Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 39

Search results for: L. M. Al-Harbi

39 Antifungal Protein ~35kDa Produced by Bacillus cereus Inhibits the Growth of Some Molds and Yeasts

Authors: Saleh H. Salmen, Sulaiman Ali Alharbi, Hany M. Yehia, Mohammad A. Khiyami, Milton Wainwright, Naiyf S. Alharbi, Arunachalam Chinnathambi

Abstract:

An antifungal protein synthesized by Bacillus cereus has been partially purified by the use of ammonium sulfate precipitation and Sephadex-G-200 column chromatography. The protein was produced from Bacillus cereus grown in potato Dextrose Broth Medium (PDB) at 30 ºC for 3 days at 100 rpm. The protein showed antagonistic effect against some fungi and yeasts. Crude extract from medium and semi-purified protein were tested in vitro against both fungi and yeasts using the disc diffusion method in order to detect the inhibitory effect of the protein. Zones of inhibition of the following diameter were found (mm) were Alternaria alternate (28), Rhodotorula glutinis (20), Fusarium sp. (16), Rhizopus sp. (15), Penicillium digitatum (13), Mucor sp. (13) and Aspergillus niger (10). The isolated protein was found to have a molecular weight of ~35kDa by sodium deodecyl sulfate-poly acrylamide gel electrophoresis. The data showed that the protein of Bacillus cereus has antifungal activity, a fact which points to the possibility of using it as a bio-control agent against some fungi, findings which emphasize the potential role of B. cereus as an important bio-control agent.

Keywords: bacillus cereus, ~35kDa protein, molds, yeasts

Procedia PDF Downloads 197
38 Safe Zone: A Framework for Detecting and Preventing Drones Misuse

Authors: AlHanoof A. Alharbi, Fatima M. Alamoudi, Razan A. Albrahim, Sarah F. Alharbi, Abdullah M Almuhaideb, Norah A. Almubairik, Abdulrahman Alharby, Naya M. Nagy

Abstract:

Recently, drones received a rapid interest in different industries worldwide due to its powerful impact. However, limitations still exist in this emerging technology, especially privacy violation. These aircrafts consistently threaten the security of entities by entering restricted areas accidentally or deliberately. Therefore, this research project aims to develop drone detection and prevention mechanism to protect the restricted area. Until now, none of the solutions have met the optimal requirements of detection which are cost-effectiveness, high accuracy, long range, convenience, unaffected by noise and generalization. In terms of prevention, the existing methods are focusing on impractical solutions such as catching a drone by a larger drone, training an eagle or a gun. In addition, the practical solutions have limitations, such as the No-Fly Zone and PITBULL jammers. According to our study and analysis of previous related works, none of the solutions includes detection and prevention at the same time. The proposed solution is a combination of detection and prevention methods. To implement the detection system, a passive radar will be used to properly identify the drone against any possible flying objects. As for the prevention, jamming signals and forceful safe landing of the drone integrated together to stop the drone’s operation. We believe that applying this mechanism will limit the drone’s invasion of privacy incidents against highly restricted properties. Consequently, it effectively accelerates drones‘ usages at personal and governmental levels.

Keywords: detection, drone, jamming, prevention, privacy, RF, radar, UAV

Procedia PDF Downloads 87
37 Intelligent Process and Model Applied for E-Learning Systems

Authors: Mafawez Alharbi, Mahdi Jemmali

Abstract:

E-learning is a developing area especially in education. E-learning can provide several benefits to learners. An intelligent system to collect all components satisfying user preferences is so important. This research presents an approach that it capable to personalize e-information and give the user their needs following their preferences. This proposal can make some knowledge after more evaluations made by the user. In addition, it can learn from the habit from the user. Finally, we show a walk-through to prove how intelligent process work.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, architecture, e-learning, software engineering, processing

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36 Thermal Performance and Environmental Assessment of Evaporative Cooling Systems: Case of Mina Valley, Saudi Arabia

Authors: A. Alharbi, R. Boukhanouf, T. Habeebullah, H. Ibrahim

Abstract:

This paper presents a detailed description of evaporative cooling systems used for space cooling in Mina Valley, Saudi Arabia. The thermal performance and environmental impact of the evaporative coolers were evaluated. It was found that the evaporative cooling systems used for space cooling in pilgrims’ accommodations and in the train stations could reduce energy consumption by as much as 75% and cut carbon dioxide emission by 78% compared to traditional vapour compression systems.

Keywords: evaporative cooling, vapor compression, electricity consumption, CO2 emission

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35 Security of Internet of Things: Challenges, Requirements and Future Directions

Authors: Amjad F. Alharbi, Bashayer A. Alotaibi, Fahd S. Alotaibi

Abstract:

The emergence of Internet of Things (IoT) technology provides capabilities for a huge number of smart devices, services and people to be communicate with each other for exchanging data and information over existing network. While as IoT is progressing, it provides many opportunities for new ways of communications as well it introduces many security and privacy threats and challenges which need to be considered for the future of IoT development. In this survey paper, an IoT security issues as threats and current challenges are summarized. The security architecture for IoT are presented from four main layers. Based on these layers, the IoT security requirements are presented to insure security in the whole system. Furthermore, some researches initiatives related to IoT security are discussed as well as the future direction for IoT security are highlighted.

Keywords: Internet of Things (IoT), IoT security challenges, IoT security requirements, IoT security architecture

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34 The Effectiveness of Using Plickers as a Formative Assessment Tool in EFL Classrooms

Authors: Alhanouf Alharbi, Wafa Alotaibi

Abstract:

This study aims to analyse students’ and teachers’ perceptions of using Plickers as a formative assessment tool in EFL classrooms. The study implements a mixed methods approach. First, a questionnaire was administered to 64 students from two schools in Almadinah, a Saudi city. Then, in structured interviews, two English teachers provided their opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of integrating Plickers into their classrooms. The findings reveal that both teachers and students believe that using Plickers positively impacts students’ learning. Moreover, the findings encourage teachers to integrate technology-based formative assessments in EFL classrooms. However, there are some drawbacks to using Plickers, such as technological issues. Finally, English teachers are recommended to engage all their students in a daily formative assessment by implementing Plickers in their classes.

Keywords: plickers, formative assessment, technology, students, EFL classroom

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33 Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity of Phenolic Compounds Extracted from Jordanian Juglans regia L.

Authors: Hamoud Alshammari, Adnan Almezani, Hamdan Alshammari, Faris Alharbi

Abstract:

In this study we have examined of antimicrobial activity for unripe Juglan Regia phenolic extracts against a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms. Walnut (Juglans regia L.) is a member of Juglandaceae family used as a remedy in folk medicine. Leaves, barks, fruits and husk (peel) reported to harbor distinctive medical effect. In our study, we examined the anti-microbial effect against a set of gram positive and negative bacteria and even we have tested them against eukaryotic candida strains in a concentration gradual manner. Ethyl acetate extract of J. regia had the best antibacterial activity when compared with ciprofloxacin. The Minimum inhibition concentration for S. aureus, P. aerogenosa and S. epidermidis MIC was 0.85 mg/mL.

Keywords: antimicrobial, J. regia, S. aureus, phytochemistry

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32 Nematodes, Rotifers, Tardigrades and Diatoms as Vehicles for the Panspermic Transfer of Microbes

Authors: Sulamain Alharbi, Mohammad Khiyami, Reda Amasha, Bassam Al-Johny, Hesham Khalil, Milton Wainwrigh

Abstract:

Nematodes, Rotifers and Tardigrades (NRT) are extreme-tolerant invertebrates which can survive long periods of stasis brought about by extreme drying and cold. They can also resist the effects of UV radiation, and as a result could act as vehicles for the panspermic transfer of microorganisms. Here we show that NRT contain a variety of bacteria and fungi within their bodies in which environment they could be protected from the extremes of the space and released into new cosmic environments. Diatoms were also shown to contain viable alga and Escherichia coli and so could also act as panspermic vehicles for the transfer of these and perhaps other microbes through space. Although not studied here, NRT, and possibly diatoms, also carry protozoa and viruses within their bodies and could act as vehicles for the panspermic transfer of an even wider range of microbes than shown here.

Keywords: extromophiles, diatoms, panspermia, survival in space

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31 Bismuth-Inhibitory Effects on Bacteria and Stimulation of Fungal Growth In vitro

Authors: Sulaiman B. Ali Alharbi, Bassam H. Mashat, Naif Abdullah Al-Harbi, Milton Wainwright, Abeer S. Aloufi, Sulamain Alnaimat

Abstract:

Bismuth salicylate was found to inhibit the growth of a range of bacteria and yeast, Candida albican. In general the growth of bacteria did not result in the increase in bismuth solubilisation, in contrast, bismuth solubilisation increased following the growth of C. albicans. A significant increase in the biomass (dry weight) of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae occurred in vitro when these fungi were grown in the presence of bismuth salicylate. Biomass increase occurred over a range of bismuth compound additions, which in the case of A. oryzae was associated with the increase in the solubilisation of the insoluble bismuth compounds.

Keywords: bacterial inhibition, fungal growth stimulation, medical uses of bismuth, yeast inhibition

Procedia PDF Downloads 267
30 Electrospray Deposition Technique of Dye Molecules in the Vacuum

Authors: Nouf Alharbi

Abstract:

The electrospray deposition technique became an important method that enables fragile, nonvolatile molecules to be deposited in situ in high vacuum environments. Furthermore, it is considered one of the ways to close the gap between basic surface science and molecular engineering, which represents a gradual change in the range of scientist research. Also, this paper talked about one of the most important techniques that have been developed and aimed for helping to further develop and characterize the electrospray by providing data collected using an image charge detection instrument. Image charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) is used to measure speed and charge distributions of the molecular ions. As well as, some data has been included using SIMION simulation to simulate the energies and masses of the molecular ions through the system in order to refine the mass-selection process.

Keywords: charge, deposition, electrospray, image, ions, molecules, SIMION

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29 Faculty Members' Acceptance of Mobile Learning in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Case Study of a Saudi University

Authors: Omran Alharbi

Abstract:

It is difficult to find an aspect of our modern lives that has been untouched by mobile technology. Indeed, the use of mobile learning in Saudi Arabia may enhance students’ learning and increase overall educational standards. However, within tertiary education, the success of e-learning implementation depends on the degree to which students and educators accept mobile learning and are willing to utilise it. Therefore, this research targeted the factors that influence Hail University instructors’ intentions to use mobile learning. An online survey was completed by eighty instructors and it was found that their use of mobile learning was heavily predicted by performance experience, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions; the multiple regression analysis revealed that 67% of the variation was accounted for by these variables. From these variables, effort expectancy was shown to be the strongest predictor of intention to use e-learning for instructors.

Keywords: acceptance, faculty member, mobile learning, KSA

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28 A New Converter Topology for Wind Energy Conversion System

Authors: Mahmoud Khamaira, Ahmed Abu-Siada, Yasser Alharbi

Abstract:

Doubly Fed Induction Generators (DFIGs) are currently extensively used in variable speed wind power plants due to their superior advantages that include reduced converter rating, low cost, reduced losses, easy implementation of power factor correction schemes, variable speed operation and four quadrants active and reactive power control capabilities. On the other hand, DFIG sensitivity to grid disturbances, especially for voltage sags represents the main disadvantage of the equipment. In this paper, a coil is proposed to be integrated within the DFIG converters to improve the overall performance of a DFIG-based wind energy conversion system (WECS). The charging and discharging of the coil are controlled by controlling the duty cycle of the switches of the dc-dc chopper. Simulation results reveal the effectiveness of the proposed topology in improving the overall performance of the WECS system under study.

Keywords: doubly fed induction generator, coil, wind energy conversion system, converter topology

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27 Factors Affecting and Impeding Teachers’ Use of Learning Management System in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Universities

Authors: Omran Alharbi, Victor Lally

Abstract:

The advantages of the adoption of new technology such as learning management systems (LMSs) in education and teaching methods have been widely recognised. This has led a large number of universities to integrate this type of technology into their daily learning and teaching activities in order to facilitate the education process for both learners and teachers. On the other hand, in some developing countries such as Saudi Arabia, educators have seldom used this technology. As a result, this study was conducted in order to investigate the factors that impede teachers’ use of technology (LMSs) in their teaching in Saudi Arabian institutions. This study used a qualitative approach. Eight participants were invited to take part in this study, and they were asked to give their opinions about the most significant factors that prevented them from integrating technology into their daily activities. The results revealed that a lack of LMS skills, interest in and knowledge about the LMS among teachers were the most significant factors impeding them from using technology in their lessons. The participants suggested that incentive training should be provided to reduce these challenges.

Keywords: LMS, factors, KSA, teachers

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26 Systematic NIR of Internal Disorder and Quality Detection of Apple Fruit

Authors: Eid Alharbi, Yaser Miaji, Saeed Alzahrani

Abstract:

The importance of fruit quality and freshness is potential in today’s life. Most recent studies show and automatic online sorting system according to the internal disorder for fresh apple fruit has developed by using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic technology. The automatic convener belts system along with sorting mechanism was constructed. To check the internal quality of the apple fruit, apple was exposed to the NIR radiations in the range 650-1300 nm and the data were collected in form of absorption spectra. The collected data were compared to the reference (data of known sample) analyzed and an electronic signal was pass to the sorting system. The sorting system was separate the apple fruit samples according to electronic signal passed to the system. It is found that absorption of NIR radiation in the range 930-950 nm was higher in the internally defected samples as compared to healthy samples. On the base of this high absorption of NIR radiation in 930-950 nm region the online sorting system was constructed.

Keywords: mechatronics design, NIR, fruit quality, spectroscopic technology

Procedia PDF Downloads 352
25 New NIR System for Detecting the Internal Disorder and Quality of Apple Fruit

Authors: Eid Alharbi, Yaser Miaji

Abstract:

The importance of fruit quality and freshness is potential in today’s life. Most recent studies show and automatic online sorting system according to the internal disorder for fresh apple fruit has developed by using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic technology. The automatic conveyer belts system along with sorting mechanism was constructed. To check the internal quality of the apple fruit, apple was exposed to the NIR radiations in the range 650-1300nm and the data were collected in form of absorption spectra. The collected data were compared to the reference (data of known sample) analyzed and an electronic signal was pass to the sorting system. The sorting system was separate the apple fruit samples according to electronic signal passed to the system. It is found that absorption of NIR radiation in the range 930-950nm was higher in the internally defected samples as compared to healthy samples. On the base of this high absorption of NIR radiation in 930-950nm region the online sorting system was constructed.

Keywords: mechatronics design, NIR, fruit quality, spectroscopic technology

Procedia PDF Downloads 317
24 Novel NIR System for Detection of Internal Disorder and Quality of Apple Fruit

Authors: Eid Alharbi, Yaser Miaji

Abstract:

The importance of fruit quality and freshness is potential in today’s life. Most recent studies show and automatic online sorting system according to the internal disorder for fresh apple fruit has developed by using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic technology. The automatic conveyer belts system along with sorting mechanism was constructed. To check the internal quality of the apple fruit, apple was exposed to the NIR radiations in the range 650-1300nm and the data were collected in form of absorption spectra. The collected data were compared to the reference (data of known sample) analyzed and an electronic signal was pass to the sorting system. The sorting system was separate the apple fruit samples according to electronic signal passed to the system. It is found that absorption of NIR radiation in the range 930-950nm was higher in the internally defected samples as compared to healthy samples. On the base of this high absorption of NIR radiation in 930-950nm region the online sorting system was constructed.

Keywords: mechatronics design, NIR, fruit quality, spectroscopic technology

Procedia PDF Downloads 312
23 Development of an NIR Sorting Machine, an Experimental Study in Detecting Internal Disorder and Quality of Apple Fruitpple Fruit

Authors: Eid Alharbi, Yaser Miaji

Abstract:

The quality level for fresh fruits is very important for the fruit industries. In presents study, an automatic online sorting system according to the internal disorder for fresh apple fruit has developed by using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic technology. The automatic conveyer belts system along with sorting mechanism was constructed. To check the internal quality of the apple fruit, apple was exposed to the NIR radiations in the range 650-1300nm and the data were collected in form of absorption spectra. The collected data were compared to the reference (data of known sample) analyzed and an electronic signal was pass to the sorting system. The sorting system was separate the apple fruit samples according to electronic signal passed to the system. It is found that absorption of NIR radiation in the range 930-950nm was higher in the internally defected samples as compared to healthy samples. On the base of this high absorption of NIR radiation in 930-950nm region the online sorting system was constructed.

Keywords: mechatronics, NIR, fruit quality, spectroscopic technology, mechatronic design

Procedia PDF Downloads 319
22 Atypical Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Secondary to Superoxide Dismutase 1 Gene Mutation With Coexistent Axonal Polyneuropathy: A Challenging Diagnosis

Authors: Seraj Makkawi, Abdulaziz A. Alqarni, Himyan Alghaythee, Suzan Y. Alharbi, Anmar Fatani, Reem Adas, Ahmad R. Abuzinadah

Abstract:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that involves both the upper and lower motor neurons. Familial ALS, including superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutation, accounts for 5-10% of all cases of ALS. Typically, the symptoms of ALS are purely motor, though coexistent sensory symptoms have been reported in rare cases. In this report, we describe the case of a 47- year-old man who presented with progressive bilateral lower limb weakness and numbness for the last four years. A nerve conduction study (NCS) showed evidence of coexistent axonal sensorimotor polyneuropathy in addition to the typical findings of ALS in needle electromyography. Genetic testing confirmed the diagnosis of familial ALS secondary to the SOD1 genetic mutation. This report highlights that the presence of sensory symptoms should not exclude the possibility of ALS in an appropriate clinical setting.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, polyneuropathy, SOD1 gene mutation, familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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21 Postmortem Analysis of Lidocaine in Women Died of Criminal Abortion

Authors: Mohammed A. Arishy, Sultan M. Alharbi, Mohammed A. Hakami, Farid M. Abualsail, Mohammad A. Attafi, Riyadh M. Tobaiqi, Hussain M. Alsalem, Ibraheem M. Attafi

Abstract:

Lidocaine is the most common local anesthetics used for para cervical block to reduce pain associated with surgical abortion. A 25-year-old pregnant woman who. She died before reaching hospital, and she was undergoing criminal abortion during the first trimester. In post-mortem investigations and autopsy shows no clear finding; therefore, toxic substances must be suspected and searched for routinely toxicology analysis. In this case report, the postmortem concentration of lidocaine was detected blood, brain, liver, kidney, and stomach. For lidocaine identification and quantification, sample was extracted using solid phase extraction and analyzed by GC-MS (Shimadzu, Japan). Initial screening and confirmatory analysis results showed that only lidocaine was detected in all collected samples, and no other toxic substances or alcohol were detected. The concentrations of lidocaine in samples were 19, 17, 14, 7, and 3 ug/m in the brain, blood, kidney, liver, and stomach, respectively. Lidocaine blood concentration (17 ug/ml) was toxic level and may result in death. Among the tissues, brain showed the highest level of lidocaine, followed by the kidney, liver, and stomach.

Keywords: forensic toxicology, GC-MS, lidocaine, postmortem

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20 A Speeded up Robust Scale-Invariant Feature Transform Currency Recognition Algorithm

Authors: Daliyah S. Aljutaili, Redna A. Almutlaq, Suha A. Alharbi, Dina M. Ibrahim

Abstract:

All currencies around the world look very different from each other. For instance, the size, color, and pattern of the paper are different. With the development of modern banking services, automatic methods for paper currency recognition become important in many applications like vending machines. One of the currency recognition architecture’s phases is Feature detection and description. There are many algorithms that are used for this phase, but they still have some disadvantages. This paper proposes a feature detection algorithm, which merges the advantages given in the current SIFT and SURF algorithms, which we call, Speeded up Robust Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SR-SIFT) algorithm. Our proposed SR-SIFT algorithm overcomes the problems of both the SIFT and SURF algorithms. The proposed algorithm aims to speed up the SIFT feature detection algorithm and keep it robust. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed SR-SIFT algorithm decreases the average response time, especially in small and minimum number of best key points, increases the distribution of the number of best key points on the surface of the currency. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm increases the accuracy of the true best point distribution inside the currency edge than the other two algorithms.

Keywords: currency recognition, feature detection and description, SIFT algorithm, SURF algorithm, speeded up and robust features

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19 Assessment of Knowledge and Practices of Diabetic Patients Regarding Diabetic Foot Care, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Authors: Reda Goweda, Mokhtar Shatla, Arawa Alzaidi, Arij Alzaidi, Bashair Aldhawani, Hibah Alharbi, Noran Sultan, Daniah Alnemari, Badr Rawa

Abstract:

Background: 20.5% of Saudis between 20 and 79 years are diabetics. Diabetic foot is a chronic complication of diabetes. The incidence of non traumatic lower extremity amputations is at least 15 times greater in those with diabetes than non diabetics. Patient education is important to reduce lower extremity complications. Objective: To assess the knowledge and practices of the diabetic patients regarding foot care and diabetic foot complications. Methods: In Makkah hospitals, 350 diabetic patients who met the inclusion criteria were involved in this cross sectional study. Interviewing questionnaire and patients’ charts review were used to collect the data. Results: Mean age of patients was 53.0083±13.1 years, and mean duration of diabetes was 11.24±8.7 years. 35.1% had history of foot ulcer while 25.7% had ulcer on the time of interview. 11.7 % had history of amputation and 83.1% had numbness. 77.1 % examine their feet while 49.1% received foot care education and 34% read handouts on foot care. 34% walk around in bare feet. There is a significant statistical association between foot education, foot care practices, and diabetic foot ulcer (p-value < 0.022). Conclusion: Patient knowledge and practices regarding diabetic foot care is significantly associated with the reduction of diabetic foot ulcer.

Keywords: knowledge, practice, attitude, diabetes, foot, care

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18 Factors Impeding Learners’ Use of the Blackboard System in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: Omran Alharbi, Victor Lally

Abstract:

In recent decades, a number of educational institutions around the world have come to depend on technology such as the Blackboard system to improve their educational environment. On the other hand, there are many factors that delay the usage of this technology, especially in developing nations such as Saudi Arabia. The goal of this study was to investigate learner’s views of the use of Blackboard in one Saudi university in order to gain a comprehensive view of the factors that delay the implementation of technology in Saudi institutions. This study utilizes a qualitative approach, with data being collected through semi-structured interviews. Six participants from different disciplines took part in this study. The findings indicated that there are two levels of factors that affect students’ use of the Blackboard system. These are factors at the institutional level, such as lack of technical support and lack of training support, which lead to insufficient training related to the Blackboard system. The second level of factors is at the individual level, for example, a lack of teacher motivation and encouragement. In addition, students do not have sufficient levels of skills or knowledge related to how to use the Blackboard in their learning. Conclusion: learners confronted and faced two main types of factors (at the institution level and individual level) that delayed and impeded their learning. Institutions in KSA should take steps and implement strategies to remove or reduce these factors in order to allow students to benefit from the latest technology in their learning.

Keywords: blackboard, factors, KSA, learners

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17 Performance Tracking of Thermal Plant Systems of Kuwait and Impact on the Environment

Authors: Abdullah Alharbi

Abstract:

Purpose: This research seeks to take a holistic strategic evaluation of the thermal power plants in Kuwait at both policy and technical level in order to allow a systematic retrofitting program. The new world order in energy generation and consumption demand that sources of energy can safeguard the use of natural resources and generate minimal impacts on the environment. For Kuwait, the energy used per capita is mainly associated with desalination plants. The overall impact of thermal power plant installations manifests indisposed of seawater and the health of marine life. Design/methodology/approach: The research adopts a case study based evaluation of performance data and documents of thermal plant installations in Kuwait. Findings: Research findings on the performance of existing thermal plants demand policy benchmarking with internationally acceptable standards in order to create clarity on decisions regarding demolition, retrofitting, or renewal. Research implications: This research has the potential to strategically inform and influence the piecemeal changes to power plants, including the replacement of power generation equipment, considering the varied technologies for thermal plants. Originality/value: This research provides evidence based data that can be useful for influencing operational efficiency after a holistic evaluation of existing capacity in comparison with future demands.

Keywords: energy, Kuwait, performance, stainability, tracking, thermal plant

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16 E-Immediacy in Saudi Higher Education Context: Female Students’ Perspectives

Authors: Samar Alharbi, Yota Dimitriadi

Abstract:

The literature on educational technology in Saudi Arabia reveals female learners’ unwillingness to study fully online courses in higher education despite the fact that Saudi universities have offered a variety of online degree programmes to undergraduate students in many regions of the country. The root causes keeping female students from successfully learning in online environments are limited social interaction, lack of motivation and difficulty with the use of e-learning platforms. E-immediacy remains an important method of online teaching to enhance students’ interaction and support their online learning. This study explored Saudi female students’ perceptions, as well as the experiences of lecturers’ immediacy behaviours in online environments, who participate in fully online courses using Blackboard at a Saudi university. Data were collected through interviews with focus groups. The three focus groups included five to seven students each. The female participants were asked about lecturers’ e-immediacy behaviours and which e-immediacy behaviours were important for an effective learning environment. A thematic analysis of the data revealed three main themes: the encouragement of student interaction, the incorporation of social media and addressing the needs of students. These findings provide lecturers with insights into instructional designs and strategies that can be adopted in using e-immediacy in effective ways, thus improving female learners’ interactions as well as their online learning experiences.

Keywords: e-learning, female students, higher education, immediacy

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15 Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on Seed Germination of Crop Plants

Authors: Zainab M. Almutairi, Amjad Alharbi

Abstract:

The use of engineered nanomaterials has increased as a result of their positive impact on many sectors of the economy, including agriculture. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are now used to enhance seed germination, plant growth, and photosynthetic quantum efficiency and as antimicrobial agents to control plant diseases. In this study, we examined the effect of AgNP dosage on the seed germination of three plant species: corn (Zea mays L.), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thunb.] Matsum. & Nakai) and zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.). This experiment was designed to study the effect of AgNPs on germination percentage, germination rate, mean germination time, root length and fresh and dry weight of seedlings for the three species. Seven concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 mg/ml) of AgNPs were examined at the seed germination stage. The three species had different dose responses to AgNPs in terms of germination parameters and the measured growth characteristics. The germination rates of the three plants were enhanced in response to AgNPs. Significant enhancement of the germination percentage values was observed after treatment of the watermelon and zucchini plants with AgNPs in comparison with untreated seeds. AgNPs showed a toxic effect on corn root elongation, whereas watermelon and zucchini seedling growth were positively affected by certain concentrations of AgNPs. This study showed that exposure to AgNPs caused both positive and negative effects on plant growth and germination.

Keywords: citrullus lanatus, cucurbita pepo, seed germination, seedling growth, silver nanoparticles, zea mays

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14 Instructional Immediacy Practices in Asynchronous Learning Environment: Tutors' Perspectives

Authors: Samar Alharbi, Yota Dimitriadi

Abstract:

With the exponential growth of information and communication technologies in higher education, new online teaching strategies have become increasingly important for student engagement and learning. In particular, some institutions depend solely on asynchronous e-learning to provide courses for their students. The major challenge facing these institutions is how to improve the quality of teaching and learning in their asynchronous tools. One of the most important methods that can help e-learner to enhance their social learning and social presence in asynchronous learning setting is immediacy. This study explores tutors perceptions of their instructional immediacy practices as part of their communication actions in online learning environments. It was used a mixed-methods design under the umbrella of pragmatic philosophical assumption. The participants included tutors at an educational institution in a Saudi university. The participants were selected with a purposive sampling approach and chose an institution that offered fully online courses to students. The findings of the quantitative data show the importance of teachers’ immediacy practices in an online text-based learning environment. The qualitative data contained three main themes: the tutors’ encouragement of student interaction; their promotion of class participation; and their addressing of the needs of the students. The findings from these mixed methods can provide teachers with insights into instructional designs and strategies that they can adopt in order to use e-immediacy in effective ways, thus improving their students’ online learning experiences.

Keywords: asynchronous e-learning, higher education, immediacy, tutor

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13 Early-Stage Venture Investment Model: Evidence from Saudi Arabia

Authors: Tibah Alharbi, Renzo Cordina, David Power

Abstract:

Relatively few studies have explored how venture capitalist investors (VCs) make investment decisions and the information they rely on when taking an equity stake in an investee company. In addition, little is known about how much investors monitor start-ups after the decision to invest has been made. The VC scene in the US or European context is understood better than that of developing countries such as those in the Middle East. Although some differences among VC investors have been identified, the reasons behind such differences have not been fully explored – especially in a country such as Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this research seeks to understand the impact of external factors on the VC investor’ behaviour. The unique cultural and legal environments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the growing VC sector in the country, and the increasing importance attached to start-ups under the Saudi Government’s Vision 2030 program make such an investigation timely. Ascertaining the perceptions of VC investors in such a context will provide a deeper understanding of the determinants of VC investment in a novel setting. Using semi-structured interviews with over 20 participants, the research explores the structure of VC funds, the cycle of the VC investment in a start-up from the sourcing of deals, the screening and evaluation of such deals, the closing of such deals, and finally, the monitoring of such investments before the decision to exit such deals at the appropriate time. The results show some similarities to the VC model, which characterizes such investment in the US and Europe, but several differences emerge given the unique cultural and legal settings within the Kingdom. The results provide an in-depth understanding of the VC investors’ mindset relative to the existing studies in the literature.

Keywords: exit, monitoring, start-ups, venture capital

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12 Brand Preferences in Saudi Arabia: Explorative Study in Jeddah

Authors: Badr Alharbi

Abstract:

There is significant debate on the evolution of retail marketing as an economy matures. In penetrating new markets, global brands are efficient in establishing a presence and replacing less effective competitors by engaging in superior advertising, pricing and sometimes quality. However, national brands adapt over time and may either partner with global brands in distribution and services or directly compete more efficiently in the new, open market. This explorative study investigates brand preferences in Saudi Arabia. As a conservative society, which is nevertheless highly commercialised, Saudi Arabia markets could be fragmenting with consumer preferences and rejections based on country of origin, globalisation, or perhaps regionalisation. To investigate this, an online survey was distributed to Saudis in Jeddah to gather data on their preferences for travel, technology, clothes and accessories, eating out, vehicles, and influential brands. The results from 710 valid responses were that there are distinct regional and national brand preferences among the young Saudi men who contributed to the survey. Apart from a preference for Saudi food providers, airline preferences were the United Emirates, holiday preferences were Europe, study and work preferences were the United States, hotel preferences were United States-based, car preferences were Japanese, and clothing preferences were United States-based. The results were broadly in line with international research findings; however, the study participants varied from Arab research findings by describing themselves as innovative in their purchase selections, rarely loyal (exception of Apple products) and continually seeking new brand experiences. This survey contributes to an understanding of evolving Saudi consumer preferences.

Keywords: Saudi marketing, globalisation, country of origin, brand preferences

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11 Challenging Barriers to the Evolution of the Saudi Animation Industry Life-Cycle

Authors: Ohud Alharbi, Emily Baines

Abstract:

The animation industry is one of the creative industries that have attracted recent historiographical attention. However, there has been very limited research on Saudi Arabian and wider Arabian animation industries, while there are a large number of studies that have covered this issue for North America, Europe and East Asia. The existing studies show that developed countries such as USA, Japan and the UK have reached the Maturity stage in their animation industry life-cycle. On the other hand, developing countries that are still in the Introduction phase of the industry life-cycle face challenges to improve their industry. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries whose animation industry is still in its infancy. Thus, the aim of this paper is to address the main barriers that hinder the evolution of the industry life-cycle for Saudi animation – challenges that are also relevant to many other early stage industries in developing countries. These barriers have been analysed using the early mobility barriers defined by Porter, to provide a conceptual structure for defining recommendations to enable the transition to a strong Growth phase industry. This study utilized qualitative methods to collect data, which involved in-depth interviews, document analysis and observations. It also undertook a comparative case study approach to investigate the animation industry life-cycle, with three selected case studies that have a more developed industry than Saudi animation. Case studies include: the United Kingdom, which represents a Mature animation industry; Egypt, which represents an established Growth stage industry; and the United Arab of Emirates, which is an early Growth stage industry. This study suggests adopting appropriate strategies that arise as findings from the comparative case studies, to overcome barriers and facilitate the growth of the Saudi animation industry.

Keywords: barriers, industry life-cycle, Saudi animation, industry

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10 Adhesion of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus to Intravascular cannulae

Authors: Ghadah Abusalim, Suliman Alharbi, Hesham Khalil, Milton Wainwright, Mohammad A. Khiyami

Abstract:

The use of implantable foreign devices in medicine has recently increased dramatically. Intravascular cannulae and catheters are used to administer fluids, medications, parenteral nutrition, and blood products in order to monitor hemodynamic status and also to provide hemodialysis. The early and late failure of inserted or implanted devices is largely the result of bacterial infection and may lead to the disruption of integration between the device and the tissues which surround it. Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are widely considered to be the most common organisms causing device-related infection. Our study showed that S. aureus and S. epidermidis adhered to intravascular cannulae made up of PTFE, SPTFE and vialon. Adhesion of S. epidermidis and S. aureus to intravascular cannulae varied significantly depending upon the type of material used and the presence of coating materials. Both bacteria adhered less to PTFE followed by Vialon and SPTFE and the adhesion capacity of S. aureus and S. epidermidis increased over time. Coating intravascular cannulae with human serum albumin inhibited the adhesion of S. aureus and S. epidermidis to these cannulae, and pretreatment of cannulae with fibronectin inhibited the adhesion of S. epidermidis but increased the adhesion of S. aureus to all types of cannulae. Pretreatment of cannulae surface with potassium chloride or calcium chloride increased the adhesion of S. aureus and S. epidermidis to cannulae, suggesting a role for electrostatic forces in the mechanism of such adhesion. This study will hopefully clarify the mechanism of adhesion and provide possible means of preventing such adhesion either by the use of better material coatings or by interfering with the process of adhesion by targeting bacterial structures responsible for it. Currently we recommend the use of PTFE cannulae as they exhibit a lower bacterial adhesion capacity compared to the other tested cannulae.

Keywords: Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, adhesion, cannulae, PTFE, Vialon

Procedia PDF Downloads 245