Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32

Search results for: Q. S. Chua

32 Experimental Networks Synchronization of Chua’s Circuit in Different Topologies

Authors: Manuel Meranza-Castillon, Rolando Diaz-Castillo, Adrian Arellano-Delgado, Cesar Cruz-Hernandez, Rosa Martha Lopez-Gutierrez

Abstract:

In this work, we deal with experimental network synchronization of chaotic nodes with different topologies. Our approach is based on complex system theory, and we use a master-slave configuration to couple the nodes in the networks. In particular, we design and implement electronically complex dynamical networks composed by nine coupled chaotic Chua’s circuits with topologies: in nearest-neighbor, small-world, open ring, star, and global. Also, network synchronization is evaluated according to a particular coupling strength for each topology. This study is important by the possible applications to private transmission of information in a chaotic communication network of multiple users.

Keywords: complex networks, Chua's circuit, experimental synchronization, multiple users

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31 Intervention of Threat and Surveillance on the Obedience of Preschool Children

Authors: Sarah Mhae Diaz, Erika Anna De Leon, Jacklin Alwil Cartagena, Geordan Caruncong, Micah Riezl Gonzales

Abstract:

This study examined the intervention of threat and surveillance on the obedience of 100 preschool children through a task variable experiment replicated from the previous studies of Higbee (1979), and Chua, J., Chua, M., & Pico (1983). Nowadays, obedience among Filipino children to authority is disregarded since they are more outspoken and rebel due to social influences. With this, aside from corporal punishment, threat and surveillance became a mean of inducing obedience. Threat, according to the Dissonance Theory, can give attitudinal change. On the other hand, surveillance, according to the Theory of Social Facilitation, can either contribute to the completion or failure to do a task. Through a 2x2 factorial design, results show; (1) threat (F(1,96) = 12.487, p < 0.05) and (2) surveillance (F(1,96)=9.942, p<.05) had a significant main effect on obedience, suggesting that the Dissonance Theory and Theory of Social Facilitation is respectively true in the study. On the other hand, (3) no interaction (F(1,96)=1.303, p > .05) was seen since threat and surveillance both have a main effect that could be positive or negative, or could be because of their complementary property as supported by the post-hoc results. Also, (4) most effective commanding style is threat and surveillance setting (M = 30.04, SD = 7.971) due to the significant main effect of the two variables. With this, in the Filipino Setting, threat and surveillance has proven to be a very effective strategy to discipline and induce obedience from a child.

Keywords: experimental study, obedience, preschool children, surveillance, threat

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30 Green-Y Model for Preliminary Sustainable Economical Concept of Renewable Energy Sources Deployment in ASEAN Countries

Authors: H. H. Goh, K. C. Goh, W. N. Z. S. Wan Sukri, Q. S. Chua, S. W. Lee, B. C. Kok

Abstract:

Endowed of renewable energy sources (RES) are the advantages of ASEAN, but they are using a low amount of RES only to generate electricity because their primary energy sources are fossil and coal. The cost of purchasing fossil and coal is cheaper now, but it might be expensive soon, as it will be depleted sooner and after. ASEAN showed that the RES are convenient to be implemented. Some country in ASEAN has huge renewable energy sources potential and use. The primary aim of this project is to assist ASEAN countries in preparing the renewable energy and to guide the policies for RES in the more upright direction. The Green-Y model will help ASEAN government to study and forecast the economic concept, including feed-in tariff.

Keywords: ASEAN RES, Renewable Energy, RES Policies, RES Potential, RES Utilization

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29 What are Parents of Teacher Candidates’ Belief Towards Teaching as a Profession?

Authors: Chua Lee Chuan

Abstract:

This study was conducted to explore parents’ beliefs towards the teaching profession. This survey was conducted on 51 parents of teacher candidates in a teacher training institute. A research instrument, using questionnaires, adapted from FIT-Choice scale developed by Richardson and Watt (2006) was used to collect data from the population. The findings showed that parents, in general, have positive attitudes towards the teaching profession. They perceived teaching as a career highly valued by the society. Though the teaching job was viewed as difficult and requiring high expertise, the salary received commensurate their hard work and heavy workload. In terms of gender, male and female parents did not differ in their beliefs about the teaching profession. However, results indicated that educational attainment and income level had significant effect on parents’ beliefs on teaching as a profession. Implications and recommendations in relation to the findings are also included.

Keywords: beliefs, teaching profession, parents, teacher candidates

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28 An Analysis of Public Environmental Investment on the Sustainable Development in China

Authors: K. Y. Chen, Y. N. Jia, H. Chua, C. W. Kan

Abstract:

As the largest developing country in the world, China is now facing the problem arising from the environment. Thus, China government increases the environmental investment yearly. In this study, we will analyse the effect of the public environmental investment on the sustainable development in China. Firstly, we will review the current situation of China's environmental issue. Secondly, we will collect the yearly environmental data as well as the information of public environmental investment. Finally, we will use the collected data to analyse and project the SWOT of public environmental investment in China. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide the relationship between public environmental investment and sustainable development in China. Based on the data collected, it was revealed that the public environmental investment had a positive impact on the sustainable development in China as well as the GDP growth. Acknowledgment: Authors would like to thank the financial support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for this work.

Keywords: China, public environmental investment, sustainable development, analysis

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27 Towards Automated Remanufacturing of Marine and Offshore Engineering Components

Authors: Aprilia, Wei Liang Keith Nguyen, Shu Beng Tor, Gerald Gim Lee Seet, Chee Kai Chua

Abstract:

Automated remanufacturing process is of great interest in today’s marine and offshore industry. Most of the current remanufacturing processes are carried out manually and hence they are error prone, labour-intensive and costly. In this paper, a conceptual framework for automated remanufacturing is presented. This framework involves the integration of 3D non-contact digitization, adaptive surface reconstruction, additive manufacturing and machining operation. Each operation is operated and interconnected automatically as one system. The feasibility of adaptive surface reconstruction on marine and offshore engineering components is also discussed. Several engineering components were evaluated and the results showed that this proposed system is feasible. Conclusions are drawn and further research work is discussed.

Keywords: adaptive surface reconstruction, automated remanufacturing, automatic repair, reverse engineering

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26 A Critical Analysis of Environmental Investment in India

Authors: K. Y. Chen, H. Chua, C. W. Kan

Abstract:

Environmental investment is an important issue in many countries. In this study, we will first review the environmental issues related to India and their effect on the economical development. Secondly, economic data would be collected from government yearly statistics. The statistics would also include the environmental investment information of India. Finally, we would co-relate the data in order to find out the relationship between environmental investment and sustainable development in India. Therefore, in the paper, we aim to analyse the effect of an environmental investment on the sustainable development in India. Based on the economic data collected, India is in development status with fast population and GDP growth speed. India is facing the environment problems due to its high-speed development. However, the environment investment could give a positive impact on the sustainable development in India. The environmental investment is keeping in the same growth rate with GDP. Acknowledgment: Authors would like to thank the financial support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for this work.

Keywords: India, environmental investment, sustainable development, analysis

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25 A Preliminary Study of Economic Dimension of Underground Rock Caverns for Water Storage at Singapore

Authors: Junlong Shang, Zhengxian Chua, Hoongping Peh, Zhiye Zhao

Abstract:

Due to scarce land resources in Singapore, it is imperative to increase water storage capacities to meet the increasing demand of water to secure a sustainable development, which can be achieved in the underground by rock caverns. In this paper, a preliminary study on the effects of cavern span, height and radius on the cavern stability is presented to provide a guidance on the cavern construction in the context of Singapore. It is found that the radius of caverns should be around half of the span width (i.e., B/R=2) to reduce vertical displacement at the crown of cavern. The smaller the rock cover, the smaller displacement. The minimum rock thickness should be at least the same as the cavern span to eliminate excessive yielded element. Finally, rock support system is introduced to maintain the profile of caverns.

Keywords: cavern dimension, numerical modelling, sustainable development, underground rock cavern

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24 Environment Situation Analysis of Germany

Authors: K. Y. Chen, H. Chua, C. W. Kan

Abstract:

In this study, we will analyze Germany’s environmental situation such as water and air quality and review its environmental policy. In addition, we will collect the yearly environmental data as well as information concerning public environmental investment. Based on the data collect, we try to find out the relationship between public environmental investment and sustainable development in Germany. In addition, after comparing the trend of environmental quality and situation of environmental policy and investment, we may have some conclusions and learnable aspects to refer to. Based upon the data collected, it was revealed that Germany has established a well-developed institutionalization of environmental education. And the ecological culture at school is dynamic and continuous renewal. The booming of green markets in Germany is a very successful experience for learning. The green market not only creates a number of job opportunities, but also helps the government to improve and protect the environment. Acknowledgement: Authors would like to thank the financial support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for this work.

Keywords: Germany, public environmental investment, environment quality, sustainable development

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23 Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Malaysian Multi-Ethnic Discrimination Scale

Authors: Chua Bee Seok, Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Ferlis Bahari, Jasmine Adela Mutang, Lailawati Madlan, Rosnah Ismail, Asong Joseph

Abstract:

Malaysia is a country famously known for its multiple unique cultural and ethnic diversities. Despite the diversity of culture, customs and beliefs, respectively, Malaysia still be able to stand as a harmonious country. However, if there is an attitude of stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination among ethnic, it may seriously affect the solidarity between people in Malaysia. Thus, this study focuses on constructing a scale measuring the Malaysian experience, strategy and effect of ethnic discrimination. To develop a quantitative measure on ethnic discrimination directed against Malaysian, a three-step process is proposed: Exploratory factor analysis, validity analysis, and internal consistency reliability analysis. Results, limitations, and implications of the study are discussed.

Keywords: test development, Malaysian multi-ethnic discrimination scale, exploratory factor analysis, validity, multi-ethnic, reliability, psychometrics

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22 A Study of Environmental Investment on the Sustainable Development in United States

Authors: K. Y. Chen, Y. N. Jia, H. Chua, C. W. Kan

Abstract:

In United States (US), the environmental policy went through two stages that are government control period and market mechanism period. In the government control period in the 1970s, environmental problems in U.S. are treated by mandatory direct control method, including promulgation of laws, formulation of emission standards and mandatory installation of pollution treatment equipment. After the 1980s, the environmental policy in U.S. went into the second stage, in which the government strengthened the incentives and coordination effects of market. Since then, environmental governance had been partially replaced by means of economic regulation of the market. Green Tax Policy and Marketable Pollution Permits are good examples of government's economic interventions. U.S. Federal Government regards environmental industry as high-tech industry which is promoted in this period. Therefore, in the paper, we aim to analyse the effect of environmental investment on the sustainable development in the US. Acknowledgment: Authors would like to thank the financial support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for this work.

Keywords: United States, public environmental investment, analysis, sustainable development

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21 Employing a Flipped Classroom Approach to Support Project-Based Learning

Authors: Kian Jon Chua, Islam Md Raisul

Abstract:

Findings on a research study conducted for a group of year-2 engineering students participating in a flipped classroom (FC) experience that is judiciously incorporated into project-based learning (PBL) module are presented. The chief purpose of the research is to identify whether if the incorporation of flipped classroom approach to project-based learning indeed yields a positive learning experience for engineering students. Results are presented and compared from the two classes of students – one is subjected to a traditional PBL learning mode while the other undergoes a hybrid PBL-FC learning format. Some themes related to active learning, problem-solving ability, teacher as facilitator, and degree of self-efficacy are also discussed. This paper hopes to provide new knowledge and insights relating to the introduction of flipped classroom learning to a project-based engineering module. Some potential study limitations and future directions to address them are also presented.

Keywords: hybrid project-based learning, flipped classroom, problem-solving, active learning

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20 Biological Aquaculture System (BAS) Design and Water Quality on Marble Goby (Oxyeleotris marmoratus): A Water Recirculating Technology

Authors: AnnWon Chew, Nik Norulaini Nik Ab Rahman, Mohd Omar Ab Kadir, C. C. Chen, Jaafar Chua

Abstract:

This paper presents an innovative process to solve the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate build-up problem in recirculating system using Biological Aquaculture System (BAS). The novel aspects of the process lie in a series of bioreactors that specially arrange and design to meet the required conditions for water purification. The BAS maximizes the utilization of bio-balls as the ideal surface for beneficial microbes to flourish. It also serves as a physical barrier that traps organic particles, which in turn becomes source for the microbes to perform their work. The operation in the proposed system gives a low concentration and average range of good maintain excellent water quality, i.e., with low levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, a suitable pH range for aquaculture and low turbidity. The BAS thus provides a solution for sustainable small-scale, urban aquaculture operation with a high recovery water and minimal waste disposal.

Keywords: ammonia, bioreactor, Biological Aquaculture System (BAS), bio-balls, water recirculating technology

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19 Comparative Study of Line Voltage Stability Indices for Voltage Collapse Forecasting in Power Transmission System

Authors: H. H. Goh, Q. S. Chua, S. W. Lee, B. C. Kok, K. C. Goh, K. T. K. Teo

Abstract:

At present, the evaluation of voltage stability assessment experiences sizeable anxiety in the safe operation of power systems. This is due to the complications of a strain power system. With the snowballing of power demand by the consumers and also the restricted amount of power sources, therefore, the system has to perform at its maximum proficiency. Consequently, the noteworthy to discover the maximum ability boundary prior to voltage collapse should be undertaken. A preliminary warning can be perceived to evade the interruption of power system’s capacity. The effectiveness of line voltage stability indices (LVSI) is differentiated in this paper. The main purpose of the indices is used to predict the proximity of voltage instability of the electric power system. On the other hand, the indices are also able to decide the weakest load buses which are close to voltage collapse in the power system. The line stability indices are assessed using the IEEE 14 bus test system to validate its practicability. Results demonstrated that the implemented indices are practically relevant in predicting the manifestation of voltage collapse in the system. Therefore, essential actions can be taken to dodge the incident from arising.

Keywords: critical line, line outage, line voltage stability indices (LVSI), maximum loadability, voltage collapse, voltage instability, voltage stability analysis

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18 Untargeted Small Metabolite Identification from Thermally Treated Tualang Honey

Authors: Lee Suan Chua

Abstract:

This study investigated the effects of thermal treatment on Tualang honey sample in terms of honey colour and heat-induced small metabolites. The heating process was carried out in a temperature controlled water batch at 90 °C for 4 hours. The honey samples were put in cylinder tubes with the dimension of 1 cm diameter and 10 cm length for homogenous heat transfer. The results found that the thermal treatment produced not only hydroxylmethylfurfural, but also other harmful substances such as phthalic anhydride and radiolytic byproducts. The degradation of honey protein was reported due to the detection of free amino acids such as cysteine and phenylalanine in heat-treated honey samples. Sugar dehydration also occurred because fragmented di-galactose was identified based on the presence of characteristic ions in the mass fragmentation pattern. The honey colour was found getting darker as the heating duration was increased up to 4 hours. Approximately, 60 mm PFund of increment was noticed for the honey colour with the colour change rate of 14.8 mm PFund per hour. Based on the principal component analysis, the chemical profile of Tualang honey was significantly altered after 2 hours of heating at 90 °C.

Keywords: honey colour, hydroxylmethylfurfural, thermal treatment, tualang honey

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17 Design of a Multidisciplinary Project-Oriented Capstone Course for Mechanical Engineering Education

Authors: Chi-Cheng Cheng, Che-Hsin Lin, Yu-Jen Wang, Chua-Chin Wang

Abstract:

The project-oriented capstone course has become a required element for most engineering educational units. It is not only because the capstone course is an important criterion for international accreditation of engineering degree programs under Washington Accord, but also the capstone course provides an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in their school years to actual engineering problems. Nevertheless, most project-oriented capstone courses are conducted with one single project for all students or teams. In other words, students work to reach the same or similar goals by coming up with different layouts and approaches. It appears not suitable for a multidisciplinary engineering department. Therefore, a one-year multidisciplinary project-oriented capstone course was designed for the junior year of the undergraduate program. About one-half of faculty members in the department needs to be involved in generating as many projects as possible to meet different students' interests and specialties. Project achievement has to be displayed and demonstrated in the annual exposition and competition at the end of this course. Significant success in attracting attention and hardworking of students on projects was witnessed for the past two pilot years. Analysis of course evaluation demonstrates positive impact on all perspectives despite of slightly negative influence due to poor communication and collaboration between students and their project supervisors.

Keywords: Capstone course, CDIO, engineering education, project-oriented learning

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16 Public Environmental Investment Analysis of Japan

Authors: K. Y. Chen, H. Chua, C. W. Kan

Abstract:

Japan is a well-developed country but the environmental issues are still a hot issue. In this study, we will analyse how the environmental investment affects the sustainable development in Japan. This paper will first describe the environmental policy of Japan and the effort input by the Japan government. Then, we will collect the yearly environmental data and also information about the environmental investment. Based on the data collected, we try to figure out the relationship between environmental investment and sustainable development in Japan. In addition, we will analyse the SWOT of environmental investment in Japan. Based on the economic information collected, Japan established a sound material-cycle society through changes in business and life styles. A comprehensive legal system for this kind of society was established in Japan. In addition, other supporting measures, such as financial measures, utilization of economic instruments, implementation of research and promotion of education and science and technology, help Japan to cope with the recent environmental challenges. Japan’s excellent environmental technologies changed its socioeconomic system. They are at the highest global standards. This can be reflected by the number of patents registered in Japan which has been on the steady growth. Country by country comparison in the application for patents on environmental technologies also indicates that Japan ranks high in such areas as atmospheric pollution and water quality management, solid waste management and renewable energy. This is a result of the large expenditure invested on research and development.

Keywords: Japan, environmental investment, sustainable development, analysis

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15 Efficacy of Umbilical Cord Lining Stem Cells For Wound Healing in Diabetic Murine Model

Authors: Fui Ping Lim, Wen Choong Chua, Toan Thang Phan

Abstract:

Aim: This study investigates the roles of Cord Lining Stem Cells (CLSCs) as potential therapeutic agents for diabetic wounds. Method: 20 genetically diabetic db/db mice were randomly assigned to two arms; (i) control group received placebo treatment (sham media or cells delivery material), and (ii) active comparator received CLSCs. Two full-thickness wounds, each sized 10mm X 10mm were created, one on each side of the midline on the back of the mice. Digital pictures were taken on day 1, 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28. Wound areas were analyzed with ImageJ TM software and calculated as percentage of the original wound. Time to closure was defined as the day the wound bed was completely epithelized and filled with new tissues. Results: The CLSCs-treated wounds, showed a significant increase in the percentage of wound closure and achieved 100% closure of the wound sooner than the control group by an average of 3.7 days. The mice treated with CLSCs have a shorter wound closure time (mean closure day: 19.8 days) as compared to the control group (mean closure day: 23.5 days). Conclusion: Our preliminary findings inferred that CLSCs treated wound achieved higher percentage of wound closure within a shorter duration of time.

Keywords: cord lining stem cell, diabetic wound, stem cell, wound

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14 Recycling Motivations and Barriers in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Authors: Jasmine Adela Mutang, Rosnah Ismail, Chua Bee Seok, Ferlis Bahari, Lailawati Madlan, Walton Wider, Rickless Das

Abstract:

Waste projection is increasing and most landfills in Malaysia are running out of space. Due to that, waste management is now becoming a major challenge. The most sustainable solution is by practicing sustainable practices such as recycling. Since 1993 the government has launched several recycling campaigns and implemented the National Recycling Policy. However, public participation is still very low. Only 10.5% of solid waste was recycled up to now which is far below than of in developed countries. Nevertheless the government is optimistic that the target of 22% recycling by 2020 will be achieved if there is a positive flow pattern in sustainable practices in particular recycling behavior among Malaysian. Understanding public motivations towards recycling domestic waste are important to improve current recycling rate. Thus this study attempts to identify what are the possible motivations and hindrances for the public to recycle. Open-ended questions format were administered to 484 people in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Two specific questions we asked to explore their general determinants and barriers in practicing recycling: “What motivates you to recycle?” and “What are the barriers you encountered in doing recycling activities?” Thematic analysis was conducted on the open-ended questions in which themes were created with the raw comments. It was found that the underlying recycling motivations are awareness’ towards the environment, benefits to the society and individual, and social influence. Non participations are influence by attitudes, commitment, facilities, knowledge, inconvenience, and enforcement.

Keywords: recycling motivation, recycling barrier, sustainable, household waste

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13 Disseminated Tuberculosis: Experience from Tuberculosis Directly Observed Treatment Short Course Center at a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital in the Philippines

Authors: Jamie R. Chua, Christina Irene D. Mejia, Regina P. Berba

Abstract:

Disseminated tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis involving two or more non-contiguous sites identified through bacteriologic confirmation or clinical diagnosis. Over the five year period included in the study, the UP-PGH TB DOTS clinic had total of 3,967 referrals, and the prevalence of disseminated tuberculosis is 1% (68/3967). The mean age was 33.9 years (range 19-64 years) with a male: female ratio of 1:1. 67% (52 patients) had no predisposing comorbid illness or immune disorder. The most common presenting symptoms were abdominal pain (19%), back pain (13%), abdominal enlargement (11%) and mass (10.2%). Anemia, leukocytosis, hypoalbuminemia, and high-normal serum calcium were common biochemical and hematologic findings. Around 36% (25) of patients were diagnosed clinically with disseminated tuberculosis despite lacking bacteriologic evidence of multi-organ involvement. The lungs (86%) is still the most commonly involved site, followed by intestinal (22%), vertebral/Pott’s (27%), and pelvic/genital (19%). The mean time from presentation to initiation of therapy was 22 days (SD 32.7). Only 18 patients (29.3%) were properly recorded to have been referred to local TB DOTs facilities. Of the 68 patients, only 16% (11 patients) continued follow-up at PGH, and all had documented treatment completion. Treatment outcomes of the remaining were unknown. Due to the variety of involved sites, a high index of suspicion is required. Knowledge on clinical features, common radiographic findings, and histopathologic characteristics of disseminated TB is important as bacteriologic evidence of infection is not always apparent.

Keywords: disseminated tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, miliary tuberculosis, tuberculosis

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12 Impact of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions on Water Quality in Primary Schools of Pakistan

Authors: Jamil Ahmed, Li P. Wong, Yan P. Chua

Abstract:

The United Nation's sustainable development goals include the target to ensure access to water and sanitation for all; however, very few studies have assessed school-based drinking water in Pakistan. The purpose of this study was to characterize water quality in primary schools of Pakistan and to characterize how recent WASH interventions were associated with school water quality. We conducted a representative cross-sectional study of primary schools in the Sindh province of Pakistan. We used structured observations and structured interviews to ascertain the school’s WASH conditions. Our primary exposures of interest were the implementation of previous WASH interventions in the school and the water source type. Outcomes of interest included water quality (measured by various chemical and microbiological indicators) and water availability at the school’s primary drinking water source. We used log-binomial regression to characterize how WASH exposures were associated with water quality outcomes. We collected data from 256 schools. Groundwater was the primary drinking water source at most schools (87%). Water testing showed that 14% of the school’s water had arsenic above the WHO recommendations, and over 50% of the water samples exceeded recommendations for both lead and cadmium. A majority of the water sources (52%) had fecal coliform contamination. None of the schools had nitrate contamination (0%), and few had fluoride contamination (5%). Regression results indicated that having a recent WASH intervention at the school was not associated with either arsenic contamination (prevalence ratio=0.97; 95% CI: 0.46-2.1) or with fecal coliform contamination (PR=0.88; 95% CI: 0.67-1.17). Our assessment unveiled several water quality gaps that exist, including high heavy metal and fecal contamination. Our findings will help various stakeholders to take suitable action to improve water quality in Pakistani schools.

Keywords: WASH interventions, water quality, primary school children, heavy metals

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11 Challenge Appraisal Job, Hindrance Appraisal Job, and Negative Work-Life Interaction with the Mediating Role of Distress: A Survey on Sabah Public Secondary School Teachers

Authors: Pan Lee Ching, Chua Bee Seok

Abstract:

The experience of negative work-life interaction often confronted with work related stress includes workload. The appraisal of challenge and hindrance jobs depend on the type of workload to stimulate stress response. Nevertheless, the effects of challenge and hindrance jobs on distress and negative work-life interaction are scarcely explored. Thus, research objective was to examine the relationship among challenge appraisal job (qualitative workload), hindrance appraisal job (quantitative workload), and negative work-life interaction with the mediating role of distress. A survey with random sampling method was performed on current serving public secondary school teachers in Sabah. Collected data showed 447 respondents completed three questionnaires, namely Challenge-hindrance Appraisal Scale, Stress Professional Positive and Negative Questionnaire, and Survey Work-home Interaction-Nijmegan. Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to analyse mediation effect. Results showed distress fully mediates the relationship between challenge appraisal job (qualitative workload) and negative work-life interaction. The indirect effect was significant and negative. While distress partially mediates the relationship between hindrance appraisal job (quantitative workload) and negative work-life interaction. The indirect effect was significant and positive. The study implied that challenge appraisal job could be a positive resource for teacher to facilitate work and life, whereas hindrance appraisal job could disengage the facilitation. Hence, strengthen challenge appraisal job and control hindrance appraisal job could curb distress at work and underpin life interaction among the teachers.

Keywords: challenge-hindrance job, distress, work-life, workload

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10 Development and Validation of Employee Trust Scale: Factor Structure, Reliability and Validity

Authors: Chua Bee Seok, Getrude Cosmas, Jasmine Adela Mutang, Shazia Iqbal Hashmi

Abstract:

The aims of this study were to determine the factor structure and psychometric properties (i.e., reliability and convergent validity) of the employees trust scale, a newly created instrument by the researchers. The employees trust scale initially contained 82 items to measure employee’s trust toward their supervisors. A sample of 818 (343 females, 449 males) employees were selected randomly from public and private organization sectors in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Their ages ranged from 19 to 67 years old with the mean of 34.55 years old. Their average tenure with their current employer was 11.2 years (s.d. = 7.5 years). The respondents were asked to complete the employees trust scale, as well as a managerial trust questionnaire from Mishra. The exploratory factor analysis on employee’s trust toward their supervisor’s extracted three factors, labeled 'trustworthiness' (32 items), 'position status' (11 items) and 'relationship' (6 items) which accounted for 62.49% of the total variance. Trustworthiness factors were re-categorized into three sub factors: competency (11 items), benevolence (8 items) and integrity (13 items). All factors and sub factors of the scales demonstrated clear reliability with internal consistency of Cronbach’s Alpha above 0.85. The convergent validity of the Scale was supported by an expected pattern of correlations (positive and significant correlation) between the score of all factors and sub factors of the scale and the score on the managerial trust questionnaire which measured the same construct. The convergent validity of employees trust scale was further supported by the significant and positive inter correlation between the factors and sub factors of the scale. The results suggest that the employees trust scale is a reliable and valid measure. However, further studies need to be carried out in other groups of sample as to further validate the Scale.

Keywords: employees trust scale, psychometric properties, trustworthiness, position status, relationship

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9 Effectiveness of Computer Video Games on the Levels of Anxiety of Children Scheduled for Tooth Extraction

Authors: Marji Umil, Miane Karyle Urolaza, Ian Winston Dale Uy, John Charle Magne Valdez, Karen Elizabeth Valdez, Ervin Charles Valencia, Cheryleen Tan-Chua

Abstract:

Objective: Distraction techniques can be successful in reducing the anxiety of children during medical procedures. Dental procedures, in particular, are associated with dental anxiety which has been identified as a significant and common problem in children, however, only limited studies were conducted to address such problem. Thus, this study determined the effectiveness of computer video games on the levels of anxiety of children between 5-12 years old scheduled for tooth extraction. Methods: A pre-test post-test quasi-experimental study was conducted involving 30 randomly-assigned subjects, 15 in the experimental and 15 in the control. Subjects in the experimental group played computer video games for a maximum of 15 minutes, however, no intervention was done on the control. The modified Yale Pre-operative Anxiety Scale (m-YPAS) with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.9 was used to assess anxiety at two different points: upon arrival in the clinic (pre-test anxiety) and 15 minutes after the first measurement (post-test anxiety). Paired t-test and ANCOVA were used to analyze the gathered data. Results: Results showed that there is a significant difference between the pre-test and post-test anxiety scores of the control group (p=0.0002) which indicates an increased anxiety. A significant difference was also noted between the pre-test and post-test anxiety scores of the experimental group (p=0.0002) which indicates decreased anxiety. Comparatively, the experimental group showed lower anxiety score (p=<0.0001) than the control. Conclusion: The use of computer video games is effective in reducing the pre-operative anxiety among children and can be an alternative non-pharmacological management in giving pre-operative care.

Keywords: play therapy, preoperative anxiety, tooth extraction, video games

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8 The Moderating Role of the Employees' Green Lifestyle to the Effect of Green Human Resource Management Practices to Job Performance: A Structural Equation Model (SEM)

Authors: Lorraine Joyce Chua, Sheena Fatima Ragas, Flora Mae Tantay, Carolyn Marie Sunio

Abstract:

The Philippines is one of the countries most affected by weather-related disasters. The occurrence of natural disasters in this country increases due to environmental degradation making environment preservation a growing trend in the society including the corporate world. Most organizations implemented green practices in order to lower expenses unaware that some of these practices were already a part of a new trend in human resource management known as Green Human Resource Management (GHRM). GHRM is when business organizations implement HR policies programs processes and techniques that bring environmental impact and sustainability practices on the organization. In relation to this, the study hypothesizes that implementing GHRM practices in the workplace will spillover to an employees lifestyle and such lifestyle may moderate the impact of GHRM practices to his job performance. Private industries located in the Philippines National Capital Region (NCR) were purposively selected for the purpose of this study. They must be ISO14001 certified or are currently aiming for such certification. The employee respondents were randomly selected and were asked to answer a reliable and valid researcher-made questionnaire. Structural equation modeling (SEM) supported the hypothesis that GHRM practices may spillover to employees lifestyle stimulating such individual to start a green lifestyle which moderates the impact of GHRM to his job performance. It can also be implied that GHRM practices help shape employees to become environmentally aware and responsible which may help them in preserving the environment. The findings of this study may encourage Human Resource practitioners to implement GHRM practices in the workplace in order to take part in sustaining the environment while maintaining or improving employees job performance and keeping them motivated. This study can serve as a basis for future research regarding the importance of strengthening the GHRM implementation here in the Philippines. Future studies may focus more on the impact of GHRM to other factors, such as job loyalty and job satisfaction of the employees belonging to specific industries which would greatly contribute to the GHRM community in the Philippines.

Keywords: GHRM practices, Green Human Resource Management, Green Lifestyle, ISO14001, job performance, Philippines

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7 Rapid Soil Classification Using Computer Vision, Electrical Resistivity and Soil Strength

Authors: Eugene Y. J. Aw, J. W. Koh, S. H. Chew, K. E. Chua, Lionel L. J. Ang, Algernon C. S. Hong, Danette S. E. Tan, Grace H. B. Foo, K. Q. Hong, L. M. Cheng, M. L. Leong

Abstract:

This paper presents a novel rapid soil classification technique that combines computer vision with four-probe soil electrical resistivity method and cone penetration test (CPT), to improve the accuracy and productivity of on-site classification of excavated soil. In Singapore, excavated soils from local construction projects are transported to Staging Grounds (SGs) to be reused as fill material for land reclamation. Excavated soils are mainly categorized into two groups (“Good Earth” and “Soft Clay”) based on particle size distribution (PSD) and water content (w) from soil investigation reports and on-site visual survey, such that proper treatment and usage can be exercised. However, this process is time-consuming and labour-intensive. Thus, a rapid classification method is needed at the SGs. Computer vision, four-probe soil electrical resistivity and CPT were combined into an innovative non-destructive and instantaneous classification method for this purpose. The computer vision technique comprises soil image acquisition using industrial grade camera; image processing and analysis via calculation of Grey Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) textural parameters; and decision-making using an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). Complementing the computer vision technique, the apparent electrical resistivity of soil (ρ) is measured using a set of four probes arranged in Wenner’s array. It was found from the previous study that the ANN model coupled with ρ can classify soils into “Good Earth” and “Soft Clay” in less than a minute, with an accuracy of 85% based on selected representative soil images. To further improve the technique, the soil strength is measured using a modified mini cone penetrometer, and w is measured using a set of time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes. Laboratory proof-of-concept was conducted through a series of seven tests with three types of soils – “Good Earth”, “Soft Clay” and an even mix of the two. Validation was performed against the PSD and w of each soil type obtained from conventional laboratory tests. The results show that ρ, w and CPT measurements can be collectively analyzed to classify soils into “Good Earth” or “Soft Clay”. It is also found that these parameters can be integrated with the computer vision technique on-site to complete the rapid soil classification in less than three minutes.

Keywords: Computer vision technique, cone penetration test, electrical resistivity, rapid and non-destructive, soil classification

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6 An Experimental Study on Greywater Reuse for Irrigating a Green Wall System

Authors: Mishadi Herath, Amin Talei, Andreas Hermawan, Clarina Chua

Abstract:

Green walls are vegetated structures on building’s wall that are considered as part of sustainable urban design. They are proved to have many micro-climate benefits such as reduction in indoor temperature, noise attenuation, and improvement in air quality. On the other hand, several studies have also been conducted on potential reuse of greywater in urban water management. Greywater is relatively clean when compared to blackwater; therefore, this study was aimed to assess the potential reuse of it for irrigating a green wall system. In this study, the campus of Monash University Malaysia located in Selangor state was considered as the study site where total 48 samples of greywater were collected from 7 toilets hand-wash and 5 pantries during 3 months period. The samples were tested to characterize the quality of greywater in the study site and compare it with local standard for irrigation water. PH and concentration of heavy metals, nutrients, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), total Coliform and E.coli were measured. Results showed that greywater could be directly used for irrigation with minimal treatment. Since the effluent of the system was supposed to be drained to stormwater drainage system, the effluent needed to meet certain quality requirement. Therefore, a biofiltration system was proposed to host the green wall plants and also treat the greywater (which is used as irrigation water) to the required level. To assess the performance of the proposed system, an experimental setup consisting of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) soil columns with sand-based filter media were prepared. Two different local creeper plants were chosen considering several factors including fast growth, low maintenance requirement, and aesthetic aspects. Three replicates of each plants were used to ensure the validity of the findings. The growth of creeping plants and their survivability was monitored for 6 months while monthly sampling and testing of effluent was conducted to evaluate effluent quality. An analysis was also conducted to estimate the potential cost and benefit of such system considering water and energy saving in the system. Results showed that the proposed system can work efficiently throughout a long period of time with minimal maintenance requirement. Moreover, the biofiltration-green wall system was found to be successful in reusing greywater as irrigating water while the effluent was meeting all the requirements for being drained to stormwater drainage system.

Keywords: biofiltration, green wall, greywater, sustainability

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5 Comparison of Extracellular miRNA from Different Lymphocyte Cell Lines and Isolation Methods

Authors: Christelle E. Chua, Alicia L. Ho

Abstract:

The development of a panel of differential gene expression signatures has been of interest in the field of biomarker discovery for radiation exposure. In the absence of the availability of exposed human subjects, lymphocyte cell lines have often been used as a surrogate to human whole blood, when performing ex vivo irradiation studies. The extent of variation between different lymphocyte cell lines is currently unclear, especially with regard to the expression of extracellular miRNA. This study compares the expression profile of extracellular miRNA isolated from different lymphocyte cell lines. It also compares the profile of miRNA obtained when different exosome isolation kits are used. Lymphocyte cell lines were created using lymphocytes isolated from healthy adult males of similar racial descent (Chinese American and Chinese Singaporean) and immortalised with Epstein-Barr virus. The cell lines were cultured in exosome-free cell culture media for 72h and the cell culture supernatant was removed for exosome isolation. Two exosome isolation kits were used. Total exosome isolation reagent (TEIR, ThermoFisher) is a polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based exosome precipitation kit, while ExoSpin (ES, Cell Guidance Systems) is a PEG-based exosome precipitation kit that includes an additional size exclusion chromatography step. miRNA from the isolated exosomes were isolated using miRNEASY minikit (Qiagen) and analysed using nCounter miRNA assay (Nanostring). Principal component analysis (PCA) results suggested that the overall extracellular miRNA expression profile differed between the lymphocyte cell line originating from the Chinese American donor and the cell line originating from the Chinese Singaporean donor. As the gender, age and racial origins of both donors are similar, this may suggest that there are other genetic or epigenetic differences that account for the variation in extracellular miRNA gene expression in lymphocyte cell lines. However, statistical analysis showed that only 3 miRNA genes had a fold difference > 2 at p < 0.05, suggesting that the differences may not be of that great a significance as to impact overall conclusions drawn from different cell lines. Subsequent analysis using cell lines from other donors will give further insight into the reproducibility of results when difference cell lines are used. PCA results also suggested that the method of exosome isolation impacted the expression profile. 107 miRNA had a fold difference > 2 at p < 0.05. This suggests that the inclusion of an additional size exclusion chromatography step altered the subset of the extracellular vesicles that were isolated. In conclusion, these results suggest that extracellular miRNA can be isolated and analysed from exosomes derived from lymphocyte cell lines. However, care must be taken in the choice of cell line and method of exosome isolation used.

Keywords: biomarker, extracellular miRNA, isolation methods, lymphocyte cell line

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4 Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Health Product E-Commerce Market in Singapore

Authors: Andrew Green, Jiaming Liu, Kellathur Srinivasan, Raymond Chua

Abstract:

Introduction: The size of Singapore’s online health product (HP) market (e-commerce) is largely unknown. However, it is recognized that a large majority comes from overseas and thus, unregulated. As buying HP from unauthorized sources significantly compromises public health safety, understanding e-commerce users’ demographics and their perceptions on online HP purchasing becomes a pivotal first step to form a basis for recommendations in Singapore’s pharmacovigilance efforts. Objective: To assess the prevalence of online HP purchasing behaviour among Singaporean e-commerce users. Methodology: This is a cross-sectional study targeting Singaporean e-commerce users recruited from various local websites and online forums. Participants were not randomized into study arms but instead stratified by random sampling method based on participants’ age. A self-administered anonymous questionnaire was used to explore participants' demographics, online HP purchasing behaviour, knowledge and attitude. The association of different variables with online HP purchasing behaviour was analysed using logistic regression statistics. Main outcome measures: Prevalence of HP e-commerce users in Singapore (%) and variables that contribute to the prevalence (adjusted prevalent ratio). Results: The study recruited 372 complete and valid responses. The prevalence of online HP consumers among e-commerce users in Singapore is estimated to be 55.9% (1.7 million consumers). Online purchasing of complementary HP (46.9%) was the most prevalent, followed by medical devices (21.6%) and Western medicine (20.5%). Multivariate analysis showed that age is an independent variable that correlates with the likelihood of buying HP online. The prevalence of HP e-commerce users is highest in the 35-44 age group (64.1%) and lowest among the 16-24 age group (36.4%). The most bought HP through the internet are vitamins and minerals (21.5%), non-herbal (15.9%), herbal (13.9%), weight loss (8.7%) and sports (8.4%) supplements. While the top 3 products are distributed equally between the genders, there is a skew towards female respondents (12.4% in females vs. 4.9% in males) for weight loss supplements and towards males (13.2% in males vs. 3.7% in females) for sports supplements. Even though online consumers are in the younger age brackets, our study found that up to 72.0% of HP bought online are bought for others (buyer’s family and/or friends). Multivariate analysis showed a statistically significant association between purchasing HP through online means and the perceptions that 'internet is safe' (adjusted Prevalence Ratio=1.15, CI 1.03-1.28), 'buying HP online is time saving' (PR=1.17, CI 1.01-1.36), and 'recognition of HP brand' (PR=1.21 CI 1.06-1.40). Conclusions: This study has provided prevalence data for online HP market in Singapore, and has allowed the country’s regulatory body to formulate a targeted pharmacovigilance approach to this growing problem.

Keywords: e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, pharmacovigilance, Singapore

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3 Infection Control Drill: To Assess the Readiness and Preparedness of Staffs in Managing Suspected Ebola Patients in Tan Tock Seng Hospital Emergency Department

Authors: Le Jiang, Chua Jinxing

Abstract:

Introduction: The recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the west Africa has drawn global concern. With a high fatality rate and direct human-to-human transmission, it has spread between countries and caused great damages for patients and family who are affected. Being the designated hospital to manage epidemic outbreak in Singapore, Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) is facing great challenges in preparation and managing of potential outbreak of emerging infectious disease such as Ebola virus disease. Aim: We conducted an infection control drill in TTSH emergency department to assess the readiness of healthcare and allied health workers in managing suspected Ebola patients. It also helps to review current Ebola clinical protocol and work instruction to ensure more smooth and safe practice in managing Ebola patients in TTSH emergency department. Result: General preparedness level of staffs involved in managing Ebola virus disease in TTSH emergency department is not adequate. Knowledge deficits of staffs on Ebola personal protective equipment gowning and degowning process increase the risk of potential cross contamination in patient care. Loopholes are also found in current clinical protocol, such as unclear instructions and inaccurate information, which need to be revised to promote better staff performance in patient management. Logistic issues such as equipment dysfunction and inadequate supplies can lead to ineffective communication among teams and causing harm to patients in emergency situation. Conclusion: The infection control drill identified the need for more well-structured and clear clinical protocols to be in place to promote participants performance. In addition to quality protocols and guidelines, systemic training and annual refresher for all staffs in the emergency department are essential to prepare staffs for the outbreak of Ebola virus disease. Collaboration and communication with allied health staffs are also crucial for smooth delivery of patient care and minimising the potential human suffering, properties loss or injuries caused by disease. Therefore, more clinical drills with collaboration among various departments involved are recommended to be conducted in the future to monitor and assess readiness of TTSH emergency department in managing Ebola virus disease.

Keywords: ebola, emergency department, infection control drill, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

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