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

Search results for: Dalia Suša Vugec

47 Cross Country Comparison: Business Process Management Maturity, Social Business Process Management and Organizational Culture

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec

Abstract:

In recent few decades, business process management (BPM) has been in focus of a great number of researchers and organizations. There are many benefits derived from the implementation of BPM in organizations. However, there has been also noticed that lately traditional BPM faces some difficulties in terms of the divide between models and their execution, lost innovations, lack of information fusioning and so on. As a result, there has been a new discipline, called social BPM, which incorporates principles of social software into the BPM. On the other hand, many researchers indicate organizational culture as a vital part of the BPM success and maturity. Therefore, the goal of this study is to investigate the current state of BPM maturity and the usage of social BPM among the organizations from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, with the regards to the organizational culture as well. The paper presents the results of a survey conducted as part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729), financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results indicate differences in the level of BPM maturity, the usage of social BPM and the dominant organizational culture in the observed organizations from different countries. These differences are further discussed in the paper.

Keywords: business process management, BPM maturity, organizational culture, social BPM

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46 Social Business Process Management and Business Process Management Maturity

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec, Vesna Bosilj Vukšić, Ljubica Milanović Glavan

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Business process management (BPM) is a well-known holistic discipline focused on managing business processes with the intention of achieving higher level of BPM maturity and better organizational performance. In recent period, traditional BPM faced some of its limitations like model-reality divide and lost innovation. Following latest trends, as an attempt to overcome the issues of traditional BPM, there has been an introduction of applying the principles of social software in managing business processes which led to the development of social BPM. However, there are not many authors or studies dealing with this topic so this study aims to contribute to that literature gap and to examine the link between the level of BPM maturity and the usage of social BPM. To meet these objectives, a survey within the companies with more than 50 employees has been conducted. The results reveal that the usage of social BPM is higher within the companies which achieved higher level of BPM maturity. This paper provides an overview, analysis and discussion of collected data regarding BPM maturity and social BPM within the observed companies and identifies the main social BPM principles.

Keywords: business process management, BPM maturity, process performance index, social BPM

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45 The Role of Business Process Management in Driving Digital Transformation: Insurance Company Case Study

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec, Ana-Marija Stjepić, Darija Ivandić Vidović

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Digital transformation is one of the latest trends on the global market. In order to maintain the competitive advantage and sustainability, increasing number of organizations are conducting digital transformation processes. Those organizations are changing their business processes and creating new business models with the help of digital technologies. In that sense, one should also observe the role of business process management (BPM) and its maturity in driving digital transformation. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to investigate the role of BPM in digital transformation process within one organization. Since experiences from practice show that organizations from financial sector could be observed as leaders in digital transformation, an insurance company has been selected to participate in the study. That company has been selected due to the high level of its BPM maturity and the fact that it has previously been through a digital transformation process. In order to fulfill the goals of the paper, several interviews, as well as questionnaires, have been conducted within the selected company. The results are presented in a form of a case study. Results indicate that digital transformation process within the observed company has been successful, with special focus on the development of digital strategy, BPM and change management. The role of BPM in the digital transformation of the observed company is further discussed in the paper.

Keywords: business process management, case study, Croatia, digital transformation, insurance company

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44 Technology, Organizational and Environmental Determinants of Business Intelligence Systems Adoption in Croatian SME: A Case Study of Medium-Sized Enterprise

Authors: Ana-Marija Stjepić, Luka Sušac, Dalia Suša Vugec

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In the last few years, examples from scientific literature and business practices show that the adoption of technological innovations increases enterprises' performance. Recently, when it comes to the field of information technology innovation, business intelligence systems (BISs) have drawn a significant amount of attention of the scientific circles. BISs can be understood as a form of technological innovation which can bring certain benefits to the organizations that are adopting it. Therefore, the aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to define determinants of successful BISs adoption in small and medium enterprises and thus contribute to this neglected research area and (2) to present the current state of BISs adoption in small and medium-sized companies. In order to do so, determinants are defined and classified into three dimensions, according to the Technology – Organization – Environment (TOE) theoretical framework that describes the impact of each dimension on technological innovations adoption. Moreover, paper brings a case study presenting the adoption of BISs in practice within an organization from tertiary (service) industry sector. Based on the results of the study, guidelines for more efficient, faster and easier BISs adoption are presented.

Keywords: adoption, business intelligence, business intelligence systems, case study, TOE framework

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43 Managing Business Processes in the Age of Digital Transformation: A Literature Review

Authors: Ana-Marija Stjepić, Dalia Suša Vugec

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Today, digital transformation is one of the leading topics that occupy the attention of scientific circles and business experts. Organizational success is most often reflected through the successful managing of business processes. Given the growing market for digital innovations and its ever-increasing impact on business, organizations need to be prepared for organizational changes that come with the digital era. In order to maintain their competitive advantage in the global market, organizations must adapt their processes to new digitalization conditions. The main goal of this study is to point out the link between the digital transformation and the business process management concept. Therefore, in order to contribute to the scientific field that explores the potential relation between business process management concept and digital transformation, a literature review has been conducted. Papers have been searched within the Business Process Management Journal by keywords related to the term digital transformation. Selected papers have been analyzed according to the topic, type of publication, year of publication, keywords, etc. The results reveal a growing number of papers published on the topic of digital transformation to the Business Process Management Journal, but the lack of case studies. This paper contributes to the extension of academic literature in this important, yet insufficiently researched, scientific field that creates the bond between two strong concepts of digital transformation and business process management.

Keywords: business process management, digital transformation, digitalization, process change

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42 Business Process Management and Organizational Culture in Big Companies: Cross-Country Analysis

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec

Abstract:

Business process management (BPM) is widely used approach focused on designing, mapping, changing, managing and analyzing business processes of an organization, which eventually leads to better performance and derives many other benefits. Since every organization strives to improve its performance in order to be sustainable and to remain competitive on the market in long-term period, numerous organizations are nowadays adopting and implementing BPM. However, not all organizations are equally successful in that. One of the ways of measuring BPM success is by measuring its maturity by calculating Process Performance Index (PPI) using ten BPM success factors. Still, although BPM is a holistic concept, organizational culture is not taken into consideration in calculating PPI. Hence, aim of this paper is twofold; first, it aims to explore and analyze the current state of BPM success factors within the big organizations from Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria and second, it aims to analyze the structure of organizational culture within the observed companies, focusing on the link with BPM success factors as well. The presented study is based on the results of the questionnaire conducted as the part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729) and financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results of the questionnaire reveal differences in the achieved levels of BPM success factors and therefore BPM maturity in total between the three observed countries. Moreover, the structure of organizational culture across three countries also differs. This paper discusses the revealed differences between countries as well as the link between organizational culture and BPM success factors.

Keywords: business process management, BPM maturity, BPM success factors, organizational culture, process performance index

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41 A Preliminary Literature Review of Digital Transformation Case Studies

Authors: Vesna Bosilj Vukšić, Lucija Ivančić, Dalia Suša Vugec

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While struggling to succeed in today’s complex market environment and provide better customer experience and services, enterprises encompass digital transformation as a means for reaching competitiveness and foster value creation. A digital transformation process consists of information technology implementation projects, as well as organizational factors such as top management support, digital transformation strategy, and organizational changes. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is little evidence about digital transformation endeavors in organizations and how they perceive it – is it only about digital technologies adoption or a true organizational shift is needed? In order to address this issue and as the first step in our research project, a literature review is conducted. The analysis included case study papers from Scopus and Web of Science databases. The following attributes are considered for classification and analysis of papers: time component; country of case origin; case industry and; digital transformation concept comprehension, i.e. focus. Research showed that organizations – public, as well as private ones, are aware of change necessity and employ digital transformation projects. Also, the changes concerning digital transformation affect both manufacturing and service-based industries. Furthermore, we discovered that organizations understand that besides technologies implementation, organizational changes must also be adopted. However, with only 29 relevant papers identified, research positioned digital transformation as an unexplored and emerging phenomenon in information systems research. The scarcity of evidence-based papers calls for further examination of this topic on cases from practice.

Keywords: digital strategy, digital technologies, digital transformation, literature review

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40 Sustainable Land Use Evaluation Based on Preservative Approach: Neighborhoods of Susa City

Authors: Somaye Khademi, Elahe Zoghi Hoseini, Mostafa Norouzi

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Determining the manner of land-use and the spatial structure of cities on the one hand, and the economic value of each piece of land, on the other hand, land-use planning is always considered as the main part of urban planning. In this regard, emphasizing the efficient use of land, the sustainable development approach has presented a new perspective on urban planning and consequently on its most important pillar, i.e. land-use planning. In order to evaluate urban land-use, it has been attempted in this paper to select the most significant indicators affecting urban land-use and matching sustainable development indicators. Due to the significance of preserving ancient monuments and the surroundings as one of the main pillars of achieving sustainability, in this research, sustainability indicators have been selected emphasizing the preservation of ancient monuments and historical observance of the city of Susa as one of the historical cities of Iran. It has also been attempted to integrate these criteria with other land-use sustainability indicators. For this purpose, Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) and the AHP model have been used for providing maps displaying spatial density and combining layers as well as providing final maps respectively. Moreover, the rating of sustainability will be studied in different districts of the city of Shush so as to evaluate the status of land sustainability in different parts of the city. The results of the study show that different neighborhoods of Shush do not have the same sustainability in land-use such that neighborhoods located in the eastern half of the city, i.e. the new neighborhoods, have a higher sustainability than those of the western half. It seems that the allocation of a high percentage of these areas to arid lands and historical areas is one of the main reasons for their sustainability.

Keywords: city of Susa, historical heritage, land-use evaluation, urban sustainable development

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39 A Case Study of Conceptual Framework for Process Performance

Authors: Ljubica Milanović Glavan, Vesna Bosilj Vukšić, Dalia Suša

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In order to gain a competitive advantage, many companies are focusing on reorganization of their business processes and implementing process-based management. In this context, assessing process performance is essential because it enables individuals and groups to assess where they stand in comparison to their competitors. In this paper, it is argued that process performance measurement is a necessity for a modern process-oriented company and it should be supported by a holistic process performance measurement system. It seems very unlikely that a universal set of performance indicators can be applied successfully to all business processes. Thus, performance indicators must be process-specific and have to be derived from both the strategic enterprise-wide goals and the process goals. Based on the extensive literature review and interviews conducted in Croatian company a conceptual framework for process performance measurement system was developed. The main objective of such system is to help process managers by providing comprehensive and timely information on the performance of business processes. This information can be used to communicate goals and current performance of a business process directly to the process team, to improve resource allocation and process output regarding quantity and quality, to give early warning signals, to make a diagnosis of the weaknesses of a business process, to decide whether corrective actions are needed and to assess the impact of actions taken.

Keywords: Croatia, key performance indicators, performance measurement, process performance

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38 The Links between Cardiovascular Risk and Psychological Wellbeing in Elderly

Authors: Laura Sapranaviciute-Zabazlajeva, Abdonas Tamosiunas, Dalia Luksiene, Dalia Virviciute

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The cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the EU, especially in the middle aged and elderly population. Psychological wellbeing (PWB) has been linked with better cardiovascular health and survival in the elderly. The aim of the study is to evaluate associations between CVD risk and PWB in middle-aged and elderly population. 10,940 middle aged and older Lithuanians of age 45-74 years, were invited to participate in the study. A study sample was a random and stratified by gender and age. In 2006-2008 7,087 responders participated in the survey, so the response rate was 64.8%. A follow-up study was conducted from 2006 till 2015. New CVD cases and deaths from CVD were evaluated using the Kaunas population-based CVD register and death register of Kaunas. Study results revealed that good PWB predicts longer life in female participants (Log Rank = 13.7, p < 0.001). In the fully adjusted model for socio-demographic, social and CVD risk factors, hazard ratio for CVD mortality risk was lower amongst women with good PWB (HR = 0.28, 95% CI 0.11-0.72), but not significantly for men. Our study concludes, that lower CVD mortality rates is being associated with better PWB in female aged 45-74 years.

Keywords: psychological well-being, cardiovascular disease, elderly, survival

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37 A Secure Digital Signature Scheme with Fault Tolerance Based on the Improved RSA System

Authors: H. El-Kamchouchi, Heba Gaber, Fatma Ahmed, Dalia H. El-Kamchouchi

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Fault tolerance and data security are two important issues in modern communication systems. In this paper, we propose a secure and efficient digital signature scheme with fault tolerance based on the improved RSA system. The proposed scheme for the RSA cryptosystem contains three prime numbers and overcome several attacks possible on RSA. By using the Chinese Reminder Theorem (CRT) the proposed scheme has a speed improvement on the RSA decryption side and it provides high security also.

Keywords: digital signature, fault tolerance, RSA, security analysis

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36 Microwave Security System in Museums: Design and Implementation

Authors: Dalia Elsheakh, Hala Elsadek

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The objective of this paper is to propose a competitive microwave security system that can be applied with reasonable price at museums in Egypt, considering the priceless elements in 23 Egyptian museums countrywide and the lack of good recent security systems even in big ones. The system main goal is to detect valuable targets to ensure their presence in the pre-defined positions in order to protect them from being stolen. The system is based on real time microwave scanning for the required space volume through transmitting RF waves at consecutive angles and detecting the back scattered waves from required objects to detect their existence at pre-specified locations.

Keywords: microwave security system, object locating system, real time locating system (RTLS), antenna array, array electronic scanning

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35 Implementing Fault Tolerance with Proxy Signature on the Improvement of RSA System

Authors: H. El-Kamchouchi, Heba Gaber, Fatma Ahmed, Dalia H. El-Kamchouchi

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Fault tolerance and data security are two important issues in modern communication systems. During the transmission of data between the sender and receiver, errors may occur frequently. Therefore, the sender must re-transmit the data to the receiver in order to correct these errors, which makes the system very feeble. To improve the scalability of the scheme, we present a proxy signature scheme with fault tolerance over an efficient and secure authenticated key agreement protocol based on the improved RSA system. Authenticated key agreement protocols have an important role in building a secure communications network between the two parties.

Keywords: fault tolerance, improved RSA, key agreement, proxy signature

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34 Residents’ Perceptions towards the Application of Vertical Landscape in Cairo, Egypt

Authors: Yomna Amr Ahmed Lotfi Koraim, Dalia Moati Rasmi Elkhateeb

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Vertical landscape is introduced in this study as an alternative innovative technology for urban sustainable developments for its diverse environmental, economic, and psycho-social advantages. The main aim is to investigate the social acceptance of vertical landscape in Cairo, Egypt. The study objectives were to explore the perceptions of residents concerning this certain phenomenon and their opinions about its implementation. Survey questionnaires were administrated to 60 male and female residents from the Greater Cairo area. Despite the various concerns expressed about the application of vertical landscape, there was a clear majority of approval about its suitability. This is quite encouraging for the prospect of vertical landscape implementation in Cairo, Egypt.

Keywords: vertical landscape, green facades, vertical greening, social acceptance, sustainable urban development

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33 An Efficient Proxy Signature Scheme Over a Secure Communications Network

Authors: H. El-Kamchouchi, Heba Gaber, Fatma Ahmed, Dalia H. El-Kamchouchi

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Proxy signature scheme permits an original signer to delegate his/her signing capability to a proxy signer, and then the proxy signer generates a signing message on behalf of the original signer. The two parties must be able to authenticate one another and agree on a secret encryption key, in order to communicate securely over an unreliable public network. Authenticated key agreement protocols have an important role in building secure communications network between the two parties. In this paper, we present a secure proxy signature scheme over an efficient and secure authenticated key agreement protocol based on the discrete logarithm problem.

Keywords: proxy signature, warrant partial delegation, key agreement, discrete logarithm

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32 Predicting Survival in Cancer: How Cox Regression Model Compares to Artifial Neural Networks?

Authors: Dalia Rimawi, Walid Salameh, Amal Al-Omari, Hadeel AbdelKhaleq

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Predication of Survival time of patients with cancer, is a core factor that influences oncologist decisions in different aspects; such as offered treatment plans, patients’ quality of life and medications development. For a long time proportional hazards Cox regression (ph. Cox) was and still the most well-known statistical method to predict survival outcome. But due to the revolution of data sciences; new predication models were employed and proved to be more flexible and provided higher accuracy in that type of studies. Artificial neural network is one of those models that is suitable to handle time to event predication. In this study we aim to compare ph Cox regression with artificial neural network method according to data handling and Accuracy of each model.

Keywords: Cox regression, neural networks, survival, cancer.

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31 A Secure Proxy Signature Scheme with Fault Tolerance Based on RSA System

Authors: H. El-Kamchouchi, Heba Gaber, Fatma Ahmed, Dalia H. El-Kamchouchi

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Due to the rapid growth in modern communication systems, fault tolerance and data security are two important issues in a secure transaction. During the transmission of data between the sender and receiver, errors may occur frequently. Therefore, the sender must re-transmit the data to the receiver in order to correct these errors, which makes the system very feeble. To improve the scalability of the scheme, we present a secure proxy signature scheme with fault tolerance over an efficient and secure authenticated key agreement protocol based on RSA system. Authenticated key agreement protocols have an important role in building a secure communications network between the two parties.

Keywords: proxy signature, fault tolerance, rsa, key agreement protocol

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30 Secure Proxy Signature Based on Factoring and Discrete Logarithm

Authors: H. El-Kamchouchi, Heba Gaber, Fatma Ahmed, Dalia H. El-Kamchouchi

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A digital signature is an electronic signature form used by an original signer to sign a specific document. When the original signer is not in his office or when he/she travels outside, he/she delegates his signing capability to a proxy signer and then the proxy signer generates a signing message on behalf of the original signer. The two parties must be able to authenticate one another and agree on a secret encryption key, in order to communicate securely over an unreliable public network. Authenticated key agreement protocols have an important role in building a secure communications network between the two parties. In this paper, we present a secure proxy signature scheme over an efficient and secure authenticated key agreement protocol based on factoring and discrete logarithm problem.

Keywords: discrete logarithm, factoring, proxy signature, key agreement

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29 Biodiversity of Pathogenic and Toxigenic Fungi Associated with Maize Grains Sampled across Egypt

Authors: Yasser Shabana, Khaled Ghoneem, Nehal Arafat, Younes Rashad, Dalia Aseel, Bruce Fitt, Aiming Qi, Benjamine Richard

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Providing food for more than 100 million people is one of Egypt's main challenges facing development. The overall goal is to formulate strategies to enhance food security in light of population growth. Two hundred samples of maize grains from 25 governates were collected. For the detection of seed-borne fungi, the deep-freezing blotter method (DFB) and washing method (ISTA 1999) were used. A total of 41 fungal species was recovered from maize seed samples. Weather data from 30 stations scattered all over Egypt and covering the major maize growing areas were obtained. Canonical correspondence analysis of data for the obtained fungal genera with temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed, or solar radiation revealed that relative humidity, temperature and wind speed were the most influential weather variables.

Keywords: biodiversity, climate change, maize, seed-borne fungi

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28 Using Design Thinking Principles to Improve Patients Experiences in Two Outpatient Pharmacies in Asir Region, Saudi Arabia

Authors: Dalia Almaghaslah

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Design thinking approach; empathize, define, ideate prototype, test, implement, was used to assess outpatient experiences in two hospital pharmacies in the Asir region, Saudi Arabia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 patients. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings suggested that patients were generally satisfied with pharmaceutical services provided in both pharmacies. Pharmacists were found to have enough knowledge, good attitude, and efficient communication and counselling skills. Non-pharmacy-related factors such as cultural factors (gender segregation), long waiting times, uncomfortable waiting areas, lack of electronic prescribing, number waiting system were found to have a negative impact on patients' experiences and satisfaction. Prototypes will be used to test the effects of implementing the electronic system in Al -mahal hospital and to test changing the physical layout of the waiting area in Asir hospital.

Keywords: design thinking, hospital pharmacy, patient satisfaction, Saudi Arabia

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27 Nanoindentation Behavior and Physical Properties of Polyvinyl Chloride /Styrene Co-Maleic Anhydride Blend Reinforced by Nano-Bentonite

Authors: Dalia Elsawy Abulyazied, Samia Mohamad Mokhtar, Ahmed Magdy Motawie

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This article studies the effects of nano-bentonite on the structure and properties of polymer blends nanocomposites, based on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and styrene co-maleic anhydride (SMA) blend. Modification of Egyptian bentonite (EB) is carried out using organo-modifier namely; octadecylamine (ODA). Octadecylamine bentonite (ODA-B) is characterized using FTIR, XRD and TEM. Nanocomposites of PVC/SMA/ODA-B are prepared by solution intercalation polymerization from 0.50 up to 5 phr. The nanocomposites are characterized by XRD and TEM. Thermal behavior of the nanocomposites is studied. The effect of different content of ODA-B on the nano-mechanical properties is investigated by a nano-indentation test method. Also the swelling and electrical properties of the nanocomposites are measured. The morphology of the nanocomposites shows that ODA-B achieved good dispersion in the PVC/SMA matrix. The thermal stability of the nanocomposites is enhanced due to the presence of the ODA-B. Incorporation of 0.5, 1, 3 and 5 phr. ODA-B into the PVC/SMA blends results in an improvement in nano-hardness of 16%, 76%, 92%, and 68% respectively. The elastic modulus increased by 37% from 4.59 GPa for unreinforced PVC/SMA blend to 6.30 GPa for 3 phr. The cross-link density and the electrical conductivity of the nanocomposites are increased with increasing the content of ODA-B.

Keywords: PVC, SMA, nanocomposites, nano-bentonite, nanoindentation, crosslink density

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26 The Influence of Water and Salt Crystals Content on Thermal Conductivity Coefficient of Red Clay Brick

Authors: Dalia Bednarska, Marcin Koniorczyk

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This paper presents results of experiments aimed at studying hygro-thermal properties of red clay brick. The main objective of research was to investigate the relation between thermal conductivity coefficient of brick and its water or Na2SO4 solution content. The research was conducted using stationary technique for the totally dried specimens, as well as the ones 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% imbued with water or sodium sulfate solution. Additionally, a sorption isotherm test was conducted for seven relative humidity levels. Furthermore the change of red clay brick pore structure before and after imbuing with water and salt solution was investigated by multi-cycle mercury intrusion test. The experimental results confirm negative influence of water or sodium sulphate on thermal properties of material. The value of thermal conductivity coefficient increases along with growth of water or Na₂SO₄ solution content. The study shows that the presence of Na₂SO₄ solution has less negative influence on brick’s thermal conductivity coefficient than water.

Keywords: building materials, red clay brick, sodium sulfate, thermal conductivity coefficient

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25 Detection of Viral-Plant Interaction Using Some Pathogenesis Related Protein Genes to Identify Resistant Genes against Potato LeafRoll Virus and Potato Virus Y in Egyptian Isolates

Authors: Dalia. G. Aseel, E. E. Hafez, S. M. Hammad

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Viral RNAs of both potato leaf roll virus (PLRV) and potato virus Y (PVY) were extracted from infected potato leaves collected from different Egyptian regions. Differential Display Polymerase Chain Reaction (DD-PCR) using (Endogluconase, β-1,3-glucanases, Chitinase, Peroxidase and Polyphenol oxidase) primers (forward strand) for was performed. The obtained data revealed different banding patterns depending on the viral type and the region of infection. Regarding PLRV, a 58 up regulated and 19 down regulated genes were detected, while, 31 up regulated and 14 down regulated genes were observed in case of PVY. Based on the nucleotide sequencing, variable phylogenetic relationships were reported for the three sequenced genes coding for: Induced stolen tip protein, Disease resistance RPP-like protein and non-specific lipid-transfer protein. In a complementary approach, using the quantitative Real-time PCR, the expressions of PRs genes understudy were estimated in the infected leaves by PLRV and PVY of three potato cultivars (Spunta, Diamont and Cara). The infection with both viruses inhibited the expressions of the five PRs genes. On the contrary, infected leaves by PLRV or PVY elevated the expression of some defense genes. This interaction also may be enhanced and/or inhibited the expression of some genes responsible for the plant defense mechanisms.

Keywords: PLRV, PVY, PR genes, DD-PCR, qRT-PCR, sequencing

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24 PD-L1 Expression in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Arising Denovo or on Top of Autoimmune Thyroiditis

Authors: Dalia M. Abouelfadl, Noha N. Yassen, Marwa E. Shabana

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Background: The evolution of immune therapy motivated many to study the relation between immune response and progression of cancer. Little is known about expression of PD-L1 (a newly evolving immunotherapeutic drug) in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) arising de-novo and PTC arising on top of autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's (HT) and lymphocytic thyroiditis (LT)). The aim of this work is to study the alteration of expression of PD-L1 in PTCs arising from de-novo or on top of HT OR LT using immunohistochemistry and image analyser system. Method: 100 paraffin blocks for PTC cases were collected retrospectively for staining using PD-L1 rabbit monoclonal antibody (BIOCARE-ACI 3171 A, C). The antibody expression is measured digitally using Image Analyzer Leica Qwin 3000, and the membranous and cytoplasmic expression of PD-L1 in tumor cells was considered positive. The results were correlated with tumor grade, size, and LN status. Results: The study samples consisted of 41 cases of PTC arising De novo, 36 cases on top of HT, and 23 on top of LT. Expression of PD-L1 was highest among the PTC-HL group (25 case-69%) followed by PTC-TL group (14 case-60.8%) then de-novo PTC (19 case-46%) with P Value < 0.05. PD-L1 expression correlated with nodal metastasis and was not relevant to tumor size or grade. Conclusion: The severity of the immune response in tumor microenvironment directly influences PTC prognosis. The anti PD-L1 Ab can be a very successful therapeutic agent for PTC arising on top of HT.

Keywords: carcinoma, Hashimoto's, lymphocytic, papillary, PD-L1, thyroiditis

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23 Inhibitory Impacts of Fulvic Acid-Coated Iron Oxide Nano Particles on the Amyloid Fibril Aggregations

Authors: Dalia Jomehpour, Sara Sheikhlary, Esmaeil Heydari, Mohammad Hossien Majles Ara

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In this study, we report fulvic acid-coated iron oxide nanoparticles of 10.7 ± 2.7 nm size, which serve to inhibit amyloid fibrillation formation. Although the effect of fulvic acid on tau fibrils was investigated, to our best knowledge, its inhibitory impacts on amyloid aggregation formation have been assessed neither in-vitro nor in-vivo. On the other hand, iron oxide nanoparticles exhibit anti-amyloid activity on their own. This study investigates the inhibitory effect of fulvic acid coated iron oxide nanoparticles on amyloid aggregations formed from the commonly used in-vitro model, lysozyme from chicken egg white. FESEM, XRD, and FTIR characterization confirmed that fulvic acid was coated onto the surface of the nanoparticles. The inhibitory effects of the fulvic acid coated iron oxide nanoparticles were verified by Thioflavin T assay, circular dichroism (CD), and FESEM analysis. Furthermore, the toxicity of the nanoparticles on the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y human cell line was assessed through an MTT assay. Our results indicate that fulvic acid coated iron oxide nanoparticles can efficiently inhibit the formation of amyloid aggregations while exhibiting negligible in-vitro toxicity; thus, they can be used as anti-amyloid agents in the development of the potential drug for neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, fulvic acid coated iron oxide nanoparticles, fulvic acid, amyloid inhibitor, polyphenols

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22 Challenges and Problems of the Implementation of the Individual's Right to a Safe and Clean Environment

Authors: Dalia Perkumiene

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The process of globalization has several unforeseen negative effects on the quality of the environment, including increased pollution, climate change, and the depletion and destruction of natural resources. The impact of these processes makes it difficult to guarantee citizens' rights to a clean environment, and complex legal solutions are needed to implement this right. In order to implement human rights in a clean and safe environment, international legal documents and court rulings are analyzed. It is important to find a balance between the legal context: the right to a clean environment and environmental challenges such as climate change and global warming. Research Methods: The following methods were used in this study: analytical, analysis, and synthesis of scientific literature and legal documents, comparative analysis of legal acts, and generalization. Major Findings: It is difficult to implement the right to a clean, safe and sustainable environment. The successful implementation of this right depends on the application of various complex ideas and rational, not only legal solutions. Legislative measures aim to maximize the implementation of citizens' rights in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges. This area remains problematic, especially in international law. Concluding Statement: The right to a clean environment should allow a person to live in a harmonious system, where environmental factors do not pose a risk to human health and well-being.

Keywords: clean and safe and clean environmen, environmen, persons’ rights, right to a clean and safe and clean environment

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21 Cloning, Expression and Protein Purification of AV1 Gene of Okra Leaf Curl Virus Egyptian Isolate and Genetic Diversity between Whitefly and Different Plant Hosts

Authors: Dalia. G. Aseel

Abstract:

Begomoviruses are economically important plant viruses that infect dicotyledonous plants and exclusively transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Here, replicative form was isolated from Okra, Cotton, Tomato plants and whitefly infected with Begomoviruses. Using coat protein specific primers (AV1), the viral infection was verified with amplicon at 450 bp. The sequence of OLCuV-AV1 gene was recorded and received an accession number (FJ441605) from Genebank. The phylogenetic tree of OLCuV was closely related to Okra leaf curl virus previously isolated from Cameroon and USA with nucleotide sequence identity of 92%. The protein purification was carried out using His-Tag methodology by using Affinity Chromatography. The purified protein was separated on SDS-PAGE analysis and an enriched expected size of band at 30 kDa was observed. Furthermore, RAPD and SDS-PAGE were used to detect genetic variability between different hosts of okra leaf curl virus (OLCuV), cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCuV) and the whitefly vector. Finally, the present study would help to understand the relationship between the whitefly and different economical crops in Egypt.

Keywords: okra leaf curl virus, AV1 gene, sequencing, phylogenetic, cloning, purified protein, genetic diversity and viral proteins

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20 Melatonin Suppresses the Brain Injury after Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion in Hyperglycemic Rats

Authors: Dalia O. Saleha, Gehad A. Abdel Jaleela, Sally W. Al-Awdana

Abstract:

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is known to exacerbate cerebral ischemic injury. The present study aimed to investigate the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of oral supplementation of melatonin (MLN) on cerebral injury caused by middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion (MCAO/Re) in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycemic rats. Hyperglycemia was induced by a single injection of STZ (55mg/kg; i.p.), six weeks later the cerebral injury was induced by MCAO/Re. Twenty-four hours after the MCAO/Re the MLN (10 mg/kg) was injected for 14 consecutive days. Results of the present study revealed that MCAO/Re in STZ-induced hyperglycemia in rats causes an increase in the oxidative stress biomarkers; it increased brain lipid peroxidation (measured as malondialdehyde; MDA) and brain level of nitric oxide (NO). Moreover, MCAO/Reproduces a prominent increase in the brain inflammatory markers viz. interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis nuclear factor-alpha (TNF-α). Oral treatment of MCAO/Re in STZ-induced hyperglycemic rats with MLN (10 mg/kg) for two weeks restored the brain levels of MDA, GSH, NO, IL-6, IL-1β and the TNF-α. MLN succeeded to suppress the exacerbation of damage in the brain of hyperglycemic rats. These results suggest that daily intake of MLN attenuates the exacerbation of cerebral ischemic injury in a diabetic state, which may be attributed to anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the brain.

Keywords: melatonin, brain injury, cerebral ischemia/reperfusion, hyperglycemia, rats

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19 Assessing Psycho-Social Stressors for Chronically Infected Hepatitis C Virus Patients in Egypt

Authors: Ammal M. Metwally, Dalia M. Elmosalami, Walaa A. Fouad, Abla G. Khalifa, Lobna A. El Etreby, Mohamed AbdelRahman

Abstract:

People with hepatitis C are likely to experience psychological distress related to adjustment issues following diagnosis. Objective: The study was conducted to determine the psycho-social stressors accompanying Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infection. The study focused on immediate and later on reactions to being diagnosed as infected HCV patients. Effect of HCV on disruption of patients’ relationships in term of family relationship and friendship, employment and financial status was assessed. The magnitude and causes of the social stigma and its relation to awareness about illness, level of education were also assessed. Methods: During this study the subjective experiences of people having HCV was explored through a designed questionnaire targeted 540 cases; 359 males and 181 females from ten out of 21 National Treatment Reference Centers of National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institutes of Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals. The study was conducted along a period of six months from September 2011 to March 2012. Results: The study revealed that the financial problems are the commonest problems faced by 75.5 % of the cases. More than 70% of the cases suffered from immediate sadness versus 67.4% suffered from worry. Social stigma was reported by 13 % of HCV +patients, the majority of which were females. Conclusions: Exploring the psychosocial consequences of HCV infection can act as pressing motivators for behavior change needed for limiting HCV endemicity in Egypt.

Keywords: Egypt, HCV infection, psycho-social adjustment, stigma

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18 A Cross Sectional Study on Pharmacy Workforce in Saudi Arabia: Evaluating Supply and Demand, Distribution and Employment Prospects

Authors: Dalia Almaghaslah, A. Alsayari, R. Asiri, N. Albugami

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the pharmacy workforce in Saudi Arabia in terms of supply, geographical distribution, nationality and gender distribution, as well as to assess the employment rate. A retrospective cross-sectional approach was used to address these objectives. Relevant data was identified and retrieved from the latest version of the Health Statistical Yearbook— Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2016; Saudi Commission for Health Specialties publications, 2018; and national pharmacy organisation websites. In general, the exponential increase in the number of pharmacy schools has helped to produce more pharmacists in the rural areas of the country, but inequitable distribution of the workforce still exists. The reliance on non-indigenous pharmacists, especially in the private sector, is substantial. Male pharmacists outnumber females, mainly due to the cultural and social factors that limit the participation of women in community pharmacy, which is the largest employment sector. The employment rate shows limited opportunities for Saudi pharmacists at the Ministry of Health (MOH) as they have already Saudised almost all pharmacy positions at the MOH healthcare facilities. However, the private sector needs to assume responsibility for their share of the re-nationalisation of the profession in order to provide jobs for local pharmacists. Regular, more detailed profiling of the pharmacy workforce is an essential step to achieving effective pharmacy workforce planning. Currently, a large gap exists in our knowledge of the workforce in the country, especially regarding their supply and demand and employment prospects.

Keywords: employment prospects, pharmacy workforce, Saudi Arabia, supply and demand

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