Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Akmal Laeeq

13 Serotype Distribution and Demographics of Dengue Patients in a Tertiary Hospital of Lahore, Pakistan During the 2011 Epidemic

Authors: Muhammad Munir, Riffat Mehboob, Samina Naeem, Muhammad Salman, Shehryar Ahmed, Irshad Hussain Qureshi, Tahira Murtaza Cheema, Ashraf Sultan, Akmal Laeeq, Nakhshab Choudhry, Asad Aslam Khan, Fridoon Jawad Ahmad


A dengue outbreak in Lahore, Pakistan during 2011 was unprecedented in terms of severity and magnitude. This research aims to determine the serotype distribution of dengue virus during this outbreak and classify the patients demographically. 5ml of venous blood was drawn aseptically from 166 patients with dengue-like signs to test for the virus between the months of August to November 2011. The samples were sent to the CDC, Atlanta, Georgia for the purpose of molecular assays to determine their serotype. RT-PCR protocol was performed targeting at the 4 dengue serotypes. Out of 166 cases, dengue infection was detected with RT-PCR in 95 cases, all infected with same serotype DEN-2. 75% of positive cases were males while 25% were females. Most positive patients were in the age range of 16-30 years. 33% positive cases had accompanying bleeding. This is first study during the 2011 dengue epidemic in Lahore that reports DEN-2 as the only prevalent serotype. It also indicates that more infected patients were males, adults, within age range of 16-30 years, peaked in the month of November, Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is manifested more in females, Ravi town was heavily hit by dengue virus infection.

Keywords: dengue, serotypes, Pakistan, DEN 2, Lahore, demography, serotype distrbution, 2011 epidemic

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12 Challenges and Opportunities of Cloud-Based E-Learning Systems

Authors: Kashif Laeeq, Zubair A. Shaikh


The paradigm of education is drastically changing from conventional to e-learning model. Due to ease of learning with various other benefits, several educational institutions are adopting the e-learning models. Some institutions are still willing to transform their educational system on to e-learning, but due to limited resources, they are still compromising on the old traditional system. The cloud computing could be one of the best solutions to overcome this problem by providing hardware, software, and infrastructure resources with cost efficient manner. The adoption of cloud computing in education will bring revolution in this paradigm. This paper introduces various positive features of e-learning and presents a way how cloud computing technology can be provisioned e-learning model. This paper also investigates the numerous challenges and opportunities that would be observed in cloud computing adoption in e-learning domain. The concept and knowledge present in this paper may create a new direction of research in the domain of cloud-based e-learning.

Keywords: cloud-based e-learning, e-learning, cloud computing application, smart learning

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11 Anti-Diabetic Effect of Withania somnifera in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rabbits

Authors: Farah Ali, Tehreem Fiayyaz, Laeeq Akbar Lodhi, Imran Mirza


The present work was undertaken to investigate effects of various extracts of W. somnifera (WS) for anti-diabetic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rabbits. Animals were divided into nine groups of six rabbits each. The animals of group 1 and 2 were given lactose (250 mg/kg, p.o) and WS root powder (100 mg/kg, p.o) respectively daily from day 1-20. Animals of group 3 were given alloxan (100 mg/kg, i.v) as a single dose on day 1. Powdered root of WS in the doses of 100, 150, 200 mg/kg and its aqueous (AWS) and ethanol extracts (EWS) (equivalent to 200 mg/kg of crude drug) were given to the treated animals (groups 4-8), respectively orally for three weeks (day 1-20 o.d), along with alloxan (100 mg/kg, i.v) as a single dose on day 1. Group 9 was given metformin (200 mg/kg) daily from day 1-20, along with a single dose of alloxan (100 mg/ kg, i.v) on day 1. Fasting serum glucose concentration in groups 3-9 was increased significantly (p<0.05) on day 3 as compared to normal control (NC) group (1). WS (100, 150, 200 mg/kg, p.o) decreased the fasting serum glucose concentration, with a maximum decrease (88.3 mg/dl) in group 2 (treated control) on day 21 of the experiment. These results indicate that metformin (reference control), (AWS) and (EWS) significantly antagonized the diabetic effects of alloxan.

Keywords: diabetes, serum, glucose, blood, sugar, rabbits

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10 Shariah Compliance Space Planning for Hotel Room Design

Authors: Syaza Bt. Saifuddin, Rashidi Bin Othman, Muhammad Hafizuddin Akmal Bin Md Hashim, Ismail Bin Jasmani, Noor Hanita Bt. Abdul Majid


This paper illustrates the background of various concepts, approaches, terminologies used to describe the basic framework of an Islamic Hotel Room design. This paper reviews the theoretical views in establishing a suitable and optimum environment for Muslim as well as non-Muslim guests in hotel rooms while according to shariah. It involves a few research methodologies that requires the researcher to study on a few characteristics needed to create more efficient rooms in terms of social interaction, economic growth and other tolerable elements. This paper intends on revealing the elements that are vital and may contribute for hotels in achieving a more conclusive research on space planning for hotel rooms focusing on the shariah and Muslim guests. Malaysia is an Islamic country and has billion of tourists coming over for business and recreational purposes. Therefore, having a righteous environment that best suit this target user is important in terms of generating the economy as well as providing a better understanding to the community on the benefits of applying these qualities in a conventional resort design.

Keywords: design, Islam, room, shariah compliant hotel

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9 Oxidative Status and Some Serum Macro Minerals during Estrus, Anestrous and Repeat Breeding in Cholistani Cattle

Authors: Farah Ali, Laeeq Akbar Lodhi, Riaz Hussain, Muhammad Sufyan


The present study was conducted to determine the macro mineral profile and biomarkers of oxidative stress in Cholistani cattle kept at a public farm and various villages in district Bahawalpur. For this purpose 90 blood samples were collected each from estrual, anestrous and repeat breeding cattle having different age and lactation number. Reproductive tract examination of all the cattle was carried out to determine the reproductive status. Blood samples without EDTA were collected for serum separation at day of estrus (normal cyclic), repeat breeder and anestrous cows. The serum calcium levels were significantly decreased (P<0.05) in anestrous (7.31±0.02 mg/dl) cattle as compared to estrus. However, these values were non-significantly different between repeat breeder and cattle having estrus phase. The concentrations of serum phosphorus were significantly higher (P<0.01) in normal estrual (4.99±0.08 mg/dl) as compared torepeat breeder (3.90±0.06 mg/dl) and anestrous (3.82±0.04 mg/dl) Cholistani cattle. Mean serum MDA (nmol/ml) levels of repeat breeder (2.68±0.18) and anestrous (2.54±0.22) were significantly(P<0.01) higher than the estrous (1.71±0.03) cattle. Moreover, the serum nitric oxide levels(µmol/L) were also increased significantly (P<0.01) in repeat breeder(58.28±4.01)and anestrous (61.40±9.40) than the normalestrous (31.67±6.71) cattle. The ratio of Ca: P in normal cyclic animals was lower (1.73:1) as compared to the anestrous animals (1.92:1). It can be concluded from the present study that the level of Ca: P should also be near to 1.5:1 for better reproductive performance.

Keywords: anestrus, cholistani cattle, minerals, oxidative stress, repeat breeder

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8 Effect of Bull Exposure on Post-Partum Estrus Interval in Nili-Ravi Buffaloes

Authors: Muhammad Saleem Akhtar, Mushtaq Hussain Lashari, Ejaz Ahmad, Tanveer Ahmad, Laeeq Akbar Lodhi, Ijaz Ahmad, Masood Akhtar


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of bull exposure continuously or intermittently or its excretory products after calving on postpartum interval to estrus, in Nili-Ravi buffalo. Forty-eight buffaloes of Nili-Ravi breed were allocated one of the four treatments in a totally randomized plan using a 4 x 1 factorial design. The four treatment groups were BEC (Bull Exposed Continuously), BEI (Bull Exposed Intermittently), EPB (Excretory Products of Bull) and BNE (Bull Not Exposed). BEC; buffaloes (n = 12) were exposed continuously to the physical presence of a bull whereas in BEI; buffaloes (n = 12) were exposed intermittently to the physical presence of bull. EPB; buffaloes (n = 12) were exposed to discharge waste (urine and feces) of bull and BNE buffaloes (n = 12) were not exposed to a bull or discharge waste of bulls. Buffaloes were exposed on day 15 after parturition. Day 15 postpartum represented d 0 for each treatment. The postpartum interval from calving to first behavioural estrus was 66.88 days in BEC, 75.12 days in BEI, 77.28 days in EPB and 76.5 days in BNE treatments. Postpartum interval to first behavioural estrus was shorter in BEC than BEI, EPB, and BNE treatments. There was no significant difference in postpartum interval to estrus between BEI, EPB and BNE treatments. In present study, the percentage of buffaloes showing estrus during experimental period was 75.0%, 66.66%, 66.66% and 58.33% in BEC, BEI, EPB and BNE treatments, respectively. The mean serum progesterone concentration did not differ significantly between BEC and other (BEI, EPB, and BNE) treatments. It was concluded that presence of bull has positive effect in reducing calving interval in Nili Ravi buffalo.

Keywords: calving interval, biostimulation, buffalo, bull exposure

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7 Properties of Epoxy Composite Reinforced with Amorphous and Crystalline Silica from Rice Husk

Authors: Norul Hisham Hamid, Amir Affan, Ummi Hani Abdullah, Paridah Md. Tahir, Khairul Akmal Azhar, Rahmat Nawai, W. B. H. Wan Sulwani Izzati


The dimensional stability and static bending properties of epoxy composite reinforced with amorphous and crystalline silica were investigated. The amorphous and crystalline silica was obtained by the precipitation method from carbonisation process of the rice husk at a temperature of 600 °C and 1000 °C for 7 hours respectively. The epoxy resin was mixed with 5%, 10% and 15% concentrations of amorphous and crystalline silica. The mixture was stirred for 10 minutes and cured at 28 °C for 72 hours and oven dried at 80 °C for 72 hours. The scanning electron microscope image showed the silica sized of 10-30nm was obtained. The water absorption and thickness swelling of epoxy/amorphous silica composite was not significantly different with silica concentration ranged from 0.08% to 0.09% and 0.17% to 0.20% respectively. The maximum modulus of rupture (85 MPa) and modulus of elasticity (3284 MPa) were achieved for 10% silica concentration. For epoxy/crystalline silica composite; the water absorption and thickness swelling were also not significantly different with silica concentration, ranged from 0.08% to 0.11% and 0.16% to 0.18% respectively. The maximum modulus of rupture (47.9 MPa) and modulus of elasticity (2760 MPa) were achieved for 10% silica concentration. Overall, the water absorption and thickness swelling were almost identical for epoxy composite made from either amorphous or crystalline silica. The epoxy composite made from amorphous silica was stronger than crystalline silica.

Keywords: epoxy, composite, dimensional stability, static bending, silica

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6 Black Shales Outcrops in Malaysia: Occurrence and Geological Setting

Authors: Hassan Baioumy, Yuniarti Ulfa, Mohd Nawawi, Mohammad Noor Akmal Anuar


Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic black shales that can be a potential source of energy and precious metals are widely distributed in Malaysia Peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah. Two Paleozoic black shales outcrops were reported in the Langkawi Island belonging to the Cambrian fluvial Machinchang Formation and the Silurian glaciomarine Singa Formation. More the seventeen occurrences of Paleozoic black shales outcrops have been found in the Peninsular Malaysia that range in age from Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian in the Terengganu, Perlis, Pahang, and Perak States. Mesozoic black shales outcrops occur in several places in both the Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. In the Peninsular Malaysia, Triassic black shales occur in the Nami area, Northern Kedah and in the Pahang area. In Sarawak, Triassic black shales have been reported in the Bau area. Cenozoic black shales outcrops were reported in both Sarawak at Miri area and Sabah at the Ranau and Tenom areas. Preliminary mineralogical and geochemical investigations on some of these black shales outcrops showed distinct compositional variations among these black shales outcrops probably due to variations in their source area composition and/or depositional and diagenetic settings of these shales. Some of these shalese also subjected to post-depositional hydrothermal mineralization that enriched these shales with Au-bearing minerals such as pyrite, calchopyrite, and arsenopyrite. Many of the studied black shales outcrops look rich in organic matter, which increase the possibility of using these black shales as an unconventional energy resource.

Keywords: black shales, energy, mineralization, Malaysia

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5 Room Temperature Ionic Liquids Filled Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2 Separation

Authors: Asim Laeeq Khan, Mazhar Amjad Gilani, Tayub Raza


The use of fossil fuels for energy generation leads to the emission of greenhouse gases particularly CO2 into the atmosphere. To date, several techniques have been proposed for the efficient removal of CO2 from flue gas mixtures. Membrane technology is a promising choice due to its several inherent advantages such as low capital cost, high energy efficiency, and low ecological footprint. One of the goals in the development of membranes is to achieve high permeability and selectivity. Mixed matrix membranes comprising of inorganic fillers embedded in polymer matrix are a class of membranes that have showed improved separation properties. One of the biggest challenges in the commercialization if mixed matrix membranes are the removal of non-selective voids existing at the polymer-filler interface. In this work, mixed matrix membranes were prepared using polysulfone as polymer matrix and ordered mesoporous MCM-41 as filler materials. A new approach to removing the interfacial voids was developed by introducing room temperature ionic (RTIL) at the polymer-filler interface. The results showed that the imidazolium based RTIL not only provided wettability characteristics but also helped in further improving the separation properties. The removal of interfacial voids and good contact between polymer and filler was verified by SEM measurement. The synthesized membranes were tested in a custom built gas permeation set-up for the measurement of gas permeability and ideal gas selectivity. The results showed that the mixed matrix membranes showed significantly higher CO2 permeability in comparison to the pristine membrane. In order to have further insight into the role of fillers, diffusion and solubility measurements were carried out. The results showed that the presence of highly porous fillers resulted in increasing the diffusion coefficient while the solubility showed a slight drop. The RTIL filled membranes showed higher CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 selectivity than unfilled membranes while the permeability dropped slightly. The increase in selectivity was due to the highly selective RTIL used in this work. The study revealed that RTIL filled mixed matrix membranes are an interesting candidate for gas separation membranes.

Keywords: ionic liquids, CO2 separation, membranes, mixed matrix membranes

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4 Cholesterol Modulating Properties of a Proprietary Extract from Phyllanthus spp on Hypercholesteraemic Mice Models

Authors: Anne R. Fernandez, Mohammad Akmal Adnan, Tanes Prasat, Indu Bala Jaganath, Brian Kirby, Kamalan Jeevaratnam


Introduction: Plants from the Phyllantus genus have been used indigenously for the treatment of a variety of ailments for generations. A cocktail of phytonutrients prepared from a plant of the genus Phyllanthus has demonstrated the potential to alleviate ailments which include cardiovascular disorders. In this study, we investigated the cholesterol modulating properties of a highly purified proprietary extract of a Phyllanthus species in hypercholesteraemic mice. Methods: Hypercholesteraemia was induced in ICR mice by ad-libitum feeding of high fat diet daily for six weeks. The mice were then divided into 3 groups and force fed with 10mg/kg of atorvastatin, 200mg/kg of the proprietary Phyllanthus extract and water respectively. Blood samples were taken at the end of fourth week of treatment by a tail prick. At the end of the eighth week of treatment, mice were sacrificed and serum levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides were measured. Results: The mean cholesterol levels in the mice fed with high fat diet were 44% (p < 0.05) higher than the mice on normal diet thus validating the model developed. The plasma HDL was significantly elevated in mice treated with the formulation (p ˂ 0.05) in comparison to the statin-treated and control mice. The total cholesterol levels in the mice treated with the proprietary extract were reduced significantly (p < 0.05) at the end of 4 weeks of treatment in comparison to the mice treated with atorvastatin. By the end of 8 weeks of treatment, there was no significant difference in the cholesterol levels of the mice in all groups. Conclusion: These results demonstrate that this proprietary extract from Phyllanthus species has the beneficial effect of reducing total cholesterol level more rapidly than atorvastatin and increasing HDL levels. Since an increase in the HDL cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease, this proprietary extract is a useful and safe therapeutic option compared to atorvastatin.

Keywords: high-density lipoprotein, hypercholesteraemic mice model, ICR mice, Phyllanthus spp.

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3 The Cost of Healthcare among Malaysian Community-Dwelling Elderly with Dementia

Authors: Roshanim Koris, Norashidah Mohamed Nor, Sharifah Azizah Haron, Normaz Wana Ismail, Syed Mohamed Aljunid Syed Junid, Amrizal Muhammad Nur, Asrul Akmal Shafie, Suraya Yusuff, Namaitijiang Maimaiti


An ageing population has huge implications for virtually every aspect of Malaysian societies. The elderly consume a greater volume of healthcare facilities not because they are older, but because of they are sick. The chronic comorbidities and deterioration of cognitive ability would lead the elderly’s health to become worst. This study aims to provide a comprehensive estimate of the direct and indirect costs of health care used in a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling elderly with dementia and as well as the determinants of healthcare cost. A survey using multi-stage random sampling techniques recruited a final sample of 2274 elderly people (60 years and above) in the state of Johor, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan. Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was used to measure the cognitive capability among the elderly. Only the elderly with a score less than 19 marks were selected for further analysis and were classified as dementia. By using a two-part model findings also indicate household income and education level are variables that strongly significantly influence the healthcare cost among elderly with dementia. A number of visits and admission are also significantly affect healthcare expenditure. The comorbidity that highly influences healthcare cost is cancer and seeking the treatment in private facilities is also significantly affected the healthcare cost among the demented elderly. The level of dementia severity is not significant in determining the cost. This study is expected to attract the government's attention and act as a wake-up call for them to be more concerned about the elderly who are at high risk of having chronic comorbidities and cognitive problems by providing more appropriate health and social care facilities. The comorbidities are one of the factor that could cause dementia among elderly. It is hoped that this study will promote the issues of dementia as a priority in public health and social care in Malaysia.

Keywords: ageing population, dementia, elderly, healthcare cost, healthcare utiliztion

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2 Effect of Nigella sativa on Blood Pressure, Vascular Reactivity, Inflammatory Biomarkers and Nitric Oxide in L-Name-Induced Hypertensive Rats

Authors: Kamsiah Jaarin, Yusof Kamisah, Faizah Othman Nurul Akmal Muhammad, Zakiah Jubri, Qodriyah Mohd Saad, Srijit Das


Forty (40) normotensive adult male Sprague-Dawley rats aged three months weighing 180-200 g were divided into 4 groups with 10 rats per group: (1) normotensive control; (2) hypertensive rats; (3) hypertensive rats treated with Nigella sativa (2.5 ml/kg/day); and (4) hypertensive rats treated with nicardipine (5 mg/kg/day). After acclimatization, the hypertensive rats of the group 2, 3 and 4 were induced to be hypertensive by giving NW–nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 30 mg/kg/day) in their drinking water for consecutive 7 days. After one week, rats in the group 3 were given a daily oral dose of 2.5 ml/kg/day of Nigella sativa (NS) by oral gavage. Rats in the group 4 were given nicardipine (5 mg/kg/day) via oral gavages. All rats in this study received L-NAME continuously throughout the treatment duration. The blood pressure will be measured pre-treatment and weekly for 8 weeks using power lab. Blood was taken before and at the end of study for measurement of nitric oxide. At the end of 8 weeks, the rats are sacrificed and descending thoracic aorta was disserted for measurement of vascular reactivity, and intracellular adhesion molecules (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAM-1). Nigella sativa reduced both systolic and diastolic BP compared to control and L-name group. The BP lowering effect of NS was comparable to nicardipine a calcium antagonist. The blood pressure lowering effect of NS was accompanied with an increasing relaxation response to nitroprusside and acetylcholine and reducing vasoconstriction response to epinephrine. L-NAME and nicardipine on the other hand, reduced plasma nitric oxide concentration. In contrast, NS increased NO concentration. However, Nigella sativa had no significant effect on aortic VCAM- 1 and ICAM-1 expression. In conclusion; Nigella sativa oil reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in L-NAME treated rats. The antihypertensive effect of NS was comparable to nicardipine. The BP lowering effect may be mediated via stimulating nitric oxide release from vascular endothelium.

Keywords: Nigella sativa, ICAM, VCAM, blood pressure, vascular reactivity

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1 Evaluating the Small-Strain Mechanical Properties of Cement-Treated Clayey Soils Based on the Confining Pressure

Authors: Muhammad Akmal Putera, Noriyuki Yasufuku, Adel Alowaisy, Ahmad Rifai


Indonesia’s government has planned a project for a high-speed railway connecting the capital cities, Jakarta and Surabaya, about 700 km. Based on that location, it has been planning construction above the lowland soil region. The lowland soil region comprises cohesive soil with high water content and high compressibility index, which in fact, led to a settlement problem. Among the variety of railway track structures, the adoption of the ballastless track was used effectively to reduce the settlement; it provided a lightweight structure and minimized workspace. Contradictorily, deploying this thin layer structure above the lowland area was compensated with several problems, such as lack of bearing capacity and deflection behavior during traffic loading. It is necessary to combine with ground improvement to assure a settlement behavior on the clayey soil. Reflecting on the assurance of strength increment and working period, those were convinced by adopting methods such as cement-treated soil as the substructure of railway track. Particularly, evaluating mechanical properties in the field has been well known by using the plate load test and cone penetration test. However, observing an increment of mechanical properties has uncertainty, especially for evaluating cement-treated soil on the substructure. The current quality control of cement-treated soils was established by laboratory tests. Moreover, using small strain devices measurement in the laboratory can predict more reliable results that are identical to field measurement tests. Aims of this research are to show an intercorrelation of confining pressure with the initial condition of the Young modulus (E_o), Poisson ratio (υ_o) and Shear modulus (G_o) within small strain ranges. Furthermore, discrepancies between those parameters were also investigated. Based on the experimental result confirmed the intercorrelation between cement content and confining pressure with a power function. In addition, higher cement ratios have discrepancies, conversely with low mixing ratios.

Keywords: amount of cement, elastic zone, high-speed railway, lightweight structure

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