Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 182

182
10010960
Removal of Vanadium from Industrial Effluents by Natural Ion Exchanger
Abstract:

The removal vanadium from aqueous solution using natural exchanger was investigated. The effects of pH, contact time and exchanger dose were studied at ambient temperature (25 0C ± 2 0C). The equilibrium process was described by the Langmuir isotherm model with adsorption capacity for vanadium. The natural exchanger i.e. tamarindus seeds powder was treated with formaldehyde and sulpuric acid to increase the adsorptivity of metals. The maximum exchange level was attained as 80.1% at pH 3 with exchanger dose 5 g and contact time 60 min. Method is applied for removal of vanadium from industrial effluents.

181
10010696
Surface Water Pollution by Open Refuse Dumpsite in North Central of Nigeria
Abstract:

Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.

180
10010558
Main Cause of Children's Deaths in Indigenous Wayuu Community from Department of La Guajira: A Research Developed through Data Mining Use
Abstract:

The main purpose of this research is to discover what causes death in children of the Wayuu community, and deeply analyze those results in order to take corrective measures to properly control infant mortality. We consider important to determine the reasons that are producing early death in this specific type of population, since they are the most vulnerable to high risk environmental conditions. In this way, the government, through competent authorities, may develop prevention policies and the right measures to avoid an increase of this tragic fact. The methodology used to develop this investigation is data mining, which consists in gaining and examining large amounts of data to produce new and valuable information. Through this technique it has been possible to determine that the child population is dying mostly from malnutrition. In short, this technique has been very useful to develop this study; it has allowed us to transform large amounts of information into a conclusive and important statement, which has made it easier to take appropriate steps to resolve a particular situation.

179
10010513
A Study on the Factors Affecting Student Behavior Intention to Attend Robotics Courses at the Primary and Secondary School Levels
Authors:
Abstract:

In order to explore the key factors affecting the robot program learning intention of school students, this study takes the technology acceptance model as the theoretical basis and invites 167 students from Jiading District of Shanghai as the research subjects. In the robot course, the model of school students on their learning behavior is constructed. By verifying the causal path relationship between variables, it is concluded that teachers can enhance students’ perceptual usefulness to robotics courses by enhancing subjective norms, entertainment perception, and reducing technical anxiety, such as focusing on the gradual progress of programming and analyzing learner characteristics. Students can improve perceived ease of use by enhancing self-efficacy. At the same time, robot hardware designers can optimize in terms of entertainment and interactivity, which will directly or indirectly increase the learning intention of the robot course. By changing these factors, the learning behavior of primary and secondary school students can be more sustainable.

178
10010339
Importance of Macromineral Ratios and Products in Association with Vitamin D in Pediatric Obesity Including Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:
Metabolisms of macrominerals, those of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, are closely associated with the metabolism of vitamin D. Particularly magnesium, the second most abundant intracellular cation, is related to biochemical and metabolic processes in the body, such as those of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. The status of each mineral was investigated in obesity to some extent. Their products and ratios may possibly give much more detailed information about the matter. The aim of this study is to investigate possible relations between each macromineral and some obesity-related parameters. This study was performed on 235 children, whose ages were between 06-18 years. Aside from anthropometric measurements, hematological analyses were performed. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to establish some obesity-related parameters including basal metabolic rate (BMR), total fat, mineral and muscle masses. World Health Organization body mass index (BMI) percentiles for age and sex were used to constitute the groups. The values above 99th percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Those between 95th and 99th percentiles were included into the obese group. The overweight group comprised of children whose percentiles were between 95 and 85. Children between the 85th and 15th percentiles were defined as normal. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) components (waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, triacylglycerol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure) were determined. High performance liquid chromatography was used to determine Vitamin D status by measuring 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol (25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D). Vitamin D values above 30.0 ng/ml were accepted as sufficient. SPSS statistical package program was used for the evaluation of data. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The important points were the correlations found between vitamin D and magnesium as well as phosphorus (p < 0.05) that existed in the group with normal BMI values. These correlations were lost in the other groups. The ratio of phosphorus to magnesium was even much more highly correlated with vitamin D (p < 0.001). The negative correlation between magnesium and total fat mass (p < 0.01) was confined to the MetS group showing the inverse relationship between magnesium levels and obesity degree. In this group, calcium*magnesium product exhibited the highest correlation with total fat mass (p < 0.001) among all groups. Only in the MetS group was a negative correlation found between BMR and calcium*magnesium product (p < 0.05). In conclusion, magnesium is located at the center of attraction concerning its relationships with vitamin D, fat mass and MetS. The ratios and products derived from macrominerals including magnesium have pointed out stronger associations other than each element alone. Final considerations have shown that unique correlations of magnesium as well as calcium*magnesium product with total fat mass have drawn attention particularly in the MetS group, possibly due to the derangements in some basic elements of carbohydrate as well as lipid metabolism.
177
10010171
Vitamin Content of Swordfish (Xhiphias gladius) Affected by Salting and Frying
Abstract:

The swordfish (Xiphias gladius) is a large oceanic fish of high commercial value, which is widely distributed in waters of the world’s oceans. They are considered to be an important source of high quality proteins, vitamins and essential fatty acids, although only half of the population follows the recommendation of nutritionists to consume fish at least twice a week. Swordfish is consumed worldwide because of its low fat content and high protein content. It is generally sold as fresh, frozen, and as pieces or slices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of salting and frying on the composition of the water-soluble vitamins (B2, B3, B9 and B12) and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) of swordfish. Three loins of swordfish from Pacific Ocean were analyzed. All the fishes had a weight between 50 and 70 kg and were transported to the laboratory frozen (-18 ºC). Before the processing, they were defrosted at 4 ºC. Each loin was sliced and salted in brine. After cleaning the slices, they were divided into portions (10×2 cm) and fried in olive oil. The identification and quantification of vitamins were carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), using methanol and 0.010% trifluoroacetic acid as mobile phases at a flow-rate of 0.7 mL min-1. The UV-Vis detector was used for the detection of the water- and fat-soluble vitamins (A and D), as well as the fluorescence detector for the detection of the vitamin E. During salting, water and fat-soluble vitamin contents remained constant, observing an evident decrease in the values of vitamin B2. The diffusion of salt into the interior of the pieces and the loss of constitution water that occur during this stage would be related to this significant decrease. In general, after frying water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins showed a great thermolability with high percentages of retention with values among 50–100%. Vitamin B3 is the one that exhibited higher percentages of retention with values close to 100%. However, vitamin B9 presented the highest losses with a percentage of retention of less than 20%.

176
10009903
Effect of Vitamin D3 on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Prognosis, Anthropometric and Body Composition Parameters of Overweight Women: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
Abstract:
Vitamin D deficiency and overweight are common in women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Weight gain in PCOS is an important factor for the development of menstrual dysfunction and signs of hyperandrogenism and alopecia. Features of PCOS such as oligomenorrhea can be predicted by anthropometric measurements as body mass index (BMI). Therefore, the aim of this trial was to study the effect of 50,000 IU/week of vitamin D₃ supplementation on the body composition and on the anthropometric measurements of overweight women with PCOS and to examine the impact of this effect on ovaries ultrasonography and menstrual cycle regularity. The study design was a prospective randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted on 60 overweight Jordanian women aged (18-49) years with PCOS and vitamin D deficiency. The study participants were divided into two groups; vitamin D group (n = 30) who were assigned to receive 50,000 IU/week of vitamin D₃ and placebo group (n = 30) who were assigned to receive placebo tablets orally for 90 days. The anthropometric measurements and body composition were measured at baseline and after treatment for the PCOS and vitamin D deficient women. Also, assessment of the participants’ picture of ovaries by ultrasound and menstrual cycle regulatory were performed before and after treatment. Results showed that there were no significant (p > 0.05) differences between the placebo and vitamin D group basal 25(OH)D levels, body composition and anthropometric parameters. After treatment, vitamin D group serum levels of 25(OH)D increased (12.5 ± 0.61 to 50.2 ± 2.04 ng/mL, (p < 0.001), and decreased (50.2 ± 2.04 to 48.2 ± 2.03 ng/mL, p < 0.001) after 14 days of vitamin D₃ treatment cessation. There were no significant changes in the placebo group. In the vitamin D group, there were significant (p < 0.001) decreases in body weight, BMI, waist, and hip circumferences and fat mass. In addition, there were significant increases (p < 0.05) in fat free mass and total body water. These improvements in both anthropometric and body composition as well as in 25(OH)D concentrations, resulted in significant improvements in the picture of PCOS women ovaries ultrasonography and in menstrual cycle regularity, where nearly most of them (93%) had regular cycles after vitamin D₃ supplementation. In the placebo group, there were only significant decreases (p < 0.05) in waist and hip circumferences. It can be concluded that vitamin D supplementation improving serum 25(OH)D levels and PCOS prognosis by reducing body weight of overweight PCOS women and regulating their menstrual cycle.
175
10009469
Metamodel for Artefacts in Service Engineering Analysis and Design
Abstract:

As a process of developing a service system, the term ‘service engineering’ evolves in scope and definition. To achieve an integrated understanding of the process, a general framework and an ontology are required. This paper extends a previously built service engineering framework by exploring metamodels for the framework artefacts based on a foundational ontology and a metamodel landscape. The first part of this paper presents a correlation map between the proposed framework with the ontology as a form of evaluation for the conceptual coverage of the framework. The mapping also serves to characterize the artefacts to be produced for each activity in the framework. The second part describes potential metamodels to be used, from the metamodel landscape, as alternative formats of the framework artefacts. The results suggest that the framework sufficiently covers the ontological concepts, both from general service context and software service context. The metamodel exploration enriches the suggested artefact format from the original eighteen formats to thirty metamodel alternatives.

174
10009437
Relation of Optimal Pilot Offsets in the Shifted Constellation-Based Method for the Detection of Pilot Contamination Attacks
Abstract:

One possible approach for maintaining the security of communication systems relies on Physical Layer Security mechanisms. However, in wireless time division duplex systems, where uplink and downlink channels are reciprocal, the channel estimate procedure is exposed to attacks known as pilot contamination, with the aim of having an enhanced data signal sent to the malicious user. The Shifted 2-N-PSK method involves two random legitimate pilots in the training phase, each of which belongs to a constellation, shifted from the original N-PSK symbols by certain degrees. In this paper, legitimate pilots’ offset values and their influence on the detection capabilities of the Shifted 2-N-PSK method are investigated. As the implementation of the technique depends on the relation between the shift angles rather than their specific values, the optimal interconnection between the two legitimate constellations is investigated. The results show that no regularity exists in the relation between the pilot contamination attacks (PCA) detection probability and the choice of offset values. Therefore, an adversary who aims to obtain the exact offset values can only employ a brute-force attack but the large number of possible combinations for the shifted constellations makes such a type of attack difficult to successfully mount. For this reason, the number of optimal shift value pairs is also studied for both 100% and 98% probabilities of detecting pilot contamination attacks. Although the Shifted 2-N-PSK method has been broadly studied in different signal-to-noise ratio scenarios, in multi-cell systems the interference from the signals in other cells should be also taken into account. Therefore, the inter-cell interference impact on the performance of the method is investigated by means of a large number of simulations. The results show that the detection probability of the Shifted 2-N-PSK decreases inversely to the signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio.

173
10009045
Design and Performance Comparison of Metamaterial Based Antenna for 4G/5G Mobile Devices
Abstract:

This paper presents the design and performance evaluation of multiband metamaterial based antenna operating in the 3.6 GHz (4G), 14.33 GHz, and 28.86 GHz (5G) frequency bands, for future mobile and handheld devices. The radiating element of the proposed design is made up of a conductive material supported by a 1.524 mm thicker Rogers-4003 substrate, having a relative dielectric constant and loss tangent of 3.55 and 0.0027, respectively. The substrate is backed by truncated ground plane. The future mobile communication system is based on higher frequencies, which are highly affected by the atmospheric conditions. Therefore, to overcome the path loss problem, essential enhancements and improvements must be made in the overall performance of the antenna. The traditional ground plane does not provide the in-phase reflection and surface wave suppression due to which side and back lobes are produced. This will affect the antenna performance in terms of gain and efficiency. To enhance the overall performance of the antenna, a metamaterial acting as a high impedance surface (HIS) is used as a reflector in the proposed design. The simulated gain of the metamaterial based antenna is enhanced from {2.76-6.47, 4.83-6.71 and 7.52-7.73} dB at 3.6, 14.33 and 28.89 GHz, respectively relative to the gain of the antenna backed by a traditional ground plane. The proposed antenna radiated efficiently with a radiated efficiency (>85 %) in all the three frequency bands with and without metamaterial surface. The total volume of the antenna is (L x W x h=45 x 40 x 1.524) mm3. The antenna can be potentially used for wireless handheld devices and mobile terminal. All the simulations have been performed using the Computer Simulation Technology (CST) software.

172
10009292
Geostatistical Analysis of Contamination of Soils in an Urban Area in Ghana
Abstract:

Urbanization remains one of the unique predominant factors which is linked to the destruction of urban environment and its associated cases of soil contamination by heavy metals through the natural and anthropogenic activities. These activities are important sources of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn). Often, these heavy metals lead to increased levels in some areas due to the impact of atmospheric deposition caused by their proximity to industrial plants or the indiscriminately burning of substances. Information gathered on potentially hazardous levels of these heavy metals in soils leads to establish serious health and urban agriculture implications. However, characterization of spatial variations of soil contamination by heavy metals in Ghana is limited. Kumasi is a Metropolitan city in Ghana, West Africa and is challenged with the recent spate of deteriorating soil quality due to rapid economic development and other human activities such as “Galamsey”, illegal mining operations within the metropolis. The paper seeks to use both univariate and multivariate geostatistical techniques to assess the spatial distribution of heavy metals in soils and the potential risk associated with ingestion of sources of soil contamination in the Metropolis. Geostatistical tools have the ability to detect changes in correlation structure and how a good knowledge of the study area can help to explain the different scales of variation detected. To achieve this task, point referenced data on heavy metals measured from topsoil samples in a previous study, were collected at various locations. Linear models of regionalisation and coregionalisation were fitted to all experimental semivariograms to describe the spatial dependence between the topsoil heavy metals at different spatial scales, which led to ordinary kriging and cokriging at unsampled locations and production of risk maps of soil contamination by these heavy metals. Results obtained from both the univariate and multivariate semivariogram models showed strong spatial dependence with range of autocorrelations ranging from 100 to 300 meters. The risk maps produced show strong spatial heterogeneity for almost all the soil heavy metals with extremely risk of contamination found close to areas with commercial and industrial activities. Hence, ongoing pollution interventions should be geared towards these highly risk areas for efficient management of soil contamination to avert further pollution in the metropolis.

171
10008941
Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity
Abstract:

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

170
10009194
Evaluation of Vitamin D Levels in Obese and Morbid Obese Children
Abstract:
Obesity may lead to growing serious health problems throughout the world. Vitamin D appears to play a role in cardiovascular and metabolic health. Vitamin D deficiency may add to derangements in human metabolic systems, particularly those of children. Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of chronic and sophisticated diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate associations as well as possible differences related to parameters affected by obesity and their relations with vitamin D status in obese (OB) and morbid obese (MO) children. This study included a total of 78 children. Of them, 41 and 37 were OB and MO, respectively. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as MO. Those between 95 and 99 percentiles were included into OB group. Anthropometric measurements were recorded. Basal metabolic rates (BMRs) were measured. Vitamin D status is determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol [25- hydroxyvitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high-performance liquid chromatography. Vitamin D status was evaluated as deficient, insufficient and sufficient. Values < 20.0 ng/ml, values between 20-30 ng/ml and values > 30.0 ng/ml were defined as vitamin D deficient, insufficient and sufficient, respectively. Optimal 25(OH)D level was defined as ≥ 30 ng/ml. SPSSx statistical package program was used for the evaluation of the data. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. Mean ages did not differ between the groups. Significantly increased body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (C) and neck C as well as significantly decreased fasting blood glucose (FBG) and vitamin D values were observed in MO group (p < 0.05). In OB group, 37.5% of the children were vitamin D deficient, and in MO group the corresponding value was 53.6%. No difference between the groups in terms of lipid profile, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and insulin values was noted. There was a severe statistical significance between FBG values of the groups (p < 0.001). Important correlations between BMI, waist C, hip C, neck C and both SBP as well as DBP were found in OB group. In MO group, correlations only with SBP were obtained. In a similar manner, in OB group, correlations were detected between SBP-BMR and DBP-BMR. However, in MO children, BMR correlated only with SBP. The associations of vitamin D with anthropometric indices as well as some lipid parameters were defined. In OB group BMI, waist C, hip C and triglycerides (TRG) were negatively correlated with vitamin D concentrations whereas none of them were detected in MO group. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the complications associated with childhood obesity. Loss of correlations between obesity indices-DBP, vitamin D-TRG, as well as relatively lower FBG values, observed in MO group point out that the emergence of MetS components starts during obesity state just before the transition to morbid obesity. Aside from its deficiency state, associations of vitamin D with anthropometric measurements, blood pressures and TRG should also be evaluated before the development of morbid obesity.
169
10008868
Lead in The Soil-Plant System Following Aged Contamination from Ceramic Wastes
Abstract:

Lead contamination of agricultural land mainly vegetated with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) has been investigated. The metal derived from the discharge of sludge from a ceramic industry in the past had used lead paints. The results showed very high values of lead concentration in many soil samples. In order to assess the lead soil contamination, a sequential extraction with H2O, KNO3, EDTA was performed, and the chemical forms of lead in the soil were evaluated. More than 70% of lead was in a potentially bioavailable form. Analysis of Lolium perenne showed elevated lead concentration. A Freundlich-like model was used to describe the transferability of the metal from the soil to the plant.

168
10008924
Medical Image Watermark and Tamper Detection Using Constant Correlation Spread Spectrum Watermarking
Abstract:

Data hiding can be achieved by Steganography or invisible digital watermarking. For digital watermarking, both accurate retrieval of the embedded watermark and the integrity of the cover image are important. Medical image security in Teleradiology is one of the applications where the embedded patient record needs to be extracted with accuracy as well as the medical image integrity verified. In this research paper, the Constant Correlation Spread Spectrum digital watermarking for medical image tamper detection and accurate embedded watermark retrieval is introduced. In the proposed method, a watermark bit from a patient record is spread in a medical image sub-block such that the correlation of all watermarked sub-blocks with a spreading code, W, would have a constant value, p. The constant correlation p, spreading code, W and the size of the sub-blocks constitute the secret key. Tamper detection is achieved by flagging any sub-block whose correlation value deviates by more than a small value, ℇ, from p. The major features of our new scheme include: (1) Improving watermark detection accuracy for high-pixel depth medical images by reducing the Bit Error Rate (BER) to Zero and (2) block-level tamper detection in a single computational process with simultaneous watermark detection, thereby increasing utility with the same computational cost.

167
10008478
Porul: Option Generation and Selection and Scoring Algorithms for a Tamil Flash Card Game
Abstract:
Games can be the excellent tools for teaching a language. There are few e-learning games in Indian languages like word scrabble, cross word, quiz games etc., which were developed mainly for educational purposes. This paper proposes a Tamil word game called, “Porul”, which focuses on education as well as on players’ thinking and decision-making skills. Porul is a multiple choice based quiz game, in which the players attempt to answer questions correctly from the given multiple options that are generated using a unique algorithm called the Option Selection algorithm which explores the semantics of the question in various dimensions namely, synonym, rhyme and Universal Networking Language semantic category. This kind of semantic exploration of the question not only increases the complexity of the game but also makes it more interesting. The paper also proposes a Scoring Algorithm which allots a score based on the popularity score of the question word. The proposed game has been tested using 20,000 Tamil words.
166
10009095
Time and Cost Efficiency Analysis of Quick Die Change System on Metal Stamping Industry
Abstract:

Manufacturing cost and setup time are the hot topics to improve in Metal Stamping industry because material and components price are always rising up while costumer requires to cut down the component price year by year. The Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of many methods to reduce waste in stamping industry. The Japanese Quick Die Change (QDC) dies system is one of SMED systems that could reduce both of setup time and manufacturing cost. However, this system is rarely used in stamping industries. This paper will analyze how deep the QDC dies system could reduce setup time and the manufacturing cost. The research is conducted by direct observation, simulating and comparing of QDC dies system with conventional dies system. In this research, we found that the QDC dies system could save up to 35% of manufacturing cost and reduce 70% of setup times. This simulation proved that the QDC die system is effective for cost reduction but must be applied in several parallel production processes.

165
10008346
Heavy Metal Contamination of a Dumpsite Environment as Assessed with Pollution Indices
Abstract:
Indiscriminate refuse dumping in and around Ado-Ekiti combined with improper management of few available dumpsites, such as Ilokun dumpsite, posed the threat of heavy metals pollution in the surrounding soils and underground water that needs assessment using pollution indices. Surface soils (0-15 cm) were taken from the centre of Ilokun dumpsite (0 m) and environs at different directions and distances during the dry and wet seasons, as well as a background sample at 1000 m away, adjacent to the dumpsite at Ilokun, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. The concentration of heavy metals used to calculate the pollution indices for the soils were determined using Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer. The soils recorded high concentrations of all the heavy metals above the background concentrations irrespective of the season with highest concentrations at the 0 m except Ni and Fe at 50 m during the dry and wet season, respectively. The heavy metals concentration were in the order of Ni > Mn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Cd > Fe during the dry season, and Fe > Cr > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cd > Mn during the wet season. Using the Contamination Factor (CF), the soils were classified to be moderately contaminated with Cd and Fe to very high contamination with other metals during the dry season and low Cd contamination (0.87), moderate contamination with Fe, Pb, Mn and Ni and very high contamination with Cr and Cu during the wet season. At both seasons, the Pollution Load Index (PLI) indicates the soils to be generally polluted with heavy metals and the Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo) calculated shown the soils to be in unpolluted to moderately polluted levels. Enrichment Factor (EF) implied the soils to be deficiently enriched with all the heavy metals except Cr (7.90) and Cu (6.42) that were at significantly enrichment levels during the wet season. Modified Degree of Contamination (mCd) recorded, indicated the soils to be of very high to extremely high degree of contamination during the dry season and moderate degree of contamination during the wet season except 0 m with high degree of contamination. The concentration of heavy metals in the soils combined with some of the pollution indices indicated the soils in and around the Ilokun Dumpsite are being polluted with heavy metals from anthropogenic sources constituted by the indiscriminate refuse dumping.
164
10008409
Factors Influencing the Continuance Usage of Online Mobile Payment Apps: A Case Study of WECHAT Users in China
Abstract:

This research paper seeks to investigate the factors determining the continuance usage of online mobile payment applications among WECHAT users in China. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory would both be applied as the theoretical foundation for this study. A developed instrument would be administered to the targeted sample of 1000 WECHAT Users in the City of Harbin, China, through an online questionnaire administration platform. Factors such as perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived service quality, social influence, trust in the internet, internet self-efficacy, relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity would be explored to determine its significant impact on the continuance intention to use mobile payment apps. This study is at the development and implementation stage. The successful completion of this research article would not only provide an insightful understanding of the factors influencing the decision of WECHAT users in China to use mobile payment applications but also enrich the e-commerce adoption literature.

163
10008255
Effect of Three Drying Methods on Antioxidant Efficiency and Vitamin C Content of Moringa oleifera Leaf Extract
Abstract:

Moringa oleifera is a plant containing many nutrients that are mostly concentrated within the leaves. Commonly, the separation process of these nutrients involves solid-liquid extraction followed by evaporation and drying to obtain a concentrated extract, which is rich in proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients that can be used in the food industry. In this work, three drying methods were used, which involved very different temperature and pressure conditions, to evaluate the effect of each method on the vitamin C content and the antioxidant efficiency of the extracts. Solid-liquid extractions of Moringa leaf (LE) were carried out by employing an ethanol solution (35% v/v) at 50 °C for 2 hours. The resulting extracts were then dried i) in a convective oven (CO) at 100 °C and at an atmospheric pressure of 750 mbar for 8 hours, ii) in a vacuum evaporator (VE) at 50 °C and at 300 mbar for 2 hours, and iii) in a freeze-drier (FD) at -40 °C and at 0.050 mbar for 36 hours. The antioxidant capacity (EC50, mg solids/g DPPH) of the dry solids was calculated by the free radical inhibition method employing DPPH˙ at 517 nm, resulting in a value of 2902.5 ± 14.8 for LE, 3433.1 ± 85.2 for FD, 3980.1 ± 37.2 for VE, and 8123.5 ± 263.3 for CO. The calculated antioxidant efficiency (AE, g DPPH/(mg solids·min)) was 2.920 × 10-5 for LE, 2.884 × 10-5 for FD, 2.512 × 10-5 for VE, and 1.009 × 10-5 for CO. Further, the content of vitamin C (mg/L) determined by HPLC was 59.0 ± 0.3 for LE, 49.7 ± 0.6 for FD, 45.0 ± 0.4 for VE, and 23.6 ± 0.7 for CO. The results indicate that the convective drying preserves vitamin C and antioxidant efficiency to 40% and 34% of the initial value, respectively, while vacuum drying to 76% and 86%, and freeze-drying to 84% and 98%, respectively.

162
10007981
Effects of Temperature and Enzyme Concentration on Quality of Pineapple and Pawpaw Blended Juice
Abstract:
The effects of temperature and enzyme concentration on the quality of mixed pineapple and pawpaw blended fruits juice were studied. Extracts of the two fruit juices were separately treated at 70  for 15 min each so as to inactivate micro-organisms. They were analyzed and blended in different proportions of 70% pawpaw and 30% pineapple, 60% pawpaw and 40% pineapple, 50% pineapple and 50% pawpaw, 40% pawpaw and 60% pineapple. The characterization of the fresh pawpaw and pineapple juice before blending showed that the juices have good quality. The high water content of the product may have affected the viscosity, vitamin C content and total soluble solid of the blended juice to be low. The effects of the process parameters on the quality showed that better quality of the blended juice can be obtained within the optimum temperature range of (50-70 °C) and enzyme concentration range (0.12-0.18 w/v). The ratio of mix 60% pineapple juice: 40% pawpaw juice has better quality. This showed that pawpaw and pineapple juices can blend effectively to produce a quality juice.
161
10008059
Plants as Alternative Covers at Contaminated Sites
Abstract:

Evapotranspiration (ET) covers are an alternative cover system that utilizes water balance approach to maximize the ET process to reduce the contaminants leaching through the soil profile. Microcosm tests allow to identify in a short time the most suitable plant species to be used as alternative covers, their survival capacity, and simultaneously the transpiration and evaporation rate of the cover in a specific contaminated soil. This work shows the soil characterization and ET results of microcosm tests carried out on two contaminated soils by using Triticum durum and Helianthus annuus species. The data indicated that transpiration was higher than evaporation, supporting the use of plants as alternative cover at this contaminated site.

160
10007879
Mass Transfer of Paracetamol from the Crosslinked Carrageenan-Polyvinyl Alcohol Film
Abstract:
In this research, carrageenan extracted from seaweed Eucheuma cottonii was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and then crosslinked using glutaraldehyde (GA). The obtained hydrogel films were applied to control the drug release rate of paracetamol. The aim of this research was to develop a mathematical model that can be used to describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol from the hydrogel film into buffer solution. The effect of weight ratio carrageenan-PVA (5: 0, 1: 0.5, 1: 1, 1: 2, 0: 5) on the parameters of the mathematical model was investigated also. Based on the experimental data, the proposed mathematical model could describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol. The weight ratio of carrageenan-PVA greatly affected the amount of paracetamol absorbed in the hydrogel film and the mass transfer rate of paracetamol.
159
10008282
Effectiveness of Crystallization Coating Materials on Chloride Ions Ingress in Concrete
Abstract:

This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of different crystalline coating materials concerning of chloride ions penetration. The concrete ages at the coating installation and its moisture conditions were addressed; where, these two factors may play a dominant role for the effectiveness of the used materials. Rapid chloride ions penetration test (RCPT) was conducted at different ages and moisture conditions according to the relevant standard. In addition, the contaminated area and the penetration depth of the chloride ions were investigated immediately after the RCPT test using chemical identifier, 0.1 M silver nitrate AgNO3 solution. Results have shown that, the very low chloride ions penetrability, for the studied crystallization materials, were investigated only with the old age concrete (G1). The significant reduction in chloride ions’ penetrability was illustrated after 7 days of installing the crystalline coating layers. Using imageJ is more reliable to describe the contaminated area of chloride ions, where the distribution of aggregate and heterogeneous of cement mortar was considered in the images analysis.

158
10007603
Detoxification of Hazardous Organic/Inorganic Contaminants in Automobile Shredder Residue by Multi-Functioned Nano-Size Metallic Calcium Composite
Abstract:

In recent years, environmental nanotechnology has risen to the forefront and the new properties and enhanced reactivates offered by nanomaterial may offer a new, low-cost paradigm to solving complex environmental pollution problems. This study assessed the synthesis and application of multi-functioned nano-size metallic calcium (nMC) composite for detoxification of hazardous inorganic (heavy metals (HMs)/organic chlorinated/brominated compound (CBCs) contaminants in automobile shredder residue (ASR). ASR residues ball milled with nMC composite can achieve about 90-100% of HMs immobilization and CBCs decomposition. The results highlight the low quantity of HMs leached from ASR residues after treatment with nMC, which was found to be lower than the standard regulatory limit for hazardous waste landfills. The use of nMC composite in a mechanochemical process to treat hazardous ASR (dry conditions) is a simple and innovative approach to remediate hazardous inorganic/organic cross-contaminates in ASR.

157
10008441
Maternal and Child Health Care: A Study among the Rongmeis of Manipur, India
Abstract:

Background: Maternal and child health (MCH) cares are the health services provided to mothers and children. It includes the health promotion, preventive, curative and rehabilitation health care for mothers and children. Materials and method: The present study sample comprises of 208 women within the age range 15-69 years from two remote villages of Tamenglong District in Manipur. They were randomly chosen for assessing their health as well as the child’s health adopting an interview schedule method. Results: The findings of the study revealed that majority (80%) of the women have their first conception in their first year of married life. A decadal change has been observed with regard to the last pregnancy i.e., antenatal check-up, place of delivery as well as the service provider. However, irrespective of age of the women, home delivery is still preferred though very few are locally trained. Pre- and post-delivery resting period vary depending on the busy schedule of the agricultural works as the population under study is basically agriculturist. Postnatal care remains to be traditional as they are strongly associated with cultural beliefs and practices that continue to prevail in the studied community. Breast feeding practices such as colostrums given, initiation of breastfeeding, weaning was all taken into account.  Immunization of children has not reached the expected target owing to a variety of reasons. Maternal health care also includes use of birth control measures. The health status of women would invariably improve if family planning is meaningfully adopted. Only 10.1% of the women adopted the modern birth control implying its deep-rooted value attached to the children. Based on the self-assessment report on their health treatment a good number of the respondents resorted to self-medication even to the extent of buying allopathic medicine without a doctor’s prescription. One important finding from the study is the importance attributed to the traditional health care system which is easily affordable and accessible to the villagers. Conclusion: The overall condition of maternal and child care is way behind till now as no adequate/proper health services are available.

156
10008460
Preliminary Evaluation of Decommissioning Wastes for the First Commercial Nuclear Power Reactor in South Korea
Abstract:

The commercial nuclear power reactor in South Korea, Kori Unit 1, which was a 587 MWe pressurized water reactor that started operation since 1978, was permanently shut down in June 2017 without an additional operating license extension. The Kori 1 Unit is scheduled to become the nuclear power unit to enter the decommissioning phase. In this study, the preliminary evaluation of the decommissioning wastes for the Kori Unit 1 was performed based on the following series of process: firstly, the plant inventory is investigated based on various documents (i.e., equipment/ component list, construction records, general arrangement drawings). Secondly, the radiological conditions of systems, structures and components (SSCs) are established to estimate the amount of radioactive waste by waste classification. Third, the waste management strategies for Kori Unit 1 including waste packaging are established. Forth, selection of the proper decontamination and dismantling (D&D) technologies is made considering the various factors. Finally, the amount of decommissioning waste by classification for Kori 1 is estimated using the DeCAT program, which was developed by KEPCO-E&C for a decommissioning cost estimation. The preliminary evaluation results have shown that the expected amounts of decommissioning wastes were less than about 2% and 8% of the total wastes generated (i.e., sum of clean wastes and radwastes) before/after waste processing, respectively, and it was found that the majority of contaminated material was carbon or alloy steel and stainless steel. In addition, within the range of availability of information, the results of the evaluation were compared with the results from the various decommissioning experiences data or international/national decommissioning study. The comparison results have shown that the radioactive waste amount from Kori Unit 1 decommissioning were much less than those from the plants decommissioned in U.S. and were comparable to those from the plants in Europe. This result comes from the difference of disposal cost and clearance criteria (i.e., free release level) between U.S. and non-U.S. The preliminary evaluation performed using the methodology established in this study will be useful as a important information in establishing the decommissioning planning for the decommissioning schedule and waste management strategy establishment including the transportation, packaging, handling, and disposal of radioactive wastes.

155
10007338
The Effect of Strength Training and Consumption of Glutamine Supplement on GH/IGF1 Axis
Abstract:

Physical activity and diet are factors that influence the body's structure. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of four weeks of resistance training, and glutamine supplement consumption on growth hormone (GH), and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) Axis. 40 amateur male bodybuilders, participated in this study. They were randomly divided into four equal groups, Resistance (R), Glutamine (G), Resistance with Glutamine (RG), and Control (C). The R group was assigned to a four week resistance training program, three times/week, three sets of 10 exercises with 6-10 repetitions, at the 80-95% 1RM (One Repetition Maximum), with 120 seconds rest between sets), G group is consuming l-glutamine (0.1 g/kg-1/day-1), RG group resistance training with consuming L-glutamine, and C group continued their normal lifestyle without exercise training. GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels were measured before and after the protocol. One-way ANOVA indicated significant change in GH, IGF, and IGFBP-III between the four groups, and the Tukey test demonstrated significant increase in GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels in R, and RG group. Based upon these findings, we concluded that resistance training at 80-95% 1RM intensity, and resistance training along with oral glutamine shows significantly increase secretion of GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III in amateur males, but the addition of oral glutamine to the exercise program did not show significant difference in GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III.

154
10007908
Honey Contamination in the Republic of Kazakhstan
Abstract:

This study involves detailed information about contaminants of honey in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The requirements of the technical regulation ‘Requirements to safety of honey and bee products’ and GOST 19792-2001 were taken into account in this research. Contamination of honey by antibiotics wqs determined by the IEA (immune-enzyme analysis), Ridder analyzer and Tecna produced test systems. Voltammetry (TaLab device) was used to define contamination by salts of heavy metals and gamma-beta spectrometry, ‘Progress BG’ system, with preliminary ashing of the sample of honey was used to define radioactive contamination. This article pointed out that residues of chloramphenicol were detected in 24% of investigated products, in 22% of them –streptomycin, in 7.3% - sulfanilamide, in 2.4% - tylosin, and in 12% - combined contamination was noted. Geographically, the greatest degree of contamination of honey with antibiotics occurs in the Northern Kazakhstan – 54.4%, and Southern Kazakhstan - 50%, and the lowest in Central and Eastern Kazakhstan with 30% and 25%, respectively. Generally, pollution by heavy metals is within acceptable limits, but the contamination from lead is highest in the Akmola region. The level of radioactive cesium and strontium is also within acceptable concentrations. The highest radioactivity in terms of cesium was observed in the East Kazakhstan region - 49.00±10 Bq/kg, in Akmola, North Kazakhstan and Almaty - 12.00±5, 11.05±3 and 19.0±8 Bq/kg, respectively, while the norm is 100 Bq/kg. In terms of strontium, the radioactivity in the East Kazakhstan region is 25.03±15 Bq/kg, while in Akmola, North Kazakhstan and Almaty regions it is 12.00±3, 10.2±4 and 1.0±2 Bq/kg, respectively, with the norm of 80 Bq/kg. This accumulation is mainly associated with the environmental degradation, feeding and treating of bees. Moreover, in the process of collecting nectar, external substances can penetrate honey. Overall, this research determines factors and reasons of honey contamination.

153
10007142
Adoption and Use of an Electronic Voting System in Ghana
Abstract:

The manual system of voting has been the most widely used system of electing representatives around the globe, particularly in Africa. Due to the known numerous problems and challenges associated with the manual system of voting, many countries are migrating to the electronic voting system as a suitable and credible means of electing representatives over the manual paper-based system. This research paper therefore investigated the factors influencing adoption and use of an electronic voting system in Ghana. A total of 400 Questionnaire Instruments (QI) were administered to potential respondents in Ghana, of which 387 responded representing a response rate of 96.75%. The Technology Acceptance Model was used as the theoretical framework for the study. The research model was tested using a simple linear regression analysis with SPSS. A little of over 71.1% of the respondents recommended the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to adopt an electronic voting system in the conduct of public elections in Ghana. The results indicated that all the six predictors such as perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived free and fair elections (PFFF), perceived credible elections (PCE), perceived system integrity (PSI) and citizens trust in the election management body (CTEM) were all positively significant in predicting the readiness of citizens to adopt and use an electronic voting system in Ghana. However, jointly, the hypotheses tested revealed that apart from Perceived Free and Fair Elections and Perceived Credible and Transparent Elections, all the other factors such as PU, Perceived System Integrity and Security and Citizen Trust in the Election Management Body were found to be significant predictors of the Willingness of Ghanaians to use an electronic voting system. All the six factors considered in this study jointly account for about 53.1% of the reasons determining the readiness to adopt and use an electronic voting system in Ghana. The implications of this research finding on elections in Ghana are discussed.

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