Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: I. Derek Kaka’an

23 Influence of Salicylic Acid on Yield and Some Physiological Parameters in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Authors: Farid Shekari


Salicylic Acid (SA) is a plant hormone that improves some physiological responses of plants under stress conditions. Seeds of two desi type chickpea cultivars, viz., Kaka and Pirooz, primed with 250, 500, 750, and 1000 μM of SA and a group of seeds without any treating (as control) were evaluated under rain fed conditions. Seed priming in both cultivars led to higher efficiency compare to non-primed treatments. In general, seed priming with 500 and 750 μM of SA had appropriate effects; however the cultivars responses were different in this regard. Kaka showed better performance both in primed and non-primed seed than Pirooz. Results of this study revealed that not only yield quantity but also yield quality, as seed protein amounts, could positively affect by SA treatments. It seems that SA by enhancing of soluble sugars and proline amounts enhanced total water potential (ψ) and RWC. The increment in RWC led to rose of chlorophyll content of plants chlorophyll stability. In general, SA increased water use efficiency, both in biologic and seed yield base, and drought tolerance of chickpea plants. HI was a little decreased in SA treatments and it shows that SA more effective in biomass production than seed yield.

Keywords: chlorophyll, harvest index, proline, seed protein, soluble sugar, water use efficiency, yield component

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22 Nigerian Football System: Examining Meso-Level Practices against a Global Model for Integrated Development of Mass and Elite Sport

Authors: I. Derek Kaka’an, P. Smolianov, D. Koh Choon Lian, S. Dion, C. Schoen, J. Norberg


This study was designed to examine mass participation and elite football performance in Nigeria with reference to advance international football management practices. Over 200 sources of literature on sport delivery systems were analyzed to construct a globally applicable model of elite football integrated with mass participation, comprising of the following three levels: macro- (socio-economic, cultural, legislative, and organizational), meso- (infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs) and micro-level (operations, processes, and methodologies for development of individual athletes). The model has received scholarly validation and showed to be a framework for program analysis that is not culturally bound. The Smolianov and Zakus model has been employed for further understanding of sport systems such as US soccer, US Rugby, swimming, tennis, and volleyball as well as Russian and Dutch swimming. A questionnaire was developed using the above-mentioned model. Survey questions were validated by 12 experts including academicians, executives from sport governing bodies, football coaches, and administrators. To identify best practices and determine areas for improvement of football in Nigeria, 120 coaches completed the questionnaire. Useful exemplars and possible improvements were further identified through semi-structured discussions with 10 Nigerian football administrators and experts. Finally, content analysis of Nigeria Football Federation’s website and organizational documentation was conducted. This paper focuses on the meso-level of Nigerian football delivery, particularly infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs. This includes training centers, competition systems, and intellectual services. Results identified remarkable achievements coupled with great potential to further develop football in different types of public and private organizations in Nigeria. These include: assimilating football competitions with other cultural and educational activities, providing favorable conditions for employees of all possible organizations to partake and help in managing football programs and events, providing football coaching integrated with counseling for prevention of antisocial conduct, and improving cooperation between football programs and organizations for peace-making and advancement of international relations, tourism, and socio-economic development. Accurate reporting of the sports programs from the media should be encouraged through staff training for better awareness of various events. The systematic integration of these meso-level practices into the balanced development of mass and high-performance football will contribute to international sport success as well as national health, education, and social harmony.

Keywords: football, high performance, mass participation, Nigeria, sport development

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21 Comparison between Approaches Used in Two Walk About Projects

Authors: Derek O Reilly, Piotr Milczarski, Shane Dowdall, Artur Hłobaż, Krzysztof Podlaski, Hiram Bollaert


Learning through creation of contextual games is a very promising way/tool for interdisciplinary and international group projects. During 2013 and 2014 we took part and organized two intensive students projects in different conditions. The projects enrolled 68 students and 12 mentors from 5 countries. In the paper we want to share our experience how to strengthen the chances to succeed in short (12-15 days long) student projects. In our case almost all teams prepared working prototype and the results were highly appreciated by external experts.

Keywords: contextual games, mobile games, GGULIVRR, walkabout, Erasmus intensive programme

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20 Evaluation of Hydrocarbon Prospects of 'ADE' Field, Niger Delta

Authors: Oluseun A. Sanuade, Sanlinn I. Kaka, Adesoji O. Akanji, Olukole A. Akinbiyi


Prospect evaluation of ‘the ‘ADE’ field was done using 3D seismic data and well log data. The field is located in the offshore Niger Delta where water depth ranges from 450 to 800 m. The objectives of this study are to explore deeper prospects and to ascertain the kind of traps that are favorable for the accumulation of hydrocarbon in the field. Six horizons with major and minor faults were identified and mapped in the field. Time structure maps of these horizons were generated and using the available check-shot data the maps were converted to top structure maps which were used to calculate the hydrocarbon volume. The results show that regional structural highs that are trending in northeast-southwest (NE-SW) characterized a large portion of the field. These highs were observed across all horizons revealing a regional post-depositional deformation. Three prospects were identified and evaluated to understand the different opportunities in the field. These include stratigraphic pinch out and bi-directional downlap. The results of this study show that the field has potentials for new opportunities that could be explored for further studies.

Keywords: hydrocarbon, play, prospect, stratigraphy

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19 Discursivity and Creativity: Implementing Pigrum's Multi-Mode Transitional Practices in Upper Division Creative Production Courses

Authors: Michael Filimowicz, Veronika Tzankova


This paper discusses the practical implementation of Derek Pigrum’s multi-mode model of transitional practices in the context of upper division production courses in an interaction design curriculum. The notion of teaching creativity directly was connected to a general notion of “discursivity” by which is meant students’ overall ability to discuss, describe, and engage in dialogue about their creative work. We present a study of how Pigrum’s transitional modes can be mapped onto a variety of course activities, and discuss challenges and outcomes of directly engaging student discursivity in their creative output.

Keywords: teaching creativity, multi-mode transitional practices, discursivity, rich dialogue, art and design education, pedagogy

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18 An Investigation of Prior Educational Achievement on Engineering Student Performance

Authors: Jovanca Smith, Derek Gay


All universities possess a standard by which students are assessed and administered into their programs. This paper considers the effect of the educational history of students, as measured by specific subject grades in Caribbean examinations, on overall performance in introductory engineering math and mechanics courses. Results reflect a correlation between the highest grade in the Caribbean examinations with a higher probability of successful advancement in the university courses. Alternatively, lower entrance grades are commensurate with underperformance in the university courses. Results also demonstrate that students matriculating with the Caribbean examinations will not necessarily possess a significant advantage over students entering through an alternative route, and while previous educational background of students is a significant indicator of tentative performance in the University level math and mechanics courses, it is not the sole factor.

Keywords: bimodal distribution, differential learning, engineering education, entrance qualification

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17 Treatment of Carribean Colonial Historical Experience in Walcott and Brathwaite's Poems: Finding the Long Lost 'Root' in the Route

Authors: Gopashis Biswas G. Son


This paper will attempt to explore the notions that the two Caribbean poets- Derek Walcott and Edward Kamau Brathwaite endorse on Caribbean history in their poems. Though both of these poets hold almost the same notion regarding history but their approach is totally different from one another. Coming from a 'hybrid' race, Walcott is aware of the history and acknowledges it and writes in 'mulatto of style'; whereas Brathwaite is enraged by it and attempts to sublimate it to erect a history of the new world. It is Walcott’s view to rise above the delusion and hatred and engulf the world of literature with creativity. On the other hand, Brathwaite holds the grudge which helps him not to forget and forgive the past experience but to transform that very experience into something positive which may help the Caribbean to transform their frustration into something creative and to help the Caribbean to overcome the present struggle against the legacy of colonization. Following discourse analysis, this paper seeks to identify if it is possible to rewrite and re-‘right’ the Caribbean history which has been lost in the route and analyze Walcott and Brathwaite’s attitude towards that very history which has been implemented through their poetry.

Keywords: Caribbean history, colonialism, mulatto of style, Walcott vis-à-vis Brathwaite

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16 Image-Based (RBG) Technique for Estimating Phosphorus Levels of Different Crops

Authors: M. M. Ali, Ahmed Al- Ani, Derek Eamus, Daniel K. Y. Tan


In this glasshouse study, we developed the new image-based non-destructive technique for detecting leaf P status of different crops such as cotton, tomato and lettuce. Plants were allowed to grow on nutrient media containing different P concentrations, i.e. 0%, 50% and 100% of recommended P concentration (P0 = no P, L; P1 = 2.5 mL 10 L-1 of P and P2 = 5 mL 10 L-1 of P as NaH2PO4). After 10 weeks of growth, plants were harvested and data on leaf P contents were collected using the standard destructive laboratory method and at the same time leaf images were collected by a handheld crop image sensor. We calculated leaf area, leaf perimeter and RGB (red, green and blue) values of these images. This data was further used in the linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to estimate leaf P contents, which successfully classified these plants on the basis of leaf P contents. The data indicated that P deficiency in crop plants can be predicted using the image and morphological data. Our proposed non-destructive imaging method is precise in estimating P requirements of different crop species.

Keywords: image-based techniques, leaf area, leaf P contents, linear discriminant analysis

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15 3D Numerical Studies on External Aerodynamics of a Flying Car

Authors: Sasitharan Ambicapathy, J. Vignesh, P. Sivaraj, Godfrey Derek Sams, K. Sabarinath, V. R. Sanal Kumar


The external flow simulation of a flying car at take off phase is a daunting task owing to the fact that the prediction of the transient unsteady flow features during its deployment phase is very complex. In this paper 3D numerical simulations of external flow of Ferrari F430 proposed flying car with different NACA 9618 rectangular wings have been carried. Additionally, the aerodynamics characteristics have been generated for optimizing its geometry for achieving the minimum take off velocity with better overall performance in both road and air. The three-dimensional standard k-omega turbulence model has been used for capturing the intrinsic flow physics during the take off phase. In the numerical study, a fully implicit finite volume scheme of the compressible, Reynolds-Averaged, Navier-Stokes equations is employed. Through the detailed parametric analytical studies we have conjectured that Ferrari F430 flying car facilitated with high wings having three different deployment histories during the take off phase is the best choice for accomplishing its better performance for the commercial applications.

Keywords: aerodynamics of flying car, air taxi, negative lift, roadable airplane

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14 Online Learning Versus Face to Face Learning: A Sentiment Analysis on General Education Mathematics in the Modern World of University of San Carlos School of Arts and Sciences Students Using Natural Language Processing

Authors: Derek Brandon G. Yu, Clyde Vincent O. Pilapil, Christine F. Peña


College students of Cebu province have been indoors since March 2020, and a challenge encountered is the sudden shift from face to face to online learning and with the lack of empirical data on online learning on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines. Sentiments on face to face and online learning will be collected from University of San Carlos (USC), School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) students regarding Mathematics in the Modern World (MMW), a General Education (GE) course. Natural Language Processing with machine learning algorithms will be used to classify the sentiments of the students. Results of the research study are the themes identified through topic modelling and the overall sentiments of the students in USC SAS

Keywords: natural language processing, online learning, sentiment analysis, topic modelling

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13 Motivation Among Arab Learners of English in the UK

Authors: Safa Kaka


As more and more students are travelling to different countries to study and, in particular, to study English, the question of what motivates them to make such a large move has come under question. This is particularly pertinent in the case of Arab students who make up nearly 15% of the foreign student body in the UK. Given that the cultural differences between the UK and Arab nations are extremely wide, the decision to come to this country to study English must be driven by strong motivational forces. Numerous previous studies have considered what motivates foreign students to travel to the UK and other countries for their education or language learning but the specific motivators of Arab students have yet to be explored. This study undertakes to close that gap by examining the concepts and theories of motivation, both in general terms and in relation to English learning and foreign study. 70 Arab students currently studying in the UK were asked to participate in an online questionnaire which asked about their motivations for coming to the UK and for studying and learning English. A further six individuals were interviewed on a face to face basis. The outcomes have indicated that the factors which motivate the decision to come to the UK are similar to those that motivate the desire to learn English. In particular a motivation for self-improvement, career advancement and potential future benefits were cited by a number of respondents. Other indications were the ease of accessibility to the UK as an English speaking country, a motivation to experience different cultures and lifestyles and even political freedoms. Overall the motivations of Arab students were not found to be conspicuously different from those of other foreign students, although it was noted that their motivations did change, both positively and negatively following a period of time in the country. These changes were based on the expectations of the students pre-arrival and their actual experience of the country and its teaching approaches and establishments and were, as indicated both good and bad. The implications for the Arab student population and UK educational establishments are reviewed and future research pathways highlighted.

Keywords: motivation, Arab learners of English, language teaching, applied linguistics

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12 A Memristive Device with Intrinsic Rectification Behavior and Performace of Crossbar Arrays

Authors: Yansong Gao, Damith C.Ranasinghe, Siad F. Al-Sarawi, Omid Kavehei, Derek Abbott


Passive crossbar arrays is in principle the simplest functional electrical circuit, together with memristive device in cross-point, holding great promise in future high-density, non-volatile memories. However, the greatest problem of crossbar array is the sneak path current. In this paper, we investigate one type of memristive device with intrinsic rectification behavior to address the sneak path currents. Firstly, a SPICE behavior model written in Verilog-A language of the memristive device is presented to fit experimental data published in literature. Next, systematic performance simulations including read margin and power consumption of crossbar array, which uses the self-rectifying memristive device as storage element at cross-point, with respect to different crossbar sizes, interconnect resistance, ratio of HRS/LRS (High Resistance State/ Low Resistance State), rectification ratio and different read schemes are conducted. Subsequently, Trade-offs among reading margin, power consumption, and reading schemes are analyzed to provide guidelines for circuit design. Finally, performance comparison between the memristive device with/without intrinsic rectification behavior is given to show the worthiness of this intrinsic rectification behavior.

Keywords: memristive device, memristor, crossbar, RRAM, read margin, power consumption

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11 Communication and Management of Incidental Pathology in a Cohort of 1,214 Consecutive Appendicectomies

Authors: Matheesha Herath, Ned Kinnear, Bridget Heijkoop, Eliza Bramwell, Alannah Frazetto, Amy Noll, Prajay Patel, Derek Hennessey, Greg Otto, Christopher Dobbins, Tarik Sammour, James Moore


Background: Important incidental pathology requiring further action is commonly found during appendicectomy, macro- and microscopically. It is unknown whether the acute surgical unit (ASU) model affects the management and disclosure of these findings. Methods: An ASU model was introduced at our institution on 01/08/2012. In this retrospective cohort study, all patients undergoing appendicectomy 2.5 years before (traditional group) or after (ASU group) this date were compared. The primary outcomes were rates of appropriate management of the incidental findings and communication of the findings to the patient and to their general practitioner (GP). Results: 1,214 patients underwent emergency appendicectomy; 465 in the traditional group and 749 in the ASU group. 80 (6.6%) patients (25 and 55 in each respective period) had important incidental findings. There were 24 patients with benign polyps, 15 with neuro-endocrine tumour, 11 with endometriosis, 8 with pelvic inflammatory disease, 8 Enterobius vermicularis infection, 7 with low grade mucinous cystadenoma, 3 with inflammatory bowel disease, 2 with diverticulitis, 2 with tubo-ovarian mass, 1 with secondary appendiceal malignancy and none with primary appendiceal adenocarcinoma. One patient had dual pathologies. There was no difference between the traditional and ASU group with regards to communication of the findings to the patient (p=0.44) and their GP (p=0.27), and there was no difference in the rates of appropriate management (p=0.21). Conclusions: The introduction of an ASU model did not change rates of surgeon-to-patient and surgeon-to-GP communication nor affect rates of appropriate management of important incidental pathology during an appendectomy.

Keywords: acute care surgery, appendicitis, appendicectomy, incidental

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10 Robotic Assisted vs Traditional Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy Peri-Operative Outcomes: A Comparative Single Surgeon Study

Authors: Gerard Bray, Derek Mao, Arya Bahadori, Sachinka Ranasinghe


The EAU currently recommends partial nephrectomy as the preferred management for localised cT1 renal tumours, irrespective of surgical approach. With the advent of robotic assisted partial nephrectomy, there is growing evidence that warm ischaemia time may be reduced compared to the traditional laparoscopic approach. There is still no clear differences between the two approaches with regards to other peri-operative and oncological outcomes. Current limitations in the field denote the lack of single surgeon series to compare the two approaches as other studies often include multiple operators of different experience levels. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first single surgeon series comparing peri-operative outcomes of robotic assisted and laparoscopic PN. The current study aims to reduce intra-operator bias while maintaining an adequate sample size to assess the differences in outcomes between the two approaches. We retrospectively compared patient demographics, peri-operative outcomes, and renal function derangements of all partial nephrectomies undertaken by a single surgeon with experience in both laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Warm ischaemia time, length of stay, and acute renal function deterioration were all significantly reduced with robotic partial nephrectomy, compared to laparoscopic nephrectomy. This study highlights the benefits of robotic partial nephrectomy. Further prospective studies with larger sample sizes would be valuable additions to the current literature.

Keywords: partial nephrectomy, robotic assisted partial nephrectomy, warm ischaemia time, peri-operative outcomes

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9 An Examination of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Adults with Hearing Loss

Authors: Christine Maleesha Withanachchi, Eithne Heffernan, Derek Hoare


Background: Social isolation (SI} is a major consequence of hearing loss (HL}. Isolation can lead to serious health problems (e.g., dementia and depression). Hearing Aids (HA) is the primary intervention for HL. However, these are less effective in social situations. Interventions are needed for SI in adults with hearing loss (AHL). Objectives: Investigated the relationship between HL and SI. Explored the views of AHL and hearing healthcare professionals (HHP) towards interventions for isolation. Methods: Individual and group semi-structured interviews were conducted. Interviews were conducted at the Nottingham Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Six AHL and seven HHP were recruited via maximum variation sampling. The interview transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Social impacts of HL: Most participants described that HL hurt them. This was in the form of social withdrawal, strain on relationships, and identity loss. Downstream effects of HL: Most audiologists acknowledged that isolation from HL could lead to depression. HL can also lead to exhaustion and unemployment. Impact of stigma: There are negative connotations around HL and HA (e.g. old age) and there is difficulty talking about isolation. The complexity of SI: There can be difficulty separating SI due to HL from SI due to other contributing factors (e.g. comorbidities). Potential intervention for isolation: Participants were unfamiliar with interventions for isolation and few, if any, were targeted for AHL specifically. Most participants thought an intervention should be patient-centered and run by an AHL in the community. Opinions differed regarding whether it should hear specific or generic. Implementation of intervention: Challenges to the implementation of an intervention for SI exist due to the sensitivity of the subject. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that SI is a major consequence of HL and uncovered novel findings related to its interventions. Uptake of interventions offered to AHL to reduce loneliness and social isolation is expected to be better if led by AHL in the community as opposed to HHP led interventions in the hospital or clinic settings.

Keywords: adults with hearing loss, hearing aids, interventions, social isolation

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8 A Remotely Piloted Aerial Application System to Control Rangeland Grasshoppers

Authors: Daniel Martin, Roberto Rodriguez, Derek Woller, Chris Reuter, Lonnie Black, Mohamed Latheef


The grasshoppers comprised of heterogeneous assemblages of Acrididae (Family: Orthoptera) species periodically reach outbreak levels by their gregarious behavior and voracious feeding habits, devouring stems and leaves of food crops and rangeland pasture. Cattle consume about 1.5-2.5% of their body weight in forage per day, so pound for pound, a grasshopper will eat 12-20 times as much plant material as a steer and cause serious economic damage to the cattle industry, especially during a drought when forage is already scarce. Grasshoppers annually consume more than 20% of rangeland forages in the western United States at an estimated loss of $1.25 billion per year in forage. A remotely piloted aerial application system with both a spreader and spray application system was used to apply granular insect bait and a liquid formulation of Carbaryl for control of grasshopper infestations on rangeland in New Mexico, United States. Pattern testing and calibration of both the granular and liquid application systems were conducted to determine proper application rate set up and distribution pattern. From these tests, an effective swath was calculated. Results showed that 14 days after application, granular baits were only effective on those grasshopper species that accepted the baits. The liquid formulation at 16 ounces per acre was highly successful at controlling all grasshopper species. Results of this study indicated that a remotely piloted aerial application system can be used to effectively deliver grasshopper control products in both granular and liquid form. However, the spray application treatment proved to be most effective and efficient for all grasshopper species present.

Keywords: Carbaryl, Grasshopper, Insecticidal Efficacy, Remotely Piloted Aerial Application System

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7 Increased Reaction and Movement Times When Text Messaging during Simulated Driving

Authors: Adriana M. Duquette, Derek P. Bornath


Reaction Time (RT) and Movement Time (MT) are important components of everyday life that have an effect on the way in which we move about our environment. These measures become even more crucial when an event can be caused (or avoided) in a fraction of a second, such as the RT and MT required while driving. The purpose of this study was to develop a more simple method of testing RT and MT during simulated driving with or without text messaging, in a university-aged population (n = 170). In the control condition, a randomly-delayed red light stimulus flashed on a computer interface after the participant began pressing the ‘gas’ pedal on a foot switch mat. Simple RT was defined as the time between the presentation of the light stimulus and the initiation of lifting the foot from the switch mat ‘gas’ pedal; while MT was defined as the time after the initiation of lifting the foot, to the initiation of depressing the switch mat ‘brake’ pedal. In the texting condition, upon pressing the ‘gas’ pedal, a ‘text message’ appeared on the computer interface in a dialog box that the participant typed on their cell phone while waiting for the light stimulus to turn red. In both conditions, the sequence was repeated 10 times, and an average RT (seconds) and average MT (seconds) were recorded. Condition significantly (p = .000) impacted overall RTs, as the texting condition (0.47 s) took longer than the no-texting (control) condition (0.34 s). Longer MTs were also recorded during the texting condition (0.28 s) than in the control condition (0.23 s), p = .001. Overall increases in Response Time (RT + MT) of 189 ms during the texting condition would equate to an additional 4.2 meters (to react to the stimulus and begin braking) if the participant had been driving an automobile at 80 km per hour. In conclusion, increasing task complexity due to the dual-task demand of text messaging during simulated driving caused significant increases in RT (41%), MT (23%) and Response Time (34%), thus further strengthening the mounting evidence against text messaging while driving.

Keywords: simulated driving, text messaging, reaction time, movement time

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6 Effects of Potassium Sorbate on Some Sexual Maturation Parameters in Immature Female Wistar Rats

Authors: Elisabeth Louise Ndjengue Mindang, Charline Florence Awounfack, Derek Tantoh Ndinteh, Rui W. M. Krause, Dieudonne Njamen


The evolution of human fertility over the last 50 years has shown considerable problems due to a growing number of couples that find it difficult to procreate without medical assistance. In Africa, this inability to conceive affect 30 to 40% of couples. A number of contaminants in the environment are thought to contribute significantly to the observed infertility epidemic. Methods: On this basis, the impact of 40-days unique oral administration (between 9 and 10 am) of potassium sorbate (at of 12.5, 45, and 78 mg/kg BW doses) was evaluated on sexual maturation and hematologic parameters on immature Wistar rats (21-22 days of age). At the end of the treatment, animals were sacrificed. Vaginal opening was evaluated before the sacrifice. After the sacrifice, relative weight of reproductive organs, pituitary gonadotrophin level (LH and FSH), and sexuals steroids (estrogen and progesterone), cholesterol level in ovaries, folliculogenesis, and some hematological parameters were evaluated. Results: Compared to the control group, no significant variation was observed in the body weight of the animals treated with patassium sorbate. On the other hand, potassium sorbate, a significantly lower percentage (25%) of vaginal-opening in these rats, was observed from day 46 of age (p <0.01); likewise, a significant decrease was observed on the relative weight of the ovaries (p <0.01), number of primary follicles (p <0.01), and a significant increase of follicle number (p <0.001) at 78 mg/kg BW have been obseved. Potassium sorbate always decreased the number of white blood cells (p <0.05). Taken together, these results confirm the disturbing effects on the endocrine system, causing a decrease in fertility by increasing the number of follicles in atresia. A deleterious effect on the immune system was also observed. Overall, these results validate at least in part the global observations on the growing decline in fertility in populationsfeeding increasingly on industrial processed foods.

Keywords: potassium sorbate, early puberty, folliculogenesis, endocrine disruptor, immatur wistar rat

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5 Streamflow Modeling Using the PyTOPKAPI Model with Remotely Sensed Rainfall Data: A Case Study of Gilgel Ghibe Catchment, Ethiopia

Authors: Zeinu Ahmed Rabba, Derek D Stretch


Remote sensing contributes valuable information to streamflow estimates. Usually, stream flow is directly measured through ground-based hydrological monitoring station. However, in many developing countries like Ethiopia, ground-based hydrological monitoring networks are either sparse or nonexistent, which limits the manage water resources and hampers early flood-warning systems. In such cases, satellite remote sensing is an alternative means to acquire such information. This paper discusses the application of remotely sensed rainfall data for streamflow modeling in Gilgel Ghibe basin in Ethiopia. Ten years (2001-2010) of two satellite-based precipitation products (SBPP), TRMM and WaterBase, were used. These products were combined with the PyTOPKAPI hydrological model to generate daily stream flows. The results were compared with streamflow observations at Gilgel Ghibe Nr, Assendabo gauging station using four statistical tools (Bias, R², NS and RMSE). The statistical analysis indicates that the bias-adjusted SBPPs agree well with gauged rainfall compared to bias-unadjusted ones. The SBPPs with no bias-adjustment tend to overestimate (high Bias and high RMSE) the extreme precipitation events and the corresponding simulated streamflow outputs, particularly during wet months (June-September) and underestimate the streamflow prediction over few dry months (January and February). This shows that bias-adjustment can be important for improving the performance of the SBPPs in streamflow forecasting. We further conclude that the general streamflow patterns were well captured at daily time scales when using SBPPs after bias adjustment. However, the overall results demonstrate that the simulated streamflow using the gauged rainfall is superior to those obtained from remotely sensed rainfall products including bias-adjusted ones.

Keywords: Ethiopia, PyTOPKAPI model, remote sensing, streamflow, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), waterBase

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4 Development of Novel Amphiphilic Block Copolymer of Renewable ε-Decalactone for Drug Delivery Application

Authors: Deepak Kakde, Steve Howdle, Derek Irvine, Cameron Alexander


The poor aqueous solubility is one of the major obstacles in the formulation development of many drugs. Around 70% of drugs are poorly soluble in aqueous media. In the last few decades, micelles have emerged as one of the major tools for solubilization of hydrophobic drugs. Micelles are nanosized structures (10-100nm) obtained by self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules into the water. The hydrophobic part of the micelle forms core which is surrounded by a hydrophilic outer shell called corona. These core-shell structures have been used as a drug delivery vehicle for many years. Although, the utility of micelles have been reduced due to the lack of sustainable materials. In the present study, a novel methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-decalactone) (mPEG-b-PεDL) copolymer was synthesized by ring opening polymerization (ROP) of renewable ε-decalactone (ε-DL) monomers on methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) initiator using 1,5,7-triazabicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-ene (TBD) as a organocatalyst. All the reactions were conducted in bulk to avoid the use of toxic organic solvents. The copolymer was characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).The mPEG-b-PεDL block copolymeric micelles containing indomethacin (IND) were prepared by nanoprecipitation method and evaluated as drug delivery vehicle. The size of the micelles was less than 40nm with narrow polydispersity pattern. TEM image showed uniform distribution of spherical micelles defined by clear surface boundary. The indomethacin loading was 7.4% for copolymer with molecular weight of 13000 and drug/polymer weight ratio of 4/50. The higher drug/polymer ratio decreased the drug loading. The drug release study in PBS (pH7.4) showed a sustained release of drug over a period of 24hr. In conclusion, we have developed a new sustainable polymeric material for IND delivery by combining the green synthetic approach with the use of renewable monomer for sustainable development of polymeric nanomedicine.

Keywords: dopolymer, ε-decalactone, indomethacin, micelles

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3 The Development and Testing of a Small Scale Dry Electrostatic Precipitator for the Removal of Particulate Matter

Authors: Derek Wardle, Tarik Al-Shemmeri, Neil Packer


This paper presents a small tube/wire type electrostatic precipitator (ESP). In the ESPs present form, particle charging and collecting voltages and airflow rates were individually varied throughout 200 ambient temperature test runs ranging from 10 to 30 kV in increments on 5 kV and 0.5 m/s to 1.5 m/s, respectively. It was repeatedly observed that, at input air velocities of between 0.5 and 0.9 m/s and voltage settings of 20 kV to 30 kV, the collection efficiency remained above 95%. The outcomes of preliminary tests at combustion flue temperatures are, at present, inconclusive although indications are that there is little or no drop in comparable performance during ideal test conditions. A limited set of similar tests was carried out during which the collecting electrode was grounded, having been disconnected from the static generator. The collecting efficiency fell significantly, and for that reason, this approach was not pursued further. The collecting efficiencies during ambient temperature tests were determined by mass balance between incoming and outgoing dry PM. The efficiencies of combustion temperature runs are determined by analysing the difference in opacity of the flue gas at inlet and outlet compared to a reference light source. In addition, an array of Leit tabs (carbon coated, electrically conductive adhesive discs) was placed at inlet and outlet for a number of four-day continuous ambient temperature runs. Analysis of the discs’ contamination was carried out using scanning electron microscopy and ImageJ computer software that confirmed collection efficiencies of over 99% which gave unequivocal support to all the previous tests. The average efficiency for these runs was 99.409%. Emissions collected from a woody biomass combustion unit, classified to a diameter of 100 µm, were used in all ambient temperature trials test runs apart from two which collected airborne dust from within the laboratory. Sawdust and wood pellets were chosen for laboratory and field combustion trials. Video recordings were made of three ambient temperature test runs in which the smoke from a wood smoke generator was drawn through the precipitator. Although these runs were visual indicators only, with no objective other than to display, they provided a strong argument for the device’s claimed efficiency, as no emissions were visible at exit when energised.  The theoretical performance of ESPs, when applied to the geometry and configuration of the tested model, was compared to the actual performance and was shown to be in good agreement with it.

Keywords: electrostatic precipitators, air quality, particulates emissions, electron microscopy, image j

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2 The Effect of Framework Structure on N2O Formation over Cu-Based Zeolites during NH3-SCR Reactions

Authors: Ghodsieh Isapour Toutizad, Aiyong Wang, Joonsoo Han, Derek Creaser, Louise Olsson, Magnus Skoglundh, Hanna HaRelind


Nitrous oxide (N2O), which is generally formed as a byproduct of industrial chemical processes and fossil fuel combustion, has attracted considerable attention due to its destructive role in global warming and ozone layer depletion. From various developed technologies used for lean NOx reduction, the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx with ammonia is presently the most applied method. Therefore, the development of catalysts for efficient lean NOx reduction without forming N2O in the process, or only forming it to a very small extent from the exhaust gases is of crucial significance. One type of catalysts that nowadays are used for this aim are zeolite-based catalysts. It is owing to their remarkable catalytic performance under practical reaction conditions such as high thermal stability and high N2 selectivity. Among all zeolites, copper ion-exchanged zeolites, with CHA, MFI, and BEA framework structure (like SSZ-13, ZSM-5 and Beta, respectively), represent higher hydrothermal stability, high activity and N2 selectivity. This work aims at investigating the effect of the zeolite framework structure on the formation of N2O during NH3-SCR reaction conditions over three Cu-based zeolites ranging from small-pore to large-pore framework structure. In the zeolite framework, Cu exists in two cationic forms, that can catalyze the SCR reaction by activating NO to form NO+ and/or surface nitrate species. The nitrate species can thereafter react with NH3 to form another intermediate, ammonium nitrate, which seems to be one source for N2O formation at low temperatures. The results from in situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) indicate that during the NO oxidation step, mainly NO+ and nitrate species are formed on the surface of the catalysts. The intensity of the absorption peak attributed to NO+ species is higher for the Cu-CHA sample compared to the other two samples, indicating a higher stability of this species in small cages. Furthermore, upon the addition of NH3, through the standard SCR reaction conditions, absorption peaks assigned to N-H stretching and bending vibrations are building up. At the same time, negative peaks are evolving in the O-H stretching region, indicating blocking/replacement of surface OH-groups by NH3 and NH4+. By removing NH3 and adding NO2 to the inlet gas composition, the peaks in the N-H stretching and bending vibration regions show a decreasing trend in intensity, with the decrease being more pronounced for increasing pore size. It can probably be owing to the higher accumulation of ammonia species in the small-pore size zeolite compared to the other two samples. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the ammonia surface species are strongly bonded to the CHA zeolite structure, which makes it more difficult to react with NO2. To conclude, the framework structure of the zeolite seems to play an important role in the formation and reactivity of surface species relevant for the SCR process. Here we intend to discuss the connection between the zeolite structure, the surface species, and the formation of N2O during ammonia-SCR.

Keywords: fast SCR, nitrous oxide, NOx, standard SCR, zeolites

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1 Efficacy and Safety of Sublingual Sufentanil for the Management of Acute Pain

Authors: Neil Singla, Derek Muse, Karen DiDonato, Pamela Palmer


Introduction: Pain is the most common reason people visit emergency rooms. Studies indicate however, that Emergency Department (ED) physicians often do not provide adequate analgesia to their patients as a result of gender and age bias, opiophobia and insufficient knowledge of and formal training in acute pain management. Novel classes of analgesics have recently been introduced, but many patients suffer from acute pain in settings where the availability of intravenous (IV) access may be limited, so there remains a clinical need for rapid-acting, potent analgesics that do not require an invasive route of delivery. A sublingual sufentanil tablet (SST), dispensed using a single-dose applicator, is in development for treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain in a medically-supervised setting. Objective: The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate the repeat-dose efficacy, safety and tolerability of sufentanil 20 mcg and 30 mcg sublingual tablets compared to placebo for the management of acute pain as determined by the time-weighted sum of pain intensity differences (SPID) to baseline over the 12-hour study period (SPID12). Key secondary efficacy variables included SPID over the first hour (SPID1), Total pain relief over the 12-hour study period (TOTPAR12), time to perceived pain relief (PR) and time to meaningful PR. Safety variables consisted of adverse events (AE), vital signs, oxygen saturation and early termination. Methods: In this Phase 2, double-blind, dose-finding study, an equal number of male and female patients were randomly assigned in a 2:2:1 ratio to SST 20 mcg, SS 30 mcg or placebo, respectively, following bunionectomy. Study drug was dosed as needed, but not more frequently than hourly. Rescue medication was available as needed. The primary endpoint was the Summed Pain Intensity Difference to baseline over 12h (SPIDI2). Safety was assessed by continuous oxygen saturation monitoring and adverse event reporting. Results: 101 patients (51 Male/50 Female) were randomized, 100 received study treatment (intent-to-treat [ITT] population), and 91 completed the study. Reasons for early discontinuation were lack of efficacy (6), adverse events (2) and drug-dosing error (1). Mean age was 42.5 years. For the ITT population, SST 30 mcg was superior to placebo (p=0.003) for the SPID12. SPID12 scores in the active groups were superior for both male (ANOVA overall p-value =0.038) and female (ANOVA overall p-value=0.005) patients. Statistically significant differences in favour of sublingual sufentanil were also observed between the SST 30mcg and placebo group for SPID1(p<0.001), TOTPAR12(p=0.002), time to perceived PR (p=0.023) and time to meaningful PR (p=0.010). Nausea, vomiting and somnolence were more frequent in the sufentanil groups but there were no significant differences between treatment arms for the proportion of patients who prematurely terminated due to AE or inadequate analgesia. Conclusions: Sufentanil tablets dispensed sublingually using a single-dose applicator is in development for treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe acute pain in a medically-supervised setting where immediate IV access is limited. When administered sublingually, sufentanil’s pharmacokinetic profile and non-invasive delivery makes it a useful alternative to IM or IV dosing.

Keywords: acute pain, pain management, sublingual, sufentanil

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