Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 125

Search results for: Asma Abolghasemi

125 Refinery Sulfur as an Alternative Agent to Decrease Pesticide Exposure in Pistachio Orchards and Common Pistachio Psylla’s Control

Authors: Mehdi Basirat, Mohammad Rouhani, Shahla Borzouei, Majid Zarangi, Asma Abolghasemi, Mohammad Fazel Soltani, Mohammad Gorji, Mohammad Amin Samih


The common pistachio psylla, Agonoscena pistaciae Burckhardt and Lauterer (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae), as one of the most detrimental pests in all pistachio producing regions, causes great economic damages to pistachio trees. Nowadays, various pesticides are used to control the common pistachio psylla and robust pesticide exposure has occurred in orchards. In this study, field experiments were conducted during 2018–2021 to assess the effects of sulfur on A. pistaciae. This study compared sulfur with asafoetida extract and pesticide (acetamiprid) on A. pistaciae based on complete randomized blocks with three replications. The analysis results of variance showed that the effect of treatments on egg (F2,24 = 17.61, P = 0.00) and nymphs (F2,24 = 18.29, P = 0.00) had a significant difference at a 1% level. The results demonstrated that sulfur had the highest measure of control on eggs and nymphs significantly compared to the plant extract and pesticide (negative control). These results provide support to the potential use of sulfur as an alternative pest management tool against A. pistaciae. The results clearly indicated that sulfur could control the common pistachio psylla population for six weeks at least.

Keywords: Agonoscena pistaciae, pesticide exposure, pistachio, sulfur

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124 Vaccination against Hepatitis B in Tunisian Health Care Workers

Authors: Asma Ammar, Nabiha Bouafia , Asma BenCheikh, Mohamed Mahjoub, Olfa Ezzi, Wadiaa Bannour, Radhia Helali, Mansour Njah


Background: The objective of the present study was to identify factors associated with vaccination against Hepatitis B virus (HBV) among healthcare workers (HWs) in the University Hospital Center (UHC) Farhat Hached Sousse, Tunisia. Methods: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study all licensed physicians (n= 206) and a representative sample of paramedical staff (n= 372) exercising at UHC Hached Sousse (Tunisia) during two months (January and February 2014). Data were collected using a self-administered and pre-tested questionnaire, which composed by 21 questions. In order to determinate factors associated with vaccination against hepatitis B among HWs, this questionnaire was based on the Health Belief Model, one of the most classical behavior theories. Logistic regression with the stepwise method of Hosmer and Lemeshow was used to identify the determinants of the use of vaccination against HBV. Results: The response rates were 79.8%. Fifty two percent believe that HBV is frequent in our healthcare units and 60.6% consider it a severe infection. The prevalence of HWs vaccination was 39%, 95% CI [34.49%; 43.5%]. In multivariate analysis, determinants of the use of vaccination against HBV among HWs were young age (p=10-4), male gender (p = 0. 006), high or very high importance accorded to health (p = 0.035), perception membership in a risk group for HBV infection (p = 0.038) and very favorable or favorable opinion about vaccination against HVB (p=10-4). Conclusion: The results of our study should be considered in any strategy for preventing VHB infection in HWs. In the mean time, coverage with standard vaccines should be improved also by supplying complete information on the risks of VHB infection and on the safety and efficacy of vaccination.

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, healthcare workers, prevalence, vaccination

Procedia PDF Downloads 239
123 In vitro Culture of Flowers of Maerua crassiflia

Authors: Abobkar Abrahem Mohamed Saad, Asma Abud Alsalam


Closed flowers of Maerua crassifolia were cultured on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with benzyl amino purine BA (1.0 mg/l). The colour of flowers changed from green to pale brown after one week. They opened after two weeks. The anthers became clear which was observed after 3 weeks. Calluses are induced from sepals after one month. 19 anthers were observed with average length of 1.9 cm. The amount of calluses increased after 40 days. These calluses were fragmented and subcultured on MS+ 2-4D (1.0 mg/l) in order to increase growth.

Keywords: in vitro, Maerua, flowers, culture

Procedia PDF Downloads 293
122 Application of XRF and Other Principal Component Analysis for Counterfeited Gold Coin Characterization in Forensic Science

Authors: Somayeh Khanjani, Hamideh Abolghasemi, Hadi Shirzad, Samaneh Nabavi


At world market can be currently encountered a wide range of gemological objects that are incorrectly declared, treated, or it concerns completely different materials that try to copy precious objects more or less successfully. Counterfeiting of precious commodities is a problem faced by governments in most countries. Police have seized many counterfeit coins that looked like the real coins and because the feeling to the touch and the weight were very similar to those of real coins. Most people were fooled and believed that the counterfeit coins were real ones. These counterfeit coins may have been made by big criminal organizations. To elucidate the manufacturing process, not only the quantitative analysis of the coins but also the comparison of their morphological characteristics was necessary. Several modern techniques have been applied to prevent counterfeiting of coins. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the potential of X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) technique and the other analytical techniques for example SEM/EDX/WDX, FT-IR/ATR and Raman Spectroscopy. Using four elements (Cu, Ag, Au and Zn) and obtaining XRF for several samples, they could be discriminated. XRF technique and SEM/EDX/WDX are used for study of chemical composition. XRF analyzers provide a fast, accurate, nondestructive method to test the purity and chemistry of all precious metals. XRF is a very promising technique for rapid and non destructive counterfeit coins identification in forensic science.

Keywords: counterfeit coins, X-ray fluorescence, forensic, FT-IR

Procedia PDF Downloads 408
121 The Limits of the Effectiveness of Digital Advertising: Demonstration by the Economic Approach of Measuring Advertising Effectiveness

Authors: Barkaoui Asma


In our article, we use the economic approach of measuring advertising effectiveness to show the margin of advertising spread gained through digital communication. For economists, profit maximization depends on determining the optimal advertising budget. For this, they use the theories of the marginalist current to determine when the maximum level of benefits is reached. Using the economic approach we show the significant return on investment for advertisers. We then discuss the risks of perception of advertising pressure by consumers.

Keywords: digital advertising, economic approach, effectiveness, pressure

Procedia PDF Downloads 222
120 Incidence and Risk Factors of Central Venous Associated Infections in a Tunisian Medical Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Ammar Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ghammam Rim, Ezzi Olfa, Ben Cheikh Asma, Mahjoub Mohamed, Helali Radhia, Sma Nesrine, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Central venous catheter associated infections (CVC-AI) are among the serious hospital-acquired infections. The aims of this study are to determine the incidence of CVC-AI, and their risk factors among patients followed in a Tunisian medical intensive care unit (ICU). Materials / Methods: A prospective cohort study conducted between September 15th, 2015 and November 15th, 2016 in an 8-bed medical ICU including all patients admitted for more than 48h. CVC-AI were defined according to CDC of ATLANTA criteria. The enrollment was based on clinical and laboratory diagnosis of CVC-AI. For all subjects, age, sex, underlying diseases, SAPS II score, ICU length of stay, exposure to CVC (number of CVC placed, site of insertion and duration catheterization) were recorded. Risk factors were analyzed by conditional stepwise logistic regression. The p-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Among 192 eligible patients, 144 patients (75%) had a central venous catheter. Twenty-eight patients (19.4%) had developed CVC-AI with density rate incidence 20.02/1000 CVC-days. Among these infections, 60.7% (n=17) were systemic CVC-AI (with negative blood culture), and 35.7% (n=10) were bloodstream CVC-AI. The mean SAPS II of patients with CVC-AI was 32.76 14.48; their mean Charlson index was 1.77 1.55, their mean duration of catheterization was 15.46 10.81 days and the mean duration of one central line was 5.8+/-3.72 days. Gram-negative bacteria was determined in 53.5 % of CVC-AI (n= 15) dominated by multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumani (n=7). Staphylococci were isolated in 3 CVC-AI. Fourteen (50%) patients with CVC-AI died. Univariate analysis identified men (p=0.034), the referral from another hospital department (p=0.03), tobacco (p=0.006), duration of sedation (p=0.003) and the duration of catheterization (p=0), as possible risk factors of CVC-AI. Multivariate analysis showed that independent factors of CVC-AI were, male sex; OR= 5.73, IC 95% [2; 16.46], p=0.001, Ramsay score; OR= 1.57, IC 95% [1.036; 2.38], p=0.033, and duration of catheterization; OR=1.093, IC 95% [1.035; 1.15], p=0.001. Conclusion: In a monocenter cohort, CVC-AI had a high density and is associated with poor outcome. Identifying the risk factors is necessary to find solutions for this major health problem.

Keywords: central venous catheter associated infection, intensive care unit, prospective cohort studies, risk factors

Procedia PDF Downloads 236
119 Ownership Concentration and Payout Policy: Evidence from France

Authors: Asma Bentaifa


This paper investigates the effect of ownership concentration and especially the presence of controlling shareholders on the firm’s payout decisions. Using a sample of 870 French companies during 2007 to 2012, we find that the share of dividends in total payout is negatively correlated with the size of cash flow held by controlling shareholder, and positively related to the divergence between voting rights and cash flow rights of largest shareholders. We also document that controlled firms tend to prefer dividends over repurchases to mitigate conflicts between controlling shareholders and minority shareholders related to the presence of control enhancing devices.

Keywords: ownership, payout policy, dividend, minority expropriation

Procedia PDF Downloads 140
118 Usability Guidelines for Arab E-Government Websites

Authors: Omyma Alosaimi, Asma Alsumait


The website developer and designer should follow usability guidelines to provide a user-friendly interface. Many guidelines and heuristics have been developed by previous studies to help both the developer and designer in this task, but E-government websites are special cases that require specialized guidelines. This paper introduces a set of eighteen guidelines for evaluating the usability of e-government websites in general and Arabic e-government websites specifically, along with a check list of how to apply them. The validity and effectiveness of these guidelines were evaluated against a variety of user characteristics. The results indicated that the proposed set of guidelines can be used to identify qualitative similarities and differences with user testing and that the new set is best suited for evaluating general and e-governmental usability.

Keywords: e-government, human computer interaction, usability evaluation, usability guidelines

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117 Risk Factors of Hospital Acquired Infection Mortality in a Tunisian Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Ben Cheikh Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ammar Asma, Ezzi Olfa, Meddeb Khaoula, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) constitutes an important worldwide health problem. It was associated with high mortality rate in intensive care units (ICU). This study aimed to determine HAI mortality rate in Tunisian intensive care units and identify its risk factors. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study over a 12 months period (September 15th 2015 to September 15 th 2016) in the adult medical ICU of University Hospital-Farhat Hached (Sousse-Tunisia). All patients admitted in the ICU for more than 48 hours were included in the study. We used an anonymous standardized survey record form to collect data by a medical hygienist assisted by an intensivist. We adopted definitions of Center for Diseases Control and prevention of Atlanta to detect HAI, Kaplan Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression to identify independent risk factor of HAI mortality. Results: Of 171 patients, 67 developed ICU-acquired infection (global incidence rate=39.2%). The mean age of patients was 59 ± 21.2 years and 60.8% were male. The most frequently identified infections were pulmonary acquired infection (ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and infected atelectasis with density rates 21.4 VAP/1000 days of mechanical ventilation and 9.4 infected atelectasis /1000 days of mechanical ventilation; respectively) and central venous catheter associated infection (CVC - AI) with density rate 28.4 CVC-AI / 1000 CVC-days). HAI mortality rate was 66.7% (n=44). The median survival was 20 days 3.36, 95% Confidential Interval [13.39 – 26.60]. Specific mortality rates according to infectious site were 65.5%, 36.4% and 4.5% respectively for VAP, CVC associated infection and infected atelectasis. In univariate analysis, a significant associations between mortality and cardiovascular history (p=0.04) tracheotomy (p=0.00), peripheral venous catheterization (p=0.04), VAP (p=0.04) and infected atelectasis (p=0.04) were detected. Independent risk factors for HAI mortality were VAP with Hazard Ratio = 3.14, 95% Confidential Interval [1.63 – 6.05] (p=0.001) and tracheotomy (Hazard Ratio=0.22, 95% Confidential Interval [0.10 – 0.44], p=0.000). Conclusions: In the present study, hospital acquired infection mortality rate was relatively high. We need to intensify the fight against these infections especially ventilator-associated pneumonia that is associated with higher risk of mortality in many studies. Thus, more effective infection control interventions were necessary in our hospital.

Keywords: hospital acquired infection, intensive care unit, mortality, risk factors

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116 In vitro Culture of Stem Node Segments of Maerua crassifolia

Authors: Abobaker Abrahem M. Saad, Asma Abudasalam


The stem node segments were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. In the case of using MS+ Zeatin (1 mg/l), small shoot buds were formed directly in 70% of explants after 15 days, their length range between 0.1 to 0.3 cm after two weeks and reached 0.3 cm in length and three shoots in numbers after 4 weeks. When those small shoots were sub cultured on the same medium, they increased in length, number and reached 0.4 cm with 4 shoots, 0.4 cm with 5 shoots after six, eight and ten weeks respectively. In the case of using MS free hormones, MS+IAA (0.2mg/l) +BA (0.5mg/l), MS + kin(0.5mg/l), MS + kin (3mg/l) and MS +NAA (3mg/l) +BA (1mg/l), no sign of responses were noticed and only change in color in some cases. Different types of parenchyma cells and many layers of thick wall sclerenchyma cells were observed on MS+BA (1mg/l).

Keywords: Maerua, stem node, shoots, buds, In vitro

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115 Evaluation of the Analgesic Activity of Defatted Methanol Extract of Capparis spinosa L. Root Barks

Authors: Asma Meddour, Mouloud Yahia, Afaf Benhouda, Souhila Benbia, Hachani Khadhraoui


Peripheral analgesic activity of defatted methanol extract of root barks of Capparis spinosa was tested orally at the dose of 100 and 200 mg/kg against pain induced by acetic acid in rats. The dose of 200 mg/kg presents significant analgesic effect with a percentage of inhibition of torsions of 88.51% compared to the positive control which is the acetylsalicylic acid which represents a percentage of inhibition of 92.55%. The dose of 100 mg/kg presents a percentage of inhibition of 81.68%.

Keywords: peripheral analgesic activity, Capparis spinosa, percentage of inhibition of torsions, chemical sciences

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114 A Tool to Measure the Usability Guidelines for Arab E-Government Websites

Authors: Omyma Alosaimi, Asma Alsumait


The website developer and designer should follow usability guidelines to provide a user-friendly interface. Using tools to measure usability, the evaluator can evaluate automatically hundreds of links within few minutes. It has the advantage of detecting some violations that only machines can detect. For that using usability evaluating tool is important to find as many violations as possible. There are many websites usability testing tools, but none is developed to measure the usability of e-government website nor Arabic e-government websites. To measure the usability of the Arabic e-government websites, a tool is developed and tested in this paper. A comparison of using a tool specifically developed for e-government websites and general usability testing tool is presented.

Keywords: e-government, human computer interaction, usability evaluation, usability guidelines

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113 Endogeneity between Shari'ah Governance and Board Governance and Its Impact on Financial Stability

Authors: Sabur Mollah, Asma Mobarek


This study aims to explore the endogenous relationship between Shari’ah governance and board governance for Islamic banks to identify complementary or substituting relationship between these governance parameters. By using a sample of 161 Islamic Banks from 24 countries for the period of 2005-2013, we show an endogenous relationship between Shari’ah Supervisory Board (SSB) and Board of Directors (BoD). In this relationship, SSB and BoD complement each other. We also show that this complementary relationship between SSB and BoD helps enhance both management and asset quality, but mitigates capital adequacy, earnings, and liquidity in Islamic banks. The study has important implications for financial stability in the Islamic banking system.

Keywords: Shari’ah Supervisory Board, Boards of Directors, Islamic banking, financial stability

Procedia PDF Downloads 91
112 Valorization of Mining Waste (Sand of Djemi Djema) from the Djbel Onk Mine (Eastern Algeria)

Authors: Rachida Malaoui, Leila Arabet , Asma Benbouza


The use of mining waste rock as a material for construction is one of the biggest concerns grabbing the attention of many mining countries. As these materials are abandoned, more effective solutions have been made to offset some of the building materials, and to avoid environmental pollution. The sands of the Djemi Djema deposit mines of the Djebel Onk mines are sedimentary materials of several varieties of layers with varying thicknesses and are worth far more than 300m deep. The sands from the Djemi Djema business area are medium to coarse and are discharged and accumulated, generating a huge estimated quantity of more than 77424250 tonnes. This state of "resource" is of great importance so as to be oriented towards the fields of public works and civil engineering after having reached the acceptable properties of this resource

Keywords: reuse, sands, shear tests, waste rock

Procedia PDF Downloads 58
111 Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane for Selective Extraction and Separation of Dysprosium

Authors: Maliheh Raji, Hossein Abolghasemi, Jaber Safdari, Ali Kargari


Dysprosium is a rare earth element which is essential for many growing high-technology applications. Dysprosium along with neodymium plays a significant role in different applications such as metal halide lamps, permanent magnets, and nuclear reactor control rods preparation. The purification and separation of rare earth elements are challenging because of their similar chemical and physical properties. Among the various methods, membrane processes provide many advantages over the conventional separation processes such as ion exchange and solvent extraction. In this work, selective extraction and separation of dysprosium from aqueous solutions containing an equimolar mixture of dysprosium and neodymium by emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) was investigated. The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisting of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as carrier, kerosene as base fluid, and nitric acid solution as internal aqueous phase. Factors affecting separation of dysprosium such as carrier concentration, MWCNT concentration, feed phase pH and stripping phase concentration were analyzed using Taguchi method. Optimal experimental condition was obtained using analysis of variance (ANOVA) after 10 min extraction. Based on the results, using MWCNT nanofluid in ELM process leads to increase the extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement and separation factor of 6 for dysprosium over neodymium can be achieved under the optimum conditions. Additionally, demulsification process was successfully performed and the membrane phase reused effectively in the optimum condition.

Keywords: emulsion liquid membrane, MWCNT nanofluid, separation, Taguchi method

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110 System Survivability in Networks in the Context of Defense/Attack Strategies: The Large Scale

Authors: Asma Ben Yaghlane, Mohamed Naceur Azaiez, Mehdi Mrad


We investigate the large scale of networks in the context of network survivability under attack. We use appropriate techniques to evaluate and the attacker-based- and the defender-based-network survivability. The attacker is unaware of the operated links by the defender. Each attacked link has some pre-specified probability to be disconnected. The defender choice is so that to maximize the chance of successfully sending the flow to the destination node. The attacker however will select the cut-set with the highest chance to be disabled in order to partition the network. Moreover, we extend the problem to the case of selecting the best p paths to operate by the defender and the best k cut-sets to target by the attacker, for arbitrary integers p,k > 1. We investigate some variations of the problem and suggest polynomial-time solutions.

Keywords: defense/attack strategies, large scale, networks, partitioning a network

Procedia PDF Downloads 183
109 The Influence of Interest, Beliefs, and Identity with Mathematics on Achievement

Authors: Asma Alzahrani, Elizabeth Stojanovski


This study investigated factors that influence mathematics achievement based on a sample of ninth-grade students (N  =  21,444) from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS09). Key aspects studied included efficacy in mathematics, interest and enjoyment of mathematics, identity with mathematics and future utility beliefs and how these influence mathematics achievement. The predictability of mathematics achievement based on these factors was assessed using correlation coefficients and multiple linear regression. Spearman rank correlations and multiple regression analyses indicated positive and statistically significant relationships between the explanatory variables: mathematics efficacy, identity with mathematics, interest in and future utility beliefs with the response variable, achievement in mathematics.

Keywords: Mathematics achievement, math efficacy, mathematics interest, factors influence

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108 Healthcare Associated Infections in an Intensive Care Unit in Tunisia: Incidence and Risk Factors

Authors: Nabiha Bouafia, Asma Ben Cheikh, Asma Ammar, Olfa Ezzi, Mohamed Mahjoub, Khaoula Meddeb, Imed Chouchene, Hamadi Boussarsar, Mansour Njah


Background: Hospital acquired infections (HAI) cause significant morbidity, mortality, length of stay and hospital costs, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU), because of the debilitated immune systems of their patients and exposure to invasive devices. The aims of this study were to determine the rate and the risk factors of HAI in an ICU of a university hospital in Tunisia. Materials/Methods: A prospective study was conducted in the 8-bed adult medical ICU of a University Hospital (Sousse Tunisia) during 14 months from September 15th, 2015 to November 15th, 2016. Patients admitted for more than 48h were included. Their surveillance was stopped after the discharge from ICU or death. HAIs were defined according to standard Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Risk factors were analyzed by conditional stepwise logistic regression. The p-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: During the study, 192 patients had admitted for more than 48 hours. Their mean age was 59.3± 18.20 years and 57.1% were male. Acute respiratory failure was the main reason of admission (72%). The mean SAPS II score calculated at admission was 32.5 ± 14 (range: 6 - 78). The exposure to the mechanical ventilation (MV) and the central venous catheter were observed in 169 (88 %) and 144 (75 %) patients, respectively. Seventy-three patients (38.02%) developed 94 HAIs. The incidence density of HAIs was 41.53 per 1000 patient day. Mortality rate in patients with HAIs was 65.8 %( n= 48). Regarding the type of infection, Ventilator Associated Pneumoniae (VAP) and central venous catheter Associated Infections (CVC AI) were the most frequent with Incidence density: 14.88/1000 days of MV for VAP and 20.02/1000 CVC days for CVC AI. There were 5 Peripheral Venous Catheter Associated Infections, 2 urinary tract infections, and 21 other HAIs. Gram-negative bacteria were the most common germs identified in HAIs: Multidrug resistant Acinetobacter Baumanii (45%) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (10.96%) were the most frequently isolated. Univariate analysis showed that transfer from another hospital department (p= 0.001), intubation (p < 10-4), tracheostomy (p < 10-4), age (p=0.028), grade of acute respiratory failure (p=0.01), duration of sedation (p < 10-4), number of CVC (p < 10-4), length of mechanical ventilation (p < 10-4) and length of stay (p < 10-4), were associated to high risk of HAIS in ICU. Multivariate analysis reveals that independent risk factors for HAIs are: transfer from another hospital department: OR=13.44, IC 95% [3.9, 44.2], p < 10-4, duration of sedation: OR= 1.18, IC 95% [1.049, 1.325], p=0.006, high number of CVC: OR=2.78, IC 95% [1.73, 4.487], p < 10-4, and length of stay in ICU: OR= 1.14, IC 95% [1.066,1.22], p < 10-4. Conclusion: Prevention of nosocomial infections in ICUs is a priority of health care systems all around the world. Yet, their control requires an understanding of epidemiological data collected in these units.

Keywords: healthcare associated infections, incidence, intensive care unit, risk factors

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107 Role of Human Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells Conditioned Media in Alleviating Kidney Injury via Inhibition of Renin-Angiotensin System in Diabetic Nephropathy

Authors: Pardis Abolghasemi, Benyamin Hatamsaz


Background: Diabetic nephropathy is a serious health problem described by specific kidney structure and functional disturbance. Renoprotective effects of the stem cells secretase have been shown in many kidney diseases. The aim is to evaluate the capability of human Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stem cells conditioned media (hWJMSCs-CM) to alleviate DN in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. Methods: Diabetic nephropathy was induced by injection of STZ (60 mg/kg, IP) in twenty rats. Conditioned media was extracted from hWJMSCs at third passages. At week 8, diabetic rats were divided into two groups: treated (hWJMSCs-CM, 500 μl/rat for three weeks, IP) and not treated (DN). In the 11th week, three groups (control, DN and DN+hWJMSCs-CM) were kept in metabolic cages and urine was collected for 24h. Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were continuously recorded. The serum samples were maintained for measuring BUN, Cr and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity. The left kidney was kept at -80°C for ACE activity assessment. The right kidney and pancreas were used for histopathologic evaluation. Result: Diabetic nephropathy was detected by microalbuminuria and increased albumin/creatinine ratio, as well as the pancreas and renal structural disturbance. Glomerular filtration rate, BP and HR increased in the DN group. The ACE activity was elevated in the serum and kidneys of the DN group. Administration of hWJMSCs-CM modulated the renal functional and structural disturbance and decreased the ACE activity. Conclusion: Conditioned media was extracted from hWJMSCs may have a Renoprotective effect in diabetic nephropathy. This may happen through regulation of ACE activity and renin-angiotensin system inhibition.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy, mesenchymal stem cells, immunomodulation, anti-inflammation

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106 Optimization of Samarium Extraction via Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane Using Cyanex 272 as Mobile Carrier

Authors: Maliheh Raji, Hossein Abolghasemi, Jaber Safdari, Ali Kargari


Samarium as a rare-earth element is playing a growing important role in high technology. Traditional methods for extraction of rare earth metals such as ion exchange and solvent extraction have disadvantages of high investment and high energy consumption. Emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) as an improved solvent extraction technique is an effective transport method for separation of various compounds from aqueous solutions. In this work, the extraction of samarium from aqueous solutions by ELM was investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisted of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as mobile carrier, and kerosene as base fluid. 1 M nitric acid solution was used as internal aqueous phase. The effects of the important process parameters on samarium extraction were investigated, and the values of these parameters were optimized using the Central Composition Design (CCD) of RSM. These parameters were the concentration of MWCNT in nanofluid, the carrier concentration, and the volume ratio of organic membrane phase to internal phase (Roi). The three-dimensional (3D) response surfaces of samarium extraction efficiency were obtained to visualize the individual and interactive effects of the process variables. A regression model for % extraction was developed, and its adequacy was evaluated. The result shows that % extraction improves by using MWCNT nanofluid in organic membrane phase and extraction efficiency of 98.92% can be achieved under the optimum conditions. In addition, demulsification was successfully performed and the recycled membrane phase was proved to be effective in the optimum condition.

Keywords: Cyanex 272, emulsion liquid membrane, MWCNT nanofluid, response surface methology, Samarium

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105 Ventilator Associated Pneumonia in a Medical Intensive Care Unit, Incidence and Risk Factors: A Case Control Study

Authors: Ammar Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ben Cheikh Asma, Ezzi Olfa, Mahjoub Mohamed, Sma Nesrine, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is currently recognized as one of the most relevant causes of morbidity and mortality among intensive care unit (ICU) patients worldwide. Identifying modifiable risk factors for VAP could be helpful for future controlled interventional studies aiming at improving prevention of VAP. The purposes of this study were to determine the incidence and risk factors for VAP in in a Tunisian medical ICU. Materials / Methods: A retrospective case-control study design based on the prospective database collected over a 14-month period from September 15th, 2015 through November 15th, 2016 in an 8-bed medical ICU. Patients under ventilation for over 48 h were included. The number of cases was estimated by Epi-info Software with the power of statistical test equal to 90 %. Each case patient was successfully matched to two controls according to the length of mechanical ventilation (MV) before VAP for cases and the total length of MV in controls. VAP in the ICU was defined according to American Thoracic Society; Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines. Early onset or late-onset VAP were defined whether the infectious process occurred within or after 96 h of ICU admission. Patients’ risk factors, causes of admission, comorbidities and respiratory specimens collected were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine variables associated with VAP with a p-value < 0.05. Results: During the period study, a total of 169 patients under mechanical ventilation were considered, 34 patients (20.11%) developed at least one episode of VAP in the ICU. The incidence rate for VAP was 14.88/1000 ventilation days. Among these cases, 9 (26.5 %) were early-onset VAP and 25 (73.5 %) were late-onset VAP. It was a certain diagnosis in 66.7% of cases. Tracheal aspiration was positive in 80% of cases. Multi-drug resistant Acinerobacter baumanii was the most common species detected in cases; 67.64% (n=23). The rate of mortality out of cases was 88.23% (n= 30). In univariate analysis, the patients with VAP were statistically more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases (p=0.035) and prolonged duration of sedation (p=0.009) and tracheostomy (p=0.001), they also had a higher number of re-intubation (p=0.017) and a longer total time of intubation (p=0.012). Multivariate analysis showed that cardiovascular diseases (OR= 4.44; 95% IC= [1.3 - 14]; p=0.016), tracheostomy (OR= 4.2; 95% IC= [1.16 -15.12]; p= 0.028) and prolonged duration of sedation (OR=1.21; 95% IC= [1.07, 1.36]; p=0.002) were independent risk factors for the development of VAP. Conclusion: VAP constitutes a therapeutic challenge in an ICU setting, therefore; strategies that effectively prevent VAP are needed. An infection control-training program intended to all professional heath care in this unit insisting on bundles and elaboration of procedures are planned to reduce effectively incidence rate of VAP.

Keywords: case control study, intensive care unit, risk factors, ventilator associated pneumonia

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104 Modeling Intelligent Threats: Case of Continuous Attacks on a Specific Target

Authors: Asma Ben Yaghlane, Mohamed Naceur Azaiez


In this paper, we treat a model that falls in the area of protecting targeted systems from intelligent threats including terrorism. We introduce the concept of system survivability, in the context of continuous attacks, as the probability that a system under attack will continue operation up to some fixed time t. We define a constant attack rate (CAR) process as an attack on a targeted system that follows an exponential distribution. We consider the superposition of several CAR processes. From the attacker side, we determine the optimal attack strategy that minimizes the system survivability. We also determine the optimal strengthening strategy that maximizes the system survivability under limited defensive resources. We use operations research techniques to identify optimal strategies of each antagonist. Our results may be used as interesting starting points to develop realistic protection strategies against intentional attacks.

Keywords: CAR processes, defense/attack strategies, exponential failure, survivability

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103 Hybrid Obfuscation Technique for Reverse Engineering Problem

Authors: Asma’a Mahfoud, Abu Bakar Md. Sultan, Abdul Azim Abd, Norhayati Mohd Ali, Novia Admodisastro


Obfuscation is a practice to make something difficult and complicated. Programming code is ordinarily obfuscated to protect the intellectual property (IP) and prevent the attacker from reverse engineering (RE) a copyrighted software program. Obfuscation may involve encrypting some or all the code, transforming out potentially revealing data, renaming useful classes and variables (identifiers) names to meaningless labels, or adding unused or meaningless code to an application binary. Obfuscation techniques were not performing effectively recently as the reversing tools are able to break the obfuscated code. We propose in this paper a hybrid obfuscation technique that contains three approaches of renaming. Experimentation was conducted to test the effectiveness of the proposed technique. The experimentation has presented a promising result, where the reversing tools were not able to read the code.

Keywords: intellectual property, obfuscation, software security, reverse engineering

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102 Investigating the Stylistic Features of Advertising: Ad Design and Creation

Authors: Asma Ben Abdallah


Language has a powerful influence over people and their actions. The language of advertising has a very great impact on the consumer. It makes use of different features from the linguistic continuum. The present paper attempts to apply the theories of stylistics to the analysis of advertising texts. In order to decipher the stylistic features of the advertising discourse, 30 advertising text samples designed by MA Business students have been selected. These samples have been analyzed at the level of design and content. The study brings insights into the use of stylistic devices in advertising, and it reveals that both linguistic and non-linguistic features of advertisements are frequently employed to develop a well-thought-out design and content. The practical significance of the study is to highlight the specificities of the advertising genre so that people interested in the language of advertising (Business students and ESP teachers) will have a better understanding of the nature of the language used and the techniques of writing and designing ads. Similarly, those working in the advertising sphere (ad designers) will appreciate the specificities of the advertising discourse.

Keywords: the language of advertising, advertising discourse, ad design, stylistic features

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101 Integrating Blockchain and Internet of Things Platforms: An Empirical Study on Immunization Cold Chain

Authors: Fawzia Abujalala, Asma Elmangoush, Majdi Ashibani


The adoption of Blockchain technology introduces the possibility to decentralize cold chain systems. This adaptation enhances them to be more efficient, accessible, verifiable, and data security. Additionally, the Internet of Things (IoT) concept is considered as an added-value to various application domains. Cargo tracking and cold chain are a few to name. However, the security of the IoT transactions and integrated devices remains one of the key challenges to the IoT application’s success. Consequently, Blockchain technology and its consensus protocols have been used to solve many information security problems. In this paper, the researchers discussed the advantages of integrating Blockchain technology into IoT platform to improve security and provide an overview of existing literature on integrating Blockchain and IoT platforms. Then, presented the immunization cold chain solution as a use-case that could apply to any critical goods based on integrating hyperledger fabric platform and IoT platform.

Keywords: blockchain, hyperledger fabric, internet of things, security, traceability

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100 Symptom Burden and Quality of Life in Advanced Lung Cancer Patients

Authors: Ammar Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Dhahri Meriem, Ben Cheikh Asma, Ezzi Olfa, Chafai Rim, Njah Mansour


Despite recent advances in treatment of the lung cancer patients, the prognosis remains poor. Information is limited regarding health related quality of life (QOL) status of advanced lung cancer patients. The purposes of this study were: to assess patient reported symptom burden, to measure their QOL, and to identify determinant factors associated with QOL. Materials/Methods: A cross sectional study of 60 patients was carried out from over the period of 03 months from February 1st to 30 April 2016. Patients were recruited in two department of health care: Pneumology department in a university hospital in Sousse and an oncology unit in a University Hospital in Kairouan. Patients with advanced stage (III and IV) of lung cancer who were hospitalized or admitted in the day hospital were recruited by convenience sampling. We used a questionnaire administrated and completed by a trained interviewer. This questionnaire is composed of three parts: demographic, clinical and therapeutic information’s, QOL measurements: based on the SF-36 questionnaire, Symptom’s burden measurement using the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (LCSS). To assess Correlation between symptoms burden and QOL, we compared the scores of two scales two by two using the Pearson correlation. To identify factors influencing QOL in Lung cancer, a univariate statistical analysis then, a stepwise backward approach, wherein the variables with p< 0.2, were carried out to determine the association between SF-36 scores and different variables. Results: During the study period, 60 patients consented to complete symptom and quality of life questionnaires at a single point time (72% were recruited from day hospital). The majority of patients were male (88%), age ranged from 21 to 79 years with a mean of 60.5 years. Among patients, 48 (80%) were diagnosed as having non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Approximately, 60 % (n=36) of patients were in stage IV, 25 % in stage IIIa and 15 % in stage IIIb. For symptom burden, the symptom burden index was 43.07 (Standard Deviation, 21.45). Loss of appetite and fatigue were rated as the most severe symptoms with mean scores (SD): 49.6 (25.7) and 58.2 (15.5). The average overall score of SF36 was 39.3 (SD, 15.4). The physical and emotional limitations had the lowest scores. Univariate analysis showed that factors which influence negatively QOL were: married status (p<0.03), smoking cessation after diagnosis (p<0.024), LCSS total score (p<0.001), LCSS symptom burden index (p<0.001), fatigue (p<0.001), loss of appetite (p<0.001), dyspnea (p<0.001), pain (p<0.002), and metastatic stage (p<0.01). In multivariate analysis, unemployment (p<0.014), smoking cessation after diagnosis (p<0.013), consumption of analgesic (p<0.002) and the indication of an analgesic radiotherapy (p<0.001) are revealed as independent determinants of QOL. The result of the correlation analyses between total LCSS scores and the total and individual domain SF36 scores was significant (p<0.001); the higher total LCSS score is, the poorer QOL is. Conclusion: A built in support of lung cancer patients would better control the symptoms and promote the QOL of these patients.

Keywords: quality of life, lung cancer, metastasis, symptoms burden

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99 Physicochemical and Biochemical Characterization of Olea europea Var. Oleaster Oil and Determination of Its Effects on Blood Parameters

Authors: Asma Gherib, Imen Merzougui, Cherifa Henchiri


This present study has allowed to evaluate the physico chemical characteristics, fatty acid composition and the hypolipidemic effect of Oleaster oil Olea europea var. Oleaster, from the area of El Kala, "Eastern Algeria" on rats "Wistar albinos". The physico chemical characteristics: acidity (0,73%), peroxide value (14, 16 meqO2/kg oil) and iodine value (74,08 g iodine/100 g of oil) are consistent with international standards. The dosage of FA revealed a wealth of oil with UFA (76,7%), mainly composed of 65.43% of MUFA whose major fatty acid is oleic acid (63,57%). The experiment on rats receiving a diet rich in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils revealed that the consumption of Oleaster oil at the dose of 10 g and 20 g for 15 and 30 days improves plasma lipid profile by decreasing the rates of TC, TG, TL, and LDL-C with an increase in the rate of HDL-C serum. The importance of these effects depends on the dose and period of treatment.

Keywords: oleaster oil, fatty acid, Olea europea, oleic acid, lipid profile

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98 Core Number Optimization Based Scheduler to Order/Mapp Simulink Application

Authors: Asma Rebaya, Imen Amari, Kaouther Gasmi, Salem Hasnaoui


Over these last years, the number of cores witnessed a spectacular increase in digital signal and general use processors. Concurrently, significant researches are done to get benefit from the high degree of parallelism. Indeed, these researches are focused to provide an efficient scheduling from hardware/software systems to multicores architecture. The scheduling process consists on statically choose one core to execute one task and to specify an execution order for the application tasks. In this paper, we describe an efficient scheduler that calculates the optimal number of cores required to schedule an application, gives a heuristic scheduling solution and evaluates its cost. Our proposal results are evaluated and compared with Preesm scheduler results and we prove that ours allows better scheduling in terms of latency, computation time and number of cores.

Keywords: computation time, hardware/software system, latency, optimization, multi-cores platform, scheduling

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97 Removal of Cr⁶⁺, Co²⁺ and Ni²⁺ Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Algerian Enteromorpha compressa (L.) Biomass

Authors: Asma Aid, Samira Amokrane, Djamel Nibou, Hadj Mekatel


The marine Enteromorpha Compressa (L.) (ECL) biomass was used as a low-cost biological adsorbent for the removal of Cr⁶⁺, Co²⁺ and Ni²⁺ ions from artificially contaminated aqueous solutions. The operating variables pH, the initial concentration C₀, the solid/liquid ratio R and the temperature T were studied. A full factorial experimental design technique enabled us to obtain a mathematical model describing the adsorption of Cr⁶⁺, Co²⁺ and Ni²⁺ ions and to study the main effects and interactions among operational parameters. The equilibrium isotherm has been analyzed by Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin-Radushkevich models; it has been found that the adsorption process follows the Langmuir model for the used ions. Kinetic studies showed that the pseudo-second-order model correlates our experimental data. Thermodynamic parameters showed the endothermic heat of adsorption and the spontaneity of the adsorption process for Cr⁶⁺ ions and exothermic heat of adsorption for Co²⁺ and Ni²⁺ ions.

Keywords: enteromorpha Compressa, adsorption process, Cr⁶⁺, Co²⁺ and Ni²⁺, equilibrium isotherm

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96 Designing a Model for Measuring the Components of Good Governance in the Iranian Higher Education System

Authors: Maria Ghorbanian, Mohammad Ghahramani, Mahmood Abolghasemi


Universities and institutions of higher education in Iran, like other higher education institutions in the world, have a heavy mission and task to educate students based on the needs of the country. Taking on such a serious responsibility requires having a good governance system for planning, formulating executive plans, evaluating, and finally modifying them in accordance with the current conditions and challenges ahead. In this regard, the present study was conducted with the aim of identifying the components of good governance in the Iranian higher education system by survey method and with a quantitative approach. In order to collect data, a researcher-made questionnaire was used, which includes two parts: personal and professional characteristics (5 questions) and the three components of good governance in the Iranian higher education system, including good management and leadership (8 items), continuous evaluation and effective (university performance, finance, and university appointments) (8 items) and civic responsibility and sustainable development (7 items). These variables were measured and coded in the form of a five-level Likert scale from "Very Low = 1" to "Very High = 5". First, the validity and reliability of the research model were examined. In order to calculate the reliability of the questionnaire, two methods of Cronbach's alpha and combined reliability were used. Fornell-Larker interaction and criterion were also used to determine the degree of diagnostic validity. The statistical population of this study included all faculty members of public universities in Tehran (N = 4429). The sample size was estimated to be 340 using the Cochran's formula. These numbers were studied using a randomized method with a proportional assignment. The data were analyzed by the structural equation method with the least-squares approach. The results showed that the component of civil responsibility and sustainable development with a factor load of 0.827 is the most important element of good governance.

Keywords: good governance, higher education, sustainable, development

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