Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: Shahira K. C.

7 The Impact of Community Settlement on Leisure Time Use and Body Composition in Determining Physical Lifestyles among Women

Authors: Mawarni Mohamed, Sharifah Shahira A. Hamid

Abstract:

Leisure time is an important component to offset the sedentary lifestyle of the people. Women tend to benefit from leisure activities not only to reduce stress but also to provide opportunities for well-being and self-satisfaction. This study was conducted to investigate body composition and leisure time use among women in Selangor from the influences of community settlement. A total of 419 women aged 18-65 years were selected to participate in this study. Descriptive statistics, t-test and ANOVA were used to analyze the level of physical activity and the relationship between leisure-time use and body composition were made to analyze the physical lifestyles. The results showed that women with normal body composition seem to be involved in more passive activities than women with less weight gain and obesity. Thus, the study recommended that the government and other health and recreational agencies should develop more places and activities suitable for leisure preference for women in their community settlement so they become more interested to engage in more active recreational and physical activities.

Keywords: body composition, community settlement, leisure time, physical lifestyles

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6 Small Text Extraction From Documents and Chart Images

Authors: Rominkumar Busa, Shahira K. C., Lijiya A.

Abstract:

Text recognition is an important area in computer vision which deals with detecting and recognising text from an image. The Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a saturated area these days and with very good text recognition accuracy. However the same OCR methods when applied on text with small font sizes like the text data of chart images, the recognition rate is less than 30\%. In this work, aims to extract small text in images using the deep learning model, CRNN with CTC loss. The text recognition accuracy is found to improve by applying image enhancement by super resolution prior to CRNN model. We also observe the text recognition rate further increases by 18\% by applying the proposed method, which involves super resolution and character segmentation followed by CRNN with CTC loss. The efficiency of the proposed method shows that further pre-processing on chart image text and other small text images will improve the accuracy further, thereby helping text extraction from chart images.

Keywords: small text extraction, OCR, scene text recognition, CRNN

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5 In vitro And in vivo Anticholinesterase Activity of the Volatile Oil of the Aerial Parts of Ocimum Basilicum L. and O. africanum Lour. Growing in Egypt

Authors: Mariane G. Tadros, Shahira M. Ezzat, Maha M. Salama, Mohamed A. Farag

Abstract:

In this study, the in vitro anticholinesterase activity of the volatile oils of both O. basilicum and O. africanum was investigated and both samples showed significant activity. As a result, the major constituents of the two oils were isolated using several column chromatography. Linalool, 1,8-cineol and eugenol were isolated from the volatile oil of O. basilicum and camphor was isolated from the volatile oil of O. africanum. The anticholinesterase activity of the isolated compounds were also evaluated where 1,8-cineol showed the highest inhibitory activity followed by camphor. To confirm these activities, learning and memory enhancing effects were tested in mice. Memory impairment was induced by scopolamine, a cholinergic muscarinic receptor antagonist. Anti-amnesic effects of both volatile oils and their terpenoids were investigated by the passive avoidance task in mice. We also examined their effects on brain acetylcholinesterase activity. Results showed that scopolamine-induced cognitive dysfunction was significantly attenuated by administration of the volatile oils and their terpenoids, eugenol and camphor, in the passive avoidance task and inhibited brain acetylcholinesterase activity. These results suggest that O. basilicum and O. africanum volatile oils can be good candidates for further studies on Alzheimer’s disease via their acetylcholinesterase inhibitory actions.

Keywords: Ocimum baselicum, Ocimum africanum, GC/MS analysis, anticholinesterase

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4 Impact of Water Deficit and Nematode Infection Stress on Growth and Physiological Responses of Mungbean (Vigna radiata L.)

Authors: Areej A. Alzarqaa, Shahira S. Roushdy, Ali A. Alderfasi, Fahad A. AL-Yahya, Ahmed A. Dawaba

Abstract:

The resistance of mungbean (Vigna radiata L. Wilczeck) and its physiological responses to drought stress was studied in a greenhouse pot experiment. A randomized complete block Design (RCBD) with factorial arrangement having three replications of each treatment was used. Treatments included three water deficit samples (80%, 40% and 20% of field capacity), two mungbean genotypes (Kawmay-1 and VC2010) and two root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne javanica) infection levels (infected and non-infected). Results showed that water deficit stress significantly hampered most of the studied parameters, except for the shoot water content, whereas genotypes showed highly significant differences for stomatal conductance, shoot dry weight and leaf area. Shoot water content was found to be non-significant in relation to chlorophyll b, shoot dry weight and leaf area, whereas highly significant but negatively correlated with chlorophyll a and stomatal conductance. However, all other possible correlations among studied parameters were found to be highly and positively significant. Results also showed that VC 2010 surpassed Kawmay-1 in most of studied characteristics. In the present study, genotypic variation was observed for these parameters and can be used as a basis for selection of the most promising variety under drought conditions.

Keywords: drought stress, Meloidogyne javanica, mungbean, stomatal conductivity, leaf area, root-knot nematode, shoot water content

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3 Serum Interlukin-8 and Immunomodulation in Beta Thalassemia Patients

Authors: Shahira El Shafie, Hanaa Eldash, Engy Ghabbour, Mohamed Eid

Abstract:

Several immunologic defects can be found in patients with beta-thalassemia, among which the impairment of neutrophil phagocytic function is of utmost importance. Attention has been directed to the role of proinflammatory cytokines in neutrophil chemotaxis and phagocytosis. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is an important chemotactic and activation peptide for neutrophils; changes in IL-8 level and potential correlation with neutrophil function can be relevant to immunomodulation pathophysiology in beta-thalassemia patients. This case-control study aimed to evaluate IL-8 level and to assess granulocyte recruitment, as markers of immunomodulation, in poly-transfused thalassemia patients attending Fayoum University Hospitals. The study was conducted on 50 patients with ß thalassemia and 32 age-matched controls. 21/50 patients were transfused more than ten times, and 29/50 were transfused in a lower frequency. Patients and controls were subjected to thorough history taking and clinical examination, measurement of IL-8 level using human IL-8 ELISA kit, and Rebuck skin window technique (RSWT) to assess granulocyte recruitment. Our data showed statistically significant higher levels of IL-8 in ß thalassemia patients compared to control with a much higher difference in patients transfused more than ten times. Neutrophil recruitment was significantly lower in ß thalassemia patients compared to control at 4 hours and 24 hours test time. Although IL-8, the main chemotactic pro-inflammatory cytokine showed a higher level in thalassemia patients, neutrophils recruitment was significantly lower, especially in those receiving more than ten transfusion times. Our findings suggest a possible role of other neutrophil chemotactic factors, defective neutrophil response, or increased IL-8 as compensation of abnormal function. We recommend the use of IL-8 and Rebuck skin window technique as useful markers of immunomodulation in thalassemia and further study for these biomarkers to assess their clinical implications and impact on the management of thalassemia patients.

Keywords: beta-thalassemia, Interleukin-8, Rebuck skin window technique, immunomodulation

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2 Reaching Students Who “Don’t Like Writing” through Scenario Based Learning

Authors: Shahira Mahmoud Yacout

Abstract:

Writing is an essential skill in many vocational, academic environments, and notably workplaces, yet many students perceive writing as being something tiring and boring or maybe a “waste of time”. Studies in the field of foreign languages related this fact might be due to the lack of connection between what is learned in the university and what students come to encounter in real life situations”. Arabic learners felt they needed more language exposure to the context of their future professions. With this idea in mind, Scenario based learning (SBL) is reported to be an educational approach to motivate, engage and stimulate students’ interest and to achieve the desired writing learning outcomes. In addition, researchers suggested Scenario based learning (SBL)as an instructional approach that develops and enhances students skills through developing higher order thinking skills and active learning. It is a subset of problem-based learning and case-based learning. The approach focuses on authentic rhetorical framing reflecting writing tasks in real life situations. It works successfully when used to simulate real-world practices, providing context that reflects the types of situations professionals respond to in writing. It was claimed that using realistic scenarios customized to the course’s learning objectives as it bridged the gap for students between theory and application. Within this context, it is thought that scenario-based learning is an important approach to enhance the learners’ writing skills and to reflect meaningful learning within authentic contexts. As an Arabicforeign language instructor, it was noticed that students find difficulties in adapting writing styles to authentic writing contexts and addressing different audiences and purposes. This idea is supported by studieswho claimed that AFL students faced difficulties with transferring writing skills to situations outside of the classroom context. In addition, it was observed that some of the Arabic textbooks for teaching Arabic as a foreign language lacked topics that initiated higher order thinking skills and stimulated the learners to understand the setting, and created messages appropriate to different audiences, context, and purposes. The goals of this study are to 1)provide a rational for using scenario-based learning approach to improveAFL learners in writing skills, 2) demonstrate how to design/ implement a scenario-based learning technique aligned with the writing course objectives,3) demonstrate samples of scenario-based approach implemented in AFL writing class, and 4)emphasis the role of peer-review along with the instructor’s feedback, in the process of developing the writing skill. Finally, this presentation highlighted and emphasized the importance of using the scenario-based learning approach in writing as a means to mirror students’ real-life situations and engage them in planning, monitoring, and problem solving. This approach helped in making writing an enjoyable experience and clearly useful to students’ future professional careers.

Keywords: meaningful learning, real life contexts, scenario based learning, writing skill

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1 The Hidden Mechanism beyond Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Potent in vivo and in vitro Anti-Inflammatory Activity

Authors: Shahira M. Ezzat, Marwa I. Ezzat, Mona M. Okba, Esther T. Menze, Ashraf B. Abdel-Naim, Shahnas O. Mohamed

Abstract:

Background: In order to decrease the burden of the high cost of synthetic drugs, it is important to focus on phytopharmaceuticals. The aim of our study was to search for the mechanism of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) anti-inflammatory potential and to correlate it to its biophytochemicals. Methods: Various extracts viz. water, 50%, 70%, 80%, and 90% ethanol were prepared from ginger rhizomes. Fractionation of the aqueous extract (AE) was accomplished using Diaion HP-20. In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of the different extracts and isolated compounds was evaluated by protein denaturation inhibition, membrane stabilization, protease inhibition, and anti-lipoxygenase assays. In vivo anti-inflammatory activity of AE was estimated by assessment of rat paw oedema after carrageenan injection. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), certain inflammation markers (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1α, IL-1β, INFr, MCP-1MIP, RANTES, and Nox) levels and MPO activity in the paw edema exudates were measured. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was also determined. Histopathological alterations of paw tissues were scored. Results: All the tested extracts showed significant (p < 0.1) anti-inflammatory activities. The highest percentage of heat induced albumin denaturation (66%) was exhibited by the 50% ethanol (250 μg/ml). The 70 and 90% ethanol extracts (500 μg/ml) were more potent as membrane stabilizers (34.5 and 37%, respectively) than diclofenac (33%). The 80 and 90% ethanol extracts (500 μg/ml) showed maximum protease inhibition (56%). The strongest anti-lipoxygenase activity was observed for the AE. It showed more significant lipoxygenase inhibition activity than that of diclofenac (58% and 52%, respectively) at the same concentration (125 μg/ml). Fractionation of AE yielded four main fractions (Fr I-IV) which showed significant in vitro anti-inflammatory. Purification of Fr-III and IV led to the isolation of 6-poradol (G1), 6-shogaol (G2); methyl 6- gingerol (G3), 5-gingerol (G4), 6-gingerol (G5), 8-gingerol (G6), 10-gingerol (G7), and 1-dehydro-6-gingerol (G8). G2 (62.5 ug/ml), G1 (250 ug/ml), and G8 (250 ug/ml) exhibited potent anti-inflammatory activity in all studied assays, while G4 and G5 exhibited moderate activity. In vivo administration of AE ameliorated rat paw oedema in a dose-dependent manner. AE (at 200 mg/kg) showed significant reduction (60%) of PGE2 production. The AE at different doses (at 25-200 mg/kg) showed significant reduction in inflammatory markers except for IL-1α. AE (at 25 mg/kg) is superior to indomethacin in reduction of IL-1β. Treatment of animals with the AE (100, 200 mg/kg) or indomethacin (10 mg/kg) showed significant reduction in TNF-α, IL-6, MCP-1, and RANTES levels, and MPO activity by about (31, 57 and 32% ) (65, 60 and 57%) (27, 41 and 28%) (23, 32 and 23%) (66, 67 and 67%) respectively. AE at 100 and 200 mg/kg was equipotent to indomethacin in reduction of NOₓ level and in increasing the TAC. Histopathological examination revealed very few inflammatory cells infiltration and oedema after administration of AE (200 mg/kg) prior to carrageenan. Conclusion: Ginger anti-inflammatory activity is mediated by inhibiting macrophage and neutrophils activation as well as negatively affecting monocyte and leukocyte migration. Moreover, it produced dose-dependent decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and replenished the total antioxidant capacity. We strongly recommend future investigations of ginger in the potential signal transduction pathways.

Keywords: anti-lipoxygenase activity, inflammatory markers, 1-dehydro-6-gingerol, 6-shogaol

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