Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31

Search results for: Rania A. K. Birry

31 A Novel Combined Finger Counting and Finite State Machine Technique for ASL Translation Using Kinect

Authors: Rania Ahmed Kadry Abdel Gawad Birry, Mohamed El-Habrouk

Abstract:

This paper presents a brief survey of the techniques used for sign language recognition along with the types of sensors used to perform the task. It presents a modified method for identification of an isolated sign language gesture using Microsoft Kinect with the OpenNI framework. It presents the way of extracting robust features from the depth image provided by Microsoft Kinect and the OpenNI interface and to use them in creating a robust and accurate gesture recognition system, for the purpose of ASL translation. The Prime Sense’s Natural Interaction Technology for End-user - NITE™ - was also used in the C++ implementation of the system. The algorithm presents a simple finger counting algorithm for static signs as well as directional Finite State Machine (FSM) description of the hand motion in order to help in translating a sign language gesture. This includes both letters and numbers performed by a user, which in-turn may be used as an input for voice pronunciation systems.

Keywords: American sign language, finger counting, hand tracking, Microsoft Kinect

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30 Early Recognition and Grading of Cataract Using a Combined Log Gabor/Discrete Wavelet Transform with ANN and SVM

Authors: Hadeer R. M. Tawfik, Rania A. K. Birry, Amani A. Saad

Abstract:

Eyes are considered to be the most sensitive and important organ for human being. Thus, any eye disorder will affect the patient in all aspects of life. Cataract is one of those eye disorders that lead to blindness if not treated correctly and quickly. This paper demonstrates a model for automatic detection, classification, and grading of cataracts based on image processing techniques and artificial intelligence. The proposed system is developed to ease the cataract diagnosis process for both ophthalmologists and patients. The wavelet transform combined with 2D Log Gabor Wavelet transform was used as feature extraction techniques for a dataset of 120 eye images followed by a classification process that classified the image set into three classes; normal, early, and advanced stage. A comparison between the two used classifiers, the support vector machine SVM and the artificial neural network ANN were done for the same dataset of 120 eye images. It was concluded that SVM gave better results than ANN. SVM success rate result was 96.8% accuracy where ANN success rate result was 92.3% accuracy.

Keywords: cataract, classification, detection, feature extraction, grading, log-gabor, neural networks, support vector machines, wavelet

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29 Utilization of Treated Spend Pot Lining by Product from the Primary Aluminum Production in Cement and Concrete

Authors: Hang Tran, Victor Brial, Luca Sorelli, Claudiane Ouellet-Plamondon, David Conciatori, Laurent Birry

Abstract:

Spend pot lining (SPL) is a by-product generated from primary aluminum production. SPL consists of two parts, the first cut is rich in carbonaceous materials, and the second cut is rich in aluminum and silicon oxides. After treating by the hydrometallurgical Low Caustic Leaching and Liming process, the refractory part of SPL becomes an inert material, called LCLL ash in this project. LCLL ash was calcined at different temperatures (800 and 1000°C) and Calcined LCLL ash ground as fines of cement and replacement a part of cement in concrete production. The effect of LCLL ash on the chemical properties, mechanical properties and fresh behavior of concrete was evaluated by isothermal calorimetry, compressive test, and slump test. These results were compared to the reference mixture.

Keywords: spend pot lining, concrete, cement, compressive strength, calorimetry

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28 A Small Signal Model for Resonant Tunneling Diode

Authors: Rania M. Abdallah, Ahmed A. S. Dessouki, Moustafa H. Aly

Abstract:

This paper has presented a new simple small signal model for a resonant tunnelling diode device. The resonant tunnelling diode equivalent circuit elements were calculated and the results led to good agreement between the calculated equivalent circuit elements and the measurement results.

Keywords: resonant tunnelling diode, small signal model, negative differential conductance, electronic engineering

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27 Inferring Cognitive Skill in Concept Space

Authors: Rania A. Aboalela, Javed I. Khan

Abstract:

This research presents a learning assessment theory of Cognitive Skill in Concept Space (CS2) to measure the assessed knowledge in terms of cognitive skill levels of the concepts. The cognitive skill levels refer to levels such as if a student has acquired the state at the level of understanding, or applying, or analyzing, etc. The theory is comprised of three constructions: Graph paradigm of a semantic/ ontological scheme, the concept states of the theory and the assessment analytics which is the process to estimate the sets of concept state at a certain skill level. Concept state means if a student has already learned, or is ready to learn, or is not ready to learn a certain skill level. The experiment is conducted to prove the validation of the theory CS2.

Keywords: cognitive skill levels, concept states, concept space, knowledge assessment theory

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26 Probiotics’ Antibacterial Activity on Beef and Camel Minced Meat at Altered Ranges of Temperature

Authors: Rania Samir Zaki

Abstract:

Because of their inhibitory effects, selected probiotic Lactobacilli may be used as antimicrobial against some hazardous microorganisms responsible for spoilage of fresh minced beef (cattle) minced meat and camel minced meat. Lactic acid bacteria were isolated from camel meat. These included 10 isolates; 1 Lactobacillus fermenti, 4 Lactobacillus plantarum, 4 Lactobacillus pulgaricus, 3 Lactobacillus acidophilus and 1 Lactobacillus brevis. The most efficient inhibitory organism was Lactobacillus plantarum which can be used as a propiotic with antibacterial activity. All microbiological analyses were made at the time 0, first day and the second day at altered ranges of temperature [4±2 ⁰C (chilling temperature), 25±2 ⁰C, and 38±2 ⁰C]. Results showed a significant decrease of pH 6.2 to 5.1 within variant types of meat, in addition to reduction of Total Bacterial Count, Enterococci, Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli together with the stability of Coliforms and absence of Staphylococcus aureus.

Keywords: antibacterial, camel meat, inhibition, probiotics

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25 Estimation of Fouling in a Cross-Flow Heat Exchanger Using Artificial Neural Network Approach

Authors: Rania Jradi, Christophe Marvillet, Mohamed Razak Jeday

Abstract:

One of the most frequently encountered problems in industrial heat exchangers is fouling, which degrades the thermal and hydraulic performances of these types of equipment, leading thus to failure if undetected. And it occurs due to the accumulation of undesired material on the heat transfer surface. So, it is necessary to know about the heat exchanger fouling dynamics to plan mitigation strategies, ensuring a sustainable and safe operation. This paper proposes an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) approach to estimate the fouling resistance in a cross-flow heat exchanger by the collection of the operating data of the phosphoric acid concentration loop. The operating data of 361 was used to validate the proposed model. The ANN attains AARD= 0.048%, MSE= 1.811x10⁻¹¹, RMSE= 4.256x 10⁻⁶ and r²=99.5 % of accuracy which confirms that it is a credible and valuable approach for industrialists and technologists who are faced with the drawbacks of fouling in heat exchangers.

Keywords: cross-flow heat exchanger, fouling, estimation, phosphoric acid concentration loop, artificial neural network approach

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24 Dissecting Big Trajectory Data to Analyse Road Network Travel Efficiency

Authors: Rania Alshikhe, Vinita Jindal

Abstract:

Digital innovation has played a crucial role in managing smart transportation. For this, big trajectory data collected from traveling vehicles, such as taxis through installed global positioning system (GPS)-enabled devices can be utilized. It offers an unprecedented opportunity to trace the movements of vehicles in fine spatiotemporal granularity. This paper aims to explore big trajectory data to measure the travel efficiency of road networks using the proposed statistical travel efficiency measure (STEM) across an entire city. Further, it identifies the cause of low travel efficiency by proposed least square approximation network-based causality exploration (LANCE). Finally, the resulting data analysis reveals the causes of low travel efficiency, along with the road segments that need to be optimized to improve the traffic conditions and thus minimize the average travel time from given point A to point B in the road network. Obtained results show that our proposed approach outperforms the baseline algorithms for measuring the travel efficiency of the road network.

Keywords: GPS trajectory, road network, taxi trips, digital map, big data, STEM, LANCE

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23 Mechanical Environment of the Aortic Valve and Mechanobiology

Authors: Rania Abdulkareem Aboubakr Mahdaly Ammar

Abstract:

The aortic valve (AV) is a complex mechanical environment that includes flexure, tension, pressure and shear stress forces to blood flow during cardiac cycle. This mechanical environment regulates AV tissue structure by constantly renewing and remodeling the phenotype. In vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies have explained that pathological states such as hypertension and congenital defects like bicuspid AV ( BAV ) can potentially alter the AV’s mechanical environment, triggering a cascade of remodeling, inflammation and calcification activities in AV tissue. Changes in mechanical environments are first sent by the endothelium that induces changes in the extracellular matrix, and triggers cell differentiation and activation. However, the molecular mechanism of this process is not very well understood. Understanding these mechanisms is critical for the development of effective medical based therapies. Recently, there have been some interesting studies on characterizing the hemodynamics associated with AV, especially in pathologies like BAV, using different experimental and numerical methods. Here, we review the current knowledge of the local AV mechanical environment and its effect on valve biology, focusing on in vitro and ex vivo approaches.

Keywords: aortic valve mechanobiology, bicuspid calcification, pressure stretch, shear stress

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22 Urban Vitality: Methods for Measuring Vitality in Egypt's Commercial Streets

Authors: Alaa Eldien Sarhaan, Rania A. Galil, Yasmina Youssef

Abstract:

Vital streets transfer a totally different message from the lifeless streets; vitality is considered as the mobility dynamism for the city’s streets. The quality of a street is integral to the vitality. However, most efforts have focused on the requirements of cars resulting in the loss many qualities. A successful street is related to the needs and expectations of pedestrians. The amount of activity held in a place is one of the measures of vitality; hence the meaning of a vital street may be the result of a number of people engaged in various activities meeting their needs and expectations. Consequently, it varies from one city to another. This research focuses on vitality in commercial streets. It studies commercial streets in the Egyptian context, which have developed into a chaotic environment due to inefficiency and high-density activities. The first part identifies the meaning of vitality in the frame of its physical, social and economic dimensions, then determines the methods used in measuring vitality across commercial streets. Secondly, an application on one of the most important commercial streets in Alexandria ‘El-Attareen’ street is chosen as a case study to measure its vitality. The study contributes to a greater understanding of how theories on vital urban life contribute to the development of vital commercial streets in the Egyptian and similar contexts.

Keywords: footfall measurement, vitality, urban commercial streets, yield factor

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21 Performance Evaluation of Hierarchical Location-Based Services Coupled to the Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors: Rania Khadim, Mohammed Erritali, Abdelhakim Maaden

Abstract:

Nowadays Wireless Sensor Networks have attracted worldwide research and industrial interest, because they can be applied in various areas. Geographic routing protocols are very suitable to those networks because they use location information when they need to route packets. Obviously, location information is maintained by Location-Based Services provided by network nodes in a distributed way. In this paper we choose to evaluate the performance of two hierarchical rendezvous location based-services, GLS (Grid Location Service) and HLS (Hierarchical Location Service) coupled to the GPSR routing protocol (Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing) for Wireless Sensor Network. The simulations were performed using NS2 simulator to evaluate the performance and power of the two services in term of location overhead, the request travel time (RTT) and the query Success ratio (QSR). This work presents also a new scalability performance study of both GLS and HLS, specifically, what happens if the number of nodes N increases. The study will focus on three qualitative metrics: The location maintenance cost, the location query cost and the storage cost.

Keywords: location based-services, routing protocols, scalability, wireless sensor networks

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20 Water-in-Diesel Fuel Nanoemulsions Prepared by Modified Low Energy: Emulsion Drop Size and Stability, Physical Properties, and Emission Characteristics

Authors: M. R. Noor El-Din, Marwa R. Mishrif, R. E. Morsi, E. A. El-Sharaky, M. E. Haseeb, Rania T. M. Ghanem

Abstract:

This paper studies the physical and rheological behaviours of water/in/diesel fuel nanoemulsions prepared by modified low energy method. Twenty of water/in/diesel fuel nanoemulsions were prepared using mixed nonionic surfactants of sorbitan monooleate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan trioleate (MTS) at Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB) value of 10 and a working temperature of 20°C. The influence of the prepared nanoemulsions on the physical properties such as kinematic viscosity, density, and calorific value was studied. Also, nanoemulsion systems were subjected to rheological evaluation. The effect of water loading percentage (5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 wt.%) on rheology was assessed at temperatures range from 20 to 60°C with temperature interval of 10 for time lapse 0, 1, 2 and 3 months, respectively. Results show that all of the sets nanoemulsions exhibited a Newtonian flow character of low-shear viscosity in the range of 132 up to 191 1/s, and followed by a shear-thinning region with yield value (Non-Newtonian behaviour) at high shear rate for all water ratios (5 to 10 wt.%) and at all test temperatures (20 to 60°C) for time ageing up to 3 months. Also, the viscosity/temperature relationship of all nanoemulsions fitted well Arrhenius equation with high correlation coefficients that ascertain their Newtonian behavior.

Keywords: alternative fuel, nanoemulsion, surfactant, diesel fuel

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19 The Adoption of Technological Innovations in a B2C Context: An Empirical Study on the Higher Education Industry in Egypt

Authors: Maha Mourad, Rania Samir

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This paper seeks to explain the adoption of technological innovations in a business to consumer context. Specifically, the use of web based technology (WEBCT/blackboard) in the delivery of educational material and communication with students at universities in Egypt is the focus of this study. The analysis draws on existing research in a B2C context which highlights the importance of internal organization characteristics, perceived attributes of the innovation as well as consumer based factors as the main drivers of adoption. A distinctive B2C model is developed drawing on Roger’s innovation adoption model, as well as theoretical and empirical foundations in previous innovation adoption literature to study the adoption of technological innovations in higher education in Egypt. The model proposes that the adoption decision is dependent on a combination of perceived attributes of the innovation, inter-organization factors and consumer factors. The model is testified drawing on the results of empirical work in the form of a large survey conducted on students in three different universities in Egypt (one public, one private and one international). In addition to the attributes of the innovation, specific organization factors (such as university resources) as well as consumer factors were identified as likely to have an important influence on the adoption of technological innovations in higher education.

Keywords: innovation, WEBCT, higher education, adoption, Egypt

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18 Corporate Social Responsibility the New Route to Competitive Advantage: An Applied Study on Telecommunication Sector in Egypt

Authors: Rania Sherif Abd El-Azim

Abstract:

The role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in business has evolved and led to an era where industry leaders can no longer overlook the importance of being participative corporate citizens. This is not only because of the media’s skeptical attitude toward whether or not companies’ CSR efforts are sincere but also due to key stakeholders’ ability to hold companies to a higher standard than ever before as companies can gain competitive advantage through CSR. These programs result in addressing global challenges, such as climate, and poverty, or simply improving employee retention, so it has become increasingly clear that CSR is not just the new trend for companies but a necessary tool that organizations must integrate into their overall business strategies to build a stronger reputation as well as to also increase credibility among their key audience and enhance customers’ willingness to repurchase, pay premium price and enhancing positive word of mouth. According to the literature review, the link between CSR and competitive advantage at the firm level has long been an important topic for both CSR researchers and practitioners. Thus CSR can play an important role in enhancing the firm's competitive advantage, which seems an attractive area to investigate specially in Egypt. So, this paper will investigate the role of corporate social responsibility in enhancing the firm competitive advantage.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, competitive advantage, corporate reputation, customers' willingness to repurchase, willingness to pay premium price, positive word of mouth

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17 Scientific Linux Cluster for BIG-DATA Analysis (SLBD): A Case of Fayoum University

Authors: Hassan S. Hussein, Rania A. Abul Seoud, Amr M. Refaat

Abstract:

Scientific researchers face in the analysis of very large data sets that is increasing noticeable rate in today’s and tomorrow’s technologies. Hadoop and Spark are types of software that developed frameworks. Hadoop framework is suitable for many Different hardware platforms. In this research, a scientific Linux cluster for Big Data analysis (SLBD) is presented. SLBD runs open source software with large computational capacity and high performance cluster infrastructure. SLBD composed of one cluster contains identical, commodity-grade computers interconnected via a small LAN. SLBD consists of a fast switch and Gigabit-Ethernet card which connect four (nodes). Cloudera Manager is used to configure and manage an Apache Hadoop stack. Hadoop is a framework allows storing and processing big data across the cluster by using MapReduce algorithm. MapReduce algorithm divides the task into smaller tasks which to be assigned to the network nodes. Algorithm then collects the results and form the final result dataset. SLBD clustering system allows fast and efficient processing of large amount of data resulting from different applications. SLBD also provides high performance, high throughput, high availability, expandability and cluster scalability.

Keywords: big data platforms, cloudera manager, Hadoop, MapReduce

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16 Detection of Oral Mucosal Lesions in Cutaneous Psoriatic Patients

Authors: Rania A. R. Soudan, Easter Joury

Abstract:

Introduction: Psoriasis is a common chronic dermatologic disease. It may affect the mucous membranes. The presence of oral mucosal lesions has been a subject of controversy. The aim: To determine possible association between oral mucosal lesions and psoriasis, and to correlate the same with different types of psoriasis and severity of the disease. Materials and Methods: The oral mucosa was clinically examined in 100 randomly selected Syrian psoriatic patients presented to the Dermatological Diseases Hospital in Damascus University, Syria (February 2009 - December 2010), and in 100 matched controls. PASI index was used to evaluate the disease severity. Chi-square and Student t-test were used to compare differences between groups. Results: Oral mucosal lesions were observed in 72% of the psoriasis cases, while 46% of the control group’s subjects had oral lesions. Fissured tongue, geographic tongue, and red lesions were detected in 36%, 25%, and 7% of the examined psoriatics, respectively. These lesions were significantly more frequent in the psoriatics than in the controls. A correlation was found between furred tongue and the age of the psoriasis patients. However, an association was observed for fissured tongue, furred tongue with the severity of the disease, and for fissured tongue, white lesions, cheilitis with nail involvement. However, no correlation with the psoriasis types was recorded. Conclusion: Some oral mucosal lesions were associated with psoriasis, so these lesions may be considered as oral manifestations of this disease, and should be taken into account in new studies as possible predictors or markers of this dermatitis. Further studies are recommended to confirm these oral manifestations.

Keywords: psoriasis, tongue, mucosa, lesions

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15 The Materiality of Noise Barriers: Sustainability Approach

Authors: Mostafa Gabr, Rania Abdul Galil, Nihal Salim

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

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

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14 Indoleamine 2,3 Dioxygenase and Regulatory T Cells in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Authors: Iman M. Mansour, Rania A. Zayed, Fadwa S. Abdel-Azim, Lamyaa H. Abdel-Latif

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Background and Objectives: The microenvironment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is suppressive for immune cells. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been recognized to play a role in helping leukemic cells to evade immunesurveillance. The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are essential contributors in immunomodulation of the microenvironment as they can promote differentiation of Tregs via the indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) pathway. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the expression of IDO in bone marrow derived MSCs and to study its correlation to percentage of Tregs. Methods: 37 adult bone marrow samples were cultured in appropriate culture medium to isolate MSCs. Successful harvest of MSCs was determined by plastic adherence, morphology and positive expression of CD271 and CD105; negative expression of CD34 and CD45 using flowcytometry. MSCs were examined for IDO expression by immunocytochemistry using anti-IDO monoclonal antibody. CD4+ CD25+ cells (Tregs) were measured in bone marrow samples by flowcytometry. Results: MSCs were successfully isolated from 20 of the 37 bone marrow samples cultured. MSCs showed higher expression of IDO and Tregs percentage was higher in AML patients compared to control subjects (p=0.002 and p<0.001 respectively). A positive correlation was found between IDO expression and Tregs percentage (p value=0.012, r=0.5). Conclusion: In this study, we revealed an association between high IDO expression in MSCs and elevated levels of Tregs which has an important role in the pathogenesis of AML, providing immunosuppressive microenvironment.

Keywords: acute myeloid leukemia, indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase, mesenchymal stem cells, T regulatory cells

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13 Synergistic Effect of Doxorubicin-Loaded Silver Nanoparticles – Polymeric Conjugates on Breast Cancer Cells

Authors: Nancy M. El-Baz, Laila Ziko, Rania Siam, Wael Mamdouh

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Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases, and has over than 10 million new cases annually worldwide. Despite the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents, their systemic toxicity and non-selective anticancer actions represent the main obstacles facing cancer curability. Due to the effective enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect of nanomaterials, nanoparticles (NPs) have been used as drug nanocarriers providing targeted cancer drug delivery systems. In addition, several inorganic nanoparticles such as silver (AgNPs) nanoparticles demonstrated a potent anticancer activity against different cancers. The present study aimed at formulating core-shell inorganic NPs-based combinatorial therapy based on combining the anticancer activity of AgNPs along with doxorubicin (DOX) and evaluating their cytotoxicity on MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These inorganic NPs-based combinatorial therapies were designed to (i) Target and kill cancer cells with high selectivity, (ii) Have an improved efficacy/toxicity balance, and (iii) Have an enhanced therapeutic index when compared to the original non-modified DOX with much lower dosage The in-vitro cytotoxicity studies demonstrated that the NPs-based combinatorial therapy achieved the same efficacy of non-modified DOX on breast cancer cell line, but with 96% reduced dose. Such reduction in DOX dose revealed that the combination between DOX and NPs possess a synergic anticancer activity against breast cancer. We believe that this is the first report on a synergic anticancer effect at very low dose of DOX against MCF-7 cells. Future studies on NPs-based combinatorial therapy may aid in formulating novel and significantly more effective cancer therapeutics.

Keywords: nanoparticles-based combinatorial therapy, silver nanoparticles, doxorubicin, breast cancer

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12 Biocontrol of Fusarium Crown and Root Rot and Enhancement of Tomato Solanum lycopersicum L. Growth Using Solanum linnaeanum L. Extracts

Authors: Ahlem Nefzi, Rania Aydi Ben Abdallah, Hayfa Jabnoun-Khiareddine, Nawaim Ammar, Sined Medimagh-Saidana, Mejda Daami-Remadi

Abstract:

In the present study, leaf, stem, and fruit aqueous extracts of native wild Solanum linnaeanum L. were screened for their ability to suppress Fusarium Crown and Root Rot disease and to enhance tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) growth under greenhouse conditions. Leaf extract used at 30% w/v was the most effective in reducing leaf and root damage index by 92.3% and the extent of vascular discoloration by 97.56% compared to Fusarium oxyxporum f. sp radicis lycopersici -inoculated and untreated control. A significant promotion of growth parameters (root length, shoot height, root and shoot biomass and stem diameter) was recorded on tomato cv. Rio Grande seedlings by 40.3-94.1% as compared to FORL inoculated control and by 9.6-88.8% over pathogen-free control. All S. linnaeanum aqueous extracts tested significantly stimulated the germination by 10.2 to 80.1% relative to the untreated control. FORL mycelial growth, assessed using the poisoned food technique, varied depending on plant organs, extracts, and concentrations used. Butanolic extracts were the most active, leading to 60.81% decrease in FORL mycelial growth. HPLC analysis of butanolic extract revealed the presence of thirteen phenolic compounds. Thus, S. linnaeanum can be explored as a potential natural source of antifungal and biofertilizing compounds.

Keywords: antifungal activity, HPLC-MS analysis, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, tomato growth

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11 The Assessment of Natural Ventilation Performance for Thermal Comfort in Educational Space: A Case Study of Design Studio in the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria

Authors: Alaa Sarhan, Rania Abd El Gelil, Hana Awad

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Through the last decades, the impact of thermal comfort on the working performance of users and occupants of an indoor space has been a concern. Research papers concluded that natural ventilation quality directly impacts the levels of thermal comfort. Natural ventilation must be put into account during the design process in order to improve the inhabitant's efficiency and productivity. One example of daily long-term occupancy spaces is educational facilities. Many individuals spend long times receiving a considerable amount of knowledge, and it takes additional time to apply this knowledge. Thus, this research is concerned with user's level of thermal comfort in design studios of educational facilities. The natural ventilation quality in spaces is affected by a number of parameters including orientation, opening design, and many other factors. This research aims to investigate the conscious manipulation of the physical parameters of the spaces and its impact on natural ventilation performance which subsequently affects thermal comfort of users. The current research uses inductive and deductive methods to define natural ventilation design considerations, which are used in a field study in a studio in the university building in Alexandria (AAST) to evaluate natural ventilation performance through analyzing and comparing the current case to the developed framework and conducting computational fluid dynamics simulation. Results have proved that natural ventilation performance is successful by only 50% of the natural ventilation design framework; these results are supported by CFD simulation.

Keywords: educational buildings, natural ventilation, , mediterranean climate, thermal comfort

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10 The History of Chartered Certified Accountants: The Case of Tunisia

Authors: Mariam Dammak, Yosra Makni Fourati, Rania Mnejja

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This paper aims to highlight the conditions and the context of the birth and the implementation of the Chartered Certified Accountants in Tunisian universities. For this purpose, we present an historical overview of the establishment of institutions that started the courses of Chartered accounting, including the Institute of Higher Commercial Studies (IHEC) of Carthage, the Higher Institute of Management (ISG) of Tunis, the Faculty of Economics and Management (FSEG) of Sfax and later the Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration of Enterprises (ISCAE) of Tunis. Then, it would be relevant to examine the changes, carried out by the Tunisian government, of the regulations in force relating to this academic path, from its birth during the 1970s until nowadays. We conducted a documentary study (archival documents, official documents, etc.) accompanied by semi-structured interviews with key actors (accountants, academics, officials of the Ministry of Higher Education) who marked the history of the studies of Tunisian charted accounting. Addressing this research question in Tunisia may contribute to the literature in three ways. First, previous researches dealing with the history of charted accounting-education are scared. Second, this paper allows us to understand the circumstances and context of the birth and teaching of accounting in Tunisia. Eventually, it helps to position the accounting curriculum in relation to international requirements. In fact, the training of accountants is closely related to the practice of the profession, regulated by the Order of Chartered Accountants in Tunisia (OECT). This Order is a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), since its creation in the 80s, has obligations to align with international requirements, particularly those relating to higher education, set up in 2005 and updated in 2015 (International Standard Education: IES).

Keywords: accounting history, chartered certified accountants, higher accounting education, Tunisian context

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9 Endophytic Fungi Recovered from Lycium arabicum as an Eco-Friendly Alternative for Fusarium Crown and Root Rot Disease Control and Tomato Growth Enhancement

Authors: Ahlem Nefzi, Rania Aydi Ben Abdallah, Hayfa Jabnoun-Khiareddine, Ammar Nawaim, Rabiaa Haouala, Mejda Daami-Remadi

Abstract:

Seven endophytic fungi were isolated from the wild Solanaceous species Lycium arabicum growing in the Tunisian Centre-East and were assessed for their ability to suppress Fusarium Crown and Root Rot disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici (FORL) and to enhance plant growth. Fungal isolates were shown able to colonize tomato cv. Rio Grande roots, crowns, and stems. A significant promotion in all studied growth parameters (root length, shoot height, and roots and shoots fresh weight) was recorded in tomato plants treated with fungal conidial suspensions or their cell-free culture filtrates compared to FORL-inoculated or pathogen-free controls. I15 and I18 isolates were shown to be the most effective leading to 85.7-87.5 and 93.6-98.4% decrease in leaf and root damage index and the vascular discoloration extent, respectively, over FORL-inoculated and untreated control. These two bioactive and growth-promoting isolates (I15 and I18) were morphologically characterized and identified using rDNA sequencing gene as being Alternaria alternata (MF693801) and Fusarium fujikuroi (MF693802). These fungi significantly suppressed FORL mycelial growth and showed chitinolytic, proteolytic and amylase activities whereas only F. fujikuroi displayed a lipolytic activity. This study clearly demonstrated the potential use of fungi naturally associated with L. arabicum as biocontrol and bio-fertilizing agents.

Keywords: biocontrol, endophytic fungi, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, tomato promotion, Lycium arabicum

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8 Efficacy of Topical Ectoin Therapy for Acute Radiodermatitis Associated with Breast Cancer Radiotherapy: A Randomized Controlled Study

Authors: Nagwa E. Abd Elazim, Maha S. El-naggar, Rania H. Mohamed, Sara M. Awad

Abstract:

Background: Radiodermatitis is a common side effect of radiation therapy for breast cancer. However, there is no current consensus about effective standard therapy for the prevention and management of radiation dermatitis. Topical ectoine has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of atopic dermatitis owing to its anti-inflammatory activity. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of topical ectoine in comparison to traditional topical dexpanthenol treatment in the management of acute radiodermatitis in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy. Methods: Fifty patients were randomized to use either dexpanthenol 0.5% cream (25 patients), or ectoin 7% cream (25 patients), applied twice daily to the irradiated area during the radiation period and continued for 2 weeks after cessation of radiotherapy. Assessment of radiation skin toxicity using Common Terminology Criteria of Adverse Events (CTCAE) v4.0, radiation-associated symptoms, and adverse events were undertaken weekly during radiotherapy and 2 weeks after the end of radiotherapy. Results: Topical ectoine showed some clinical benefit over dexpanthenol, as shown by delayed time to onset (at week 3 versus week 2, respectively) and larger number of patients who reached grade 0 at the end of treatment (64% vs. 48%, respectively). The clinical symptoms of pain (p = 0.003) and itching (p = 0.001) attributable to radiation were less pronounced with ectoine than with dexpanthenol. Burning and hyperpigmentation were the most common side effects with ectoine. However, no significant difference between dexpanthenol and ectoine treatments was found in any of the side effects (p = 0.1). Conclusion: Ectoin was overall more effective in improving radiation dermatitis than topical dexpanthenol in breast cancer patients. Ectoin could be proposed as a preventive or curative treatment for patients undergoing postoperative irradiation for breast cancer. Further clinical studies with a larger number of patients are recommended for the confirmation of these preliminary results.

Keywords: breast cancer, dexapanthenol, ectoin, radiation dermatitis

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7 Reducing the Length of Stay and Mortality in COVID-19 Patients with Diabetes

Authors: Sara Alzahrani, Samia Bokari, Patan Khan, Muneera Alshareef, Rania Safwat, Mohammed Galal, Hamdi Alqadi, Ameerah Alzahrani, Rehab Alboraie

Abstract:

Introduction & Background: Diabetes in COVID-19 patients is an individual risk factor and documented in worldwide studies to contribute to disease severity, increased length of stay and higher mortality. Aggressive management of blood sugars and acute diabetic complications reduce the length of stay and mortality. Methods: Randomly selected 200 patients admitted with diabetes and COVID-19 studied. The unified treatment protocol applied for all patients and blood sugars monitored closely and optimized. Data was collected on a bimonthly basis and analyzed—patients’ characteristics taken from the data extraction tool (Oasis) of the hospital. Median values for the length of stay and post-discharge FBS(Fasting blood sugar ) and RBS(Random blood sugar ) were calculated Microsoft Excel tool. Mortality rates are calculated by percentages. Monitored in the post-discharge clinic were 130 mg/dl and 170 mg/dl, respectively. The results were compared with the standard international studies. Discussion: Diabetes in COVID-19 patients posed a great challenge as increased severity and mortalities were reported compared to non-diabetic. Taking a pre-emptive strategy to combat this problem by aggressively manage diabetes help in reducing the length of stay and morbidity. The length of stay in the studded population was three days as compared to 13 days in a major international study. Financial savings come from the rapid turnover of beds. The mortality was 2.5 % compared to the reported 7.3% in a major study, reflecting the implications of aggressive management of diabetes. Regular follow-up and support by running a post-discharge clinic definitely help reducing readmissions and acute complications of uncontrolled diabetes. Conclusion: Aggressive management of diabetes in COVID-19 patients by tailored treatment protocols and dedicated teams will help to decrease morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: diabetes, covid-19, management, mortality

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6 Biological Control of Fusarium Crown and Root and Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Growth Promotion Using Endophytic Fungi from Withania somnifera L.

Authors: Nefzi Ahlem, Aydi Ben Abdallah Rania, Jabnoun-Khiareddine Hayfa, Ammar Nawaim, Mejda Daami-Remadi

Abstract:

Fusarium Crown and Root Rot (FCRR) caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL) is a serious tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) disease in Tunisia. Its management is very difficult due to the long survival of its resting structures and to the luck of genetic resistance. In this work, we explored the wild Solanaceae species Withania somnifera, growing in the Tunisian Centre-East, as a potential source of biocontrol agents effective in FCRR suppression and tomato growth promotion. Seven fungal isolates were shown able to colonize tomato roots, crowns, and stems. Used as conidial suspensions or cell-free culture filtrates, all tested fungal treatments significantly enhanced tomato growth parameters by 21.5-90.3% over FORL-free control and by 27.6-93.5% over pathogen-inoculated control. All treatments significantly decreased the leaf and root damage index by 28.5-92.8 and the vascular browning extent 9.7-86.4% over FORL-inoculated and untreated control. The highest disease suppression ability (decrease by 86.4-92.8% in FCRR severity) over pathogen-inoculated control and by 81.3-88.8 over hymexazol-treated control) was expressed by I6 based treatments. This endophytic fungus was morphologically characterized and identified using rDNA sequencing gene as Fusarium sp. I6 (MG835371). This fungus was shown able to reduce FORL radial growth by 58.5–83.2% using its conidial suspension or cell-free culture filtrate. Fusarium sp. I6 showed chitinolytic, proteolytic and amylase activities. The current study clearly demonstrated that Fusarium sp. (I6) is a promising biocontrol candidate for suppressing FCRR severity and promoting tomato growth. Further investigations are required for elucidating its mechanism of action involved in disease suppression and plant growth promotion.

Keywords: antifungal activity, associated fungi, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, Withania somnifera, tomato growth

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5 Neuro-Preservation Potential of Resveratrol Against High Fat High Fructose-Induced Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Rania F. Ahmed, Sally A. El Awdan, Gehad A. Abdel Jaleel, Dalia O. Saleh, Omar A. H. Ahmed-Farid

Abstract:

The metabolic syndrome is an important public health concern often related to obesity, improper diet, and sedentary lifestyles and can predispose individuals to the development of many dangerous health conditions, disability and early death. This research aimed to investigate the efficacy of resveratrol (RSV) to reverse the neuro-complications associated with metabolic syndrome experimentally-induced in rats using an eight weeks high fat, high fructose diet (HFHF) model. The corresponding drug treatments were administered orally during the last 10 days of the diet. Behavioural tests namely the open field test (OFT) and the forced swimming test (FST) were conducted. Brain levels of monoamines viz. serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine as well as their metabolites were assessed. 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHDG) as an indicative of DNA-fragmentation, nitric oxide (NOx) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α) were estimated. Finally, brain antioxidant parameters namely malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH, GSSG) were evaluated. HFHF-induced metabolic syndrome resulted in decreased activity in the OFT and increased immobility duration in the FST. Furthermore, HFHF-induced metabolic syndrome lead to a significant increase in brain monoamines turn over as well as elevation in 8-OHDG, NOx, TNF- α, MDA and GSSG; and reduction in GSH. Ten days daily treatment with RSV (20 and 40 mg/kg p.o) dose dependently increased activity in the OFT and decreased immobility duration in the FST. Moreover, RSV normalized brain monoamines contents, reduced 8-OHDG, NOx, TNF- α, MDA and GSSG; and elevated GSH. In conclusion, we can say that RSV showed neuro-protective properties against HFHF-induced metabolic syndrome represented by monoamines preservation, prevention of neurodegeneration, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potentials and could be recommended as a beneficial daily dietary supplement to treat the neuronal side effects associated with HFHF-induced metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: antioxidants, DNA-fragmentation, forced swimming test, HFHF-induced metabolic syndrome, monoamines, nitric oxide (NOx), open field, resveratrol, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α), 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHDG)

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4 Testing the Impact of the Nature of Services Offered on Travel Sites and Links on Traffic Generated: A Longitudinal Survey

Authors: Rania S. Hussein

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Background: This study aims to determine the evolution of service provision by Egyptian travel sites and how these services change in terms of their level of sophistication over the period of the study which is ten years. To the author’s best knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study that focuses on an extended time frame of ten years. Additionally, the study attempts to determine the popularity of these websites through the number of links to these sites. Links maybe viewed as the equivalent of a referral or word of mouth but in an online context. Both popularity and the nature of the services provided by these websites are used to determine the traffic on these sites. In examining the nature of services provided, the website itself is viewed as an overall service offering that is composed of different travel products and services. Method: This study uses content analysis in the form of a small scale survey done on 30 Egyptian travel agents’ websites to examine whether Egyptian travel websites are static or dynamic in terms of the services that they provide and whether they provide simple or sophisticated travel services. To determine the level of sophistication of these travel sites, the nature and composition of products and services offered by these sites were first examined. A framework adapted from Kotler (1997) 'Five levels of a product' was used. The target group for this study consists of companies that do inbound tourism. Four rounds of data collection were conducted over a period of 10 years. Two rounds of data collection were made in 2004 and two rounds were made in 2014. Data from the travel agents’ sites were collected over a two weeks period in each of the four rounds. Besides collecting data on features of websites, data was also collected on the popularity of these websites through a software program called Alexa that showed the traffic rank and number of links of each site. Regression analysis was used to test the effect of links and services on websites as independent variables on traffic as the dependent variable of this study. Findings: Results indicate that as companies moved from having simple websites with basic travel information to being more interactive, the number of visitors illustrated by traffic and the popularity of those sites increase as shown by the number of links. Results also show that travel companies use the web much more for promotion rather than for distribution since most travel agents are using it basically for information provision. The results of this content analysis study taps on an unexplored area and provide useful insights for marketers on how they can generate more traffic to their websites by focusing on developing a distinctive content on these sites and also by focusing on the visibility of their sites thus enhancing the popularity or links to their sites.

Keywords: levels of a product, popularity, travel, website evolution

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3 European Hinterland and Foreland: Impact of Accessibility, Connectivity, Inter-Port Competition on Containerization

Authors: Dial Tassadit Rania, Figueiredo De Oliveira Gabriel

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In this paper, we investigate the relationship between ports and their hinterland and foreland environments and the competitive relationship between the ports themselves. These two environments are changing, evolving and introducing new challenges for commercial and economic development at the regional, national and international levels. Because of the rise of the containerization phenomenon, shipping costs and port handling costs have considerably decreased due to economies of scale. The volume of maritime trade has increased substantially and the markets served by the ports have expanded. On these bases, overlapping hinterlands can give rise to the phenomenon of competition between ports. Our main contribution comparing to the existing literature on this issue, is to build a set of hinterland, foreland and competition indicators. Using these indicators? we investigate the effect of hinterland accessibility, foreland connectivity and inter-ports competition on containerized traffic of Europeans ports. For this, we have a 10-year panel database from 2004 to 2014. Our hinterland indicators are given by two indicators of accessibility; they describe the market potential of a port and are calculated using information on population and wealth (GDP). We then calculate population and wealth for different neighborhoods within a distance from a port ranging from 100 to 1000km. For the foreland, we produce two indicators: port connectivity and number of partners for each port. Finally, we compute the two indicators of inter-port competition and a market concentration indicator (Hirshmann-Herfindhal) for different neighborhood-distances around the port. We then apply a fixed-effect model to test the relationship above. Again, with a fixed effects model, we do a sensitivity analysis for each of these indicators to support the results obtained. The econometric results of the general model given by the regression of the accessibility indicators, the LSCI for port i, and the inter-port competition indicator on the containerized traffic of European ports show a positive and significant effect for accessibility to wealth and not to the population. The results are positive and significant for the two indicators of connectivity and competition as well. One of the main results of this research is that the port development given here by the increase of its containerized traffic is strongly related to the development of its hinterland and foreland environment. In addition, it is the market potential, given by the wealth of the hinterland that has an impact on the containerized traffic of a port. However, accessibility to a large population pool is not important for understanding the dynamics of containerized port traffic. Furthermore, in order to continue to develop, a port must penetrate its hinterland at a deep level exceeding 100 km around the port and seek markets beyond this perimeter. The port authorities could focus their marketing efforts on the immediate hinterland, which can, as the results shows, not be captive and thus engage new approaches of port governance to make it more attractive.

Keywords: accessibility, connectivity, European containerization, European hinterland and foreland, inter-port competition

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2 The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Promoting Humanitarian Development: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Muamar Salameh, Rania Sinno

Abstract:

Non-governmental organizations in Saudi Arabia play a vital role in promoting humanitarian development. Though this paper will emphasize this role and will provide a specific case study on the role of Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Foundation for Humanitarian Development, yet many organizations do not provide transparent information for the accomplishments of the NGOs. This study will provide answers to the main research question regarding this role that NGOs play in promoting humanitarian development. The recent law regulating associations and foundations in Saudi Arabia was issued in December 2015 and went into effect March 2016. Any new association or foundation will need to follow these regulations. Though the registration, implementation, and workflow of the organizations still need major improvement and development, yet, the currently-registered organizations have several notable achievements. Most of these organizations adopt a centralized administration approach which in many cases still hinders progress and may be an obstacle in achieving and reaching a larger population of beneficiaries. A large portion of the existing organizations are charities, some of which have some sort of government affiliation. The laws and regulations limit registration of new organizations. Any violations to Islamic Sharia, contradictions to public order, breach to national unity, foreign and foreign-affiliation organizations prohibits any organization from registration. The lack of transparency in the operations and inner-working of NGOs in Saudi Arabia is apparent for the public. However, the regulations invoke full transparency with the governing ministry. This transparency should be available to the public and in specific to the target population that are eligible to benefit from the NGOs services. In this study, we will provide an extensive review of all related laws, regulations, policies and procedures related to all NGOs in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This review will include some examples of current NGOs, services and target population. The study will determine the main accomplishments of reputable NGOs that have impacted positively the Saudi communities. The results will highlight and concentrate on actions, services and accomplishments that achieve sustainable assistance in promoting humanitarian development and advance living conditions of target populations of the Saudi community. In particular, we will concentrate on a case study related to PMFHD; one of the largest foundations in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The authors have access to the data related to this foundation and have access to the foundation administration to gather, analyze and conclude the findings of this group. The study will also analyze whether the practices, budgets, services and annual accomplishments of the foundation have fulfilled the humanitarian role of the foundation while meeting the governmental requirements, with an analysis in the light of the new laws. The findings of the study show that great accomplishments for advancing and promoting humanitarian development in Saudi community and international communities have been achieved. Several examples will be included from several NGOs, with specific examples from PMFHD.

Keywords: development, foundation, humanitarian, non-governmental organization, Saudi Arabia

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