Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Russel Pears

14 Modified Approximation Methods for Finding an Optimal Solution for the Transportation Problem

Authors: N. Guruprasad

Abstract:

This paper presents a modification of approximation method for transportation problems. The initial basic feasible solution can be computed using either Russel's or Vogel's approximation methods. Russell’s approximation method provides another excellent criterion that is still quick to implement on a computer (not manually) In most cases Russel's method yields a better initial solution, though it takes longer than Vogel's method (finding the next entering variable in Russel's method is in O(n1*n2), and in O(n1+n2) for Vogel's method). However, Russel's method normally has a lesser total running time because less pivots are required to reach the optimum for all but small problem sizes (n1+n2=~20). With this motivation behind we have incorporated a variation of the same – what we have proposed it has TMC (Total Modified Cost) to obtain fast and efficient solutions.

Keywords: computation, efficiency, modified cost, Russell’s approximation method, transportation, Vogel’s approximation method

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13 Optimizing Communications Overhead in Heterogeneous Distributed Data Streams

Authors: Rashi Bhalla, Russel Pears, M. Asif Naeem

Abstract:

In this 'Information Explosion Era' analyzing data 'a critical commodity' and mining knowledge from vertically distributed data stream incurs huge communication cost. However, an effort to decrease the communication in the distributed environment has an adverse influence on the classification accuracy; therefore, a research challenge lies in maintaining a balance between transmission cost and accuracy. This paper proposes a method based on Bayesian inference to reduce the communication volume in a heterogeneous distributed environment while retaining prediction accuracy. Our experimental evaluation reveals that a significant reduction in communication can be achieved across a diverse range of dataset types.

Keywords: big data, bayesian inference, distributed data stream mining, heterogeneous-distributed data

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12 Field Environment Sensing and Modeling for Pears towards Precision Agriculture

Authors: Tatsuya Yamazaki, Kazuya Miyakawa, Tomohiko Sugiyama, Toshitaka Iwatani

Abstract:

The introduction of sensor technologies into agriculture is a necessary step to realize Precision Agriculture. Although sensing methodologies themselves have been prevailing owing to miniaturization and reduction in costs of sensors, there are some difficulties to analyze and understand the sensing data. Targeting at pears ’Le Lectier’, which is particular to Niigata in Japan, cultivation environmental data have been collected at pear fields by eight sorts of sensors: field temperature, field humidity, rain gauge, soil water potential, soil temperature, soil moisture, inner-bag temperature, and inner-bag humidity sensors. With regard to the inner-bag temperature and humidity sensors, they are used to measure the environment inside the fruit bag used for pre-harvest bagging of pears. In this experiment, three kinds of fruit bags were used for the pre-harvest bagging. After over 100 days continuous measurement, volumes of sensing data have been collected. Firstly, correlation analysis among sensing data measured by respective sensors reveals that one sensor can replace another sensor so that more efficient and cost-saving sensing systems can be proposed to pear farmers. Secondly, differences in characteristic and performance of the three kinds of fruit bags are clarified by the measurement results by the inner-bag environmental sensing. It is found that characteristic and performance of the inner-bags significantly differ from each other by statistical analysis. Lastly, a relational model between the sensing data and the pear outlook quality is established by use of Structural Equation Model (SEM). Here, the pear outlook quality is related with existence of stain, blob, scratch, and so on caused by physiological impair or diseases. Conceptually SEM is a combination of exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression. By using SEM, a model is constructed to connect independent and dependent variables. The proposed SEM model relates the measured sensing data and the pear outlook quality determined on the basis of farmer judgement. In particularly, it is found that the inner-bag humidity variable relatively affects the pear outlook quality. Therefore, inner-bag humidity sensing might help the farmers to control the pear outlook quality. These results are supported by a large quantity of inner-bag humidity data measured over the years 2014, 2015, and 2016. The experimental and analytical results in this research contribute to spreading Precision Agriculture technologies among the farmers growing ’Le Lectier’.

Keywords: precision agriculture, pre-harvest bagging, sensor fusion, structural equation model

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11 Evaluating Gallein Dye as a Beryllium Indicator

Authors: Elise M. Shauf

Abstract:

Beryllium can be found naturally in some fruits and vegetables (carrots, garden peas, kidney beans, pears) at very low concentrations, but is typically not clinically significant due to the low-level exposure and limited absorption of beryllium by the stomach and intestines. However, acute or chronic beryllium exposure can result in harmful toxic and carcinogenic biological effects. Beryllium can be both a workplace hazard and an environmental pollutant, therefore determining the presence of beryllium at trace levels can be essential to protect workers as well as the environment. Analysis of gallein, C₂₀H₁₂O₇, to determine if it is usable as a fluorescent dye for beryllium detection. The primary detection method currently in use includes hydroxybenzoquinoline sulfonates (HBQS), for which alternative indicators are desired. Unfortunately, gallein does not have the desired aspects needed as a dye for beryllium detection due to the peak shift properties.

Keywords: beryllium detection, fluorescent, gallein dye, indicator, spectroscopy

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10 Spectroscopic Relation between Open Cluster and Globular Cluster

Authors: Robin Singh, Mayank Nautiyal, Priyank Jain, Vatasta Koul, Vaibhav Sharma

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The curiosity to investigate the space and its mysteries was dependably the main impetus of human interest, as the particle of livings exists from the "debut de l'Univers" (beginning of the Universe) typified with its few other living things. The sharp drive to uncover the secrets of stars and their unusual deportment was dependably an ignitor of stars investigation. As humankind lives in civilizations and states, stars likewise live in provinces named ‘clusters’. Clusters are separates into 2 composes i.e. open clusters and globular clusters. An open cluster is a gathering of thousand stars that were moulded from a comparable goliath sub-nuclear cloud and for the most part; contain Propulsion I (extremely metal-rich) and Propulsion II (mild metal-rich), where globular clusters are around gathering of more than thirty thousand stars that circles a galactic focus and basically contain Propulsion III (to a great degree metal-poor) stars. Futurology of this paper lies in the spectroscopic investigation of globular clusters like M92 and NGC419 and open clusters like M34 and IC2391 in different color bands by using software like VIREO virtual observatory, Aladin, CMUNIWIN, and MS-Excel. Assessing the outcome Hertzsprung-Russel (HR) diagram with exemplary cosmological models like Einstein model, De Sitter and Planck survey demonstrate for a superior age estimation of respective clusters. Colour-Magnitude Diagram of these clusters was obtained by photometric analysis in g and r bands which further transformed into BV bands which will unravel the idea of stars exhibit in the individual clusters.

Keywords: color magnitude diagram, globular clusters, open clusters, Einstein model

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9 Profiling the Volatile Metabolome in Pear Leaves with Different Resistance to the Pear Psylla Cacopsylla bidens (Sulc) and Characterization of Phenolic Acid Decarboxylase

Authors: Mwafaq Ibdah, Mossab, Yahyaa, Dor Rachmany, Yoram Gerchman, Doron Holland, Liora Shaltiel-Harpaz

Abstract:

Pear Psylla is the most important pest of pear in all pear-growing regions, in Asian, European, and the USA. Pear psylla damages pears in several ways: high-density populations of these insects can cause premature leaf and fruit drop, diminish plant growth, and reduce fruit size. In addition, their honeydew promotes sooty mold on leaves and russeting on fruit. Pear psyllas are also considered vectors of pear pathogens such as Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri causing pear decline that can lead to loss of crop and tree vigor, and sometimes loss of trees. Psylla control is a major obstacle to efficient integrated pest management. Recently we have identified two naturally resistance pear accessions (Py.760-261 and Py.701-202) in the Newe Ya’ar live collection. GC-MS volatile metabolic profiling identified several volatile compounds common in these accessions but lacking, or much less common, in a sensitive accession, the commercial Spadona variety. Among these volatiles were styrene and its derivatives. When the resistant accessions were used as inter-stock, the volatile compounds appear in commercial Spadona scion leaves, and it showed reduced susceptibility to pear psylla. Laboratory experiments and applications of some of these volatile compounds were very effective against psylla eggs, nymphs, and adults. The genes and enzymes involved in the specific reactions that lead to the biosynthesis of styrene in plant are unknown. We have identified a phenolic acid decarboxylase that catalyzes the formation of p-hydroxystyrene, which occurs as a styrene analog in resistant pear genotypes. The His-tagged and affinity chromatography purified E. coli-expressed pear PyPAD1 protein could decarboxylate p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid to p-hydroxystyrene and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxystyrene. In addition, PyPAD1 had the highest activity toward p-coumaric acid. Expression analysis of the PyPAD gene revealed that its expressed as expected, i.e., high when styrene levels and psylla resistance were high.

Keywords: pear Psylla, volatile, GC-MS, resistance

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8 Antibacterial Effects of Some Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Extracts on Pathogenic Bacteria Isolated from Pear Orchards

Authors: Kubilay Kurtulus Bastas

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Bacterial diseases are very destructive and cause economic losses on pears. Promising plant extracts for the management of plant diseases are environmentally safe, long-lasting and extracts of certain plants contain alkaloids, tannins, quinones, coumarins, phenolic compounds, and phytoalexins. In this study, bacteria were isolated from different parts of pear exhibiting characteristic symptoms of bacterial diseases from the Central Anatolia, Turkey. Pathogenic bacteria were identified by morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular methods as fire blight (Erwinia amylovora (39%)), bacterial blossom blast and blister bark (Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae (22%)), crown gall (Rhizobium radiobacter (1%)) from different pear cultivars, and determined virulence levels of the pathogens with pathogenicity tests. The air-dried 25 plant material was ground into fine powder and extraction was performed at room temperature by maceration with 80% (v/v) methanol/distilled water. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were determined by using modified disc diffusion method at five different concentrations and streptomycin sulphate was used as control chemical. Bacterial suspensions were prepared as 108 CFU ml⁻¹ densities and 100 µl bacterial suspensions were spread to TSA medium. Antimicrobial activity was evaluated by measuring the inhibition zones in reference to the test organisms. Among the tested plants, Origanum vulgare, Hedera helix, Satureja hortensis, Rhus coriaria, Eucalyptus globulus, Rosmarinus officinalis, Ocimum basilicum, Salvia officinalis, Cuminum cyminum and Thymus vulgaris showed a good antibacterial activity and they inhibited the growth of the pathogens with inhibition zone diameter ranging from 7 to 27 mm at 20% (w/v) in absolute methanol in vitro conditions. In vivo, the highest efficacy was determined as 27% on reducing tumor formation of R. radiobacter, and 48% and 41% on reducing shoot blight of E. amylovora and P. s. pv. syringae on pear seedlings, respectively. Obtaining data indicated that some plant extracts may be used against the bacterial diseases on pome fruits within sustainable and organic management programs.

Keywords: bacteria, eco-friendly management, organic, pear, plant extract

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7 Attitudes Towards the Supernatural in Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw

Authors: Yaou Zhang

Abstract:

Background: Relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to the production of Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera The Turn of the Screw. As one of Britten’s most remarkable operas. The story of the libretto was from Henry James’s novella of the same name. The novella was created in 1898 and one of the primary questions addressed to people in the story is “how real the ghosts are,” which leads the story to a huge ambiguity in readers’ minds. Aims: This research focuses on the experience of seeing the opera on stage over several decades. This study of opera productions over time not only provides insight into how stage performances can alter audience members' perceptions of the opera in the present but also reveals a landscape of shifting aesthetics and receptions. Methods: To examine the hypotheses in interpretation and reception, the qualitative analysis is used to examine the figures of ghosts in different productions across the time from 1954 to 2021 in the UK: by accessing recordings, newspapers, and reviews for the productions that are sourced from online and physical archives. For instance, the field research is conducted on the topic by arranging interviews with the creative team and visiting Opera North in Leeds and Britten-Pears Foundation. The collected data reveals the “hidden identity” in creative teams’ interpretations, social preferences, and rediscover that have previously remained unseen. Results: This research presents an angle of Britten’s Screw by using the third position; it shows how the attention moved from the stage of “do the ghosts really exist” to “traumatised children.” Discussion: Critics and audiences have debated whether the governess hallucinates the ghosts in the opera for decades. While, in recent years, directors of new productions have given themselves the opportunity to go deeper into Britten's musical structure and offer the opera more space to be interpreted, rather than debating if "ghosts actually exist" or "the psychological problems of the governess." One can consider and reflect that the questionable actions of the children are because they are suffering from trauma, whether the trauma comes from the ghosts, the hallucinating governess, or some prior experiences: various interpretations cause one result that children are the recipients of trauma. Arguably, the role of the supernatural is neither simply one of the elements of a ghost story nor simply one of the parts of the ambiguity between the supernatural and the hallucination of the governess; rather, the ghosts and the hallucinating governess can exist at the same time - the combination of the supernatural’s and the governess’s behaviours on stage generates a sharper and more serious angle that draws our attention to the traumatized children.

Keywords: benjamin britten, chamber opera, production, reception, staging, the turn of the screw

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6 Investigation on Perception, Awareness and Health Impact of Air Pollution in Rural and Urban Area in Mymensingh Regions of Bangladesh

Authors: M. Azharul Islam, M. Russel Sarker, M. Shahadat Hossen

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Air pollution is one of the major environmental problems that have gained importance in all over the world. Air pollution is a problem for all of us. The present study was conducted to explore the people’s perception level and awareness of air pollution in selected areas of Mymensingh in Bangladesh. Health impacts of air pollution also studied through personal interview and structured questionnaire. The relationship of independent variables (age, educational qualification, family size, residence and communication exposure) with the respondent’s perception level and awareness of air pollution (dependent variable) was studied to achieve the objectives of the study. About 600 respondents were selected randomly from six sites for collecting data during the period of July 2016 to June 2017. Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients were computed to examine the relationship between the concerned variables. The results revealed that about half (46.67%) of the respondents had a medium level of perception and awareness about air pollution in their areas where 31.67 percent had low, and 21.67 percent had a high level. In rural areas of the study sites, 43.33 percent respondents had low, 50 percent had medium, and only 6.67 percent had high perception and awareness on air pollution. In case of urban areas, 20 percent respondents had low, 43.33 percent had medium, and 36.67 percent had a high level of awareness and perception on air pollution. The majority of the respondents (93.33 percent) were lacking of proper awareness about air pollution in rural areas while 63.33 percent in urban areas. Out of five independent variables, three variables such as- educational qualification, residence status and communication exposure had positive and significant relationship. Age of respondents had negative and significant relationship with their awareness of air pollution where family size of the respondents had no significant relationship with their perception and awareness of air pollution. Thousands of people live in urban areas where urban smog, particle pollution, and toxic pollutants pose serious health concerns. But most of the respondents of the urban sites are not familiarize about the real causes of air pollution. Respondents exposed higher level of experience for air pollutants, such as- irritation of the eyes, coughing, tightness of chest and many health difficulties. But respondents of both rural and urban area hugely suffered such health problems and the tendency of certain difficulties increased day by day. In this study, most of the respondents had lack of knowledge on the causes of such health difficulties due to their lower perception level. Proper attempts should be taken to raise literacy level, communication exposure to increase the perception and awareness of air pollution among the respondents of the study areas. Extra care with above concerned fields should be taken to increase perception and awareness of air pollution in rural areas.

Keywords: air pollution, awareness, health impacts, perception of people

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5 The Sr-Nd Isotope Data of the Platreef Rocks from the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex: Evidence of Contrasting Magma Composition and Origin

Authors: Tshipeng Mwenze, Charles Okujeni, Abdi Siad, Russel Bailie, Dirk Frei, Marcelene Voigt, Petrus Le Roux

Abstract:

The Platreef is a platinum group element (PGE) deposit in the northern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) which was emplaced as a series of mafic and ultramafic sills between the Main Zone (MZ) and the country rocks. The PGE mineralisation in the Platreef is hosted in different rock types, and its distribution and style vary with depth and along strike. This study contributes towards understanding the processes involved in the genesis of the Platreef. Twenty-four Platreef (2 harzburgites, 4 olivine pyroxenites, 17 feldspathic pyroxenites and 1 gabbronorite) and few MZ (1 gabbronorite and 1 leucogabbronorite) quarter core samples were collected from four drill cores (e.g., TN754, TN200, SS339, and OY482) and analysed for whole-rock Sr-Nd isotope data. The results show positive ɛNd values (+3.53 to +7.51) for harzburgites suggesting their parental magmas derived from the depleted Mantle. The remaining Platreef rocks have negative ɛNd values (-2.91 to -22.88) and show significant variations in Sr-Nd isotopic compositions. The first group of Platreef samples has relatively high isotopic compositions (ɛNd= -2.91 to -5.68; ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.709177 - 0.711998). The second group of Platreef samples has Sr ratios (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.709816-0.712106) overlapping with samples of the first group but slightly lower ɛNd values (-7.44 to -8.39). Lastly, the third group of Platreef samples has low ɛNd values (-10.82 to -14.32) and low Sr ratios (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.707545-0.710042) than those from samples of the two Platreef groups mentioned above. There is, however, a Platreef sample with ɛNd value (-5.26) in range with the Platreef samples of the first group, but its Sr ratio (0.707281) is the lowest even when compared to samples of the third Platreef group. There are also five other Platreef samples which have either anomalous ɛNd or Sr ratios which make it difficult to assess their isotopic compositions relative to other samples. These isotopic variations for the Platreef samples indicate both multiple sources and multiple magma chambers where varying crustal contamination styles have operated during the evolution of these magmas prior their emplacements into the Platreef setting as sills. Furthermore, the MZ rocks have different Sr-Nd isotopic compositions (For OY482 gabbronorite [ɛNd= +0.65; ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.711746]; for TN754 leucogabbronorite [ɛNd= -7.44; ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.709322]) which do not only indicate different MZ magma chambers, but also different magmas from those of the Platreef. Although the Platreef is still considered a single stratigraphic unit in the northern limb of the BIC, its genesis involved multiple magmatic processes which evolved independently from each other.

Keywords: crustal contamination styles, magma chambers, magma sources, multiple sills emplacement

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4 Application of Multilinear Regression Analysis for Prediction of Synthetic Shear Wave Velocity Logs in Upper Assam Basin

Authors: Triveni Gogoi, Rima Chatterjee

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Shear wave velocity (Vs) estimation is an important approach in the seismic exploration and characterization of a hydrocarbon reservoir. There are varying methods for prediction of S-wave velocity, if recorded S-wave log is not available. But all the available methods for Vs prediction are empirical mathematical models. Shear wave velocity can be estimated using P-wave velocity by applying Castagna’s equation, which is the most common approach. The constants used in Castagna’s equation vary for different lithologies and geological set-ups. In this study, multiple regression analysis has been used for estimation of S-wave velocity. The EMERGE module from Hampson-Russel software has been used here for generation of S-wave log. Both single attribute and multi attributes analysis have been carried out for generation of synthetic S-wave log in Upper Assam basin. Upper Assam basin situated in North Eastern India is one of the most important petroleum provinces of India. The present study was carried out using four wells of the study area. Out of these wells, S-wave velocity was available for three wells. The main objective of the present study is a prediction of shear wave velocities for wells where S-wave velocity information is not available. The three wells having S-wave velocity were first used to test the reliability of the method and the generated S-wave log was compared with actual S-wave log. Single attribute analysis has been carried out for these three wells within the depth range 1700-2100m, which corresponds to Barail group of Oligocene age. The Barail Group is the main target zone in this study, which is the primary producing reservoir of the basin. A system generated list of attributes with varying degrees of correlation appeared and the attribute with the highest correlation was concerned for the single attribute analysis. Crossplot between the attributes shows the variation of points from line of best fit. The final result of the analysis was compared with the available S-wave log, which shows a good visual fit with a correlation of 72%. Next multi-attribute analysis has been carried out for the same data using all the wells within the same analysis window. A high correlation of 85% has been observed between the output log from the analysis and the recorded S-wave. The almost perfect fit between the synthetic S-wave and the recorded S-wave log validates the reliability of the method. For further authentication, the generated S-wave data from the wells have been tied to the seismic and correlated them. Synthetic share wave log has been generated for the well M2 where S-wave is not available and it shows a good correlation with the seismic. Neutron porosity, density, AI and P-wave velocity are proved to be the most significant variables in this statistical method for S-wave generation. Multilinear regression method thus can be considered as a reliable technique for generation of shear wave velocity log in this study.

Keywords: Castagna's equation, multi linear regression, multi attribute analysis, shear wave logs

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3 Marketization of Higher Education in the UK and Its Impacts on Teaching Practitioners

Authors: Hossein Rezaie

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Academic institutions, esp. universities, have been known as cradles of learning and teaching great thinkers while creating the type of knowledge that is supposed to be bereft of utilitarian motives. Nonetheless, it seems that such intellectual centers have entered into a competition with each other for attracting the attention of potential clients. The traditional values of (higher) education such as nurturing criticality and fostering intellectuality in students have been replaced with strategic planning, quality assurance, performance assessment, and academic audits. Not being immune from the whims and wishes of marketization, the system of higher education in the UK has been recalibrated by policy makers to address the demand and supply of student education, academic research and other university activities on the basis of monetary factors. As an immediate example in this vein, the Russell Group in the UK, which is comprised of 24 leading UK research universities, has explicitly expressed it policy on its official website as follows: ‘Russell Group universities are global businesses competing for staff, students and funding with the best in the world’. Furthermore, certain attempts have been made to corporatize the system of HE which have been manifested in remodeling of university governing bodies on corporate lines and developing measurement scales for indicating the performance of teaching practitioners. Nevertheless, it seems that such structural changes in policies toward the system of HE have bearing on the practices of practitioners and educators as well as the identity of students who are the customers of educational services. The effects of marketization have been examined mainly in terms of students’ perceptions and motivation, institutional policies and university management. However, the teaching practitioner side seems to be an under-studied area with regard to any changes in its expectations, satisfaction and perception of professional identity in the aftermath of introducing market-wise values into HE of the UK. As a result, this research aims to investigate the possible outcomes of market-driven values on the practitioner side of HE in the UK and finally seeks to address the following research questions: 1-How is the change in the mission of HE in the UK reflected in institutional documents? 1-A- How is the change of mission represented in job adverts? 1-B- How is the change of mission represented in university prospectuses? 2-How are teaching practitioners represented regarding their roles and obligations in the prospectuses and job ads published by UK HE institutions? In order to address these questions, the researcher will analyze 30 prospectuses and job ads published by Russel Group universities by taking Critical Discourse Analysis as his point of departure and the analytical methods of genre analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics to probe into the generic features and representation of participants, in this case teaching practitioners, in the selected corpus.

Keywords: higher education, job advertisements, marketization of higher education, prospectuses

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2 The Comparison of Bird’s Population between Naturally Regenerated Acacia Forest with Adjacent Secondary Indigenous Forest in Universiti Malaysia Sabah

Authors: Jephte Sompud, Emily A. Gilbert, Andy Russel Mojiol, Cynthia B. Sompud, Alim Biun

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Naturally regenerated acacia forest and secondary indigenous forest forms some of the urban forests in Sabah. Naturally regenerated acacia trees are usually seen along the road that exists as forest islands. Acacia tree is not an indigenous tree species in Sabah that was introduced in the 1960’s as fire breakers that eventually became one of the preferred trees for forest plantation for paper and pulp production. Due to its adaptability to survive even in impoverished soils and poor-irrigated land, this species has rapidly spread throughout Sabah through natural regeneration. Currently, there is a lack of study to investigate the bird population in the naturally regenerated acacia forest. This study is important because it shed some light on the role of naturally regenerated acacia forest on bird’s population, as bird is known to be a good bioindicator forest health. The aim of this study was to document the bird’s population in naturally regenerated acacia forest with that adjacent secondary indigenous forest. The study site for this study was at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Campus. Two forest types in the campus were chosen as a study site, of which were naturally regenerated Acacia Forest and adjacent secondary indigenous forest, located at the UMS Hill. A total of 21 sampling days were conducted in each of the forest types. The method used during this study was solely mist nets with three pockets. Whenever a bird is caught, it is extracted from the net to be identified and measurements were recorded in a standard data sheet. Mist netting was conducted from 6 morning until 5 evening. This study was conducted between February to August 2014. Birds that were caught were ring banded to initiate a long-term study on the understory bird’s population in the Campus The data was analyzed using descriptive analysis, diversity indices, and t-test. The bird population diversity at naturally regenerated Acacia forest with those at the secondary indigenous forest was calculated using two common indices, of which were Shannon-Wiener and Simpson diversity index. There were 18 families with 33 species that were recorded from both sites. The number of species recorded at the naturally regenerated acacia forest was 26 species while at the secondary indigenous forest were 19 species. The Shannon diversity index for Naturally Regenerated Acacia Forest and secondary indigenous forests were 2.87 and 2.46. The results show that there was very significantly higher species diversity at the Naturally Regenerated Acacia Forest as opposed to the secondary indigenous forest (p<0.001). This suggests that Naturally Regenerated Acacia forest plays an important role in urban bird conservation. It is recommended that Naturally Regenerated Acacia Forests should be considered as an established urban forest conservation area as they do play a role in biodiversity conservation. More future studies in Naturally Regenerated Acacia Forest should be encouraged to determine the status and value of biodiversity conservation of this ecosystem.

Keywords: naturally regenerated acacia forest, bird population diversity, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, biodiversity conservation

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1 Post COVID-19 Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Masquerading as an Acute Abdomen

Authors: Ali Baker, Russel Krawitz

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This paper describes a rare occurrence where a potentially fatal complication of COVID-19 infection (MIS-A) was misdiagnosed as an acute abdomen. As most patients with this syndrome present with fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, they may inadvertently fall under the care of the surgical unit. However, unusual imaging findings and a poor response to anti-microbial therapy should prompt clinicians to suspect a non-surgical etiology. More than half of MIS-A patients require ICU admission and vasopressor support. Prompt referral to a physician is key, as the cornerstone of treatment is IVIG and corticosteroid therapy. A 32 year old woman presented with right sided abdominal pain and fevers. She had also contracted COVID-19 two months earlier. Abdominal examination revealed generalised right sided tenderness. The patient had raised inflammatory markers, but other blood tests were unremarkable. CT scan revealed extensive lymphadenopathy along the ileocolic chain. The patient proved to be a diagnostic dilemma. She was reviewed by several surgical consultants and discussed with several inpatient teams. Although IV antibiotics were commenced, the right sided abdominal pain, and fevers persisted. Pan-culture returned negative. A mild cholestatic derangement developed. On day 5, the patient underwent preparation for colonoscopy to assess for a potential intraluminal etiology. The following day, the patient developed sinus tachycardia and hypotension that was refractory to fluid resuscitation. That patient was transferred to ICU and required vasopressor support. Repeat CT showed peri-portal edema and a thickened gallbladder wall. On re-examination, the patient was Murphy’s sign positive. Biliary ultrasound was equivocal for cholecystitis. The patient was planned for diagnostic laparoscopy. The following morning, a marked rise in cardiac troponin was discovered, and a follow-up echocardiogram revealed moderate to severe global systolic dysfunction. The impression was post-COVID MIS with myocardial involvement. IVIG and Methylprednisolone infusions were commenced. The patient had a great response. Vasopressor support was weaned, and the patient was discharged from ICU. The patient continued to improve clinically with oral prednisolone, and was discharged on day 17. Although MIS following COVID-19 infection is well-described syndrome in children, only recently has it come to light that it can occur in adults. The exact incidence is unknown, but it is thought to be rare. A recent systematic review found only 221 cases of MIS-A, which could be included for analysis. Symptoms vary, but the most frequent include fever, gastrointestinal, and mucocutaneous. Many patients progress to multi-organ failure and require vasopressor support. 7% succumb to the illness. The pathophysiology of MIS is only partly understood. It shares similarities with Kawasaki disease, macrophage activation syndrome, and cytokine release syndrome. Importantly, by definition, the patient must have an absence of severe respiratory symptoms. It is thought to be due to a dysregulated immune response to the virus. Potential mechanisms include reduced levels of neutralising antibodies and autoreactive antibodies that promote inflammation. Further research into MIS-A is needed. Although rare, this potentially fatal syndrome should be considered in the unwell surgical patient who has recently contracted COVID-19 and poses a diagnostic dilemma.

Keywords: acute-abdomen, MIS, COVID-19, ICU

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