Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 62496

Narcissism in the Life of Howard Hughes: A Psychobiographical Exploration
Narcissism is a personality configuration which has both normal and pathological personality expressions. Narcissism is highly complex, and is linked to a broad field of research. There are both dimensional and categorical conceptualisations of narcissism, and a variety of theoretical formulations that have been put forward to understand the narcissistic personality configuration. Currently, Kernberg’s Object Relations theory is well supported for this purpose. The complexity and particular defense mechanisms at play in the narcissistic personality make it a difficult personality configuration worth further research. Psychobiography as a methodology allows for the exploration of the lived life, and is thus a useful methodology to surmount these inherent challenges. Narcissism has been a focus of academic interest for a long time, and although there is a lot of research done in this area, to the researchers' knowledge, narcissistic dynamics have never been explored within a psychobiographical format. Thus, the primary aim of the research was to explore and describe narcissism in the life of Howard Hughes, with the objective of gaining further insight into narcissism through the use of this unconventional research approach. Hughes was chosen as subject for the study as he is renowned as an eccentric billionaire who had his revolutionary effect on the world, but was concurrently disturbed within his personal pathologies. Hughes was dynamic in three different sectors, namely motion pictures, aviation and gambling. He became more and more reclusive as he entered into middle age. From his early fifties he was agoraphobic, and the social network of connectivity that could reasonably be expected from someone in the top of their field was notably distorted. Due to his strong narcissistic personality configuration, and the interpersonal difficulties he experienced, Hughes represents an ideal figure to explore narcissism. The study used a single case study design, and purposive sampling to select Hughes. Qualitative data was sampled, using secondary data sources. Given that Hughes was a famous figure, there is a plethora of information on his life, which is primarily autobiographical. This includes books written about his life, and archival material in the form of newspaper articles, interviews and movies. Gathered data were triangulated to avoid the effect of author bias, and increase the credibility of the data used. It was collected using Yin’s guidelines for data collection. Data was analysed using Miles and Huberman strategy of data analysis, which consists of three steps, namely, data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing and verification. Patterns which emerged in the data highlighted the defense mechanisms used by Hughes, in particular that of splitting and projection, in defending his sense of self. These defense mechanisms help us to understand the high levels of entitlement and paranoia experienced by Hughes. Findings provide further insight into his sense of isolation and difference, and the consequent difficulty he experienced in maintaining connections with others. Findings furthermore confirm the effectiveness of Kernberg’s theory in understanding narcissism observing an individual life.
The Effectiveness of an Injury Prevention Workshop in Increasing Knowledge and Understanding in Grass-Root Youth Coaches
There are well-known challenges to implementing injury prevention training for youth players but no data are available on the knowledge and understanding of deliverers of such programmes at grass root level. To increase adoption and adherence to such programmes coach knowledge and understanding of injury risk and prevention is essential. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine grass-root coaches knowledge and understanding of injury risk and prevention in youth players. 68 grass root coaches (18 females and 50 males) who were attending a one-day injury prevention workshop completed a modified validated questionnaire exploring knowledge and understanding of injury risk and prevention in youth players. Only 59% of coaches agreed that youth players are at a high risk of suffering an injury. There were high levels of agreement that injuries can have negative impacts on team performance (75%) and can cause physical problems in later life (85%), however only around half of coaches felt that injuries affect youth players current quality of life (59%). There was strong agreement that it is possible to prevent injuries in youth players (84%), but coaches were generally unaware of programs to help prevent injuries (84%), and only 9% used some form of injury prevention program. Despite this, nearly all coaches felt that their coaching could benefit from a greater understanding of growth and maturation (91%), injury prevention programmes (91%) and specific exercises (93%) for youth athletes. 17% of coaches rated their knowledge of injury prevention as good/very good at the start of the workshop and this increased to 94% at the end of the workshop. 62% of coaches identified their attitude towards injury prevention as indifferent at the start of the workshop compared with only 1% at the end. Only 14% of coaches at the start of the workshop were confident to deliver an injury prevention session but 83% stated they were confident by the end of the workshop. Finally, 98% of coaches felt that the workshop provided them with the confidence and the knowledge to deliver an injury prevention session and 98% suggested that they would implement injury prevention into their coaching. These data suggest that there is a lack of understanding of grass root coaches that children are a high-risk group for injuries, and that such injuries impact on current quality of life. Despite understanding that injuries can be prevented most grass root coaches do not have the knowledge to implement injury prevention into their coaching and very few do. There is a common consensus amongst these coaches that a greater understanding of such programmes will enhance their coaching. The injury prevention workshop appears to have increased the knowledge and changed the attitude of coaches towards injury prevention. All coaches felt that the workshop provided them with the tools to adopt, implement and deliver injury prevention in their coaching. These data highlight that there is a clear need for education regarding injury risk and prevention to be embedded within the coach education pathway, especially at grass root level.
Utilization of Standard Paediatric Observation Chart to Evaluate Infants under Six Months Presenting with Non-Specific Complaints
Objective: Young infants are often brought to the Emergency Department (ED) with a variety of complaints, some of them are non-specific and present as a diagnostic challenge to the attending clinician. Whilst invasive investigations such as blood tests and lumbar puncture are necessary in some cases to exclude serious infections, some basic clinical tools in additional to thorough clinical history can be useful to assess the risks of serious conditions in these young infants. This study aimed to examine the utilization of one of clinical tools in this regard. Methods: This retrospective observational study examined the medical records of infants under 6 months presenting to a mixed urban ED between January 2013 and December 2014. The infants deemed to have non-specific complaints or diagnoses by the emergency clinicians were selected for analysis. The ones with clear systemic diagnoses were excluded. Among all relevant clinical information and investigation results, utilization of Standard Paediatric Observation Chart (SPOC) was particularly scrutinized in these medical records. This specific chart was developed by the expert clinicians in local health department. It categorizes important clinical signs into some color-coded zones as a visual cue for serious implication of some abnormalities. An infant is regarded as SPOC positive when fulfills 1 red zone or 2 yellow zones criteria, and the attending clinician would be prompted to investigate and treat for potential serious conditions accordingly. Results: Eight hundred and thirty-five infants met the inclusion criteria for this project. The ones admitted to the hospital for further management were more likely to have SPOC positive criteria than the discharged infants (Odds ratio: 12.26, 95% CI: 8.04 – 18.69). Similarly, Sepsis alert criteria on SPOC were positive in a higher percentage of patients with serious infections (56.52%) in comparison to those with mild conditions (15.89%) (p < 0.001). The SPOC sepsis criteria had a sensitivity of 56.5% (95% CI: 47.0% - 65.7%) and a moderate specificity of 84.1% (95% CI: 80.8% - 87.0%) to identify serious infections. Applying to this infant population, with a 17.4% prevalence of serious infection, the positive predictive value was only 42.8% (95% CI: 36.9% - 49.0%). However, the negative predictive value was high at 90.2% (95% CI: 88.1% - 91.9%). Conclusions: Standard Paediatric Observation Chart has been applied as a useful clinical tool in the clinical practice to help identify and manage young sick infants in ED effectively.
Dielectrophoretic Characterization of Tin Oxide Nanowires for Biotechnology Application
This study investigates nanowires using Dielectrophoresis (DEP) in non-aqueous suspension of Tin (IV) Oxide (SnO2) nanoparticles dispersed in N,N-dimenthylformamide (DMF). The self assembly of nanowires in DEP impedance spectroscopy can be determined. In this work, dielectrophoretic method was used to measure non-organic molecules for estimating the permittivity and conductivity characteristic of the nanowires. As in aqueous such as salt solution has been dominating the transport of SnO2, which are the wire growth threshold, depend on applied voltage. While DEP assembly of nanowires depend on applied frequency, the applications of dielectrophoretic collection are measured using impedance spectroscopy.
Nigerian Media Coverage of the Chibok Girls Kidnap: A Qualitative News Framing Analysis of the Nation Newspaper
Over the last ten years, many studies have examined the media coverage of terrorism across the world. Nevertheless, most of these studies have been inclined to the western narrative, more so in relation to the international media. This study departs from that partiality to explore the Nigerian press and its coverage of the Boko Haram. The study intends to illustrate how the Nigerian press has reported its homegrown terrorism within its borders. On 14 April 2014, the Shekau-led Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 female students from Chibok in the Borno State. This study analyses a structured sample of news stories, feature articles, editorial comments, and opinions from the Nation newspaper. The study examined the representation of the Chibok girls kidnaps by concentrating on four main viewpoints. The news framing of the Chibok girls’ kidnap under Presidents Goodluck Jonathan (2014) and Mohammadu Buhari (2016-2018), the sourcing model present in the news reporting of the kidnap and the challenges Nation reporters face in reporting Boko Haram. The study adopted the use of qualitative news framing analysis to provide further insights into significant developments established from the examination of news contents. The study found that the news reportage mainly focused on the government response to Chibok girls kidnap, international press and Boko Haram. Boko Haram was also framed, as a political conspiracy, as prevailing, and as instilling fear. Political, and economic influence appeared to be a significant determinant of the reportage. The study found that the Nation newspaper's portrayal of the crisis under President Jonathan differed significantly from under President Buhari. While the newspaper framed the action of President Jonathan as lacklustre, dismissive, and confusing, it was less critical of President Buhari's government's handling of the crisis. The Nation newspaper failed to promote or explore non-violent approaches. News reports of the kidnap, thus, were presented mainly from a political and ethnoreligious perspective. The study also raised questions of what roles should journalists play in covering conflicts? Should they merely report comments on and interpret it, or should they be actors in the resolution or, more importantly, the prevention of conflicts? The study underlined the need for the independence of the media, more training for journalists to advance a more nuanced and conflict-sensitive news coverage in the Nigerian context.
Evaluation of Biomass Introduction Methods in Coal Co-Gasification
Heightened concerns over the amount of carbon emitted from coal-related processes are generating shifts to the application of biomass. In co-gasification, where coal is gasified along with biomass, the biomass may be fed together with coal (co-feeding) or an independent biomass gasifier needs to be integrated with the coal gasifier. The main aim of this work is to evaluate the biomass introduction methods in coal co-gasification. This includes the evaluation of biomass concentration input (B0 to B100) and its gasification performance. A process model is developed and simulated in Aspen HYSYS, where both coal and biomass are modeled according to its ultimate analysis. It was found that the syngas produced increased with increasing biomass content for both co-feeding and independent schemes. However, the heating values and heat duties decreases with biomass concentration as more CO2 are produced from complete combustion.
Ethnic Minority, Oil Theft and Insecurity in the North: Where the Gap and the Compromise are
Nigeria of at least 250 ethnic group a have suffered a lot of social, economic and political setback especially in the regime of oil and gas, that are exploited from the minority region of the Niger south -south areas. The rate of insecurity in the north gives a lot of questioning and concern, with the series of killings by the Boko Haram in some part of the north etc. the fact still remains on how the gap and the compromise will be reconciling especially with the incoming president of Muhammadu Buhari with all the problems which was not resolve by the past administration (President Ebele Jonathan), considering the configuration and the character of the Nigerian state. This paper tends to critically evaluate all this problems, assertion, proffering possible solution.
Features in the Distribution of Fleas (Siphonaptera) in the Balkhash-Alakol Depression on the South-Eastern Kazakhstan
This paper describes the features of the distribution of the most abundant species of fleas that are carriers of the most dangerous infections in the Balkhash-Alakol depression of Kazakhstan. We show that of 153 species of fleas described in the territory of the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus Licht.), 35 species are parasitic. 21 of them are specific to gerbils species, and four species of fleas from the Xenopsylla genus are dominant in number and value of epizootic. We also describe the modern features of habitats of these species and their relationship with the great gerbil populations found in the South Balkhash region. It indicates the need for research on the population structure of the most abundant fleas species and their relationship with the structure of the populations of main carrier of transmission infections in the region-great gerbil.
Infrastructural Barriers to Engaged Learning in the South Pacific: A Mixed-Methods Study of Cook Islands Nurses' Attitudes towards Health Information Technology
We conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses of nurses’ perceived ease of use of electronic medical records and telemedicine in the Cook Islands. We examined antecedents of perceived ease of use through the lens of social construction of learning, and cultural diffusion. Our findings confirmed expected linkages between PEOU, attitudes and intentions. Interviews with nurses suggested infrastructural barriers to engaged learning. We discussed managerial implications of our findings, and areas of interest for future research.
Unsupervised Learning of Spatiotemporally Coherent Metrics
Current state-of-the-art classification and detection algorithms rely on supervised training. In this work we study unsupervised feature learning in the context of temporally coherent video data. We focus on feature learning from unlabeled video data, using the assumption that adjacent video frames contain semantically similar information. This assumption is exploited to train a convolutional pooling auto-encoder regularized by slowness and sparsity. We establish a connection between slow feature learning to metric learning and show that the trained encoder can be used to define a more temporally and semantically coherent metric.
Evaluation of Cyclic Thermo-Mechanical Responses of an Industrial Gas Turbine Rotor
This paper describes an elasto-visco-plastic computational modelling method which can be used to assess the cyclic plasticity responses of high temperature structures operating under thermo-mechanical loadings. The material constitutive equation used is an improved unified multi-axial Chaboche-Lemaitre model, which takes into account non-linear kinematic and isotropic hardening. The computational methodology is a three-dimensional framework following an implicit formulation and based on a radial return mapping algorithm. The associated user material (UMAT) code is developed and calibrated across isothermal hold-time low cycle fatigue tests for a typical turbine rotor steel for use in finite element (FE) implementation. The model is applied to a realistic industrial gas turbine rotor, where the study focuses its attention on the deformation heterogeneities and critical high stress areas within the rotor structure. The potential improvements of such FE visco-plastic approach are discussed. An integrated life assessment procedure based on R5 and visco-plasticity modelling, is also briefly addressed.
Mathematical Modelling of Different Types of Body Support Surface for Pressure Ulcer Prevention
Pressure ulcer is a common problem for today's healthcare industry. It occurs due to external load applied to the skin. Also when the subject is immobile for a longer period of time and there is continuous load applied to a particular area of human body,blood flow gets reduced and as a result pressure ulcer develops. Body support surface has a significant role in preventing ulceration so it is important to know the characteristics of support surface under loading conditions. In this paper we have presented mathematical models of different types of viscoelastic materials and also we have shown the validation of our simulation results with experiments.
Do Women with Endometriosis Have Higher Perceived Stress Levels than Healthy Women?
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 individuals that were born female globally. Endometriosis incidence rates peak between 30-40 year of age, in young women and adolescents it is a rarely suspected and often ill-diagnosed. The average cost of endometriosis is €9,579 per woman. More than 75% of women have reported being absent from work due to endometriosis, with 40% of women becoming unemployed due to the disease. 46% of patients with endometriosis need to have appointments with upward of five doctors to gain a correct diagnosis. Quantitative data were collected by way of an online PSS-10 survey that included demographic questions from two sample groups of females, group 1 was females with endometriosis, group 2 were healthy women. The data were scored using Cohens scoring system, overall scores were input to SPSS. A non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test and ANOVA was used to ascertain any differences between the PSS-10 scores of the two groups. A significance level of P< 0.05 was adopted. Four women were invited to take part in a semi structured interview that was recorded, transcribed and coded using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) using NVivo 12. Results showed that the PSS-10 scores were significantly higher in women with endometriosis compared to healthy women with a p=< 0.005. Endometriosis affects all aspects of a patient’s life, to adequately diagnose and treat the condition and improve HRQoL there needs to be better understanding of the clinical symptoms and how they impact the lives of patients.
Using Simulation Modeling Approach to Predict USMLE Steps 1 and 2 Performances
The prediction models for the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 performances were constructed by the Monte Carlo simulation modeling approach via linear regression. The purpose of this study was to build robust simulation models to accurately identify the most important predictors and yield the valid range estimations of the Steps 1 and 2 scores. The application of simulation modeling approach was deemed an effective way in predicting student performances on licensure examinations. Also, sensitivity analysis (a/k/a what-if analysis) in the simulation models was used to predict the magnitudes of Steps 1 and 2 affected by changes in the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Basic Science Subject Board scores. In addition, the study results indicated that the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Verbal Reasoning score and Step 1 score were significant predictors of the Step 2 performance. Hence, institutions could screen qualified student applicants for interviews and document the effectiveness of basic science education program based on the simulation results.
Morphology, Chromosome Numbers and Molecular Evidences of Three New Species of Begonia Section Baryandra (Begoniaceae) from Panay Island, Philippines
The flora of Panay Island is under-collected compared with the other islands of the Philippines. In a joint expedition to the island, botanists from Taiwan and the Philippines found three unknown Begonia and compared them with potentially allied species. The three species are clearly assignable to Begonia section Baryandra which is largely endemic to the Philippines. Studies of literature, herbarium specimens, and living plants support the recognition of the three new species: Begonia culasiensis, Begonia merrilliana, and Begonia sykakiengii. Somatic chromosomes at metaphase were determined to be 2n=30 for B. culasiensis and 2n=28 for both B. merrilliana and B. sykakiengii, which are congruent with those of most species in sect. Baryandra. Molecular phylogenetic evidence is consistent with B. culasiensis being a relict from the late Miocene, and with B. merrilliana and B. sykakiengii being younger species of Pleistocene origin. The continuing discovery of endemic Philippine species means the remaining fragments of both primary and secondary native vegetation in the archipelago are of increasing value in terms of natural capital. A secure future for the species could be realized through ex-situ conservation collections and raising awareness with community groups.
Heritage Tree Expert Assessment and Classification: Malaysian Perspective
Heritage trees are natural large, individual trees with exceptionally value due to association with age or event or distinguished people. In Malaysia, there is an abundance of tropical heritage trees throughout the country. It is essential to set up a repository of heritage trees to prevent valuable trees from being cut down. In this cross domain study, a web-based online expert system namely the Heritage Tree Expert Assessment and Classification (HTEAC) is developed and deployed for public to nominate potential heritage trees. Based on the nomination, tree care experts or arborists would evaluate and verify the nominated trees as heritage trees. The expert system automatically rates the approved heritage trees according to pre-defined grades via Delphi technique. Features and usability test of the expert system are presented. Preliminary result is promising for the system to be used as a full scale public system.
A Simple Heat and Mass Transfer Model for Salt Gradient Solar Ponds
A salinity gradient solar pond is a free energy source system for collecting, converting and storing solar energy as heat. In this paper, the principles of solar pond are explained. A mathematical model is developed to describe and simulate heat and mass transfer behavior of salinity gradient solar pond. Matlab codes are programmed to solve the one dimensional finite difference method for heat and mass transfer equations. Temperature profiles and concentration distributions are calculated. The numerical results are validated with experimental data and the results are found to be in good agreement.
Hypergraph Models of Metabolism
In this paper, we employ a directed hypergraph model to investigate the extent to which environmental variability influences the set of available biochemical reactions within a living cell. Such an approach avoids the limitations of the usual complex network formalism by allowing for the multilateral relationships (i.e. connections involving more than two nodes) that naturally occur within many biological processes. More specifically, we extend the concept of network reciprocity to complex hyper-networks, thus enabling us to characterize a network in terms of the existence of mutual hyper-connections, which may be considered a proxy for metabolic network complexity. To demonstrate these ideas, we study 115 metabolic hyper-networks of bacteria, each of which can be classified into one of 6 increasingly varied habitats. In particular, we found that reciprocity increases significantly with increased environmental variability, supporting the view that organism adaptability leads to increased complexities in the resultant biochemical networks.
The Use of Degradation Measures to Design Reliability Test Plans
With short production development times, there is an increased need to demonstrate product reliability relatively quickly with minimal testing. In such cases there may be few if any observed failures. Thus it may be difficult to assess reliability using the traditional reliability test plans that measure only time (or cycles) to failure. For many components, degradation measures will contain important information about performance and reliability. These measures can be used to design a minimal test plan, in terms of number of units placed on test and duration of the test, necessary to demonstrate a reliability goal. In this work we present a case study involving an electronic component subject to degradation. The data, consisting of 42 degradation paths of cycles to failure, are first used to estimate a reliability function. Bootstrapping techniques are then used to perform power studies and develop a minimal reliability test plan for future production of this component.
Fatherhood and Caregiving: An Exploratory Study of Parenting Patterns in Pakistani Families
This article presents the findings of a qualitative study into parenting practices in families of Pakistani origin in the North of England. It focuses on the involvement of fathers in childrearing within the Pakistani community. Data was generated from thirty parents’ in-depth interviews and ethnographic observation of parent-child relationships. The data was analyzed by an initial coding, identifying themes, a grouping of patterns, and arriving at a meaningful understanding. The study shows that the traditional role of fathers as breadwinners, providing discipline and protection, was still prominent in most of the Pakistani families who took part in the study. However, few men were becoming pragmatic and would engage in more childrearing chores, as their wives. The findings indicate that previous general portrayal of fatherhood as the primary, and sometimes, only, breadwinner is changing to encompass a lot more in Pakistani communities. Nowadays, some fathers are more involved in caregiving and are increasingly become co-contributors in the development of their children. However, the change is slower in some families than others and varied within this community.
Towards Effective Public Consultation and Participation in Nigeria: Lessons from Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) Activities in England
This paper examines the shoreline management planning policy in England and its suitability for ameliorating the diverse environmental problems associated with Nigeria’s coastal zones. It examines the success of SMPs in England since the mid-1990s and progress achieved, with the aim of understudying the current management approach that can be transferred to Nigeria to strengthen its adoption, and as a necessary corollary, implementation of the SMPs. This paper also examines key elements of the shoreline management frameworks in England and provides answers to the question: Would shoreline management planning approach in England be appropriate and feasible in Nigeria? It further concludes that many of the action plans and principles of participation should be adoptable provided that a participatory approach that involves all stakeholders including community members and relevant sectorial ministries as well as appropriate legal framework is encouraged.
Federal Character Principle and the Challenges of National Integration in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Some Federal Appointments under Jonathan and Buhari Administrations
The Nigerian state is heterogeneous both in character and content. Efforts to manage this diversity has so far not yielded the desired result. This paper examines the Federal Character Principle as one of the instruments intended to manage our obvious diversity such that no part of the country is marginalized or feels marginalized or sidelined. The paper observed that the Federal Character Principle have not achieved its set objectives, which is national unity and loyalty. It draws from secondary sources and discovered that there are factors that make an equitable distribution of public appointments difficult which is beyond the powers of the federal character commission. The major argument of this paper is that if the Federal Character Commission as an organization expected to enforce this principle is not restructured and given more power to sanction individuals and organizations that are found of circumventing the relevant guidelines in this regards, the hope of national unity and loyalty will continue to be a mirage.
A Faunistic Study of Tetranychid and Phytoseiid Mites Associated with Diverse Crops From Samsun, Turkey
This research was implemented from March to September to reveal tetranychid and phytoseiid mites on different field crops in Samsun province, Turkey. In consequence of microscope slide-mounting of mite samples in Hoyer’s medium, a total of six species belonging to Tetranychidae and fourteen species belonging to Phytoseiidae were found. Tetranychus urticae Koch, Tetranychus turkestani Ugarov and Nikolski, Tetranychus viennensis Zacher, Panonychus ulmi (Koch), Panonychus citri (Mc Gregor) and Bryobia rubrioculus (Scheuten) were detected as phytophaous mites. Euseius finlandicus (Oudemans), Kampimodromus aberrans (Oudemans), Amblyseius agrestris (Karg), Amblyseius andersoni (Chant), Amblyseius bicaudus Wainstein, Amblyseius zwölferi (Dosse), Amblyseius barkeri (Hughes), Paraseilus soleiger (Ribaga), Anthoseius recki (Wainstein), Phytoseius finitimus Ribaga, Typhlodromus pyri Scheuten, Typhloctonus tiliarum Oudemans, Phytoseiulus macropilis (Banks) and Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot were identified to be predatory mites in Phytoseiidae. Among the phytoseiid species Kampimodromus aberrans, Amblyseius andersoni, Anthoseius recki, Phytoseius finitimus, Phytoseiulus persimilis and Phytoseiulus macropilis were widespread. Relationship between tetranychid and phytoseiid mites on different crops that can make considerable contribution to biological control in integrated pest management (IPM) programs is also reported.
Binding of Avian Excreta-Derived Enteroccoci to a Streptococcocus mutans: Implications for Avian to Human Transmission
Since Enterococci has been implicated in oral disease, we hypothesized the transmission of avian Enterococci to humans via fecal-oral transmission facilitated by adherence to dental plaque. To demonstrate the capability of Enterococci to bind to a dental plaque we filtered avian excreta and incubated the filtrate on a sucrose-induced, Streptococcus mutans biofilm. The biofilm was washed several times with a detergent to remove bacteria binding non-specifically to the biofilm, DNA was isolated from the biofilm, 16S rDNA was amplified, sequenced by Ion Torrent DNA sequencing and analyzed with bioinformatics. Enterococci and other known bacterial pathogens were shown to adhere to the biofilm. Culturing the washed biofilm with Bile Esculin Azide (BEA) agar also confirmed the presence of Enterococci as verified with Sanger sequencing. The results suggest that Enteroccoci in avian excreta has the ability to adhere to human dental plaque and may be a mechanism of entry when humans encounter contaminated aerosols, water or food.
An Activatable Theranostic for Targeted Cancer Therapy and Imaging
A new theranostic strategy is described. It is based on the use of an “all in one” prodrug, namely the biotinylated piperazine-rhodol conjugate 4a. This conjugate, which incorporates the anticancer drug SN-38, undergoes self-immolative cleavage when exposed to biological thiols. This leads to the tumor-targeted release of the active SN-38 payload along with fluorophore 1a. This release is made selective as the result of the biotin functionality. Fluorophore 1a is 32-fold more fluorescent than prodrug 4a. It permits the delivery and release of the SN-38 payload to be monitored easily in vitro and in vivo, as inferred from cell studies and ex vivo analyses of mice xenografts derived HeLa cells, respectively. Prodrug 4a also displays anticancer activity in the HeLa cell murine xenograft tumor model. On the basis of these findings we suggest that the present strategy, which combines within a single agent the key functions of targeting, release, imaging, and treatment, may have a role to play in cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Suicide, Help-Seeking and LGBT Youth: A Mixed Methods Study
Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29 year-olds. Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) have elevated rates of suicide and self-harm. Despite the increased risk, there is a paucity of research on LGBT help-seeking and suicidality. This is the first national study to investigate LGBT youth help-seeking for suicidal feelings and self-harm. We report on a UK sequential exploratory mixed method study that employed face-to-face and online methods in two stages. Stage one involved 29 online (n=15) and face-to-face (n=14) semi-structured interviews with LGBT youth aged under 25 years old. Stage two utilized an online LGBT youth questionnaire employing a community-based sampling strategy (n=789). We found across the sample that LGBT youth who self-harmed or felt suicidal were reluctant to seek help. Results indicated that participants were normalizing their emotional distress and only asked for help when they reached crisis point and were no longer coping. Those who self-harmed (p< 0.001, OR=2.82), had attempted or planned suicide (p< 0.05, OR=1.48), or had experience of abuse related to their sexuality or gender (p< 0.01, OR=1.80), were most likely to seek help. There were a number of interconnecting reasons that contributed to participants’ problems accessing help. The most prominent of these were: negotiating norms in relation to sexuality, gender, mental health and age; being unable to talk about emotions, and coping and self-reliance. It is crucial that policies and practices that aim to prevent LGBT youth suicide recognize that norms and normalizing processes connected to sexual orientation and gender identity are additional difficulties that LGBT youth have accessing mental health support.
Clay Palm Press: A Technique of Hand Building in Ceramics for Developing Conceptual Forms
There are several techniques of production in the field of ceramics. These different techniques overtime have been categorised under three methods of production which includes; casting, throwing and hand building. Hand building method of production is further broken down into other techniques and they include coiling, slabbing and pinching. Ceramic artists find the different hand building techniques to be very interesting, practicable and rewarding. This has encouraged ceramic artist in their various studios at different levels to experiment for further hand building techniques that could be unique and unusual. The art of "Clay Palm Press" is a development from studio experiment in a quest for uniqueness in conceptual ceramic practise. Clay palm press is a technique that requires no formal tutelage but at the same time, it is not easily comprehensible when viewed. It is a practice of putting semi-solid clay in the palm and inserting a closed fist pressure so as to take the imprint of the human palm. This clay production from the palm when dried, fired and explored into an art, work reveals an absolute awesomeness of what the palm imprint could result in.
Structuring and Visualizing Healthcare Claims Data Using Systems Architecture Methodology
Healthcare delivery systems around the world are in crisis. The need to improve health outcomes while decreasing healthcare costs have led to an imminent call to action to transform the healthcare delivery system. While Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering have primarily focused on biological level data and biomedical technology, there is clear evidence of the importance of the delivery of care on patient outcomes. Classic singular decomposition approaches from reductionist science are not capable of explaining complex systems. Approaches and methods from systems science and systems engineering are utilized to structure healthcare delivery system data. Specifically, systems architecture is used to develop a multi-scale and multi-dimensional characterization of the healthcare delivery system, defined here as the Healthcare Delivery System Knowledge Base. This paper is the first to contribute a new method of structuring and visualizing a multi-dimensional and multi-scale healthcare delivery system using systems architecture in order to better understand healthcare delivery.
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.
Trend Analysis of Annual Total Precipitation Data in Konya
Hydroclimatic observation values ​​are used in the planning of the project of water resources. Climate variables are the first of the values ​​used in planning projects. At the same time, the climate system is a complex and interactive system involving the atmosphere, land surfaces, snow and bubbles, the oceans and other water structures. The amount and distribution of precipitation, which is an important climate parameter, is a limiting environmental factor for dispersed living things. Trend analysis is applied to the detection of the presence of a pattern or trend in the data set. Many trends work in different parts of the world are usually made for the determination of climate change. The detection and attribution of past trends and variability in climatic variables is essential for explaining potential future alteration resulting from anthropogenic activities. Parametric and non-parametric tests are used for determining the trends in climatic variables. In this study, trend tests were applied to annual total precipitation data obtained in period of 1972 and 2012, in the Konya Basin. Non-parametric trend tests, (Sen&rsquo;s T, Spearman&rsquo;s Rho, Mann-Kendal, Sen&rsquo;s T trend, Wald-Wolfowitz) and parametric test (mean square) were applied to annual total precipitations of 15 stations for trend analysis. The linear slopes (change per unit time) of trends are calculated by using a non-parametric estimator developed by Sen. The beginning of trends is determined by using the Mann-Kendall rank correlation test. In addition, homogeneities in precipitation trends are tested by using a method developed by Van Belle and Hughes. As a result of tests, negative linear slopes were found in annual total precipitations in Konya.
Modelling Operational Risk Using Extreme Value Theory and Skew t-Copulas via Bayesian Inference
Operational risk losses are heavy tailed and are likely to be asymmetric and extremely dependent among business lines/event types. We propose a new methodology to assess, in a multivariate way, the asymmetry and extreme dependence between severity distributions, and to calculate the capital for Operational Risk. This methodology simultaneously uses (i) several parametric distributions and an alternative mix distribution (the Lognormal for the body of losses and the Generalized Pareto Distribution for the tail) via extreme value theory using SAS®, (ii) the multivariate skew t-copula applied for the first time for operational losses and (iii) Bayesian theory to estimate new n-dimensional skew t-copula models via Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation. This paper analyses a newly operational loss data set, SAS Global Operational Risk Data [SAS OpRisk], to model operational risk at international financial institutions. All the severity models are constructed in SAS® 9.2. We implement the procedure PROC SEVERITY and PROC NLMIXED. This paper focuses in describing this implementation.
Magnetic End Leakage Flux in a Spoke Type Rotor Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator
The spoke type rotor can be used to obtain magnetic flux concentration in permanent magnet machines. This allows the air gap magnetic flux density to exceed the remanent flux density of the permanent magnets but gives problems with leakage fluxes in the magnetic circuit. The end leakage flux of one spoke type permanent magnet rotor design is studied through measurements and finite element simulations. The measurements are performed in the end regions of a 12 kW prototype generator for a vertical axis wind turbine. The simulations are made using three dimensional finite elements to calculate the magnetic field distribution in the end regions of the machine. Also two dimensional finite element simulations are performed and the impact of the two dimensional approximation is studied. It is found that the magnetic leakage flux in the end regions of the machine is equal to about 20% of the flux in the permanent magnets. The overestimation of the performance by the two dimensional approximation is quantified and a curve-fitted expression for its behavior is suggested.
Machine Learning Invariants to Detect Anomalies in Secure Water Treatment
A strategic model that does not trigger any false alarms to detect anomalies in Secure Water Treatment (SWaT) test bed is presented. This model uses machine learning invariants formulated from streamlining the general form of Auto-Regressive models with eXogenous input. A creative generalized CUSUM algorithm to integrate the invariants and the detection strategy technique is successfully developed and tested in the SWaT Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Three steps to fine-tune parameters, b and τ in the generalized algorithm are stated and an example used to demonstrate the tuning process is discussed. This approach can swiftly and effectively detect various scopes of cyber-attacks such as multiple points single stage and multiple points multiple stages in SWaT. This technique can be applied in water treatment plants and other cyber physical systems like power and gas plants too.
The Potential Roles of Digital Technologies in Developing Children's Artistic Ability and Promoting Creative Activity in Children Aged
Teaching art by digital means is a big challenge for the majority of teachers of art and artistic design courses in primary education schools. These courses can clearly identify relationships between art, technology, and creativity in the classroom .The aim of this article is to present a modern way of teaching art, using digital tools in the art classroom in order to improve creative ability in pupils aged between 9 and 11 years; it also presents a conceptual model for creativity based on digital art. The model could be useful for pupils interested in learning drawing and using an e-drawing package, and for teachers who are interested in teaching their students modern digital art, and improving children’s creativity. This model is designed to show the strategy of teaching art through technology, in order for children to learn how to be creative. This will also help education providers to make suitable choices about which technological approaches they should choose to teach students and enhance their creative ability. It is also expected that use of this model will help to develop social interactive qualities that may improve intellectual ability.
Use of Multistage Transition Regression Models for Credit Card Income Prediction
Because of the variety of the card holders’ behaviour types and income sources each consumer account can be transferred to a variety of states. Each consumer account can be inactive, transactor, revolver, delinquent, defaulted and requires an individual model for the income prediction. The estimation of transition probabilities between statuses at the account level helps to avoid the memorylessness of the Markov Chains approach. This paper investigates the transition probabilities estimation approaches to credit cards income prediction at the account level. The key question of empirical research is which approach gives more accurate results: multinomial logistic regression or multistage conditional logistic regression with binary target. Both models have shown moderate predictive power. Prediction accuracy for conditional logistic regression depends on the order of stages for the conditional binary logistic regression. On the other hand, multinomial logistic regression is easier for usage and gives integrate estimations for all states without priorities. Thus further investigations can be concentrated on alternative modeling approaches such as discrete choice models.
Multivariate Analysis of the Relationship between Professional Burnout, Emotional Intelligence and Health Level in Teachers University of Guayaquil
The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of Burnout syndrome in a sample of 600 professors at the University of Guayaquil (Ecuador) using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (M.B.I.). In addition, assessment was made of the effects on health from professional burnout using the General Health Questionnaire (G.H.Q.-28), and the influence of Emotional Intelligence on prevention of its symptoms using the Spanish version of the Trait Meta-Mood Scale (T.M.M.S.-24). After confirmation of the underlying factor structure, the three measurement tools showed high levels of internal consistency, and specific cut-off points were proposed for the group of Latin American academics in the M.B.I. Statistical analysis showed the syndrome is present extensively, particularly on medium levels, with notably low scores given for Professional Self-Esteem. The application of Canonical Correspondence Analysis revealed that low levels of self-esteem are related to depression, with a lack of personal resources related to anxiety and insomnia, whereas the ability to perceive and control emotions and feelings improves perceptions of professional effectiveness and performance.
Stroke Rehabilitation via Electroencephalogram Sensors and an Articulated Robot
Stroke often causes death or cerebro-vascular (CV) brain damage. Most patients with CV brain damage lost their motor control on their limbs. This paper focuses on developing a reliable, safe, and non-invasive EEG-based robot-assistant stroke rehabilitation system to help stroke survivors to rapidly restore their motor control functions for their limbs. An electroencephalogram (EEG) recording device (EPOC Headset) and was used to detect a patient’s brain activities. The EEG signals were then processed, classified, and interpreted to the motion intentions, and then converted to a series of robot motion commands. A six-axis articulated robot (AdeptSix 300) was employed to provide the intended motions based on these commends. To ensure the EEG device, the computer, and the robot can communicate to each other, an Arduino microcontroller is used to physically execute the programming codes to a series output pins’ status (HIGH or LOW). Then these “hardware” commends were sent to a 24 V relay to trigger the robot’s motion. A lookup table for various motion intensions and the associated EEG signal patterns were created (through training) and installed in the microcontroller. Thus, the motion intention can be direct determined by comparing the EEG patterns obtaibed from the patient with the look-up table’s EEG patterns; and the corresponding motion commends are sent to the robot to provide the intended motion without going through feature extraction and interpretation each time (a time-consuming process). For safety sake, an extender was designed and attached to the robot’s end effector to ensure the patient is beyond the robot’s workspace. The gripper is also designed to hold the patient’s limb. The test results of this rehabilitation system show that it can accurately interpret the patient’s motion intension and move the patient’s arm to the intended position.
Isothermal Solid-Phase Amplification System for Detection of Yersinia pestis
DNA amplification is required for most molecular diagnostic applications but conventional PCR has disadvantages for field testing. Isothermal amplification techniques are being developed to respond to this problem. One of them is the Recombinase Polymerase Amplification (RPA) that operates at isothermal conditions without sacrificing specificity and sensitivity in easy-to-use formats. In this work RPA was used for the optical detection of solid-phase amplification of the potential biowarfare agent Yersinia pestis. Thiolated forward primers were immobilized on the surface of maleimide-activated microtitre plates for the quantitative detection of synthetic and genomic DNA, with elongation occurring only in the presence of the specific template DNA and solution phase reverse primers. Quantitative detection was achieved via the use of biotinylated reverse primers and post-amplification addition of streptavidin-HRP conjugate. The overall time of amplification and detection was less than 1 hour at a constant temperature of 37oC. Single-stranded and double-stranded DNA sequences were detected achieving detection limits of 4.04*10-13 M and 3.14*10-16 M, respectively. The system demonstrated high specificity with negligible responses to non-specific targets.
A Lean Manufacturing Profile of Practices in the Metallurgical Industry: A Methodology for Multivariate Analysis
The purpose of this project is to carry out an analysis and determine the profile of actual lean manufacturing processes in the Metropolitan Area of Bucaramanga. Through the analysis of qualitative and quantitative variables it was possible to establish how these manufacturers develop production practices that ensure their competitiveness and productivity in the market. In this study, a random sample of metallurgic and wrought iron companies was applied, following which a quantitative focus and analysis was used to formulate a qualitative methodology for measuring the level of lean manufacturing procedures in the industry. A qualitative evaluation was also carried out through a multivariate analysis using the Numerical Taxonomy System (NTSYS) program which should allow for the determination of Lean Manufacturing profiles. Through the results it was possible to observe how the companies in the sector are doing with respect to Lean Manufacturing Practices, as well as identify the level of management that these companies practice with respect to this topic. In addition, it was possible to ascertain that there is no one dominant profile in the sector when it comes to Lean Manufacturing. It was established that the companies in the metallurgic and wrought iron industry show low levels of Lean Manufacturing implementation. Each one carries out diverse actions that are insufficient to consolidate a sectoral strategy for developing a competitive advantage which enables them to tie together a production strategy.
Possibilities of Building Regional Migration Governance due to the Venezuelan Diaspora in Ibero-America (2015-2018)
The paper will seek to examine the scope and limitations of the process of construction of ordinary and extraordinary migration regulatory tools of the countries of Latin America, due to the Venezuelan diaspora in Ibero-America (2015-2018). The analysis methodology will be based on a systematic presentation of the existing advances in the subject under a qualitative approach, in which the results are detailed. We hold that an important part of the Latin American countries that used to be the emitters of migrants have had to generate, with greater or lesser success both nationally and regionally, ordinary and extraordinary migration regulatory tools to respond to the rapid intensification of the current Venezuelan migratory flows. This fact beyond implementing policies for the reception and integration of this population marks a new moment that represents a huge challenge both for the receiving States and for the young Ibero-American institutional migration system. Therefore, we can say that measures to adopt reception and solidarity policies, despite being supported by organs of the multilateral system such as UNHCR and IOM, are not found as guidelines for national and regional action, at the expense of the reactions of the respective public opinions and the influence of what to do of the neighboring countries in the face of the problem.
Economies of Scale of Worker's Continuing Professional Development in Selected Universities in South- South, Nigeria
The return to scale constitutes a significant investment index in the determination of the quantum of resources that is deployed in investment decision on worker’s continuing professional development. Such investment decision is always predicted on the expected outcomes to the individual, institution and the society in context. Several investments in the development of human capacity on the job have been made, but the return to the scale of such seems not to have been correlated positively with the quantum of resources invested in terms of productivity and performance among workers in many universities. This paper thus found out that, despite the commitment and policy instrument to avail workers the right of continuing professional development, the multiplier effects are not evident in diligence, commitment, honesty, dedication, productivity and improved performance on the job among most administrative staff in Nigerian Universities This author, therefore concludes that, given the policy on the right of workers to get trained on-the job, the outcomes of such training must reflect on the overall performance indices, otherwise, institutions should carry out a forensic analysis of the types of continuing professional development programmes that workers participate in, whether or not, they are consistent with the vision and mission of the institutions in terms of economies of scale of workers professional development to the individual, institution and the nation in context.
Non-Contact Measurement of Soil Deformation in a Cyclic Triaxial Test
Deformation in a conventional cyclic triaxial test is normally measured by using point-wise measuring device. In this study, non-contact measurement technique was applied to be able to monitor and measure the occurrence of non-homogeneous behavior of the soil under cyclic loading. Non-contact measurement is executed through image processing. Two-dimensional measurements were performed using Lucas and Kanade optical flow algorithm and it was implemented Labview. In this technique, the non-homogeneous deformation was monitored using a mirrorless camera. A mirrorless camera was used because it is economical and it has the capacity to take pictures at a fast rate. The camera was first calibrated to remove the distortion brought about the lens and the testing environment as well. Calibration was divided into 2 phases. The first phase was the calibration of the camera parameters and distortion caused by the lens. The second phase was to for eliminating the distortion brought about the triaxial plexiglass. A correction factor was established from this phase. A series of consolidated undrained cyclic triaxial test was performed using a coarse soil. The results from the non-contact measurement technique were compared to the measured deformation from the linear variable displacement transducer. It was observed that deformation was higher at the area where failure occurs.
Metabolomics Profile Recognition for Cancer Diagnostics
Metabolomics has become a rising field of research for various diseases, particularly cancer. Increases or decreases in metabolite concentrations in the human body are indicative of various cancers. Further elucidation of metabolic pathways and their significance in cancer research may greatly spur medicinal discovery. We analyzed the metabolomics profiles of lung cancer. Thirty-three metabolites were selected as significant. These metabolites are involved in 37 metabolic pathways delivered by MetaboAnalyst software. The top pathways are glyoxylate and dicarboxylate pathway (its hubs are formic acid and glyoxylic acid) along with Citrate cycle pathway followed by Taurine and hypotaurine pathway (the hubs in the latter are taurine and sulfoacetaldehyde) and Glycine, serine, and threonine pathway (the hubs are glycine and L-serine). We studied interactions of the metabolites with the proteins involved in cancer-related signaling networks, and developed an approach to metabolomics biomarker use in cancer diagnostics. Our analysis showed that a significant part of lung-cancer-related metabolites interacts with main cancer-related signaling pathways present in this network: PI3K&ndash;mTOR&ndash;AKT pathway, RAS&ndash;RAF&ndash;ERK1/2 pathway, and NFKB pathway. These results can be employed for use of metabolomics profiles in elucidation of the related cancer proteins signaling networks.
In vivo Antiplatelet Activity Test of Wet Extract of Mimusops elengi L.'s Leaves on DDY Strain Mice as an Effort to Treat Atherosclerosis
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is one of the deathliest diseases which is caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease that plaque builds up inside the arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, platelet, and other substances found in blood. The current treatment of atherosclerosis is to provide antiplatelet therapy treatment, but such treatments often cause gastrointestinal irritation, muscle pain and hormonal imbalance. Mimusops elengi L.’s leaves can be utilized as a natural and cheap antiplatelet’s source because it contains flavonoids such as quertecin. Antiplatelet aggregation effect of Mimusops elengi L.’s leaves’ wet extract was measured by bleeding time on DDY strain mice with the test substances were given orally during the period of 8 days. The bleeding time was measured on first day and 9th day. Empirically, the dose which is used for humans is 8.5 g of leaves in 600 ml of water. This dose is equivalent to 2.1 g of leaves in 350 ml of water for mice. The extract was divided into 3 doses for mice: 0.05 ml/day; 0.1 ml/day; 0.2 ml/day. After getting the percentage of the increase in bleeding time, data were analyzed by analysis of variance test (Anova), followed by individual comparison within the groups by LSD test. The test substances above respectively increased bleeding time 21%, 62%, and 128%. As the conclusion, the 0.02 ml/day dose of Mimusops elengi L.’s leaves’ wet extract could increase bleeding time better than clopidogrel as positive controls with 110% increase in bleeding time.
Thermal Performance of Fully Immersed Naturally Cooled Server
The natural convection cooling system of a fully immersed server in a dielectric liquid is studied numerically. In the present case study, the dielectric liquid represents working fluid and it is in contact with server inside capsule. The capsule includes electronic component and fluid which can be modeled as saturated porous media. This medium follow Darcy flow regime and assumed to be in balance between its components. The study focus is on role of spatial parameters on thermal behavior of convective heat transfer. Based on server known unit, which is 1U, two parameters Ly and S are changed to test their effect. Meanwhile, wide-range of modified Rayleigh number, which is 0.5 to 300, are covered to better understand thermal performance. Navier-Stokes equations are used to model physical domain. Furthermore, successive over-relaxation and time marching techniques are used to solve momentum and energy equation. From obtained correlation, the in-between distance S is more effective on Nusselt number than distance to edge Ly by approximately 14%. In addition, as S increases, the average Nusselt number of the upper unit increases sharply, whereas the lower one keeps on the same level.
Thermal Performance of Fully Immersed Server into Saturated Fluid Porous Medium
The natural convection cooling system of a fully immersed server in dielectric liquid is studied numerically. In present case study, the dielectric liquid represents working fluid and it is in contact with server inside capsule. The capsule includes electronic component and fluid, which can be modelled as saturated porous media. This medium follow Darcy flow regime and assumed to be in balance between its components. The study focus is on role of spatial parameters on thermal behavior of convective heat transfer. Based on server known unit, which is 1U, two parameters Ly and S are changed to test their effect. Meanwhile, wide range of modified Rayleigh number, which is 0.5 to 300, are covered to better understand thermal performance. Navier-Stokes equations are used to model physical domain. Furthermore, successive over relaxation and time marching techniques are used to solve momentum and energy equation. From obtained correlation, the in-between distance S is more effective on Nusselt number than distance to edge Ly by approximately 14%. In addition, as S increase, the average Nusselt number of the upper unit is increased sharply, whereas the lower one keeps on same level.
Out of Pocket Costs for Patients with Tuberculosis in Colombia: Evidence from Three Metropolitan Areas
Objectives: Economic analyses of tuberculosis control interventions are usually focused on the payer’s perspective. To assess the overall economic impact of the disease, out-of-pocket and indirect costs are also required. This research is aimed to estimate overall economic impact under DOTS-strategy (Directly Observed Therapy Short Course). Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 91 adult tuberculosis patients in treatment for at least two months was conducted from the society perspective. A standardized questionnaire was used in three different cities of Colombia: Medellin (poverty is 17.7%), Monteria (poverty is 36.9%) and Quibdó (poverty is 51.2%). Costs were converted to 2013 USD and categorized into two periods: diagnostics phase and treatment. Results: The median cost during diagnostics was 13$ (±SD 9.5). The median monthly patient out-of-pocket costs during treatment were 32$ (±SD 6.8), equivalent to 17% of patient’s median monthly income, estimated in 186$ (±SD 23). Costs recorded in Medellin were 47$ in Monteria was 18$ and in Quibdó was 13$. Conclusion: Patient costs under DOTS strategy are high even when services are provided free of charge. The creation or strengthening of community-based treatment supervisors could greatly impact costs of tuberculosis and lower drop-outs.
Understanding Help Seeking among Black Women with Clinically Significant Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms
Understanding the help seeking decision making process and experiences of health disparity populations with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is central to development of trauma-informed, culturally centered, and patient focused services. Yet, little is known about the decision making process among adult Black women who are non-treatment seekers as they are, by definition, not engaged in services. Methods: Audiotaped interviews were conducted with 30 African American adult women with clinically significant PTSD symptoms who were engaged in primary care, but not in treatment for PTSD despite symptom burden. A qualitative interview guide was used to elucidate key themes. Independent coding of themes mapped to theory and identification of emergent themes were conducted using qualitative methods. An existing quantitative dataset was analyzed to contextualize responses and provide a descriptive summary of the sample. Results: Emergent themes revealed that active mental avoidance, the intermittent nature of distress, ambivalence, and self-identified resilience as undermining to help seeking decisions. Participants were stuck within the help-seeking phase of &lsquo;recognition&rsquo; of illness and retained a sense of "it is my decision" despite endorsing significant social and environmental negative influencers. Participants distinguished &lsquo;help acceptance&rsquo; from &lsquo;help seeking&rsquo; with greater willingness to accept help and importance placed on being of help to others. Conclusions: Elucidation of the decision-making process from the perspective of non-treatment seekers has implications for outreach and treatment within models of integrated and specialty systems care. The salience of responses to trauma symptoms and stagnation in the help seeking recognition phase are findings relevant to integrated care service design and community engagement.
Preparation of Activated Carbon Fibers (ACF) Impregnated with Ionic Silver Particles from Cotton Woven Waste and Its Performance as Antibacterial Agent
In this work, the antibacterial effect of activated carbon fibers (ACF) impregnated with ionic silver particles was studied. ACF were prepared from samples of cotton woven wastes (cotton based fabrics 5x10 cm) by applying a chemical activation procedure with H3PO4. This treatment was performed using several H3PO4: Cotton based fabrics weight ratios (1:2–2:1), temperatures (600–900 ºC) and activation times (0.5–2 h). The ACF obtained under the best activation conditions showed BET surface area of 1103 m2/g; this result along with iodine index demonstrated the microporous nature of the fibers herein obtained. Then, the obtained fibers were impregnated with ionic silver particles by immersion in 0.1 and 0.5 M AgNO3 solutions followed by drying and thermal decomposition in order to fix the silver particles in the structure of ACF. It was determined that the presence of Ag ions lowered the BET surface area of the ACF in approximately 17 % due to the obstruction of the porosities along the carbonized structure. Finally, the antibacterial effect of the ACF impregnated with silver was studied through direct counting method for coliforms. The antibacterial activity of the impregnated fibers was demonstrated, and it was attributed to the strongly inhibition of bacteria growth because of chemical properties of the particles of silver inside the ACF. This behavior was demonstrated at concentrations of silver as low as 0.035 % w/w.
Leveraging on Youth Agricultural Extension Outreach: Revisiting Young Farmer’s Club in Schools in Edo State, Nigeria
Youths play a critical role in the agricultural transformation of any developing nation such as Nigeria. Hence, the preparation of any nation for productive life depends on the policies and programmes designed for its youths. Studies have shown that children and youths contribute significantly in agricultural activities. Youths have vigour and prone to physical work, they constitute a great percentage of labour force in the country. It is of necessity that every policy on national development must of necessity take cognizance of the youths. Hence, the focus on youths in agricultural extension outreaches most especially, the young farmers club. It is an out-of-school education in agriculture and home economics for rural youth through learning by doing. Young farmers club in schools enables the young to learn and acquire those attributes that will enable them grown into useful and mature adult. There appears to be numerous constrains in the use of youths in extension, they are inadequate personnel, poor funding of agricultural sector, poor marketing channels, lack of good roads, others are poor input and lack of information. However, there is a need for Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) to organize workshop for secondary students and agricultural science teachers, schools to organize seminars and workshops for secondary schools who are members of Young Farmers Club (YFC). ADP should also organize agricultural show to encourage students to be members of Young Farmers Club (YFC).
Multi-Atlas Segmentation Based on Dynamic Energy Model: Application to Brain MR Images
Segmentation of anatomical structures in medical images is essential for scientific inquiry into the complex relationships between biological structure and clinical diagnosis, treatment and assessment. As a method of incorporating the prior knowledge and the anatomical structure similarity between a target image and atlases, multi-atlas segmentation has been successfully applied in segmenting a variety of medical images, including the brain, cardiac, and abdominal images. The basic idea of multi-atlas segmentation is to transfer the labels in atlases to the coordinate of the target image by matching the target patch to the atlas patch in the neighborhood. However, this technique is limited by the pairwise registration between target image and atlases. In this paper, a novel multi-atlas segmentation approach is proposed by introducing a dynamic energy model. First, the target is mapped to each atlas image by minimizing the dynamic energy function, then the segmentation of target image is generated by weighted fusion based on the energy. The method is tested on MICCAI 2012 Multi-Atlas Labeling Challenge dataset which includes 20 target images and 15 atlases images. The paper also analyzes the influence of different parameters of the dynamic energy model on the segmentation accuracy and measures the dice coefficient by using different feature terms with the energy model. The highest mean dice coefficient obtained with the proposed method is 0.861, which is competitive compared with the recently published method.
Multi-Atlas Segmentation Based on Dynamic Energy Model: Application to Brain MR Images
Segmentation of anatomical structures in medical images is essential for scientific inquiry into the complex relationships between biological structure and clinical diagnosis, treatment and assessment. As a method of incorporating the prior knowledge and the anatomical structure similarity between a target image and atlases, multi-atlas segmentation has been successfully applied in segmenting a variety of medical images, including the brain, cardiac, and abdominal images. The basic idea of multi-atlas segmentation is to transfer the labels in atlases to the coordinate of the target image by matching the target patch to the atlas patch in the neighborhood. However, this technique is limited by the pairwise registration between target image and atlases. In this paper, a novel multi-atlas segmentation approach is proposed by introducing a dynamic energy model. First, the target is mapped to each atlas image by minimizing the dynamic energy function, then the segmentation of target image is generated by weighted fusion based on the energy. The method is tested on MICCAI 2012 Multi-Atlas Labeling Challenge dataset which includes 20 target images and 15 atlases images. The paper also analyzes the influence of different parameters of the dynamic energy model on the segmentation accuracy and measures the dice coefficient by using different feature terms with the energy model. The highest mean dice coefficient obtained with the proposed method is 0.861, which is competitive compared with the recently published method.
An Evaluation Framework for Virtual Reality Learning Environments in Sports Education
Interest in virtual reality (VR) technologies as virtual learning environments have been on the rise in recent years. With thanks to the aggressively competitive consumer electronics environment, VR technology has been made affordable and accessible to the average person with developments like Google Cardboard and Oculus Go. While the promise of virtual access to unique virtual learning environments with the benefits of experiential learning sounds extremely attractive, there are still concerns over user comfort in the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective domains. Reports of motion sickness and short durations create doubt and have stunted its growth. In this paper, a multidimensional framework is proposed for the evaluation of VR learning environments within the three dimensions: tactual quality, didactic quality, and autodidactic quality. This paper further proposes a mixed-methods experimental research plan that sets out to evaluate a virtual reality training simulator in the context of amateur sports fencing. The study will investigate if an immersive VR learning environment can effectively simulate an authentic learning environment suitable for instruction, practice, and assessment while providing the user comfort in the tactual, didactic, and autodidactic dimensions. The models and recommendations developed for this study are designed in the context of fencing, but the potential impact is a guide for the future design and evaluation of all VR developments across sports and technical classroom education.
Ab Initio Approach to Generate a Binary Bulk Metallic Glass Foam
Both porous materials and bulk metallic glasses have been studied due to their potential applications and their exceptional physical and chemical properties. However, each material presents certain drawbacks which have been thought to be overcome by generating bulk metallic glass foams (BMGF). Although some experimental reports have been performed on multicomponent BMGF, still no ab initio works have been published, as far as we know. We present an approach based on the expanding lattice (EL) method to generate binary amorphous nanoporous Cu64Zr36. Starting from two different configurations: a 108-atom crystalline cubic supercell (cCu64Zr36) and a 108-atom amorphous supercell (aCu64Zr36), both with an initial density of 8.06 g/cm3, we applied EL method to halve the density and to get 50% of porosity. After the lattice expansion the supercells were subject to ab initio molecular dynamics for 500 steps at constant room temperature. Then, the samples were geometry-optimized and characterized with the pair and radial distribution functions, bond-angle distributions and a coordination number analysis. We found that pores appeared along specific spatial directions different from one to another and that they differed in size and form as well, which we think is related to the initial structure. Due to the lack of experimental counterparts our results should be considered predictive and further studies are needed in order to handle a larger number of atoms and its implication on pore topology.
Non-Family Members as Successors of Choice in South African Family Businesses
Family firms are a vital component of a country’s stability, prosperity and development. Their sustainability, longevity and continuity are critical. Given the premise that family firms wish to continue the business for the benefit of the family, the family founder / owner is faced with an emotionally charged transition option; either to transfer the family business to a family member or to transfer the firm to a non-family member. The rationale employed by family founders to select non-family members as successors/ executives of choice and the concomitant rationale employed by non-family members to select family firms as employers of choice, has been under-researched in the literature of family business succession planning. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to gain access to family firm founders/ owners, non-family successors/ executives and industry experts on family business. The findings indicated that the rationale for family members to select non-family successors/ executives was underpinned by the objective to grow the family firm for the benefit of the family. If non-family members were the most suitable candidates to ensure this outcome, family members were comfortable to employ non-family members. Non- family members, despite the knowledge that benefit lay primarily with family members, chose to work for family firms for personal benefits in terms of wealth, security and close connections. A commonly shared value system was a pre-requisite for all respondents. The research study provides insights from family founders/ owners, non-family successors/ executives, and industry experts on the subject of succession planning outside the family structure.
Investigating the Use of Seaweed Extracts as Biopesticides
Biosecurity is emerging as one of the most important issues facing the agricultural and forestry community. This is as a result of increased invasion from new pests and diseases with the main protocol for dealing with these species being the use of synthetic pesticides. However, these chemicals have been shown to exhibit negative effects on the environment. Seaweeds represent a vast untapped resource of bio-molecules with a broad range of biological activities including pesticidal. This project investigated both the antifungal and antibacterial activity of seaweed species against two problematic root rot fungi, Armillaria mellea and Heterobasidion annosum and ten quarantine bacterial plant pathogens including Xanthomonas arboricola, Xanthomonas fragariae, and Erwinia amylovora. Four seaweed species were harvested from the South-East coast of Ireland including brown, red and green varieties. The powdered seaweeds were extracted using four different solvents by liquid extraction. The poisoned food technique was employed to establish the antifungal efficacy, and the standard disc diffusion assay was used to assess the antibacterial properties of the seaweed extracts. It was found that extracts of the green seaweed exhibited antifungal activity against H. annosum, with approximately 50% inhibition compared to the negative control. The protectant activities of the active extracts were evaluated on disks of Picea sitchensis, a plant species sensitive to infection from H. annosum and compared to the standard chemical control product urea. The crude extracts exhibited very similar activity to the 10% and 20% w/v concentrations of urea, demonstrating the ability of seaweed extracts to compete with commercially available products. Antibacterial activity was exhibited by a number of seaweed extracts with the red seaweed illustrating the strongest activity, with a zone of inhibition of 15.83 ± 0.41 mm exhibited against X. arboricola whilst the positive control (10 μg/disk of chloramphenicol) had a zone of 26.5 ± 0.71 mm. These results highlight the potential application of seaweed extracts in the forestry and agricultural industries for use as biopesticides. Further work is now required to identify the bioactive molecules that are responsible for this antifungal and antibacterial activity in the seaweed extracts, including toxicity studies to ensure the extracts are non-toxic to plants and humans.
Dancing in Bullets and in Brokenness: Metaphor in Terracotta on Canvas
Socio-economic occurrences and developments in any society is usually a thing of concern especially when this is been jeopardised as a result of insecurity of all sorts. There are numerous channels that such issues are brought to the fore for attention. Among this channels are the art media and more precisely the ceramic art media. Renown ceramic artists in Nigeria have taken to the medium of expression (clay) to contribute to succinct issues as it affects the society. This study takes advantage of a unique form of ceramic press moulding termed clay palm press. This uncommon production technique has been developed in this study to interrogate socio-economic insecurity in the form of ceramic art titled; “dancing in bullets and in brokenness”. This work was made possible through a ceramic medium that has been termed “terracotta on canvas”. Extensive studio practice was carried out to generate the terracotta forms for this study. Findings from this study indicates that the medium and mode of execution of the art work shows a unique side of working with clay that negates tactile or three dimensionality of inured ceramic practice. Additionally, the process of clay palm press in this study indicates that it could be therapeutical against medical conditions of muscles of the palm. This is because the process tightens and develops the muscles of the palm further. Dancing in bullets and in brokenness as portrayed through the medium of terracotta on canvas that social and security challenges are not a limiting factor to a resolute Nigerian, despite all, the strong will of Nigerians keeps persisting and overcoming challenges.
4D Modelling of Low Visibility Underwater Archaeological Excavations Using Multi-Source Photogrammetry in the Bulgarian Black Sea
This paper introduces the applicability of underwater photogrammetric survey within challenging conditions as the main tool to enhance and enrich the process of documenting archaeological excavation through the creation of 4D models. Photogrammetry was being attempted on underwater archaeological sites at least as early as the 1970s&rsquo; and today the production of traditional 3D models is becoming a common practice within the discipline. Photogrammetry underwater is more often implemented to record exposed underwater archaeological remains and less so as a dynamic interpretative tool.&nbsp; Therefore, it tends to be applied in bright environments and when underwater visibility is &gt; 1m, reducing its implementation on most submerged archaeological sites in more turbid conditions. Recent years have seen significant development of better digital photographic sensors and the improvement of optical technology, ideal for darker environments. Such developments, in tandem with powerful processing computing systems, have allowed underwater photogrammetry to be used by this research as a standard recording and interpretative tool. Using multi-source photogrammetry (5, GoPro5 Hero Black cameras) this paper presents the accumulation of daily (4D) underwater surveys carried out in the Early Bronze Age (3,300 BC) to Late Ottoman (17th Century AD) archaeological site of Ropotamo in the Bulgarian Black Sea under challenging conditions (&lt; 0.5m visibility). It proves that underwater photogrammetry can and should be used as one of the main recording methods even in low light and poor underwater conditions as a way to better understand the complexity of the underwater archaeological record.
Analysis of Brownfield Soil Contamination Using Local Government Planning Data
BBrownfield sites are currently being redeveloped for residential use. Information on soil contamination on these former industrial sites is collected as part of the planning process by the local government. This research project analyses this untapped resource of environmental data, using site investigation data submitted to a local Borough Council, in Surrey, UK. Over 150 site investigation reports were collected and interrogated to extract relevant information. This study involved three phases. Phase 1 was the development of a database for soil contamination information from local government reports. This database contained information on the source, history, and quality of the data together with the chemical information on the soil that was sampled. Phase 2 involved obtaining site investigation reports for development within the study area and extracting the required information for the database. Phase 3 was the data analysis and interpretation of key contaminants to evaluate typical levels of contaminants, their distribution within the study area, and relating these results to current guideline levels of risk for future site users. Preliminary results for a pilot study using a sample of the dataset have been obtained. This pilot study showed there is some inconsistency in the quality of the reports and measured data, and careful interpretation of the data is required. Analysis of the information has found high levels of lead in shallow soil samples, with mean and median levels exceeding the current guidance for residential use. The data also showed elevated (but below guidance) levels of potentially carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Of particular concern from the data was the high detection rate for asbestos fibers. These were found at low concentrations in 25% of the soil samples tested (however, the sample set was small). Contamination levels of the remaining chemicals tested were all below the guidance level for residential site use. These preliminary pilot study results will be expanded, and results for the whole local government area will be presented at the conference. The pilot study has demonstrated the potential for this extensive dataset to provide greater information on local contamination levels. This can help inform regulators and developers and lead to more targeted site investigations, improving risk assessments, and brownfield development.
Potential for Biological Control of Postharvest Fungal Rot of White Yam (Dioscorea rotundata Poir) Tubers in Storage with Trichoderma harzianum
Potential of Trichoderma harzianum for biological control of postharvest fungal rot of white yam (Dioscorea rotundata Poir) tubers in storage was studied. Pathogenicity test revealed the susceptibility of healthy looking yam tubers to Aspergillus niger, Botryodiplodia theobromae, and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonganae after fourteen days of inoculation. Treatments comprising A. niger, B. theobromae, and F. oxysporum each paired with T. harzianum and were arranged in completely randomized design and stored for five months. Experiments were conducted between December 2015 and April 2016 and December 2016 and April 2017. Results showed that tubers treated with the pathogenic fungi alone caused mean percentage rot of between 6.67 % (F. oxysporum) and 22.22 % (A. niger) while the paired treatments produced only between 2.22 % (T. harzianum by F. oxysporum) and 6.67 % (T. harzianum by A. niger). In the second year of storage, mean percentage rot was found to be between 13.33 % (F. oxysporum) and 28.89 % (A. niger) while in the paired treatment rot was only between 6.67 % (F. oxysporum) and 8.89% (A. niger). Tubers treated with antagonist alone produced 0.00 % and 2.22 % in the first and second year, respectively. Result revealed that there was a significant difference (P ≤ 0.05) in mean percentage rot between the first year and the second year except where B. theobromae was inoculated alone, A. niger and T. harzianum paired and B. theobromae and T. harzianum paired. The most antagonised fungus in paired treatment for both years was F. oxysporum f. sp. melonganae, while the least antagonised, was A. niger and B. theobromae. It is, therefore, concluded that T. harzianum has potentials to control rot causing pathogens of yam tubers in storage. This can compliment or provide better alternative ways of reducing rot in yam tubers than by the use of chemical fungicides which are not environmentally friendly.
Environmental Consequences of Metal Concentrations in Stream Sediments of Atoyac River Basin, Central Mexico: Natural and Industrial Influences
Atoyac River, a major south-central river flowing through the states of Puebla and Tlaxcala in Mexico is significantly impacted by the natural volcanic inputs in addition with wastewater discharges from urban, agriculture and industrial zones. In the present study, core samples were collected from R. Atoyac and analyzed for sediment granularity, major (Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, K, P and S) and trace elemental concentrations (Ba, Cr, Cd, Mn, Pb, Sr, V, Zn, Zr). The textural studies reveal that the sediments are mostly sand sized particles exceeding 99% and with very few to no presence of mud fractions. It is observed that most of the metals like (avg: all values in &mu;g g-1) Ca (35,528), Mg (10,789), K (7453), S (1394), Ba (203), Cr (30), Cd (4), Pb (11), Sr (435), Zn (76) and Zr (88) are enriched throughout the sediments mainly sourced from volcanic inputs, source rock composition of Atoyac River basin and industrial influences from the Puebla city region. Contamination indices, such as anthropogenic factor (AF), enrichment factor (EF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo), were used to investigate the level of contamination and toxicity as well as quantitatively assess the influences of human activities on metal concentrations. The AF values (&gt;1) for Ba, Ca, Mg, Na, K, P and S suggested volcanic inputs from the study region, where as Cd and Zn are attributed to the impacts of industrial inputs in this zone. The EF and Igeo values revealed an extreme enrichment of S and Cd. The ecological risks were evaluated using potential ecological risk index (RI) and the results indicate that the metals Cd and V pose a major hazard for the biological community.
Relational Effect of Parent Interest, Basic School Attended, Gender, and Scare of Basic School Mathematics Teacher on Student Interest in Mathematics
Interest in subject specific is very essential in the quest to ensure effective teaching and learning. In building interest in subject specific areas requires certain factors and strategies well-spelled out.The factors such as the gender of the student, the type of basic school attended, the parent interest as well as the scare of the basic school mathematics teacher is very important to consider. The relational effect and the contribution these above mentioned variables on student have not been fully investigated and this paper address the effect of these factors on the student interest. In the attainment of this goal, the current paper addresses the effect of parent interest, the type of basic school attended, the scare by basic school mathematics teacher and its effect on student’s interest in mathematics. A cross sectional data collected from two hundred and sixty post-secondary school student were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods by aid of SPSS version 16. The study found that parent interest and value for mathematics significantly influenced students interest and joy in solving mathematical problems. Moreover, we also observed that the fear imposed by basic school mathematics teachers was found to significantly influence students’ interest. The study further found that the type of basic school attended and gender are factors that do not influence students’ interest in mathematics. In addition to concluding that a student’s interest is influenced by both parent interest and the fear of basic school mathematics teacher, the study also showed that the type of basic school attended and gender does not affect the students’ interest in mathematics.
Genetic Differentiation between Members of a Species Complex (Retropinna spp.)
Population connectivity plays an important role in the conservation and recovery of declining species. It affects genetic diversity, adaptive potential and resilience of species in nature. Loss of genetic variation can affect populations by limiting their ability to persist in stressful environmental conditions. Generally, freshwater fishes show higher levels of genetic structuring and subdivision among populations than those inhabiting estuarine or marine environments due to the presence of artificial (e.g. dams) and natural (e.g. mountain ranges) barriers to dispersal in freshwater ecosystems. The Australian smelt (Retropinnidae: Retropinna spp.) is a common freshwater fish species which is widely distributed throughout coastal and inland drainages in South - eastern Australia. These fish are found in a number of habitats from headwaters to lowland sites. They form large shoals in the mid to upper water column and inhabit deep slow – flowing pools as well as shallow fast flowing riffle-runs. Previously, Australian smelt consisted of two described taxa (Retropinna semoni and Retropinna tasmanica), but recently a complex of five or more species has been recognized based on an analysis of allozyme variation. In many area, they spend their entire life cycle within freshwater. Although most populations of the species are thought to be non-diadromous, it is still unclear whether individuals within coastal populations of Australian Retropinna exhibit diadromous migrations or whether fish collected from marine/estuarine environments are vagrants that have strayed out of the freshwater reaches. In this current study, the population structure and genetic differentiation of Australian smelt fish were investigated among eight rivers of South-East Queensland (SEQ), Australia. 11 microsatellite loci were used to examine genetic variation within and among populations. Genetic diversity was very high. Number of alleles ranged from three to twenty. Expected heterozygosity averaged across loci ranged from 0.572 to 0.852. There was a high degree of genetic differentiation among rivers (FST = 0.23), although low levels of genetic differentiation among populations within rivers. These extremely high levels of genetic differentiation suggest that the all smelt in SEQ complete their life history within freshwater, or, if they go to the estuary, they do not migrate to sea. This hypothesis is being tested further with a micro-chemical analysis of their otoliths.
Automated Infrasound/Acoustic and Seismic Monitoring to Mitigate Human-Elephant Conflict
It has now been over 30 years since Katy Payne discovered elephant infrasound communications and over ten years since investigators began examining seismic waves associated with elephants. Several groups are now looking at the use of unattended sensors to monitor elephants for human-elephant conflict mitigation. One of the monitoring complications is that geophones, used to detect seismic waves, can also detect the infrasound/acoustic waves. Similarly, infrasound/acoustic detectors can detect both the infrasound and seismic waves. This poses challenges for characterizing the waves for automated system processing and making definitive interpretations for monitoring purposes. In order to address the dichotomy associated with integrated infrasound/acoustic and seismic monitoring, we collected infrasound/acoustic and seismic data in the bushveld of South Africa and at the North Carolina Zoo. During these instrument deployments, controlled experiments were conducted in which elephant movement and vocalizations were carefully timed and located. This controlled data permits us to separate the seismic waves from the infrasound/acoustic waves so that the characteristics of each, and their source functions -infrasound/acoustic communications versus footsteps- can be identified. This paper presents the results of this research in order to identify seismic, and infrasound/acoustic signatures of elephants along with their detection ranges on various types of sensors that can be used for elephant monitoring purposes. Specific monitoring strategies have been developed and tested in South Africa. Military-style unattended sensor systems that incorporate Doppler radar and imaging platforms were incorporated and evaluated during the testing.
Automatic Detection of Traffic Stop Locations Using GPS Data
Extracting information from new data sources has emerged as a crucial task in many traffic planning processes, such as identifying traffic patterns, route planning, traffic forecasting, and locating infrastructure improvements. Given the advanced technologies used to collect Global Positioning System (GPS) data from dedicated GPS devices, GPS equipped phones, and navigation tools, intelligent data analysis methodologies are necessary to mine this raw data. In this research, an automatic detection framework is proposed to help identify and classify the locations of stopped GPS waypoints into two main categories: signalized intersections or highway congestion. The Delaunay triangulation is used to perform this assessment in the clustering phase. While most of the existing clustering algorithms need assumptions about the data distribution, the effectiveness of the Delaunay triangulation relies on triangulating geographical data points without such assumptions. Our proposed method starts by cleaning noise from the data and normalizing it. Next, the framework will identify stoppage points by calculating the traveled distance. The last step is to use clustering to form groups of waypoints for signalized traffic and highway congestion. Next, a binary classifier was applied to find distinguish highway congestion from signalized stop points. The binary classifier uses the length of the cluster to find congestion. The proposed framework shows high accuracy for identifying the stop positions and congestion points in around 99.2% of trials. We show that it is possible, using limited GPS data, to distinguish with high accuracy.
A Qualitative Study of the Psychologically Challenging Aspects of Taking Part in an Ultra-Endurance Atlantic Rowing Event
Ultra-endurance events place unique physical and psychological pressures on participants. In this study, we examined the psychologically challenging aspects of taking part in a 3000 mile transatlantic rowing race using a qualitative approach. To date, more people have been into space than have rowed an ocean and only one psychological study has been conducted on this experience which had a specific research focus. The current study was a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Participants were an opportunity sample of seven competitors from a recent ocean rowing race. Participants were asked about the psychological aspects of the event after it had finished. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Several themes emerged from the analysis. These related to: 1) preparation; 2) bodily aches/pains, 3) race setbacks; 4) boat conditions; 5) interpersonal factors and communication; 6) strategies for managing stress and interpersonal tensions. While participants were generally very positive about the event, the analysis showed that they experienced significant psychological challenges during their voyage. Competitors paid considerable attention to preparing for the physical challenges of the event. However, not all prospective competitors gave the same time to preparing for psychological factors or were aware how they might play out during their voyage. All Atlantic rowing crews should be aware of the psychological challenges they face, and have strategies in place to help cope with the psychological strain of taking part.
Students' Perceptions of Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education
National student satisfaction data in England demonstrate that undergraduate students are less satisfied overall with assessment and feedback than other aspects of their higher education courses. Given that research findings suggest that high-quality feedback is a critical factor associated with academic achievement, it is important that feedback enables students to demonstrate improved academic achievement in their subsequent assessments. Given the growing importance of staff-student partnerships in higher education, this research examined students’ perceptions of assessment and feedback in one UK university. Students’ perceptions were elicited through the use of a university-wide survey which was completed by undergraduate students. In addition, three focus groups were used to provide qualitative student perception data across the three university Facilities. The data indicate that whilst students valued detailed feedback on their work, less detailed feedback could be compensated for by the development of pre-assessment literacy skills which are front-loaded into courses. Assessment literacy skills valued by students included the use of clear assessment criteria and assignment briefings which enabled students to fully understand the assessment task. Additionally, students valued assessment literacy pre-assessment tasks which enabled them to understand the standards which they were expected to achieve. Students valued opportunities for self and peer assessment prior to the final assessment and formative assessment feedback which matched the summative assessment feedback. Students also valued dialogic face-to-face feedback after receiving written feedback Above all, students valued feedback which was particular to their work and which gave recognition for the effort they had put into completing specific assessments. The data indicate that there is a need for higher education lecturers to receive systematic training in assessment and feedback which provides a comprehensive grounding in pre-assessment literacy skills.
Slaughter and Carcass Characterization, and Sensory Qualities of Native, Pure, and Upgraded Breeds of Goat Raised in the Philippines
Goat production is one of the activities included in integrated farming in the Philippines. Goats are raised for its meat and regardless of breed the animal is slaughtered for this purpose. In order to document the carcass yield of different goats slaughtered, five (5) different breeds of goats to include Purebred Boer and Anglo-nubian, Crossbred Boer and Anglo-nubian and Philippine Native goat were used in the study. Data on slaughter parameters, carcass characteristics, and sensory evaluation were gathered and analyzed using Complete Random Design (CRD) at 5% level of significance and the results of carcass conformation were assessed descriptively. Results showed that slaughter data such as slaughter/live weight, hot and chilled carcass weights, dressing percentage and percentage drip loss were significantly different (P&gt;0.05) among breeds. On carcass and meat characteristics, pure breed and upgraded Boer were found to be moderately muscular while Native goat was rated as thin muscular. The color of the carcass also revealed that Purebred and crossbred Boer were described dark red, while Native goat was noted to be slightly pale. On sensory evaluation, the results indicated that there was no significant difference (P&gt;0.05) among breeds evaluated. It is therefore concluded that purebred goat has heavier carcass, while both purebred Boer and upgrade are rated slightly muscular. It is further confirms that regardless of breed, goat will have the same sensory characteristics. Thus, it is recommended to slaughter heavier goats to obtain more carcasses with better conformation and quality.
Stereo Motion Tracking
Motion Tracking and Stereo Vision are complicated, albeit well-understood problems in computer vision. Existing softwares that combine the two approaches to perform stereo motion tracking typically employ complicated and computationally expensive procedures. The purpose of this study is to create a simple and effective solution capable of combining the two approaches. The study aims to explore a strategy to combine the two techniques of two-dimensional motion tracking using Kalman Filter; and depth detection of object using Stereo Vision. In conventional approaches objects in the scene of interest are observed using a single camera. However for Stereo Motion Tracking; the scene of interest is observed using video feeds from two calibrated cameras. Using two simultaneous measurements from the two cameras a calculation for the depth of the object from the plane containing the cameras is made. The approach attempts to capture the entire three-dimensional spatial information of each object at the scene and represent it through a software estimator object. In discrete intervals, the estimator tracks object motion in the plane parallel to plane containing cameras and updates the perpendicular distance value of the object from the plane containing the cameras as depth. The ability to efficiently track the motion of objects in three-dimensional space using a simplified approach could prove to be an indispensable tool in a variety of surveillance scenarios. The approach may find application from high security surveillance scenes such as premises of bank vaults, prisons or other detention facilities; to low cost applications in supermarkets and car parking lots.
Transcriptomic Response of Calmodulin Encoding Gene (CaM) in Pesticide Utilizing Talaromyces Fungal Strains
Calmodulin is one of the intracellular calcium proteins that regulates large spectrum of enzymes and cellular functions including metabolism of cyclic nucleotides and glycogen. The potentials of calmodulin gene in fungi necessitates their genetic response and their strong cassette of enzyme secretions for pesticide degradation. Therefore, this study was carried out to investigate the ‘Transcriptomic’ response of calmodulin encoding genes in Talaromyces fungi in response to 2, 2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP or Dichlorvos) an organophosphate pesticide and γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane (Lindane) an organochlorine pesticide. Fungi strains isolated from rhizosphere from grasses rhizosphere in pesticide polluted sites were subjected to percentage incidence test. Two most frequent fungi were further characterized using ITS gene amplification (ITS1 and ITS4 combinations), they were thereafter subjected to In-vitro DDVP and lindane tolerance tests at different concentrations. They were also screened for presence and expression of calmodulin gene (caM) using RT-PCR technique. The two Talaromyces strains had the highest incidence of 50-72% in pesticide polluted site, they were both identified as Talaromyces astroroseus asemoG and Talaromyces purpurogenum asemoN submitted in NCBI gene-bank with accession numbers KY488464 and KY488468 respectively. T. astroroseus KY488464 tolerated DDVP (1.23±0.023 cm) and lindane (1.11±0.018 cm) at 25 % concentration while T. purpurogenum KY488468 tolerated DDVP (1.33±0.061 cm) and lindane (1.54±0.077 cm) at this concentration. Calmodulin gene was detected in both strains, but RT-PCR expression of caM gene revealed at 900-1000 bp showed an under-expression of caM in T. astrorosues KY488464 but overexpressed in T. purpurogenum KY488464. Thus, the calmodulin gene response of these fungal strains to both pesticides could be considered in monitoring the potentials of fungal strains to pesticide tolerance and bioremediation of pesticide in polluted soil.
Detection and Expression of Peroxidase Genes in Trichoderma harzianum KY488466 and Its Response to Crude Oil Degradation
Fungi have potentials for degrading hydrocarbons through the secretion of different enzymes. Crude oil tolerance and degradation by Trichoderma harzianum was investigated in this study with its ability to produce peroxidase enzymes (LiP and MnP). Many fungal strains were isolated from rhizosphere of grasses growing on a crude oil spilled site, and the most frequent strain based on percentage incidence was further characterized using morphological and molecular characteristics. Molecular characterization was done through the amplification of Ribosomal-RNA regions of 18s (1609-1627) and 28s (287-266) using ITS1 and ITS4 combinations and it was identified using NCBI BLAST tool. The selected fungus was also subjected to an in-vitro tolerance test at crude oil concentrations of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% while 0% served as control. In addition, lignin peroxidase genes (lig1-6) and manganese peroxidase gene (mnp) were detected and expressed in this strain using RT-PCR technique, its peroxidase producing activities was also studied in aliquots (U/ml). This strain had highest incidence of 80%, it was registered in NCBI as Trichoderma harzianum asemoJ KY488466. The strain KY488466 responded to crude oil concentrations as it increase, the dose inhibition response percentage (DIRP) increased from 41.67 to 95.41 at 5 to 25 % crude oil concentrations. All the peroxidase genes are present in KY488466, and expressed with amplified 900-1000 bp through RT-PCR technique. In this strain, lig2, lig4 and mnp genes were over-expressed, lig 6 was moderately expressed, while none of the genes was under-expressed. The strain also produced 90±0.87 U/ml lignin peroxidase and 120±1.23 U/mil manganese peroxidase enzymes in aliquots. These results imply that KY488466 can tolerate and survive high crude oil concentration and could be exploited for bioremediation of oil-spilled soils, the produced peroxidase enzymes could also be exploited for other biotechnological experiments.
Investigation of the Effect of Lecturers' Attributes on Students' Interest in Learning Statistic Ghanaian Tertiary Institutions
The study aims to explore the relational effect of lecturers’ personal attribute on student’s interest in statistics. In this study personal attributes of lecturers’ such as lecturer’s dynamism, communication strategies and rapport in the classroom as well as applied knowledge during lecture were examined. Here, exploratory research design was used to establish the effect of lecturer’s personal attributes on student’s interest. Data were analyzed by means of confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) using the SmartPLS 3 program. The study recruited 376 students from the faculty of technical and vocational education of the University of Education Winneba Kumasi campus, and Ghana Technology University College as well as Kwame Nkrumah University of science and Technology. The results revealed that personal attributes of an effective lecturer were lecturer’s dynamism, rapport, communication and applied knowledge contribute (52.9%) in explaining students interest in statistics. Our regression analysis and structural equation modeling confirm that lecturers personal attribute contribute effectively by predicting student’s interest of 52.9% and 53.7% respectively. The paper concludes that the total effect of a lecturer’s attribute on student’s interest is moderate and significant. While a lecturer’s communication and dynamism were found to contribute positively to students’ interest, they were insignificant in predicting students’ interest. We further showed that a lecturer’s personal attributes such as applied knowledge and rapport have positive and significant effect on tertiary student’s interest in statistic, whilst lecturers’ communication and dynamism do not significantly affect student interest in statistics; though positively related.
Evolution of Bombings against Transportation Infrastructure
The transportation networks throughout Africa remain the only transportation infrastructure system in the world that is attacked by terrorists at a high frequency, so the international community can learn from each attack. The targeting of transportation should be recognized as a direct attack against a civilian population, so the international community should work to better understand the types of attacks utilized, the types of improvised explosive device designs adapted to transportation targets, and the ways the various modes of transportation have been attacked throughout the continent. Some countries have seen grenade attacks that have resulted in only injuries, while some countries have experienced large vehicle bombings that have resulted in hundreds of injuries and numerous deaths. With insurgencies, explosive devices have been small, complex, and generally target an enemy of the insurgency. With terrorist bombings, the explosive devices have been large, brazen, and targeted at civilian populations. And, these civilian populations are easily targeted within the transportation system. The presentation provided by Assess Africa LLC is titled ‘Evolution of Bombings Against Transportation Infrastructure’ and covers improvised explosive device characteristics, how improvised explosive devices have been adapted to transportation targets in Africa, analyses recent incidents, and provides some advice for effective protective measures. A main component of the improvised explosive device characteristics portion of the presentation focuses on the link between explosive device components, the intelligence network, and the bomb-builder’s network. By understanding the components, how the use of various components can be linked to a terrorist group’s capabilities, and how the bomb-builder acquires materials, the analysis of improvised explosive device attacks takes on a new direction – one that focuses on defeating the network instead of merely reviewing incidents of the past.
Experimental and Modal Determination of the State-Space Model Parameters of a Uni-Axial Shaker System for Virtual Vibration Testing
In some cases, the increase in computing resources makes simulation methods more affordable. The increase in processing speed also allows real time analysis or even more rapid tests analysis offering a real tool for test prediction and design process optimization. Vibration tests are no exception to this trend. The so called ‘Virtual Vibration Testing’ offers solution among others to study the influence of specific loads, to better anticipate the boundary conditions between the exciter and the structure under test, to study the influence of small changes in the structure under test, etc. This article will first present a virtual vibration test modeling with a main focus on the shaker model and will afterwards present the experimental parameters determination. The classical way of modeling a shaker is to consider the shaker as a simple mechanical structure augmented by an electrical circuit that makes the shaker move. The shaker is modeled as a two or three degrees of freedom lumped parameters model while the electrical circuit takes the coil impedance and the dynamic back-electromagnetic force into account. The establishment of the equations of this model, describing the dynamics of the shaker, is presented in this article and is strongly related to the internal physical quantities of the shaker. Those quantities will be reduced into global parameters which will be estimated through experiments. Different experiments will be carried out in order to design an easy and practical method for the identification of the shaker parameters leading to a fully functional shaker model. An experimental modal analysis will also be carried out to extract the modal parameters of the shaker and to combine them with the electrical measurements. Finally, this article will conclude with an experimental validation of the model.
Relative Importance of Contact Constructs to Acute Respiratory Illness in General Population in Hong Kong
Background: The role of social contact behavior measured in different contact constructs in the transmission of respiratory pathogens with acute respiratory illness (ARI) remains unclear. We, therefore, aim to depict the individual pattern of ARI in the community and investigate the association between different contact dimensions and ARI in Hong Kong. Methods: Between June 2013 and September 2013, 620 subjects participated in the last two waves of recruitment of the population based longitudinal phone social contact survey. Some of the subjects in this study are from the same household. They are also provided with the symptom diaries to self-report any acute respiratory illness related symptoms between the two days of phone recruitment. Data from 491 individuals who were not infected on the day of phone recruitment and returned the symptom diaries after the last phone recruitment were used for analysis. Results: After adjusting different follow-up periods among individuals, the overall incidence rate of ARI was 1.77 per 100 person-weeks. Over 75% ARI episodes involve running nose, cough, sore throat, which are followed by headache (55%), malagia (35%) and fever (18%). Using a generalized estimating equation framework accounting for the cluster effect of subjects living in the same household, we showed that both daily number of locations visited with contacts and the number of contacts, explained the ARI incidence rate better than only one single contact construct. Conclusion: Our result suggests that it is the intertwining property of contact quantity (number of contacts) and contact intensity (ratio of subject-to-contact) that governs the infection risk by a collective set of respiratory pathogens. Our results provide empirical evidence that multiple contact constructs should be incorporated in the mathematical transmission models to feature a more realistic dynamics of respiratory disease.
Calculating Asphaltenes Precipitation Onset Pressure by Using Cardanol as Precipitation Inhibitor: A Strategy to Increment the Oil Well Production
Asphaltenes precipitation is considered as a formation damage problem, which can reduce the oil recovery factor. It fouls piping and surface installations, as well as cause serious flow assurance complications and decline oil well production. Therefore, researchers have shown an interest in chemical treatments to control this phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to assess the asphaltenes precipitation onset of crude oils in the presence of cardanol, by titrating the crude with n-heptane. Moreover, based on this results obtained at atmosphere pressure, the asphaltenes precipitation onset pressure were calculated to predict asphaltenes precipitation in the reservoir, by using differential liberation and refractive index data of the oils. The influence of cardanol concentrations in the asphaltenes stabilization of three Brazilian crude oils samples (with similar API densities) was studied. Therefore, four formulations of cardanol in toluene were prepared: 0, 3, 5, 10 and 15 m/m%. The formulations were added to the crude at 2:98 ratio. The petroleum samples were characterized by API density, elemental analysis and differential liberation test. The asphaltenes precipitation onset (APO) was determined by titrating with n-heptane and monitoring with near-infrared (NIR). UV-Vis spectroscopy experiments were also done to assess the precipitate asphaltenes content. The asphaltenes precipitation envelopes (APE) were also determined by numerical simulation (Multiflash). In addition, the adequate artificial lift systems (ALS) for the oils were selected. It was based on the downhole well profile and a screening methodology. Finally, the oil flowrates were modelling by NODAL analysis production system in the PIPESIM software. The results of this study show that the asphaltenes precipitation onset of the crude oils were 2.2, 2.3 and 6.0 mL of n-heptane/g of oil. The cardanol was an effective inhibitor of asphaltenes precipitation for the crude oils used in this study, since it displaces the precipitation pressure of the oil to lower values. This indicates that cardanol can increase the oil wells productivity.
Coagulation-flocculation Process with Metal Salts, Synthetic Polymers and Biopolymers for the Removal of Trace Metals (Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn) from Wastewater
As a consequence of their potential to cause harm, there are strong regulatory drivers that require metals to be removed as part of the wastewater treatment process. Bioavailability-based standards have recently been specified for copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) and are expected to reduce acceptable metal concentrations. In order to comply with these standards, wastewater treatment works may require new treatment types to enhance metal removal and it is, therefore, important to examine potential treatment options. A substantial proportion of Cu, Pb, Ni and Zn in effluent is adsorbed to and/or complexed with macromolecules (eg. proteins, polysaccharides, aminosugars etc.) that are present in the colloidal size fraction. Therefore, technologies such as coagulation-flocculation (CF) that are capable of removing colloidal particles have good potential to enhance metals removal from wastewater. The present study investigated the effectiveness of CF at removing trace metals from humus effluent using the following coagulants; ferric chloride (FeCl3), the synthetic polymer polyethyleneimine (PEI), and the biopolymers chitosan and Tanfloc. Effluent samples were collected from a trickling filter treatment works operating in the UK. Using jar tests, the influence of coagulant dosage and the velocity and time of the slow mixing stage were studied. Chitosan and PEI had a limited effect on the removal of trace metals (
Investigating the Potential Use of Unsaturated Fatty Acids as Antifungal Crop Protective Agents
Pathogenic fungi cause significant yield losses and quality reductions to major crops including wheat, canola, and barley. Toxic metabolites produced by phytopathogenic fungi also pose significant risks to animal and human health. Extensive application of synthetic fungicides is not a sustainable solution since it poses risks to human, animal and environmental health. Unsaturated fatty acids may provide an environmentally friendly alternative because of their direct antifungal activity against phytopathogens as well as through the stimulation of plant defense pathways. The present study assessed the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of two hydroxy fatty acids, coriolic acid and ricinoleic acid, against the phytopathogens Fusarium graminearum, Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, Pyrenophora teres f. teres, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and Leptosphaeria maculans. Antifungal activity of coriolic acid and ricinoleic acid was evaluated using broth micro-dilution method to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Results indicated that both ricinoleic acid and coriolic acid showed antifungal activity against phytopathogens, with the strongest inhibitory activity against L. maculans, but the MIC varied greatly between species. An antifungal effect was observed for coriolic acid in vivo against pathogenic fungi of wheat and barley. This effect was not correlated to the in vitro activity because ricinoleic acid with equivalent in vitro antifungal activity showed no protective effect in vivo. Moreover, neither coriolic acid nor ricinoleic acid controlled fungal pathogens of canola. In conclusion, coriolic acid inhibits some phytopathogens in vivo and may have the potential to be an effective crop protection agent.
Preparation and Sealing of Polymer Microchannels Using EB Lithography and Laser Welding
Laser welding offers the potential for making very precise joints in plastics products, both in terms of the joint location and the amount of heating applied. These methods have allowed the production of complex products such as microfluidic devices where channels and structure resolution below 100 µm is regularly used. However, to date, the dimension of welds made using lasers has been limited by the focus spot size that is achievable from the laser source. Theoretically, the minimum spot size possible from a laser is comparable to the wavelength of the radiation emitted. Practically, with reasonable focal length optics the spot size achievable is a few factors larger than this, and the melt zone in a plastics weld is larger again than this. The narrowest welds feasible to date have therefore been 10-20 µm wide using a near-infrared laser source. The aim of this work was to prepare laser absorber tracks and channels less than 10 µm wide in PMMA thermoplastic using EB lithography followed by sealing of channels using laser welding to carry out welds with widths of the order of 1 µm, below the resolution limit of the near-infrared laser used. Welded joints with a width of 1 µm have been achieved as well as channels with a width of 5 µm. The procedure was based on the principle of transmission laser welding using a thin coating of infrared absorbent material at the joint interface. The coating was patterned using electron-beam lithography to obtain the required resolution in a reproducible manner and that resolution was retained after the transmission laser welding process. The joint strength was ratified using larger scale samples. The results demonstrate that plastics products could be made with a high density of structure with resolution below 1 um, and that welding can be applied without excessively heating regions beyond the weld lines. This may be applied to smaller scale sensor and analysis chips, micro-bio and chemical reactors and to microelectronic packaging.
Chinese on the Move: Residential Mobility and Evolution of People's Republic of China-Born Migrants in Australia
Australia is a quintessentially immigrant nation with 28 percent of its residents being foreign-born. By 2011, People’s Republic of China (PRC) overtook the United Kingdom to become the largest source country in Australia. Significantly, the profile of PRC-born migrants has changed to mirror broader global shifts towards high-skilled labour, education-related, and investment-focussed migration, all of which reflect an increasing trend in the mobility of wealthy and/or educated cohorts. Together, these coalesce to form a more complex pattern of migrant settlement –both spatially and socio-economically. This paper focuses on the PRC-born migration, redresses these lacunae, with regard to the settlement outcomes of PRC migrants to Australia, with a particular focus on spatial evolution and residential mobility at both the metropolitan and national scales. By drawing on Census Data and migration Micro Datasets, the aim of this paper is to examine the shifting dynamics of PRC-born migrants in Australian capital cities to unveil their socioeconomic characteristics, residential patterns and change of spatial concentrations during their transition into the new host society. This paper finds out three general patterns in the residential evolution of PRC-born migrants depending on the size of capital cities where they settle down, as well as the association of socio-economic characters with the formation of enclaves. It also examines the residential mobility across states and cities from 2001 to 2011 indicating the rising status of median-size Australian capital cities for receiving PRC-born migrants. The paper concludes with a discussion of evidences for policy formation, facilitates the effective transition of PRC-born populations into the mainstream of host society and enhances social harmony to help Australia become a more successful multicultural nation.
Odor-Color Association Stroop-Task and the Importance of an Odorant in an Odor-Imagery Task
There are consistently observed associations between certain odors and colors, and there is an association between the ability to imagine vivid visual objects and imagine vivid odors. However, little has been done to investigate how the associations between odors and visual information effect visual processes. This study seeks to understand the relationship between odor imaging, color associations, and visual attention by utilizing a Stroop-task based on common odor-color associations. This Stroop-task was designed using three fruits with distinct odors that are associated with the color of the fruit: lime with green, strawberry with red, and lemon with yellow. Each possible word-color combination was presented in the experimental trials. When the word matched the associated color (lime written in green) it was considered congruent; if it did not, it was considered incongruent (lime written in red or yellow). In experiment I (n = 34) participants were asked to both imagine the odor of the fruit on the screen and identify which fruit it was, and each word-color combination was presented 20 times (a total of 180 trials, with 60 congruent and 120 incongruent instances). Response time and error rate of the participant responses were recorded. There was no significant difference in either measure between the congruent and incongruent trials. In experiment II participants (n = 18) followed the identical procedure as in the previous experiment with the addition of an odorant in the room. The odorant (orange) was not the fruit or color used in the experimental trials. With a fruit-based odorant in the room, the response times (measured in milliseconds) between congruent and incongruent trials were significantly different, with incongruent trials (M = 755.919, SD = 239.854) having significantly longer response times than congruent trials (M = 690.626, SD = 198.822), t (1, 17) = 4.154, p < 0.01. This suggests that odor imagery does affect visual attention to colors, and the ability to inhibit odor-color associations; however, odor imagery is difficult and appears to be facilitated in the presence of a related odorant.
RAD-Seq Data Reveals Evidence of Local Adaptation between Upstream and Downstream Populations of Australian Glass Shrimp
Paratya australiensis Kemp (Decapoda: Atyidae) is a widely distributed indigenous freshwater shrimp, highly abundant in eastern Australia. This species has been considered as a model stream organism to study genetics, dispersal, biology, behaviour and evolution in Atyids. Paratya has a filter feeding and scavenging habit which plays a significant role in the formation of lotic community structure. It has been shown to reduce periphyton and sediment from hard substrates of coastal streams and hence acts as a strongly-interacting ecosystem macroconsumer. Besides, Paratya is one of the major food sources for stream dwelling fishes. Paratya australiensis is a cryptic species complex consisting of 9 highly divergent mitochondrial DNA lineages. Among them, one lineage has been observed to favour upstream sites at higher altitudes, with cooler water temperatures. This study aims to identify local adaptation in upstream and downstream populations of this lineage in three streams in the Conondale Range, North-eastern Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Two populations (up and down stream) from each stream have been chosen to test for local adaptation, and a parallel pattern of adaptation is expected across all streams. Six populations each consisting of 24 individuals were sequenced using the Restriction Site Associated DNA-seq (RAD-seq) technique. Genetic markers (SNPs) were developed using double digest RAD sequencing (ddRAD-seq). These were used for de novo assembly of Paratya genome. De novo assembly was done using the STACKs program and produced 56, 344 loci for 47 individuals from one stream. Among these individuals, 39 individuals shared 5819 loci, and these markers are being used to test for local adaptation using Fst outlier tests (Arlequin) and Bayesian analysis (BayeScan) between up and downstream populations. Fst outlier test detected 27 loci likely to be under selection and the Bayesian analysis also detected 27 loci as under selection. Among these 27 loci, 3 loci showed evidence of selection at a significance level using BayeScan program. On the other hand, up and downstream populations are strongly diverged at neutral loci with a Fst =0.37. Similar analysis will be done with all six populations to determine if there is a parallel pattern of adaptation across all streams. Furthermore, multi-locus among population covariance analysis will be done to identify potential markers under selection as well as to compare single locus versus multi-locus approaches for detecting local adaptation. Adaptive genes identified in this study can be used for future studies to design primers and test for adaptation in related crustacean species.
Assessment of Pull Mechanism at Enhancing Maize Farmers’ Utilisation of Aflasafe Bio-Control Measures in Oyo State, Nigeria
There is a need to rethink how technology is being disseminated to end users in order to ensure wide adoption and utilisation. Aflasafe bio-control was developed to combat aflatoxin in maize to ensure food safety for the end users. This study was designed to assess how the pull mechanism is enhancing the utilisation of this proven technology among maize farmers in Oyo State, Nigeria. The study determines the awareness of farmers on Aflasafe, sources of purchase of Aflasafe, incentives towards the usage of Aflasafe, constraints to farmers’ utilisation and factors influencing farmers’ utilisation of Aflasafe bio-control measures. Respondents were selected using a multi-stage sampling procedure. Data were collected from respondents through interview schedule and analyzed using descriptive statistics (means, frequencies, and percentages) and inferential statistics (Pearson Product Moment Correlation and regression analysis). The result showed that 89% of the farmers indicated implementers as the outlet for the purchase of Aflasafe. Also, premium payment and provision of technical assistance were the highly ranked incentives to the utilisation of Aflasafe among the farmers. The study also revealed that the major constraints face by respondents were low access to credit facility, inadequate sources of purchase, and lack of storage facilities. A little above half (54%) of the farmers were found to have fully utilized Aflasafe in maize production. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) analysis revealed that there was a significant correlation between incentives and utilisation of Aflasafe (r-value=0.274; p ≤ 0.01). The result of the regression analysis indicated maize production experience (β=0.572), output (β=0.531), years of formal education (β=0.404) and household size (β=0.391) as the leading factors influencing farmers utilisation of Aflasafe bio-control in maize production. The study, therefore, recommends that governments and non-governmental organisations should be interested in making Aflasafe available to the maize farmers either through loan provision or price subsidy.
A Study of the Effects of Temperatures and Optimum pH on the Specific Methane Production of Perennial Ryegrass during Anaerobic Digestion Process under a Discontinuous Daily Feeding Condition
Perennial ryegrass is an abundant renewable lignocellulosic biofuel feedstock for biomethane production through anaerobic digestion (AD). In this study, six anaerobic continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) were set up in three pairs. Each pair of the CSTRs was then used to study the effects of operating temperatures – psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic, and optimum pH on the specific methane production (SMP) of the ryegrass during AD under discontinuous daily feeding conditions. The reactors were fed at an organic loading rate (OLR) ranging from 1-1.5 kgVS.L⁻¹d⁻¹ and hydraulic residence time, HRT=20 days for 140 days. The pH of the digesters was maintained at the range of 6.8-7.2 using 1 M NH₄HCO₃ solution, but this was replaced with biomass ash-extracts from day 105-140. The results obtained showed that the mean SMP of ryegrass measured between HRT 3 and 4 were 318.4, 425.4 and 335 N L CH₄ kg⁻¹VS.d⁻¹ for the psychrophilic (25 ± 2°C), mesophilic (40 ± 1°C) and thermophilic (60 ± 1°C) temperatures respectively. It was also observed that the buffering ability of the reactors increased with operating temperature, probably due to an increase in the solubility of ammonium bicarbonate (NH₄HCO₃) with temperature. The reactors also achieved a mean VS destruction of 61.9, 68.5 and 63.5%, respectively, which signifies that the mesophilic reactors achieved the highest specific methane production (SMP), while the psychrophilic reactors achieved the lowest. None of the reactors attained steady-state condition due to the discontinuous daily feeding times, and therefore, such feeding practice may not be the most effective for maximum biogas production over long periods of time. The addition of NH₄HCO₃ as supplement provided a good buffering condition in these AD digesters, but the digesters failed in the long run due to inhibition from the accumulation of free ammonia, which later led to decrease in pH, acidification, and souring of the digesters. However, the addition of biomass ash extracts was shown to potentially revive failed AD reactors by providing an adequate buffering and essential trace nutrient supplements necessary for optimal bacterial growth.
A Descriptive Study of the Characteristics of Introductory Accounting Courses Offered by Community Colleges
In many nations, community colleges, or similar institutions, play a crucial role in higher education. For example, in the United States more than half of all undergraduate students enroll in a community college at some point during their academic career. Similar statistics have been reported for Australia and Canada. Recognizing the important role these institutions play in educating future accountants, the American Accounting Association has called for research that contributes to a better understanding of these members of the academic community. Although previous literature has shown that community colleges and 4-year institutions differ on many levels, the extant literature has provided data on the characteristics of introductory accounting courses for four-year institutions but not for community colleges. We fill a void in the literature by providing data on the characteristics of introductory accounting courses offered by community colleges in the United States. Data are collected on several dimensions including: course size and staffing, pedagogical orientation, standardization of course elements, textbook selection, and use of technology-based course management tools. Many of these dimensions have been used in previous research examining four-year institutions thereby facilitating comparisons. The resulting data should be of interest to instructors, regulators and administrators, researchers, and the accounting profession. The data provide information on the introductory accounting courses completed by the average community college student which can help instructors identify areas where transfer students’ experiences might differ from their contemporaries at four-year colleges. Regulators and administrators may be interested in the differences between accounting courses offered by two- and four-year institutions when implementing standardized transfer programs. Researchers might use the data to motivate future research into whether differences between two- and four-year institutions affect outcomes like the probability of students choosing to major in accounting and their performance within the major. Accounting professionals may use our findings as a springboard for facilitating discussions related to the accounting labor supply.
Factors Associated with Hand Functional Disability in People with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Best-Evidence Synthesis
Background: People with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) continue to experience problems with hand function despite new drug advances and targeted medical treatment. Consequently, it is important to identify the factors that influence the impact of RA disease on hand function. This systematic review identified observational studies that reported factors that influenced the impact of RA on hand function. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAL, AMED, PsychINFO, and Web of Science database were searched from January 1990 up to March 2017. Full-text articles published in English that described factors related to hand functional disability in people with RA were selected following predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Pertinent data were thoroughly extracted and documented using a pre-designed data extraction form by the lead author, and cross-checked by the review team for completion and accuracy. Factors related to hand function were classified under the domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) framework and health-related factors. Three reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality of the included articles using the quality of cross-sectional studies (AXIS) tool. Factors related to hand function that was investigated in two or more studies were explored using a best-evidence synthesis. Results: Twenty articles form 19 studies met the inclusion criteria from 1,271 citations; all presented cross-sectional data (five high quality and 15 low quality studies), resulting in at best limited evidence in the best-evidence synthesis. For the factors classified under the ICF domains, the best-evidence synthesis indicates that there was a range of body structure and function factors that were related with hand functional disability. However, key factors were hand strength, disease activity, and pain intensity. Low functional status (physical, emotional and social) level was found to be related with limited hand function. For personal factors, there is limited evidence that gender is not related with hand function; whereas, conflicting evidence was found regarding the relationship between age and hand function. In the domain of environmental factors, there was limited evidence that work activity was not related with hand function. Regarding health-related factors, there was limited evidence that the level of the rheumatoid factor (RF) was not related to hand function. Finally, conflicting evidence was found regarding the relationship between hand function and disease duration and general health status. Conclusion: Studies focused on body structure and function factors, highlighting a lack of investigation into personal and environmental factors when considering the impact of RA on hand function. The level of evidence which exists was limited, but identified that modifiable factors such as grip or pinch strength, disease activity and pain are the most influential factors on hand function in people with RA. The review findings suggest that important personal and environmental factors that impact on hand function in people with RA are not yet considered or reported in clinical research. Well-designed longitudinal, preferably cohort, studies are now needed to better understand the causality between personal and environmental factors and hand functional disability in people with RA.
A Nonlinear Feature Selection Method for Hyperspectral Image Classification
For hyperspectral image classification, feature reduction is an important pre-processing for avoiding the Hughes phenomena due to the difficulty for collecting training samples. Hence, lots of researches developed feature selection methods such as F-score, HSIC (Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion), and etc., to improve hyperspectral image classification. However, most of them only consider the class separability in the original space, i.e., a linear class separability. In this study, we proposed a nonlinear class separability measure based on kernel trick for selecting an appropriate feature subset. The proposed nonlinear class separability was formed by a generalized RBF kernel with different bandwidths with respect to different features. Moreover, it considered the within-class separability and the between-class separability. A genetic algorithm was applied to tune these bandwidths such that the smallest with-class separability and the largest between-class separability simultaneously. This indicates the corresponding feature space is more suitable for classification. In addition, the corresponding nonlinear classification boundary can separate classes very well. These optimal bandwidths also show the importance of bands for hyperspectral image classification. The reciprocals of these bandwidths can be viewed as weights of bands. The smaller bandwidth, the larger weight of the band, and the more importance for classification. Hence, the descending order of the reciprocals of the bands gives an order for selecting the appropriate feature subsets. In the experiments, three hyperspectral image data sets, the Indian Pine Site data set, the PAVIA data set, and the Salinas A data set, were used to demonstrate the selected feature subsets by the proposed nonlinear feature selection method are more appropriate for hyperspectral image classification. Only ten percent of samples were randomly selected to form the training dataset. All non-background samples were used to form the testing dataset. The support vector machine was applied to classify these testing samples based on selected feature subsets. According to the experiments on the Indian Pine Site data set with 220 bands, the highest accuracies by applying the proposed method, F-score, and HSIC are 0.8795, 0.8795, and 0.87404, respectively. However, the proposed method selects 158 features. F-score and HSIC select 168 features and 217 features, respectively. Moreover, the classification accuracies increase dramatically only using first few features. The classification accuracies with respect to feature subsets of 10 features, 20 features, 50 features, and 110 features are 0.69587, 0.7348, 0.79217, and 0.84164, respectively. Furthermore, only using half selected features (110 features) of the proposed method, the corresponding classification accuracy (0.84168) is approximate to the highest classification accuracy, 0.8795. For other two hyperspectral image data sets, the PAVIA data set and Salinas A data set, we can obtain the similar results. These results illustrate our proposed method can efficiently find feature subsets to improve hyperspectral image classification. One can apply the proposed method to determine the suitable feature subset first according to specific purposes. Then researchers can only use the corresponding sensors to obtain the hyperspectral image and classify the samples. This can not only improve the classification performance but also reduce the cost for obtaining hyperspectral images.
Foslip Loaded and CEA-Affimer Functionalised Silica Nanoparticles for Fluorescent Imaging of Colorectal Cancer Cells
Introduction: There is a need for real-time imaging of colorectal cancer (CRC) to allow tailored surgery to the disease stage. Fluorescence guided laparoscopic imaging of primary colorectal cancer and the draining lymphatics would potentially bring stratified surgery into clinical practice and realign future CRC management to the needs of patients. Fluorescent nanoparticles can offer many advantages in terms of intra-operative imaging and therapy (theranostic) in comparison with traditional soluble reagents. Nanoparticles can be functionalised with diverse reagents and then targeted to the correct tissue using an antibody or Affimer (artificial binding protein). We aimed to develop and test fluorescent silica nanoparticles and targeted against CRC using an anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) Affimer (Aff). Methods: Anti-CEA and control Myoglobin Affimer binders were subcloned into the expressing vector pET11 followed by transformation into BL21 Star™ (DE3) E.coli. The expression of Affimer binders was induced using 0.1 mM isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG). Cells were harvested, lysed and purified using nickle chelating affinity chromatography. The photosensitiser Foslip (soluble analogue of 5,10,15,20-Tetra(m-hydroxyphenyl) chlorin) was incorporated into the core of silica nanoparticles using water-in-oil microemulsion technique. Anti-CEA or control Affs were conjugated to silica nanoparticles surface using sulfosuccinimidyl-4-(N-maleimidomethyl) cyclohexane-1-carboxylate (sulfo SMCC) chemical linker. Binding of CEA-Aff or control nanoparticles to colorectal cancer cells (LoVo, LS174T and HC116) was quantified in vitro using confocal microscopy. Results: The molecular weights of the obtained band of Affimers were ~12.5KDa while the diameter of functionalised silica nanoparticles was ~80nm. CEA-Affimer targeted nanoparticles demonstrated 9.4, 5.8 and 2.5 fold greater fluorescence than control in, LoVo, LS174T and HCT116 cells respectively (p < 0.002) for the single slice analysis. A similar pattern of successful CEA-targeted fluorescence was observed in the maximum image projection analysis, with CEA-targeted nanoparticles demonstrating 4.1, 2.9 and 2.4 fold greater fluorescence than control particles in LoVo, LS174T, and HCT116 cells respectively (p < 0.0002). There was no significant difference in fluorescence for CEA-Affimer vs. CEA-Antibody targeted nanoparticles. Conclusion: We are the first to demonstrate that Foslip-doped silica nanoparticles conjugated to anti-CEA Affimers via SMCC allowed tumour cell-specific fluorescent targeting in vitro, and had shown sufficient promise to justify testing in an animal model of colorectal cancer. CEA-Affimer appears to be a suitable targeting molecule to replace CEA-Antibody. Targeted silica nanoparticles loaded with Foslip photosensitiser is now being optimised to drive photodynamic killing, via reactive oxygen generation.
Risk Factors for Severe Typhoid Fever in Children: A French Retrospective Study about 78 Cases from 2000-2017 in Six Parisian Hospitals
Background: Typhoid and paratyphoid fever are systemic infections caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi or paratyphi (A, B, C). Children traveling to tropical areas are at risk to contract these diseases which can be complicated. Methods: Clinical, biological and bacteriological data were collected from 78 pediatric cases reported between 2000 and 2017 in six Parisian hospitals. Children aged 0 to 18 years old, with a diagnosis of typhoid or paratyphoid fever confirmed by bacteriological exams, were included. Epidemiologic, clinical, biological features and presence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria or intermediate susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (nalidixic acid resistant) were examined by univariate analysis and by logistic regression analysis to identify risk factors of severe typhoid in children. Results: 84,6% of the children were imported cases of typhoid fever (n=66/78) and 15,4% were autochthonous cases (n=12/78). 89,7% were caused by S.typhi (n=70/78) and 12,8% by S.paratyphi (n=10/78) including 2 co-infections. 19,2% were intrafamilial cases (n=15/78). Median age at diagnosis was 6,4 years-old [6 months-17,9 years]. 28,2% of the cases were complicated forms (n=22/78): digestive (n=8; 10,3%), neurological (n=7; 9%), pulmonary complications (n=4; 5,1%) and hemophagocytic syndrome (n=4; 5,1%). Only 5% of the children had prior immunization with typhoid non-conjugated vaccine (n=4/78). 28% of the cases (n=22/78) were caused by resistant bacteria. Thrombocytopenia and diagnosis delay was significantly associated with severe infection (p= 0.029 and p=0,01). Complicated forms were more common with MDR (p=0,1) and not statistically associated with a young age or sex in this study. Conclusions: Typhoid and paratyphoid fever are not rare in children back from tropical areas. This multicentric pediatric study seems to show that thrombocytopenia, diagnosis delay, and multidrug resistant bacteria are associated with severe typhoid fever and complicated forms in children.
A Method for Clinical Concept Extraction from Medical Text
Natural Language Processing (NLP) has made a major leap in the last few years, in practical integration into medical solutions; for example, extracting clinical concepts from medical texts such as medical condition, medication, treatment, and symptoms. However, training and deploying those models in real environments still demands a large amount of annotated data and NLP/Machine Learning (ML) expertise, which makes this process costly and time-consuming. We present a practical and efficient method for clinical concept extraction that does not require costly labeled data nor ML expertise. The method includes three steps: Step 1- the user injects a large in-domain text corpus (e.g., PubMed). Then, the system builds a contextual model containing vector representations of concepts in the corpus, in an unsupervised manner (e.g., Phrase2Vec). Step 2- the user provides a seed set of terms representing a specific medical concept (e.g., for the concept of the symptoms, the user may provide: ‘dry mouth,’ ‘itchy skin,’ and ‘blurred vision’). Then, the system matches the seed set against the contextual model and extracts the most semantically similar terms (e.g., additional symptoms). The result is a complete set of terms related to the medical concept. Step 3 –in production, there is a need to extract medical concepts from the unseen medical text. The system extracts key-phrases from the new text, then matches them against the complete set of terms from step 2, and the most semantically similar will be annotated with the same medical concept category. As an example, the seed symptom concepts would result in the following annotation: “The patient complaints on fatigue [symptom], dry skin [symptom], and Weight loss [symptom], which can be an early sign for Diabetes.” Our evaluations show promising results for extracting concepts from medical corpora. The method allows medical analysts to easily and efficiently build taxonomies (in step 2) representing their domain-specific concepts, and automatically annotate a large number of texts (in step 3) for classification/summarization of medical reports.
Prescription of Maintenance Fluids in the Emergency Department
The prescription of intravenous fluids is a fundamental component of inpatient management, but it is one which usually lacks thought. Fluids are a drug, which like any other can cause harm when prescribed inappropriately or wrongly. However, it is well recognised that it is poorly done, especially in the acute portals. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends 1mmol/kg of potassium, sodium, and chloride per day. With various options of fluids, clinicians tend to face difficulty in choosing the most appropriate maintenance fluid, and there is a reluctance to prescribe potassium as part of an intravenous maintenance fluid regime. The aim was to prospectively audit the prescription of the first bag of intravenous maintenance fluids, the use of urea and electrolytes results to guide the choice of fluid and the use of fluid prescription charts, in a busy emergency department of a major trauma centre in Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom. This was undertaken over a week in early November 2016. Of those prescribed maintenance fluid only 8.9% were prescribed a fluid which was most appropriate for their daily electrolyte requirements. This audit has helped to highlight further the issues that are faced in busy Emergency Departments within hospitals that are stretched and lack capacity for prompt transfer to a ward. It has supported the findings of NICE, that emergency admission portals such as Emergency Departments poorly prescribed intravenous fluid therapy. The findings have enabled simple steps to be taken to educate clinicians about their fluid of choice. This has included: posters to remind clinicians to consider the urea and electrolyte values before prescription, suggesting the inclusion of a suggested intravenous fluid of choice in the prescription chart of the trust and the inclusion of a session within the introduction programme revising intravenous fluid therapy and daily electrolyte requirements. Moving forward, once the interventions have been implemented then, the data will be reaudited in six months to note any improvement in maintenance fluid choice. Alongside this, an audit of the rate of intravenous maintenance fluid therapy would be proposed to further increase patient safety by avoiding unintentional fluid overload which may cause unnecessary harm to patients within the hospital. In conclusion, prescription of maintenance fluid therapy was poor within the Emergency Department, and there is a great deal of opportunity for improvement. Therefore, the measures listed above will be implemented and the data reaudited.
Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation (ILiAD): A Case Study Approach to Community Differences
This paper presents the findings of a three-year government-funded study (ILiAD) that aimed to understand the reasons for differential educational achievement within and between socially and economically deprived areas in Northern Ireland. Previous international studies have concluded that there is a positive correlation between deprivation and underachievement. Our preliminary secondary data analysis suggested that the factors involved in educational achievement within multiple deprived areas may be more complex than this, with some areas of high multiple deprivation having high levels of student attainment, whereas other less deprived areas demonstrated much lower levels of student attainment, as measured by outcomes on high stakes national tests. The study proposed that no single explanation or disparate set of explanations could easily account for the linkage between levels of deprivation and patterns of educational achievement. Using a social capital perspective that centralizes the connections within and between individuals and social networks in a community as a valuable resource for educational achievement, the ILiAD study involved a multi-level case study analysis of seven community sites in Northern Ireland, selected on the basis of religious composition (housing areas are largely segregated by religious affiliation), measures of multiple deprivation and differentials in educational achievement. The case study approach involved three (interconnecting) levels of qualitative data collection and analysis - what we have termed Micro (or community/grassroots level) understandings, Meso (or school level) explanations and Macro (or policy/structural) factors. The analysis combines a statistical mapping of factors with qualitative, in-depth data interpretation which, together, allow for deeper understandings of the dynamics and contributory factors within and between the case study sites. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data reveals both cross-cutting factors (e.g. demographic shifts and loss of community, place of the school in the community, parental capacity) and analytic case studies of explanatory factors associated with each of the community sites also permit a comparative element. Issues arising from the qualitative analysis are classified either as drivers or inhibitors of educational achievement within and between communities. Key issues that are emerging as inhibitors/drivers to attainment include: the legacy of the community conflict in Northern Ireland, not least in terms of inter-generational stress, related with substance abuse and mental health issues; differing discourses on notions of ‘community’ and ‘achievement’ within/between community sites; inter-agency and intra-agency levels of collaboration and joined-up working; relationship between the home/school/community triad and; school leadership and school ethos. At this stage, the balance of these factors can be conceptualized in terms of bonding social capital (or lack of it) within families, within schools, within each community, within agencies and also bridging social capital between the home/school/community, between different communities and between key statutory and voluntary organisations. The presentation will outline the study rationale, its methodology, present some cross-cutting findings and use an illustrative case study of the findings from a community site to underscore the importance of attending to community differences when trying to engage in research to understand and improve educational attainment for all.
Investigations into the in situ Enterococcus faecalis Biofilm Removal Efficacies of Passive and Active Sodium Hypochlorite Irrigant Delivered into Lateral Canal of a Simulated Root Canal Model
The issue of apical periodontitis has received considerable critical attention. Bacteria is integrated into communities, attached to surfaces and consequently form biofilm. The biofilm structure provides bacteria with a series protection skills against, antimicrobial agents and enhances pathogenicity (e.g. apical periodontitis). Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) has become the irrigant of choice for elimination of bacteria from the root canal system based on its antimicrobial findings. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of different agitation techniques on the efficacy of 2.5% NaOCl to eliminate the biofilm from the surface of the lateral canal using the residual biofilm, and removal rate of biofilm as outcome measures. The effect of canal complexity (lateral canal) on the efficacy of the irrigation procedure was also assessed. Forty root canal models (n = 10 per group) were manufactured using 3D printing and resin materials. Each model consisted of two halves of an 18 mm length root canal with apical size 30 and taper 0.06, and a lateral canal of 3 mm length, 0.3 mm diameter located at 3 mm from the apical terminus. E. faecalis biofilms were grown on the apical 3 mm and lateral canal of the models for 10 days in Brain Heart Infusion broth. Biofilms were stained using crystal violet for visualisation. The model halves were reassembled, attached to an apparatus and tested under a fluorescence microscope. Syringe and needle irrigation protocol was performed using 9 mL of 2.5% NaOCl irrigant for 60 seconds. The irrigant was either left stagnant in the canal or activated for 30 seconds using manual (gutta-percha), sonic and ultrasonic methods. Images were then captured every second using an external camera. The percentages of residual biofilm were measured using image analysis software. The data were analysed using generalised linear mixed models. The greatest removal was associated with the ultrasonic group (66.76%) followed by sonic (45.49%), manual (43.97%), and passive irrigation group (control) (38.67%) respectively. No marked reduction in the efficiency of NaOCl to remove biofilm was found between the simple and complex anatomy models (p = 0.098). The removal efficacy of NaOCl on the biofilm was limited to the 1 mm level of the lateral canal. The agitation of NaOCl results in better penetration of the irrigant into the lateral canals. Ultrasonic agitation of NaOCl improved the removal of bacterial biofilm.
High Pressure Thermophysical Properties of Complex Mixtures Relevant to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Processing
Knowledge of the thermophysical properties of complex mixtures at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature have always been essential to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry’s evolution because of the tremendous technical challenges present at all stages in the supply chain from production to liquefaction to transport. Each stage is designed using predictions of the mixture’s properties, such as density, viscosity, surface tension, heat capacity and phase behaviour as a function of temperature, pressure, and composition. Unfortunately, currently available models lead to equipment over-designs of 15% or more. To achieve better designs that work more effectively and/or over a wider range of conditions, new fundamental property data are essential, both to resolve discrepancies in our current predictive capabilities and to extend them to the higher-pressure conditions characteristic of many new gas fields. Furthermore, innovative experimental techniques are required to measure different thermophysical properties at high pressures and over a wide range of temperatures, including near the mixture’s critical points where gas and liquid become indistinguishable and most existing predictive fluid property models used breakdown. In this work, we present a wide range of experimental measurements made for different binary and ternary mixtures relevant to LNG processing, with a particular focus on viscosity, surface tension, heat capacity, bubble-points and density. For this purpose, customized and specialized apparatus were designed and validated over the temperature range (200 to 423) K at pressures to 35 MPa. The mixtures studied were (CH4 + C3H8), (CH4 + C3H8 + CO2) and (CH4 + C3H8 + C7H16); in the last of these the heptane contents was up to 10 mol %. Viscosity was measured using a vibrating wire apparatus, while mixture densities were obtained by means of a high-pressure magnetic-suspension densimeter and an isochoric cell apparatus; the latter was also used to determine bubble-points. Surface tensions were measured using the capillary rise method in a visual cell, which also enabled the location of the mixture critical point to be determined from observations of critical opalescence. Mixture heat capacities were measured using a customised high-pressure differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The combined standard relative uncertainties were less than 0.3% for density, 2% for viscosity, 3% for heat capacity and 3 % for surface tension. The extensive experimental data gathered in this work were compared with a variety of different advanced engineering models frequently used for predicting thermophysical properties of mixtures relevant to LNG processing. In many cases the discrepancies between the predictions of different engineering models for these mixtures was large, and the high quality data allowed erroneous but often widely-used models to be identified. The data enable the development of new or improved models, to be implemented in process simulation software, so that the fluid properties needed for equipment and process design can be predicted reliably. This in turn will enable reduced capital and operational expenditure by the LNG industry. The current work also aided the community of scientists working to advance theoretical descriptions of fluid properties by allowing to identify deficiencies in theoretical descriptions and calculations.
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.
Development of a Bi-National Thyroid Cancer Clinical Quality Registry
Background: The occurrence of thyroid cancer is increasing throughout the developed world, including Australia and New Zealand, and since the 1990s has become the fastest increasing malignancy. Following the success of a number of institutional databases that monitor outcomes after thyroid surgery, the Australian and New Zealand Endocrine Surgeons (ANZES) agreed to auspice the development of a bi-national thyroid cancer registry. Objectives: To establish a bi-national population-based clinical quality registry with the aim of monitoring and improving the quality of care provided to patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Australia and New Zealand. Patients and Methods: The Australian and New Zealand Thyroid Cancer Registry (ANZTCR) captures clinical data for all patients, over the age of 18 years, diagnosed with thyroid cancer, confirmed by histopathology report, that have been diagnosed, assessed or treated at a contributing hospital. Data is collected by endocrine surgeons using a web-based interface, REDCap, primarily via direct data entry. Results: A multi-disciplinary Steering Committee was formed, and with operational support from Monash University the ANZTCR was established in early 2017. The pilot phase of the registry is currently operating in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, with over 30 sites expected to come on board across Australia and New Zealand in 2018. A modified-Delphi process was undertaken to determine the key quality indicators to be reported by the registry, and a minimum dataset was developed comprising information regarding thyroid cancer diagnosis, pathology, surgery, and 30-day follow up. Conclusion: There are very few established thyroid cancer registries internationally, yet clinical quality registries have shown valuable outcomes and patient benefits in other cancers. The establishment of the ANZTCR provides the opportunity for Australia and New Zealand to further understand the current practice in the treatment of thyroid cancer and reasons for variation in outcomes. The engagement of endocrine surgeons in supporting this initiative is crucial. While the pilot registry has a focus on early clinical outcomes, it is anticipated that future collection of longer-term outcome data particularly for patients with the poor prognostic disease will add significant further value to the registry.
Gray’s Anatomy for Students: First South Asia Edition Highlights
Gray’s Anatomy for Students has been a well-appreciated book among undergraduate students of anatomy in Asia. However, the current curricular requirements of anatomy require a more focused and organized approach. The editors of the first South Asia edition of Gray’s Anatomy for Students hereby highlight the modifications and importance of this edition. There is an emphasis on active learning by making the clinical relevance of anatomy explicit. Learning anatomy in context has been fostered by the association between anatomists and clinicians in keeping with the emerging integrated curriculum of the 21st century. The language has been simplified to aid students who have studied in the vernacular. The original illustrations have been retained, and few illustrations have been added. There are more figure numbers mentioned in the text to encourage students to refer to the illustrations while learning. The text has been made more student-friendly by adding generalizations, classifications and summaries. There are useful review materials at the beginning of the chapters which include digital resources for self-study. There are updates on imaging techniques to encourage students to appreciate the importance of essential knowledge of the relevant anatomy to interpret images, due emphasis has been laid on dissection. Additional importance has been given to the cranial nerves, by describing their relevant details with several additional illustrations and flowcharts. This new edition includes innovative features such as set inductions, outlines for subchapters and flowcharts to facilitate learning. Set inductions are mostly clinical scenarios to create interest in the need to study anatomy for healthcare professions. The outlines are a modern multimodal facilitating approach towards various topics to empower students to explore content and direct their learning and include learning objectives and material for review. The components of the outline encourage the student to be aware of the need to create solutions to clinical problems. The outlines help students direct their learning to recall facts, demonstrate and analyze relationships, use reason to explain concepts, appreciate the significance of structures and their relationships and apply anatomical knowledge. The 'structures to be identified in a dissection' are given as Level I, II and III which represent the 'must know, desirable to know and nice to know' content respectively. The flowcharts have been added to get an overview of the course of a structure, recapitulate important details about structures, and as an aid to recall. There has been a great effort to balance the need to have content that would enable students to understand concepts as well as get the basic material for the current condensed curriculum.
Analysis of Environmental Sustainability in Post- Earthquake Reconstruction : A Case of Barpak, Nepal
Barpak in northern Nepal represents a unique identity expressed through the local rituals, values, lifeways and the styles of vernacular architecture. The traditional residential buildings and construction practices adopted by the dominant ethnic groups: Ghales and Gurungs, reflect environmental, social, cultural and economic concerns. However, most of these buildings did not survive the Gorkha earthquake in 2015 that made many residents skeptical about their strength to resist future disasters. This led Barpak residents to prefer modern housing designs primarily for the strength but additionally for convenience and access to earthquake relief funds. Post-earthquake reconstruction has transformed the cohesive community, developed over hundreds of years into a haphazard settlement with the imposition of externally-driven building models. Housing guidelines provided for the community reconstruction and earthquake resilience have been used as a singular template, similar to other communities on different geographical locations. The design and construction of these buildings do not take into account the local, historical, environmental, social, cultural and economic context of Barpak. In addition to the physical transformation of houses and the settlement, the consequences continue to develop challenges to sustainability. This paper identifies the major challenges for environmental sustainability with the construction of new houses in post-earthquake Barpak. Mixed methods such as interviews, focus groups, site observation, and documentation, and analysis of housing and neighborhood design have been used for data collection. The discernible changing situation of this settlement due to the new housing has included reduced climatic adaptation and thermal comfort, increased consumption of agricultural land and water, minimized use of local building materials, and an increase in energy demand. The research has identified that reconstruction housing practices happening in Barpak, while responding to crucial needs for disaster recovery and resilience, are also leading this community towards an unsustainable future. This study has also integrated environmental, social, cultural and economic parameters into an assessment framework that could be used to develop place-based design guidelines in the context of other post-earthquake reconstruction efforts. This framework seeks to minimize the unintended repercussions of unsustainable reconstruction interventions, support the vitality of vernacular architecture and traditional lifeways and respond to context-based needs in coordination with residents.
Techno-Economic Analysis of 1,3-Butadiene and ε-Caprolactam Production from C6 Sugars
In order to achieve the transition from a fossil to bio-based economy, biomass needs to replace fossil resources in meeting the world’s energy and chemical needs. This calls for development of biorefinery systems allowing cost-efficient conversion of biomass to chemicals. In biorefinery systems, feedstock is converted to key intermediates called platforms which are converted to wide range of marketable products. The C6 sugars platform stands out due to its unique versatility as precursor for multiple valuable products. Among the different potential routes from C6 sugars to bio-based chemicals, 1,3-butadiene and ε-caprolactam appear to be of great interest. Butadiene is an important chemical for the production of synthetic rubbers, while caprolactam is used in production of nylon-6. In this study, ex-ante techno-economic performance of 1,3-butadiene and ε-caprolactam routes from C6 sugars were assessed. The aim is to provide insight from an early stage of development into the potential of these new technologies, and the bottlenecks and key cost-drivers. Two cases for each product line were analyzed to take into consideration the effect of possible changes on the overall performance of both butadiene and caprolactam production. Conceptual process design for the processes was developed using Aspen Plus based on currently available data from laboratory experiments. Then, operating and capital costs were estimated and an economic assessment was carried out using Net Present Value (NPV) as indicator. Finally, sensitivity analyses on processing capacity and prices was done to take into account possible variations. Results indicate that both processes perform similarly from an energy intensity point of view ranging between 34-50 MJ per kg of main product. However, in terms of processing yield (kg of product per kg of C6 sugar), caprolactam shows higher yield by a factor 1.6-3.6 compared to butadiene. For butadiene production, with the economic parameters used in this study, for both cases studied, a negative NPV (-642 and -647 M€) was attained indicating economic infeasibility. For the caprolactam production, one of the cases also showed economic infeasibility (-229 M€), but the case with the higher caprolactam yield resulted in a positive NPV (67 M€). Sensitivity analysis indicated that the economic performance of caprolactam production can be improved with the increase in capacity (higher C6 sugars intake) reflecting benefits of the economies of scale. Furthermore, humins valorization for heat and power production was considered and found to have a positive effect. Butadiene production was found sensitive to the price of feedstock C6 sugars and product butadiene. However, even at 100% variation of the two parameters, butadiene production remained economically infeasible. Overall, the caprolactam production line shows higher economic potential in comparison to that of butadiene. The results are useful in guiding experimental research and providing direction for further development of bio-based chemicals.
Bioremediation of Phenol in Wastewater Using Polymer-Supported Bacteria
Phenol is a toxic compound that is widely distributed in the environment including the atmosphere, water and soil, due to the release of effluents from the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, coking plants and oil refineries. Moreover, a range of daily products, using phenol as a raw material, may find their way into the environment without prior treatment. The toxicity of phenol effects both human and environment health, and various physio-chemical methods to remediate phenol contamination have been used. While these techniques are effective, their complexity and high cost had led to search for alternative strategies to reduce and eliminate high concentrations of phenolic compounds in the environment. Biological treatments are preferable because they are environmentally friendly and cheaper than physico-chemical approaches. Some microorganisms such as Pseudomonas sp., Rhodococus sp., Acinetobacter sp. and Bacillus sp. have shown a high ability to degrade phenolic compounds to provide a sole source of energy. Immobilisation process utilising various materials have been used to protect and enhance the viability of cells, and to provide structural support for the bacterial cells. The aim of this study is to develop a new approach to the bioremediation of phenol based on an immobilisation strategy that can be used in wastewater. In this study, two bacterial species known to be phenol degrading bacteria (Pseudomonas mendocina and Rhodococus koreensis) were purchased from National Collection of Industrial, Food and Marine Bacteria (NCIMB). The two species and mixture of them were immobilised to produce macro porous crosslinked cell cryogels samples by using four types of cross-linker polymer solutions in a cryogelation process. The samples were used in a batch culture to degrade phenol at an initial concentration of 50mg/L at pH 7.5±0.3 and a temperature of 30°C. The four types of polymer solution - i. glutaraldehyde (GA), ii. Polyvinyl alcohol with glutaraldehyde (PVA+GA), iii. Polyvinyl alcohol–aldehyde (PVA-al) and iv. Polyetheleneimine–aldehyde (PEI-al), were used at different concentrations, ranging from 0.5 to 1.5% to crosslink the cells. The results of SEM and rheology analysis indicated that cell-cryogel samples crosslinked with the four cross-linker polymers formed monolithic macro porous cryogels. The samples were evaluated for their ability to degrade phenol. Macro porous cell–cryogels crosslinked with GA and PVA+GA showed an ability to degrade phenol for only one week, while the other samples crosslinked with a combination of PVA-al + PEI-al at two different concentrations have shown higher stability and viability to reuse to degrade phenol at concentration (50 mg/L) for five weeks. The initial results of using crosslinked cell cryogel samples to degrade phenol indicate that is a promising tool for bioremediation strategies especially to eliminate and remove the high concentration of phenol in wastewater.
Genome-Wide Homozygosity Analysis of the Longevous Phenotype in the Amish Population
Introduction: Numerous research efforts have focused on searching for ‘longevity genes’. However, attempting to decipher the genetic component of the longevous phenotype have resulted in limited success and the mechanisms governing longevity remain to be explained. We conducted a genome-wide homozygosity analysis (GWHA) of the founder population of the Amish community in central Ohio. While genome-wide association studies using unrelated individuals have revealed many interesting longevity associated variants, these variants are typically of small effect and cannot explain the observed patterns of heritability for this complex trait. The Amish provide a large cohort of extended kinships allowing for in depth analysis via family-based approach excellent population due to its. Heritability of longevity increases with age with significant genetic contribution being seen in individuals living beyond 60 years of age. In our present analysis we show that the heritability of longevity is estimated to be increasing with age particularly on the paternal side. Methods: The present analysis integrated both phenotypic and genotypic data and led to the discovery of a series of variants, distinct for stratified populations across ages and distinct for paternal and maternal cohorts. Specifically 5437 subjects were analyzed and a subset of 893 successfully genotyped individuals was used to assess CHIP heritability. We have conducted the homozygosity analysis to examine if homozygosity is associated with increased risk of living beyond 90. We analyzed AMISH cohort genotyped for 614,957 SNPs. Results: We delineated 10 significant regions of homozygosity (ROH) specific for the age group of interest (>90). Of particular interest was ROH on chromosome 13, P < 0.0001. The lead SNPs rs7318486 and rs9645914 point to COL4A2 and our lead SNP. COL25A1 encodes one of the six subunits of type IV collagen, the C-terminal portion of the protein, known as canstatin, is an inhibitor of angiogenesis and tumor growth. COL4A2 mutations have been reported with a broader spectrum of cerebrovascular, renal, ophthalmological, cardiac, and muscular abnormalities. The second region of interest points to IRS2. Furthermore we built a classifier using the obtained SNPs from the significant ROH region with 0.945 AUC giving ability to discriminate between those living beyond to 90 years of age and beyond. Conclusion: In conclusion our results suggest that a history of longevity does indeed contribute to increasing the odds of individual longevity. Preliminary results are consistent with conjecture that heritability of longevity is substantial when we start looking at oldest fifth and smaller percentiles of survival specifically in males. We will validate all the candidate variants in independent cohorts of centenarians, to test whether they are robustly associated with human longevity. The identified regions of interest via ROH analysis could be of profound importance for the understanding of genetic underpinnings of longevity.
Sustainable Living Where the Immaterial Matters
This paper aims to explore and provoke a debate, through the work of the design studio, “living where the immaterial matters” of the architecture department of the University of Nicosia, on the role that the “immaterial matter” can play in enhancing innovative sustainable architecture and viewing the cities as sustainable organisms that always grow and alter. The blurring, juxtaposing binary of immaterial and matter, as the theoretical backbone of the Unit is counterbalanced by the practicalities of the contested sites of the last divided capital Nicosia with its ambiguous green line and the ghost city of Famagusta in the island of Cyprus. Jonathan Hill argues that the ‘immaterial is as important to architecture as the material concluding that ‘Immaterial–Material’ weaves the two together, so that they are in conjunction not opposition’. This understanding of the relationship of the immaterial vs material set the premises and the departing point of our argument, and talks about new recipes for creating hybrid public space that can lead to the unpredictability of a complex and interactive, sustainable city. We hierarchized the human experience as a priority. We distinguish the notion of space and place referring to Heidegger’s ‘building dwelling thinking’: ‘a distinction between space and place, where spaces gain authority not from ‘space’ appreciated mathematically but ‘place’ appreciated through human experience’. Following the above, architecture and the city are seen as one organism. The notions of boundaries, porous borders, fluidity, mobility, and spaces of flows are the lenses of the investigation of the unit’s methodology, leading to the notion of a new hybrid urban environment, where the main constituent elements are in a flux relationship. The material and the immaterial flows of the town are seen interrelated and interwoven with the material buildings and their immaterial contents, yielding to new sustainable human built environments. The above premises consequently led to choices of controversial sites. Indisputably a provoking site was the ghost town of Famagusta where the time froze back in 1974. Inspired by the fact that the nature took over the a literally dormant, decaying city, a sustainable rebirthing was seen as an opportunity where both nature and built environment, material and immaterial are interwoven in a new emergent urban environment. Similarly, we saw the dividing ‘green line’ of Nicosia completely failing to prevent the trespassing of images, sounds and whispers, smells and symbols that define the two prevailing cultures and becoming a porous creative entity which tends to start reuniting instead of separating , generating sustainable cultures and built environments. The authors would like to contribute to the debate by introducing a question about a new recipe of cooking the built environment. Can we talk about a new ‘urban recipe’: ‘cooking architecture and city’ to deliver an ever changing urban sustainable organism, whose identity will mainly depend on the interrelationship of the immaterial and material constituents?
Evaluation of the Role of Advocacy and the Quality of Care in Reducing Health Inequalities for People with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
Individuals with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (AIDD) are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, hampered not only by their own limitations to understand and interact with the wider society, but also societal limitations in perception and understanding. Communication to express their needs and wishes is fundamental to enable such individuals to live and prosper in society. This research project was designed as an organisational case study, in a large secondary health care hospital within the National Health Service (NHS), to assess the quality of care provided to people with AIDD and to review the role of advocacy to reduce health inequalities in these individuals. Methods: The research methodology adopted was as an "insider researcher". Data collection included both quantitative and qualitative data i.e. a mixed method approach. A semi-structured interview schedule was designed and used to obtain qualitative and quantitative primary data from a wide range of interdisciplinary frontline health care workers to assess their understanding and awareness of systems, processes and evidence based practice to offer a quality service to people with AIDD. Secondary data were obtained from sources within the organisation, in keeping with "Case Study" as a primary method, and organisational performance data were then compared against national benchmarking standards. Further data sources were accessed to help evaluate the effectiveness of different types of advocacy that were present in the organisation. This was gauged by measures of user and carer experience in the form of retrospective survey analysis, incidents and complaints. Results: Secondary data demonstrate near compliance of the Organisation with the current national benchmarking standard (Monitor Compliance Framework). However, primary data demonstrate poor knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, poor knowledge of organisational systems, processes and evidence based practice applied for people with AIDD. In addition there was poor knowledge and awareness of frontline health care workers of advocacy and advocacy schemes for this group. Conclusions: A significant amount of work needs to be undertaken to improve the quality of care delivered to individuals with AIDD. An operational strategy promoting the widespread dissemination of information may not be the best approach to deliver quality care and optimal patient experience and patient advocacy. In addition, a more robust set of standards, with appropriate metrics, needs to be developed to assess organisational performance which will stand the test of professional and public scrutiny.
Socio-Economic Transformation of Barpak Post-Earthquake Reconstruction
The earthquake of April 2015 was one of the biggest disasters in the history of Nepal. The epicenter was located near Barpak, north of the Gorkha district. Before the disaster, this settlement was a compact and homogeneous settlement manifesting its uniqueness through the social and cultural activities, and a distinct vernacular architecture. Narrow alleys with stone paved streets, buildings with slate roofs, and common spaces between the houses made this settlement socially, culturally, and environmentally cohesive. With the presence of micro hydro power plants, local economic activities enabled the local community to exist and thrive. Agriculture and animal rearing are the sources of livelihood for the majority of families, along with the booming homestays (where local people welcome guests to their home, as a business) and local shops. Most of these activities are difficult to find as the houses have been destroyed with the earthquake and the process of reconstruction has been transforming the outlook of the settlement. This study characterized the drastic transformation in Barpak post-earthquake, and analyzed the consequences of the reconstruction process. In addition, it contributes to comprehending a broader representation about unsustainability created by the lack of contextual post-disaster development. Since the research is based in a specific area, a case study approach was used. Sample houses were selected on the basis of ethnicity and house typology. Mixed methods such as key informant and semi structured interviews, focus groups, observations and photographs are used for the collection of data. The research focus is predominantly on the physical change of the house typology from vernacular to externally adopted designs. This transformation of the house entails socio-cultural changes such as social fragmentation with differences among the rich and the poor and decreases in the social connectivity within families and neighborhood. Families have found that new houses require more maintenance and resources that have increased their economic expenses. The study also found that the reconstructed houses are not thermally comfortable in the cold climate of Barpak, leading to the increased use of different sources of heating like electric heaters and more firewood. Lack of storage spaces for crops and livestock have discouraged them to pursue traditional means of livelihood and depend more on buying food from stores, ultimately making it less economical for most of the families. The transformation of space leading to the economic, social and cultural changes demonstrates the unsustainability of Barpak. Conclusions from the study suggest place based and inclusive planning and policy formations that include locals as partners, identifying the possible ways to minimize the impact and implement these recommendations into the future policy and planning scenarios.
Courtyard Evolution in Contemporary Sustainable Living
The paper will focus on the strategic development deriving from the evolution of the traditional courtyard spatial organization towards a new, contemporary sustainable way of living. New sustainable approaches that engulf the social issues, the notion of place, the understanding of weather architecture blended together with the bioclimatic behaviour will be seen through a series of experimental case studies in the island of Cyprus, inspired and originated from its traditional wisdom, ranging from small scale of living to urban interventions. Weather and nature will be seen as co-architectural authors with architects as intelligently claimed by Jonathan Hill in his Weather Architecture discourse. Furthermore, following Pallasmaa’s understanding, the building will be seen not as an end itself and the elements of an architectural experience as having a verb form rather than being nouns. This will further enhance the notion of merging the subject-human and the object-building as discussed by Julio Bermudez. This eventually will enable to generate the discussion of the understanding of the building constructed according to the specifics of place and inhabitants, shaped by its physical and human topography as referred by Adam Sharr in relation to Heidegger’s thinking. The specificities of the divided island and the dealing with sites that are in vicinity with the diving Green Line will further trigger explorations dealing with the regeneration issues and the social sustainability offering unprecedented opportunities for innovative sustainable ways of living. The above premises will lead us to develop innovative strategies for a profound, both technical and social sustainability, which fruitfully yields to innovative living built environments, responding to the ever changing environmental and social needs. As a starting point, a case study in Kaimakli in Nicosia a refurbishment with an extension of a traditional house, already engulfs all the traditional/ vernacular wisdom of the bioclimatic architecture. It aims at capturing not only its direct and quite obvious bioclimatic features, but rather to evolve them by adjusting the whole house in a contemporary living environment. In order to succeed this, evolutions of traditional architectural elements and spatial conditions are integrated in a way that does not only respond to some certain weather conditions, but they integrate and blend the weather within the built environment. A series of innovations aiming at maximum flexibility is proposed. The house can finally be transformed into a winter enclosure, while for the most part of the year it turns into a ‘camping’ living environment. Parallel to experimental interventions in existing traditional units, we will proceed examining the implementation of the same developed methodology in designing living units and complexes. Malleable courtyard organizations that attempt to blend the traditional wisdom with the contemporary needs for living, the weather and nature with the built environment will be seen tested in both horizontal and vertical developments. A new social identity of people, directly involved and interacting with the weather and climatic conditions will be seen as the result of balancing the social with the technological sustainability, the immaterial and the material aspects of the built environment.
An Empirical Study of Determinants Influencing Telemedicine Services Acceptance by Healthcare Professionals: Case of Selected Hospitals in Ghana
Protecting patient’s digital information is a growing concern for healthcare institutions as people nowadays perpetually live their lives through telemedicine services. These telemedicine services have been confronted with several determinants that hinder their successful implementations, especially in developing countries. Identifying such determinants that influence the acceptance of telemedicine services is also a problem for healthcare professionals. Despite the tremendous increase in telemedicine services, its adoption, and use has been quite slow in some healthcare settings. Generally, it is accepted in today’s globalizing world that the success of telemedicine services relies on users’ satisfaction. Satisfying health professionals and patients are one of the crucial objectives of telemedicine success. This study seeks to investigate the determinants that influence health professionals’ intention to utilize telemedicine services in clinical activities in a sub-Saharan African country in West Africa (Ghana). A hybridized model comprising of health adoption models, including technology acceptance theory, diffusion of innovation theory, and protection of motivation theory, were used to investigate these quandaries. The study was carried out in four government health institutions that apply and regulate telemedicine services in their clinical activities. A structured questionnaire was developed and used for data collection. Purposive and convenience sampling methods were used in the selection of healthcare professionals from different medical fields for the study. The collected data were analyzed based on structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. All selected constructs showed a significant relationship with health professional’s behavioral intention in the direction expected from prior literature including perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, management strategies, financial sustainability, communication channels, patients security threat, patients privacy risk, self efficacy, actual service use, user satisfaction, and telemedicine services systems securities threat. Surprisingly, user characteristics and response efficacy of health professionals were not significant in the hybridized model. The findings and insights from this research show that health professionals are pragmatic when making choices for technology applications and also their willingness to use telemedicine services. They are, however, anxious about its threats and coping appraisals. The identified significant constructs in the study may help to increase efficiency, quality of services, quality patient care delivery, and satisfactory user satisfaction among healthcare professionals. The implantation and effective utilization of telemedicine services in the selected hospitals will aid as a strategy to eradicate hardships in healthcare services delivery. The service will help attain universal health access coverage to all populace. This study contributes to empirical knowledge by identifying the vital factors influencing health professionals’ behavioral intentions to adopt telemedicine services. The study will also help stakeholders of healthcare to formulate better policies towards telemedicine service usage.
A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Investigating the Impact of Integrating Mass Drug Administration Treating Soil Transmitted Helminths with Mass Dog Rabies Vaccination in Remote Communities in Tanzania
Achieving the London Declaration goal of a 90% reduction in neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2030 requires cost-effective strategies that attain high and comprehensive coverage. The first objective of this trial was to assess the impact on cost and coverage of employing a novel integrative One Health approach linking two NTD control programs: mass drug administration (MDA) for soil-transmitted helminths in humans (STH) and mass dog rabies vaccination (MDRV). The second objective was to compare the coverage achieved by the MDA, a community-wide deworming intervention, with that of the existing national primary school-based deworming program (NSDP), with particular focus on the proportion of primary school-age children reached and their school enrolment status. Our approach was unconventional because, in line with the One Health approach to disease control, it coupled the responsibilities and resources of the Ministries responsible for human and animal health into one program with the shared aim of preventing multiple NTDs. The trial was carried out in hard-to-reach pastoral communities comprising 24 villages of the Ngorongoro District, Tanzania, randomly allocated to either Arm A (MDA and MDRV), Arm B (MDA only) or Arm C (MDRV only). Objective one: The percentage of people in each target village that received treatment through MDA in Arms A and B was 63% and 65%, respectively (χ2 = 1, p = 0.32). The percentage of dogs vaccinated in Arm A and C was 70% and 81%, respectively (χ2 =9, p = 0.003). It took 33% less time for a single person and a dog to attend the integrated delivery than two separate events. Cost per dose (including delivery) was lower under the integrated strategy, with delivery of deworming and rabies vaccination reduced by $0.13 (54%) and $0.85 (19%) per dose, respectively. Despite a slight reduction in the proportion of village dogs vaccinated in the integrated event, both the integrated and non-integrated strategies achieved the target threshold of 70% required to eliminate rabies. Objective two: The percentages of primary school age children enrolled in school that was reached by this trial (73%) and the existing NSDP (80%) were not significantly different (F = 0.9, p = 0.36). However, of the primary school age children treated in this trial, 46% were not enrolled in school. Furthermore, 86% of the people treated would have been outside the reach of the NSDP because they were not primary school age or were primary school age children not enrolled in school. The comparable reach, the substantial reductions in cost per dose delivered and the decrease in participants’ time support this integrated One Health approach to control multiple NTDs. Further, the recorded level of non-enrolment at primary school suggests that, in remote areas, school-based delivery strategies could miss a large fraction of school-age children and that programs that focus delivery solely at the level of the primary school will miss a substantial proportion of both primary school age children as well as other individuals from the community. We have shown that these populations can be effectively reached through extramural programs.
Street Naming and Property Addressing Systems for New Development in Ghana: A Case Study of Nkawkaw in the Kwahu West Municipality
Current sustainable cities debate focuses on the formidable problems for the Ghana’s largest urban and rural agglomerations, the majority of all urban dwellers continue to reside in far smaller urban settlements. It is estimated that by year 2030, almost all the Ghana’s population growth will likely be intense in urban areas including Nkawkaw in the Kwahu West Municipality of Ghana. Nkawkaw is situated on the road and former railway between Accra and Kumasi, and lies about halfway between these cities. It is also connected by road to Koforidua and Konongo. According to the 2013 census, Nkawkaw has a settlement population of 61,785. Many international agencies, government and private architectures’ are been asked to adequately recognize the naming of streets and property addressing system among the 170 districts across Ghana. The naming of streets and numbering of properties is to assist Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to manage the processes for establishing coherent address system nationally. Street addressing in the Nkawkaw in the Kwahu West Municipality which makes it possible to identify the location of a parcel of land, public places or dwellings on the ground based on system of names and numbers, yet agreement on how to progress towards it remains elusive. Therefore, reliable and effective development control for proper street naming and property addressing systems are required. The Intelligent Addressing (IA) technology from the UK is being used to name streets and properties in Ghana. The intelligent addressing employs the technique of unique property Reference Number and the unique street reference number which would transform national security and other service providers’ ability to respond rapidly to distress calls. Where name change is warranted following the review of existing streets names, the Physical Planning Department (PPDs) shall, in consultation with the relevant traditional authorities and community leadership (or relevant major stakeholders), select a street name in accordance with the provisions of the policy and the processes outlined for street name change for new development. In the case of existing streets with no names, the respective PPDs shall, in consultation with the relevant traditional authorities and community leadership (or relevant major stakeholders), select a street name in accordance with the requirements set out in municipality. Naming of access ways proposed for new developments shall be done at the time of developing sector layouts (subdivision maps) for the designated areas. In the case of private gated developments, the developer shall submit the names of the access ways as part of the plan and other documentation forwarded to the Municipal District Assembly for approval. The names shall be reviewed first by the PPD to avoid duplication and to ensure conformity to the required standards before submission to the Assembly’s Statutory Planning Committee for approval. The Kwahu West Municipality is supposed to be self-sustaining, providing basic services to inhabitants as a result of proper planning layouts, street naming and property addressing system that prevail in the area. The implications of these future projections are discussed.
Crisis In/Out, Emergent, and Adaptive Urban Organisms
This paper focuses on the questions raised through the work of Unit 5: ‘In/Out of crisis, emergent and adaptive’; an architectural research-based studio at the University of Nicosia. It focusses on sustainable architectural and urban explorations tackling with the ever growing crises in its various types, phases and locations. ‘Great crisis situations’ are seen as ‘great chances’ that trigger investigations for further development and evolution of the built environment in an ultimate sustainable approach. The crisis is taken as an opportunity to rethink the urban and architectural directions as new forces for inventions leading to emergent and adaptive built environments. The Unit 5’s identity and environment facilitates the students to respond optimistically, alternatively and creatively towards the global current crisis. Mark Wigley’s notion that “crises are ultimately productive” and “They force invention” intrigued and defined the premises of the Unit. ‘Weather and nature are coauthors of the built environment’ Jonathan Hill states in his ‘weather architecture’ discourse. The weather is constantly changing and new environments, the subnatures are created which derived from the human activities David Gissen explains. The above set of premises triggered innovative responses by the Unit’s students. They thoroughly investigated the various kinds of crisis and their causes in relation to their various types of Terrains. The tools used for the research and investigation were chosen in contradictive pairs to generate further crisis situations: The re-used/salvaged competed with the new, the handmade rivalling with the fabrication, the analogue juxtaposed with digital. Students were asked to delve into state of art technologies in order to propose sustainable emergent and adaptive architectures and Urbanities, having though always in mind that the human and the social aspects of the community should be the core of the investigation. The resulting unprecedented spatial conditions and atmospheres of the emergent new ways of living are deemed to be the ultimate aim of the investigation. Students explored a variety of sites and crisis conditions such as: The vague terrain of the Green Line in Nicosia, the lost footprints of the sinking Venice, the endangered Australian coral reefs, the earthquake torn town of Crevalcore, and the decaying concrete urbanscape of Athens. Among other projects, ‘the plume project’ proposes a cloud-like, floating and almost dream-like living environment with unprecedented spatial conditions to the inhabitants of the coal mine of Centralia, USA, not just to enable them to survive but even to prosper in this unbearable environment due to the process of the captured plumes of smoke and heat. Existing water wells inspire inversed vertical structures creating a new living underground network, protecting the nomads from catastrophic sand storms in the Araoune of Mali. “Inverted utopia: Lost things in the sand”, weaves a series of tea-houses and a library holding lost artifacts and transcripts into a complex underground labyrinth by the utilization of the sand solidification technology. Within this methodology, crisis is seen as a mechanism for allowing an emergence of new and fascinating ultimate sustainable future cultures and cities.
Biodegradation of Chlorophenol Derivatives Using Macroporous Material
Chlorophenols (CPs) are used as a precursor in the production of higher CPs and dyestuffs, and as a preservative. Contamination by CPs of the ground water is located in the range from 0.15-100mg/L. The EU has set maximum concentration limits for pesticides and their degradation products of 0.1μg/L and 0.5μg/L, respectively. People working in industries which produce textiles, leather products, domestic preservatives, and petrochemicals are most heavily exposed to CPs. The International Agency for Research on Cancers categorized CPs as potential human carcinogens. Existing multistep water purification processes for CPs such as hydrogenation, ion exchange, liquid-liquid extraction, adsorption by activated carbon, forward and inverse osmosis, electrolysis, sonochemistry, UV irradiation, and chemical oxidation are not always cost effective and can cause the formation of even more toxic or mutagenic derivatives. Bioremediation of CPs derivatives utilizing microorganisms results in 60 to 100% decontamination efficiency and the process is more environmentally-friendly compared with existing physico-chemical methods. Microorganisms immobilized onto a substrate show many advantages over free bacteria systems, such as higher biomass density, higher metabolic activity, and resistance to toxic chemicals. They also enable continuous operation, avoiding the requirement for biomass-liquid separation. The immobilized bacteria can be reused several times, which opens the opportunity for developing cost-effective processes for wastewater treatment. In this study, we develop a bioremediation system for CPs based on macroporous materials, which can be efficiently used for wastewater treatment. Conditions for the preparation of the macroporous material from specific bacterial strains (Pseudomonas mendocina and Rhodococus koreensis) were optimized. The concentration of bacterial cells was kept constant; the difference was only the type of cross-linking agents used e.g. glutaraldehyde, novel polymers, which were utilized at concentrations of 0.5 to 1.5%. SEM images and rheology analysis of the material indicated a monolithic macroporous structure. Phenol was chosen as a model system to optimize the function of the cryogel material and to estimate its enzymatic activity, since it is relatively less toxic and harmful compared to CPs. Several types of macroporous systems comprising live bacteria were prepared. The viability of the cross-linked bacteria was checked using Live/Dead BacLight kit and Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy, which revealed the presence of viable bacteria with the novel cross-linkers, whereas the control material cross-linked with glutaraldehyde(GA), contained mostly dead cells. The bioreactors based on bacteria were used for phenol degradation in batch mode at an initial concentration of 50mg/L, pH 7.5 and a temperature of 30°C. Bacterial strains cross-linked with GA showed insignificant ability to degrade phenol and for one week only, but a combination of cross-linking agents illustrated higher stability, viability and the possibility to be reused for at least five weeks. Furthermore, conditions for CPs degradation will be optimized, and the chlorophenol degradation rates will be compared to those for phenol. This is a cutting-edge bioremediation approach, which allows the purification of waste water from sustainable compounds without a separation step to remove free planktonic bacteria. Acknowledgments: Dr. Berillo D. A. is very grateful to Individual Fellowship Marie Curie Program for funding of the research.
Development of a Core Set of Clinical Indicators to Measure Quality of Care for Thyroid Cancer: A Modified-Delphi Approach
BACKGROUND: There are significant variations in the management, treatment and outcomes of thyroid cancer, particularly in the role of: diagnostic investigation and pre-treatment scanning; optimal extent of surgery (total or hemi-thyroidectomy); use of active surveillance for small low-risk cancers; central lymph node dissections (therapeutic or prophylactic); outcomes following surgery (e.g. recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, hypocalcaemia, hypoparathyroidism); post-surgical hormone, calcium and vitamin D therapy; and provision and dosage of radioactive iodine treatment. A proven strategy to reduce variations in the outcome and to improve survival is to measure and compare it using high-quality clinical registry data. Clinical registries provide the most effective means of collecting high-quality data and are a tool for quality improvement. Where they have been introduced at a state or national level, registries have become one of the most clinically valued tools for quality improvement. To benchmark clinical care, clinical quality registries require systematic measurement at predefined intervals and the capacity to report back information to participating clinical units. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to develop a core set clinical indicators that enable measurement and reporting of quality of care for patients with thyroid cancer. We hypothesise that measuring clinical quality indicators, developed to identify differences in quality of care across sites, will reduce variation and improve patient outcomes and survival, thereby lessening costs and healthcare burden to the Australian community. METHOD: Preparatory work and scoping was conducted to identify existing high quality, clinical guidelines and best practice for thyroid cancer both nationally and internationally, as well as relevant literature. A bi-national panel was invited to participate in a modified Delphi process. Panelists were asked to rate each proposed indicator on a Likert scale of 1–9 in a three-round iterative process. RESULTS: A total of 236 potential quality indicators were identified. One hundred and ninety-two indicators were removed to reflect the data capture by the Australian and New Zealand Thyroid Cancer Registry (ANZTCR) (from diagnosis to 90-days post-surgery). The remaining 44 indicators were presented to the panelists for voting. A further 21 indicators were later added by the panelists bringing the total potential quality indicators to 65. Of these, 21 were considered the most important and feasible indicators to measure quality of care in thyroid cancer, of which 12 were recommended for inclusion in the final set. The consensus indicator set spans the spectrum of care, including: preoperative; surgery; surgical complications; staging and post-surgical treatment planning; and post-surgical treatment. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a core set of quality indicators to measure quality of care in thyroid cancer. This indicator set can be applied as a tool for internal quality improvement, comparative quality reporting, public reporting and research. Inclusion of these quality indicators into monitoring databases such as clinical quality registries will enable opportunities for benchmarking and feedback on best practice care to clinicians involved in the management of thyroid cancer.
Full Characterization of Heterogeneous Antibody Samples under Denaturing and Native Conditions on a Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer
Purpose: MS analysis of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) at the protein and peptide levels is critical during development and production of biopharmaceuticals. The compositions of current generation therapeutic proteins are often complex due to various modifications which may affect efficacy. Intact proteins analyzed by MS are detected in higher charge states that also provide more complexity in mass spectra. Protein analysis in native or native-like conditions with zero or minimal organic solvent and neutral or weakly acidic pH decreases charge state value resulting in mAb detection at higher m/z ranges with more spatial resolution. Methods: Three commercially available mAbs were used for all experiments. Intact proteins were desalted online using size exclusion chromatography (SEC) or reversed phase chromatography coupled on-line with a mass spectrometer. For streamlined use of the LC- MS platform we used a single SEC column and alternately selected specific mobile phases to perform separations in either denaturing or native-like conditions: buffer A (20 % ACN, 0.1 % FA) with Buffer B (100 mM ammonium acetate). For peptide analysis mAbs were proteolytically digested with and without prior reduction and alkylation. The mass spectrometer used for all experiments was a commercially available Thermo Scientific™ hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap™ mass spectrometer, equipped with the new BioPharma option which includes a new High Mass Range (HMR) mode that allows for improved high mass transmission and mass detection up to 8000 m/z. Results: We have analyzed the profiles of three mAbs under reducing and native conditions by direct infusion with offline desalting and with on-line desalting via size exclusion and reversed phase type columns. The presence of high salt under denaturing conditions was found to influence the observed charge state envelope and impact mass accuracy after spectral deconvolution. The significantly lower charge states observed under native conditions improves the spatial resolution of protein signals and has significant benefits for the analysis of antibody mixtures, e.g. lysine variants, degradants or sequence variants. This type of analysis requires the detection of masses beyond the standard mass range ranging up to 6000 m/z requiring the extended capabilities available in the new HMR mode. We have compared each antibody sample that was analyzed individually with mixtures in various relative concentrations. For this type of analysis, we observed that apparent native structures persist and ESI is benefited by the addition of low amounts of acetonitrile and formic acid in combination with the ammonium acetate-buffered mobile phase. For analyses on the peptide level we analyzed reduced/alkylated, and non-reduced proteolytic digests of the individual antibodies separated via reversed phase chromatography aiming to retrieve as much information as possible regarding sequence coverage, disulfide bridges, post-translational modifications such as various glycans, sequence variants, and their relative quantification. All data acquired were submitted to a single software package for analysis aiming to obtain a complete picture of the molecules analyzed. Here we demonstrate the capabilities of the mass spectrometer to fully characterize homogeneous and heterogeneous therapeutic proteins on one single platform. Conclusion: Full characterization of heterogeneous intact protein mixtures by improved mass separation on a quadrupole-Orbitrap™ mass spectrometer with extended capabilities has been demonstrated.