Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 66727

A Qualitative Look at Mental Health Stressors in Response to COVID-19
The emergent pandemic from COVID-19 virus has forced people to adjust to major changes. These changes include all elements of family and work life and required people to engage in novel behaviors. For many people, the social norms to which they have been accustomed no longer prevail. Not surprisingly, such enormous changes in daily life have been associated with greater problems in mental health; and research regarding ways in which mental health professionals can support people is more necessary than ever before. It is often useful to assess people’s reactions through surveys and utilize quantitative data to answer questions about coping strategies etc. It is also likely, however, that a host of individual factors are going to contribute to what might be considered 'good' or 'bad' coping mechanisms to a worldwide pandemic. To this end, qualitative studies—where the individual’s subjective experience is highlighted—are likely to provide more vital information for mental health professionals interested in supporting the particular person in front of them. This study reports on qualitative data, where X participants were asked questions about social distancing, coping strategies, and general attitudes towards social changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Informal interviews were conducted during the months of June-July 2020. Data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analyses. Themes were identified first for each participant and then compared across different individual participants. Several findings emerged. First, all participants understood major health messages being imparted by governing bodies such as the CDC and WHO. The researchers feel this finding is important as it suggests health messages are at least being effectively communicated. Second, there was a clear trend for themes which highlighted the conflicting emotions participants felt about the changes they were expected to endure: positive and negative elements were identified, although a participant who had pre-existing conditions placed greater emphasis on the negative elements. One participant who was particularly interested in impression management also exclusively emphasized negative emotions. Third, participants who were able to reevaluate priorities—what Lazarus might call secondary appraisals—experienced social distancing as a positive rather than negative phenomenon. Finally, participants who were able to develop specific strategies—such as boundaries for work and self-care—reported themes of adjustment and contentment. Taken together, these findings suggest mental health practitioners can assist people to adjust more positively through specific techniques focusing on re-evaluation of life priorities and strategic coping skills.
Confessors in Im Sun-dŭk’s Short Stories: Interiority of Korean Women under the End of Japanese Colonial Rule
The paper will examine Im Sun-dŭk’s two short stories, 'Iryoil' (Sunday, 1937) and 'Nazuoya' (A Godmother, 1942), which illuminate the subjects of Korean intellectuals going through the later period of a harsh and oppressive Japanese colonial rule. When Japan went to war against China in 1937, Korea, a colony of Japan since 1910, became an outpost for Japanese expansionism into China, and the Korean people were mobilized into the war effort. Nationalist movements and radical ideas that posed a threat and opposition to Japanese colonial rule in Korea and its colonial expansionism were ruthlessly suppressed, and Koreans were forcibly assimilated into becoming Japanese citizens without political rights. Racial discrimination between Koreans and Japanese was prevalent. Im Sun-dŭk, who participated in the Socialist movement in the 1930s, had his debut as a literary writer and a critic in the late 1930s, when Korean literary society was reincorporated in order to collaborate with the Japanese war effort through writing and public speech. Sun-duk's writing illuminates the unique internal landscape of a female subject who strives to live on while preserving her commitment and dignity under the circumstances that force Korean intellectuals either to collaborate with or acquiesce to Japanese colonial rule. 'Iryoil' (Sunday, 1937) foregrounds an educated intellectual, Hyeyŏng, who supplies her fiancé in prison for political involvement in resistance against Japan. On Sundays, she turns down her friends’ suggestion for enjoying holidays outside, due to her indebtedness to her fiancé. Her fiancé's imprisonment indicates the social conscience that still remains, and she seeks to share the commitment and suffering with her fiancé. The short story 'Nazuoya' (A Godmother, 1942), written in Japanese due to the suppression of Korean language publications at the time, also problematizes Japanese policy that forces Koreans to change their names into Japanese. Through the narrator I, who struggles to find a meaningful name for her cousin brother’s baby, she highlights how meaningful one’s name is for one’s life and identity. What makes her two stories unique is that her writing draws other people’s confessions into its own narrative through fragmentary forms, such as part of letter or reflection. The voices of others are intersected with the main character in 'Iryoil' (Sunday, 1937) and a narrator in 'Nazuoya' (A Godmother, 1942). In many ways, the narrator and main character provide the confessional voices who display the characters' gloomy interiorities. Even though these confessional voices do not share the commitment and values, both the main character and I in the stories reveal a more open set of viewpoints to them. In this way, they seek to form bonds and encouragement and acquire a more resilient sensibility that embraces those who strive to survive and endure in the gloomy days of the later period of Japanese colonial rule.
Identification and Classification of Fiber-Fortified Semolina by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)
Food fortification is the intentional addition of a nutrient in a food matrix and has been widely used to overcome the lack of nutrients in the diet or increasing the nutritional value of food. Fortified food must meet the demand of the population, taking into account their habits and risks that these foods may cause. Wheat and its by-products, such as semolina, has been strongly indicated to be used as a food vehicle since it is widely consumed and used in the production of other foods. These products have been strategically used to add some nutrients, such as fibers. Methods of analysis and quantification of these kinds of components are destructive and require lengthy sample preparation and analysis. Therefore, the industry has searched for faster and less invasive methods, such as Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR). NIR is a rapid and cost-effective method, however, it is based on indirect measurements, yielding high amount of data. Therefore, NIR spectroscopy requires calibration with mathematical and statistical tools (Chemometrics) to extract analytical information from the corresponding spectra, as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA). PCA is well suited for NIR, once it can handle many spectra at a time and be used for non-supervised classification. Advantages of the PCA, which is also a data reduction technique, is that it reduces the data spectra to a smaller number of latent variables for further interpretation. On the other hand, LDA is a supervised method that searches the Canonical Variables (CV) with the maximum separation among different categories. In LDA, the first CV is the direction of maximum ratio between inter and intra-class variances. The present work used a portable infrared spectrometer (NIR) for identification and classification of pure and fiber-fortified semolina samples. The fiber was added to semolina in two different concentrations, and after the spectra acquisition, the data was used for PCA and LDA to identify and discriminate the samples. The results showed that NIR spectroscopy associate to PCA was very effective in identifying pure and fiber-fortified semolina. Additionally, the classification range of the samples using LDA was between 78.3% and 95% for calibration and 75% and 95% for cross-validation. Thus, after the multivariate analysis such as PCA and LDA, it was possible to verify that NIR associated to chemometric methods is able to identify and classify the different samples in a fast and non-destructive way.
Early Metastatic Cancer: A Review of Its Management and Outcomes
In 2012, testicular cancer was estimated to account for 940 disability adjusted life years in Australia; of these, 450 were years lost due to premature death and 500 were years of healthy life lost due to disease, disability or injury. Testicular choriocarcinoma is one of the rarest variants of testicular germ cell tumours, accounting for less than 1% of testicular germ cell tumours and only about 0.19% of all testicular tumours. Management involves radical orchiectomy followed by chemotherapy. Even then, the prognosis is extremely poor. This case report describes a 20-year-old male with pure testicular choriocarcinoma with pulmonary metastases.
Electrochemical Response Transductions of Graphenated-Polyaniline Nanosensor for Environmental Anthracene
A graphenated–polyaniline (GR-PANI) nanocomposite sensor was constructed and used for the determination of anthracene. The direct electro-oxidation behavior of anthracene on the GR-PANI modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was used as the sensing principle. The results indicate thatthe response profile of the oxidation of anthracene on GR-PANI-modified GCE provides for the construction of sensor systems based onamperometric and potentiometric signal transductions. A dynamic linear range of 0.12- 100 µM anthracene and a detection limit of 0.044 µM anthracene were established for the sensor system.
Disaster and Emergency Management in Nigeria: The Case of Chibok School Girls Abducted by Boko Haram Insurgents
More than a decade ago, the Islamist Terrorist group called Boko Haram has caused terrible violence in the north-eastern part of Nigeria. The group’s use of suicide attacks is a dreadful trait of international terrorist violence. It is certainly not in doubt that Boko Haram is the biggest headache of the Nigerian Government right now. The objective of this paper is to answer four fundamental questions about the extremist group: Who is Boko Haram? Why does the group rebel? How has the Nigerian state responded to the emergency and disaster in which more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted from their school in Chibok? Is there any assistance from other nations of the world to help Nigeria out of the grips of this cruel dilemma?
Challenges of Effective Management in Tetiary Institutions in Nigeria
The government of Nigeria have invested so much in our tertiary education but the desire qualitative goals and objectives are yet to be achieved because management at all level are not efficient and effective in implementing the desired educational policies and programmes due to some management challenges. This paper investigates some of the major challenges to effective management of tertiary institution in Nigeria some variable that are important to effective management includes political stability, adequate funding, establishment of information system, recruitment and appointment of qualified teachers and condition of service.
Level of Awareness of Genetic Counselling in Benue State Nigeria: Its Advocacy on the Inheritance of Sickle Cell Disease
A descriptive analysis of reported cases of sickle cell disease and the level of awareness about genetic counselling in 30 hospitals were carried out. Additionally, 150 individuals between ages 16-45 were randomly selected for evaluation of genetic counselling awareness. The main tools for this study were questionnaires which were taken to hospitals, and individuals completed the others. The numbers of reported cases of sickle cell disease recorded in private, public and teaching hospitals were 14 and 57; 143 and 89; 272 and 57 for the periods of 1995-2000 and 2001-2005, respectively. A general informal genetic counselling took place mostly in the hospitals visited. 122 (86%) individuals had the knowledge of genetic disease and only 43 (30.3%) individuals have been exposed to genetic counselling. 64% of individuals agreed that genetic counselling would help in the prevention of genetic disease.
The Food Industry in Nigeria: Development and Quality Assurance
In Nigeria, the food processing sector is dominated by small and medium enterprises, as well as multinational food companies. Quality standards are usually related to improving the safety of food products suitable for consumption in accordance to specifications by food regulatory bodies. These standards are essential elements for local and international businesses which contribute to economic progress through industrial development and trade. This review takes a critical look on the Nigerian food industry development in terms of quality standards that are necessary to be given consideration in the production of food and also ways of improving food production in Nigeria through the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) technique and the use of computerized systems to produce high quality and high value products while at the same time reducing production time and cost.
Looking Elsewhere for Job: Relationship between Procedural Justice and Survivors’ Turnover Intent in Consolidated Nigeria Banks
The study examines the relationship between procedural justice and turnover intent among survivors in a consolidated Nigeria bank. Opinions of eight hundred and eighty five staff of First City Monumental Bank and Finbank who survived the consolidated process were conveniently sampled using battery of tests. Two hypotheses were tested for this study. Results revealed that procedural justice and demographic variables (sex, age, previous banking job experience, and year of work experience) were significantly, independently and jointly influence turnover intent among survivors in consolidated banks in Nigeria. Also, there was a significant relationship between procedural justice and turnover intent among survivors in a consolidated bank in Nigeria. It was recommended that if the workers perceived the process of downsizing to be fair, they tend to reason with their management and coast along with the process rather than increasing in their turnover intent which will eventually drastically reduce the profitability matrix which the banks desired so desperately.
The Challenge of Graduate Unemployment in Nigeria: The Role of Entrepreneurship Education
Unemployment, especially graduate unemployment is, for now, the greatest problem facing Nigeria as a nation. It is responsible for most of the other ills of the country, including kidnapping, armed robbery, youth restiveness, thuggery, to mention but a few. More and more people in Nigeria are now losing confidence in the prospect of tertiary education as an instrument par excellence for effecting national development. This paper, therefore, critically examined the problem of graduate unemployment in Nigeria. It briefly traced the history of university education in Nigeria. The rate and causes of graduate unemployment in Nigeria were also discussed. Previous attempts made by the government to solve the problem of unemployment were highlighted. The paper also harped on the prospect of entrepreneurship education as an instrument for fighting graduate unemployment identifying obstacles to entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. The paper drew conclusion, and major recommendation made was a call for converting the National Youth Service Corps Scheme in Nigeria to entrepreneurship and skills acquisition scheme as soon as possible.
The Roles of Pay Satisfaction and Intent to Leave on Counterproductive Work Behavior among Non-Academic University Employees
Issue of employees counterproductive work behavior in government owned organization in emerging economies has continued to be a major concern. This study investigated the factors of pay satisfaction, intent to leave and age as predictors of counterproductive work behavior among non-academic employee in a Nigerian federal government owned university. A sample of 200 non-academic employees completed questionnaires. Hierarchical multiple regression was conducted to determine the contribution of each of the predictor variables on the criterion variable on counterproductive work behavior. Results indicate that age of participants (β = -.18; p < .05) significantly independently predicted CWB by accounting for 3% of the explained variance. Addition of pay satisfaction (β = -.14; p < .05) significantly accounted for 5% of the explained variance, while intent to leave (β = -.17; p < .05) further resulted in 8% of the explained variance in counterproductive work behavior. The importance of these findings with regards to reduction in counterproductive work behavior is highlighted.
Engineering Practice in Nigerian University: A Microcosm of Engineering Development and Practice in Developing Countries
There is a strong link between engineering and development. Engineering as a profession is a call to service by the society. Perhaps next to soldiers, engineers are the most patriotic professionals. However, unlike soldiers, they remain servants of society at all times and in all circumstances. Despite their role to the society, engineering profession seems not to be enjoying the respect due to it probably because of failures associated with some engineering projects. This paper focuses on the need to improve on engineering practices for developments in developing countries using Engineering practice in Nigerian Universities as a tool for argument. Purposeful Survey, interview and focus group discussion were carried out among one hundred and twenty (120) reputable firms in Nigeria. The topic was approached through a few projects that the firms have been involved in from the planning stage, some to completion and beyond into the stage of maintenance and monitoring. It is revealed that some factors which are not determined by the engineers themselves impeded progress and full success of engineering practice in developing countries. The key culprit is corruption whose eradication will put the nation on the solid path of effective engineering development and poverty alleviation.
Mergers and Acquisitions in the Banking Sector: The West African Experience
The statistics of banks in operation in this current dispensation compared to some decades ago has brought about a lot of changes on the face of the financial system. The demand of customers, technological advancement, and government policies among others has therefore generated a lot of heat for financial sector’s growth, sustenance and survival. This paper discusses mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in banking sector using West Africa as a yardstick of evaluation. It explains rigorously the conditions that warrant mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector, its effect, and how to ensure mergers and acquisitions effectiveness in the banking sector. The conceptual and empirical review of the relevant literature were done systematically while value-increasing and value-decreasing theories were used to substantiate the discourse. Findings of this paper show that mergers and acquisitions is a practical and conscious activity in Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast from earliest time till date with tremendous turnaround in the financial sector. It was found out that M&A is consensually arrived at by the targets and the acquirer on a value-based account. In other words, merger and acquisition is a deliberate decision reached by the management of such bank for a ‘just cause’.
The Many Faces of Cancer and Knowing When to Say Stop
We present a very rare case of de novo large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate (LCNEC) in an 84-year-old male on a background of high-grade, muscle-invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. While NE tumours account for 1% to 5% of all cases of prostate cancer and scattered NE cells can be found in 10% to 100% of prostate adenocarcinomas, pure LCNEC of the prostate is extremely rare. Most LCNEC of the prostate is thought to originate by clonal progression under the selection pressure of therapy and refractory to long-term hormonal treatment for adenocarcinoma of the prostate. De novo LCNEC is only described in case reports and is thought to develop via direct malignant transformation. Limited data in the English literature makes it difficult to accurately predict the prognosis of LCNEC of the prostate. However, current evidence suggesting that increasing NE differentiation in prostate adenocarcinoma is associated with a higher stage, high-grade disease, and a worse prognosis.
Corrosion Behavior of Induced Stress Duplex Stainless Steel in Chloride Environment
Use of Duplex stainless steel has become predominant in applications where excellent corrosion resistance is of utmost importance. Corrosion behavior of duplex stainless steel induced with varying stress in a chloride media were studied. Characterization of as received 2205 duplex stainless steels were carried out to reveal its structure and properties tensile sample produced from duplex stainless steel was initially subjected to tensile test to obtain the yield strength. Stresses obtained by various percentages (20, 40, 60 and 80%) of the yield strength was induced in DSS samples. Corrosion tests were carried out in magnesium chloride solution at room temperature. Morphologies of cracks observed with optical and scanning electron microscope showed that samples induced with higher stress had its austenite and ferrite grains affected by pitting.
Actor Training in Social Work Education: A Pilot Study of Theatre Workshops to Enhance Clinical Empathy
Empathy is considered an essential skill for engaging with social work clients. Drawing from developments in medical education, researchers will conduct and evaluate a three-part pilot theatre workshop with master level social work students (n ≈ 30) to evaluate the workshop's ability to enhance empathy among participants. Outcomes will be measured using semi-structured post-intervention interviews with a subset of participants (n ≈ 10) as well post-intervention written reflections and pre-and-post intervention quantitative evaluation of empathy using King and Holosko’s 2011 Empathy Scale for Social Workers. The content of the workshop will differ from traditional role plays, which are common in social work education, in that it will draw from role theory and research on creative empathy to emphasize role reversal with clients. Workshops will be held February and March of 2017 with preliminary findings available by April.
Nazi Experiments during World War II: Dismal Period for Bioethics
This article aims to analyze the bioethical aspects related to the historical practices of experiments on humans that occurred in Nazi Germany during the period of World War II (1939-1945). The method was based on the bibliographic review of articles published in databases such as SciELO and Pubmed. In the discussion, historical and humanistic aspects that contributed to the construction of a genocidal culture practiced during this period were analyzed. Additionally, an ethical question arises: should the information acquired during this dark period be used by science? After analysis, it was found that these Nazi experiments went over medical and ethical principles, being a deplorable milestone in history. It was also concluded that, although they generated potentially 'useful' results in the scientific field, they should be discarded as an ethical question of principle, of never daring to validate such a deplorable way of obtaining knowledge.
Phase Diagrams and Liquid-Liquid Extraction in Aqueous Biphasic Systems Formed by Polyethylene Glycol and Potassium Sodium Tartrate at 303.15 K
Liquid-liquid extraction in aqueous two-phase systems (ATPSs) constitutes a powerful tool for purifying bio-materials, such as cells, organelles, proteins, among others. In this work, the extraction of the bovine serum albumin (BSA) has been studied in systems formed by polyethylene glycol (PEG) (1500, 4000, and 6000 g.mol⁻¹) + potassium sodium tartrate + water at 303.15°K. Phase diagrams were obtained by turbidimetry and Merchuk’s method (1998). The experimental tie-lines were described using the Othmer-Tobias and Bancroft correlations. ATPSs were correlated with the nonrandom two-liquid (NRTL) model. The results were considered excellent according to global root-mean-square deviations found which were between 0,72 and 1,13%. The concentrations of the proteins in each phase were determined by spectrophotometry at 280 nm, finding partition efficiencies greater than 71%.
Legalizing Prostitution: Providing Equality Amongst Men and Women in the Criminal Justice System through a Socialist Feminist Framework
This paper challenges the criminal justice system’s traditional stance regarding prostitution. Historically, the acceptance and morality of prostitution within the United States has fluctuated depending upon the social attitudes of the era. Today, prostitutes are allegedly viewed as victims; however, they are treated like criminals throughout the criminal justice system and society. Dominant patriarchal narratives within the United States has resulted in woman lacking autonomy over their bodies and diminished their ability to choose their own career. Even though prostitutes are deemed victims, many times, they are convicted of crimes, a practice that results in further victimization. Utilizing the socialist feminist theory to understand these juxtaposing positions on whether to legalize prostitution facilitates a greater understanding of how patriarchal capitalist arrangements ensure the oppression of women throughout the criminal justice system. The legalization of prostitution will alleviate some of this oppression and ensure a more equal treatment of women in the criminal justice system and society at large.
Sensory Evaluation of Meat from Broilers Bird Fed Detoxified Jatropher Curcas and that Fed Conventional Feed
Four (4) different methods were employed to detoxified jatropha caucas, they are physical method (if include soaking and drying) chemical method (use of methylated spirit, hexane and methene) biological method,(use of Aspergillus niger and Sunday for 7 days and then baccillus lichifarming) and finally combined method (combination of all these methods). Phobol esther andysis was carried out after the detoxification and was found that combined method is better off (P>0.05). 100 broiler birds was used to further test the effect of detoxified Jatropha by combined method, 50 birds for Jatropha made feed at 10 birds per treatment and was replicated five times, this was also repeated for another 50 birds fed conventional feed, Jatropha made feed was compranded at 8% inclusion level. At the end of the 8th weeks, 8 birds were sacrificed each from each treatment and one bird each was fry, roast, boil and grilled from both conventional and Jatropha fed birds and panelist were served for evaluation. It was found that feeding Jatropha to poultry birds has no effect on the taste of the meat.
Relationship between Finger Print Pattern and Gender among Adolescents of Igala Ethnic Group, Kogi State, Nigeria
The study of the finger prints patterns among the Igala ethnic groups was done in order to see their association gender. A cross sectional study was conducted and a total of 602 subjects participated in this study, 322 females and 280 males, which were mainly secondary school students between the age ranges of 13-19 years. The subjects fingerprint pattern was obtained by allowing them place the tip of each finger on the stamp pad, which is then imprinted on the questionnaire, this was done for both the left and right hand. Female had higher arch, whorl and loop finger print pattern in most of the right fingers than the males, the differences were statistically significant for the right index, right ring finger and right little finger, but were statistically insignificant for right thumb and right middle finger as p = 0.207 and 0.726, respectively. The result also revealed that males had higher arch finger print pattern in the right index and right little finger than the females, which was statistically significant (p = 0.001), and also a high whorl finger print pattern than the females in the right middle and ring finger.
Petai Chips as an Antioxidant Chips from Indonesia
Petai (Parkia speciosa) is a plant indigenous to Southeast Asia. It is consumed either raw or cooked. It has been used in folk medicine to treat diabetes, hypertension, and kidney problems. It contains minerals and vitamins. Petai contains a lot of chemical compounds that are beneficial for health, including antioxidants, Vitamin B6 0,9mg, energy 142 g. cal, 10.4 g protein. 2 g fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 95 mg calcium, phosphorus 115 mg, 1 mg iron, 200 IU of vitamin A, vitamin B1 0.17 mg, 36 mg of vitamin C that can resolve various health problems. These chips are the result of innovation from petai packaged in such a way becomes a tasty snack chips and can be enjoyed by many people to relax and also nutritious for health. In the manufacture of petai chips require several steps of them start by boiling, flating, drying and the last frying. In introducing the products widely we sell petai chips with several methods. Some of these methods include direct sales, delivery order, online/social media, and open some booth at a few places and the car free day in Solo every sunday. Opportunity in selling petai chips is very wide because there is no competitors with similar business. With the innovation of petai chips become healthy snacks can be introduced to the public and can even be exported out of the country as one of the extraordinary snacks from Indonesia.
A Quantitative Study Identifying the Prevalence of Anxiety in Dyslexic Students in Higher Education
Adult students with dyslexia in higher education can receive support for their cognitive needs but may also experience negative emotion such as anxiety due to their dyslexia in connection with their studies. This paper aims to test the hypothesis that adult dyslexic learners have a higher prevalence of academic and social anxiety than their non-dyslexic peers. A quantitative approach was used to measure differences in academic and social anxiety between 102 students with a formal diagnosis of dyslexia compared to 72 students with no history of learning difficulties. Academic and social anxiety was measured in a questionnaire based on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Findings showed that dyslexic students showed statistically significant higher levels of academic, but not social anxiety in comparison to the non-dyslexic sample. Dyslexic students in higher education show academic anxiety levels that are well above what is shown by students without dyslexia. The implications of this for the dyslexia practitioner is that delivery of strategies to deal with anxiety should be seen equally as important, if not more so, than interventions to deal with cognitive difficulties.
Improving Communication System through Router Configuration: The Nigerian Navy Experience
The configuration of routers for effective communication in the Nigerian Navy (NN) enables the navy to improve on the current communication systems. The current system is faced with challenges that make the systems partially effective. The major implementation of the system is to configure routers using hierarchical model and obtaining a VSAT option on C-band platform. These routers will act as a link between Naval Headquarters and the Commands under it. The routers main responsibilities are to forward packets from source location to destination using a Link State Routing Protocol (LSRP). Also using the Point to Point Protocol (PPP), creates a strong encrypted password using Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) which uses one-way hash function of Message Digest 5 (MD5) to provide complete protection against hackers/intruders. Routers can be configured using a Linux operating system or internet work operating system in the Microsoft platform. With this, system packets can be forwarded to various locations more effectively than the present system being used.
The Women's Orchestra and Music in Auschwitz-Birkenau: A Qualitative Study on Nazi Manipulation
Typically in war, force involves physical violence, though those who perpetrated the Holocaust expanded manipulation techniques to include mental violence. This qualitative research study was conducted to understand the effects that the music of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz-Birkenau had on women prisoners during World War II. Over 100 testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive reveal that the orchestra’s music had a profoundly distressing effect on many of the women in the camp. Led by Gustav Mahler’s granddaughter, Alma Rosé, the orchestra rhythmed the life cycle of the camp, from marching to and from work, Sunday concerts, welcoming transports, to the prisoners’ walk to gas chambers. What surfaced from these testimonies was that the more technical the exposure a woman had to music before camp, the more disturbing its effect. The juxtaposition of beauty with the visible horror of the camp thrust them into an impossible state where suicide became a plausible alternative. By exploiting the Women’s Orchestra, the Nazis made music a critical component of manipulation within Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Challenges of Good Government in Enhancing Food Security for Sustainable National Development in Nigeria
One of the most important key to success of a nation is to ensure steady development and national economic self - sufficiency and independence. There have been challenges in food security related issues in many developing nations. The problems may be as a result of rise in food price across the globe diminishing global food reserve and erratic weather patterns among other factors. In Nigeria several Agricultural politics have been formulated to curtail food security challenges. Unfortunately, these policies have not yielded the deserved results of increase food production. This paper is designed to identify the various challenges confronting food security in Nigeria with a view of highlighting the reasons that accounting for these problems. This paper also suggests ways of addressing these challenges and concludes by saying that subsidization of the process of farm inputs like fertilizer, improved seed and agro chemicals education of the farmers on modern methods of farming through extension services, improvisation of villages based food storage mechanism and provision of infrastructural facilities in rural areas to facilitate the preservation and easy evacuation of farm produce should be encouraged.
The Impact of Technological Advancement on Academic Performance of Mathematics Students in Tertiary Institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria
The study investigated the impact of technological advancement on the academic performance of Mathematics students in tertiary institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria. The quasi-experimental research design was adopted for the study. The population for the study consisted of all the 100 level undergraduates and all Mathematics lecturers in the Department of Mathematics in all the five tertiary institutions in the State. The sample of this study was made of one hundred (100) students and fifty (50) lecturers randomly selected using stratified sampling technique. Hypotheses were postulated to find out whether (i) advancement in technology influences the academic performance of students in Mathematics (ii) teaching method and gender disparity influences the academic performance of students in Mathematics. The study revealed that teaching method, gender, and technology influence academic performance of students in Mathematics. Based on the findings, it is recommended that curriculum and assessment in school Mathematics should explicitly require that all undergraduate become proficient in using digital technologies for mathematical purposes so as to enhance the better performance of students in Mathematics.
The State in Africa and the twenty-First Century Global Economic Relations
The 1648 Westphalia Conference in Europe ushered in the state as the only legal entity with powers to engage in interstate relations on matters that bothers on the development need of her citizens. This epochal entry of the state reshaped global relations with the curtailment of the powers of individual and groups in external relations as the state became the only entity that acted on behalf of any individual or non-state actors like NGOs residing within the parameters of such a country. Thus, the paper interrogated the extent at which the state determines her Politico-Economic relations with regards to development and growth within the state. To achieve these objectives, the paper relied on documentary evidences wherein the qualitative descriptive method was used for data collection and analysis. The paper exploited the facilities of the Rentier State theory as a guide to the study. It was revealed at the end of the study that the 21st century global economic relations is largely determine by international organizations as exemplified by the World Bank and the International Monitory Fund (IMF) where their activities in the continent has undermined state sovereignty. Hence the paper recommended amongst others that states should look inward for development strategies rather than relying on handout from supra-national organizations which has infringe on their sovereignty.
Sustainable Community Participation in Australia
In this presentation, we will focus on the methods of Remote Services Futures (RSF), an evidence-based method of community participation that was developed in Scotland. Using oral health as the focus, we will discuss the ways that RSF can be used to achieve sustainable engagement with stakeholders from various parts of the community. We will describe our findings of using RSF methods to engage with rural communities, including the steps involved and what happened when we asked people about the oral health services that they thought were needed in their community. We found that most community members started by thinking that a public dental clinic was required in every community, which is not a sustainable health service delivery option. Through a series of facilitated workshops, communities were able to discuss and prioritise their needs and develop a costed plan for their community which will ensure sustainable service delivery into the future. Our study highlights the complexities of decision making in rural communities. It is important to ensure that when communities participate in health care planning that the outcomes are practical, feasible and sustainable.
The Way Digitized Lectures and Film Presence Coaching Impact Academic Identity: An Expert Facilitated Participatory Action Research Case Study
This paper explores the concept of academic identity as it relates to the lecture, in particular, the digitized lecture delivered to a camera, in the absence of a student audience. Many academics have the performance aspect of the role thrust upon them with little or no training. For the purpose of this study, we look at the performance of the academic identity and examine tailored film presence coaching for its contributions toward academic identity, specifically in relation to feelings of self-confidence and diminishment of discomfort or stage fright. The case is articulated through the lens of scholar-practitioners, using expert facilitated participatory action research. It demonstrates in our sample of experienced academics, all reported some feelings of uncertainty about presenting lectures to camera prior to coaching. We share how power poses and reframing fear, produced improvements in the ease and competency of all participants. We share exactly how this insight could be adapted for self-coaching by any academic when called to present to a camera and consider the relationship between this and academic identity.
A Mixed Method Study Investigating Dyslexia and Students Experiences of Anxiety and Coping
Adult students with dyslexia can receive support for cognitive needs but may also experience anxiety, which is less understood. This study aims to test the hypothesis that dyslexic learners in higher education have a higher prevalence of academic and social anxiety than their non-dyslexic peers and explores wider emotional consequences of studying with dyslexia and the ways that adults with dyslexia cope cognitively and emotionally. A mixed-method approach was used in two stages. Stage one compared survey responses from students with dyslexia (N = 102) and students without dyslexia (N = 72) after completion of an anxiety inventory. Stage two explored the emotional consequences of studying with dyslexia and the types of coping strategies used through semi-structured interviews with 20 dyslexic students. Results revealed a statistically significant effect for academic anxiety but not for social anxiety. Findings for stage two showed that: (1) students’ emotional consequences were characterised by a mixture of negative and positive responses, yet negative responses were more frequent in response to questions about academic tasks than positive responses; (2) participants had less to say on coping emotionally, than coping cognitively.
Longevity of Soybean Seeds Submitted to Different Mechanized Harvesting Conditions
Seed vigor is a fundamental component for the good performance of the entire soybean production process. Seeds with mechanical damage at harvest time will be more susceptible to fungal and insect attack during storage, which will invariably reduce their vigor to the field, compromising uniformity and final stand performance. Harvesters, even the most modern ones, when not properly regulated or operated, can cause irreversible damages to the seeds, compromising even their commercialization. Therefore, the control of an efficient harvest is necessary in order to guarantee a good quality final product. In this work, the damage caused by two different harvesters (one rented, and another one) was evaluated, traveling in two speeds (4 and 8 km / h). The design was completely randomized in 2 x 2 factorial, with four replications. To evaluate the physiological quality seed germination and vigor tests were carried out over a period of six months. A multivariate analysis of Principal Components (PCA) and clustering allowed us to verify that the leased machine had better performance in the incidence of immediate damages in the seeds, but after a storage period of 6 months the vigor of these seeds reduced more than own machine evidencing that such a machine would bring more damages to the seeds.
Reliability of an Application for the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities in the Recreovia of Bucaramanga, Colombia
Introduction: Recreovía as a public health strategy contributes to encourage the practice and adherence to physical activity (PA) recommendations, by temporarily closing the roads to motorized vehicles. The determination of the PA requires the evaluation of the reliability of the measurement instruments, in order to sustain the continuity and relevance of Recreovía as a community intervention. Objective: Establish the inter-rater reliability of the App for the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (iSOPARC®) in the Recreovía of Bucaramanga, Colombia. Methods: Five trained observers at two observation points on the 2.3 km of the Recreovía (14th Street and 32nd Street) used the App (iSOPARC®), between 08:00 a.m. and 12:00 m. in periods of 20 minutes during a regular Sunday. Reliability analysis was performed using the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC 2.1). Results: A total of 2682 users were observed (43.6 % women) in 7 observations. ICC showed a range between 0.96 and 0.99 for the PA level and ICC between 0.95 and 0.99 for age group for the two observation points. Conclusion: The reliability found for the iSOPARC® guarantees the consecutive measurement of the PA level at the Recreovía, which will allow measuring it is effectiveness in the medium and long term, as a community intervention strategy.
Neural Network Analysis Applied to Risk Prediction of Early Neonatal Death
Children deaths are traumatic events that most often can be prevented. The technology of prevention and intervention in cases of infant deaths is available at low cost and with solid evidence and favorable results, however, with low access cover. Weight is one of the main factors related to death in the neonatal period, so the newborns of low birth weight are a population at high risk of death in the neonatal period, especially early neonatal period. This paper describes the development of a model based in neural network analysis to predict the mortality risk rating in the early neonatal period for newborns of low birth weight to identify the individuals of this population with increased risk of death. The neural network applied was trained with a set of newborns data obtained from Brazilian health system. The resulting network presented great success rate in identifying newborns with high chances of death, which demonstrates the potential for using this tool in an integrated manner to the health system, in order to direct specific actions for improving prognosis of newborns.
Radiological Analysis of Skeletal Metastases from Cervical Cancer
Cervical carcinoma is the second most common cancer found in women. Diagnosis of skeletal metastases is uncommon in cervical cancer patients. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of skeletal metastases in in a Western Cape skeletal population. Skeletal samples (n=14) from the Kirsten Skeletal Collection at Stellenbosch University, diagnosed pre-mortem with cervical cancer, were examined. Macroscopic analysis was done using low magnification to examine each skeletal element for signs of disease. Skeletons were also x-rayed using the Lodox® Statscan® Imaging system and the scans evaluated by a musculoskeletal radiologist. Three (21%) of the skeletons showed metastases, with the os coxae and lower vertebral column affected in all three cases. Furthermore, metastases occurred in the scapulae and ribs in two of the cases and in one case the skull, mandible, and long bones were affected. Additionally, three skeletons without evidence of skeletal metastases presented with a periosteal reaction on the os coxae in response to the diseased adjacent soft tissue. Previous studies observed that skeletal metastases are more common than what is diagnosed pre-mortem with the vertebral spine most commonly affected. The findings of this study agree with previous reports and illustrate the effectiveness of the Lodox® scanner in diagnoses of metastases in skeletal material.
Getting Out: A Framework for Exiting/Escaping Sex Trafficking
The process of exiting/escaping situations of sex trafficking can be arduous and fraught with numerous barriers. In this paper the results of a national Canadian study on escaping situations of sex trafficking is discussed. Surveys and focus groups were conducted with 201 stakeholders in 8 cities, including 50 survivors of sex trafficking, service providers, health care providers and police. The results show that survivors are both vulnerable to being exploited and experience barriers to exiting as a result of structural factors such as colonialism, poverty, and discrimination based on race and gender. Survivors also face numerous barriers within various systems such as child welfare and the legal system. In addition, survivors contend with multiple psychological and psychosocial factors when exiting including the trauma bond, complex trauma and mental health concerns, substance use, isolation, and adjusting to ‘mainstream’ life. In light of these factors, the service needs of survivors escaping sex trafficking are discussed, and promising practices, such as trauma-informed practice and working from a stages of change model are outlined. This paper is useful for service providers that work with survivors, policy makers, or anyone who has ever wondered why survivors that are not being physically detained don’t ‘just leave’ or escape their exploitative situations.
The Impact of Corporate Governance Regulation in the Nigerian Banking Sector
Recent global corporate failures have called for increase in the need to regulate corporate governance across the world. In Nigeria, the impact of corporate governance regulation in the banking sector has reached epidemic levels contributing to the country&rsquo;s economic depression. This study critically evaluates Nigeria&rsquo;s corporate governance regime and explores how weak regulation has impacted on the banking sector. By adopting a socio legal methodology, the study analyses both theoretical and empirical works from a socio-scientific point of view to examine the role of Nigeria&rsquo;s legal, cultural and social arrangements in corporate governance regulation. The study reveals that Nigeria&rsquo;s institutional arrangement has contributed to its weak system of corporate governance regulation with adverse effects on the banking sector. The research mainly impacts on current global corporate governance literature in sub-Saharan Africa by contributing to knowledge of the peculiarities of corporate governance regulation in different institutional jurisdictions. The particular focus on emerging economies such as Nigeria expands on the need for countries to develop a bespoke system of corporate governance regulation that takes into consideration the peculiarities of individual countries devoid of external influence.
Community Participation in Health Planning in Australia
Rural ECOH (Engaging Communities in Oral Health) is a collaborative project that connects policy makers, service providers and community members. The aim of the project is to empower community members to determine what is important for their community and to design the services that they need. This three-year project is currently underway in six rural communities across Australia. This study is specifically focused on Remote Services Futures (RSF), an evidence-based method of community participation that was developed in Scotland. The findings highlight the complexities of community participation in health service planning. We assumed that people living in rural communities would welcome participation in oral health planning and engage with their community to discuss these issues. We found that to understand the relationships between community members and health service providers, it was essential to identify the formal and informal community leaders and to engage stakeholders from the various community governance structures. Our study highlights the sometimes ‘messiness’ of decision making in rural communities as well as ways to ensure that community members have the training and practical skills necessary to participate in community decision making.
Die Away Health Workers: The Role of Psychological Factors on Burnout
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of abusive supervision, interactional justice and supportive workplace supervision burnout among health workers in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. Three hundred and twenty (320) health workers were sampled within Makurdi metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria. Standardized questionnaire on abusive supervision scale, interactional justice scale, supportive workplace supervision scale and employee burnout scale were used in the study. The research was a 2x2x2 factorial design. Four hypotheses were generated and were tested using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Scheffe’s post-hoc analysis was used to know the direction of the findings. Results revealed that there was a significant main effect of perceived abusive supervision on employee burnout among health workers. Also, there was a significant main effect of interactional justice on employee burnout among health workers. It was also found out that there was a significant interaction effect of supportive workplace supervision, interactional justice, and abusive supervision on employee burnout among health workers. Results were discussed in line with hypotheses; and recommendations on how to reduce employee burnout were suggested.
Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Among Nigerian Colleges of Education Lecturers: A Gender Analysis Approach
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in recent time has transformed the means by which we inform ourselves, with world events and areas of personal interests, and further our learning. Today, for many, books and journals are no longer the first or primary source of information or learning. We now regularly rely on images, video, animations and sound to acquire information and to learn. Increased and improved access to the internet has accelerated this phenomenon. We now acquire and access information in ways fundamentally different from the pre-ICT era. But to what extent is academic staff in colleges of education, having access to and the utilising of ICT devices in their lecture deliveries especially in School of Science and Vocational and Technical? The main focus of this paper is to proffer solution to this salient question. It is essentially an empirical study carried out in five colleges of education in south-west zone of Nigeria. The target population was the academic staff in the selected institution. A total number of 150 male and female lecturers were contacted for the study. The main instrument was questionnaire. The finding reveals that male lecturers are much more ICT inclined than women folk in the academics. Some recommendations were made to endear academics to utilizing ICT at their disposal to foster qualitative delivery in this digital era.
Analyzing Conflict Text; ‘Akunyili Memo: State of the Nation’: an Approach from CDA
Conflict is one of the defining features of human societies. Often, the use or misuse of language in interaction is the genesis of conflict. As such, it is expected that when people use language they do so in socially determined ways and with almost predictable social effects. The objective of this paper was to examine the interest at work as manifested in language choice and collocations in conflict discourse. It also scrutinized the implications of linguistic features in conflict discourse as it concerns ideology and power relations in political discourse in Nigeria. The methodology used for this paper is an approach from Critical discourse analysis because of its multidisciplinary model of analysis, linguistic features and its implications were analysed. The datum used is a text from the Sunday Sun Newspaper in Nigeria, West Africa titled Akunyili Memo: State of the Nation. Some of the findings include; different ideologies are inherent in conflict discourse, there is the presence of power relations being produced, exercised, maintained and produced throughout the discourse and the use of pronouns in conflict discourse is valuable because it is used to initiate and maintain relationships in social context. This paper has provided evidence that, taking into consideration the nature of the social actions and the way these activities are translated into languages, the meanings people convey by their words are identified by their immediate social, political and historical conditions.
Content Analysis of Depictions of Terrorism in U.S. Major Motion Pictures: A Social Constructionist Perspective
It has been demonstrated that fictional media sources have persuasive effects on public beliefs; this study contributes to the social constructionist literature by conducting a content analysis of U.S. major motion pictures involving terrorism. Using the Unified Film Population Sampling Methodology, the top-grossing films were identified to examine the frequency and context of several constructs of terrorism, including terrorist demographics, type of terrorism, country of origin, organizational affiliation, crime typology, and victim demographics. Comparisons of these constructs, as depicted in the films, were then made with the extant academic literature on terrorism. The data provide notable information regarding the representation of terrorism by the film industry, as well the discrepancies between the scholarly literature and depictions in popular films. The results indicate vast differences between fiction and reality, emphasizing a 'Middle Eastern Islamic male' terrorist stereotype. Using the theoretical foundation of social constructionism, the findings provide insight into how inaccurate depictions in film can influence society’s beliefs about terrorism and terrorists, which subsequently can translate into public support for legislation and policies that are often fueled by misinformation.
A Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Adaptation in Reducing Depression, Anxiety, and Self-Harm in Older Adults
It has long been assumed that personality disorders (PD) originate in adolescence or early adulthood and that the maladaptive behaviors significantly attenuate over time. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 supports early onset of PD and views the pattern of behaviors as enduring and stable. The premise of this study is that PD may not always begin early in life, that behaviors may change over the lifespan, and that current treatment modalities may be beneficial in seniors. Self-injurious behaviors (SIB) exhibited earlier in life may, in older adults, be manifested in less overt high-risk behaviors but by refusal to take medication and get necessary medical treatment. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a well-known treatment modality for teaching emotional regulation and distress tolerance and thus reducing self-injurious behaviors yet very little has been studied about SIB and treatment in older adults. The population for this study was older adults, with a history of SIB, a PD, and depression and/or anxiety. Participants learned an adapted version of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as developed by DBT trained therapists. The results provided clinical potentials for the efficacy of DBT to reduce SIB, decrease depression and anxiety in the older adult population.
Characterization of Organic Matter in Spodosol Amazonian by Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role in maintaining soil productivity and accounting for the promotion of biological diversity. The main components of the SOM are the humic substances which can be fractionated according to its solubility in humic acid (HA), fulvic acids (FA) and humin (HU). The determination of the chemical properties of organic matter as well as its interaction with metallic species is an important tool for understanding the structure of the humic fractions. Fluorescence spectroscopy has been studied as a source of information about what is happening at the molecular level in these compounds. Specially, soils of Amazon region are an important ecosystem of the planet. The aim of this study is to understand the molecular and structural composition of HA samples from Spodosol of Amazonia using the fluorescence Emission-Excitation Matrix (EEM) and Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TRFS). The results showed that the samples of HA showed two fluorescent components; one has a more complex structure and the other one has a simpler structure, which was also seen in TRFS through the evaluation of each sample lifetime. Thus, studies of this nature become important because it aims to evaluate the molecular and structural characteristics of the humic fractions in the region that is considered as one of the most important regions in the world, the Amazon.
Language Rights and the Challenge of National Integration: The Nigerian Experience
Linguistic diversity is seen to complicate attempts to build a stable and cohesive political community. Hence, the challenge of integration is enormous in a multi-ethno-lingual country like Nigeria. In the same vein, justification for minority language rights claims in relation to broader political theories of justice, freedom and democracy cannot be ignored. It is in the light of the fore-going that this paper explores Nigeria’s experiments at language policy and planning(LPP) and the long drawn agitations for self-determination and linguistic freedom by the minority ethnic groups in the polity which has been exacerbated by the National Policy on Education language provisions. The paper succinctly reviews Nigeria’s LPP efforts and its attendant theater of conflicts; explores international attempts at evolving normative principles of freedom and equality for language policy and finally evaluates the position of the Nigerian LPP in the light of evolving international conventions. On this premise, it is concluded that giving a conscientious and honest implementation of the Nigerian language provisions as assessed from their face validity, the nation’s efforts could be exonerated from running afoul of any known civilized values and best practices. It is, therefore, recommended that an effectual and consistent commitment to implementation driven by a renewed political will is what is required for the nation to succeed in this direction.
Drying Kinects of Soybean Seeds
The study of the kinetics of drying has great importance for the mathematical modeling, allowing to know about the processes of transference of heat and mass between the products and to adjust dryers managing new technologies for these processes. The present work had the objective of studying the kinetics of drying of soybean seeds and adjusting different statistical models to the experimental data varying cultivar and temperature. Soybean seeds were pre-dried in a natural environment in order to reduce and homogenize the water content to the level of 14% (b.s.). Then, drying was carried out in a forced air circulation oven at controlled temperatures of 38, 43, 48, 53 and 58 ± 1 ° C, using two soybean cultivars, BRS 8780 and Sambaíba, until reaching a hygroscopic equilibrium. The experimental design was completely randomized in factorial 5 x 2 (temperature x cultivar) with 3 replicates. To the experimental data were adjusted eleven statistical models used to explain the drying process of agricultural products. Regression analysis was performed using the least squares Gauss-Newton algorithm to estimate the parameters. The degree of adjustment was evaluated from the analysis of the coefficient of determination (R²), the adjusted coefficient of determination (R² Aj.) And the standard error (S.E). The models that best represent the drying kinetics of soybean seeds are those of Midilli and Logarítmico.
Utilizing Radio as a Resource Alternative for Disseminating Information to University Students in Ibadan, Nigeria: A Study of Lead City FM and Diamond FM Radio Stations
Radio according to communication scholars is a veritable instrument of mass education. However, its full potentials in boosting higher education have not been realized because of the commercial nature of radio stations in Nigeria. The licensing of campus radio for disseminating information on university curricular is aimed at reinforcing information shared during face to face teaching. This study anchored on Agenda Setting and Technology determinism theories seeks to find out the extent to which university students in Lead City University and University of Ibadan, Nigeria have keyed-in to the philosophy of their campus radio – Lead City FM and Diamond FM in making information dissemination in their domiciled universities less cumbersome. The study employs both qualitative and quantitative methods though the use of depth interview for ten (10) academic staff and five (5) radio personnel of both radio stations; and a questionnaire addressed to 200 students of both institutions using the systematic random sampling technique. The data collected was analyzed using simple percentage and chi-square one tail test, and it was discovered that students of both universities and their radio personnel are yet to realize the potentials of campus radio as a resource alternative to effective learning, and recommends the coming together of all stakeholders to articulate the way forward.
A Community-Engaged Approach to Examining Health Outcomes Potentially Related to Exposure to Environmental Contaminants in Yuma, Arizona
Introduction: In the past, there have been concerns about contaminants in the water sources in Yuma, Arizona, including the Colorado River. Prolonged exposure to contaminants, such as perchlorate and heavy metals, can lead to deleterious health effects in humans. This project examined the association between the concentration of environmental contaminants and patient health outcomes in Yuma residents, using a community-engaged approach to data collection. Methods: A community-engaged design allowed community partners and researchers to establish joint research goals, recruit participants, collect data, and formulate strategies for dissemination of findings. Key informant interviews were conducted to evaluate adherence to models of community-based research. Results: The training needs, roles, and expectations of community partners varied based on available resources, prior research experience, and perceived research challenges and ways to address them. Conclusions: Leveraging community-engaged approaches for studies of environmental contamination in marginalized communities can expedite recruitment efforts and stimulate action that can lead to improved community health.
Starting Order Eight Method Accurately for the Solution of First Order Initial Value Problems of Ordinary Differential Equations
In this paper, we developed a linear multistep method, which is implemented in predictor corrector-method. The corrector is developed by method of collocation and interpretation of power series approximate solutions at some selected grid points, to give a continuous linear multistep method, which is evaluated at some selected grid points to give a discrete linear multistep method. The predictors were also developed by method of collocation and interpolation of power series approximate solution, to give a continuous linear multistep method. The continuous linear multistep method is then solved for the independent solution to give a continuous block formula, which is evaluated at some selected grid point to give discrete block method. Basic properties of the corrector were investigated and found to be zero stable, consistent and convergent. The efficiency of the method was tested on some linear, non-learn, oscillatory and stiff problems of first order, initial value problems of ordinary differential equations. The results were found to be better in terms of computer time and error bound when compared with the existing methods.
Examining How Teachers’ Backgrounds and Perceptions for Technology Use Influence on Students’ Achievements
This study is to examine how teachers’ perspective on education technology use in their class influence their students’ achievement. The authors hypothesized that teachers’ perspective can directly or indirectly influence students’ learning, performance, and achievements. In this study, a questionnaire entitled, Teacher’s Perspective on Educational Technology, was delivered to 63 teachers and 1268 students’ mathematics and reading achievement records were collected. The questionnaire consists of four parts: a) demographic variables, b) attitudes on technology integration, c) outside factor affecting technology integration, and d) technology use in the classroom. Kruskal-Wallis and hierarchical regression analysis techniques were used to examine: 1) the relationship between the demographic variables and teachers’ perspectives on educational technology, and 2) how the demographic variables were causally related to students’ mathematics and reading achievements. The study found that teacher demographics were significantly related to the teachers’ perspective on educational technology with p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 separately. These teacher demographical variables included the school district, age, gender, the grade currently teach, teaching experience, and proficiency using new technology. Further, these variables significantly predicted students’ mathematics and reading achievements with p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 separately. The variations of R² are between 0.176 and 0.467. That means 46.7% of the variance of a given analysis can be explained by the model.
Continuous Processing Approaches for Tunable Asymmetric Photochemical Synthesis
Enabling technologies such as continuous processing (CP) approaches can provide the tools needed to control and manipulate reactivities and transform chemical reactions into micro-controlled in-flow processes. Traditional synthetic approaches can be radically transformed by the application of CP, facilitating the pairing of chemical methodologies with technologies from other disciplines. CP supports sustainable processes that controllably generate reaction specificity utilizing supramolecular interactions. Continuous photochemical processing is an emerging field of investigation. The use of light to drive chemical reactivity is not novel, but the controlled use of specific and tunable wavelengths of light to selectively generate molecular structure under continuous processing conditions is an innovative approach towards chemical synthesis. This investigation focuses on the use of circularly polarized (cp) light as a sustainable catalyst for the CP generation of asymmetric molecules. Chiral photolysis has already been achieved under batch, solid-phase conditions: using synchrotron-sourced cp light, asymmetric photolytic selectivities of up to 4.2% enantiomeric excess (e.e.) have been reported. In order to determine the optimal wavelengths to use for irradiation with cp light for any given molecular building block, CD and anisotropy spectra for each building block of interest have been generated in two different solvents (water, hexafluoroisopropanol) across a range of wavelengths (130-400 nm). These spectra are being used to support a series of CP experiments using cp light to generate enantioselectivity.
Lunch Hour Concerts as a Strategy for Strengthening Student Performance Skills: University of Port Harcourt Experience
This article reports on an evaluation of lunch hour concert and its effectiveness in improving undergraduate performance ability. In particular, it examines the aptitude of students in classroom applied music and their reaction/responses to true life concert situations. It further investigated factors affecting students’ confidence during performances, the relationship between stage fright and confidence building in regular concert participation. The Department of Music, University of Port Harcourt runs monthly lunch our concerts which are coordinated by undergraduates for the university community. Forty music students who have participated in or coordinated lunch hour concerts were chosen for this survey. Eight music lecturers who have supervised the monthly lunch hour concert were also chosen for this study. The attitude and view on the effectiveness of lunch hour concert in enhancing students’ performance skills were gotten through questionnaires survey, in-depth interview and participant observation to determine if classroom based applied music alone is as successful in grooming performance genius as the lunch hour concert. Result indicated that students’ participation in lunch hour concert did indeed broaden and strengthened their performance experiences. This observation led to a recommendation that regular community based concerts be considered as a standard for performance practices in the university curriculum since it serves as a preparatory platform for acquiring professional performance skills before graduation.
Lipid Profile of Civil Servants in Abeokuta Ogun State Nigeria
Cardiovascular diseases are now becoming dominant sources of morbidity and mortality worldwide. This study investigated the lipid profile of civil servants. A cross-sectional study was carried out among randomly selected 202 male and 298 female civil servants in Abeokuta Ogun state. A pretested structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on history of non-communicable diseases and physical activity pattern of the respondents. The blood pressures of the subjects were measured and classified using World Health Organization criteria. The total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Ethical approval was obtained from Ogun State Ministry of Health. Data collected were analysed using Statistical package for social science version 17.1. Results showed that majority (76%) of the subjects were within the age range of 20 - 40 years, 75% earned between N58,500 - N98,000 monthly and 68% were sedentary. The mean energy intake of men and women were 3942±38 kcal and 2791±3 kcal respectively, while the protein intake for men was 65±49 g/day and 54.28±40 g/day for women. Desirable TC level (
Using Reading to Learn Pedagogy to Promote Chinese Written Vocabulary Acquisition: An Evaluative Study
Based on the available evidence, Chinese heritage language learners have a basic level of Chinese language proficiency with lower capability in literacy compared to speaking. Low levels of literacy are likely related to the lack of reading activities in current textbook-based pedagogy used in Chinese community schools. The present study aims to use Reading to Learn pedagogy which is a top-down language learning model and test the effectiveness of Reading to Learn on Chinese heritage learners’ written vocabulary acquisition. A quasi-experiment with the pre-test/post-test non-equivalent group design was conducted. The experimental group received Reading to Learn instructions and the control group had traditional textbook-based instructions. Participants were given Chinese characters tasks (a recognize-and-read task and a listen-and-point task), vocabulary tasks (a receptive vocabulary task and a productive vocabulary task) and a sentence cloze test in pre-tests and post-tests. Data collection is in progress and results will be available shortly. If the results show more improvement of Chinese written vocabulary in the experimental group than in the control group, it will be recommended that Reading to Learn pedagogy is valuable to be used to maintain and develop Chinese heritage language literacy.
Miracle Fruit Application in Sour Beverages: Effect of Different Concentrations on the Temporal Sensory Profile and Overall Linking
Currently, there is a great demand for the use of natural sweeteners due to the harmful effects of the high sugar and artificial sweeteners consumption on the health. Miracle fruit, which is known for its unique ability to modify the sour taste in sweet taste, has been shown to be a good alternative sweetener. However, it has a high production cost, being important to optimize lower contents to be used. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of different miracle fruit contents on the temporal (Time-intensity - TI and Temporal Dominance of Sensations - TDS) sensory profile and overall linking of lemonade, to determine the better content to be used as a natural sweetener in sour beverages. TI and TDS results showed that the concentrations of 150 mg, 300 mg and 600 mg miracle fruit were effective in reducing the acidity and promoting the sweet perception in lemonade. Furthermore, the concentrations of 300 mg and 600 mg obtained similar profiles. Through the acceptance test, the concentration of 300 mg miracle fruit was shown to be an efficient substitute for sucrose and sucralose in lemonade, once they had similar hedonic values between ‘I liked it slightly’ and ‘I liked it moderately’. Therefore, 300mg miracle fruit consists in an adequate content to be used as a natural sweetener of lemonade. The results of this work will help the food industry on the efficient application of a new natural sweetener- the Miracle fruit extract in sour beverages, reducing costs and providing a product that meets the consumer desires.
Poverty and Environmental Degeneration in Central City of Ibadan, Nigeria
There is a high magnitude of housing inadequacy in urban centers in Nigeria. This is manifested in quantitative and qualitative terms. Severe overcrowding and insanitary physical environment characterize the housing in the urban centers. The culminating effect of this is the growth of slum areas. This paper takes a critical look at inter-allia history and anatomy, general characteristic, present condition, root causes, official responses and reactions, possible solution and advocacy housing in central city slum of Ibadan. It also examines slum development and consequent deviant behaviors in the inner-city neighborhoods of Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, Nigeria. Residing there are many underemployed and unemployed individuals, these are miscreants who are generally socially frustrated. The activities of this group of people are a cause of concern. Deleterious and anti-social behaviors such as prostitution and house burglary are commonplace in the neighborhoods. The paper examines building conditions in the neighborhoods and the nexus with the deviant behavior of the inhabitants. The paper affirms that there is monumental deficiency in housing quality, while the design and the arrangement of the buildings into spatial units significantly influence the behavior of the residents. The paper suggests a two-prong approach in dealing with the situation. This involves urban renewal and slum upgrading programmes on the one hand, and an improvement in the socio-economic circumstances of the inhabitants, especially an increase in employment opportunity on the other.
Integrated Geotechnical and Geophysical Investigation of a Proposed Construction Site at Mowe, Southwestern Nigeria
The subsurface of a proposed site for building development in Mowe, Nigeria, using Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Cone Penetrometer Test (CPT) supplemented with Horizontal Electrical Profiling (HEP) was investigated with the aim of evaluating the suitability of the strata for foundation materials. Four SPT and CPT were implemented using 10 tonnes hammer. HEP utilizing Wenner array were performed with inter-electrode spacing of 10 – 60 m along four traverses coincident with each of the SPT and CPT. The HEP data were processed using DIPRO software and textural filtering of the resulting resistivity sections was implemented to enable delineation of hidden layers. Sandy lateritic clay, silty lateritic clay, clay, clayey sand and sand horizons were delineated. The SPT “N” value defined very soft to soft sandy lateritic (
Adaptable Buildings for More Sustainable Housing: Energy Life Cycle Analysis
The life cycle analysis and the energy life cycle analysis are useful design support tools when sustainability becomes imperative. The final phase of buildings life cycle is probably the least known, on which less knowledge is available. In the Brazilian building industry, the lifespan of a building design rarely is treated as a definite design parameter. There is rather a common sense attitude to take any building demands as permanent, and to take for granted that buildings solutions are durable and solid. Housing, being a permanent issue in any society, presents a real challenge to the choice of a design lifespan. In Brazilian history, there was a contrast of the native solutions of collective, non-durable houses built by several nomadic tribes, and the stone and masonry buildings introduced by the sedentary Portuguese conquerors. Durable buildings are commonly associated with welfare. However, social dynamics makes traditional families of both parents and children be just one of several possible arrangements. In addition, a more liberal attitude towards family leads to an increase in the number of people living in alternative arrangements. Japan is an example of country where houses have been made intentionally ephemeral since the half of 20th century. The present article presents the development of a flexible housing design solution on the basis of the Design Science Research approach. A comparison in terms of energy life cycle shows how flexibility and dematerialization may point at a feasible future for housing policies in Brazil.
Teachers' and Learners' ICT-Readiness Assessment for Agricultural Science Instruction in Secondary Schools in Ogun State, Nigeria
This study investigated the teachers’ and learners’ ICT-readiness assessment for agricultural science instruction in secondary schools in Ogun State, Nigeria. However, the sample population of 6 and 120 agricultural science teachers and learners were randomly selected respectively from 3 public and 3 private senior secondary schools in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria. Descriptive survey design of ex post-facto type was adopted for the study. Two structured questionnaires tagged Teachers’ and Learners’ Questionnaires on ICT-Readiness for Agricultural Science Instruction TQICTRASI and LQICTRASI respectively were used for data collection. The two questionnaires were subjected to Cronbach alpha coefficient with the results 0.86 and 0.82 respectively. Five research hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Findings revealed that teachers in private senior secondary school (SSS) were more ready and prepared than their counterparts in public SSS with the result t-value = 4.25 greater than t-critical = 2.77, df = 4 at p< 0.05. Also, learners in private SSS were more prepared and ready for the utilisation of ICT-facilities for agricultural science instruction with the result t-value = 3.51 greater than t-critical = 1.98, df = 118 at p< 0.05. However, male and female learners in both private and public SSS were equally prepared and ready for the ICT-facilities utilisation for agricultural science instruction, thus, there were no significant differences in their ICT-readiness. Therefore, the study proffered that, both male and female teachers and learners should be more ICT-compliant and always ready to upgrade their skills and knowledge in ICT-facilities, utilisation for agricultural science instruction and even for other school subjects particularly in Ogun State and in generally in Nigeria.
Laser Corneoplastique™: A Refractive Surgery for Corneal Scars
Background: Laser Corneoplastique™ as a least interventional, visually promising technique for patients with vision disability from corneal scars of varied causes has been retrospectively reviewed and proves to cause a paradigm shift in mindset and approach towards corneal scars as a Refractive surgery aiming for emmetropic, unaided vision of 20;/20 in most cases. Three decades of work on this technique has been compiled in this 15-year study. Subject and Methods: The objective of this study was to determine the success of Laser Corneoplastique™ surgery as a treatment of corneal scar cases. A survey of corneal scar cases caused by various medical histories that had undergone Laser Corneoplastique™ surgery over the past twenty years by a single surgeon Arun C. Gulani, M.D. were retrospectively reviewed. The details of each of the cases were retrieved from their medical records and analyzed. Each patient had been examined thoroughly at their preoperative appointments for stability of refraction and vision, depth of scar, pachymetry, topography, pattern of the scar and uncorrected and best corrected vision potential, which were all taken into account in the patients' treatment plans. Results: 64 eyes of 53 patients were investigated for scar etiology, keratometry, visual acuity, and complications. There were 25 different etiologies seen, with the most common being a Herpetic scar. The average visual acuity post-op was, on average, 20/23.55 (±7.05). Laser parameters used were depth and pulses. Overall, the mean Laser ablation depth was 30.67 (±19.05), ranging from 2 to 73 µm. Number of Laser pulses averaged 191.85 (±112.02). Conclusion: Refractive Laser Corneoplastique™ surgery, when practiced as an art, can address all levels of ametropia while reversing complex corneas and scars from refractive surgery complications back to 20/20 vision.
Barriers to Marital Expectation among Individuals with Hearing Impairment in Oyo State
The study was designed to examine the barriers to marital expectations among unmarried persons with hearing impairment in Oyo State, Nigeria. Descriptive survey research design was adopted. Purposive sampling technique was used to select one hundred participants made up forty-four (44) males and fifty-six (56) females, all with varying degrees of hearing impairment. Eight research questions were raised and answered. The instrument used was Marital Expectations Scale with reliability coefficient of 0.86. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics tools of frequency count and simple percentage as well as inferential statistics tools of T-TEST and ANOVA. The findings revealed that there was a significant relationship existing among the main identified barriers (environmental barrier, communication barrier, hearing loss, unemployment and poor sexuality education) to the marital expectations of unmarried persons with hearing impairment. The joint contribution of the independent variables (identified barriers) to the dependent variable (marital expectations) was significant, F = 5.842, P &lt; 0.05, accounting for about 89% of the variance. The relative contribution of the identified barriers to marital expectations of unmarried persons with hearing impairment is as follows: environmental barrier (&beta; = 0.808, t = 5.176, P &lt; 0.05), communication barrier (&beta; = 0.533, t = 3.305, P &lt; 0.05), hearing loss (&beta; = 0.550, t = 2.233, P &lt; 0.05), unemployment (&beta; = 0.431, t = 2.102, P &lt; 0.05), poor sexuality education (&beta; = 0.361, t = 1.985, P &lt; 0.05). Environmental barrier proved to be the most potent contributor to the poor marital expectations among unmarried persons with hearing impairment. Therefore, it is recommended that society dismantles the nagging environmental barrier through positive identification with individuals suffering from hearing impairment. In this connection, members of society should change their negative attitudes and do away with all the wrong notions about the marital ability of individuals with hearing impairment.
Agricultural Land Suitability Analysis of Kampe-Omi Irrigation Scheme Using Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System
Agricultural land suitability analysis and mapping play an imperative role for sustainable utilization of scarce physical land resources. The objective of this study was to prepare spatial database of physical land resources for irrigated agriculture and to assess land suitability for irrigation and developing suitable area map of the study area. The study was conducted at Kampe-Omi irrigation scheme located at Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria. Temperature and rainfall data of the study area were collected for 10 consecutive years (2005-2014). Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were used to develop irrigation land suitability map of the study area. Attribute parameters such as the slope, soil properties, topography of the study area were used for the analysis. The available data were arranged, proximity analysis of Arc-GIS was made, and this resulted into five mapping units. The final agricultural land suitability map of the study area was derived after overlay analysis. Based on soil composition, slope, soil properties and topography, it was concluded that; Kampe-Omi has rich sandy loam soil, which is viable for agricultural purpose, the soil composition is made up of 60% sand and 40% loam. The land-use pattern map of Kampe-Omi has vegetal area and water-bodies covering 55.6% and 19.3% of the total assessed area respectively. The landform of Kampe-Omi is made up of 41.2% lowlands, 37.5% normal lands and 21.3% highlands. Kampe-Omi is adequately suitable for agricultural purpose while an extra of 20.2% of the area is highly suitable for agricultural purpose making 72.6% while 18.7% of the area is slightly suitable.
IL-33 Production in Murine Macrophages via PGE2-E Prostanoid Receptor 2/4 Signaling
IL-33, a recently discovered member of the IL-1 cytokine family, binds to the TLR/IL1R super family receptor ST2 and induces type 2 immune responses. IL-33 is constitutively expressed in structural cells at barrier sites such as skin, lung, and intestine, and also inducibly expressed by hematopoietic cells including macrophages. Stimulation of macrophages by Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) can induce de novo IL-33 expression, and also causes the production of prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2) via cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and microsomal PGE2 synthase-1 (mPGES-1). Because PGE2 can regulate macrophage functions through both autocrine and paracrine mechanisms, the potential interplay of endogenous PGE2 on IL-33 production was explored. Bone-marrow derived murine macrophages (bmMF) that lack either mPGES-1 or EP2 receptor expression were stimulated with LPS in the absence or presence of exogenous PGE2 along with pharmacological agonists and antagonists. The study results demonstrate that endogenous PGE2 markedly enhances LPS-induced IL-33 production by bmMFs via EP2 receptors. Moreover, exogenous PGE2 can amplify LPS-induced IL-33 expression dominantly by EP2 and partly by EP4 receptors by a pathway involving cAMP and exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC), but not protein kinase A (PKA). Though both IL-33 production and PGE2 generation in response to LPS require activation of both p38 MAPK and NF-κB, PGE2 did not influence this activation. In conclusion, it is demonstrated that endogenous PGE2 signaling through EP2 and EP4 receptors is a prerequisite for LPS-induced IL-33 production in bmMFs and the underlying cAMP mediated pathway involves EPAC. Since IL-33 is a critical pro-inflammatory cytokine in various pathological disorders, this PGE2-EP2/EP4-cAMP mediated pathway can be exploited to intervene in IL-33 driven pathologies.
Sick Minds and Social Media: Treacherous Trends in Online Stalking, Aggression, and Murder
This preliminary study has examined ways in which social media may help cause stalker murder by individuals with personality disorders and a strong sense of sexual propriety. A public display on social media by the intended victim was felt to be a trigger that instigated interpersonal violence. To identify behavioural paradigms, case studies of intimate partner murders were explored using news media sources and documentaries. In all of the case studies, social media interaction and social media postings occurred shortly before the murder. The evidence suggested a preponderance of correlations between the social media postings, stalking behaviours, personality disorders, and the murder of an intimate partner. In addition to this, a profile for of Facebook/social media murder was gleaned from the paradigms of behavior found in the case studies. The evidence showed a complex relationship between severe violence, stalking, borderline personality, and intimate partner violence was identified through the study. The struggle clients have in dealing with the: public, ambiguous and unrelenting nature of social media postings was also observed. The murderers anguish and rage appeared to be further intensified by attitudes of sexual propriety and entitlement. These attitudes were evident in all the case studies. The study concluded with further research on how the public can protect themselves from entering situations where social media postings might trigger a violent response. Further to this, psychological approaches were identified that might support client’s with personality disorders to cope with perceived provocative and distressing data on the internet. Thus, the findings of this study will be of interest to: therapists, psychologists, nurses, criminologists and social workers.
Bioprospecting for Indigenous Ruderal Plants with Potentials for Phytoremediation of Soil Heavy Metals in the Southern Guinea Savanna of North Western Nigeria
In a study to evaluate the response of indigenous ruderal plants to the metal deposition regime imposed by anthropogenic modification in the Southern Guinea Savanna of north Western Nigeria during the dry and wet seasons, herbaceous plants and samples of soils were collected in three 5m by 5m quadrats laid around the environs of the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company and the banks of River Kaduna. Heavy metal concentration (Cd, Ni, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) in soil and plant samples was determined using Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence. Concentrations of heavy metals in soils were generally observed to be higher during the wet season in both locations although the differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Concentrations of Cd, Zn, Cr, Cu and Ni in all the plants observed were found to be below levels described as phytotoxic to plants. However, above ‘normal’ concentrations of Cr was observed in most of the plant species sampled. The concentrations of Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn in soils around the KRPC and RKB were found to be above the acceptable limits. Although no hyper accumulator plant species was encountered in this study, twenty (20) plant species were identified to have high bioconcentration (BCF > 1.0) of Cd and Cu, which indicated tolerance of these plants to excessive or phytotoxic concentrations of these metals. In addition, they generally produce high above ground biomass, due to rapid vegetative growth. These are likely species for phytoextraction. Elevated concentration of metals in both soil and plant materials may cause a decrease in biodiversity due to direct toxicity. There are also risks to humans and other animals due to bioaccumulation across the food chain. There are further possibilities of further evaluating and genetically improving metal tolerance traits in some of these plant species in relation to their potential use in phytoremediation programmes in metal polluted sites.
Water Management Scheme: Panacea to Development Using Nigeria’s University of Ibadan Water Supply Scheme as a Case Study
The supply of potable water at least is a very important index in national development. Water tariffs depend on the treatment cost which carries the highest percentage of the total operation cost in any water supply scheme. In order to keep water tariffs as low as possible, treatment costs have to be minimized. The University of Ibadan, Nigeria, water supply scheme consists of a treatment plant with three distribution stations (Amina way, Kurumi and Lander) and two raw water supply sources (Awba dam and Eleyele dam). An operational study of the scheme was carried out to ascertain the efficiency of the supply of potable water on the campus to justify the need for water supply schemes in tertiary institutions. The study involved regular collection, processing and analysis of periodic operational data. Data collected include supply reading (water production on daily basis) and consumers metered reading for a period of 22 months (October 2013 - July 2015), and also collected, were the operating hours of both plants and human beings. Applying the required mathematical equations, total loss was determined for the distribution system, which was translated into monetary terms. Adequacies of the operational functions were also determined. The study revealed that water supply scheme is justified in tertiary institutions. It was also found that approximately 10.7 million Nigerian naira (N) is lost to leakages during the 22-month study period; the system&rsquo;s storage capacity is no longer adequate, especially for peak water production. The capacity of the system as a whole is insufficient for the present university population and that the existing water supply system is not being operated in an optimal manner especially due to personnel, power and system ageing constraints.
Efficiency on the Enteric Viral Removal in Four Potable Water Treatment Plants in Northeastern Colombia
Enteric viruses are cosmopolitan agents present in several environments including water. These viruses can cause different diseases including gastroenteritis, hepatitis, conjunctivitis, respiratory problems among others. Although in Colombia there are not regulations concerning to routine viral analysis of drinking water, an enhanced understanding of viral pollution and resistance to treatments is desired in order to assure pure water to the population. Viral detection is often complex due to the need of specialized and time-consuming procedures. In addition, viruses are highly diluted in water which is a drawback from the analytical point of view. To this end, a fast and selective detection method for detection enteric viruses (i.e. Hepatitis A and Rotavirus) were applied. Micro- magnetic particles were functionalized with monoclonal antibodies anti-Hepatitis and anti-Rotavirus and they were used to capture, concentrate and separate whole viral particles in raw water and drinking water samples from four treatment plants identified as CAR-01, MON-02, POR-03, TON-04 and located in the Northeastern Colombia. Viruses were molecularly by using RT-PCR One Step Superscript III. Each plant was analyzed at the entry and exit points, in order to determine the initial presence and eventual reduction of Hepatitis A and Rotavirus after disinfection. The results revealed the presence of both enteric viruses in a 100 % of raw water analyzed in all plants. This represents a potential health hazard, especially for those people whose use this water for agricultural purposes. However, in drinking water analysis, enteric viruses was only positive in CAR-01, where was found the presence of Rotavirus. As a conclusion, the results confirm Rotavirus as the best indicator to evaluate the efficacy of potable treatment plant in eliminating viruses. CAR potable water plant should improve their disinfection process in order to remove efficiently enteric viruses.
Manganese Contamination Exacerbates Reproductive Stress in a Suicidally-Breeding Marsupial
For suicidal breeders, the physiological stresses and energetic costs of breeding are fatal. Environmental stressors such as pollution should compound these costs, yet suicidal breeding is so rare among mammals that this is unknown. Here, we explored the consequences of metal contamination to the health, aging and performance of endangered, suicidally-breeding northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) living near an active manganese mine on Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory, Australia. We found respirable manganese dust at levels exceeding international recommendations even 20km from mining sites and substantial accumulation of manganese within quolls’ hair, testes, and in two brain regions—the neocortex and cerebellum, responsible for sensory perception and motor function, respectively. Though quolls did not differ in sprint speeds, motor skill, or manoeuvrability, those with higher accumulation of manganese crashed at lower speeds during manoeuvrability tests, indicating a potential effect on sight or cognition. Immune function and telomere length declined over the breeding season, as expected with ageing, but manganese contamination exacerbated immune declines and suppressed cortisol. Unexpectedly, male quolls with higher levels of manganese had longer telomeres, supporting evidence of unusual telomere dynamics among Dasyurids—though whether this affects their lifespan is unknown. We posit that sublethal contamination via pollution, mining, or urbanisation imposes physiological costs on wildlife that may diminish reproductive success or survival.
Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) Applications for Interactive and Engaging Classrooms: APPsolutely!
Mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) or m-learning which is defined as learning with mobile devices that can be utilized in any place that is equipped with unbroken transmission signals, has created new opportunities and challenges for educational use. It introduced a new learning model combining new types of mobile devices, wireless communication services and technologies with teaching and learning. Recent advancements in the mobile world such as the Apple IOS devices (IPhone, IPod Touch and IPad), Android devices and other smartphone devices and environments (such as Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry), allowed learning to be more flexible inside and outside the classroom, making the learning experience unique, adaptable and tailored to each user. Creativity, learner autonomy, collaboration and digital practices of language learners are encouraged as well as innovative pedagogical applications, like the flipped classroom, for such practices in classroom contexts are enhanced. These developments are gradually embedded in daily life and they also seem to be heralding the sustainable move to paperless classrooms. Since mobile technologies are increasingly viewed as a main platform for delivery, we as educators need to design our activities, materials and learning environments in such a way to ensure that learners are engaged and feel comfortable. For the purposes of our session, several core MALL applications that work on the Apple IPad/IPhone will be explored; the rationale and steps needed to successfully implement these applications will be discussed and student examples will be showcased. The focus of the session will be on the following points: 1-Our current pedagogical approach, 2-The rationale and several core MALL apps, 3-Possible Challenges for Teachers and Learners, 4-Future implications. This session is aimed at instructors who are interested in integrating MALL apps into their own classroom planning.
Characterization, Classification and Fertility Capability Classification of Three Rice Zones of Ebonyi State, Southeastern Nigeria
Soil characterization and classification provide the basic information necessary to create a functional evaluation and soil classification schemes. Fertility capability classification (FCC) on the other hand is a technical system that groups the soils according to kinds of problems they present for management of soil physical and chemical properties. This research was carried out in Ebonyi state, southeastern Nigeria, which is an agrarian state and a leading rice producing part of southeastern Nigeria. In order to maximize the soil and enhance the productivity of rice in Ebonyi soils, soil classification, and fertility classification information need to be supplied. The state was grouped into three locations according to their agricultural zones namely; Ebonyi north, Ebonyi central and Ebonyi south representing Abakaliki, Ikwo and Ivo locations respectively. Major rice growing areas of the soils were located and two profile pits were sunk in each of the studied zones from which soils were characterized, classified and fertility capability classification (FCC) developed. Soil classification was done using United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Soil Taxonomy and correlated with World Reference Base for soil resources. Results obtained classified Abakaliki 1 and Abakaliki 2 as Typic Fluvaquents (Ochric Fluvisols). Ikwo 1 was classified as Vertic Eutrudepts (Eutric Vertisols) while Ikwo 2 was classified as Typic Eutrudepts (Eutric Cambisols). Ivo 1 and Ivo 2 were both classified as Aquic Eutrudepts (Gleyic Leptosols). Fertility capability classification (FCC) revealed that all studied soils had mostly loamy topsoils and subsoils except Ikwo 1 with clayey topsoil. Limitations encountered in the studied soils include; dryness (d), low ECEC (e), low nutrient capital reserve (k) and water logging/ anaerobic condition (gley). Thus, FCC classifications were Ldek for Abakaliki 1 and 2, Ckv for Ikwo 1, LCk for Ikwo 2 while Ivo 1 and 2 were Legk and Lgk respectively.
River Catchment’s Demography and the Dynamics of Access to Clean Water in the Rural South Africa
Universal access to clean and safe drinking water and basic sanitation is one of the targets of the 6th Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This paper explores the evidence-based indicators of Water Rights Acts (2013) among households in the rural communities in the Mthatha River catchment of OR Tambo District Municipality of South Africa. Daily access to minimum 25 litres/person and the factors influencing clean water access were investigated in the catchment. A total number of 420 households were surveyed in the upper, peri-urban, lower and coastal regions of Mthatha Rivier catchment. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were conducted on the data collected from the households to elicit vital information on domestic water security among rural community dwellers. The results show that approximately 68 percent of total households surveyed have access to the required minimum 25 litre/person/day, with 66.3 percent in upper region, 76 per cent in the peri-urban, 1.1 percent in the lower and 2.3 percent in the coastal regions. Only 30 percent among the total surveyed households had access to piped water either in the house or public taps. The logistic regression showed that access to clean water was influenced by lack of water infrastructure, proximity to urban regions, daily flow of pipe-borne water, household size and distance to public taps. This paper recommends that viable integrated rural community-based water infrastructure provision strategies between NGOs and local authority and the promotion of point of use (POU) technologies to enhance better access to clean water.
Healthy Feeding and Drinking Troughs for Profitable Intensive Deep-Litter Poultry Farming
The mainstream contemporary approach to controlling the impact of diseases among poultry birds rely largely on curative measures through the administration of drugs to infected birds. Most times as observed in the deep liter poultry farming system, entire flocks including uninfected birds receive the treatment they do not need. As such, unguarded use of chemical drugs and antibiotics has led to wastage and accumulation of chemical residues in poultry products with associated health hazards to humans. However, wanton and frequent drug usage in poultry is avoidable if feeding and drinking equipment are designed to curb infection transmission among birds. Using toxicological assays as guide and with efficiency and simplicity in view, two newly field-tested and recently patented equipments called 'healthy liquid drinking trough (HDT)' and 'healthy feeding trough (HFT)' that systematically eliminate contamination of the feeding and drinking channels, thereby, curbing wide-spread infection and transmission of diseases in the (intensive) deep litter poultry farming system were designed. Upon combined usage, they automatically and drastically reduced both the amount and frequency of antibiotics use in poultry by over > 50%. Additionally, they conferred optimization of feed and water utilization/elimination of wastage by > 80%, reduced labour by > 70%, reduced production cost by about 15%, and reduced chemical residues in poultry meat or eggs by > 85%. These new and cheap technologies which require no energy input are likely to elevate safety of poultry products for consumers' health, increase marketability locally and for export, and increase output and profit especially among poultry farmers and poor people who keep poultry or inevitably utilize poultry products in developing countries.
Women's Vulnerability to Cross-Border Criminality in Saki/Iseyin Area of Oyo State in Nigeria: Insight and Experiences
Globally women are classified to be part of the vulnerable group in any environment. In a conflict-ridden environment, women being vulnerable often suffer the consequences as it relates to security and access to basic social services such as medical care. This is the situation in border communities in Nigeria where cross-border crimes are on the rife, thus, putting women at a disadvantaged position and, eventually, victims of such inimical activities. Border communities in the Saki/Iseyin area of Oyo state are a case in point where the lives of inhabitants are daily threatened most, especially women. In light of the above, this article examined the security situation of the Saki/Iseyin area of Oyo State with a view to ascertaining its status in terms of safety of lives and property. This paper also explored the experiences of women in the border communities within the area as it relates to their safety, the safety of their children, access to good health facilities in their immediate environment, and above all, how they have been able to cope or manage the situation. The qualitative research model was adopted utilizing a phenomenological case study approach. A Focused Group Discussion was conducted with 10 pregnant women and 10 mothers in Okerete and Abugudu communities while a Key Informant Interview was conducted with the women leaders in both communities of the Saki/Iseyin border area of Oyo State. The findings of the study revealed the poor state of basic infrastructure. So bad to a point that inhabitants of these communities no longer see themselves as Nigerians because they have been neglected by the government for too long. The only solution is for the government to embark on developmental projects within these communities so that they can live a good life just as those in the cities do. More importantly, this will increase the loyalty of these communities to the Nigeria state by defending and resisting all forms of cross-border criminal activities that go on along the porous borders.
The Use of Geographic Information System for Selecting Landfill Sites in Osogbo
This study investigated the optimum landfill site in Osogbo so as to identify suitable solid waste dumpsite for proper waste management in the capital city. Despite an increase in alternative techniques for disposing of waste, landfilling remains the primary means of waste disposal. These changes in attitudes in many parts of the world have been supported by changes in laws and policies regarding the environment and waste disposal. Selecting the most suitable site for landfill can avoid any ecological and socio-economic effects. The increase in industrial and economic development, along with the increase of population growth in Osogbo town, generates a tremendous amount of solid waste within the region. Factors such as the scarcity of land, the lifespan of the landfill, and environmental considerations warrant that the scientific and fundamental studies are carried out in determining the suitability of a landfill site. The analysis of spatial data and consideration of regulations and accepted criteria are part of the important elements in the site selection. This paper presents a multi-criteria decision-making method using geographic information system (GIS) with the integration of the fuzzy logic multi-criteria decision making (FMCDM) technique for landfill suitability site evaluation. By using the fuzzy logic method (classification of suitable areas in the range of 0 to 1 scale), the superposing of the information layers related to drainage, soil, land use/land cover, slope, land use, and geology maps were performed in the study. Based on the result obtained in this study, five (5) potential sites are suitable for the construction of a landfill are proposed, two of which belong to the most suitable zone, and the existing waste disposal site belonged to the unsuitable zone.
Molecular Characterization of Ovine Herpesvirus 2 Strains Based on Selected Glycoprotein and Tegument Genes
Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) genome obtained from the lymphopblastoid cell line of a BJ1035 cow was recently sequenced in the United States of America (USA). Information on the sequences of OvHV-2 genes obtained from South African strains from bovine or other African countries and molecular characterization of OvHV-2 is not documented. Present investigation provides information on the nucleotide and derived amino acid sequences and genetic diversity of Ov 7, Ov 8 ex2, ORF 27 and ORF 73 genes, of these genes from OvHV-2 strains circulating in South Africa. Gene-specific primers were designed and used for PCR of DNA extracted from 42 bovine blood samples that previously tested positive for OvHV-2. The expected PCR products of 495 bp, 253 bp, 890 bp and 1632 bp respectively for Ov 7, Ov 8 ex2, ORF 27 and ORF 73 genes were sequenced and multiple sequence analysis done on the selected regions of the sequenced PCR products. Two genotypes for ORF 27 and ORF 73 gene sequences, and three genotypes for Ov 7 and Ov 8 ex2 gene sequences were identified, and similar groupings for the derived amino acid sequences were obtained for each gene. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence variations that led to the identification of the different genotypes included SNPs, deletions and insertions. Sequence analysis of Ov 7 and ORF 27 genes revealed variations that distinguished between sequences from SA and reference OvHV-2 strains. The implication of geographic origin among SA sequences was difficult to evaluate because of random distribution of genotypes in the different provinces, for each gene. However, socio-economic factors such as migration of people with animals, or transportation of animals for agricultural or business use from one province to another are most likely to be responsible for this observation. The sequence variations observed in this study have no impact on the antibody binding activities of glycoproteins encoded by Ov 7, Ov 8 ex2 and ORF 27 genes, as determined by prediction of the presence of B cell epitopes using BepiPred 1.0. The findings of this study will be used for selection of gene candidates for the development of diagnostic assays and vaccine development as well.
The Risks of 'Techtopia': Reviewing the Negative Lessons of Smart City Development
‘Smart cities’ are not always as ‘smart’ as the term suggests, which is not often covered in the associated academic and public policy literatures. In what has become known as the smart city approach to urban planning, governments around the world are seeking to harness the power of information and communications technology with increasingly advanced data analytics to address major social, economic, and environmental issues reshaping the ways people live. The definitional and theoretical boundaries of the smart city framework are broad and at times ambiguous, as is empirical treatment of the topic. However, and for all the disparity, in investigating any number of institutional and policy prescriptions to the challenges faced by current and emerging metropoles, scholarly thought has hinged overwhelmingly on value-positive conceptions of informatics-centered design. From enhanced quality of services, to increased efficiency of resources, to improved communication between societal stakeholders, the smart city design is championed as a technological wellspring capable of providing answers to the systemic issues stymying a utopian image of the city. However, it is argued that this ‘techtopia’, has resulted in myopia within the discipline as to value-negative implications of such planning, such as weaknesses in practicality, scalability, social equity and affordability of solutions. In order to more carefully examine this observation - that ‘stupid’ represents an omitted variable bias in the study of ‘smart’ - this paper reviews critical cases of unsuccessful smart city developments. It is argued that also understanding the negative factors affiliated with the development processes is imperative for the advancement of theoretical foundations, policies, and strategies to further the smart city as an equitable, holistic urban innovation. What emerges from the process-tracing carried out in this study are distinctly negative lessons of smart city projects, the significance of which are vital for understanding how best to conceive smart urban planning in the 21st century.
E-Government Development in Nigeria, 'Bank Verification No': An Anti-Corruption Tool
The leading countries like the USA, UK and some of the European countries have moved their focus away from just developing the e-government platform towards just the electronic services which aim at providing access to information to its citizens or customers, but they have gone to make significant backroom changes that can accommodate this electronic service being provided to its customers or citizens. E-government has moved from just providing electronic information to citizens and customers alike to serving their needs. In developing countries like Nigeria, the enablement of e-government is being used as an anti-corruption tool. The introduction of the Bank verification number (BVN) scheme by the Central Bank of Nigeria, has helped the government in not just saving money but also protecting customer’s transaction and enhancing confidence in the banking sector. This has helped curtail the high rate of cyber and financial crime that has been part of the system. The use of BVN as an anti-corruption tool in Nigeria came at a time there was need for openness, accountability, and discipline, after years of robbing the treasury and recklessness in handling finances. As there has not been a defined method for measuring the strength or success of e-government development, in this case BVN, in Nigeria, progress will remain at the same level. The implementation strategy of the BVN in Nigeria has mostly been a quick fix, quick win solution. In fact, there is little or no indication to show evidence of a framework for e-government. Like other leading countries, there is the need for proper implementation of strategy and framework especially towards a customer orientated process, which will accommodate every administrative body of the government institution including private business rather than focusing on a non-flexible organisational structure. The development of e-government must have a strategy and framework for it to work, and this strategy must enclose every public administration and will not be limited to any individual bodies or organization. A defined framework or monitoring method must be put in place to help evaluate and benchmark government development in e-government. This framework must follow the same concept or principles. In censorious analyses of the existing methods, this paper will denote areas that must be included in the existing approach to be able to channel e-government development towards its defined strategic objectives.
Prevalence of the Risk Factors for Cardio-Metabolic Disease among Fire-Fighters in the Western Cape Province of South Africa
Cardio-metabolic disease risks factor have reached an epidemic, with many people at risk of premature disability and death. There are insufficient data regarding the prevalence of the risk factors for cardio-metabolic diseases among fire fighters in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of cardio-metabolic risks factors among South African fire fighters in the Western Cape Province; determine relationships between the BMI and risks factor for cardio-metabolic diseases as well as determining which of the cardio-metabolic disease risk factors is with the highest prediction power among the fire fighters in the Western Cape Province. Height, weight, and circumference of waist and hip were assessed in line with the practice of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropmetry (ISAK) (2006). Physiological measurements of blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and cholesterol were also assessed. Of the total number of the fire-fighters, 42.5% were obese, 17.4% were overweight, 39.7% had normal BMI, while only 0.5% were underweight. The larger percentage (45.7%) of the participants were systolically pre-hypertensive while 14.2% were hypertensive. Furthermore, almost forty percent (39.3%) were pre-diabetic, 18.3 % were diabetic, while only 1.4% were having blood sugar which was below normal level. In terms of the cholesterol levels, 45.7% were normal, 38.8% were already at the borderline high while 15.5% were high. The majority (51.1%) of the participant reported non-participation in physical activity while only 49.9% participates in physical activity. there was a statistically significant relationship between the BMI and WHR (r= 0.296; p > 0.01), SBP (r= 0.346; p > 0.01), and DBP (r= 0.330; p > 0.01) of the participants. Also, BMI significantly positively correlated with glucose (r= 0.247; p > 0.01), and cholesterol (r= 0.156; p < 0.05). The BMI was also found to be significantly positively correlated with the circumference of the waist and hip (r= 0.699; p > 0.01) and SBP (r= 0.711; p > 0.01) respectively. In the backward regression model analysis, the model with bodyweight, WHR, and SBP (model 4) was the best of all possible models since it had the highest value of adjusted R square which represents the amount of variance (35%) in the BMI predicted by the model. Bodyweight, WHR, and SBP were significant predictors of cardio-metabolic disease risks factor among fire fighters in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
Literature Review of Rare Synchronous Tumours
We present the first reported case of a concomitant Leydig cell tumor (LCT) and paratesticular leiomyoma in an adult male with a known history of bilateral cryptorchidism. An 80-year-old male presented with a 2-month history of a left testicular lump associated with mild discomfort and a gradual increase in size on a background of bilateral cryptorchidism requiring multiple orchidopexy procedures as a child. Ultrasound confirmed a lesion suspicious for malignancy and he proceeded to a left radical orchidectomy. Histopathological assessment of the left testis revealed a concomitant testicular LCT with malignant features and paratesticular leiomyoma. Leydig cell tumors (LCTs) are the most common pure testicular sex cord-stromal tumors, accounting for up to 3% of all testicular tumors. They can occur at almost any age, but are noted to have a bi-modal distribution, with a peak incidence at 6 to 10 and at 20 to 50 years of age. LCT’s are often hormonally active and can lead to feminizing or virilizing syndromes. LCT’s are usually regarded as benign but can rarely exhibit malignant traits. Paratesticular tumours are uncommon and their reported prevalence varies between 3% and 16%. They occur in a complex anatomical area which includes the contents of the spermatic cord, testicular tunics, epididymis and vestigial remnants. Up to 90% of paratesticular tumours are believed to originate from the spermatic cord, though it is often difficult to definitively ascertain the exact site of origin. Although any type of soft-tissue neoplasm can be found in the paratesticular region, the most common benign tumors reported are lipomas of the spermatic cord, adenomatoid tumours of the epididymis and leiomyomas of the testis. Genetic studies have identified potential mutations that could potentially cause LCTs, but there are no known associations between concomitant LCTs and paratesticular tumors. The presence of cryptorchidism in adults with both LCTs and paratesticular neoplasms individually has been previously reported and it appears intuitive that cryptorchidism is likely to be associated with the concomitant presentation in this case report. This report represents the first documented case in the literature of a unilateral concomitant LCT and paratesticular leiomyoma on a background of bilateral cryptorchidism.
Ramadan as a Model of Intermittent Fasting: Effects on Gut Hormones, Appetite and Body Composition in Diabetes vs. Controls
Fasting has been practiced for centuries and is incorporated into the practices of different religions including Islam, whose followers intermittently fast throughout the month of Ramadan. Thus, Ramadan presents a unique model of prolonged intermittent fasting (IF). Despite a growing body of evidence for a cardio-metabolic and endocrine benefit of IF, detailed studies of the effects of IF on these indices in type 2 diabetes are scarce. We studied 5 subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and 7 healthy controls (C) at baseline (pre), and in the last week of Ramadan (post). Fasting circulating levels of glucose, HbA1c and lipids, as well as body composition (with DXA) and resting energy expenditure (REE) were measured. Plasma gut hormone levels and appetite responses to a mixed meal were also studied. Data are means±SEM. Ramadan decreased total fat mass (-907±92 g, p=0.001) and trunk fat (-778±190 g, p=0.014) in T2DM but not in controls, without any reductions in lean mass or REE. There was a trend towards a decline in plasma FFA in both groups. Ramadan had no effect on body weight, glycemia, blood pressure, or plasma lipids in either group. In T2DM only, the area under the curve for post-meal plasma ghrelin concentrations increased after Ramadan (pre:6632±1737 vs. post:9025±2518 pg/ml.min-1, p=0.045). Despite this increase in orexigenic ghrelin, subjective appetite scores were not altered by Ramadan. Meal-induced plasma concentrations of the satiety hormone pancreatic polypeptide did not change during Ramadan, but were higher in T2DM compared to controls (post: C: 23486±6677 vs. T2DM: 62193±6880 pg/ml.min-1, p=0.003. In conclusion, Ramadan, as a model for IF appears to have more favourable effects on body composition in T2DM, without adverse effects on metabolic control or subjective appetite. These data suggest that IF may be particularly beneficial in T2DM as a nutritional intervention. Larger studies are warranted.
Piaui Solar: State Development Impulsed by Solar Photovoltaic Energy
In Piauí, the Brazilian state, solar energy has become one of the renewable sources targeted by internal and external investments, with the intention of leveraging the development of society. However, for a residential or business consumer to be able to deploy this source, there is usually a need for a high initial investment due to its high cost. The countless high taxes on equipment and services are one of the factors that contribute to this cost and ultimately fall on the consumer. Through analysis, a way of reducing taxes is sought in order to encourage consumer adhesion to the use of photovoltaic solar energy. Thus, the objective is to implement the Piauí Solar Program in the state of Piauí in order to stimulate the deployment of photovoltaic solar energy, through benefits granted to users, providing state development by boosting the diversification of the state's energy matrix. The research method adopted was based on the analysis of data provided by the Teresina City Hall, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics and by a private company in the capital of Piauí. The account was taken of the total amount paid in Property and Urban Territorial Property Tax (IPTU), in electricity and in the service of installing photovoltaic panels in a residence with 6 people. Through Piauí Solar, a discount of 80% would be applied to the taxes present in the budgets regarding the implementation of these photovoltaic plates in homes and businesses, as well as in the IPTU. In addition, another factor also taken into account is the energy savings generated after the implementation of these boards. In the studied residence, the annual payment of IPTU went from R $ 99.83 reais to R $ 19.96, the reduction of taxes present in the budget for the implantation of solar panels, caused the value to increase from R $ 42,744.22 to R $ 37,241.98. The annual savings in electricity bills were estimated at around R $ 6,000. Therefore, there is a reduction of approximately 24% in the total invested. The trend of the Piauí Solar program, then, is to bring benefits to the state, providing an improvement in the living conditions of the population, through the savings generated by this program. In addition, an increase in the diversification of the Piauí energy matrix can be seen with the advancement of the use of this renewable energy.
Violence against Children Surveys: Analysis of the Peer-Reviewed Literature from 2009-2019
The Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS) is nationally representative surveys of male and female youth ages 13-24, designed to measure the burden of sexual, physical, and emotional violence experienced in childhood and adolescence. As of 2019, 24 countries implemented or are in the process of implementing a VACS, covering over ten percent of the world’s child population. Since the first article using VACS data from Swaziland was published in 2009, several peer-reviewed articles have been published on the VACS. However, no publications to date have analyzed the breadth of the work and analyzed how the data are represented in the peer-reviewed literature. In this study, we conducted a literature review of all peer-reviewed research that used VACS data or discussed the implementation and methodology of the VACS. The literature review revealed several important findings. Between 2009 and July 2019, thirty-five peer-reviewed articles using VACS data from 12 countries have been published. Twenty of the studies focus on one country, while 15 of the studies focus on two or more countries. Some countries are featured in the literature more than others, for example Kenya (N=14), Malawi (N=12), and Tanzania (N=12). A review of the research by gender demonstrates that research on violence against boys is under-represented. Only two studies specifically focused on boys/young men, while 11 studies focused only on violence against girls. This is despite research which suggests boys and girls experience similar rates of violence. A review of the publications by type of violence revealed significant differences in the types of violence being featured in the literature. Thirteen publications specifically focused on sexual violence, while three studies focused on physical violence, and only one study focused on emotional violence. Almost 70% of the peer-reviewed articles (24 of the 35) were first-authored by someone at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were very few first authors from VACS countries, which raises questions about who is leveraging the data and the extent to which capacities for data liberation are being developed within VACS countries. The VACS provide an unprecedented amount of information on the prevalence and past-year incidence of violence against children. Through a review of the peer-reviewed literature on the VACS we can begin to identify trends and gaps in how the data is being used as well as identify areas for further research.
Enhanced Kinetic Solubility Profile of Epiisopiloturine Solid Solution in Hipromellose Phthalate
Epiisopiloturine (EPI) is a drug candidate that is extracted from Pilocarpus microphyllus and isolated from the waste of Pilocarpine. EPI has demonstrated promising schistosomicidal, leishmanicide, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities, according to in vitro studies that have been carried out since 2009. However, this molecule shows poor aqueous solubility, which represents a problem for the release of the drug candidate and its absorption by the organism. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the extent of enhancement of kinetic solubility of a solid solution (SS) of EPI in hipromellose phthalate HP-55 (HPMCP), an enteric polymer carrier. SS was obtained by the solvent evaporation methodology, using acetone/methanol (60:40) as solvent system. Both EPI and polymer (drug loading 10%) were dissolved in this solvent until a clear solution was obtained, and then dried in oven at 60ºC during 12 hours, followed by drying in a vacuum oven for 4 h. The results show a considerable modification in the crystalline structure of the drug candidate. For instance, X-ray diffraction (XRD) shows a crystalline behavior for the EPI, which becomes amorphous for the SS. Polarized light microscopy, a more sensitive technique than XRD, also shows completely absence of crystals in SS sample. Differential Scanning Calorimetric (DSC) curves show no signal of EPI melting point in SS curve, indicating, once more, no presence of crystal in this system. Interaction between the drug candidate and the polymer were found in Infrared microscopy, which shows a carbonyl 43.3 cm-1 band shift, indicating a moderate-strong interaction between them, probably one of the reasons to the SS formation. Under sink conditions (pH 6.8), EPI SS had its dissolution performance increased in 2.8 times when compared with the isolated drug candidate. EPI SS sample provided a release of more than 95% of the drug candidate in 15 min, whereas only 45% of EPI (alone) could be dissolved in 15 min and 70% in 90 min. Thus, HPMCP demonstrates to have a good potential to enhance the kinetic solubility profile of EPI. Future studies to evaluate the stability of SS are required to conclude the benefits of this system.
A Regression Model for Predicting Sugar Crystal Size in a Fed-Batch Vacuum Evaporative Crystallizer
Crystal size distribution is of great importance in the sugar factories. It determines the market value of granulated sugar and also influences the cost of production of sugar crystals. Typically, sugar is produced using fed-batch vacuum evaporative crystallizer. The crystallization quality is examined by crystal size distribution at the end of the process which is quantified by two parameters: the average crystal size of the distribution in the mean aperture (MA) and the width of the distribution of the coefficient of variation (CV). Lack of real-time measurement of the sugar crystal size hinders its feedback control and eventual optimisation of the crystallization process. An attractive alternative is to use a soft sensor (model-based method) for online estimation of the sugar crystal size. Unfortunately, the available models for sugar crystallization process are not suitable as they do not contain variables that can be measured easily online. The main contribution of this paper is the development of a regression model for estimating the sugar crystal size as a function of input variables which are easy to measure online. This has the potential to provide real-time estimates of crystal size for its effective feedback control. Using 7 input variables namely: initial crystal size (Lo), temperature (T), vacuum pressure (P), feed flowrate (Ff), steam flowrate (Fs), initial super-saturation (S0) and crystallization time (t), preliminary studies were carried out using Minitab 14 statistical software. Based on the existing sugar crystallizer models, and the typical ranges of these 7 input variables, 128 datasets were obtained from a 2-level factorial experimental design. These datasets were used to obtain a simple but online-implementable 6-input crystal size model. It seems the initial crystal size (Lₒ) does not play a significant role. The goodness of the resulting regression model was evaluated. The coefficient of determination, R² was obtained as 0.994, and the maximum absolute relative error (MARE) was obtained as 4.6%. The high R² (~1.0) and the reasonably low MARE values are an indication that the model is able to predict sugar crystal size accurately as a function of the 6 easy-to-measure online variables. Thus, the model can be used as a soft sensor to provide real-time estimates of sugar crystal size during sugar crystallization process in a fed-batch vacuum evaporative crystallizer.
Educational Sport and Quality of Life for Children and Teenagers from Brazilian Northeast
The use of sport as an integration mean is a very important tool regarding the social involvement of children and teenagers in a vulnerability situation. This study aims to report the experiences of a multidisciplinary program that intends to improve the quality of life of children and teenagers in Fortaleza, in the Northeast of Brazil. More than 400 children and teenagers aging 11 and 16 years participated in this study. Poor communities experience many particular difficulties in the urban centers such as violence, poor housing conditions, unemployment, lack in health care and deficient physical education in school. Physical education, physiotherapy, odontology, medicine and pharmacy students are responsible for the activities in the project supervised by a general coordinator and a counselor teacher of each academic unit. There are classes about team sports like basketball and soccer. Lectures about sexual behavior and sexually transmitted diseases are ministered beside the ones about oral health education, basic life support education, first aids, use and care with pharmaceuticals and orientations about healthy nutrition. In order to get the children’s family closer, monthly informative lectures are ministered. There is also the concern about reflecting the actions and producing academic paperwork such as graduation final projects and books. The number of participants has oscillated lately, and one of the causes is the lack of practicing physical activities and sports regularly. However, 250 teenagers have participated regularly for at least two years. These teenagers have shown a healthier lifestyle and a better physical fitness profile. The resources for maintaining the project come from the Pro-Reitoria of Extension, Federal University of Ceara, as well as from the PROEXT/MEC, Federal Government. Actions of this nature need to be done thinking for long periods so the effects results can become effective. Public and private investments are needed due to low socioeconomic families who are most vulnerable and have fewer opportunities to enhance to health prevention services.
Screening of Wheat Wild Relatives as a Gene Pool for Improved Photosynthesis in Wheat Breeding
The rate of genetic progress in wheat production must be improved to meet global food security targets. However, past selection for domestication traits has reduced the genetic variation in modern wheat cultivars, a fact that could severely limit the future rate of genetic gain. The genetic variation in agronomically important traits for the wild relatives and progenitors of wheat is far greater than that of the current domesticated cultivars, but transferring these traits into modern cultivars is not straightforward. Between the elite cultivars of wheat, photosynthetic capacity is a key trait for which there is limited variation. Early screening of wheat wild relative and progenitors has shown differences in photosynthetic capacity and efficiency not only between wild relative species but marked differences between the accessions of each species. By identifying wild relative accessions with improved photosynthetic traits and characterising the genetic variation responsible, it is possible to incorporate these traits into advanced breeding programmes by wide crossing and introgression programmes. To identify the potential variety of photosynthetic capacity and efficiency available in the secondary and tertiary genepool, a wide scale survey was carried out for over 600 accessions from 80 species including those from the genus Aegilops, Triticum, Thinopyrum, Elymus, and Secale. Genotype data were generated for each accession using a ‘Wheat Wild Relative’ Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) genotyping array composed of 35,000 SNP markers polymorphic between wild relatives and elite hexaploid wheat. This genotype data was combined with phenotypic measurements such as gas exchange (CO₂, H₂O), chlorophyll fluorescence, growth, morphology, and RuBisCO activity to identify potential breeding material with enhanced photosynthetic capacity and efficiency. The data and associated analysis tools presented here will prove useful to anyone interested in increasing the genetic diversity in hexaploid wheat or the application of complex genotyping data to plant breeding.
Investigation of the Bioactivity and Efficacy of Personal Care Products Formulated Using Extracts of Azadirachta indica A. Juss
Azadirachta indica (Neem tree) also referred to as an all-purpose tree is used in a wide range of medical preparations in tropical and subtropical countries for prevention and management of various livestock, crops products and human diseases. In Nigeria however, the potentials of this plant have not been fully exploited thus it causes an environmental nuisance during the fruiting season. With a rise in the demand for herbal personal care products globally extracts from different parts of the neem plant were used as the bio-active ingredients in the formulation of personal care products. In this study, formulated neem soap, body cream, lotion, toothpaste and shampoo are analyzed to determine their antibacterial, antifungal, and toxicity properties. The efficacies of these products for management of infectious diseases, both oral and dermal, were also investigated in vitro. Oil from the neem seeds obtained using a mechanical press and acetone extracts of both the neem bark and leaves obtained by the maceration method were used in the formulation and production of the neem personal care products. The antimicrobial and toxicity properties of these products were investigated by agar diffusion, and haemolytic methods respectively. The five neem products (NPs) exhibited strong antibacterial activities against four multi–drug resistant pathogenic and three none pathogenic bacterial strains (Escherichia coli (180), Listeria ivanovii, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter cloacae, Vibro spp., Streptococcus uberis, Mycobacterium smegmatis), except the neem lotion with insignificant activity against E. coli and S. aureus. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) range was between 0.20-0.40 mg/ mL. The 5 NPs demonstrated moderate activity against three clinical dermatophytes isolates (Tinea corporis, Tinea capitis, and Tinea cruiz) as well as one fungal strain (Candida albican) with the MIC ranging between 0.30 - 0.50 mg/ mL and 0.550 mg/mL respectively. The soap and shampoo were the most active against test bacteria and fungi. The haemolytic analysis results on the 5 NPs indicated none toxicity at 0.50 mg/ mL in sheep red blood cells (SRBC).
African Traditional Method of Social Control Mechanism: A Sociological Review of Native Charms in Farm Security in Ayetoro Community, Ogun State, Nigeria
The persistent rise in farm theft in rural region of Nigeria is attributed to the lack of adequate and effective policing in the regions; thus, this brought about the inevitable introduction of native charms on farmlands as a means of fortification of harvests against theft in Ayetoro community. The use of charm by farmers as security on farmlands is a traditional crime control mechanism that is largely based on unwritten laws which greatly influenced the lives of people, and their attitudes toward the society. This research presents a qualitative sociological study on how native charms are deployed by farmers for protection against theft. The study investigated the various types of charms that are employed as security measures among farmers in Ayetoro community and the rationale behind the use of these mechanisms as farm security. The study utilized qualitative method to gather data in the research process. Under the qualitative method, in-depth interview method was adopted to generate a robust and detailed data from the respondents. Also the data generated were analysed qualitatively using thematic content analysis and simple description which was preceded by transcription of data from the recorder. It was revealed that amidst numerous charms known, two major charms are used on farmlands as a measure of social control in Ayetoro community, Ogun state South West Nigeria. Furthermore, the result of this study showed that, the desire for safekeeping of harvest from pilferers and the heavy punishments dispense on offenders by native charms are the reasons why farmers deploy charms on their farms. In addition, findings revealed that the adoption of these charms for protection has improved yields among farmers in the community because the safety of harvest has been made possible by virtue of the presence of various charms in the farm lands. Therefore, based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that such measures should be recognized in mainstream social control mechanisms in the fight against crime in Nigeria and the rest of the world. Lastly, native charms could be installed in all social and cooperate organisation and position of authority to prevent theft of valuables and things hold with utmost importance.
Obtainment of Systems with Efavirenz and Lamellar Double Hydroxide as an Alternative for Solubility Improvement of the Drug
Efavirenz (EFV) is a first-choice drug in antiretroviral therapy with high efficacy in the treatment of infection by Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). EFV has low solubility in water resulting in a decrease in the dissolution rate and, consequently, in its bioavailability. Among the technological alternatives to increase solubility, the Lamellar Double Hydroxides (LDH) have been applied in the development of systems with poorly water-soluble drugs. The use of analytical techniques such as X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Infrared Spectroscopy (IR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) allowed the elucidation of drug interaction with the lamellar compounds. The objective of this work was to characterize and develop the binary systems with EFV and LDH in order to increase the solubility of the drug. The LDH-CaAl was synthesized by the method of co-precipitation from salt solutions of calcium nitrate and aluminum nitrate in basic medium. The systems EFV-LDH and their physical mixtures (PM) were obtained at different concentrations (5-60% of EFV) using the solvent technique described by Takahashi & Yamaguchi (1991). The characterization of the systems and the PM’s was performed by XRD techniques, IR, DSC and dissolution test under non-sink conditions. The results showed improvements in the solubility of EFV when associated with LDH, due to a possible change in its crystal structure and formation of an amorphous material. From the DSC results, one could see that the endothermic peak at 173°C, temperature that correspond to the melting process of EFZ in the crystal form, was present in the PM results. For the EFZ-LDH systems (with 5, 10 and 30% of drug loading), this peak was not observed. XRD profiles of the PM showed well-defined peaks for EFV. Analyzing the XRD patterns of the systems, it was found that the XRD profiles of all the systems showed complete attenuation of the characteristic peaks of the crystalline form of EFZ. The IR technique showed that, in the results of the PM, there was the appearance of one band and overlap of other bands, while the IR results of the systems with 5, 10 and 30% drug loading showed the disappearance of bands and a few others with reduced intensity. The dissolution test under non-sink conditions showed that systems with 5, 10 and 30% drug loading promoted a great increase in the solubility of EFV, but the system with 10% of drug loading was the only one that could keep substantial amount of drug in solution at different pHs.
The Role of Nickel on the High-Temperature Corrosion of Modell Alloys (Stainless Steels) before and after Breakaway Corrosion at 600°C: A Microstructural Investigation
Renewable fuels such as biomass/waste for power production is an attractive alternative to fossil fuels in order to achieve a CO₂ -neutral power generation. However, the combustion results in the release of corrosive species. This puts high demands on the corrosion resistance of the alloys used in the boiler. Stainless steels containing nickel and/or nickel containing coatings are regarded as suitable corrosion resistance material especially in the superheater regions. However, the corrosive environment in the boiler caused by the presence of water vapour and reactive alkali very rapidly breaks down the primary protection, i.e., the Cr-rich oxide scale formed on stainless steels. The lifetime of the components, therefore, relies on the properties of the oxide scale formed after breakaway, i.e., the secondary protection. The aim of the current study is to investigate the role of varying nickel content (0–82%) on the high-temperature corrosion of model alloys with 18% Cr (Fe in balance) in the laboratory mimicking industrial conditions at 600°C. The influence of nickel is investigated on both the primary protection and especially the secondary protection, i.e., the scale formed after breakaway, during the oxidation/corrosion process in the dry O₂ (primary protection) and more aggressive environment such as H₂O, K₂CO₃ and KCl (secondary protection). All investigated alloys experience a very rapid loss of the primary protection, i.e., the Cr-rich (Cr, Fe)₂O₃, and the formation of secondary protection in the aggressive environments. The microstructural investigation showed that secondary protection of all alloys has a very similar microstructure in all more aggressive environments consisting of an outward growing iron oxide and inward growing spinel-oxide (Fe, Cr, Ni)₃O₄. The oxidation kinetics revealed that it is possible to influence the protectiveness of the scale formed after breakaway (secondary protection) through the amount of nickel in the alloy. The difference in oxidation kinetics of the secondary protection is linked to the microstructure and chemical composition of the complex spinel-oxide. The detailed microstructural investigations were carried out using the extensive analytical techniques such as electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD), energy dispersive X-rays spectroscopy (EDS) via the scanning and transmission electron microscopy techniques and results are compared with the thermodynamic calculations using the Thermo-Calc software.
An Observational Study Assessing the Baseline Communication Behaviors among Healthcare Professionals in an Inpatient Setting in Singapore
Background: Synchronous communication, such as telephone calls, remains the standard communication method between nurses and other healthcare professionals in Singapore public hospitals despite advances in asynchronous technological platforms, such as instant messaging. Although miscommunication is one of the most common causes of lapses in patient care, there is a scarcity of research characterizing baseline inter-professional healthcare communications in a hospital setting due to logistic difficulties. Objective: This study aims to characterize the frequency and patterns of communication behaviours among healthcare professionals. Methods: The one-week observational study was conducted on Monday through Sunday at the nursing station of a cardiovascular medicine and cardiothoracic surgery inpatient ward at the National Heart Centre Singapore. Subjects were shadowed by two physicians for sixteen hours or consecutive morning and afternoon nursing shifts. Communications were logged and characterized by type, duration, caller, and recipient. Results: A total of 1,023 communication events involving the attempted use of the common telephones at the nursing station were logged over a period of one week, corresponding to a frequency of one event every 5.45 minutes (SD 6.98, range 0-56 minutes). Nurses initiated the highest proportion of outbound calls (38.7%) via the nursing station common phone. A total of 179 face-to-face communications (17.5%), 362 inbound calls (35.39%), 481 outbound calls (47.02%), and 1 emergency alert (0.10%) were captured. Average response time for task-oriented communications was 159 minutes (SD 387.6, range 86-231). Approximately 1 in 3 communications captured aimed to clarify patient-related information. The total duration of time spent on synchronous communication events over one week, calculated from total inbound and outbound calls, was estimated to be a total of 7 hours. Conclusion: The results of our study showed that there is a significant amount of time spent on inter-professional healthcare communications via synchronous channels. Integration of patient-related information and use of asynchronous communication channels may help to reduce the redundancy of communications and clarifications. Future studies should explore the use of asynchronous mobile platforms to address the inefficiencies observed in healthcare communications.
Comparison of Phytochemicals in Grapes and Wine from Shenton Park Winery
Introduction: Health benefits associated with wine consumption have been well documented; these include anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular protection. The majority of these health benefits have been linked to polyphenols found within wine and grapes. Once consumed polyphenols exhibit free radical quenching capabilities. Environmental factors such as rainfall, temperature, CO2 levels and sunlight exposure have been shown to affect the polyphenol content of grapes. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of growing conditions on the antioxidant capacity of grapes obtained from a single plot vineyard in Perth. This was achieved through the analysis of samples using; oxygen radical antioxidant capacity (ORAC), cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) in human red blood cells, ICP-MS and ICP-OES, total polyphenols (PP’s), and total flavonoid’s (FLa). The data obtained was compared to observed climate data. The 14 Selected Vitis Vinefera L. cultivars included Cabernet franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carnelian, Chardonnay, Grenache, Melbec, Merlot, Orange muscat, Rousanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Tempernillo, Verdelho, and Voignier. Results: Notable variation’s between cultivars included results ranging from 125 mg/100 g-350 mg/100 g for PP’s, 93 mg/100 g–300 mg/100 g for FLa, 13 mM T.E/kg–33 mM T.E/kg for ORAC and 0.3 mM Q.E/kg–27 mM Q.E/kg CAA were found between red and white grape cultivars. No correlation was found between CAA and the ORAC obtained in this study; except that white cultivars were consistently lower than red. ICP analysis showed that seeds contained the highest concentration of copper followed by skins and flesh of the grape. A positive correlation between copper and ORAC was found. The ORAC, PP’s, and FLa in red grapes were consistently higher than white grape cultivars; these findings were supported by literature values. Significance: The cellular antioxidant activities of white and red wine cultivars were used to compare the bioactivity of these grapes against the chemical ORAC measurement. The common method of antioxidant activity measurement is the chemical value from ORAC analysis; however this may not reflect the activity within the human body. Hence, the measurements were also carried out using the cellular antioxidant activity to perform a comparison. Additionally, the study explored the influence of weather systems such as El Niño and La Niña on the polyphenol content of Australian wine cultivars grown in Perth.
Geographic Legacies for Modern Day Disease Research: Autism Spectrum Disorder as a Case-Control Study
Elucidating gene-environment interactions for heritable disease outcomes is an emerging area of disease research, with genetic studies informing hypotheses for environment and gene interactions underlying some of the most confounding diseases of our time, like autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Geography has thus far played a key role in identifying environmental factors contributing to disease, but its use can be broadened to include genetic and environmental factors that have a synergistic effect on disease. Through the use of family pedigrees and disease outcomes with life-course residential histories, space-time clustering of generations at critical developmental windows can provide further understanding of (1) environmental factors that contribute to disease patterns in families, (2) susceptible critical windows of development most impacted by environment, (3) and that are most likely to lead to an ASD diagnosis. This paper introduces a retrospective case-control study that utilizes pedigree data, health data, and residential life-course location points to find space-time clustering of ancestors with a grandchild/child with a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Finding space-time clusters of ancestors at critical developmental windows serves as a proxy for shared environmental exposures. The authors refer to geographic life-course exposures as geographic legacies. Identifying space-time clusters of ancestors creates a bridge for researching exposures of past generations that may impact modern-day progeny health. Results from the space-time cluster analysis show multiple clusters for the maternal and paternal pedigrees. The paternal grandparent pedigree resulted in the most space-time clustering for birth and childhood developmental windows. No statistically significant clustering was found for adolescent years. These results will be further studied to identify the specific share of space-time environmental exposures. In conclusion, this study has found significant space-time clusters of parents, and grandparents for both maternal and paternal lineage. These results will be used to identify what environmental exposures have been shared with family members at critical developmental windows of time, and additional analysis will be applied.
Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Sugar Cane Bagasse Using Recombinant Hemicellulases
Xylan is the main component of hemicellulose and for its complete degradation is required cooperative action of a system consisting of several enzymes including endo-xylanases (XYN), β-xylosidases (XYL) and α-L-arabinofuranosidases (ABF). The recombinant hemicellulolytic enzymes an endoxylanase (HXYN2), β-xylosidase (HXYLA), and an α-L-arabinofuranosidase (ABF3) were used in hydrolysis tests. These three enzymes are produced by filamentous fungi and were expressed heterologously and produced in Pichia pastoris previously. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of recombinant hemicellulolytic enzymes on the enzymatic hydrolysis of sugarcane bagasse (SCB). The interaction between the three recombinant enzymes during SCB pre-treated by steam explosion hydrolysis was performed with different concentrations of HXYN2, HXYLA and ABF3 in different ratios in according to a central composite rotational design (CCRD) 23, including six axial points and six central points, totaling 20 assays. The influence of the factors was assessed by analyzing the main effects and interaction between the factors, calculated using Statistica 8.0 software (StatSoft Inc. Tulsa, OK, USA). The Pareto chart was constructed with this software and showed the values of the Student’s t test for each recombinant enzyme. It was considered as response variable the quantification of reducing sugars by DNS (mg/mL). The Pareto chart showed that the recombinant enzyme ABF3 exerted more significant effect during SCB hydrolysis, with higher concentrations and with the lowest concentration of this enzyme. It was performed analysis of variance according to Fisher method (ANOVA). In ANOVA for the release of reducing sugars (mg/ml) as the variable response, the concentration of ABF3 showed significance during hydrolysis SCB. The result obtained by ANOVA, is in accordance with those presented in the analysis method based on the statistical Student's t (Pareto chart). The degradation of the central chain of xylan by HXYN2 and HXYLA was more strongly influenced by ABF3 action. A model was obtained, and it describes the performance of the interaction of all three enzymes for the release of reducing sugars, and can be used to better explain the results of the statistical analysis. The formulation capable of releasing the higher levels of reducing sugars had the following concentrations: HXYN2 with 600 U/g of substrate, HXYLA with 11.5 U.g-1 and ABF3 with 0.32 U.g-1. In conclusion, the recombinant enzyme that has a more significant effect during SCB hydrolysis was ABF3. It is noteworthy that the xylan present in the SCB is arabinoglucoronoxylan, due to this fact debranching enzymes are important to allow access of enzymes that act on the central chain.
Development and Obtaining of Solid Dispersions to Increase the Solubility of Efavirenz in Anti-HIV Therapy
Efavirenz (EFV) is considered one of the most widely used anti-HIV drugs. However, it is classified as a drug class II (poorly soluble, highly permeable) according to the biopharmaceutical classification system, presenting problems of absorption in the gastrointestinal tract and thereby inadequate bioavailability for its therapeutic action. This study aimed to overcome these barriers by developing and obtaining solid dispersions (SD) in order to increase the EFZ bioavailability. For the development of SD with EFV, theoretical and practical studies were initially performed. Thus, there was a choice of a carrier to be used. For this, it was analyzed the various criteria such as glass transition temperature of the polymer, intra- and intermolecular interactions of hydrogen bonds between drug and polymer, the miscibility between the polymer and EFV. The choice of the obtainment method of the SD came from the analysis of which method is the most consolidated in both industry and literature. Subsequently, the choice of drug and carrier concentrations in the dispersions was carried out. In order to obtain DS to present the drug in its amorphous form, as the DS were obtained, they were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD). SD are more stable the higher the amount of polymer present in the formulation. With this assumption, a SD containing 10% of drug was initially prepared and then this proportion was increased until the XRD showed the presence of EFV in its crystalline form. From this point, it was not produced SD with a higher concentration of drug. Thus, it was allowed to select PVP-K30, PVPVA 64 and the SOLUPLUS formulation as carriers, once it was possible the formation of hydrogen bond between EFV and polymers since these have hydrogen acceptor groups capable of interacting with the donor group of the drug hydrogen. It is worth mentioning also that the films obtained, independent of concentration used, were presented homogeneous and transparent. Thus, it can be said that the EFV is miscible in the three polymers used in the study. The SD and Physical Mixtures (PM) with these polymers were prepared by the solvent method. The EFV diffraction profile showed main peaks at around 2θ of 6,24°, in addition to other minor peaks at 14,34°, 17,08°, 20,3°, 21,36° and 25,06°, evidencing its crystalline character. Furthermore, the polymers showed amorphous nature, as evidenced by the absence of peaks in their XRD patterns. The XRD patterns showed the PM overlapping profile of the drug with the polymer, indicating the presence of EFV in its crystalline form. Regardless the proportion of drug used in SD, all the samples showed the same characteristics with no diffraction peaks EFV, demonstrating the behavior amorphous products. Thus, the polymers enabled, effectively, the formation of amorphous SD, probably due to the potential hydrogen bonds between them and the drug. Moreover, the XRD analysis showed that the polymers were able to maintain its amorphous form in a concentration of up to 80% drug.
Belonging without Believing: Life Narratives of Six Social Generations of Members of the Apostolic Society
This article addresses the religious beliefs of members of the Apostolic Society –a Dutch religious community wherein the oldest living members were raised with very different beliefs than those upheld today. Currently, the Apostolic Society is the largest liberal religious community of the Netherlands, consisting of roughly 15,000 members. It is characterized by its close-knit community life and the importance of its apostle: the spiritual leader who writes a weekly letter around which the Sunday morning service is centered. The society sees itself as ‘religious-humanistic’, inspired by its Judeo-Christian roots without being dogmatic. Only a century earlier, the beliefs of the religious community revolved more strongly around the Bible, the apostle is a link to Christ. Also, the community believed in the return of the Lord, resonating with the millenarian roots of community in 1830. Thus, the oldest living members have experienced fundamental changes in beliefs and rituals, yet remained members. This article reveals how members experience(d) their religious beliefs and feelings of belonging to the community, how these may or may not have changed over time, and what role the Apostolic Society played in their lives. The article presents a qualitative research approach based on two main pillars. First, life narrative interviews were conducted, to work inductively and allow different interview topics to emerge. Second, it uses generational theory, in three ways: 1) to select respondents; 2) to guide the interview methodology –by being sensitive to differences in socio-historical context and events experienced during formative years of interviewees of different social generations, and 3) to analyze and contextualize the qualitative interview data. The data were gathered from 27 respondents, belonging to six social generations. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed, using the Atlas.ti software program. First, the elder generations talk about growing up with the Apostolic Society being absolutely central in their daily and spiritual lives. They spent most of their time with fellow members and dedicated their free time to Apostolic activities. The central beliefs of the Apostolic Society were clear and strongly upheld, and they experienced strong belonging. Although they now see the set of central beliefs to be more individually interpretable and are relieved to not have to spend all that time to Apostolic activities anymore, they still regularly attend services and speak longingly of the past with its strong belief and belonging. Second, the younger generations speak of growing up in a non-dogmatic, religious-humanist set of beliefs, but still with a very strong belonging to the religious community. They now go irregularly to services, and talk about belonging, but not as strong as the elderly generations do. Third, across the generations, members spend more time outside of the Apostolic Society than within. The way they speak about their religious beliefs is fluid and differs as much within generations as between: for example, there is no central view on what God is. It seems the experience of members of the Apostolic Society across different generations can now be characterized as belonging without believing.
Quality by Design in the Optimization of a Fast HPLC Method for Quantification of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate
Initially developed as an antimalarial agent, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) sulfate is often used as a slow-acting antirheumatic drug in the treatment of disorders of connective tissue. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 37 provides a reversed-phase HPLC method for quantification of HCQ. However, this method was not reproducible, producing asymmetric peaks in a long analysis time. The asymmetry of the peak may cause an incorrect calculation of the concentration of the sample. Furthermore, the analysis time is unacceptable, especially regarding the routine of a pharmaceutical industry. The aiming of this study was to develop a fast, easy and efficient method for quantification of HCQ sulfate by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) based on the Quality by Design (QbD) methodology. This method was optimized in terms of peak symmetry using the surface area graphic as the Design of Experiments (DoE) and the tailing factor (TF) as an indicator to the Design Space (DS). The reference method used was that described at USP 37 to the quantification of the drug. For the optimized method, was proposed a 33 factorial design, based on the QbD concepts. The DS was created with the TF (in a range between 0.98 and 1.2) in order to demonstrate the ideal analytical conditions. Changes were made in the composition of the USP mobile-phase (USP-MP): USP-MP: Methanol (90:10 v/v, 80:20 v/v and 70:30 v/v), in the flow (0.8, 1.0 and 1.2 mL) and in the oven temperature (30, 35, and 40ºC). The USP method allowed the quantification of drug in a long time (40-50 minutes). In addition, the method uses a high flow rate (1,5 mL.min-1) which increases the consumption of expensive solvents HPLC grade. The main problem observed was the TF value (1,8) that would be accepted if the drug was not a racemic mixture, since the co-elution of the isomers can become an unreliable peak integration. Therefore, the optimization was suggested in order to reduce the analysis time, aiming a better peak resolution and TF. For the optimization method, by the analysis of the surface-response plot it was possible to confirm the ideal setting analytical condition: 45 °C, 0,8 mL.min-1 and 80:20 USP-MP: Methanol. The optimized HPLC method enabled the quantification of HCQ sulfate, with a peak of high resolution, showing a TF value of 1,17. This promotes good co-elution of isomers of the HCQ, ensuring an accurate quantification of the raw material as racemic mixture. This method also proved to be 18 times faster, approximately, compared to the reference method, using a lower flow rate, reducing even more the consumption of the solvents and, consequently, the analysis cost. Thus, an analytical method for the quantification of HCQ sulfate was optimized using QbD methodology. This method proved to be faster and more efficient than the USP method, regarding the retention time and, especially, the peak resolution. The higher resolution in the chromatogram peaks supports the implementation of the method for quantification of the drug as racemic mixture, not requiring the separation of isomers.
Cloning and Expression a Gene of β-Glucosidase from Penicillium echinulatum in Pichia pastoris
Bioethanol is one of the most promising biofuels and able to replace fossil fuels and reduce its different environmental impacts and can be generated from various agroindustrial waste. The Brazil is in first place in bioethanol production to be the largest producer of sugarcane. The bagasse sugarcane (SCB) has lignocellulose which is composed of three major components: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Cellulose is a homopolymer of glucose units connected by glycosidic linkages. Among all species of Penicillium, Penicillium echinulatum has been the focus of attention because they produce high quantities of cellulase and the mutant strain 9A02S1 produces higher enzyme levels compared to the wild. Among the cellulases, the cellobiohydrolases enzymes are the main components of the cellulolytic system of fungi, and are also responsible for most of the potential hydrolytic in enzyme cocktails for the industrial processing of plant biomass and several cellobiohydrolases Penicillium had higher specific activity against cellulose compared to CBH I from Trichoderma reesei. This fact makes it an interesting pattern for higher yields in the enzymatic hydrolysis, and also they are important enzymes in the hydrolysis of crystalline regions of cellulose. Therefore, finding new and more active enzymes become necessary. Meanwhile, β-glycosidases act on soluble substrates and are highly dependent on cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases action to provide the substrate in the hydrolysis of the biomass, but the cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases are highly dependent β-glucosidases to maintain efficient hydrolysis. Thus, there is a need to understand the structure-function relationships that govern the catalytic activity of cellulolytic enzymes to elucidate its mechanism of action and optimize its potential as industrial biocatalysts. To evaluate the enzyme β-glucosidase of Penicillium echinulatum (PeBGL1) the gene was synthesized from the assembly sequence from a library in induction conditions and then the PeBGL1 gene was cloned in the vector pPICZαA and transformed into P. pastoris GS115. After processing, the producers of PeBGL1 were analyzed for enzyme activity and protein profile where a band of approximately 100 kDa was viewed. It was also carried out the zymogram. In partial characterization it was determined optimum temperature of 50°C and optimum pH of 6,5. In addition, to increase the secreted recombinant PeBGL1 production by Pichia pastoris, three parameters of P. pastoris culture medium were analysed: methanol, nitrogen source concentrations and the inoculum size. A 23 factorial design was effective in achieving the optimum condition. Altogether, these results point to the potential application of this P. echinulatum β-glucosidase in hydrolysis of cellulose for the production of bioethanol.
Moderate Electric Field and Ultrasound as Alternative Technologies to Raspberry Juice Pasteurization Process
Raspberry is well-known as a good source of phenolic compounds, mainly anthocyanin. Some studies pointed out the importance of these bioactive compounds consumption, which is related to the decrease of the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The most consumed raspberry products are juices, yogurts, ice creams and jellies and, to ensure the safety of these products, raspberry is commonly pasteurized, for enzyme and microorganisms inactivation. Despite being efficient, the pasteurization process can lead to degradation reactions of the bioactive compounds, decreasing the products healthy benefits. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to evaluate moderate electric field (MEF) and ultrasound (US) technologies application on the pasteurization process of raspberry juice and compare the results with conventional pasteurization process. For this, phenolic compounds, anthocyanin content and physical-chemical parameters (pH, color changes, titratable acidity) of the juice were evaluated before and after the treatments. Moreover, microbiological analyses of aerobic mesophiles microorganisms, molds and yeast were performed in the samples before and after the treatments, to verify the potential of these technologies to inactivate microorganisms. All the pasteurization processes were performed in triplicate for 10 min, using a cylindrical Pyrex® vessel with a water jacket. The conventional pasteurization was performed at 90 °C using a hot water bath connected to the extraction cell. The US assisted pasteurization was performed using 423 and 508 W cm-2 (75 and 90 % of ultrasound intensity). It is important to mention that during US application the temperature was kept below 35 °C; for this, the water jacket of the extraction cell was connected to a water bath with cold water. MEF assisted pasteurization experiments were performed similarly to US experiments, using 25 and 50 V. Control experiments were performed at the maximum temperature of US and MEF experiments (35 °C) to evaluate only the effect of the aforementioned technologies on the pasteurization. The results showed that phenolic compounds concentration in the juice was not affected by US and MEF application. However, it was observed that the US assisted pasteurization, performed at the highest intensity, decreased anthocyanin content in 33 % (compared to in natura juice). This result was possibly due to the cavitation phenomena, which can lead to free radicals formation and accumulation on the medium; these radicals can react with anthocyanin decreasing the content of these antioxidant compounds in the juice. Physical-chemical parameters did not present statistical differences for samples before and after the treatments. Microbiological analyses results showed that all the pasteurization treatments decreased the microorganism content in two logarithmic cycles. However, as values were lower than 1000 CFU mL-1 it was not possible to verify the efficacy of each treatment. Thus, MEF and US were considered as potential alternative technologies for pasteurization process, once in the right conditions the application of the technologies decreased microorganism content in the juice and did not affected phenolic and anthocyanin content, as well as physical-chemical parameters. However, more studies are needed regarding the influence of MEF and US processes on microorganisms’ inactivation.
Functional Ingredients from Potato By-Products: Innovative Biocatalytic Processes
Recent studies indicate that health-promoting functional ingredients and nutraceuticals can help support and improve the overall public health, which is timely given the aging of the population and the increasing cost of health care. The development of novel ‘natural’ functional ingredients is increasingly challenging. Biocatalysis offers powerful approaches to achieve this goal. Our recent research has been focusing on the development of innovative biocatalytic approaches towards the isolation of protein isolates from potato by-products and the generation of peptides. Potato is a vegetable whose high-quality proteins are underestimated. In addition to their high proportion in the essential amino acids, potato proteins possess angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitory potency, an ability to reduce plasma triglycerides associated with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis, and stimulate the release of the appetite regulating hormone CCK. Potato proteins have long been considered not economically feasible due to the low protein content (27% dry matter) found in tuber (Solanum tuberosum). However, potatoes rank the second largest protein supplying crop grown per hectare following wheat. Potato proteins include patatin (40-45 kDa), protease inhibitors (5-25 kDa), and various high MW proteins. Non-destructive techniques for the extraction of proteins from potato pulp and for the generation of peptides are needed in order to minimize functional losses and enhance quality. A promising approach for isolating the potato proteins was developed, which involves the use of multi-enzymatic systems containing selected glycosyl hydrolase enzymes that synergistically work to open the plant cell wall network. This enzymatic approach is advantageous due to: (1) the use of milder reaction conditions, (2) the high selectivity and specificity of enzymes, (3) the low cost and (4) the ability to market natural ingredients. Another major benefit to this enzymatic approach is the elimination of a costly purification step; indeed, these multi-enzymatic systems have the ability to isolate proteins, while fractionating them due to their specificity and selectivity with minimal proteolytic activities. The isolated proteins were used for the enzymatic generation of active peptides. In addition, they were applied into a reduced gluten cookie formulation as consumers are putting a high demand for easy ready to eat snack foods, with high nutritional quality and limited to no gluten incorporation. The addition of potato protein significantly improved the textural hardness of reduced gluten cookies, more comparable to wheat flour alone. The presentation will focus on our recent ‘proof-of principle’ results illustrating the feasibility and the efficiency of new biocatalytic processes for the production of innovative functional food ingredients, from potato by-products, whose potential health benefits are increasingly being recognized.
Nutrition Budgets in Uganda: Research to Inform Implementation
Background: Resource availability is essential to effective implementation of national nutrition policies. To this end, the SPRING Project has collected and analyzed budget data from government ministries in Uganda, international donors, and other nutrition implementers to provide data for the first time on what funding is actually allocated to implement nutrition activities named in the national nutrition plan. Methodology: USAID’s SPRING Project used the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP) as the starting point for budget analysis. Thorough desk reviews of public budgets from government, donors, and NGOs were mapped to activities named in the UNAP and validated by key informants (KIs) across the stakeholder groups. By relying on nationally-recognized and locally-created documents, SPRING provided a familiar basis for discussions to increase credibility and local ownership of findings. Among other things, the KIs validated the amount, source, and type (specific or sensitive) of funding. When only high-level budget data were available, KIs provided rough estimates of the percentage of allocations that were actually nutrition-relevant, allowing creation of confidence intervals around some funding estimates. Results: After validating data and narrowing in on estimates of funding to nutrition-relevant programming, researchers applied a formula to estimate overall nutrition allocations. In line with guidance by the SUN Movement and its three-step process, nutrition-specific funding was counted at 100% of its allocation amount, while nutrition sensitive funding was counted at 25%. The vast majority of nutrition funding in Uganda is off-budget, with over 90 percent of all nutrition funding is provided outside of the government system. Overall allocations are split nearly evenly between nutrition-specific and –sensitive activities. In FY 2013/14, the two-year study’s baseline year, on- and off-budget funding for nutrition was estimated to be around 60 million USD. While the 60 million USD allocations compare favorably to the 66 million USD estimate of the cost of the UNAP, not all activities are sufficiently funded. Those activities with a focus on behavior change were the most underfunded. In addition, accompanying qualitative research suggested that donor funding for nutrition activities may shift government funding into other areas of work, making it difficult to estimate the sustainability of current nutrition investments.Conclusions: Beyond providing figures, these estimates can be used together with the qualitative results of the study to explain how and why these amounts were allocated for particular activities and not others, examine the negotiation process that occurred, and suggest options for improving the flow of finances to UNAP activities for the remainder of the policy tenure. By the end of the PBN study, several years of nutrition budget estimates will be available to compare changes in funding over time. Halfway through SPRING’s work, there is evidence that country stakeholders have begun to feel ownership over the ultimate findings and some ministries are requesting increased technical assistance in nutrition budgeting. Ultimately, these data can be used within organization to advocate for more and improved nutrition funding and to improve targeting of nutrition allocations.
Students Awareness on Reproductive Health Education in Sri Lanka
Reproductive Health (RE) education among Sri Lankan Adolescents (comprising one fifth inner population) remains unsatisfactory despite 91.8% of them completing primary education & 56.2 % receiving post secondary level education. The main reason for this large population not receiving satisfactory RH education is traditional values and longstanding taboos surrounding sexuality. The current study was undertaken with there objectives. The relevance of achieving them being to formulate RH educational policies and programs that address a sizable and sensitive chunk of the population thereby achieving the goal of mental and social well being and not merely the absence of reproductive disease or infirmity. This research was a descriptive study, using random sampling technique, sample of the study consisting of 160 adolescent in the age group of 16-19, studying in government schools in Sri Lanka. Questionnaire was the main instrument of data collection, qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in data analysis. According to the data it was revealed that a majority has some idea about RH education. While this awareness had been provided by the school, the source of information had been Health and Physical Education. The entire sample mentioned that more RH information, than was provided, should be given and everybody wanted further knowledge regarding sexuality, and in depth information on it was essential. About 96 adolescents were of the opinion that their behavior was respectful to elders and 64 felt embarrassed while communicating with elders regarding RH issues. About their preferred sources of information, both genders named health providers as their first choice, followed by family members and friends. The internet was cited by a few boys; less than 5 percent cited religious figures. More than 50% of respondents had no knowledge about abortion and they were unaware of dangerous abortion. The practice of abortion was reported among zero percent. Although every member of the sample did not possess knowledge of the scientific process involved in abortion, all of them totally rejected the idea of destroying a foetus. Adolescence is a critical period in the life of girls and boys and sexuality education empowers young people to protect their health and well-being. Schools have the proper staff, and environment for learning. It might be stated that the greater segment of individuals entering adolescents and going through their adolescence are still in the school. This becomes the reason why it is mandatory that the school should be geared to handle this critical stage of the students. Adolescents or those approaching adolescence are best educated by the relevant parents, but this being quite a sensitive issue in the socio cultural context, it is somewhat doubtful whether all parents are prepared to handle this candidly, due either to lack of knowledge or absence of the appropriate state of mind. As such it is best that seminars/workshops be conducted to enlighten parents on handling HR issues related to their adolescent children. Apart from the awareness on HR provided through the school curriculum a greater impact can be brought about through street dramas, exhibitions etc. specific to HR. Finally the researcher would like to suggest that Sunday schools be harnessed for the provision of HR education linked with cultural values, ethics, and social well-being.
Characterization and Evaluation of the Dissolution Increase of Molecular Solid Dispersions of Efavirenz
Efavirenz (EFV) is a drug used as first-line treatment of AIDS. However, it has poor aqueous solubility and wettability, presenting problems in the gastrointestinal tract absorption and bioavailability. One of the most promising strategies to improve the solubility is the use of solid dispersions (SD). Therefore, this study aimed to characterize SD EFZ with the polymers: PVP-K30, PVPVA 64 and SOLUPLUS in order to find an optimal formulation to compose a future pharmaceutical product for AIDS therapy. Initially, Physical Mixtures (PM) and SD with the polymers were obtained containing 10, 20, 50 and 80% of drug (w/w) by the solvent method. The best formulation obtained between the SD was selected by in vitro dissolution test. Finally, the drug-carrier system chosen, in all ratios obtained, were analyzed by the following techniques: Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), polarization microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and spectrophotometry of absorption in the region of infrared (IR). From the dissolution profiles of EFV, PM and SD, the values of area Under The Curve (AUC) were calculated. The data showed that the AUC of all PM is greater than the isolated EFV, this result is derived from the hydrophilic properties of the polymers thus favoring a decrease in surface tension between the drug and the dissolution medium. In adittion, this ensures an increasing of wettability of the drug. In parallel, it was found that SD whom had higher AUC values, were those who have the greatest amount of polymer (with only 10% drug). As the amount of drug increases, it was noticed that these results either decrease or are statistically similar. The AUC values of the SD using the three different polymers, followed this decreasing order: SD PVPVA 64-EFV 10% > SD PVP-K30-EFV 10% > SD Soluplus®-EFV 10%. The DSC curves of SD’s did not show the characteristic endothermic event of drug melt process, suggesting that the EFV was converted to its amorphous state. The analysis of polarized light microscopy showed significant birefringence of the PM’s, but this was not observed in films of SD’s, thus suggesting the conversion of the drug from the crystalline to the amorphous state. In electron micrographs of all PM, independently of the percentage of the drug, the crystal structure of EFV was clearly detectable. Moreover, electron micrographs of the SD with the two polymers in different ratios investigated, we observed the presence of particles with irregular size and morphology, also occurring an extensive change in the appearance of the polymer, not being possible to differentiate the two components. IR spectra of PM corresponds to the overlapping of polymer and EFV bands indicating thereby that there is no interaction between them, unlike the spectra of all SD that showed complete disappearance of the band related to the axial deformation of the NH group of EFV. Therefore, this study was able to obtain a suitable formulation to overcome the solubility limitations of the EFV, since SD PVPVA 64-EFZ 10% was chosen as the best system in delay crystallization of the prototype, reaching higher levels of super saturation.
Measuring Urban Sprawl in the Western Cape Province, South Africa: An Urban Sprawl Index for Comparative Purposes
The emphasis on the challenges posed by continued urbanisation, especially in developing countries has resulted in urban sprawl often researched and analysed in metropolitan urban areas, but rarely in small and medium towns. Consequently, there exists no comparative instrument between the proportional extent of urban sprawl in metropolitan areas measured against that of small and medium towns. This research proposes an Urban Sprawl Index as a possible tool to comparatively analyse the extent of urban sprawl between cities and towns of different sizes. The index can also be used over the longer term by authorities developing spatial policy to track the success or failure of specific tools intended to curb urban sprawl. In South Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the last two decades witnessed a proliferation of legislation and spatial policies to limit urban sprawl and contain the physical expansion and development of urban areas, but the measurement of the successes or failures of these instruments intending to curb expansive land development has remained a largely unattainable goal, largely as a result of the absence of an appropriate measure of proportionate comparison. As a result of the spatial political history of Apartheid, urban areas acquired a spatial form that contributed to the formation of single-core cities with far reaching and wide-spreading peripheral development, either in the form of affluent suburbs or as a result of post-Apartheid programmes such as the Reconstruction and Development Programme (1995) which, in an attempt to assist the immediate housing shortage, favoured the establishment of single dwelling residential units for low income communities on single plots on affordable land at the urban periphery. This invariably contributed to urban sprawl and even though this programme has since been abandoned, the trend towards low density residential development continues. The research area is the Western Cape Province in South Africa, which in all aspects exhibit the spatial challenges described above. In academia and popular media the City of Cape Town (the only Metropolitan authority in the province) has received the lion’s share of focus in terms of critique on urban development and spatial planning, however, the smaller towns and cities in the Western Cape arguably received much less public attention and were spared the naming and shaming of being unsustainable urban areas in terms of land consumption and physical expansion. The Urban Sprawl Index for the Western Cape (USIWC) put forward by this research enables local authorities in the Western Cape Province to measure the extent of urban sprawl proportionately and comparatively to other cities in the province, thereby acquiring a means of measuring the success of the spatial instruments employed to limit urban expansion and inefficient land consumption. In development of the USIWC the research made use of satellite data for reference years 2001 and 2011 and population growth data extracted from the national census, also for base years 2001 and 2011.
Development of an Artificial Neural Network to Measure Science Literacy Leveraging Neuroscience
Faster growth in science and technology of other nations may make staying globally competitive more difficult without shifting focus on how science is taught in US classes. An integral part of learning science involves visual and spatial thinking since complex, and real-world phenomena are often expressed in visual, symbolic, and concrete modes. The primary barrier to spatial thinking and visual literacy in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields is representational competence, which includes the ability to generate, transform, analyze and explain representations, as opposed to generic spatial ability. Although the relationship is known between the foundational visual literacy and the domain-specific science literacy, science literacy as a function of science learning is still not well understood. Moreover, the need for a more reliable measure is necessary to design resources which enhance the fundamental visuospatial cognitive processes behind scientific literacy. To support the improvement of students’ representational competence, first visualization skills necessary to process these science representations needed to be identified, which necessitates the development of an instrument to quantitatively measure visual literacy. With such a measure, schools, teachers, and curriculum designers can target the individual skills necessary to improve students’ visual literacy, thereby increasing science achievement. This project details the development of an artificial neural network capable of measuring science literacy using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIR) data. This data was previously collected by Project LENS standing for Leveraging Expertise in Neurotechnologies, a Science of Learning Collaborative Network (SL-CN) of scholars of STEM Education from three US universities (NSF award 1540888), utilizing mental rotation tasks, to assess student visual literacy. Hemodynamic response data from fNIRsoft was exported as an Excel file, with 80 of both 2D Wedge and Dash models (dash) and 3D Stick and Ball models (BL). Complexity data were in an Excel workbook separated by the participant (ID), containing information for both types of tasks. After changing strings to numbers for analysis, spreadsheets with measurement data and complexity data were uploaded to RapidMiner’s TurboPrep and merged. Using RapidMiner Studio, a Gradient Boosted Trees artificial neural network (ANN) consisting of 140 trees with a maximum depth of 7 branches was developed, and 99.7% of the ANN predictions are accurate. The ANN determined the biggest predictors to a successful mental rotation are the individual problem number, the response time and fNIR optode #16, located along the right prefrontal cortex important in processing visuospatial working memory and episodic memory retrieval; both vital for science literacy. With an unbiased measurement of science literacy provided by psychophysiological measurements with an ANN for analysis, educators and curriculum designers will be able to create targeted classroom resources to help improve student visuospatial literacy, therefore improving science literacy.
Partnering With Key Stakeholders for Successful Implementation of Inhaled Analgesia for Specific Emergency Department Presentations
Methoxyflurane is an inhaled analgesic administered via a disposable inhaler, which has been used in Australia for 40 years for the management of pain in children & adults. However, there is a lack of data for methoxyflurane as a frontline analgesic medication within the emergency department (ED). This study will investigate the usefulness of methoxyflurane in a private inner-city ED. The study concluded that the inclusion of all key stakeholders in the prescribing, administering & use of this new process led to comprehensive uptake & vastly positive outcomes for consumer & health professionals. Method: A 12-week prospective pilot study was completed utilizing patients presenting to the ED in pain (numeric pain rating score > 4) that fit the requirement of methoxyflurane use (as outlined in the Australian Prescriber information package). Nurses completed a formatted spreadsheet for each interaction where methoxyflurane was used. Patient demographics, day, time, initial numeric pain score, analgesic response time, the reason for use, staff concern (free text), & patient feedback (free text), & discharge time was documented. When clinical concern was raised, the researcher retrieved & reviewed patient notes. Results: 140 methoxyflurane inhalers were used. 60% of patients were 31 years of age & over (n=82) with 16% aged 70+. The gender split; 51% male: 49% female. Trauma-related pain (57%) saw the highest use of administration, with the evening hours (1500-2259) seeing the greatest numbers used (39%). Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday shared the highest daily use throughout the study. A minimum numerical pain score of 4/10 (n=13, 9%), with the ranges of 5 - 7/10 (moderate pain) being given by almost 50% of patients. Only 3 instances of pain scores increased post use of methoxyflurane (all other entries showed pain score < initial rating). Patients & staff noted obvious analgesic response within 3 minutes (n= 96, 81%, of administration). Nurses documented a change in patient vital signs for 4 of the 15 patient-related concerns; the remaining concerns were due to “gagging” on the taste, or “having a coughing episode”; one patient tried to leave the department before the procedure was attended (very euphoric state). Upon review of the staff concerns – no adverse events occurred & return to therapeutic vitals occurred within 10 minutes. Length of stay for patients was compared with similar presentations (such as dislocated shoulder or ankle fracture) & saw an average 40-minute decrease in time to discharge. Methoxyflurane treatment was rated “positively” by > 80% of patients – with remaining feedback related to mild & transient concerns. Staff similarly noted a positive response to methoxyflurane as an analgesic & as an added tool for frontline analgesic purposes. Conclusion: Methoxyflurane should be used on suitable patient presentations requiring immediate, short term pain relief. As a highly portable, non-narcotic avenue to treat pain this study showed obvious therapeutic benefit, positive feedback, & a shorter length of stay in the ED. By partnering with key stake holders, this study determined methoxyflurane use decreased work load, decreased wait time to analgesia, and increased patient satisfaction.
Understanding the Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to Exercise Participation in the Workplace
The World Health Organisation recognises the workplace as an important setting for exercise promotion, with potential benefits including improved employee health and fitness, and reduced worker absenteeism and presenteeism. Despite these potential benefits to both employee and employer, there is a lack of evidence supporting the long-term effectiveness of workplace exercise programs. There is, therefore, a need for better-informed programs that cater to employee exercise preferences. Specifically, workplace exercise programs should address any time, motivation, internal and external barriers to participation reported by sub-groups of employees. This study sought to compare exercise participation to perceived barriers and facilitators to workplace exercise engagement of university employees. This information is needed to design and implement wider-reaching programs aiming to maximise long-term employee exercise adherence and subsequent health, fitness and productivity benefits. An online survey was advertised at an Australian university with the potential to reach 3,104 full-time employees. Along with exercise participation (International physical activity questionnaire) and behaviour (stage of behaviour change in relation to physical activity questionnaire), perceived barriers (corporate exercise barriers scale) and facilitators to workplace exercise participation were identified. The survey response rate was 8.1% (252 full-time employees; 95% white-collar; 60% female; 79.4% aged 30–59 years; 57% professional and 38% academic). Most employees reported meeting (43.7%) or exceeding (42.9%) exercise guidelines over the previous week (i.e. ⩾30 min of moderate-intensity exercise on most days or ⩾ 25 min of vigorous-intensity exercise on at least three days per week). Reported exercise behaviour over the previous six months showed that 64.7% of employees were in maintenance, 8.3% were in action, 10.9% were in preparation, 12.4% were in contemplation, and 3.8% were in the pre-contemplation stage of change. Perceived barriers towards workplace exercise participation were significantly higher in employees not attaining weekly exercise guidelines compared to employees meeting or exceeding guidelines, including a lack of time or reduced motivation (p < 0.001; partial eta squared = 0.24 (large effect)), exercise attitude (p < 0.05; partial eta squared = 0.04 (small effect)), internal (p < 0.01; partial eta squared = 0.10 (moderate effect)) and external (p < 0.01; partial eta squared = 0.06 (moderate effect)) barriers. The most frequently reported exercise facilitators were personal training (particularly for insufficiently active employees; 33%) and group exercise classes (20%). The most frequently cited preferred modes of exercise were walking (70%), swimming (50%), gym (48%), and cycling (45%). In conclusion, providing additional means of support such as individualised gym, swimming and cycling programs with personal supervision and guidance may be particularly useful for employees not meeting recommended moderate-vigorous volumes of exercise, to help overcome reported exercise barriers in order to improve participation, health, and fitness. While individual biopsychosocial factors should be considered when making recommendations for interventions, the specific barriers and facilitators to workplace exercise participation identified by this study can inform the development of workplace exercise programs aiming to broaden employee engagement and promote greater ongoing exercise adherence. This is especially important for the uptake of less active employees who perceive greater barriers to workplace exercise participation than their more active colleagues.
Effect of Metarhizium robertsii in Rhipicephalus microplus hemocytes
The bovine tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, is an arthropod of great importance in veterinary medicine leading to anemia, weight loss, animals' leather depreciation and also acting as a vector of many pathogens. In this way, the parasitism causes a loss of 3.24 billion dollars per year in Brazil. Knowingly, entomopathogenic fungi act as natural controller of some arthropods, acting mainly by active penetration through the cuticle. However, it can also act on the hemolymph and through the production of mycotoxins. Hemocytes are responsible for the cellular immune response and participate in the processes of phagocytosis, nodulation and encapsulation and may undergo changes when challenged by pathogens. The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in R. microplus hemocytes after inoculation of Metarhizium robertsii using transmission electron microscopy. The isolate ARSEF 2575 and 200 engorged R. microplus females were used. The groups were divided into control, in which the females were inoculated with 5 μL of sterile distilled water solution and 0.1% Tween 80, and a group inoculated with 5 μL of fungal suspension at the concentration of 10⁷ conidia mL⁻¹. The experiment was performed in duplicate and each group contained 50 females. Twenty-four hours after fungal inoculation, hemolymph was collected through the cuticle dorsal surface perforation of the tick females. After collection, the hemolymph samples were centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes at 4 °C, the plasma was discarded and the hemocyte pellet was resuspended in 50 μl PBS. The suspension material was fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde in Millonig buffer for three hours. After fixation, the material was centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes, the supernatant was discarded and the cells were resuspended in a wash solution. Subsequently, the cells were post-fixed with 1% osmium tetroxide in phosphate buffer for one hour at room temperature and dehydrated in increasing concentrations of ethanol, and then embedded in Epon resin. The ultrathin sections were examined under the LEO EM 906E transmission electron microscopy at 80kV. The ultrastructural results revealed control group, the cells were considered intact, in which the granulocytes were observed with granules of different electrodensities, intact mitochondria and cytoplasm without vacuolization. In addition, granulocytes showed plasma membrane projections similar to pseudopodia. Plasmatocytes presented as irregularly shaped cells, with the eccentric nucleus, agranular cytoplasm and some cells presented pseudopodia. Nevertheless, in the group exposed to the fungus, most of the cells presented in degeneration. The granulocytes found had fewer granules in the cytoplasm and more vacuoles. Plasmatocytes, after treatment, presented many vacuoles also in the cytoplasm and the lysosomes presented great amount of electrodense material in their interior. Thus, the results suggest that the fungus has a depressant action in the immune system of the tick, not only by the cell degranulation, but also suggesting that this leads to morphological changes in the hemocytes and may even trigger processes such as phagocytosis.
Application of Electrical Resistivity Surveys on Constraining Causes of Highway Pavement Failure along Ajaokuta-Anyigba Road, North Central Nigeria
Integrated geophysical methods involving Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) and 2D resistivity survey were deployed to gain an insight into the influence of the two varying rock types (mica-schist and granite gneiss) underlying the road alignment to the incessant highway failure along Ajaokuta-Anyigba, North-central Nigeria. The highway serves as a link-road for the single largest cement factory in Africa (Dangote Cement Factory) and two major ceramic industries to the capital (Abuja) via Lokoja. 2D Electrical Resistivity survey (Dipole-Dipole Array) and Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) (Schlumberger array) were employed. Twenty-two (22) 2D profiles were occupied, twenty (20) conducted about 1 m away from the unstable section underlain by mica-schist with profile length each of approximately 100 m. Two (2) profiles were conducted about 1 m away from the stable section with a profile length of 100 m each due to barriers caused by the drainage system and outcropping granite gneiss at the flanks of the road. A spacing of 2 m was used for good image resolution of the near-surface. On each 2D profile, a range of 1-3 VES was conducted; thus, forty-eight (48) soundings were acquired. Partial curve matching and WinResist software were used to obtain the apparent and true resistivity values of the 1D survey, while DiprofWin software was used for processing the 2-D survey. Two exposed lithologic sections caused by abandoned river channels adjacent to two profiles as well as the knowledge of the geology of the area helped to constrain the VES and 2D processing and interpretation. Generally, the resistivity values obtained reflect the parent rock type, degree of weathering, moisture content and competency of the tested area. Resistivity values < 100; 100 – 950; 1000 – 2000 and > 2500 ohms-m were interpreted as clay, weathered layer, partly weathered layer and fresh basement respectively. The VES results and 2-D resistivity structures along the unstable segment showed similar lithologic characteristics and sequences dominated by clayey substratum for depths range of 0 – 42.2 m. The clayey substratum is a product of intensive weathering of the parent rock (mica-schist) and constitutes weak foundation soils, causing highway failure. This failure is further exacerbated by several heavy-duty trucks which ply the section round the clock due to proximity to two major ceramic industries in the state and lack of drainage system. The two profiles on the stable section show 2D structures that are remarkably different from those of the unstable section with very thin topsoils, higher resistivity weathered substratum (indicating the presence of coarse fragments from the parent rock) and shallow depth to the basement (1.0 – 7. 1 m). Also, the presence of drainage and lower volume of heavy-duty trucks are contributors to the pavement stability of this section of the highway. The resistivity surveys effectively delineated two contrasting soil profiles of the subbase/subgrade that reflect variation in the mineralogy of underlying parent rocks.