Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: Natasha Vattikonda

27 Exploring Barriers and Pathways to Wellbeing and Sources of Resilience of Refugee Mothers in Calgary during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)

Authors: Chloe Zivot, Natasha Vattikonda, Debbie Bell

Abstract:

We conducted interviews with refugee mothers (n=28) participating in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program in Calgary to explore experiences of wellbeing and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruptions to education and increased isolation, and parental duties contributed to decreased wellbeing. Mothers identified tangible protective factors at the micro, meso, and macro levels. HIPPY played a substantial role in pandemic resilience, speaking to the potential of home-based intervention models in mitigating household adversity.

Keywords: refugee resettlement, family wellbeing, COVID-19, motherhood, resilience, gender, health

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26 A Graph SEIR Cellular Automata Based Model to Study the Spreading of a Transmittable Disease

Authors: Natasha Sharma, Kulbhushan Agnihotri

Abstract:

Cellular Automata are discrete dynamical systems which are based on local character and spatial disparateness of the spreading process. These factors are generally neglected by traditional models based on differential equations for epidemic spread. The aim of this work is to introduce an SEIR model based on cellular automata on graphs to imitate epidemic spreading. Distinctively, it is an SEIR-type model where the population is divided into susceptible, exposed, infected and recovered individuals. The results obtained from simulations are in accordance with the spreading behavior of a real time epidemics.

Keywords: cellular automata, epidemic spread, graph, susceptible

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25 Efficient Bargaining versus Right to Manage in the Era of Liberalization

Authors: Panagiota Koliousi, Natasha Miaouli

Abstract:

We compare product and labour market liberalization under the two trade union bargaining models: the Right-to-Manage (RTM) model and the Efficient Bargaining (EB) model. The vehicle is a dynamic general equilibrium (DGE) model that incorporates two types of agents (capitalists and workers), imperfectly competitive product and labour markets. The model is solved numerically employing common parameter values and data from the euro area. A key message is that product market deregulation is favourable under any labour market structure while opting for labour market deregulation one should provide special attention to the structure of the labour market such as the bargaining system of unions. If the prevailing way of bargaining is the RTM model then restructuring both markets is beneficial for all agents.

Keywords: market structure, structural reforms, trade unions, unemployment

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24 Monomial Form Approach to Rectangular Surface Modeling

Authors: Taweechai Nuntawisuttiwong, Natasha Dejdumrong

Abstract:

Geometric modeling plays an important role in the constructions and manufacturing of curve, surface and solid modeling. Their algorithms are critically important not only in the automobile, ship and aircraft manufacturing business, but are also absolutely necessary in a wide variety of modern applications, e.g., robotics, optimization, computer vision, data analytics and visualization. The calculation and display of geometric objects can be accomplished by these six techniques: Polynomial basis, Recursive, Iterative, Coefficient matrix, Polar form approach and Pyramidal algorithms. In this research, the coefficient matrix (simply called monomial form approach) will be used to model polynomial rectangular patches, i.e., Said-Ball, Wang-Ball, DP, Dejdumrong and NB1 surfaces. Some examples of the monomial forms for these surface modeling are illustrated in many aspects, e.g., construction, derivatives, model transformation, degree elevation and degress reduction.

Keywords: monomial forms, rectangular surfaces, CAGD curves, monomial matrix applications

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23 Crossing Boundaries: Emerging Identities from Folk Theatre

Authors: Sonia Wahengbam, Natasha Elangbam

Abstract:

Female impersonation has existed through the length of human civilization and the breadth of its cultures. Transvestism and drag queen cultures have created multi-sited spaces where in the shadow of art, one can cross the gender barrier and express one’s hidden identity. This paper will explore a dynamic cultural space that exists in Manipur, a state in the northeastern region of India, where the female impersonators (nupi shabis) of a folk theater (Shumang Leela) are using this traditional and popular art form to claim social acceptance of their homosexual identities through the medium of entertainment. It will highlight how by crossing the gender boundary, this third gender group has carved out a unique socio-economic niche where they have exploited their sexual identities to their advantage. The paper will trace the expanding cultural ‘’borderland’’ of Manipur where there is an increasing sense of ‘becoming’, belonging and sharing” of identities through the interweaving of old and new media. The research will be based on interviews with the nupi shabis, cultural critics and other experts.

Keywords: transvestism, Manipur, female impersonators (nupi shabis), Shumang Leela, gender

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22 Fast and Efficient Algorithms for Evaluating Uniform and Nonuniform Lagrange and Newton Curves

Authors: Taweechai Nuntawisuttiwong, Natasha Dejdumrong

Abstract:

Newton-Lagrange Interpolations are widely used in numerical analysis. However, it requires a quadratic computational time for their constructions. In computer aided geometric design (CAGD), there are some polynomial curves: Wang-Ball, DP and Dejdumrong curves, which have linear time complexity algorithms. Thus, the computational time for Newton-Lagrange Interpolations can be reduced by applying the algorithms of Wang-Ball, DP and Dejdumrong curves. In order to use Wang-Ball, DP and Dejdumrong algorithms, first, it is necessary to convert Newton-Lagrange polynomials into Wang-Ball, DP or Dejdumrong polynomials. In this work, the algorithms for converting from both uniform and non-uniform Newton-Lagrange polynomials into Wang-Ball, DP and Dejdumrong polynomials are investigated. Thus, the computational time for representing Newton-Lagrange polynomials can be reduced into linear complexity. In addition, the other utilizations of using CAGD curves to modify the Newton-Lagrange curves can be taken.

Keywords: Lagrange interpolation, linear complexity, monomial matrix, Newton interpolation

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21 Use of Structural Family Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy with High-Conflict Couples

Authors: Eman Tadros, Natasha Finney

Abstract:

The following case study involving a high-conflict, Children’s Services Bureau (CSB) referred couple is analyzed and reviewed through an integrated lens of structural family therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. In structural family therapy, normal family development is not characterized by a lack of problems, but instead by families’ having developed a functional structure for dealing with their problems. Whereas, in dialectical behavioral therapy normal family development can be characterized by having a supportive and validating environment, where all family members feel a sense of acceptance and validation for who they are and where they are in life. The clinical case conceptualization highlights the importance of conceptualizing how change occurs within a therapeutic setting. In the current case study, the couple did not only experience high-conflict, but there were also issues of substance use, health issues, and other complicating factors. Clinicians should view their clients holistically and tailor their treatment to fit their unique needs. In this framework, change occurs within the family unit, by accepting each member as they are, while at the same time working together to change maladaptive familial structures.

Keywords: couples, dialectical behavior therapy, high-conflict, structural family therapy

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20 Model Canvas and Process for Educational Game Design in Outcome-Based Education

Authors: Ratima Damkham, Natasha Dejdumrong, Priyakorn Pusawiro

Abstract:

This paper explored the solution in game design to help game designers in the educational game designing using digital educational game model canvas (DEGMC) and digital educational game form (DEGF) based on Outcome-based Education program. DEGMC and DEGF can help designers develop an overview of the game while designing and planning their own game. The way to clearly assess players’ ability from learning outcomes and support their game learning design is by using the tools. Designers can balance educational content and entertainment in designing a game by using the strategies of the Business Model Canvas and design the gameplay and players’ ability assessment from learning outcomes they need by referring to the Constructive Alignment. Furthermore, they can use their design plan in this research to write their Game Design Document (GDD). The success of the research was evaluated by four experts’ perspectives in the education and computer field. From the experiments, the canvas and form helped the game designers model their game according to the learning outcomes and analysis of their own game elements. This method can be a path to research an educational game design in the future.

Keywords: constructive alignment, constructivist theory, educational game, outcome-based education

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19 Petrography and Mineral Chemical Study of Younger Quartzofeldspathic Bodies in Chakdara Granite Gneiss, Northwest Pakistan

Authors: Natasha Khan, Muhammad Arif

Abstract:

The Chakdara granite gneiss is an extension of Swat granite gneisses. It is characterized by biotite bands and the occurrence of fluorite and blue beryl. Younger phases (quartzofeldspathic veins) occur within gneisses are characterized by various mineral phases that include beryl, biotite, phlogopite, annite, muscovite, ilmenite-pyrophanite, monazite, zircon, apatite, magnetite and minor amounts of sphene, rutile, and ulvöspinel. The present paper is an attempt to address the detailed mineral chemistry and genesis of minerals occurring in these younger phases. These quartzofeldspathic veins are assumed to be of hydrothermal origin on the basis of Th2O content in monazite, Zr/Hf ratio in zircon, REE enrichment, and Ce/Y ratio of allanite. Biotite in the present study is characterized by high F content. Muscovite is phengitic and contains very high amounts of Fe as compared to the normal muscovites. The Th2O content for monazite is low (0.81-1.56 wt. %) like those of hydrothermal origin. The Zr/Hf ratio in zircon is variable for different analyses but mostly falls in the range of ~ 41 and above. Allanite is generally unaltered and characterized by LREE enrichment. The properties of beryl and columbite in the present study show pegmatitic features.

Keywords: Beryl, Chakdarra granite gneiss, micas, quartzofeldspathic veins

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18 Eco-Innovation: Perspectives from a Theoretical Approach and Policy Analysis

Authors: Natasha Hazarika, Xiaoling Zhang

Abstract:

Eco- innovations, unlike regular innovations, are not self-enforcing and are associated with the double externality problem. Therefore, it is emphasized that eco-innovations need government. intervention in the form of supportive policies on priority. Off late, factors like consumer demand, technological advancement as well as the competitiveness of the firms have been considered as equally important. However, the interaction among these driving forces has not been fully traced out. Also, the theory on eco-innovation is found to be at a nascent stage which does not resonate with its dynamics as it is traditionally studied under the neo- classical economics theory. Therefore, to begin with, insights for this research have been derived from the merits of ‘neo- classical economics’, ‘evolutionary approach’, and the ‘resource based view’ which revealed the issues pertaining to technological system lock- ins and firm- based capacities which usually remained undefined by the neo classical approach; it would be followed by determining how the policies (in the national level) and their instruments are designed in order to motivate firms to eco-innovate, by analyzing the innovation ‘friendliness’ of the policy style and the policy instruments as per the indicators provided in innovation literature by means of document review (content analysis) of the relevant policies introduced by the Chinese government. The significance of theoretical analysis lies in its ability to show why certain practices become dominant irrespective of gains or losses, and that of the policy analysis lies in its ability to demonstrate the credibility of govt.’s sticks, carrots and sermons for eco-innovation.

Keywords: firm competency, eco-innovation, policy, theory

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17 Multi-Level Air Quality Classification in China Using Information Gain and Support Vector Machine

Authors: Bingchun Liu, Pei-Chann Chang, Natasha Huang, Dun Li

Abstract:

Machine Learning and Data Mining are the two important tools for extracting useful information and knowledge from large datasets. In machine learning, classification is a wildly used technique to predict qualitative variables and is generally preferred over regression from an operational point of view. Due to the enormous increase in air pollution in various countries especially China, Air Quality Classification has become one of the most important topics in air quality research and modelling. This study aims at introducing a hybrid classification model based on information theory and Support Vector Machine (SVM) using the air quality data of four cities in China namely Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin from Jan 1, 2014 to April 30, 2016. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has classified the daily air quality into 6 levels namely Serious Pollution, Severe Pollution, Moderate Pollution, Light Pollution, Good and Excellent based on their respective Air Quality Index (AQI) values. Using the information theory, information gain (IG) is calculated and feature selection is done for both categorical features and continuous numeric features. Then SVM Machine Learning algorithm is implemented on the selected features with cross-validation. The final evaluation reveals that the IG and SVM hybrid model performs better than SVM (alone), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and K-Nearest Neighbours (KNN) models in terms of accuracy as well as complexity.

Keywords: machine learning, air quality classification, air quality index, information gain, support vector machine, cross-validation

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16 The Economic Impact of the Elimination of Preferential Trade Arrangements in the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States

Authors: Natasha Lalla

Abstract:

The impact of free trade on growth has been highly debated and studies have generated varying results. Since the 1970s the Caribbean has engaged in asymmetrical trade with some European states characterized by the Lomé Conventions (1975-1999). These agreements allowed for Caribbean products such as sugar and banana to enter some European countries duty-free and above market prices. With the onset of the World Trade Organization by the mid-1990s, the EU’s banana trade regime was considered illegitimate. Lomé was replaced by the Cotonou agreement (2000-2007), in order to phase out preferences and ensure that the Caribbean trade arrangements were consistent with the international economic environment of trade liberalization. This agreement facilitated signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement in 2008 by both trade blocs whereby Caribbean states must implement freer trade by 2033. The current study is an exploration of how the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States, the smallest, economically and ecologically vulnerable states of the Caribbean have restructured their trade policies towards the end of preferences and what has been the economic developmental impact of this. This is done by analyzing key reports to understand how these states restructured policies towards freer trade. Secondly, to determine the impact of this, data collected for specific economic indicators were analyzed in a fixed effects panel data framework for the period 1979-2016 on six states of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States. The study, therefore, found that freer trade has resulted in negative growth in these states.

Keywords: free trade, growth, OECS, small island developing states

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15 Relationship between Conjugated Linoleic Acid Intake, Biochemical Parameters and Body Fat among Adults and Elderly

Authors: Marcela Menah de Sousa Lima, Victor Ushijima Leone, Natasha Aparecida Grande de Franca, Barbara Santarosa Emo Peters, Ligia Araujo Martini

Abstract:

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) intake has been constantly related to benefits to human health since having a positive effect on reducing body fat. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between CLA intake and biochemical measurements and body composition of adults and the elderly. Subjects/Methods: 287 adults and elderly participants in an epidemiological study in Sao Paulo Brazil, were included in the present study. Participants had their dietary data obtained by two non-consecutive 24HR, a body composition assessed by dual-energy absorptiometry exam (DXA), and a blood collection. Mean differences and a correlation test was performed. For all statistical tests, a significance of 5% was considered. Results: CLA intake showed a positive correlation with HDL-c levels (r = 0.149; p = 0.011) and negative with VLDL-c levels (r = -0.134; p = 0.023), triglycerides (r = -0.135; p = 0.023) and glycemia (r = -0.171; p = 0.004), as well as negative correlation with visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (r = -0.124, p = 0.036). Evaluating individuals in two groups according to VAT values, a significant difference in CLA intake was observed (p = 0.041), being the group with the highest VAT values, the one with the lowest fatty acid intake. Conclusions: This study suggests that CLA intake is associated with a better lipid profile and lower visceral adipose tissue volume, which contributes to the investigation of the effects of CLA on obesity parameters. However, it is necessary to investigate the effects of CLA from milk and dairy products in the control adiposity.

Keywords: adiposity, dairy products, diet, fatty acids

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14 Multi-Modality Imaging of Aggressive Hoof Wall Neoplasia in Two Horses

Authors: Hannah Nagel, Hayley Lang, Albert Sole Guitart, Natasha Lean, Rachel Allavena, Cleide Sprohnie-Barrera, Alex Young

Abstract:

Aggressive neoplasia of the hoof is a rare occurrence in horses and has been only sporadically described in the literature. In the few cases reported intra-hoof wall, aggressive neoplasia has been documented radiographically and has been described with variable imaging characteristics. These include a well-defined osteolytic area, a smoothly outlined semi-circular defect, an extensive draining tract beneath the hoof wall, as well as an additional large area of osteolysis or an extensive central lytic region. A 20-year-old Quarterhorse gelding and a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding were both presented for chronic reoccurring lameness in the left forelimb and left hindlimb, respectively. Both of the cases displayed radiographic lesions that have been previously described but also displayed osteoproliferative expansile regions of additional bone formation. Changes associated with hoof neoplasia are often non-specific due to the nature and capacity of bone to react to pathological insult, which is either to proliferate or be absorbed. Both cases depict and describe imaging findings seen on radiography, contrast radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging before reaching a histological diagnosis of malignant melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Although aggressive hoof wall neoplasia is rare, there are some imaging features which may raise our index of suspicion for an aggressive hoof wall lesion. This case report documents two horses with similar imaging findings who underwent multiple assessments, surgical interventions, and imaging modalities with a final diagnosis of malignant neoplasia.

Keywords: horse, hoof, imaging, radiography, neoplasia

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13 The Event of Extreme Precipitation Occurred in the Metropolitan Mesoregion of the Capital of Para

Authors: Natasha Correa Vitória Bandeira, Lais Cordeiro Soares, Claudineia Brazil, Luciane Teresa Salvi

Abstract:

The intense rain event that occurred between February 16 and 18, 2018, in the city of Barcarena in Pará, located in the North region of Brazil, demonstrates the importance of analyzing this type of event. The metropolitan mesoregion of Belem was severely punished by rains much above the averages normally expected for that time of year; this phenomenon affected, in addition to the capital, the municipalities of Barcarena, Murucupi and Muruçambá. Resulting in a great flood in the rivers of the region, whose basins were affected with great intensity of precipitation, causing concern for the local population because in this region, there are located companies that accumulate ore tailings, and in this specific case, the dam of any of these companies, leaching the ore to the water bodies of the Murucupi River Basin. This article aims to characterize this phenomenon through a special analysis of the distribution of rainfall, using data from atmospheric soundings, satellite images, radar images and data from the GPCP (Global Precipitation Climatology Project), in addition to rainfall stations located in the study region. The results of the work demonstrated a dissociation between the data measured in the meteorological stations and the other forms of analysis of this extreme event. Monitoring carried out solely on the basis of data from pluviometric stations is not sufficient for monitoring and/or diagnosing extreme weather events, and investment by the competent bodies is important to install a larger network of pluviometric stations sufficient to meet the demand in a given region.

Keywords: extreme precipitation, great flood, GPCP, ore dam

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12 Making Permanent Supportive Housing Work for Vulnerable Populations

Authors: Olayinka Ariba, Abe Oudshoorn, Steve Rolfe, Carrie Anne Marshall, Deanna Befus, Jason Gilliland, Miranda Crockett, Susana Caxaj, Sarah McLean, Amy Van Berkum, Natasha Thuemler

Abstract:

Background: Secure housing is a platform for health and well-being. Those who struggle with housing stability have complex life and health histories and often require some support services such as the provision of permanent supportive housing. Poor access to supportive resources creates an exacerbation of chronic homelessness, particularly affecting individuals who need immediate access to mental health and addiction supports. This paper presents the first phase of a three-part study examining how on-site support impacts housing stability for recently-re-housed persons. Method: This study utilized a community-based participatory research methodology. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with permanent supportive housing residents from a single-site dwelling. Interpretative description analysis was used to draw common themes and understand the experiences and challenges of housing support. Results: Three interconnected themes were identified: 1) Available and timely supports; 2) Affordability; and 3) Community, but with independence as desired. These interconnected components are helping residents transition from homelessness or long-term mental health inpatient care to live in the community. Despite some participant concerns about resident conflicts, staff availability, and affordability, this has been a welcome and successful move for most. Conclusion: Supportive housing is essential for successful tenancies as a platform for health and well-being among Canada’s most vulnerable and, from the perspective of persons recently re-housed, permanent supportive housing is a worthwhile investment.

Keywords: homelessness, supportive housing, rehoused, housing stability

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11 Ground Track Assessment Using Electrical Resistivity Tomography Application

Authors: Noryani Natasha Yahaya, Anas Ibrahim, Juraidah Ahmad, Azura Ahmad, Mohd Ikmal Fazlan Rosli, Zailan Ramli, Muhd Sidek Muhd Norhasri

Abstract:

The subgrade formation is an important element of the railway structure which holds overall track stability. Conventional track maintenance involves many substructure component replacements, as well as track re-ballasting on a regular basis is partially contributed to the embankment's long-term settlement problem. For subgrade long-term stability analysis, the geophysical method is commonly being used to diagnose those hidden sources/mechanisms of track deterioration problems that the normal visual method is unable to detect. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is one of the applicable geophysical tools that are helpful in railway subgrade inspection/track monitoring due to its flexibility and reliability of the analysis. The ERT was conducted at KM 23.0 of Pinang Tunggal track to investigate the subgrade of railway track through the characterization/mapping on track formation profiling which was directly generated using 2D analysis of Res2dinv software. The profiles will allow examination of the presence and spatial extent of a significant subgrade layer and screening of any poor contact of soil boundary. Based on the finding, there is a mix/interpretation/intermixing of an interlayer between the sub-ballast and the sand. Although the embankment track considered here is at no immediate risk of settlement effect or any failure, the regular monitoring of track’s location will allow early correction maintenance if necessary. The developed data of track formation clearly shows the similarity of the side view with the assessed track. The data visualization in the 2D section of the track embankment agreed well with the initial assumption based on the main element structure general side view.

Keywords: ground track, assessment, resistivity, geophysical railway, method

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10 Performance Study of Experimental Ferritic Alloy with High Content of Molybdenum in Corrosive Environment of Soybean Methyl Biodiesel

Authors: Maurício N. Kleinberg, Ana P. R. N. Barroso, Frederico R. Silva, Natasha l. Gomes, Rodrigo F. Guimarães, Marcelo M. V. Parente, Jackson Q. Malveira

Abstract:

Increased production of biofuels, especially biodiesel, as an option to replace the diesel derived from oil is already a reality in countries seeking a renewable and environmentally friendly fuel, as is the case in Brazil. However, it is known that the use of fuels, renewable or not, implies that it is in contact with various metallic materials which may cause corrosion. In the search for more corrosion resistant materials has been experimentally observed that the addition of molybdenum in ferritic steels increases their protective character without significantly burdening the cost of production. In order to evaluate the effect of adding molybdenum, samples of commercial steel (austenitic, ferritic and carbon steel) and the experimental ferritic alloy with a high molybdenum content (5.3%) were immersed separately into biodiesel derived from transesterification of soy oil to monitor the corrosion process of these metal samples, and in parallel to analyze the oxidative degradation of biodiesel itself. During the immersion time of 258 days, biodiesel samples were taken for analysis of acidity, kinematic viscosity, density and refraction. Likewise, the metal samples were taken from the biodiesel to be weighed and microstructurally analyzed by light microscopy. The results obtained at the end of 258 days shown that biodiesel presented a considerable increase on the values of the studied parameters for all the samples. However, this increase was not able to produce significant mass loss in metallic samples. As regards the microstructural analysis, it showed the onset of surface oxidation on the carbon steel sample. As for the other samples, no significant surface changes were shown. These results are consistent with literature for short immersion times. It is concluded that the increase in the values of the studied parameters is not significant yet, probably due to the low time of immersion and exposure of the samples. Thus, it is necessary to continue the tests so that the objectives of this work are achieved.

Keywords: biodiesel, corrosion, immersion, experimental alloy

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9 Preliminary Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel Design for Hydrogen Storage Using Netting Analysis and American Society of Mechanical Engineers Section X

Authors: Natasha Botha, Gary Corderely, Helen M. Inglis

Abstract:

With the move to cleaner energy applications the transport industry is working towards on-board hydrogen, or compressed natural gas-fuelled vehicles. A popular method for storage is to use composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV) because of their high strength to weight ratios. The proper design of these COPVs are according to international standards; this study aims to provide a preliminary design for a 350 Bar Type IV COPV (i.e. a polymer liner with a composite overwrap). Netting analysis, a popular analytical approach, is used as a first step to generate an initial design concept for the composite winding. This design is further improved upon by following the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel standards, Section X: Fibre-reinforced composite pressure vessels. A design program based on these two approaches is developed using Python. A numerical model of a burst test simulation is developed based on the two approaches and compared. The results indicate that the netting analysis provides a good preliminary design, while the ASME-based design is more robust and accurate as it includes a better approximation of the material behaviour. Netting analysis is an easy method to follow when considering an initial concept design for the composite winding when not all the material characteristics are known. Once these characteristics have been fully defined with experimental testing, an ASME-based design should always be followed to ensure that all designs conform to international standards and practices. Future work entails more detailed numerical testing of the design for improvement, this will include the boss design. Once finalised prototype manufacturing and experimental testing will be conducted, and the results used to improve on the COPV design.

Keywords: composite overwrapped pressure vessel, netting analysis, design, American Society of Mechanical Engineers section x, fiber-reinforced, hydrogen storage

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8 The Impact of Garlic and Citrus Extracts on Energy Retention and Methane Production in Ruminants in vitro

Authors: Michael Graz, Natasha Hurril, Andrew Shearer

Abstract:

Research on feed supplementation with natural compounds is currently being intensively pursued with a view to improving energy utilisation in ruminants and mitigating the production of methane by these animals. Towards this end, a novel combination of extracts from garlic and bitter orange was therefore selected for trials on the basis of their previously published in vitro anti-methanogenic potential. Three separate in vitro experiments were conducted to determine energy utilisation and greenhouse gas production. These included use of rumen fluid from fistulated cows and sheep in batch culture, the Hohenheim gas test, and the Rusitec technique. Experimental and control arms were utilised, with 5g extracts per kilogram of total dietary dry matter (0.05g/kg active compounds) being used to supplement or not supplement the in vitro systems. Respiratory measurements were conducted on experimental day 1 for the batch culture and Hohenheim gas test and on day 14-21 for the Rusitec Technique (in a 21-day trial). Measurements included methane (CH4) production, total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration, molar proportions of acetate, propionate and butyrate and degradation of organic matter (Rusitec). CH4 production was reduced by 82% (±16%), 68% (±11%) and 37% (±4%) in the batch culture, Hohenheim gas test and Rusitec, respectively. Total VFA production was reduced by 13% (±2%) and 2% (±0.1%) in the batch culture and Hohenheim gas test whilst it was increased by 8% (±2%) in the Rusitec. Total VFA production was reduced in all tests between 2 and 10%, whilst acetate production was reduced between 10% and 29%. Propionate production which is an indicator of weight gain was increased in all cases between 16% and 30%. Butyrate production which is considered an indicator of potential milk yield was increased by between 6 and 11%. Degradation of organic matter in the Rusitec experiments was improved by 10% (±0.1%). In conclusion, the study demonstrated the potential of the combination of garlic and citrus extracts to improve digestion, enhance body energy retention and limit CH4 formation in relation to feed intake.

Keywords: citrus, garlic, methane, ruminants

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7 Psychological Intervention for Partners Post-Stroke: A Case Study

Authors: Natasha Yasmin Felles, Gerard Riley

Abstract:

Background and Aims: Relationship breakdown is typical when one partner lives with an acquired brain injury caused by issues like a stroke. Research has found that the perception of relationship satisfaction decreases following such an injury among non-injured partners. Non-injured partners also are found to experience caregiver stress/burden as they immediately have to take the role of a caregiver along with being a partner of the injured. Research has also found that the perception of a continuous relationship, i.e. the perception of the relationship to be essentially the same as it was before the injury, also changes among those caregiving partners. However, there is a lack of available intervention strategies that can help those partners with both individual and relationship difficulties. The aim of this case study was to conduct a pilot test of an intervention aimed to explore whether it is possible to support a partner to experience greater continuity within the relationship poststroke, and what benefits such a change might have. Method: A couple, where one partner experienced an acquired brain injury poststroke were provided with Integrated Behavioural Couples Therapy for 3-months. The intervention addressed goals identified as necessary by the couple and by the formulation of their individual and relationship difficulties, alongside the goal of promoting relationship continuity. Before and after measures were taken using a battery of six questionnaires to evaluate changes in perceptions of continuity, stress, and other aspects of the relationship. Results: Both quantitative and qualitative data showed that relationship continuity was improved after the therapy, as were the measures of stress and other aspects of the relationship. The stress felt by the person with the acquired brain injury also showed some evidence of improvement. Conclusion: The study found that perceptions of relationship continuity can be improved by therapy and that improving these might have a beneficial impact on the stress felt by the carer, their satisfaction with the relationship and overall levels of conflict and closeness within the relationship. The study suggested the value of further research on enhancing perceptions of continuity in the relationship after an acquired brain injury. Currently, the findings of the study have been used to develop a pilot feasibility study to collect substantive evidence on the impact of the intervention on the couples and assess its feasibility and acceptability, which will help in further developing a specific generalized relationship continuity intervention, that will be beneficial in preventing relationship breakdown in the future.

Keywords: acquired brain injury, couples therapy, relationship continuity, stroke

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6 Organizing Diabetes Care in a Resource Constrained Country: Bangladesh as an Example

Authors: Liaquat Ali, Khurshid Natasha

Abstract:

Low resource countries are not usually equipped with the organizational tools to implement health care for chronic diseases, and thus, providing effective diabetes care in such countries is a challenging task. Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS in Bengali acronym) has created a stimulating example to meet this challenge. Starting its journey in 1956 with 39 patients in a small tin shed clinic BADAS, and its affiliated associations now operate 90 hospitals and health centres all over the country. Together, these facilities provide integrated health care to about 1.5 million registered diabetic patients which constitute about 20% of the estimated diabetic population in the country. BADAS has also become a pioneer in health manpower generation in Bangladesh. Along with its affiliates, it now runs 3 Medical Colleges (to generate graduate physicians), 2 Nursing Institutes, and 2 Postgraduate Institutes which conduct 25 postgraduate courses (under the University of Dhaka) in various basic, clinical and public health disciplines. BADAS gives great emphasis on research, which encompasses basic, clinical as well as public health areas. BADAS is an ideal example of public-private partnership in health as most of its infrastructure has been created through government support but it is almost self-reliant in managing its revenue budget which approached approximately 40 million US dollar during 2010. BADAS raises resources by providing high-quality services to the people, both diabetic and non-diabetic. At the same time, BADAS has developed a cross financing model, to support diabetic patients in general and poor diabetic patients (identified through a social welfare network) in particular, through redistribution of the resources. Along with financial sustainability BADAS ensure organizational sustainability through a process of decentralization, community ownership, and democratic management. Presently a large scale pilot project (named as a Health Care Development Project or HCDP) is under implementation under BADAS umbrella with an objective to transform the diabetes care model to a health care model in general. It is expected to create further evidence on providing sustainable (with social safety net) health care delivery for diabetes, and other chronic illnesses as an integral part of general health care delivery in a resource constrained setting.

Keywords: Bangladesh, self sustain, health care, constrain

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5 A Delphi Study of Factors Affecting the Forest Biorefinery Development in the Pulp and Paper Industry: The Case of Bio-Based Products

Authors: Natasha Gabriella, Josef-Peter Schöggl, Alfred Posch

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Being a mature industry, pulp and paper industry (PPI) possess strength points coming from its existing infrastructure, technology know-how, and abundant availability of biomass. However, the declining trend of the wood-based products sales sends a clear signal to the industry to transform its business model in order to increase its profitability. With the emerging global attention on bio-based economy and circular economy, coupled with the low price of fossil feedstock, the PPI starts to integrate biorefinery as a value-added business model to keep the industry’s competitiveness. Nonetheless, biorefinery as an innovation exposes the PPI with some barriers, of which the uncertainty of the promising product becomes one of the major hurdles. This study aims to assess factors that affect the diffusion and development of forest biorefinery in the PPI, including drivers, barriers, advantages, disadvantages, as well as the most promising bio-based products of forest biorefinery. The study examines the identified factors according to the layer of business environment, being the macro-environment, industry, and strategic group level. Besides, an overview of future state of the identified factors is elaborated as to map necessary improvements for implementing forest biorefinery. A two-phase Delphi method is used to collect the empirical data for the study, comprising of an online-based survey and interviews. Delphi method is an effective communication tools to elicit ideas from a group of experts to further reach a consensus of forecasting future trends. Collaborating a total of 50 experts in the panel, the study reveals that influential factors are found in every layers of business of the PPI. The politic dimension is apparent to have a significant influence for tackling the economy barrier while reinforcing the environmental and social benefits in the macro-environment. In the industry level, the biomass availability appears to be a strength point of the PPI while the knowledge gap on technology and market seem to be barriers. Consequently, cooperation with academia and the chemical industry has to be improved. Human resources issue is indicated as one important premise behind the preceding barrier, along with the indication of the PPI’s resistance towards biorefinery implementation as an innovation. Further, cellulose-based products are acknowledged for near-term product development whereas lignin-based products are emphasized to gain importance in the long-term future.

Keywords: forest biorefinery, pulp and paper, bio-based product, Delphi method

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4 Weathering the Storm: Presenting a Framework for Navigating Unplanned Change in Organisations

Authors: Natasha Winkler-Titus, Nicole Hayes, Dieter Veldsman

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We live in Confucius’ interesting times, and Coorperider (2020) said that the 2020’s may be the decade of last chances. Every sector and industry are experiencing seismic change, and the experience is that of continuous motion and unprecedented disruption. This paper presents empirical research exploring how two organisations managed through disruptive unplanned change events, and we propose a pragmatic framework guiding the navigation of unplanned change. With the nature and pace of change shifting, this has an equal knock-on impact on organisational change processes and how these are navigated. Schwarz and Bouckenooghe (2021) have challenged scholars to shine a renewed spotlight on the vast change literature. Instead of confirming old models in new contexts, researchers must start conceptualising “new ways of modelling change” (p.6). While planned change infers a managerial response based on anticipated events which can be accommodated in the management systems, unplanned change stems from unanticipated events or crisis and requires a different management response. Nevertheless, most approaches to change continue to adopt the same models and continue to make the same mistakes. The application of complex adaptive systems theory to human social systems have enriched traditional management theories, but they still require more structured methodologies and methods to support more generic organisational analyses. Complex adaptive systems theory has been applied predominantly in planned instances of change management to analyse collective behaviour emergenceand to study narratives of change. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel approach to navigating through forced unplanned change utilising a framework derived from the theory of complex adaptive systems. An interpretivist paradigm was followed in a case study following grounded theory methodology of analysis, and data was collected at two time points at two organisations experiencing disruptive, unplanned change events. Viewing unplanned change through the lens of complex adaptive systems theory provides the opportunity to understand unplanned change as a navigational and iterative occurrence that draws from the dialogic OD perspective. The study culminates in a framework providing a conseptualisation of how unplanned change can be navigated through the iterative and non-linear domains of survival, sensemaking, and sustainability through iterative phases of containing, mobilising, stabalising and shaping the context of these domains. This occurs in the context of the macro-environment and the historical narrative that informs the institutional memory of the system. This aligns with the understanding of complex adaptive systems where the pattern of interaction is understood to be complex, thus requires sensemaking, emergent, and evolving, which is contained through survival and informed by agents in the systems and their connections, which relates to sustainability.

Keywords: organisational change, complex adaptive systems theory, unplanned change navigation, sensemaking

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3 Contraception in Guatemala, Panajachel and the Surrounding Areas: Barriers Affecting Women’s Contraceptive Usage

Authors: Natasha Bhate

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Contraception is important in helping to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates by allowing women to control the number and spacing in-between their children. It also reduces the need for unsafe abortions. Women worldwide use contraception; however, the contraceptive prevalence rate is still relatively low in Central American countries like Guatemala. There is also an unmet need for contraception in Guatemala, which is more significant in rural, indigenous women due to barriers preventing contraceptive use. The study objective was to investigate and analyse the current barriers women face, in Guatemala, Panajachel and the surrounding areas, in using contraception, with a view of identifying ways to overcome these barriers. This included exploring the contraceptive barriers women believe exist and the influence of males in contraceptive decision making. The study took place at a charity in Panajachel, Guatemala, and had a cross-sectional, qualitative design to allow an in-depth understanding of information gathered. This particular study design was also chosen to help inform the charity with qualitative research analysis, in view of their intent to create a local reproductive health programme. A semi-structured interview design, including photo facilitation to improve cross-cultural communication, with interpreter assistance, was utilized. A pilot interview was initially conducted with small improvements required. Participants were recruited through purposive and convenience sampling. The study host at the charity acted as a gatekeeper; participants were identified through attendance of the charity’s women’s-initiative programme workshops. 20 participants were selected and agreed to study participation with two not attending; a total of 18 participants were interviewed in June 2017. Interviews were audio-recorded and data were stored on encrypted memory sticks. Framework analysis was used to analyse the data using NVivo11 software. The University of Leeds granted ethical approval for the research. Religion, language, the community, and fear of sickness were examples of existing contraceptive barrier themes recognized by many participants. The influence of men was also an important barrier identified, with themes of machismo and abuse preventing contraceptive use in some women. Women from more rural areas were believed to still face barriers which some participants did not encounter anymore, such as distance and affordability of contraceptives. Participants believed that informative workshops in various settings were an ideal method of overcoming existing contraceptive barriers and allowing women to be more empowered. The involvement of men in such workshops was also deemed important by participants to help reduce their negative influence in contraceptive usage. Overall, four recommendations following this study were made, including contraceptive educational courses, a gender equality campaign, couple-focused contraceptive workshops, and further qualitative research to gain a better insight into men’s opinions regarding women using contraception.

Keywords: barrier, contraception, machismo, religion

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2 Genetic Diversity of Norovirus Strains in Outpatient Children from Rural Communities of Vhembe District, South Africa, 2014-2015

Authors: Jean Pierre Kabue, Emma Meader, Afsatou Ndama Traore, Paul R. Hunter, Natasha Potgieter

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Norovirus is now considered the most common cause of outbreaks of nonbacterial gastroenteritis. Limited data are available for Norovirus strains in Africa, especially in rural and peri-urban areas. Despite the excessive burden of diarrhea disease in developing countries, Norovirus infections have been to date mostly reported in developed countries. There is a need to investigate intensively the role of viral agents associated with diarrhea in different settings in Africa continent. To determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of Norovirus strains circulating in the rural communities in the Limpopo Province, South Africa and investigate the genetic relationship between Norovirus strains, a cross-sectional study was performed on human stools collected from rural communities. Between July 2014 and April 2015, outpatient children under 5 years of age from rural communities of Vhembe District, South Africa, were recorded for the study. A total of 303 stool specimens were collected from those with diarrhea (n=253) and without (n=50) diarrhea. NoVs were identified using real-time one-step RT-PCR. Partial Sequence analyses were performed to genotype the strains. Phylogenetic analyses were performed to compare identified NoVs genotypes to the worldwide circulating strains. Norovirus detection rate was 41.1% (104/253) in children with diarrhea. There was no significant difference (OR=1.24; 95% CI 0.66-2.33) in Norovirus detection between symptomatic and asymptomatic children. Comparison of the median CT values for NoV in children with diarrhea and without diarrhea revealed significant statistical difference of estimated GII viral load from both groups, with a much higher viral burden in children with diarrhea. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting on the differences in estimated viral load of GII and GI NoV positive cases and controls. GII.Pe (n=9) were the predominant genotypes followed by GII.Pe/GII.4 Sydney 2012 (n=8) suspected recombinant and GII.4 Sydney 2012 variants(n=7). Two unassigned GII.4 variants and an unusual RdRp genotype GII.P15 were found. With note, the rare GIIP15 identified in this study has a common ancestor with GIIP15 strain from Japan previously reported as GII/untypeable recombinant strain implicated in a gastroenteritis outbreak. To our knowledge, this is the first report of this unusual genotype in the African continent. Though not confirmed predictive of diarrhea disease in this study, the high detection rate of NoV is an indication of subsequent exposure of children from rural communities to enteric pathogens due to poor sanitation and hygiene practices. The results reveal that the difference between asymptomatic and symptomatic children with NoV may possibly be related to the NoV genogroups involved. The findings emphasize NoV genetic diversity and predominance of GII.Pe/GII.4 Sydney 2012, indicative of increased NoV activity. An uncommon GII.P15 and two unassigned GII.4 variants were also identified from rural settings of the Vhembe District/South Africa. NoV surveillance is required to help to inform investigations into NoV evolution, and to support vaccine development programmes in Africa.

Keywords: asymptomatic, common, outpatients, norovirus genetic diversity, sporadic gastroenteritis, South African rural communities, symptomatic

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1 Assessing Diagnostic and Evaluation Tools for Use in Urban Immunisation Programming: A Critical Narrative Review and Proposed Framework

Authors: Tim Crocker-Buque, Sandra Mounier-Jack, Natasha Howard

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Background: Due to both the increasing scale and speed of urbanisation, urban areas in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) host increasingly large populations of under-immunized children, with the additional associated risks of rapid disease transmission in high-density living environments. Multiple interdependent factors are associated with these coverage disparities in urban areas and most evidence comes from relatively few countries, e.g., predominantly India, Kenya, Nigeria, and some from Pakistan, Iran, and Brazil. This study aimed to identify, describe, and assess the main tools used to measure or improve coverage of immunisation services in poor urban areas. Methods: Authors used a qualitative review design, including academic and non-academic literature, to identify tools used to improve coverage of public health interventions in urban areas. Authors selected and extracted sources that provided good examples of specific tools, or categories of tools, used in a context relevant to urban immunization. Diagnostic (e.g., for data collection, analysis, and insight generation) and programme tools (e.g., for investigating or improving ongoing programmes) and interventions (e.g., multi-component or stand-alone with evidence) were selected for inclusion to provide a range of type and availability of relevant tools. These were then prioritised using a decision-analysis framework and a tool selection guide for programme managers developed. Results: Authors reviewed tools used in urban immunisation contexts and tools designed for (i) non-immunization and/or non-health interventions in urban areas, and (ii) immunisation in rural contexts that had relevance for urban areas (e.g., Reaching every District/Child/ Zone). Many approaches combined several tools and methods, which authors categorised as diagnostic, programme, and intervention. The most common diagnostic tools were cross-sectional surveys, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, secondary analysis of routine data, and geographical mapping of outcomes, resources, and services. Programme tools involved multiple stages of data collection, analysis, insight generation, and intervention planning and included guidance documents from WHO (World Health Organisation), UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), USAID (United States Agency for International Development), and governments, and articles reporting on diagnostics, interventions, and/or evaluations to improve urban immunisation. Interventions involved service improvement, education, reminder/recall, incentives, outreach, mass-media, or were multi-component. The main gaps in existing tools were an assessment of macro/policy-level factors, exploration of effective immunization communication channels, and measuring in/out-migration. The proposed framework uses a problem tree approach to suggest tools to address five common challenges (i.e. identifying populations, understanding communities, issues with service access and use, improving services, improving coverage) based on context and available data. Conclusion: This study identified many tools relevant to evaluating urban LMIC immunisation programmes, including significant crossover between tools. This was encouraging in terms of supporting the identification of common areas, but problematic as data volumes, instructions, and activities could overwhelm managers and tools are not always suitably applied to suitable contexts. Further research is needed on how best to combine tools and methods to suit local contexts. Authors’ initial framework can be tested and developed further.

Keywords: health equity, immunisation, low and middle-income countries, poverty, urban health

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