Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 40

Search results for: Syeachia Dennis

40 The Most Effective Interventions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Authors: Sarah-Anne Schumann, Chintan Shah, Sandeep Ponniah, Syeachia Dennis

Abstract:

Effective interventions to prevent childhood obesity include limiting sugar-sweetened beverage intake (SOR: B, longitudinal study), school and home based strategies to reduce total screen time and increase physical activity, behavioral and dietary counseling, and support for parents and families (SOR: A, meta-analysis of randomized and non-randomized controlled trials). Risk factors for childhood obesity include maternal pre-pregnancy weight, high infant birth weight, early infant rapid weight gain and maternal smoking during pregnancy which may provide opportunities to intervene and prevent childhood obesity (SOR: B, meta-analysis of observational studies).

Keywords: childhood, obesity, prevent obesity, interventions to prevent obesity

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39 Hydrochemistry and Stable Isotopes (ẟ18O and ẟ2H) Tools Applied to the Study of Karst Aquifers in Wonderfonteinspruit Valley: North West, South Africa

Authors: Naziha Mokadem, Rainier Dennis, Ingrid Dennis

Abstract:

In South Africa, Karst aquifers are receiving greater attention since they provide large supplies of water which is used for domestic and agricultural purposes as well as for industry. Accordingly, a better insight into the origin of water mineralization and the geochemical processes controlling the recharge of the aquifer is crucial. Analyses of geochemical and environmental isotopes could lead to relevant information regarding karstification and infiltration processes, groundwater chemistry and isotopy. A study was conducted in a typical karst landscape of Wonderfonteinspruit catchment, also known as Wonderfonteinspruit Valley in North-western -South Africa. Furthermore, fifty-two samples were collected from (35 boreholes, 5 surface waters, 4 Dams, 4 springs, 1 canal, 2 pipelines, 1 cave) within the study area for hydrochemistry and 2H and 18O analysis. The determination of the anions (Cl-, SO42-, NO2, NO3-) were performed using Metrohm ion chromatography, model: 761 compact IC, with a precision of ± 0.001 mg/l. While, the cations (Na+, Mg2+, K+, Ca2+) were determined using Metrohm ion chromatography, Model: ICP-MS 7500 series. The alkalinity (Alk) was determined by pH meter with volumetric titration using HCL to pH 4.5; 4.2; and 8.2. In addition, 18O and 2H relative to the Vienna-Standard Mean Ocean Water (RVSMOW), were determined by picarro L2130-I Isotopic H2O (Cavity Ringdown laser spectrometer, Picarro Ltd). The hydrochemical analysis of Wonderfonteinspruit groundwater showed a dominance of the cations Ca-Mg and the anion HCO3. Piper diagram shows that the groundwater sample of study area is characterized by four hydrochemical facies: Two main groups: (1) Ca–Mg–Cl–SO4; (2) Ca–Mg–HCO3 and two minor groups: (3) Ca–Mg–Cl; (4) Na–K–HCO3. The majority of boreholes of Malmani (Transvaal Supergroup) aquifer are plotted in Ca–Mg–HCO3.Oxygen-18 (18O‰SMOW) and deuterium (D‰SMOW) isotopic data indicate that the aquifer’s recharge is influenced by two phenomena; precipitation rates for most of the samples and river flow (Wonderfonteinspruit, Middelvieinspruit, Renfonteinspruit) for some samples.

Keywords: South Africa, Wonderfonteinspruit Valley, isotopic, hydrochemical, carbonate aquifers

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38 Intellectual Property Protection of CRISPR Related Technologies

Authors: Zheng Miao, Dennis Fernandez

Abstract:

CRISPR research has the potential to completely transform life science, agriculture, live-stock and the health care industry. The Intellectual Property derived from its research has raised significant attention in the academic as well as the biopharmaceutical industry culminating an urgent need for strategic IP protection. We review the rudimentary concepts and key competitors of CRISPR technologies as well as the paramount strategies for intellectual property protection. Further, we elaborate on prosecution issues related to CRISPR patents as well as possible solutions to various patent laws, interferences and litigation. Finally, we address how the bioinformatics of the CRISPR technology begs an inquiry into issues of privacy and a host of ethical concerns.

Keywords: bioinformatics, CRISPR, biotechnology, intellectual property

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37 Conditions on Expressing a Matrix as a Sum of α-Involutions

Authors: Ric Joseph R. Murillo, Edna N. Gueco, Dennis I. Merino

Abstract:

Let F be C or R, where C and R are the set of complex numbers and real numbers, respectively, and n be a natural number. An n-by-n matrix A over the field F is called an α-involutory matrix or an α-involution if there exists an α in the field such that the square of the matrix is equal to αI, where I is the n-by-n identity matrix. If α is a complex number or a nonnegative real number, then an n-by-n matrix A over the field F can be written as a sum of n-by-n α-involutory matrices over the field F if and only if the trace of that matrix is an integral multiple of the square root of α. Meanwhile, if α is a negative real number, then a 2n-by-2n matrix A over R can be written as a sum of 2n-by-2n α-involutory matrices over R if and only the trace of the matrix is zero. Some other properties of α-involutory matrices are also determined

Keywords: α-involutory Matrices, sum of α-involutory Matrices, Trace, Matrix Theory

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36 A Simple Recursive Framework to Generate Gray Codes for Weak Orders in Constant Amortized Time

Authors: Marsden Jacques, Dennis Wong

Abstract:

A weak order is a way to rank n objects where ties are allowed. In this talk, we present a recursive framework to generate Gray codes for weak orders. We then describe a simple algorithm based on the framework that generates 2-Gray codes for weak orders in constant amortized time per string. This framework can easily be modified to generate other Gray codes for weak orders. We provide an example on using the framework to generate the first Shift Gray code for weak orders, also in constant amortized time, where consecutive strings differ by a shift or a symbol change.

Keywords: weak order, Cayley permutation, Gray code, shift Gray code

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35 Communication Experience and the Perception of Media Richness among Parents Working Overseas and Their Children Left-behind in the Philippines

Authors: Dennis Caasi

Abstract:

This study analyzed four knowledge-building elements of channel expansion theory namely: communication media, communication content, communication partner, and communication influence vis-à- vis media richness dimensions among parents working overseas and their left-behind children in the Philippines. Results reveal that both parents and children consumed four out of six mediated communications tested in this research, spent one to four days a week connecting, between 30 minutes to 3 hours per engagement, and media consumption is dependent on the message content and media literacy of parents. Family, academic, household, and health were the common communication topics and parents dictate which channel to use. All six medium tested received high ratings based on the media richness constructs.

Keywords: channel expansion theory, computer-mediated communication, media richness theory, overseas Filipino worker

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34 Coarse-Graining in Micromagnetic Simulations of Magnetic Hyperthermia

Authors: Razyeh Behbahani, Martin L. Plumer, Ivan Saika-Voivod

Abstract:

Micromagnetic simulations based on the stochastic Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation are used to calculate dynamic magnetic hysteresis loops relevant to magnetic hyperthermia applications. With the goal to effectively simulate room-temperature loops for large iron-oxide based systems at relatively slow sweep rates on the order of 1 Oe/ns or less, a coarse-graining scheme is proposed and tested. The scheme is derived from a previously developed renormalization-group approach. Loops associated with nanorods, used as building blocks for larger nanoparticles that were employed in preclinical trials (Dennis et al., 2009 Nanotechnology 20 395103), serve as the model test system. The scaling algorithm is shown to produce nearly identical loops over several decades in the model grain sizes. Sweep-rate scaling involving the damping constant alpha is also demonstrated.

Keywords: coarse-graining, hyperthermia, hysteresis loops, micromagnetic simulations

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33 The Multi-Lingual Acquisition Patterns of Elementary, High School and College Students in Angeles City, Philippines

Authors: Dennis Infante, Leonora Yambao

Abstract:

The Philippines is a multilingual community. A Filipino learns at least three languages throughout his lifespan. Since languages are learned and picked up simultaneously in the environment, a student naturally develops a language system that combines features of at least three languages: the local language, English and Filipino. This study seeks to investigate this particular phenomenon and aspires to propose a theoretical framework of unique language acquisition in the elementary, high school and college in the three languages spoken and used in media, community, business and school: Kapampangan, the local language; Filipino, the national language; and English. The study randomly selects five students from three participating schools in order to acquire language samples. The samples were analyzed in the subsentential, sentential and suprasentential levels using grammatical theories. The data are classified to map out the pattern of substitution or shifting from one language to another.

Keywords: language acquisition, mother tongue, multiculturalism, multilingual education

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32 Fabrication of Wearable Antennas through Thermal Deposition

Authors: Jeff Letcher, Dennis Tierney, Haider Raad

Abstract:

Antennas are devices for transmitting and/or receiving signals which make them a necessary component of any wireless system. In this paper, a thermal deposition technique is utilized as a method to fabricate antenna structures on substrates. Thin-film deposition is achieved by evaporating a source material (metals in our case) in a vacuum which allows vapor particles to travel directly to the target substrate which is encased with a mask that outlines the desired structure. The material then condenses back to solid state. This method is used in comparison to screen printing, chemical etching, and ink jet printing to indicate advantages and disadvantages to the method. The antenna created undergoes various testing of frequency ranges, conductivity, and a series of flexing to indicate the effectiveness of the thermal deposition technique. A single band antenna that is operated at 2.45 GHz intended for wearable and flexible applications was successfully fabricated through this method and tested. It is concluded that thermal deposition presents a feasible technique of producing such antennas.

Keywords: thermal deposition, wearable antennas, bluetooth technology, flexible electronics

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31 An Appraisal of the Design, Content, Approaches and Materials of the K-12 Grade 8 English Curriculum by Language Teachers, Supervisors and Teacher-Trainers

Authors: G. Infante Dennis, S. Balinas Elvira, C. Valencia Yolanda, Cunanan

Abstract:

This paper examined the feed-backs, concerns, and insights of the teachers, supervisors, and teacher-trainers on the nature and qualities of the K-12 grade 8 design, content, approaches, and materials. Specifically, it sought to achieve the following objectives: 1) to describe the critical nature and qualities of the design, content, teaching-learning-and-evaluation approaches, and the materials to be utilized in the implementation of the grade 8 curriculum; 2) to extract the possible challenges relevant to the implementation of the design, content, teaching-learning-and-evaluation approaches, and the materials of the grade 8 curriculum in terms of the linguistic and technical competence of the teachers, readiness to implement, willingness to implement, and capability to make relevant adaptations; 3) to present essential demands on the successful and meaningful implementation of the grade 8 curriculum in terms of teacher-related factors, school-related factors, and student-related concerns.

Keywords: curriculum reforms, K-12, teacher-training, language teaching, learning

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30 Routing Protocol in Ship Dynamic Positioning Based on WSN Clustering Data Fusion System

Authors: Zhou Mo, Dennis Chow

Abstract:

In the dynamic positioning system (DPS) for vessels, the reliable information transmission between each note basically relies on the wireless protocols. From the perspective of cluster-based routing protocols for wireless sensor networks, the data fusion technology based on the sleep scheduling mechanism and remaining energy in network layer is proposed, which applies the sleep scheduling mechanism to the routing protocols, considering the remaining energy of node and location information when selecting cluster-head. The problem of uneven distribution of nodes in each cluster is solved by the Equilibrium. At the same time, Classified Forwarding Mechanism as well as Redelivery Policy strategy is adopted to avoid congestion in the transmission of huge amount of data, reduce the delay in data delivery and enhance the real-time response. In this paper, a simulation test is conducted to improve the routing protocols, which turn out to reduce the energy consumption of nodes and increase the efficiency of data delivery.

Keywords: DPS for vessel, wireless sensor network, data fusion, routing protocols

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29 The Reflections of the K-12 English Language Teachers on the Implementation of the K-12 Basic Education Program in the Philippines

Authors: Dennis Infante

Abstract:

This paper examined the reflections of teachers on curriculum reforms, the implementation of the K-12 Basic Education Program in the Philippines. The results revealed that problems and concerns raised by teachers could be classified into curriculum materials and design; competence, readiness and motivation of the teachers; the learning environment, and support systems; readiness, competence and motivation of students; and other relevant factors. The best features of the K-12 curriculum reforms included (1) the components, curriculum materials; (2) the design, structure and delivery of the lessons; (3) the framework and theoretical approach; (3) the qualities of the teaching-learning activities; (4) and other relevant features. With the demanding task of implementing the new curriculum, the teachers expressed their needs which included (1) making the curriculum materials available to achieve the goals of the curriculum reforms; (2) enrichment of the learning environments; (3) motivating and encouraging the teachers to embrace change; (4) providing appropriate support systems; (5) re-tooling, and empowering teachers to implement the curriculum reforms; and (6) other relevant factors. The research concluded with a synthesis that provided a paradigm for implementing curriculum reforms which recognizes the needs of the teachers and the features of the new curriculum.

Keywords: curriculum reforms, K-12, teachers' reflections, implementing curriculum change

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28 Water Management in Mexico City and Its Metropolitan Area

Authors: Raquel Salazar Moreno, Uwe Schmidt, Efrén Fitz Rodríguez, Dennis Dannehl, Abraham Rojano Aguilar, Irineo López Cruz, Gilberto Navas Gómez

Abstract:

As urban areas expand, strategic and protected water reserves become more critical. In this study we investigate the water problems in Mexico City and its Metropolitan area. This region faces a complex water problem that concerns not only Mexican boundaries but also international level because is one of the biggest human concentrations in the World. The current water shortage situation raises the necessity of importing surface and groundwater from the Cutzamala River and from the Alto Rio Lerma System respectively. Water management is the real issue in this region, because waste water generation is more than aquifer overexploitation, and surface water loss in the rainfall period is greater than water imported from other regions. However, the possible solutions of the water supply schemes are complicated, there is a need to look for alternatives socially acceptable and environmentally desirable, considering first the possible solutions on the demand side. Also, it is necessary more investment in water treatment plants and hydraulic infrastructure to ensure water supply and decrease the environmental problems in the area. More studies need to be done related to water efficiency in the three sectors.

Keywords: megacities, aquifer overexploitation, environmental problems, vulnerability

Procedia PDF Downloads 198
27 Research on Routing Protocol in Ship Dynamic Positioning Based on WSN Clustering Data Fusion System

Authors: Zhou Mo, Dennis Chow

Abstract:

In the dynamic positioning system (DPS) for vessels, the reliable information transmission between each note basically relies on the wireless protocols. From the perspective of cluster-based routing pro-tocols for wireless sensor networks, the data fusion technology based on the sleep scheduling mechanism and remaining energy in network layer is proposed, which applies the sleep scheduling mechanism to the routing protocols, considering the remaining energy of node and location information when selecting cluster-head. The problem of uneven distribution of nodes in each cluster is solved by the Equilibrium. At the same time, Classified Forwarding Mechanism as well as Redelivery Policy strategy is adopted to avoid congestion in the transmission of huge amount of data, reduce the delay in data delivery and enhance the real-time response. In this paper, a simulation test is conducted to improve the routing protocols, which turns out to reduce the energy consumption of nodes and increase the efficiency of data delivery.

Keywords: DPS for vessel, wireless sensor network, data fusion, routing protocols

Procedia PDF Downloads 369
26 Soft Ground Improved by Prefabricated Vertical Drains with Vacuum and Thermal Preloading

Authors: Gia Lam Le, Dennis T. Bergado, Thi Ngoc Truc Nguyen

Abstract:

This study focuses on behaviors of improved soft clay using prefabricated vertical drain (PVD) combined with vacuum and electro-osmotic preloading. Large-scale consolidations of reconstituted soft Bangkok clay were conducted for PVD improvement with vacuum (vacuum-PVD), and vacuum combined with heat (vacuum-thermo-PVD). The research revealed that vacuum-thermo-PVD gives high efficiency of the consolidation rate compared to the vacuum-PVD. In addition, the magnitude of settlement of the specimen improved by the vacuum-thermo-PVD is higher than the vacuum-PVD because the assistance of heat causes the collapse of the clay structure. Particularly, to reach 90% degree of consolidation, the thermal-vacuum-PVD reduced about 58% consolidation time compared to the vacuum-PVD. The increase in consolidation rate is resulted from the increase in horizontal coefficient of consolidation, Ch, the reduction of the smear effect expressed by the ratio of the horizontal hydraulic conductivity in the undisturbed zone, kh, and the horizontal hydraulic conductivity in the smeared zone, ks. Furthermore, the shear strength, Su, increased about 100% when compared using the vacuum-thermal-PVD to the vacuum PVD. In addition, numerical simulations gave reasonable results compared to the laboratory data.

Keywords: PVD improvement, vacuum preloading, prefabricated vertical drain, thermal PVD

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25 A quantitative Analysis of Impact of Potential Variables on the Energy Performance of Old and New Buildings in China

Authors: Yao Meng, Mahroo Eftekhari, Dennis Loveday

Abstract:

Currently, there are two types of heating systems in Chinese residential buildings, with respect to the controllability of the heating system, one is an old heating system without any possibility of controlling room temperature and another is a new heating system that provides temperature control of individual rooms. This paper is aiming to evaluate the impact of potential variables on the energy performance of old and new buildings respectively in China, and to explore how the use of individual room temperature control would change occupants’ heating behaviour and thermal comfort in Chinese residential buildings and its impact on the building energy performance. In the study, two types of residential buildings have been chosen, the new building install personal control on the heating system, together with ‘pay for what you use’ tariffs. The old building comprised uncontrolled heating with payment based on floor area. The studies were carried out in each building, with a longitudinal monitoring of indoor air temperature, outdoor air temperature, window position. The occupants’ behaviour and thermal sensation were evaluated by questionnaires. Finally, use the simulated analytic method to identify the impact of influence variables on energy use for both types of buildings.

Keywords: residential buildings, China, design parameters, energy efficiency, simulation analytics method

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24 Autonomous Kuka Youbot Navigation Based on Machine Learning and Path Planning

Authors: Carlos Gordon, Patricio Encalada, Henry Lema, Diego Leon, Dennis Chicaiza

Abstract:

The following work presents a proposal of autonomous navigation of mobile robots implemented in an omnidirectional robot Kuka Youbot. We have been able to perform the integration of robotic operative system (ROS) and machine learning algorithms. ROS mainly provides two distributions; ROS hydro and ROS Kinect. ROS hydro allows managing the nodes of odometry, kinematics, and path planning with statistical and probabilistic, global and local algorithms based on Adaptive Monte Carlo Localization (AMCL) and Dijkstra. Meanwhile, ROS Kinect is responsible for the detection block of dynamic objects which can be in the points of the planned trajectory obstructing the path of Kuka Youbot. The detection is managed by artificial vision module under a trained neural network based on the single shot multibox detector system (SSD), where the main dynamic objects for detection are human beings and domestic animals among other objects. When the objects are detected, the system modifies the trajectory or wait for the decision of the dynamic obstacle. Finally, the obstacles are skipped from the planned trajectory, and the Kuka Youbot can reach its goal thanks to the machine learning algorithms.

Keywords: autonomous navigation, machine learning, path planning, robotic operative system, open source computer vision library

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23 Barriers to the Implementation of Peace Education in Secondary Schools, South Africa

Authors: Ntokozo Dennis Ndwandwe

Abstract:

The aim of the study was to explore the barriers facing the implementation of peace education as a strategy to combat violence in selected secondary schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The problem that motivated this enquiry was the absence of stable peace and the increase of incidents of violence in schools. A qualitative approach was followed when conducting the study, and small samples of three case studies of secondary schools were used. Method used in collecting data consisted of semi-structured interviews; focus group interviews and observation. The participants consisted of the program manager for Quaker for Peace Centre (QPC), three principals, nine teachers, and fifteen learners. Data were analysed by transcribing, organising, marking by hand and coding that produced labels that allowed key points to be highlighted. Findings revealed that the effective implementation of peace education was being constrained by factors such as financial constraints, inadequate time allocated, lack of parental involvement, over work-loaded teachers, negative attitude and other societal influences. It is recommended that teachers should receive an ongoing training for peace education. Therefore, the government should prioritise and provide funds for peace education. In addition, parental involvement should be improved in order to enhance the implementation of peace education in selected secondary schools.

Keywords: barriers, implementation, conflict, peace, peace education, conflict resolution, violence

Procedia PDF Downloads 95
22 Nurse Metamorphosis: Lived Experience in the RN HEALS Proram

Authors: Dennis Glen G. Ramos, Angelica S. Mendoza, Juliene Marie A. Alvarez, Claudette A. Nagal, Kayzee C. Blanza, Jayson M. Narbonita, John Anthony D. Dayot, Rebecca M. Reduca, Jermaine Jem M. Flojo, Michael E. Resultan, Clyde C. Fomocod, Cindy A. Vinluan, Jeffrie Aleona Mari C. Maclang

Abstract:

RN HEALS, an acronym for Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service, is expected to address the shortage of skilled and experienced nurses in 1,221 rural and unserved or underserved communities for one year. The study would like to explore the lived experiences of the nurses deployed under this program.The study is a Descriptive Qualitative Research. Interview was utilized as a data gathering tool. Six community nurses who are deployed under the RN HEALS program are included in the study. Van Kaam method was used as data management. Data gathering was done from October to December 2013.Two themes emerged in the study; Value and Challenge. Under Value, it had three sub-themes; Job Satisfaction, Upholding Competency, including Personal Development and Professional Growth, and Employability. While under Challenge, it had one sub-theme, Job Stress. The study concludes that nurses adapt to strategies to pursue personal and professional competence and an evolutionary journey. The researchers recommend that Health Administrators improve the work environment of nurses to lessen the challenges experienced by nurses.

Keywords: lived experience, RN HEALS, health enhancement, local service

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21 Three Tier Indoor Localization System for Digital Forensics

Authors: Dennis L. Owuor, Okuthe P. Kogeda, Johnson I. Agbinya

Abstract:

Mobile localization has attracted a great deal of attention recently due to the introduction of wireless networks. Although several localization algorithms and systems have been implemented and discussed in the literature, very few researchers have exploited the gap that exists between indoor localization, tracking, external storage of location information and outdoor localization for the purpose of digital forensics during and after a disaster. The contribution of this paper lies in the implementation of a robust system that is capable of locating, tracking mobile device users and store location information for both indoor and partially outdoor the cloud. The system can be used during disaster to track and locate mobile phone users. The developed system is a mobile application built based on Android, Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), JavaScript and MATLAB for the Android mobile users. Using Waterfall model of software development, we have implemented a three level system that is able to track, locate and store mobile device information in secure database (cloud) on almost a real time basis. The outcome of the study showed that the developed system is efficient with regard to the tracking and locating mobile devices. The system is also flexible, i.e. can be used in any building with fewer adjustments. Finally, the system is accurate for both indoor and outdoor in terms of locating and tracking mobile devices.

Keywords: indoor localization, digital forensics, fingerprinting, tracking and cloud

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20 A Micro-Scale of Electromechanical System Micro-Sensor Resonator Based on UNO-Microcontroller for Low Magnetic Field Detection

Authors: Waddah Abdelbagi Talha, Mohammed Abdullah Elmaleeh, John Ojur Dennis

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the simulation and implementation of a resonator micro-sensor for low magnetic field sensing based on a U-shaped cantilever and piezoresistive configuration, which works based on Lorentz force physical phenomena. The resonance frequency is an important parameter that depends upon the highest response and sensitivity through the frequency domain (frequency response) of any vibrated micro-scale of an electromechanical system (MEMS) device. And it is important to determine the direction of the detected magnetic field. The deflection of the cantilever is considered for vibrated mode with different frequencies in the range of (0 Hz to 7000 Hz); for the purpose of observing the frequency response. A simple electronic circuit-based polysilicon piezoresistors in Wheatstone's bridge configuration are used to transduce the response of the cantilever to electrical measurements at various voltages. Microcontroller-based Arduino program and PROTEUS electronic software are used to analyze the output signals from the sensor. The highest output voltage amplitude of about 4.7 mV is spotted at about 3 kHz of the frequency domain, indicating the highest sensitivity, which can be called resonant sensitivity. Based on the resonant frequency value, the mode of vibration is determined (up-down vibration), and based on that, the vector of the magnetic field is also determined.

Keywords: resonant frequency, sensitivity, Wheatstone bridge, UNO-microcontroller

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19 Farmers’ Awareness of Pillars of Planting for Food and Jobs Programme in Ghana

Authors: Franklin Nantui Mabe, Gideon Danso-Abbeam, Dennis Sedem Ehiakpor

Abstract:

In order for the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to motivate farmers to adopt improved agricultural technologies, expand their farms and encourage youth to enter into agricultural production so as to increase crop productivity, “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) programme was launched in April 2017. The PFJ programme covers five pillars, namely, provision of subsidized and improved seeds; subsidized fertilizer; agricultural extension services; establishment of markets; and e-agriculture. This study assesses the awareness of farmers about the packages of these pillars using the Likert scale, paired t-test and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. The study adopted a mixed research design. A semi-structured questionnaire and checklist were used to collect data. The data collection was done using interviews and focus group discussions. The PFJ pillar farmers are much aware is a subsidy on fertilizer followed by a subsidy on improved seeds. Electronic agriculture is a pillar with the lowest level of awareness. There is a strong positive correlation between awareness of fertilizer and seed packages suggestion their complementarities. Lack of information/awareness of the packages of the programme can affect farmers’ participation in all the pillars. Farmers, in particular, should be educated for them to know what they are entitled to in each of the pillars. The programme implementation plan should also be made available to farmers as a guide.

Keywords: awareness, planting for food and jobs, programme, farmers, likert scale

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18 Impact of Obesity on Outcomes in Breast Reconstruction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Adriana C. Panayi, Riaz A. Agha, Brady A. Sieber, Dennis P. Orgill

Abstract:

Background: Increased rates of both breast cancer and obesity have resulted in more women seeking breast reconstruction. These women may be at increased risk for perioperative complications. A systematic review was conducted to assess the outcomes in obese women who have undergone breast reconstruction following mastectomy. Methods: Cochrane, PUBMED and EMBASE electronic databases were screened and data was extracted from included studies. The clinical outcomes assessed were surgical complications, medical complications, length of postoperative hospital stay, reoperation rate and patient satisfaction. Results: 33 studies met the inclusion criteria for the review and 29 provided enough data to be included in the meta-analysis (71368 patients, 20061 of which were obese). Obese women were 2.3 times more likely to experience surgical complications (95 percent CI 2.19 to 2.39; P < 0.00001), 2.8 times more likely to have medical complications (95 percent CI 2.41 to 3.26; P < 0.00001) and had a 1.9 times higher risk of reoperation (95 percent CI 1.75 to 2.07; P < 0.00001). The most common complication, wound dehiscence, was 2.5 times more likely in obese women (95 percent CI 1.80 to 3.52; P < 0.00001). Sensitivity analysis confirmed that obese women were more likely to experience surgical complications (RR 2.36, 95% CI 2.22–2.52; P < 0.00001). Conclusions: This study provides evidence that obesity increases the risk of complications in both implant and autologous reconstruction. Additional prospective and observational studies are needed to determine if weight reduction prior to reconstruction reduces the perioperative risks associated with obesity.

Keywords: autologous reconstruction, breast cancer, breast reconstruction, literature review, obesity, oncology, prosthetic reconstruction

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17 Compliance of Systematic Reviews in Plastic Surgery with the PRISMA Statement: A Systematic Review

Authors: Seon-Young Lee, Harkiran Sagoo, Katherine Whitehurst, Georgina Wellstead, Alexander Fowler, Riaz Agha, Dennis Orgill

Abstract:

Introduction: Systematic reviews attempt to answer research questions by synthesising the data within primary papers. They are an increasingly important tool within evidence-based medicine, guiding clinical practice, future research and healthcare policy. We sought to determine the reporting quality of recent systematic reviews in plastic surgery. Methods: This systematic review was conducted in line with the Cochrane handbook, reported in line with the PRISMA statement and registered at the ResearchRegistry (UIN: reviewregistry18). MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched in 2013 and 2014 for systematic reviews by five major plastic surgery journals. Screening, identification and data extraction was performed independently by two teams. Results: From an initial set of 163 articles, 79 met the inclusion criteria. The median PRISMA score was 16 out of 27 items (59.3%; range 6-26, 95% CI 14-17). Compliance between individual PRISMA items showed high variability. It was poorest for items related to the use of review protocol (item 5; 5%) and presentation of data on risk of bias of each study (item 19; 18%), while being the highest for description of rationale (item 3; 99%) and sources of funding and other support (item 27; 95%), and for structured summary in the abstract (item 2; 95%). Conclusion: The reporting quality of systematic reviews in plastic surgery requires improvement. ‘Hard-wiring’ of compliance through journal submission systems, as well as improved education, awareness and a cohesive strategy among all stakeholders is called for.

Keywords: PRISMA, reporting quality, plastic surgery, systematic review, meta-analysis

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16 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Combined Psychiatric and Psychotherapeutic Care versus Psychotherapy Alone in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

Authors: Nathen A. Spitz, Dennis Martin Kivlighan III, Arwa Aburizik

Abstract:

Background and Purpose: Presently, there is a paucity of naturalistic studies that directly compare the effectiveness of psychotherapy versus concurrent psychotherapy and psychiatric care for the treatment of depression and anxiety in cancer patients. Informed by previous clinical trials examining the efficacy of concurrent approaches, this study sought to test the hypothesis that a combined approach would result in the greatest reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms. Methods: Data for this study consisted of 433 adult cancer patients, with 252 receiving only psychotherapy and 181 receiving concurrent psychotherapy and psychiatric care at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Longitudinal PHQ9 and GAD7 data were analyzed between both groups using latent growth curve analyses. Results: After controlling for treatment length and provider effects, results indicated that concurrent care was more effective than psychotherapy alone for depressive symptoms (γ₁₂ = -0.12, p = .037). Specifically, the simple slope for concurrent care was -0.25 (p = .022), and the simple slope for psychotherapy alone was -0.13 (p = .006), suggesting that patients receiving concurrent care experienced a greater reduction in depressive symptoms compared to patients receiving psychotherapy alone. In contrast, there were no significant differences between psychotherapy alone and concurrent psychotherapy and psychiatric care in the reduction of anxious symptoms. Conclusions: Overall, as both psychotherapy and psychiatric care may address unique aspects of mental health conditions, in addition to potentially providing synergetic support to each other, a combinatorial approach to mental healthcare for cancer patients may improve outcomes.

Keywords: psychiatry, psychology, psycho-oncology, combined care, psychotherapy, behavioral psychology

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15 Photocaged Carbohydrates: Versatile Tools for Biotechnological Applications

Authors: Claus Bier, Dennis Binder, Alexander Gruenberger, Dagmar Drobietz, Dietrich Kohlheyer, Anita Loeschcke, Karl Erich Jaeger, Thomas Drepper, Joerg Pietruszka

Abstract:

Light absorbing chromophoric systems are important optogenetic tools for biotechnical and biophysical investigations. Processes such as fluorescence or photolysis can be triggered by light-absorption of chromophores. These play a central role in life science. Photocaged compounds belong to such chromophoric systems. The photo-labile protecting groups enable them to release biologically active substances with high temporal and spatial resolution. The properties of photocaged compounds are specified by the characteristics of the caging group as well as the characteristics of the linked effector molecule. In our research, we work with different types of photo-labile protecting groups and various effector molecules giving us possible access to a large library of caged compounds. As a function of the caged effector molecule, a nearly limitless number of biological systems can be directed. Our main interest focusses on photocaging carbohydrates (e.g. arabinose) and their derivatives as effector molecules. Based on these resulting photocaged compounds a precisely controlled photoinduced gene expression will give us access to studies of numerous biotechnological and synthetic biological applications. It could be shown, that the regulation of gene expression via light is possible with photocaged carbohydrates achieving a higher-order control over this processes. With the one-step cleavable photocaged carbohydrate, a homogeneous expression was achieved in comparison to free carbohydrates.

Keywords: bacterial gene expression, biotechnology, caged compounds, carbohydrates, optogenetics, photo-removable protecting group

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14 Support for Reporting Guidelines in Surgical Journals Needs Improvement: A Systematic Review

Authors: Riaz A. Agha, Ishani Barai, Shivanchan Rajmohan, Seon Lee, Mohammed O. Anwar, Alex J. Fowler, Dennis P. Orgill, Douglas G. Altman

Abstract:

Introduction: Medical knowledge is growing fast. Evidence-based medicine works best if the evidence is reported well. Past studies have shown reporting quality to be lacking in the field of surgery. Reporting guidelines are an important tool for authors to optimize the reporting of their research. The objective of this study was to analyse the frequency and strength of recommendation for such reporting guidelines within surgical journals. Methods: A systematic review of the 198 journals within the Journal Citation Report 2014 (surgery category) published by Thomson Reuters was undertaken. The online guide for authors for each journal was screened by two independent groups and results were compared. Data regarding the presence and strength of recommendation to use reporting guidelines was extracted. Results: 193 journals were included (as five appeared twice having changed their name). These had a median impact factor of 1.526 (range 0.047 to 8.327), with a median of 145 articles published per journal (range 29-659), with 34,036 articles published in total over the two-year window 2012-2013. The majority (62%) of surgical journals made no mention of reporting guidelines within their guidelines for authors. Of the journals (38%) that did mention them, only 14% (10/73) required the use of all relevant reporting guidelines. The most frequently mentioned reporting guideline was CONSORT (46 journals). Conclusion: The mention of reporting guidelines within the guide for authors of surgical journals needs improvement. Authors, reviewers and editors should work to ensure that research is reported in line with the relevant reporting guidelines. Journals should consider hard-wiring adherence to them. This will allow peer-reviewers to focus on what is present, not what is missing, raising the level of scholarly discourse between authors and the scientific community and reducing frustration amongst readers.

Keywords: CONSORT, guide for authors, PRISMA, reporting guidelines, journal impact factor, citation analysis

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13 A Systematic Review of the Methodological and Reporting Quality of Case Series in Surgery

Authors: Riaz A. Agha, Alexander J. Fowler, Seon-Young Lee, Buket Gundogan, Katharine Whitehurst, Harkiran K. Sagoo, Kyung Jin Lee Jeong, Douglas G. Altman, Dennis P. Orgill

Abstract:

Introduction: Case Series are an important and common study type. Currently, no guideline exists for reporting case series and there is evidence of key data being missed from such reports. We propose to develop a reporting guideline for case series using a methodologically robust technique. The first step in this process is a systematic review of literature relevant to the reporting deficiencies of case series. Methods: A systematic review of methodological and reporting quality in surgical case series was performed. The electronic search strategy was developed by an information specialist and included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Methods Register, Science Citation index and Conference Proceedings Citation index, from the start of indexing until 5th November 2014. Independent screening, eligibility assessments and data extraction was performed. Included articles were analyzed for five areas of deficiency: failure to use standardized definitions missing or selective data transparency or incomplete reporting whether alternate study designs were considered. Results: The database searching identified 2,205 records. Through the process of screening and eligibility assessments, 92 articles met inclusion criteria. Frequency of methodological and reporting issues identified was a failure to use standardized definitions (57%), missing or selective data (66%), transparency, or incomplete reporting (70%), whether alternate study designs were considered (11%) and other issues (52%). Conclusion: The methodological and reporting quality of surgical case series needs improvement. Our data shows that clear evidence-based guidelines for the conduct and reporting of a case series may be useful to those planning or conducting them.

Keywords: case series, reporting quality, surgery, systematic review

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12 Projected Uncertainties in Herbaceous Production Result from Unpredictable Rainfall Pattern and Livestock Grazing in a Humid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem

Authors: Daniel Osieko Okach, Joseph Otieno Ondier, Gerhard Rambold, John Tenhunen, Bernd Huwe, Dennis Otieno

Abstract:

Increased human activities such as grazing, logging, and agriculture alongside unpredictable rainfall patterns have been detrimental to the ecosystem service delivery, therefore compromising its productivity potential. This study aimed at simulating the impact of drought (50%) and enhanced rainfall (150%) on the future herbaceous CO2 uptake, biomass production and soil C:N dynamics in a humid savanna ecosystem influenced by livestock grazing. Rainfall pattern was predicted using manipulation experiments set up to reduce (50%) and increase (150%) ambient (100%) rainfall amounts in grazed and non-grazed plots. The impact of manipulated rainfall regime on herbaceous CO2 fluxes, biomass production and soil C:N dynamics was measured against volumetric soil water content (VWC) logged every 30 minutes using the 5TE (Decagon Devices Inc., Washington, USA) soil moisture sensors installed (at 20 cm soil depth) in every plots. Herbaceous biomass was estimated using destructive method augmented by standardized photographic imaging. CO2 fluxes were measured using the ecosystem chamber method and the gas analysed using LI-820 gas analyzer (USA). C:N ratio was calculated from the soil carbon and Nitrogen contents (analyzed using EA2400CHNS/O and EA2410 N elemental analyzers respectively) of different plots under study. The patterning of VWC was directly influenced by the rainfall amount with lower VWC observed in the grazed compared to the non-grazed plots. Rainfall variability, grazing and their interaction significantly affected changes in VWC (p < 0.05) and subsequently total biomass and CO2 fluxes. VWC had a strong influence on CO2 fluxes under 50% rainfall reduction in the grazed (r2 = 0.91; p < 0.05) and ambient rainfall in the ungrazed (r2 = 0.77; p < 0.05). The dependence of biomass on VWC across plots was enhanced under grazed (r2 = 0.78 - 0.87; p < 0.05) condition as compared to ungrazed (r2 = 0.44 - 0.85; p < 0.05). The C:N ratio was however not correlated to VWC across plots. This study provides insight on how the predicted trends in humid savanna will respond to changes influenced by rainfall variability and livestock grazing and consequently the sustainable management of such ecosystems.

Keywords: CO2 fluxes, rainfall manipulation, soil properties, sustainability

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11 Ramadan as a Model of Intermittent Fasting: Effects on Gut Hormones, Appetite and Body Composition in Diabetes vs. Controls

Authors: Turki J. Alharbi, Jencia Wong, Dennis Yue, Tania P. Markovic, Julie Hetherington, Ted Wu, Belinda Brooks, Radhika Seimon, Alice Gibson, Stephanie L. Silviera, Amanda Sainsbury, Tanya J. Little

Abstract:

Fasting has been practiced for centuries and is incorporated into the practices of different religions including Islam, whose followers intermittently fast throughout the month of Ramadan. Thus, Ramadan presents a unique model of prolonged intermittent fasting (IF). Despite a growing body of evidence for a cardio-metabolic and endocrine benefit of IF, detailed studies of the effects of IF on these indices in type 2 diabetes are scarce. We studied 5 subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and 7 healthy controls (C) at baseline (pre), and in the last week of Ramadan (post). Fasting circulating levels of glucose, HbA1c and lipids, as well as body composition (with DXA) and resting energy expenditure (REE) were measured. Plasma gut hormone levels and appetite responses to a mixed meal were also studied. Data are means±SEM. Ramadan decreased total fat mass (-907±92 g, p=0.001) and trunk fat (-778±190 g, p=0.014) in T2DM but not in controls, without any reductions in lean mass or REE. There was a trend towards a decline in plasma FFA in both groups. Ramadan had no effect on body weight, glycemia, blood pressure, or plasma lipids in either group. In T2DM only, the area under the curve for post-meal plasma ghrelin concentrations increased after Ramadan (pre:6632±1737 vs. post:9025±2518 pg/ml.min-1, p=0.045). Despite this increase in orexigenic ghrelin, subjective appetite scores were not altered by Ramadan. Meal-induced plasma concentrations of the satiety hormone pancreatic polypeptide did not change during Ramadan, but were higher in T2DM compared to controls (post: C: 23486±6677 vs. T2DM: 62193±6880 pg/ml.min-1, p=0.003. In conclusion, Ramadan, as a model for IF appears to have more favourable effects on body composition in T2DM, without adverse effects on metabolic control or subjective appetite. These data suggest that IF may be particularly beneficial in T2DM as a nutritional intervention. Larger studies are warranted.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes, obesity, intermittent fasting, appetite regulating hormones

Procedia PDF Downloads 239