Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Ekta Rai

8 A Priority Based Imbalanced Time Minimization Assignment Problem: An Iterative Approach

Authors: Ekta Jain, Kalpana Dahiya, Vanita Verma


This paper discusses a priority based imbalanced time minimization assignment problem dealing with the allocation of n jobs to m < n persons in which the project is carried out in two stages, viz. Stage-I and Stage-II. Stage-I consists of n1 ( < m) primary jobs and Stage-II consists of remaining (n-n1) secondary jobs which are commenced only after primary jobs are finished. Each job is to be allocated to exactly one person, and each person has to do at least one job. It is assumed that nature of the Stage-I jobs is such that one person can do exactly one primary job whereas a person can do more than one secondary job in Stage-II. In a particular stage, all persons start doing the jobs simultaneously, but if a person is doing more than one job, he does them one after the other in any order. The aim of the proposed study is to find the feasible assignment which minimizes the total time for the two stage execution of the project. For this, an iterative algorithm is proposed, which at each iteration, solves a constrained imbalanced time minimization assignment problem to generate a pair of Stage-I and Stage-II times. For solving this constrained problem, an algorithm is developed in the current paper. Later, alternate combinations based method to solve the priority based imbalanced problem is also discussed and a comparative study is carried out. Numerical illustrations are provided in support of the theory.

Keywords: assignment, imbalanced, priority, time minimization

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7 A Critical Review of the Success Model of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

Authors: Ekta Pandey


The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is ranked third largest by volume and fourteenth by value. It thus accounts for 10% of world’s production by volume and 1.5% by value according to Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India. The industry has shown phenomenal growth over past few years, moving from US $ 1 billion turnover in 1990 to a turnover of around US $30 billion in 2015. The Indian pharmaceutical sector is ranked seventeenth in terms of export value of active pharmaceutical ingredients and dosage forms to more than 200 countries around the globe. It has shown tremendous changes especially after Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. Recognizing the immense potential for growth and its direct impact on Indian economy, it is important to look up the industrial policies adopted since Indian independence which turnaround the Indian pharmaceutical industry. A systematic review of changes in market structure of Indian pharmaceutical industry due to shift in policy regimes is done from 1850 to 2015 using secondary peer reviewed published research work. The aim is to understand the impact of anti-trust laws, intellectual property rights, industry competition acts and regulations are quite crucial in determining effective economic policy and have overall lasting effects on international trade and ties. The proposed paper examines the position of Indian domestic firms relative to multinational pharmaceutical firms tries to throw some light on the growth curve of Indian pharmaceutical sector.

Keywords: active pharmaceutical ingredients, competition act, pharmaceutical industry, TRIPS

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6 Improvement in Drought Stress Tolerance in Wheat by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

Authors: Seema Sangwan, Ekta Narwal, Kannepalli Annapurna


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation on drought stress tolerance in 3 genotypes of wheat subjected to moderate water stress, i.e. HD 3043 (drought tolerant), HD 2987 (drought tolerant), and HD 2967 (drought sensitive). Various growth parameters were studied, e.g. total dry weight, total shoot and root length, root volume, root surface area, grain weight and number, leaf area, chlorophyll content in leaves, relative water content, number of spores and percent colonisation of roots by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Total dry weight, root surface area and chlorophyll content were found to be significantly high in AMF inoculated plants as compared to the non-mycorrhizal ones and also higher in drought-tolerant varieties of wheat as compared to the sensitive variety HD 2967, in moderate water stress treatments. Leakage of electrolytes was lower in case of AMF inoculated stressed plants. Under continuous water stress, leaf water content and leaf area were significantly increased in AMF inoculated plants as compared to un-inoculated stressed plants. Overall, the increased colonisation of roots of wheat by AMF in inoculated plants weather drought tolerant or sensitive could have a beneficial effect in alleviating the harmful effects of water stress in wheat and delaying its senescence.

Keywords: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, wheat, drought, stress

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5 Whole Exome Sequencing in Characterizing Mysterious Crippling Disorder in India

Authors: Swarkar Sharma, Ekta Rai, Ankit Mahajan, Parvinder Kumar, Manoj K Dhar, Sushil Razdan, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Carol Wise, Shiro Ikegawa M.D., K.K. Pandita M.D.


Rare disorders are poorly understood hence, remain uncharacterized or patients are misdiagnosed and get poor medical attention. A rare mysterious skeletal disorder that remained unidentified for decades and rendered many people physically challenged and disabled for life has been reported in an isolated remote village ‘Arai’ of Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. This village is located deep in mountains and the population residing in the region is highly consanguineous. In our survey of the region, 70 affected people were reported, showing similar phenotype, in the village with a population of approximately 5000 individuals. We were able to collect samples from two multi generational extended families from the village. Through Whole Exome sequencing (WES), we identified a rare variation NM_003880.3:c.156C>A NP_003871.1:p.Cys52Ter, which results in introduction of premature stop codon in WISP3 gene. We found this variation perfectly segregating with the disease in one of the family. However, this variation was absent in other family. Interestingly, a novel splice site mutation at position c.643+1G>A of WISP3 gene, perfectly segregating with the disease was observed in the second family. Thus, exploiting WES and putting different evidences together (familial histories and genetic data, clinical features, radiological and biochemical tests and findings), the disease has finally been diagnosed as a very rare recessive hereditary skeletal disease “Progressive Pseudorheumatoid Arthropathy of Childhood” (PPAC) also known as “Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Tarda with Progressive Arthropathy” (SEDT-PA). This genetic characterization and identification of the disease causing mutations will aid in genetic counseling, critically required to curb this rare disorder and to prevent its appearance in future generations in the population. Further, understanding of the role of WISP3 gene the biological pathways should help in developing treatment for the disorder.

Keywords: whole exome sequencing, Next Generation Sequencing, rare disorders

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4 Nano-Pesticides: Recent Emerging Tool for Sustainable Agricultural Practices

Authors: Ekta, G. K. Darbha


Nanotechnology offers the potential of simultaneously increasing efficiency as compared to their bulk material as well as reducing harmful environmental impacts of pesticides in field of agriculture. The term nanopesticide covers different pesticides that are cumulative of several surfactants, polymers, metal ions, etc. of nanometer size ranges from 1-1000 nm and exhibit abnormal behavior (high efficacy and high specific surface area) of nanomaterials. Commercial formulations of pesticides used by farmers nowadays cannot be used effectively due to a number of problems associated with them. For example, more than 90% of applied formulations are either lost in the environment or unable to reach the target area required for effective pest control. Around 20−30% of pesticides are lost through emissions. A number of factors (application methods, physicochemical properties of the formulations, and environmental conditions) can influence the extent of loss during application. It is known that among various formulations, polymer-based formulations show the greatest potential due to their greater efficacy, slow release and protection against premature degradation of active ingredient as compared to other commercial formulations. However, the nanoformulations can have a significant effect on the fate of active ingredient as well as may release some new ingredients by reacting with existing soil contaminants. Environmental fate of these newly generated species is still not explored very well which is essential to field scale experiments and hence a lot to be explored in the field of environmental fate, nanotoxicology, transport properties and stability of such formulations. In our preliminary work, we have synthesized polymer based nanoformulation of commercially used weedicide atrazine. Atrazine belongs to triazine class of herbicide, which is used in the effective control of seed germinated dicot weeds and grasses. It functions by binding to the plastoquinone-binding protein in PS-II. Plant death results from starvation and oxidative damage caused by breakdown in electron transport system. The stability of the suspension of nanoformulation containing herbicide has been evaluated by considering different parameters like polydispersity index, particle diameter, zeta-potential under different environmental relevance condition such as pH range 4-10, temperature range from 25°C to 65°C and stability of encapsulation also have been studied for different amount of added polymer. Morphological characterization has been done by using SEM.

Keywords: atrazine, nanoformulation, nanopesticide, nanotoxicology

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3 Kinematic Modelling and Task-Based Synthesis of a Passive Architecture for an Upper Limb Rehabilitation Exoskeleton

Authors: Sakshi Gupta, Anupam Agrawal, Ekta Singla


An exoskeleton design for rehabilitation purpose encounters many challenges, including ergonomically acceptable wearing technology, architectural design human-motion compatibility, actuation type, human-robot interaction, etc. In this paper, a passive architecture for upper limb exoskeleton is proposed for assisting in rehabilitation tasks. Kinematic modelling is detailed for task-based kinematic synthesis of the wearable exoskeleton for self-feeding tasks. The exoskeleton architecture possesses expansion and torsional springs which are able to store and redistribute energy over the human arm joints. The elastic characteristics of the springs have been optimized to minimize the mechanical work of the human arm joints. The concept of hybrid combination of a 4-bar parallelogram linkage and a serial linkage were chosen, where the 4-bar parallelogram linkage with expansion spring acts as a rigid structure which is used to provide the rotational degree-of-freedom (DOF) required for lowering and raising of the arm. The single linkage with torsional spring allows for the rotational DOF required for elbow movement. The focus of the paper is kinematic modelling, analysis and task-based synthesis framework for the proposed architecture, keeping in considerations the essential tasks of self-feeding and self-exercising during rehabilitation of partially healthy person. Rehabilitation of primary functional movements (activities of daily life, i.e., ADL) is routine activities that people tend to every day such as cleaning, dressing, feeding. We are focusing on the feeding process to make people independent in respect of the feeding tasks. The tasks are focused to post-surgery patients under rehabilitation with less than 40% weakness. The challenges addressed in work are ensuring to emulate the natural movement of the human arm. Human motion data is extracted through motion-sensors for targeted tasks of feeding and specific exercises. Task-based synthesis procedure framework will be discussed for the proposed architecture. The results include the simulation of the architectural concept for tracking the human-arm movements while displaying the kinematic and static study parameters for standard human weight. D-H parameters are used for kinematic modelling of the hybrid-mechanism, and the model is used while performing task-based optimal synthesis utilizing evolutionary algorithm.

Keywords: passive mechanism, task-based synthesis, emulating human-motion, exoskeleton

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2 Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells Ameliorate Cisplatin-Induced Acute Renal Failure through Autophagy Induction and Inhibition of Apoptosis

Authors: Soniya Nityanand, Ekta Minocha, Manali Jain, Rohit Anthony Sinha, Chandra Prakash Chaturvedi


Amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSC) have been shown to contribute towards the amelioration of Acute Renal Failure (ARF), but the mechanisms underlying the renoprotective effect are largely unknown. Therefore, the main goal of the current study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of AFSC in a cisplatin-induced rat model of ARF and to investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for its renoprotective effect. To study the therapeutic efficacy of AFSC, ARF was induced in Wistar rats by an intra-peritoneal injection of cisplatin, and five days after administration, the rats were randomized into two groups and injected with either AFSC or normal saline intravenously. On day 8 and 12 after cisplatin injection, i.e., day 3 and day7 post-therapy respectively, the blood biochemical parameters, histopathological changes, apoptosis and expression of pro-apoptotic, anti-apoptotic and autophagy-related proteins in renal tissues were studied in both groups of rats. Administration of AFSC in ARF rats resulted in improvement of renal function and attenuation of renal damage as reflected by significant decrease in blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine levels, tubular cell apoptosis as assessed by Bax/Bcl2 ratio, and expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins viz. PUMA, Bax, cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-9 as compared to saline-treated group. Furthermore, in the AFSC-treated group as compared to saline-treated group, there was a significant increase in the activation of autophagy as evident by increased expression of LC3-II, ATG5, ATG7, Beclin1 and phospho-AMPK levels with a concomitant decrease in phospho-p70S6K and p62 expression levels. To further confirm whether the protective effects of AFSC on cisplatin-induced apoptosis were dependent on autophagy, chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor was administered by the intra-peritoneal route. Chloroquine administration led to significant reduction in the anti-apoptotic effects of the AFSC therapy and further deterioration in the renal structure and function caused by cisplatin. Collectively, our results put forth that AFSC ameliorates cisplatin-induced ARF through induction of autophagy and inhibition of apoptosis. Furthermore, the protective effects of AFSC were blunted by chloroquine, highlighting that activation of autophagy is an important mechanism of action for the protective role of AFSC in cisplatin-induced renal injury.

Keywords: amniotic fluid stem cells, acute renal failure, autophagy, cisplatin

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1 Aquaporin-1 as a Differential Marker in Toxicant-Induced Lung Injury

Authors: Ekta Yadav, Sukanta Bhattacharya, Brijesh Yadav, Ariel Hus, Jagjit Yadav


Background and Significance: Respiratory exposure to toxicants (chemicals or particulates) causes disruption of lung homeostasis leading to lung toxicity/injury manifested as pulmonary inflammation, edema, and/or other effects depending on the type and extent of exposure. This emphasizes the need for investigating toxicant type-specific mechanisms to understand therapeutic targets. Aquaporins, aka water channels, are known to play a role in lung homeostasis. Particularly, the two major lung aquaporins AQP5 and AQP1 expressed in alveolar epithelial and vasculature endothelia respectively allow for movement of the fluid between the alveolar air space and the associated vasculature. In view of this, the current study is focused on understanding the regulation of lung aquaporins and other targets during inhalation exposure to toxic chemicals (Cigarette smoke chemicals) versus toxic particles (Carbon nanoparticles) or co-exposures to understand their relevance as markers of injury and intervention. Methodologies: C57BL/6 mice (5-7 weeks old) were used in this study following an approved protocol by the University of Cincinnati Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The mice were exposed via oropharyngeal aspiration to multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) particles suspension once (33 ugs/mouse) followed by housing for four weeks or to Cigarette smoke Extract (CSE) using a daily dose of 30µl/mouse for four weeks, or to co-exposure using the combined regime. Control groups received vehicles following the same dosing schedule. Lung toxicity/injury was assessed in terms of homeostasis changes in the lung tissue and lumen. Exposed lungs were analyzed for transcriptional expression of specific targets (AQPs, surfactant protein A, Mucin 5b) in relation to tissue homeostasis. Total RNA from lungs extracted using TRIreagent kit was analyzed using qRT-PCR based on gene-specific primers. Total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was determined by the DC protein estimation kit (BioRad). GraphPad Prism 5.0 (La Jolla, CA, USA) was used for all analyses. Major findings: CNT exposure alone or as co-exposure with CSE increased the total protein content in the BAL fluid (lung lumen rinse), implying compromised membrane integrity and cellular infiltration in the lung alveoli. In contrast, CSE showed no significant effect. AQP1, required for water transport across membranes of endothelial cells in lungs, was significantly upregulated in CNT exposure but downregulated in CSE exposure and showed an intermediate level of expression for the co-exposure group. Both CNT and CSE exposures had significant downregulating effects on Muc5b, and SP-A expression and the co-exposure showed either no significant effect (Muc5b) or significant downregulating effect (SP-A), suggesting an increased propensity for infection in the exposed lungs. Conclusions: The current study based on the lung toxicity mouse model showed that both toxicant types, particles (CNT) versus chemicals (CSE), cause similar downregulation of lung innate defense targets (SP-A, Muc5b) and mostly a summative effect when presented as co-exposure. However, the two toxicant types show differential induction of aquaporin-1 coinciding with the corresponding differential damage to alveolar integrity (vascular permeability). Interestingly, this implies the potential of AQP1 as a differential marker of toxicant type-specific lung injury.

Keywords: aquaporin, gene expression, lung injury, toxicant exposure

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