Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: U. Waqas

24 Adaptation of Requirement Engineering Practices in Pakistan

Authors: Waqas Ali, Nadeem Majeed

Abstract:

Requirement engineering is an essence of software development life cycle. The more time we spend on requirement engineering, higher the probability of success. Effective requirement engineering ensures and predicts successful software product. This paper presents the adaptation of requirement engineering practices in small and medium size companies of Pakistan. The study is conducted by questionnaires to show how much of requirement engineering models and practices are followed in Pakistan.

Keywords: requirement engineering, Pakistan, models, practices, organizations

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23 Solving Flowshop Scheduling Problems with Ant Colony Optimization Heuristic

Authors: Arshad Mehmood Ch, Riaz Ahmad, Imran Ali Ch, Waqas Durrani

Abstract:

This study deals with the application of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) approach to solve no-wait flowshop scheduling problem (NW-FSSP). ACO algorithm so developed has been coded on Matlab computer application. The paper covers detailed steps to apply ACO and focuses on judging the strength of ACO in relation to other solution techniques previously applied to solve no-wait flowshop problem. The general purpose approach was able to find reasonably accurate solutions for almost all the problems under consideration and was able to handle a fairly large spectrum of problems with far reduced CPU effort. Careful scrutiny of the results reveals that the algorithm presented results better than other approaches like Genetic algorithm and Tabu Search heuristics etc; earlier applied to solve NW-FSSP data sets.

Keywords: no-wait, flowshop, scheduling, ant colony optimization (ACO), makespan

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22 Atmospheric Pressure Microwave Plasma System and Its Applications

Authors: Waqas A. Toor, Anis U. Baig, Nuaman Shafqat, Raafia Irfan, Muhammad Ashraf

Abstract:

A 2.45GHz microwave plasma system and its few applications have been developed. Argon and helium plasma is produced by metallic nozzle and also in a quartz tube at atmospheric pressure, using WR-340 waveguide and its tapered version. The waveguide applicator is also simulated in HFSS and field patterns are analyzed for maximum power absorption in the load. The system is tuned to operate at less than 10% reflected power. Various experimental techniques are used to initiate and sustain the plasma at atmospheric pressure. Plasma of atmospheric air is also produced without using any other shielding gas. The plasma flame is also characterized by its spectrum. Spectral analyses of plasma flame can be used for online analysis of combustion gases produced in industry. The applications of the system include glass and quartz processing, vitrification, emission spectroscopy, plasma coating. Low pressure plasma applications of the system include intense UV light for water purification and ozone generation.

Keywords: HFSS high frequency structure simulator, Microwave plasma, UV ultraviolet, WR rectangular waveguide

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21 Cultural Diversity and Challenges for Female Entrepreneurs: Empirical Study of an Emerging Economy

Authors: Amir Ikram, Qin Su, Muhammad Fiaz, Muhammad Waqas Shabbir

Abstract:

Women entrepreneurship witnessed a healthy rise in the last decade or so, and the scenario in Pakistan is not different. However female leaders are facing various, cultural, career oriented, and professional challenges. The study investigates the impact of social and industry-specific challenges on female entrepreneurship; social challenges was evaluated in terms of culture, and industry-specific challenges was measured in terms of team management and career growth. Purposive sampling was employed to collect data from 75 multicultural organizations operating in the culturally diverse and historic city of Lahore, Pakistan. Cronbach’s alpha was conducted to endorse the reliability of survey questionnaire, while correlation and regression analysis were used to test hypotheses. Industry-specific challenges were found to be more significant as compared to cultural factors. The paper also highlights the importance of female entrepreneurship for emerging economies, and suggests that bringing women to mainstream professions can lead to economic success.

Keywords: cultural challenges, emerging economy, female entrepreneurship, leadership

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20 Predictive Value of Coagulopathy in Patients with Isolated Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort of Pakistani Population

Authors: Muhammad Waqas, Shahan Waheed, Mohsin Qadeer, Ehsan Bari, Salman Ahmed, Iqra Patoli

Abstract:

Objective: To determine the value of aPTT, platelets and INR as the predictor of unfavorable outcomes in patients with blunt isolated traumatic brain injury. Methods: This was an observational cohort study conducted in a tertiary care facility from 1st January 2008 to 31st December 2012. All the patients with isolated traumatic brain injury presenting within 24 hours of injury were included in the study. Coagulation parameters at presentation were recorded and Glasgow Outcome Scale calculated on last follow up. Outcomes were dichotomized into favorable and unfavorable outcomes. Relationship of coagulopathy with GOS and unfavorable outcomes was calculated using Spearman`s correlation and area under curve ROC analysis. Results: 121 patients were included in the study. The incidence of coagulopathy was found to be 6 %. aPTT was found to a significantly associated with unfavorable outcomes with an AUC = 0.702 (95%CI = 0.602-0.802). Predictive value of platelets and INR was not found to be significant. Conclusion: Incidence of coagulopathy was found to be low in current population compared to data from the West. aPTT was found to be a good predictor of unfavorable outcomes compared with other parameters of coagulation.

Keywords: aPTT, coagulopathy, unfavorable outcomes, parameters

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19 Exploitation of Variability for Salinity Tolerance in Maize Hybrids (Zea Mays L.) at Early Growth Stage

Authors: Abdul Qayyum, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Mamoona Hanif, Etrat Noor, Waqas Malik, Shoaib Liaqat

Abstract:

Salinity is extremely serious problem that has a drastic effect on maize crop, environment and causes economic losses of country. An advance technique to overcome salinity is to develop salt tolerant geno types which require screening of huge germplasm to start a breeding program. Therefore, present study was undertaken to screen out 25 maize hybrids of different origin for salinity tolerance at seedling stage under three levels of salt stress 250 and 300 mM NaCl including one control. The existence of variation for tolerance to enhanced NaCl salinity levels at seedling stage in maize proved that hybrids had differing ability to grow under saline environment and potential variability within specie. Almost all the twenty five maize hybrids behaved varyingly in response to different salinity levels. However, the maize hybrids H6, H13, H21, H23 and H24 expressed better performance under salt stress in terms of all six characters and proved to be as highly tolerant while H22, H17 H20, H18, H4, H9, and H8 were identified as moderately tolerant. Hybrids H14, H5, H11 and H3 H12, H2, were expressed as most sensitive to salinity suggesting that screening is an effective tool to exploit genetic variation among maize hybrids and salt tolerance in maize can be enhanced through selection and breeding procedure.

Keywords: salinity, hybrids, maize, variation

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18 Assesment of Trapping Efficiency of Slow Released Formulations of Methyl Euginol with Carnauba Wax against Bactrocera zonata

Authors: Waleed Afzal Naveed, Muhammd Dildar Gogi, Muhammad Sufian, Muhammad Junaid Nisar, Mubashir Iqbal, Hafiz Muhammad Waqas Amjad, Muhammad Hamza Khaliq

Abstract:

Present study was carried out to evaluate the performance of Slow-Released Formulations (SRF) of methyl eugenol with Carnauba wax in orchard of University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan against fruit flies. Carnauba wax was mixed with methyl eugenol in nine ratios (10:90, 20:80, 30:70, 40:60, 50:50, 60:40, 70:30, 80:20 and 90:10). The results revealed that SRFCN-9 trapped 35.3 flies/day/trap, exhibited an attractancy index (AI) of 50.35%, proved strongly attractive SRFCN for B. zonata and was categorized as Class-III slow-released formulation (Attractive Index > 50%). The SRFCN-1, SRFCN-2, SRFCN-3, SRFCN-4, SRFCN-5, SRFCN-6, SRFCN-7 and SRFCN-8 trapped 2.0, 5.3, 3.3, 4.0, 5.7, 12.0, 9.7 and 14.3 flies/day/trap respectively exhibited an attractancy index (AI) of -70.73%, -37.25%, -55.55%, -48.93%, -34.61%, 1.40%, -9.37% and 10.25% Attractive Index respectively, proved little or non attractive slow-released formulation and was categorized as Class-I slow-released formulation for B. zonata (Attractive Index < 11%). Results revealed that the Slow-Released Formulation containing 10% Carnauba wax with 90% methyl eugenol trapped maximum number of flies of over 30 days.

Keywords: slow-released formulation, Bactrocera zonata, Carnauba wax, methyl euginol

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17 Evaluation of Genetic Diversity for Salt Stress in Maize Hybrids (Zea Mays L.) at Seedling Stage

Authors: Abdu Qayyum, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Mamoona Hanif, Etrat Noor, Waqas Malik, Shoaib Liaqat

Abstract:

Salinity is extremely serious problem that has a drastic effect on maize crop, environment and causes economic losses of country. An advance technique to overcome salinity is to develop salt tolerant geno types which require screening of huge germ plasm to start a breeding program. Therefore, present study was undertaken to screen out 25 maize hybrids of different origin for salinity tolerance at seedling stage under three levels of salt stress 250 and 300 mM NaCl including one control. The existence of variation for tolerance to enhanced NaCl salinity levels at seedling stage in maize proved that hybrids had differing ability to grow under saline environment and potential variability within specie. Almost all the twenty five maize hybrids behaved varyingly in response to different salinity levels. However, the maize hybrids H6, H13, H21, H23 and H24 expressed better performance under salt stress in terms of all six characters and proved to be as highly tolerant while H22, H17 H20, H18, H4, H9, and H8 were identified as moderately tolerant. Hybrids H14, H5, H11 and H3 H12, H2, were expressed as most sensitive to salinity suggesting that screening is an effective tool to exploit genetic variation among maize hybrids and salt tolerance in maize can be enhanced through selection and breeding procedure.

Keywords: salinity, hybrids, maize, variation

Procedia PDF Downloads 550
16 A Gradient Orientation Based Efficient Linear Interpolation Method

Authors: S. Khan, A. Khan, Abdul R. Soomrani, Raja F. Zafar, A. Waqas, G. Akbar

Abstract:

This paper proposes a low-complexity image interpolation method. Image interpolation is used to convert a low dimension video/image to high dimension video/image. The objective of a good interpolation method is to upscale an image in such a way that it provides better edge preservation at the cost of very low complexity so that real-time processing of video frames can be made possible. However, low complexity methods tend to provide real-time interpolation at the cost of blurring, jagging and other artifacts due to errors in slope calculation. Non-linear methods, on the other hand, provide better edge preservation, but at the cost of high complexity and hence they can be considered very far from having real-time interpolation. The proposed method is a linear method that uses gradient orientation for slope calculation, unlike conventional linear methods that uses the contrast of nearby pixels. Prewitt edge detection is applied to separate uniform regions and edges. Simple line averaging is applied to unknown uniform regions, whereas unknown edge pixels are interpolated after calculation of slopes using gradient orientations of neighboring known edge pixels. As a post-processing step, bilateral filter is applied to interpolated edge regions in order to enhance the interpolated edges.

Keywords: edge detection, gradient orientation, image upscaling, linear interpolation, slope tracing

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15 Wire Localization Procedures in Non-Palpable Breast Cancers: An Audit Report and Review of Literature

Authors: Waqas Ahmad, Eisha Tahir, Shahper Aqeel, Imran Khalid Niazi, Amjad Iqbal

Abstract:

Background: Breast conservation surgery applies a number of techniques for accurate localization of lesions. Wire localization remains the method of choice in non-palpable breast cancers post-neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Objective: The aim of our study was to determine the accuracy of wire localization procedures in our department and compare it with internationally set protocols as per the Royal College of Radiologists. Post wire mammography, as well as the margin status of the postoperative specimen, assessed the accuracy of the procedure. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the data of 225 patients who presented to our department from May 2014 to June 2015 post neoadjuvant chemotherapy with non-palpable cancers. These patients are candidates for wire localized lumpectomies either under ultrasound or stereotactic guidance. Metallic marker was placed in all the patients at the time of biopsy. Post wire mammogram was performed in all the patients and the distance of the wire tip from the marker was calculated. The presence or absence of the metallic clip in the postoperative specimen, as well as the marginal status of the postoperative specimen, was noted. Results: 157 sonographic and 68 stereotactic wire localization procedures were performed. 95% of the wire tips were within 1 cm of the metallic marker. Marginal status was negative in 94% of the patients in histopathological specimen. Conclusion: Our audit report declares more than 95% accuracy of image guided wire localization in successful excision of non-palpable breast lesions.

Keywords: breast, cancer, non-palpable, wire localization

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14 Augmentation of Conventional Medicine for Post-concussion Syndrome with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Accelerates Symptomatic Relief in Affected Individuals

Authors: Waqas Mehdi, Muhammad Umar Hassan, Khadeeja Mustafa

Abstract:

Objective: Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a medical term used to point out the complicated combination of physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral signs and symptoms associated with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury(mTBI). This study was conducted to assess the improvement or debilitating effect of behavioral therapy in addition to the conventional treatment and to document these results for increasing the efficiency of treatment provided to such cases. Method: This was primarily an interventional prospective cohort study which was conducted in the Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Hospital Lahore. The sample size was 200 patients who were randomly distributed into two groups. The interventional group with Cognitive behavioral therapy was added in addition to the conventional treatment regimen and the Control group receiving only conventional treatment. Results were noted initially as well as after two weeks of the follow-up period. Data were subsequently analyzed by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software and associations worked out. Result and conclusion: Among the patients that were given therapy sessions along with conventional medicine, there was a significant improvement in the symptoms and their overall quality of life. It is also important to notice that the time period taken for these effects to wane is cut down by psychiatric solutions too. So we can conclude that CBT sessions not only speed up recovery in patients with post-concussion syndrome they also aid in the efficiency improvement in functional capability and quality of life.

Keywords: neurosurgery, CBT, PCS, mTBI

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13 Challenges Faced by Teachers during Teaching with Developmental Disable Students at Primary Level in Lahore

Authors: Zikra Faiz, Nisar Abid, Muhammad Waqas

Abstract:

This study aim to examine the challenges faced by teachers during teaching to those students who are intellectually disable, suffering from autism spectrum disorder, learning disability, and ADHD at the primary level. The descriptive research design of quantitative approach was adopted to conduct this study; a cross-sectional survey method was used to collect data. The sample was comprised of 258 (43 male and 215 female) teachers who teach at special education institutes of Lahore district selected through proportionate stratified random sampling technique. Self-developed questionnaire was used which was comprised of 22 closed-ended items. Collected data were analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistical techniques by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21. Results show that teachers faced problems during group activities, to handle bad behavior and different disabilities of students. It is concluded that there was a significant difference between male and female teachers perceptions about challenges faced during teaching with developmental disable students. Furthermore, there was a significant difference exist in the perceptions of teachers regarding challenges faced during teaching to students with developmental disabilities in term of teachers’ age and area of specialization. It is recommended that developmentally disable student require extra attention so that, teacher should trained through pre-service and in-service training to teach developmentally disabled students.

Keywords: intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, learning disability

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12 Assessment of Training, Job Attitudes and Motivation: A Mediation Model in Banking Sector of Pakistan

Authors: Abdul Rauf, Xiaoxing Liu, Rizwan Qaisar Danish, Waqas Amin

Abstract:

The core intention of this study is to analyze the linkage of training, job attitudes and motivation through a mediation model in the banking sector of Pakistan. Moreover, this study is executed to answer a range of queries regarding the consideration of employees about training, job satisfaction, motivation and organizational commitment. Hence, the association of training with job satisfaction, job satisfaction with motivation, organizational commitment with job satisfaction, organization commitment as independently with motivation and training directly related to motivation is determined in this course of study. A questionnaire crafted for comprehending the purpose of this study by including four variables such as training, job satisfaction, motivation and organizational commitment which have to measure. A sample of 450 employees from seventeen private (17) banks and two (2) public banks was taken on the basis of convenience sampling from Pakistan. However, 357 questionnaires, completely filled were received back. AMOS used for assessing the conformity factor analysis (CFA) model and statistical techniques practiced to scan the collected data (i.e.) descriptive statistics, regression analysis and correlation analysis. The empirical findings revealed that training and organizational commitment has a significant and positive impact directly on job satisfaction and motivation as well as through the mediator (job satisfaction) also the impact sensing in the same way on the motivation of employees in the financial Banks of Pakistan. In this research study, the banking sector is under discussion, so the findings could not generalize on other sectors such as manufacturing, textiles, telecom, and medicine, etc. The low sample size is also the limitation of this study. On the foundation of these results the management fascinates to make the revised strategies regarding training program for the employees as it enhances their motivation level, and job satisfaction on a regular basis.

Keywords: job satisfaction, motivation, organizational commitment, Pakistan, training

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11 Nexus of Pakistan Stock Exchange with World's Top Five Stock Markets after Launching China Pakistan Economic Corridor

Authors: Abdul Rauf, Xiaoxing Liu, Waqas Amin

Abstract:

Stock markets are fascinating more and more conductive to each other due to liberalization and globalization trends in recent years. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has dragged Pakistan stock exchange to the new heights and global investors are making investments to reap its benefits. So, in investors and government perspective, the study focuses co-integration of Pakistan stock exchange with world’s five big economies i-e US, China, England, Japan, and France. The time period of study is seven years i-e 2010 to 2016 and daily values of major indices of corresponding stock exchanges collected. All variables of that particular study are stationary at first difference confirmed by unit root test. The study Johansen system co integration test for analysis of data along with Granger causality test is performed for result purpose. Co integration test asserted that Pakistan stock exchange integrated with Shanghai stock exchange (SSE) and NIKKEI stock exchange in short run. Granger causality test also proclaimed these results. But NASDAQ, FTSE, DAX not co integrated and Granger cause at a short run but long run these markets are bonded with Pakistan stock exchange (KSE). VECM also confirmed this liaison in short and long run. Investors, therefore, need to be updated regarding co-integration of world’s stock exchanges to ensure well diversified and risk adjusted high returns. Equally, governments also need updated status so that they could reduce co-integration through multiple steps and hence drag investors for diversified investment.

Keywords: CPEC, DAX, FTSE, liberalization, NASDAQ, NIKKEI, SSE, stock markets

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10 The Quality Assessment of Seismic Reflection Survey Data Using Statistical Analysis: A Case Study of Fort Abbas Area, Cholistan Desert, Pakistan

Authors: U. Waqas, M. F. Ahmed, A. Mehmood, M. A. Rashid

Abstract:

In geophysical exploration surveys, the quality of acquired data holds significant importance before executing the data processing and interpretation phases. In this study, 2D seismic reflection survey data of Fort Abbas area, Cholistan Desert, Pakistan was taken as test case in order to assess its quality on statistical bases by using normalized root mean square error (NRMSE), Cronbach’s alpha test (α) and null hypothesis tests (t-test and F-test). The analysis challenged the quality of the acquired data and highlighted the significant errors in the acquired database. It is proven that the study area is plain, tectonically least affected and rich in oil and gas reserves. However, subsurface 3D modeling and contouring by using acquired database revealed high degrees of structural complexities and intense folding. The NRMSE had highest percentage of residuals between the estimated and predicted cases. The outcomes of hypothesis testing also proved the biasness and erraticness of the acquired database. Low estimated value of alpha (α) in Cronbach’s alpha test confirmed poor reliability of acquired database. A very low quality of acquired database needs excessive static correction or in some cases, reacquisition of data is also suggested which is most of the time not feasible on economic grounds. The outcomes of this study could be used to assess the quality of large databases and to further utilize as a guideline to establish database quality assessment models to make much more informed decisions in hydrocarbon exploration field.

Keywords: Data quality, Null hypothesis, Seismic lines, Seismic reflection survey

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9 Laboratory Scale Purification of Water from Copper Waste

Authors: Mumtaz Khan, Adeel Shahid, Waqas Khan

Abstract:

Heavy metals presence in water streams is a big danger for aquatic life and ultimately effects human health. Removal of copper (Cu) by ispaghula husk, maize fibre, and maize oil cake from synthetic solution in batch conditions was studied. Different experimental parameters such as contact time, initial solution pH, agitation rate, initial Cu concentration, biosorbent concentration, and biosorbent particle size has been studied to quantify the Cu biosorption. The rate of adsorption of metal ions was very fast at the beginning and became slow after reaching the saturation point, followed by a slower active metabolic uptake of metal ions into the cells. Up to a certain point, (pH=4, concentration of Cu = ~ 640 mg/l, agitation rate = ~ 400 rpm, biosorbent concentration = ~ 0.5g, 3g, 3g for ispaghula husk, maize fiber and maize oil cake, respectively) increasing the pH, concentration of Cu, agitation rate, and biosorbent concentration, increased the biosorption rate; however the sorption capacity increased by decreasing the particle size. At optimized experimental parameters, the maximum Cu biosorption by ispaghula husk, maize fibre and maize oil cake were 86.7%, 59.6% and 71.3%, respectively. Moreover, the results of the kinetics studies demonstrated that the biosorption of copper on ispaghula husk, maize fibre, and maize oil cake followed pseudo-second order kinetics. The results of adsorption were fitted to both the Langmuir and Freundlich models. The Langmuir model represented the sorption process better than Freundlich, and R² value ~ 0.978. Optimizations of physical and environmental parameters revealed, ispaghula husk as more potent copper biosorbent than maize fibre, and maize oil cake. The sorbent is cheap and available easily, so this study can be applied to remove Cu impurities on pilot and industrial scale after certain modifications.

Keywords: biosorption, copper, ispaghula husk, maize fibre, maize oil cake, purification

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8 Base Deficit Profiling in Patients with Isolated Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury – Correlation with Severity and Outcomes

Authors: Shahan Waheed, Muhammad Waqas, Asher Feroz

Abstract:

Objectives: To determine the utility of base deficit in traumatic brain injury in assessing the severity and to correlate with the conventional computed tomography scales in grading the severity of head injury. Methodology: Observational cross-sectional study conducted in a tertiary care facility from 1st January 2010 to 31st December 2012. All patients with isolated traumatic brain injury presenting within 24 hours of the injury to the emergency department were included in the study. Initial Glasgow Coma Scale and base deficit values were taken at presentation, the patients were followed during their hospital stay and CT scan brain findings were recorded and graded as per the Rotterdam scale, the findings were cross-checked by a radiologist, Glasgow Outcome Scale was taken on last follow up. Outcomes were dichotomized into favorable and unfavorable outcomes. Continuous variables with normal and non-normal distributions are reported as mean ± SD. Categorical variables are presented as frequencies and percentages. Relationship of the base deficit with GCS, GOS, CT scan brain and length of stay was calculated using Spearman`s correlation. Results: 154 patients were enrolled in the study. Mean age of the patients were 30 years and 137 were males. The severity of brain injuries as per the GCS was 34 moderate and 109 severe respectively. 34 percent of the total has an unfavorable outcome with a mean of 18±14. The correlation was significant at the 0.01 level with GCS on presentation and the base deficit 0.004. The correlation was not significant between the Rotterdam CT scan brain findings, length of stay and the base deficit. Conclusion: The base deficit was found to be a good predictor of severity of brain injury. There was no association of the severity of injuries on the CT scan brain as per the Rotterdam scale and the base deficit. Further studies with large sample size are needed to further evaluate the associations.

Keywords: base deficit, traumatic brain injury, Rotterdam, GCS

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7 Evolution of DNA-Binding With-One-Finger Transcriptional Factor Family in Diploid Cotton Gossypium raimondii

Authors: Waqas Shafqat Chattha, Muhammad Iqbal, Amir Shakeel

Abstract:

Transcriptional factors are proteins that play a vital role in regulating the transcription of target genes in different biological processes and are being widely studied in different plant species. In the current era of genomics, plant genomes sequencing has directed to the genome-wide identification, analyses and categorization of diverse transcription factor families and hence provide key insights into their structural as well as functional diversity. The DNA-binding with One Finger (DOF) proteins belongs to C2-C2-type zinc finger protein family. DOF proteins are plant-specific transcription factors implicated in diverse functions including seed maturation and germination, phytohormone signalling, light-mediated gene regulation, cotton-fiber elongation and responses of the plant to biotic as well as abiotic stresses. In this context, a genome-wide in-silico analysis of DOF TF family in diploid cotton species i.e. Gossypium raimondii has enabled us to identify 55 non-redundant genes encoding DOF proteins renamed as GrDofs (Gossypium raimondii Dof). Gene distribution studies have shown that all of the GrDof genes are unevenly distributed across 12 out of 13 G. raimondii chromosomes. The gene structure analysis illustrated that 34 out of 55 GrDof genes are intron-less while remaining 21 genes have a single intron. Protein sequence-based phylogenetic analysis of putative 55 GrDOFs has divided these proteins into 5 major groups with various paralogous gene pairs. Molecular evolutionary studies aided with the conserved domain as well as gene structure analysis suggested that segmental duplications were the principal contributors for the expansion of Dof genes in G. raimondii.

Keywords: diploid cotton , G. raimondii, phylogenetic analysis, transcription factor

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6 Optimal Sputtering Conditions for Nickel-Cermet Anodes in Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Authors: Waqas Hassan Tanveer, Yoon Ho Lee, Taehyun Park, Wonjong Yu, Yaegeun Lee, Yusung Kim, Suk Won Cha

Abstract:

Nickel-Gadolinium Doped Ceria (Ni-GDC) cermet anodic thin films were prepared on Scandia Stabilized Zirconia (ScSZ) electrolyte supports by radio frequency (RF) sputtering, with a range of different sputtering powers (50 – 200W) and background Ar gas pressures (30 – 90mTorr). The effects of varying sputtering power and pressure on the properties of Ni-GDC films were studied using Focused Ion Beam (FIB), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX), and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) techniques. The Ni content was found to be always higher than the Ce content, at all sputtering conditions. This increased Ni content was attributed to significantly higher energy transfer efficiency of Ni ions as compared to Ce ions with Ar background sputtering gas. The solid oxide fuel cell configuration was completed by using lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM/YSZ) cathodes on the other side of ScSZ supports. Performance comparison of cells was done by Voltage-Current-Power (VIP) curves, while the resistances of various cell components were observed by nyquist plots. Initial results showed that anode films made by higher powered RF sputtering performed better than lower powered ones for a specific Ar pressure. Interestingly, however, anodes made at highest power and pressure, were not the ones that showed the maximum power output at an intermediate solid oxide fuel cell temperature of 800°C. Finally, an optimal sputtering condition was reported for high performance Ni-GDC anodes.

Keywords: intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells, nickel-cermet anodic thin films, nyquist plots, radio frequency sputtering

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5 Development of Knitted Seersucker Fabric for Improved Comfort Properties

Authors: Waqas Ashraf, Yasir Nawab, Haritham Khan, Habib Awais, Shahbaz Ahmad

Abstract:

Seersucker is a popular lightweight fabric widely used in men’s and women’s suiting, casual wear, children’s clothing, house robes, bed spreads and for spring and summer wear. The puckered effect generates air spaces between body and the fabric, keeping the wearer cool in hot conditions. The aim of this work was to develop knitted seersucker fabric on single cylinder weft knitting machine using plain jersey structure. Core spun cotton yarn and cotton spun yarn of same linear density were used. Core spun cotton yarn, contains cotton fiber in the sheath and elastase filament in the core. The both yarn were fed at regular interval to feeders on the machine. The loop length and yarn tension were kept constant at each feeder. The samples were then scoured and bleached. After wet processing, the fabric samples were washed and tumble dried. Parameters like loop length, stitch density and areal density were measured after conditioning these samples for 24 hours in Standard atmospheric condition. Produced sample has a regular puckering stripe along the width of the fabric with same height. The stitch density of both the flat and puckered area of relaxed fabric was found to be different .Air permeability and moisture management tests were performed. The results indicated that the knitted seersucker fabric has better wicking and moisture management properties as the flat area contact, whereas puckered area held away from the skin. Seersucker effect in knitted fabric was achieved by the difference of contraction of both sets of courses produced from different types of yarns. The seer sucker fabric produce by knitting technique is less expensive as compared to woven seer sucker fabric as there is no need of yarn preparation. The knitted seersucker fabric is more practicable for summer dresses, skirts, blouses, shirts, trousers and shorts.

Keywords: air permeability, knitted structure, moisture management, seersucker

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4 Everyday Life Information Seeking among Female Students: A Survey of University and Private Hostels at Lahore

Authors: Sadaf Rafiq, Muhammad Waqas, Shakeel Ahmad Khan, Nisar Ahmad

Abstract:

Everyday life information seeking (ELIS) is considered as the mastery of life. It plays an important role in daily problem solving activities. Female students living in university hostels need variety of information to fulfil their everyday information needs. To find accurate and timely information is really challenging for females students who move from rural areas for educational purposes. These challenges involve culture differences, stress, financial issues, homesickness, diet needs and change in sleeping and eating habits. These complications create numerous problems for female students to adjust themselves in new and unfamiliar environment. Although the Internet has increased the ease of seeking everyday life information to survive successfully but there is still uncertainty to fully rely on the quality of information available on the web. Pakistan is an underdeveloped country where limited budget is allocated for educational institutions to enable them in developing well established hostels for their students. Female students who pursue for higher education has to stay at hostels for years to obtain education goals. It really becomes very difficult for them to spend life in hostels if they are not properly facilitated with relevant information sources to acquire everyday life information. The proposed study attempts to investigate the everyday life information seeking behavior of female students who are living in university and private hostels of Lahore. It investigates the various sources of information used by female students. It also identifies the problems faced by the female students in accessing everyday life information. The results of this study will be helpful for university management to understand their information need and provide required information sources which are essential for them to spend a comfortable, successful and peaceful life in hostels and achieve their educational goals. To achieve the objectives of the study, we will use quantitative research approach by using questionnaire as a data collection tool. The population of this study will be the university students living in public and private hostels of Lahore, Pakistan. This study will increase the understanding of everyday life information seeking behavior of female students living in hostels. Results of the study will be helpful for hostel administrations to better understand the students’ everyday life information needs and provide high quality of information services and living environment.

Keywords: everyday, information seeking, hostel, female

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3 Monitoring of Formaldehyde over Punjab Pakistan Using Car Max-Doas and Satellite Observation

Authors: Waqas Ahmed Khan, Faheem Khokhaar

Abstract:

Air pollution is one of the main perpetrators of climate change. GHGs cause melting of glaciers and cause change in temperature and heavy rain fall many gasses like Formaldehyde is not direct precursor that damage ozone like CO2 or Methane but Formaldehyde (HCHO) form glyoxal (CHOCHO) that has effect on ozone. Countries around the globe have unique air quality monitoring protocols to describe local air pollution. Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many household products and medical preservatives. Formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment. It is produced in small amounts by most living organisms as part of normal metabolic processes. Pakistan lacks the monitoring facilities on larger scale to measure the atmospheric gasses on regular bases. Formaldehyde is formed from Glyoxal and effect mountain biodiversity and livelihood. So its monitoring is necessary in order to maintain and preserve biodiversity. Objective: Present study is aimed to measure atmospheric HCHO vertical column densities (VCDs) obtained from ground-base and compute HCHO data in Punjab and elevated areas (Rawalpindi & Islamabad) by satellite observation during the time period of 2014-2015. Methodology: In order to explore the spatial distributing of H2CO, various fields campaigns including international scientist by using car Max-Doas. Major focus was on the cities along national highways and industrial region of Punjab Pakistan. Level 2 data product of satellite instruments OMI retrieved by differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) technique are used. Spatio-temporal distribution of HCHO column densities over main cities and region of Pakistan has been discussed. Results: Results show the High HCHO column densities exceeding permissible limit over the main cities of Pakistan particularly the areas with rapid urbanization and enhanced economic growth. The VCDs value over elevated areas of Pakistan like Islamabad, Rawalpindi is around 1.0×1016 to 34.01×1016 Molecules’/cm2. While Punjab has values revolving around the figure 34.01×1016. Similarly areas with major industrial activity showed high amount of HCHO concentrations. Tropospheric glyoxal VCDs were found to be 4.75 × 1015 molecules/cm2. Conclusion: Results shows that monitoring site surrounded by Margalla hills (Islamabad) have higher concentrations of Formaldehyde. Wind data shows that industrial areas and areas having high economic growth have high values as they provide pathways for transmission of HCHO. Results obtained from this study would help EPA, WHO and air protection departments in order to monitor air quality and further preservation and restoration of mountain biodiversity.

Keywords: air quality, formaldehyde, Max-Doas, vertical column densities (VCDs), satellite instrument, climate change

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2 A Cross-Sectional Study Assessing Communication Practices among Doctors at a University Hospital in Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Waqas Baqai, Noman Shahzad, Rehman Alvi

Abstract:

Communication among health care givers is the essence of quality patient care and any compromise results in errors and inefficiency leading to cumbersome outcomes. The use of smartphone among health professionals has increased tremendously. Almost every health professional carries it and majority of them uses a third party communication software called whatsApp for work related communications. It gives instant access to the person responsible for any particular query and therefore helps in efficient and timely decision making. It is also an easy way of sharing medical documents, multimedia and provides platform for consensual decision making through group discussions. However clinical communication through whatsApp has some demerits too including reduction in verbal communication, worsening professional relations, unprofessional behavior, risk of confidentiality breach and threats from cyber-attacks. On the other hand the traditional pager device being used in many health care systems is a unidirectional communication that lacks the ability to convey any information other than the number to which the receiver has to respond. Our study focused on these two widely used modalities of communication among doctors of the largest tertiary care center of Pakistan i.e. The Aga Khan University Hospital. Our aim was to note which modality is considered better and has fewer threats to medical data. Approval from ethical review committee of the institute was taken prior to conduction of this study. We submitted an online survey form to all the interns and residents working at our institute and collected their response in a month’s time. 162 submissions were recorded and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Only 20% of them were comfortable with using pagers exclusively, 52% with whatsApp and 28% with both. 65% think that whatsApp is time-saving and quicker than pager. 54% of them considered whatsApp to be causing nuisance from work related notifications in their off-work hours. 60% think that they are more likely to miss information through pager system because of the unidirectional nature. Almost all (96%) of residents and interns found whatsApp to be useful in terms of saving information for future reference. For urgent issues, majority (70%) preferred pager over whatsApp and also pager was considered more valid in terms of hospital policies and legal issues. Among major advantages of whatsApp as listed by them were; easy mass communication, sharing of clinical pictures, universal access and no need of carrying additional device. However the major drawback of using whatsApp for clinical communication that everyone shared was threat to patients’ confidentiality as clinicians usually share pictures of wounds, clinical documents etc. Lastly we asked them if they think there is a need of a separate application for instant communication dedicated to clinical communication only and 90% responded positively. Therefore, we concluded that both modalities have their merits and demerits but the greatest drawback with whatsApp is the risk of breach in patients’ confidentiality and off-work disturbance. Hence, we recommend a more secure, institute-run application for all intra hospital communications where they can share documents, pictures etc. easily under a controlled environment.

Keywords: WhatsApp, pager, clinical communication, confidentiality

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1 Rapid Situation Assessment of Family Planning in Pakistan: Exploring Barriers and Realizing Opportunities

Authors: Waqas Abrar

Abstract:

Background: Pakistan is confronted with a formidable challenge to increase uptake of modern contraceptive methods. USAID, through its flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), in Pakistan is determined to support provincial Departments of Health and Population Welfare to increase the country's contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR) in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan to achieve FP2020 goals. To inform program design and planning, a Rapid Situation Assessment (RSA) of family planning was carried out in Rawalpindi and Lahore districts in Punjab and Karachi district in Sindh. Methodology: The methodology consisted of comprehensive desk review of available literature and used a qualitative approach comprising of in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs). FGDs were conducted with community women, men, and mothers-in-law whereas IDIs were conducted with health facility in-charges/chiefs, healthcare providers, and community health workers. Results: Some of the oft-quoted reasons captured during desk review included poor quality of care at public sector facilities, affordability and accessibility in rural communities and providers' technical incompetence. Moreover, providers had inadequate knowledge of contraceptive methods and lacked counseling techniques; thereby, leading to dissatisfied clients and hence, discontinuation of contraceptive methods. These dissatisfied clients spread the myths and misconceptions about contraceptives in their respective communities which seriously damages community-level family planning efforts. Private providers were found reluctant to insert Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCDs) due to inadequate knowledge vis-à-vis post insertion issues/side effects. FGDs and IDIs unveiled multi-faceted reasons for poor contraceptives uptake. It was found that low education and socio-economic levels lead to low contraceptives uptake and mostly uneducated women rely on condoms provided by Lady Health Workers (LHWs). Providers had little or no knowledge about postpartum family planning or lactational amenorrhea. At community level family planning counseling sessions organized by LHWs and Male Mobilizers do not sensitize community men on permissibility of contraception in Islam. Many women attributed their physical ailments to the use of contraceptives. Lack of in-service training, job-aids and Information, Education and Communications (IEC) materials at facilities seriously comprise the quality of care in effective family planning service delivery. This is further compounded by frequent stock-outs of contraceptives at public healthcare facilities, poor data quality, false reporting, lack of data verification systems and follow-up. Conclusions: Some key conclusions from this assessment included capacity building of healthcare providers on long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) which give women contraception for a longer period. Secondly, capacity building of healthcare providers on postpartum family planning is an enormous challenge that can be best addressed through institutionalization. Thirdly, Providers should be equipped with counseling skills and techniques including inculcation of pros and cons of all contraceptive methods. Fourthly, printed materials such as job-aids and Information, Education and Communications (IEC) materials should be disseminated among healthcare providers and clients. These concluding statements helped MCSP to make informed decisions with regard to setting broad objectives of project and were duly approved by USAID.

Keywords: capacity building, contraceptive prevalence rate, family planning, Institutionalization, Pakistan, postpartum care, postpartum family planning services

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