Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: Shoma Ganguly

10 Hanta Virus Infection in a Child and Sequelae

Authors: Vijay Samuel, Tina Thekkekkara, Shoma Ganguly


There is no reported Hanta Seoul virus infection in children in the UK so far, making it quite challenging for clinicians in diagnosing, predicting and prognosticating the outcome of the infection to patients and parents. We report a case of a ten-year-old girl who presented with pyrexia associated with headache, photophobia and abdominal pain. The family had recently acquired two pet rats six weeks ago. She appeared flushed with peri-oral pallor, coated the strawberry tongue, inflamed tonsils and bilateral cervical lymphadenopathy. Her liver and splenic edges were palpable. Investigations showed that she was thrombocytopenic with deranged renal and liver functions. An ultrasound abdomen demonstrated a mildly enlarged spleen, peripancreatic lymph node and an acalculous cholecystitis. In view of her clinical presentation, a diagnosis of leptospirosis was considered and she was commenced on intravenous benzylpenicillin. The following day she became oliguric, developed significant proteinuria and her renal function deteriorated. Following conservative management, her urine output gradually improved along with her renal function, proteinuria and thrombocytopaenia. Serology for leptospirosis and various other viruses were negative. Following discussion with the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at Porton hanta virus serology was requested and found to be strongly positive for Seoul hanta virus. Following discharge she developed palpitations, fatigue, severe headache and cognitive difficulties including memory loss and difficulties in spelling, reading and mathematics. Extensive investigations including ECG, MRI brain and CSF studies were performed and revealed no significant abnormalities. Since 2012, there have been six cases of acute kidney injury due to Hantavirus infection in the UK. Two cases were from the Humber region and were exposure to wild rats and the other four were exposed to specially bred pet fancy rats. Hanta virus infections can cause mild flu like symptoms but two clinical syndromes are associated with severe disease including haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, which may be associated with thrombocytopenia and Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. Neuropsychological impairments reported following hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and following Puumala virus infection have been reported. Minor white matter lesions were found in about half of the patients investigated with MRI brain. Seoul virus has a global distribution owing to the dispersal of its carrier host rats, through global trade. Several ports in the region could explain the possible establishment of Seoul virus in local populations of rats in the Yorkshire and Humber region. The risk of infection for occupationally exposed groups is 1-3% compared to 32.9% for specialist pet rat owners. The report highlight’s the importance of routinely asking about pets in the family. We hope to raise awareness of the emergence of hantavirus infection in the UK, particularly in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Clinicians should consider hantavirus infection as a potential cause of febrile illness causing renal impairment in children. Awareness of the possible neuro-cognitive sequele would help the clinicians offer appropriate information and support to children and their families. Contacting Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at Porton is a useful resource for clinicians in UK when they consider unusual infections.

Keywords: Seoul hantavirus in child Porton, UK Acute kidney injury

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9 Application of Genetic Programming for Evolution of Glass-Forming Ability Parameter

Authors: Manwendra Kumar Tripathi, Subhas Ganguly


A few glass forming ability expressions in terms of characteristic temperatures have been proposed in the literature. Attempts have been made to correlate the expression with the critical diameter of the bulk metallic glass composition. However, with the advent of new alloys, many exceptions have been noted and reported. In the present approach, a genetic programming based code which generates an expression in terms of input variables, i.e., three characteristic temperatures viz. glass transition temperature (Tg), onset crystallization temperature (Tx) and offset temperature of melting (Tl) with maximum correlation with a critical diameter (Dmax). The expression evolved shows improved correlation with the critical diameter. In addition, the expression can be explained on the basis of time-temperature transformation curve.

Keywords: glass forming ability, genetic programming, bulk metallic glass, critical diameter

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8 The Women Entrepreneur Support Fund in Bangladesh: Challenges and Prospects

Authors: Chowdhury Dilruba Shoma


Gender is about equal rights that both males and females having access to responsibilities and opportunities in decision making is a fundamental human right. It is also a precondition for, and a mark of, sustainable people-oriented development. In Bangladesh, women have fewer opportunities than men do to access credit from banks and financial institutions. Entrenched patriarchal attitudes, unequal inheritance rights, and male-dominated hierarchies in the financial system, plus high interest rates and a lack of security/collateral, make it harder for women to obtain bank loans. Limited access to institutional credit is a serious restraint on the productivity and income of women entrepreneurs, (and the wider economy). These gender-biased and structural barriers inhibit women’s access to fundamental economic rights. Using a liberal feminist theoretical lens, this study provides some useful insights into the relationship between gender inequality and entrepreneurship, leading to a better understanding of women’s entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Recently, the Bangladesh Government, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and Bangladesh Bank opened up the Women Entrepreneur Support Fund (WESF) ‒ Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) pilot project to cover collateral shortfalls for women entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise sector. The aim is to improve gender equality and advance women’s rights in relation to receiving credit. This article examines the challenges and prospects of the WESF-CGS, and suggests that implementation of measures in WESF-CGS policymaking, coupled with a combination of legislatory and regulatory reforms that implement the fundamental tenets of liberal feminism, can lead to a comprehensive and effective credit policy to boost women’s agency and economic empowerment. This may ultimately lead to more sustainable development in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, credit guarantee scheme, liberal feminist theory, women entrepreneur support fund

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7 Image Processing of Scanning Electron Microscope Micrograph of Ferrite and Pearlite Steel for Recognition of Micro-Constituents

Authors: Subir Gupta, Subhas Ganguly


In this paper, we demonstrate the new area of application of image processing in metallurgical images to develop the more opportunity for structure-property correlation based approaches of alloy design. The present exercise focuses on the development of image processing tools suitable for phrase segmentation, grain boundary detection and recognition of micro-constituents in SEM micrographs of ferrite and pearlite steels. A comprehensive data of micrographs have been experimentally developed encompassing the variation of ferrite and pearlite volume fractions and taking images at different magnification (500X, 1000X, 15000X, 2000X, 3000X and 5000X) under scanning electron microscope. The variation in the volume fraction has been achieved using four different plain carbon steel containing 0.1, 0.22, 0.35 and 0.48 wt% C heat treated under annealing and normalizing treatments. The obtained data pool of micrographs arbitrarily divided into two parts to developing training and testing sets of micrographs. The statistical recognition features for ferrite and pearlite constituents have been developed by learning from training set of micrographs. The obtained features for microstructure pattern recognition are applied to test set of micrographs. The analysis of the result shows that the developed strategy can successfully detect the micro constitutes across the wide range of magnification and variation of volume fractions of the constituents in the structure with an accuracy of about +/- 5%.

Keywords: SEM micrograph, metallurgical image processing, ferrite pearlite steel, microstructure

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6 Magnetic versus Non-Magnetic Adatoms in Graphene Nanoribbons: Tuning of Spintronic Applications and the Quantum Spin Hall Phase

Authors: Saurabh Basu, Sudin Ganguly


Conductance in graphene nanoribbons (GNR) in presence of magnetic (for example, Iron) and non-magnetic (for example, Gold) adatoms are explored theoretically within a Kane-Mele model for their possible spintronic applications and topologically non-trivial properties. In our work, we have considered the magnetic adatoms to induce a Rashba spin-orbit coupling (RSOC) and an exchange bias field, while the non-magnetic ones induce an RSOC and an intrinsic spin-orbit (SO) coupling. Even though RSOC is present in both, they, however, represent very different physical situations, where the magnetic adatoms do not preserve the time reversal symmetry, while the non-magnetic case does. This has important implications on the topological properties. For example, the non-magnetic adatoms, for moderately strong values of SO, the GNR denotes a quantum spin Hall insulator as evident from a 2e²/h plateau in the longitudinal conductance and presence of distinct conducting edge states with an insulating bulk. Since the edge states are protected by time reversal symmetry, the magnetic adatoms in GNR yield trivial insulators and do not possess any non-trivial topological property. However, they have greater utility than the non-magnetic adatoms from the point of view of spintronic applications. Owing to the broken spatial symmetry induced by the presence of adatoms of either type, all the x, y and z components of the spin-polarized conductance become non-zero (only the y-component survives in pristine Graphene owing to a mirror symmetry present there) and hence become suitable for spintronic applications. However, the values of the spin polarized conductances are at least two orders of magnitude larger in the case of magnetic adatoms than their non-magnetic counterpart, thereby ensuring more efficient spintronic applications. Further the applications are tunable by altering the adatom densities.

Keywords: magnetic and non-magnetic adatoms, quantum spin hall phase, spintronic applications, spin polarized conductance, time reversal symmetry

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5 Determination of Anti-Fungal Activity of Cedrus deodara Oil against Oligoporus placentus, Trametes versicolor and Xylaria acuminata on Populus deltoids

Authors: Sauradipta Ganguly, Akhato Sumi, Sanjeet Kumar Hom, Ajan T. Lotha


Populus deltoides is a hardwood used predominantly for the manufacturing of plywood, matchsticks, and paper in India and hence has a higher economical significance. Wood-decaying fungi cause serious damage to Populus deltoides products, as the wood itself is perishable and vulnerable to decaying agents, decreasing their aesthetical value which in return results in significant monetary loss for the wood industries concerned. The aim of the study was to determine the antifungal activity of Cedrus deodara oil against three primary wood-decaying fungi namely white-rot fungi (Trametes versicolor), brown-rot fungi (Oligoporus placentus) and soft-rot fungi (Xylaria acuminata) on Populus deltoides samples under optimum laboratory conditions. The susceptibility of Populus deltoides samples on the fungal attack and the ability of deodar oil to control colonization of the wood rotting fungi on the samples were assessed. Three concentrations of deodar oil were considered for the study as treating solutions, i.e., 4%, 5%, and 6%. The Populus deltoides samples were treated with treating solutions, and the ability of the same to prevent a fungal attack on the samples were assessed using accelerated test in the laboratory at Biochemical Oxygen Demand incubator at temperature (25 ± 2°C) and relative humidity 70 ± 4%. Efficacy test and statistical analysis of deodar oil against Trametes versicolor, Oligoporus placentus, and Xylariaacuminataon P. deltoides samples exhibited light, minor and negligible mycelia growth at 4 %, 5% and 6% concentrations of deodar oil, respectively. Whereas, moderate to heavy attack was observed on the surface of the control samples. Statistical analysis further established that the treatments were statistically significant and had significantly inhibited fungal growth of all the three fungus spp by almost 3 to 5 times.

Keywords: populus deltoides, Trametes versicolor, Oligoporus placentus, Xylaria acuminata, Deodar oil, treatment

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4 Jute Based Biocomposites: The Future of Automobiles

Authors: D. P. Ray, L. Ammayappan, S. Debnath, R. K. Ghosh, D. Mondal, S. Dasgupta, S. Islam, S. Chakroborty, P. K. Ganguly, D. Nag


Nature being bountiful is generous enough to provide rich resources to mankind. These resources can be used as an alternative to synthetics, thereby reducing the chances of environmental pollution. Natural fibre based composites have emerged as a successful trend in recent automobile industry. Natural fibre based composites used in automobile industries not only reduces their fuel consumption but also do not pose any health hazards. In spite of the use of natural fibre based bio composite in automobile industries, its use is only being limited to interior products. However, its major drawbacks which contributed to limited scope in the field of industry are reduced durability and mechanical strength. Thereby, the use of natural fibre based bio composites as headliner in case of automobile industries is also not successfully deployed. Out of all the natural fibres available, jute can widely be used as automobile parts because of its easy availability, comparatively higher specific strength, lower density, low thermal conductivity and most importantly its non polluting and non abrasive nature. Various research outcomes in the field of jute based biocomposites for the use of automobile industries has not successfully being deployed due to certain inherent problem of the fibre. Jute being hydrophilic in nature is not readily adhered to the hydrophobic polyester resin. Therefore introduction of a chemical compatibilizer, in the preparation of jute based composites have been tested to enhance the mechanical and durable properties of the material to a greater extent. This present work therefore focuses on the synthesis of a suitable compatibilizer, acting as a chemical bridge between the polar jute fabric and the non polar resin matrix. This in turn results in imparting better interfacial bonding between the two, thereby inducing higher mechanical strength. These coupling treated fabrics are casted into composites and tested for their mechanical properties. The test reports show a remarkable change in all of its properties. The durability test was performed by soil burial test method.

Keywords: jute, automobile industry, biodegradability, chemical compatibilizer

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3 Dual Thermoresponsive Polyzwitterionic Core-Shell Microgels and Study of Their Anti-Fouling Effect

Authors: P. Saha, R. Ganguly, N. K .Singha, A. Pich


Microgel, a smart class of material, has drawn attention in the past few years due to its response to external stimuli like temperature, pH, and ionic strength of the solution. Among them, one type of polymer becomes soluble, and the other becomes insoluble in water upon heating displaying upper critical solution temperature (UCST) (e.g., polysulfobetaine, PSB) and lower critical solution temperature (LCST) (e.g., poly(N-vinylcaprolactam, PVCL)) respectively. Polyzwitterions, electrically neutral polymers are biocompatible, biodegradable, and non-cytotoxic in nature, and presence of zwitterionic pendant group in the main backbone makes them stable against temperature and pH variations and strong hydration capability in salt solution promotes them to be used as interfacial bio-adhesion resistance material. Majority of zwitterionic microgels have been synthesized in mini- emulsion technique using free radical polymerization approach. Here, a new route to synthesize dual thermo-responsive PVCL microgels decorated with appreciable amount of zwitterionic PSB chains was developed by a purely water-based surfactant-free reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) precipitation polymerization. PSB macro-RAFTs having different molecular weights were synthesized and utilized for surface-grafting with PVCL microgels varying the macro-RAFT concentration using N,N′-methylenebis(acrylamide) (BIS) as cross-linker. Increasing the PSB concentration in the PVCL microgels resulted in a linear increase in UCST but decrease in hydrodynamic radius due to strong intrachain coulombic attraction forces acting between the opposite charges present in the zwitterionic groups. Anti- fouling effect was observed on addition of BSA protein solution on the microgel-coated membrane surfaces as studied by fluorescence spectrophotoscopy.

Keywords: microgels, polyzwitterions, upper critical solution temperature-lower critical solution temperature, UCST-LCST, ionic crosslinking

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2 A Survey Proposal towards Holistic Management of Schizophrenia

Authors: Pronab Ganguly, Ahmed A. Moustafa


Holistic management of schizophrenia involves mainstream pharmacological intervention, complimentary medicine intervention, therapeutic intervention and other psychosocial factors such as accommodation, education, job training, employment, relationship, friendship, exercise, overall well-being, smoking, substance abuse, suicide prevention, stigmatisation, recreation, entertainment, violent behaviour, arrangement of public trusteeship and guardianship, day-day-living skill, integration with community, and management of overweight due to medications and other health complications related to medications amongst others. Our review shows that there is no integrated survey by combining all these factors. An international web-based survey was conducted to evaluate the significance of all these factors and present them in a unified manner. It is believed this investigation will contribute positively towards holistic management of schizophrenia. There will be two surveys. In the pharmacological intervention survey, five popular drugs for schizophrenia will be chosen and their efficacy as well as harmful side effects will be evaluated on a scale of 0 -10. This survey will be done by psychiatrists. In the second survey, each element of therapeutic intervention and psychosocial factors will be evaluated according to their significance on a scale of 0 - 10. This survey will be done by care givers, psychologists, case managers and case workers. For the first survey, professional bodies of psychiatrists in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. For the second survey, professional bodies of clinical psychologist and care givers in English speaking countries will be contacted to request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. Additionally, for both the surveys, relevant professionals will be contacted through personal contact networks. For both the surveys, mean, mode, median, standard deviation and net promoter score will be calculated for each factor and then presented in a statistically significant manner. Subsequently each factor will be ranked according to their statistical significance. Additionally, country specific variation will be highlighted to identify the variation pattern. The results of these surveys will identify the relative significance of each type of pharmacological intervention, each type of therapeutic intervention and each type of psychosocial factor. The determination of this relative importance will definitely contribute to the improvement in quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia.

Keywords: schizophrenia, holistic management, antipsychotics, quality of life

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1 Integration of EEG and Motion Tracking Sensors for Objective Measure of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Pre-Schoolers

Authors: Neha Bhattacharyya, Soumendra Singh, Amrita Banerjee, Ria Ghosh, Oindrila Sinha, Nairit Das, Rajkumar Gayen, Somya Subhra Pal, Sahely Ganguly, Tanmoy Dasgupta, Tanusree Dasgupta, Pulak Mondal, Aniruddha Adhikari, Sharmila Sarkar, Debasish Bhattacharyya, Asim Kumar Mallick, Om Prakash Singh, Samir Kumar Pal


Background: We aim to develop an integrated device comprised of single-probe EEG and CCD-based motion sensors for a more objective measure of Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While the integrated device (MAHD) relies on the EEG signal (spectral density of beta wave) for the assessment of attention during a given structured task (painting three segments of a circle using three different colors, namely red, green and blue), the CCD sensor depicts movement pattern of the subjects engaged in a continuous performance task (CPT). A statistical analysis of the attention and movement patterns was performed, and the accuracy of the completed tasks was analysed using indigenously developed software. The device with the embedded software, called MAHD, is intended to improve certainty with criterion E (i.e. whether symptoms are better explained by another condition). Methods: We have used the EEG signal from a single-channel dry sensor placed on the frontal lobe of the head of the subjects (3-5 years old pre-schoolers). During the painting of three segments of a circle using three distinct colors (red, green, and blue), absolute power for delta and beta EEG waves from the subjects are found to be correlated with relaxation and attention/cognitive load conditions. While the relaxation condition of the subject hints at hyperactivity, a more direct CCD-based motion sensor is used to track the physical movement of the subject engaged in a continuous performance task (CPT) i.e., separation of the various colored balls from one table to another. We have used our indigenously developed software for the statistical analysis to derive a scale for the objective assessment of ADHD. We have also compared our scale with clinical ADHD evaluation. Results: In a limited clinical trial with preliminary statistical analysis, we have found a significant correlation between the objective assessment of the ADHD subjects with that of the clinician’s conventional evaluation. Conclusion: MAHD, the integrated device, is supposed to be an auxiliary tool to improve the accuracy of ADHD diagnosis by supporting greater criterion E certainty.

Keywords: ADHD, CPT, EEG signal, motion sensor, psychometric test

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