Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: Hassen Mnif

26 Remote Video Supervision via DVB-H Channels

Authors: Hanen Ghabi, Youssef Oudhini, Hassen Mnif

Abstract:

By reference to recent publications dealing with the same problem, and as a follow-up to this research work already published, we propose in this article a new original idea of tele supervision exploiting the opportunities offered by the DVB-H system. The objective is to exploit the RF channels of the DVB-H network in order to insert digital remote monitoring images dedicated to a remote solar power plant. Indeed, the DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld) broadcasting system was designed and deployed for digital broadcasting on the same platform as the parent system, DVB-T. We claim to be able to exploit this approach in order to satisfy the operator of remote photovoltaic sites (and others) in order to remotely control the components of isolated installations by means of video surveillance.

Keywords: video surveillance, digital video broadcast-handheld, photovoltaic sites, AVC

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25 Organic Waste Valorization for Biodiesel Production: Chemical and Biological Approach

Authors: Meha Alouini, Wissem Mnif, Yasmine Souissi

Abstract:

This work will be conducted within the framework of the environmental sustainable development. It involves waste recovering into biodiesel fuel. Low cost feedstocks such as waste of frying oil and animal fats have been utilized to replace refined vegetable oil for biodiesel production. Biodiesel which refers to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) was carried out by both chemical and enzymatic reaction of transesterification. In order to compare the two studied reactions the obtained biodiesel was characterized by determining its esters content and its fuel properties according to the European standard EN 14214. It was noted that the chemical method gave the product with the best physical property. But the biological one was found more effective for obtaining important ester content. Thus it would be interesting to optimize the enzymatic pathway of production of biodiesel to obtain a better property of biodiesel.

Keywords: biodiesel, fatty acid methyl esters, transesterification, waste frying oil, waste beef fat

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24 Applying Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process for Subcontractor Selection

Authors: Halimi Mohamed Taher, Kordoghli Bassem, Ben Hassen Mohamed, Sakli Faouzi

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Textile and clothing manufacturing industry is based largely on subcontracting system. Choosing the right subcontractor became a strategic decision that can affect the financial position of the company and even his market position. Subcontracting firms in Tunisia are lead to define an appropriate selection process which takes into account several quantitative and qualitative criteria. In this study, a methodology is proposed that includes a Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in order to incorporate the ambiguities and uncertainties in qualitative decision. Best subcontractors for two Tunisian firms are determined based on model results.

Keywords: AHP, subcontractor, multicriteria, selection

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23 Using Geographic Information Systems in the Desertification Risk’s Cartography: Case South of the Aurès Region, Algeria

Authors: Benmessaoud Hassen

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The sensitivity to the desertification map of the south of Aurès region has been elaborated by the crossing of four thematic layers capable to have an impact on the process of desertification. The following step is inspired of MEDALUS (Mediterranean desertification and land Use), which use qualitative index to define the environment zones sensitive to the desertification. The cartographical information of vegetation, the climate, the soil and the socioeconomic state descended from cartographic data transformed to numerical data then seized on, structured and managed by an algorithm dedicated to a geographical information system. In step with information, each layer makes object of 3 or 4 classes, the geometrical median of the four layers used are leaded to sensitivity classes (ISD) of different mapped environment.

Keywords: information systems, thematic layers, the sensitivity to the desertification map, concept MEDALUS, South of Aurès

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22 Quality Fabric Optimization Using Genetic Algorithms

Authors: Halimi Mohamed Taher, Kordoghli Bassem, Ben Hassen Mohamed, Sakli Faouzi

Abstract:

Textile industry has been an important part of many developing countries economies such as Tunisia. This industry is confronted with a challenging and increasing competitive environment. Good quality management in production process is the key factor for retaining existence especially in raw material exploitation. The present work aims to develop an intelligent system for fabric inspection. In the first step, we have studied the method used for fabric control which takes into account the default length and localization in woven. In the second step, we have used a method based on the fuzzy logic to minimize the Demerit point indicator with appropriate total rollers length, so that the quality problem becomes multi-objective. In order to optimize the total fabric quality, we have applied the genetic algorithm (GA).

Keywords: fabric control, Fuzzy logic, genetic algorithm, quality management

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21 Hepatoprotective Effect of Mycophenolate Mofetil against Tacrolimus Exposure in Rat

Authors: Ferjani Hanen, El Arem Amira, Boussema Ayed Imen, Bacha Hassen

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Tacrolimus (TAC), a calcineurin inhibitor, is clinically used as an immunosuppressive agent in the transplant recipient, but its use associated-hepatotoxicity. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), an anti-metabolite, is a potent immunosuppressive drug. MMF is not hepatotoxic and is the most common adjunctive immunosuppressant for TAC. The effects of TAC and MMF combination in the liver is still not well understood. This work aimed to investigate their combined effect against in liver in rats Wistar after 24 h. The oral median lethal doses (LD50) of TAC and MMF alone were evaluated in rats are 240 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg respectively. Oral administration of the MMF at 50 mg/kg to male Wistar intoxicated with TAC at 60 mg/kg, demonstrated a significant protective effect by lowering the levels of hepatic markers enzymes (AST, ALT) in the serum rat. MMF attenuated oxidative stress by restoring the activities of SOD, CAT and by reducing the malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl levels liver. This study provided evidence that MMF protects rat liver from TAC-induced injury and suggests a most combination use for organ transplantation.

Keywords: tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, combination, liver, rat

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20 Stipagrostis ciliata (Desf.) De Winter: A Promising Pastoral Species for Ecological Restoration in North African Arid Bioclimate

Authors: Lobna Mnif Fakhfakh, Mohamed Chaieb

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Most ecological studies in North Africa reveal a process of continuous degradation of pastoral ecosystems as a result of overgrazing. This degradation appears across the depletion of perennial grass species. Indeed, the majority of steppic ecosystems are characterized by a low density of perennial grasses. This phenomenon reveals a drop in food value of rangelands, which is now estimated at less than 100 UF.ha -1. -1 Year in all North African steppes. However, for ecological restoration initiatives, some species such the genus of Stipagrostis and Stipa can be considered a good candidates species for effective pastoral improvement under arid bioclimate. The present work concerns Stipagrostis ciliata (Desf.) De Winter, perennial grasses, abundant in ecosystems characterized by the high content of gypsum (CaSO4)2H2O in the southern Tunisia. This tufted species with C4 biochemical photosynthesis type is able to grow and develop under high temperature and low annual rainfall, where the minimum water potential (ψmd), can reach -4 MPa during the summer season with a phenological growth maintained throughout the season unfavorable. At this point in the early autumn rains, S. ciliata begins its growth, especially with a heading which occurs 2-3 weeks after the first autumn rains. From the foregoing, it can be concluded that Stipagrostis ciliata is an excellent promising pastoral species for the ecological restoration, and enhancement of ecosystems biological productivity in arid bioclimate of North Africa.

Keywords: Stipagrostis ciliata, pastoral species, ecological restoration, arid bioclimate

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19 Phenological Variability among Stipagrostis ciliata Accessions Growing under Arid Bioclimate of Southern of Tunisia

Authors: Lobna Mnif Fakhfakh, Mohamed Chaieb

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Most ecological studies in North Africa arid bioclimate reveal a process of continuous degradation of pastoral ecosystems as a result of overgrazing during a long time. This degradation appears across the depletion of perennial grass species. Indeed, the majority of steppe ecosystems are characterized by a low density of perennial grasses. The objective of the present work is to examine the phenology and the above ground growth of several Stipagrostis ciliata accessions, growing under different arid bioclimate of North Africa (case of Tunisia). The results of the ANOVA test, next to the mean values of all measurements show significant differences in all morphological parameters of S. ciliata accessions. Plant diameter, biovolume, root biomass with protective sleeve and spike number show very significant. Differences between S. ciliata accessions. Significance tests for the differences of means indicate high distinctiveness of accessions. Pearson’s correlation analysis of the morphological traits suggests that these traits are significantly and positively correlated. Cluster analysis indicates overall differences among accessions and exhibits the presence of three clusters. The Principal component analysis (PCA) is applied on a table with four observations and 12 variables. Dispersion of Stipagrostis ciliata accessions on the first two axes of principal component analysis confirms the presence of three groups of plants. The characterization of Stipagrostis ciliata plants has shown that significant differences exist in terms of morphological and phenological parameters.

Keywords: accession, morphology, phenology, Stipagrostis ciliata

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18 Mobile Platform’s Attitude Determination Based on Smoothed GPS Code Data and Carrier-Phase Measurements

Authors: Mohamed Ramdani, Hassen Abdellaoui, Abdenour Boudrassen

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Mobile platform’s attitude estimation approaches mainly based on combined positioning techniques and developed algorithms; which aim to reach a fast and accurate solution. In this work, we describe the design and the implementation of an attitude determination (AD) process, using only measurements from GPS sensors. The major issue is based on smoothed GPS code data using Hatch filter and raw carrier-phase measurements integrated into attitude algorithm based on vectors measurement using least squares (LSQ) estimation method. GPS dataset from a static experiment is used to investigate the effectiveness of the presented approach and consequently to check the accuracy of the attitude estimation algorithm. Attitude results from GPS multi-antenna over short baselines are introduced and analyzed. The 3D accuracy of estimated attitude parameters using smoothed measurements is over 0.27°.

Keywords: attitude determination, GPS code data smoothing, hatch filter, carrier-phase measurements, least-squares attitude estimation

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17 Rheological Model for Describing Spunlace Nonwoven Behavior

Authors: Sana Ridene, Soumaya Sayeb, Houda Helali, Mohammed Ben Hassen

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Nonwoven structures have a range of applications which include Medical, filtration, geotextile and recently this unconventional fabric is finding a niche in fashion apparel. In this paper, a modified form of Vangheluwe rheological model is used to describe the mechanical behavior of nonwovens fabrics in uniaxial tension. This model is an association in parallel of three Maxwell elements characterized by damping coefficients η1, η2 and η3 and E1, E2, E3 elastic modulus and a nonlinear spring C. The model is verified experimentally with two types of nonwovens (50% viscose /50% Polyester) and (40% viscose/60% Polyester) and a range of three square weights values. Comparative analysis of the theoretical model and the experimental results of tensile test proofs a high correlation between them. The proposed model can fairly well replicate the behavior of nonwoven fabrics during relaxation and sample traction. This allowed us to predict the mechanical behavior in tension and relaxation of fabrics starting only from their technical parameters (composition and weight).

Keywords: mechanical behavior, tensile strength, relaxation, rheological model

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16 Recycling of Post-Industrial Cotton Wastes: Quality and Rotor Spinning of Reclaimed Fibers

Authors: Béchir Wanassi, Béchir Azzouz, Taher Halimi, Mohamed Ben Hassen

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Mechanical recycling of post-industrial cotton yarn wastes, as well as the effects of passage number on the properties of reclaimed fibers, have been investigated. A new Modified Fiber Quality Index (MFQI) and Spinning Consistency Index (MSCI) for the characterization of the quality are presented. This index gives the real potential of spinnability according to its physical properties. The best quality of reclaimed fibers (after 7th passage) was used to produce rotor yarns. 100% recycling cotton yarns were produced in open-end spinning system with different rotor speed (i.e. 65000, 70000, and 80000 rpm), opening roller speed (i.e. 7700, 8200, and 8700 rpm) and twist factor (i.e. 137, 165, and 183). The effects of spinning parameters were investigated to evaluate a 100% recycling cotton yarns quality (TQI, hairiness, thin places, and thick places) using DOE method.

Keywords: cotton wastes, DOE, mechanical recycling, rotor spinning

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15 Images Selection and Best Descriptor Combination for Multi-Shot Person Re-Identification

Authors: Yousra Hadj Hassen, Walid Ayedi, Tarek Ouni, Mohamed Jallouli

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To re-identify a person is to check if he/she has been already seen over a cameras network. Recently, re-identifying people over large public cameras networks has become a crucial task of great importance to ensure public security. The vision community has deeply investigated this area of research. Most existing researches rely only on the spatial appearance information from either one or multiple person images. Actually, the real person re-id framework is a multi-shot scenario. However, to efficiently model a person’s appearance and to choose the best samples to remain a challenging problem. In this work, an extensive comparison of descriptors of state of the art associated with the proposed frame selection method is studied. Specifically, we evaluate the samples selection approach using multiple proposed descriptors. We show the effectiveness and advantages of the proposed method by extensive comparisons with related state-of-the-art approaches using two standard datasets PRID2011 and iLIDS-VID.

Keywords: camera network, descriptor, model, multi-shot, person re-identification, selection

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14 The Study of the Socio-Economic and Environmental Impact on the Semi-Arid Environments Using GIS in the Eastern Aurès, Algeria

Authors: Benmessaoud Hassen

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We propose in this study to address the impact of socio-economic and environmental impact on the physical environment, especially their spatiotemporal dynamics in semi-arid and arid eastern Aurès. Including 11 municipalities, the study area spreads out over a relatively large surface area of about 60.000 ha. The hindsight is quite important and is determined by 03 days of analysis of environmental variation spread over thirty years (between 1987 and 2007). The multi-source data acquired in this context are integrated into a geographic information system (GIS).This allows, among other indices to calculate areas and classes for each thematic layer of the 4 layers previously defined by a method inspired MEDALUS (Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use).The database created is composed of four layers of information (population, livestock, farming and land use). His analysis in space and time has been supplemented by a validation of the ground truth. Once the database has corrected it used to develop the comprehensive map with the calculation of the index of socio-economic and environmental (ISCE). The map supports and the resulting information does not consist only of figures on the present situation but could be used to forecast future trends.

Keywords: impact of socio-economic and environmental, spatiotemporal dynamics, semi-arid environments, GIS, Eastern Aurès

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13 Nonlinear Structural Behavior of Micro- and Nano-Actuators Using the Galerkin Discretization Technique

Authors: Hassen M. Ouakad

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In this paper, the influence of van der Waals, as well as electrostatic forces on the structural behavior of MEMS and NEMS actuators, has been investigated using of a Euler-Bernoulli beam continuous model. In the proposed nonlinear model, the electrostatic fringing-fields and the mid-plane stretching (geometric nonlinearity) effects have been considered. The nonlinear integro-differential equation governing the static structural behavior of the actuator has been derived. An original Galerkin-based reduced-order model has been developed to avoid problems arising from the nonlinearities in the differential equation. The obtained reduced-order model equations have been solved numerically using the Newton-Raphson method. The basic design parameters such as the pull-in parameters (voltage and deflection at pull-in), as well as the detachment length due to the van der Waals force of some investigated micro- and nano-actuators have been calculated. The obtained numerical results have been compared with some other existing methods (finite-elements method and finite-difference method) and the comparison showed good agreement among all assumed numerical techniques.

Keywords: MEMS, NEMS, fringing-fields, mid-plane stretching, Galerkin

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12 Malachite Green and Red Congo Dyes Adsorption onto Chemical Treated Sewage Sludge

Authors: Zamouche Meriem, Mehcene Ismahan, Temmine Manel, Bencheikh Lehocine Mosaab, Meniai Abdeslam Hassen

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In this study, the adsorption of Malachite Green (MG) by chemical treated sewage sludge has been studied. The sewage sludge, collected from drying beds of the municipal wastewater treatment station of IBN ZIED, Constantine, Algeria, was treated by different acids such us HNO₃, H₂SO₄, H₃PO₄ for modifying its aptitude to removal the MG from aqueous solutions. The results obtained shows that the sewage sludge activated by sulfuric acid give the highest elimination amounts of MG (9.52 mg/L) compared by the other acids used. The effects of operation parameters have been investigated, the results obtained show that the adsorption capacity per unit of adsorbent mass decreases from 18.69 to 1.20 mg/g when the mass of the adsorbent increases from 0.25 to 4 g respectively, the optimum mass for which a maximum of elimination of the dye is equal to 0.5g. The increasing in the temperature of the solution results in a slight decrease in the adsorption capacity of the chemically treated sludge. The highest amount of dye adsorbed by CSSS (9.56 mg/g) was observed for the optimum temperature of 25°C. The chemical activated sewage sludge proved its effectiveness for the removal of the Red Congo (RC), but by comparison the adsorption of the two dyes studies, we noted that the sludge has more affinity to adsorb the (MG).

Keywords: adsorption, chemical activation, malachite green, sewage sludge

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11 Wetting Treatement: Comparative Overview: Case of Polypropylene Top Sheet Layer on Disposable Baby Diaper

Authors: Tilouche Rahma, Sayeb Soumaya, Ben Hassen Mohamed

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The wettability of materials is a very important aspect of surface science, it presents a key factor providing the best characteristic of product, especially in hygienic field. Hydrophobic polypropylene is used as nonwoven topsheet in disposable diaper, for its interesting properties (toughness, lightness...) by comparing with traditional product previously used. SURFACTANTs are widely used to reduce contact angle (water contact angles larger than 90° on smooth surfaces) and to change wetting properties. In the present work, we study ways to obtain hydrophilic polypropylene surface, by the deposition of a variety of surfactant on surfaces of varying morphology. We used two different methods for surface wetting: Spraying method and the coating method. The concentration of the wetting agent, the type of non-woven fabric and the parameters in the method for controlling, hugely affect the quality of treatment. Therefore need that the treatment is effective in terms of contact angle without affecting the mechanical properties of the nonwoven. For the assessment of the quality of treatment, two methods are used: The measurement of the contact angle and the strike trough time. Also, with subjective evaluation by Hedonic test (which involves the consumer preference (naive panel: group of moms). Finally, we selected the better treated topsheet referring to the assessment results.

Keywords: SURFACTANT, topsheet polypropylene, hydrophilic, hydrophobic

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10 Childhood Obesity in Japan: Trends in Obesity Prevalence among Japanese Kids under 17 Years Old from 2007 to 2016

Authors: Houda Mnif Sellami, Toshi Umehara, Yuriko Yamazaki, Reie Matoba, Anna Sakashita, Yoshimi Abe, Hiroyuki Otake, Satoko Morita, Yoshitaka Akiyama, Chieko Morisawa, Eiji Omura, Masako Yazawa, Yoshie Koike, Mitsugu Tokunaga, Seiki Wada, Shinya Minagawa, Masafumi Matsuda

Abstract:

Childhood obesity has been, for decades, a very serious public health problem worldwide. Some Asian countries have already reached alarming rates, as lifestyle changed dramatically in this part of the world. In many concerned countries, strategies including educational, promotional and awareness-raising activities have been established to combat obesity within kids. Objective: To estimate the obesity and also the underweight trends of Japanese kids from 5 to 17 years, by single year of age and by gender, over the last decade. Methods We used the data from the cross-sectional annual Nationwide surveys (National Nutrition Survey, Japan, Ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology) conducted from 2007 to 2016. We compared trajectories of obesity prevalence, with the data on sex and age groups. We also analyzed energy and macronutrients intakes of Japanese kids using Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare-Japan annual data, from 2007 to 2014. Results: From 2007 to 2016, Boys obesity was higher than Girls obesity for the over 6 YO participants. Both Boys and Girls obesity trends had 2 peaks of prevalence at (11-13 YO) and then at (15-16 YO). From 2007 to 2012, Kids obesity decreased considerably in both sex and all year of age; then obesity decline was more modest till 2016.On the other side, Kids underweight prevalence increased in both sexes. The macronutrients analyze couldn’t show an evident association between obesity trends and foods intake. Conclusion: Japanese kids’ obesity has been decreased since 2007, in opposition to some other countries reports. We didn’t find an observed association with food intake using Health Ministry data; we need further investigation to estimate energy intake, lifestyle and physical activity by year of age to know whether there is any possible relation.

Keywords: childhood, Japan, obesity, underweight

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9 An Efficient Subcarrier Scheduling Algorithm for Downlink OFDMA-Based Wireless Broadband Networks

Authors: Hassen Hamouda, Mohamed Ouwais Kabaou, Med Salim Bouhlel

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The growth of wireless technology made opportunistic scheduling a widespread theme in recent research. Providing high system throughput without reducing fairness allocation is becoming a very challenging task. A suitable policy for resource allocation among users is of crucial importance. This study focuses on scheduling multiple streaming flows on the downlink of a WiMAX system based on orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA). In this paper, we take the first step in formulating and analyzing this problem scrupulously. As a result, we proposed a new scheduling scheme based on Round Robin (RR) Algorithm. Because of its non-opportunistic process, RR does not take in account radio conditions and consequently it affect both system throughput and multi-users diversity. Our contribution called MORRA (Modified Round Robin Opportunistic Algorithm) consists to propose a solution to this issue. MORRA not only exploits the concept of opportunistic scheduler but also takes into account other parameters in the allocation process. The first parameter is called courtesy coefficient (CC) and the second is called Buffer Occupancy (BO). Performance evaluation shows that this well-balanced scheme outperforms both RR and MaxSNR schedulers and demonstrate that choosing between system throughput and fairness is not required.

Keywords: OFDMA, opportunistic scheduling, fairness hierarchy, courtesy coefficient, buffer occupancy

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8 Removal of Metal Ions (II) Using a Synthetic Bis(2-Pyridylmethyl)Amino-Chloroacetyl Chloride- Ethylenediamine-Grafted Graphene Oxide Sheets

Authors: Laroussi Chaabane, Emmanuel Beyou, Amel El Ghali, Mohammed Hassen V. Baouab

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The functionalization of graphene oxide sheets by ethylenediamine (EDA) was accomplished followed by the grafting of bis(2-pyridylmethyl)amino group (BPED) onto the activated graphene oxide sheets in the presence of chloroacetylchloride (CAC) produced the martial [(Go-EDA-CAC)-BPED]. The physic-chemical properties of [(Go-EDA-CAC)-BPED] composites were investigated by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPs), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Moreover, [(Go-EDA-CAC)-BPED] was used for removing M(II) (where M=Cu, Ni and Co) ions from aqueous solutions using a batch process. The effect of pH, contact time and temperature were investigated. More importantly, the [(Go-EDA-CAC)-BPED] adsorbent exhibited remarkable performance in capturing heavy metal ions from water. The maximum adsorption capacity values of Cu(II), Ni(II) and Co(II) on the [(GO-EDA-CAC)-BPED] at the pH of 7 is 3.05 mmol.g⁻¹, 3.25 mmol.g⁻¹ and 3.05 mmol.g⁻¹ respectively. To examine the underlying mechanism of the adsorption process, pseudo-first, pseudo-second-order, and intraparticle diffusion models were fitted to experimental kinetic data. Results showed that the pseudo-second-order equation was appropriate to describe the three metal ions adsorption by [(Go-EDA-CAC)-BPED]. Adsorption data were further analyzed by the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Jossensadsorption approaches. Additionally, the adsorption properties of the [(Go-EDA-CAC)-BPED], their reusability (more than 10 cycles) and durability in the aqueous solutions open the path to removal of metal ions (Cu(II), Ni(II) and Co(II) from water solution. Based on the results obtained, we conclude that [(Go-EDA-CAC)-BPED] can be an effective and potential adsorbent for removing metal ions from an aqueous solution.

Keywords: graphene oxide, bis(2-pyridylmethyl)amino, adsorption kinetics, isotherms

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7 Efficiency of PCR-RFLP for the Identification of Adulteries in Meat Formulation

Authors: Hela Gargouri, Nizar Moalla, Hassen Hadj Kacem

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Meat adulteration affecting the safety and quality of food is becoming one of the main concerns of public interest across the world. The drastic consequences on the meat industry highlighted the urgent necessity to control the products' quality and to point out the complexity of both supply and processing circuits. Due to the expansion of this problem, the authentic testing of foods, particularly meat and its products, is deemed crucial to avoid unfair market competition and to protect consumers from fraudulent practices of meat adulteration. The adoption of authentication methods by the food quality-control laboratories is becoming a priority issue. However, in some developing countries, the number of food tests is still insignificant, although a variety of processed and traditional meat products are widely consumed. Little attention has been paid to provide an easy, fast, reproducible, and low-cost molecular test, which could be conducted in a basic laboratory. In the current study, the 359 bp fragment of the cytochrome-b gene was mapped by PCR-RFLP using firstly fresh biological supports (DNA and meat) and then turkey salami as an example of commercial processed meat. This technique has been established through several optimizations, namely: the selection of restriction enzymes. The digestion with BsmAI, SspI, and TaaI succeed to identify the seven included animal species when meat is formed by individual species and when the meat is a mixture of different origin. In this study, the PCR-RFLP technique using universal primer succeed to meet our needs by providing an indirect sequencing method identifying by restriction enzymes the specificities characterizing different species on the same amplicon reducing the number of potential tests.

Keywords: adulteration, animal species, authentication, meat, mtDNA, PCR-RFLP

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6 The Nexus between Migration and Human Security: The Case of Ethiopian Female Migration to Sudan

Authors: Anwar Hassen Tsega

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International labor migration is an integral part of the modern globalized world. However, the phenomenon has its roots in some earlier periods in human history. This paper discusses the relatively new phenomenon of female migration in Africa. In the past, African women migrants were only spouses or dependent family members. But as modernity swept most African societies, with rising unemployment rates, there is evidence everywhere in Africa that women labor migration is a growing phenomenon that deserves to be understood in the context of human security research. This work explores these issues further, focusing on the experience of Ethiopian women labor migrants to Sudan. The migration of Ethiopian people to Sudan is historical; nevertheless, labor migration mainly started since the discovery and subsequent exploration of oil in the Sudan. While the paper is concerned with the human security aspect of the migrant workers, we need to be certain that the migration process will provide with a decent wage, good working conditions, the necessary social security coverage, and labor protection as a whole. However, migration to Sudan is not always safe and female migrants become subject to violence at the hands of brokers, employers and migration officials. For this matter, the paper argued that identifying the vulnerable stages and major problem facing female migrant workers at various stages of migration is a prerequisite to combat the problem and secure the lives of the migrant workers. The major problems female migrants face include extra degrees of gender-based violence, underpayment, various forms of abuse like verbal, physical and sexual and other forms of torture which include beating and slaps. This peculiar situation could be attributed to the fact that most of these women are irregular migrants and fall under the category of unskilled and/or illiterate migrants.

Keywords: Ethiopia, human security, labor migration, Sudan

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5 Linear Decoding Applied to V5/MT Neuronal Activity on Past Trials Predicts Current Sensory Choices

Authors: Ben Hadj Hassen Sameh, Gaillard Corentin, Andrew Parker, Kristine Krug

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Perceptual decisions about sequences of sensory stimuli often show serial dependence. The behavioural choice on one trial is often affected by the choice on previous trials. We investigated whether the neuronal signals in extrastriate visual area V5/MT on preceding trials might influence choice on the current trial and thereby reveal the neuronal mechanisms of sequential choice effects. We analysed data from 30 single neurons recorded from V5/MT in three Rhesus monkeys making sequential choices about the direction of rotation of a three-dimensional cylinder. We focused exclusively on the responses of neurons that showed significant choice-related firing (mean choice probability =0.73) while the monkey viewed perceptually ambiguous stimuli. Application of a wavelet transform to the choice-related firing revealed differences in the frequency band of neuronal activity that depended on whether the previous trial resulted in a correct choice for an unambiguous stimulus that was in the neuron’s preferred direction (low alpha and high beta and gamma) or non-preferred direction (high alpha and low beta and gamma). To probe this in further detail, we applied a regularized linear decoder to predict the choice for an ambiguous trial by referencing the neuronal activity of the preceding unambiguous trial. Neuronal activity on a previous trial provided a significant prediction of the current choice (61% correc, 95%Cl~52%t), even when limiting analysis to preceding trials that were correct and rewarded. These findings provide a potential neuronal signature of sequential choice effects in the primate visual cortex.

Keywords: perception, decision making, attention, decoding, visual system

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4 Novel Oral Anticoagulants (NOACS) Adherence and Bleeding Events in Atrial Fibrillation Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Tadesse Melaku Abegaz, Akshaya Srikanth Bahagavathula, Abdulla Shehab Sheab, Asim Hassen

Abstract:

Objectives: Non-adherence and discontinuation of anticoagulant therapy lead to increased ischemic stroke risk and contributes to suboptimal outcomes of the anticoagulant treatment. This systematic review and meta-analysis were aimed to investigate the adherence to NOACs and adverse events in patients with AF. Methods: Original research articles conducted on patients with AF and using any NOACs (dabigatran, rivoraxaban and apixaban) reporting adherence for at least 35 days were included. Scientific databases including PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched using MeSH keywords to obtaining literature researched between 2008 to till June, 2016. Study characteristics, patient’s sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, medication adherence levels and bleeding events reported were recorded. Results: The overall sample size of the six studies is 1,640,157, with CHADS2 scores < 2 in 551 patients, CHADS2-VASc ≥ 2 in 62,232 AF patients. Three-forth [75.6% (95%CI= 66.5-84.8), p < 0.001] are adherent to NOACs. However, a higher rate [72.7% (62.5-82.9), p < 0.001] of adherence was observed with Dabigatran than Apixaban [59.9% (3.2-123.1), p=0.063] and Rivaroxaban [59.3% (38.7-80.0), p<0.001]. Sub-group analysis revealed that nearly 57% of the AF patients on NOACs have CHADS2 scores < 2 and 20% of these patients were non-adherent to NOACs. Overall bleeding events rate associated with NOACs non-adherent AF patients was found to be 7.5% (0.2-14.8), p=0.045. However, nearly 11.2% of AF patients experienced bleeding events were non-adherent to NOAC medications. A higher proportion of bleeding events were noticed with Dabigatran (14.7%). Conclusions: Adherence rates, while uniformly suboptimal, nevertheless varied considerably, lowest at 59.3% for rivaroxaban and 59.9% for apixaban, followed by dabigatran (75.6%). Overall bleeding events associated with NOACs rates were 7.5%. However, lower adherence to NOACs was associated with worse outcomes among patients with greater stroke risk.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation, bleeding events, meta-analysis, novel oral anticoagulants

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3 Synthetic Bis(2-Pyridylmethyl)Amino-Chloroacetyl Chloride- Ethylenediamine-Grafted Graphene Oxide Sheets Combined with Magnetic Nanoparticles: Remove Metal Ions and Catalytic Application

Authors: Laroussi Chaabane, Amel El Ghali, Emmanuel Beyou, Mohamed Hassen V. Baouab

Abstract:

In this research, the functionalization of graphene oxide sheets by ethylenediamine (EDA) was accomplished and followed by the grafting of bis(2-pyridylmethyl) amino group (BPED) onto the activated graphene oxide sheets in the presence of chloroacetylchloride (CAC) and then combined with magnetic nanoparticles (Fe₃O₄NPs) to produce a magnetic graphene-based composite [(Go-EDA-CAC)@Fe₃O₄NPs-BPED]. The physicochemical properties of [(Go-EDA-CAC)@Fe₃O₄NPs-BPED] composites were investigated by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Additionally, the catalysts can be easily recycled within ten seconds by using an external magnetic field. Moreover, [(Go-EDA-CAC)@Fe₃O₄NPs-BPED] was used for removing Cu(II) ions from aqueous solutions using a batch process. The effect of pH, contact time and temperature on the metal ions adsorption were investigated, however weakly dependent on ionic strength. The maximum adsorption capacity values of Cu(II) on the [(Go-EDA-CAC)@Fe₃O₄NPs-BPED] at the pH of 6 is 3.46 mmol.g⁻¹. To examine the underlying mechanism of the adsorption process, pseudo-first, pseudo-second-order, and intraparticle diffusion models were fitted to experimental kinetic data. Results showed that the pseudo-second-order equation was appropriate to describe the Cu (II) adsorption by [(Go-EDA-CAC)@Fe₃O₄NPs-BPED]. Adsorption data were further analyzed by the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Jossens adsorption approaches. Additionally, the adsorption properties of the [(Go-EDA-CAC)@Fe₃O₄NPs-BPED], their reusability (more than 6 cycles) and durability in the aqueous solutions open the path to removal of Cu(II) from water solution. Based on the results obtained, we report the activity of Cu(II) supported on [(Go-EDA-CAC)@Fe₃O₄NPs-BPED] as a catalyst for the cross-coupling of symmetric alkynes.

Keywords: graphene, magnetic nanoparticles, adsorption kinetics/isotherms, cross coupling

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2 Factors Associated with Uptake of Influenza and Pertussis Vaccination in Pregnant Women

Authors: Hassen Mohammed, Michelle Clarke, Helen Marshall

Abstract:

Maternal immunization is an effective strategy to protect pregnant women and their offspring from vaccine-preventable diseases. Despite the recommendation of maternal influenza and more recently pertussis immunization in Australia, uptake of these vaccines has been suboptimal. Monitoring the impact of the current funded vaccine programs for pregnant women is limited. The study aimed to assess the impact of the funded program and determine factors associated with vaccine uptake in pregnant women. This observational prospective study was undertaken between November 2014 and July 2016 at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in South Australia (WCH). Demographic details and vaccination history from South Australian pregnant women who attended the WCH were reviewed. A standardized self-reported survey was conducted in antenatal care with a follow up telephone interview at 8-10 weeks post-delivery. A midwife delivered immunization program for pregnant women in antenatal clinic commenced in April 2015. Of the 180 pregnant women who completed the survey questionnaire, 75.5% and 80.5 % received maternal influenza and pertussis vaccines respectively. First-time mothers had twice the odds of having received influenza vaccine during pregnancy than multiparous women (OR 2.4; CI 1.14 - 4.94; p= 0.021). The proportion of women who received pertussis vaccine during pregnancy, following the introduction of the midwife delivered pertussis vaccination program (140/155, 90.3%) was significantly higher compared with women who received maternal pertussis vaccination prior to the introduction of the program (5/22, 23.7%, p < 0.001). The odds of women receiving maternal pertussis vaccine following the implementation of the midwife delivered program were 31 times higher than women who delivered babies prior to the program (OR 31.7, CI 10.24- 98.27; p < 0.001). High uptake of influenza and pertussis vaccines during pregnancy can be attained with health care provider recommendation and inclusion of maternal immunization as part of standard antenatal care.

Keywords: influenza, maternal immunization, pertussis, provider recommendation

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1 Validation of the Arabic Version of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)

Authors: Arij Yehya, Suhaila Ghuloum, Abdlmoneim Abdulhakam, Azza Al-Mujalli, Mark Opler, Samer Hammoudeh, Yahya Hani, Sundus Mari, Reem Elsherbiny, Ziyad Mahfoud, Hassen Al-Amin

Abstract:

Introduction: The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) is a valid instrument developed by Kay and colleagues6 to assess symptoms of patients with schizophrenia. It consists of 30 items that factor the symptoms into three subscales: positive, negative and general psychopathology. This scale has been translated and validated in several languages. Objective: This study aims to determine the validity and psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the PANSS. Methods: A standardized translation and cultural adaptation method was adopted. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (n=98), according to psychiatrist’s diagnosis based on DSM-IV criteria, were recruited from the Psychiatry Department at Rumailah Hospital, Qatar. A first rater confirmed the diagnosis using the Arabic version of Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI 6). A second and independent rater-administered the Arabic version of PANSS. Also, a control group (n=101), with no history of psychiatric disorder was recruited from the family and friends of the patients and from primary health care centers in Qatar. Results: There were more males than females in our sample of patients with schizophrenia (68.9% and 31.6%, respectively). On the other hand, in the control group the number of females outweighed that of males (58.4% and 41.6% respectively). The scale had a good internal consistency with Cronbach’s alpha 0.91. There was a significant difference between the scores on the three subscales of the PANSS. Patients with schizophrenia scored significantly higher (p<.0001) than the control subjects on subscales for positive symptoms 20.01(SD=7.21) and 7.30(SD=1.38), negative symptoms 18.89(SD=8.88) and 7.37(SD=2.38) and general psychopathology 34.41 (SD=11.56) and 16.93 (SD=3.93), respectively. Factor analysis and ROC curve were carried out to further test the psychometrics of the scale. Conclusions: The Arabic version of PANSS is a reliable and valid tool to assess both positive and negative symptoms of patients with schizophrenia in a balanced manner. In addition to providing the Arab population with a standardized tool to monitor symptoms of schizophrenia, this version provides a gateway to compare the prevalence of positive and negative symptoms in the Arab world which can be compared to others done elsewhere.

Keywords: Arabic version, assessment, diagnosis, schizophrenia, validation

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