bag method of active biomonitoring, popular in environmental studies, was applied; the method is based on exposing mosses collected in clean areas in the locations polluted with, for example, heavy metals. However, this experiment involved exposing mosses in living quarters, in which approximately 10 cigarettes were smoked daily (first room - kitchen). For the purpose of comparison, moss samples were also placed in another room (bedroom), which was potentially not polluted. After three months of exposure, the following heavy metals were determined in mosses: Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb and Hg, using the atomic absorption spectrometry method. Additionally, these analytes were also determined in hair samples from the persons smoking in the room and from other smokers; the determined metal concentrations were compared with the results of the studies carried out using hair samples collected from non-smokers. On the basis of carried out research it was confirmed that, among others, the mosses exposed in living quarters accumulate heavy metals, such as Ni, Zn, Pb and Hg, which originate from tobacco smoke. Higher heavy metal concentrations were determined in hair samples from smokers, compared to hair samples from non-smokers.

Keywords

  • mosses
  • hairs
  • heavy metals
  • cigarette smoke
  • biomonitoring
Open Access

Propylene Oxide Polymerization in the Presence of Layered Double Hydroxides

Published Online: 25 Jan 2019
Page range: 137 - 142

Abstract

Abstract

Propylene oxide polymerization in the presence of layered double hydroxides with different concentration of basic sites on their surface has been studied. It is shown that the polymerization can be catalyzed by both basic and acidic sites. On the basis of kinetic experiments the mechanisms of reaction undergoing were proposed.

Keywords

  • propylene oxide
  • layered double hydroxides
  • polymerization
  • catalytic activity

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