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

Search results for: Nihal Eratlı

27 Forced Vibration of a Planar Curved Beam on Pasternak Foundation

Authors: Akif Kutlu, Merve Ermis, Nihal Eratlı, Mehmet H. Omurtag


The objective of this study is to investigate the forced vibration analysis of a planar curved beam lying on elastic foundation by using the mixed finite element method. The finite element formulation is based on the Timoshenko beam theory. In order to solve the problems in frequency domain, the element matrices of two nodded curvilinear elements are transformed into Laplace space. The results are transformed back to the time domain by the well-known numerical Modified Durbin’s transformation algorithm. First, the presented finite element formulation is verified through the forced vibration analysis of a planar curved Timoshenko beam resting on Winkler foundation and the finite element results are compared with the results available in the literature. Then, the forced vibration analysis of a planar curved beam resting on Winkler-Pasternak foundation is conducted.

Keywords: curved beam, dynamic analysis, elastic foundation, finite element method

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26 Free Vibration Analysis of Conical Helicoidal Rods Having Elliptical Cross Sections Positioned in Different Orientation

Authors: Merve Ermis, Akif Kutlu, Nihal Eratlı, Mehmet H. Omurtag


In this study, the free vibration analysis of conical helicoidal rods with two different elliptically oriented cross sections is investigated and the results are compared by the circular cross-section keeping the net area for all cases equal to each other. Problems are solved by using the mixed finite element formulation. Element matrices based on Timoshenko beam theory are employed. The finite element matrices are derived by directly inserting the analytical expressions (arc length, curvature, and torsion) defining helix geometry into the formulation. Helicoidal rod domain is discretized by a two-noded curvilinear element. Each node of the element has 12 DOFs, namely, three translations, three rotations, two shear forces, one axial force, two bending moments and one torque. A parametric study is performed to investigate the influence of elliptical cross sectional geometry and its orientation over the natural frequencies of the conical type helicoidal rod.

Keywords: conical helix, elliptical cross section, finite element, free vibration

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25 Static and Dynamic Analysis of Hyperboloidal Helix Having Thin Walled Open and Close Sections

Authors: Merve Ermis, Murat Yılmaz, Nihal Eratlı, Mehmet H. Omurtag


The static and dynamic analyses of hyperboloidal helix having the closed and the open square box sections are investigated via the mixed finite element formulation based on Timoshenko beam theory. Frenet triad is considered as local coordinate systems for helix geometry. Helix domain is discretized with a two-noded curved element and linear shape functions are used. Each node of the curved element has 12 degrees of freedom, namely, three translations, three rotations, two shear forces, one axial force, two bending moments and one torque. Finite element matrices are derived by using exact nodal values of curvatures and arc length and it is interpolated linearly throughout the element axial length. The torsional moments of inertia for close and open square box sections are obtained by finite element solution of St. Venant torsion formulation. With the proposed method, the torsional rigidity of simply and multiply connected cross-sections can be also calculated in same manner. The influence of the close and the open square box cross-sections on the static and dynamic analyses of hyperboloidal helix is investigated. The benchmark problems are represented for the literature.

Keywords: hyperboloidal helix, squared cross section, thin walled cross section, torsional rigidity

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24 A Comparative Study of Photo and Electro-Fenton Reactions Efficiency in Degradation of Cationic Dyes Mixture

Authors: S. Bouafia Chergui, Nihal Oturan, Hussein Khalaf, Mehmet A. Oturan


The aim of this work was to compare the degradation of a mixture of three cationic dyes by advanced oxidation processes (electro-Fenton, photo-Fenton) in aqueous solution. These processes are based on the in situ production of hydroxyl radical, a highly strong oxidant, which allows the degradation of organic pollutants until their mineralization into CO2 and H2O. Under optimal operating conditions, the evolution of total organic carbon (TOC) and electrical energy efficiency have been investigated for the two processes.

Keywords: photo-fenton, electro-fenton, energy efficiency, water treatment

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23 High Performance Nanomaterials for Sustainable and Modern Façade Application

Authors: Farrin Ghorbanalavi, Nihal Arıoğlu


The concept of enhancing mechanical /thermal/physical properties of architectural materials is being practiced for over five decades. In comparison with other approaches, the current nanotechnology era equally attracted the structural scientists, engineers, and industries. It simply promises that using building blocks with dimensions in the nano size range makes it possible to design and develop new multi-functional materials. This research focuses on understanding the effects of nanotechnology on the building facade and new facade concepts based on the new possibilities of nanotechnology. Mentioned factors are very prosperous for the comfort as well as sustainability of the building itself. Furthermore, the study suggests that the potential for energy conservation and reduced waste, toxicity, non-renewable resource consumption, and carbon emissions through the architectural applications of nanotechnologies significant. More clearly, it provides us the information about what does the future hold for surface structures.

Keywords: sustainable, nano materials, façade, energy efficiency

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22 Learning Programming for Hearing Impaired Students via an Avatar

Authors: Nihal Esam Abuzinadah, Areej Abbas Malibari, Arwa Abdulaziz Allinjawi, Paul Krause


Deaf and hearing-impaired students face many obstacles throughout their education, especially with learning applied sciences such as computer programming. In addition, there is no clear signs in the Arabic Sign Language that can be used to identify programming logic terminologies such as while, for, case, switch etc. However, hearing disabilities should not be a barrier for studying purpose nowadays, especially with the rapid growth in educational technology. In this paper, we develop an Avatar based system to teach computer programming to deaf and hearing-impaired students using Arabic Signed language with new signs vocabulary that is been developed for computer programming education. The system is tested on a number of high school students and results showed the importance of visualization in increasing the comprehension or understanding of concepts for deaf students through the avatar.

Keywords: hearing-impaired students, isolation, self-esteem, learning difficulties

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21 Nature of Maritime Dispute Resolution by Arbitration: USA as a Reference Point

Authors: Thusitha B. Abeysekara, M. A. Nihal Chandrathilake


The aim of this research is to examine the legal mechanism of resolving maritime disputes by arbitration, and it would be a reference point on the analysis of USA approaches. In doing so, the research aims to analyse the relevant legal principles in the context of current maritime arbitration practices in selected jurisdictions. The research also aims to analyse the advantages and applicability of arbitration in maritime dispute settlements over the litigation and further approaches the role of specialist maritime arbitration institutes in the USA and the position of international merchant organizations in maritime arbitration. Further, research values the legislative aspects of maritime arbitration. The study would evaluate the contemporary issues in maritime arbitration practices in the USA and further analyses the statistical information on maritime arbitration. Finally, the research made remarks to often parallel consequence in USA legal systems in maritime arbitration and despite the fundamental divergences of the applicable principles and practices of maritime arbitration. The research finally suggests the doctrine should reshape with equitable remedies and international maritime arbitration practices with its institutional impact rather than using as statutory rules related maritime arbitration.

Keywords: arbitration, international shipping, maritime dispute, New York convention

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20 Analysis of Q-Learning on Artificial Neural Networks for Robot Control Using Live Video Feed

Authors: Nihal Murali, Kunal Gupta, Surekha Bhanot


Training of artificial neural networks (ANNs) using reinforcement learning (RL) techniques is being widely discussed in the robot learning literature. The high model complexity of ANNs along with the model-free nature of RL algorithms provides a desirable combination for many robotics applications. There is a huge need for algorithms that generalize using raw sensory inputs, such as vision, without any hand-engineered features or domain heuristics. In this paper, the standard control problem of line following robot was used as a test-bed, and an ANN controller for the robot was trained on images from a live video feed using Q-learning. A virtual agent was first trained in simulation environment and then deployed onto a robot’s hardware. The robot successfully learns to traverse a wide range of curves and displays excellent generalization ability. Qualitative analysis of the evolution of policies, performance and weights of the network provide insights into the nature and convergence of the learning algorithm.

Keywords: artificial neural networks, q-learning, reinforcement learning, robot learning

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19 Sundarban as a Buffer against Storm Surge Flooding

Authors: Mohiuddin Sakib, Fatin Nihal, Anisul Haque, Munsur Rahman, Mansur Ali


Sundarban, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is known to act as a buffer against the cyclone and storm surge. Theoretically, Sundarban absorbs the initial thrust of the wind and acts to ‘resist’ the storm surge flooding. The role of Sundarban was evident during the cyclone Sidr when the Sundarban solely defended the initial thrust of the cyclonic wind and the resulting storm surge inundation. In doing this, Sundarban sacrificed 30% of its plant habitats. Although no scientific study has yet been conducted, it is generally believed that Sundarban will continuously play its role as a buffer against the cyclone when landfall of the cyclone is at or close to the Sundarban. Considering these facts, the present study mainly focused on a scientific insight into the role of Sundarban as a buffer against the present-day cyclone and storm surge and also its probable role on the impacts of future storms of similar nature but with different landfall locations. The Delft 3D dashboard and flow model are applied to compute the resulting inundation due to cyclone induced storm surge. The results show that Sundarban indeed acts as a buffer against the storm surge inundation when cyclone landfall is at or close to Sundarban.

Keywords: buffer, Mangrove forest, Sidr, landfall, roughness

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18 Evaluation of Microleakage of a New Generation Nano-Ionomer in Class II Restoration of Primary Molars

Authors: Ghada Salem, Nihal Kabel


Objective: This in vitro study was carried out to assess the microleakage properties of nano-filled glass ionomer in comparison to resin-reinforced glass ionomers. Material and Methods: 40 deciduous molar teeth were included in this study. Class-II cavity was prepared in a standard form for all the specimens. The teeth were randomly distributed into two groups (20 per group) according to the restorative material used either nano-glass ionomer or Photac Fill glass ionomer restoration. All specimens were thermocycled for 1000 cycles between 5 and 55 °C. After that, the teeth were immersed in 2% methylene blue dye then sectioned and evaluated under a stereomicroscope. Microleakage was assessed using linear dye penetration and on a scale from zero to five. Results: Two way ANOVA test revealed a statistically significant lower degree of microleakage in both occlusal and gingival restorations (0.4±0.2), (0.9±0.1) for nano-filled glass ionomer group in comparison to resin modified glass ionomer (2.3±0.7), (2.4±0.5). No statistical difference was found between gingival and occlusal leakage regarding the effect of the measured site. Conclusion: Nano-filled glass ionomer shows superior sealing ability which enables this type of restoration to be used in minimum invasive treatment.

Keywords: microleakage, nanoionomer, resin-reinforced glass ionomer, proximal cavity preparation

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17 Various Factors Affecting Students Performances In A Saudi Medical School

Authors: Raneem O. Salem, Najwa Al-Mously, Nihal Mohamed Nabil, Abdulmohsen H. Al-Zalabani, Abeer F. Al-Dhawi, Nasser Al-Hamdan


Objective: There are various demographic and educational factors that affect the academic performance of undergraduate medical students. The objective of this study is to identify these factors and correlate them to the GPA of the students. Methods: A cross-sectional study design utilizing grade point averages (GPAs) of two cohorts of students in both levels of the pre-clinical phase. In addition, self-administered questionnaire was used to evaluate the effect of these factors on students with poor and good cumulative GPA. Results: Among the various factors studied, gender, marital status, and the transportation used to reach the faculty significantly affected academic performance of students. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater significantly differed than those with a GPA of less than 3.0 being higher in female students, in married students, and type of transportation used to reach the college. Factors including age, educational factors, and type of transportation used have shown to create a significant difference in GPA between male and females. Conclusion: Factors such as age, gender, marital status, learning resources, study time, and the transportation used have been shown to significantly affect medical student GPA as a whole batch as well as when they are tested for gender.

Keywords: academic performance, educational factors, learning resources, study time, gender, socio-demographic factors

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16 Different Sampling Schemes for Semi-Parametric Frailty Model

Authors: Nursel Koyuncu, Nihal Ata Tutkun


Frailty model is a survival model that takes into account the unobserved heterogeneity for exploring the relationship between the survival of an individual and several covariates. In the recent years, proposed survival models become more complex and this feature causes convergence problems especially in large data sets. Therefore selection of sample from these big data sets is very important for estimation of parameters. In sampling literature, some authors have defined new sampling schemes to predict the parameters correctly. For this aim, we try to see the effect of sampling design in semi-parametric frailty model. We conducted a simulation study in R programme to estimate the parameters of semi-parametric frailty model for different sample sizes, censoring rates under classical simple random sampling and ranked set sampling schemes. In the simulation study, we used data set recording 17260 male Civil Servants aged 40–64 years with complete 10-year follow-up as population. Time to death from coronary heart disease is treated as a survival-time and age, systolic blood pressure are used as covariates. We select the 1000 samples from population using different sampling schemes and estimate the parameters. From the simulation study, we concluded that ranked set sampling design performs better than simple random sampling for each scenario.

Keywords: frailty model, ranked set sampling, efficiency, simple random sampling

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15 Applicability of Cameriere’s Age Estimation Method in a Sample of Turkish Adults

Authors: Hatice Boyacioglu, Nursel Akkaya, Humeyra Ozge Yilanci, Hilmi Kansu, Nihal Avcu


The strong relationship between the reduction in the size of the pulp cavity and increasing age has been reported in the literature. This relationship can be utilized to estimate the age of an individual by measuring the pulp cavity size using dental radiographs as a non-destructive method. The purpose of this study is to develop a population specific regression model for age estimation in a sample of Turkish adults by applying Cameriere’s method on panoramic radiographs. The sample consisted of 100 panoramic radiographs of Turkish patients (40 men, 60 women) aged between 20 and 70 years. Pulp and tooth area ratios (AR) of the maxilla¬¬ry canines were measured by two maxillofacial radiologists and then the results were subjected to regression analysis. There were no statistically significant intra-observer and inter-observer differences. The correlation coefficient between age and the AR of the maxillary canines was -0.71 and the following regression equation was derived: Estimated Age = 77,365 – ( 351,193 × AR ). The mean prediction error was 4 years which is within acceptable errors limits for age estimation. This shows that the pulp/tooth area ratio is a useful variable for assessing age with reasonable accuracy. Based on the results of this research, it was concluded that Cameriere’s method is suitable for dental age estimation and it can be used for forensic procedures in Turkish adults. These instructions give you guidelines for preparing papers for conferences or journals.

Keywords: age estimation by teeth, forensic dentistry, panoramic radiograph, Cameriere's method

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14 Identification of Vulnerable Zone Due to Cyclone-Induced Storm Surge in the Exposed Coast of Bangladesh

Authors: Mohiuddin Sakib, Fatin Nihal, Rabeya Akter, Anisul Haque, Munsur Rahman, Wasif-E-Elahi


Surge generating cyclones are one of the deadliest natural disasters that threaten the life of coastal environment and communities worldwide. Due to the geographic location, ‘low lying alluvial plain, geomorphologic characteristics and 710 kilometers exposed coastline, Bangladesh is considered as one of the greatest vulnerable country for storm surge flooding. Bay of Bengal is possessing the highest potential of creating storm surge inundation to the coastal areas. Bangladesh is the most exposed country to tropical cyclone with an average of four cyclone striking every years. Frequent cyclone landfall made the country one of the worst sufferer within the world for cyclone induced storm surge flooding and casualties. During the years from 1797 to 2009 Bangladesh has been hit by 63 severe cyclones with strengths of different magnitudes. Though detailed studies were done focusing on the specific cyclone like Sidr or Aila, no study was conducted where vulnerable areas of exposed coast were identified based on the strength of cyclones. This study classifies the vulnerable areas of the exposed coast based on storm surge inundation depth and area due to cyclones of varying strengths. Classification of the exposed coast based on hazard induced cyclonic vulnerability will help the decision makers to take appropriate policies for reducing damage and loss.

Keywords: cyclone, landfall, storm surge, exposed coastline, vulnerability

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13 Effects of Using Alternative Energy Sources and Technologies to Reduce Energy Consumption and Expenditure of a Single Detached House

Authors: Gul Nihal Gugul, Merih Aydinalp-Koksal


In this study, hourly energy consumption model of a single detached house in Ankara, Turkey is developed using ESP-r building energy simulation software. Natural gas is used for space heating, cooking, and domestic water heating in this two story 4500 square feet four-bedroom home. Hourly electricity consumption of the home is monitored by an automated meter reading system, and daily natural gas consumption is recorded by the owners during 2013. Climate data of the region and building envelope data are used to develop the model. The heating energy consumption of the house that is estimated by the ESP-r model is then compared with the actual heating demand to determine the performance of the model. Scenarios are applied to the model to determine the amount of reduction in the total energy consumption of the house. The scenarios are using photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, ground source heat pumps for space heating and solar panels for domestic hot water generation. Alternative scenarios such as improving wall and roof insulations and window glazing are also applied. These scenarios are evaluated based on annual energy, associated CO2 emissions, and fuel expenditure savings. The pay-back periods for each scenario are also calculated to determine best alternative energy source or technology option for this home to reduce annual energy use and CO2 emission.

Keywords: ESP-r, building energy simulation, residential energy saving, CO2 reduction

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12 The Materiality of Noise Barriers: Sustainability Approach

Authors: Mostafa Gabr, Rania Abdul Galil, Nihal Salim


Various interventions are applied in cities with the aim to improve living and acoustic environmental conditions. Noise is one of the most influential and critical factors in the environment that has an effect on the QOL (quality of life) and urban environment. It ranks second among environmental pollution issues according to EEAA. Traffic noise is a major source of noise. Noise barriers are one of the physical techniques in landscape design used to reduce the impact of noise pollution in urban areas. Roadways noise pollution can be best controlled by a noise barrier. The aim of this paper is to consider all facets of sustainability when designing a comfortable acoustic environment in roadways, through different strategies related to planning and the design process. The study focuses on the relation between the design of noise barriers as a landscape noise mitigation installation and their materiality in so far as it influences the sustainability of the open space and the acceptability of users. According to previous studies, design of noise barrier mainly depends on cost as a decisive factor. This study asserts that environmental and socioeconomic costs associated are equally important. Hence, the paper presents a strategy for sustainable soundscape design. It builds a framework focusing on materiality considering the environmental and socioeconomic impact of noise barriers shaping urban open space around the road ways, and the different academic and market positions on noise barrier types and materials. Finally, it concludes with a matrix of the relation between the noise barrier design consideration and the three pillars of sustainability (social, economic and environmental).

Keywords: traffic noise level, acoustic sustainability, noise barrier, noise reduction, noise control, acoustical level

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11 Enhancing Small and Medium Enterprises Access to Finance: The Opportunities and Challenges of Using Intellectual Property Rights as Collateral in Sri Lanka

Authors: Nihal Chandratilaka Matara Arachchige, Nishantha Sampath Punichihewa


Intellectual property (IP) assets are the ‘crown-jewels’ of innovation-driven businesses in the knowledge-based economy. In that sense, IP rights such as patents, trademarks and copyrights afford enormous economic opportunities to an enterprise, especially Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). As can be gleaned from the latest statistics, the domestic industries in Sri Lanka are predominantly represented by SMEs. Undeniably, in terms of economic contribution, the SME sector is considered to be the backbone of the country’s ‘real economy’. However, the SME sector in Sri Lanka faces number of challenges. One of the nearly-insurmountable-hurdles for small businesses is the access to credit facilities, due to the lack of collateral. In the eyes of law, the collateral is something pledged as security for repayment in the event of default. Even though the intellectual property rights are used as collateral in order to facilitate obtaining credit for businesses in number of Asian jurisdictions, financial institutions in Sri Lanka are extremely reluctant to accept IP rights as collateral for granting financial resources to SMEs. Against this backdrop, this research investigates from a legal perspective reasons for not accepting IP rights as collateral when granting loans for SMEs. Drawing emerging examples from other jurisdiction, it further examines the inadequacies of existing legal framework in relation to the use of IP rights as collateral. The methodology followed in this paper is qualitative research. Empirical research and analysis concerning the core research question are carried out by conducting in-depth interviews with stakeholders, including leading financial institutions in Sri Lanka.

Keywords: intellectual property assets, SMEs, collaterals financial facilities, credits

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10 Contribution of NLRP3 Inflammasome to the Protective Effect of 5,14-HEDGE, A 20-HETE Mimetic, against LPS-Induced Septic Shock in Rats

Authors: Bahar Tunctan, Sefika Pinar Kucukkavruk, Meryem Temiz-Resitoglu, Demet Sinem Guden, Ayse Nihal Sari, Seyhan Sahan-Firat, Mahesh P. Paudyal, John R. Falck, Kafait U. Malik


We hypothesized that 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) mimetics such as N-(20-hydroxyeicosa-5[Z],14[Z]-dienoyl)glycine (5,14-HEDGE) may be beneficial for preventing mortality due to inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). This study aims to assess the effect of 5,14-HEDGE on the LPS-induced changes in nucleotide binding domain and leucine-rich repeat protein 3 (NLRP3)/apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase activation and recruitment domain (ASC)/pro-caspase-1 inflammasome. Rats were injected with saline (4 ml/kg) or LPS (10 mg/kg) at time 0. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured using a tail-cuff device. 5,14-HEDGE (30 mg/kg) was administered to rats 1 h after injection of saline or LPS. The rats were sacrificed 4 h after saline or LPS injection and kidney, heart, thoracic aorta, and superior mesenteric artery were isolated for measurement of caspase-1/11 p20, NLRP3, ASC, and β-actin proteins as well as interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels. Blood pressure decreased by 33 mmHg and heart rate increased by 63 bpm in the LPS-treated rats. In the LPS-treated rats, tissue protein expression of caspase-1/11 p20, NLRP3, and ASC in addition to IL-1β levels were increased. 5,14-HEDGE prevented the LPS-induced changes. Our findings suggest that inhibition of renal, cardiac, and vascular formation/activity of NLRP3/ASC/pro-caspase-1 inflammasome involved in the protective effect of 5,14-HEDGE on LPS-induced septic shock in rats. This work was financially supported by the Mersin University (2015-AP3-1343) and USPHS NIH (PO1 HL034300).

Keywords: 5, 14-HEDGE, lipopolysaccharide, NLRP3, inflammasome, septic shock

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9 Effect of Humor on Pain and Anxiety in Patients with Rheumatoi̇d Arthri̇ti̇s: A Prospective, Randomized Controlled Study

Authors: Burcu Babadağ Savaş, Nihal Orlu, Güler Balcı Alparslan, Ertuğrul Çolak, Cengiz Korkmaz


Introduction/objectives: We aimed to investigate the effect of humor on pain and state anxiety in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving biologic intravenous (IV) infusion therapy. Method: The study sample consisted of 36 patients who met the classification criteria for RA and inclusion criteria in a rheumatology outpatient clinic at a university hospital between September 2020 and November 2021. Two sample groups were formed: the intervention group (watching a comedy movie) (n=18) and the control group (n=18). The intervention group consisted of the patient watching a comedy movie of his/her choice from an archive created by the researchers during the biological IV infusion therapy (approximately 90-120 minutes). The data collection instruments used before and after the test were the descriptive identification form, the visual analog scale (VAS), and the state anxiety scale. Results: The mean VAS scores of patients in the intervention group were 5.05 ± 2.01 in the pre-test and 2.61 ± 1.91 in the post-test. The mean state anxiety scores of patients in the intervention group were 45.94 ± 9.97 in the pre-test and 34.22 ± 6.57 in the post-test. Thus, patients who watched comedy movies during biologic IV infusion therapy in the infusion center had a greater reduction in pain scores than the control group and the effect size was small. Although there was a decrease in state anxiety scores in both groups, there was no significant difference between groups and the effect size was not relevant. Conclusions: During IV infusion therapy, watching comedy movies is recommended as a nursing care intervention for reducing pain in patients with RA in cooperation with other health professionals.

Keywords: watching comedy movie, humor, pain, anxiety, nursing, care

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8 Contribution of mTOR to Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress via NADPH Oxidase System Activation in Zymosan-Induced Systemic Inflammation in Rats

Authors: Seyhan Sahan-Firat, Meryem Temiz-Resitoglu, Demet Sinem Guden, Sefika Pinar Kucukkavruk, Bahar Tunctan, Ayse Nihal Sari, Zumrut Kocak


We hypothesized that mTOR inhibition may prevent the multiple organ failures following severe multiple tissue injury associated with increased NADPH oxidase system activity occur in zymosan-induced systemic inflammation. Therefore, we investigated the role of mTOR in oxidative/nitrosative stress associated with increase in NADPH oxidase activity in zymosan-induced systemic inflammation model in rats. Male Wistar rats received saline (4 ml/kg, i.p.) and zymosan (500 mg/kg, i.p.) at time 0. Saline, or zymosan-treated rats were given rapamycin (1 mg/kg, i.p.) 1 h after saline or zymosan injections. Rats were sacrified 4 h after zymosan challenge and kidney, heart, thoracic aorta, and superior mesenteric artery were collected. NADPH oxidase activity, p22phox, gp91phox, and p47phox protein expression and nitrotyrosine levels were measured in tissue samples. Zymosan administration caused an increase in NADPH oxidase activity, p22phox, gp91phox, and p47phox protein expression and nitrotyrosine levels in kidney, heart, thoracic aorta, and superior mesenteric artery. These changes caused by zymosan reversed by rapamycin, a selective mTOR inhibitor. Rapamycin alone had no effect on the parameters measured. Our results demonstrated that zymosan-induced oxidative/nitrosative stress presumably due to enhanced activity of NADPH oxidase, expression of p22phox, gp91phox, and p47phox and production of peroxynitrite were mediated by mTOR. [This work was financially supported by Research Foundation of Mersin University (2016-2-AP3-1900)].

Keywords: oxidative stress, mTOR, nitrosative stress, zymosan

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7 Protective Effect of Bexarotene, a Selective RXRα Agonist, against Hypotension Associated with Inflammation and Tissue Injury Linked to Decreased Circulating iNOS Levels in A Rat Model of Septic Shock

Authors: Bahar Tunctan, Sefika Pinar Kucukkavruk, Meryem Temiz-Resitoglu, Demet Sinem Guden, Ayse Nihal Sari, Seyhan Sahan-Firat


We hypothesized that rexinoids such as bexarotene, a selective retinoid X receptor α (RXRα) agonist, may be beneficial for preventing mortality due to inflammation associated with increased expression/activity of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Therefore, we investigated effects of bexarotene on the changes in circulating protein levels of iNOS (an index for systemic iNOS expression), myeloperoxidase (MPO) (an index for systemic inflammation), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (an index for systemic tissue injury) in LPS-induced systemic inflammation model resulting in septic shock in rats. Rats were injected with saline (4 ml/kg; i.p.), LPS (10 mg/kg; i.p.), dimethylsulphoxide (4 ml/kg, 0.1%; s.c.) at time 0. Mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate were measured using a tail-cuff device. Bexarotene (0.03, 0.1, 0.3, and 1 mg/kg; s.c.) was administered to separate groups of rats 1 h after injection of saline or LPS. The rats were sacrificed 4 h after saline or LPS injection and blood was collected for measurement of serum iNOS, MPO, and LDH protein levels. Blood pressure decreased by 31 mmHg and heart rate increased by 63 bpm in the LPS-treated rats. Bexarotene at 0.3 and 1 mg/kg doses caused 20% mortality 4 h after LPS injection. In the LPS-treated rats, serum iNOS, MPO, and LDH protein levels were increased. Bexarotene only at 0.1 mg/kg dose prevented the LPS-induced hypotension and increased in iNOS, MPO, and LDH protein levels. These data are consistent with the view that a decrease in systemic iNOS levels contributes to the beneficial effect of bexarotene to prevent the hypotension associated with inflammation and tissue injury during rat endotoxemia. [This work was financially supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (SBAG-109S121)].

Keywords: bexarotene, inflammation, iNOS, lipopolisaccharide, RXRa

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6 Effective Planning of Public Transportation Systems: A Decision Support Application

Authors: Ferdi Sönmez, Nihal Yorulmaz


Decision making on the true planning of the public transportation systems to serve potential users is a must for metropolitan areas. To take attraction of travelers to projected modes of transport, adequately fair overall travel times should be provided. In this fashion, other benefits such as lower traffic congestion, road safety and lower noise and atmospheric pollution may be earned. The congestion which comes with increasing demand of public transportation is becoming a part of our lives and making residents’ life difficult. Hence, regulations should be done to reduce this congestion. To provide a constructive and balanced regulation in public transportation systems, right stations should be located in right places. In this study, it is aimed to design and implement a Decision Support System (DSS) Application to determine the optimal bus stop places for public transport in Istanbul which is one of the biggest and oldest cities in the world. Required information is gathered from IETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tram and Tunnel) Enterprises which manages all public transportation services in Istanbul Metropolitan Area. By using the most real-like values, cost assignments are made. The cost is calculated with the help of equations produced by bi-level optimization model. For this study, 300 buses, 300 drivers, 10 lines and 110 stops are used. The user cost of each station and the operator cost taken place in lines are calculated. Some components like cost, security and noise pollution are considered as significant factors affecting the solution of set covering problem which is mentioned for identifying and locating the minimum number of possible bus stops. Preliminary research and model development for this study refers to previously published article of the corresponding author. Model results are represented with the intent of decision support to the specialists on locating stops effectively.

Keywords: operator cost, bi-level optimization model, user cost, urban transportation

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5 Derivation of Bathymetry from High-Resolution Satellite Images: Comparison of Empirical Methods through Geographical Error Analysis

Authors: Anusha P. Wijesundara, Dulap I. Rathnayake, Nihal D. Perera


Bathymetric information is fundamental importance to coastal and marine planning and management, nautical navigation, and scientific studies of marine environments. Satellite-derived bathymetry data provide detailed information in areas where conventional sounding data is lacking and conventional surveys are inaccessible. The two empirical approaches of log-linear bathymetric inversion model and non-linear bathymetric inversion model are applied for deriving bathymetry from high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery. This study compares these two approaches by means of geographical error analysis for the site Kankesanturai using WorldView-2 satellite imagery. Based on the Levenberg-Marquardt method calibrated the parameters of non-linear inversion model and the multiple-linear regression model was applied to calibrate the log-linear inversion model. In order to calibrate both models, Single Beam Echo Sounding (SBES) data in this study area were used as reference points. Residuals were calculated as the difference between the derived depth values and the validation echo sounder bathymetry data and the geographical distribution of model residuals was mapped. The spatial autocorrelation was calculated by comparing the performance of the bathymetric models and the results showing the geographic errors for both models. A spatial error model was constructed from the initial bathymetry estimates and the estimates of autocorrelation. This spatial error model is used to generate more reliable estimates of bathymetry by quantifying autocorrelation of model error and incorporating this into an improved regression model. Log-linear model (R²=0.846) performs better than the non- linear model (R²=0.692). Finally, the spatial error models improved bathymetric estimates derived from linear and non-linear models up to R²=0.854 and R²=0.704 respectively. The Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) was calculated for all reference points in various depth ranges. The magnitude of the prediction error increases with depth for both the log-linear and the non-linear inversion models. Overall RMSE for log-linear and the non-linear inversion models were ±1.532 m and ±2.089 m, respectively.

Keywords: log-linear model, multi spectral, residuals, spatial error model

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4 Noise Barrier Technique as a Way to Improve the Sonic Urban Environment along Existing Roadways Assessment: El-Gish Road Street, Alexandria, Egypt

Authors: Nihal Atif Salim


To improve the quality of life in cities, a variety of interventions are used. Noise is a substantial and important sort of pollution that has a negative impact on the urban environment and human health. According to the complaint survey, it ranks second among environmental contamination complaints (conducted by EEAA in 2019). The most significant source of noise in the city is traffic noise. In order to improve the sound urban environment, many physical techniques are applied. In the local area, noise barriers are considered as one of the most appropriate physical techniques along existing traffic routes. Alexandria is Egypt's second-largest city after Cairo. It is located along the Mediterranean Sea, and El- Gish Road is one of the city's main arteries. It impacts the waterfront promenade that extends along with the city by a high level of traffic noise. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the design considerations for the most appropriate noise barrier type along with the promenade, with the goal of improving the Quality of Life (QOL) and the sonic urban environment specifically. The proposed methodology focuses on how noise affects human perception and the environment. Then it delves into the various physical noise control approaches. After that, the paper discusses sustainable design decisions making. Finally, look into the importance of incorporating sustainability into design decisions making. Three stages will be followed in the case study. The first stage involves doing a site inspection and using specific sound measurement equipment (a noise level meter) to measure the noise level along the promenade at many sites, and the findings will be shown on a noise map. The second step is to inquire about the site's user experience. The third step is to investigate the various types of noise barriers and their effects on QOL along existing routes in order to select the most appropriate type. The goal of this research is to evaluate the suitable design of noise barriers that fulfill environmental and social perceptions while maintaining a balanced approach to the noise issue in order to improve QOL along existing roadways in the local area.

Keywords: noise pollution, sonic urban environment, traffic noise, noise barrier, acoustic sustainability, noise reduction techniques

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3 The Effects of Cultural Distance and Institutions on Foreign Direct Investment Choices: Evidence from Turkey and China

Authors: Nihal Kartaltepe Behram, Göksel Ataman, Dila Okçu


With the development of foreign direct investments, the social, cultural, political and economic interactions between countries and institutions have become visible and they have become determining factors for the strategic structuring and market goals. In this context the purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of cultural distance and institutions on foreign direct investment choices in terms of location and investment model. For international establishments, the concept of culture, as well as the concept of cultural distance, is taken specifically into consideration, especially in the selection of methods for entering the market. In the researches and empirical studies conducted, a direct relationship between cultural distance and foreign direct investments is set and institutions and effective variable factors are examined at the level of defining the investment types. When the detailed calculation strategies and empirical researches and studies are taken into consideration, the most common methods for determining the direct investment model, considering the cultural distances, are full-ownership enterprises and joint ventures. Also, when all of the factors affecting the investments are taken into consideration, it was seen that the effect of institutions such as Government Intervention, Intellectual Property Rights, Corruption and Contract Enforcements is very important. Furthermore agglomeration is more intense and effective on the investment, compared to other factors. China has been selected as the target country, due to its effectiveness in world economy and its contributions to developing countries, which has commercial relationships with. Qualitative research methods are used for this study conducted, to measure the effects of determinative variable factors in the hypotheses of study, on the direct foreign investors and to evaluate the findings. In this study in-depth interview is used as a data collection method and the data analysis is made through descriptive analysis. Foreign Direct Investments are so reactive to institutions and cultural distance is identified by all interviews and analysis. On the other hand, agglomeration is the most strong determiner factor on foreign direct investors in Chinese Market. The reason of this factors, which comprise the sectorial aggregate, are not the strongest factors as agglomeration that the most important finding. We expect that this study became a beneficial guideline for developed and developing countries and local and national institutions’ strategic plans.

Keywords: China, cultural distance, Foreign Direct Investments, institutions

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2 Nutritional Status in Ramadan Influences Body Compositions Differently in Men and Women

Authors: Meskure Pak, Nihal Buyukuslu


During Ramadan Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. Transformation of the eating habits cause profound changes in body composition. This study was performed during Ramadan of June-July 2015 with the regular fasting healthy adults (15 women and 15 men). The participants who were not fasting the whole month, have chronic diseases, pregnant and lactated were excluded. All attendances were informed about study. Written informed consent was taken from the voluntary participants. The work was approved by the Ethics and Research Committee of Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey. A questionnaire was conducted to determine the nutritional status, demographic and anthropometric data at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of Ramadan. Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 18.0 (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA) was used for analyses. The mean ages of women and men were 34.4±9.45 and 28.9±10.55 years respectively. The BMI values (kg/m2) were slightly increased in men (26.5±3.9 to 26.2±3.7) and decreased in women (22.5±3.5 to 23.3±4.5). However the differences in BMI values between genders were not significant. Waist circumferences (WC) (cm) decreased in both women (80.2±14.6 to 79.4±17.7) and men (98.9±8.4 to 95.2±11.0) through the Ramadan. Fat percentages of women (27.0±71) increased in the middle of Ramadan (28.4±7.8) and decreased at the end of Ramadan (27.8±8.3). The fat percentages of men (21.5±6.3) were not affected in the middle of Ramadan (21.5±6.4) however decreased at the end of Ramadan (20.8±6.2). The total change in fat mass from beginning to end of Ramadan was higher in women than in men. The daily energy intake was higher in men than in women during Ramadan. In the middle of Ramadan energy intake (kcal) was reached to the highest level (2057.8±693.1) and at the end of Ramadan it decreased to the beginning level (1656.7±553.2) for men. However, daily energy intake of women slightly decreased from the beginning (1410.0±359.7) to the end (1409.2±366.7) of Ramadan. The comparison of energy intake between men and women was significant in the middle of Ramadan (p < 0.05). Water consumptions for both groups were increased in Ramadan fasting period. In comparison with the beginning of Ramadan, daily carbohydrate and fat consumptions increased and the consumption of protein decreased for men and for women at the end of Ramadan. The gender comparison resulted in a significant increase for protein and carbohydrate consumption of men in the middle of Ramadan (p < 0.05). In the first two weeks, the daily energy intake, the consumption of carbohydrates and fats seemed to increase for both men and women. However the later days of Ramadan daily fat consumption decreased to the level of beginning consumption levels which may indicate the nutritional adaptation period. In spite of the consumption of protein sources such as meat, poultry and egg increased, the decrease in the total amount of protein consumed in Ramadan may be due to a decrease in the consumption of milk and dairy products. In conclusion, the nutritional habits and preferred foods changed during Ramadan as a result affected the body composition.

Keywords: body composition, fasting, nutritional status, Ramadan

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1 Antimicrobial Efficacy of Some Antibiotics Combinations Tested against Some Molecular Characterized Multiresistant Staphylococcus Clinical Isolates, in Egypt

Authors: Nourhan Hussein Fanaki, Hoda Mohamed Gamal El-Din Omar, Nihal Kadry Moussa, Eva Adel Edward Farid


The resistance of staphylococci to various antibiotics has become a major concern for health care professionals. The efficacy of the combinations of selected glycopeptides (vancomycin and teicoplanin) with gentamicin or rifampicin, as well as that of gentamicin/rifampicin combination, was studied against selected pathogenic staphylococcus isolated from Egypt. The molecular distribution of genes conferring resistance to these four antibiotics was detected among tested clinical isolates. Antibiotic combinations were studied using the checkerboard technique and the time-kill assay (in both the stationary and log phases). Induction of resistance to glycopeptides in staphylococci was tried in the absence and presence of diclofenac sodium as inducer. Transmission electron microscopy was used to study the effect of glycopeptides on the ultrastructure of the cell wall of staphylococci. Attempts were made to cure gentamicin resistance plasmids and to study the transfer of these plasmids by conjugation. Trials for the transformation of the successfully isolated gentamicin resistance plasmid to competent cells were carried out. The detection of genes conferring resistance to the tested antibiotics was performed using the polymerase chain reaction. The studied antibiotic combinations proved their efficacy, especially when tested during the log phase. Induction of resistance to glycopeptides in staphylococci was more promising in presence of diclofenac sodium, compared to its absence. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the thickening of bacterial cell wall in staphylococcus clinical isolates due to the presence of tested glycopeptides. Curing of gentamicin resistance plasmids was only successful in 2 out of 9 tested isolates, with a curing rate of 1 percent for each. Both isolates, when used as donors in conjugation experiments, yielded promising conjugation frequencies ranging between 5.4 X 10-2 and 7.48 X 10-2 colony forming unit/donor cells. Plasmid isolation was only successful in one out of the two tested isolates. However, low transformation efficiency (59.7 transformants/microgram plasmid DNA) of such plasmids was obtained. Negative regulators of autolysis, such as arlR, lytR and lrgB, as well as cell-wall associated genes, such as pbp4 and/or pbp2, were detected in staphylococcus isolates with reduced susceptibility to the tested glycopeptides. Concerning rifampicin resistance genes, rpoBstaph was detected in 75 percent of the tested staphylococcus isolates. It could be concluded that in vitro studies emphasized the usefulness of the combination of vancomycin or teicoplanin with gentamicin or rifampicin, as well as that of gentamicin with rifampicin, against staphylococci showing varying resistance patterns. However, further in vivo studies are required to ensure the safety and efficacy of such combinations. Diclofenac sodium can act as an inducer of resistance to glycopeptides in staphylococci. Cell-wall thickness is a major contributor to such resistance among them. Gentamicin resistance in these strains could be chromosomally or plasmid mediated. Multiple mutations in the rpoB gene could mediate staphylococcus resistance to rifampicin.

Keywords: glycopeptides, combinations, induction, diclofenac, transmission electron microscopy, polymerase chain reaction

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