Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 47

Search results for: Azhar Al-Hamamreh

47 Al-Azhar’s Ideological Capacity to Counter Extremism

Authors: Dina Tawfic, Robert Hassan

Abstract:

The current chapter addresses Al-Azhar's strategy to counter extremism in tandem with reflecting on the ideology of the Islamic establishment itself. The topic is motivated by the fact that some of the Western governments have been relying on Al-Azhar to counter the ideology of Islamist radicalism and violent extremism, in particular during the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (known as ISIS/ ISIL/ Daesh) in 2014/2015. In his visit to Egypt in June 2016, Brett McGurk, the then U.S. envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, commended Al-Azhar’s “intellectual and reforming role” in refuting the ideology of extremism. On the other hand, Egyptian liberal intellectuals, such as Farag Fouda (1945- 1992) and Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid (1943-2010), had always questioned the ideological capability of Al-Azhar to counter extremism, citing the rigidity and resistance of the Islamic establishment to carry out genuine reformation. This chapter aims to discuss the following research questions: what is the strategy of Al-Azhar to counter extremism? Does Al-Azhar have a solid strategy to combat online propaganda produced by violent extremist groups? Is it applicable to identify Al-Azhar ideological identity? and is it capable of countering extremism? To answer these questions, I conducted intensive interviews with seven senior scholars and officials at Al-Azhar and the Endowments ministry from September to December 2020. Using a qualitative approach as a backdrop, this project uses semi-structured interviews to collect data. Participants were briefed on the purpose of the study and consented to be interviewed and to record their interviews. Some of the participants chose to conceal their names. All the interviews were conducted in Arabic via Zoom. The researcher then transcribed and translated the interviews into English. A purposive sample is used to select the seven interviewees, based on their prominence and experience in the field of counter-extremism and Al-Azhar affairs. The researcher uses a snowball sample to select the sample, in which a personal contact recommends other officials within the establishment.

Keywords: Al-Azhar, Egypt, Counter-Extremism, Political Islam, Ideology

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46 Major Depressive Disorder: Diagnosis based on Electroencephalogram Analysis

Authors: Wajid Mumtaz, Aamir Saeed Malik, Syed Saad Azhar Ali, Mohd Azhar Mohd Yasin

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In this paper, a technique based on electroencephalogram (EEG) analysis is presented, aiming for diagnosing major depressive disorder (MDD) among a potential population of MDD patients and healthy controls. EEG is recognized as a clinical modality during applications such as seizure diagnosis, index for anesthesia, detection of brain death or stroke. However, its usability for psychiatric illnesses such as MDD is less studied. Therefore, in this study, for the sake of diagnosis, 2 groups of study participants were recruited, 1) MDD patients, 2) healthy people as controls. EEG data acquired from both groups were analyzed involving inter-hemispheric asymmetry and composite permutation entropy index (CPEI). To automate the process, derived quantities from EEG were utilized as inputs to classifier such as logistic regression (LR) and support vector machine (SVM). The learning of these classification models was tested with a test dataset. Their learning efficiency is provided as accuracy of classifying MDD patients from controls, their sensitivities and specificities were reported, accordingly (LR =81.7 % and SVM =81.5 %). Based on the results, it is concluded that the derived measures are indicators for diagnosing MDD from a potential population of normal controls. In addition, the results motivate further exploring other measures for the same purpose.

Keywords: major depressive disorder, diagnosis based on EEG, EEG derived features, CPEI, inter-hemispheric asymmetry

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45 A Longitudinal Study of the Readability of the Chairman’s Narratives in Corporate Reports: Malaysian Evidence

Authors: Azhar Abdul Rahman

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This paper examines the readability of the chairman’s narratives, as determined by the Flesch score, of a Malaysian public listed company’s corporate reports from 1962 to 2009. It partially supports earlier studies which demonstrated that corporate reports were difficult to read, and had shown very negligible decrease in difficulty over time. Net profit to sales and readability was significantly positively correlated but number of financial statements was significantly negatively correlated with readability.

Keywords: chairman’s narratives, corporate communications, readability, longitudinal

Procedia PDF Downloads 360
44 Development of All-in-One Solar Kit

Authors: Azhan Azhar, Mohammed Sakib, Zaurez Ahmad

Abstract:

The energy we receive from the sun is known as solar energy, and it is a reliable, long-lasting, eco-friendly and the most widely used energy source in the 21st century. It is. There are several techniques for harnessing solar energy, and we are all seeing large utility-scale projects to collect maximum amperes from the sun using current technologies. Solar PV is now on the rise as a means of harvesting energy from the sun. Moving a step further, our project is focused on designing an All-in-one portable Solar Energy based solution. We considered the minimum load conditions and evaluated the requirements of various devices utilized in this study to resolve the power requirements of small stores, hawkers, or travelers.

Keywords: DOD-depth of discharge, pulse width modulation charge controller, renewable energy, solar PV- solar photovoltaic

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43 The Influence of Crude Oil on Growth of Freshwater Algae

Authors: Al-Saboonchi Azhar

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The effects of Iraqi crude oil on growth of three freshwater algae (Chlorella vulgaris Beij., Scenedesmus acuminatus (Lag.) Chodat. and Oscillatoria princeps Vauch.) were investigated, basing on it's biomass expressed as Chl.a. Growth rate and doubling time of the cell were calculated. Results showed that growth rate and species survival varied with concentrations of crude oil and species type. Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus acuminatus were more sensitive in culture containing crude oil as compared with Oscillatoria princeps cultures. The growth of green algae were significantly inhibited in culture containing (5 mg/l) crude oil, while the growth of Oscillatoria princeps reduced in culture containing (10 mg/l) crude oil.

Keywords: algae, crude oil, green algae, Cyanobacteria

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42 Evaluation of the Impact of Pavement Roughness on Vehicle Emissions by HDM-4

Authors: Muhammad Azhar, Arshad Hussain

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Vehicular emissions have increased in recent years due to rapid growth in world traffic resulting in an increase in associated problems such as air pollution and climate change, therefore it’s necessary to control vehicle emissions. This study looks at the effect of road maintenance on vehicle emissions. The Highway Development and Management Tool (HDM-4) was used to find the effect of road maintenance on vehicle emissions. Key data collected were traffic volume and composition, vehicle characteristics, pavement characteristics and climate data of the study area. Two options were analysed using the HDM-4 software; the base case or do nothing while the second is overlay maintenance. The study also showed a strong correlation between average roughness and yearly emission levels in both the alternatives. Finally, the study showed that proper maintenance reduces the roughness and emissions.

Keywords: vehicle emissions, road roughness, IRI, maintenance, HDM-4, CO2

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41 A Review on Light Shafts Rendering for Indoor Scenes

Authors: Hatam H. Ali, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, Hoshang Kolivand, Mohd Azhar Bin M. Arsad

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Rendering light shafts is one of the important topics in computer gaming and interactive applications. The methods and models that are used to generate light shafts play crucial role to make a scene more realistic in computer graphics. This article discusses the image-based shadows and geometric-based shadows that contribute in generating volumetric shadows and light shafts, depending on ray tracing, radiosity, and ray marching technique. The main aim of this study is to provide researchers with background on a progress of light scattering methods so as to make it available for them to determine the technique best suited to their goals. It is also hoped that our classification helps researchers find solutions to the shortcomings of each method.

Keywords: shaft of lights, realistic images, image-based, and geometric-based

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40 Chitin Degradation in Pseudomonas fluorescens

Authors: Azhar Alhasawi, Vasu D. Appanna

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Chitin, the second most abundant bio-polymer in nature after cellulose, composed of β (1→4) linked N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), is a major structural component in the cell walls of fungi and the shells of crustaceans. Chitin and its derivatives are gaining importance of economic value due to its biological activity and its industrial and biomedical applications. There are several methods to hydrolyze chitin to NAG, but they are typically expensive and environmentally unfriendly. Chitinase which catalyzes the breakdown of chitin to NAG has received much attention owing to its various applications in biotechnology. The presented research examines the ability of the versatile soil microbe, Pseudomonas fluorescens grown in chitin medium to produce chitinase and a variety of value-added products under abiotic stress. We have found that with high pH, Pseudomonas fluorescens enable to metabolize chitin more than with neutral pH and the overexpression of chitinase was also increased. P-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (DMAB) assay for NAG production will be monitored and a combination of sodium dodecyl polyacrylamide gels will be used to monitor the proteomic and metabolomic changes as a result of the abiotic stress. The bioreactor of chitinase will also be utilized.

Keywords: Pseudomonas fluorescens, chitin, DMAB, chitinase

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39 An Investigation on Material Removal Rate of EDM Process: A Response Surface Methodology Approach

Authors: Azhar Equbal, Anoop Kumar Sood, M. Asif Equbal, M. Israr Equbal

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In the present work response surface methodology (RSM) based central composite design (CCD) is used for analyzing the electrical discharge machining (EDM) process. For experimentation, mild steel is selected as work piece and copper is used as electrode. Three machining parameters namely current (I), spark on time (Ton) and spark off time (Toff) are selected as the input variables. The output or response chosen is material removal rate (MRR) which is to be maximized. To reduce the number of runs face centered central composite design (FCCCD) was used. ANOVA was used to determine the significance of parameter and interactions. The suitability of model is tested using Anderson darling (AD) plot. The results conclude that different parameters considered i.e. current, pulse on and pulse off time; all have dominant effect on the MRR. At last, the optimized parameter setting for maximizing MRR is found through main effect plot analysis.

Keywords: EDM, electrode, MRR, RSM, ANOVA

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38 Achieving Supply Chain Competitiveness through Successful Buyer-Supplier Relationships

Authors: Kamran Rashid, Tashfeen M. Azhar, Asad-ur-Rahman Wahla

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Current research aims to understand the role of successful buyer-supplier relationship in achieving supply chain competitiveness in a developing country perspective. Five hypotheses are developed to test structural model. Survey data is collected from the manufacturing sector of Pakistan. Analysis is conducted using Partial Least Squares (PLS) Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) through Smart PLS version 2.0 M3. Results demonstrate positive impact of effective supplier selection, buyer-supplier engagement, and information sharing capability on success of buyer supplier relationship. This successful buyer supplier relationship drives the supply chain firm financial and market performance. Additional analyses with large sample sizes are required in other developing countries to cross validate the results. Current study provides empirical evidence of the role of successful buyer supplier relationship in achieving supply chain competitiveness.

Keywords: supply chain management, successful buyer-supplier relationship, supply chain competitiveness, developing country

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37 A Fast Silhouette Detection Algorithm for Shadow Volumes in Augmented Reality

Authors: Hoshang Kolivand, Mahyar Kolivand, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, Mohd Azhar M. Arsad

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Real-time shadow generation in virtual environments and Augmented Reality (AR) was always a hot topic in the last three decades. Lots of calculation for shadow generation among AR needs a fast algorithm to overcome this issue and to be capable of implementing in any real-time rendering. In this paper, a silhouette detection algorithm is presented to generate shadows for AR systems. Δ+ algorithm is presented based on extending edges of occluders to recognize which edges are silhouettes in the case of real-time rendering. An accurate comparison between the proposed algorithm and current algorithms in silhouette detection is done to show the reduction calculation by presented algorithm. The algorithm is tested in both virtual environments and AR systems. We think that this algorithm has the potential to be a fundamental algorithm for shadow generation in all complex environments.

Keywords: silhouette detection, shadow volumes, real-time shadows, rendering, augmented reality

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36 Influence of Moringa Leaves Extract on the Response of Hb Molecule to Dose Rates’ Changes: II. Relaxation Time and Its Thermodynamic Driven State Functions

Authors: Mohamed M. M. Elnasharty, Azhar M. Elwan

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Irradiation deposits energy through ionisation changing the bio-system’s net dipole, allowing the use of dielectric parameters and thermodynamic state functions related to these parameters as biophysical detectors to electrical inhomogeneity within the biosystem. This part is concerned with the effect of Moringa leaves extract, natural supplement, on the response of the biosystem to two different dose rates of irradiation. Having Hb molecule as a representative to the biosystem to be least invasive to the biosystem, dielectric measurements were used to extract the relaxation time of certain process found in the Hb spectrum within the indicated frequency window and the interrelated thermodynamic state functions were calculated from the deduced relaxation time. The results showed that relaxation time was decreased for both dose rates indicating a strong influence of Moringa on the response of biosystem and consequently Hb molecule. This influence was presented in the relaxation time and other parameters as well.

Keywords: activation energy, DC conductivity, dielectric relaxation, enthalpy change, Moringa leaves extract, relaxation time

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35 Diversity Management of Gender, Age and Disability in the Banking Sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: Nada Azhar

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As a developing country, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) needs to make the best possible use of its workforce for social and economic reasons. The workforce is diverse, calling for appropriate diversity management (DM). The thesis focuses on the banking sector in KSA. To date, there have been no studies on DM in the banking sector in this country. Many organizations have introduced specific policies and programmes to improve the recruitment, inclusion, promotion, and retention of diverse employees, in addition to the legal requirements existing in many countries. However, Western-centric models of DM may not be applicable, at least not in their entirety, in other regions. The aim of the study is to devise a framework for understanding gender, age and disability DM in the banking sector in KSA in order to enhance DM in this sector. A sample of 24 managers, 2 from each of the 12 banks, was interviewed to obtain their views on DM in the banking sector in KSA. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. These themes were used to develop the questionnaire, which was administered to 10 managers in each of the 12 banks. After analysis of these data, and completion of the study, the research will make a theoretical contribution to the knowledge on DM and a practical contribution to the management of diversity in Saudi banks. This paper concerns a work in progress.

Keywords: age, disability, diversity, gender, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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34 Subfamilial Relationships within Solanaceae as Inferred from atpB-rbcL Intergenic Spacer

Authors: Syeda Qamarunnisa, Ishrat Jamil, Abid Azhar, Zabta K. Shinwari, Syed Irtifaq Ali

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A phylogenetic analysis of family Solanaceae was conducted using sequence data from the chloroplast intergenic atpB-rbcL spacer. Sequence data was generated from 17 species representing 09 out of 14 genera of Solanaceae from Pakistan. Cladogram was constructed using maximum parsimony method and results indicate that Solanaceae is mainly divided into two subfamilies; Solanoideae and Cestroideae. Four major clades within Solanoideae represent tribes; Physaleae, Capsiceae, Datureae and Solaneae are supported by high bootstrap value and the relationships among them are not corroborating with the previous studies. The findings established that subfamily Cestroideae comprised of three genera; Cestrum, Lycium, and Nicotiana with high bootstrap support. Position of Nicotiana inferred with atpB-rbcL sequence is congruent with traditional classification, which placed the taxa in Cestroideae. In the current study Lycium unexpectedly nested with Nicotiana with 100% bootstrap support and identified as a member of tribe Nicotianeae. Expanded sampling of other genera from Pakistan could be valuable towards improving our understanding of intrafamilial relationships within Solanaceae.

Keywords: systematics, solanaceae, phylogenetics, intergenic spacer, tribes

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33 Triangular Geometric Feature for Offline Signature Verification

Authors: Zuraidasahana Zulkarnain, Mohd Shafry Mohd Rahim, Nor Anita Fairos Ismail, Mohd Azhar M. Arsad

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Handwritten signature is accepted widely as a biometric characteristic for personal authentication. The use of appropriate features plays an important role in determining accuracy of signature verification; therefore, this paper presents a feature based on the geometrical concept. To achieve the aim, triangle attributes are exploited to design a new feature since the triangle possesses orientation, angle and transformation that would improve accuracy. The proposed feature uses triangulation geometric set comprising of sides, angles and perimeter of a triangle which is derived from the center of gravity of a signature image. For classification purpose, Euclidean classifier along with Voting-based classifier is used to verify the tendency of forgery signature. This classification process is experimented using triangular geometric feature and selected global features. Based on an experiment that was validated using Grupo de Senales 960 (GPDS-960) signature database, the proposed triangular geometric feature achieves a lower Average Error Rates (AER) value with a percentage of 34% as compared to 43% of the selected global feature. As a conclusion, the proposed triangular geometric feature proves to be a more reliable feature for accurate signature verification.

Keywords: biometrics, euclidean classifier, features extraction, offline signature verification, voting-based classifier

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32 Effect of TPA and HTLV-1 Tax on BRCA-1 and ERE Controlled Genes Expression

Authors: Azhar Jabareen, Mahmoud Huleihel

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BRCA-1 is a multifunctional tumor suppressor, whose expression is activated by the estrogen (E2)-liganded ERα receptor. The activated ERα is a transcriptional factor which activates various genes either by direct binding to the DNA at E2-responsive elements (EREs) and indirectly associated with a range of alternative non-ERE elements. Interference with BRCA-1 expression and/or functions leads to high risk of breast or/and ovarian cancer. Our lab investigated the involvement of Human T-cell leukemia Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) in breast cancer, since HTLV-1 Tax was found to strongly inhibit BRCA-1 expression. In addition, long exposure of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), which is one of the stress-inducing agents activated the HTLV-1 promoter. So here the involvement of TPA in breast cancer had been examined by testing the effect of TPA on BRCA-1 and ERE expression. The results showed that TPA activated both BRCA-1 and ERE expression. In the 12 hours TPA activated the tow promoters more than others time, and after 24 hours the level of the tow promoters was decreased. Tax inhibited BRCA-1 expression but did not succeed to inhibit the effect of TPA. Then the activation of the two promoters was not through ERα pathway because TPA had no effect on ERα binding to the two promoters of the BRCA-1 and ERE. Also, the activation was not via nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway because when the inhibitory of NF-κB had been added to the TPA, it still activated the tow promoters. However, it seems that 53BP1 may be involved in TPA activation of these promoters because ectopic high expression of 53BP1 significantly reduced the TPA activity. In addition, in the presence of Bisindolylmaleimide-I (BI)- the inhibitor of Protein Kinase C (PKC)- there was no activation for the two promoters, so the PKC is agonized BRCA-1 and ERE activation.

Keywords: BRCA-1, ERE, HTLV-1, TPA

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31 Simultaneous Analysis of 25 Trace Elements in Micro Volume of Human Serum by Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometry

Authors: Azmawati Mohammed Nawi, Siok-Fong Chin, Shamsul Azhar Shah, Rahman Jamal

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In recent years, trace elements have gained importance as biomarkers in many chronic diseases. Unfortunately, the requirement for sample volume increases according to the extent of investigation for diagnosis or elucidating the mechanism of the disease. Here, we describe the method development and validation for simultaneous determination of 25 trace elements (lithium (Li), beryllium (Be), magnesium (Mg), aluminium (Al), vanadium (V), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), gallium (Ga), arsenic (As), selenium (Se), rubidium (Rb), strontium (Sr), silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), caesium (Cs), barium (Ba), mercury (Hg), thallium (Tl), lead (Pb), uranium (U)) using just 20 µL of human serum. Serum samples were digested with nitric acid and hydrochloric acid (ratio 1:1, v/v) and analysed using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Seronorm®, a human-derived serum control material was used as quality control samples. The intra-day and inter-day precisions were consistently < 15% for all elements. The validated method was later applied to 30 human serum samples to evaluate its suitability. In conclusion, we have successfully developed and validated a precise and accurate analytical method for determining 25 trace elements requiring very low volume of human serum.

Keywords: acid digestion, ICP-MS, trace element, serum

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30 The Effect of Vitamin D Deficiency on Endothelial Function in Atherosclerosis Patients Living in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Wedad Azhar

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Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is required for the maintenance of good health. It is obtained either through exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet B radiation) or through dietary sources. The role of vitamin D is beyond bone health. Indeed, it plays a critical role in the immune system and a broad range of organ functions such as the cardiovascular system. Moreover, vitamin D plays a critical role in the endothelial function, which is one of the main indicators of atherosclerosis. This study is investigating the correlation between vitamin D status and endothelial function in preventing and treating atherosclerosis especially in country that has ample of sunshine but yet, Saudis from suffering from this issue vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. Ninety participants from both genders and aged 40 to 60will be involved. The participants will be categorised into three groups: the control group will be healthy persons, patients at risk of developing atherosclerosis, patients formally diagnosed atherosclerosis. Half of the participants in each group should already have been taking vitamin D supplementations. Fasting blood samples will be taken from the participants for biochemical assays. Endothelial function will be assist by flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery. Participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire on their social and economic status, education level, daily exposure to sunlight, smoking status, consumption of supplements and medication, and a food frequency of vitamin D intake. The data will be analysed using SPSS.

Keywords: atherosclerosis, endothelial function, nutrition, vitamin D

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29 Association of AGT (M268T) Gene Polymorphism in Diabetes and Nephropathy in Pakistan

Authors: Syed M. Shahid, Rozeena Shaikh, Syeda N. Nawab, Abid Azhar

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a prevalent non-communicable disease worldwide. DM may lead to many vascular complications like hypertension, nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy and foot infections. Pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN) is implicated by the polymorphisms in genes encoding the specific components of renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) which include angiotensinogen (AGT), angiotensin-II receptor and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) genes. This study was designed to explore the possible association of AG (M268T) polymorphism in the patients of diabetes and nephropathy in Pakistan. Study subjects included 100 controls, 260 diabetic patients without renal insufficiency and 190 diabetic nephropathy patients with persistent albuminuria. Fasting blood samples were collected from all the subjects after getting institutional ethical approval and informed consent. The biochemical estimations, PCR amplification and direct sequencing for the specific region of AGT gene was carried out. A significantly high frequency of TT genotype and T allele of AGT (M268T) was observed in the patients of diabetes with nephropathy as compared to controls and diabetic patients without any known renal impairment. The TT genotype and T allele of AGT (M268T) polymorphism may be considered as a genetic risk factor for the development and progression of nephropathy in diabetes. Further cross sectional population studies would be of help to establish and confirm the observed possible association of AGT gene variations with development of nephropathy in diabetes.

Keywords: RAAS, AGT (M268T), diabetes, nephropathy

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28 A Novel Protein Elicitor Extracted From Lecanicillium lecanii Induced Resistance Against Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci in Cotton

Authors: Yusuf Ali Abdulle, Azhar Uddin Keerio

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Background: Protein elicitors play a key role in signaling or displaying plant defense mechanisms and emerging as vital tools for bio-control of insects. This study was aimed at the characterization of the novel protein elicitor isolated from entomopathogenic fungi Lecanicillium lecanii (V3) strain and its activity against Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci in cotton. The sequence of purified elicitor protein showed 100% similarity with hypothetical protein LEL_00878 [Cordyceps confragosa RCEF 1005], GenBank no (OAA81333.1). This novel protein elicitor has 253 amino acid residues and 762bp with a molecular mass of 29 kDa. The protein recombinant was expressed in Escherichia coli using pET‐28a (+) plasmid. Effects of purified novel protein elicitor on Bemisia tabaci were determined at three concentrations of protein (i.e., 58.32, 41.22, 35.41 μg mL⁻¹) on cotton plants and were exposed to newly molted adult B.tabaci. Bioassay results showed a significant effect of the exogenous application of novel protein elicitor on B. tabaci in cotton. In addition, the gene expression analysis found a significant up-regulation of the major genes associated with salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) linked plant defense pathways in elicitor protein-treated plants. Our results suggested the potential application of a novel protein elicitor derived from Lecanicillium lecanii as a future bio-intensive controlling approach against the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci.

Keywords: resistance, Lecanicillium lecanii, secondary metabolites, whitefly

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27 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

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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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26 Estimation of the Effectiveness of Tasik Kemajuan and Tasik Inovasi as Flood Detention Pond at UTHM Campus

Authors: Noor Aliza Binti Ahmad, Azra Munirah Mat Daud, Sabariah Musa, Mohamad Azhar MK

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Flooding is a common natural disaster in Malaysia triggered by heavy rainfall. Urbanization that increases the construction of paved areas, subsequently raise surface runoff and reduce time of concentration. It increases flood magnitude and so that leads to greater flood problems as what has happened at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) area in December 2006 and earlier 2007. Tasik Kemajuan and Tasik Inovasi were constructed as recreation ponds and have also functioned as flood ponds. Unfortunately, the flood problem still occurs persistently. Thus, the effectiveness of Tasik Kemajuan and Tasik Inovasi in reducing the flood problems need to be investigated and the causes of flood events at UTHM Campus need to be evaluated. The results from this study show that the conditions of Tasik Kemajuan and Tasik Inovasi are effective in reducing the flood water levels. It also can be concluded that increasing water level in both lakes in UTHM Campus are significantly influenced by presence of the grass and rubbish. During dry condition, the flow rates with three different days are 59.38m3/s, 60.71m3/s and 59.08m3/s and while for wet condition in two different days are 89.59 m3/s and 86.61m3/s. In conclusion, this system should be improved to prevent future flooding either widened or reduced drainage floor, and also perform maintenance on the plants that live around the lake.

Keywords: drainage system, flood detention, lakes, storm water

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25 Physical Fitness Evaluation of MARA Junior Science Collage Rugby Player

Authors: Mohamad Nizam Asmuni, Ahmad Naszeri Salleh, Yunus Adam, Azhar Yaacob, Mohd Hafiz Rosli, Muhamad Nazrul Hakim Abdullah

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Athletes at the school should have good physical fitness to participate in tournament. Currently, there are no standards for the level of physical fitness for MARA Junior Science Collage (MJSC). Therefore, this research is to determine the level of physical fitness of rugby player at MJSC. A total of 62 samples (age 16.4 ± 0.75) among rugby players at MJSC were randomly selected to participate in this study. Height, weight, body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI) and other physical testing are measured and recorded. The results showed that the average of body mass index (BMI) for rugby players is 23.4 ± 4:51. Body mass index (BMI) of rugby players can be categorized as pre-obese based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. BMI for rugby players was categorized as healthy based on body fat ranges for standard adults at NY Obesity Research Center. Bleep test results show that the average Bleep test is level 7 and shuttle 5; average VO2max was 37.94 L/min. Physical fitness and performance of rugby players at MJSC is lower compared to the rugby junior athletes in University Putra Malaysia (UPM). Therefore, physical fitness of rugby players must be improved to ensure the rugby players at MJSC could be performs better in the tournament.

Keywords: physical fitness, MARA junior science collage (MJSC), body mass index (BMI), bleep test

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24 Analyzing the Role of Visual Preferences for Designing of Urban Leftover Spaces

Authors: Jasim Azhar, Morten Gjerde

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A city’s space is comprehended as a phenomenon that emerges from the ongoing negotiation between the constructed environment, urban processes, and bodily experience. Many spaces do not represent a static notion but are continually challenged and reconstituted. The ability to recognize those leftover spaces in the urban context is an integral part of an urban redevelopment process, where structured and layered approaches become useful in understanding to transform these spaces into places. Contemporary urban leftover spaces exist as a result of several factors and are present in every major city that often disrupts the flow of districts by creating visually unappealing places. These spaces can be designed, transformed and integrated so as to achieve environmental gains and social preferences. The paper explores how those small changes in visual quality of an urban leftover spaces in Wellington city influence a person’s experience significantly and its potential usage. These spaces can be seen as a catalyst for a change through an ecological sustainability’s framework. A creative and flexible design would lead to psychologically healthy places by improving the image of a city from within. The qualitative research is undertaken through the visual preference studies which will inform the planning initiatives by knowing what people feel about those visual changes in these leftover spaces. Those visual preferences can guide behavior and the emotional responses of different users for the redesign of those spaces with the meaningful attributes. The research is driven by the hypothesis that if the attributes are made visible, the likelihood of stimulating the interest of users should increase.

Keywords: leftover spaces, visual preferences, tactical urbanism, ecological sustainability

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23 Evaluating Health-Related Quality of Life of Lost to Follow-Up Tuberculosis Patients in Yemen

Authors: Ammar Ali Saleh Jaber, Amer Hayat Khan, Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman

Abstract:

Tuberculosis (TB) is considered as a major disease that affects daily activities and impairs health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The impact of TB on HRQoL can affect treatment outcome and may lead to treatment defaulting. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the HRQoL of TB treatment lost to follow-up during and after treatment in Yemen. For this aim, this prospective study enrolled a total of 399 TB lost to follow-up patients between January 2011 and December 2015. By applying HRQoL criteria, only 136 fill the survey during treatment. Moreover, 96 were traced and fill out the HRQoL survey. All eight HRQol domains were categorized into the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS), which were calculated using QM scoring software. Results show that all lost to follow-up TB patients reported a score less than 47 for all eight domains, except general health (67.3) during their treatment period. Low scores of 27.9 and 29.8 were reported for emotional role limitation (RE) and mental health (MH), respectively. Moreover, the mental component score (MCS) was found to be only 28.9. The trace lost follow-up shows a significant improvement in all eight domains and a mental component score of 43.1. The low scores of 27.9 and 29.8 for role emotion and mental health, respectively, in addition to the MCS score of 28.9, show that severe emotional condition and reflect the higher depression during treatment period that can result to lost to follow-up. The low MH, RE, and MCS can be used as a clue for predicting future TB treatment lost to follow-up.

Keywords: Yemen, tuberculosis, health-related quality of life, Khat

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22 GIS Based Public Transport Accessibility of Lahore using PTALs Model

Authors: Naveed Chughtai, Salman Atif, Azhar Ali Taj, Murtaza Asghar Bukhari

Abstract:

Accessible transport systems play a crucial role in infrastructure management and ease of access to destinations. Thus, the necessity of knowledge of service coverage and service deprived areas is a prerequisite for devising policies. Integration of PTALs model with GIS network analysis models (Service Area Analysis, Closest Facility Analysis) facilitates the analysis of deprived areas. In this research, models presented determine the accessibility. The empirical evidence suggests that current bus network system caters only 18.5% of whole population. Using network analysis results as inputs for PTALs, it is seen that excellent accessibility indexed bands cover a limited areas, while 78.8% of area is totally deprived of any service. To cater the unserved catchment, new route alignments are proposed while keeping in focus the Socio-economic characteristics, land-use type and net population density of the deprived area. Change in accessibility with proposed routes show a 10% increment in service delivery and enhancement in terms of served population is up to 20.4%. PTALs result shows a decrement of 60 Km2 in unserved band. The result of this study can be used for planning, transport infrastructure management, allocation of new route alignments in combination with future land-use development and for adequate spatial distribution of service access points.

Keywords: GIS, public transport accessibility, PTALs, accessibility index, service area analysis, closest facility analysis

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21 Physical Fitness Evaluation of Physical Education Teachers in Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM)

Authors: Mohamad Nizam Asmuni, Ahmad Naszeri Salleh, Yunus Adam, Azhar Yaacob, Mohd Hafiz Rosli, Muhamad Nazrul Hakim Abdullah

Abstract:

Physical Education teacher at the school should have good physical fitness to educate and guide students in the school. Currently, there are no standards for the level of physical fitness for teachers who teaches physical education at the school. Therefore, this research is to determine the level of physical fitness of teacher of Physical Education at Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM). A total of 28 samples (18 men and 10 women, age 33 ± 4.91), teachers of physical education at MRSM, were randomly selected to participate in this study. Height, weight, body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI) and other physical testing are measured and recorded. The results showed that the average of body mass index (BMI) for teachers of Physical Education is 25.9 ± 4:57. Body mass index (BMI) of teachers can be categorized as pre-obese based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Body fat percentage for male (age; 34.3 ± 5.13) and female (age; 30.9 ± 3.81) teachers is 24.7% ± 6.54 and 30.6% ± 6.28, respectively. Male teachers were categorized as overfat, however, female teachers were categorized as healthy based on body fat ranges for standard adults at NY Obesity Research Center. Bleep test results show that the average Bleep test is level 4 and shuttle 2; average VO2max was 27.5 ± 5.94 L/min. Physical fitness and performance of physical education teachers at MRSM is much lower compared to the rugby junior athlete in University Putra Malaysia (UPM). Therefore, physical fitness of teachers must be improved to ensure the physical education classes at MRSM could be done better.

Keywords: physical fitness, BMI, bleep test, obesity

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20 Embolization of Spinal Dural Arteriovenous Fistulae: Clinical Outcomes and Long-Term Follow-Up: A Multicenter Study

Authors: Walid Abouzeid, Mohamed Shadad, Mostafa Farid, Magdy El Hawary

Abstract:

The most frequent treatable vascular abnormality of the spinal canal is spinal dural arteriovenous fistulae (SDAVFs), which cause progressive para- or quadriplegia mostly affecting elderly males. SDAVFs are present in the thoracolumbar region. The main goal of treatment must be to obliterate the shunting zone via superselective embolization with the usage of a liquid embolic agent. This study aims to evaluate endovascular technique as a safe and efficient approach for the treatment SDAVFs, especially with long-term follow-up clinical outcomes. Study Design: A retrospective clinical case study. From May 2010 to May 2017, 15 patients who had symptoms attributed to SDAVFs underwent the operation in the Departments of Neurosurgery in Suhag, Tanta, and Al-Azhar Universities and Interventional Radiology, Ain Shams University. All the patients had varying degrees of progressive spastic paraparesis with and without sphincteric disturbances. Endovascular embolization was used in all cases. Fourteen were males, with ages ranging from 45 to 74 years old. After the treatment, good outcome was found in five patients (33.3%), a moderate outcome was delineated in six patients (40 %), and four patients revealed a poor outcome (26.7%). Spinal AVF could be treated safely and effectively by the endovascular approach. Generally, there is no correlation between the disappearance of MRI abnormalities and significant clinical improvement. The preclinical state of the patient is directly proportional to the clinical outcome. Due to unexpected responses, embolization should be attempted even the patient is in a bad clinical condition.

Keywords: spine, arteriovenous, fistula, endovascular, embolization

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19 A Retrospective Study on the Age of Onset for Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis

Authors: Mohamed A. Hammad, Dzul Azri Mohamed Noor, Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman, Majed Ahmed Al-Mansoub, Muhammad Qamar

Abstract:

There is a progressive increase in the prevalence of early onset Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Early detection of Type 2 diabetes enhances the length and/or quality of life which might result from a reduction in the severity, frequency or prevent or delay of its long-term complications. The study aims to determine the onset age for the first diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. A retrospective study conducted in the endocrine clinic at Hospital Pulau Pinang in Penang, Malaysia, January- December 2016. Records of 519 patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus were screened to collect demographic data and determine the age of first-time diabetes mellitus diagnosis. Patients classified according to the age of diagnosis, gender, and ethnicity. The study included 519 patients with age (55.6±13.7) years, female 265 (51.1%) and male 254 (48.9%). The ethnicity distribution was Malay 191 (36.8%), Chinese 189 (36.4%) and Indian 139 (26.8%). The age of Type 2 diabetes diagnosis was (42±14.8) years. The female onset of diabetes mellitus was at age (41.5±13.7) years, while male (42.6±13.7) years. Distribution of diabetic onset by ethnicity was Malay at age (40.7±13.7) years, Chinese (43.2±13.7) years and Indian (42.3±13.7) years. Diabetic onset was classified by age as follow; ≤20 years’ cohort was 33 (6.4%) cases. Group >20- ≤40 years was 190 (36.6%) patients, and category >40- ≤60 years was 270 (52%) subjects. On the other hand, the group >60 years was 22 (4.2%) patients. The range of diagnosis was between 10 and 73 years old. Conclusion: Malay and female have an earlier onset of diabetes than Indian, Chinese and male. More than half of the patients had diabetes between 40 and 60 years old. Diabetes mellitus is becoming more common in younger age <40 years. The age at diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes mellitus has decreased with time.

Keywords: age of onset, diabetes diagnosis, diabetes mellitus, Malaysia, outpatients, type 2 diabetes, retrospective study

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18 Mapping the Technological Interventions to the National Action Plan for Marine Litter Management 2018-2025: Addressing the Marine Plastic Litter at the Marine Tourism Destinations in Indonesia

Authors: Kaisar Akhir, Azhar Slamet

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This study aims to provide recommendations for addressing marine plastic litter at the ocean tourism destinations in Indonesia sustainably through technological interventions in the framework of the National Action Plan for Marine Litter Management 2018-2025. In Indonesia, marine tourism is a rapidly growing economic sector. However, marine tourism destinations are facing a global challenge called marine plastic litter. Marine plastic litter is a threat to those destinations since it has potential impacts on the reduction of marine environmental sustainability, the health of tourists and local communities as well as tourism business income. Since 2018, the Indonesian government has passed and promulgated the National Plan of Action on Marine Litter Management 2018-2025. This national action plan consists of three important key aspects of interventions (i.e., societal effort, technological application, and institutional coordination) and five strategies for addressing marine litter in Indonesia, in particular, to address 70% of marine plastic litter by 2025. The strategies include 1) National movement for raising awareness of stakeholders, 2) Land-based litter management, 3) Litter management at the sea and coasts, 4) Funding mechanism, institutional strengthening, monitoring, and law enforcement, and 5) Research and development. In this study, technological interventions around the world and in Indonesia are reviewed and analyzed on their relevance to the national action plan based on five criteria. As a result, there are twelve kinds of technological interventions recommended to be implemented for addressing marine plastic litter in the marine tourism destinations in Indonesia.

Keywords: marine litter management, marine plastic litter, national action plan, ocean sustainability, ocean tourism destination, technological interventions

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