Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 61099

Hot Face of Cold War: 007 James Bond
Propaganda is one of the most effective methods for changing individual and mass opinions. Propaganda tries to get the message across to people or masses to effect rather than to provide objective information. There are many types of propaganda. Especially, political propaganda is a very powerful method that is used by states during in both war and peace. The aim of this method is to create a reaction against them by showing within the framework of internal and external enemies. Propaganda can be practiced by many different methods. Especially during the Cold War Era, the US and USSR have tried to create an ideological effect by using the mass media intensively. Cinema, which is located at the beginning of these methods, is the most powerful weapon to influence the masses. In this study, the historical process of the Cold War is examined. Especially, these propagandas that had been used by United States and The Soviet Union were investigated. The purposes of propaganda and construction methods were presented. Cold War events and relations between the US and the USSR during the Cold War will be discussed. Outlooks of two countries to each other during the Cold War, propaganda techniques used defectively during Cold War and how to use the cinema as a propaganda tool will be examined. The film "From Russia with Love, James Bond 007" that was filmed in Cold War were examined to explain how cinema was used as a propaganda tool in this context.
Elimination of Occupational Segregation By Sex: A Critical Analysis
This paper examines occupational segregation by sex and sought to justify a case for its elimination or not. In doing this, we found that occupations are categorised among men and women in all parts of the world and this, in turn, affects the labour force participation rate of men and women in different sectors and aspects of the labour market. Data from the previous study shows that women are the most discriminated against as regards occupational segregation as many high profile jobs are regarded as men’s job and women relegated to the background. This has brought about low productivity for women and inequity in the labour market which can hinder the productivity levels of participants. It was however recommended that occupational segregation should be eliminated totally so that men and women alike can choose occupations of their choice irrespective of what gender the society ascribe to such occupation.
Sustainable Capacity Building on Tourism Management of Touristic Destinations in Ghana: The Case of James and Ussher Forts in the Accra Metropolis
This study is on sustainable capacity building in tourism management of the touristic destination of forts and castles within the Accra Metropolis, of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, notably, the Christianbough Castle, the James and Ussher Forts. These forts and castle mentioned above have a rich colonial historical past that emerged from the 17th century onwards on the Gulf Coast of Guinea of the West Africa Sub-Region. Unfortunately, apart from the Christianbough Castle, which used to be the seat of government until recently, the environment of James and Ussher Forts are in a deployable state of decay due to years of neglect. Jamestown and Usshertown fishing communities with historical colonial past of a rich touristic heritage sites are predominantly indigenous Gas who speak only the Ga language, one of the languages of the six local languages spoken in Ghana, as a medium for sustainable tourism management. The purpose of this study is to investigate the reasons for years of decay and neglect, using both qualitative and quantitative research approach for individual interviews, to develop a rich picture of life situational story of the people of James and Ussher Forts environs and finding solutions to their predicaments through internal generated funds for sustainability of tourism management within the communities. The study recommends nation-wide educational campaigns and programmes on culture of maintenance and management for sustainable tourism development and management at all historical heritage sites in the country, specifically with the aim of promoting tourism in Ghana, using the indigenous local languages. The study also recommends formal and informal education for the residents, especially the youth to help them learn skills, either through local training or the formal education and this call for collaboration between the government of Ghana and other local and international bodies.
Metal-Semiconductor Transition in Ultra-Thin Titanium Oxynitride Films Deposited by ALD
Titanium nitride (TiN) films have been widely used in variety of fields, due to its unique electrical, chemical, physical and mechanical properties, including low electrical resistivity, chemical stability, and high thermal conductivity. In microelectronic devices, thin continuous TiN films are commonly used as diffusion barrier and metal gate material. However, as the film thickness decreases below a few nanometers, electrical properties of the film alter considerably. In this study, the physical and electrical characteristics of 1.5nm to 22nm thin films deposited by Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition (PE-ALD) using Tetrakis(dimethylamino)titanium(IV), (TDMAT) chemistry and Ar/N2 plasma on 80nm SiO2 capped in-situ by 2nm Al2O3 are investigated. ALD technique allows uniformly-thick films at monolayer level in a highly controlled manner. The chemistry incorporates low level of oxygen into the TiN films forming titanium oxynitride (TiON). Thickness of the films is characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) which confirms the uniformity of the films. Surface morphology of the films is investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) indicating sub-nanometer surface roughness. Hall measurements are performed to determine the parameters such as carrier mobility, type and concentration, as well as resistivity. The >5nm-thick films exhibit metallic behavior; however, we have observed that thin film resistivity is modulated significantly by film thickness such that there are more than 5 orders of magnitude increment in the sheet resistance at room temperature when comparing 5nm and 1.5nm films. Scattering effects at interfaces and grain boundaries could play a role in thickness-dependent resistivity in addition to quantum confinement effect that could occur at ultra-thin films: based on our measurements the carrier concentration is decreased from 1.5E22 1/cm3 to 5.5E17 1/cm3, while the mobility is increased from < 0.1 cm2/V.s to ~4 cm2/V.s for the 5nm and 1.5nm films, respectively. Also, measurements at different temperatures indicate that the resistivity is relatively constant for the 5nm film, while for the 1.5nm film more than 2 orders of magnitude reduction has been observed over the range of 220K to 400K. The activation energy of the 2.5nm and 1.5nm films is 30meV and 125meV, respectively, indicating that the TiON ultra-thin films are exhibiting semiconducting behaviour attributing this effect to a metal-semiconductor transition. By the same token, the contact is no longer Ohmic for the thinnest film (i.e., 1.5nm-thick film); hence, a modified lift-off process was developed to selectively deposit thicker films allowing us to perform electrical measurements with low contact resistance on the raised contact regions. Our atomic scale simulations based on molecular dynamic-generated amorphous TiON structures with low oxygen content confirm our experimental observations indicating highly n-type thin films.
Ezra Pound and James Joyce: Two Different Approaches to the Relation between Literature and Visual Arts
This paper will suggest that Ezra Pound and James Joyce are paradigmatic for two different approaches to literature and visual arts. Both authors are infamous for being difficult, but this does not mean that their works are similar. Pound famously promoted Joyce’s Ulysses and was instrumental in getting the work published in literary reviews. However, Pound did not appreciate Joyce’s artistic development in his so-called Work in Progress, which was published in 1939 under the title Finnegans Wake. Pound and Joyce will be read as representing two different approaches to literature and other forms of art. Pound can be seen as essentially influenced by cubism and modernist techniques such as collage and montage. While many critics have used these notions to describe The Cantos, this paper will suggest reading Pound’s opus magnum in relation to Finnegans Wake. The latter work shows how Joyce remained tied to an idea of the literary work as sound, as something which may – or perhaps even should – be read aloud. In contrast, Pound’s The Cantos show clear signs of being influenced by experiments in the visual arts. The paper will argue that Pound intended to develop his work in order to bring literature 'up to date' with the development in visual arts, while Joyce stuck to a more classical understanding of the literary work as composed for oral presentation.
Low-Dose Chest Computed Tomography Can Help in Differential Diagnosis of Asthma–COPD Overlap Syndrome in Children
Rationale: Diagnostic criteria of asthma–COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS) are controversial in pediatrics. Emphysema is characteristic of COPD and usually does not occur in typical asthma; its presence in patients with asthma suggests the concurrence with COPD. Low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) allows a non-invasive assessment of the lung tissue structure. Here we present CT findings of emphysematous changes in a child with ACOS. Patient and Methods: In a 6-year-old boy, atopy was confirmed by a skin prick test using common allergen extracts (grass and tree pollen, house dust mite, molds, cat, dog; manufacturer Stallergenes Greer, London, UK), where reactions over 3 mm were considered positive. Treatment with corticosteroids was started during the course of severe asthma. At 12 years of age, his spirometric parameters deteriorated despite treatment adjustment (VC 1.76 L=85%, FEV1 1.13 L=67%, TI%VCmax 64%, MEF25 19%, TLC 144%) and the bronchodilator test became negative. Results: Low-dose chest CT displayed irregular regions with increased radiolucency of pulmonary parenchyma (typical for hyperinflation in emphysematous changes) in both lungs. This was in accordance with the results of spirometric examination. Conclusions: ACOS is infrequent in children. However, low-dose chest CT scan can be considered to confirm this diagnosis or eliminate other diagnoses when the clinical condition is deteriorating and treatment response is poor.
Poverty Status and Determinants of Income Diversification among Rural Households of Pakistan
This study is designed to determine the poverty status and determinants of income diversification in rural areas of Pakistan using cross sectional data of Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) for 2010-2011. The variables used for measuring income diversification are demographic indicators, poverty status, and income of households. Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) poverty measures show that 43.1% poor and 56.9% non-poor resided in rural areas of Pakistan. A Tobit model was employed to examine the determinants of livelihood diversification among households. The result showed that age, gender, marital status, household size and province have significant impact on income diversification. The data show that non-poor and female headed household with higher family size diversify more as compared to poor, male headed household with small size of family members. The place of residence (province used as proxy for place) also plays important role for income diversification as Sindh Province was found more diversified as compared to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoon Kha (KPK). It is recommended to improve the ways of income diversification among rural household to reduce poverty among them. This can be done by more investment in education with universal access for poor and remote localities households.
Effect of Micro Credit Access on Poverty Reduction among Small Scale Women Entrepreneurs in Ondo State, Nigeria
The study analyzed the effect of micro credit access on poverty reduction among small scale women entrepreneurs in Ondo state, Nigeria. Primary data were collected in a cross-sectional survey of 100 randomly selected woman entrepreneurs. These were drawn in multistage sampling process covering four local government areas (LGAS). Data collected include socio economics characteristics of respondents, access to micro credit, sources of micro credit, and constraints faced by the entrepreneur in sourcing for micro credit. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) index of poverty measure, Gini coefficients and probit regression analysis. The study found that respondents sampled for the survey were within the age range of 31-40 years with mean age 38.6%. Mostly (56.0%) of the respondents were educated to the tune of primary school. Majority (87.0%) of the respondents were married with fairly large household size of (4-5). The poverty index analysis revealed that most (67%) of the sample respondents were poor. The result of the Probit regression analyzed showed that income was a significant variable in micro credit access, while the result of the Gini coefficient revealed a very high income inequality among the respondents. The study concluded that most of the respondents were poor and return on investment (income) was an important variable that increased the chance of respondents in sourcing for micro-credit loan and recommended that income realized by entrepreneur should be properly documented to facilitate loan accessibility.
Aesthetic and Social Vision in Abubakar Gimba’s a Toast in the Cemetery
Being the prolific writer that he is, Gimba’s collection of Short Stories, A Toast in the Cemetery, brings out the themes of decay and corruption in the urban setting through the use of images, symbols, setting and character. Gimba seeks through these media to reveal the decay and corruption in the society. Gimba uses aesthetics to convey his message, thus making a call for change in the fabrics of society.
Some Results on the Generalized Higher Rank Numerical Ranges
‎In this paper, ‎the notion of ‎rank-k numerical range of rectangular complex matrix polynomials‎ ‎are introduced. ‎Some algebraic and geometrical properties are investigated. ‎Moreover, ‎for ε>0 the notion of Birkhoff-James approximate orthogonality sets for ε-higher ‎rank numerical ranges of rectangular matrix polynomials is also introduced and studied. ‎The proposed definitions yield a natural generalization of the standard higher rank numerical ranges.
Asymmetric Synthesis of β- and γ-Borylated Amines via Rh-Catalyzed Hydroboration of Allylamine Derivatives
Amines bearing γ-stereocenters are important structural motifs found in many biologically active compounds. Regioselective Rh-catalyzed asymmetric hydroboration of acyclic allylamines is used to synthesize amines bearing chiral β- and γ-boronic esters yields up to 70% with 98:2 enantioselectivity. The major enantiomeric outcome can be independent of starting alkene geometry, revealing that cis/trans-isomerization of alkene can occur before hydroboration. Stereospecific transformations of the newly generated C-B bond illustrates the utility of these chiral synthons.
Analysis of Decentralized on Demand Cross Layer in Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Network
Cognitive radio ad hoc networks different unlicensed users may acquire different available channel sets. This non-uniform spectrum availability imposes special design challenges for broadcasting in CR ad hoc networks. Cognitive radio automatically detects available channels in wireless spectrum. This is a form of dynamic spectrum management. Cross-layer optimization is proposed, using this can allow far away secondary users can also involve into channel work. So it can increase the throughput and it will overcome the collision and time delay.
An Analysis of Business Intelligence Requirements in South African Corporates
Business Intelligence (BI) is implemented by organisations for many reasons and chief among these is improved data support, decision support and savings. The main purpose of this study is to determine BI requirements and availability within South African organisations. The study addresses the following areas as identified as part of a literature review; assessing BI practices in businesses over a range of industries, sectors and managerial functions, determining the functionality of BI (technologies, architecture and methods). It was found that the overall satisfaction with BI in larger organisations is low due to lack of ability to meet user requirements.
Dry Friction Fluctuations in Plain Journal Bearings
This paper compares oscillations in the dry friction coefficient in different journal bearings. Measurements are made of the average and standard deviation in the coefficient of friction as a function of sliding velocity. The standard deviation of the friction coefficient changed dramatically with sliding velocity. The magnitude and frequency of the oscillations were a function of the velocity. A numerical model was developed for the frictional oscillations. There was good agreement between the model and results. Five different materials were used as the sliding surfaces in the experiments, Aluminum, Bronze, Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, and Nylon.
Effects of Operating Conditions on Creep Life of Industrial Gas Turbine
The creep life of an industrial gas turbine is determined through a physics-based model used to investigate the high pressure temperature (HPT) of the blade in use. A performance model was carried out via the Cranfield University TURBOMATCH simulation software to size the blade and to determine the corresponding stress. Various effects such as radial temperature distortion factor, turbine entry temperature, ambient temperature, blade metal temperature, and compressor degradation on the blade creep life were investigated. The output results show the difference in creep life and the location of failure along the span of the blade enabling better-informed advice for the gas turbine operator.
Study on Media Literacy and Its Role in Iranian Society (Case Study: Students of Mahmoudabad City)
This paper is about the study of media literacy and its role in Iranian society. Determine the research hypothesis by the use of James Patter theory and us stratification and also culture theory. By the use of traversal method and by the aim of the survey on 375 students in Mahmoudabad which was selected randomly, the data was gathered and analyzed by SPSS software. Coefficient alpha for Crohn Bach is used in order to reach to the justifiability of indexes. The research findings show that the variable like duration, rate and type of media use, the realization of media content, audience goal and motivation, economical and social base and the rate of education has a meaningful relation with media literacy.
Automated Resin Transfer Moulding of Carbon Phenolic Composites
The high cost of composite materials versus conventional materials remains a major barrier to uptake in the transport sector. This is exacerbated by a shortage of skilled labour which makes the labour content of a hand laid composite component (~40 % of total cost) an obvious target for reduction. Automation is a method to remove labour cost and improve quality. This work focuses on the challenges and benefits to automating the manufacturing process from raw fibre to trimmed component. It will detail the experimental work required to complete an automation cell, the control strategy used to integrate all machines and the final benefits in terms of throughput and cost.
Positioning Analysis of Atlantic Canadian Provinces as Travel Destinations by Americans
This study analyzes Americans&rsquo; views of four Atlantic Canadian provinces as travel destinations regarding specific destination attributes for a pleasure trip, awareness (heard) of the destinations, past visit to the destinations during the prior two years, and intention to visit in the next two years. Results indicate that American travellers perceived the four Atlantic Canadian provinces as separate and distinct when rating best-fit destination attributes to each destination. The results suggest that travel destinations, specifically the four selected destinations, must be prepared to differentiate their destination&rsquo;s image and the range of experiences and services to appeal and attract more American travellers.
Automated Recognition of Still’s Murmur in Children
Still’s murmur, a vibratory heart murmur, is the most common normal innocent murmur of childhood. Many children with this murmur are unnecessarily referred for cardiology consultation and testing, which exacts a high cost financially and emotionally on the patients and their parents. Pediatricians to date are not successful at distinguishing Still’s murmur from murmurs of true heart disease. In this paper, we present a new algorithmic approach to distinguish Still’s murmur from pathological murmurs in children. We propose two distinct features, spectral width and signal power, which describe the sharpness of the spectrum and the signal intensity of the murmur, respectively. Seventy pediatric heart sound recordings of 41 Still’s and 29 pathological murmurs were used to develop and evaluate our algorithm that achieved a true positive rate of 97% and false positive rate of 0%. This approach would meet clinical standards in recognizing Still’s murmur.
Investigating the Use of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies in the Assembly Type Manufacturing Companies in Trinidad and Tobago
The market place of the 21st century is evolving into one of merging national markets, fragmented consumer markets, and rapidly changing product technologies. The use of new technologies has become vital to the manufacturing industry for their survival and sustainability. This work focused on the assembly type industry in a small developing country and aimed at identifying the use of advanced manufacturing technologies and their impact on this sector of the manufacturing industry. It was found that some technologies were being used and that they had improved the effectiveness of those companies but there was still quite a bit of room for improvements. Some of the recommendations included benchmarking against international standards, the adoption of a “made in TT” campaign and the effective utilisation of the technologies to improve manufacturing effectiveness and thus improve competitive advantages and strategies.
The Subtle Influence of Hindu Doctrines on Film Industry: A Case Study of Movie Avatar
Hindu culture and religious doctrines such as caste, reincarnation, yoga, nirvana have always proved a popular theme for the film industry. The analyzing of these motifs in the movies with a scientific approach enables to individuals either to comprehend the messages and deep meanings of films or to understand others’ religious beliefs systems and daily lives in a properly way. The primary aim of this study is to handle the subtle influence of Hindu doctrines on cinema industry by focusing on James Cameron’s film, Avatar and its relationship with Hindu concept of avatara by referring to original Hindu sacred texts where this doctrine is basically clarified. The Sanskrit word avatara means to come down or to descend. Although an avatara is commonly considered as an appearance of any deity on earth, the term refers the Vishnu’s descending on earth. When the movie avatar and avatara doctrine are compared, various similarities have noteworthy revealed. Firstly in the movie, Jake is chosen by Eywa to protect Pandora from evils. Similarly in the movie, avatar is born when there is a rise of jealousy and unrighteousness. The same concept is found in avatara doctrine. According to this belief whenever righteousness (dharma) wanes and unrighteousness (adharma) increases God incarnates himself as an avatara. In Hindu tradition, the ten avataras of Vishnu are the most popular. This standard list of ten avataras includes the Fish, the Tortoise, the Boar, the Man-Lion (Narasimha), the Dwarf, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, the Buddha and Kalki. In the movie the avatar has tail, eyes, nose, ear which is similar to Narasimha (half man-half lion) avatara. On the other hand use of bow and arrow by Navis in the film, evokes us Rama avatara whose basic gun is same. Navis fly on a dragon like bird called Ikra and ride a horse-like quadruped animal. The vehicle for transformation of the avatar in the movie is also resemblance with the idea of Garuda, the great mythical bird, which is used by Vishnu in Hindu mythology. In addition, the last avatara, Kalki, will be seen on a white horse according to Puranas. The basic difference is that for Hinduism avatara means descent of a God, yet in the movie, a human being named Jake Sully, is manifested as humanoid of another planet, this is called as avatar. While in the movie the avatar manifests himself in another planet, Pandora, in Hinduism avataras descent on this world. On the other hand, in Hindu scriptures, there are many avataras and they are categorized according to their functions and attributes. These sides of avatara doctrine cannot be also seen clearly in the film. Even though there are some differences between each other, the main hypothesis of this study is that the general character of the movie is similar to avatara doctrine. In the movie instead of emphasizing on a specific avatara, qualities of different Vishnu avataras have been properly used.
Empirical and Indian Automotive Equity Portfolio Decision Support
A brief review of the empirical studies on the methodology of the stock market decision support would indicate that they are at a threshold of validating the accuracy of the traditional and the fuzzy, artificial neural network and the decision trees. Many researchers have been attempting to compare these models using various data sets worldwide. However, the research community is on the way to the conclusive confidence in the emerged models. This paper attempts to use the automotive sector stock prices from National Stock Exchange (NSE), India and analyze them for the intra-sectorial support for stock market decisions. The study identifies the significant variables and their lags which affect the price of the stocks using OLS analysis and decision tree classifiers.
The Business of American Football: The Kicker Position and Performance to Salary Correlation
The National Football League (USA) is the largest sporting business in the United States. In order to generate revenue, it is important that NFL teams win. Coaches, owners and general managers of the NFL teams want to create powerful teams with reliable players and they are willing to spend large amounts of money in order to do so. This research looks at one of the National Football League’s key players, the kicker. It would be intuitively obvious to suggest that those kickers who perform the best get paid the most. In this paper the researchers performed a correlation and regression analysis to determine if there is a correlation between an NFL kicker’s field goal percentage and salary. The research proposition was that higher performing kickers receive higher salaries. The data suggest that there is no correlation between salary and on-field performance.
Estimating the Value of Statistical Life under the Subsidization and Cultural Effects
The value of statistical life has been estimated for a middle eastern country with high economical subsidization system. In this study, in-person interviews were conducted on a stratified random sample to estimate the value of mortality risk. Double-bounded dichotomous choice questions followed by open-ended question were used in the interview to investigate the willingness to pay of the respondent for mortality risk reduction. High willingness to pay was found to be associated with high income and education. Also, females were found to have lower willingness to pay than males. The estimated value of statistical life is larger than the ones estimated for western countries where taxation system exists. This estimate provides a baseline for monetizing the health benefits for proposed policy or program to the decision makers in an eastern country. Also, the value of statistical life for a country in the region can be extrapolated from this this estimate by using the benefit transfer method.
The Molecular Bases of Δβ T-Cell Mediated Antigen Recognition
αβ and γδ T-cells are disparate T-cell lineages that, via their use of either αβ or γδ T-cell antigen receptors (TCRs) respectively, can respond to distinct antigens. Here we characterise a new population of human T-cells, term δβ T-cells, that express TCRs comprising a TCR-δ variable gene fused to a Joining-α/Constant-α domain, paired with an array of TCR-β chains. We characterised the cellular, functional, biophysical and structural characteristic feature of this new T-cells population that reveal some new insight into TCR diversity. We provide molecular bases of how δβ T-cells can recognise viral peptide presented by Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) molecule. Our findings highlight how components from αβ and γδTCR gene loci can recombine to confer antigen specificity thus expanding our understanding of T-cell biology and TCR diversity.
Constant Order Predictor Corrector Method for the Solution of Modeled Problems of First Order IVPs of ODEs
This paper examines the development of one step, five hybrid point method for the solution of first order initial value problems. We adopted the method of collocation and interpolation of power series approximate solution to generate a continuous linear multistep method. The continuous linear multistep method was evaluated at selected grid points to give the discrete linear multistep method. The method was implemented using a constant order predictor of order seven over an overlapping interval. The basic properties of the derived corrector was investigated and found to be zero stable, consistent and convergent. The region of absolute stability was also investigated. The method was tested on some numerical experiments and found to compete favorably with the existing methods.
Big Data: Appearance and Disappearance
The mainstay of Big Data is prediction in that it allows practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts to predict trends based upon the analysis of large and varied sources of data. These can range from changing social and political opinions, patterns in crimes, and consumer behaviour. Big Data has therefore shifted the criterion of success in science from causal explanations to predictive modelling and simulation. The 19th-century science sought to capture phenomena and seek to show the appearance of it through causal mechanisms while 20th-century science attempted to save the appearance and relinquish causal explanations. Now 21st-century science in the form of Big Data is concerned with the prediction of appearances and nothing more. However, this pulls social science back in the direction of a more rule- or law-governed reality model of science and away from a consideration of the internal nature of rules in relation to various practices. In effect Big Data offers us no more than a world of surface appearance and in doing so it makes disappear any context-specific conceptual sensitivity.
Evaluating Psychologist Practice Competencies through Multisource Feedback: An International Research Design
Effective practicing psychologists require ongoing skill development that is constructivist and recursive in nature, with mentor, colleague, co-worker, and patient feedback critical to successful acquisition and maintenance of professional competencies. This paper will provide an overview of the nature and scope of psychologist skill development through multisource feedback (MSF) or 360 degree evaluation, present a rationale for its use for assessing practicing psychologist performance, and advocate its use in psychology given the demonstrated model utility in other health professions. The paper will conclude that an international research design is needed to assess the feasibility, reliability, and validity of MSF system ratings intended to solicit feedback from mentors, colleagues, coworkers, and patients about psychologist competencies. If adopted, the MSF model could lead to enhanced skill development that fosters patient satisfaction within and across countries.
The Development of Large Deformation Stability of Elastomeric Bearings
Seismic isolation using multi-layer elastomeric isolators has been used in the United States for more than 20 years. Although isolation bearings normally have a large factor of safety against buckling due to low shear stiffness, this phenomenon has been widely studied. In particular, the linearly elastic theory adopted to study this phenomenon is relatively accurate and adequate for most design purposes. Unfortunately it cannot consider the large deformation response of a bearing when buckling occurs and the unresolved behaviour of the stability of the post-buckled state. The study conducted in this paper may be viewed as a development of the linear theory of multi-layered elastomeric bearing, simply replacing the differential equations by algebraic equations, showing how it is possible to evaluate the post-buckling behaviour and the interactions at large deformations.
Steady State and Accelerated Decay Rate Evaluations of Membrane Electrode Assembly of PEM Fuel Cells
Durability of Membrane Electrode Assembly for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells was evaluated in both steady state and accelerated decay modes. Steady state mode was carried out at constant current of 800mA / cm2 for 2500 hours using air as cathode feed and pure hydrogen as anode feed. The degradation of the cell voltage was 0.015V after such 2500 hrs operation. The degradation rate was therefore calculated to be 6uV / hr. Accelerated mode was carried out by switching the voltage of the single cell between OCV and 0.2V. The durations held at OCV and 0.2V were 20 and 40 seconds, respectively, meaning one minute per cycle. No obvious change in performance of the MEA was observed after 10000 cycles of such operation.
The Development of Micro Patterns Using Benchtop Lithography for Marine Antifouling Applications
Development of micro topographies usually begins with the fabrication of a master stamp. Fabrication of such small structures can be technically challenging and expensive. These techniques are often used for applications where patterns only cover a small surface area (e.g. semiconductors, microfluidic channels). This research investigated the use of benchtop lithography to fabricate patterns with average widths of 50 and 100 microns on silicon wafer substrates. Further development of this method will attempt to layer patterns to create hierarchical structures. Photomasks consisted of patterns printed onto transparency films with a high resolution printer and a fully patterned 10cm by 10cm area has been successfully developed. UV exposure was carried out with a self-made array of ultraviolet LEDs that was positioned a distance above a glass diffuser. Observations under a light microscope and SEM showed that developed patterns exhibit an adequate degree of fidelity with patterns from the master stamp.
Modelling of Moisture Loss and Oil Uptake during Deep-Fat Frying of Plantain
A predictive mathematical model based on the fundamental principles of mass transfer was developed to simulate the moisture content and oil content during Deep-Fat Frying (DFF) process of dodo. The resulting governing equation, that is, partial differential equation that describes rate of moisture loss and oil uptake was solved numerically using explicit Finite Difference Technique (FDT). Computer codes were written in MATLAB environment for the implementation of FDT at different frying conditions and moisture loss as well as oil uptake simulation during DFF of dodo. Plantain samples were sliced into 5 mm thickness and fried at different frying oil temperatures (150, 160 and 170 ⁰C) for periods varying from 2 to 4 min. The comparison between the predicted results and experimental data for the validation of the model showed reasonable agreement. The correlation coefficients between the predicted and experimental values of moisture and oil transfer models ranging from 0.912 to 0.947 and 0.895 to 0.957, respectively. The predicted results could be further used for the design, control and optimization of deep-fat frying process.
Effect of Non-Fat Solid Ratio on Bloom Formation in Untempered Chocolate
The relationship between the non-fat solid ratio and bloom formation in untempered chocolate was investigated using two types of chocolate: model chocolate made of varying cocoa powder ratios (46, 49.5 and 53%) and cocoa butter, and commercial Lindt chocolate with varying cocoa content (70, 85 and 90%). X-ray diffraction and colour measurement techniques were used to examine the polymorphism of cocoa butter and the surface whiteness index (WI), respectively. The polymorphic transformation of cocoa butter was highly correlated with the changes of WI during 30 days of storage since it led to the redistribution of fat within the chocolate matrix and resulted in a bloomed surface. The change in WI indicated a similar bloom rate in the chocolates, but the model chocolates with a higher cocoa powder ratio had more pronounced total bloom. This is due to a higher ratio of non-fat solid particles on the surface resulting in microscopic changes in morphology. The ratio of non-fat solids is an important factor in determining the extent of bloom but not the bloom rate.
Activity of Malate Dehydrogenase in Cell Free Extracts from S. proteamaculans, A. hydrophila, and K. pneumoniae
Three bacterial species were isolated from the River Wye (Derbyshire, England) and identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing as Serratia proteamaculans, Aeromonas hydrophila and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Respiration rates of the strains were measured in order to determine the metabolic activity under salt stress. The highest respiration rates of all three strains were found at 0.17 M and 0.5 M NaCl and then the respiration rate decreased with increasing concentrations of NaCl. In addition, the effect of increasing concentrations of NaCl on malate dehydrogenase activity was determined using cell-free extracts of the three strains. Malate dehydrogenase activity was stimulated at NaCl concentrations up to 0.5 M, and a small level of activity remained even at 3.5 M NaCl. The pH optimum of the malate dehydrogenase in cell-free extracts of all strains was higher than pH 7.5.
Regression Model Evaluation on Depth Camera Data for Gaze Estimation
We investigate the machine learning algorithm selection problem in the term of a depth image based eye gaze estimation, with respect to its essential difficulty in reducing the number of required training samples and duration time of training. Statistics based prediction accuracy are increasingly used to assess and evaluate prediction or estimation in gaze estimation. This article evaluates Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) and R-Squared statistical analysis to assess machine learning methods on depth camera data for gaze estimation. There are 4 machines learning methods have been evaluated: Random Forest Regression, Regression Tree, Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Linear Regression. The experiment results show that the Random Forest Regression has the lowest RMSE and the highest R-Squared, which means that it is the best among other methods.
The Concept of Community Participation and Identified Tertiary Education Problems, Strategies and Methods
This paper discussed the concept of community participation and identified tertiary education problems; strategies and methods communities could be involved to reduce conflict witnessed in our tertiary institutions of learning due to government inability to fund education. The paper pointed out that community participation through the use of Parent Teachers Association (PTA), age grade, traditional leaders, village based associations, religious and political organs could be sensitized to raise financial resources. The paper identified different sources of conflicts, the outcome of which causes prolonged academic activities, destruction of lives and properties and in some cased render school environment completely insecure for serious academic activities. It recommends involvement of community participation in assisting government, proper handling of tertiary institutions in management, and more democratic procedure in conflict resolution like cordial relationship between staff, students and trade unions in decision making process.
Big Data and Health: An Australian Perspective Which Highlights the Importance of Data Linkage to Support Health Research at a National Level
‘Big data’ is a relatively new concept that describes data so large and complex that it exceeds the storage or computing capacity of most systems to perform timely and accurate analyses. Health services generate large amounts of data from a wide variety of sources such as administrative records, electronic health records, health insurance claims, and even smart phone health applications. Health data is viewed in Australia and internationally as highly sensitive. Strict ethical requirements must be met for the use of health data to support health research. These requirements differ markedly from those imposed on data use from industry or other government sectors and may have the impact of reducing the capacity of health data to be incorporated into the real time demands of the Big Data environment. This ‘big data revolution’ is increasingly supported by national governments, who have invested significant funds into initiatives designed to develop and capitalize on big data and methods for data integration using record linkage. The benefits to health following research using linked administrative data are recognised internationally and by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Roadmap, which outlined a multi-million dollar investment strategy to develop national record linkage capabilities. This led to the establishment of the Population Health Research Network (PHRN) to coordinate and champion this initiative. The purpose of the PHRN was to establish record linkage units in all Australian states, to support the implementation of secure data delivery and remote access laboratories for researchers, and to develop the Centre for Data Linkage for the linkage of national and cross-jurisdictional data. The Centre for Data Linkage has been established within Curtin University in Western Australia; it provides essential record linkage infrastructure necessary for large-scale, cross-jurisdictional linkage of health related data in Australia and uses a best practice ‘separation principle’ to support data privacy and security. Privacy preserving record linkage technology is also being developed to link records without the use of names to overcome important legal and privacy constraint. This paper will present the findings of the first ‘Proof of Concept’ project selected to demonstrate the effectiveness of increased record linkage capacity in supporting nationally significant health research. This project explored how cross-jurisdictional linkage can inform the nature and extent of cross-border hospital use and hospital-related deaths. The technical challenges associated with national record linkage, and the extent of cross-border population movements, were explored as part of this pioneering research project. Access to person-level data linked across jurisdictions identified geographical hot spots of cross border hospital use and hospital-related deaths in Australia. This has implications for planning of health service delivery and for longitudinal follow-up studies, particularly those involving mobile populations.
Britain and the EU Referendum: Arguments over East European Welfare Benefit Tourism
This paper considers the political controversy in Britain, both pre- and post-EU referendum, concerning claims over welfare benefit tourism and immigration in the UK. These claims were seen to be a significant reason for the vote for Brexit despite evidence to the contrary that benefit tourism was not, and is not, implicated in the migration of East Europeans to the UK. Populist rhetoric is analysed alongside studies that contradict such views. These contentious issues are examined with respect to the agenda set by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) concerning anti-EU and anti-immigrant sentiment and the notion of cultural differences as the basis for supporting Brexit. The paper also examines the paradoxical claim that East European migrants are taking British jobs and driving down wages. Taken together, it is argued that these two kinds of claims effectively contribute to anti-immigration discourse based on the logic of economics, but also at the same time conceal more irrational fears of adapting to change through the inclusion of others. Such fears are considered as being founded upon a challenge to the stability of totems of national life and identity.
Mathematical Model for Interaction Energy of Toroidal Molecules and Other Nanostructures
Carbon nanotori provide several properties such as high tensile strength and heat resistance. They are promised to be ideal structures for encapsulation, and their encapsulation ability can be determined by the interaction energy between the carbon nanotori and the encapsulated nanostructures. Such interaction energy is evaluated using Lennard-Jones potential and continuum approximation. Here, four problems relating to toroidal molecules are determined in order to find the most stable configuration. Firstly, the interaction energy between a carbon nanotorus and an atom is examined. The second problem relates to the energy of a fullerene encapsulated inside a carbon nanotorus. Next, the interaction energy between two symmetrically situated and parallel nanotori is considered. Finally, the classical mechanics is applied to model the interaction energy between the toroidal structure of cyclodextrin and the spherical DNA molecules. These mathematical models might be exploited to study a number of promising devices for future developments in bio and nanotechnology.
Visualization of Quantitative Thresholds in Stocks
Technical analysis comprised by various technical indicators is a holistic way of representing price movement of stocks in the market. Various forms of indicators have evolved from the primitive ones in the past decades. There have been many attempts to introduce volume as a major determinant to determine strong patterns in market forecasting. The law of demand defines the relationship between the volume and price. Most of the traders are familiar with the volume game. Including the time dimension to the law of demand provides a different visualization to the theory. While attempting the same, it was found that there are different thresholds in the market for different companies. These thresholds have a significant influence on the price. This article is an attempt in determining the thresholds for companies using the three dimensional graphs for optimizing the portfolios. It also emphasizes on the magnitude of importance of volumes as a key factor for determining of predicting strong price movements, bullish and bearish markets. It uses a comprehensive data set of major companies which form a major chunk of the Indian automotive sector and are thus used as an illustration.
Soft Pneumatic Actuators Fabricated Using Soluble Polymer Inserts and a Single-Pour System for Improved Durability
Although a relatively new field, soft robotics is experiencing a rise in applicability in the secondary school setting through The Soft Robotics Toolkit, shared fabrication resources and a design competition. Exposing students outside of university research groups to this rapidly growing field allows for development of the soft robotics industry in new and imaginative ways. Soft robotic actuators have remained difficult to implement in classrooms because of their relative cost or difficulty of fabrication. Traditionally, a two-part molding system is used; however, this configuration often results in delamination. In an effort to make soft robotics more accessible to young students, we aim to develop a simple, single-mold method of fabricating soft robotic actuators from common household materials. These actuators are made by embedding a soluble polymer insert into silicone. These inserts can be made from hand-cut polystyrene, 3D-printed polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), or molded sugar. The insert is then dissolved using an appropriate solvent such as water or acetone, leaving behind a negative form which can be pneumatically actuated. The resulting actuators are seamless, eliminating the instability of adhering multiple layers together. The benefit of this approach is twofold: it simplifies the process of creating a soft robotic actuator, and in turn, increases its effectiveness and durability. To quantify the increased durability of the single-mold actuator, it was tested against the traditional two-part mold. The single-mold actuator could withstand actuation at 20psi for 20 times the duration when compared to the traditional method. The ease of fabrication of these actuators makes them more accessible to hobbyists and students in classrooms. After developing these actuators, they were applied, in collaboration with a ceramics teacher at our school, to a glove used to transfer nuanced hand motions used to throw pottery from an expert artist to a novice. We quantified the improvement in the users’ pottery-making skill when wearing the glove using image analysis software. The seamless actuators proved to be robust in this dynamic environment. Seamless soft robotic actuators created by high school students show the applicability of the Soft Robotics Toolkit for secondary STEM education and outreach. Making students aware of what is possible through projects like this will inspire the next generation of innovators in materials science and robotics.
Assessing the Factors Mediating the Attitude-Behaviour Gap in Sustainable Fashion Consumerism
With the rise of fast-fashion, over consumerism and overproduction, the fashion industry is believed to be one of the most polluting industry. It is a matter of importance today to further understand the factors involved in green consumerism to enhance sustainable fashion. One of the critical issues in also evaluating green consumerism, particularly in fashion, is the attitude-behaviour gap. Indeed, many consumers report a positive attitude towards sustainable fashion consumerism, but this attitude is not always actioned into behaviour. This study aims to further investigate the attitude-behaviour gap in sustainable fashion consumerism. S triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods was used. Focus groups were used to gain opinions and understanding of the barriers to sustainable fashion consumption. A quantitative online questionnaire was then used to quantify the barriers identified in Study 1 and measure their influence on the attitude-behaviour gap. The results suggest that knowledge about sustainable fashion is the key factor in the attitude-behaviour gap in sustainable fashion consumerism. Accessibility was also identified as a factor, but this relationship is more complex. It is suggested that knowledge is the main factor in the attitude-behaviour gap and that once knowledge is controlled for, accessibility will become a main factor. The present study is the first one to identify the factors involved in sustainable fashion consumerism.
Plasma Gasification as a Sustainable Way for Energy Recovery from Scrap Tyre
The usage of tyre has increased enormously in day to day life. The used tyre and rubber products pose major threat to the environment. Conventional thermal techniques such as low temperature pyrolysis and incineration produce high molecular organic compounds (condensed and collected as aromatic oil) and carbon soot particles. Plasma gasification technique can dispose tyre waste and generate combustible gases and avoid the formation of high molecular aromatic compounds. These gases generated in plasma gasification process can be used to generate electricity or as fuel wherever required. Although many experiments have been done on plasma pyrolysis of tyres, very little work has been done on plasma gasification of tyres. In this work plasma gasification of waste tyres have been conducted in a fixed bed reactor having graphite electrodes and direct current (DC) arc plasma system. The output of this work has been compared with the previous work done on plasma pyrolysis of tyres by different authors. The aim of this work is to compare different process based on gas generation, efficiency of the process and explore the most effective option for energy recovery from waste tyres.
Using Photo-Elicitation to Explore the Cosmology of Personal Training
With the introduction of projects such as GP referral and other medical exercise schemes, there has been a shift in the cosmology underpinning exercise leadership. That is, the knowledge base of exercise leaders, specifically personal trainers, has moved from a cosmology based on aesthetic and physical fitness demands to one requiring interaction with the dominant biomedical model underpinning contemporary medicine. In line with this shift research has demonstrated that personal trainer education has aligned itself to a biotechnological model. However, whilst there is a need to examine exercise as medicine, and consider the role of personal trainers as prescribers of these interventions, the possible issues surrounding the growing medicalization of the exercise cosmology have not been explored. Using a phenomenological methodology, and the novel approach of photo-elicitation, this research examined the practices of successful personal trainers. The findings highlight that a growing focus on an iatro-biological based scientific process of exercise prescription may prove problematical. Through the development of a model of practitioner-based knowledge, it is argued there is a possible growing disconnection between the theoretical basis of exercise science and the working cosmology of exercise practitioners.
Educating Farmers and Fishermen in Rural Areas in Nigeria on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation for Global Sustainability
The impacts of climate change are greatly felt on Nigeria’s agricultural sector which in turn affects the economy of the nation. There is an urgent need to educate farmers and fishermen in rural areas in Nigeria on climate change adaptation and mitigation for sustainable development. Through our literature and participant observation, it has been discovered that many farmers and fishermen in rural areas in Nigeria have little or no knowledge about climate change adaptation and mitigation. This paper seeks to draw the attention of policy makers in government, private sectors, non-governmental organizations and interested individuals to the need to seek for innovative ways of educating farmers and fishermen in rural areas about climate change adaptation and mitigation for global sustainability. This study also explores the effective methods of bridging the communication gaps through efficient information dissemination, intensive awareness outreach, use of climate change poems and blogs, innovative loan scheme to farmers and fishermen, etc. to help ensure that farmers and fishermen in rural areas in Nigeria are adequately educated about climate change adaptation and mitigation for global sustainability.
Dependence of Ionomer Loading on the Hydrogen Generation Rate of a Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzer
Membrane electrode assemblies MEAs for proton exchange membrane PEM water electrolyzers were prepared by employing 175um perfluorosulfonic acid PFSA membranes as the PEM, onto which iridium oxide catalyst was coated on one side as the anode and platinum catalyst was coated on the other side as the cathode. The cathode catalyst ink was prepared so that the weight ratio of the catalyst powder to ionomer was 75:25, 70:30, 65:35, 60:40, and 55:45, respectively. Whereas, the ratio of catalyst powder to ionomer of the anode catalyst ink keeps constant at 50:50. All the MEAs have a catalyst coated area of 5cm*5cm. The test cell employs a platinum plated titanium grid as anode gas diffusion media; whereas, carbon paper was employed as the cathode gas diffusion media. The measurements of the MEA gases production rate were carried out by holding the cell voltage ranging from 1.6 to 2.8 volts at room temperature. It was found that the MEA with cathode catalyst to ionomer ratio of 65:35 gives the largest hydrogen production rate which is 2.8mL/cm2*min.
Comparison of Power Consumption of WiFi Inbuilt Internet of Things Device with Bluetooth Low Energy
The Internet of things (IoT) is currently a highly researched topic, especially within the context of the smart home. These are small sensors that are capable of gathering data and transmitting it to a server. The majority of smart home products use protocols such as ZigBee or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). As these small sensors are increasing in number, the need to implement these with much more capable and ubiquitous transmission technology is necessary. The high power consumption is the reason that holds these small sensors back from using other protocols such as the most ubiquitous form of communication, WiFi. Comparing the power consumption of existing transmission technologies to one with WiFi inbuilt, would provide a better understanding for choosing between these technologies. We have developed a small IoT device with WiFi capability and proven that it is much more efficient than the first protocol, 433 MHz. We extend our work in this paper and compare WiFi power consumption with the other most widely used protocol BLE. The experimental results in this paper would conclude whether the developed prototype is capable in terms of power consumption to replace the existing protocol BLE with WiFi.
Intertidal Fixed Stake Net Trap (Hadrah) Fishery in Kuwait, Distribution, Catch Rate, and Species Composition
Intertidal fixed stake net trap (hadrah) is one of the oldest fishing gears used throughout the Arabian Gulf countries since 1800s and also one of most efficient methods of capturing fish from the intertidal area. This study described the hadrah fishery in Kuwait. From October 2001 to December 2002, more than 37,372 specimens representing 95 species (89 fish, 2 mollusks, 4 crustaceans) were measured from hadrah located in three different areas along Kuwait's coast. In Kuwait Bay, catch rates averaged 62 kg/sir day (range 14 kg/sir-day in February to 160 kg/sir-day in October 2002). Commercial species accounted for 41% of the catches. Catches from Failakah Island averaged 96 kg/sir-day from June through September, with 61% of the catch being commercial species. In the southern area, catches averaged only 32 kg/sir-day, and only 34% were commercially important. Forty percent of the hadrah catches were juveniles which shows that the shallow intertidal waters are prime nursery habitat, particularly in Kuwait Bay. To maintain ecosystem biodiversity and recruitment success of the fishes, we recommended that all hadrah should be removed from Kuwait Bay. In the future, removal of hadrah in other locations should be considered.
Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) as an Index Measurement for Power Transmission Grid Performance
Transmission system performance analysis is vital to proper planning and operations of power systems in the presence of deregulation. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are often used as measure of degree of performance. This paper gives a novel method to determine the transmission efficiency by evaluating the ratio of real power losses incurred from a specified transfer direction. Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) expresses the percentage of real power received resulting from inter-area available power transfer. The Tie line (Rated system path) performance is seen to differ from system wide (Network response) performance and ATTE values obtained are transfer direction specific. The required sending end quantities with specified receiving end ATC and the receiving end power circle diagram are obtained for the tie line analysis. The amount of real power loss load relative to the available transfer capability gives a measure of the transmission grid efficiency.
Anion Exchange Nanocomposite Membrane Doped with ZnO-Nanoparticles for Direct Methanol Alkaline Fuel Cell
A series of quaternized poly (2.6 dimethyl – 1.4 phenylene oxide)/ polysulfone (QPPO/PSF) blend anion exchange membrane (AEM) were successfully fabricated and characterized for methanol alkaline fuel cell application. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles were introduced in the polymer matrix to enhance the intrinsic properties of the AEM. To confirm successful fabrication, FT-IR spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (¹H NMR and HMBC ¹⁵N NMR) were used. The membrane properties were enhanced by the addition of ZnO nanoparticles. The addition of ZnO nanoparticles resulted to a higher ion exchange capacity (IEC) of 3.72 mmol.g⁻¹and a 30-fold ion conductivity (IC) increase of the nanocomposite due to no (zero (0)) methanol permeability at 30 °C and increased water uptake. The QPPO/PSF/2% ZnO composite retained over 80 % of its initial IC when evaluated for alkaline stability at room temperature. The maximum power output reached for the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) constructed with QPPO/PSF/2%ZnO is 69⁻², which is about three times more than the parent QPPO membrane. The above results indicate that QPPO/PSF-ZnO is a good candidate as an anion exchange membrane for fuel cell application.
Influence of Machining Induced Edge Surface Integrity on the Formability of Titanium Alloys
Titanium and its alloys exhibit poor room temperature formability and this behavior is mainly due to their limited number of slip systems occasioned by their hexagonal close packed (HCP) crystal structure. Also, the poor machinability of titanium is well-documented and are largely as a consequence of their low thermal conductivity, high temperature strength and low modulus of elasticity. This effect has triggered the need to explore various ways of optimizing the machining regimes of titanium alloys in applications that rely on edge surface quality. Considering the high susceptibility of titanium to surface inhomogeneity, there is also the need to understand the impact of various machining methods on the edge formability of titanium alloys studied at room temperature conditions. This research explored the impact of different edge surface integrities produced via different machining techniques on the edge forming tendencies of CP-Ti (Grade 2) and Ti-3Al-2.5V alloys using the hole expansion test. It was shown that, edge surface integrity does have influence on the edge forming performance of the material. This research also proposed the rationale for the observed trends as well as their impact on applied industrial forming processes.
Intertidal Fauna of Kuwait's Coral Islands and Failaka Island
Intertidal transects of four of Kuwait’s eight islands were sampled qualitatively and quantitative fauna. In total, 11 transects were sampled during spring tide lows (0 chart datum) as follows: Kubber, two transects; Qaurh, two transects; Umm Al-Maradem, three transects; and Failaka, four trasects. Qualitative and quantitative samples were collected at high, mid 1, mid 2, and low tides. In total, 270 invertebrate taxa and 15 vertebrate (fishes) taxa were identified. Failaka Island with 224 taxa was the most diverse. Second was Umm Al-Maradim with 84 taxa, followed by Kubbar with 47, and finally Qaruh with 38. Polychaetes were the most diverse group accounting for 31% of the taxa; decapods accounted for 17 %; gastropods,14 %; bivalves, 12 %; and amphipods 11%. Fishes and echinoderms contributed on 5 and 3.5 %, respectively. Three Families of polychaetes are reported for the first time in the Arabian Gulf: Protodrilidae, Nerillidae, and Saccocirridae. Island sediments consisted mostly of sand, but a few transects contained up to 40% gravel. Total organic carbon was less than 1% at all transects, but total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) ranged up to 100 ppm on Qaru. This is expected because of natural seeps in the area constantly supplying the intertidal zone with oil globules. TPH on Umm Al-Maradim was less than 10 ppm, except at high tide on one transect where concentrations reached 40 ppm. In general, TPHs were less than 10 ppm.
A Computational Analysis of Gas Jet Flow Effects on Liquid Aspiration in the Collison Nebulizer
Pneumatic nebulizers (as variations based on the Collison nebulizer) have been widely used for producing fine aerosol droplets from a liquid material. As qualitatively described by many authors, the basic working principle of those nebulizers involves utilization of the negative pressure associated with an expanding gas jet to syphon liquid into the jet stream, then to blow and shear into liquid sheets, filaments, and eventually droplets. But detailed quantitative analysis based on fluid mechanics theory has been lacking in the literature. The purpose of present work is to investigate the nature of negative pressure distribution associated with compressible gas jet flow in the Collison nebulizer by a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, using an OpenFOAM® compressible flow solver. The value of the negative pressure associated with a gas jet flow is examined by varying geometric parameters of the jet expansion channel adjacent to the jet orifice outlet. Such an analysis can provide valuable insights into fundamental mechanisms in liquid aspiration process, helpful for effective design of the pneumatic atomizer in the Aerosol Jet® direct-write system for micro-feature, high-aspect-ratio material deposition in additive manufacturing.
Online Compressor Washing for Gas Turbine Power Output
The privatization of utilities has brought about very strong competition in industries such as petrochemical and gas distribution among others, considering the continuous increase in cost of fuel. This has brought about the intense reason for gas turbine owners and operators to reduce and control performance degradation of the engine in other to minimize cost. The most common and very crucial problem of the gas turbine is the fouling of compressor, which is mostly caused by a reduction in flow capacity, compressor efficiency, and pressure ratio, this, in turn, lead to the engine compressor re-matching and output power and thermal efficiency reduction. The content of this paper encompasses a detailed presentation of the major causes, effects and control mechanism of fouling. The major emphasis is on compressor water washing to enable power augmentation. A modelled gas turbine similar to that of GE LM6000 is modelled for the current study, based on TURBOMATCH which is a Cranfield University software specifically made for gas turbine performance simulation and fouling detection. The compounded and intricate challenges of compressor online water washing of large output gas turbine are carried out. The treatment is applied to axial compressor used in the petrochemical and hydrocarbon industry.
The Social Construction of the Family among the Survivors of Sex Trafficking
Sex trafficking is a traumatic ongoing process which includes human rights violations against the victims. Majority of the trafficked individuals in India are from families with low socioeconomic status, from rural areas, unmarried or married off at a very young age. Many of the sex trafficked feel that it is necessary to make sacrifices, for the benefit of their families. The combination of these cultural family values with the stigma of rape and prostitution are manipulated and used as a tool in the abuse of power against the sex trafficked. The rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of these individuals are usually difficult due to the stigma and social exclusion that they face. In these circumstances, social support is very effective in social inclusion of these individuals. The present study was a qualitative one, using semi-structured interviews with 29 Indian survivors of sex trafficking and a few sex workers. Thematic analysis was done on the data derived from the semi-structured interviews. The major findings indicate that the family can be seen as both the ‘cause’ for being sex trafficked, and the factor in victim continuing to be sex trafficked. At the same time, it can also become a driver for getting rescued, rehabilitated and reintegrated. The study also explores the social construction about ‘family’ among the survivors of sex trafficking, reflecting on who they refer to as ‘family’, what they mean by the term ‘family’ and how these families emerge. Therefore the analytic concept of ‘family’ is a crucial element in sex trafficking and cannot be defined only in terms of its conventional definition of a basic unit of society.
The Impact of Government Subsidies to Keep Residents Studying at Home
This study examines a financial aid program that is designed to “keep residents at home” to attend higher education by providing financial aid as an incentive or discount in their first year of university following high school graduation. This study offers insight into financial matters for higher education students that can assist in providing policy direction for student financing. In particular, this study found that students appeared to value the bursary but none of the key metrics related to participation or conversion to the home institution indicated that the bursary impacted enrolment or participation. One key metric, student loans received by direct entry high school students did indicate a decline in the number of recipients. This study also identified accessibility issues to higher education that are of importance when considering the declining youth populations, future labour market needs and the need to sustain higher education institutions. This is undoubtedly a challenging period of time given the changing social and demographic forces within Canada. A comprehensive examination of the policy and programs to address these forces needs to be undertaken. This study highlights the importance of utilizing financial aid in combination with other policy to assist students in accessing higher education.
A Literature Review of the Trend towards Indoor Dynamic Thermal Comfort
The Steady State thermal comfort model which dominates thermal comfort practice and which posits the ideal thermal conditions in a narrow range of thermal conditions does not deliver the expected comfort levels among occupants. Furthermore, the buildings where this model is applied consume a lot of energy in conditioning. This paper reviews significant literature about thermal comfort in dynamic indoor conditions including the adaptive thermal comfort model and alliesthesia. A major finding of the paper is that the adaptive thermal comfort model is part of a trend from static to dynamic indoor environments in aspects such as lighting, views, sounds and ventilation. Alliesthesia or thermal delight is consistent with this trend towards dynamic thermal conditions. It is within this trend that the two fold goal of increased thermal comfort and reduced energy consumption lies. At the heart of this trend is a rediscovery of the link between the natural environment and human well-being, a link that was partially severed by over-reliance on mechanically dominated artificial indoor environments. The paper concludes by advocating thermal conditioning solutions that integrate mechanical with natural thermal conditioning in a balanced manner in order to meet occupant thermal needs without endangering the environment.
Psychological Security and Its Relationship with Self-Esteem among Adolescent with Mild Intellectual Disability
This study aimed at understanding the relationship between psychological security and self-esteem among Adolescent with Mild Intellectual Disability, exploring the levels of psychological security and self-esteem, as well as determining the differences between genders in psychological security and self-esteem. The sample of the study contained (60) Adolescent with Mild Intellectual Disability, (34) males and (26) females who are enrolled in the Vocational and Social Rehabilitation Center and Hope Institute in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Their ages are between (15-23) years old. The Psychological Security Scale and self-Esteem Scale (prepared by James Battle) were used by the researcher. Results showed that levels of psychological security and self-esteem among Adolescents with Mild Intellectual Disability was above average; results also showed the order of the psychological security dimensions in the following manner (future outlook – mood - family security – social security) and the order of the dimensions of self-esteem in the following manner (social self-esteem – personal self-esteem – general self-esteem) among Adolescent with Mild Intellectual Disability; as for the differences between genders, the study showed that there was an increased level of psychological security among males. However, there was no difference in self-esteem between both sexes.
A Comparative Analysis of Grade Weighted Average and Comprehensive Examination Result of Non Board Passers and Board Passers
One of the valuable things that shows the intelligence among individuals is the academic background specifically their Grade Weighted Average and the significant result of the Comprehensive Examination. The general objective of the researchers to this study is to determine if there is a significant difference between General Weighted Average and Comprehensive Examination Result of Psychometrician Board Passers and Non-Board Passers. The respondents of this study composed of board passers and non-board passers. The researchers used purposive sampling technique. The result utilized by using T-test Independent Sample to determine the comparison of General Weighted Average and Comprehensive Examination Result of Board Passers and Non Board Passers. At the end, it concluded that the General Weighted Average of Board Passers and Non-Board Passers shows that there is no significant difference, but the average showed a minimal variation. The Comprehensive Examination Result of Board Passers and Non-Board Passers result revealed that there is a significant difference. The performance of comprehensive examination that will test the overall knowledge of an individual and will determine whose more proficient will likely to have a higher score. The result of the comprehensive examination had an impact in the passing performance of board examination.
Access to Higher Education in Nigeria: The University of Calabar Pre-Degree Programme Experience
The pre-degree programme of the University of Calabar was introduced to help increase access to tertiary Education in science related courses. This has become necessary due to population increase and public awareness. Its main objective was to provide access to candidates from educationally less developed states (ELDS) and states within its catchment area. To find out if this objective of the programme has been achieved, an impact evaluation of the programme was conducted, from where the aspect of providing access to University Education was reported here. It was reasoned that if this objective of the programme was properly implemented, there should be an evidence of increase in the access to University Education. To achieve the purpose of this study, two research questions were formulated; expost-facto research design and purposive sampling technique were adopted for the study. Data was collected from the Faculty of Science and analyzed using descriptive statistics in terms of frequencies and percentages. The result of data analysis showed that the pre-degree programme of the University of Calabar has provided educational access to Nigerians especially those from educationally less developed states in science related courses. It was therefore recommended that the programme be sustained and further be improved upon to facilitate its continued provision of access to University Education in Nigeria.
The Effect of Micro-Arc Oxidation Coated Piston Crown on Engine Characteristics in a Spark Ignited Engine
In present investigation, experiments were carried out to compare the effect of the ceramic coated piston crown and uncoated piston on combustion, performance and emission characteristics of a port injected Spark Ignited engine. The piston crown was coated with aluminium alloy in the form ceramic oxide layer of thickness 500 µm using micro-arc oxidation technique. This ceramic coating will act as a thermal barrier which reduces in-cylinder heat rejection and increases the durability of the piston by withstanding high temperature and pressure produced during combustion. Flame visualization inside the combustion chamber was carried out using AVL Visioscope combustion analyzer to predict the type of combustion occurs at different load condition. Based on the experimental results, it was found that the coated piston shows an improved thermal efficiency when compared to uncoated piston. This is because more heat presents in the combustion chamber which helps efficient combustion of the fuel. The CO and HC emissions were found to be reduced due to better combustion of the fuel whereas NOx emission was increased due to increase in combustion temperature for ceramic coated piston.
Online Battery Equivalent Circuit Model Estimation on Continuous-Time Domain Using Linear Integral Filter Method
Equivalent circuit models (ECMs) are widely used in battery management systems in electric vehicles and other battery energy storage systems. The battery dynamics and the model parameters vary under different working conditions, such as different temperature and state of charge (SOC) levels, and therefore online parameter identification can improve the modelling accuracy. This paper presents a way of online ECM parameter identification using a continuous time (CT) estimation method. The CT estimation method has several advantages over discrete time (DT) estimation methods for ECM parameter identification due to the widely separated battery dynamic modes and fast sampling. The presented method can be used for online SOC estimation. Test data are collected using a lithium ion cell, and the experimental results show that the presented CT method achieves better modelling accuracy compared with the conventional DT recursive least square method. The effectiveness of the presented method for online SOC estimation is also verified on test data.
Comparison of Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assemblies Prepared from 10 and 15-Micron Proton Exchange Membranes
Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications were prepared by using 10 and 15 um PEMs. Except for different membrane thicknesses, these MEAs were prepared by the same conditions. They were prepared by using catalyst coated membrane (CCM) process. The catalyst employed is 40% Pt/C, and the Pt loading is 0.5mg/cm² for the sum of anode and cathode. Active area of the MEAs employed in this study is 5cm*5cm=25cm². In polarization measurements, the flow rates were always set at 1.2 stoic for anode and 3.0 stoic for cathode. The outlets were in open-end mode. The flow filed is tri-serpentine design. The cell temperatures and the humidification conditions were varied for the purpose of MEA performance observations. It was found that the performance of these two types of MEAs is about the same at fully or partially humidified operation conditions; however, 10um MEA exhibits higher current density in dry or low humidified conditions. For example, at 70C cell, 100% RH, and 0.6V condition, both MEAs have similar current density which is 1320 and 1342mA/cm² for 15um and 10um product, respectively. However, when in operation without external humidification, 10um MEA can produce 1085mA/cm²; whereas 15um MEA produces only 720mA/cm².
Tsunami Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructure: Development and Application of Functions for Infrastructure Impact Assessment
Recent tsunami events, including the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami, Japan, and the 2015 Illapel Tsunami, Chile, have highlighted the potential for tsunami impacts on the built environment. International research in the tsunami impacts domain has been largely focused toward impacts on buildings and casualty estimations, while only limited attention has been placed on the impacts on infrastructure which is critical for the recovery of impacted communities. New Zealand, with 75% of the population within 10 km of the coast, has a large amount of coastal infrastructure exposed to local, regional and distant tsunami sources. To effectively manage tsunami risk for New Zealand critical infrastructure, including energy, transportation, and communications, the vulnerability of infrastructure networks and components must first be determined. This research develops infrastructure asset vulnerability, functionality and repair- cost functions based on international post-event tsunami impact assessment data from technologically similar countries, including Japan and Chile, and adapts these to New Zealand. These functions are then utilized within a New Zealand based impact framework, allowing for cost benefit analyses, effective tsunami risk management strategies and mitigation options for exposed critical infrastructure to be determined, which can also be applied internationally.
Bacterial Flora of the Anopheles Fluviatilis S. L. in an Endemic Malaria Area in Southeastern Iran for Candidate Paraterasgenesis Strains
Malaria is an infectious disease and considered most important health problems in the southeast of Iran. Iran is elimination malaria phase and new tool need to vector control. Paraterasgenesis is a new way to cut of life cycle of the malaria parasite. In this study, the microflora of the surface and gut of various stages of Anopheles fluviatilis James as one of the important malaria vector was studied using biochemical and molecular techniques during 2013-2014. Twelve bacteria species were found including; Providencia rettgeri, Morganella morganii, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas oryzihabitans, Citrobacter braakii، Citrobacter freundii، Aeromonas hydrophila، Klebsiella oxytoca, Citrobacter koseri, Serratia fonticola، Enterobacter sakazakii and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The species of Alcaligenes faecalis, Providencia vermicola and Enterobacter hormaechei were identified in various stages of the vector and confirmed by biochemical and molecular techniques. We found Providencia rettgeri proper candidate for paratransgenesis.
Synthetic Cannabinoids: Extraction, Identification and Purification
In Australian state Victoria, synthetic cannabinoids have recently been made illegal under an amendment to the drugs, poisons and controlled substances act 1981. Identification of synthetic cannabinoids in popular brands of ‘incense’ and ‘potpourri’ has been a difficult and challenging task due to the sample complexity and changes observed in the chemical composition of the cannabinoids of interest. This study has developed analytical methodology for the targeted extraction and determination of synthetic cannabinoids available pre-ban. A simple solvent extraction and solid phase extraction methodology was developed that selectively extracted the cannabinoid of interest. High performance liquid chromatography coupled with UV‐visible and chemiluminescence detection (acidic potassium permanganate and tris (2,2‐bipyridine) ruthenium(III)) were used to interrogate the synthetic cannabinoid products. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy were used for structural elucidation of the synthetic cannabinoids. The tris(2,2‐bipyridine)ruthenium(III) detection was found to offer better sensitivity than the permanganate based reagents. In twelve different brands of herbal incense, cannabinoids were extracted and identified including UR‐144, XLR 11, AM2201, 5‐F‐AKB48 and A796‐260.
Genetic Structure of Four Bovine Populations in the Philippines Using Microsatellites
This study evaluated polymorphism of 11 microsatellite markers in four local genetic groups of cattle. Batanes cattle which has never been studied using microsatellites is evaluated for its genetic distance from the Ilocos cattle while Brahman and Holstein-Sahiwal are also included as there were insemination programs by the government using these two breeds. PCR products that were genotyped for each marker were analyzed using POPGENEv32. Results showed that 55% (Fst=0.5501) of the genetic variation is due to the differences between populations while the remaining 45% is due to individual variation. The Fst value also indicates that there were very great differences from population to population using the range proposed by Sewall and Wright. The constructed phylogenetic tree based on Nei’s genetic distance using the modified neighboor joining procedure of PHYLIPv3.5 showed the admixture of Brahman and Holstein-Sahiwal having them grouped in the same clade. Batanes and Ilocos cattle were grouped in a different cluster showing that they have descended from a single parental population. This would presumably address the claim that Batanes and Ilocos cattle are genetically distant from other groups and still exist despite the artificial insemination program of the government using Brahman and other imported breeds. The knowledge about the genetic structure of this population supports the development of conservation programs for the smallholder farmers.
Exposing Latent Fingermarks on Problematic Metal Surfaces Using Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy
Fingermarks are a crucial form of evidence for identifying a person at a crime scene. However, visualising latent (hidden) fingermarks can be difficult, and the correct choice of techniques is essential to develop and preserve any fingermarks that might be present. Knives, firearms and other metal weapons have proven to be challenging substrates (stainless steel in particular) from which to reliably obtain fingermarks. In this study, time of flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS) was used to image fingermarks on metal surfaces. This technique was compared to a conventional superglue based fuming technique that was accompanied by a series of contrast enhancing dyes (basic yellow 40 (BY40), crystal violet (CV) and Sudan black (SB)) on three different metal surfaces. The conventional techniques showed little to no evidence of fingermarks being present on the metal surfaces after a few days. However, ToF-SIMS images revealed fingermarks on the same and similar substrates with an exceptional level of detail demonstrating clear ridge definition as well as detail about sweat pore position and shape, that persist for over 26 days after deposition when the samples were stored under ambient conditions.
Maintenance Objective-Based Asset Maintenance Maturity Model
The fast-changing business and operational environment are forcing organizations to adopt asset performance management strategies, not only to reduce costs but also maintain operational and production policies while addressing demand. To attain optimal asset performance management, a framework that ensures a continuous and systematic approach to analyzing an organization’s current maturity level and expected improvement regarding asset maintenance processes, strategies, technologies, capabilities, and systems is essential. Moreover, this framework while addressing maintenance-intensive organizations should consider the diverse business, operational and technical context (often dynamic) an organization is in and realistically prescribe or relate to the appropriate tools and systems the organization can potentially employ in the respective level, to improve and attain their maturity goals. This paper proposes an asset maintenance maturity model to assess the current capabilities, strength and weaknesses of maintenance processes an organization is using and analyze gaps for improvement via structuring set levels of achievement. At the epicentre of the proposed framework is the utilization of maintenance objective selected by an organization for various maintenance optimization programs. The framework adapts the Capability Maturity Model of assessing the maintenance process maturity levels in the organization.
An In-Depth Definition of the 24 Levels of Consciousness and Its Relationship to Buddhism and Artificial Intelligence
Understanding consciousness requires a synthesis of ideas from multiple disciplines, including obvious ones like psychology, biology, evolution, neurology, and neuroscience, as well as less obvious ones like protozoology, botany, entomology, carcinology, herpetology, mammalogy, and computer sciences. Furthermore, to incorporate the necessary backdrop, it is best presented in a theme of Eastern philosophy, specifically leveraging the teachings of Buddhism for its relevance to early thought on consciousness. These ideas are presented as a multi-level framework that illustrates the various aspects of consciousness within a tapestry of foundational and dependent building blocks as to how living organisms evolved to understand elements of their reality sufficiently to survive, and in the case of Homo sapiens, eventually move beyond meeting the basic needs of survival, but to also achieve survival of the species beyond the eventual fate of our planet. This is not a complete system of thought, but just a framework of consciousness gathering some of the key elements regarding the evolution of consciousness and the advent of free will, and presenting them in a unique way that encourages readers to continue the dialog and thought process as an experience to enjoy long after reading the last page. Readers are encouraged to think for themselves about the issues raised herein and to question every facet presented, as much further exploration is needed. Needless to say, this subject will remain a rapidly evolving one for quite some time to come, and it is probably in the interests of everyone to at least consider attaining both an ability and willingness to participate in the dialog.
Personas Help Understand Users’ Needs, Goals and Desires in an Online Institutional Repository
Communicating users' needs, goals and problems help designers and developers overcome challenges faced by end users. Personas are used to represent end users’ needs. In our research, creating personas allowed the following questions to be answered: Who are the potential user groups? What do they want to achieve by using the service? What are the problems that users face? What should the service provide to them? To develop realistic personas, we conducted a focus group discussion with undergraduate and graduate students and also interviewed a university librarian. The personas were created to help evaluating the Institutional Repository that is based on the DSpace system. The profiles helped to communicate users' needs, abilities, tasks, and problems, and the task scenarios used in the heuristic evaluation were based on these personas. Four personas resulted of a focus group discussion with undergraduate and graduate students and from interviewing a university librarian. We then used these personas to create focused task-scenarios for a heuristic evaluation on the system interface to ensure that it met users' needs, goals, problems and desires. In this paper, we present the process that we used to create the personas that led to devise the task scenarios used in the heuristic evaluation as a follow up study of the DSpace university repository.
The Mineral and Petroleum Sectors of Papua New Guinea: An Overview
The current downturn in the metal and oil prices has significantly affected the mineral and petroleum sectors of Papua New Guinea. The sectors have not grown substantially in the last three years compared to previous years. Resources of several projects have not been proved up as well as feasibility studies not undertaken on advanced projects. In the 2012-2015 periods, however, development licences for four projects have been granted - the Solwara-1 project in the Manus Basin, the Woodlark project, the Crater Mountains project and the Stanley gas-condensate project. There has been some progress on three advanced projects – Frieda River copper-gold porphyry, Mount Kare gold, and the Wafi-Golpu projects. The oilfields are small by world standard but have been high rates of production. The developments of liquefied natural gas projects are progressing well and the first LNG project with ExxonMobil and partners shipped its first cargo in May 2014, the second with Total and partners involving Elk-Antelope gas-condensate fields is in its development stage, and the third with Horizon Oil and partners involving gas fields in the western Papuan basin is in the planning stage. Significantly, in the years 2012-2015, the country has exported liquefied natural gas, nickel, cobalt and chromium, and has granted exploration licences for iron-sands and coal measures for the first time.
Simulation of Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotube’s Mechanical Properties for Radiation Shielding Applications
Radiation shielding is an obstacle in long duration space exploration. Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) have attracted attention as an additive to radiation shielding material due to B10’s large neutron capture cross section. The B10 has an effective neutron capture cross section suitable for low energy neutrons ranging from 10-5 to 104 eV and hydrogen is effective at slowing down high energy neutrons. Hydrogenated BNNTs are potentially an ideal nanofiller for radiation shielding composites. We use Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulation via Material Studios Accelrys 6.0 to model the Young’s Modulus of Hydrogenated BNNTs. An extrapolation technique was employed to determine the Young’s Modulus due to the deformation of the nanostructure at its theoretical density. A linear regression was used to extrapolate the data to the theoretical density of 2.62g/cm3. Simulation data shows that the hydrogenated BNNTs will experience a 11% decrease in the Young’s Modulus for (6,6) BNNTs and 8.5% decrease for (8,8) BNNTs compared to non-hydrogenated BNNT’s. Hydrogenated BNNTs are a viable option as a nanofiller for radiation shielding nanocomposite materials for long range and long duration space exploration.
An Exploratory Study of Effects of Parenting Styles on Maternal Expectation and Perception of Compliance among Adolescents
This study explored the contribution of parenting styles in the Maternal Perception of Compliance Model (MPCM). This model explores maternal expectations to illustrate the formation of maternal perception of severity of noncompliance in adolescent children. The methodology consisted of three stages: In the first stage, a focus group was held, and the data was analysed to fine-tune the interview schedule. In the second stage, a single interview was held, and the interview schedule was further modified. The third and the final stage consisted of interviewing six mothers who had adolescent children. They were chosen with ‘maximum variation’ approach to represent three tiered socioeconomic statuses, and Asian, white and black ethnicities. The data was thematically analysed in a hybrid fashion: inductive coding and deductive assignment of codes into discrete parenting styles. The study found: a) parenting styles are not always discrete and sometimes it can be mixed. b) The parenting styles are influenced by culture, socioeconomic status, transgenerational knowledge, academic knowledge, observational knowledge, self-reflective knowledge, and parental anxiety. c) The parenting style functioned a mediating mechanism where it attempted to converge discrepancies between parental expectations of compliance with maternal perception of severity of noncompliance. The findings of parenting styles were discussed in relation to MPCM.
Arundo Donax (Giant Reed) Phytoremediation Function of Chromium (Cr) Removal
Pollution of the environment is a phenomenon which has taken a big part of importance of the world governments since the second half of the last century, this takes dangerous environmental, economic and social ranges dimensions especially after industrial advancement in industrialized country and good industrial expansion supported with modern technology and as chromium is known to be used in tannery factories. Chromium is considered a harm element to the environment due to its danger and transference through food, air, and water to the plants, animals and people. In this study the capacity of Arundo donax against chromium pollution was conducted. A. donax plants were grown-up under greenhouse conditions in pots contain nursery soil and feeding by Cr synthetic wastewater (0, 0.1, 1.0 and 2.0 mg L-1 ) for four weeks. Leaves, roots and stems dry matter production, color degree values, chlorophyll, growth parameters, and morphological characters were measured. The high Cr concentration was in roots was 1.15 mg kg-1 . Similarly, Cr concentration in stem was 0.469 mg kg-1 at 2.0 mg L-1 supplied Cr. In case of leaves, the maximum Cr concentration was 0.345 mg kg-1 at 2.0 g L-1 supplied Cr. The bioaccumulation and translocation factors was calculated. The macrophyte A. donax L. may be considered to be the most promising plant species in remediation of Cr-contaminated soil and wastewater due to its deeper root system as well as has higher efficiency to absorb chromium and other heavy metals as well.
Experiments on Weakly-Supervised Learning on Imperfect Data
Supervised predictive models require labeled data for training purposes. Complete and accurate labeled data, i.e., a ‘gold standard’, is not always available, and imperfectly labeled data may need to serve as an alternative. An important question is if the accuracy of the labeled data creates a performance ceiling for the trained model. In this study, we trained several models to recognize the presence of delirium in clinical documents using data with annotations that are not completely accurate (i.e., weakly-supervised learning). In the external evaluation, the support vector machine model with a linear kernel performed best, achieving an area under the curve of 89.3% and accuracy of 88%, surpassing the 80% accuracy of the training sample. We then generated a set of simulated data and carried out a series of experiments which demonstrated that models trained on imperfect data can (but do not always) outperform the accuracy of the training data, e.g., the area under the curve for some models is higher than 80% when trained on the data with an error rate of 40%. Our experiments also showed that the error resistance of linear modeling is associated with larger sample size, error type, and linearity of the data (all p-values < 0.001). In conclusion, this study sheds light on the usefulness of imperfect data in clinical research via weakly-supervised learning.
The Routes of Human Suffering: How Point-Source and Destination-Source Mapping Can Help Victim Services Providers and Law Enforcement Agencies Effectively Combat Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing international crimes and human rights violations in the world. The United States Department of State (State Department) approximates some 800,000 to 900,000 people are annually trafficked across sovereign borders, with approximately 14,000 to 17,500 of these people coming into the United States. Today’s slavery is conducted by unscrupulous individuals who are often connected to organized criminal enterprises and transnational gangs, extracting huge monetary sums. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), human traffickers collect approximately $32 billion worldwide annually. Surpassed only by narcotics dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with illegal arms sales as the second largest criminal industry in the world and is the fastest growing field in the 21st century. Perpetrators of this heinous crime abound. They are not limited to single or “sole practitioners” of human trafficking, but rather, often include Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO), domestic street gangs, labor contractors, and otherwise seemingly ordinary citizens. Monetary gain is being elevated over territorial disputes and street gangs are increasingly operating in a collaborative effort with TCOs to further disguise their criminal activity; to utilizing their vast networks, in an attempt to avoid detection. Traffickers rely on a network of clandestine routes to sell their commodities with impunity. As law enforcement agencies seek to retard the expansion of transnational criminal organization’s entry into human trafficking, it is imperative that they develop reliable trafficking mapping of known exploitative routes. In a recent report given to the Mexican Congress, The Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) disclosed, from 2008 to 2010 they had identified at least 47 unique criminal networking routes used to traffic victims and that Mexico’s estimated domestic victims number between 800,000 adults and 20,000 children annually. Designing a reliable mapping system is a crucial step to effective law enforcement response and deploying a successful victim support system. Creating this mapping analytic is exceedingly difficult. Traffickers are constantly changing the way they traffic and exploit their victims. They swiftly adapt to local environmental factors and react remarkably well to market demands, exploiting limitations in the prevailing laws. This article will highlight how human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing and most high profile human rights violations in the world today; compile current efforts to map and illustrate trafficking routes; and will demonstrate how the proprietary analytical mapping analysis of point-source and destination-source mapping can help local law enforcement, governmental agencies and victim services providers effectively respond to the type and nature of trafficking to their specific geographical locale. Trafficking transcends state and international borders. It demands an effective and consistent cooperation between local, state, and federal authorities. Each region of the world has different impact factors which create distinct challenges for law enforcement and victim services. Our mapping system lays the groundwork for a targeted anti-trafficking response.
Sustainable Development of Medium Strength Concrete Using Polypropylene as Aggregate Replacement
Plastic as an environmental burden is a well-rehearsed topic in the research area. This is due to its global demand and destructive impacts on the environment, which has been a significant concern to the governments. Typically, the use of plastic in the construction industry is seen across low-density, non-structural applications due to its diverse range of benefits including high strength-to-weight ratios, manipulability and durability. It can be said that with the level of plastic consumption experienced in the construction industry, an ongoing responsibility is shown for this sector to continually innovate alternatives for application of recycled plastic waste such as using plastic made replacement from polyethylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl and polypropylene in the concrete mix design. In this study, the impact of partially replaced fine aggregate with polypropylene in the concrete mix design was investigated to evaluate the concrete&rsquo;s compressive strength by conducting an experimental work which comprises of six concrete mix batches with polypropylene replacements ranging from 0.5 to 3.0%. The results demonstrated a typical decline in the compressive strength with the addition of plastic aggregate, despite this reduction generally mitigated as the level of plastic in the concrete mix increased. Furthermore, two of the six plastic-containing concrete mixes tested in the current study exceeded the ST5 standardised prescribed concrete mix compressive strength requirement at 28-days containing 1.50% and 2.50% plastic aggregates, which demonstrated the potential for use of recycled polypropylene in structural applications, as a partial by mass, fine aggregate replacement in the concrete mix.
Location and Group Specific Differences in Human-Macaque Interactions in Singapore: Implications for Conflict Management
The changes in Singapore’s land use, natural preference of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to live in forest edges and their adaptability has led to interface between humans and macaques. Studies have shown that two-third of human-macaque interactions in Singapore were related to human food. We aimed to assess differences among macaques groups in their dependence on human food and interaction with humans as indicators of the level of interface. Field observations using instantaneous scan sampling and all occurrence ad-lib sampling were carried out for 23 macaque groups over 28 days recording 71.5 hours of observations. Data on macaque behaviour, demography, frequency, and nature of human-macaque interactions were collected. None of the groups were found to completely rely on human food source. Of the 23 groups, 40% of them were directly or indirectly provisioned by humans. One-third of the groups observed engaged in some form of interactions with the humans. Three groups that were directly fed by humans contributed to 83% of the total human-macaque interactions observed during the study. Our study indicated that interactions between humans and macaques exist in specific groups and in those fed by humans regularly. Although feeding monkeys is illegal in Singapore, such incidents seem to persist in specific locations. We emphasize the importance of group and location-specific assessment of the existing human-wildlife interactions. Conflict management strategies developed should be location specific to address the cause of interactions.
Characterization of Fatty Acid Glucose Esters as Os9BGlu31 Transglucosidase Substrates in Rice
Os9BGlu31 is a rice transglucosidase that transfers glucosyl moieties to various acceptors such as carboxylic acids and alcohols, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, in vitro. The role of Os9BGlu31 transglucosidase in rice plant metabolism has not been reported to date. Methanolic extracts of rice bran and flag leaves were found to contain substrates to which Os9BGlu31 could transfer glucose from 4-nitrophenyl β -D-glucopyranoside donor. The semi-purified substrate from rice bran was found to contain oleic acid and linoleic acid and the pure fatty acids were found to act as acceptor substrates for Os9BGlu31 transglucosidase to form 1-O-acyl glucose esters. Os9BGlu31 showed higher activity with oleic acid (18:1) and linoleic acid (18:2) than stearic acid (18:0), and had both higher kcat and higher Km for linoleic than oleic acid in the presence of 8 mM 4NPGlc donor. This transglucosidase reaction is reversible, Os9bglu31 knockout rice lines of flag leaves were found to have higher amounts of fatty acid glucose esters than wild type control lines, these data conclude that fatty acid glucose esters act as glucosyl donor substrates for Os9BGlu31 transglucosidase in rice.
Secondary Metabolites Identified from a Pseudoalteromonas rubra Bacterial Strain Isolated from a Fijian Marine Alga
The marine environment has continuously demonstrated to be a rich source of secondary metabolites and bioactive compounds that can address the many pharmaceutical problems facing mankind. The emergence of multidrug resistant pathogens has caused scientists to explore contemporary ways of combating these super bugs. A red-pigmented bacterial strain isolated from a marine alga collected in Fiji was identified to be Pseudoalteromonas rubra from 16s rRNA sequencing. This bacterial strain was cultured using a yeast-peptone media and incubated for five days. The ethyl acetate extract of this bacterium was subjected to chromatographic separation techniques such as vacuum liquid chromatography, flash chromatography, size exclusion chromatography and high-pressure liquid chromatography to yield the pure compound and a number of semi-pure fractions. The crude extract and subsequent purified fractions were analyzed by ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy and was found to contain the compounds ivermectin, stenothricin, cyclo-L-pro-L-val, prodigiosin, mycophenolic acid, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, eplerenone, staurosporine and pseudoalteromone A. The structure of the pure compound, pseudoalteromone A, was elucidated using NMR 1H, 13C, 1H-1H COSY, HSQC and HMBC spectroscopic data.
Toward the Understanding of Shadow Port's Growth: The Level of Shadow Port
The term ‘shadow port’ is used to describe a port whose markets are dominated by an adjacent port that has a more competitive capability. Recently, researchers have put effort into studying the mechanisms of how a regional port, in the shadow of a nearby predominant port which is a capital city port, can compete and grow. However, such mechanism is still unclear. This study thus focuses on understanding the growth of shadow port and the type of shadow port by using the two capital city ports of Thailand; Bangkok port (the former main port) and Laem Chabang port (the current main port), as the case study. By developing an understanding of the mechanisms of shadow, port could ultimately lead to an increase in the competitiveness. In this study, a framework of opportunity capture (introduced by Magala, 2004) will be used to create a framework for the study of the growth of the selected shadow port. In the process of building this framework, five groups of port development experts, consisting of government, council, academia, logistics provider and industry, will be interviewed. To facilitate this work, the Noticing, Collecting and Thinking model which was developed by Seidel (1998) will be used in an analysis of the dataset. The resulting analysis will be used to classify the type of shadow port. The type of these ports will be a significant factor for developing a feasible strategic guideline for the future management planning of ports, particularly, shadow ports, and then to increase the competitiveness of a nation’s maritime transport industry, and eventually lead to a boost in the national economy.
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.
Comparison of Quality Indices for Sediment Assessment in Ireland
Sediment contamination is a major source of ecosystem stress and has received significant attention from the scientific community. Both the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) require a robust set of tools for biological and chemical monitoring. For the MSFD in particular, causal links between contaminant and effects need to be assessed. Appropriate assessment tools are required in order to make an accurate evaluation. In this study, a range of recommended sediment bioassays and chemical measurements are assessed in a number of potentially impacted and lowly impacted locations around Ireland. Previously, assessment indices have been developed on individual compartments, i.e. contaminant levels or biomarker/bioassay responses. A number of assessment indices are applied to chemical and ecotoxicological data from the Seachange project (Project code) and compared including the metal pollution index (MPI), pollution load index (PLI) and Chapman index for chemistry as well as integrated biomarker response (IBR). The benefits and drawbacks of the use of indices and aggregation techniques are discussed. In addition to this, modelling of raw data is investigated to analyse links between contaminant and effects.
Pragmatics of Socio-Linguistic Influence on Neurologist-Patient Interaction in Selected Hospitals in Nigeria
This study examines how social and linguistic variables influenced communication between neurologists and patients in selected university teaching hospitals (UTHs) in southwestern Nigeria. Jacob Mey’s Pragmatic Acts, complemented by Emanuel and Emanuel’s model of doctor-patient relationship, served as the theoretical framework. Data comprising 22 audio-recorded neurologist-patient interactions were collected from two UTHs in the southwestern region of Nigeria. Data revealed that educational attainment of patients has insignificant influence on the interaction where the linguistic prowess of the patient has been impaired for consultative communication. However, the status influenced the degree of attention paid to patients by neurologists and determines the amount of time 'trying to help patients to communicate'. Patients with lower educational status and who could not communicate in English spent more time narrating their ailment to neurologists. Patients with higher educational status and could communicate in English saves consultation time as they express themselves briefly unlike those who were of little or no education in the clinics. Through this, diagnoses and therapeutic processes took eight to 12 minutes. 20 minutes was the longest duration recorded. Neurologist-patient interaction in the observed hospitals is shaped by neurologists’ experience, patients’ social variables and language.
Rethinking the Role of Umeya Shokichi in the 1911 Revolution: Focusing on His Ties with Sun Yatsen in Hong Kong
Nowadays Umeya Shokichi has been commonly regarded as the symbol of Sino-Japanese friendship and a close friend of Sun Yatsen. The images of Umeya have been largely built on contemporary political needs rather than historical sources. Based on Japanese and Chinese primary sources, this paper will challenge existing views of Umeya Shokichi in regard to his role in the 1911 Revolution and his relationship with Sun Yatsen. The study of Umeya Shokichi is handicapped by the accessibility and creditability of primary sources. Records of Umeya are largely kept in his family collection. Scholars are relatively difficult to get access to these materials. In addition, Umeya’s records can hardly be cross-checked as he is seldom mentioned in the writings of Sun Yatsen, Miyazaki Toten, James Cantlie and others. Heretofore, studies about Umeya are few and most are not critical enough to provide a balanced historical account of Umeya. This article will reexamine the role of Umeya Shokichi in the 1911 Revolution by highlighting his relationship with Sun Yatsen in Hong Kong from 1886 to 1911. It demonstrates that the role of Umeya in the 1911 Revolution and his relationship with Sun Yatsen are exaggerated by Chinese and Japanese officials as well as Umeya’s family members. The fact is that Sun did not play a direct role in the 1911 Revolution, not to mention his sponsors. To Sun, Umeya was perhaps merely one of his many sponsors rather than an intimate friend. This study will be a thought-provoking and iconoclast piece of scholarship based on critical reading of primary sources.
I Don’t Want to Have to Wait: A Study Into the Origins of Rule Violations at Rail Pedestrian Level Crossings
Train pedestrian collisions are common and are the most likely to result in severe injuries and fatalities when compared to other types of rail crossing accidents. However, there is limited research that has focused on understanding the reasons why some pedestrians’ break level crossings rules, which limits the development of effective countermeasures. As a result, this study undertook a deeper exploration into the origins of risky pedestrian behaviour through structured interviews. A total of 40 pedestrians who admitted to either intentionally breaking crossing rules or making crossing errors participated in an in-depth telephone interview. Qualitative analysis was undertaken via thematic analysis that revealed participants were more likely to report deliberately breaking rules (rather than make errors), particular after the train had passed the crossing as compared to before it arrives. Predominant reasons for such behaviours were identified to be: calculated risk taking, impatience, poor knowledge of rules and low likelihood of detection. The findings have direct implications for the development of effective countermeasures to improve crossing safety (and managing risk) such as increasing surveillance and transit officer presence, as well as installing appropriate barriers that either deter or incapacitate pedestrians from violating crossing rules. This paper will further outline the study findings in regards to the development of countermeasures as well as provide direction for future research efforts in this area.
Effect of Environmental Factors on Photoreactivation of Microorganisms under Indoor Conditions
Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection causes damage to the DNA or RNA of microorganisms, but many microorganisms can repair this damage after exposure to near-UV or visible wavelengths (310&ndash;480 nm) by a mechanism called photoreactivation. Photoreactivation is gaining more attention because it can reduce the efficiency of UV disinfection of wastewater several hours after treatment. The focus of many photoreactivation research activities on the single species has caused a considerable lack in knowledge about complex natural communities of microorganisms and their response to UV treatment. In this research, photoreactivation experiments were carried out on the influent of the UV disinfection unit at a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Edmonton, Alberta after exposure to a Medium-Pressure (MP) UV lamp system to evaluate the effect of environmental factors on photoreactivation of microorganisms in the actual municipal wastewater. The effect of reactivation fluence, temperature, and river water on photoreactivation of total coliforms was examined under indoor conditions. The results showed that higher effective reactivation fluence values (up to 20 J/cm2) and higher temperatures (up to 25 &deg;C) increased the photoreactivation of total coliforms. However, increasing the percentage of river in the mixtures of the effluent and river water decreased the photoreactivation of the mixtures. The results of this research can help the municipal wastewater treatment industry to examine the environmental effects of discharging their effluents into receiving waters.
The Effect of Sand Content on Behavior of Kaolin Clay
One of the unknowns in the design of zoned earth dams is the percentage of sand which can be present in a clay core and still retain the necessary plasticity to prevent cracking in response to deformation. Cracks in the clay core of a dam caused by differential settlement can lead to failure of the dam. In this study, a series of Atterberg Limit tests and unconfined compression strength tests have been conducted in the ISU soil mechanics laboratory on prepared mixes of quartz sand and commercial clays (Kaolin and Smectite) to determine the relationship between sand content, plasticity and squeezing behavior. The prepared mixes have variable percentages of sand ranging between 10 and 90% by weight. Plastic limit test results in which specimens can be rolled into 1/8 in. threads without crumbling and plasticity index values which represent the range of water content over which the specimens can be remolded without cracking were used to evaluate the plasticity of the sand-clay mixtures. The test results show that the design mixes exhibit plastic behavior with sand contents up to 80% by weight. However, the plasticity of the mixes decreases with increasing sand content. For unconfined compression strength tests, the same mixtures of sand and clay (Kaolin) were made in plastic limit. The results which were concluded from the UCC tests represent the relationship between sand-clay content and chance of having squeezing behavior, also according to the results from UCC, strength of different samples and stress-strain curves can be obtained.
Analyzing the Representations of Afro-Peruvians in National TV Comedy Shows: The Construction of Parody and the Contradictory Responses to Afro-Peruvian TV Characters
Media is believed to be the reflection of Peruvian society. However, the context in which media content is generated not always respond to an accurate representation of its cultural diversity, since many of the contents portray images of cultural minorities (indigenous and Afro-Peruvian) that contribute to the reproduction of negative stereotypes, having an impact on society. The current research paper aims to discuss the use of parody as a way of representing Afro-Peruvian population in the national television, through the reproduction of negative stereotypes and the construction of the black body, specifically relating the analysis to El Negro Mama, a very popular character in Peruvian television thought to be a portrait of the Afro-Peruvian men. In order to analyze these representations, the research will use the theory of simulation and simulacra, explained by James Baudrillard to understand the replacement of reality as a consequence of both of these concepts. This research paper will also focus on the social reaction to the existence of this character, in order to construct a hypothesis based on the theory of cultural hegemony, conceived by Jackson Lears as a legitimized group of patterns and behaviors that shape social interaction. This theoretical framework will be used to explain the popularity of this character among Peruvian society and the reactions caused by the controversy generated by the demands of civil society to remove the character from national television.
Atmospheric CO2 Capture via Temperature/Vacuum Swing Adsorption in SIFSIX-3-Ni
Carbon dioxide capture has attracted the attention of many governments, industries and scientists over the last few decades, due to the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 composition, with several studies being conducted in this area over the last few years. In many of these studies, CO2 capture in complex Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) cycles has been associated with high energy consumption despite the promising capture performance of such processes. The purpose of this study is the economic capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide for its transformation into a clean type of energy. A single column Temperature /Vacuum Swing Adsorption (TSA/VSA) process is proposed as an alternative option to multi column Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) processes. The proposed adsorbent is SIFSIX-3-Ni, a newly developed MOF (Metal Organic Framework), with extended CO2 selectivity and capacity. There are three stages involved in this paper: (i) SIFSIX-3-Ni is synthesized and pelletized and its physical and chemical properties are examined before and after the pelletization process, (ii) experiments are designed and undertaken for the estimation of the diffusion and adsorption parameters and limitations for CO2 undergoing capture from the air; and (iii) the CO2 adsorption capacity and dynamical characteristics of SIFSIX-3-Ni are investigated both experimentally and mathematically by employing a single column TSA/VSA, for the capture of atmospheric CO2. This work is further supported by a technical-economical study for the estimation of the investment cost and the energy consumption of the single column TSA/VSA process. The simulations are performed using gProms.
Digital Literacy, Assessment and Higher Education
Recent evidence suggests that academic staff face difficulties in applying new technologies as a means of assessing higher order assessment outcomes such as critical thinking, problem solving and creativity. Although higher education institutional mission statements and course unit outlines purport the value of these higher order skills there is still some question about how well academics are equipped to design curricula and, in particular, assessment strategies accordingly. Despite a rhetoric avowing the benefits of these higher order skills, it has been suggested that academics set assessment tasks up in such a way as to inadvertently lead students on the path towards lower order outcomes. This is a controversial claim, and one that this papers seeks to explore and critique in terms of challenging the conceptual basis of assessing higher order skills through new technologies. It is argued that the use of digital media in higher education is leading to a focus on students’ ability to use and manipulate of these products as an index of their flexibility and adaptability to the demands of the knowledge economy. This focus mirrors market flexibility and encourages programmes and courses of study to be rhetorically packaged as such. Curricular content has become a means to procure more or less elaborate aggregates of attributes. Higher education is now charged with producing graduates who are entrepreneurial and creative in order to drive forward economic sustainability. It is argued that critical independent learning can take place through the democratisation afforded by cultural and knowledge digitization and that assessment needs to acknowledge the changing relations between audience and author, expert and amateur, creator and consumer.
Evaluation of DNA Oxidation and Chemical DNA Damage Using Electrochemiluminescent Enzyme/DNA Microfluidic Array
DNA damage from metabolites of lipophilic drugs and pollutants, generated by enzymes, represents a major toxicity pathway in humans. These metabolites can react with DNA to form either 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), which is the oxidative product of DNA or covalent DNA adducts, both of which are genotoxic and hence considered important biomarkers to detect cancer in humans. Therefore, detecting reactions of metabolites with DNA is an effective approach for the safety assessment of new chemicals and drugs. Here we describe a novel electrochemiluminescent (ECL) sensor array which can detect DNA oxidation and chemical DNA damage in a single array, facilitating a more accurate diagnostic tool for genotoxicity screening. Layer-by-layer assembly of DNA and enzyme are assembled on the pyrolytic graphite array which is housed in a microfluidic device for sequential detection of two type of the DNA damages. Multiple enzyme reactions are run on test compounds using the array, generating toxic metabolites in situ. These metabolites react with DNA in the films to cause DNA oxidation and chemical DNA damage which are detected by ECL generating osmium compound and ruthenium polymer, respectively. The method is further validated by the formation of 8-oxodG and DNA adduct using similar films of DNA/enzyme on magnetic bead biocolloid reactors, hydrolyzing the DNA, and analyzing by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Hence, this combined DNA/enzyme array/LC-MS approach can efficiently explore metabolic genotoxic pathways for drugs and environmental chemicals.
Ethnomedicinal Assets of Plants Collected from Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria
An ethno-medicinal survey of plants used in treating various diseases and ailments was carried out in the study area of Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria to obtain information on their uses and potentials. The ethno-medicinal survey was administered through structured questionnaires among local inhabitants from areas with high plant density and diversity within the various Local Government Areas of the State. A total of 84 (Eighty four) plant species belonging to 45 (Forty five) families were found to be useful in treatment of various ailments such as diabetes, measles, fever, asthma, jaundice, pneumonia, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), aches, diarrhea, cough, arthritis, yellow fever, typhoid, erectile dysfunction and excessive bleeding. Different parts of the plant such as the roots, leaves and stems are used in preparing herbal remedies which could be from dry or freshly collected plants. The main methods of preparation are decoction or infusion, while in some cases the plant parts used are consumed directly. Residents in the study areas find the herbal remedy cheaper and more accessible and claimed that there are no side effects compared to orthodox medicine. This study has confirmed the need towards the conscious conservation of plant genetic resources in order to ensure sustained access to these ethno-medicinal plant materials.
A Straightforward Method for Determining Inorganic Selenium Speciations by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy in Water Samples
In this experimental study, total selenium in solution was measured with Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, GFAAS, then chemical reactions with sodium borohydride were used to reduce selenite to hydrogen selenide. Hydrogen selenide was then stripped from the solution by purging the solution with nitrogen gas. Since the two main speciations in oxic waters are usually selenite, Se(IV) and selenate, Se(VI), it was assumed that after Se(IV) is removed, the remaining total selenium was Se(VI). Total selenium measured after stripping gave Se(VI) concentration, and the difference of total selenium measured before and after stripping gave Se(IV) concentration. An additional step of reducing Se(VI) to Se(IV) was performed by boiling the stripped solution under acidic conditions, then removing Se(IV) by a chemical reaction with sodium borohydride. This additional procedure of removing Se(VI) from the solution is useful in rare cases where the water sample is reducing and contains selenide speciation. In this study, once Se(IV) and Se(VI) were both removed from the water sample, the remaining total selenium concentration was zero. The method was tested to determine Se(IV) and Se(VI) in both purified water and synthetic irrigation water spiked with Se(IV) and Se(VI). Average recovery of spiked samples of diluted synthetic irrigation water was 99% for Se(IV) and 97% for Se(VI). Detection limits of the method were 0.11 µg L⁻¹ and 0.32 µg L⁻¹ for Se(IV) and Se(VI), respectively.
Bayesian Flexibility Modelling of the Conditional Autoregressive Prior in a Disease Mapping Model
The basic model usually used in disease mapping, is the Besag, York and Mollie (BYM) model and which combines the spatially structured and spatially unstructured priors as random effects. Bayesian Conditional Autoregressive (CAR) model is a disease mapping method that is commonly used for smoothening the relative risk of any disease as used in the Besag, York and Mollie (BYM) model. This model (CAR), which is also usually assigned as a prior to one of the spatial random effects in the BYM model, successfully uses information from adjacent sites to improve estimates for individual sites. To our knowledge, there are some unrealistic or counter-intuitive consequences on the posterior covariance matrix of the CAR prior for the spatial random effects. In the conventional BYM (Besag, York and Mollie) model, the spatially structured and the unstructured random components cannot be seen independently, and which challenges the prior definitions for the hyperparameters of the two random effects. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to construct and utilize an extended Bayesian spatial CAR model for studying tuberculosis patterns in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, and then compare for flexibility with some existing CAR models. The results of the study revealed the flexibility and robustness of this alternative extended CAR to the commonly used CAR models by comparison, using the deviance information criteria. The extended Bayesian spatial CAR model is proved to be a useful and robust tool for disease modeling and as a prior for the structured spatial random effects because of the inclusion of an extra hyperparameter.
The Implications of the Lacanian Concept of 'Lalangue' for Lacanian Theory and Clinical Practice
This research we want to discuss the implications of the concept of ‘lalangue’ and illustrate its importance for lacanian psychoanalysis and its clinical practice. We will look at this concept through an in depth reading of Lacan’s later seminars, his lectures at the North-American universities and his study on James Joyce. We will illustrate the importance of this concept with a case study from a clinical practice. We will argue that the introduction of ‘lalangue’ has several theoretical and clinical implications that will radically change Lacans teachings. We will illustrate the distinction between language and lalangue. Language serves communication, but this is not the case with lalangue. We will claim that there is jouissance in language and will approach this by introducing the concept of ‘lalangue’. We will ask ourselves what the effect will be of this distinction and how we can use this in clinical practice. The concept of ‘lalangue’ will introduce a new way of thinking about the unconscious. It will force us to no longer view the unconscious as Symbolic, but as Imaginary or Real. Another implication will be the approach on the symptom, no longer approaching it as a formation of the unconscious. It will be renamed as ‘sinthome’, as function of the real. Last of all it will force us to rethink the lacanian interpretation and how we direct the treatment. The implications on a clinical level will be how we think about the lacanian interpretation and the direction of the treatment. We will no longer focus on language and meaning, but focus on jouissance and the ways in which the subject deals with this. We will illustrate this importance with a clinical case study. To summarize, the concept of lalangue forces us to radically rethink lacanian psychoanalysis, with major implications on a theoretical and clinical level. It introduces new concepts such as the real unconscious and the sinthome. It will also make us rethink the way we work as lacanian psychoanalysts.
Alignment between Governance Structures and Food Safety Standards on the Shrimp Supply Chain in Indonesia
Food safety standards have received significant attention in the fisheries global market due to health issues, free trade agreements, and increasing aquaculture production. Vertical coordination throughout the supply chain of fish producing and exporting countries is needed to meet food safety demands imposed by importing countries. However, the complexities of the supply chain governance structures and difficulties in standard implementation can generate safety uncertainty and high transaction costs. Using a Transaction Cost Economics framework, this paper examines the alignment between food safety standards and the governance structures in the shrimp supply chain in Indonesia. We find the supply chain is organized closer to the hierarchy-like governance structure where private standard (organic standard) are implemented and more towards a market-like governance structure where public standard (IndoGAP certification) are more prevalent. To verify the statements, two cases are examined from Sidoarjo district as a centre of shrimp production in Indonesia. The results show that public baseline FSS (Food Safety Standards) need additional mechanism to achieve a coordinated chain-wide response because uncertainty, asset specificity, and performance measurement problems are high in this chain. Organic standard as private chain-wide FSS is more efficient because it has been achieved by hierarchical-like type of governance structure.
Effect of Video-Based Instructional Strategy on Junior Secondary School Students' Academic Achievement in Social Studies in Ondo State, Nigeria
This study investigated the effect of video-based instructional strategy on junior secondary school academic achievement in social studies. The influence of gender on the academic achievement of student taught with video-based instructional strategy was also examined. The study adopted a pre-test and pro-test control group quasi-experimental design. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 40 students from two schools in Akure town in Ondo State. The researcher developed instructional video package on social studies concept which was used as treatment instrument for the experimental group while the control group was exposed to conventional teaching method. The instruments used in this study are social studies achievement test and instructional video package (IVP). T-test statistic was used to analyse the hypotheses. The findings revealed that experimental group performed better than the control group. It was also shown that gender has no significant effect on students’ academic achievement when exposed to an instructional video package. It was recommended that appropriate training and workshop should be organized by the government for the social studies teachers for effective use of instructional video package in order to enhance teachers productivities and learning among students in secondary schools.
Algebraic Coupled Level Set-Volume of Fluid Method with Capillary Pressure Treatment for Surface Tension Dominant Two-Phase Flows
In this study, an Algebraic Coupled Level Set-Volume of Fluid (A-CLSVOF) method with capillary pressure treatment is proposed for the modeling of two-phase capillary flows. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) method is utilized to incorporate one-way coupling with the Level Set (LS) function in order to further improve the accuracy of the interface curvature calculation and resulting surface tension force. The capillary pressure is determined and treated independently of the hydrodynamic pressure in the momentum balance in order to maintain consistency between cell centered and interpolated values, resulting in a reduction in parasitic currents. In this method, both VOF and LS functions are transported where the new volume fraction determines the interface seed position used to reinitialize the LS field. The Hamilton-Godunov function is used with a second order (in space and time) discretization scheme to produce a signed distance function. The performance of the current methodology has been tested against some common test cases in order to assess the reduction in non-physical velocities and improvements in the interfacial pressure jump. The cases of a static drop, non-linear Rayleigh-Taylor instability and finally a droplets impact on a liquid pool were simulated to compare the performance of the present method to other well-known methods in the area of parasitic current reduction, interface location evolution and overall agreement with experimental results.
Effect of Fermentation Time on Some Functional Properties of Moringa (Moringa oleifera) Seed Flour
The effect of fermentation time on some functional properties of Moringa (Moringa oleifera) seed flour was examined. Fermentation, an effective processing method used to improve nutritional quality of plant foods, tends to affect the characteristics of food components and their behaviour in food systems just like other processing methods. Hence the need for this study. Moringa seeds were fermented naturally by soaking in potable water and allowing it to stand for 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours. At the end of fermentation, the seeds were oven dried at 600C for 12 hours and then milled into flour. Flour obtained from unfermented seeds served as control: hence a total of five flour samples. The functional properties were analyzed using standard methods. Fermentation significantly (p< 0.05) increased the water holding capacity of Moringa seed flour from 0.86g/g - 2.31g/g. The highest value was observed after 48 hours of fermentation The same trend was observed for oil absorption capacity with values between 0.87 and 1.91g/g. Flour from unfermented Moringa seeds had a bulk density of 0.60g/cm3 which was significantly (p< 0.05) higher than the bulk densities of flours from seeds fermented for 12, 24 and 48. Fermentation significantly (p< 0.05) decreased the dispersibility of Moringa seed flours from 36% to 21, 24, 29 and 20% after 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours of fermentation respectively. The flours’ emulsifying capacities increased significantly (p< 0.05) with increasing fermentation time with values between 50 – 68%. The flour obtained from seeds fermented for 12 hours had a significantly (p< 0.05) higher foaming capacity of 16% while the flour obtained from seeds fermented for 0, 24 and 72 hours had the least foaming capacities of 9%. Flours from seeds fermented for 12 and 48 hours had better functional properties than flours from seeds fermented for 24 and 72 hours.
Behavioral and Electroantennographic Responses of the Tea Shot Hole Borer, Euwallacea fornicatus, Eichhoff (Scolytidae: Coleoptera) to Volatiles Compounds of Montanoa bipinnatifida (Compositae: Asteraceae) and Development of a Kairomone Trap
The shot hole borer (SHB), Euwallacea fornicatus (= Xyleborus fornicatus) (Scolytidae: Coleoptera) is one of the major pests of tea in southern India and Sri Lanka. The partially dried cut stem of a jungle plant, Montanoa bipinnatifida (C.Koch) (Compositae: Asteraceae) reported to attract shot hole borer beetles in the field. Collection, isolation, identification and quantification of the emitted volatiles from the partially dried cut stems of M. bipinnatifida using dynamic head space and GC-MS revealed the presence of seven compounds viz. α- pinene, β- phellandrene, β - pinene, D- limonene, trans-caryophyllene, iso- caryophyllene and germacrene– D. Behavioural bioassays using electroantennogram (EAG) and wind tunnel proved that, among these identified compounds only α - pinene, trans-caryophyllene, β – phellandrene and germacrene-D evoked significant behavioral response and maximum response was obtained to a specific blend of these four compounds @ 10:1:0.1:3. Field trapping experiments of this blend conducted in the SHB infested field using multiple funnel traps further proved the efficiency of the blend with a mean trap catch of 176.7 ± 13.1 beetles. Mass trapping studies in the field helped to develop a kairomone trap for the management of SHB in the tea fields of southern India.
Communication and Management of Incidental Pathology in a Cohort of 1,214 Consecutive Appendicectomies
Background: Important incidental pathology requiring further action is commonly found during appendicectomy, macro- and microscopically. It is unknown whether the acute surgical unit (ASU) model affects the management and disclosure of these findings. Methods: An ASU model was introduced at our institution on 01/08/2012. In this retrospective cohort study, all patients undergoing appendicectomy 2.5 years before (traditional group) or after (ASU group) this date were compared. The primary outcomes were rates of appropriate management of the incidental findings and communication of the findings to the patient and to their general practitioner (GP). Results: 1,214 patients underwent emergency appendicectomy; 465 in the traditional group and 749 in the ASU group. 80 (6.6%) patients (25 and 55 in each respective period) had important incidental findings. There were 24 patients with benign polyps, 15 with neuro-endocrine tumour, 11 with endometriosis, 8 with pelvic inflammatory disease, 8 Enterobius vermicularis infection, 7 with low grade mucinous cystadenoma, 3 with inflammatory bowel disease, 2 with diverticulitis, 2 with tubo-ovarian mass, 1 with secondary appendiceal malignancy and none with primary appendiceal adenocarcinoma. One patient had dual pathologies. There was no difference between the traditional and ASU group with regards to communication of the findings to the patient (p=0.44) and their GP (p=0.27), and there was no difference in the rates of appropriate management (p=0.21). Conclusions: The introduction of an ASU model did not change rates of surgeon-to-patient and surgeon-to-GP communication nor affect rates of appropriate management of important incidental pathology during an appendectomy.
Assessing Functional Structure in European Marine Ecosystems Using a Vector-Autoregressive Spatio-Temporal Model
In marine ecosystems, spatial and temporal species structure is an important component of ecosystems’ response to anthropological and environmental factors. Although spatial distribution patterns and fish temporal series of abundance have been studied in the past, little research has been allocated to the joint dynamic spatio-temporal functional patterns in marine ecosystems and their use in multispecies management and conservation. Each species represents a function to the ecosystem, and the distribution of these species might not be random. A heterogeneous functional distribution will lead to a more resilient ecosystem to external factors. Applying a Vector-Autoregressive Spatio-Temporal (VAST) model for count data, we estimate the spatio-temporal distribution, shift in time, and abundance of 140 species of the Eastern English Chanel, Bay of Biscay and Mediterranean Sea. From the model outputs, we determined spatio-temporal clusters, calculating p-values for hierarchical clustering via multiscale bootstrap resampling. Then, we designed a functional map given the defined cluster. We found that the species distribution within the ecosystem was not random. Indeed, species evolved in space and time in clusters. Moreover, these clusters remained similar over time deriving from the fact that species of a same cluster often shifted in sync, keeping the overall structure of the ecosystem similar overtime. Knowing the co-existing species within these clusters could help with predicting data-poor species distribution and abundance. Further analysis is being performed to assess the ecological functions represented in each cluster.
Influence of Litter Materials on Organs' Relative Weights, Meat Quality, Breast and Footpad Dermatitis of Broiler Chickens under Hot Humid Climate
Wood shavings are the most common materials used as litter in commercial broiler production in many areas in Nigeria. A study was conducted to determine the effects of litter materials on organ weights, meat quality, footpad, and breast dermatitis of broiler chickens under hot humid climate. One hundred and eighty broiler chicks of marshal strains were randomly assigned to three treatments of wood shavings, maize cobs and chopped Panicum maximum as litter materials replicated four (4) times with 15 birds each in a completely randomized design. Data were collected on the relative body weights, meat quality, breast and foot pad dermatitis. The result showed that birds reared on chopped Panicum maximum had higher relative weight on the liver than those reared on wood shavings and maize cobs. Spleen and bursa of Fabricius were not significantly affected by litter materials. There was no significant effect of litter materials on meat quality. The relative weight of thigh of birds reared on chopped Panicum maximum, and Maize cobs were similar but higher than those reared on Wood shavings. Fresh breast weight of birds reared on wood shavings was higher than those reared on chopped Panicum maximum and maize cobs. It was concluded that chopped Panicum maximum could serve as a replacement for wood shavings as a litter material for broiler chickens.
Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Preventing the Progression of Diabetic Retinopathy
Introduction: Bariatric surgery is popular with the rising incidence of obesity. Its well-known benefits include significant and rapid glycaemic control. However, cases of paradoxical worsening in diabetic retinopathy (DR) despite improved glycaemic control have been reported. Purpose: clarification on the evolution of diabetic retinopathy after bariatric surgery. Method: retrospective study of 40 patients with Type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery in a UK specialist bariatric unit between 2009 and 2011. Pre-operative and post-operative visual acuity (VA), weight, HbA1c and annual DRSS screening results were analysed. Median follow up was 50 months. Results: No significant change in VA was found during the post-operative period. 85% of patients improved HbA1c post-operatively of which 53% achieved non-diabetic HbA1c of 8%) and male gender. Conclusions: bariatric surgery does not guarantee long-term improvement or prevention of DR. Asymptomatic changes in DR occurred up to 5 years postoperatively. We therefore consider it prudent to continue screening in this cohort of patients.
Intensity-Enhanced Super-Resolution Amplitude Apodization Effect on the Non-Spherical Near-Field Particle-Lenses
A particle can function as a refractive lens to focus a plane wave, generating a narrow, high intensive, weak-diverging beam within a sub-wavelength volume, known as the ‘photonic jet’. Refractive index contrast (particle to background media) and scaling effect of the dielectric particle (relative-to-wavelength size) play key roles in photonic jet formation, rather than the shape of particle-lens. Waist (full width of half maximum, FWHM) of a photonic jet could be beyond the diffraction limit and smaller than the Airy disk, which defines the minimum distance between two objects to be imaged as two instead of one. Many important applications for imaging and sensing have been afforded based upon the super-resolution characteristic of the photonic jet. It is known that apodization method, in the form of an amplitude pupil-mask centrally situated on a particle-lens, can further reduce the waist of a photonic nanojet, however, usually lower its intensity at the focus due to blocking of the incident light. In this paper, the anomalously intensity-enhanced apodization effect was discovered in the near-field via numerical simulation. It was also experimentally verified by a scale model using a copper-masked Teflon cuboid solid immersion lens (SIL) with 22 mm side length under radiation of a plane wave with 8 mm wavelength. Peak intensity enhancement and the lateral resolution of the produced photonic jet increased by about 36.0 % and 36.4 % in this approach, respectively. This phenomenon may possess the scale effect and would be valid in multiple frequency bands.
An Initial Evaluation of Newly Proposed Biomarker of Zinc Status in Humans: The Erythrocyte Linoleic Acid: Dihomo-γ-Linolenic Acid (LA:DGLA) Ratio
Background: Zinc is an essential micronutrient for humans with important physiological functions. A sensitive and specific biomarker for assessing Zn status is still needed. Objective: The major aim of this study was to examine if the changes in the content of plasma phospholipid LA, DGLA and LA: DGLA ratio can be used to efficiently predict the dietary Zn intake and plasma Zn status of humans. Methods: The study was performed on apparently healthy human volunteers. The dietary Zn intake was assessed using 24h recall questionnaires. Plasma phospholipid fatty acid analysis was done by gas chromatography and plasma analysis of minerals by atomic absorption spectrometry. Biochemical, anthropometrical and hematological parameters were assessed. Results: No significant relationship was found between the dietary and plasma zinc status (r=0.07; p=0.6). There is a statistically significant correlation between DGLA and plasma Zn (r=0.39, p=0.00). No relationship was observed between the linoleic acid and plasma Zn, while there was a significant negative correlation between LA: DGLA ratio and plasma Zn status (r=-0.35, p=0.01). Similarly, there were statistically significant difference in DGLA status (p=0.004) and LA: DGLA ratio (p=0.042) between the Zn formed groups. Conclusions: This study is an initial step in evaluating LA: DGLA ratio as a biomarker of Zn status in humans. The results are encouraging as they show that concentration of DGLA is decreased and LA: DGLA ratio increased in people with lower dietary Zn intake. However, additional studies are needed to fully examine the sensitivity of this biomarker.
Assessing the Feasibility of Commercial Meat Rabbit Production in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana
The study aimed at assessing the feasibility of commercial meat rabbit production in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana. Structured and unstructured questionnaires were utilized in obtaining information from two hundred meat consumers and 15 meat rabbit farmers. Data were analyzed using Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR)/Profitability Index (PI) technique, percentages and chi-square contingency test. The study found that the current demand for rabbit meat is low (36%). The desirable nutritional attributes of rabbit meat and other socio economic factors of meat consumers make the potential demand for rabbit meat high (69%). It was estimated that GH¢5,292 (approximately $ 2672) was needed as a start-up capital for a 40-doe unit meat rabbit farm in Kumasi Metropolis. The cost of breeding animals, housing and equipment formed 12.47%, 53.97% and 24.87% respectively of the initial estimated capital. A Net Present Value of GH¢ 5,910.75 (approximately $ 2984) was obtained at the end of the fifth year, with an internal rate return and profitability index of 70% and 1.12 respectively. The major constraints identified in meat rabbit production were low price of rabbit meat, shortage of fodder, pest and diseases, high cost of capital, high cost of operating materials and veterinary care. Based on the analysis, it was concluded that meat rabbit production is feasible in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana. The study recommends embarking on mass advertisement; farmer association and adapting to new technologies in the production process will help to enhance productivity.
Body-Worn Camera Use in the Emergency Department: Patient and Provider Satisfaction
Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) are used in public safety to record encounters. They are shown to enhance the accuracy of documentation in virtually every situation. They are not widely used in medical encounters in part because of concern for patient acceptance. The goal of this pilot study was to determine if BWC use is acceptable to the patient. This was a prospective, observational study of the AXON Flex BWC (TASER International, Scottsdale, AZ) conducted at an urban, Level 1 Trauma Center Emergency Department (ED). The BWC was worn by Emergency Physicians (EPs) on their shifts during a 30-day period. The BWC was worn at eye-level mounted on a pair of clear safety glasses. Patients seen by the EP were enrolled in the study by a trained research associate. Patients who were
Quality Analysis of Lake Malawi's Diplotaxodon Fish Species Processed in Solar Tent Dryer versus Open Sun Drying
Improved solar tent dryers for processing small fish species were designed to reduce post-harvest fish losses and improve supply of quality fish products in the southern part of Lake Malawi under CultiAF project. A comparative analysis of the quality of Diplotaxodon (Ndunduma) from Lake Malawi processed in solar tent dryer and open sun drying was conducted using proximate analysis, microbial analysis and sensory evaluation. Proximates for solar tent dried fish and open sun dried fish in terms of proteins, fats, moisture and ash were 63.3±0.15% and 63.3±0.34%, 19.6±0.09% and 19.9±0.25%, 8.3±0.12% and 17.0±0.01%, and 15.6±0.61% and 21.9±0.91% respectively. Crude protein and crude fat showed non-significant differences (p = 0.05), while moisture and ash content were significantly different (p = 001). Open sun dried fish had significantly higher numbers of viable bacteria counts (5.2×10⁶ CFU) than solar tent dried fish (3.9×10² CFU). Most isolated bacteria from solar tent dried and open sun dried fish were 1.0×10¹ and 7.2×10³ for Total coliform, 0 and 4.5 × 10³ for Escherishia coli, 0 and 7.5 × 10³ for Salmonella, 0 and 5.7×10² for shigella, 4.0×10¹ and 6.1×10³ for Staphylococcus, 1.0×10¹ and 7.0×10² for vibrio. Qualitative evaluation of sensory properties showed higher acceptability of 3.8 for solar tent dried fish than 1.7 for open sun dried fish. It is concluded that promotion of solar tent drying in processing small fish species in Malawi would support small-scale fish processors to produce quality fish in terms of nutritive value, reduced microbial contamination, sensory acceptability and reduced moisture content.
Feeding Practices and Malnutrition among under Five Children in Communities of Kuje Area Council, Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Nigeria
Poor dietary practices and malnutrition, including severe acute malnutrition among under-five children in Nigeria has remained a great public health concern. This study assessed infant and young child feeding practices and nutritional status of under-five children to determine the prevalence of malnutrition of under-five children in Kuje area council, Abuja. The study was a cross-sectional study. Multi-stage sampling techniques was used in selecting the population that was studied. Probability proportion by size was applied in choosing 30 clusters for the survey using ENA for SMART software 2011 version. Questionnaires were used to obtain information from the population, while appropriate equipment was used for measurements of anthropometric parameters. The data was also subjected to statistical analysis. Results were presented in tables and figures. The result showed that 96.7% of the children were breastfed, 30.6% had early initiation to breastfeeding within first hour of birth and 22.4% were breastfed exclusively up to 6 months, 69.8% fed infants’ colostrum, while 30.2% discarded colostrum. About half of the respondents (49.1%) introduced complementary feeding before six months and 23.2% introduced it after six months while 27.7% had age appropriate timely introduction of complementary feeding. The anthropometric result showed that the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) was 12.8%, severe wasting prevalence was 5.4%, moderate wasting was 7.4%, underweight was 24.4%, stunting was 40.3% and overweight was 7.0%. The result showed that there is a high prevalence of malnutrition among under-five children in Kuje
Triangular Libration Points in the R3bp under Combined Effects of Oblateness, Radiation and Power-Law Profile
We study the e ffects of oblateness up to J4 of the primaries and power-law density pro file (PDP) on the linear stability of libration location of an in nitesimal mass within the framework of restricted three body problem (R3BP), by using a more realistic model in which a disc with PDP is rotating around the common center of the system mass with perturbed mean motion. The existence and stability of triangular equilibrium points have been explored. It has been shown that triangular equilibrium points are stable for 0 < μ < μc and unstable for μc ≤ μ ≤ 1/2, where c denotes the critical mass parameter. We find that, the oblateness up to J2 of the primaries and the radiation reduces the stability range while the oblateness up to J4 of the primaries increases the size of stability both in the context where PDP is considered and ignored. The PDP has an e ect of about ≈0:01 reduction on the application of c to Earth-Moon and Jupiter-Moons systems. We find that the comprehensive eff ects of the perturbations have a stabilizing proclivity. However, the oblateness up to J2 of the primaries and the radiation of the primaries have tendency for instability, while coecients up to J4 of the primaries have stability predisposition. In the limiting case c = 0, and also by setting appropriate parameter(s) to zero, our results are in excellent agreement with the ones obtained previously. Libration points play a very important role in space mission and as a consequence, our results have a practical application in space dynamics and related areas. The model may be applied to study the navigation and station-keeping operations of spacecraft (in nitesimal mass) around the Jupiter (more massive) -Callisto (less massive) system, where PDP accounts for the circumsolar ring of asteroidal dust, which has a cloud of dust permanently in its wake.
Indian Christian View of God: Exploring Its Trajectory in 20th Century
Christianity is the largest religious tradition of the world. What makes Christianity a world religion is its characteristics of universality and particularity. Its universality and particularity are closely interrelated. Its university is realized and embodied in its particularities and its particularity is recognized and legitimized through its universality. This paper focuses on the dimension of the particularity of Christianity in that it looks at the particularized ideas and discourses of Christian thinking in India in the 20th century and pays attention to the differing shifts and new shades of meaning in Indian Christian notion of God. Drawing upon the writings of select Indian theologians such as Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya, Sundar Sing, A.J Appasamy, Raymond Panikkar, Amalorpavadass and George Soares Prabhhu, this paper delves into how the contexts—be it personal, political, historical or ecclesial—bear upon the way Indian theologians have conceived and constructed the notion of God in their work. Focusing upon how they responded to the signs of their time through their theological narratives, the paper argues that the religion of Christianity can sustain its universality only when it translates its key notions such as God into indigenous categories and local idioms and thus makes itself relevant to the people among whom it is spread. Monotheistic God of Christianity has to accommodate plurality of expressions if Christian idea God has to capture and convey everyone’s experience of God. The case of Indian Christianity then reveals that a monolithic world religion will be experienced and recognised as truly universal only when it sheds its homogeneity and assumes a heterogeneous portrait through the acquisition of local idioms. Allowing culturally diverse idioms to influence theological categories is not inconsequential to—‘accommodating differences and accepting diversities,’ an issue we encounter within and beyond religious domains in our contemporary times.
Indian Christian View of God: Exploring Its Trajectory in 20th Century
Christianity is the largest religious tradition of the world. What makes Christianity a world religion is its characteristics of universality and particularity. Its universality and particularity are closely interrelated. Its university is realized and embodied in its particularities and its particularity is recognized and legitimized through its universality. This paper focuses on the dimension of the particularity of Christianity in that it looks at the particularized ideas and discourses of Christian thinking in India in the 20th century and pays attention to the differing shifts and new shades of meaning in Indian Christian notion of God. Drawing upon the writings of select Indian theologians such as Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya, Sundar Sing, A.J Appasamy, Raymond Panikkar, Amalorpavadass and George Soares Prabhhu, this paper delves into how the contexts—be it personal, political, historical or ecclesial—bear upon the way Indian theologians have conceived and constructed the notion of God in their work. Focusing upon how they responded to the signs of their time through their theological narratives, the paper argues that the religion of Christianity can sustain its universality only when it translates its key notions such as God into indigenous categories and local idioms and thus makes itself relevant to the people among whom it is spread. Monotheistic God of Christianity has to accommodate plurality of expressions if Christian idea God has to capture and convey everyone’s experience of God. The case of Indian Christianity then reveals that a monolithic world religion will be experienced and recognised as truly universal only when it sheds its homogeneity and assumes a heterogeneous portrait through the acquisition of local idioms. Allowing culturally diverse idioms to influence theological categories is not inconsequential to—‘accommodating differences and accepting diversities,’ an issue we encounter within and beyond religious domains in our contemporary times.
Film Review of 'Heroic Saviours and Survivors': The Representation of Sex Trafficking in Popular Films in India
One of the most poignant forms of organized crime against women, which has rarely made it to the world of Indian cinema, is that of sex trafficking, i.e. the forcible involvement of women in the sex trade through fraud or coercion (Hughes, 2005). In the space of Indian cinema, much of the spotlight has been on the sensational drug trafficking and gang mafia of Bombay. During our research on sex trafficking, the rehabilitated women interviewed often expressed strong criticism about mass media’s naive portrayal of prostitutes as money-minting, happy and sexually driven women. They argued that this unrealistic portrayal ignored the fact that this was not a reality for the majority of trafficked women. Given the gravity of sex trafficking as a human rights issue, it is, therefore, refreshing to see three recent films on sex trafficking in Indian Languages – Naa Bangaaru Talli (2014, Telugu), Mardaani (2014, Hindi) and Lakshmi (2014, Hindi). This paper reviews these three films to explore the portrayal of the everyday reality of trafficking for women. Film analysis was used to understand the representation of psychological issues in the media. The strength of these movies starts with their inspirations which are of true stories and that they are all aimed at bringing awareness about the issue of sex trafficking, which is a rising social evil in Indian society though none of the three films move to portray the next phase of rehabilitation and reintegration of victims, which is a very complex and important process in the life of a survivor. According to findings, survivors of sex trafficking find the rehabilitation and reintegration into society to be a slow and tough part of their life as they continuously face stigma and social exclusion and have to strive to live against all odds of non-acceptance starting from their family.
Experimental and Numerical Studies of Droplet Formation
Droplet formation is an important process in many engineering systems and manufacturing procedures, which includes welding, biotechnologies, 3D printing, biochemical, biomedical fields and many more. The volume and the characteristics of droplet formation are generally depended on various material properties, microfluidics and fluid mechanics considerations. Hence, a detailed investigation of this process, with the aid of numerical computational tools, are essential for future design optimization and process controls of many engineering systems. This will also improve the understanding of changes in the properties and the structures of materials, during the formation of the droplet, which is important for new material developments to achieve different functions, pending the requirements of the application. For example, the shape of the formed droplet is critical for the function of some final products, such as the welding nugget during Capacitor Discharge Welding process, or PLA 3D printing, etc. Although, most academic journals on droplet formation, focused on issued with material transfer rate, surface tension and residual stresses, the general emphasis on the characteristics of droplet shape has been overlooked. The proposed work for this project will examine theoretical methodologies, experimental techniques, and numerical modelling, using ANSYS FLUENT, to critically analyse and highlight optimization methods regarding the formation of pendant droplet. The project will also compare results from published data with experimental and numerical work, concerning the effects of key material parameters on the droplet shape. These effects include changes in heating/cooling rates, solidification/melting progression and separation/break-up times. From these tests, a set of objectives is prepared, with an intention of improving quality, stability and productivity in modelling metal welding and 3D printing.
Performance Evaluation of a Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly Prepared from a Reinforced Proton Exchange Membrane
A fuel cell is a device that produces electric power by reacting fuel and oxidant electrochemically. There is no pollution produced from a fuel cell if hydrogen is employed as the fuel. Therefore, a fuel cell is considered as a zero emission device and is a source of green power. A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is the key component of a fuel cell. It is, therefore, beneficial to develop MEAs with high performance. In this study, an MEA for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was prepared from a 15-micron thick reinforced PEM. The active area of such MEA is 25 cm2. Carbon supported platinum (Pt/C) was employed as the catalyst for both anode and cathode. The platinum loading is 0.6 mg/cm2 based on the sum of anode and cathode. Commercially available carbon papers coated with a micro porous layer (MPL) serve as gas diffusion layers (GDLs). The original thickness of the GDL is 250 μm. It was compressed down to 163 μm when assembled into the single cell test fixture. Polarization curves were taken by using eight different test conditions. At our standard test condition (cell: 70 °C; anode: pure hydrogen, 100%RH, 1.2 stoic, ambient pressure; cathode: air, 100%RH, 3.0 stoic, ambient pressure), the cell current density is 1250 mA/cm2 at 0.6 V, and 2400 mA/cm2 at 0.4 V. At self-humidified condition and cell temperature of 55 °C, the cell current density is 1050 mA/cm2 at 0.6 V, and 2250 mA/cm2 at 0.4 V. Hydrogen crossover rate of the MEA is 0.0108 mL/min*cm2 according to linear sweep voltammetry experiments. According to the MEA’s Pt loading and the cyclic voltammetry experiments, the Pt electrochemical surface area is 60 m2/g. The ohmic part of the impedance spectroscopy results shows that the membrane resistance is about 60 mΩ*cm2 when the MEA is operated at 0.6 V.
Excited State Structural Dynamics of Retinal Isomerization Revealed by a Femtosecond X-Ray Laser
Ultrafast isomerization of retinal is the primary step in a range of photoresponsive biological functions including vision in humans and ion-transport across bacterial membranes. We studied the sub-picosecond structural dynamics of retinal isomerization in the light-driven proton pump bacteriorhodopsin using an X-ray laser. Twenty snapshots with near-atomic spatial and temporal resolution in the femtosecond regime show how the excited all-trans retinal samples conformational states within the protein binding pocket prior to passing through a highly-twisted geometry and emerging in the 13-cis conformation. The aspartic acid residues and functional water molecules in proximity of the retinal Schiff base respond collectively to formation and decay of the initial excited state and retinal isomerization. These observations reveal how the protein scaffold guides this remarkably efficient photochemical reaction.
Assessment of Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Goldstripe Sardinella, Sardinella gibbosa in the Transboundary Area of Kenya and Tanzania Using mtDNA and msDNA Markers
Goldstripe Sardinella, Sardinella gibbosa, (Bleeker, 1849) is a commercially and ecologically important small pelagic fish common in the Western Indian Ocean region. The present study aimed to assess genetic diversity and population structure of the species in the Kenya-Tanzania transboundary area using mtDNA and msDNA markers. Some 630 bp sequence in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Cytochrome C Oxidase I (COI) and five polymorphic microsatellite DNA loci were analyzed. Fin clips of 309 individuals from eight locations within the transboundary area were collected between July and December 2018. The S. gibbosa individuals from the different locations were distinguishable from one another based on the mtDNA variation, as demonstrated with a neighbor-joining tree and minimum spanning network analysis. None of the identified 22 haplotypes were shared between Kenya and Tanzania. Gene diversity per locus was relatively high (0.271-0.751), highest Fis was 0.391. The structure analysis, discriminant analysis of Principal component (DAPC) and the pair-wise (FST = 0.136 P < 0.001) values after Bonferroni correction using five microsatellite loci provided clear inference on genetic differentiation and thus evidence of population structure of S. gibbosa along the Kenya-Tanzania coast. This study shows a high level of genetic diversity and the presence of population structure (Φst =0.078 P < 0.001) resulting to the existence of four populations giving a clear indication of minimum gene flow among the population. This information has application in the designing of marine protected areas, an important tool for marine conservation.
Molecular Dynamic Simulation of Cold Spray Process
Cold Spray (CS) process is deposition of solid particles over a substrate above a certain critical impact velocity. Unlike thermal spray processes, CS process does not melt the particles thus retaining their original physical and chemical properties. These characteristics make CS process ideal for various engineering applications involving metals, polymers, ceramics and composites. The bonding mechanism involved in CS process is extremely complex considering the dynamic nature of the process. Though CS process offers great promise for several engineering applications, the realization of its full potential is limited by the lack of understanding of the complex mechanisms involved in this process and the effect of critical process parameters on the deposition efficiency. The goal of this research is to understand the complex nanoscale mechanisms involved in CS process. The study uses Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation technique to understand the material deposition phenomenon during the CS process. Impact of a single crystalline copper nanoparticle on copper substrate is modelled under varying process conditions. The quantitative results of the impacts at different velocities, impact angle and size of the particles are evaluated using flattening ratio, von Mises stress distribution and local shear strain. The study finds that the flattening ratio and hence the quality of deposition was highest for an impact velocity of 700 m/s, particle size of 20 Å and an impact angle of 90°. The stress and strain analysis revealed regions of shear instabilities in the periphery of impact and also revealed plastic deformation of the particles after the impact. The results of this study can be used to augment our existing knowledge in the field of CS processes.
Disadvantaged Adolescents and Educational Delay in South Africa: Impacts of Personal, Family, and School Characteristics
Educational delay and non-completion are major policy concerns in South Africa. However, little research has focused on predictors for educational delay amongst adolescents in disadvantaged areas. This study has two aims: first, to use data integration approaches to compare the educational delay of 599 adolescents aged 16 to 18 from disadvantaged communities to national and provincial representative estimates in South Africa. Second, the paper also explores predictors for educational delay by comparing adolescents out of school (n=64) and at least one year behind (n=380), with adolescents in the age-appropriate grade or higher (n=155). Multinomial logistic regression models using self-report and administrative data were applied to look for significant associations of risk and protective factors. Significant risk factors for being behind (rather than in age-appropriate grade) were: male gender, past grade repetition, rural location and larger school size. Risk factors for being out of school (rather than in the age-appropriate grade) were: past grade repetition, having experienced problems concentrating at school, household poverty, and food insecurity. Significant protective factors for being in the age-appropriate grade (rather than out of school) were: living with biological parents or grandparents and access to school counselling. Attending school in wealthier communities was a significant protective factor for being in the age-appropriate grade (rather than behind). Our results suggest that both personal and contextual factors –family and school- predicted educational delay. This study provides new evidence to the significant effects of personal, family, and school characteristics on the educational outcomes of adolescents from disadvantaged communities in South Africa. This is the first longitudinal and quantitative study to systematically investigate risk and protective factors for post-compulsory educational outcomes amongst South African adolescents living in disadvantaged communities.
Exploring the Non-Verbalizable in Conservation Grazing: The Contradictions Illuminated by a ‘Go-Along’ Methodology
This paper is concerned with volunteer livestock checking. Based on a pilot study consisting of ‘go-along’ interviews with livestock checkers, it argues that there are limitations to the insights that can be generated from approaches to ‘discourse analysis’ that would focus only on the verbalizable aspects of the practice. Volunteer livestock checking takes place across Europe as part of conservation projects aimed at maintaining particular habitats through the reintroduction of grazing animals. Volunteers are variously called ‘urban shepherds’, because these practices often take place on urban fringes, or ‘lookerers’, as their role is to make visual checks on the animals. Pilot research that took place on the South Downs (a chalk downland habitat on the South Coast of the UK) involved researchers accompanying volunteers as they checked on livestock. They were asked to give an account of what they were doing and then answer semi-structured interview questions. Participants drew on popular discourses on conservation and biodiversity, as framed by the local council who run the programme. They also framed their relationships to the animals in respect to the more formal limitations of their role as identified through the conservation programme. And yet these discourses, significant as they are, do not adequately explain why volunteers are drawn to, and emotionally invested in, lookering. The methodology employed allowed participants instead to gesture to features of the landscape and to recall memories, and for the researchers to see how volunteers interacted with the animals and the landscape in embodied and emotionally loaded ways. The paper argues that a psychosocial perspective that pays attention to the contradictions and tensions made visible through this methodology helps develop a fuller understanding of volunteer livestock checking as a social practice.
Effects of Inlet Filtration Pressure Loss on Single and Two-Spool Gas Turbine
Gas turbine operators have been faced with the dramatic financial setback resulting from compressor fouling. In a highly deregulated power industry where there is stiffness in the market competition, has made it imperative to improvise means of reducing maintenance cost in other to yield maximum profit. Compressor fouling results from the deposition of contaminants in the presence of oil and moisture on the compressor blade or annulus surfaces, which leads to a loss in flow capacity and compressor efficiency. These combined effects reduce power output, increase heat rate and cause creep life reduction. This paper also contains a model of two gas turbine engines via Cranfield University software known as TURBOMATCH, which is simulation software for detecting engine fouling rate. The model engines are of different configurations and capacities, and are operating in two different modes of constant output power and turbine inlet temperature for a two and three stage filter system. The idea is to investigate the more economically viable filtration systems by gas turbine users based on performance only. It has been demonstrated in the results that the two spool engine is a little more beneficial compared to the single spool. This is as a result of a higher pressure ratio of the two spools as well as the deceleration of the high-pressure compressor and high-pressure turbine speed in a constant TET. Meanwhile, the inlet filtration system was properly designed and balanced with a well-timed and economical compressor washing regime/scheme to control compressor fouling. The different technologies of inlet air filtration and compressor washing are considered and an attempt at optimization with respect to the cost of a combination of both control measures are made.
Geospatial Curve Fitting Methods for Disease Mapping of Tuberculosis in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
To interpolate scattered or regularly distributed data, there are imprecise or exact methods. However, there are some of these methods that could be used for interpolating data in a regular grid and others in an irregular grid. In spatial epidemiology, it is important to examine how a disease prevalence rates are distributed in space, and how they relate with each other within a defined distance and direction. In this study, for the geographic and graphic representation of the disease prevalence, linear and biharmonic spline methods were implemented in MATLAB, and used to identify, localize and compare for smoothing in the distribution patterns of tuberculosis (TB) in Eastern Cape Province. The aim of this study is to produce a more “smooth” graphical disease map for TB prevalence patterns by a 3-D curve fitting techniques, especially the biharmonic splines that can suppress noise easily, by seeking a least-squares fit rather than exact interpolation. The datasets are represented generally as a 3D or XYZ triplets, where X and Y are the spatial coordinates and Z is the variable of interest and in this case, TB counts in the province. This smoothing spline is a method of fitting a smooth curve to a set of noisy observations using a spline function, and it has also become the conventional method for its high precision, simplicity and flexibility. Surface and contour plots are produced for the TB prevalence at the provincial level for 2012 – 2015. From the results, the general outlook of all the fittings showed a systematic pattern in the distribution of TB cases in the province and this is consistent with some spatial statistical analyses carried out in the province. This new method is rarely used in disease mapping applications, but it has a superior advantage to be assessed at subjective locations rather than only on a rectangular grid as seen in most traditional GIS methods of geospatial analyses.
Empirical Study of Correlation between the Cost Performance Index Stability and the Project Cost Forecast Accuracy in Construction Projects
Earned value management (EVM) has been introduced as an integrated method to combine schedule, budget, and work breakdown structure (WBS). EVM provides various indices to demonstrate project performance including the cost performance index (CPI). CPI is also used to forecast final project cost at completion based on the cost performance during the project execution. Knowing the final project cost during execution can initiate corrective actions, which can enhance project outputs. CPI, however, is not constant during the project, and calculating the final project cost using a variable index is an inaccurate and challenging task for practitioners. Since CPI is based on the cumulative progress values and because of the learning curve effect, CPI variation dampens and stabilizes as project progress. Although various definitions for the CPI stability have been proposed in literature, many scholars have agreed upon the definition that considers a project as stable if the CPI at 20% completion varies less than 0.1 from the final CPI. While 20% completion point is recognized as the stability point for military development projects, construction projects stability have not been studied. In the current study, an empirical study was first conducted using construction project data to determine the stability point for construction projects. Early findings have demonstrated that a majority of construction projects stabilize towards completion (i.e., after 70% completion point). To investigate the effect of CPI stability on cost forecast accuracy, the correlation between CPI stability and project cost at completion forecast accuracy was also investigated. It was determined that as projects progress closer towards completion, variation of the CPI decreases and final project cost forecast accuracy increases. Most projects were found to have 90% accuracy in the final cost forecast at 70% completion point, which is inlined with findings from the CPI stability findings. It can be concluded that early stabilization of the project CPI results in more accurate cost at completion forecasts.
Amino Acid Profile, Protein Digestibility, Antioxidant and Functional Properties of Protein Concentrate of Local Varieties (Kwandala, Yardass, Jeep, and Jamila) of Rice Brands from Nigeria
There is growing interest in the use of rice bran protein in food formulation due to its hypoallergenic protein, high nutritional value and health promoting potentials. For the first time, the amino acid profile, protein digestibility, antioxidant, and functional properties of protein concentrate from some local varieties of rice bran from Nigeria were studied for possible food applications. Protein concentrates were prepared from rice bran and analysed using standard methods. Results showed that protein content of Kwandala, Yardass, Jeep, and Jamila were 69.24%, 69.97%, 68.73%, and 71.62%, respectively while total essential amino acid were 52.71, 53.03, 51.86, and 55.75g/100g protein, respectively. In vitro protein digestibility of protein concentrate from Kwandala, Yardass, Jeep and Jamila were 90.70%, 91.39%, 90.57% and 91.63% respectively. DPPH radical inhibition of protein from Kwandala, Yardass, Jeep, and Jamila were 48.15%, 48.90%, 47.56%, and 53.29%, respectively while ferric reducing ability power were 0.52, 0.55, 0.47 and 0.67mmol TE per gram, respectively. Protein concentrate from Jamila had higher onset (92.57oC) and denaturation temperature (102.13oC), and enthalpy (0.72J/g) than Jeep (91.46oC, 101.76oC, and 0.68J/g, respectively), Kwandala (90.32oC, 100.54oC and 0.57J/g, respectively), and Yardass (88.94oC, 99.45oC, and 0.51J/g, respectively). In vitro digestibility of protein from Kwandala, Yardas, Jeep, and Jamila were 90.70%, 91.39%, 90.57% and 91.63% respectively. Oil absorption capacity of Kwandala, Yardass, Jeep, and Jamila were 3.61, 3.73, 3.40, and 4.23g oil/g sample respectively, while water absorption capacity were 4.19, 4.32, 3.55 and 4.48g water/g sample, respectively. Protein concentrates had low bulk density (0.37-0.43g/ml). Protein concentrate from Jamila rice bran had the highest foam capacity (37.25%), followed by Yardass (34.20%), Kwandala (30.14%) and Jeep (28.90%). Protein concentrates showed low emulsifying and gelling capacities. In conclusion, protein concentrate prepared from these local rice bran varieties could serve as functional ingredients in food formulations and for enriching low protein foods.
Translation of the Bible into the Yoruba Language: A Functionalist Approach in Resolving Cultural Problems
Through comparative and causal models of translation, this paper examined the translation of ‘bread’ into the Yoruba language in three Yoruba versions of the Bible: Bibeli Yoruba Atoka (YBA), Bibeli Mimo ni Ede Yoruba Oni (BMY) and Bibeli Mimo (BM). In biblical times, bread was a very important delicacy that it was synonymous with food in general and in the Bible, bread sometimes refers to a type of food (a mixture of flour, water, and yeast that is baked) or food in general. However, this is not the case in the Yoruba culture. In fact, some decades ago, bread was not known in Nigeria and had no name in the Yoruba language until the 1900s when it was codified as burẹdi in Yoruba, a term borrowed from English and transliterated. Nevertheless, in Nigeria presently, bread is not a special food and it is not appreciated or consumed like in the West. This makes it difficult to translate bread in the Bible into Yoruba. From an investigation on the translation of this term, it was discovered that bread which has 330 occurrences in the English Bible translation (King James) has few occurrences in the three Yoruba Bible versions. In the first version (YBA) published in the 1880s, where bread is synonymous with food in general, it is mostly translated as oúnjẹ (food) or the verb jẹ (to eat), revealing that something is eaten but not indicating what it is. However, when the bread is a type of food, it is rendered as akara, a special delicacy of the Yoruba people made from beans flour. In the later version (BMY) published in the 1990s, bread as food, in general, is also mainly translated as oúnjẹ or the verb jẹ, but when it is a type of food, it is translated as akara with few occurrences of burẹdi. In the latest edition (BM), bread as food is either rendered as ounje or literally translated as burẹdi. Where it is a type of food in this version, it is mainly rendered as burẹdi with few occurrences of akara, indicating the assimilation of bread into the Yoruba culture. This result, although limited, shows that the Bible was translated into Yoruba to make it accessible to Yoruba speakers in their everyday language, hence the application of both domesticating and foreignising strategies. This research also emphasizes the role of the translator as an intermediary between two cultures.
Applying Cognitive Psychology to Education: Translational Educational Science
The scientific study of human learning and memory is now more than 125 years old. Psychologists have conducted thousands of experiments, correlational analyses, and field studies during this time, in addition to other research conducted by those from neighboring fields. A huge knowledge base has been carefully built up over the decades. Given this backdrop, we may ask ourselves: What great changes in education have resulted from this huge research base? How has the scientific study of learning and memory changed practices in education from those of, say, a century ago? Have we succeeded in building a translational educational science to rival medical science (in which biological knowledge is translated into medical practice) or types of engineering (in which, e.g., basic knowledge in chemistry is translated into products through chemical engineering)? The answer, I am afraid, is rather mixed. Psychologists and psychological research have influenced educational practice, but in fits and starts. After all, some of the great founders of American psychology—William James, Edward L. Thorndike, John Dewey, and others—are also revered as important figures in the history of education. And some psychological research and ideas have made their way into education—for instance, computer-based cognitive tutors for some specific topics have been developed in recent years—and in years past, such practices as teaching machines, programmed learning, and, in higher education, the Keller Plan were all important. These older practices have not been sustained. Was that because they failed or because of a lack of systematic research showing they were effective? At any rate, in 2012, we cannot point to a well-developed translational educational science in which research about learning and memory, thinking and reasoning, and related topics is moved from the lab into controlled field trials (like clinical trials in medicine) and the tested techniques, if they succeed, are introduced into broad educational practice. We are just not there yet, and one question that arises is how we could achieve a translational educational science.
Relationship between Monthly Shrimp Catch Rates and the Oceanography-Related Variables
Correlations between oceanographic variables and monthly catch rates of total shrimp and those of each of the major species (Penaeus semisulcatus, Metapenaeus affinis and Parapenaeopsis stylifera) showed significant differences for particular conditions. Catches of P. semisulcatus were basically positively correlated with temperature, i.e., the higher the temperature, the higher the catch rate, while those of M. affinis and P. stylifera were negatively correlated with temperature, i.e., high catch rates occurred in the low temperature waters. Thus, during the months January and April, P. semisulcatus preferred waters with high temperature, usually the offshore and southern areas, while M. affinis and P. stylifera preferred waters with low temperature, usually inshore and northern areas. The relationships between the catch rate of P. semisulcatus and salinity were not so clear. Results indicated that although salinity was one of the factors affecting the distribution of P. semisulcatus, it was not the principal factor, and impacts from other variables, such as temperature, might overshadow the correlation between the catch rates of P. semisulcatus and salinity. The relationship between shrimp catch rates and dissolved oxygen (DO) also showed mixed results. The catch rates of M. affinis increased with a decrease of surface DO in November 2013, but decreased with lower bottom DO in December. These results indicated that DO might be a factor affecting distributions of the shrimp; however; the true correlation between catch rate and DO might be easily overshadowed by other environmental variables. Catch rates of P. semisulcatus did not show any relationship with depth. P. semisulcatus is a migratory species and widely distributed in Kuwait's waters.During the shrimp season from July through December, P. semisulcatus occurs in almost all areas in Kuwait's waters irrespective of water depth. The catch rates of M. affinis and P. stylifera, however, showed clear relationships with depth. Both species had significantly higher catch rates in shallower waters, indicative of their restricted distribution.
Comparing the Contribution of General Vocabulary Knowledge and Academic Vocabulary Knowledge to Learners' Academic Achievement
Coxhead’s (2000) Academic Word List (AWL) believed to be essential for students pursuing higher education and helps differentiate English for Academic Purposes (EAP) from General English as a course of study, and it is thought to be important for comprehending English academic texts. It has been described that AWL is an infrequent, discrete set of vocabulary items unreachable from general language. On the other hand, it has been known for a period of time that general vocabulary knowledge is a good predictor of academic achievement. This study, however, is an attempt to measure and compare the contribution of academic knowledge and general vocabulary knowledge to learners’ GPA and examine what knowledge is a better predictor of academic achievement and investigate whether AWL as a specialised list of infrequent words relates to the frequency effect. The participants were comprised of 44 international postgraduate students in Swansea University, all from the School of Management, following the taught MSc (Master of Science). The study employed the Academic Vocabulary Size Test (AVST) and the XK_Lex vocabulary size test. The findings indicate that AWL is a list based on word frequency rather than a discrete and unique word list and that the AWL performs the same function as general vocabulary, with tests of each found to measure largely the same quality of knowledge. The findings also suggest that the contribution that AWL knowledge provides for academic success is not sufficient and that general vocabulary knowledge is better in predicting academic achievement. Furthermore, the contribution that academic knowledge added above the contribution of general vocabulary knowledge when combined is really small and noteworthy. This study’s results are in line with the argument and suggest that it is the development of general vocabulary size is an essential quality for academic success and acquiring the words of the AWL will form part of this process. The AWL by itself does not provide sufficient coverage, and is probably not specialised enough, for knowledge of this list to influence this general process. It can be concluded that AWL as an academic word list epitomizes only a fraction of words that are actually needed for academic success in English and that knowledge of academic vocabulary combined with general vocabulary knowledge above the most frequent 3000 words is what matters most to ultimate academic success.
Application of a Lighting Design Method Using Mean Room Surface Exitance
The visual needs of people in modern work based buildings are changing. Self-illuminated screens of computers, televisions, tablets and smart phones have changed the relationship between people and the lit environment. In the past, lighting design practice was primarily based on providing uniform horizontal illuminance on the working plane, but this has failed to ensure good quality lit environments. Lighting standards of today continue to be set based upon a 100 year old approach that at its core, considers the task illuminance of the utmost importance, with this task typically being located on a horizontal plane. An alternative method focused on appearance has been proposed, as opposed to the traditional performance based approach. Mean Room Surface Exitance (MRSE) and Target-Ambient Illuminance Ratio (TAIR) are two new metrics proposed to assess illumination adequacy in interiors. The hypothesis is that these factors will be superior to the existing metrics used, which are horizontal illuminance led. For the six past years, research has examined this, within the Dublin Institute of Technology, with a view to determining the suitability of this approach for application to general lighting practice. Since the start of this research, a number of key findings have been produced that centered on how occupants will react to various levels of MRSE. This paper provides a broad update on how this research has progressed. More specifically, this paper will: i) Demonstrate how MRSE can be measured using HDR images technology, ii) Illustrate how MRSE can be calculated using scripting and an open source lighting computation engine, iii) Describe experimental results that demonstrate how occupants have reacted to various levels of MRSE within experimental office environments.
Building Atmospheric Moisture Diagnostics: Environmental Monitoring and Data Collection
Efficient mould remediation and accurate moisture diagnostics leading to condensation and mould growth in dwellings are largely untapped. Number of factors are contributing to the rising trend of excessive moisture in homes mainly linked with modern living, increased levels of occupation and rising fuel costs, as well as making homes more energy efficient. Environmental monitoring by means of data collection though loggers sensors and survey forms has been performed in a range of buildings from different UK regions. Air and surface temperature and relative humidity values of residential areas affected by condensation and/or mould issues were recorded. Additional measurements were taken through different trials changing type, location, and position of loggers. In some instances, IR thermal images and ventilation rates have also been acquired. Results have been interpreted together with environmental key parameters by processing and connecting data from loggers and survey questionnaires, both in buildings with and without moisture issues. Monitoring exercises carried out during Winter and Spring time show the importance of developing and following accurate protocols for guidance to obtain consistent, repeatable and comparable results and to improve the performance of environmental monitoring. A model and a protocol are being developed to build a diagnostic tool with the goal of performing a simple but precise residential atmospheric moisture diagnostics to distinguish the cause entailing condensation and mould generation, i.e., ventilation, insulation or heating systems issue. This research shows the relevance of monitoring and processing environmental data to assign moisture risk levels and determine the origin of condensation or mould when dealing with a building atmospheric moisture excess.
Dosimetric Dependence on the Collimator Angle in Prostate Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy
Purpose: This study investigates the dose-volume variations in planning target volume (PTV) and organs-at-risk (OARs) using different collimator angles for smart arc prostate volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Awareness of the collimator angle for PTV and OARs sparing is essential for the planner because optimization contains numerous treatment constraints producing a complex, unstable and computationally challenging problem throughout its examination of an optimal plan in a rational time. Materials and Methods: Single arc VMAT plans at different collimator angles varied systematically (0°-90°) were performed on a Harold phantom and a new treatment plan is optimized for each collimator angle. We analyzed the conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI), gradient index (GI), monitor units (MUs), dose-volume histogram, mean and maximum doses to PTV. We also explored OARs (e.g. bladder, rectum and femoral heads), dose-volume criteria in the treatment plan (e.g. D30%, D50%, V30Gy and V38Gy of bladder and rectum; D5%,V14Gy and V22Gy of femoral heads), dose-volume histogram, mean and maximum doses for smart arc VMAT at different collimator angles. Results: There was no significance difference found in VMAT optimization at all studied collimator angles. However, if 0.5% accuracy is concerned then collimator angle = 45° provides higher CI and lower HI. Collimator angle = 15° also provides lower HI values like collimator angle 45°. It is seen that collimator angle = 75° is established as a good for rectum and right femur sparing. Collimator angle = 90° and collimator angle = 30° were found good for rectum and left femur sparing respectively. The PTV dose coverage statistics for each plan are comparatively independent of the collimator angles. Conclusion: It is concluded that this study will help the planner to have freedom to choose any collimator angle from (0°-90°) for PTV coverage and select a suitable collimator angle to spare OARs.
Isolation Enhancement of Compact Dual-Band Printed Multiple Input Multiple Output Antenna for WLAN Applications
Recently, the demand for wireless communications systems to cover more than one frequency band (multi-band) with high data rate has been increased for both fixed and mobile services. Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology is one of the significant solutions for attaining these requirements and to achieve the maximum channel capacity of the wireless communications systems. The main issue associated with MIMO antennas especially in portable devices is the compact space between the radiating elements which leads to limit the physical separation between them. This issue exacerbates the performance of the MIMO antennas by increasing the mutual coupling between the radiating elements. In other words, the mutual coupling will be stronger if the radiating elements of the MIMO antenna are closer. This paper presents a low–profile dual-band (2×1) MIMO antenna that works at 2.4GHz, 5.3GHz and 5.8GHz for wireless local area networks (WLAN) applications. A neutralization line (NL) technique for enhancing the isolation has been used by introducing a strip line with a length of λg/4 at the isolation frequency (2.4GHz) between the radiating elements. The overall dimensions of the antenna are 33.5 x 36 x 1.6 mm³. The fabricated prototype shows a good agreement between the simulated and measured results. The antenna impedance bandwidths are 2.38–2.75 GHz and 4.4–6 GHz for the lower and upper band respectively; the reflection coefficient and mutual coupling are better than -25 dB in both lower and higher bands. The MIMO antenna performance characteristics are reported in terms of the scattering parameters, envelope correlation coefficient (ECC), total active reflection coefficient, capacity loss, antenna gain, and radiation patterns. Analysis of these characteristics indicates that the design is appropriate for the WLAN terminal applications.
The Role of Chennai NGOs in Combatting Human Trafficking
Sex trafficking is a type of human trafficking involving prostitution of individuals for sexual exploitation. The stigma and social isolation they face in the society often makes it difficult for them to become rehabilitated from trafficking, due to which many of them continue in prostitution for years after being sex trafficked. Victims are subjected to violations of their fundamental human rights, deprived of basic medical facilities and undergo long-term abuse. This paper focuses on the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the rescue and rehabilitation of victims of sex trafficking. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 survivors of sex trafficking, five sex workers and 14 non-community staff members of a project running NGO in the city of Chennai in South India. Chennai has a number of NGOs that are involved in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs. In many cases, rehabilitation of sex trafficking victims is also a mandate of these NGOs. This particular NGO was also involved in development activities towards the eradication of HIV/AIDS. For instance, they were engaged in inculcating safe sex practices among high-risk groups such as sex workers or in fighting for sex worker rights. The study found that the NGO’s role in combatting sex trafficking is overrun by the way it approaches these issue related to HIV/AIDS. Further, their activities are dependent solely on funding. Given that gradually, international funding for HIV/AIDS has slowly been withdrawn, there have been problems such as reduction in the salary of the project staff, the outreach workers and peer educators, many of whom were survivors of sex trafficking who have been able to survive on their wages instead of continuing in prostitution. Therefore, till date, the project funding has helped in making them aware of the health and social consequences of continuing in prostitution, and in supporting them socioeconomically, but the lack of funding may also lead the NGO workers into a state of unemployment, poverty and eventually into being re-trafficked. The study concludes by pointing to the need for disengaging anti-trafficking efforts from the HIV/AIDS related programs.
Pilgrimage: Between Culture and Religion Case study of Pilgrimage in Shia tradition in Indonesia, Traditional Philosophy approach of Seyyed Hosein Nasr and Religious Experience of William James
Pilgrimage has a universal value, founded in every religion. No exception to Islam, has a ritual value, and became part of the religion, as well as the procession of a social culture in nature. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia, rooted in the society, because the Islam that entered into the archipelago through Sufism (tasawuf). In the Sufi tradition, the interconnecty of the human spirit (ruh) to the spirit (ruh) of God, must go through a guardian (wasilah) appointed by God himself ,the prophet Muhammad and wali. In the process of pilgrimage rituals usually by reading the prayer to praise God, the prophet and wali, then convey intent (hajat). In the pilgrimage procession, usually not only done in the house, but aslo completed the process by direct pilgrimage visiting the tombs of saints. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia continues to be maintained, and still attached to the traditions in Nahdiyin (NU followers). The relationship with God manifested in wasilah prayer to God, the prophet Muhammad, the best companions of the Prophet and Nine wali (Songo), who had been influential in spreading Islam in Java. The tradition of pilgrimage in Indonesia is also linked to the Shia community in Indonesia, along with a growing number of followers of the Shia in Indonesia, especially after the Islamic revolution of Iran after the 1979. Pilgrimage in the Shia community, Likewise NU members also pray with supplication of tawasul to the Prophet and Shia Imams. If NU members to make improvements pilgrimage to visit the tomb wali Songo in Java, residents Shia pilgrimage rituals abroad, usually one package with umrah trip, with a pilgrimage to the tomb of the prophet, proceed to the tomb of the Imam Shia, in Iran and Iraq. Trends of pilgrimage as a ritual in the Indonesian Shia tradition, together with the growing number of Shia residents increased, followed by increasing the awareness (syi’isme) - bond with the Imam, Shia. In every certain months (arbaeen, asyuro) Shia pilgrims routinely perform pilgrimage, along with increasing number spiritual travel.
Maintenance Performance Measurement Derived Optimization: A Case Study
Maintenance performance measurement (MPM) represents an integrated aspect that considers both operational and maintenance related aspects while evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of maintenance to ensure assets are working as they should. Three salient issues require to be addressed for an asset-intensive organization to employ an MPM-based framework to optimize maintenance. Firstly, the organization should establish important perfomance metric(s), in this case the maintenance objective(s), which they will be focuss on. The second issue entails aligning the maintenance objective(s) with maintenance optimization. This is achieved by deriving maintenance performance indicators that subsequently form an objective function for the optimization program. Lastly, the objective function is employed in an optimization program to derive maintenance decision support. In this study, we develop a framework that initially identifies the crucial maintenance performance measures, and employs them to derive maintenance decision support. The proposed framework is demonstrated in a case study of a geothermal drilling rig, where the objective function is evaluated utilizing a simulation-based model whose parameters are derived from empirical maintenance data. Availability, reliability and maintenance inventory are depicted as essential objectives requiring further attention. A simulation model is developed mimicking a drilling rig operations and maintenance where the sub-systems are modelled undergoing imperfect maintenance, corrective (CM) and preventive (PM), with the total cost as the primary performance measurement. Moreover, three maintenance spare inventory policies are considered; classical (retaining stocks for a contractual period), vendor-managed inventory with consignment stock and periodic monitoring order-to-stock (s, S) policy. Optimization results infer that the adoption of (s, S) inventory policy, increased PM interval and reduced reliance of CM actions offers improved availability and total costs reduction.
River Network Delineation from Sentinel 1 Synthetic Aperture Radar Data
In many regions of the world, especially in developing countries, river network data are outdated or completely absent, yet such information is critical for supporting important functions such as flood mitigation efforts, land use and transportation planning, and the management of water resources. In this study, a method was developed for delineating river networks using Sentinel 1 imagery. Unsupervised classification was applied to multi-temporal Sentinel 1 data to discriminate water bodies from other land covers then the outputs were combined to generate a single persistent water bodies product. A thinning algorithm was then used to delineate river centre lines, which were converted into vector features and built into a topologically structured geometric network. The complex river system of the Niger Delta was used to compare the performance of the Sentinel-based method against alternative freely available water body products from United States Geological Survey, European Space Agency and OpenStreetMap and a river network derived from a Shuttle Rader Topography Mission Digital Elevation Model. From both raster-based and vector-based accuracy assessments, it was found that the Sentinel-based river network products were superior to the comparator data sets by a substantial margin. The geometric river network that was constructed permitted a flow routing analysis which is important for a variety of environmental management and planning applications. The extracted network will potentially be applied for modelling dispersion of hydrocarbon pollutants in Ogoniland, a part of the Niger Delta. The approach developed in this study holds considerable potential for generating up to date, detailed river network data for the many countries where such data are deficient.
Effective Infection Control Measures to Prevent Transmission of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms from Burn Transfer Cases in a Regional Burn Centre
Introduction: Regional burn centres face the spectra of introduced multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) from transfer patients resident in MDRO endemic countries. MDRO can cause severe nosocomial infection, which in massive burn patients, will lead to greater morbidity and mortality and strain the institution financially. We aim to highlight 4 key measures that have effectively prevented transmission of imported MDRO. Methods: A case of Candida auris (C. auris) from a massive burn patient transferred from an MDRO endemic country is used to illustrate the measures. C. auris is a globally emerging multi-drug resistant fungal pathogen causing nosocomial transmission. Results: Infection control measures used to mitigate the risk of outbreak from transfer cases are: (1) Multidisciplinary team approach involving Infection Control and Infectious Disease specialists early to ensure appropriate antibiotics use and implementation of barrier measures, (2) aseptic procedures for dressing change with strict isolation and donning of personal protective equipment in the ward, (3) early screening of massive burn patient from MDRO endemic region, (4) hydrogen peroxide vaporization terminal cleaning for operating theatres and rooms. Conclusion: The prevalence of air travel and international transfer to regional burn centres will need effective infection control measures to reduce the risk of transmission from imported massive burn patients. In our centre, we have effectively implemented 4 measures which have reduced the risks of local contamination. We share a recent case report to illustrate successful management of a potential MDRO outbreak resulting from transfer of massive burn patient resident in an MDRO endemic area.
Higher Education and the Economy in Western Canada: Is Institutional Autonomy at Risk?
Canada’s westernmost provinces of British Columbia and Alberta are similar in many respects as they are both reliant on volatile natural resources for major portions of their economies. The two provinces have banded together to develop mutually beneficial trade, investment and labour market mobility rules, but in terms of developing systems of higher education, the two provinces are attempting to align higher education programs to economic development objectives by means that are quite different. In British Columbia, the recently announced initiative, B.C’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint will “make sure education and training programs are aligned with the demands of the labor market.” Meanwhile in Alberta, the province’s institutions of higher education are enjoying the tenth year of their membership in the Campus Alberta Quality Council, which makes recommendations to government on issues related to post-secondary education, including the approval of new programs. In B.C., public institutions of higher education are encouraged to comply with government objectives, and are rewarded with targeted funds for their efforts. In Alberta, the institutions as a system tell the government what programs they want to offer and government can agree or not agree to fund these programs through a ministerial approval process. In comparing the two higher education systems, the question emerges as to which one is more beneficial to the province: the one where change is directed primarily by financial incentives to achieve economic objectives or the one that makes recommendations to the government for changes in programs to achieve institutional objectives? How is institutional autonomy affected in each strategy? Does institutional autonomy matter anymore? In recent years, much has been written in regard to academic freedom, but less about institutional autonomy, which is seen by many as essential to protecting academic freedom. However, while institutional autonomy means freedom from government control, it does not necessarily mean self-government. In this study, a comparison of the two higher education systems is made using recent government policy initiatives in both provinces, and responses to those actions by the higher education institutions. The findings indicate that the economic needs in both provinces take precedence over issues of institutional autonomy.
Risk Analysis of Flood Physical Vulnerability in Residential Areas of Mathare Nairobi, Kenya
Vulnerability assessment and analysis is essential to solving the degree of damage and loss as a result of natural disasters. Urban flooding causes a major economic loss and casualties, at Mathare residential area in Nairobi, Kenya. High population caused by rural-urban migration, Unemployment, and unplanned urban development are among factors that increase flood vulnerability in Mathare area. This study aims to analyse flood risk physical vulnerabilities in Mathare based on scientific data, research data that includes the Rainfall data, River Mathare discharge rate data, Water runoff data, field survey data and questionnaire survey through sampling of the study area have been used to develop the risk curves. Three structural types of building were identified in the study area, vulnerability and risk curves were made for these three structural types by plotting the relationship between flood depth and damage for each structural type. The results indicate that the structural type with mud wall and mud floor is the most vulnerable building to flooding while the structural type with stone walls and concrete floor is least vulnerable. The vulnerability of building contents is mainly determined by the number of floors, where households with two floors are least vulnerable, and households with a one floor are most vulnerable. Therefore more than 80% of the residential buildings including the property in the building are highly vulnerable to floods consequently exposed to high risk. When estimating the potential casualties/injuries we discovered that the structural types of houses were major determinants where the mud/adobe structural type had casualties of 83.7% while the Masonry structural type had casualties of 10.71% of the people living in these houses. This research concludes that flood awareness, warnings and observing the building codes will enable reduce damage to the structural types of building, deaths and reduce damage to the building contents.
Use of Locally Effective Microorganisms in Conjunction with Biochar to Remediate Mine-Impacted Soils
The Oronogo-Duenweg mining belt –approximately 20 square miles around the Joplin, Missouri area– is a designated United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site due to lead-contaminated soil and groundwater by former mining and smelting operations. Over almost a century of mining (from 1848 to the late 1960’s), an estimated ten million tons of cadmium, lead, and zinc containing material have been deposited on approximately 9,000 acres. Sites that have undergone remediation, in which the O, A, and B horizons have been removed along with the lead contamination, the exposed C horizon remains incalcitrant to revegetation efforts. These sites also suffer from poor soil microbial activity, as measured by soil extracellular enzymatic assays, though 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) indicates that microbial diversity is equal to sites that have avoided mine-related contamination. Soil analysis reveals low soil organic carbon, along with high levels of bio-available zinc, that reflect the poor soil fertility conditions and low microbial activity. Our study looked at the use of several materials to restore and remediate these sites, with the goal of improving soil health. The following materials, and their purposes for incorporation into the study, were as follows: manure-based biochar for the binding of zinc and other heavy metals responsible for phytotoxicity, locally sourced biosolids and compost to incorporate organic carbon into the depleted soils, effective microorganisms harvested from nearby pristine sites to provide a stable community for nutrient cycling in the newly composited 'soil material'. Our results indicate that all four materials used in conjunction result in the greatest benefit to these mine-impacted soils, based on above ground biomass, microbial biomass, and soil enzymatic activities.
Hypertensive Response to Maximal Exercise Test in Young and Middle Age Hypertensive on Blood Pressure Lowering Medication: Monotherapy vs. Combination Therapy
Background: Hypertensive response during maximal exercise test provides important information on the level of blood pressure control and evaluation of treatment. Method: A single center retrospective descriptive study was conducted among 117 young (aged 20 to 40) and middle age (aged 40 to 65) hypertensive patients, who underwent treadmill stress test. Currently on maintenance frontline medication either monotherapy (Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/Angiotensin receptor blocker [ACEi/ARB], Calcium channel blocker [CCB], Diuretic - Hydrochlorthiazide [HCTZ]) or combination therapy (ARB+CCB, ARB+HCTZ), who attained a maximal exercise on treadmill stress test (TMST) with hypertensive response (systolic blood pressure: male &gt;210 mm Hg, female &gt;190 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure &gt;100 mmHg, or increase of &gt;10 mm Hg at any time during the test), on Bruce and Modified Bruce protocol. Exaggerated blood pressure response during exercise (systolic [SBP] and diastolic [DBP]), peak exercise blood pressure (SBP and DBP), recovery period (SBP and DBP) and test for ischemia and their antihypertensive medication/s were investigated. Analysis of variance and chi-square test were used for statistical analysis. Results: Hypertensive responses on maximal exercise test were seen mostly among female population (P &lt; 0.000) and middle age (P &lt; 0.000) patients. Exaggerated diastolic blood pressure responses were significantly lower in patients who were taking CCB (P &lt; 0.004). A longer recovery period that showed a delayed decline in SBP was observed in patients taking ARB+HCTZ (P &lt; 0.036). There were no significant differences in the level of exaggerated systolic blood pressure response and during peak exercise (both systolic and diastolic) in patients using either monotherapy or combination antihypertensives. Conclusion: Calcium channel blockers provided lower exaggerated diastolic BP response during maximal exercise test in hypertensive middle age patients. Patients on combination therapy using ARB+HCTZ exhibited a longer recovery period of systolic blood pressure.
Historical Analysis of the Evolution of Swiss Identity and the Successful Integration of Multilingualism into the Swiss Concept of Nationhood
Switzerland’s ability to forge a strong national identity across linguistic barriers has long been of interest to nationalism scholars. This begs the question of how this has been achieved, given that traditional explanations of luck or exceptionalism appear highly reductionist. This paper evaluates the theory that successful Swiss management of linguistic diversity stems from the strong integration of multilingualism into Swiss national identity. Using archival analysis of Swiss government records, historical accounts of prominent Swiss citizens, as well as secondary literature concerning the fundamental aspects of Swiss national identity, this paper charts the historical evolution of Swiss national identity. It explains how multilingualism was deliberately and successfully integrated into Swiss national identity as a response to political fragmentation along linguistic lines during the First World War. Its primary conclusions are the following. Firstly, the earliest foundations of Swiss national identity were purposefully removed from any association with a single national language. This produced symbols, myths, and values -such as a strong commitment to communalism, the imagery of the Swiss natural landscape, and the use of Latin expressions, which can be adopted across Swiss linguistic groups. Secondly, the First World War triggered a turning point in the evolution of Swiss national identity. The fundamental building blocks proved insufficient in preventing political fractures amongst linguistic lines, as each Swiss linguistic group gravitated towards its linguistic neighbours within Europe. To avoid a repeat of such fragmentation, a deliberate effort was made to fully integrate multilingualism as a fundamental aspect of Swiss national identity. Existing natural symbols, such as the St Gotthard Mountains, were recontextualized in order to become associated with multilingualism. The education system was similarly reformed to reflect the unique multilingual nature of the Swiss nation. The successful result of this process can be readily observed in polls and surveys, with large segments of the Swiss population highlighting multilingualism as a uniquely Swiss characteristic, indicating the symbiotic connection between multilingualism and the Swiss nation.
Synthesis and Two-Photon Polymerization of a Cytocompatibility Tyramine Functionalized Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel That Mimics the Chemical, Mechanical, and Structural Characteristics of Spinal Cord Tissue
Regeneration of the spinal cord after injury remains a great challenge due to the complexity of this organ. Inflammation and gliosis at the injury site hinder the outgrowth of axons and hence prevent synaptic reconnection and reinnervation. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the main component of the spinal cord extracellular matrix and plays a vital role in cell proliferation and axonal guidance. In this study, we have synthesized and characterized a photo-cross-linkable HA-tyramine (tyr) hydrogel from a chemical, mechanical, electrical, biological and structural perspective. From our experimentation, we have found that HA-tyr can be synthesized with controllable degrees of tyramine substitution using click chemistry. The complex modulus (G*) of HA-tyr can be tuned to mimic the mechanical properties of the native spinal cord via optimization of the photo-initiator concentration and UV exposure. We have examined the degree of tyramine-tyramine covalent bonding (polymerization) as a function of UV exposure and photo-initiator use via Photo and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Both swelling and enzymatic degradation assays were conducted to examine the resilience of our 3D printed hydrogel constructs in-vitro. Using a femtosecond 780nm laser, the two-photon polymerization of HA-tyr hydrogel in the presence of riboflavin photoinitiator was optimized. A laser power of 50mW and scan speed of 30,000 μm/s produced high-resolution spatial patterning within the hydrogel with sustained mechanical integrity. Using dorsal root ganglion explants, the cytocompatibility of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed. Using potentiometry, the electrical conductivity of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed and compared to that of native spinal cord tissue as a function of frequency. In conclusion, we have developed a biocompatible hydrogel that can be used for photolithographic 3D printing to fabricate tissue engineered constructs for neural tissue regeneration applications.
Identification of New Familial Breast Cancer Susceptibility Genes: Are We There Yet?
The genetic cause of the majority of multiple-case breast cancer families remains unresolved. Next generation sequencing has emerged as an efficient strategy for identifying predisposing mutations in individuals with inherited cancer. We are conducting whole exome sequence analysis of germ line DNA from multiple affected relatives from breast cancer families, with the aim of identifying rare protein truncating and non-synonymous variants that are likely to include novel cancer predisposing mutations. Data from more than 200 exomes show that on average each individual carries 30-50 protein truncating mutations and 300-400 rare non-synonymous variants. Heterogeneity among our exome data strongly suggest that numerous moderate penetrance genes remain to be discovered, with each gene individually accounting for only a small fraction of families (~0.5%). This scenario marks validation of candidate breast cancer predisposing genes in large case-control studies as the rate-limiting step in resolving the missing heritability of breast cancer. The aim of this study is to screen genes that are recurrently mutated among our exome data in a larger cohort of cases and controls to assess the prevalence of inactivating mutations that may be associated with breast cancer risk. We are using the Agilent HaloPlex Target Enrichment System to screen the coding regions of 168 genes in 1,000 BRCA1/2 mutation-negative familial breast cancer cases and 1,000 cancer-naive controls. To date, our interim analysis has identified 21 genes which carry an excess of truncating mutations in multiple breast cancer families versus controls. Established breast cancer susceptibility gene PALB2 is the most frequently mutated gene (13/998 cases versus 0/1009 controls), but other interesting candidates include NPSR1, GSN, POLD2, and TOX3. These and other genes are being validated in a second cohort of 1,000 cases and controls. Our experience demonstrates that beyond PALB2, the prevalence of mutations in the remaining breast cancer predisposition genes is likely to be very low making definitive validation exceptionally challenging.
A Systematic Review of Pedometer-or Accelerometer-Based Interventions for Increasing Physical Activity in Low Socioeconomic Groups
The benefits of physical activity (PA) on health are well documented. Low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with poor health, with PA a suggested mediator. Pedometers and accelerometers offer an effective behavior change tool to increase PA levels. While the role of pedometer and accelerometer use in increasing PA is recognized in many populations, little is known in low-SES groups. We are aiming to assess the effectiveness of pedometer- and accelerometer-based interventions for increasing PA step count and improving subsequent health outcomes among low-SES groups of high-income countries. Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CENTRAL and SportDiscus databases were searched to identify articles published before 10th July, 2015; using search terms developed from previous systematic reviews. Inclusion criteria are: low-SES participants classified by income, geography, education, occupation or ethnicity; study duration minimum 4 weeks; an intervention and control group; wearing of an unsealed pedometer or accelerometer to objectively measure PA as step counts per day for the duration of the study. We retrieved 2,142 articles from our database searches, after removal of duplicates. Two investigators independently reviewed titles and abstracts of these articles (50% each) and a combined 20% sample were reviewed to account for inter-assessor variation. We are currently verifying the full texts of 430 articles. Included studies will be critically appraised for risk of bias using guidelines suggested by the Cochrane Public Health Group. Two investigators will extract data concerning the intervention; study design; comparators; steps per day; participants; context and presence or absence of obesity and/or chronic disease. Heterogeneity amongst studies is anticipated, thus a narrative synthesis of data will be conducted with the simplification of selected results into percentage increases from baseline to allow for between-study comparison. Results will be presented at the conference in December if selected.
Harnessing Environmental DNA to Assess the Environmental Sustainability of Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture in the Pacific Northwest United States
Commercial shellfish aquaculture makes significant contributions to the economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest United States. The industry faces intense pressure to minimize environmental impacts as a result of Federal policies like the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act and the Endangered Species Act. These policies demand the protection of essential fish habitat and declare several salmon species as endangered. Consequently, numerous projects related to the protection and rehabilitation of eelgrass beds, a crucial ecosystem for countless fish species, have been proposed at both state and federal levels. Both eelgrass beds and commercial shellfish farms occupy the same physical space, and therefore understanding the effects of shellfish aquaculture on eelgrass ecosystems has become a top ecological and economic priority of both government and industry. This study evaluates the organismal communities that eelgrass and oyster aquaculture habitats support. Water samples were collected from Willapa Bay, Washington; Tillamook Bay, Oregon; Humboldt Bay, California; and Sammish Bay, Washington to compare species diversity in eelgrass beds, oyster aquaculture plots, and boundary edges between these two habitats. Diversity was assessed using a novel technique: environmental DNA (eDNA). All organisms constantly shed small pieces of DNA into their surrounding environment through the loss of skin, hair, tissues, and waste. In the marine environment, this DNA becomes suspended in the water column allowing it to be easily collected. Once extracted and sequenced, this eDNA can be used to paint a picture of all the organisms that live in a particular habitat making it a powerful technology for environmental monitoring. Industry professionals and government officials should consider these findings to better inform future policies regulating eelgrass beds and oyster aquaculture. Furthermore, the information collected in this study may be used to improve the environmental sustainability of commercial shellfish aquaculture while simultaneously enhancing its growth and profitability in the face of ever-changing political and ecological landscapes.
Observation of a Phase Transition in Adsorbed Hydrogen at 101 Kelvin
While adsorbent surfaces such as graphite are known to increase the melting temperature of solid H2, this effect is normally rather small, increasing to 20 Kelvin (K) relative to 14 K in the bulk. An as-yet unidentified phase transition has been observed in a system of H2 adsorbed in a porous, locally graphitic, Saran carbon with sub-nanometer sized pores at temperatures (74-101 K) and pressures ( > 76 bar) well above the critical point of bulk H2 using hydrogen adsorption and neutron scattering experiments. Adsorption data shows a discontinuous pressure jump in the kinetics at 76 bar after nearly an hour of equilibration time, which is identified as an exothermic phase transition. This discontinuity is observed in the 87 K isotherm, but not the 77 K isotherm. At higher pressures, the measured isotherms show greater excess adsorption at 87 K than 77 K. Inelastic neutron scattering measurements also show a striking phase transition, with the amount of high angle scattering (corresponding to large momentum transfer/ large effective mass) increasing by up to a factor of 5 in the novel phase. During the course of the neutron scattering experiment, three of these reversible spectral phase transitions were observed to occur in response to only changes in sample temperature. The novel phase was observed by neutron scattering only at high H2 pressure (123 bar and 187 bar) and temperatures between 74-101 K in the sample of interest, but not at low pressure (30 bar), or in a control activated carbon at 186 bar of H2 pressure. Based on several of the more unusual observations, such as the slow equilibration and the presence of both an upper and lower temperature bound, a reasonable hypothesis is that this phase forms only in the presence of a high concentration of ortho-H2 (nuclear spin S=1). The increase in adsorption with temperature, temperatures which cross the lower temperature bound observed by neutron scattering, indicates that this novel phase is denser. Structural characterization data on the adsorbent shows that it may support a commensurate solid phase denser than those known to exist on graphite at much lower temperatures. Whatever this phase is eventually proven to be, these results show that surfaces can have a more striking effect on hydrogen phases than previously thought.
Impact of Fischer-Tropsch Wax on Ethylene Vinyl Acetate/Waste Crumb Rubber Modified Bitumen: An Energy-Sustainability Nexus
In an energy-intensive world, minimizing energy consumption is paramount to cost saving and reducing the carbon footprint. Improving mixture procedures utilizing warm mix additive Fischer-Tropsch (FT) wax in ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and modified bitumen highlights a greener and sustainable approach to modified bitumen. In this study, the impact of FT wax on optimized EVA/waste crumb rubber modified bitumen is assayed with a maximum loading of 2.5%. The rationale of the FT wax loading is to maintain the original maximum loading of EVA in the optimized mixture. The phase change abilities of FT wax enable EVA co-crystallization with the support of the elastomeric backbone of crumb rubber. Less than 1% loading of FT wax worked in the EVA/crumb rubber modified bitumen energy-sustainability nexus. Response surface methodology approach to the mixture design is implemented amongst the different loadings of FT wax, EVA for a consistent amount of crumb rubber and bitumen. Rheological parameters (complex shear modulus, phase angle and rutting parameter) were the factors used as performance indicators of the different optimized mixtures. The low temperature chemistry of the optimized mixtures is analyzed using elementary beam theory and the elastic-viscoelastic correspondence principle. Master curves and black space diagrams are developed and used to predict age-induced cracking of the different long term aged mixtures. Modified binder rheology reveals that the strain response is not linear and that there is substantial re-arrangement of polymer chains as stress is increased, this is based on the age state of the mixture and the FT wax and EVA loadings. Dominance of individual effects is evident over effects of synergy in co-interaction of EVA and FT wax. All-inclusive FT wax and EVA formulations were best optimized in mixture 4 with mixture 7 reflecting increase in ease of workability. Findings show that interaction chemistry of bitumen, crumb rubber EVA, and FT wax is first and second order in all cases involving individual contributions and co-interaction amongst the components of the mixture.
Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Micro-Welding Process and Applications in Digital Manufacturing
Micro welding procedures are widely used for joining materials, developing duplex components or functional surfaces, through various methods such as Micro Discharge Welding or Spot Welding process, which can be found in the engineering, aerospace, automotive, biochemical, biomedical and numerous other industries. The relationship between the material properties, structure and processing is very important to improve the structural integrity and the final performance of the welded joints. This includes controlling the shape and the size of the welding nugget, state of the heat affected zone, residual stress, etc. Nowadays, modern high volume productions require the welding of much versatile shapes/sizes and material systems that are suitable for various applications. Hence, an improved understanding of the micro welding process and the digital tools, which are based on computational numerical modelling linking key welding parameters, dimensional attributes and functional performance of the weldment, would directly benefit the industry in developing products that meet current and future market demands. This paper will introduce recent work on developing an integrated experimental and numerical modelling code for micro welding techniques. This includes similar and dissimilar materials for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, at different scales. The paper will also produce a comparative study, concerning the differences between the micro discharge welding process and the spot welding technique, in regards to the size effect of the welding zone and the changes in the material structure. Numerical modelling method for the micro welding processes and its effects on the material properties, during melting and cooling progression at different scales, will also be presented. Finally, the applications of the integrated numerical modelling and the material development for the digital manufacturing of welding, is discussed with references to typical application cases such as sensors (thermocouples), energy (heat exchanger) and automotive structures (duplex steel structures).
State of Conservation of the British Colonial Architectural Heritage of Karachi: Case Study of Damage Mapping of Empress Market Building
In 1839, the British, after the annexation of the port city of Karachi, established a new urban centre consisting of various quarters and introduced new settlements there. These quarters were out of the boundaries of fortified native old area and now contain much of the oldest parts of the city and signify the colonial history of Karachi, in particular the Saddar Bazaar and the neighboring areas of Kharadar and Mithadar. These quarters bestow a mix of functional typology built in a hybrid form of construction - an adaptation of the western architectural attributes to regional requirements and characteristics. This approach is referred to as the Anglo Vernacular, Colonial or the Domestic Gothic architectural form. This research paper investigates the historical and architectural value of one such property: the Empress Market designed by then Municipal Architect, Ar. James Strachan in 1889 as a commemorative monument for the jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen Victoria; Empress of British India, at that time. This paper presents information on the present conservation status of the market building and highlights its role as a catalyst to the community interconnection. This building has survived to present day and functioned well, despite undergoing numerous transformations. A detailed analysis of the bio-degradation (Natural-Chemical dissolution of material) and the bio-deterioration (Manmade-Negative state change of the material) of the building, based on the examination of the prevailing causes of these bio-alterations is carried out, and is presented in form of a damage atlas containing both the categories of bio-alteration/ changes occurred to the building over the time. The research methodology followed in this paper starts with the available archival analysis, physical observation, photographic documentation, the statistics review and the interviews with the direct and indirect stakeholders. The results and findings of this research portray that these bio-alterations and changes are the essential part of the life cycle of Empress Market building which illustrate the historic development of the premise and therefore ought to be given due importance (depending upon their condition) while developing the conservation plan for the building.
Changes to Populations Might Aid the Spread Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment
Resistance to antibiotics has become a threat to public health. As a result of their misuse and overuse, bacteria have become resistant to many common antibiotics. Βeta lactam (β-lactam) antibiotics are one of the most significant classes of antimicrobials in providing therapeutic benefits for the treatment of bacterial infections in both human and veterinary medicine, for approximately 60% of all antibiotics are used. In particular, some Enterobacteriaceae produce Extend Spectrum Beta Lactamases (ESBLs) that enable them to some break down multi-groups of antibiotics. CTX-M enzymes have rapidly become the most important ESBLs, with increases in mainly CTX-M 15 in many countries during the last decade. Global travel by intercontinental medical ‘tourists’, migrant employees and overseas students could theoretically be a risk factor for spreading antibiotic resistance genes in different parts of the world. Bangor city, North Wales, is subject to sudden demographic changes due to a large proportion (>25%) of the population being students, most of which arrive over a space of days. This makes it a suitable location to study the impacts of large demographic change on the presence of ESBLs. The aim of this study is to monitor the presence of ESBLs in Escherichia coli and faecal coliform bacteria isolated from Bangor wastewater treatment plant, before, during and after the arrival week of students to Bangor University. Over a five-week period, water samples were collected twice a week, from the influent, primary sedimentation tank, aeration tank and the final effluent. Isolation and counts for Escherichia coli and other faecal coliforms were done on selective agar (primary UTI agar). ESBL presence will be confirmed by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Sampling at all points of the tertiary treatment stages will indicate the effectiveness of wastewater treatment in reducing the spread of ESBLs genes. The study will yield valuable information to help tackle a problem which many regard to be the one of the biggest threats to modern-day society.
Cross-Sectional Study Investigating the Prevalence of Uncorrected Refractive Error and Visual Acuity through Mobile Vision Screening in the Homeless in Wales
Homelessness has been shown to be correlated to poor health outcomes, including increased visual health morbidity. Despite this, there are relatively few studies regarding visual health in the homeless population, especially in the UK. This research aims to investigate visual disability and access barriers prevalent in the homeless population in Cardiff, South Wales. Data was collected from 100 homeless participants in three different shelters. Visual outcomes included near and distance visual acuity as well as non-cycloplegic refraction. Qualitative data was collected via a questionnaire and included socio-demographic profile, ocular history, subjective visual acuity and level of access to healthcare facilities. Based on the participants’ presenting visual acuity, the total prevalence of myopia and hyperopia was 17.0% and 19.0% respectively based on spherical equivalent from the eye with the greatest absolute value. The prevalence of astigmatism was 8.0%. The mean absolute spherical equivalent was 0.841D and 0.853D for right and left eye respectively. The number of participants with sight loss (as defined by VA= 6/12-6/60 in the better-seeing eye) was 27.0% in comparison to 0.89% and 1.1% in the general Cardiff and Wales population respectively (p-value is < 0.05). Additionally, 1.0% of the homeless subjects were registered blind (VA less than 3/60), in comparison to 0.17% for the national consensus after age standardization. Most participants had good knowledge regarding access to prescription glasses and eye examination services. Despite this, 85.0% never had their eyes examined by a doctor and 73.0% had their last optometrist appointment in more than 5 years. These findings suggested that there was a significant disparity in ocular health, including visual acuity and refractive error amongst the homeless in comparison to the general population. Further, the homeless were less likely to receive the same level of support and continued care in the community due to access barriers. These included a number of socio-economic factors such as travel expenses and regional availability of services, as well as administrative shortcomings. In conclusion, this research demonstrated unmet visual health needs within the homeless, and that inclusive policy changes may need to be implemented for better healthcare outcomes within this marginalized community.
Structural Analysis of Phase Transformation and Particle Formation in Metastable Metallic Thin Films Grown by Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition
Growth of conformal ultrathin metal films has attracted a considerable amount of attention recently. Plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) is a method capable of growing conformal thin films at low temperatures, with an exemplary control over thickness. The authors have recently reported on growth of metastable epitaxial nickel thin films via PEALD, along with a comprehensive characterization of the films and a study on the relationship between the growth parameters and the film characteristics. The goal of the current study is to use the mentioned films as a case study to investigate the temperature-activated phase transformation and agglomeration in ultrathin metallic films. For this purpose, metastable hexagonal nickel thin films were annealed using a controlled heating/cooling apparatus. The transformations in the crystal structure were observed via in-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction. The samples were annealed to various temperatures in the range of 400-1100° C. The onset and progression of particle formation were studied in-situ via laser measurements. In addition, a four-point probe measurement tool was used to record the changes in the resistivity of the films, which is affected by phase transformation, as well as roughening and agglomeration. Thin films annealed at various temperature steps were then studied via atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, in order to get a better understanding of the correlated mechanisms, through which phase transformation and particle formation occur. The results indicate that the onset of hcp-to-bcc transformation is at 400°C, while particle formations commences at 590° C. If the annealed films are quenched after transformation, but prior to agglomeration, they show a noticeable drop in resistivity. This can be attributed to the fact that the hcp films are grown epitaxially, and are under severe tensile strain, and annealing leads to relaxation of the mismatch strain. In general, the results shed light on the nature of structural transformation in nickel thin films, as well as metallic thin films, in general.
Interrelationship of Socio-Demographic Factors, Health Belief Dimensions and Compliance to Measles Vaccination among Filipino Mothers
Background: Measles remain as one of the most common childhood diseases despite the availability of the vaccine that is safe and cost-effective. Because of morbidity and mortality associated with the recent measles outbreak in the Philippines, there is an increasing concern from the health care professionals. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between the compliance of Filipino mothers to measles vaccination and their health beliefs when grouped according to the given socio-demographic factors using a researcher-made questionnaire. Research Methodology: This research utilized the descriptive-correlational research design. With the use of purposive sampling technique, the study involved 200 Filipino mothers aged 18 years old and above excluding those who are healthcare professionals with children aged 2-3 years old with either urban or rural as their settlements. Pre-testing was done prior to the actual data gathering. A questionnaire composed of 26 items involving socio-demographic, compliance, and health beliefs was distributed to the sample population. Statistical analysis was done with the use of Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) for the first research question and Structural Equation Model (SEM) for the second research question. Results: Four dimensions were generated with the use of EFA namely: Vulnerability-Oriented Beliefs (VOB), Knowledge-Oriented Beliefs (KOB), Accessibility-Oriented Beliefs (AOB), and Outcomes-Oriented Beliefs (OOB). These were then correlated with the mothers’ socio-demographic factors (age, educational attainment, the area of residence, the number of children, and family income) and their compliance to the measles vaccination schedule. Results showed significant and direct relationships between area of residence and compliance, family income and compliance, KOB and compliance, education and KOB, KOB and VOB, KOB and OOB, AOB and KOB, AOB and OOB, AOB and VOB, and lastly, OOB and VOB. Conclusion: The Knowledge – Oriented Belief dimension greatly influence compliance to measles vaccination. Other determinants of compliance like the area of residence, educational attainment, and family income significantly increase the Filipino mothers’ likelihood of compliance to measles vaccination, which have implications to health education.
Achieving Design-Stage Elemental Cost Planning Accuracy: Case Study of New Zealand
An aspect of client expenditure management that requires attention is the level of accuracy achievable in design-stage elemental cost planning. This has been a major concern for construction clients and practitioners in New Zealand (NZ). Pre-tender estimating inaccuracies are significantly influenced by the level of risk information available to estimators. Proper cost planning activities should ensure the production of a project&rsquo;s likely construction costs (initial and final), and subsequent cost control activities should prevent unpleasant consequences of cost overruns, disputes and project abandonment. If risks were properly identified and priced at the design stage, observed variance between design-stage elemental cost plans (ECPs) and final tender sums (FTS) (initial contract sums) could be reduced. This study investigates the variations between design-stage ECPs and FTS of construction projects, with a view to identifying risk factors that are responsible for the observed variance. Data were sourced through interviews, and risk factors were identified by using thematic analysis. Access was obtained to project files from the records of study participants (consultant quantity surveyors), and document analysis was employed in complementing the responses from the interviews. Study findings revealed the discrepancies between ECPs and FTS in the region of -14% and +16%. It is opined in this study that the identified risk factors were responsible for the variability observed. The values obtained from the analysis would enable greater accuracy in the forecast of FTS by Quantity Surveyors. Further, whilst inherent risks in construction project developments are observed globally, these findings have important ramifications for construction projects by expanding existing knowledge on what is needed for reasonable budgetary performance and successful delivery of construction projects. The findings contribute significantly to the study by providing quantitative confirmation to justify the theoretical conclusions generated in the literature from around the world. This therefore adds to and consolidates existing knowledge.
Maintenance of Non-Crop Plants Reduces Insect Pest Population in Tropical Chili Pepper Agroecosystems
Integrating strategies of sustainable crop production and promoting the provisioning of ecological services on farms and within rural landscapes is a challenge for today’s agriculture. Habitat management, through increasing vegetational diversity, enhances heterogeneity in agroecosystems and has the potential to improve the recruitment of natural enemies of pests, which promotes biological control services. In tropical agroecosystems, however, there is a paucity of information pertaining to the resources provided by associated plants and their interactions with natural enemies. The maintenance of non-crop plants integrated into and/or surrounding crop fields provides the farmer with a low-investment option to enhance biological control. We carried out field experiments in chili pepper agroecosystems with small stakeholders located in the Zona da Mata, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, from 2011 to 2015 where we assessed: (a) whether non-crop plants within and around chili pepper fields affect the diversity and abundance of aphidophagous species; (b) whether there are direct interactions between non-crop plants and aphidophagous arthropods; and (c) the importance of non-crop plant resources for survival of Coccinellidae and Chrysopidae species. Aphidophagous arthropods were dominated by Coccinellidae, Neuroptera, Syrphidae, Anthocoridae and Araneae. These natural enemies were readily observed preying on aphids, feeding on flowers or extrafloral nectaries and using plant structures for oviposition and/or protection. Aphid populations were lower on chili pepper fields associated with non-crop plants that on chili pepper monocultures. Survival of larvae and adults of different species of Coccinellidae and Chrysopidae on non-crop resources varied according to the plant species. This research provides evidence that non-crop plants in chili pepper agroecosystems can affect aphid abundance and their natural enemy abundance and survival. It is also highlighting the need for further research to fully characterize the structure and function of plant resources in these and other tropical agroecosystems. Financial support: CNPq, FAPEMIG and CAPES (Brazil).
Periodicity of Solutions to Impulsive Equations
It is known that there exist many physical phenomena where abrupt or impulsive changes occur either in the system dynamics, for example, ad-hoc network, or in the input forces containing impacts, for example, the bombardment of space antenna by micrometeorites. There are many other examples such as ultra high-speed optical signals over communication networks, the collision of particles, inventory control, government decisions, interest changes, changes in stock price, etc. These are impulsive phenomena. Hence, as a combination of the traditional initial value problems and the short-term perturbations whose duration can be negligible in comparison with the duration of the process, the systems with impulsive conditions (i.e., impulsive systems) are more realistic models for describing the impulsive phenomenon. Such a situation is also suitable for the delay systems, which include some of the past states of the system. So far, there have been a lot of research results in the study of impulsive systems with delay both in finite and infinite dimensional spaces. In this paper, we investigate the periodicity of solutions to the nonautonomous impulsive evolution equations with infinite delay in Banach spaces, where the coefficient operators (possibly unbounded) in the linear part depend on the time, which are impulsive systems in infinite dimensional spaces and come from the optimal control theory. It was indicated that the study of periodic solutions for these impulsive evolution equations with infinite delay was challenging because the fixed point theorems requiring some compactness conditions are not applicable to them due to the impulsive condition and the infinite delay. We are happy to report that after detailed analysis, we are able to combine the techniques developed in our previous papers, and some new ideas in this paper, to attack these impulsive evolution equations and derive periodic solutions. More specifically, by virtue of the related transition operator family (evolution family), we present a Poincaré operator given by the nonautonomous impulsive evolution system with infinite delay, and then show that the operator is a condensing operator with respect to Kuratowski's measure of non-compactness in a phase space by using an Amann's lemma. Finally, we derive periodic solutions from bounded solutions in view of the Sadovskii fixed point theorem. We also present a relationship between the boundedness and the periodicity of the solutions of the nonautonomous impulsive evolution system. The new results obtained here extend some earlier results in this area for evolution equations without impulsive conditions or without infinite delay.
The First Transcriptome Assembly of Marama Bean: An African Orphan Crop
Orphan crops are underresearched and underutilized food plant species that have not been categorized as major food crops, but have the potential to be economically and agronomically significant. They have been documented to have the ability to tolerate extreme environmental conditions. However, limited research has been conducted to uncover their potential as food crop species. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has classified Marama bean, Tylosema esculentum, as an orphan crop. The plant is one of the 101 African orphan crops that must have their genomes sequenced, assembled, and annotated in the foreseeable future. Marama bean is a perennial leguminous plant that primarily grows in poor, arid soils in southern Africa. The plants produce large tubers that can weigh as much as 200kg. While the foliage provides fodder, the tuber is carbohydrate rich and is a staple food source for rural communities in Namibia. Also, the edible seeds are protein- and oil-rich. Marama Bean plants respond rapidly to increased temperatures and severe water scarcity without extreme consequences. Advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have made it possible to effectively transfer technologies between model- and major crops to orphan crops. In this research, the aim was to assemble the first transcriptomic analysis of Marama Bean RNA-sequence data. Many model plant species have had their genomes sequenced and their transcriptomes assembled. Therefore the availability of transcriptome data for a non-model crop plant species will allow for gene identification and comparisons between various species. The data has been sequenced using the Ilumina Hiseq 2500 sequencing platform. Data analysis is underway. In essence, this research will eventually evaluate the potential use of Marama Bean as a crop species to improve its value in agronomy. data for a non-model crop plant species will allow for gene identification and comparisons between various species. The data has been sequenced using the Ilumina Hiseq 2500 sequencing platform. Data analysis is underway. In essence, this researc will eventually evaluate the potential use of Marama bean as a crop species to improve its value in agronomy.
Seagrass Biomass Distribution in Mangrove Fringed Creeks of Gazi Bay, Kenya
Seagrass meadows are important carbon sinks, thus understanding this role and their conservation provides opportunities for their applications in climate change mitigation and adaptation. This study aimed at understanding seagrass contribution to ecosystem carbon at Gazi Bay; by comparing carbon stocks in seagrass beds of two mangroves fringed creeks of the bay. Specifically, the objectives included assessing the distribution and abundance of seagrass in the fringed creeks, and estimating above and below-ground biomass. Results obtained would be added to the mangrove and open bay carbon in estimating total ecosystem carbon of Gazi bay. The stratified random sampling strategy was applied in this study. Transects were laid perpendicular to the waterline at intervals of 50 meters from the upper region near the mangroves to the deeper end of the creek across seagrass meadows. Along these transects, 0.25m2 square quadrats were laid at 10 m to assess distribution and composition of seagrasses in the creeks. A total of 80 plots were sampled. Above-ground biomass was sampled by harvesting all the seagrass materials within the quadrat while four sediment cores were obtained from each quarter of the quadrat and then sorted into necromass, rhizomes and roots to determine below ground biomass. Samples were cleaned and dried in the oven for 72 hours at 60˚C in the laboratory. Total biomass was determined by multiplying biomass with carbon conversion factor of 0.34. In all the statistical tests, a significant level was set at α = 0.05. Eight species of seagrass were encountered in Western creek (WC) while seven in the Eastern creek (EC). Based on importance value, the dominant species in WC were Cymodocea rotundata and Halodule uninervis while Thalassodendron ciliatum and Enhalus acoroides dominated the eastern creek. The cover of seagrass in EC was 67.97% compared to 56.45% in WC. There was a significance difference in abundance of seagrass species between the two creeks (t = 1.97, D.F = 35, p < 0.05). Similarly, there was significance differences between total seagrass biomass (t= -8.44, D.F. = 53, p < 0.05) and species composition (F(7,79) = 14.6, p < 0.05) in the two creeks. Mean seagrass in the creeks was 7.25 ± 4.2 Mg C ha-1, (range: 4.1 - 12.9 Mg C ha-1). The findings of the current study reveal variations in biomass stocks of the two creeks of Gazi bay that have varying biophysical features. It is established that habitat heterogeneity between the creeks contributes to the variation in seagrass abundance and biomass stocking. This enhances understanding of these ecosystems hence the establishment of carbon offset project in seagrass for livelihood improvement and increased conservation.
Mathematical Modeling for Continuous Reactive Extrusion of Poly Lactic Acid Formation by Ring Opening Polymerization Considering Metal/Organic Catalyst and Alternative Energies
Aims: To develop a mathematical model that simulates the ROP of PLA taking into account the effect of alternative energy to be implemented in a continuous reactive extrusion production process of PLA. Introduction: The production of large amount of waste is one of the major challenges at the present time, and polymers represent 70% of global waste. PLA has emerged as a promising polymer as it is compostable, biodegradable thermoplastic polymer made from renewable sources. However, the main limitation for the application of PLA is the traces of toxic metal catalyst in the final product. Thus, a safe and efficient production process needs to be developed to avoid the potential hazards and toxicity. It has been found that alternative energy sources (LASER, ultrasounds, microwaves) could be a prominent option to facilitate the ROP of PLA via continuous reactive extrusion. This process may result in complete extraction of the metal catalysts and facilitate less active organic catalysts. Methodology: Initial investigation were performed using the data available in literature for the reaction mechanism of ROP of PLA based on conventional metal catalyst stannous octoate. A mathematical model has been developed by considering significant parameters such as different initial concentration ratio of catalyst, co-catalyst and impurity. Effects of temperature variation and alternative energies have been implemented in the model. Results: The validation of the mathematical model has been made by using data from literature as well as actual experiments. Validation of the model including alternative energies is in progress based on experimental data for partners of the InnoREX project consortium. Conclusion: The model developed reproduces accurately the polymerisation reaction when applying alternative energy. Alternative energies have a great positive effect to increase the conversion and molecular weight of the PLA. This model could be very useful tool to complement Ludovic® software to predict the large scale production process when using reactive extrusion.
Assessing In-Country Public Health Training Needs: Workforce Development to Meet Sustainable Development Goals
Health systems globally are facing increasingly complex challenges. Emerging health threats, changing population demographics and increasing health inequalities, globalisation, economic constraints on government spending are some of the most critical ones. These challenges demand not only innovative funding and cross-sectoral approaches, but also require a multidisciplinary public health workforce equipped with skills and expertise to meet the future challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aim to outline an approach to assessing the feasibility of establishing a competency-based public health training at a country level. Although the SDGs provide an enabling impetus for change and promote positive developments, public health training and education still lag behind. Large gaps are apparent in both the numbers of trained professionals and the options for high quality training. Public health training in most Low-Middle Income Countries is still largely characterized by a traditional and limited public health focus. There is a pressing need to review and develop core and emerging competences for a well-equipped workforce fit for the future. This includes the important role of national Health and Human Resource Ministries in determining these competences. Public health has long been recognised as a multidisciplinary field, with need for professionals from a wider range of disciplines such as management, health promotion, health economics, law. Leadership and communication skills are also critical to achieve the successes in meeting public health outcomes. Such skills and competences need to be translated into competency-based training and education, to prepare current public health professionals with the skills required in today’s competitive job market. Integration of academic and service based public-health training, flexible accredited programmes to support existing mid-career professionals, continuous professional development need to be explored. In the current global climate of austerity and increasing demands on health systems, the need for stepping up public health training and education is more important than ever. By using a case study, we demonstrate the process of assessing the in-county capacity to establish a competency based public health training programme that will help to develop a stronger, more versatile and much needed public health workforce to meet the SDGs.
Mapping the Turbulence Intensity and Excess Energy Available to Small Wind Systems over 4 Major UK Cities
Due to the highly turbulent nature of urban air flows, and by virtue of the fact that turbines are likely to be located within the roughness sublayer of the urban boundary layer, proposed urban wind installations are faced with major challenges compared to rural installations. The challenge of operating within turbulent winds can however, be counteracted by the development of suitable gust tracking solutions. In order to assess the cost effectiveness of such controls, a detailed understanding of the urban wind resource, including its turbulent characteristics, is required. Estimating the ambient turbulence and total kinetic energy available at different control response times is essential in evaluating the potential performance of wind systems within the urban environment should effective control solutions be employed. However, high resolution wind measurements within the urban roughness sub-layer are uncommon, and detailed CFD modelling approaches are too computationally expensive to apply routinely on a city wide scale. This paper therefore presents an alternative semi-empirical methodology for estimating the excess energy content (EEC) present in the complex and gusty urban wind. An analytical methodology for predicting the total wind energy available at a potential turbine site is proposed by assessing the relationship between turbulence intensities and EEC, for different control response times. The semi-empirical model is then incorporated with an analytical methodology that was initially developed to predict mean wind speeds at various heights within the built environment based on detailed mapping of its aerodynamic characteristics. Based on the current methodology, additional estimates of turbulence intensities and EEC allow a more complete assessment of the available wind resource. The methodology is applied to 4 UK cities with results showing the potential of mapping turbulence intensities and the total wind energy available at different heights within each city. Considering the effect of ambient turbulence and choice of wind system, the wind resource over neighbourhood regions (of 250 m uniform resolution) and building rooftops within the 4 cities were assessed with results highlighting the promise of mapping potential turbine sites within each city.
An Infinite Mixture Model for Modelling Stutter Ratio in Forensic Data Analysis
Forensic DNA analysis has received much attention over the last three decades, due to its incredible usefulness in human identification. The statistical interpretation of DNA evidence is recognised as one of the most mature fields in forensic science. Peak heights in an Electropherogram (EPG) are approximately proportional to the amount of template DNA in the original sample being tested. A stutter is a minor peak in an EPG, which is not masking as an allele of a potential contributor, and considered as an artefact that is presumed to be arisen due to miscopying or slippage during the PCR. Stutter peaks are mostly analysed in terms of stutter ratio that is calculated relative to the corresponding parent allele height. Analysis of mixture profiles has always been problematic in evidence interpretation, especially with the presence of PCR artefacts like stutters. Unlike binary and semi-continuous models; continuous models assign a probability (as a continuous weight) for each possible genotype combination, and significantly enhances the use of continuous peak height information resulting in more efficient reliable interpretations. Therefore, the presence of a sound methodology to distinguish between stutters and real alleles is essential for the accuracy of the interpretation. Sensibly, any such method has to be able to focus on modelling stutter peaks. Bayesian nonparametric methods provide increased flexibility in applied statistical modelling. Mixture models are frequently employed as fundamental data analysis tools in clustering and classification of data and assume unidentified heterogeneous sources for data. In model-based clustering, each unknown source is reflected by a cluster, and the clusters are modelled using parametric models. Specifying the number of components in finite mixture models, however, is practically difficult even though the calculations are relatively simple. Infinite mixture models, in contrast, do not require the user to specify the number of components. Instead, a Dirichlet process, which is an infinite-dimensional generalization of the Dirichlet distribution, is used to deal with the problem of a number of components. Chinese restaurant process (CRP), Stick-breaking process and Pólya urn scheme are frequently used as Dirichlet priors in Bayesian mixture models. In this study, we illustrate an infinite mixture of simple linear regression models for modelling stutter ratio and introduce some modifications to overcome weaknesses associated with CRP.
Cancer Survivor’s Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours; Meeting the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute of Cancer Research Recommendations, a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Introduction: Lifestyle behaviours such as healthy diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are essential for cancer survivors to improve the quality of life and longevity. However, there is no study that synthesis cancer survivor’s adherence to healthy lifestyle recommendations. The purpose of this review was to collate existing data on the prevalence of adherence to healthy behaviours and produce the pooled estimate among adult cancer survivors. Method: Multiple databases (Embase, Medline, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar) were searched for relevant articles published since 2007, reporting cancer survivors adherence to more than two lifestyle behaviours based on the WCRF/AICR recommendations. The pooled prevalence of adherence to single and multiple behaviours (operationalized as adherence to more than 75% (3/4) of health behaviours included in a particular study) was calculated using a random effects model. Subgroup analysis adherence to multiple behaviours was undertaken corresponding to the mean survival years and year of publication. Results: A total of 3322 articles were generated through our search strategies. Of these, 51 studies matched our inclusion criteria, which presenting data from 2,620,586 adult cancer survivors. The highest prevalence of adherence was observed for smoking (pooled estimate: 87%, 95% CI: 85%, 88%) and alcohol intake (pooled estimate 83%, 95% CI: 81%, 86%), and the lowest was for fiber intake (pooled estimate: 31%, 95% CI: 21%, 40%). Thirteen studies were reported the proportion of cancer survivors (all used a simple summative index method) to multiple healthy behaviours, whereby the prevalence of adherence was ranged from 7% to 40% (pooled estimate 23%, 95% CI: 17% to 30%). Subgroup analysis suggest that short-term survivors ( < 5 years survival time) had relatively a better adherence to multiple behaviours (pooled estimate: 31%, 95% CI: 27%, 35%) than long-term ( > 5 years survival time) cancer survivors (pooled estimate: 25%, 95% CI: 14%, 36%). Pooling of estimates according to the year of publication (since 2007) also suggests an increasing trend of adherence to multiple behaviours over time. Conclusion: Overall, the adherence to multiple lifestyle behaviors was poor (not satisfactory), and relatively, it is a major concern for long-term than the short-term cancer survivor. Cancer survivors need to obey with healthy lifestyle recommendations related to physical activity, fruit and vegetable, fiber, red/processed meat and sodium intake.
Hypersonic Propulsion Requirements for Sustained Hypersonic Flight for Air Transportation
In this paper, the propulsion requirements required to achieve sustained hypersonic flight for commercial air transportation are evaluated. In addition, a design methodology is developed and used to determine the propulsive capabilities of both ramjet and scramjet engines. Twelve configurations are proposed for hypersonic flight using varying combinations of turbojet, turbofan, ramjet and scramjet engines. The optimal configuration was determined based on how well each of the configurations met the projected requirements for hypersonic commercial transport. The configurations were separated into four sub-configurations each comprising of three unique derivations. The first sub-configuration comprised four afterburning turbojets and either one or two ramjets idealised for Mach 5 cruise. The number of ramjets required was dependent on the thrust required to accelerate the vehicle from a speed where the turbojets cut out to Mach 5 cruise. The second comprised four afterburning turbojets and either one or two scramjets, similar to the first configuration. The third used four turbojets, one scramjet and one ramjet to aid acceleration from Mach 3 to Mach 5. The fourth configuration was the same as the third, but instead of turbojets, it implemented turbofan engines for the preliminary acceleration of the vehicle. From calculations which determined the fuel consumption at incremental Mach numbers this paper found that the ideal solution would require four turbojet engines and two Scramjet engines. The ideal mission profile was determined as being an 8000km sortie based on an averaging of popular long haul flights with strong business ties, which included Los Angeles to Tokyo, London to New York and Dubai to Beijing. This paper deemed that these routes would benefit from hypersonic transport links based on the previously mentioned factors. This paper has found that this configuration would be sufficient for the 8000km flight to be completed in approximately two and a half hours and would consume less fuel than Concord in doing so. However, this propulsion configuration still result in a greater fuel cost than a conventional passenger. In this regard, this investigation contributes towards the specification of the engine requirements throughout a mission profile for a hypersonic passenger vehicle. A number of assumptions have had to be made for this theoretical approach but the authors believe that this investigation lays the groundwork for appropriate framing of the propulsion requirements for sustained hypersonic flight for commercial air transportation. Despite this, it does serve as a crucial step in the development of the propulsion systems required for hypersonic commercial air transportation. This paper provides a methodology and a focus for the development of the propulsion systems that would be required for sustained hypersonic flight for commercial air transportation.
Creating Futures: Using Fictive Scripting Methods for Institutional Strategic Planning
Many key university documents, such as vision and mission statements and strategic plans, are aspirational and future-oriented. There is a wide range of future-oriented methods that are used in planning applications, ranging from mathematical modelling to expert opinions. Many of these methods have limitations, and planners using these tools might, for example, make the technical-rational assumption that their plans will unfold in a logical and inevitable fashion, thus underestimating the many complex forces that are at play in planning for an unknown future. This is the issue that this study addresses. The overall project aim was to assist a new university of technology in developing appropriate responses to its social responsibility, graduate employability and research missions in its strategic plan. The specific research question guiding the research activities and approach was: how might the use of innovative future-oriented planning tools enable or constrain a strategic planning process? The research objective was to engage collaborating groups in the use of an innovative tool to develop and assess future scenarios, for the purpose of developing deeper understandings of possible futures and their challenges. The scenario planning tool chosen was ‘fictive scripting’, an analytical technique derived from Technology Forecasting and Innovation Studies. Fictive scripts are future projections that also take into account the present shape of the world and current developments. The process thus began with a critical diagnosis of the present, highlighting its tensions and frictions. The collaborative groups then developed fictive scripts, each group producing a future scenario that foregrounded different institutional missions, their implications and possible consequences. The scripts were analyzed with a view to identifying their potential contribution to the university’s strategic planning exercise. The unfolding fictive scripts revealed a number of insights in terms of unexpected benefits, unexpected challenges, and unexpected consequences. These insights were not evident in previous strategic planning exercises. The contribution that this study offers is to show how better choices can be made and potential pitfalls avoided through a systematic foresight exercise. When universities develop strategic planning documents, they are looking into the future. In this paper it is argued that the use of appropriate tools for future-oriented exercises, can help planners to understand more fully what achieving desired outcomes might entail, what challenges might be encountered, and what unexpected consequences might ensue.
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.
Antimicrobial Activity, Phytochemistry and Toxicity Of Extracts Of Naturally Growing and Cultivated Aloe Turkanensis
Aloe turkanensis is one of the widely used medicinal shrub and in Kenya the plant is mainly found in Baringo, Isiolo, Laikipia, Turkana and West Pokot Counties where it is used in ethno-medicine and ethno-veterinary medicine. The Turkana community uses the plant products to manage malaria, wounds, stomach ache, constipation, pain, skin infection, poultry diseases and retained afterbirth in cows. This evaluated the efficacy and safety of the plant obtained from Turkana County, Kenya. Preliminary data on the use of the plant in the county was collected through observation, photographing and interviews. A sample of the whole plant was harvested in Natira sublocation, in ex-Turkana west district in February 2012 after identification by Aloe-working group herbalists who voluntarily provided information on its medicinal uses. Botanical identification was done at Kenya Forest Research Centre in Karura where voucher specimen was deposited. Cold maceration using 70% methanol and distilled water was used for extraction. Bioassays were to determine the effects of the plant extracts on brine shrimp and selected bacterial and fungal cultures. The extracts were tested in-vitro activity against standard cultures of B. cereus (ATCC 11778), S. aureus (ATCC25923), P. aeroginosa (ATCC 27853), E. coli (ATCC 25922) and a human infections clinical isolate of C. albicans. The extracts of Aloe turkanensis inhibited the growth B. cereus (100-200 mg/ml), S. aureus (50-100 mg/ml), P. aeroginosa (200mg/ml), E. coli (400mg/ml) while C. albicans was not affected. The extracts also inhibited the growth of S. aureus and B. cereus with mean diameters of inhibition zones being 19.75±1 mm and 18.5±05 mm reapectively. Phytochemical screening showed the presence of alkaloids, tarpenoids, steroids, quinones, saponins and tannins in the plant extracts. The extract was found to be non-toxic at a concentration of 1000µg/ml with a 100% survival of Brine Shrimp larva. It was concluded that Aloe turkanensis growing the study area has metabolites that inhibit the growth of microorganisms and is however, there is need for further studies to validate the in-vivo bioactivity of the plant and more generate adequate toxicological support conservation, value chain addition of its products and widespread use as a herbal remedy.
Seismic Behavior of Existing Reinforced Concrete Buildings in California under Mainshock-Aftershock Scenarios
Numerous cases of earthquakes (main-shocks) that were followed by aftershocks have been recorded in California. In 1992 a pair of strong earthquakes occurred within three hours of each other in Southern California. The first shock occurred near the community of Landers and was assigned a magnitude of 7.3 then the second shock occurred near the city of Big Bear about 20 miles west of the initial shock and was assigned a magnitude of 6.2. In the same year, a series of three earthquakes occurred over two days in the Cape-Mendocino area of Northern California. The main-shock was assigned a magnitude of 7.0 while the second and the third shocks were both assigned a value of 6.6. This paper investigates the effect of a main-shock accompanied with aftershocks of significant intensity on reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings to indicate nonlinear behavior using PERFORM-3D software. A 6-story building in San Bruno and a 20-story building in North Hollywood were selected for the study as both of them have RC moment resisting frame systems. The buildings are also instrumented at multiple floor levels as a part of the California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP). Both buildings have recorded responses during past events such as Loma-Prieta and Northridge earthquakes which were used in verifying the response parameters of the numerical models in PERFORM-3D. The verification of the numerical models shows good agreement between the calculated and the recorded response values. Then, different scenarios of a main-shock followed by a series of aftershocks from real cases in California were applied to the building models in order to investigate the structural behavior of the moment-resisting frame system. The behavior was evaluated in terms of the lateral floor displacements, the ductility demands, and the inelastic behavior at critical locations. The analysis results showed that permanent displacements may have happened due to the plastic deformation during the main-shock that can lead to higher displacements during after-shocks. Also, the inelastic response at plastic hinges during the main-shock can change the hysteretic behavior during the aftershocks. Higher ductility demands can also occur when buildings are subjected to trains of ground motions compared to the case of individual ground motions. A general conclusion is that the occurrence of aftershocks following an earthquake can lead to increased damage within the elements of an RC frame buildings. Current code provisions for seismic design do not consider the probability of significant aftershocks when designing a new building in zones of high seismic activity.
A Systematic Review of Efficacy and Safety of Radiofrequency Ablation in Patients with Spinal Metastases
Development of minimally invasive treatments in recent years provides a potential alternative to invasive surgical interventions which are of limited value to patients with spinal metastases due to short life expectancy. A systematic review was conducted to explore the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive treatment in patients with spinal metastases. EMBASE, Medline and CENTRAL were searched from database inception to March 2017 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised studies. Conference proceedings for ASCO and ESMO published in 2015 and 2016 were also searched. Fourteen studies were included: three prospective interventional studies, four prospective case series and seven retrospective case series. No RCTs or studies comparing RFA with another treatment were identified. RFA was followed by cement augmentation in all patients in seven studies and some patients (40-96%) in the remaining seven studies. Efficacy was assessed as pain relief in 13/14 studies with the use of a numerical rating scale (NRS) or a visual analogue scale (VAS) at various time points. Ten of the 13 studies reported a significant decrease in pain outcome, post-RFA compared to baseline. NRS scores improved significantly at 1 week (5.9 to 3.5, p < 0.0001; 8 to 4.3, p < 0.02 and 8 to 3.9, p < 0.0001) and this improvement was maintained at 1 month post-RFA compared to baseline (5.9 to 2.6, p < 0.0001; 8 to 2.9, p < 0.0003; 8 to 2.9, p < 0.0001). Similarly, VAS scores decreased significantly at 1 week (7.5 to 2.7, p=0.00005; 7.51 to 1.73, p < 0.0001; 7.82 to 2.82, p < 0.001) and this pattern was maintained at 1 month post-RFA compared to baseline (7.51 to 2.25, p < 0.0001; 7.82 to 3.3; p < 0.001). A significant pain relief was achieved regardless of whether patients had cement augmentation in two studies assessing the impact of RFA with or without cement augmentation on VAS pain scores. In these two studies, a significant decrease in pain scores was reported for patients receiving RFA alone and RFA+cement at 1 week (4.3 to 1.7. p=0.0004 and 6.6 to 1.7, p=0.003 respectively) and 15-36 months (7.9 to 4, p=0.008 and 7.6 to 3.5, p=0.005 respectively) after therapy. Few minor complications were reported and these included neural damage, radicular pain, vertebroplasty leakage and lower limb pain/numbness. In conclusion, the efficacy and safety of RFA were consistently positive between prospective and retrospective studies with reductions in pain and few procedural complications. However, the lack of control groups in the identified studies indicates the possibility of selection bias inherent in single arm studies. Controlled trials exploring efficacy and safety of RFA in patients with spinal metastases are warranted to provide robust evidence. The identified studies provide an initial foundation for such future trials.
A Systematic Review of Efficacy and Safety of Radiofrequency Ablation in Patients with Spinal Metastases
Development of minimally invasive treatments in recent years provides a potential alternative to invasive surgical interventions which are of limited value to patients with spinal metastases due to short life expectancy. A systematic review was conducted to explore the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive treatment in patients with spinal metastases. EMBASE, Medline and CENTRAL were searched from database inception to March 2017 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised studies. Conference proceedings for ASCO and ESMO published in 2015 and 2016 were also searched. Fourteen studies were included: three prospective interventional studies, four prospective case series and seven retrospective case series. No RCTs or studies comparing RFA with another treatment were identified. RFA was followed by cement augmentation in all patients in seven studies and some patients (40-96%) in the remaining seven studies. Efficacy was assessed as pain relief in 13/14 studies with the use of a numerical rating scale (NRS) or a visual analogue scale (VAS) at various time points. Ten of the 13 studies reported a significant decrease in pain outcome, post-RFA compared to baseline. NRS scores improved significantly at 1 week (5.9 to 3.5, p < 0.0001; 8 to 4.3, p < 0.02 and 8 to 3.9, p < 0.0001) and this improvement was maintained at 1 month post-RFA compared to baseline (5.9 to 2.6, p < 0.0001; 8 to 2.9, p < 0.0003; 8 to 2.9, p < 0.0001). Similarly, VAS scores decreased significantly at 1 week (7.5 to 2.7, p=0.00005; 7.51 to 1.73, p < 0.0001; 7.82 to 2.82, p < 0.001) and this pattern was maintained at 1 month post-RFA compared to baseline (7.51 to 2.25, p < 0.0001; 7.82 to 3.3; p < 0.001). A significant pain relief was achieved regardless of whether patients had cement augmentation in two studies assessing the impact of RFA with or without cement augmentation on VAS pain scores. In these two studies, a significant decrease in pain scores was reported for patients receiving RFA alone and RFA+cement at 1 week (4.3 to 1.7. p=0.0004 and 6.6 to 1.7, p=0.003 respectively) and 15-36 months (7.9 to 4, p=0.008 and 7.6 to 3.5, p=0.005 respectively) after therapy. Few minor complications were reported and these included neural damage, radicular pain, vertebroplasty leakage and lower limb pain/numbness. In conclusion, the efficacy and safety of RFA were consistently positive between prospective and retrospective studies with reductions in pain and few procedural complications. However, the lack of control groups in the identified studies indicates the possibility of selection bias inherent in single arm studies. Controlled trials exploring efficacy and safety of RFA in patients with spinal metastases are warranted to provide robust evidence. The identified studies provide an initial foundation for such future trials.
A Literary Excursion into Stories about ‘the Road Not Taken’: Introducing Decision Narrative
The present paper suggests that a previously unnamed literary discourse of decision narrative can be identified in literary fiction. Decision narrative is defined by speculative rhetoric, it is told in parallel reality structure, and its protagonist has been designated the role of a decision-maker. The notion of narratives which focus specifically on decisions is worthwhile, firstly, as there are plenty examples of such narratives scattered around literary genres and periods, and secondly, because awareness of the importance of decision-making in literary interpretation can bring out important aspects which would otherwise be unnoticed. The aim of this paper is to explain the specific features of a decision narrative in enough detail to enable identifying it amongst literary narratives. The literary excursion behind this paper focused on mapping literature through the theme of ‘choosing’. Loosely understood, the theme is ubiquitous in literature; each work of literature involves choosing and choices. However, when a work of literature focuses on choosing, it inevitably engages in a philosophical discussion on the meaning of choices as identity-forming and life-defining actions. Hence, they are narratives of choices. Choices have an inevitable moral component. An example of such a decision narrative is Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol (1843). Then again, decisions can be approached through the fear of choosing wrong as in another decision narrative, Jolly Corner (1908) by Henry James. Also, some time-travel narratives focus on choices by exploring second chances, such as Ken Grimwood’s Replay (1986). They all use speculation and parallel reality structure in their discussion on decisions, as well as to characterize the protagonist as a decision-maker. To provide a detailed description, Lionel Shrivers’ The Post-Birthday World (2007) is a prominent one concerning the style, structure, and protagonist that define the Decision narrative. The novel tells the story of a woman who is at a crossroads of two men. The choice culminates at the end of the opening chapter: Does she or does she not kiss the tall, dark, handsome other man? The kiss embodies the choice between two different lives she could have. After the opening chapter, the story proceeds in a parallel reality structure through alternating chapters. Hence, the bulk of the narrative does not, in fact, show what happens as such, but shows two versions of what could happen, focusing on the protagonist’s speculation of the road she never took. Finally, the two versions merge into one story, the solution. In sum, decision narrative is constructed on the following elements: 1) the plot culminates on an important yes-or-no -choice, 2) as a result of the choice, the narrative forks into two versions (a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’), which 3) merges into a solution in the end. Important is also that through this journey (or these journeys), 4) the protagonist evolves from a contemplator into a chooser.
Literature Review on the Controversies and Changes in the Insanity Defense since the Wild Beast Standard in 1723 until the Federal Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984
Many variables led to the changes in the insanity defense since the Wild Beast Standard of 1723 until the Federal Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984. The insanity defense is used in criminal trials and argued that the defendant is ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ because the individual was unable to distinguish right from wrong during the time they were breaking the law. The issue that surrounds whether or not to use the insanity defense in the criminal court depends on the mental state of the defendant at the time the criminal act was committed. This leads us to the question of did the defendant know right from wrong when they broke the law? In 1723, The Wild Beast Test stated that to be exempted from punishment the individual is totally deprived of their understanding and memory and doth not know what they are doing. The Wild Beast Test became the standard in England for over seventy-five years. In 1800, James Hadfield attempted to assassinate King George III. He only made the attempt because he was having delusional beliefs. The jury and the judge gave a verdict of not guilty. However, to legal confine him; the Criminal Lunatics Act was enacted. Individuals that were deemed as ‘criminal lunatics’ and were given a verdict of not guilty would be taken into custody and not be freed into society. In 1843, the M'Naghten test required that the individual did not know the quality or the wrongfulness of the offense at the time they committed the criminal act(s). Daniel M'Naghten was acquitted on grounds of insanity. The M'Naghten Test is still a modern concept of the insanity defense used in many courts today. The Irresistible Impulse Test was enacted in the United States in 1887. The Irresistible Impulse Test suggested that offenders that could not control their behavior while they were committing a criminal act were not deterrable by the criminal sanctions in place; therefore no purpose would be served by convicting the offender. Due to the criticisms of the latter two contentions, the federal District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in 1954 to adopt the ‘product test’ by Sir Isaac Ray for insanity. The Durham Rule also known as the ‘product test’, stated an individual is not criminally responsible if the unlawful act was the product of mental disease or defect. Therefore, the two questions that need to be asked and answered are (1) did the individual have a mental disease or defect at the time they broke the law? and (2) was the criminal act the product of their disease or defect? The Durham courts failed to clearly define ‘mental disease’ or ‘product.’ Therefore, trial courts had difficulty defining the meaning of the terms and the controversy continued until 1972 when the Durham rule was overturned in most places. Therefore, the American Law Institute combined the M'Naghten test with the irresistible impulse test and The United States Congress adopted an insanity test for the federal courts in 1984.
Assessment of Community Perceptions of Mangrove Ecosystem Services and Their Link to SDGs in Vanga, Kenya
Mangroves play a vital role in the achievement of multiple goals of global sustainable development (SDG’s), particularly SDG SDG 14 (life under water). Their management, however, is faced with several shortcomings arising from inadequate knowledge on the perceptions of their ecosystem services, hence a need to map mangrove goods and services within SDGs while interrogating the disaggregated perceptions. This study therefore aimed at exploring the parities and disparities in attitudes and perceptions of mangrove ecosystem services among community members of Vanga and the link of the ecosystem services (ESs) to specific SDG targets. The study was based at the Kenya-Tanzania transboundary area in Vanga; where a carbon-offset project on mangroves is being up scaled. Mixed methods approach employing surveys, focus group discussions (FGDs) and reviews of secondary data were used in the study. A two stage cluster samplings was used to select the study population and the sample size. FGDs were conducted purposively selecting active participants in mangrove related activities with distinct socio-demographic characteristics. Sampled respondents comprised of males and females of different occupations and age groups. Secondary data review was used to select specific SDG targets against which mangrove ecosystem services identified through a value chain analysis were mapped. In Vanga, 20 ecosystem services were identified and categorized under supporting, cultural and aesthetic, provisioning and regulating services. According to the findings of this study, 63.9% (95% ci 56.6-69.3) perceived of the ESs as very important for economic development, 10.3% (95% ci 0-21.3) viewed them as important for environmental and ecological development while 25.8% (95% ci 2.2-32.8) were not sure of any role they play in development. In the social-economic disaggregation, ecosystem service values were found to vary with the level of interaction with the ecosystem which depended on gender and other social-economic classes within the study area. The youths, low income earners, women and those with low education levels were also identified as the primary beneficiaries of mangrove ecosystem services. The study also found that of the 17 SDGs, mangroves have a potential of influencing the achievement 12, including, SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 either directly or indirectly. Generally therefore, the local community is aware of the critical importance mangroves for enhanced livelihood and ecological services but challenges in sustainability still occur as a result the diverse values and of the services and the contradicting interests of the different actors around the ecosystem. It is therefore important to consider parities in values and perception to avoid a ‘tragedy of the commons’ while striving to enhance sustainability of the Mangrove ecosystem.
A Comparison of Proxemics and Postural Head Movements during Pop Music versus Matched Music Videos
Introduction: Proxemics is the study of how people perceive and use space. It is commonly proposed that when people like or engage with a person/object, they will move slightly closer to it, often quite subtly and subconsciously. Music videos are known to add entertainment value to a pop song. Our hypothesis was that by adding appropriately matched video to a pop song, it would lead to a net approach of the head to the monitor screen compared to simply listening to an audio-only version of the song. Methods: We presented to 27 participants (ages 21.00 ± 2.89, 15 female) seated in front of 47.5 x 27 cm monitor two musical stimuli in a counterbalanced order; all stimuli were based on music videos by the band OK Go: Here It Goes Again (HIGA, boredom ratings (0-100) = 15.00 ± 4.76, mean ± SEM, standard-error-of-the-mean) and Do What You Want (DWYW, boredom ratings = 23.93 ± 5.98), which did not differ in boredom elicited (P = 0.21, rank-sum test). Each participant experienced each song only once, and one song (counterbalanced) as audio-only versus the other song as a music video. The movement was measured by video-tracking using Kinovea 0.8, based on recording from a lateral aspect; before beginning, each participant had a reflective motion tracking marker placed on the outer canthus of the left eye. Analysis of the Kinovea X-Y coordinate output in comma-separated-variables format was performed in Matlab, as were non-parametric statistical tests. Results: We found that the audio-only stimuli (combined for both HIGA and DWYW, mean ± SEM, 35.71 ± 5.36) were significantly more boring than the music video versions (19.46 ± 3.83, P = 0.0066 Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test (WSRT), Cohen's d = 0.658, N = 28). We also found that participants' heads moved around twice as much during the audio-only versions (speed = 0.590 ± 0.095 mm/sec) compared to the video versions (0.301 ± 0.063 mm/sec, P = 0.00077, WSRT). However, the participants' mean head-to-screen distances were not detectably smaller (i.e. head closer to the screen) during the music videos (74.4 ± 1.8 cm) compared to the audio-only stimuli (73.9 ± 1.8 cm, P = 0.37, WSRT). If anything, during the audio-only condition, they were slightly closer. Interestingly, the ranges of the head-to-screen distances were smaller during the music video (8.6 ± 1.4 cm) compared to the audio-only (12.9 ± 1.7 cm, P = 0.0057, WSRT), the standard deviations were also smaller (P = 0.0027, WSRT), and their heads were held 7 mm higher (video 116.1 ± 0.8 vs. audio-only 116.8 ± 0.8 cm above floor, P = 0.049, WSRT). Discussion: As predicted, sitting and listening to experimenter-selected pop music was more boring than when the music was accompanied by a matched, professionally-made video. However, we did not find that the proxemics of the situation led to approaching the screen. Instead, adding video led to efforts to control the head to a more central and upright viewing position and to suppress head fidgeting.
Observational Study of Ionising Radiation Exposure in Orthopaedic Theatre
Background and aims: In orthopaedic theatres, radiological screening during operations is a commonly used and useful technique to visualise and guide the operating surgeon. Within any theatre using ionising radiation, it is imperative that the use of protective equipment and the wearing of a dosimeter at all times. 1. To assess compliance with use of protective equipment during orthopaedic procedures involving ionising radiation. 2. To assess the radiation risk knowledge of staff members regularly present in an orthopaedic theatre of a national major trauma centre, in accordance to the ionising radiation regulation (2000) guidelines. Method: We conducted an Observational study of 21 operations at the University Hospital of Wales, which is a major trauma centre, recording the compliance with use of protective equipment (lead aprons and thyroid shields) and dosimeters. The observations were performed sporadically over a two week period to ensure that all staff in monitored operating theatres were not aware of the ongoing study, as to avoid bias. A questionnaire testing the knowledge of trainees and staff within the orthopaedic department was given following completion of the initial phase of the study, with 19 responses. The questions were based on knowledge of ionising radiation exposure and monitoring. The questions also tested the general staff knowledge of what equipment should be worn and where to locate such equipment. Results: This study found that only 25% of staff members were wearing thyroid protectors when less than 1 meter from the radiation source and only 50% were wearing appropriate lead aprons whilst in this same vicinity. The study also showed that 0% of all staff members used a dosimeter whilst in an area of radiation exposure. From the distributed questionnaires, only 40% of staff understood where to stand whilst radiation was being used, and only 25% of staff knew where to find protective equipment. Conclusion: Overall our audit showed poor compliance with regards to the National and local policies, due to lack of awareness of the policy and lack of basic ionising radiation exposure knowledge. It was evident from the observational study and questionnaire that staff were not fully aware of what equipment should be worn, where to find such equipment and did not appreciate that the distance from the ionising radiation source altered its exposure effect. This lack of knowledge may affect the staff health and safety after long term exposure. Changes to clinical practice: From the outcome of this study, we managed to drastically increase awareness of ionising radiation within the orthopaedic department. A mandatory teaching session on the safety of ionising radiation has been incorporated into the orthopaedic induction week for all staff. The dosimeters have been moved to a visible location within the trauma operating theatre and all staff made aware of where to find protective equipment.
Coping with Incompatible Identities in Russia: Case of Orthodox Gays
The era of late modernity is characterized, on the one hand, by social disintegration, values of personal freedom, tolerance, and self-expression. Boundaries between the accessible and the elitist, normal and abnormal are blurring. On the other hand, traditional social institutions, such as religion (especially Russian Orthodox Church), exist, criticizing lifestyle and worldview other than conventionally structured canons. Despite the declared values and opportunities in late modern society, people's freedom is ambivalent. Personal identity and its aspects are becoming a subject of choice. Hence, combinations of identity aspects can be incompatible. Our theoretical framework is based on P. Ricoeur's concept of narrative identity and hermeneutics, E. Goffman’s theory of social stigma, self-presentation, discrepant roles and W. James lectures about varieties of religious experience. This paper aims to reconstruct ways of coping with incompatible identities of Orthodox gays (an extreme sampling of a combination of sexual orientation and religious identity in a heteronormative society). This study focuses on the discourse of Orthodox gay parishioners and ROC gay priests in Russia (sampling ‘hard to reach’ populations because of the secrecy of gay community in ROC and sensitivity of the topic itself). We conducted a qualitative research design, using in-depth personal semi-structured online-interviews. Recruiting of informants took place in 'Nuntiare et Recreare' (Russian movement of religious LGBT) page in VKontakte through the post with an invitation to participate in the research. In this work, we analyzed interview transcripts using axial coding. We chose the Grounded Theory methodology to construct a theory from empirical data and contribute to the growing body of knowledge in ways of harmonizing incompatible identities in late modern societies. The research has found that there are two types of conflicts Orthodox gays meet with: canonic contradictions (postulates of Scripture and its interpretations) and problems in social interaction, mainly with ROC priests and Orthodox parishioners. We have revealed semantic meanings of most commonly used words that appear in the narratives (words such as ‘love’, ‘sin’, ‘religion’ etc.). Finally, we have reconstructed biographical patterns of LGBT social movements’ involvement. This paper argues that all incompatibilities are harmonizing in the narrative itself. As Ricoeur has suggested, the narrative configuration allows the speaker to gather facts and events together and to compose causal relationships between them. Sexual orientation and religious identity are getting along and harmonizing in the narrative.
A Case Study of Remote Location Viewing, and Its Significance in Mobile Learning
As location aware mobile technologies become ever more omnipresent, the prospect of exploiting their context awareness to enforce learning approaches thrives. Utilizing the growing acceptance of ubiquitous computing, and the steady progress both in accuracy and battery usage of pervasive devices, we present a case study of remote location viewing, how the application can be utilized to support mobile learning in situ using an existing scenario. Through the case study we introduce a new innovative application: Mobipeek based around a request/response protocol for the viewing of a remote location and explore how this can apply both as part of a teacher lead activity and informal learning situations. The system developed allows a user to select a point on a map, and send a request. Users can attach messages alongside time and distance constraints. Users within the bounds of the request can respond with an image, and accompanying message, providing context to the response. This application can be used alongside a structured learning activity such as the use of mobile phone cameras outdoors as part of an interactive lesson. An example of a learning activity would be to collect photos in the wild about plants, vegetation, and foliage as part of a geography or environmental science lesson. Another example could be to take photos of architectural buildings and monuments as part of an architecture course. These images can be uploaded then displayed back in the classroom for students to share their experiences and compare their findings with their peers. This can help to fosters students’ active participation while helping students to understand lessons in a more interesting and effective way. Mobipeek could augment the student learning experience by providing further interaction with other peers in a remote location. The activity can be part of a wider study between schools in different areas of the country enabling the sharing and interaction between more participants. Remote location viewing can be used to access images in a specific location. The choice of location will depend on the activity and lesson. For example architectural buildings of a specific period can be shared between two or more cities. The augmentation of the learning experience can be manifested in the different contextual and cultural influences as well as the sharing of images from different locations. In addition to the implementation of Mobipeek, we strive to analyse this application, and a subset of other possible and further solutions targeted towards making learning more engaging. Consideration is given to the benefits of such a system, privacy concerns, and feasibility of widespread usage. We also propose elements of “gamification”, in an attempt to further the engagement derived from such a tool and encourage usage. We conclude by identifying limitations, both from a technical, and a mobile learning perspective.
Persistent Ribosomal In-Frame Mis-Translation of Stop Codons as Amino Acids in Multiple Open Reading Frames of a Human Long Non-Coding RNA
Two-thirds of human genes do not encode any known proteins. Aside from long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes with recently-discovered functions, the ~40,000 non-protein-coding human genes remain poorly understood, and a role for their transcripts as de-facto unconventional messenger RNAs has not been formally excluded. Ribosome profiling (Riboseq) predicts translational potential, but without independent evidence of proteins from lncRNA open reading frames (ORFs), ribosome binding of lncRNAs does not prove translation. Previously, we mass-spectrometrically documented translation of specific lncRNAs in human K562 and GM12878 cells. We now examined lncRNA translation in human MCF7 cells, integrating strand-specific Illumina RNAseq, Riboseq, and deep mass spectrometry in biological quadruplicates performed at two core facilities (BGI, China; City of Hope, USA). We excluded known-protein matches. UCSC Genome Browser-assisted manual annotation of imperfect (tryptic-digest-peptides)-to-(lncRNA-three-frame-translations) alignments revealed three peptides hypothetically explicable by 'stop-to-nonstop' in-frame replacement of stop codons by amino acids in two ORFs of the lncRNA MMP24-AS1. To search for this phenomenon genomewide, we designed and implemented a novel pipeline, matching tryptic-digest spectra to wildcard-instead-of-stop versions of repeat-masked, six-frame, whole-genome translations. Along with singleton putative stop-to-nonstop events affecting four other lncRNAs, we identified 24 additional peptides with stop-to-nonstop in-frame substitutions from multiple positive-strand MMP24-AS1 ORFs. Only UAG and UGA, never UAA, stop codons were impacted. All MMP24-AS1-matching spectra met the same significance thresholds as high-confidence known-protein signatures. Targeted resequencing of MMP24-AS1 genomic DNA and cDNA from the same samples did not reveal any mutations, polymorphisms, or sequencing-detectable RNA editing. This unprecedented apparent gene-specific violation of the genetic code highlights the importance of matching peptides to whole-genome, not known-genes-only, ORFs in mass-spectrometry workflows, and suggests a new mechanism enhancing the combinatorial complexity of the proteome. Funding: NIH Director’s New Innovator Award 1DP2-CA196375 to LL.
Inconsistent Effects of Landscape Heterogeneity on Animal Diversity in an Agricultural Mosaic: A Multi-Scale and Multi-Taxon Investigation
A key challenge for the developing world is reconciling biodiversity conservation with the growing demand for food. In these regions, agriculture is typically interspersed among other land-uses creating heterogeneous landscapes. A primary hypothesis for promoting biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. While there is evidence that landscape heterogeneity positively influences biodiversity, the application of this hypothesis is hindered by a need to determine which components of landscape heterogeneity drive these effects and at what spatial scale(s). Additionally, whether diverse taxonomic groups are similarly affected is central for determining the applicability of this hypothesis as a general conservation strategy in agricultural mosaics. Two major components of landscape heterogeneity are compositional and configurational heterogeneity. Disentangling the roles of each component is important for biodiversity conservation because each represents different mechanisms underpinning variation in biodiversity. We identified a priori independent gradients of compositional and configurational landscape heterogeneity within an extensive agricultural mosaic in north-eastern Swaziland. We then tested how bird, dung beetle, ant and meso-carnivore diversity responded to compositional and configurational heterogeneity across six different spatial scales. To determine if a general trend could be observed across multiple taxa, we also tested which component and spatial scale was most influential across all taxonomic groups combined, Compositional, not configurational, heterogeneity explained diversity in each taxonomic group, with the exception of meso-carnivores. Bird and ant diversity was positively correlated with compositional heterogeneity at fine spatial scales < 1000 m, whilst dung beetle diversity was negatively correlated to compositional heterogeneity at broader spatial scales > 1500 m. Importantly, because of these contrasting effects across taxa, there was no effect of either component of heterogeneity on the combined taxonomic diversity at any spatial scale. The contrasting responses across taxonomic groups exemplify the difficulty in implementing effective conservation strategies that meet the requirements of diverse taxa. To promote diverse communities across a range of taxa, conservation strategies must be multi-scaled and may involve different strategies at varying scales to offset the contrasting influences of compositional heterogeneity. A diversity of strategies are likely key to conserving biodiversity in agricultural mosaics, and we have demonstrated that a landscape management strategy that only manages for heterogeneity at one particular scale will likely fall short of management objectives.
Doctor-Patient Interaction in an L2: Pragmatic Study of a Nigerian Experience
This study investigated the use of English in doctor-patient interaction in a university teaching hospital from a southwestern state in Nigeria with the aim of identifying the role of communication in an L2, patterns of communication, discourse strategies, pragmatic acts, and contexts that shape the interaction. Jacob Mey’s Pragmatic Acts notion complemented with Emanuel and Emanuel’s model of doctor-patient relationship provided the theoretical standpoint. Data comprising 7 audio-recorded doctors-patient interactions were collected from a University Hospital in Oyo state, Nigeria. Interactions involving the use of English language were purposefully selected. These were supplemented with patients’ case notes and interviews conducted with doctors. Transcription was patterned alongside modified Arminen’s notations of conversation analysis. In the study, interaction in English between doctor and patients has the preponderance of direct-translation, code-mixing and switching, Nigerianism and use of cultural worldviews to express medical experience. Irrespective of these, three patterns communication, namely the paternalistic, interpretive, and deliberative were identified. These were exhibited through varying discourse strategies. The paternalistic model reflected slightly casual conversational conventions and registers. These were achieved through the pragmemic activities of situated speech acts, psychological and physical acts, via patients’ quarrel-induced acts, controlled and managed through doctors’ shared situation knowledge. All these produced empathising, pacifying, promising and instructing practs. The patients’ practs were explaining, provoking, associating and greeting in the paternalistic model. The informative model reveals the use of adjacency pairs, formal turn-taking, precise detailing, institutional talks and dialogic strategies. Through the activities of the speech, prosody and physical acts, the practs of declaring, alerting and informing were utilised by doctors, while the patients exploited adapting, requesting and selecting practs. The negotiating conversational strategy of the deliberative model featured in the speech, prosody and physical acts. In this model, practs of suggesting, teaching, persuading and convincing were utilised by the doctors. The patients deployed the practs of questioning, demanding, considering and deciding. The contextual variables revealed that other patterns (such as phatic and informative) are also used and they coalesced in the hospital within the situational and psychological contexts. However, the paternalistic model was predominantly employed by doctors with over six years in practice, while the interpretive, informative and deliberative models were found among registrar and others below six years of medical practice. Doctors’ experience, patients’ peculiarities and shared cultural knowledge influenced doctor-patient communication in the study.
Use of Socially Assistive Robots in Early Rehabilitation to Promote Mobility for Infants with Motor Delays
Early immobility affects the motor, cognitive, and social development. Current pediatric rehabilitation lacks the technology that will provide the dosage needed to promote mobility for young children at risk. The addition of socially assistive robots in early interventions may help increase the mobility dosage. The aim of this study is to examine the feasibility of an early intervention paradigm where non-walking infants experience independent mobility while socially interacting with robots. A dynamic environment is developed where both the child and the robot interact and learn from each other. The environment involves: 1) a range of physical activities that are goal-oriented, age-appropriate, and ability-matched for the child to perform, 2) the automatic functions that perceive the child’s actions through novel activity recognition algorithms, and decide appropriate actions for the robot, and 3) a networked visual data acquisition system that enables real-time assessment and provides the means to connect child behavior with robot decision-making in real-time. The environment was tested by bringing a two-year old boy with Down syndrome for eight sessions. The child presented delays throughout his motor development with the current being on the acquisition of walking. During the sessions, the child performed physical activities that required complex motor actions (e.g. climbing an inclined platform and/or staircase). During these activities, a (wheeled or humanoid) robot was either performing the action or was at its end point 'signaling' for interaction. From these sessions, information was gathered to develop algorithms to automate the perception of activities which the robot bases its actions on. A Markov Decision Process (MDP) is used to model the intentions of the child. A 'smoothing' technique is used to help identify the model’s parameters which are a critical step when dealing with small data sets such in this paradigm. The child engaged in all activities and socially interacted with the robot across sessions. With time, the child’s mobility was increased, and the frequency and duration of complex and independent motor actions were also increased (e.g. taking independent steps). Simulation results on the combination of the MDP and smoothing support the use of this model in human-robot interaction. Smoothing facilitates learning MDP parameters from small data sets. This paradigm is feasible and provides an insight on how social interaction may elicit mobility actions suggesting a new early intervention paradigm for very young children with motor disabilities. Acknowledgment: This work has been supported by NIH under grant #5R01HD87133.
Use of Socially Assistive Robots in Early Rehabilitation to Promote Mobility for Infants with Motor Delays
Early immobility affects the motor, cognitive, and social development. Current pediatric rehabilitation lacks the technology that will provide the dosage needed to promote mobility for young children at risk. The addition of socially assistive robots in early interventions may help increase the mobility dosage. The aim of this study is to examine the feasibility of an early intervention paradigm where non-walking infants experience independent mobility while socially interacting with robots. A dynamic environment is developed where both the child and the robot interact and learn from each other. The environment involves: 1) a range of physical activities that are goal-oriented, age-appropriate, and ability-matched for the child to perform, 2) the automatic functions that perceive the child’s actions through novel activity recognition algorithms, and decide appropriate actions for the robot, and 3) a networked visual data acquisition system that enables real-time assessment and provides the means to connect child behavior with robot decision-making in real-time. The environment was tested by bringing a two-year old boy with Down syndrome for eight sessions. The child presented delays throughout his motor development with the current being on the acquisition of walking. During the sessions, the child performed physical activities that required complex motor actions (e.g. climbing an inclined platform and/or staircase). During these activities, a (wheeled or humanoid) robot was either performing the action or was at its end point 'signaling' for interaction. From these sessions, information was gathered to develop algorithms to automate the perception of activities which the robot bases its actions on. A Markov Decision Process (MDP) is used to model the intentions of the child. A 'smoothing' technique is used to help identify the model’s parameters which are a critical step when dealing with small data sets such in this paradigm. The child engaged in all activities and socially interacted with the robot across sessions. With time, the child’s mobility was increased, and the frequency and duration of complex and independent motor actions were also increased (e.g. taking independent steps). Simulation results on the combination of the MDP and smoothing support the use of this model in human-robot interaction. Smoothing facilitates learning MDP parameters from small data sets. This paradigm is feasible and provides an insight on how social interaction may elicit mobility actions suggesting a new early intervention paradigm for very young children with motor disabilities. Acknowledgment: This work has been supported by NIH under grant #5R01HD87133.
Defining the Tipping Point of Tolerance to CO₂-Induced Ocean Acidification in Larval Dusky Kob Argyrosomus japonicus (Pisces: Sciaenidae)
Increased CO₂ production and the consequent ocean acidification (OA) have been identified as one of the greatest threats to both calcifying and non-calcifying marine organisms. Traditionally, marine fishes, as non-calcifying organisms, were considered to have a higher tolerance to near-future OA conditions owing to their well-developed ion regulatory mechanisms. However, recent studies provide evidence to suggest that they may not be as resilient to near-future OA conditions as previously thought. In addition, earlier life stages of marine fishes are thought to be less tolerant than juveniles and adults of the same species as they lack well-developed ion regulatory mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis. This study focused on the effects of near-future OA on larval Argyrosomus japonicus, an estuarine-dependent marine fish species, in order to identify the tipping point of tolerance for the larvae of this species. Larval A. japonicus in the present study were reared from the egg up to 22 days after hatching (DAH) under three treatments. The three treatments, (pCO₂ 353 µatm; pH 8.03), (pCO₂ 451 µatm; pH 7.93) and (pCO₂ 602 µatm; pH 7.83) corresponded to levels predicted to occur in year 2050, 2068 and 2090 respectively under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathways (IPCC RCP) 8.5 model. Size-at-hatch, growth, development, and metabolic responses (standard and active metabolic rates and metabolic scope) were assessed and compared between the three treatments throughout the rearing period. Five earlier larval life stages (hatchling – flexion/post-flexion) were identified by the end of the experiment. There were no significant differences in size-at-hatch (p > 0.05), development or the active metabolic (p > 0.05) or metabolic scope (p > 0.05) of fish in the three treatments throughout the study. However, the standard metabolic rate was significantly higher in the year 2068 treatment but only at the flexion/post-flexion stage which could be attributed to differences in developmental rates (including the development of the gills) between the 2068 and the other two treatments. Overall, the metabolic scope was narrowest in the 2090 treatment but varied according to life stage. Although not significantly different, metabolic scope in the 2090 treatment was noticeably lower at the flexion stage compared to the other two treatments, and the development appeared slower, suggesting that this could be the stage most prone to OA. The study concluded that, in isolation, OA levels predicted to occur between 2050 and 2090 will not negatively affect size-at-hatch, growth, development, and metabolic responses of larval A. japonicus up to 22 DAH (flexion/post-flexion stage). The present study also identified the tipping point of tolerance (where negative impacts will begin) in larvae of the species to be between the years 2090 and 2100.
Post Harvest Fungi Diversity and Level of Aflatoxin Contamination in Stored Maize: Cases of Kitui, Nakuru and Trans-Nzoia Counties in Kenya
Aflatoxin contamination of maize in Africa poses a major threat to food security and the health of many African people. In Kenya, aflatoxin contamination of maize is high due to the environmental, agricultural and socio-economic factors. Many studies have been conducted to understand the scope of the problem, especially at pre-harvest level. This research was carried out to gather scientific information on the fungi population, diversity and aflatoxin level during the post-harvest period. The study was conducted in three geographical locations of; Kitui, Kitale and Nakuru. Samples were collected from storage structures of farmers and transported to the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA), International Livestock and Research Institute (ILRI) hub laboratories. Mycoflora was recovered using the direct plating method. A total of five fungal genera (Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Rhizopus and Bssyochlamys spp.) were isolated from the stored maize samples. The most common fungal species that were isolated from the three study sites included A. flavus at 82.03% followed by A.niger and F.solani at 49% and 26% respectively. The aflatoxin producing fungi A. flavus was recovered in 82.03% of the samples. Aflatoxin levels were analysed on both the maize samples and in vitro. Most of the A. flavus isolates recorded a high level of aflatoxin when they were analysed for presence of aflatoxin B1 using ELISA. In Kitui, all the samples (100%) had aflatoxin levels above 10ppb with a total aflatoxin mean of 219.2ppb. In Kitale, only 3 samples (n=39) had their aflatoxin levels less than 10ppb while in Nakuru, the total aflatoxin mean level of this region was 239.7ppb. When individual samples were analysed using Vicam fluorometer method, aflatoxin analysis revealed that most of the samples (58.4%) had been contaminated. The means were significantly different (p=0.00< 0.05) in all the three locations. Genetic relationships of A. flavus isolates were determined using 13 Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) markers. The results were used to generate a phylogenetic tree using DARwin5 software program. A total of 5 distinct clusters were revealed among the genotypes. The isolates appeared to cluster separately according to the geographical locations. Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) of the genetic distances among the 91 A. flavus isolates explained over 50.3% of the total variation when two coordinates were used to cluster the isolates. Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) showed a high variation of 87% within populations and 13% among populations. This research has shown that A. flavus is the main fungal species infecting maize grains in Kenya. The influence of aflatoxins on human populations in Kenya demonstrates a clear need for tools to manage contamination of locally produced maize. Food basket surveys for aflatoxin contamination should be conducted on a regular basis. This would assist in obtaining reliable data on aflatoxin incidence in different food crops. This would go a long way in defining control strategies for this menace.
Online Monitoring and Control of Continuous Mechanosynthesis by UV-Vis Spectrophotometry
Traditional mechanosynthesis has been performed by either ball milling or manual grinding. However, neither of these techniques allow the easy application of process control. The temperature may change unpredictably due to friction in the process. Hence the amount of energy transferred to the reactants is intrinsically non-uniform. Recently, it has been shown that the use of Twin-Screw extrusion (TSE) can overcome these limitations. Additionally, TSE enables a platform for continuous synthesis or manufacturing as it is an open-ended process, with feedstocks at one end and product at the other. Several materials including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), co-crystals and small organic molecules have been produced mechanochemically using TSE. The described advantages of TSE are offset by drawbacks such as increased process complexity (a large number of process parameters) and variation in feedstock flow impacting on product quality. To handle the above-mentioned drawbacks, this study utilizes UV-Vis spectrophotometry (InSpectroX, ColVisTec) as an online tool to gain real-time information about the quality of the product. Additionally, this is combined with real-time process information in an Advanced Process Control system (PharmaMV, Perceptive Engineering) allowing full supervision and control of the TSE process. Further, by characterizing the dynamic behavior of the TSE, a model predictive controller (MPC) can be employed to ensure the process remains under control when perturbed by external disturbances. Two reactions were studied; a Knoevenagel condensation reaction of barbituric acid and vanillin and, the direct amidation of hydroquinone by ammonium acetate to form N-Acetyl-para-aminophenol (APAP) commonly known as paracetamol. Both reactions could be carried out continuously using TSE, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was used to confirm the percentage conversion of starting materials to product. This information was used to construct partial least squares (PLS) calibration models within the PharmaMV development system, which relates the percent conversion to product to the acquired UV-Vis spectrum. Once this was complete, the model was deployed within the PharmaMV Real-Time System to carry out automated optimization experiments to maximize the percentage conversion based on a set of process parameters in a design of experiments (DoE) style methodology. With the optimum set of process parameters established, a series of PRBS process response tests (i.e. Pseudo-Random Binary Sequences) around the optimum were conducted. The resultant dataset was used to build a statistical model and associated MPC. The controller maximizes product quality whilst ensuring the process remains at the optimum even as disturbances such as raw material variability are introduced into the system. To summarize, a combination of online spectral monitoring and advanced process control was used to develop a robust system for optimization and control of two TSE based mechanosynthetic processes.
A Taxonomy of Professional Engineering Attributes for Tackling Global Humanitarian Challenges
There is a growing interest in enhancing the creativity and problem-solving ability of engineering students by expanding their engagement to complex, interdisciplinary problems such as environmental issues, resilience to man-made and natural disasters, global health matters, water needs, increased energy demands, and other global humanitarian challenges. Tackling societal challenges requires knowledgeable and erudite engineers who can handle, combine, transform and create innovative, affordable and sustainable solutions. This view simultaneously complements and challenges current conceptions of an emerging educational movement that, almost without exception, are underpinned by calls for competitive economic growth and technological development. This article reveals a taxonomy of humanitarian attributes to be enabled to professional engineers, through reformed curricula and innovative pedagogies, which once implemented and integrated efficiently in higher engineering education, they will provide students and educators with opportunities to explore interdependencies and connections between resources, sustainable design, societal needs, and the natural environment and to critically engage with implicit and explicit facets of disciplinary identity. The research involves carrying out a study on (a) current practices, best practices and barriers in knowledge organisation, content, and hierarchy in graduate engineering programmes, (b) best practices associated with teaching and research in engineering education around the world, (c) opportunities inherent in general reforms of graduate engineering education and inherent in integrating the humanitarian context throughout engineering education programmes, and, (d) an overarching taxonomy of professional attributes for tackling humanitarian challenges. Research methods involve state-of-the-art literature review on engineering education and pedagogy to resource thematic findings on current status in engineering education worldwide, and qualitative research through three practice dialogue workshops, run in Asia (Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh) involving a variety of national, international and local stakeholders (industries; NGOs, governmental organisations). Findings from this study provide evidence on: (a) what are the professional engineering attributes (skills, experience, knowledge) needed for tackling humanitarian challenges; (b) how we can integrate other disciplines and professions to engineering while defining the professional attributes of engineers who are capable of tackling humanitarian challenges. The attributes will be linked to those discipline(s) and profession(s) that are more likely to enforce the attributes (removing the assumption that engineering education as it stands at the moment can provide all attributes), and; (c) how these attributes shall be supplied; what kind of pedagogies or training shall take place beyond current practices. Acknowledgment: The study is currently in progress and is being undertaken in the framework of the project ENHANCE - ENabling Humanitarian Attributes for Nurturing Community-based Engineering (project No: 598502-EEP-1-2018-1-UK-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP (2018-2582/001-001), funded by the Erasmus + KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Capacity building in the field of Higher Education.
Numerical and Experimental Comparison of Surface Pressures around a Scaled Ship Wind-Assisted Propulsion System
Significant legislative changes are set to revolutionise the commercial shipping industry. Upcoming emissions restrictions will force operators to look at technologies that can improve the efficiency of their vessels -reducing fuel consumption and emissions. A device which may help in this challenge is the Ship Wind-Assisted Propulsion system (SWAP), an actively controlled aerofoil mounted vertically on the deck of a ship. The device functions in a similar manner to a sail on a yacht, whereby the aerodynamic forces generated by the sail reach an equilibrium with the hydrodynamic forces on the hull and a forward velocity results. Numerical and experimental testing of the SWAP device is presented in this study. Circulation control takes the form of a co-flow jet aerofoil, utilising both blowing from the leading edge and suction from the trailing edge. A jet at the leading edge uses the Coanda effect to energise the boundary layer in order to delay flow separation and create high lift with low drag. The SWAP concept has been originated by the research and development team at SMAR Azure Ltd. The device will be retrofitted to existing ships so that a component of the aerodynamic forces acts forward and partially reduces the reliance on existing propulsion systems. Wind tunnel tests have been carried out at the de Havilland wind tunnel at the University of Glasgow on a 1:20 scale model of this system. The tests aim to understand the airflow characteristics around the aerofoil and investigate the approximate lift and drag coefficients that an early iteration of the SWAP device may produce. The data exhibits clear trends of increasing lift as injection momentum increases, with critical flow attachment points being identified at specific combinations of jet momentum coefficient, C&micro;, and angle of attack, AOA. Various combinations of flow conditions were tested, with the jet momentum coefficient ranging from 0 to 0.7 and the AOA ranging from 0&deg;&nbsp;to 35&deg;. The Reynolds number across the tested conditions ranged from 80,000 to 240,000. Comparisons between 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and the experimental data are presented for multiple Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models in the form of normalised surface pressure comparisons. These show good agreement for most of the tested cases. However, certain simulation conditions exhibited a well-documented shortcoming of RANS-based turbulence models for circulation control flows and over-predicted surface pressures and lift coefficient for fully attached flow cases. Work must be continued in finding an all-encompassing modelling approach which predicts surface pressures well for all combinations of jet injection momentum and AOA.
Pharmacokinetics and Safety of Pacritinib in Patients with Hepatic Impairment and Healthy Volunteers
Pacritinib is an oral kinase inhibitor with specificity for JAK2, FLT3, IRAK1, and CSF1R. In clinical studies, pacritinib was well tolerated with clinical activity in patients with myelofibrosis. The most frequent adverse events (AEs) observed with pacritinib are gastrointestinal (diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting; mostly grade 1-2 in severity) and typically resolve within 2 weeks. A human ADME mass balance study demonstrated that pacritinib is predominantly cleared via hepatic metabolism and biliary excretion (>85% of administered dose). The major hepatic metabolite identified, M1, is not thought to materially contribute to the pharmacological activity of pacritinib. Hepatic diseases are known to impair hepatic blood flow, drug-metabolizing enzymes, and biliary transport systems and may affect drug absorption, disposition, efficacy, and toxicity. This phase 1 study evaluated the pharmacokinetics (PK) and safety of pacritinib and the M1 metabolite in study subjects with mild, moderate, or severe hepatic impairment (HI) and matched healthy subjects with normal liver function to determine if pacritinib dosage adjustments are necessary for patients with varying degrees of hepatic insufficiency. Study participants (aged 18-85 y) were enrolled into 4 groups based on their degree of HI as defined by Child-Pugh Clinical Assessment Score: mild (n=8), moderate (n=8), severe (n=4), and healthy volunteers (n=8) matched for age, BMI, and sex. Individuals with concomitant renal dysfunction or progressive liver disease were excluded. A single 400 mg dose of pacritinib was administered to all participants. Blood samples were obtained for PK evaluation predose and at multiple time points postdose through 168 h. Key PK parameters evaluated included maximum plasma concentration (Cmax), time to Cmax (Tmax), area under the plasma concentration time curve (AUC) from hour zero to last measurable concentration (AUC0-t), AUC extrapolated to infinity (AUC0-∞), and apparent terminal elimination half-life (t1/2). Following treatment, pacritinib was quantifiable for all study participants at 1 h through 168 h postdose. Systemic pacritinib exposure was similar between healthy volunteers and individuals with mild HI. However, there was a significant difference between those with moderate and severe HI and healthy volunteers with respect to peak concentration (Cmax) and plasma exposure (AUC0-t, AUC0-∞). Mean Cmax decreased by 47% and 57% respectively in participants with moderate and severe HI vs matched healthy volunteers. Similarly, mean AUC0-t decreased by 36% and 45% and mean AUC0-∞ decreased by 46% and 48%, respectively in individuals with moderate and severe HI vs healthy volunteers. Mean t1/2 ranged from 51.5 to 74.9 h across all groups. The variability on exposure ranged from 17.8% to 51.8% across all groups. Systemic exposure of M1 was also significantly decreased in study participants with moderate or severe HI vs. healthy participants and individuals with mild HI. These changes were not significantly dissimilar from the inter-patient variability in these parameters observed in healthy volunteers. All AEs were grade 1-2 in severity. Diarrhea and headache were the only AEs reported in >1 participant (n=4 each). Based on these observations, it is unlikely that dosage adjustments would be warranted in patients with mild, moderate, or severe HI treated with pacritinib.
Performance and Limitations of Likelihood Based Information Criteria and Leave-One-Out Cross-Validation Approximation Methods
Model assessment, in the Bayesian context, involves evaluation of the goodness-of-fit and the comparison of several alternative candidate models for predictive accuracy and improvements. In posterior predictive checks, the data simulated under the fitted model is compared with the actual data. Predictive model accuracy is estimated using information criteria such as the Akaike information criterion (AIC), the Bayesian information criterion (BIC), the Deviance information criterion (DIC), and the Watanabe-Akaike information criterion (WAIC). The goal of an information criterion is to obtain an unbiased measure of out-of-sample prediction error. Since posterior checks use the data twice; once for model estimation and once for testing, a bias correction which penalises the model complexity is incorporated in these criteria. Cross-validation (CV) is another method used for examining out-of-sample prediction accuracy. Leave-one-out cross-validation (LOO-CV) is the most computationally expensive variant among the other CV methods, as it fits as many models as the number of observations. Importance sampling (IS), truncated importance sampling (TIS) and Pareto-smoothed importance sampling (PSIS) are generally used as approximations to the exact LOO-CV and utilise the existing MCMC results avoiding expensive computational issues. The reciprocals of the predictive densities calculated over posterior draws for each observation are treated as the raw importance weights. These are in turn used to calculate the approximate LOO-CV of the observation as a weighted average of posterior densities. In IS-LOO, the raw weights are directly used. In contrast, the larger weights are replaced by their modified truncated weights in calculating TIS-LOO and PSIS-LOO. Although, information criteria and LOO-CV are unable to reflect the goodness-of-fit in absolute sense, the differences can be used to measure the relative performance of the models of interest. However, the use of these measures is only valid under specific circumstances. This study has developed 11 models using normal, log-normal, gamma, and student’s t distributions to improve the PCR stutter prediction with forensic data. These models are comprised of four with profile-wide variances, four with locus specific variances, and three which are two-component mixture models. The mean stutter ratio in each model is modeled as a locus specific simple linear regression against a feature of the alleles under study known as the longest uninterrupted sequence (LUS). The use of AIC, BIC, DIC, and WAIC in model comparison has some practical limitations. Even though, IS-LOO, TIS-LOO, and PSIS-LOO are considered to be approximations of the exact LOO-CV, the study observed some drastic deviations in the results. However, there are some interesting relationships among the logarithms of pointwise predictive densities (lppd) calculated under WAIC and the LOO approximation methods. The estimated overall lppd is a relative measure that reflects the overall goodness-of-fit of the model. Parallel log-likelihood profiles for the models conditional on equal posterior variances in lppds were observed. This study illustrates the limitations of the information criteria in practical model comparison problems. In addition, the relationships among LOO-CV approximation methods and WAIC with their limitations are discussed. Finally, useful recommendations that may help in practical model comparisons with these methods are provided.
Physical Activity and Nutrition Intervention for Singaporean Women Aged 50 Years and Above: A Study Protocol for a Community Based Randomised Controlled Trial
Singapore has a rapidly aging population, where the majority of older women aged 50 years and above, are physically inactive and have unhealthy dietary habits, placing them at ‘high risk’ of non-communicable diseases. Given the multiplicity of less than optimal dietary habits and high levels of physical inactivity among Singaporean women, it is imperative to develop appropriate lifestyle interventions at recreational centres to enhance both their physical and nutritional knowledge, as well as provide them with the opportunity to develop skills to support behaviour change. To the best of our knowledge, this proposed study is the first physical activity and nutrition cluster randomised controlled trial conducted in Singapore for older women. Findings from this study may provide insights and recommendations for policy makers and key stakeholders to create new healthy living, recreational centres with supportive environments. This 6-month community-based cluster randomised controlled trial will involve the implementation and evaluation of physical activity and nutrition program for community dwelling Singaporean women, who currently attend recreational centres to promote social leisure activities in their local neighbourhood. The intervention will include dietary education and counselling sessions, physical activity classes, and telephone contact by certified fitness instructors and qualified nutritionists. Social Cognitive Theory with Motivational Interviewing will inform the development of strategies to support health behaviour change. Sixty recreational centres located in Singapore will be randomly selected from five major geographical districts and randomly allocated to the intervention (n=30) or control (n=30) cluster. A sample of 600 (intervention n=300; control n=300) women aged 50 years and above will then be recruited from these recreational centres. The control clusters will only undergo pre and post data collection and will not receive the intervention. It is hypothesised that by the end of the intervention, the intervention group participants (n = 300) compared to the control group (n = 300), will show significant improvements in the following variables: lipid profile, body mass index, physical activity and dietary behaviour, anthropometry, mental and physical health. Data collection will be examined and compared via the Statistical Package for the Social Science version 23. Descriptive and summary statistics will be used to quantify participants’ characteristics and outcome variables. Multi-variable mixed regression analyses will be used to confirm the effects of the proposed health intervention, taking into account the repeated measures and the clustering of the observations. The research protocol was approved by the Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number: HRE2016-0366). The study has been registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (12617001022358).
Heat Transfer Modeling of 'Carabao' Mango (Mangifera indica L.) during Postharvest Hot Water Treatments
Mango is the third most important export fruit in the Philippines. Despite the expanding mango trade in world market, problems on postharvest losses caused by pests and diseases are still prevalent. Many disease control and pest disinfestation methods have been studied and adopted. Heat treatment is necessary to eliminate pests and diseases to be able to pass the quarantine requirements of importing countries. During heat treatments, temperature and time are critical because fruits can easily be damaged by over-exposure to heat. Modeling the process enables researchers and engineers to study the behaviour of temperature distribution within the fruit over time. Understanding physical processes through modeling and simulation also saves time and resources because of reduced experimentation. This research aimed to simulate the heat transfer mechanism and predict the temperature distribution in ‘Carabao' mangoes during hot water treatment (HWT) and extended hot water treatment (EHWT). The simulation was performed in ANSYS CFD Software, using ANSYS CFX Solver. The simulation process involved model creation, mesh generation, defining the physics of the model, solving the problem, and visualizing the results. Boundary conditions consisted of the convective heat transfer coefficient and a constant free stream temperature. The three-dimensional energy equation for transient conditions was numerically solved to obtain heat flux and transient temperature values. The solver utilized finite volume method of discretization. To validate the simulation, actual data were obtained through experiment. The goodness of fit was evaluated using mean temperature difference (MTD). Also, t-test was used to detect significant differences between the data sets. Results showed that the simulations were able to estimate temperatures accurately with MTD of 0.50 and 0.69 °C for the HWT and EHWT, respectively. This indicates good agreement between the simulated and actual temperature values. The data included in the analysis were taken at different locations of probe punctures within the fruit. Moreover, t-tests showed no significant differences between the two data sets. Maximum heat fluxes obtained at the beginning of the treatments were 394.15 and 262.77 J.s-1 for HWT and EHWT, respectively. These values decreased abruptly at the first 10 seconds and gradual decrease was observed thereafter. Data on heat flux is necessary in the design of heaters. If underestimated, the heating component of a certain machine will not be able to provide enough heat required by certain operations. Otherwise, over-estimation will result in wasting of energy and resources. This study demonstrated that the simulation was able to estimate temperatures accurately. Thus, it can be used to evaluate the influence of various treatment conditions on the temperature-time history in mangoes. When combined with information on insect mortality and quality degradation kinetics, it could predict the efficacy of a particular treatment and guide appropriate selection of treatment conditions. The effect of various parameters on heat transfer rates, such as the boundary and initial conditions as well as the thermal properties of the material, can be systematically studied without performing experiments. Furthermore, the use of ANSYS software in modeling and simulation can be explored in modeling various systems and processes.
Comparison of On-Site Stormwater Detention Policies in Australian and Brazilian Cities
In recent decades, On-site Stormwater Detention (OSD) systems have been implemented in many cities around the world. In Brazil, urban drainage source control policies were created in the 1990’s and were mainly based on OSD. The concept of this technique is to promote the detention of additional stormwater runoff caused by impervious areas, in order to maintain pre-urbanization peak flow levels. In Australia OSD, was first adopted in the early 1980’s by the Ku-ring-gai Council in Sydney’s northern suburbs and Wollongong City Council. Many papers on the topic were published at that time. However, source control techniques related to stormwater quality have become to the forefront and OSD has been relegated to the background. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the current regulations regarding OSD, the existing policies were compared in Australian cities, a country considered experienced in the use of this technique, and in Brazilian cities where OSD adoption has been increasing. The cities selected for analysis were Wollongong and Belo Horizonte, the first municipalities to adopt OSD in their respective countries, and Sydney and Porto Alegre, cities where these policies are local references. The Australian and Brazilian cities are located in Southern Hemisphere of the planet and similar rainfall intensities can be observed, especially in storm bursts greater than 15 minutes. Regarding technical criteria, Brazilian cities have a site-based approach, analyzing only on-site system drainage. This approach is criticized for not evaluating impacts on urban drainage systems and in rare cases may cause the increase of peak flows downstream. The city of Wollongong and most of the Sydney Councils adopted a catchment-based approach, requiring the use of Permissible Site Discharge (PSD) and Site Storage Requirements (SSR) values based on analysis of entire catchments via hydrograph-producing computer models. Based on the premise that OSD should be designed to dampen storms of 100 years Average Recurrence Interval (ARI) storm, the values of PSD and SSR in these four municipalities were compared. In general, Brazilian cities presented low values of PSD and high values of SSR. This can be explained by site-based approach and the low runoff coefficient value adopted for pre-development conditions. The results clearly show the differences between approaches and methodologies adopted in OSD designs among Brazilian and Australian municipalities, especially with regard to PSD values, being on opposite sides of the scale. However, lack of research regarding the real performance of constructed OSD does not allow for determining which is best. It is necessary to investigate OSD performance in a real situation, assessing the damping provided throughout its useful life, maintenance issues, debris blockage problems and the parameters related to rain-flow methods. Acknowledgments: The authors wish to thank CNPq - Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (Chamada Universal – MCTI/CNPq Nº 14/2014), FAPEMIG - Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais, and CAPES - Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior for their financial support.
A Simple Chemical Approach to Regenerating Strength of Thermally Recycled Glass Fibre
Glass fibre is currently used as reinforcement in over 90% of all fibre-reinforced composites produced. The high rigidity and chemical resistance of these composites are required for optimum performance but unfortunately results in poor recyclability; when such materials are no longer fit for purpose, they are frequently deposited in landfill sites. Recycling technologies, for example, thermal treatment, can be employed to address this issue; temperatures typically between 450 and 600 °C are required to allow degradation of the rigid polymeric matrix and subsequent extraction of fibrous reinforcement. However, due to the severe thermal conditions utilised in the recycling procedure, glass fibres become too weak for reprocessing in second-life composite materials. In addition, more stringent legislation is being put in place regarding disposal of composite waste, and so it is becoming increasingly important to develop long-term recycling solutions for such materials. In particular, the development of a cost-effective method to regenerate strength of thermally recycled glass fibres will have a positive environmental effect as a reduced volume of composite material will be destined for landfill. This research study has demonstrated the positive impact of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution, prepared at relatively mild temperatures and at concentrations of 1.5 M and above, on the strength of heat-treated glass fibres. As a result, alkaline treatments can potentially be implemented to glass fibres that are recycled from composite waste to allow their reuse in second-life materials. The optimisation of the strength recovery process is being conducted by varying certain reaction parameters such as molarity of alkaline solution and treatment time. It is believed that deep V-shaped surface flaws exist commonly on severely damaged fibre surfaces and are effectively removed to form smooth, U-shaped structures following alkaline treatment. Although these surface flaws are believed to be present on glass fibres they have not in fact been observed, however, they have recently been discovered in this research investigation through analytical techniques such as AFM (atomic force microscopy) and SEM (scanning electron microscopy). Reaction conditions such as molarity of alkaline solution affect the degree of etching of the glass fibre surface, and therefore the extent to which fibre strength is recovered. A novel method in determining the etching rate of glass fibres after alkaline treatment has been developed, and the data acquired can be correlated with strength. By varying reaction conditions such as alkaline solution temperature and molarity, the activation energy of the glass etching process and the reaction order can be calculated respectively. The promising results obtained from NaOH and KOH treatments have opened an exciting route to strength regeneration of thermally recycled glass fibres, and the optimisation of the alkaline treatment process is being continued in order to produce recycled fibres with properties that match original glass fibre products. The reuse of such glass filaments indicates that closed-loop recycling of glass fibre reinforced composite (GFRC) waste can be achieved. In fact, the development of a closed-loop recycling process for GFRC waste is already underway in this research study.
Geographic Information System Based Multi-Criteria Subsea Pipeline Route Optimisation
The use of GIS as an analysis tool for engineering decision making is now best practice in the offshore industry. GIS enables multidisciplinary data integration, analysis and visualisation which allows the presentation of large and intricate datasets in a simple map-interface accessible to all project stakeholders. Presenting integrated geoscience and geotechnical data in GIS enables decision makers to be well-informed. This paper is a successful case study of how GIS spatial analysis techniques were applied to help select the most favourable pipeline route. Routing a pipeline through any natural environment has numerous obstacles, whether they be topographical, geological, engineering or financial. Where the pipeline is subjected to external hydrostatic water pressure and is carrying pressurised hydrocarbons, the requirement to safely route the pipeline through hazardous terrain becomes absolutely paramount. This study illustrates how the application of modern, GIS-based pipeline routing techniques enabled the identification of a single most-favourable pipeline route crossing of a challenging seabed terrain. Conventional approaches to pipeline route determination focus on manual avoidance of primary constraints whilst endeavouring to minimise route length. Such an approach is qualitative, subjective and is liable to bias towards the discipline and expertise that is involved in the routing process. For very short routes traversing benign seabed topography in shallow water this approach may be sufficient, but for deepwater geohazardous sites, the need for an automated, multi-criteria, and quantitative approach is essential. This study combined multiple routing constraints using modern least-cost-routing algorithms deployed in GIS, hitherto unachievable with conventional approaches. The least-cost-routing procedure begins with the assignment of geocost across the study area. Geocost is defined as a numerical penalty score representing hazard posed by each routing constraint (e.g. slope angle, rugosity, vulnerability to debris flows) to the pipeline. All geocosted routing constraints are combined to generate a composite geocost map that is used to compute the least geocost route between two defined terminals. The analyses were applied to select the most favourable pipeline route for a potential gas development in deep water. The study area is geologically complex with a series of incised, potentially active, canyons carved into a steep escarpment, with evidence of extensive debris flows. A similar debris flow in the future could cause significant damage to a poorly-placed pipeline. Protruding inter-canyon spurs offer lower-gradient options for ascending an escarpment but the vulnerability of periodic failure of these spurs is not well understood. Close collaboration between geoscientists, pipeline engineers, geotechnical engineers and of course the gas export pipeline operator guided the analyses and assignment of geocosts. Shorter route length, less severe slope angles, and geohazard avoidance were the primary drivers in identifying the most favourable route.
Distributed Listening in Intensive Care: Nurses’ Collective Alarm Responses Unravelled through Auditory Spatiotemporal Trajectories
Auditory alarms play an integral role in intensive care nurses’ daily work. Most medical devices in the intensive care unit (ICU) are designed to produce alarm sounds in order to make nurses aware of immediate or prospective safety risks. The utilisation of sound as a carrier of crucial patient information is highly dependent on nurses’ presence - both physically and mentally. For ICU nurses, especially the ones who work with stationary alarm devices at the patient bed space, it is a challenge to display ‘appropriate’ alarm responses at all times as they have to navigate with great flexibility in a complex work environment. While being primarily responsible for a small number of allocated patients they are often required to engage with other nurses’ patients, relatives, and colleagues at different locations inside and outside the unit. This work explores the social strategies used by a team of nurses to comprehend and react to the information conveyed by the alarms in the ICU. Two main research questions guide the study: To what extent do alarms from a patient bed space reach the relevant responsible nurse by direct auditory exposure? By which means do responsible nurses get informed about their patients’ alarms when not directly exposed to the alarms? A comprehensive video-ethnographic field study was carried out to capture and evaluate alarm-related events in an ICU. The study involved close collaboration with four nurses who wore eye-level cameras and ear-level binaural audio recorders during several work shifts. At all time the entire unit was monitored by multiple video and audio recorders. From a data set of hundreds of hours of recorded material information about the nurses’ location, social interaction, and alarm exposure at any point in time was coded in a multi-channel replay-interface. The data shows that responsible nurses’ direct exposure and awareness of the alarms of their allocated patients vary significantly depending on work load, social relationships, and the location of the patient’s bed space. Distributed listening is deliberately employed by the nursing team as a social strategy to respond adequately to alarms, but the patterns of information flow prompted by alarm-related events are not uniform. Auditory Spatiotemporal Trajectory (AST) is proposed as a methodological label to designate the integration of temporal, spatial and auditory load information. As a mixed-method metrics it provides tangible evidence of how nurses’ individual alarm-related experiences differ from one another and from stationary points in the ICU. Furthermore, it is used to demonstrate how alarm-related information reaches the individual nurse through principles of social and distributed cognition, and how that information relates to the actual alarm event. Thereby it bridges a long-standing gap in the literature on medical alarm utilisation between, on the one hand, initiatives to measure objective data of the medical sound environment without consideration for any human experience, and, on the other hand, initiatives to study subjective experiences of the medical sound environment without detailed evidence of the objective characteristics of the environment.
A Study on the Relation among Primary Care Professionals Serving Disadvantaged Community, Socioeconomic Status, and Adverse Health Outcome
During the post-Civil War era, the city of Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest mortality rate in the country. The elevated death and disease among ex-slaves were attributable to the unavailability of healthcare. To address the paucity of healthcare services, the College, an institution with the mission of educating minority professionals and serving the under served population, was established in 1876. This study was designed to assess if the College has accomplished its mission of serving under served communities and contributed to the elimination of health disparities in the United States. The study objective was to quantify the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcomes on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities, which, in turn, was significantly associated with a health professional shortage score partly designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Various statistical methods were used to analyze the alumni data in years 1975 – 2013. K-means cluster analysis was utilized to identify individual medical and dental graduates into the cluster groups of the practice communities (Disadvantaged or Non-disadvantaged Communities). Discriminant analysis was implemented to verify the classification accuracy of cluster analysis. The independent t test was performed to detect the significant mean differences for clustering and criterion variables between Disadvantaged and Non-disadvantaged Communities, which confirms the “content” validity of cluster analysis model. Chi-square test was used to assess if the proportion of cluster groups (Disadvantaged vs Non-disadvantaged Communities) were consistent with that of practicing specialties (primary care vs. non-primary care). Finally, the partial least squares (PLS) path model was constructed to explore the “construct” validity of analytics model by providing the magnitude effects of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged community. The social ecological theory along with statistical models mentioned was used to establish the relationship between medical and dental graduates (primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities) and their social environments (socioeconomic status, adverse health outcome, health professional shortage score). Based on social ecological framework, it was hypothesized that the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcomes on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities could be quantified. Also, primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities related to a health professional shortage score can be measured. Adverse health outcome (adult obesity rate, age-adjusted premature mortality rate, and percent of people diagnosed with diabetes) could be affected by the latent variable, namely socioeconomic status (unemployment rate, poverty rate, percent of children who were in free lunch programs, and percent of uninsured adults). The study results indicated that approximately 83% (3,192/3,864) of the College’s medical and dental graduates from 1975 to 2013 were practicing in disadvantaged communities. In addition, the PLS path modeling demonstrated that primary care professionals serving disadvantaged community was significantly associated with socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome (p < .001). In summary, the majority of medical and dental graduates from the College provide primary care services to disadvantaged communities with low socioeconomic status and high adverse health outcomes, which demonstrate that the College has fulfilled its mission.