Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32

Search results for: B. T. Chew

32 Eating Constitutes Human Dignity: A Metaphysical Anthropology Perspective

Authors: Sri Poedjiastoeti

Abstract:

One of the traits of living beings is eating. As the living beings, people must provide their life by taking material. They must assimilate for themselves with substances. They grow and develop themselves by changing what they eat and digest into their own substance. This happened in the so-called eating. This article aims to analyze distinction between human beings and other infrahumans when facing and eating food. It uses the analytical description with metaphysical anthropology approach. As a result, to give the expression that eating is not simply to put food in mouth, chew and swallow it. Eating constitutes a sacred ceremonial if it is done in accordance with human dignity. They face food with distance and moderation as well as civilize or make their behaviour better for it. Accordingly, they are being to be human.

Keywords: human beings, behaviour, eating, dignity

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31 Adaptive Thermal Comfort Model for Air-Conditioned Lecture Halls in Malaysia

Authors: B. T. Chew, S. N. Kazi, A. Amiri

Abstract:

This paper presents an adaptive thermal comfort model study in the tropical country of Malaysia. A number of researchers have been interested in applying the adaptive thermal comfort model to different climates throughout the world, but so far no study has been performed in Malaysia. For the use as a thermal comfort model, which better applies to hot and humid climates, the adaptive thermal comfort model was developed as part of this research by using the collected results from a large field study in six lecture halls with 178 students. The relationship between the operative temperature and behavioral adaptations was determined. In the developed adaptive model, the acceptable indoor neutral temperatures lay within the range of 23.9-26.0 oC, with outdoor temperatures ranging between 27.0–34.6oC. The most comfortable temperature for students in the lecture hall was 25.7 oC.

Keywords: hot and humid, lecture halls, neutral temperature, adaptive thermal comfort model

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30 Correlation between Electromyographic and Textural Parameters for Different Textured Indian Foods Using Principal Component Analysis

Authors: S. Rustagi, N. S. Sodhi, B. Dhillon, T. Kaur

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The objective of this study was to check whether there is any relationship between electromyographic (EMG) and textural parameters during food texture evaluation. In this study, a total of eighteen mastication variables were measured for entire mastication, per chew mastication and three different stages of mastication (viz. early, middle and late) by EMG for five different foods using eight human subjects. Cluster analysis was used to reduce the number of mastication variables from 18 to 5, so that principal component analysis (PCA) could be applied on them. The PCA further resulted in two meaningful principal components. The principal component scores for each food were measured and correlated with five textural parameters (viz. hardness, cohesiveness, chewiness, gumminess and adhesiveness). Correlation coefficients were found to be statistically significant (p < 0.10) for cohesiveness and adhesiveness while if we reduce the significance level (p < 0.20) then chewiness also showed correlation with mastication parameters.

Keywords: electromyography, mastication, sensory, texture

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29 Training Engineering Students in Sustainable Development

Authors: Hoong C. Chin, Soon H. Chew, Zhaoxia Wang

Abstract:

Work on sustainable developments and the call for action in education for sustainable development have been ongoing for a number of years. Training engineering students with the relevant competencies, particularly in sustainable development literacy, has been identified as an urgent task in universities. This requires not only a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to education but also a suitable training environment to develop the needed skills and to inculcate the appropriate attitudes in students towards sustainable development. To demonstrate how this can be done, a module involving an overseas field trip was introduced in 2013 at the National University of Singapore. This paper provides details of the module and describes its training philosophy and methods. Measured against the student learning outcomes, stipulated by the Engineering Accreditation Board, the module scored well on all of them, particularly those related to complex problem solving, environmental and sustainability awareness, multi-disciplinary team work and varied-level communications.

Keywords: civil engineering education, socio-economically sustainable infrastructure, student learning outcome, sustainable development

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28 Hereditary Angioedema: Case Presentation and Review of Anaesthetic Implications

Authors: Joshua Chew, Vesa Cheng, David Thomson

Abstract:

Background: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) or C1 esterase deficiency is a relatively rare entity that has a potential for significant anesthetic complications. Methods: A literature review was performed of published cases of surgery in patients with HAE. Results were limited to English language only and cases were examined for management strategies and successful prevention of acute attacks. Results: The literature revealed the successful use of C1 esterase inhibitors as the most common agent in surgical prophylaxis therapy. Other therapeutic targets described included kallikrein inhibitors and bradykinin B2 receptor antagonists. Conclusions: Therapeutic targets that exist for the management of acute attacks in HAE have been successfully employed in the setting of surgery. The data is currently limited and could not be used as a firm evidence base, but the limited outcomes seen are positive and reassuring for the prospective anesthetic management of this potentially fatal condition.

Keywords: anesthesia, C1 esterase deficiency, hereditary angioedema, surgical prophylaxis

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27 Syndrome of Irreversible Lithium-Effectuated Neurotoxicity: Case Report and Review of Literature

Authors: David J. Thomson, Joshua C. J. Chew

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Background: Syndrome of Irreversible Lithium-Effectuated Neurotoxicity (SILENT) is a rare complication of lithium toxicity that typically causes irreversible cerebellar dysfunction. These patients may require hemodialysis and extensive supports in the intensive care. Methods: A review was performed on the available literature of SILENT with a focus on current pathophysiological hypotheses and advances in treatment. Articles were restricted to the English language. Results: Although the exact mechanism is unclear, CNS demyelination, especially in the cerebellum, was seen on the brain biopsies of a proportion of patients. There is no definitive management of SILENT but instead current management is focused on primary and tertiary prevention – detection of those at risk, and rehabilitation post onset of neurological deficits. Conclusions: This review draws conclusions from a limited amount of available literature, most of which are isolated case reports. Greater awareness of SILENT and further investigation into the risk factors and pathogenesis are required so this serious and irreversible syndrome may be avoided.

Keywords: lithium toxicity, pathogenesis, SILENT, syndrome of irreversible lithium-effectuated neurotoxicity

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26 An Abductive Approach to Policy Analysis: Policy Analysis as Informed Guessing

Authors: Adrian W. Chew

Abstract:

This paper argues that education policy analysis tends to be steered towards empiricist oriented approaches, which place emphasis on objective and measurable data. However, this paper argues that empiricist oriented approaches are generally based on inductive and/or deductive reasoning, which are unable to generate new ideas/knowledge. This paper will outline the logical structure of induction, deduction, and abduction, and argues that only abduction provides possibilities for the creation of new ideas/knowledge. This paper proposes the neologism of ‘informed guessing’ as a reformulation of abduction, and also as an approach to education policy analysis. On one side, the signifier ‘informed’ encapsulates the idea that abductive policy analysis needs to be informed by descriptive conceptualization theory to be able to make relations and connections between, and within, observed phenomenon and unobservable general structures. On the other side, the signifier ‘guessing’ captures the cyclical and unsystematic process of abduction. This paper will end with a brief example of utilising ‘informed guessing’ for a policy analysis of school choice lotteries in the United States.

Keywords: abductive reasoning, empiricism, informed guessing, policy analysis

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25 Biological Aquaculture System (BAS) Design and Water Quality on Marble Goby (Oxyeleotris marmoratus): A Water Recirculating Technology

Authors: AnnWon Chew, Nik Norulaini Nik Ab Rahman, Mohd Omar Ab Kadir, C. C. Chen, Jaafar Chua

Abstract:

This paper presents an innovative process to solve the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate build-up problem in recirculating system using Biological Aquaculture System (BAS). The novel aspects of the process lie in a series of bioreactors that specially arrange and design to meet the required conditions for water purification. The BAS maximizes the utilization of bio-balls as the ideal surface for beneficial microbes to flourish. It also serves as a physical barrier that traps organic particles, which in turn becomes source for the microbes to perform their work. The operation in the proposed system gives a low concentration and average range of good maintain excellent water quality, i.e., with low levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, a suitable pH range for aquaculture and low turbidity. The BAS thus provides a solution for sustainable small-scale, urban aquaculture operation with a high recovery water and minimal waste disposal.

Keywords: ammonia, bioreactor, Biological Aquaculture System (BAS), bio-balls, water recirculating technology

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24 Numerical Heat Transfer Performance of Water-Based Graphene Nanoplatelets

Authors: Ahmad Amiri, Hamed K. Arzani, S. N. Kazi, B. T. Chew

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Since graphene nanoplatelet (GNP) is a promising material due to desirable thermal properties, this paper is related to the thermophysical and heat transfer performance of covalently functionalized GNP-based water/ethylene glycol nanofluid through an annular channel. After experimentally measuring thermophysical properties of prepared samples, a computational fluid dynamics study has been carried out to examine the heat transfer and pressure drop of well-dispersed and stabilized nanofluids. The effect of concentration of GNP and Reynolds number at constant wall temperature boundary condition under turbulent flow regime on convective heat transfer coefficient has been investigated. Based on the results, for different Reynolds numbers, the convective heat transfer coefficient of the prepared nanofluid is higher than that of the base fluid. Also, the enhancement of convective heat transfer coefficient and thermal conductivity increase with the increase of GNP concentration in base-fluid. Based on the results of this investigation, there is a significant enhancement on the heat transfer rate associated with loading well-dispersed GNP in base-fluid.

Keywords: nanofluid, turbulent flow, forced convection flow, graphene, annular, annulus

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23 Effect of Fluidized Granular Activated Carbon for the Mitigation of Membrane Fouling in Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Jingwei Wang, Anthony G. Fane, Jia Wei Chew

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The use of fluidized Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) as a means of mitigation membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) has received much attention in recent years, especially in anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactors (AFMBRs). It has been affirmed that the unsteady-state tangential shear conferred by GAC fluidization on membrane surface suppressed the extent of membrane fouling with energy consumption much lower than that of bubbling (i.e., air sparging). In a previous work, the hydrodynamics of the fluidized GAC particles were correlated with membrane fouling mitigation effectiveness. Results verified that the momentum transfer from particle to membrane held a key in fouling mitigation. The goal of the current work is to understand the effect of fluidized GAC on membrane critical flux. Membrane critical flux values were measured by a vertical Direct Observation Through the Membrane (DOTM) setup. The polystyrene particles (known as latex particles) with the particle size of 5 µm were used as model foulant thus to give the number of the foulant on the membrane surface. Our results shed light on the positive effect of fluidized GAC enhancing the critical membrane flux by an order-of-magnitude as compared to that of liquid shear alone. Membrane fouling mitigation was benefitted by the increasing of power input.

Keywords: membrane fouling mitigation, liquid-solid fluidization, critical flux, energy input

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22 Thermophysical Properties of Water-Based Carboxylated Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Nanofluids

Authors: Ahmad Amiri, Hamed Khajeh Arzani, Md. Salim Newaz Kazi, Bee Teng Chew

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Obviously, the behavior of thermophysical properties of covalently functionalized MWNT-based water nanofluids cannot be predicted from the predicted models. We present a study of the specific heat capacity, effective thermal conductivity, density and viscosity of coolants containing functionalized multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWNT-COOH) with carboxyl groups at different temperatures. After synthesizing of MWNT-COOH-based water, measurements on the prepared coolants were made at various concentrations by different experimental methods. While thermal conductivity of nanofluids illustrated a significant increase, the specific heat capacity of the samples showed a downward behavior with increasing temperature. The viscosity was investigated in different shear rates and temperatures. Interestingly, the specific heat capacity of all prepared nanofluids was decreased with increasing concentration. Also, the density of the MWNT-COOH-based water nanofluids increased and decreased smoothly with increasing MWNT-COOH concentration and temperature, respectively.

Keywords: carbon nanotubes, coolant, heat capacity, density, viscosity, thermal conductivity

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21 Punica granatum (Pomegranate) of a Libyan Variety Exhibits in vitro Anti-Inflammatory Potential

Authors: Lamees A. Ben Saad, Kah Hwi Kim, Chin Chew Quah, Mustafa Shahimi

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Background: Punica granatum (pomegranate) was used as a traditional medicine in different parts of the world. It has been used in the treatment of pain and inflammatory conditions such as peptic ulcer. The numerous risks associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the treatment of pain and inflammation give rise to using medicinal herbs as alternative therapies. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of the ethyl acetate pomegranate fraction (EtOAc) by determination of its inhibitory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS), stimulated nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and cyclooxxgenase-2 (COX2) release from RAW264.7cells. Methods: The inhibitory effect of EtOAc was evaluated on (LPS) induced NO production, PGE2, and IL-6 quantified by immunoassay kit and prostaglandin E2 competitive ELISA kit. COX2 production is an in vitro indication of possible anti-inflammatory activity and was estimated by Western blotting. Results: EtOAc potentially inhibited LPS-induced nitric oxide, prostaglandin, and IL-6 production. With these findings, it was evident that the EtOAc could reduce the LPS-induced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) at the protein level in a dose-dependent manner as determined by Western blotting. Conclusion: The results emphasize potential therapeutic applications of Punica granatum in the treatment of inflammation.

Keywords: inflammation, Punica granatum, cytotoxicity, cytokines

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20 Anti-Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Compounds from Bauhinia kockiana Korth and Their Mechanism of Antibacterial Activity

Authors: Yik Ling Chew, Adlina Maisarah Mahadi, Joo Kheng Goh

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Bauhinia kockiana originates from Peninsular Malaysia, and it is grown as a garden ornamental plant. However, it is used as medicinal plant by Malaysia ‘Kelabit’ ethic group in treating various diseases and illnesses. This study focused on the assessment of the antibacterial activity of B. kockiana towards MRSA, to purify and identify the antibacterial compounds, and to determine the mechanism of antibacterial activity. Antibacterial activity of B. kockiana flower is evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively using disc diffusion assay and microbroth dilution method to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of extracts. Phytochemical analysis is performed to determine the classes of phytochemicals in the extracts. Bioactivity-guided isolation is performed to purify the antibacterial agents and identified the chemical structures via various spectroscopy methods. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) technique is adopted to evaluate the antibacterial mechanism of extract and compounds isolated. B. kockiana flower is found to exhibit fairly strong antibacterial activity towards both strains of MRSA bacteria. Gallic acid and its ester derivatives are purified from ethyl acetate extract and the antibacterial activity is evaluated. SEM has revealed the mechanism of the extracts and compounds isolated.

Keywords: alkyl gallates, Bauhinia kockiana, MRSA, scanning electron microscopy

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19 Building a Transformative Continuing Professional Development Experience for Educators through a Principle-Based, Technological-Driven Knowledge Building Approach: A Case Study of a Professional Learning Team in Secondary Education

Authors: Melvin Chan, Chew Lee Teo

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There has been a growing emphasis in elevating the teachers’ proficiency and competencies through continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. In this era of a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) world, teachers are expected to be collaborative designers, critical thinkers and creative builders. However, many of the CPD structures are still revolving in the model of transmission, which stands in contradiction to the cultivation of future-ready teachers for the innovative world of emerging technologies. This article puts forward the framing of CPD through a Principle-Based, Technological-Driven Knowledge Building Approach grounded in the essence of andragogy and progressive learning theories where growth is best exemplified through an authentic immersion in a social/community experience-based setting. Putting this Knowledge Building Professional Development Model (KBPDM) in operation via a Professional Learning Team (PLT) situated in a Secondary School in Singapore, research findings reveal that the intervention has led to a fundamental change in the learning paradigm of the teachers, henceforth equipping and empowering them successfully in their pedagogical design and practices for a 21st century classroom experience. This article concludes with the possibility in leveraging the Learning Analytics to deepen the CPD experiences for educators.

Keywords: continual professional development, knowledge building, learning paradigm, principle-based

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18 An Evaluation Framework for Virtual Reality Learning Environments in Sports Education

Authors: Jonathan J. Foo, Keng Hao Chew

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Interest in virtual reality (VR) technologies as virtual learning environments have been on the rise in recent years. With thanks to the aggressively competitive consumer electronics environment, VR technology has been made affordable and accessible to the average person with developments like Google Cardboard and Oculus Go. While the promise of virtual access to unique virtual learning environments with the benefits of experiential learning sounds extremely attractive, there are still concerns over user comfort in the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective domains. Reports of motion sickness and short durations create doubt and have stunted its growth. In this paper, a multidimensional framework is proposed for the evaluation of VR learning environments within the three dimensions: tactual quality, didactic quality, and autodidactic quality. This paper further proposes a mixed-methods experimental research plan that sets out to evaluate a virtual reality training simulator in the context of amateur sports fencing. The study will investigate if an immersive VR learning environment can effectively simulate an authentic learning environment suitable for instruction, practice, and assessment while providing the user comfort in the tactual, didactic, and autodidactic dimensions. The models and recommendations developed for this study are designed in the context of fencing, but the potential impact is a guide for the future design and evaluation of all VR developments across sports and technical classroom education.

Keywords: autodidactic quality, didactic quality, tactual quality, virtual reality

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17 Effects of Alternative Opportunities and Compensation on Turnover Intention of Singapore PMET

Authors: Han Guan Chew, Keith Yong Ngee Ng, Shan-Wei Fan

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In Singapore, talent retention is one of the most persistent and real issue companies have to grapple with due to the tight labour market. Being resource-scarce, Singapore depends solely on its talented pool of high quality human resource to sustain its competitive advantage in the global economy. But the complex and multifaceted nature of turnover phenomenon makes the prescription of effective talent retention strategies in such a competitive labour market very challenging, especially when it comes to monetary incentives, companies struggle to answer the question of “How much is enough?” By examining the interactive effects of perceived alternative employment opportunities, annual salary and satisfaction with compensation on the turnover intention of 102 Singapore Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMET) through correlation analyses and multiple regressions, important insights into the psyche of the Singapore talent pool can be drawn. It is found that annual salary influence turnover intention indirectly through mediation and moderation effects on PMET’s satisfaction on compensation. PMET are also found to be heavily swayed by better external opportunities. This implies that talent retention strategies should not adopt a purely monetary based blanket approach but rather a comprehensive and holistic one that considers the dynamics of prevailing market conditions.

Keywords: employee turnover, high performers, knowledge workers, perceived alternative employment opportunities salary, satisfaction on compensation, Singapore PMET, talent retention

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16 Numerical Investigation on Feasibility of Electromagnetic Wave as Water Hardness Detection in Water Cooling System Industrial

Authors: K. H. Teng, A. Shaw, M. Ateeq, A. Al-Shamma'a, S. Wylie, S. N. Kazi, B. T. Chew

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Numerical and experimental of using novel electromagnetic wave technique to detect water hardness concentration has been presented in this paper. Simulation is powerful and efficient engineering methods which allow for a quick and accurate prediction of various engineering problems. The RF module is used in this research to predict and design electromagnetic wave propagation and resonance effect of a guided wave to detect water hardness concentration in term of frequency domain, eigenfrequency, and mode analysis. A cylindrical cavity resonator is simulated and designed in the electric field of fundamental mode (TM010). With the finite volume method, the three-dimensional governing equations were discretized. Boundary conditions for the simulation were the cavity materials like aluminum, two ports which include transmitting and receiving port, and assumption of vacuum inside the cavity. The design model was success to simulate a fundamental mode and extract S21 transmission signal within 2.1 – 2.8 GHz regions. The signal spectrum under effect of port selection technique and dielectric properties of different water concentration were studied. It is observed that the linear increment of magnitude in frequency domain when concentration increase. The numerical results were validated closely by the experimentally available data. Hence, conclusion for the available COMSOL simulation package is capable of providing acceptable data for microwave research.

Keywords: electromagnetic wave technique, frequency domain, signal spectrum, water hardness concentration

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15 Quantitative Analysis of Orphan Nuclear Receptors in Insulin Resistant C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cells

Authors: Masocorro Gawned, Stephen Myers, Guat Siew Chew

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Nuclear Receptors (NR) are a super family of transcription factors that play a major role in lipid and glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. Recently, pharmacological evidence supports the view that stimulation of nuclear receptors alleviates Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). The orphan nuclear receptors (ONR) are members of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily whose ligands and physiological functions remain unknown. To date, no systematic studies have been carried out to screen for ONRs expressed in insulin resistant (IR) skeletal muscle cells. Therefore, in this study, we have established a model for IR by treating C2C12 skeletal muscle cells with insulin (10nM) for 48 hours. Western Blot analysis of phosphorylated AKT confirmed IR. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) results highlighted key ONRs including NUR77 (NR4A1), NURR1 (NR4A2) and NOR1 (NR4A3) which have been associated with fatty acid oxidation regulation and glucose homeostasis. Increased mRNA expression levels of estrogen-related receptors (ERRs), REV-ERBα, NUR77, NURR1, NOR1, in insulin resistant C2C12 skeletal muscle cells, indicated that these ONRs could potentially play a pivotal regulatory role of insulin secretion in lipid metabolism. Taken together, this study has successfully contributed to the complete analysis of ONR in IR, and has filled in an important void in the study and treatment of T2D.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes, orphan nuclear receptors, transcription receptors, quantitative mRNA expression

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14 Association among Trait Mindfulness, Leukocyte Telomere Length, and Psychological Symptoms in Singaporean Han Chinese

Authors: Shian-Ling Keng, Onn Siong Yim, Poh San Lai, Soo Chong Chew, Anne Chong, Richard Ebstein

Abstract:

Research has demonstrated a positive association between mindfulness meditation and physical health. Little work, however, has examined the association between trait mindfulness and leukocyte telomere length (LTL), an emerging marker of cellular aging. The present study aimed to examine whether facets of trait mindfulness are correlated with longer LTL in a Singaporean Han Chinese sample and whether these facets may mediate the association between psychological symptoms and LTL. 158 adults (mean age = 27.24 years) completed measures assessing trait mindfulness and psychological symptoms (i.e., depression and stress) and provided blood samples for analyses of LTL using qPCR. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to assess the association between facets of trait mindfulness and LTL. Bootstrapping-based mediational analyses were run to examine the role of trait mindfulness as a mediator of the association between psychological symptoms and LTL. Of five facets of trait mindfulness (describe, act with awareness, observe, nonreactivity, and nonjudging), nonreactivity was significantly associated with LTL, after controlling for the effects of age, gender, and education, β = .21, p = .006. Further, there was a trend for overall trait mindfulness, β = .15, p = .06, and nonjudging, β = .13, p = .095, to each predict longer LTL. Nonreactivity significantly mediated the association between depression and LTL, BCa 95% CI [-.004, -.0004], p=.03, as well as the association between stress and LTL, BCa 95% CI [-.004, -.0004], p=.04. The results provide preliminary evidence for a positive association between selected facets of trait mindfulness and slower cellular aging, indexed by LTL. The findings suggest that individuals who are high on equanimity may experience slower aging at the cellular level, presumably through engaging in more effective coping mechanisms and modulation of stress. The findings also highlight the role of nonreactivity as a potential mechanism that underlies the association between LTL and psychological symptoms.

Keywords: depression, mindfulness, stress, telomere length

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13 The Associations between Ankle and Brachial Systolic Blood Pressures with Obesity Parameters

Authors: Matei Tudor Berceanu, Hema Viswambharan, Kirti Kain, Chew Weng Cheng

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Background - Obesity parameters, particularly visceral obesity as measured by the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), correlate with insulin resistance. The metabolic microvascular changes associated with insulin resistance causes increased peripheral arteriolar resistance primarily to the lower limb vessels. We hypothesize that ankle systolic blood pressures (SBPs) are more significantly associated with visceral obesity than brachial SBPs. Methods - 1098 adults enriched in south Asians or Europeans with diabetes (T2DM) were recruited from a primary care practice in West Yorkshire. Their medical histories, including T2DM and cardiovascular disease (CVD) status, were gathered from an electronic database. The brachial, dorsalis pedis, and posterior tibial SBPs were measured using a Doppler machine. Their body mass index (BMI) and WHtR were calculated after measuring their weight, height, and waist circumference. Linear regressions were performed between the 6 SBPs and both obesity parameters, after adjusting for covariates. Results - Generally, the left posterior tibial SBP (P=4.559*10⁻¹⁵) and right posterior tibial SBP (P=1.114* 10⁻¹³ ) are the pressures most significantly associated with the BMI, as well as in south Asians (P < 0.001) and Europeans (P < 0.001) specifically. In South Asians, although the left (P=0.032) and right brachial SBP (P=0.045) were associated to the WHtR, the left posterior tibial SBP (P=0.023) showed the strongest association. Conclusion - Regardless of ethnicity, ankle SBPs are more significantly associated with generalized obesity than brachial SBPs, suggesting their screening potential for screening for early detection of T2DM and CVD. A combination of ankle SBPs with WHtR is proposed in south Asians.

Keywords: ankle blood pressures, body mass index, insulin resistance, waist-to-height-ratio

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12 Effect of Smoking on Tear Break-Up Time and Basal Tear Secretion

Authors: Kalsoom Rani

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Tobacco contains nicotine, which causes addiction to many toxic chemicals. In the world, people consume it in the form of smoke, chew, and sniffing, smoke of it is composed of almost 7000 active chemicals, which are very harmful to human health as well as for eye health, inhalation of tobacco smoke and fumes can accelerate and cause many blinding eye diseases. Dry eye and smoking have not been covered extensively in researches; more studies are required to unveil the relationship between smoking and dry eye. This study was conducted to determine the quantity and quality of tears in smokers. 60 subjects participated in the study, which was divided into two groups on the basis of consumption of cigarettes per day with age matched non smokers of 15-50 years. All participants have gone through a study based questioner, eye examination, and diagnostic 'Dry Eye Tests' for evaporative tears evaluation and measurement of basal tear secretion. Subjects were included in the criteria of 10 cigarettes per day with a minimum duration of 1 year; passive smokers for control groups were excluded. The study was carried out in a Medina Teaching Hospital, Faisalabad, Pakistan, ophthalmology department for the duration of 8 months. Mean values for tear break up time (TBUT), was reported 10sec with SD of +3.74 in controlled group, 5sec with SD + 2.32 in smokers and 4sec SD +3.77 heavy smokers in right eye (RE) and left eye (LE) 10.35sec with SD of +3.88 in controlled 5sec with SD + 2.3 in smokers and much reduced TBUT in heavy smokers was 3.85sec SD+2.20. Smoking has a very strong association with TRUT with a significance of P=.00 both eyes. Mean Schirmer-I value of the subjects was reported 12.6mm with SD + 8.37 in RE and 12.59mm with SD + 8.96 LE. The mean Schirmer-II test value was reported in the right, and left eye with a mean value for control was 20.23mm with SD + 8.93, 20.75mm with SD + 8.84 respectively, and in Smokers 9.90mm with SD + 5.74, and 10.07mm with SD + 6.98, and in heavy smokers 7.7mm, SD + 3.22 and 6.9, SD + 3.50 mm, association with smoking showed p=.001 in RE and .003 in LE. Smoking has deteriorated effect on both evaporative tear and aqueous tear secretion and causing symptoms of dry eye burning, itching, redness, and watering with epithelial cell damage.

Keywords: tear break-up time, basal tear secretion, smokers, dry eye

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11 Effect of High Dose of Vitamin C in Reduction Serum Uric Acid: a Comparative Study between Hyperuricemic and Gouty Patients in Jeddah

Authors: Firas S. Azzeh

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Background: Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Hyperuricemia is commonly detected in subjects with abnormal purine metabolism. Prolonged hyperuricemia is an important risk factor for damaged joint and often associated with gout. Objectives: To compare the effect of high dose of vitamin C supplements on uric acid treatment between hyperuricemic and gouty patients in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as well as finding out the effect of vitamin C on serum creatinine level and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Subjects and Methods: This comparative study started on April 2013 and lasted tells March 2014. A convenience sample of 30 adults was recruited in this study from Doctor Abdulrahman Taha Bakhsh Hospital in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). Eligible persons were assigned into two study groups; hyperuricemic (n=15) and gouty (n=15) groups. Subjects have been accepted for participating in the study after completing the consent form. Each participant consumed 500 mg/day vitamin C chew able tablets. All participants have been followed-up for 2 months. Twelve hours fasting blood samples have been collected 3 times from each participant during the study period; at the beginning before and retested after each month of the study period. Uric acid, serum creatinine and GFR were measured. Results: For gouty group, uric acid increased insignificantly after 2 months by about +0.3 mg/dl. On the other hand, hyperuricemic group showed decrease (P ≤ 0.05) in uric acid after 2 months of study period by about -0.78 mg/dl. Serum creatinine level insignificantly decreased for all participants during the study period, which leaded to insignificant increase in GFR for all participants. Conclusion: Supplementation with 500 mg/day vitamin C for 2 months significantly reduced serum uric acid for hyperuricemic patients and insignificantly increased serum uric acid for gouty patients. The ineffectiveness of vitamin C supplements on patients with established gout could be related to a number of potential reasons.

Keywords: vitamin c, Hyperuricemia, gout, creatinine, GFR

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10 Effective Infection Control Measures to Prevent Transmission of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms from Burn Transfer Cases in a Regional Burn Centre

Authors: Si Jack Chong, Chew Theng Yap, Wan Loong James Mok

Abstract:

Introduction: Regional burn centres face the spectra of introduced multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) from transfer patients resident in MDRO endemic countries. MDRO can cause severe nosocomial infection, which in massive burn patients, will lead to greater morbidity and mortality and strain the institution financially. We aim to highlight 4 key measures that have effectively prevented transmission of imported MDRO. Methods: A case of Candida auris (C. auris) from a massive burn patient transferred from an MDRO endemic country is used to illustrate the measures. C. auris is a globally emerging multi-drug resistant fungal pathogen causing nosocomial transmission. Results: Infection control measures used to mitigate the risk of outbreak from transfer cases are: (1) Multidisciplinary team approach involving Infection Control and Infectious Disease specialists early to ensure appropriate antibiotics use and implementation of barrier measures, (2) aseptic procedures for dressing change with strict isolation and donning of personal protective equipment in the ward, (3) early screening of massive burn patient from MDRO endemic region, (4) hydrogen peroxide vaporization terminal cleaning for operating theatres and rooms. Conclusion: The prevalence of air travel and international transfer to regional burn centres will need effective infection control measures to reduce the risk of transmission from imported massive burn patients. In our centre, we have effectively implemented 4 measures which have reduced the risks of local contamination. We share a recent case report to illustrate successful management of a potential MDRO outbreak resulting from transfer of massive burn patient resident in an MDRO endemic area.

Keywords: burns, burn unit, cross infection, infection control

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9 Geriatric Nutrition: An Important Marker for Oral Health Related Quality of Life of Complete Denture Patients

Authors: Rajlakshmi Banerjee, Sujoy Banerjee

Abstract:

The prevalence of malnutrition, as the most common cause of morbidity and mortality increases with old age, especially in developing countries like India, because of many factors out of which dentate status is one. It affects diet, nutritional status and general health due to reduced chewing ability and poor food choices. Aim and Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of nutritional status, dietary intake on the Oral Health-related Quality of life (OHRQoL) of elderly edentulous complete denture wearing patients and to know whether they are at a higher risk of malnutrition. The objective was to assess the need to include dietary and nutritional counselling during Prosthodontic rehabilitation of elderly edentulous patients. Materials and method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 elderly denture wearing patients above 60 yrs of age from Nagpur, Maharashtra. The majority of study subjects (60%) were between the age group 60 and 75 years. Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA) Questionnaire was used to assess nutritional status and General Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI) questionnaire was used to determine the Oral health related Quality of life of these patients.Descriptive statistics was used to analyze data using SPSS version 21. Results: Among the assessed subjects, nearly 80% of them had total scores of GOHAI between 12 and 57 which require ‘needed dental care.’ As per MNA, 10.5% had adequate nutrition, 70 % were at risk of malnutrition, and remaining 19.5 % of subjects were malnourished. There was a significant correlation between GOHAI and MNA scores. A strong association was found between mean GOHAI and MNA scores and thereby nutritional status and OHRQOL.Conclusion: The use of conventional dentures increases the risk of malnutrition in the elderly due to inability to eat and chew food properly and therefore severely affecting the quality of life. Dietary analysis and counselling should be strictly incorporated into geriatric treatment planning during Prosthetic rehabilitation.

Keywords: general oral health assessment index, General Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI), nutritional assessment, mini-nutritional assessment, Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA), quality of life

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8 Structural and Functional Comparison of Untagged and Tagged EmrE Protein

Authors: S. Junaid S. Qazi, Denice C. Bay, Raymond Chew, Raymond J. Turner

Abstract:

EmrE, a member of the small multidrug resistance protein family in bacteria is considered to be the archetypical member of its family. It confers host resistance to a wide variety of quaternary cation compounds (QCCs) driven by proton motive force. Generally, purification yield is a challenge in all membrane proteins because of the difficulties in their expression, isolation and solubilization. EmrE is extremely hydrophobic which make the purification yield challenging. We have purified EmrE protein using two different approaches: organic solvent membrane extraction and hexahistidine (his6) tagged Ni-affinity chromatographic methods. We have characterized changes present between ligand affinity of untagged and his6-tagged EmrE proteins in similar membrane mimetic environments using biophysical experimental techniques. Purified proteins were solubilized in a buffer containing n-dodecyl-β-D-maltopyranoside (DDM) and the conformations in the proteins were explored in the presence of four QCCs, methyl viologen (MV), ethidium bromide (EB), cetylpyridinium chloride (CTP) and tetraphenyl phosphonium (TPP). SDS-Tricine PAGE and dynamic light scattering (DLS) analysis revealed that the addition of QCCs did not induce higher multimeric forms of either proteins at all QCC:EmrE molar ratios examined under the solubilization conditions applied. QCC binding curves obtained from the Trp fluorescence quenching spectra, gave the values of dissociation constant (Kd) and maximum specific one-site binding (Bmax). Lower Bmax values to QCCs for his6-tagged EmrE shows that the binding sites remained unoccupied. This lower saturation suggests that the his6-tagged versions provide a conformation that prevents saturated binding. Our data demonstrate that tagging an integral membrane protein can significantly influence the protein.

Keywords: small multidrug resistance (SMR) protein, EmrE, integral membrane protein folding, quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC), quaternary cation compounds (QCC), nickel affinity chromatography, hexahistidine (His6) tag

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7 Sequence Analysis and Molecular Cloning of PROTEOLYSIS 6 in Tomato

Authors: Nurulhikma Md Isa, Intan Elya Suka, Nur Farhana Roslan, Chew Bee Lynn

Abstract:

The evolutionarily conserved N-end rule pathway marks proteins for degradation by the Ubiquitin Proteosome System (UPS) based on the nature of their N-terminal residue. Proteins with a destabilizing N-terminal residue undergo a series of condition-dependent N-terminal modifications, resulting in their ubiquitination and degradation. Intensive research has been carried out in Arabidopsis previously. The group VII Ethylene Response Factor (ERFs) transcription factors are the first N-end rule pathway substrates found in Arabidopsis and their role in regulating oxygen sensing. ERFs also function as central hubs for the perception of gaseous signals in plants and control different plant developmental including germination, stomatal aperture, hypocotyl elongation and stress responses. However, nothing is known about the role of this pathway during fruit development and ripening aspect. The plant model system Arabidopsis cannot represent fleshy fruit model system therefore tomato is the best model plant to study. PROTEOLYSIS6 (PRT6) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase of the N-end rule pathway. Two homologs of PRT6 sequences have been identified in tomato genome database using the PRT6 protein sequence from model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Homology search against Ensemble Plant database (tomato) showed Solyc09g010830.2 is the best hit with highest score of 1143, e-value of 0.0 and 61.3% identity compare to the second hit Solyc10g084760.1. Further homology search was done using NCBI Blast database to validate the data. The result showed best gene hit was XP_010325853.1 of uncharacterized protein LOC101255129 (Solanum lycopersicum) with highest score of 1601, e-value 0.0 and 48% identity. Both Solyc09g010830.2 and uncharacterized protein LOC101255129 were genes located at chromosome 9. Further validation was carried out using BLASTP program between these two sequences (Solyc09g010830.2 and uncharacterized protein LOC101255129) to investigate whether they were the same proteins represent PRT6 in tomato. Results showed that both proteins have 100 % identity, indicates that they were the same gene represents PRT6 in tomato. In addition, we used two different RNAi constructs that were driven under 35S and Polygalacturonase (PG) promoters to study the function of PRT6 during tomato developmental stages and ripening processes.

Keywords: ERFs, PRT6, tomato, ubiquitin

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6 Air Handling Units Power Consumption Using Generalized Additive Model for Anomaly Detection: A Case Study in a Singapore Campus

Authors: Ju Peng Poh, Jun Yu Charles Lee, Jonathan Chew Hoe Khoo

Abstract:

The emergence of digital twin technology, a digital replica of physical world, has improved the real-time access to data from sensors about the performance of buildings. This digital transformation has opened up many opportunities to improve the management of the building by using the data collected to help monitor consumption patterns and energy leakages. One example is the integration of predictive models for anomaly detection. In this paper, we use the GAM (Generalised Additive Model) for the anomaly detection of Air Handling Units (AHU) power consumption pattern. There is ample research work on the use of GAM for the prediction of power consumption at the office building and nation-wide level. However, there is limited illustration of its anomaly detection capabilities, prescriptive analytics case study, and its integration with the latest development of digital twin technology. In this paper, we applied the general GAM modelling framework on the historical data of the AHU power consumption and cooling load of the building between Jan 2018 to Aug 2019 from an education campus in Singapore to train prediction models that, in turn, yield predicted values and ranges. The historical data are seamlessly extracted from the digital twin for modelling purposes. We enhanced the utility of the GAM model by using it to power a real-time anomaly detection system based on the forward predicted ranges. The magnitude of deviation from the upper and lower bounds of the uncertainty intervals is used to inform and identify anomalous data points, all based on historical data, without explicit intervention from domain experts. Notwithstanding, the domain expert fits in through an optional feedback loop through which iterative data cleansing is performed. After an anomalously high or low level of power consumption detected, a set of rule-based conditions are evaluated in real-time to help determine the next course of action for the facilities manager. The performance of GAM is then compared with other approaches to evaluate its effectiveness. Lastly, we discuss the successfully deployment of this approach for the detection of anomalous power consumption pattern and illustrated with real-world use cases.

Keywords: anomaly detection, digital twin, generalised additive model, GAM, power consumption, supervised learning

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5 In Vivo Antiulcer and Anti-Helicobacter pylori Activity of Geraniol on Acetic Acid plus Helicobacter pylori Induced Ulcer in Rats

Authors: Subrat Kumar Bhattamisra, Vivian Lee Yean Yan, Chin Koh Lee, Chew Hui Kuean, Yun Khoon Liew, Mayuren Candasamy

Abstract:

Geraniol, an acyclic monoterpenoid is the main active constituent in the essential oils of rose and palmorosa. Antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer and antiulcer activity of geraniol was reported by many researchers. The present investigation was designed to study in vivo antiulcer and anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of geraniol. Antiulcer and anti-H. pylori activity of geraniol was evaluated on acetic acid plus H. pylori induced ulcer in rats. Acetic acid (0.03 mL) was injected to the sub-serosal layer of the stomach through laparotomy under anaesthesia. Orogastric inoculation of H. pylori (ATCC 43504) was done twice daily for 7 days. Geraniol (15 and 30 mg/kg), vehicle and standard drugs (Amoxicillin, 50 mg/kg; clarithromycin, 25 mg/kg & omeprazole, 20 mg/kg) was administered twice daily for 14 days. Antiulcer activity of geraniol was examined by the determination of gastric ulcer index, measuring the volume of gastric juice, pH and total acidity, myeloperoxidase activity and histopathological examination. Histopathological investigation for the presence of inflammation, white blood cell infiltration, edema, the mucosal damage was studied. The presence of H. pylori was detected by placing a biopsy sample from antral part of the stomach into rapid urease test. Ulcer index in H. pylori inoculated control group was 4.13 ± 0.85 and was significantly (P < 0.05) lowered in geraniol (30 mg/kg) and reference drug treated group. Geraniol increase the pH of the gastric juice (2.18 ± 0.13 in control vs. 4.14 ± 0.57 in geraniol 30mg/kg) and lower total acidity significantly (P < 0.01) in geraniol (15 & 30 mg/kg). Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity was measured in stomach homogenate of all the groups. H. pylori control group has significant (P < 0.05) increase in MPO activity compared to normal control group. Geraniol (30 mg/kg) was showed significant (P < 0.05) and most effective among all the groups. Histopathological examination of rat stomach was scored and the total score for H. pylori control group was 8. After geraniol (30 mg/kg) and reference drug treatment, the histopathological score was significantly decreased and it was observed to be 3.5 and 2.0 respectively. Percentage inhibition of H. pylori infection in geraniol (30 mg/kg) and reference drug were found to be 40% and 50% respectively whereas, 100% infection in H. pylori control group was observed. Geraniol exhibited significant antiulcer and anti- H. pylori activity in the rats. Thus, geraniol has the potential for the further development as an effective medication in treating H. pylori associated ulcer.

Keywords: geraniol, helicobacter pylori atcc 43504, myeloperoxidase, ulcer

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4 Rapid Soil Classification Using Computer Vision, Electrical Resistivity and Soil Strength

Authors: Eugene Y. J. Aw, J. W. Koh, S. H. Chew, K. E. Chua, Lionel L. J. Ang, Algernon C. S. Hong, Danette S. E. Tan, Grace H. B. Foo, K. Q. Hong, L. M. Cheng, M. L. Leong

Abstract:

This paper presents a novel rapid soil classification technique that combines computer vision with four-probe soil electrical resistivity method and cone penetration test (CPT), to improve the accuracy and productivity of on-site classification of excavated soil. In Singapore, excavated soils from local construction projects are transported to Staging Grounds (SGs) to be reused as fill material for land reclamation. Excavated soils are mainly categorized into two groups (“Good Earth” and “Soft Clay”) based on particle size distribution (PSD) and water content (w) from soil investigation reports and on-site visual survey, such that proper treatment and usage can be exercised. However, this process is time-consuming and labour-intensive. Thus, a rapid classification method is needed at the SGs. Computer vision, four-probe soil electrical resistivity and CPT were combined into an innovative non-destructive and instantaneous classification method for this purpose. The computer vision technique comprises soil image acquisition using industrial grade camera; image processing and analysis via calculation of Grey Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) textural parameters; and decision-making using an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). Complementing the computer vision technique, the apparent electrical resistivity of soil (ρ) is measured using a set of four probes arranged in Wenner’s array. It was found from the previous study that the ANN model coupled with ρ can classify soils into “Good Earth” and “Soft Clay” in less than a minute, with an accuracy of 85% based on selected representative soil images. To further improve the technique, the soil strength is measured using a modified mini cone penetrometer, and w is measured using a set of time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes. Laboratory proof-of-concept was conducted through a series of seven tests with three types of soils – “Good Earth”, “Soft Clay” and an even mix of the two. Validation was performed against the PSD and w of each soil type obtained from conventional laboratory tests. The results show that ρ, w and CPT measurements can be collectively analyzed to classify soils into “Good Earth” or “Soft Clay”. It is also found that these parameters can be integrated with the computer vision technique on-site to complete the rapid soil classification in less than three minutes.

Keywords: Computer vision technique, cone penetration test, electrical resistivity, rapid and non-destructive, soil classification

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3 Rapid Soil Classification Using Computer Vision with Electrical Resistivity and Soil Strength

Authors: Eugene Y. J. Aw, J. W. Koh, S. H. Chew, K. E. Chua, P. L. Goh, Grace H. B. Foo, M. L. Leong

Abstract:

This paper presents the evaluation of various soil testing methods such as the four-probe soil electrical resistivity method and cone penetration test (CPT) that can complement a newly developed novel rapid soil classification scheme using computer vision, to improve the accuracy and productivity of on-site classification of excavated soil. In Singapore, excavated soils from the local construction industry are transported to Staging Grounds (SGs) to be reused as fill material for land reclamation. Excavated soils are mainly categorized into two groups (“Good Earth” and “Soft Clay”) based on particle size distribution (PSD) and water content (w) from soil investigation reports and on-site visual survey, such that proper treatment and usage can be exercised. However, this process is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Thus, a rapid classification method is needed at the SGs. Four-probe soil electrical resistivity and CPT were evaluated for their feasibility as suitable additions to the computer vision system to further develop this innovative non-destructive and instantaneous classification method. The computer vision technique comprises soil image acquisition using an industrial-grade camera; image processing and analysis via calculation of Grey Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) textural parameters; and decision-making using an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). It was found from the previous study that the ANN model coupled with ρ can classify soils into “Good Earth” and “Soft Clay” in less than a minute, with an accuracy of 85% based on selected representative soil images. To further improve the technique, the following three items were targeted to be added onto the computer vision scheme: the apparent electrical resistivity of soil (ρ) measured using a set of four probes arranged in Wenner’s array, the soil strength measured using a modified mini cone penetrometer, and w measured using a set of time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes. Laboratory proof-of-concept was conducted through a series of seven tests with three types of soils – “Good Earth”, “Soft Clay,” and a mix of the two. Validation was performed against the PSD and w of each soil type obtained from conventional laboratory tests. The results show that ρ, w and CPT measurements can be collectively analyzed to classify soils into “Good Earth” or “Soft Clay” and are feasible as complementing methods to the computer vision system.

Keywords: computer vision technique, cone penetration test, electrical resistivity, rapid and non-destructive, soil classification

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