Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 336

Search results for: Paul C. Okolie

126 Evaluating Aquaculture Farmers Responses to Climate Change and Sustainable Practices in Kenya

Authors: Olalekan Adekola, Margaret Gatonye, Paul Orina

Abstract:

The growing demand for farmed fish by underdeveloped and developing countries as a means of contributing positively towards eradication of hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition for their fast growing populations has implications to the environment. Likewise, climate change poses both an immediate and future threat to local fish production with capture fisheries already experiencing a global decline. This not only raises fundamental questions concerning how aquaculture practices affect the environment, but also how ready are aquaculture farmers to adapt to climate related hazards. This paper assesses existing aquaculture practices and approaches to adapting to climate hazards in Kenya, where aquaculture has grown rapidly since the year 2009. The growth has seen rise in aquaculture set ups mainly along rivers and streams, importation of seed and feed and intensification with possible environmental implications. The aquaculture value chain in the context of climate change and their implication for practice is further investigated, and the strategies necessary for an improved implementation of resilient aquaculture system in Kenya is examined. Data for the study are collected from interviews, questionnaires, two workshops and document analysis. Despite acclaimed nutritional benefit of fish consumption in Kenya, poor management of effluents enriched with nitrogen, phosphorus, organic matter, and suspended solids has implications not just on the ecosystem, goods, and services, but is also potential source of resource-use conflicts especially in downstream communities and operators in the livestock, horticulture, and industrial sectors. The study concluded that aquaculture focuses on future orientation, climate resilient infrastructure, appropriate site selection and invest on biosafety as the key sustainable strategies against climate hazards.

Keywords: aquaculture, resilience, environment, strategies, Kenya

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125 Characteristics of the Particle Size Distribution and Exposure Concentrations of Nanoparticles Generated from the Laser Metal Deposition Process

Authors: Yu-Hsuan Liu, Ying-Fang Wang

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The objectives of the present study are to characterize nanoparticles generated from the laser metal deposition (LMD) process and to estimate particle concentrations deposited in the head (H), that the tracheobronchial (TB) and alveolar (A) regions, respectively. The studied LMD chamber (3.6m × 3.8m × 2.9m) is installed with a robot laser metal deposition machine. Direct-reading instrument of a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS, Model 3082, TSI Inc., St. Paul, MN, USA) was used to conduct static sampling inside the chamber for nanoparticle number concentration and particle size distribution measurements. The SMPS obtained particle number concentration at every 3 minutes, the diameter of the SMPS ranged from 11~372 nm when the aerosol and sheath flow rates were set at 0.6 and 6 L / min, respectively. The resultant size distributions were used to predict depositions of nanoparticles at the H, TB, and A regions of the respiratory tract using the UK National Radiological Protection Board’s (NRPB’s) LUDEP Software. Result that the number concentrations of nanoparticles in indoor background and LMD chamber were 4.8×10³ and 4.3×10⁵ # / cm³, respectively. However, the nanoparticles emitted from the LMD process was in the form of the uni-modal with number median diameter (NMD) and geometric standard deviation (GSD) as 142nm and 1.86, respectively. The fractions of the nanoparticles deposited on the alveolar region (A: 69.8%) were higher than the other two regions of the head region (H: 10.9%), tracheobronchial region (TB: 19.3%). This study conducted static sampling to measure the nanoparticles in the LMD process, and the results show that the fraction of particles deposited on the A region was higher than the other two regions. Therefore, applying the characteristics of nanoparticles emitted from LMD process could be provided valuable scientific-based evidence for exposure assessments in the future.

Keywords: exposure assessment, laser metal deposition process, nanoparticle, respiratory region

Procedia PDF Downloads 196
124 RNAseq Reveals Hypervirulence-Specific Host Responses to M. tuberculosis Infection

Authors: Gina Leisching, Ray-Dean Pietersen, Carel Van Heerden, Paul Van Helden, Ian Wiid, Bienyameen Baker

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The distinguishing factors that characterize the host response to infection with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) are largely confounding. We present an infection study with two genetically closely related M.tb strains that have vastly different pathogenic characteristics. The early host response to infection with these detergent-free cultured strains was analyzed through RNAseq in an attempt to provide information on the subtleties which may ultimately contribute to the virulent phenotype. Murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) were infected with either a hyper- (R5527) or hypovirulent (R1507) Beijing M. tuberculosis clinical isolate. RNAseq revealed 69 differentially expressed host genes in BMDMs during comparison of these two transcriptomes. Pathway analysis revealed activation of the stress-induced and growth inhibitory Gadd45 signaling pathway in hypervirulent infected BMDMs. Upstream regulators of interferon activation such as and IRF3 and IRF7 were predicted to be upregulated in hypovirulent-infected BMDMs. Additional analysis of the host immune response through ELISA and qPCR included the use of human THP-1 macrophages where a robust proinflammatory response was observed after infection with the hypervirulent strain. RNAseq revealed two early-response genes (IER3 and SAA3) and two host-defence genes (OASL1 and SLPI) that were significantly upregulated by the hypervirulent strain. The role of these genes under M.tb infection conditions are largely unknown but here we provide validation of their presence with use of qPCR and Western blot. Further analysis into their biological role under infection with virulent M.tb is required.

Keywords: host-response, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, RNAseq, virulence

Procedia PDF Downloads 118
123 Encapsulation of Flexible OLED with an Auxiliary Sealing Line

Authors: Hanjun Yun, Gun Bae, Nabin Paul, Cheolhee Moon

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Flexible OLED is an important technology for the next generation display over various kinds of applications. However, the organic materials of OLEDs degrade rapidly under the invasion of oxygen and water moisture. The degradation causes the formation of non-emitting areas which gradually suppress the device brightness, ultimately the lifetime of the device decreasing rapidly. Until now, the most suitable sealing process of the flexible OLED devices is a thin film encapsulation (TFE). However, TFE consists of a multilayer thin-film structure with organic-inorganic materials, so the cost is expensive and the process time is long. Another problem is that the blocking characteristics from the moisture and oxygen are not perfect. Therefore, the encapsulation of the flexible OLED device is a still key technical issue for the successful market entry. In this study, we are to introduce an auxiliary sealing line between the two flexible substrates. The electrode lines were formed on the substrates which have a SiNx barrier coating layer. To induce the solid phase diffusion process between the SiNx layer and the electrode lines, the electrode materials were determined as Al-Si composition. Thermal energy was supplied for both the SiNx layer and Al-Si electrode lines within the furnace to induce the interfacial bonding through the solid phase diffusion of Si. We printed a test pattern for the edge of the flexible PET substrate of 3cm*3cm size. Experimental conditions such as heating temperature, heating time were optimized to get enough adhesion strength which was estimated through the competitive bending test. Finally, OLED devices with flexible PET substrate of 3cm*3cm size were manufactured to investigate the blocking characteristics as an encapsulation layer.

Keywords: barrier, encapsulation, OLED, solid phase diffusion

Procedia PDF Downloads 91
122 Liquid Tin(II) Alkoxide Initiators for Use in the Ring-Opening Polymerisation of Cyclic Ester Monomers

Authors: Sujitra Ruengdechawiwat, Robert Molloy, Jintana Siripitayananon, Runglawan Somsunan, Paul D. Topham, Brian J. Tighe

Abstract:

The main aim of this research has been to design and synthesize some completely soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators for use in the ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of cyclic ester monomers. This is in contrast to conventional tin(II) alkoxides in solid form which tend to be molecular aggregates and difficult to dissolve. The liquid initiators prepared were bis(tin(II) monooctoate) diethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2DEG) and bis(tin(II) monooctoate) ethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2EG). Their efficiencies as initiators in the bulk ROP of ε-caprolactone (CL) at 130oC were studied kinetically by dilatometry. Kinetic data over the 20-70% conversion range was used to construct both first-order and zero-order rate plots. It was found that the rate data fitted more closely to first-order kinetics with respect to the monomer concentration and gave higher first-order rate constants than the corresponding tin(II) octoate/diol initiating systems normally used to generate the tin(II) alkoxide in situ. Since the ultimate objective of this work is to produce copolymers suitable for biomedical use as absorbable monofilament surgical sutures, poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) 75:25 mol %, P(LL-co-CL), copolymers were synthesized using both solid and liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators at 130°C for 48 hrs. The statistical copolymers were obtained in near-quantitative yields with compositions (from 1H-NMR) close to the initial comonomer feed ratios. The monomer sequencing (from 13C-NMR) was partly random and partly blocky (gradient-type) due to the much differing monomer reactivity ratios (rLL >> rCL). From GPC, the copolymers obtained using the soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxides were found to have higher molecular weights (Mn = 40,000-100,000) than those from the only partially soluble solid initiators (Mn = 30,000-52,000).

Keywords: biodegradable polyesters, poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone), ring-opening polymerisation, tin(II) alkoxide

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121 Characterizing Nanoparticles Generated from the Different Working Type and the Stack Flue during 3D Printing Process

Authors: Kai-Jui Kou, Tzu-Ling Shen, Ying-Fang Wang

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The objectives of the present study are to characterize nanoparticles generated from the different working type in 3D printing room and the stack flue during 3D printing process. The studied laboratory (10.5 m× 7.2 m × 3.2 m) with a ventilation rate of 500 m³/H is installed a 3D metal printing machine. Direct-reading instrument of a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS, Model 3082, TSI Inc., St. Paul, MN, USA) was used to conduct static sampling for nanoparticle number concentration and particle size distribution measurements. The SMPS obtained particle number concentration at every 3 minutes, the diameter of the SMPS ranged from 11~372 nm when the aerosol and sheath flow rates were set at 0.6 and 6 L/min, respectively. The concentrations of background, printing process, clearing operation, and screening operation were performed in the laboratory. On the other hand, we also conducted nanoparticle measurement on the 3D printing machine's stack flue to understand its emission characteristics. Results show that the nanoparticles emitted from the different operation process were the same distribution in the form of the uni-modal with number median diameter (NMD) as approximately 28.3 nm to 29.6 nm. The number concentrations of nanoparticles were 2.55×10³ count/cm³ in laboratory background, 2.19×10³ count/cm³ during printing process, 2.29×10³ count/cm³ during clearing process, 3.05×10³ count/cm³ during screening process, 2.69×10³ count/cm³ in laboratory background after printing process, and 6.75×10³ outside laboratory, respectively. We found that there are no emission nanoparticles during the printing process. However, the number concentration of stack flue nanoparticles in the ongoing print is 1.13×10⁶ count/cm³, and that of the non-printing is 1.63×10⁴ count/cm³, with a NMD of 458 nm and 29.4 nm, respectively. It can be confirmed that the measured particle size belongs to easily penetrate the filter in theory during the printing process, even though the 3D printer has a high-efficiency filtration device. Therefore, it is recommended that the stack flue of the 3D printer would be equipped with an appropriate dust collection device to prevent the operators from exposing these hazardous particles.

Keywords: nanoparticle, particle emission, 3D printing, number concentration

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120 Bioprospecting for Indigenous Ruderal Plants with Potentials for Phytoremediation of Soil Heavy Metals in the Southern Guinea Savanna of North Western Nigeria

Authors: Sunday Paul Bako, Augustine Uwanekwu Ezealor, Yahuza Tanimu

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In a study to evaluate the response of indigenous ruderal plants to the metal deposition regime imposed by anthropogenic modification in the Southern Guinea Savanna of north Western Nigeria during the dry and wet seasons, herbaceous plants and samples of soils were collected in three 5m by 5m quadrats laid around the environs of the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company and the banks of River Kaduna. Heavy metal concentration (Cd, Ni, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) in soil and plant samples was determined using Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence. Concentrations of heavy metals in soils were generally observed to be higher during the wet season in both locations although the differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Concentrations of Cd, Zn, Cr, Cu and Ni in all the plants observed were found to be below levels described as phytotoxic to plants. However, above ‘normal’ concentrations of Cr was observed in most of the plant species sampled. The concentrations of Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn in soils around the KRPC and RKB were found to be above the acceptable limits. Although no hyper accumulator plant species was encountered in this study, twenty (20) plant species were identified to have high bioconcentration (BCF > 1.0) of Cd and Cu, which indicated tolerance of these plants to excessive or phytotoxic concentrations of these metals. In addition, they generally produce high above ground biomass, due to rapid vegetative growth. These are likely species for phytoextraction. Elevated concentration of metals in both soil and plant materials may cause a decrease in biodiversity due to direct toxicity. There are also risks to humans and other animals due to bioaccumulation across the food chain. There are further possibilities of further evaluating and genetically improving metal tolerance traits in some of these plant species in relation to their potential use in phytoremediation programmes in metal polluted sites.

Keywords: bioprospecting, phytoremediation, heavy metals, Nigeria

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119 A Wearable Device to Overcome Post–Stroke Learned Non-Use; The Rehabilitation Gaming System for wearables: Methodology, Design and Usability

Authors: Javier De La Torre Costa, Belen Rubio Ballester, Martina Maier, Paul F. M. J. Verschure

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After a stroke, a great number of patients experience persistent motor impairments such as hemiparesis or weakness in one entire side of the body. As a result, the lack of use of the paretic limb might be one of the main contributors to functional loss after clinical discharge. We aim to reverse this cycle by promoting the use of the paretic limb during activities of daily living (ADLs). To do so, we describe the key components of a system that is composed of a wearable bracelet (i.e., a smartwatch) and a mobile phone, designed to bring a set of neurorehabilitation principles that promote acquisition, retention and generalization of skills to the home of the patient. A fundamental question is whether the loss in motor function derived from learned–non–use may emerge as a consequence of decision–making processes for motor optimization. Our system is based on well-established rehabilitation strategies that aim to reverse this behaviour by increasing the reward associated with action execution as well as implicitly reducing the expected cost associated with the use of the paretic limb, following the notion of the reinforcement–induced movement therapy (RIMT). Here we validate an accelerometer–based measure of arm use, and its capacity to discriminate different activities that require increasing movement of the arm. We also show how the system can act as a personalized assistant by providing specific goals and adjusting them depending on the performance of the patients. The usability and acceptance of the device as a rehabilitation tool is tested using a battery of self–reported and objective measurements obtained from acute/subacute patients and healthy controls. We believe that an extension of these technologies will allow for the deployment of unsupervised rehabilitation paradigms during and beyond the hospitalization time.

Keywords: stroke, wearables, learned non use, hemiparesis, ADLs

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118 Water Re-Use Optimization in a Sugar Platform Biorefinery Using Municipal Solid Waste

Authors: Leo Paul Vaurs, Sonia Heaven, Charles Banks

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Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a virtually unlimited source of lignocellulosic material in the form of a waste paper/cardboard mixture which can be converted into fermentable sugars via cellulolytic enzyme hydrolysis in a biorefinery. The extraction of the lignocellulosic fraction and its preparation, however, are energy and water demanding processes. The waste water generated is a rich organic liquor with a high Chemical Oxygen Demand that can be partially cleaned while generating biogas in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket bioreactor and be further re-used in the process. In this work, an experiment was designed to determine the critical contaminant concentrations in water affecting either anaerobic digestion or enzymatic hydrolysis by simulating multiple water re-circulations. It was found that re-using more than 16.5 times the same water could decrease the hydrolysis yield by up to 65 % and led to a complete granules desegregation. Due to the complexity of the water stream, the contaminant(s) responsible for the performance decrease could not be identified but it was suspected to be caused by sodium, potassium, lipid accumulation for the anaerobic digestion (AD) process and heavy metal build-up for enzymatic hydrolysis. The experimental data were incorporated into a Water Pinch technology based model that was used to optimize the water re-utilization in the modelled system to reduce fresh water requirement and wastewater generation while ensuring all processes performed at optimal level. Multiple scenarios were modelled in which sub-process requirements were evaluated in term of importance, operational costs and impact on the CAPEX. The best compromise between water usage, AD and enzymatic hydrolysis yield was determined for each assumed contaminant degradations by anaerobic granules. Results from the model will be used to build the first MSW based biorefinery in the USA.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, enzymatic hydrolysis, municipal solid waste, water optimization

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117 The Effect of Reaction Time on the Morphology and Phase of Quaternary Ferrite Nanoparticles (FeCoCrO₄) Synthesised from a Single Source Precursor

Authors: Khadijat Olabisi Abdulwahab, Mohammad Azad Malik, Paul O'Brien, Grigore Timco, Floriana Tuna

Abstract:

The synthesis of spinel ferrite nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution is very crucial in their numerous applications including information storage, hyperthermia treatment, drug delivery, contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging, catalysis, sensors, and environmental remediation. Ferrites have the general formula MFe₂O₄ (M = Fe, Co, Mn, Ni, Zn e.t.c) and possess remarkable electrical and magnetic properties which depend on the cations, method of preparation, size and their site occupancies. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reports on the use of a single source precursor to synthesise quaternary ferrite nanoparticles. Here in, we demonstrated the use of trimetallic iron pivalate cluster [CrCoFeO(O₂CᵗBu)₆(HO₂CᵗBu)₃] as a single source precursor to synthesise monodisperse cobalt chromium ferrite (FeCoCrO₄) nanoparticles by the hot injection thermolysis method. The precursor was thermolysed in oleylamine, oleic acid, with diphenyl ether as solvent at 260 °C. The effect of reaction time on the stoichiometry, phases or morphology of the nanoparticles was studied. The p-XRD patterns of the nanoparticles obtained after one hour was pure phase of cubic iron cobalt chromium ferrite (FeCoCrO₄). TEM showed that a more monodispersed spherical ferrite nanoparticles were obtained after one hour. Magnetic measurements revealed that the ferrite particles are superparamagnetic at room temperature. The nanoparticles were characterised by Powder X-ray Diffraction (p-XRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Super Conducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID).

Keywords: cobalt chromium ferrite, colloidal, hot injection thermolysis, monodisperse, reaction time, single source precursor, quaternary ferrite nanoparticles

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116 Monodisperse Quaternary Cobalt Chromium Ferrite Nanoparticles Synthesised from a Single Source Precursor

Authors: Khadijat O. Abdulwahab, Mohammad A. Malik, Paul O’Brien, Grigore A. Timco, Floriana Tuna

Abstract:

The synthesis of spinel ferrite nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution is very crucial in their numerous applications including information storage, hyperthermia treatment, drug delivery, contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging, catalysis, sensors, and environmental remediation. Ferrites have the general formula MFe2O4 (M = Fe, Co, Mn, Ni, Zn etc.) and possess remarkable electrical and magnetic properties which depend on the cations, method of preparation, size and their site occupancies. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reports on the use of a single source precursor to synthesise quaternary ferrite nanoparticles. Herein, we demonstrated the use of trimetallic iron pivalate cluster [CrCoFeO(O2CtBu)6(HO2CtBu)3] as a single source precursor to synthesise monodisperse cobalt chromium ferrite (FeCoCrO4) nanoparticles by the hot injection thermolysis method. The precursor was thermolysed in oleylamine, oleic acid, with diphenyl ether as solvent at its boiling point (260°C). The effect of concentration on the stoichiometry, phases or morphology of the nanoparticles was studied. The p-XRD patterns of the nanoparticles obtained at both concentrations were matched with cubic iron cobalt chromium ferrite (FeCoCrO4). TEM showed that a more monodispersed spherical ferrite nanoparticles of average diameter 4.0 ± 0.4 nm were obtained at higher precursor concentration. Magnetic measurements revealed that all the ferrite particles are superparamagnetic at room temperature. The nanoparticles were characterised by Powder X-ray Diffraction (p-XRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Super Conducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID).

Keywords: quaternary ferrite nanoparticles, single source precursor, monodisperse, cobalt chromium ferrite, colloidal, hot injection thermolysis

Procedia PDF Downloads 175
115 Sentiment Mapping through Social Media and Its Implications

Authors: G. C. Joshi, M. Paul, B. K. Kalita, V. Ranga, J. S. Rawat, P. S. Rawat

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Being a habitat of the global village, every place has established connection through the strength and power of social media piercing through the political boundaries. Social media is a digital platform, where people across the world can interact as it has advantages of being universal, anonymous, easily accessible, indirect interaction, gathering and sharing information. The power of social media lies in the intensity of sharing extreme opinions or feelings, in contrast to the personal interactions which can be easily mapped in the form of Sentiment Mapping. The easy access to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs made unprecedented opportunities for citizens to voice their opinions loaded with dynamics of emotions. These further influence human thoughts where social media plays a very active role. A recent incident of public importance was selected as a case study to map the sentiments of people through Twitter. Understanding those dynamics through the eye of an ordinary people can be challenging. With the help of R-programming language and by the aid of GIS techniques sentiment maps has been produced. The emotions flowing worldwide in the form of tweets were extracted and analyzed. The number of tweets had diminished by 91 % from 25/08/2017 to 31/08/2017. A boom of sentiments emerged near the origin of the case, i.e., Delhi, Haryana and Punjab and the capital showed maximum influence resulting in spillover effect near Delhi. The trend of sentiments was prevailing more as neutral (45.37%), negative (28.6%) and positive (21.6%) after calculating the sentiment scores of the tweets. The result can be used to know the spatial distribution of digital penetration in India, where highest concentration lies in Mumbai and lowest in North East India and Jammu and Kashmir.

Keywords: sentiment mapping, digital literacy, GIS, R statistical language, spatio-temporal

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114 Assessment of Biotic and Abiotic Water Factors of Antiao and Jiabong Rivers for Benthic Algae

Authors: Geno Paul S. Cumla, Jan Mariel M. Gentiles, M. Brenda Gajelan-Samson

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Eutrophication is a process where in there is a surplus of nutrients present in a lake or river. Harmful cyanobacteria, hypoxia, and primarily algae, which contain toxins, grow because of the excess nutrients. Algal blooms can cause fish kills, limiting the light penetration which reduces growth of aquatic organisms, causing die-offs of plants and produce conditions that are dangerous to aquatic and human life. The main cause for eutrophication is the presence of excessive amounts of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N). Nitrogen is necessary for the production of the plant tissues and is usually used to synthesize proteins. Nitrate is a compound that contains nitrogen, and at elevated levels it can cause harmful effects. Excessive amounts of phosphorus, displaced through human activity, is the major cause of algae growth and as well as degraded water quality. To accomplish this study the Assessment of Soluble inorganic nitrogen (SIN), Assessment of Soluble reactive phosphate (SRP), Determination of Chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentration, and Determination of Dominating Taxa were done. The study addresses the high probability of algal blooms in Maqueda Bay by assessing the biotic and abiotic factors of Antiao and Jiabong rivers. The data predicts the overgrowth of algae and to create awareness to prevent the event from taking place. The study assesses the adverse effects that could be prevented by understanding and controlling algae. This should predict future cases of algal blooms and allow government agencies which require data to create programs to prevent and assess these issues.

Keywords: eutrophication, chlorophyll a, nitrogen, phosphorus, red tide, Kjeldahl method, spectrophotometer, assessment of soluble inorganic nitrogen, SIN, assessment of soluble reactive phosphate, SRP

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113 Investigating Elements That Influence Higher Education Institutions’ Digital Maturity

Authors: Zarah M. Bello, Nathan Baddoo, Mariana Lilley, Paul Wernick

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In this paper, we present findings from a multi-part study to evaluate candidate elements reflecting the level of digital capability maturity (DCM) in higher education and the relationship between these elements. We will use these findings to propose a model of DCM for educational institutions. We suggest that the success of learning in higher education is dependent in part on the level of maturity of digital capabilities of institutions as well as the abilities of learners and those who support the learning process. It is therefore important to have a good understanding of the elements that underpin this maturity as well as their impact and interactions in order to better exploit the benefits that technology presents to the modern learning environment and support its continued improvement. Having identified ten candidate elements of digital capability that we believe support the level of a University’s maturity in this area as well as a number of relevant stakeholder roles, we conducted two studies utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In the first of these studies, 85 electronic questionnaires were completed by various stakeholders in a UK university, with a 100% response rate. We also undertook five in-depth interviews with management stakeholders in the same university. We then utilized statistical analysis to process the survey data and conducted a textual analysis of the interview transcripts. Our findings support our initial identification of candidate elements and support our contention that these elements interact in a multidimensional manner. This multidimensional dynamic suggests that any proposal for improvement in digital capability must reflect the interdependency and cross-sectional relationship of the elements that contribute to DCM. Our results also indicate that the notion of DCM is strongly data-centric and that any proposed maturity model must reflect the role of data in driving maturity and improvement. We present these findings as a key step towards the design of an operationalisable DCM maturity model for universities.

Keywords: digital capability, elements, maturity, maturity framework, university

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112 Speech Anxiety in Higher Education Students-Retention of an Ancestral Trait: A Study into the Students' Perspective of Communication Anxiety with Suggestions on How to Minimise Student Distress

Authors: Paul D. Facey, Claire Morgan

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Speech anxiety is thought to be deep-seated within the human evolutionary lineage.As a result, almost all people display high levels of anxiety when asked to communicate in front of an audience.However, proficiency in oral communication is considered as an essential skill for a graduate career and significant emphasis is placed on developing these skills in many degree programs.Because of this, many degree schemes incorporate some form of assessed dialogic presentation. Yet, a student’s anxiety over public speaking, especially if severe, can be so great that at worst it can cause the student to withdraw from their study. This study investigated how students perceive their own levels of anxiety when faced with public speaking using the Personal Report of Public Speaking Anxiety (PRPSA) questionnaire developed by McCroskey. Additionally, students were asked to provide examples of adjustments that could be implemented that they felt would alleviate some/all of their anxiety. The results of the study indicated that the majority of the students experienced a moderate level of anxiety. However, further analysis showed that of those who were in the moderate anxiety’ group, 43% fell into the higher range suggesting that overall more students experience higher levels of anxiety when faced with public speaking than maybe first envisaged. Thus, it is essential that steps are taken to address student anxiety in order that students engage with presentations, are motivated and encouraged and do not avoid such assignments. The feedback from our students indicated a need to implement systematic desensitization programs where students learn to overcome their anxiety through a series of sessions that gradually increase their anxiety levels. Furthermore, these sessions should be run in parallel with skills sessions in order for students to be better prepared and allow self-reflection and self-analysis.This study highlights the paucity of these sessions on many degree schemes and suggests that they should form an integral part of a students’ early academic learning.

Keywords: student anxiety, communication anxiety, public speaking, higher education, desensitisation

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111 Screening of the Genes FOLH1 and MTHFR among the Mothers of Congenital Neural Tube Defected Babies in West Bengal, India

Authors: Silpita Paul, Susanta Sadhukhan, Biswanath Maity, Madhusudan Das

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Neural tube defects (NTDs) are one of the most common forms of birth defect and affect ~300,000 new born worldwide each year. The prevalence is higher in Northern India (11 per 1000 birth) compare to southern India (5 per 1000 birth). NTDs are one of the common birth defects related with low blood folate and Hcy concentration. Though the mechanism is still unknown, but it is now established that, NTDs in human are polygenic in nature and follow the heterogeneous trait. In spite of its heterogeneity, polymorphism in few genes affects significantly the trait of NTDs. Polymorphisms in the genes FOLH1 and MTHFR plays important role in NTDs. In this study, the polymorphisms of these genes were screened by bi-directional sequencing from 30 mothers with NTD babies as case. The result revealed that 26.67% patients had bi-allelic FOLH1 polymorphism. The polymorphism has been identified as p.Y60H and frequent to cause NTDs. The study of MTHFR gene showed 2 different SNPs rs1801131 (at exon 4) and rs1801131 (at exon 7). The study showed 6.67% patients of both mono- and bi-allelic MTHFR-rs1801131 polymorphism and 6.67% patients of bi-allelic MTHFR-rs1801131 polymorphism. These polymorphisms has been responsible for p.A222V and p.E429A change respectively and frequently involved in NTD formation. Those polymorphisms affect mainly the absorption of dietary folate from intestine and the formation of 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate (5 MTHF) from 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10- MTHF), which is the functional folate form in our system. Though the study is not complete yet, but these polymorphisms play crucial roles in the formation of NTDs in other world population. Based on the result till date, it can be concluded that they also play significant role in our population too as in control samples we have not found any changes.

Keywords: neural tube defects, polymorphism, FOLH1, MTHFR

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110 Organisational Culture and the Role of the Mental Health Nurse: An Ethnography of the New Graduate Nurse Experience

Authors: Mary-Ellen Hooper, Graeme Browne, Anthony Paul O'Brien

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Background: It has been reported that the experience of the organisational workplace culture for new graduate mental health nurses plays an important role in their attraction and retention to the discipline. Additionally, other research indicates that a negative workplace culture contributes to their dissatisfaction and attrition rate. Method: An ethnographic research design was applied to explore the subcultural experiences of new graduate nurses as they encounter mental health nursing. Data was collected between April and September 2017 across 6 separate Australian, NSW, mental health units. Data comprised of semi-structured interviews (n=24) and 31 episodes of field observation (62 hours). A total number of 26 new graduate and recent graduate nurses participated in the study – 14 new graduate nurses and 12 recently graduated nurses. Results: A key finding from this study was the New Graduate difficulty in articulating the role the of mental health nurse. Participants described a dichotomy between their ideological view of the mental health nurse and the reality of clinical practice. The participants’ ideological view of the mental health nurse involved providing holistic and individualised care within a flexible framework. Participants, however, described feeling powerless to change the recovery practices within the mental health service(s) because of their low status within the hierarchy. Resulting in participants choosing to fit into the existing culture, or considering leaving the field altogether. Conclusion: An incongruence between the values and ideals of an organisational culture and the reality shock of practice are shown to contribute to role ambiguity within its members. New graduate nurses entering the culture of mental health nursing describe role ambiguity resulting in dissatisfaction with practice. The culture and philosophy inherent to a service are posited to be crucial in creating positive experiences for graduate nurses.

Keywords: culture, mental health nurse, mental health nursing role, new graduate nurse

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109 Sociological Enquiry into Occupational Risks and Its Consequences among Informal Automobile Artisans in Osun State, Nigeria

Authors: Funmilayo Juliana Afolabi, Joke Haafkens, Paul De Beer

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Globally, there is a growing concern on reducing workplace accidents in the informal sector. However, there is a dearth of study on the perception of the informal workers on occupational risks they are exposed to. The way a worker perceives the workplace risk will influence his/her risk tolerance and risk behavior. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to have an in-depth understanding of the way the artisans perceive the risks at their workplace and how it influences their risk tolerance and risk behavior. This will help in designing meaningful intervention for the artisans and it will assist the policy makers in formulating a policy that will help them. Methods: Forty-three artisans were purposely selected for the study; data were generated through observation of the workplace and work practices of the artisans and in-depth interview from automobile artisans (Panel beater, Mechanic, Vulcanizer, and Painters) in Osun State, Nigeria. The transcriptions were coded and analyzed using MAXQDA software. Results: The perceived occupational risks among the study groups are a danger of being run over by oncoming vehicles while working by the roadside, a risk of vehicle falling on workers while working under the vehicle, cuts, and burns, fire explosion, falls from height and injuries from bursting of tires. The identified risk factors are carelessness of the workers, pressure from customers, inadequate tools, preternatural forces, God’s will and lack of apprentices that will assist them in the workplace. Furthermore, the study revealed that artisans engage in risky behavior like siphoning fuel with mouth because of perception that fuel is good for expelling worms and will make them free from any stomach upset. Conclusions: The study concluded that risky behaviors are influenced by culture, beliefs, and perception of the artisans. The study, therefore, suggested proper health and safety education for the artisans.

Keywords: automobile artisans, informal, occupational risks, Nigeria, sociological enquiry

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108 Epstein, Barr Virus Alters ATM-Dependent DNA Damage Responses in Germinal Centre B-Cells during Early Infection

Authors: Esther N. Maina, Anna Skowronska, Sridhar Chaganti, Malcolm A. Taylor, Paul G. Murray, Tatjana Stankovic

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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of human tumours of B-cell origin. The demonstration that a proportion of Hodgkin lymphomas and all Burkitt’s lymphomas harbour EBV suggests that the virus contributes to the development of these malignancies. However, the mechanisms of lymphomagenesis remain largely unknown. To determine whether EBV causes DNA damage and alters DNA damage response in cells of EBV-driven lymphoma origin, Germinal Centre (GC) B cells were infected with EBV and DNA damage responses to gamma ionising radiation (IR) assessed at early time points (12hr – 72hr) after infection and prior to establishment of lymphoblastoid (LCL) cell lines. In the presence of EBV, we observed induction of spontaneous DNA DSBs and downregulation of ATM-dependent phosphorylation in response to IR. This downregulation coincided with reduced ability of infected cells to repair IR-induced DNA double-strand breaks, as measured by the kinetics of gamma H2AX, a marker of double-strand breaks, and by the tail moment of the comet assay. Furthermore, we found that alteration of DNA damage responses coincided with the expression of LMP-1 protein. The presence of the EBV virus did not affect the localization of the ATM-dependent DNA repair proteins to sites of damage but instead lead to an increased expression of PP5, a phosphatase that regulates ATM function. The impact of the virus on DNA repair was most prominent 24h after infection, suggesting that this time point is crucial for the viral establishment in B cells. Our results suggest that during an early infection EBV virus dampens crucial cellular responses to DNA double-strand breaks which facilitate successful viral infection, but at the same time might provide the mechanism for tumor development.

Keywords: EBV, ATM, DNA damage, germinal center cells

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107 Energy System Analysis Using Data-Driven Modelling and Bayesian Methods

Authors: Paul Rowley, Adam Thirkill, Nick Doylend, Philip Leicester, Becky Gough

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The dynamic performance of all energy generation technologies is impacted to varying degrees by the stochastic properties of the wider system within which the generation technology is located. This stochasticity can include the varying nature of ambient renewable energy resources such as wind or solar radiation, or unpredicted changes in energy demand which impact upon the operational behaviour of thermal generation technologies. An understanding of these stochastic impacts are especially important in contexts such as highly distributed (or embedded) generation, where an understanding of issues affecting the individual or aggregated performance of high numbers of relatively small generators is especially important, such as in ESCO projects. Probabilistic evaluation of monitored or simulated performance data is one technique which can provide an insight into the dynamic performance characteristics of generating systems, both in a prognostic sense (such as the prediction of future performance at the project’s design stage) as well as in a diagnostic sense (such as in the real-time analysis of underperforming systems). In this work, we describe the development, application and outcomes of a new approach to the acquisition of datasets suitable for use in the subsequent performance and impact analysis (including the use of Bayesian approaches) for a number of distributed generation technologies. The application of the approach is illustrated using a number of case studies involving domestic and small commercial scale photovoltaic, solar thermal and natural gas boiler installations, and the results as presented show that the methodology offers significant advantages in terms of plant efficiency prediction or diagnosis, along with allied environmental and social impacts such as greenhouse gas emission reduction or fuel affordability.

Keywords: renewable energy, dynamic performance simulation, Bayesian analysis, distributed generation

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106 An Early Attempt of Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Language Oral Practice and Assessment

Authors: Paul Lam, Kevin Wong, Chi Him Chan

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Constant practicing and accurate, immediate feedback are the keys to improving students’ speaking skills. However, traditional oral examination often fails to provide such opportunities to students. The traditional, face-to-face oral assessment is often time consuming – attending the oral needs of one student often leads to the negligence of others. Hence, teachers can only provide limited opportunities and feedback to students. Moreover, students’ incentive to practice is also reduced by their anxiety and shyness in speaking the new language. A mobile app was developed to use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide immediate feedback to students’ speaking performance as an attempt to solve the above-mentioned problems. Firstly, it was thought that online exercises would greatly increase the learning opportunities of students as they can now practice more without the needs of teachers’ presence. Secondly, the automatic feedback provided by the AI would enhance students’ motivation to practice as there is an instant evaluation of their performance. Lastly, students should feel less anxious and shy compared to directly practicing oral in front of teachers. Technically, the program made use of speech-to-text functions to generate feedback to students. To be specific, the software analyzes students’ oral input through certain speech-to-text AI engine and then cleans up the results further to the point that can be compared with the targeted text. The mobile app has invited English teachers for the pilot use and asked for their feedback. Preliminary trials indicated that the approach has limitations. Many of the users’ pronunciation were automatically corrected by the speech recognition function as wise guessing is already integrated into many of such systems. Nevertheless, teachers have confidence that the app can be further improved for accuracy. It has the potential to significantly improve oral drilling by giving students more chances to practice. Moreover, they believe that the success of this mobile app confirms the potential to extend the AI-assisted assessment to other language skills, such as writing, reading, and listening.

Keywords: artificial Intelligence, mobile learning, oral assessment, oral practice, speech-to-text function

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105 Exploring the Subculture of New Graduate Nurses’ Everyday Experience in Mental Health Nursing: An Ethnography

Authors: Mary-Ellen Hooper, Anthony Paul O'Brien, Graeme Browne

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Background: It has been proposed that negative experiences in mental health nursing increase the risk of attrition for newly graduated nurses. The risk of nurse attrition is of particular concern with current nurse shortages worldwide continuing to rise. The purpose of this study was to identify and explore the qualitative experiences of new graduate nurses as they enter mental health services in their first year of clinical practice. Method: An ethnographic research design was utilized in order to explore the sub-cultural experiences of new graduate nurses. Which included 31 separate episodes of field observation (62 hours) and (n=24) semi-structured interviews. A total number of 26 new graduates and recently graduated nurses participated in this study – 14 new graduate nurses and 12 recently graduate nurses. Data collection was conducted across 6 separate Australian, NSW, mental health units from April until September 2017. Results: A major theme emerging from the research is the new graduate nurses experience of communication in their nursing role, particularly within the context of the multidisciplinary team, and the barriers to sharing information related to care. This presentation describes the thematic structure of the major theme 'communication' in the context of the everyday experience of the New Graduate mental health nurse's participation in their chosen nursing discipline. The participants described diminished communication as a negative experience affecting their envisioned notion of holistic care, which they had associated with the role of the mental health nurse. Conclusion: The relationship between nurses and members of the multidisciplinary team plays a key role in the communication of patient care, patient-centeredness and inter-professional collaboration, potentially affecting the role of the mental health nurse, satisfaction of new graduate nurses, and patient care.

Keywords: culture, mental health nursing, multidisciplinary team, new graduate nurse

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104 Proteomics Associated with Colonization of Human Enteric Pathogen on Solanum lycopersicum

Authors: Neha Bhadauria, Indu Gaur, Shilpi Shilpi, Susmita Goswami, Prabir K. Paul

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The aerial surface of plants colonized by Human Enteric Pathogens ()has been implicated in outbreaks of enteric diseases in humans. Practice of organic farming primarily using animal dung as manure and sewage water for irrigation are the most significant source of enteric pathogens on the surface of leaves, fruits and vegetables. The present work aims to have an insight into the molecular mechanism of interaction of Human Enteric Pathogens or their metabolites with cell wall receptors in plants. Tomato plants grown under aseptic conditions at 12 hours L/D photoperiod, 25±1°C and 75% RH were inoculated individually with S. fonticola and K. pneumonia. The leaves from treated plants were sampled after 24 and 48 hours of incubation. The cell wall and cytoplasmic proteins were extracted and isocratically separated on 1D SDS-PAGE. The sampled leaves were also subjected to formaldehyde treatment prior to isolation of cytoplasmic proteins to study protein-protein interactions induced by Human Enteric Pathogens. Protein bands extracted from the gel were subjected to MALDI-TOF-TOF MS analysis. The foremost interaction of Human Enteric Pathogens on the plant surface was found to be cell wall bound receptors which possibly set ups a wave a critical protein-protein interaction in cytoplasm. The study revealed the expression and suppression of specific cytoplasmic and cell wall-bound proteins, some of them being important components of signaling pathways. The results also demonstrated HEP induced rearrangement of signaling pathways which possibly are crucial for adaptation of these pathogens to plant surface. At the end of the study, it can be concluded that controlling the over-expression or suppression of these specific proteins rearrange the signaling pathway thus reduces the outbreaks of food-borne illness.

Keywords: cytoplasmic protein, cell wall-bound protein, Human Enteric Pathogen (HEP), protein-protein interaction

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103 Group Attachment Based Intervention® Reduces Toddlers' Fearfulness

Authors: Kristin Lewis, Howard Steele, Anne Murphy, Miriam Steele, Karen Bonuck, Paul Meissner

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The present study examines data collected during the randomized control trial (RCT) of the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI©), a trauma-informed, attachment-based intervention aimed at promoting healthy parent-child relationships that support child development. Families received treatment at Treatment Center and were randomly assigned to either the GABI condition or the treatment as usual condition, a parenting class called Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP). Significant improvements in the parent-child relationship have been reported for families participating in GABI, but not in the STEP control group relying on Coding Interactive Behavior (CIB) as applied to 5-minute video-films of mothers and their toddlers in a free play context. This report considers five additional attachment-relevant 'clinical codes' that were also applied to the 5-minute free play sessions. Seventy-two parent-child dyads (38 in GABI and 34 in STEP) were compared to one another at intake and end-of-treatment, on these five-point dimensions: two-parent codes—the dissociation and ignoring; two child codes—simultaneous display of contradictory behavior and fear; and one parent-child code, i.e., role reversal. Overall, scores were low for these clinical codes; thus, a binary measure was computed contrasting no evidence with some evidence of each clinical code. Crosstab analyses indicate that child fear at end-of-treatment was significantly lower among children who participated in GABI (7% or 3 children) as compared to those whose mothers participated in STEP (29% or 10 children) Chi Sq= 6.57 (1), p < .01. Discussion focuses on the potential for GABI to reduce childhood fearfulness and so enhance the child's health.

Keywords: coding interactive behavior, clinical codes, group attachment based intervention, GABI, attachment, fear

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102 Effect of Cumulative Dissipated Energy on Short-Term and Long-Term Outcomes after Uncomplicated Cataract Surgery

Authors: Palaniraj Rama Raj, Himeesh Kumar, Paul Adler

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Purpose: To investigate the effect of ultrasound energy, expressed as cumulative dissipated energy (CDE), on short and long-term outcomes after uncomplicated cataract surgery by phacoemulsification. Methods: In this single-surgeon, two-center retrospective study, non-glaucomatous participants who underwent uncomplicated cataract surgery were investigated. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and intraocular pressure (IOP) were measured at 3 separate time points: pre-operative, Day 1 and ≥1 month. Anterior chamber (AC) inflammation and corneal odema (CO) were assessed at 2 separate time points: Pre-operative and Day 1. Short-term changes (Day 1) in BCVA, IOP, AC and CO and long-term changes (≥1 month) in BCVA and IOP were evaluated as a function of CDE using a multivariate multiple linear regression model, adjusting for age, gender, cataract type and grade, preoperative IOP, preoperative BCVA and duration of long-term follow-up. Results: 110 eyes from 97 non-glaucomatous participants were analysed. 60 (54.55%) were female and 50 (45.45%) were male. The mean (±SD) age was 73.40 (±10.96) years. Higher CDE counts were strongly associated with higher grades of sclerotic nuclear cataracts (p <0.001) and posterior subcapsular cataracts (p <0.036). There was no significant association between CDE counts and cortical cataracts. CDE counts also had a positive correlation with Day 1 CO (p <0.001). There was no correlation between CDE counts and Day 1 AC inflammation. Short-term and long-term changes in post-operative IOP did not demonstrate significant associations with CDE counts (all p >0.05). Though there was no significant correlation between CDE counts and short-term changes in BCVA, higher CDE counts were strongly associated with greater improvements in long-term BCVA (p = 0.011). Conclusion: Though higher CDE counts were strongly associated with higher grades of Day 1 postoperative CO, there appeared to be no detriment to long-term BCVA. Correspondingly, the strong positive correlation between CDE counts and long-term BCVA was likely reflective of the greater severity of underlying cataract type and grade. CDE counts were not associated with short-term or long-term postoperative changes in IOP.

Keywords: cataract surgery, phacoemulsification, cumulative dissipated energy, CDE, surgical outcomes

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101 Safety Study of Intravenously Administered Human Cord Blood Stem Cells in the Treatment of Symptoms Related to Chronic Inflammation

Authors: Brian M. Mehling, Louis Quartararo, Marine Manvelyan, Paul Wang, Dong-Cheng Wu

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Numerous investigations suggest that Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in general represent a valuable tool for therapy of symptoms related to chronic inflammatory diseases. Blue Horizon Stem Cell Therapy Program is a leading provider of adult and children’s stem cell therapies. Uniquely we have safely and efficiently treated more than 600 patients with documenting each procedure. The purpose of our study is primarily to monitor the immune response in order to validate the safety of intravenous infusion of human umbilical cord blood derived MSCs (UC-MSCs), and secondly, to evaluate effects on biomarkers associated with chronic inflammation. Nine patients were treated for conditions associated with chronic inflammation and for the purpose of anti-aging. They have been given one intravenous infusion of UC-MSCs. Our study of blood test markers of 9 patients with chronic inflammation before and within three months after MSCs treatment demonstrates that there is no significant changes and MSCs treatment was safe for the patients. Analysis of different indicators of chronic inflammation and aging included in initial, 24-hours, two weeks and three months protocols showed that stem cell treatment was safe for the patients; there were no adverse reactions. Moreover data from follow up protocols demonstrates significant improvement in energy level, hair, nails growth and skin conditions. Intravenously administered UC-MSCs were safe and effective in the improvement of symptoms related to chronic inflammation. Further close monitoring and inclusion of more patients are necessary to fully characterize the advantages of UC-MSCs application in treatment of symptoms related to chronic inflammation.

Keywords: chronic inflammatory diseases, intravenous infusion, stem cell therapy, umbilical cord blood derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs)

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100 Three Types of Mud-Huts with Courtyards in Composite Climate: Thermal Performance in Summer and Winter

Authors: Janmejoy Gupta, Arnab Paul, Manjari Chakraborty

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Jharkhand is a state located in the eastern part of India. The Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degree North latitude line) passes through Ranchi district in Jharkhand. Mud huts with burnt clay tiled roofs in Jharkhand are an integral component of the state’s vernacular architecture. They come in various shapes, with a number of them having a courtyard type of plan. In general, it has been stated that designing dwellings with courtyards in them is a climate-responsive strategy in composite climate. The truth behind this hypothesis is investigated in this paper. In this paper, three types of mud huts with courtyards situated in Ranchi district in Jharkhand are taken as a study and through temperature measurements in the south-side rooms and courtyards, in addition to Autodesk Ecotect (Version 2011) software simulations, their thermal performance throughout the year are observed. Temperature measurements are specifically taken during the peak of summer and winter and the average temperatures in the rooms and courtyards during seven day-periods in peak of summer and peak of winter are plotted graphically. Thereafter, on the basis of the study and software simulations, the hypothesis is verified and the thermally better performing dwelling types in summer and winter identified among the three sub-types studied. Certain recommendations with respect to increasing thermal comfort in courtyard type mud huts in general are also made. It is found that all courtyard type dwellings do not necessarily show better thermal performance in summer and winter in composite climate. The U shaped dwelling with open courtyard on southern side offers maximum amount of thermal-comfort inside the rooms in the hotter part of the year and the square hut with a central courtyard, with the courtyard being closed from all sides, shows superior thermal performance in winter. The courtyards in all the three case-studies are found to get excessively heated up during summer.

Keywords: courtyard, mud huts, simulations, temperature measurements, thermal performance

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99 What Is the Impact of Ramadan Fasting on Blood Pressure: Observational Study and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Rami Al Jafar, Maria Themeli, Sadia Zaman, Sharmin Akbar, Victor Lhost, Ahlam Khamliche, Paul Elliott, Kostas Tsilidis, Abbas Dehghan

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Although Ramadan fasting is a ritual that is practised every year by millions of Muslims, studies on the effect of this practice on blood pressure are still scarce. This study consists of an observational study and meta-analysis. In London Ramadan Fasting Study, the blood pressure of 85 participants before and after Ramadan was measured. Mixed-effects models were used to analyse collected data and assess the effect of Ramadan fasting on blood pressure while accounting for potential confounders such as weight, fat mass and total body water. Also, PubMed, Scopus and Embase were searched from inception to March 3rd 2019. Data of selected studies besides unpublished data from our observational study were systematically reviewed and meta-analysed. The review targeted studies that have measured systolic (SBP) or/and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) at least twice ( before and after Ramadan). Also, a subgroup analysis was performed to determine the effect in healthy individuals, high blood pressure patients, diabetes patients and chronic kidney disease patients. This review is registered in PROSPERO (CRD42019159477). The observational study involved 85 individuals with a mean age of 45.6 years, and 52.9% were males. SBP dropped 7.29 mmHg (-4.74 to -9.84) and DBP dropped 3.42 mmHg (-1.73 to -5.09) after Ramadan. Similarly, in the review and meta-analysis, after pooling the effect from 33 studies (3213 participants), a reduction in both SBP and DBP (-3.19 mmHg, -4.43 to -1.96, I2=48%; -2.26 mmHg -3.19 to -1.34, I2=66%; respectively) was observed. The reduction in SBP and DBP was significant in three subgroups (healthy individuals, diabetes patients and high blood pressure patients); however, no effect was reported in the chronic kidney disease subgroup. This study suggests that Ramadan fasting has a positive influence on SBP and DBP positively. Moreover, the observed reduction in SBP and DBP is not due to reduced weight, fat mass or total body water.

Keywords: blood pressure, diastolic, Ramadan fasting, systolic

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98 What Is the Impact of Ramadan Fasting on Blood Pressure: Observational Study and a Meta-Analysis

Authors: Rami Al Jafar, Maria Themeli, Sadia Zaman, Sharmin Akbar, Victir Lhost, Ahlam Khamliche, Paul Elliott, Konstantinos Tsilidis, Abbas Dehghan

Abstract:

Although Ramadan fasting is a ritual that is practised every year by millions of Muslims, studies on the effect of this practice on blood pressure are still scarce. This study consists of an observational study and meta-analysis. In London Ramadan Fasting Study, the blood pressure of 85 participants before and after Ramadan was measured. Mixed-effects models were used to analyse collected data and assess the effect of Ramadan fasting on blood pressure while accounting for potential confounders such as weight, fat mass and total body water. Also, PubMed, Scopus and Embase were searched from inception to March 3rd 2019. Data of selected studies besides unpublished data from our observational study were systematically reviewed and meta-analysed. The review targeted studies that have measured systolic (SBP) or/and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) at least twice ( before and after Ramadan). Also, a subgroup analysis was performed to determine the effect in healthy individuals, high blood pressure patients, diabetes patients and chronic kidney disease patients. This review is registered in PROSPERO (CRD42019159477). The observational study involved 85 individuals with a mean age of 45.6 years, and 52.9% were males. SBP dropped 7.29 mmHg (-4.74 to -9.84) and DBP dropped 3.42 mmHg (-1.73 to -5.09) after Ramadan. Similarly, in the review and meta-analysis, after pooling the effect from 33 studies (3213 participants), a reduction in both SBP and DBP (-3.19 mmHg, -4.43 to -1.96, I2=48%; -2.26 mmHg -3.19 to -1.34, I2=66%; respectively) was observed. The reduction in SBP and DBP was significant in three subgroups (healthy individuals, diabetes patients and high blood pressure patients); however, no effect was reported in the chronic kidney disease subgroup. This study suggests that Ramadan fasting has a positive influence on SBP and DBP positively. Moreover, the observed reduction in SBP and DBP is not due to reduced weight, fat mass or total body water.

Keywords: blood pressure, diastolic, Ramadan fasting, systolic

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97 Immigration in British Southern Cameroons from 2016 to 2020

Authors: Geraldine Ambe

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Cameroon is a country in a country in Central Africa. Before the first World War, Germany colonized Cameroon, including some parts of Gabon, Chad, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic. After the war, the United Nations divided most of the colony into Britain and France. In 1960, Eastern Cameroon (‘La Republique du Cameroon’) gained its independence from France while British Southern Cameroons obtained its independence from Britain. The two entities agreed to live together as a federal state officially called the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1962, the name of the name of the country was changed from the Federal Republic of Cameroon to the United Republic of Cameroon, while the Prime Minister of Western Cameroon was moved to Yaounde. In 1984, President Paul Biya singlehandedly changed the name to the Republic of Cameroon, implying that Southern Cameroon is not recognized in the union again. From the words of Am Cohen, the two territories came together to form a federal government with one currency, one army, and one foreign policy like states in the United States of America. However, the name Republic of Cameroon (‘La Republique du Cameroun’) does not recognize BSC, and this is exactly what has been practiced: politics of exclusion and excessive centralization in Yaounde. In 2016, teachers and Lawyers started strikes to call the attention of the government on the inhalation of the English culture/people. They were greeted with guns, causing the radicalization of the youths. The civil society came together to form a union to address the issues facing the people, and the government took their leaders and sentenced them to live imprisonment. The consequence was a civil war with nobody to dialogue with. Out of Cameroon, more than half a million people from BSC have been taking dangerous trips through the air, land, and sea. In the jungles and the deserts, the snow of Europe, these people have been seen for the last 4 years. This paper will present some personalities, political fractions, and their stands of decentralization, federalism, and independence as the war continues. The paper will further look at the consequence of this crisis on migration in Central and Eastern Europe.

Keywords: British Southern Cameroons, decolonization, Second World War, dialogue, civil war, immigration

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