Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Bushra Aljohani

30 Change Point Analysis in Average Ozone Layer Temperature Using Exponential Lomax Distribution

Authors: Amjad Abdullah, Amjad Yahya, Bushra Aljohani, Amani Alghamdi


Change point detection is an important part of data analysis. The presence of a change point refers to a significant change in the behavior of a time series. In this article, we examine the detection of multiple change points of parameters of the exponential Lomax distribution, which is broad and flexible compared with other distributions while fitting data. We used the Schwarz information criterion and binary segmentation to detect multiple change points in publicly available data on the average temperature in the ozone layer. The change points were successfully located.

Keywords: binary segmentation, change point, exponentialLomax distribution, information criterion

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29 Community Pharmacist's Perceptions, Attitude and Role in Oral Health Promotion and Diseases Prevention

Authors: Bushra Alghamdi, Alla Alsharif, Hamzah Aljohani, Saba Kassim


Introduction: Collaborative work has always been acknowledged as a fundamental concept in delivering oral health care. Aim: This study aimed to assess the perception and attitude of pharmacists in oral health promotion and to determine the confident levels of pharmacists in delivering advice on oral health problems. Methods: An observational cross-sectional survey, using self-administered anonymous questionnaires, was conducted between March and April 2017. The study recruited a convenience sample of registered community pharmacists who were working in local private pharmaceutical stores in the urban area of Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). A preliminary descriptive analysis was performed. Results: Thirty-five pharmacists have completed the surveys. All participants were males, with a mean age of 35.5 ( ± 6.92) years. Eighty-six percent of the participants reported that pharmacists should have a role in oral health promotion. Eighty percent have reported adequate level of confident when giving advice on most of the common oral health problems that include; oral health related risk behaviors such as tobacco cessation (46%), bleeding gums (63%) and sensitive teeth (60%). However, higher percentages of pharmacists have reported low confident levels when giving advice in relation to specific domain of dentistry, such as lost dental fillings (57%), loose crowns (60%), trauma to teeth (40%), denture-related problems (51%) and oral cancer (6.9%). Conclusion: Community pharmacists recognized their potential role in promoting oral health in KSA. Community pharmacists had varying levels of ability and confidence to offer support for oral health. The study highlighted that inner professional collaboration between pharmacists and dental care healthcare should be enhanced.

Keywords: community, oral health, promotion, pharmacist

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28 Decentralized Data Marketplace Framework Using Blockchain-Based Smart Contract

Authors: Meshari Aljohani, Stephan Olariu, Ravi Mukkamala


Data is essential for enhancing the quality of life. Its value creates chances for users to profit from data sales and purchases. Users in data marketplaces, however, must share and trade data in a secure and trusted environment while maintaining their privacy. The first main contribution of this paper is to identify enabling technologies and challenges facing the development of decentralized data marketplaces. The second main contribution is to propose a decentralized data marketplace framework based on blockchain technology. The proposed framework enables sellers and buyers to transact with more confidence. Using a security deposit, the system implements a unique approach for enforcing honesty in data exchange among anonymous individuals. Before the transaction is considered complete, the system has a time frame. As a result, users can submit disputes to the arbitrators which will review them and respond with their decision. Use cases are presented to demonstrate how these technologies help data marketplaces handle issues and challenges.

Keywords: blockchain, data, data marketplace, smart contract, reputation system

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27 Description of Geotechnical Properties of Jabal Omar

Authors: Ibrahim Abdel Gadir Malik, Dafalla Siddig Dafalla, Osama Abdelgadir El-Bushra


Geological and engineering characteristics of intact rock and the discontinuity surfaces was used to describe and classify rock mass into zones based on mechanical and physical properties. Many conditions terms that affect the rock mas; such as Rock strength, Rock Quality Designation (RQD) value, joint spacing, and condition of joint, water condition with block size, joint roughness, separation, joint hardness, friction angle and weathering were used to classify the rock mass into: Good quality (class II) (RMR values range between 75% and 56%), Good to fair quality (class II to III) (RMR values range between 70% and 55%), Fair quality (class III) (RMR values range between 60% and 50%) and Fair to poor quality (Class III to IV) (RMR values, range between (50% and 35%).

Keywords: rock strength, RQD, joints, weathering

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26 Remembering and Forgetting in Shakespeare Sonnets

Authors: Nasreddin Bushra Ahmed


Humans use language to externalize their mental perceptions and conceptions and thereby set up an interdependent consciousness about the concrete and abstract spheres of their existence. Language also represents a recording device whereby they capture the transient moment in their lives. Literature with it its various manifestations help keep the individual and collective memories alive. Works of the English literature’s prototypical figure, William Shakespeare provides the best illustration of this fact. Shakespeare’s sonnets abound in prescient insights about the intricacies of human relations. Though they have been the concern of scholars’ investigations for centuries, many of their thematic potentialities are yet to be tapped. The present study aspires to highlight the theme of remembering and forgetting in some of these sonnets as reverse faces of the same coin. Using close reading it is intended to demonstrate how Shakespeare, through imagery and literary tropes, plays with the issues of mortality and immortality, and how he has reaffirmed that literature can provide a locus for perennial presence despite the temporariness of individuals’ existence.

Keywords: forgetting, immortality, literature, remembering, Shakespeare, sonnet

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25 A Framework for Analyzing Public Interaction of Saudi Universities on Twitter

Authors: Sahar Al-Qahtani, Rabeeh Ayaz Abbasi, Naif Radi Aljohani


Many universities use social media platforms as new communication channels to disseminate information and promptly communicate with their audience. As Twitter is one of the widely used social media platforms, this research aims to explore the adaption and utilization of Twitter by universities. We propose a framework called 'Social Network Analysis for Universities on Twitter' (SNAUT) to analyze the usage of Twitter by universities and to measure their interaction with public. The study includes a sample of around 110,000 tweets from 36 Saudi universities, including both public and private universities. Using SNAUT, we can (1) investigate the purpose of using Twitter by universities, (2) determine the broad topics discussed by them, and (3) identify the groups closely associated with the universities. The results show that most of the Saudi universities (whether public or private) actively use Twitter. Results also reveal that public universities respond to public queries more frequently, but private universities stand out more in terms of information dissemination using retweets and diverse hashtags. Finally, we develop a ranking mechanism in SNAUT for ranking universities based on their social interaction with the public on Twitter.

Keywords: social media, twitter, social network analysis, universities, higher education, Saudi Arabia

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24 Comparative Study of Medical and Fine Art Students on the Level of Perceived Stress and Coping Skills

Authors: Bushra Mussawar, Saleha Younus


Students often view their academic life demanding and stressful. However, apart from academics, stress springs from various other sources namely, finance, family, health, friends etc. The present study aims to assess the level of perceived stress in medical and fine arts students, and to determine the coping strategies used by the students to mitigate stress. The sample of the study consisted of 178 medical and fine arts students. The sample was selected through purposive sampling. Pearson correlation coefficient and T-test were used to analyze data. Results of the study revealed that there exists a positive relationship between perceived stress and coping strategies. Additionally, the two groups showed marked differences in terms of stress perception and coping styles. The level of perceived stress was found to be high in medical students nonetheless, they employed more positive coping strategies than fine arts students who scored high on negative coping strategies which are deleterious to the overall wellbeing.

Keywords: perceived stress, coping strategies, medical, fine arts students

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23 Indigenous Patch Clamp Technique: Design of Highly Sensitive Amplifier Circuit for Measuring and Monitoring of Real Time Ultra Low Ionic Current through Cellular Gates

Authors: Moez ul Hassan, Bushra Noman, Sarmad Hameed, Shahab Mehmood, Asma Bashir


The importance of Noble prize winning “Patch Clamp Technique” is well documented. However, Patch Clamp Technique is very expensive and hence hinders research in developing countries. In this paper, detection, processing and recording of ultra low current from induced cells by using transimpedence amplifier is described. The sensitivity of the proposed amplifier is in the range of femto amperes (fA). Capacitive-feedback is used with active load to obtain a 20MΩ transimpedance gain. The challenging task in designing includes achieving adequate performance in gain, noise immunity and stability. The circuit designed by the authors was able to measure current in the rangeof 300fA to 100pA. Adequate performance shown by the amplifier with different input current and outcome result was found to be within the acceptable error range. Results were recorded using LabVIEW 8.5®for further research.

Keywords: drug discovery, ionic current, operational amplifier, patch clamp

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22 Preparation of Hyperbranched Polymers for Application in Light Emitting Diodes

Authors: Amal Aljohani, Ahmed Iraqi


Emitting materials with thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) properties as the third generation of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have received much attention as a modern class of highly efficient emitters because such properties enable the harvesting of both singlet and triplet excitons in EL applications without the doping with complexes of scarce noble metals such as platinum and iridium. Improved molecular design of TADF molecules and applied materials exhibiting internal electroluminescence (EL) with quantum efficiencies of nearly 100% has been achieved being. A2B3 hyperbranched polymers based on new derivatives containing silane core units serving as host materials for thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) guest molecules have been designed and synthesized through several steps, including the synthesis of tetrakis(4-bromophenyl)silane, bis(4-(9H-carbazol-9-yl)phenyl)bis(4-bromophenyl)silane,bis(4-(9H-carbazol-9 yl)phenyl)bis(4-methoxyphenyl)silane and bis(4-(9H-carbazol-9-yl)phenyl)bis(4hydroxyphenyl)silane. This monomer has been used successfully used along with 1,1,1-tri-(p-tosyloxymethyl)-propane to prepare A2B3 hyperbranched polymers via step-growth polymerization. The characterization and the properties of these new host polymers will be presented and discussed in this contribution.

Keywords: carbazole, organic light emitting diodes, thermally activated delayed fluorescence, donor-acceptor, host and guest interaction

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21 Wetting-Drying Cycles Effect on Piles Embedded in a Very High Expansive Soil

Authors: Bushra Suhail, Laith Kadim


The behavior of model piles embedded in a very high expansive soil was investigated, a specially manufactured saturation-drying tank was used to apply three cycles of wetting and drying to the expansive soil surrounding the model straight shaft and under reamed piles, the relative movement of the piles with respect to the soil surface was recorded with time, also the exerted uplift pressure of the piles due to soil swelling was recorded. The behavior of unloaded straight shaft and under reamed piles was investigated. Two design charts were presented for straight shaft and under reamed piles one for the required pile depth for zero upward movement due to soil swelling, the other for the required pile depth to exert zero uplift pressure when the soil swells. Under reamed piles showed a decrease in upward movement of 20% to 40%, and an uplift pressure decrease of 10% to 30%.

Keywords: expansive soil, piles, under reamed, structural and geotechnical engineering

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20 Personas Help Understand Users’ Needs, Goals and Desires in an Online Institutional Repository

Authors: Maha ALjohani, James Blustein


Communicating users' needs, goals and problems help designers and developers overcome challenges faced by end users. Personas are used to represent end users’ needs. In our research, creating personas allowed the following questions to be answered: Who are the potential user groups? What do they want to achieve by using the service? What are the problems that users face? What should the service provide to them? To develop realistic personas, we conducted a focus group discussion with undergraduate and graduate students and also interviewed a university librarian. The personas were created to help evaluating the Institutional Repository that is based on the DSpace system. The profiles helped to communicate users' needs, abilities, tasks, and problems, and the task scenarios used in the heuristic evaluation were based on these personas. Four personas resulted of a focus group discussion with undergraduate and graduate students and from interviewing a university librarian. We then used these personas to create focused task-scenarios for a heuristic evaluation on the system interface to ensure that it met users' needs, goals, problems and desires. In this paper, we present the process that we used to create the personas that led to devise the task scenarios used in the heuristic evaluation as a follow up study of the DSpace university repository.

Keywords: heuristic evaluation, institutional repositories, user experience, human computer interaction, user profiles, personas, task scenarios, heuristics

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19 Antimicrobial Activity of Different Essential Oils in Synergy with Amoxicillin against Clinical Isolates of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Authors: Naheed Niaz, Nimra Naeem, Bushra Uzair, Riffat Tahira


Antibacterial activity of different traditional plants essential oils against clinical isolates of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) through disk diffusion method was evaluated. All the tested essential oils, in different concentrations, inhibited growth of S. aureus to varying degrees. Cinnamon and Thyme essential oils were observed to be the “best” against test pathogen. Even at lowest concentration of these essential oils i.e. 25 µl/ml, clear zone of inhibition was recorded 9+0.085mm and 8+0.051mm respectively, and at higher concentrations there was a total reduction in growth of MRSA. The study also focused on analyzing the synergistic effects of essential oils in combination with amoxicillin. Results showed that oregano and pennyroyal mint essential oils which were not very effective alone turned out to be strong synergistic enhancers. The activity increased with increase in concentration of the essential oils. It may be concluded from present results that cinnamon and thyme essential oils could be used as potential antimicrobial source for the treatment of infections caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus, essential oils, antibiotics, combination therapy, minimum inhibitory concentration

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18 Behavioral Responses of Coccinella septempunctata and Diaeretiella rapae toward Semiochemicals and Plant Extract

Authors: Muhammad Tariq, Bushra Siddique, Muhammad Naeem, Asim Gulzar


The chemical ecology of natural enemies can play a pivotal role in any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Different chemical cues help to correspond in the diversity of associations between prey and host plant species. Coccinellaseptempunctata and Diaeretiellarapae have the abilities to explore several chemical cues released by plants under herbivore attack that may enhance their efficiency of foraging. In this study, the behavioral responses of Coccinellaseptempunctata and Diaeretiellarapae were examined under the application of two semiochemicals and a plant extract and their combinations using four-arm olfactometer. The bioassay was consists of a pairwise treatment comparison. Data pertaining to the preference of C. septempunctata and D. rapae after treatment application were recorded and analyzed statistically. The mean number of entries and time spent of Coccinellaseptempunctata and D. rapaewere greater in arms treated with E-β-Farnesene. However, the efficacy of E-β-Farnesene was enhanced when combined with β-pinene. Thus, the mean number of entries and time spent of C. septempunctata and D. rapaewere highest in arms treated with the combination of E-β-Farnesene x β-pinene as compared with other treatments. The current work has demonstrated that the insect-derived semiochemicals may enhance the efficacy of natural enemies when applied in combination.

Keywords: olfectometer, parasitoid, predator, preference

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17 Development of Lipid Architectonics for Improving Efficacy and Ameliorating the Oral Bioavailability of Elvitegravir

Authors: Bushra Nabi, Saleha Rehman, Sanjula Baboota, Javed Ali


Aim: The objective of research undertaken is analytical method validation (HPLC method) of an anti-HIV drug Elvitegravir (EVG). Additionally carrying out the forced degradation studies of the drug under different stress conditions to determine its stability. It is envisaged in order to determine the suitable technique for drug estimation, which would be employed in further research. Furthermore, comparative pharmacokinetic profile of the drug from lipid architectonics and drug suspension would be obtained post oral administration. Method: Lipid Architectonics (LA) of EVR was formulated using probe sonication technique and optimized using QbD (Box-Behnken design). For the estimation of drug during further analysis HPLC method has been validation on the parameters (Linearity, Precision, Accuracy, Robustness) and Limit of Detection (LOD) and Limit of Quantification (LOQ) has been determined. Furthermore, HPLC quantification of forced degradation studies was carried out under different stress conditions (acid induced, base induced, oxidative, photolytic and thermal). For pharmacokinetic (PK) study, Albino Wistar rats were used weighing between 200-250g. Different formulations were given per oral route, and blood was collected at designated time intervals. A plasma concentration profile over time was plotted from which the following parameters were determined:

Keywords: AIDS, Elvitegravir, HPLC, nanostructured lipid carriers, pharmacokinetics

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16 An Investigation of the Integration of Synchronous Online Tools into Task-Based Language Teaching: The Example of SpeakApps

Authors: Nouf Aljohani


The research project described in this presentation focuses on designing and evaluating oral tasks related to students’ needs and levels to foster communication and negotiation of meaning for a group of female Saudi university students. The significance of the current research project lies in its contribution to determining the usefulness of synchronous technology-mediated interactive group discussion in improving different speaking strategies through using synchronous technology. Also, it discovers how to optimize learning outcomes, expand evaluation for online learning tasks and engaging students’ experience in evaluating synchronous interactive tools and tasks. The researcher used SpeakApps, a synchronous technology, that allows the students to practice oral interaction outside the classroom. Such a course of action was considered necessary due to low English proficiency among Saudi students. According to the author's knowledge, the main factor that causes poor speaking skills is that students do not have sufficient time to communicate outside English language classes. Further, speaking and listening course contents are not well designed to match the Saudi learning context. The methodology included designing speaking tasks to match the educational setting; a CALL framework for designing and evaluating tasks; participant involvement in evaluating these tasks in each online session; and an investigation of the factors that led to the successful implementation of Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) and using SpeakApps. The analysis and data were drawn from the technology acceptance model surveys, a group interview, teachers’ and students’ weekly reflections, and discourse analysis of students’ interactions.

Keywords: CALL evaluation, synchronous technology, speaking skill, task-based language teaching

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15 Author Profiling: Prediction of Learners’ Gender on a MOOC Platform Based on Learners’ Comments

Authors: Tahani Aljohani, Jialin Yu, Alexandra. I. Cristea


The more an educational system knows about a learner, the more personalised interaction it can provide, which leads to better learning. However, asking a learner directly is potentially disruptive, and often ignored by learners. Especially in the booming realm of MOOC Massive Online Learning platforms, only a very low percentage of users disclose demographic information about themselves. Thus, in this paper, we aim to predict learners’ demographic characteristics, by proposing an approach using linguistically motivated Deep Learning Architectures for Learner Profiling, particularly targeting gender prediction on a FutureLearn MOOC platform. Additionally, we tackle here the difficult problem of predicting the gender of learners based on their comments only – which are often available across MOOCs. The most common current approaches to text classification use the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model, considering sentences as sequences. However, human language also has structures. In this research, rather than considering sentences as plain sequences, we hypothesise that higher semantic - and syntactic level sentence processing based on linguistics will render a richer representation. We thus evaluate, the traditional LSTM versus other bleeding edge models, which take into account syntactic structure, such as tree-structured LSTM, Stack-augmented Parser-Interpreter Neural Network (SPINN) and the Structure-Aware Tag Augmented model (SATA). Additionally, we explore using different word-level encoding functions. We have implemented these methods on Our MOOC dataset, which is the most performant one comparing with a public dataset on sentiment analysis that is further used as a cross-examining for the models' results.

Keywords: deep learning, data mining, gender predication, MOOCs

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14 Cost Overrun in Delivery of Public Projects in the Saudi Construction Industry: A Review

Authors: A. Aljohani, D. Moore, D. D. Ahiaga-Dagbui


Cost overruns are endemic in the delivery of construction projects. The problem is global. It occurs irrespective of type and size of the project, its location, procurement method or client. The size of overruns can be as high as 200% in some cases. Projects thus unfortunately often make the news headlines, not for their immense socio-economic contribution to society, but for being poorly procured. In Saudi Arabia, two-thirds of construction projects are publicly procured by the Saudi government, which has been invested Billions of dollars in infrastructure projects each year as part of an ambitious strategic development agenda to shift from mainly oil dependency to multi-source dependency. However, reports show that about 3,000 public projects face diverse issues related to time and cost overrun. As part of an on-going study to develop a framework for effective public procurement for the Saudi Arabian construction industry, this paper reports the initial findings of the causes of cost overruns in the context of the Gulf State. It also evaluates the interface between some of the front-end loading issues in public procurement in Saudi and their effects on project performance. A systematic review of the existing literature on construction cost overruns, with focus on the Saudi Arabian construction industry has been used. One of the initial findings is that a fixed-price contract is usually used by the client in an attempt to transfer all financial risks to the contractors. This has the unintended consequence of creating a turbulent environment for the delivery of the project which leads to project abandonment by contractors, poor quality of work and substantial rework. Further work is being undertaken to empirically verify the initial findings reported in this paper and their generalizability for the construction industry as a whole.

Keywords: cost overrun, public procurement, Saudi Arabia, construction projects

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13 Machine Learning Techniques for COVID-19 Detection: A Comparative Analysis

Authors: Abeer A. Aljohani


COVID-19 virus spread has been one of the extreme pandemics across the globe. It is also referred to as coronavirus, which is a contagious disease that continuously mutates into numerous variants. Currently, the B.1.1.529 variant labeled as omicron is detected in South Africa. The huge spread of COVID-19 disease has affected several lives and has surged exceptional pressure on the healthcare systems worldwide. Also, everyday life and the global economy have been at stake. This research aims to predict COVID-19 disease in its initial stage to reduce the death count. Machine learning (ML) is nowadays used in almost every area. Numerous COVID-19 cases have produced a huge burden on the hospitals as well as health workers. To reduce this burden, this paper predicts COVID-19 disease is based on the symptoms and medical history of the patient. This research presents a unique architecture for COVID-19 detection using ML techniques integrated with feature dimensionality reduction. This paper uses a standard UCI dataset for predicting COVID-19 disease. This dataset comprises symptoms of 5434 patients. This paper also compares several supervised ML techniques to the presented architecture. The architecture has also utilized 10-fold cross validation process for generalization and the principal component analysis (PCA) technique for feature reduction. Standard parameters are used to evaluate the proposed architecture including F1-Score, precision, accuracy, recall, receiver operating characteristic (ROC), and area under curve (AUC). The results depict that decision tree, random forest, and neural networks outperform all other state-of-the-art ML techniques. This achieved result can help effectively in identifying COVID-19 infection cases.

Keywords: supervised machine learning, COVID-19 prediction, healthcare analytics, random forest, neural network

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12 Validation of the Recovery of House Dust Mites from Fabrics by Means of Vacuum Sampling

Authors: A. Aljohani, D. Burke, D. Clarke, M. Gormally, M. Byrne, G. Fleming


Introduction: House Dust Mites (HDMs) are a source of allergen particles embedded in textiles and furnishings. Vacuum sampling is commonly used to recover and determine the abundance of HDMs but the efficiency of this method is less than standardized. Here, the efficiency of recovery of HDMs was evaluated from home-associated textiles using vacuum sampling protocols.Methods/Approach: Living Mites (LMs) or dead Mites (DMs) House Dust Mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus: FERA, UK) were separately seeded onto the surfaces of Smooth Cotton, Denim and Fleece (25 mites/10x10cm2 squares) and left for 10 minutes before vacuuming. Fabrics were vacuumed (SKC Flite 2 pump) at a flow rate of 14 L/min for 60, 90 or 120 seconds and the number of mites retained by the filter (0.4μm x 37mm) unit was determined. Vacuuming was carried out in a linear direction (Protocol 1) or in a multidirectional pattern (Protocol 2). Additional fabrics with LMs were also frozen and then thawed, thereby euthanizing live mites (now termed EMs). Results/Findings: While there was significantly greater (p=0.000) recovery of mites (76% greater) in fabrics seeded with DMs than LMs irrespective of vacuuming protocol or fabric type, the efficiency of recovery of DMs (72%-76%) did not vary significantly between fabrics. For fabrics containing EMs, recovery was greatest for Smooth Cotton and Denim (65-73% recovered) and least for Fleece (15% recovered). There was no significant difference (p=0.99) between the recovery of mites across all three mite categories from Smooth Cotton and Denim but significantly fewer (p=0.000) mites were recovered from Fleece. Scanning Electron Microscopy images of HMD-seeded fabrics showed that live mites burrowed deeply into the Fleece weave which reduced their efficiency of recovery by vacuuming. Research Implications: Results presented here have implications for the recovery of HDMs by vacuuming and the choice of fabric to ameliorate HDM-dust sensitization.

Keywords: allergy, asthma, dead, fabric, fleece, live mites, sampling

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11 Resilience among Children with and without Hearing Loss: A Comparative Study in Pakistan

Authors: Bushra Akram, Amina Tariq


Objective: This cross-sectional descriptive study aimed to compare the level of resilience among children with and without hearing loss. Methodology: In this descriptive cross sectional study total 500 children (with hearing loss = 250 and without hearing loss = 250) were recruited conveniently. Children with hearing loss were recruited from the special schools whereas children without hearing loss were selected from regular schools located in cities of Gujrat and Jhelum of Pakistan. Respondents’ age ranged from 9-14 years. Resiliency scale named RSCA (Resiliency Scales for children and adolescents) developed by Sandra Prince Embury (2006) was used. RSCA consist of three core theoretical areas: MAS (Sense of Mastery Scale), REL (Sense of Relatedness Scale) and REA (Emotional Reactivity Scale). Results: Findings indicated that there was a significant difference in the resilience level of participants with and without hearing loss. The mean comparison showed that the children with hearing loss showed lower scores on MAS (X̅ = 43.32, SD = 7.55) as well as on REL (X̅ = 49.96, SD = 7.65) as compared to their counterparts on MAS (X̅ = 53.96, SD = 9.90, t= -7.31***) and on REL (X̅ = 68.43, SD = 14.57,t= -10.18***). However children with hearing loss showed higher scores on REA (X̅ = 42.12, SD = 5.84) as compared to hearing participants (X̅ = 28.84, SD = 13.97, t = -8.20***). The findings revealed no significance difference in the resilience level of hearing and deaf children on the basis of their gender and age. Research Outcomes and Future Scope: Children with hearing loss showed a lower level of resilience, therefore, needs a program to develop resilience for better social-emotional adjustment and enhancement of their psychological well-being. In the end, the researcher gave recommendations for future research.

Keywords: children with hearing loss, psychological Wellbeing, resiliency scales for children and adolescents, resilience

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10 Entrepreneurship in Pakistan: Opportunities and Challenges

Authors: Bushra Jamil, Nudrat Baqri, Muhammad Hassan Saeed


Entrepreneurship is creating or setting up a business not only for the purpose of generating profit but also for providing job opportunities. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and product developers. They use their financial asset for hiring a professional team and combine the innovation, knowledge, and leadership leads to a successful startup or a business. To be a successful entrepreneur, one should be people-oriented and have perseverance. One must have the ability to take risk, believe in his/her potential, and have the courage to move forward in all circumstances. Most importantly, have the ability to take risk and can assess the risk. For STEM students, entrepreneurship is of specific importance and relevance as it helps them not just to be able to solve real life existing complications but to be able to recognize and identify emerging needs and glitches. It is becoming increasingly apparent that in today’s world, there is a need as well as a desire for STEM and entrepreneurship to work together. In Pakistan, entrepreneurship is slowly emerging, yet we are far behind. It is high time that we should introduce modern teaching methods and inculcate entrepreneurial initiative in students. A course on entrepreneurship can be included in the syllabus, and we must invite businessmen and policy makers to motivate young minds for entrepreneurship. This must be pitching competitions, opportunities to win seed funding, and facilities of incubation centers. In Pakistan, there are many good public sector research institutes, yet there is a void gap in the private sector. Only few research institute are meant for research and development. BJ Micro Lab is one of them. It is SECP registered company and is working in academia to promote and facilitate research in STEM. BJ Micro Lab is a women led initiative, and we are trying to promote research as a passion, not as an arduous burden. For this, we are continuously arranging training workshops and sessions. More than 100 students have been trained in ten different workshops arranged at BJ Micro Lab.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, STEM, challenges, oppurtunties

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9 Comparative Study of Conventional and Satellite Based Agriculture Information System

Authors: Rafia Hassan, Ali Rizwan, Sadaf Farhan, Bushra Sabir


The purpose of this study is to compare the conventional crop monitoring system with the satellite based crop monitoring system in Pakistan. This study is conducted for SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission). The study focused on the wheat crop, as it is the main cash crop of Pakistan and province of Punjab. This study will answer the following: Which system is better in terms of cost, time and man power? The man power calculated for Punjab CRS is: 1,418 personnel and for SUPARCO: 26 personnel. The total cost calculated for SUPARCO is almost 13.35 million and CRS is 47.705 million. The man hours calculated for CRS (Crop Reporting Service) are 1,543,200 hrs (136 days) and man hours for SUPARCO are 8, 320hrs (40 days). It means that SUPARCO workers finish their work 96 days earlier than CRS workers. The results show that the satellite based crop monitoring system is efficient in terms of manpower, cost and time as compared to the conventional system, and also generates early crop forecasts and estimations. The research instruments used included: Interviews, physical visits, group discussions, questionnaires, study of reports and work flows. A total of 93 employees were selected using Yamane’s formula for data collection, which is done with the help questionnaires and interviews. Comparative graphing is used for the analysis of data to formulate the results of the research. The research findings also demonstrate that although conventional methods have a strong impact still in Pakistan (for crop monitoring) but it is the time to bring a change through technology, so that our agriculture will also be developed along modern lines.

Keywords: area frame, crop reporting service, CRS, sample frame, SRS/GIS, satellite remote sensing/ geographic information system

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8 Biosafety Study of Genetically Modified CEMB Sugarcane on Animals for Glyphosate Tolerance

Authors: Aminah Salim, Idrees Ahmed Nasir, Abdul Qayyum Rao, Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Sohail Anjum, Ayesha Hameed, Bushra Tabassum, Anwar Khan, Arfan Ali, Mariyam Zameer, Tayyab Husnain


Risk assessment of transgenic herbicide tolerant sugarcane having CEMB codon optimized cp4EPSPS gene was done in present study. Fifteen days old chicks taken from K&Ns Company were randomly assorted into four groups with eight chicks in each group namely control chicken group fed with commercial diet, non-transgenic group fed with non-experimental sugarcane and transgenic group fed with transgenic sugarcane with minimum and maximum level. Body weights, biochemical analysis for Urea, alkaline phosphatase, alanine transferase, aspartate transferase, creatinine and bilirubin determination and histological examination of chicks fed with four types of feed was taken at fifteen days interval and no significant difference was observed in body weight biochemical and histological studies of all four groups. Protein isolated from the serum sample was analyzed through dipstick and SDS-PAGE, showing the absence of transgene protein in the serum sample of control and experimental groups. Moreover the amplification of cp4EPSPS gene with gene specific primers of DNA isolated from chicks blood and also from commercial diet was done to determine the presence and mobility of any nucleotide fragment of the transgene in/from feed and no amplification was obtained in feed as well as in blood extracted DNA of any group. Also no mRNA expression of cp4EPSPS gene was obtained in any tissue of four groups of chicks. From the results it is clear that there is no deleterious or harmful effect of the CEMB codon optimized transgenic cp4EPSPS sugarcane on the chicks health.

Keywords: chicks, cp4EPSPS, glyphosate, sugarcane

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7 A Novel Heuristic for Analysis of Large Datasets by Selecting Wrapper-Based Features

Authors: Bushra Zafar, Usman Qamar


Large data sample size and dimensions render the effectiveness of conventional data mining methodologies. A data mining technique are important tools for collection of knowledgeable information from variety of databases and provides supervised learning in the form of classification to design models to describe vital data classes while structure of the classifier is based on class attribute. Classification efficiency and accuracy are often influenced to great extent by noisy and undesirable features in real application data sets. The inherent natures of data set greatly masks its quality analysis and leave us with quite few practical approaches to use. To our knowledge first time, we present a new approach for investigation of structure and quality of datasets by providing a targeted analysis of localization of noisy and irrelevant features of data sets. Machine learning is based primarily on feature selection as pre-processing step which offers us to select few features from number of features as a subset by reducing the space according to certain evaluation criterion. The primary objective of this study is to trim down the scope of the given data sample by searching a small set of important features which may results into good classification performance. For this purpose, a heuristic for wrapper-based feature selection using genetic algorithm and for discriminative feature selection an external classifier are used. Selection of feature based on its number of occurrence in the chosen chromosomes. Sample dataset has been used to demonstrate proposed idea effectively. A proposed method has improved average accuracy of different datasets is about 95%. Experimental results illustrate that proposed algorithm increases the accuracy of prediction of different diseases.

Keywords: data mining, generic algorithm, KNN algorithms, wrapper based feature selection

Procedia PDF Downloads 256
6 Study of Irritant and Anti-inflammatory Activity of Snuhi/Zaqqum (Euphorbia nerifolia) with Special Reference to Holy Quran and Ayurveda

Authors: Mohammed Khalil Ur Rahman, Pradnya Chigle, Bushra Farhen


Indian mythology believes that Vedas are eternal treatises. Vedas are categorized into four divisions viz., Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda, Atharveda. All these spiritual classics not only deal with rituals and customs but also consist of inclusion of many references related to health. Out of these four, Atharveda deals with maximum principles pertaining to health sciences. Therefore, it is said that the science and the art of Ayurveda has developed from Atharveda. Ayurveda deals with many medicinal plants either as a single therapeutic use or in combination. One such medicinal plant is Snuhi (Euphorbia neriifolia Linn.) which finds its extensive importance along with Haridra and Apamargakshar, in the preparation of Ksharsutra which in turn is used for the treatment of Fistula in Ano. It is interesting to note that this plant Snuhi is also referred in Holy Quran as the Tree of Zaqqum advocated as the food for the sinners as a part of torment. The reference in Surat Ad-Dukhan is as follows: - 44:43-46. “Verily, the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinners, Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies, like the boiling of scalding water.” The above verse implies that plant Snuhi/Zaqqum due to irritant property acts as a drastic purgative but at the same time it also possesses anti inflammatory properties in order to relieve the irritation. These properties of Zaqqum has been unfolded in the modern research which states that, Diterpene polycyclic esters are responsible for its toxic and irritant nature whereas; triterpenes are responsible for its anti inflammatory property. Present work will be an effort to review the concept of Quran about latex of the Tree of Zaqqum in terms of its phytochemistry and its therapeutic use in Ksharsutra pertaining to irritant and anti inflammatory property.

Keywords: ayurveda, Quran, zaqqum, ksharsutra, latex piles, inflammation

Procedia PDF Downloads 276
5 The Impact of Organizational Culture on Internet Marketing Adoption

Authors: Hafiz Mushtaq Ahmad, Syed Faizan Ali Shah, Bushra Hussain, Muneeb Iqbal


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of organizational culture on internet marketing adoption. Moreover, the study intends to explore the role of organizational culture in the internet marketing adoption that helps business to achieve organizational growth and augmented market share. Background: With the enormous expansion of technology, organizations now need technology-based marketing paradigm in order to capture larger group of customers. Organizational culture plays a dominant and prominent role in the internet marketing adoption. Changes in the world economy have demolished current organizational competition and generating new technology standards and strategies. With all the technological advances, e-marketing has become one of the essential part of marketing strategies. Organizations require advance internet marketing strategies in order to compete in a global market. Methodology: The population of this study consists of telecom sector organizations of Pakistan. The sample size consists of 200 telecom sector employees. Data were gathered through the questionnaire instrument. The research strategy of this study is survey. The study uses a deductive approach. The sampling technique of this study is convenience sampling. Tentative Results: The study reveals that organizational culture played a vital role in the internet marketing adoption. The results show that there is a strong association between the organizational culture and internet marketing adoption. The results further show that flexible organizational culture helps organization to easily adopt internet marketing. Conclusion: The study discloses that flexible organizational culture helps organizations to easily adopt e-marketing. The study guides decision-makers and owners of organizations to recognize the importance of internet marketing strategy and help them to increase market share by using e-marketing. The study offers solution to the managers to develop flexible organizational culture that helps in internet marketing adoption.

Keywords: internet technology, internet marketing, marketing paradigm, organizational culture

Procedia PDF Downloads 126
4 Identification and Application of Biocontrol Agents against Cotton Leaf Curl Virus Disease in Gossypium hirsutum under Green House Conditions

Authors: Memoona Ramzan, Bushra Tabassum, Anwar Khan, Muhammad Tariq, Mudassar Fareed Awan, Idrees Ahmad Nasir, Zahida Qamar, Naila Shahid, Tayyab Husnain


Biological control is a novel approach being used in crop protection nowadays. Bacteria like Bacillus and Pseudomonas are reported for this purpose and few of their products are commercially available too. Rhizosphere and phyllosphere of healthy cotton plants were used as a source to isolate bacteria capable of exhibiting properties worthy for selection as biocontrol agent. For this purpose all isolated strains were screened for the activities like phosphate solubilization, Indole acetic acid (IAA) production and biocontrol against fungi. Two strains S1HL3 and S1HL4 showed phosphate solubilization and IAA production simultaneously while two other JS2HR4 and JS3HR2 were good inhibitors of fungal pathogens. Through biochemical and molecular characterization these bacteria were identified as P. aeruginosa, Burkholderia and Bacillus respectively. In green house trials of these isolates against Cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), seven treatments including individual bacterial isolate and consortia were included. Treated plants were healthy as compared to control plants in which upto 74% CLCuV symptomatic plants exist. Maximum inhibition of CLCuV was observed in T7 treated plants where viral load was only 0.4% as compared to control where viral load was upto 74%. This treatment consortium included Bacillus and Pseudomonas isolates; S1HL3, S1HL4, JS2HR4 and JS3HR2. Principal Component Biplot depicted highly significant correlation between percentage viral load and the disease incidence.

Keywords: cotton leaf curl virus, biological control, bacillus, pseudomonas

Procedia PDF Downloads 302
3 Cryopreservation of Ring-Necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) Semen for Establishing Cryobank

Authors: Rida Pervaiz, Bushra Allah Rakha, Muhammad Sajjad Ansari, Shamim Akhter, Kainat Waseem, Sumiyyah Zuha, Tooba Javed


Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) belongs to order Galliformes and family Phasianidae. It has been recognized as the most hunted bird due to its attractive colorful appearance and meat. Loss of habitat and hunting pressure has caused population fluctuations in the native range. Under these circumstances, this species can be conserved by employing ex-situ in vitro conservation techniques. Captive breeding, in combination with semen cryobanking is the most appropriate option to conserve/propagate this species without deteriorating the genetic diversity. Cryopreservation protocols of adequate efficiency are necessary to establish semen cryobanking for a species. Therefore, present study was designed to devise an efficient extender for cryopreservation of ring-necked pheasant semen. For this purpose, a range of extenders (Beltsville Poultry, red fowl, Lake, EK, Tselutin Poultry and Chicken semen extenders) were evaluated for cryopreservation of ring-necked pheasant semen. Semen collected from 10 cocks, diluted in the Beltsville Poultry (BPSE), Red Fowl (RFE), Lake (LE), EK (EKE), Tselutin Poultry (TPE) and Chicken Semen (CSE) extenders and cryopreserved. Glycerol (10%) was added to semen at 4°C, equilibrated for 10 min, filled in 0.5 mL French straws, kept over liquid nitrogen vapors for 10 min, cryopreserved in LN2 and stored. Sperm motility (%), viability (%), live/dead ratio (%), plasma membrane (%) and DNA Integrity (%) were evaluated at post-dilution, post-cooling, post-equilibration and post-thawing stage of cryopreservation. Sperm motility (83.8 ± 3.1; 81.3 ± 3.8; 73.8 ± 2.4; 62.5 ± 1.4), viability (79.0 ± 1.7; 75.5 ± 1.6; 69.5 ± 2.3; 65.5 ± 2.4), live/dead ratio (80.5 ± 5.7; 77.3 ± 4.9; 76.0 ± 2.7; 68.3 ± 2.3), plasma membrane (74.5 ± 2.9; 73.8 ± 3.4; 71.3 ± 2.3; 75.0 ± 3.4) and DNA integrity (78.3 ± 1.7; 73.0 ± 1.2; 68.0 ± 2.0; 63.0 ± 2.5) at all four stages of cryopreservation were recorded higher (P < 0.05) in red fowl extender compared to all experimental extenders. It is concluded that red fowl extender is the best extender for cryopreservation of ring-necked pheasant semen and can be used in establishing cryobank for ex situ conservation.

Keywords: ring-necked pheasant; extenders; cryopreservation; semen quality; DNA integrity

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2 Mapping and Measuring the Vulnerability Level of the Belawan District Community in Encountering the Rob Flood Disaster

Authors: Dessy Pinem, Rahmadian Sembiring, Adanil Bushra


Medan Belawan is one of the subdistricts of 21 districts in Medan. Medan Belawan Sub-district is directly adjacent to the Malacca Strait in the North. Due to its direct border with the Malacca Strait, the problem in this sub-district, which has continued for many years, is a flood of rob. In 2015, rob floods inundated Sicanang urban village, Belawan I urban village, Belawan Bahagia urban village and Bagan Deli village. The extent of inundation in the flood of rob that occurred in September 2015 reached 540, 938 ha. Rob flood is a phenomenon where the sea water is overflowing into the mainland. Rob floods can also be interpreted as a puddle of water on the coastal land that occurs when the tidal waters. So this phenomenon will inundate parts of the coastal plain or lower place of high tide sea level. Rob flood is a daily disaster faced by the residents in the district of Medan Belawan. Rob floods can happen every month and last for a week. The flood is not only the residents' houses, the flood also soaked the main road to Belawan Port reaching 50 cm. To deal with the problems caused by the flood and to prepare coastal communities to face the character of coastal areas, it is necessary to know the vulnerability of the people who are always the victims of the rob flood. Are the people of Medan Belawan sub-district, especially in the flood-affected villages, able to cope with the consequences of the floods? To answer this question, it is necessary to assess the vulnerability of the Belawan District community in the face of the flood disaster. This research is descriptive, qualitative and quantitative. Data were collected by observation, interview and questionnaires in 4 urban villages often affected by rob flood. The vulnerabilities measured are physical, economic, social, environmental, organizational and motivational vulnerabilities. For vulnerability in the physical field, the data collected is the distance of the building, floor area ratio, drainage, and building materials. For economic vulnerability, data collected are income, employment, building ownership, and insurance ownership. For the vulnerability in the social field, the data collected is education, number of family members, children, the elderly, gender, training for disasters, and how to dispose of waste. For the vulnerability in the field of organizational data collected is the existence of organizations that advocate for the victims, their policies and laws governing the handling of tidal flooding. The motivational vulnerability is seen from the information center or question and answer about the rob flood, and the existence of an evacuation plan or path to avoid disaster or reduce the victim. The results of this study indicate that most people in Medan Belawan sub-district have a high-level vulnerability in physical, economic, social, environmental, organizational and motivational fields. They have no access to economic empowerment, no insurance, no motivation to solve problems and only hope to the government, not to have organizations that support and defend them, and have physical buildings that are easily destroyed by rob floods.

Keywords: disaster, rob flood, Medan Belawan, vulnerability

Procedia PDF Downloads 63
1 Bacterial Exposure and Microbial Activity in Dental Clinics during Cleaning Procedures

Authors: Atin Adhikari, Sushma Kurella, Pratik Banerjee, Nabanita Mukherjee, Yamini M. Chandana Gollapudi, Bushra Shah


Different sharp instruments, drilling machines, and high speed rotary instruments are routinely used in dental clinics during dental cleaning. Therefore, these cleaning procedures release a lot of oral microorganisms including bacteria in clinic air and may cause significant occupational bioaerosol exposure risks for dentists, dental hygienists, patients, and dental clinic employees. Two major goals of this study were to quantify volumetric airborne concentrations of bacteria and to assess overall microbial activity in this type of occupational environment. The study was conducted in several dental clinics of southern Georgia and 15 dental cleaning procedures were targeted for sampling of airborne bacteria and testing of overall microbial activity in settled dusts over clinic floors. For air sampling, a Biostage viable cascade impactor was utilized, which comprises an inlet cone, precision-drilled 400-hole impactor stage, and a base that holds an agar plate (Tryptic soy agar). A high-flow Quick-Take-30 pump connected to this impactor pulls microorganisms in air at 28.3 L/min flow rate through the holes (jets) where they are collected on the agar surface for approx. five minutes. After sampling, agar plates containing the samples were placed in an ice chest with blue ice and plates were incubated at 30±2°C for 24 to 72 h. Colonies were counted and converted to airborne concentrations (CFU/m3) followed by positive hole corrections. Most abundant bacterial colonies (selected by visual screening) were identified by PCR amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. For understanding overall microbial activity in clinic floors and estimating a general cleanliness of the clinic surfaces during or after dental cleaning procedures, ATP levels were determined in swabbed dust samples collected from 10 cm2 floor surfaces. Concentration of ATP may indicate both the cell viability and the metabolic status of settled microorganisms in this situation. An ATP measuring kit was used, which utilized standard luciferin-luciferase fluorescence reaction and a luminometer, which quantified ATP levels as relative light units (RLU). Three air and dust samples were collected during each cleaning procedure (at the beginning, during cleaning, and immediately after the procedure was completed (n = 45). Concentrations at the beginning, during, and after dental cleaning procedures were 671±525, 917±1203, and 899±823 CFU/m3, respectively for airborne bacteria and 91±101, 243±129, and 139±77 RLU/sample, respectively for ATP levels. The concentrations of bacteria were significantly higher than typical indoor residential environments. Although an increasing trend for airborne bacteria was observed during cleaning, the data collected at three different time points were not significantly different (ANOVA: p = 0.38) probably due to high standard deviations of data. The ATP levels, however, demonstrated a significant difference (ANOVA: p <0.05) in this scenario indicating significant change in microbial activity on floor surfaces during dental cleaning. The most common bacterial genera identified were: Neisseria sp., Streptococcus sp., Chryseobacterium sp., Paenisporosarcina sp., and Vibrio sp. in terms of frequencies of occurrences, respectively. The study concluded that bacterial exposure in dental clinics could be a notable occupational biohazard, and appropriate respiratory protections for the employees are urgently needed.

Keywords: bioaerosols, hospital hygiene, indoor air quality, occupational biohazards

Procedia PDF Downloads 240