Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 28

Search results for: Tahira Yasmeen

28 Challenges in Providing Protection to the Conflict-Affected Refugee Children in Pakistan: A Critical Analysis of the 1951 Refugee Convention

Authors: Faiz Bakhsh, Tahira Yasmeen

Abstract:

The Afghan refugee children in Pakistan are considered as the most vulnerable persons in danger of being abused and treated badly as compared to the minimum criteria of the protection of refugee children under 1951 refugee convention. This paper explores the impact of the 1951 refugee convention on the protection of refugee children, affected by the armed conflict in Afghanistan, residing in refugee camps in Pakistan. Despite, protection available under Refugee Convention, there exist millions of refugees in the world, including a huge portion of women and children, that remain unprotected, and their protection remains a challenging task for the world community. This study investigates the status and number of refugees in Pakistan, especially children; protection and assistance of refugees under Refugee Convention; protection of the rights of refugee children in Pakistan; and implementation of the rules of Refugee Convention relating refugee children in Pakistan and measures for the protection of refugee children in Pakistan. This socio-legal study utilizes a qualitative research approach and applies mixed methods of data collection. The primary data is collected through the interpretation of the legal framework available for the protection of refugees as well as domestic laws of Pakistan. The secondary data is collected through previous studies available on the same topic. The result of this study indicates that lack of proper implementation of the rules, of the Refugee Convention, relating protection of refugee children cause sufferings to refugee children including the provision of basic health, nutrition, family life, education and protection from child abuse. Pakistan needs a comprehensive domestic legal framework for the protection of refugees, especially refugee children. Moreover, the government of Pakistan with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) must prioritize the protection of Afghan refugee children as per standard criteria provided by the refugee convention 1951.

Keywords: refugee children, refugee convention, armed conflict, Pakistan

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27 Customers’ Acceptability of Islamic Banking: Employees’ Perspective in Peshawar

Authors: Tahira Imtiaz, Karim Ullah

Abstract:

This paper aims to incorporate the banks employees’ perspective on acceptability of Islamic banking by the customers of Peshawar. A qualitative approach is adopted for which six in-depth interviews with employees of Islamic banks are conducted. The employees were asked to share their experience regarding customers’ acceptance attitude towards acceptability of Islamic banking. Collected data was analyzed through thematic analysis technique and its synthesis with the current literature. Through data analysis a theoretical framework is developed, which highlights the factors which drive customers towards Islamic banking, as witnessed by the employees. The practical implication of analyzed data evident that a new model could be developed on the basis of four determinants of human preference namely: inner satisfaction, time, faith and market forces.

Keywords: customers’ attraction, employees’ perspective, Islamic banking, Riba

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26 Analyzing Electricity Demand Multipliers in the Malaysian Economy

Authors: Hussain Ali Bekhet, Tuan Ab Rashid Bin Tuan Abdullah, Tahira Yasmin

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It is very important for electric utility to determine dominant sectors which have more impacts on electricity consumption in national economy system. The aim of this paper is to examine the electricity demand multipliers in Malaysia for (2005-2014) period. Malaysian Input-output tables, 2005 and 2010 are used. Besides, a new concept, electricity demand multiplier (EDM), is presented to identify key sectors imposing great impacts on electricity demand quantitatively. In order to testify the effectiveness of the Malaysian energy policies, it notes that there is fluctuation of the ranking sectors between 2005 and 2010. This could be reflected that there is efficiency with pace of development in Malaysia. This can be good indication for decision makers for designing future energy policies.

Keywords: input-output model, demand multipliers, electricity, key sectors, Malaysia

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25 Utilization of Hybrid Teaching Methods to Improve Writing Skills of Undergraduate Students

Authors: Tahira Zaman

Abstract:

The paper intends to discover the utility of hybrid teaching methods to aid undergraduate students to improve their English academic writing skills. A total of 45 undergraduate students were selected randomly from three classes from varying language abilities, with the research design of monitoring and rubrics evaluation as a means of measure. Language skills of the students were upgraded with the help of experiential learning methods using reflective writing technique, guided method in which students were merely directed to correct form of writing techniques along with self-guided method for the students to produce a library research-based article measured through a standardized rubrics provided. The progress of the students was monitored and checked through rubrics and self-evaluation and concluded that a change was observed in the students’ writing abilities.

Keywords: self evaluation, hybrid, self evaluation, reflective writing

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24 Financial Instruments of Islamic Banking: A Critical Analysis

Authors: Rukhsana Shaheen, Tahira Ifraq

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Interest based transactions led the advent of Islamic banking. In order to provide an alternative to Interest based banking, financial transactions found in classical books of fiqh were employed. Musharakah, Mudarabah, Murabahah Salam, Ijara, and some other modes were adopted. These modes were modified so that they can be adopted for banking and satisfy the needs of customers. Since the inception of Islamic banking, these modes are being used and with the passage of time, are being molded and experimented with to cater different kinds of customers and requirements. Human efforts cannot be errorless. These modes too bear legal defects which need an in-depth scrutiny and refinement. The aim of this paper is to dig the basis and rulings of these modes in classical books of fiqh and analyze its modification and adoption in Islamic banking and the legal defects that these modes are bearing. Paper will prove itself fruitful by providing remedies for the legal defects.

Keywords: financial instruments, legal defects, remedies, Islamic banking

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23 Simultaneous Determination of Some Phenolic Pesticides in Environmental and Biological Samples

Authors: Yasmeen F. Pervez, Etesh K. Janghel, Santosh Kumar Sar

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Simple and sensitive analytical thermal gradient-thin layer chromatography technique has been developed for the simultaneous determination of phenolic pesticides like carbaryl, propoxur and carbofuran. It is based on the differential migration of colored derivatives formed by the reaction of hydrolysed phenolic compound with diazotized 3, 4 dimethyl aniline on a silica gel plate. Quantitative evaluation of hydrolyzed phenolic compound is made by visual comparison of intensities of color by spectrophotometry. The color system obeys Beer’s law in the following working range in ppm : carbaryl, 0.5-6.6; propoxur, 0.8-7.2; and carbofuran, 0.2-3.3 respectively. The Molar absorptivity, Sandell’s sensitivity, Correlation coefficient have been determined. The effects of analytical parameters on migration and analysis have been evaluated. The methods are highly reproducible and have been successfully applied to determination of phenolic pesticides in environmental and biological samples.

Keywords: phenolic pesticides (carbaryl, propoxur and carbofuran), 3.4 dimethyl aniline, environmental, biological samples

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22 Length-Weight and Length-Length Relationships of Oreochromis aureus in Relation to Body Size from Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Naeem, Amina Zubari, Abdus Salam, Summera Yasmeen, Syed Ali Ayub Bukhari, Abir Ishtiaq

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In the present study, eighty three wild Oreochromis aureus of different body size ranging 5.3-14.6 cm in total length were collected from the River Chenab, District Muzzafer Garh, Pakistan to investigate the parameters of length –weight, length-length relationships and condition factor in relation to size. Each fish was measured and weighed on arrival at laboratory. Log transformed regressions were used to test the allometric growth. Length-weight relationship was found highly significant (r = 0.964; P < 0.01). The values of exponent “ b” in Length–weight regression (W=aLb), deviated from 3, showing isometric growth (b = 2.75). Results for LLRs indicated that these are highly correlated (P< 0.001). Condition factor (K) found constant with increasing body weight, however, showed negative influence with increasing total length.

Keywords: Oreochromis aureus, weight-length relationship, condition factor, predictive equations

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21 Multifunctional Nanofiber Based Aerogels: Bridging Electrospinning with Aerogel Fabrication

Authors: Tahira Pirzada, Zahra Ashrafi, Saad Khan

Abstract:

We present a facile and sustainable solid templating approach to fabricate highly porous, flexible and superhydrophobic aerogels of composite nanofibers of cellulose diacetate and silica which are produced through sol gel electrospinning. Scanning electron microscopy, contact angle measurement, and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectrometry are used to understand the structural features of the resultant aerogels while thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry demonstrate their thermal stability. These aerogels exhibit a self-supportive three-dimensional network abundant in large secondary pores surrounded by primary pores resulting in a highly porous structure. Thermal crosslinking of the aerogels has further stabilized their structure and flexibility without compromising on the porosity. Ease of processing, thermal stability, high porosity and oleophilic nature of these aerogels make them promising candidate for a wide variety of applications including acoustic and thermal insulation and oil and water separation.

Keywords: hybrid aerogels, sol-gel electrospinning, oil-water separation, nanofibers

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20 Characterization of Onion Peels Extracts and Its Utilization in a Deep Fried Snack

Authors: Nabia Siddiqui, Tahira Mohsin Ali, Tanveer Abbas, Abid Hasnain

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The present study proposed the use of different onion peel extracts in a South Asian snacks called ‘sew’. The polyphenols extracted from peels were initially analyzed for their antimicrobial potential and bioactive components following three different extraction systems. A relatively higher level of total phenolic content (TP), total flavonoid (TF) and antioxidant activity was observed for EWE (ethanol and water based) extracts followed by EAAE (ethanol and acetic acid) and WE (water extract) sample. Onion extracts showed ability to inhibit gram-positive as well as gram-negative bacteria. The incorporation of onion peel extracts in sew showed a marked increase in bioactive components. Besides bioactivity, sensory attributes, textural characteristics and storage stability of these snacks containing onion peel extract also significantly improved during the shelf study at ambient temperature for up to two months. Thus, these results justify the utilization of these plant polyphenols in fried snacks.

Keywords: onion peels extract, South Asian snacks, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity

Procedia PDF Downloads 139
19 Experimental Testing of a Synthetic Mulch to Reduce Runoff and Evaporative Water Losses

Authors: Yasmeen Saleem, Pedro Berliner, Nurit Agam

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The most severe limitation for plant production in arid areas is water. Rainfall events are rare but can have pulses of high intensity. As a result, crusts are formed, which decreases infiltration into the soil, and results additionally in erosive losses of soil. Direct evaporation of water from the wetted soil can account for large fractions of the water stored in the soil. Different kinds of mulches have been used to decrease the loss of water in arid and semi-arid region. This study aims to evaluate the effect of polystyrene styrofoam pellets mulch on soil infiltration, runoff, and evaporation as a more efficient and economically viable mulch alternative. Polystyrene styrofoam pellets of two sizes (0.5 and 1 cm diameter) will be placed on top of the soil in two mulch layer depths (1 and 2 cm), in addition to the non-mulched treatment. The rainfall simulator will be used as an artificial source of rain. The preliminary results in the prototype experiment indicate that polystyrene styrofoam pellets decreased runoff, increased soil-water infiltration. We are still testing the effect of these pellets on decreasing the soil-water evaporation.

Keywords: synthetic mulch, runoff, evaporation, infiltration

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18 Antimicrobial Activity of Different Essential Oils in Synergy with Amoxicillin against Clinical Isolates of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Authors: Naheed Niaz, Nimra Naeem, Bushra Uzair, Riffat Tahira

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Antibacterial activity of different traditional plants essential oils against clinical isolates of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) through disk diffusion method was evaluated. All the tested essential oils, in different concentrations, inhibited growth of S. aureus to varying degrees. Cinnamon and Thyme essential oils were observed to be the “best” against test pathogen. Even at lowest concentration of these essential oils i.e. 25 µl/ml, clear zone of inhibition was recorded 9+0.085mm and 8+0.051mm respectively, and at higher concentrations there was a total reduction in growth of MRSA. The study also focused on analyzing the synergistic effects of essential oils in combination with amoxicillin. Results showed that oregano and pennyroyal mint essential oils which were not very effective alone turned out to be strong synergistic enhancers. The activity increased with increase in concentration of the essential oils. It may be concluded from present results that cinnamon and thyme essential oils could be used as potential antimicrobial source for the treatment of infections caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus, essential oils, antibiotics, combination therapy, minimum inhibitory concentration

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17 Elemental Graph Data Model: A Semantic and Topological Representation of Building Elements

Authors: Yasmeen A. S. Essawy, Khaled Nassar

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With the rapid increase of complexity in the building industry, professionals in the A/E/C industry were forced to adopt Building Information Modeling (BIM) in order to enhance the communication between the different project stakeholders throughout the project life cycle and create a semantic object-oriented building model that can support geometric-topological analysis of building elements during design and construction. This paper presents a model that extracts topological relationships and geometrical properties of building elements from an existing fully designed BIM, and maps this information into a directed acyclic Elemental Graph Data Model (EGDM). The model incorporates BIM-based search algorithms for automatic deduction of geometrical data and topological relationships for each building element type. Using graph search algorithms, such as Depth First Search (DFS) and topological sortings, all possible construction sequences can be generated and compared against production and construction rules to generate an optimized construction sequence and its associated schedule. The model is implemented in a C# platform.

Keywords: building information modeling (BIM), elemental graph data model (EGDM), geometric and topological data models, graph theory

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16 Measuring Output Multipliers of Energy Consumption and Manufacturing Sectors in Malaysia during the Global Financial Crisis

Authors: Hussain Ali Bekhet, Tuan Ab. Rashid Bin Tuan Abdullah, Tahira Yasmin

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The strong relationship between energy consumption and economic growth is widely recognised. Most countries’ energy demand declined during the economic depression known as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008–2009. The objective of the current study is to investigate the energy consumption and performance of Malaysia’s manufacturing sectors during the GFC. We applied the output multiplier approach, which is based on the input-output model. Two input-output tables of Malaysia covering 2005 and 2010 were used. The results indicate significant changes in the output multipliers of the manufacturing sectors between 2005 and 2010. Moreover, the energy-to-manufacturing sectors’ output multipliers also decreased during the GFC due to a decline in export-oriented industries during the crisis. The increasing importance of the manufacturing sector to the development of Malaysian trade resulted in a noticeable decrease in the consumption of each energy sector’s output, especially the electricity and gas sector. Based on the research findings, the Malaysian government released several policy implementations in the form of stimulus packages to enhance these sectors’ performance and generally improve the Malaysian economy.

Keywords: global financial crisis, input-output model, manufacturing, output multipliers, energy, Malaysia

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15 Comparison of White Sauce Prepared from Native and Chemically Modified Corn and Pearl Millet Starches

Authors: Marium Shaikh, Tahira M. Ali, Abid Hasnain

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Physical and sensory properties of white sauces prepared from native and chemically modified corn and pearl millet starches were compared. Interestingly, no syneresis was observed in hydroxypropylated corn and pearl millet starch containing white sauce even after nine days of cold storage (4 °C), while other modifications also reduced the syneresis significantly in comparison to their native counterparts. White sauce containing succinylated corn starch showed least oil separation due to its greater emulsion stability. Light microscopy was used to visualize the size and shape of fat globules, and it was found that they were most homogenously distributed in succinylated and hydroxypropylated samples. Sensory results revealed that chemical modification of corn and pearl millet starch improved the consistency, thickness and overall acceptability of white sauces. Viscosity profiles showed that pasting parameters of native pearl millet starch are almost similar to native corn starch suggesting pearl millet starch as an alternative of corn starch. Also, white sauce prepared from modified pearl millet starch showed better cold storage stability in terms of various textural attributes like hardness, cohesiveness, chewiness, and springiness.

Keywords: corn starch, pearl millet, hydroxypropylation, succinylation, white sauce

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14 Perceived Organizational Justice, Trust and Employee Engagement in Bank Managers

Authors: Seemal Mazhar Khan, Tahira Mubashar

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The present research aimed to investigate the relationship in perceived organizational justice, organizational trust and employee engagement in bank employees. It was hypothesized: there is likely to be a relationship in perceived organizational justices, organizational trust and employee engagement; perceived organizational justice and organizational trust are likely to predict employee engagement; there is likely to be effect of bank type and designation on perceived organizational justice, organizational trust and employee engagement. The sample consisted of 150 bank employees (50 from government, 50 from private and 50 from privatized banks) selected from different banks in Lahore, Pakistan. Correlational research design was used to conduct this study. Perceived Organizational Justices Questionnaire, Organizational Trust Questionnaire and Employee Engagement Scale were used for assessment. Pearson product moment correlation, hierarchical regression and multivariate analysis of covariance were applied. Results showed a positive significant relationship in perceived organizational justice and organizational engagement and there were also a positive significant relation between organizational trust and job and organizational engagement. Results showed that organizational trust predicts organizational engagement after controlling the effect of age, marital status and socio-economic status and there is a significant interaction effect of bank type and designation level on organizational trust in bank employees. The findings of the research can serve as a platform for the awareness of important antecedents of employee engagement and organizations can inculcate trust for better and improved engagement of its employees, thereby, enhancing the productivity of their employees.

Keywords: bank employees, organizational engagement, perceived organizational justice, trust

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13 Serotype Distribution and Demographics of Dengue Patients in a Tertiary Hospital of Lahore, Pakistan During the 2011 Epidemic

Authors: Muhammad Munir, Riffat Mehboob, Samina Naeem, Muhammad Salman, Shehryar Ahmed, Irshad Hussain Qureshi, Tahira Murtaza Cheema, Ashraf Sultan, Akmal Laeeq, Nakhshab Choudhry, Asad Aslam Khan, Fridoon Jawad Ahmad

Abstract:

A dengue outbreak in Lahore, Pakistan during 2011 was unprecedented in terms of severity and magnitude. This research aims to determine the serotype distribution of dengue virus during this outbreak and classify the patients demographically. 5ml of venous blood was drawn aseptically from 166 patients with dengue-like signs to test for the virus between the months of August to November 2011. The samples were sent to the CDC, Atlanta, Georgia for the purpose of molecular assays to determine their serotype. RT-PCR protocol was performed targeting at the 4 dengue serotypes. Out of 166 cases, dengue infection was detected with RT-PCR in 95 cases, all infected with same serotype DEN-2. 75% of positive cases were males while 25% were females. Most positive patients were in the age range of 16-30 years. 33% positive cases had accompanying bleeding. This is first study during the 2011 dengue epidemic in Lahore that reports DEN-2 as the only prevalent serotype. It also indicates that more infected patients were males, adults, within age range of 16-30 years, peaked in the month of November, Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is manifested more in females, Ravi town was heavily hit by dengue virus infection.

Keywords: dengue, serotypes, Pakistan, DEN 2, Lahore, demography, serotype distrbution, 2011 epidemic

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12 Native Language Identification with Cross-Corpus Evaluation Using Social Media Data: 'Reddit'

Authors: Yasmeen Bassas, Sandra Kuebler, Allen Riddell

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Native Language Identification is one of the growing subfields in Natural Language Processing (NLP). The task of Native Language Identification (NLI) is mainly concerned with predicting the native language of an author’s writing in a second language. In this paper, we investigate the performance of two types of features; content-based features vs. content independent features when they are evaluated on a different corpus (using social media data “Reddit”). In this NLI task, the predefined models are trained on one corpus (TOEFL) and then the trained models are evaluated on a different data using an external corpus (Reddit). Several features that have been proven useful for NLI tasks are used in this work (such as word n-grams, character n-grams, POS n-grams and function words). Three classifiers are used in this task; the baseline, linear SVM, and Logistic Regression. Two experiments are conducted in this paper. The first one is to explore the performance of the content-based features versus the content independent ones within one domain using TOEFL corpus. The second experiment is to examine how the trained models perform in a different data using an external corpus called Reddit. The aim is to find out which features (content-based vs content independent features) are more accurate when tested on a different corpus. Results show that content-based features are more accurate and robust than content independent ones when tested within corpus and across corpus.

Keywords: Native Language Identification, Social Media Data: Reddit, NLP, Content-based features, Content independent features

Procedia PDF Downloads 35
11 Unstructured-Data Content Search Based on Optimized EEG Signal Processing and Multi-Objective Feature Extraction

Authors: Qais M. Yousef, Yasmeen A. Alshaer

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Over the last few years, the amount of data available on the globe has been increased rapidly. This came up with the emergence of recent concepts, such as the big data and the Internet of Things, which have furnished a suitable solution for the availability of data all over the world. However, managing this massive amount of data remains a challenge due to their large verity of types and distribution. Therefore, locating the required file particularly from the first trial turned to be a not easy task, due to the large similarities of names for different files distributed on the web. Consequently, the accuracy and speed of search have been negatively affected. This work presents a method using Electroencephalography signals to locate the files based on their contents. Giving the concept of natural mind waves processing, this work analyses the mind wave signals of different people, analyzing them and extracting their most appropriate features using multi-objective metaheuristic algorithm, and then classifying them using artificial neural network to distinguish among files with similar names. The aim of this work is to provide the ability to find the files based on their contents using human thoughts only. Implementing this approach and testing it on real people proved its ability to find the desired files accurately within noticeably shorter time and retrieve them as a first choice for the user.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, data contents search, human active memory, mind wave, multi-objective optimization

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10 Drinking Water Quality of Lahore Pakistan: A Comparison of Quality of Drinking Water from Source and Distribution System

Authors: Zainab Abbas Soharwardi, Chunli Su, Fazeelat Tahira, Syed Zahid Aziz

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The study monitors the quality of drinking water consumed by urban population of Lahore. A total of 50 drinking water samples (16 from source and 34 from distribution system) were examined for physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters. The parameters including pH, turbidity, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, total hardness, calcium, magnesium, total alkalinity, carbonate, sulphate, chloride, nitrite, fluoride, sodium and potassium were analyzed. Sixteen out of fifty samples showed high values of alkalinity compared to EPA standards and WHO guidelines. Twenty-eight samples were analyzed for heavy metals, chromium, iron, copper, zinc, cadmium and lead. Trace amounts of heavy metals were detected in some samples, however for most of the samples values were within the permissible limits although high concentration of zinc was detected in one sample collected from Mughal Pura area. Fifteen samples were analyzed for arsenic. The results were unsatisfactory; around 73% samples showed exceeding values of As. WHO has suggested permissible limits of arsenic < 0.01 ppm, whereas 27 % of samples have shown 0.05 ppm arsenic, which is five times greater than WHO highest permissible limits. All the samples were examined for E. coli bacteria. On the basis of bacteriological analysis, 42 % samples did not meet WHO guidelines and were unsafe for drinking.

Keywords: arsenic, heavy metals, ground water, Lahore

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9 Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles, Their Toxicity and Biomedical Applications

Authors: Kiran Shehzadi, Yasmeen Akhtar, Mujahid Ameen, Tabinda Ijaz, Shoukat Siddique

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Nanoparticles, due to their different sizes and morphologies, are employed in various fields such as the medical field, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, textile industry as well as in paints, adhesives, and electronics. Metal nanoparticles exhibit excellent antimicrobial activity, dye degradation and can be used as anti-cancerous drug loading agents. In this study, sZilver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) were synthesized employing doxycycline (antibiotic) as a reducing and capping agent (biological/green synthesis). Produced Ag-NPS were characterized using UV/VIS spectrophotometry, XRD, SEM, and FTIR. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of silver nanoparticles was observed at 411nm with 90nm size with homogenized spherical shape. These particles revealed good inhibition zones for Fungi such as Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis. In this study, toxic properties of Ag-NPs were monitored by allowing them to penetrate in the cell, causing an abrupt increase in oxidative stress, which resulted ultimately in cell death. Histopathological analysis of mice organs was performed by administering definite concentrations of silver nanoparticles orally to mice for 14 days. Toxic properties were determined, and it was revealed that the toxicity of silver nanoparticles mainly depends on the size. Silver nanoparticles of this work presented mild toxicity for different organs (liver, kidney, spleen, heart, and stomach) of mice.

Keywords: metal nanoparticles, green/biological methods, toxicity, Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis

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8 Incidence, Pattern and Risk Factors of Congenial Heart Diseases in Neonates in a Tertiary Care Hospital, Egyptian Study

Authors: Gehan Hussein, Hams Ahmad, Baher Matta, Yasmeen Mansi, Mohamad Fawzi

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Background: Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a common problem worldwide with variable incidence in different countries. The exact etiology is unknown, suggested to be multifactorial. We aimed to study the incidence of various CHD in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in a tertiary care hospital in Egypt and the possible associations with variable risk factors. Methods: Prospective study was conducted over a period of one year (2013 /2014) at NICU KasrAlAini School of Medicine, Cairo University. Questionnaire about possible maternal and/or paternal risk factors for CHD, clinical examination, bedside echocardiography were done. Cases were classified into groups: group 1 without CHD and group 2 with CHD. Results: from 723 neonates admitted to NICU, 180 cases were proved to have CHD, 58 % of them were males. patent ductus arteriosus(PDA) was the most common CHD (70%), followed by an atrial septal defect (ASD8%), while Fallot tetralogy and single ventricle were the least common (0.45 %) for each. CHD was found in 30 % of consanguineous parents Maternal age ≥ 35 years at the time of conception was associated with increased incidence of PDA (p= 0.45 %). Maternal diabetes and insulin intake were significantly associated with cases of CHD (p=0.02 &0.001 respectively), maternal hypertension and hypothyroidism were both associated with VSD, but the difference did not reach statistical significance (P=0.36 &0.44respectively). Maternal passive smoking was significantly associated with PDA (p=0.03). Conclusion: The most frequent CHD in the studied population was PDA, followed by ASD. Maternal conditions as diabetes was associated with VSD occurrence.

Keywords: NICU, risk factors, congenital heart disease, echocardiography

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7 Biodiesel Fuel Properties of Mixed Culture Microalgae under Different CO₂ Concentration from Coal Fired Flue Gas

Authors: Ambreen Aslam, Tahira Aziz Mughal, Skye R. Thomas-Hall, Peer M. Schenk

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Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum-derived fuel mainly composed of fatty acid from oleaginous microalgae feedstock. Microalgae produced fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) as they can store high levels of lipids without competing for food productivity. After lipid extraction and esterification, fatty acid profile from algae feedstock possessed the abundance of fatty acids with carbon chain length specifically C16 and C18. The qualitative analysis of FAME was done by cultivating mix microalgae consortia under three different CO₂ concentrations (1%, 3%, and 5.5%) from a coal fired flue gas. FAME content (280.3 µg/mL) and productivity (18.69 µg/mL/D) was higher under 1% CO₂ (flue gas) as compare to other treatments. Whereas, Mixed C. (F) supplemented with 5.5% CO₂ (50% flue gas) had higher SFA (36.28%) and UFA (63.72%) which improve the oxidative stability of biodiesel. Subsequently, low Iodine value (136.3 gI₂/100g) and higher Cetane number (52) of Mixed C.+P (F) were found to be in accordance with European (EN 14214) standard under 5.5% CO₂ along with 50mM phosphate buffer. Experimental results revealed that sufficient phosphate reduced FAME productivity but significantly enhance biodiesel quality. This research aimed to develop an integrated approach of utilizing flue gas (as CO₂ source) for significant improvement in biodiesel quality under surplus phosphorus. CO₂ sequestration from industrial flue gas not only reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions but also ensure sustainability and eco-friendliness of the biodiesel production process through microalgae.

Keywords: biodiesel analysis, carbon dioxide, coal fired flue gas, FAME productivity, fatty acid profile, fuel properties, lipid content, mixed culture microalgae

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6 Plant Mediated RNAi Approach to Knock Down Ecdysone Receptor Gene of Colorado Potato Beetle

Authors: Tahira Hussain, Ilhom Rahamkulov, Muhammad Aasim, Ugur Pirlak, Emre Aksoy, Mehmet Emin Caliskan, Allah Bakhsh

Abstract:

RNA interference (RNAi) has proved its usefulness in functional genomic research on insects recently and is considered potential strategy in crop improvement for the control of insect pests. The different insect pests incur significant losses to potato yield worldwide, Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB) being most notorious one. The present study focuses to knock down highly specific 20-hydroxyecdysone hormone-receptor complex interaction by using RNAi approach to silence Ecdysone receptor (EcR) gene of CPB in transgenic potato plants expressing dsRNA of EcR gene. The partial cDNA of Ecdysone receptor gene of CPB was amplified using specific primers in sense and anti-sense orientation and cloned in pRNAi-GG vector flanked by an intronic sequence (pdk). Leaf and internodal explants of Lady Olympia, Agria and Granola cultivars of potato were infected with Agrobacterium strain LBA4404 harboring plasmid pRNAi-CPB, pRNAi-GFP (used as control). Neomycin phosphotransferase (nptII) gene was used as a plant selectable marker at a concentration of 100 mg L⁻¹. The primary transformants obtained have shown proper integration of T-DNA in plant genome by standard molecular analysis like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real-time PCR, Sothern blot. The transgenic plants developed out of these cultivars are being evaluated for their efficacy against larvae as well adults of CPB. The transgenic lines are expected to inhibit expression of EcR protein gene, hindering their molting process, hence leading to increased potato yield.

Keywords: plant mediated RNAi, molecular strategy, ecdysone receptor, insect metamorphosis

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5 Creating Entrepreneurs through Contribution of Individuals and Corporations: An Insight on Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh

Authors: Saptarshi Dhar, Tahira Farzana

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In Bangladesh, particularly in rural areas, persons with disabilities are generally isolated from the mainstream and are pushed to the margins of society. They are seen as an individual problem, not as a social responsibility. As a result, persons with disabilities face challenges to actively participate in social and economic activities. The country is experiencing a steady economic and per capita growth over the past few years and entrepreneurial opportunities are also increasing. However, involvement of persons with disabilities in entrepreneurship is yet to increase. The aim of this paper is to explore the issue of entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities through contribution of individuals and corporations in the context of social responsibility. The paper is exploratory in nature and is approached through a three-month research project 'Shwanirbhor' run by the authors in Pakshi area of Pabna District in Bangladesh. The authors collected data through semi structured questionnaire, interviews and focus group discussions. Through the project, persons with disabilities were provided with financial capital (collected through contribution of individuals and corporations), business plans and advisory assistance on a need basis to help them start entrepreneurial ventures. The findings of the study indicate that in terms of contribution toward a social cause, individuals and corporations have positive attitude and are willing to offer monetary and nonmonetary assistance. When provided with entrepreneurial opportunity, persons with disabilities showed motivation in joining entrepreneurship to improve their economic standing and to be financially independent. In addition to that, the study also found that factors such as social inclusion and acceptance, economic empowerment, breaking the social and family barrier are also the reasons that drive persons with disabilities into embracing entrepreneurship. Moreover, while starting and running the entrepreneurial activities, they face constraints that range from personal, environmental, operational and infrastructural to informational barriers. The paper also proposes a strategy framework for entrepreneurship creation in Bangladesh which could be supportive for policy development for persons with disabilities.

Keywords: Bangladesh, entrepreneurship, persons with disabilities (PWD), social responsibility

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4 Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs, Plant Extracts, and Characterized Microparticles to Modulate Antimicrobial Resistance of Epidemic Meca Positive S. Aureus of Dairy Origin

Authors: Amjad I. Aqib, Shanza R. Khan, Tanveer Ahmad, Syed A. R. Shah, Muhammad A. Naseer, Muhammad Shoaib, Iqra Sarwar, Muhammad F. A. Kulyar, Zeeshan A. Bhutta, Mumtaz A. Khan, Mahboob Ali, Khadija Yasmeen

Abstract:

The current study focused on resistance modulation of dairy linked epidemic mec A positive S. aureus for resistance modulation by plant extract (Eucalyptus globolus, Calotropis procera), NSAIDs, and star like microparticles. Zinc oxide {ZnO}c and {Zn (OH)₂} microparticles were synthesized by solvothermal method and characterized by calcination, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Plant extracts were prepared by the Soxhlet extraction method. The study found 34% of subclinical samples (n=200) positive for S. aureus from dairy milk having significant (p < 0.05) association of assumed risk factors with pathogen. The antimicrobial assay showed 55, 42, 41, and 41% of S. aureus resistant to oxacillin, ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, and enoxacin. Amoxicillin showed the highest percentage of increase in zone of inhibitions (ZOI) at 100mg of Calotropis procera extract (31.29%) followed by 1mg/mL (28.91%) and 10mg/mL (21.68%) of Eucalyptus globolus. Amoxicillin increased ZOI by 42.85, 37.32, 29.05, and 22.78% in combination with 500 ug/ml with each of diclofenac, aspirin, ibuprofen, and meloxicam, respectively. Fractional inhibitory concentration indices (FICIs) showed synergism of amoxicillin with diclofenac and aspirin and indifferent synergy with ibuprofen and meloxicam. The preliminary in vitro finding of combination of microparticles with amoxicillin proved to be synergistic, giving rise to 26.74% and 14.85% increase in ZOI of amoxicillin in combination with zinc oxide and zinc hydroxide, respectively. The modulated antimicrobial resistance incurred by NSAIDs, plant extracts, and microparticles against pathogenic S. aureus invite immediate attention to probe alternative antimicrobial sources.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, dairy milk, nanoparticles, NSIDs, plant extracts, resistance modulation, S. aureus

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3 White-Rot Hymenomycetes as Oil Palm Log Treatments: Accelerating Biodegradation of Basal Stem Rot-Affected Oil Palm Stumps

Authors: Yuvarani Naidu, Yasmeen Siddiqui, Mohd Yusof Rafii , Abu Seman Idris

Abstract:

Sustainability of oil palm production in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, is jeopardized by Ganoderma boninense, the fungus which causes basal stem rot (BSR) in oil palm. The root contact with unattended infected debris left in the plantations during replanting is known to be the primary source of inoculum. Abiding by the law, potentially effective technique of managing Ganoderma infected oil palm debris is deemed necessary because of the zero-burning policy in Malaysian oil palm plantations. White-rot hymenomycetes antagonistic to Ganoderma sp were selected to test their efficacy as log treatments in degrading Ganoderma infected oil palm logs and to minimize the survival of Ganoderma inoculum. Decay rate in terms of mass loss was significantly higher after the application of solid-state cultivation (SSC) of Trametes lactinea FBW (64% ±1.2), followed by Pycnoporus sanguineus FBR (55% ±1.7) in infected log block tissues, after 10 months of treatments. The degradation pattern was clearly distinguished between the treated and non-treated log blocks with the developed SSC formulations. The control infected log blocks showed the highest, whereas infected log blocks treated with either P. sanguineus FBR or T. lactinea FBW SSC formulations exhibited statistically lowest number of Ganoderma spp. recovery on Ganoderma Selective Medium (GSM), after 8 months of treatment. Out of that, the lowest recovery of Ganoderma spp. was reported in infected log blocks inoculated with the strain T. lactinea FBW (21% ± 0.9) followed by P. sanguineus FBR (33% ± 2.2), after 8 months, Further, no recovery of Ganoderma was noticeable, 10 months after treatment applications in log blocks treated with both of the formulations. This is the first nursery-base study to substantiate the initial colonization of white-rot hymenomycetes on oil palm log blocks previously infected with BSR pathogen, G. boninense. The present study has indicated that log blocks treatment with white-rot hymenomycetes significantly affected the mass loss of diseased and healthy log block tissues. This study provides a basis of biotechnological approaches inefficient degradation of oil palm-generated crop debris, under natural conditions with an ultimate aim of reducing the Ganoderma inoculum under heavy BSR infection pressure in eco-friendly manner.

Keywords: basal stem rot disease, ganoderma boninense, oil palm, white-rot fungi

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2 Using the Synchronous Online Flipped Learning Approach to Facilitate Student Podcasting

Authors: Yasmeen Coaxum

Abstract:

The year 2020 became synonymous with the words “Emergency Remote Teaching,” which was imposed upon educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, teachers were compelled to find new and engaging ways to educate their students outside of the face-to-face classroom setting. Now online instruction has become more of the norm rather than a way to manage educational expectations during a crisis. Therefore, implementing a strategic way to create online environments for students to thrive, create, and fully engage in their learning process is essential. The Synchronous Online Flipped Learning Approach or SOFLA® is a distance learning model that most closely replicates actual classroom teaching. SOFLA® includes structured, interactive, multimodal activities in an eight-step learning cycle with both asynchronous and synchronous components that foster autonomous and interactive learning among today’s online learners. The results of a pilot study in an Intensive English Program at a university, using SOFLA® methodology to facilitate podcasting in an online learning environment will be shared. Previous findings on student-produced podcasting projects have shown that students felt they improved their pronunciation, vocabulary, and speaking skills. However, few if any studies have been conducted on using a structured online flipped learning approach to facilitate such projects. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess the effect of using the SOFLA® framework to enhance optimum engagement in the online environment while using podcasts as the primary tool of instruction. Through data from interviews, questionnaires, and the results of formative and summative assessments, this study also investigates the affective and academic impact this flipped learning method combined with podcasting has on the students in terms of speaking confidence and vocabulary retention, and production. The steps of SOFLA will be illustrated, a video demonstration of the Anchor podcasting app will be shown, and final student projects and questionnaire responses will be shared. The specific context is a 14-week advanced level conversation and listening class. Participants vary in age but are all adult language learners representing a diverse array of countries.

Keywords: mall online flipped learning, podcasting, productive vocabulary

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1 The Role of Social Media in the Rise of Islamic State in India: An Analytical Overview

Authors: Yasmeen Cheema, Parvinder Singh

Abstract:

The evolution of Islamic State (acronym IS) has an ultimate goal of restoring the caliphate. IS threat to the global security is main concern of international community but has also raised a factual concern for India about the regular radicalization of IS ideology among Indian youth. The incident of joining Arif Ejaz Majeed, an Indian as ‘jihadist’ in IS has set strident alarm in law & enforcement agencies. On 07.03.2017, many people were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on-board of Bhopal Ujjain Express. One perpetrator of this incident was killed in encounter with police. But, the biggest shock is that the conspiracy was pre-planned and the assailants who carried out the blast were influenced by the ideology perpetrated by the Islamic State. This is the first time name of IS has cropped up in a terror attack in India. It is a red indicator of violent presence of IS in India, which is spreading through social media. The IS have the capacity to influence the younger Muslim generation in India through its brutal and aggressive propaganda videos, social media apps and hatred speeches. It is a well known fact that India is on the radar of IS, as well on its ‘Caliphate Map’. IS uses Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms constantly. Islamic State has used enticing videos, graphics, and articles on social media and try to influence persons from India & globally that their jihad is worthy. According to arrested perpetrator of IS in different cases in India, the most of Indian youths are victims to the daydreams which are fondly shown by IS. The dreams that the Muslim empire as it was before 1920 can come back with all its power and also that the Caliph and its caliphate can be re-established are shown by the IS. Indian Muslim Youth gets attracted towards these euphemistic ideologies. Islamic State has used social media for disseminating its poisonous ideology, recruitment, operational activities and for future direction of attacks. IS through social media inspired its recruits & lone wolfs to continue to rely on local networks to identify targets and access weaponry and explosives. Recently, a pro-IS media group on its Telegram platform shows Taj Mahal as the target and suggested mode of attack as a Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Attack (VBIED). Islamic State definitely has the potential to destroy the Indian national security & peace, if timely steps are not taken. No doubt, IS has used social media as a critical mechanism for recruitment, planning and executing of terror attacks. This paper will therefore examine the specific characteristics of social media that have made it such a successful weapon for Islamic State. The rise of IS in India should be viewed as a national crisis and handled at the central level with efficient use of modern technology.

Keywords: ideology, India, Islamic State, national security, recruitment, social media, terror attack

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