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

Search results for: Vidhya Venugopal

24 Climate Change Implications on Occupational Health and Productivity in Tropical Countries: Study Results from India

Authors: Vidhya Venugopal, Jeremiah Chinnadurai, Rebekah A. I. Lucas, Tord Kjellstrom, Bruno Lemke

Abstract:

Introduction: The effects of climate change (CC) are largely discussed across the globe in terms of impacts on the environment and the general population, but the impacts on workers remain largely unexplored. The predicted rise in temperatures and heat events in the CC scenario have health implications on millions of workers in physically exerting jobs. The current health and productivity risks associated with heat exposures are characterized, future risk estimates as temperature rises and recommendations towards developing protective and preventive occupational health and safety guidelines for India are discussed. Methodology: Cross-sectional studies were conducted in several occupational sectors with workers engaged in moderate to heavy labor (n=1580). Quantitative data on heat exposures (WBGT°C), physiological heat strain indicators viz., Core temperature (CBT), Urine specific gravity (USG), Sweat rate (SwR) and qualitative data on heat-related health symptoms and productivity losses were collected. Data were analyzed for associations between heat exposures, health and productivity outcomes related to heat stress. Findings: Heat conditions exceeded the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) for safe manual work in 66% of the workers across several sectors (Avg.WBGT of 28.7°C±3.1°C). Widespread concerns about heat-related health outcomes (86%) were prevalent among workers exposed to high TLVs, with excessive sweating, fatigue and tiredness being commonly reported by workers. The heat stress indicators, core temperature (14%), Sweat rate (8%) and USG (9%), were above normal levels in the study population. A significant association was found between rise in Core Temperatures and WBGT exposures (p=0.000179) Elevated USG and SwR in the worker population indicate moderate dehydration, with potential risks of developing heat-related illnesses. In a steel industry with high heat exposures, an alarming 9% prevalence of kidney/urogenital anomalies was observed in a young workforce. Heat exposures above TLVs were associated with significantly increased odds of various adverse health outcomes (OR=2.43, 95% CI 1.88 to 3.13, p-value = <0.0001) and productivity losses (OR=1.79, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.4, p-value = 0.0002). Rough estimates for the number of workers who would be subjected to higher than TLV levels in the various RCP scenarios are RCP2.6 =79%, RCP4.5 & RCP6 = 81% and at RCP 8.5 = 85%. Rising temperatures due to CC has the capacity to further reduce already compromised health and productivity by subjecting the workers to increased heat exposures in the RCP scenarios are of concern for the country’s occupational health and economy. Conclusion: The findings of this study clearly identify that health protection from hot weather will become increasingly necessary in the Indian subcontinent and understanding the various adaptation techniques needs urgent attention. Further research with a multi-targeted approach to develop strategies for implementing interventions to protect the millions of workers is imperative. Approaches to include health aspects of climate change within sectoral and climate change specific policies should be encouraged, via a number of mechanisms, such as the “Health in All Policies” approach to avert adverse health and productivity consequences as climate change proceeds.

Keywords: heat stress, occupational health, productivity loss, heat strain, adverse health outcomes

Procedia PDF Downloads 215
23 Modified Active (MA) Algorithm to Generate Semantic Web Related Clustered Hierarchy for Keyword Search

Authors: G. Leena Giri, Archana Mathur, S. H. Manjula, K. R. Venugopal, L. M. Patnaik

Abstract:

Keyword search in XML documents is based on the notion of lowest common ancestors in the labelled trees model of XML documents and has recently gained a lot of research interest in the database community. In this paper, we propose the Modified Active (MA) algorithm which is an improvement over the active clustering algorithm by taking into consideration the entity aspect of the nodes to find the level of the node pertaining to a particular keyword input by the user. A portion of the bibliography database is used to experimentally evaluate the modified active algorithm and results show that it performs better than the active algorithm. Our modification improves the response time of the system and thereby increases the efficiency of the system.

Keywords: keyword matching patterns, MA algorithm, semantic search, knowledge management

Procedia PDF Downloads 237
22 Study on Residual Stress Measurement of Inconel-718 under Different Lubricating Conditions

Authors: M. Sandeep Kumar, Vasu Velagapudi, A. Venugopal

Abstract:

When machining is carried out on a workpiece, residual stresses are induced in the workpiece due to nonuniform thermal and mechanical loads. These stresses play a vital role in the surface integrity of the final product or the output. Inconel 718 is commonly used in critical structural components of aircraft engines due to its properties at high temperatures. Therefore it is important to keep down the stresses induced due to machining. This can be achieved through proper lubricating conditions. In this work, experiments were carried out to check the influence of the developed nanofluid as cutting fluids on residual stresses developed during the course of machining. The results of MQL/Nanofluids were compared with MQL/Vegetable oil and dry machining lubricating condition. Results indicate the reduction in residual stress with the use of MQL/Nanofluid.

Keywords: nanofluids, MQL, residual stress, Inconel-718

Procedia PDF Downloads 127
21 A Survey on Intelligent Techniques Based Modelling of Size Enlargement Process for Fine Materials

Authors: Mohammad Nadeem, Haider Banka, R. Venugopal

Abstract:

Granulation or agglomeration is a size enlargement process to transform the fine particulates into larger aggregates since the fine size of available materials and minerals poses difficulty in their utilization. Though a long list of methods is available in the literature for the modeling of granulation process to facilitate the in-depth understanding and interpretation of the system, there is still scope of improvements using novel tools and techniques. Intelligent techniques, such as artificial neural network, fuzzy logic, self-organizing map, support vector machine and others, have emerged as compelling alternatives for dealing with imprecision and complex non-linearity of the systems. The present study tries to review the applications of intelligent techniques in the modeling of size enlargement process for fine materials.

Keywords: fine material, granulation, intelligent technique, modelling

Procedia PDF Downloads 70
20 Complexity Leadership and Knowledge Management in Higher Education

Authors: Prabhakar Venugopal G.

Abstract:

Complex environments triggered by globalization have necessitated new paradigms of leadership – complexity leadership that encompasses multiple roles that leaders need to take upon. The success of higher education institutions depends on how well leaders can provide adaptive, administrative and enabling leadership. Complexity leadership seems all the more relevant for institutions that are knowledge-driven and thrive on knowledge creation, knowledge storage and retrieval, knowledge sharing and knowledge applications. In this paper are the elements of globalization, the opportunities and challenges that are brought forth by globalization are discussed. The complexity leadership paradigm in a knowledge-based economy and the need for such a paradigm shift for higher education institutions is presented. Further, the paper also discusses the support the leader requires in a knowledge-driven economy through knowledge management initiatives.

Keywords: globalization, complexity leadership, knowledge management

Procedia PDF Downloads 334
19 Deconstructing the Dialectics of Gender: An Analysis of Nigerian Igbo Women's Writing

Authors: R. Vidhya

Abstract:

Nigeria, the seat of canonical literature in Africa, though widely acclaimed as the literary capital of the continent, it failed to produce women writers in its literary arena till the 1960s. Only after 1966, with the publication of the first novel by a women writer, Nigeria saw the emergence of women’s writing through which the world witnessed an upsurge in the sensitization of women’s issues in Africa. The Nigerian Igbo women’s writing threw light on gender discrimination in postcolonial Africa. Their works were instrumental in bringing a remarkable change in the perception of gender in a male dominated society. The social mindscape of the land which strongly believed that feminist ideologies could be highly detrimental to its patriarchal setup is slowly changed through the changing perspectives of gender. This paper aims to analyse the select works of Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to deconstruct the dialectics of gender, which has been realised in the works of these women writers.

Keywords: gender discrimination, Igbo women's writings, postcolonial Africa, changing perspective

Procedia PDF Downloads 224
18 Corporate Governance in Network Marketing Organizations: The Role of Ethics and CSR

Authors: Venugopal Kummamuru

Abstract:

Corporate Governance (CG) is of utmost importance for running a company ethically. It is essential for the growth and success of the corporation. It is intended to increase the accountability of an organization to the larger context of the business environment. The general principles of CG include and are related to Shareholder recognition, Stakeholder interests, and focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Clear Board responsibilities, Ethical behavior, and Business transparency. Network Marketing Organizations (NMOs) focus on marketing through direct-sales using people who are associated with the organization but are not their employees. This paper tries to study the importance of Ethics and CSR in an NMO and suggest a basic guideline for CG in NMO(s). This paper could be used as a basis or starting point for conducting an in-depth research to understand the difference in CG practices between NMO(s) and other organizations and define a standard set of guidelines for CG practice.

Keywords: corporate governance, corporate responsibility, direct selling, network marketing

Procedia PDF Downloads 182
17 Comparison of Proportional-Integral (P-I) and Integral-Propotional (I-P) Controllers for Speed Control in Vector Controlled Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor Drive

Authors: V. Srikanth, K. Balasubramanian, Rajath R. Bhat, A. S. Arjun, Nandhu Venugopal, Ananthu Unnikrishnan

Abstract:

Indirect vector control is known to produce high performance in Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) drives by decoupling flux and torque producing current components of stator current. The most commonly used controller or the vector control of AC motor is Proportional-Integral (P-I) controller. However, the P-I controller has some disadvantages such as high starting overshoot, sensitivity to controller gains and slower response to sudden disturbance. Therefore, the Integral-Proportional controller for PMSM drives to overcome the disadvantages of the P-I controller. Simulations results are presented and analyzed for both controllers and it is observed that Integral-Proportional (I-P) controllers give better responses than the traditional P-I controllers.

Keywords: PMSM, FOC, PI controller, IP controller

Procedia PDF Downloads 191
16 Studies on Partial Replacement of Cement by Rice Husk Ash under Sodium Phosphate Medium

Authors: Dharmana Pradeep, Chandan Kumar Patnaikuni, N. V. S. Venugopal

Abstract:

Rice Husk Ash (RHA) is a green product contains carbon and also loaded with silica. For the development of durability and strength of any concrete, curing phenomenon shall be very important. In this communication, we reported the exposure of partial replacement of cement with RHA at different percentages of 0%, 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 12.5% and 15% by weight under sodium phosphate curing atmosphere. The mix is designed for M40 grade concrete with the proportions of 1:2.2:3.72. The tests conducted on concrete was a compressive strength, and the specimens were cured in normal water & exposed to the chemical solution for 7, 28 & 56 days. For chemical curing 0.5% & 1% concentrated sodium phosphates were used and were compared with normal concrete strength results. The strength of specimens of 1% sodium phosphate exposure showed that the compressive strength decreased with increase in RHA percentages.

Keywords: rice husk ash, compressive strength, sodium phosphate, curing

Procedia PDF Downloads 204
15 Effect of Gamma Irradiation on Structural and Optical Properties of ZnO/Mesoporous Silica Nanocomposite

Authors: K. Sowri Babu, P. Srinath, N. Rajeswara Rao, K. Venugopal Reddy

Abstract:

The effect of gamma ray irradiation on morphology and optical properties of ZnO/Mesoporous silica (MPS) nanocomposite was studied. The ZnO/MPS nanocomposite was irradiated with gamma rays of doses 30, 60, and 90 kGy and dose-rate of irradiation was 0.15 kGy/hour. Irradiated samples are characterized with FE-SEM, FT-IR, UV-vis, and Photoluminescence (PL) spectrometers. SEM pictures showed that morphology changed from spherical to flake like morphology. UV-vis analysis showed that the band gap increased with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. This enhancement of the band gap is assigned to the depletion of oxygen vacancies with irradiation. The intensity of PL peak decreased gradually with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. The decrease in PL intensity is attributed to the decrease of oxygen vacancies at the interface due to poor interface and improper passivation between ZnO/MPS.

Keywords: ZnO nanoparticles, nanocomposites, mesoporous silica, photoluminescence

Procedia PDF Downloads 87
14 Improved Performance in Content-Based Image Retrieval Using Machine Learning Approach

Authors: B. Ramesh Naik, T. Venugopal

Abstract:

This paper presents a novel approach which improves the high-level semantics of images based on machine learning approach. The contemporary approaches for image retrieval and object recognition includes Fourier transforms, Wavelets, SIFT and HoG. Though these descriptors helpful in a wide range of applications, they exploit zero order statistics, and this lacks high descriptiveness of image features. These descriptors usually take benefit of primitive visual features such as shape, color, texture and spatial locations to describe images. These features do not adequate to describe high-level semantics of the images. This leads to a gap in semantic content caused to unacceptable performance in image retrieval system. A novel method has been proposed referred as discriminative learning which is derived from machine learning approach that efficiently discriminates image features. The analysis and results of proposed approach were validated thoroughly on WANG and Caltech-101 Databases. The results proved that this approach is very competitive in content-based image retrieval.

Keywords: CBIR, discriminative learning, region weight learning, scale invariant feature transforms

Procedia PDF Downloads 58
13 Assessment of Land Surface Temperature Using Satellite Remote Sensing

Authors: R. Vidhya, M. Navamuniyammal M. Sivakumar, S. Reeta

Abstract:

The unplanned urbanization affects the environment due to pollution, conditions of the atmosphere, decreased vegetation and the pervious and impervious soil surface. Considered to be a cumulative effect of all these impacts is the Urban Heat Island. In this paper, the urban heat island effect is studied for the Chennai city, TamilNadu, South India using satellite remote sensing data. LANDSAT 8 OLI and TIRS DATA acquired on 9th September 2014 were used to Land Surface Temperature (LST) map, vegetation fraction map, Impervious surface fraction, Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), Normalized Difference Building Index (NDBI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) map. The relationship among LST, Vegetation fraction, NDBI, NDWI, and NDVI was calculated. The Chennai city’s Urban Heat Island effect is significant, and the results indicate LST has strong negative correlation with the vegetation present and positive correlation with NDBI. The vegetation is the main factor to control urban heat island effect issues in urban area like Chennai City. This study will help in developing measures to land use planning to reduce the heat effects in urban area based on remote sensing derivatives.

Keywords: land surface temperature, brightness temperature, emissivity, vegetation index

Procedia PDF Downloads 133
12 Modeling Studies on the Elevated Temperatures Formability of Tube Ends Using RSM

Authors: M. J. Davidson, N. Selvaraj, L. Venugopal

Abstract:

The elevated temperature forming studies on the expansion of thin walled tubes have been studied in the present work. The influence of process parameters namely the die angle, the die ratio and the operating temperatures on the expansion of tube ends at elevated temperatures is carried out. The range of operating parameters have been identified by perfoming extensive simulation studies. The hot forming parameters have been evaluated for AA2014 alloy for performing the simulation studies. Experimental matrix has been developed from the feasible range got from the simulation results. The design of experiments is used for the optimization of process parameters. Response Surface Method’s (RSM) and Box-Behenken design (BBD) is used for developing the mathematical model for expansion. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is used to analyze the influence of process parameters on the expansion of tube ends. The effect of various process combinations of expansion are analyzed through graphical representations. The developed model is found to be appropriate as the coefficient of determination value is very high and is equal to 0.9726. The predicted values are found to coincide well with the experimental results, within acceptable error limits.

Keywords: expansion, optimization, Response Surface Method (RSM), ANOVA, bbd, residuals, regression, tube

Procedia PDF Downloads 409
11 Sustainability Rating System for Infrastructure Projects in UAE

Authors: Amrutha Venugopal, Rabee Rustum

Abstract:

In spite of huge investments and the vital role infrastructure plays in the economy of UAE, the country has not yet developed an assessment scheme to measure the sustainability of infrastructure projects/development. The aim of this study was to develop a sustainability rating system for infrastructure projects in UAE using weighted indicator scoring. The identification of the list of 66 indicators was done by content analysis. The sources of content analysis were from government guidelines, research literature and sustainability rating system for infrastructure projects namely BCA Greenmark for Infrastructure (Singapore), ISCA (Australia) and Envision (USA). These indicators were shortlisted based on their relevance in the UAE. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methods is utilized to find the weightage to be applied to the indicators and to find suggestive measures to improve infrastructure sustainability in this region. Interviews and surveys were conducted with a good mix of experts from the industry. The data collected from the interviews were collated to provide suggestive measures for improving infrastructure sustainability. The collected survey data were analyzed using statistical analysis techniques to find the indicator weighing. The indicators were shortlisted by 75% to minimize the effort and investment into the process. The weighing of the deleted indicators was distributed among the critical clusters identified by Pareto analysis. Finally a simple Microsoft Excel tool was developed as the rating tool by using the calculated weighing for the indicators.

Keywords: infrastructure, rating system, suggestive measures, sustainability, UAE

Procedia PDF Downloads 189
10 Endeavor to Develop Immunological and Hematological Early Diagnostic Marker to Check the Conversion of Asymptomatic to Symptomatic Visceral Leishmaniasis

Authors: Roshan Kamal Topno, Maneesh Kumar, Manas Ranjan Dikhit, Krishna Pandey, Major Madhukar, Vidhya Nand Rabidas, Vahab Ali, Ganesh Chandra Sahoo, Bhawana, Devendra Prasad Yadav, Rishikesh Kumar, Pradeep Das

Abstract:

A diagnostic marker for asymptomatic subject becomes a crucial need for advocating early prophylactic majors to control protozoal infection. The main issue in epidemiological affected regions is the presence of an asymptomatic individual that might potentially convert to a symptomatic visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The epidemiological study has been conducted at highly VL endemic Moriyama village in Patna district, Bihar, India that covers total population of 1540 individuals. Here, 1104(74.02%) people had been randomly screened and only 46 (4.17%) asymptomatic individuals were found sero-positive by the rK39 test. After taking signed informed consent form, blood samples were collected from 46 asymptomatic subjects for further hematological and immunological tests. Total leukocyte count, hemoglobin (gm%), neutrophil, lymphocyte, platelet count and interleukin-10 (IL-10) had been included as diagnostic markers. Interestingly only 5 (10.86%) individuals showed their asymptomatic conversion into symptomatic VL patients during quarterly surveillance. In overall analysis only two markers are suggestive for disease conversion that is hemoglobin (gm%) and IL-10. In all the infected patients, both the mean decrease in hemoglobin and mean increase of IL-10 was 19.23% from its normal value. The results might suggest that hematological and immunological changes would become helpful for early diagnosis of asymptomatic to symptomatic VL conversion.

Keywords: asymptomatic, epidemiological, symptomatic visceral leishmaniasis, hemoglobin (gm%), interleukin-10, diagnosis

Procedia PDF Downloads 31
9 Water-Bentonite Interaction of Green Pellets through Micro-Structural Analysis

Authors: Satyananda Patra, Venugopal Rayasam

Abstract:

The quality of pellets produced is affected by quality and type of green pellets, amount of addition of binders and fluxing agents along with the provided firing conditions. The green pellet quality depends upon chemistry, mineralogy and granulometry of fines used for pellet making, the feed size, its moisture content and porosity. During firing of green pellets, ingredients present within reacts to form different phases and microstructure. So in turn, physical and metallurgical properties of pellets are influenced by amount and type of binder and flux addition, induration time and temperature. During iron making process, the metallurgical properties of fired pellets are decided by the type and amount of these phases and their chemistry. Green pelletizing and induration studies have been already carried out with magnetite and hematite ore fines but for Indian iron ores of high alumina content showing different pelletizing characters, these studies cannot be directly interpreted. The main objective of proposed research work is to understand the green pelletizing process and determine the water bentonite interaction at different levels. Swelling behavior of bentonite and microstructure of the green pellet are investigated. Conversion of iron ore fines into pellets, the key raw material and process variables that influence the pellet quality needs to be identified and a correlation should be established between them.

Keywords: iron ore, pelletization, binders, green pellets, microstructure

Procedia PDF Downloads 174
8 Sol-Gel Coated Fabric for Controlled Release of Mosquito Repellent

Authors: Bhaskar M. Murai, Neeraj Banchor, Ishveen Chabbra, Madhusudhan Nadgir, S. Vidhya

Abstract:

Sol-gel technology combined with electronics and biochemistry helps to overcome the problems caused by mosquitoes by developing a portable, low-cost device which enables controlled release of trapped compound inside it. It is a wet-chemical technique which is used primarily for fabrication of silicate gel which is usually allowed to dry as per requirement. The outcome is solid rock hard material which is porous and has lots of applications in different fields. Taking porosity as a key factor, allethrin a naturally occurring synthetic compound with molecular mass 302.40 was entrapped inside the sol-gel matrix as a dopant. Allethrin is commonly used as an insecticide and is a key ingredient in commercially available mosquitoes repellent in Asian and subtropical countries. It has low toxicity for humans and birds, and are used in many household insecticides such as RAID as well as mosquito coils. They are however highly toxic to fish and bees. Insects subject to its exposure become paralyzed (nervous system effect) before dying. They are also used as an ultra-low volume spray for outdoor mosquito control. Therefore, there is a need for controlled release of allethrin in the environment. For controlled release of allethrin from sol-gel matrix, its (allethrin) we utilized temperature based controlled evaporation through porous sol-gel. Different types of fabric like cotton, Terri-cotton, polyester, surgical cap, knee-cap etc are studied and the best with maximum absorption capacity is selected to hold the sol-gel matrix with maximum quantity. For sol-gel coating 2 x 2cm cloth pieces are dipped in sol-gel solution for 10 minutes and by calculating the weight difference we concluded that Terri cotton is best suitable for our project. An electronic circuit with heating plate is developed in to test the controlled release of compound. An oscillatory circuit is used to produce the required heat.

Keywords: sol-gel, allethrin, TEOS, biochemistry

Procedia PDF Downloads 274
7 From Being to Becoming: Emancipation and Empowerment in the African Diaspora

Authors: R. Vidhya

Abstract:

Diasporic writings present a comprehensive view of social, cultural and psychological dualities of immigrants. Isolation and the strong feelings of insecurity and inferiority due to constant marginalization coupled with a nostalgia for their motherland, its customs, culture, language, food and people which keep haunting the minds of immigrants are the major themes that are handled by diasporic writers. In the African diaspora, more than the men, it is the women who face the brunt and burden of the triple jeopardy – the racial, class and gender discrimination. Women writers from Africa have successfully sketched the plight of African women in the diaspora. Buchi Emecheta, a Nigerian woman writer deftly portrays the African Diaspora in her novels. She skillfully weaves her stories with her own experiences as an immigrant in the United Kingdom. She portrays the immigrant life and psychology through numerous themes like exile, geographical shift of locations, transactions of culture, political instability and the dilemma of moral and religious ideologies in her diasporic novels Second-class Citizen, Gwendolyn and Kehinde. The contemporary Nigerian woman writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has also dexterously depicted the diasporic dilemma of her protagonist Ifemelu in Americannah, who initially has the experience of a despondent and a downcast in the United States of America. This paper aims to analyse the diasporic sentiments and sensibilities of the Nigerian Igbo women writers Buchi Emecheta and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie whose women characters finally find emancipation and empowerment in the African Diaspora. This study is based on the Africana Womanist Literary theory propounded by Clenora Hudson-Weems.

Keywords: African Diaspora, Nigerian women writers, Buchi Emecheta, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, emancipation, empowerment

Procedia PDF Downloads 141
6 Mapping the Metamorphosis of the Nigerian Female: A Womanist Approach to the Novels of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Authors: Vidhya R

Abstract:

The claim of feminists that women are made and not born is neither to set women on par with men nor to discriminate one from the other, but to establish and reiterate the fact that both the sexes have to understand, recognize and appreciate each other’s ability and responsibility thus to contribute to the peaceful co-existence of both, leading to the creation of a better and brave new world, which is neither patriarchal nor matriarchal. But history has repeatedly recorded the relegation of women to the secondary position consummated through the highly biased cultural, ritualistic and customary practices across the globe. In Africa, bracing herself against many odds through generations, the African woman who has been facing multiple jeopardy promulgated by racial, cultural, economic and gender discrimination has slowly started moving from the margins towards the center. The African woman was able to undertake the journey from the margins to the center bravely only because of her grit, grace, courage, confidence, and spirituality. This journey has resulted in the metamorphosis of the African woman’s psyche. Economic independence fortified with education has empowered the African woman. The various stages of metamorphosis are well delineated in the works of the contemporary Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The objective of this research paper is to study the above said metamorphosis, the female protagonists undergo in Adichie’s novels. The approaches on which the study is based on are the Africana Womanist theory propounded by Clenora Hudson –Weems and African feminism of Carole Boyce Davies. The findings of this study lead towards establishing the proposition that the emergence and evolution of the Nigerian woman has resulted in the birth of a new breed of women – the Emphatic Female, manifested in the power packed portrayal of the female protagonists of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Keywords: Africana womanism, African feminism, chimamanda ngozi adichie, metamorphosis, the emphatic female

Procedia PDF Downloads 118
5 Toxic Influence of Cypermethrin on Biochemical Changes in Fresh Water Fish, Cyprinus carpio

Authors: Gowri Balaji, Muthusamy Nachiyappan, Ramalingam Venugopal

Abstract:

Amongst the wide spectrum of pesticides, pyrethroids are preferably used rather than organochlorine, organophosphorous and carbamates pesticides due to their high effectiveness. Synthetic pyrethroids which are the chemicals used for the pest control in agriculture are now being excessively used in India. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the adverse effect of cypermethrin on the fresh water fish Cyprinus carpio, the common carp. The effect was assessed by comparing the biochemical parameters in the blood and liver tissues of control fishes with three experimental group of fishes exposed with cypermethrin for 7 days 1/15 Lc50 (E1) 1/10 Lc50 (E2) and 1/5 Lc50 values (E3). After 7 days of exposure, blood was collected and liver and gills was dissected out. The activities of acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase were estimated by standard spectrophotometric techniques in the blood, liver and gills tissue homogenate. Lactate dehydrogenase was significantly decreased in E2 and E3 experimental groups. The activities of acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase were significantly altered in the experimental groups. All the biochemical parameters studied were adversely affected in the liver and gills of cypermethrin exposed fish. The results obtained from the present study of cypermethrin exposed fishes indicate a marked toxic effect of cypermethrin and also its dose dependent impact on different organs of the fish.

Keywords: cypermethrin, Cyprinus carpio, ALT, AST, LDH, liver, gills

Procedia PDF Downloads 178
4 Changes in Secretory Products and Lipid Profile in the Epididymis and Spermatozoa of Rats Induced by Aluminium Chloride

Authors: Ramalingam Venugopal, Kalaiselvi Arumugam

Abstract:

Environmental exposure to heavy metals is associated with a wide range of toxic effects. It is evident that heavy metals released in the environment affect the reproductive processes and fertility of animals. Toxic metals affect the male and female reproductive system directly or indirectly. Considering the toxic nature of aluminium and also the major role of secretory products and lipids in sperm maturation, the present study was planned to investigate the effect of aluminium chloride on secretory products like glyceryl phosphoryl choline (GPC), sialic acid, carnitine and acetyl carnitine content and also lipid profiles in the epididymis and spermatozoa of adult rats. Aluminium chloride, 50 mg/kg body weight was administered orally daily for 60 days. 24 hours after the last dose the rats were sacrificed and immediately epididymis was dissected out and spermatozoa was isolated. The weight of the epididymis decreased significantly. GPC and sialic acid content was significantly reduced in the epididymis and not much altered in spermatozoa. Carnitine and acetyl carnitine contents were markedly decreased in the spermatozoa as well as in the epididymis. Aluminium chloride administration caused a marked reduction in total lipid, cholesterol, phospholipids and cholesterol content in epididymis and no significant changes in spermatozoa. Several changes take place in the spermatozoa as they pass through the epididymis. These changes are directly related to the acquisition of fertilizing ability of spermatozoa. From the results, it is evident that aluminium chloride has definite influence on secretory products and lipid profiles in the epididymis. This may eventually have an adverse impact on the fertility of the animal.

Keywords: aluminium chloride, rat, carnitine, GPC, sialic acid, epididymis, spermatozoa

Procedia PDF Downloads 253
3 Desertification of Earth and Reverting Strategies

Authors: V. R. Venugopal

Abstract:

Human being evolved 200,000 years ago in an area which is now the Sahara desert and lived all along in the northern part of Africa. It was around 10,000 to15,00 years that he moved out of Africa. Various ancient civilizations – mainly the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Indus valley and the Chinese yellow river valley civilizations - developed and perished till the beginning of the Christian era. Strangely the regions where all these civilizations flourished are no deserts. After the ancient civilizations the two major religions of the world the Christianity and Islam evolved. These too evolved in the regions of Jerusalem and Mecca which are now in the deserts of the present Israel and Saudi Arabia. Human activity since ancient age right from his origin was in areas which are now deserts. This is only because wherever Man lived in large numbers he has turned them into deserts. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the ancient days alone. Over the last 500 years the forest cover on the earth is reduced by 80 percent. Even more currently Just over the last forty decades human population has doubled but the number of bugs, beetles, worms and butterflies (micro fauna) have declined by 45%. Deforestation and defaunation are the first signs of desertification and Desertification is a process parallel to the extinction of life. There is every possibility that soon most of the earth will be in deserts. This writer has been involved in the process of forestation and increase of fauna as a profession since twenty years and this is a report of his efforts made in the process, the results obtained and concept generated to revert the ongoing desertification of this earth. This paper highlights how desertification can be reverted by applying these basic principles. 1) Man is not owner of this earth and has no right destroy vegetation and micro fauna. 2) Land owner shall not have the freedom to do anything that he wishes with the land. 3) The land that is under agriculture shall be reduced at least by a half. 4) Irrigation and modern technology shall be used for the forest growth also. 5) Farms shall have substantial permanent vegetation and the practice of all in all out shall stop.

Keywords: desertification, extinction, micro fauna, reverting

Procedia PDF Downloads 207
2 Prognosis of Patients with COVID-19 and Hematologic Malignancies

Authors: Elizabeth Behrens, Anne Timmermann, Alexander Yerkan, Joshua Thomas, Deborah Katz, Agne Paner, Melissa Larson, Shivi Jain, Seo-Hyun Kim, Celalettin Ustun, Ankur Varma, Parameswaran Venugopal, Jamile Shammo

Abstract:

Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) causes persistent concern for poor outcomes in vulnerable populations. Patients with hematologic malignancies (HM) have been found to have higher COVID-19 case fatality rates compared to those without malignancy. While cytopenias are common in patients with HM, especially in those undergoing chemotherapy treatment, hemoglobin (Hgb) and platelet count have not yet been studied, to our best knowledge, as potential prognostic indicators for patients with HM and COVID-19. The goal of this study is to identify factors that may increase the risk of mortality in patients with HM and COVID-19. In this single-center, retrospective, observational study, 65 patients with HM and laboratory confirmed COVID-19 were identified between March 2020 and January 2021. Information on demographics, laboratory data the day of COVID-19 diagnosis, and prognosis was extracted from the electronic medical record (EMR), chart reviewed, and analyzed using the statistical software SAS version 9.4. Chi-square testing was used for categorical variable analyses. Risk factors associated with mortality were established by logistic regression models. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (37%), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (20%), and plasma cell dyscrasia (15%) were the most common HM. Higher Hgb level upon COVID-19 diagnosis was related to decreased mortality, odd ratio=0.704 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.511-0.969; P = .0263). Platelet count the day of COVID-19 diagnosis was lower in patients who ultimately died (mean 127 ± 72K/uL, n=10) compared to patients who survived (mean 197 ±92K/uL, n=55) (P=.0258). Female sex was related to decreased mortality, odd ratio=0.143 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.026-0.785; P = .0353). There was no mortality difference between the patients who were on treatment for HM the day of COVID-19 diagnosis compared to those who were not (P=1.000). Lower Hgb and male sex are independent risk factors associated with increased mortality of HM patients with COVID-19. Clinicians should be especially attentive to patients with HM and COVID-19 who present with cytopenias. Larger multi-center studies are urgently needed to further investigate the impact of anemia, thrombocytopenia, and demographics on outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies diagnosed with COVID-19.

Keywords: anemia, COVID-19, hematologic malignancy, prognosis

Procedia PDF Downloads 27
1 Study of the Combinatorial Impact of Substrate Properties on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Migration Using Microfluidics

Authors: Nishanth Venugopal Menon, Chuah Yon Jin, Samantha Phey, Wu Yingnan, Zhang Ying, Vincent Chan, Kang Yuejun

Abstract:

Cell Migration is a vital phenomenon that the cells undergo in various physiological processes like wound healing, disease progression, embryogenesis, etc. Cell migration depends primarily on the chemical and physical cues available in the cellular environment. The chemical cue involves the chemokines secreted and gradients generated in the environment while physical cues indicate the impact of matrix properties like nanotopography and stiffness on the cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have been shown to have a role wound healing in vivo and its migration to the site of the wound has been shown to have a therapeutic effect. In the field of stem cell based tissue regeneration of bones and cartilage, one approach has been to introduce scaffold laden with MSCs into the site of injury to enable tissue regeneration. In this work, we have studied the combinatorial impact of the substrate physical properties on MSC migration. A microfluidic in vitro model was created to perform the migration studies. The microfluidic model used is a three compartment device consisting of two cell seeding compartments and one migration compartment. Four different PDMS substrates with varying substrate roughness, stiffness and hydrophobicity were created. Its surface roughness and stiffness was measured using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) while its hydrphobicity was measured from the water contact angle using an optical tensiometer. These PDMS substrates are sealed to the microfluidic chip following which the MSCs are seeded and the cell migration is studied over the period of a week. Cell migration was quantified using fluorescence imaging of the cytoskeleton (F-actin) to find out the area covered by the cells inside the migration compartment. The impact of adhesion proteins on cell migration was also quantified using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT PCR). These results suggested that the optimal substrate for cell migration would be one with an intermediate level of roughness, stiffness and hydrophobicity. A higher or lower value of these properties affected cell migration negatively. These observations have helped us in understanding that different substrate properties need to be considered in tandem, especially while designing scaffolds for tissue regeneration as cell migration is normally impacted by the combinatorial impact of the matrix. These observations may lead us to scaffold optimization in future tissue regeneration applications.

Keywords: cell migration, microfluidics, in vitro model, stem cell migration, scaffold, substrate properties

Procedia PDF Downloads 443