Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 567

Search results for: Hassan El Ghazi

567 Groundwater Potential Zone Identification in Unconsolidated Aquifer Using Geophysical Techniques around Tarbela Ghazi, District Haripur, Pakistan

Authors: Syed Muzyan Shahzad, Liu Jianxin, Asim Shahzad, Muhammad Sharjeel Raza, Sun Ya, Fanidi Meryem

Abstract:

Electrical resistivity investigation was conducted in vicinity of Tarbela Ghazi, in order to study the subsurface layer with a view of determining the depth to the aquifer and thickness of groundwater potential zones. Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) using Schlumberger array was carried out at 16 VES stations. Well logging data at four tube wells have been used to mark the super saturated zones with great discharge rate. The present paper shows a geoelectrical identification of the lithology and an estimate of the relationship between the resistivity and Dar Zarrouk parameters (transverse unit resistance and longitudinal unit conductance). The VES results revealed both homogeneous and heterogeneous nature of the subsurface strata. Aquifer is unconfined to confine in nature, and at few locations though perched aquifer has been identified, groundwater potential zones are developed in unconsolidated deposits layers and more than seven geo-electric layers are observed at some VES locations. Saturated zones thickness ranges from 5 m to 150 m, whereas at few area aquifer is beyond 150 m thick. The average anisotropy, transvers resistance and longitudinal conductance values are 0.86 %, 35750.9821 Ω.m2, 0.729 Siemens, respectively. The transverse unit resistance values fluctuate all over the aquifer system, whereas below at particular depth high values are observed, that significantly associated with the high transmissivity zones. The groundwater quality in all analyzed samples is below permissible limit according to World Health Standard (WHO).

Keywords: aquifer, Dar Zarrouk parameters, geoelectric layers, Tarbela Ghazi

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566 Performance of VSAT MC-CDMA System Using LDPC and Turbo Codes over Multipath Channel

Authors: Hassan El Ghazi, Mohammed El Jourmi, Tayeb Sadiki, Esmail Ahouzi

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to model and analyze a geostationary satellite communication system based on VSAT network and Multicarrier CDMA system scheme which presents a combination of multicarrier modulation scheme and CDMA concepts. In this study the channel coding strategies (Turbo codes and LDPC codes) are adopted to achieve good performance due to iterative decoding. The envisaged system is examined for a transmission over Multipath channel with use of Ku band in the uplink case. The simulation results are obtained for each different case. The performance of the system is given in terms of Bit Error Rate (BER) and energy per bit to noise power spectral density ratio (Eb/N0). The performance results of designed system shown that the communication system coded with LDPC codes can achieve better error rate performance compared to VSAT MC-CDMA system coded with Turbo codes.

Keywords: satellite communication, VSAT Network, MC-CDMA, LDPC codes, turbo codes, uplink

Procedia PDF Downloads 387
565 Optimization of the Fabrication Process for Particleboards Made from Oil Palm Fronds Blended with Empty Fruit Bunch Using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Ghazi Faisal Najmuldeen, Wahida Amat-Fadzil, Zulkafli Hassan, Jinan B. Al-Dabbagh

Abstract:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the optimum fabrication process variables to produce particleboards from oil palm fronds (OPF) particles and empty fruit bunch fiber (EFB). Response surface methodology was employed to analyse the effect of hot press temperature (150–190°C); press time (3–7 minutes) and EFB blending ratio (0–40%) on particleboards modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity, internal bonding, water absorption and thickness swelling. A Box-Behnken experimental design was carried out to develop statistical models used for the optimisation of the fabrication process variables. All factors were found to be statistically significant on particleboards properties. The statistical analysis indicated that all models showed significant fit with experimental results. The optimum particleboards properties were obtained at optimal fabrication process condition; press temperature; 186°C, press time; 5.7 min and EFB / OPF ratio; 30.4%. Incorporating of oil palm frond and empty fruit bunch to produce particleboards has improved the particleboards properties. The OPF–EFB particleboards fabricated at optimized conditions have satisfied the ANSI A208.1–1999 specification for general purpose particleboards.

Keywords: empty fruit bunch fiber, oil palm fronds, particleboards, response surface methodology

Procedia PDF Downloads 142
564 Radon Concentration in the Water Samples of Hassan District, Karnataka, India

Authors: T. S. Shashikumar

Abstract:

Radon is a radioactive gas emitted from radium, a daughter product of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. Radon, together with its decay products, emits alpha particles that can damage lung tissue. The activity concentration of 222Ra has been analyzed in water samples collected from borewells and rivers in and around Hassan city, Karnataka State, India. The measurements were performed by Emanometry technique. The concentration of 222Rn in borewell waters varies from 18.49±1.89 to 397.26±12.3 Bql-1 with geometric mean 120.48±12.87 Bql-1 and in river waters it varies from 92.63±9.31 to 93.98±9.51 Bql-1 with geometric mean of 93.16±9.33 Bql-1. In the present study, the radon concentrations are higher in Adarshanagar and Viveka Nagar which are found to be 397.26±12.3 Bql-1 and 325.78±32.56 Bql-1. Most of the analysed samples show a 222Rn concentration more than 100 Bql-1 and this can be attributed to the geology of the area where the ground waters are located, which is predominantly of granitic characteristic. The average inhalation dose and ingestion dose in the borewell water are found to be 0.405 and 0.033 µSvy-1; and in river water it is found to be 0.234 and 0.019 µSvy-1, respectively. The average total effective dose rate in borewell waters and river waters are found to be 0.433 and 0.253 µSvy-1, which does not cause any health risk to the population of Hassan region.

Keywords: borewell, effective dose, emanometry, 222Rn

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563 Socioeconomic Values and Administration in Northern Nigeria: An Examination of the Impacts of Dearth of Values

Authors: Hassan Alhaji Hassan, Inuwa Abdu Ibrahim

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The research looks at the decaying socioeconomic values in northern Nigeria, which is directly affecting the administration of service at different levels. The aim is to establish the consequence of a valueless society on individual and public life at different levels. The result of governments’ continued neglect of education, societal values, which have negatively affected societal development and indeed development in general. Therefore, focus is on governments’ poor performance in Nigeria, using secondary sources of data. In conclusion, the research asserts the need for the application of the values of some traditional values as personal principles and good governance as the way out of the present deteriorating conditions.

Keywords: socioeconomic, values, education, Northern Nigeria, good governance

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562 Bacterial Flora of the Anopheles Fluviatilis S. L. in an Endemic Malaria Area in Southeastern Iran for Candidate Paraterasgenesis Strains

Authors: Seyed Hassan Moosa-kazemi, Jalal Mohammadi Soleimani, Hassan Vatandoost, Mohammad Hassan Shirazi, Sara Hajikhani, Roonak Bakhtiari, Morteza Akbari, Siamak Hydarzadeh

Abstract:

Malaria is an infectious disease and considered most important health problems in the southeast of Iran. Iran is elimination malaria phase and new tool need to vector control. Paraterasgenesis is a new way to cut of life cycle of the malaria parasite. In this study, the microflora of the surface and gut of various stages of Anopheles fluviatilis James as one of the important malaria vector was studied using biochemical and molecular techniques during 2013-2014. Twelve bacteria species were found including; Providencia rettgeri, Morganella morganii, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas oryzihabitans, Citrobacter braakii، Citrobacter freundii، Aeromonas hydrophila، Klebsiella oxytoca, Citrobacter koseri, Serratia fonticola، Enterobacter sakazakii and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The species of Alcaligenes faecalis, Providencia vermicola and Enterobacter hormaechei were identified in various stages of the vector and confirmed by biochemical and molecular techniques. We found Providencia rettgeri proper candidate for paratransgenesis.

Keywords: Anopheles fluviatilis, bacteria, malaria, Paraterasgenesis, Southern Iran

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561 Major Dietary Patterns in Relationship with Anthropometric Indices in North West of Iran

Authors: Arezou Rezazadeh, Nasrin Omidvar, Hassan Eini-Zinab, Mahmoud Ghazi-Tabatabaie, Reza Majdzadeh, Saeid Ghavamzadeh, Sakineh Nouri-Saeidlou

Abstract:

Dietary pattern analysis method can reflect more information about the nutritional etiology of chronic diseases such as obesity. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between major dietary patterns and anthropometric measures in men and women living in the city of Urmia. In this cross-sectional study, 723 participants (427 women and 296 men), aged 20–64 in Urmia city were selected from all four zones of Urmia city, in the north-west of Iran. Anthropometrics (weight, height, waist and hip circumference) were measured with standard methods. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated by dividing weight (in kilograms) by the square of height (in meter). Dietary intake information was collected by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire in the last year. Dietary patterns were determined using principal component analysis. The relationship between dietary patterns and obesity was analyzed by logistic regression. Three major dietary patterns (DPs) were identified that were named ‘Traditional Higher SES (THS)’, ‘Traditional Low SES (TLS)’ and ‘Transitional’. THS DP was positively and Transitional DP was negatively associated with BMI and waist circumference (W.C), however, after adjusting for confounding variables (age, gender, ethnicity, energy intake, physical activity and SES), the associations were not significant. The TLS was not significantly associated with BMI, but after adjusting for confounders, a significant positive association was detected with W.C and Waist to hip ratio (WHR). Findings showed that both traditional patterns were positively and the western type transitional pattern was reversely associated with anthropometric indices. But this relationship was highly affected by demographic, socioeconomic and energy input and output determinants. The results indicate the inevitable effect of environmental factors on the relationship between dietary patterns and anthropometric indices.

Keywords: anthropometric indices, dietary pattern, Iran, North-west

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560 Clinical Outcomes of Critically Ill Patients with Sepsis Receiving Extended and Standard Meropenem Infusion in Malaysian Hospitals

Authors: Fahmi Hassan, Noorizan Abdul Aziz, Yahaya Hassan, Hazlinda Abu Hassan

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Sepsis incidence in critical care settings is a major problem in health care. Extended antibiotic infusion is thought to be superior to traditional dosing especially when treating critically ill patients with sepsis. We compared clinical outcomes of critically ill patients with sepsis receiving 30-minute meropenem infusion and three-hour meropenem infusion. A retrospective case-control study was conducted among septic patients treated with meropenem infusion in ICUs of three hospitals. Patients included in the study received either extended or standard meropenem infusion as per the practice of individual settings. Outcomes and clinical data were retrospectively collected from the electronic databases and patients’ files. A total of 108 patients received extended meropenem infusion while another 117 patients received standard meropenem infusion. Patients receiving the extended meropenem infusion were found to have a significantly lower shorter length of hospital and ICU stay. It was also found that among those receiving extended meropenem infusion, 54.7% (64/117) had a reduction of SAPS II score, while only 44% (48/108) of patients receiving standard meropenem infusion had reduced scores. This study will strengthen the evidence in using extended meropenem infusion as a standard practice in critical care settings. As this is the first study of its kind done in Malaysia, it proves that prolonged meropenem infusion may be beneficial to critically ill patients with sepsis. However, randomized clinical trials with large sample size should be carried out in local settings in order to minimize other confounders that may influence with the result of the study.

Keywords: antibiotics, beta lactams, critical care, extended infusion, meropenem

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559 Islamization of Knowledge with Special Reference to Mohd Kamal Hassan's Perspective

Authors: Abdul Latheef O. Mavukkandy

Abstract:

Islamization of knowledge (IOK) is an intellectual movement emerged in the middle of 1970s to address the threats by modern western civilizational onslaughts. This paper analyzes the discourse of Islamization of knowledge with special reference to the views of Kamal Hassan who prefers an alternative term called 'Islamicization'. First of all the theoretical and practical outlines of IOK movement were presented by Ismail Raji al-Faruqi in his book 'Islamization of Knowledge; General Principles and Work Plan' in 1982. He identified that the educational system in the Muslim world accounted for the decline of Muslim Ummah through de-Islamization and demoralization. So, the need for IOK was an academic challenge to reconstruct the Ummah. Kamal Hassan kept just different view from Ismail Raji al-Faruqi and Muhammed Naquib al-Attas that he coined the terms 'Relevantization and Contextualization'. So, he wanted the 'Islamization of Islamic Revealed Knowledge'. So, he used Islamization of Human Knowledge (IOHK) instead of IOK. As part of this movement, the IOK identified that the textbooks used in Muslim educational institutions systematically keep the students estranged from Islam and its heritage. Furthermore, the modern secular knowledge develops secular attitude devoid of Islamic moral philosophy and the sense of mission in life. Based upon the content analysis of some of the sources, this study found that Islamization of Knowledge is an important movement in Islamic world, but the IOK project is not practicable completely because of the lack of trained teachers and resources. Although, the project resulted in the foundation of some universities and publishing more works, journals and doctoral thesis on different dimensions of Islamization of Knowledge.

Keywords: Islamization, Islamicization, releventization, human knowledge

Procedia PDF Downloads 195
558 Cavitating Jet Design for Enhanced Drilling Performance

Authors: Abdullah Ababtain, Mouhammad El Hassan, Hassan Assoum, Anas Sakout

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In this paper, a brief literature review on cavitation jets is presented in order to introduce the cavitation mechanism, strategies to assess when cavitation occurs, and the factors that influence cavitation in cavitating jets. The objectivity of the cavitation number often used to predict cavitation is also discussed. The results show that cavitation cannot be foreseen just using the cavitation number. Therefore, more efforts are needed to innovate and develop a self-resonating jet geometry that would be maintains the flow and the pressure in the cavitation condition just earlier than the flow acts on the target that would be used in such operating conditions. This study focused on a particular aspect related to improving drilling efficiency and the rate of penetration (ROP). In addition, a discussion on the methods used to measure cavitation and the factors that affect cavitation occurrence will be discussed. Two different types of cavitation nozzles were designed and tested. It has been shown that the self-resonating cavitation nozzle presents greater performance than standard non-resonating nozzle. It is thus concluded that a self-resonating cavitation jet present a high potential for improving drilling performance.

Keywords: cavitating jet, erosion, cavitation number, rate of penetration (ROP)

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557 Investigation of Neutral Axis Shifting and Wall Thickness Distribution of Bent Tubes Produced by Rotary Draw Bending

Authors: Bernd Engel, Hassan Raheem Hassan

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Rotary draw bending is a method used for tube forming. During the tube bending process, the neutral axis moves towards the inner arc and the wall thickness changes in the cross section of the tube. Wall thinning of the tube takes place at the extrados, whereas wall thickening of the tube occurs at the intrados. This paper investigates the tube bending with rotary draw bending process using thick-walled tubes and different material properties (16Mo3 and 10CrMo9-10). The experimental tests and finite element simulations are used to calculate the variable characteristics (wall thickness distribution, neutral axis shifting and longitudinal strain distribution). These results are compared with results of a plasto-mechanical model. Moreover, the cross section distortion is investigated in this study. This study helped to get bends with smaller wall factor for different material properties.

Keywords: rotary draw bending, thick wall tube, material properties, material influence

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556 Microwave Assisted Extraction (MAE) of Castor Oil from Castor Bean

Authors: Ghazi Faisal Najmuldeen, Rosli Mohd Yunus, Nurfarahin Bt Harun, Mardhiana Binti Ismail

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The microwave extraction has attracted great interest among the researchers. The main virtue of the microwave technique is cost-effective, time saving and simple handling procedure. Castor beans was chosen because of its high content in fatty acid, especially ricinoleic acid. The purpose of this research is to extract the castor oil by using the microwave assisted extraction (MAE) using ethanol as solvent and to investigate the influence of extraction time on castor oil yield and to characterize the main composition of the produced castor oil by using the GC-MS. It was found that there is a direct dependence between the oil yield and the time of extraction as it increases from 45% to 58% as the time increase from 10 min to 60 min. The major components of castor oil detected by GC-MS were ricinoleic acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid.

Keywords: microwave assisted extraction (MAE), castor oil, ricinoleic acid, linoleic acid

Procedia PDF Downloads 364
555 Flow Measurement Using Magnetic Meters in Large Underground Cooling Water Pipelines

Authors: Humanyun Zahir, Irtsam Ghazi

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This report outlines the basic installation and operation of magnetic inductive flow velocity sensors on large underground cooling water pipelines. Research on the effects of cathodic protection as well as into other factors that might influence the overall performance of the meter are presented in this paper. The experiments were carried out on an immersion type magnetic meter specially used for flow measurement of cooling water pipeline. An attempt has been made in this paper to outline guidelines that can ensure accurate measurement related to immersion type magnetic meters on underground pipelines.

Keywords: magnetic induction, flow meter, Faraday's law, immersion, cathodic protection, anode, cathode, flange, grounding, plant information management system, electrodes

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554 Male Oreochromis mossambica as Indicator for Water Pollution with Trace Elements in Relation to Condition Factor from Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Naeem, Syed M. Moeen-ud-Din Raheel, Muhammad Arshad, Muhammad Naeem Qaisar, Muhammad Khalid, Muhammad Zubair Ahmed, Muhammad Ashraf

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Iron, Copper, Cadmium, Zinc, Manganese, Chromium levels were estimated to study the risk of trace elements on human consumption. The area of collection was Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan and was evaluated by means of flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The standards find in favor of the six heavy metals were in accordance with the threshold edge concentrations on behalf of fish meat obligatory by European and other international normative. Regressions were achieved for both size (length and weight) and condition factor with concentrations of metal present in the fish body.

Keywords: Oreochromis mossambica, toxic analysis, body size, condition factor

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553 A New Genus Longicheles (Acari: Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae) for Pakistan Fauna from Punjab, Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Asif Qayyoum, Bilal Saeed Khan

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Macrochelid mites are poorly studied from the planes of Punjab, Pakistan. The study was conducted as a part of PhD thesis research partially funded by the Royal Society of Entomology, UK. The genus Longicheles was first time reported from the Pakistan. Samples were collected on the monthly basis from different districts of Punjab province, Pakistan. The genus Longicheles was frequently found from five districts (Faisalabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, Jhung, Layyah, and Rajanpur) of Punjab province. Taxonomic studies were performed in Acarology Lab., Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad with slide deposition. Taxonomic work was performed by using Phase contrast microscope and adobe illustrator (drawings) for finishing of picture. The detail descriptions of two (Longicheles mandibularis and Longicheles hortorum) females are given along with diagrams and key.

Keywords: macrochelidae, longicheles, new records, Punjab

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552 Nonclassical Antifolates: Synthesis, Biological Evaluation and Molecular Modeling Study of Some New Quinazolin-4-One Analogues as Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors

Authors: Yomna Ibrahim El-Gazzar, Hussien Ibrahim El-Subbagh, Hanan Hanaa Georgey, Ghada S. Hassan Hassan

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Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is an enzyme that has pivotal importance in biochemistry and medicinal chemistry. It catalyzes the reduction of dihydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate and intimately couples with thymidylate synthase. Thymidylate synthase is a crucial enzyme that catalyzes the reductive methylation of (dUMP) to (dTMP) utilizing N5, N10-methylenetetrahydrofolate as a cofactor. A new series of 2-substituted thio-quinazolin-4-one analogs was designed that possessed electron withdrawing or donating functional groups (Cl or OCH3) at position 6- or 7-, 4-methoxyphenyl function at position 3-.The thiol function is used to connect to either 1,2,4-triazole, or 1,3,4-thiadiazole via a methylene bridge. Most of the functional groups designed to be accommodated on the quinazoline ring such as thioether, alkyl to increase lipid solubility of polar compounds, a character very much needed in the nonclassical DHFR inhibitors. The target compounds were verified with spectral data and elemental analysis. DHFR inhibitions, as well as antitumor activity, were applied on three cell lines (MCF-7, CACO-2, HEPG-2).

Keywords: nonclassical antifolates, DHFR Inhibitors, antitumor activity, quinazoline ring

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551 Current Status of Mosquitoes Vector Research and Control in Iran

Authors: Seyed Hassan Moosa-kazemi, Hassan Vatandoost

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Malaria, Dirofilaria immitis (dog heart worm), and D. repens (dirofilariasis), which are transmitted by mosquitoes, have been reported in Iran. The Iranian mosquito fauna includes seven genera, 65 species, and three subspecies. Aedes albopictus has been reported since. West Nile, Sindbis, Dengue, Japanese encephalitis viruses, and the nematode Setaria (setariasis) has been reported in the country but there are no information about their vectors in Iran. Iran is malaria elimination phase. Insecticides residual spraying (IRS), distributed of insecticides long lasting treated nets (ITNs), fogging, release of larvivours fishes and Bacillus thuringiensis, chemical larviciding, as well as case finding and manipulation and modification of breeding places carried out thought the IVM program in the country. Prolonged exposure to insecticides over several generations of the vectors, develop resistance, a capacity to survive contact with insecticides. However, use of insecticides in agriculture has often been implicated as contributing to resistance in mosquito’s vectors. Resistance of mosquitoes to some insecticides has been documented just within a few years after the insecticides were introduced. Some enzymes such as monooxygenases, esterases and glutathione S-transferases have been considered as a reason for resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. In conclusion, regarding to documented resistance and tolerance of mosquitoes vectors to some insecticides, resistance management is suggested by using new insecticide with novel mode of action.

Keywords: control, Iran, resistance, vector

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550 Fabrication and Evaluation of Particleboards from Oil Palm Fronds Blend with Empty Fruit Bunch Fibre

Authors: Ghazi Faisal Najmuldeen, Wahida Amat Fadzila

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The aim of this study is to investigate physical and mechanical properties of experimental particleboards manufactured from mixing the oil palm fronds particles with empty fruit bunch fibers. Variables were two blending ratios (100:0 and 70:30), press temperature (160°C and 180°C) and press time (180 and 300 s). Experimental boards with a target density of 750 kg m-3 were manufactured from these two particles and fibers blended with urea formaldehyde resin and compressed into targeted thickness. The effect of these manufacturing conditions on bending strength, internal bonding, water absorption and thickness swelling were determined. From this research, it can be concluded that hybridization of fibers with fronds particles improved some properties of particleboard. Empty fruit bunch fibers and fronds particleboard showed better modulus of rupture and internal bonding than fronds particleboards.

Keywords: oil palm fronds, empty fruit bunch, particleboards, chemistry, environment

Procedia PDF Downloads 237
549 Influence of Strengthening of Hip Abductors and External Rotators in Treatment of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Authors: Karima Abdel Aty Hassan Mohamed, Manal Mohamed Ismail, Mona Hassan Gamal Eldein, Ahmed Hassan Hussein, Abdel Aziz Mohamed Elsingerg

Abstract:

Background: Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is a common musculoskeletal pain condition, especially in females. Decreased hip muscle strength has been implicated as a contributing factor, yet the relationships between pain, hip muscle strength and function are not known. Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of strengthening hip abductors and lateral rotators on pain intensity, function and hip abductor and hip lateral rotator eccentric and concentric torques in patients with PFPS. Methods: Thirty patients had participated in this study; they were assigned into two experimental groups. With age ranged for eighty to thirty five years. Group A consisted of 15 patients (11females and 4 males) with mean age 20.8 (±2.73) years, received closed kinetic chain exercises program, stretching exercises for tight lower extremity soft tissues, and hip strengthening exercises .Group B consisted of 15 patients (12 females and 3 males) with mean age 21.2(±3.27) years, received closed kinetic chain exercises program and stretching exercises for tight lower extremity soft tissues. Treatment was given 2-3times/week, for 6 weeks. Patients were evaluated pre and post treatment for their pain severity, function of knee joint, hip abductors and external rotators concentric/eccentric peak torque. Result: the results revealed that there were significant differences in pain and function between both groups, while there was improvement for all values for both group. Conclusion: Six weeks rehabilitation program focusing on knee strengthening exercises either supplemented by hip strengthening exercises or not effective in improving function, reducing pain and improving hip muscles torque in patients with PFPS. However, adding hip abduction and lateral rotation strengthening exercises seem to reduce pain and improve function more efficiently.

Keywords: patellofemoral pain syndrome, hip muscles, rehabilitation, isokinetic

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548 Perspectives of Saudi Students on Reasons for Seeking Private Tutors in English

Authors: Ghazi Alotaibi

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The current study examined and described the views of secondary school students and their parents on their reasons for seeking private tutors in English. These views were obtained through two group interviews with the students and parents separately. Several causes were brought up during the two interviews. These causes included difficulty of the English language, weak teacher performance, the need to pass exams with high marks, lack of parents’ follow-up of student school performance, social pressure, variability in student comprehension levels at school, weak English foundation in previous school years, repeated student absence from school, large classes, as well as English teachers’ heavy teaching loads. The study started with a description of the EFL educational system in Saudi Arabia and concluded with recommendations for the improvement of the school learning environment.

Keywords: english, learning difficulty, private tutoring, Saudi, teaching practices, learning environment

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547 Bioethanol Synthesis Using Cellulose Recovered from Biowaste

Authors: Ghazi Faisal Najmuldeen, Noridah Abdullah, Mimi Sakinah

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Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermentation, mostly from carbohydrates, Cellulosic biomass, derived from non-food sources, such as castor shell waste, is also being developed as a feedstock for ethanol production Cellulose extracted from biomass sources is considered the future feedstock for many products due to the availability and eco-friendly nature of cellulose. In this study, castor shell (CS) biowaste resulted from the extraction of Castor oil from castor seeds was evaluated as a potential source of cellulose. The cellulose was extracted after pretreatment process was done on the CS. The pretreatment process began with the removal of other extractives from CS, then an alkaline treatment, bleaching process with hydrogen peroxide, and followed by a mixture of acetic and nitric acids. CS cellulose was analysed by infrared absorption spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The result showed that the overall process was adequate to produce cellulose with high purity and crystallinity from CS waste. The cellulose was then hydrolyzed to produce glucose and then fermented to bioethanol.

Keywords: bioethanol, castor shell, cellulose, biowaste

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546 Prediction of Music Track Popularity: A Machine Learning Approach

Authors: Syed Atif Hassan, Luv Mehta, Syed Asif Hassan

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Hit song science is a field of investigation wherein machine learning techniques are applied to music tracks in order to extract such features from audio signals which can capture information that could explain the popularity of respective tracks. Record companies invest huge amounts of money into recruiting fresh talents and churning out new music each year. Gaining insight into the basis of why a song becomes popular will result in tremendous benefits for the music industry. This paper aims to extract basic musical and more advanced, acoustic features from songs while also taking into account external factors that play a role in making a particular song popular. We use a dataset derived from popular Spotify playlists divided by genre. We use ten genres (blues, classical, country, disco, hip-hop, jazz, metal, pop, reggae, rock), chosen on the basis of clear to ambiguous delineation in the typical sound of their genres. We feed these features into three different classifiers, namely, SVM with RBF kernel, a deep neural network, and a recurring neural network, to build separate predictive models and choosing the best performing model at the end. Predicting song popularity is particularly important for the music industry as it would allow record companies to produce better content for the masses resulting in a more competitive market.

Keywords: classifier, machine learning, music tracks, popularity, prediction

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545 Bias Optimization of Mach-Zehnder Modulator Considering RF Gain on OFDM Radio-Over-Fiber System

Authors: Ghazi Al Sukkar, Yazid Khattabi, Shifen Zhong

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Most of the recent wireless LANs, broadband access networks, and digital broadcasting use Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing techniques. In addition, the increasing demand of Data and Internet makes fiber optics an important technology, as fiber optics has many characteristics that make it the best solution for transferring huge frames of Data from a point to another. Radio over fiber is the place where high quality RF is converted to optical signals over single mode fiber. Optimum values for the bias level and the switching voltage for Mach-Zehnder modulator are important for the performance of radio over fiber links. In this paper, we propose a method to optimize the two parameters simultaneously; the bias and the switching voltage point of the external modulator of a radio over fiber system considering RF gain. Simulation results show the optimum gain value under these two parameters.

Keywords: OFDM, Mach Zehnder bias voltage, switching voltage, radio-over-fiber, RF gain

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544 Development of an Efficient Algorithm for Cessna Citation X Speed Optimization in Cruise

Authors: Georges Ghazi, Marc-Henry Devillers, Ruxandra M. Botez

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Aircraft flight trajectory optimization has been identified to be a promising solution for reducing both airline costs and the aviation net carbon footprint. Nowadays, this role has been mainly attributed to the flight management system. This system is an onboard multi-purpose computer responsible for providing the crew members with the optimized flight plan from a destination to the next. To accomplish this function, the flight management system uses a variety of look-up tables to compute the optimal speed and altitude for each flight regime instantly. Because the cruise is the longest segment of a typical flight, the proposed algorithm is focused on minimizing fuel consumption for this flight phase. In this paper, a complete methodology to estimate the aircraft performance and subsequently compute the optimal speed in cruise is presented. Results showed that the obtained performance database was accurate enough to predict the flight costs associated with the cruise phase.

Keywords: Cessna Citation X, cruise speed optimization, flight cost, cost index, and golden section search

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543 Assessment of Chemical and Physical Properties of Surface Water Resources in Flood Affected Area

Authors: Siti Hajar Ya’acob, Nor Sayzwani Sukri, Farah Khaliz Kedri, Rozidaini Mohd Ghazi, Nik Raihan Nik Yusoff, Aweng A/L Eh Rak

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Flood event that occurred in mid-December 2014 in East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia has driven attention from the public nationwide. Apart from loss and damage of properties and belongings, the massive flood event has introduced environmental disturbances on surface water resources in such flood affected area. A study has been conducted to measure the physical and chemical composition of Galas River and Pergau River prior to identification the flood impact towards environmental deterioration in surrounding area. Samples that have been collected were analyzed in-situ using YSI portable instrument and also in the laboratory for acid digestion and heavy metals analysis using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). Results showed that range of temperature (0C), DO (mg/L), Ec (µs/cm), TDS (mg/L), turbidity (NTU), pH, and salinity were 25.05-26.65, 1.51-5.85, 0.032-0.054, 0.022-0.035, 23.2-76.4, 3.46-7.31, and 0.01-0.02 respectively. The results from this study could be used as a primary database to evaluate the status of water quality of the respective river after the massive flood.

Keywords: flood, river, heavy metals, AAS

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542 Islamic Banking and Finance in Theory and Practice: The Experience of Malaysia and Algeria

Authors: Zidane Abderrezaq

Abstract:

This paper’s primary objective is to identify the relative importance of various Islamic financial products, in theory and in practice, by examining the financing records of the Bank Islam Malaysia (Berhad) and the Algeria Islamic Bank. Currently, seven available Islamic financing products are considered viable alternatives to interest-based conventional contracts: mudarabah (trust financing), musharakah (equity financing), ijarah (lease financing), murabahah (trade financing), qard al-hassan (welfare loan), bay` bi al-thaman al-ajil (deferred payment financing), and istisna` (progressive payments). Among these financial products, mudarabah and musharakah are the most distinct. Their unique characteristics (at least in theory) make Islamic banks and Islamic financing viable alternatives to the conventional interest-based financial system. The question before us is to determine the extent of mudarabah and musharakah in Islamic financing in practice. The data are as follows: the average mudarabah is 5% of total financing, and the average musharakah is less than 3%. The combined average of mudarabah and musharakah for the two Islamic banks is less than 4% of the total finance and advances. The average qard al-hassan is about 4%, while istisna` does not yet exist in practice. Murabahah is the most popular and dominates all other modes of Islamic financing. The average use of murabahah is over 54%. When the bay` bi al-thaman al-ajil is added to the murabahah, the percentage of total financing is shown to be 82.68%. This paper also explores some possible reasons why these two Islamic banks appear to prefer murabahah to mudarabah and musharakah.

Keywords: Islamic banking, Islamic finance, Islamic banking rofitability, investment banking

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541 Plastic Degradation Activity of Bacillus Sp. Isolated from the Gut of Plastic-Fed Yellow Mealworm

Authors: Najat El-Kurdi, Sherif Hammad, Mohamed Ghazi, Sahar El-Shatoury, Khaled Zakaria

Abstract:

The increasing number of plastic production and its importance to humanity in daily life made it a headache to the planet earth. The persistence of plastic wastes in the environment formed a serious problem. They are prominent with their capability to resist microbial degradation for decades. Thus, it was crucial to find ways to eliminate the plastics without depending on conventional recycling methods, which causes the formation of more hazardous compounds and doubles the problem. In this paper, mealworms were fed with a mixture of plastic wastes such as plastic bags, Styrofoam, PE foam, and plastic tarpaulins film as the sole food source for a month. Frass was collected at the end of the test and examined using FTIR analysis. Also, the gut bacteria were isolated and identified using 16S rRNA. The results show the mineralization of plastic in the frass of plastic-fed worms when compared to control. The 16S rRNA and the BLAST analysis showed that the obtained isolate belongs to the genus Bacillus Sp especially Bacillus subtilis. Phylogenetic analysis showed their relatedness to the other Bacillus species in the NCBI database.

Keywords: mealworm, waste management, plastic-degrading bacteria, gut microbiome, Bacillus sp

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540 The Viability of Islamic Finance and Its Impact on Global Financial Stability: Evidence from Practical Implications

Authors: Malik Shahzad Shabbir, Muhammad Saarim Ghazi, Amir Khalil ur Rehman

Abstract:

This study examines the factors which influence and contribute towards the financial viability of Islamic finance and its impact on global financial stability. However, the purpose of this paper is to differentiate the practical implications of both Islamic and conventional finance on global financial stability. The Islamic finance is asset backed financing which creates wealth through trade, commerce and believes in risk and return sharing. Islamic banking is asset driven as against to conventional banking which is liability driven. In order to introduce new financial products for market, financial innovation in Islamic finance must be within the Shari’ah parameters that are tested against the ‘Maqasid al-Shari’ah’. Interest-based system leads to income and wealth inequalities and mis-allocation of resources. Moreover, this system has absence of just and equitable aspect of distribution that may exploit either the debt holder or the financier. Such implications are reached to a tipping point that leaves only one choice: change or face continued decline and misery.

Keywords: viability, global financial stability, practical implications, asset driven, tipping point

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539 Task Evoked Pupillary Response for Surgical Task Difficulty Prediction via Multitask Learning

Authors: Beilei Xu, Wencheng Wu, Lei Lin, Rachel Melnyk, Ahmed Ghazi

Abstract:

In operating rooms, excessive cognitive stress can impede the performance of a surgeon, while low engagement can lead to unavoidable mistakes due to complacency. As a consequence, there is a strong desire in the surgical community to be able to monitor and quantify the cognitive stress of a surgeon while performing surgical procedures. Quantitative cognitiveload-based feedback can also provide valuable insights during surgical training to optimize training efficiency and effectiveness. Various physiological measures have been evaluated for quantifying cognitive stress for different mental challenges. In this paper, we present a study using the cognitive stress measured by the task evoked pupillary response extracted from the time series eye-tracking measurements to predict task difficulties in a virtual reality based robotic surgery training environment. In particular, we proposed a differential-task-difficulty scale, utilized a comprehensive feature extraction approach, and implemented a multitask learning framework and compared the regression accuracy between the conventional single-task-based and three multitask approaches across subjects.

Keywords: surgical metric, task evoked pupillary response, multitask learning, TSFresh

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538 Assessment of Germination Loss Due to Dusky Cotton Bug (Oxycarenus laetus) in Relation to Cotton Boll Stage and Bug Intensity

Authors: Ali Hassan, Mian Muhammad Awais, Muhammad Rafique Shahid, Farazia Hassan, Shumaila Rasool

Abstract:

Dusky cotton bug (Oxycarenus laetus) has attained the status of major insect pest of cotton. It is also known as seed bug due to its property of feeding on seeds. It causes floral abscission at flowering stage and reduction in seed germination. Present study was carried out to assess germination loss caused by dusky bug with respect to crop stage and insect intensity. Treatments consisted of three stages immature boll, mature boll and opened boll as well three levels of dusky bug i.e., 50 bugs per boll, 40 bugs per boll along with zero level kept as control. Results showed that the germination percentage was highest in control treatment where no insect was released followed by treatment where 40 insects released and minimum germination showed by treatment in which 50 insects were released. The germination percentage of seeds surpassed after control treatment in the treatment where dusky bugs exposure was given at boll opening stage than on mature boll stage. Minimum germination was observed in immature boll stage. Interaction between crop stages and dusky bug levels showed that germination percentage of seeds was maximum in control treatment then boll opening stage followed by mature boll stage. Minimum seed germination was recorded in dusky bug treatment at immature boll stage which was 34% where 50 insects were released. From the results it is clear that dusky bug should be managed properly at all reproductive stages but immature stage is most critical.

Keywords: Gossypium hirsutum, Oxycarenus laetus, seed bug, seed germination

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