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

Search results for: messenger

24 Whatsapp Messaging Platform and Academic Performance of Mass Communication Students, Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara

Authors: Ibrahim Magaji

Abstract:

WhatsApp messaging platform brings about new opportunities for users to participate in unique storytelling experiences and audience engagement, particularly to Students of Mass communication who receive training to report events and issues accurately and objectively in accordance with official controls. Also, the complex nature of society today made it possible to use the WhatsApp platform that revolutionizes the means of sharing information, ideas, and experiences. This paper examined the WhatsApp messaging platform and how it influenced the academic performance of students in the Department of Mass Communication, Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara. It used in-depth interview techniques and focus group discussion with students, as well as the use of published materials as well as unpublished materials to gather related and relevant data. Also, the paper used procedures involved to analyze long interview content. This procedure includes observation of a useful utterance, development of expanded observation, the examination of the interconnection of observed comments, collective scrutiny of observation for patterns and themes, and review and analysis of the themes across all interviews for development of the thesis. The result revealed that the majority of students used WhatsApp messenger for making friends and chatting. Also, the students experienced negative effects such as poor grammar and spelling, less study time, and poor academic performance because of active participation in the use of WhatsApp messaging platform. Surprisingly, there was a high addiction rate among students in the usage of WhatsApp messenger. However, other students experienced an improvement in their readings skills as a result of participation in the use of the platform. Also, students shared ideas, discussed, and shared examination questions among themselves on WhatsApp messenger.

Keywords: WhatsApp messenger, students, participation, group

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23 Finite Element Modeling of Stockbridge Damper and Vibration Analysis: Equivalent Cable Stiffness

Authors: Nitish Kumar Vaja, Oumar Barry, Brian DeJong

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Aeolian vibrations are the major cause for the failure of conductor cables. Using a Stockbridge damper reduces these vibrations and increases the life span of the conductor cable. Designing an efficient Stockbridge damper that suits the conductor cable requires a robust mathematical model with minimum assumptions. However it is not easy to analytically model the complex geometry of the messenger. Therefore an equivalent stiffness must be determined so that it can be used in the analytical model. This paper examines the bending stiffness of the cable and discusses the effect of this stiffness on the natural frequencies. The obtained equivalent stiffness compensates for the assumption of modeling the messenger as a rod. The results from the free vibration analysis of the analytical model with the equivalent stiffness is validated using the full scale finite element model of the Stockbridge damper.

Keywords: equivalent stiffness, finite element model, free vibration response, Stockbridge damper

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22 Observations of Magnetospheric Ulf Waves in Connection to the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability at Mercury

Authors: Elisabet Liljeblad, Tomas Karlsson, Torbjorn Sundberg, Anita Kullen

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The magnetospheric magnetic field data from the MESSENGER spacecraft is investigated to establish the presence of ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves in connection to 131 previously observed nonlinear Kelvin-Helmholtz waves (KHWs) at Mercury. Distinct ULF signatures are detected in 44 out of the 131 magnetospheric traversals prior to or after observing a KHW. In particular, 39 of these 44 ULF events are highly coherent at the frequency of maximum power spectral density. The waves observed at the dayside, which appears mainly at the duskside and naturally following the KHW occurrence asymmetry, are significantly different to the events behind the dawn-dusk terminator and have the following distinct wave characteristics: they oscillate clearly in the perpendicular (azimuthal) direction to the mean magnetic field with a wave normal angle more in the parallel than the perpendicular direction, increase in absolute ellipticity with distance from noon, are almost exclusively right-hand polarized, and are observed mainly for frequencies in the range 0.02-0.04 Hz. These results indicate that the dayside ULF waves are likely to shear Alfvén waves driven by KHWs at the magnetopause, which in turn manifests the importance of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in terms of mass transport throughout the Mercury magnetosphere.

Keywords: ultra-low frequency waves, kelvin-Helmholtz instability, magnetospheric processes, mercury, messenger, energy and momentum transfer in planetary environments

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21 Mechanical Advantages of the ‘KZ Bag’ on Spine and Posture of School Aged Children

Authors: Khulood Zahran

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Background and Purpose: The effects of backpack on 'school-age' children (Age 9–12) years, have been a critical subject of discussion throughout the past years. It has been one of the factors that contribute to a bad posture for 40% to 70% of developed countries. A child carrying a heavy backpack for a prolonged period, on a daily base has shown significant changes in the child's spinal posture, foot shape, and gait. The back pain caused by the compensatory posture, or "Backpack syndrome", is also known for its headaches, fatigue, cervical and lumber pain caused by the abnormal body posture. The child tends to balance himself by bending forward to match the heavy backpack, moving his Centre of Gravity forward, resulting in decreased lumber lordosis and increased thoracic kyphosis. Since currently available bags have not addressed the weight distribution issue till now. Therefore, KZ bag is believed to prevent the huge backward shift of COG due to the load, and hence all the symptoms accompanied. This is thought to be possible by combining the design of a normal backpack with a messenger bag. The purpose of this study is to investigate the improvement of the child's spine and to minimize the compensatory posture after using the KZ bag. Materials and Methods: KZ bag would compromise the pros of a messenger bag (keeping the COG in place) by a diagonal load strap and of a backpack (distributing the load on both shoulders) by connecting another load strap parallel to the sagittal plane of the body. The design would be made adjustable to match the child's height, and the bag load kept within limits, (10-15%) of the child's body weight. Measurements of Postural angles (Cervical, shoulders, and Trunk) would be taken after the use of KZ bag for a specified period. Conclusion: KZ bag will prove an improved distribution of weight of the bag on the child's body, and reduce the degree of the compensatory posture, that occurs in the attempt to balance the external weight of the bag.

Keywords: backpack, backpack syndrome, posture, spine

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20 Biocompatibilities of Various Calcium Silicate Cements

Authors: Seok Woo Chang, Kee Yeon Kum, Kwang Shik Bae, WooCheol Lee

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Aim: The objective of this study was to compare the biocompatibilities and mineralization potential of ProRoot MTA and newly developed calcium phosphate based cement, Capseal. Materials and Methods: The biocompatibilities and mineralization-related gene expressions (Bone sialoprotein (BSP) and osteocalcin (OCN)) of ProRoot MTA and Capseal were also compared by a methylthiazol tetrazolium (MTT) assay and reverse transcription-polymerization chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis on 1, 3, and 7 days, respectively. Empty rings were used as control group. The results were statistically analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis test with a Bonferroni correction. P-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The biocompatibilities of ProRoot MTA and Capseal were equally favorable. ProRoot MTA and Capseal affected the messenger RNA expression of osteocalcin and osteonectin. Conclusions: Based on the results, both ProRoot MTA and Capseal could be a useful biomaterial in clinical endodontics.

Keywords: biocompatibility, calcium silicate cement, MTT, RT-PCR

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19 The Biocompatibility and Osteogenic Potential of Experimental Calcium Silicate Based Root Canal Sealer, Capseal

Authors: Seok Woo Chang

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Aim: Capseal I and Capseal II are calcium silicate and calcium phosphate based experimental root canal sealer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biocompatibility and mineralization potential of Capseal I and Capseal II. Materials and Methods: The biocompatibility and mineralization-related gene expression (alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and osteocalcin (OCN)) of Capseal I and Capseal II were compared using methylthiazol tetrazolium assay and reverse transcription-polymerization chain reaction analysis, respectively. The results were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis test. P-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Result: Both Capseal I and Capseal II were favorable in biocompatibility and influenced the messenger RNA expression of ALP and BSP. Conclusion: Within the limitation of this study, Capseal is biocompatible and have mineralization promoting potential, and thus could be a promising root canal sealer.

Keywords: biocompatibility, mineralization-related gene expression, Capseal I, Capseal II

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18 Islamic Banks and the Most Important Contemporary Challenges

Authors: Mahmood Mohammed Abdulsattar Aljumaili

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Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Islamic banks have not only made a lot of great achievements in a short period, but they imposed themselves in the global market, not to mention the transformation of some conventional interest-based banks to Islamic banks to the large demand on them, this transformation has pushed the Dow Jones Global Foundation to develop a new economic indicator released it (the Dow Jones Islamic market) for those who wish to invest in Islamic financial institutions. The success of Islamic financial institutions today face significant and serious challenges, that embody the serious consequences created by the current events on Islamic banking industry. This modest study, deals with these serious challenges facing the Islamic banking industry, and reflected on the success recorded in the previous period. The study deals with four main topics: The emergence of Islamic banks, the goals of Islamic banks, International challenges facing Islamic banks, internal challenges facing Islamic banks, and finally it touches on, (Basel 1-2) Agreement and its implications for Islamic banks.

Keywords: Islamic banks, Basel 1-2 agreement, most important contemporary challenges, islamic banking industry, Dow Jones Islamic market

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17 The in vitro Effects of Various Immunomodulatory Nutritional Compounds on Antigen-Stimulated Whole-Blood Culture Cytokine Production

Authors: Ayu S. Muhamad, Michael Gleeson

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Immunomodulators are substances that alter immune system via dynamic regulation of messenger molecules. It can be divided into immunostimulant and immunosuppressant. It can help to increase immunity of people with a low immune system, and also can help to normalize an overactive immune system. Aim of this study is to investigate the effects of in vitro exposure to low and high doses of several immunomodulators which include caffeine, kaloba and quercetin on antigen-stimulated whole blood culture cytokine production. Whole blood samples were taken from 5 healthy males (age: 32 ± 12 years; weight: 75.7 ± 6.1 kg; BMI: 24.3 ± 1.5 kg/m2) following an overnight fast with no vigorous activity during the preceding 24 h. The whole blood was then stimulated with 50 µl of 100 x diluted Pediacel vaccine and low or high dose of immunomodulators in the culture plate. After 20 h incubation (5% CO2, 37°C), it was analysed using the Evidence Investigator to determine the production of cytokines including IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IFN-γ, and IL-1α. Caffeine and quercetin showed a tendency towards decrease cytokine production as the doses were increased. On the other hand, an upward trend was evident with kaloba, where a high dose of kaloba seemed to increase the cytokine production. In conclusion, we found that caffeine and quercetin have potential as immunosuppressant and kaloba as immunostimulant.

Keywords: caffeine, cytokine, immunomodulators, kaloba, quercetin

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16 Framework for Implementation of National Electrical Safety Grounding Standards for Communication Infrastructure

Authors: Atif Mahmood, Mohammad Inayatullah Khan Babar

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Communication infrastructure has been installed, operated, and maintained all over the world according to defined electrical safety standards for separate or joint structures. These safety standards have been set for the safeguard of public, utility workers (employees and contractors), utility facilities, electrical communication equipment’s connected to the utility facilities and other facilities or premise adjacent to utility facilities. Different communication utilities in Pakistan use standards of different countries due to the absence of Common National Electrical Safety Standards of Pakistan. It is really important to devise a framework for implementation of a uniform standard for strict compliance. In this context, it is important to explore the compliance of safety standards for communication conductors and equipment for separate or joint structures for which NESC standards are taken as reference. Specific reference to grounding techniques including grounding AC/DC systems and its frames, leaving Fences, Messenger wires and special circuits used for the protection for lightning etc, ungrounded so recommendations are also given after in-depth analysis of current technical practices for the installation and maintenance of communication infrastructure.

Keywords: utility facilities, grounding electrodes, special circuits, grounding conductor

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15 Design and Fabrication of Optical Nanobiosensors for Detection of MicroRNAs Involved in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Authors: Mahdi Rahaie

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MicroRNAs are a novel class of small RNAs which regulate gene expression by translational repression or degradation of messenger RNAs. To produce sensitive, simple and cost-effective assays for microRNAs, detection is in urgent demand due to important role of these biomolecules in progression of human disease such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple sclerosis, and some other neurodegenerative diseases. Herein, we report several novel, sensitive and specific microRNA nanobiosensors which were designed based on colorimetric and fluorescence detection of nanoparticles and hybridization chain reaction amplification as an enzyme-free amplification. These new strategies eliminate the need for enzymatic reactions, chemical changes, separation processes and sophisticated equipment whereas less limit of detection with most specify are acceptable. The important features of these methods are high sensitivity and specificity to differentiate between perfectly matched, mismatched and non-complementary target microRNAs and also decent response in the real sample analysis with blood plasma. These nanobiosensors can clinically be used not only for the early detection of neuro diseases but also for every sickness related to miRNAs by direct detection of the plasma microRNAs in real clinical samples, without a need for sample preparation, RNA extraction and/or amplification.

Keywords: hybridization chain reaction, microRNA, nanobiosensor, neurodegenerative diseases

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14 Investigating the Influences of Preschool Teachers’ Self-Efficacy on Their Perceptions of National Preschool Standard Curriculum (NPSC) Implementation in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur

Authors: Pei Xin Ker

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The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of teachers’ self-efficacy (TSE) on teachers’ perceptions of the levels of implementation of the NPSC. A total of 187 respondents were selected by using purposive homogeneous sampling to represent preschool teachers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. This study involved a cross-sectional survey in which quantitative data were collected and analysed using descriptive statistics. The survey was containing 74 questionnaire items created using Google Form and distributed through online platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger. The results indicated a high level of overall self-efficacy among the preschool teachers and the overall teachers' perceived level of NPSC. The findings also showed a significant and positive relationship at a high level between TSE and teachers' perceptions of the level of implementation of NPSC. Student involvement was one of the TSE factors that had the greatest influence in shaping teachers' perceptions of the level of implementation of NPSC. The findings of the predictors to teachers' perceptions of the implementation of NPSC within this study can be used as an indication to the researchers to reassure the validity of this study by repeating with similar research settings. Further studies to include other factors are also encouraged to explore the possible factors that may influence the teachers' perceptions of the implementation of NPSC.

Keywords: teachers’ self-efficacy, national preschool standard curriculum, preschool teachers, preschool education

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13 GABARAPL1 (GEC1) mRNA Expression Levels in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

Authors: Ali Bayram, Burak Uz, Ilhan Dolasik, Remzi Yiğiter

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The GABARAP (GABAA-receptor-associated protein) family consists of GABARAP, GABARAPL1 (GABARAP-like 1) and GABARAPL2 (GABARAP-like 2). GABARAPL1, like GABARAP, was described to interact with both GABAA receptor and tubulin, and to be involved in intracellular GABAA receptor trafficking and promoting tubulin polymerization. In addition, GABARAPL1 is thought to be involved in various physiological (autophagosome closure, regulation of circadian rhythms) and/or pathological mechanisms (cancer, neurodegeneration). Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neuro degenerative disorder characterized with impaired cognitive functions. Disruption of the GABAergic neuro transmission as well as cholinergic and glutamatergic interactions, may also be involved in the pathogenesis of AD. GABARAPL1 presents a regulated tissue expression and is the most expressed gene among the GABARAP family members in the central nervous system. We, herein, conducted a study to investigate the GABARAPL1 mRNA expression levels in patients with AD. 50 patients with AD and 49 control patients were enrolled to the present study. Messenger RNA expression levels of GABARAPL1 were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction. GABARAPL1 mRNA expression in AD / control patients was 0,495 (95% confidence interval: 0,404-0,607), p= 0,00000002646. Reduced activity of GABARAPL1 gene might play a role, at least partly, in the pathophysiology of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, GABARAPL1, mRNA expression, RT-PCR

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12 A Morphological Analysis of Swardspeak in the Philippines

Authors: Carlo Gadingan

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Swardspeak, as a language, highlights the exclusive identity of the Filipino gay men and the oppression they are confronted in the society. This paper presents a morphological analysis of swardspeak in the Philippines. Specifically, it aims to find out the common morphological processes involved in the construction of codes that may unmask the nature of swardspeak as a language. 30 purposively selected expert users of swardspeak from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were asked to codify 30 natural words through the Facebook Messenger application. The results of the structural analysis affirm that swardspeak follows no specific rules revealing complicated combinations of clipping/stylized clipping, borrowing, connotation through images, connotation through actions, connotation through sounds, affixation, repetition, substitution, and simple reversal. Moreover, it was also found out that most of these word formation processes occur in all word classes which indicate that swardspeak is very unpredictable. Although different codes are used for the same words, there are still codes that are really common to all homosexuals and these are Chaka (ugly), Crayola (cry), and Aida (referring to a person with AIDS). Hence, the prevailing word formation processes explored may be termed as observed time-specific patterns because the codes documented in this study may turn obsolete and may be replaced with novel ones in a matter of weeks to month, knowing the creativity of homosexuals and the multiplicity of societal resources which can be used to make the codes more opaque and more confusing for non-homosexuals.

Keywords: codes, homosexuals, morphological processes, swardspeak

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11 Using Squeezed Vacuum States to Enhance the Sensitivity of Ground Based Gravitational Wave Interferometers beyond the Standard Quantum Limit

Authors: Giacomo Ciani

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This paper reviews the impact of quantum noise on modern gravitational wave interferometers and explains how squeezed vacuum states are used to push the noise below the standard quantum limit. With the first detection of gravitational waves from a pair of colliding black holes in September 2015 and subsequent detections including that of gravitational waves from a pair of colliding neutron stars, the ground-based interferometric gravitational wave observatories LIGO and VIRGO have opened the era of gravitational-wave and multi-messenger astronomy. Improving the sensitivity of the detectors is of paramount importance to increase the number and quality of the detections, fully exploiting this new information channel about the universe. Although still in the commissioning phase and not at nominal sensitivity, these interferometers are designed to be ultimately limited by a combination of shot noise and quantum radiation pressure noise, which define an envelope known as the standard quantum limit. Despite the name, this limit can be beaten with the use of advanced quantum measurement techniques, with the use of squeezed vacuum states being currently the most mature and promising. Different strategies for implementation of the technology in the large-scale detectors, in both their frequency-independent and frequency-dependent variations, are presented, together with an analysis of the main technological issues and expected sensitivity gain.

Keywords: gravitational waves, interferometers, squeezed vacuum, standard quantum limit

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10 Nitric Oxide: Role in Immunity and Therapeutics

Authors: Anusha Bhardwaj, Shekhar Shinde

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Nitric oxide (NO•) has been documented in research papers as one of the most versatile player in the therapeutics. It is identified as a biological multifunctional messenger molecule which is synthesized by the action of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzyme from L-arginine. The protective and the toxic effect in conjunction form the complete picture of the biological function of nitric oxide in humans. The dual nature is because of various factors such as concentration of NO, the isoform of NOS involved, type of cells in which it is synthesized, reaction partners like proteins, reactive oxygen intermediates, prosthetic groups, thiols etc., availability of the substrate L-arginine, intracellular environment in which NO is produced and generation of guanosine 3, 5’- cyclic monophosphate (cGMP). Activation of NOS through infection or trauma leads to one or more systemic effects including enhanced immune activity against invading pathogens, vaso/bronchodilatation in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and altered neurotransmission which can be protective or toxic. Hence, NO affects the balance between healthy signaling and neurodegeneration in the brain. In lungs, it has beneficial effects on the function of airways as a bronchodilator and acts as the neurotransmitter of bronchodilator nerves. Whereas, on the other hand, NO may have deleterious effects by amplifying the asthmatic inflammatory response and also act as a vasodilator in the airways by increasing plasma exudation. But NOS Inhibitors and NO donors hamper the signalling pathway and hence a therapeutic application of NO is compromised.

Keywords: nitric oxide, multifunctional, dual nature, therapeutic applications

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9 Modeling of CREB Pathway Induced Gene Induction: From Stimulation to Repression

Authors: K. Julia Rose Mary, Victor Arokia Doss

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Electrical and chemical stimulations up-regulate phosphorylaion of CREB, a transcriptional factor that induces its target gene production for memory consolidation and Late Long-Term Potentiation (L-LTP) in CA1 region of the hippocampus. L-LTP requires complex interactions among second-messenger signaling cascade molecules such as cAMP, CAMKII, CAMKIV, MAPK, RSK, PKA, all of which converge to phosphorylate CREB which along with CBP induces the transcription of target genes involved in memory consolidation. A differential equation based model for L-LTP representing stimulus-mediated activation of downstream mediators which confirms the steep, supralinear stimulus-response effects of activation and inhibition was used. The same was extended to accommodate the inhibitory effect of the Inducible cAMP Early Repressor (ICER). ICER is the natural inducible CREB antagonist represses CRE-Mediated gene transcription involved in long-term plasticity for learning and memory. After verifying the sensitivity and robustness of the model, we had simulated it with various empirical levels of repressor concentration to analyse their effect on the gene induction. The model appears to predict the regulatory dynamics of repression on the L-LTP and agrees with the experimental values. The flux data obtained in the simulations demonstrate various aspects of equilibrium between the gene induction and repression.

Keywords: CREB, L-LTP, mathematical modeling, simulation

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8 Revealing Potential Drug Targets against Proto-Oncogene Wnt10B by Comparative Molecular Docking

Authors: Shazia Mannan, Zunera Khalid, Hammad-Ul-Mubeen

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Wingless type Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) Integration site-10B (Wnt10B) is an important member of the Wnt protein family that functions as cellular messenger in paracrine manner. Aberrant Wnt10B activity is the cause of several abnormalities including cancers of breast, cervix, liver, gastric tract, esophagus, pancreas as well as physiological problems like obesity, and osteoporosis. The objective of this study was to determine the possible inhibitors against aberrant expression of Wnt10B in order to prevent and treat the physiological disorders associated with it. Wnt10B3D structure was predicted by using comparative modeling and then analyzed by PROCHECK, Verify3D, and Errat. The model having 84.54% quality value was selected and acylated to satisfy the hydrophobic nature of Wnt10B. For search of inhibitors, virtual screening was performed on Natural Products (NP) database. The compounds were filtered and ligand-based screening was performed using the antagonist for mouse Wnt-3A. This resulted in a library of 272 unique compounds having most potent drug like activities for Wnt-4. Out of the 271 molecules analyzed three small molecules ZINC35442871, ZINC85876388, and ZINC00754234 having activity against Wnt4 abbarent expression were found common through docking experiment of Wnt10B. It is concluded that the three molecules ZINC35442871, ZINC85876388, and ZINC00754234 can be considered as lead compounds for performing further drug designing experiments against aberrant Wnt expressions.

Keywords: Wnt10B inhibitors, comparative computational studies, proto-oncogene, molecular docking

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7 Polycode Texts in Communication of Antisocial Groups: Functional and Pragmatic Aspects

Authors: Ivan Potapov

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Background: The aim of this paper is to investigate poly code texts in the communication of youth antisocial groups. Nowadays, the notion of a text has numerous interpretations. Besides all the approaches to defining a text, we must take into account semiotic and cultural-semiotic ones. Rapidly developing IT, world globalization, and new ways of coding of information increase the role of the cultural-semiotic approach. However, the development of computer technologies leads also to changes in the text itself. Polycode texts play a more and more important role in the everyday communication of the younger generation. Therefore, the research of functional and pragmatic aspects of both verbal and non-verbal content is actually quite important. Methods and Material: For this survey, we applied the combination of four methods of text investigation: not only intention and content analysis but also semantic and syntactic analysis. Using these methods provided us with information on general text properties, the content of transmitted messages, and each communicants’ intentions. Besides, during our research, we figured out the social background; therefore, we could distinguish intertextual connections between certain types of polycode texts. As the sources of the research material, we used 20 public channels in the popular messenger Telegram and data extracted from smartphones, which belonged to arrested members of antisocial groups. Findings: This investigation let us assert that polycode texts can be characterized as highly intertextual language unit. Moreover, we could outline the classification of these texts based on communicants’ intentions. The most common types of antisocial polycode texts are a call to illegal actions and agitation. What is more, each type has its own semantic core: it depends on the sphere of communication. However, syntactic structure is universal for most of the polycode texts. Conclusion: Polycode texts play important role in online communication. The results of this investigation demonstrate that in some social groups using these texts has a destructive influence on the younger generation and obviously needs further researches.

Keywords: text, polycode text, internet linguistics, text analysis, context, semiotics, sociolinguistics

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6 An Improvement of ComiR Algorithm for MicroRNA Target Prediction by Exploiting Coding Region Sequences of mRNAs

Authors: Giorgio Bertolazzi, Panayiotis Benos, Michele Tumminello, Claudia Coronnello

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MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate the expression levels of messenger RNAs. MicroRNA regulation activity depends on the recognition of binding sites located on mRNA molecules. ComiR (Combinatorial miRNA targeting) is a user friendly web tool realized to predict the targets of a set of microRNAs, starting from their expression profile. ComiR incorporates miRNA expression in a thermodynamic binding model, and it associates each gene with the probability of being a target of a set of miRNAs. ComiR algorithms were trained with the information regarding binding sites in the 3’UTR region, by using a reliable dataset containing the targets of endogenously expressed microRNA in D. melanogaster S2 cells. This dataset was obtained by comparing the results from two different experimental approaches, i.e., inhibition, and immunoprecipitation of the AGO1 protein; this protein is a component of the microRNA induced silencing complex. In this work, we tested whether including coding region binding sites in the ComiR algorithm improves the performance of the tool in predicting microRNA targets. We focused the analysis on the D. melanogaster species and updated the ComiR underlying database with the currently available releases of mRNA and microRNA sequences. As a result, we find that the ComiR algorithm trained with the information related to the coding regions is more efficient in predicting the microRNA targets, with respect to the algorithm trained with 3’utr information. On the other hand, we show that 3’utr based predictions can be seen as complementary to the coding region based predictions, which suggests that both predictions, from 3'UTR and coding regions, should be considered in a comprehensive analysis. Furthermore, we observed that the lists of targets obtained by analyzing data from one experimental approach only, that is, inhibition or immunoprecipitation of AGO1, are not reliable enough to test the performance of our microRNA target prediction algorithm. Further analysis will be conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the tool with data from other species, provided that validated datasets, as obtained from the comparison of RISC proteins inhibition and immunoprecipitation experiments, will be available for the same samples. Finally, we propose to upgrade the existing ComiR web-tool by including the coding region based trained model, available together with the 3’UTR based one.

Keywords: AGO1, coding region, Drosophila melanogaster, microRNA target prediction

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5 Persistent Ribosomal In-Frame Mis-Translation of Stop Codons as Amino Acids in Multiple Open Reading Frames of a Human Long Non-Coding RNA

Authors: Leonard Lipovich, Pattaraporn Thepsuwan, Anton-Scott Goustin, Juan Cai, Donghong Ju, James B. Brown

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Two-thirds of human genes do not encode any known proteins. Aside from long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes with recently-discovered functions, the ~40,000 non-protein-coding human genes remain poorly understood, and a role for their transcripts as de-facto unconventional messenger RNAs has not been formally excluded. Ribosome profiling (Riboseq) predicts translational potential, but without independent evidence of proteins from lncRNA open reading frames (ORFs), ribosome binding of lncRNAs does not prove translation. Previously, we mass-spectrometrically documented translation of specific lncRNAs in human K562 and GM12878 cells. We now examined lncRNA translation in human MCF7 cells, integrating strand-specific Illumina RNAseq, Riboseq, and deep mass spectrometry in biological quadruplicates performed at two core facilities (BGI, China; City of Hope, USA). We excluded known-protein matches. UCSC Genome Browser-assisted manual annotation of imperfect (tryptic-digest-peptides)-to-(lncRNA-three-frame-translations) alignments revealed three peptides hypothetically explicable by 'stop-to-nonstop' in-frame replacement of stop codons by amino acids in two ORFs of the lncRNA MMP24-AS1. To search for this phenomenon genomewide, we designed and implemented a novel pipeline, matching tryptic-digest spectra to wildcard-instead-of-stop versions of repeat-masked, six-frame, whole-genome translations. Along with singleton putative stop-to-nonstop events affecting four other lncRNAs, we identified 24 additional peptides with stop-to-nonstop in-frame substitutions from multiple positive-strand MMP24-AS1 ORFs. Only UAG and UGA, never UAA, stop codons were impacted. All MMP24-AS1-matching spectra met the same significance thresholds as high-confidence known-protein signatures. Targeted resequencing of MMP24-AS1 genomic DNA and cDNA from the same samples did not reveal any mutations, polymorphisms, or sequencing-detectable RNA editing. This unprecedented apparent gene-specific violation of the genetic code highlights the importance of matching peptides to whole-genome, not known-genes-only, ORFs in mass-spectrometry workflows, and suggests a new mechanism enhancing the combinatorial complexity of the proteome. Funding: NIH Director’s New Innovator Award 1DP2-CA196375 to LL.

Keywords: genetic code, lncRNA, long non-coding RNA, mass spectrometry, proteogenomics, ribo-seq, ribosome, RNAseq

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4 Single Cell Rna Sequencing Operating from Benchside to Bedside: An Interesting Entry into Translational Genomics

Authors: Leo Nnamdi Ozurumba-Dwight

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Single-cell genomic analytical systems have proved to be a platform to isolate bulk cells into selected single cells for genomic, proteomic, and related metabolomic studies. This is enabling systematic investigations of the level of heterogeneity in a diverse and wide pool of cell populations. Single cell technologies, embracing techniques such as high parameter flow cytometry, single-cell sequencing, and high-resolution images are playing vital roles in these investigations on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) molecules and related gene expressions in tracking the nature and course of disease conditions. This entails targeted molecular investigations on unit cells that help us understand cell behavoiur and expressions, which can be examined for their health implications on the health state of patients. One of the vital good sides of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA seq) is its probing capacity to detect deranged or abnormal cell populations present within homogenously perceived pooled cells, which would have evaded cursory screening on the pooled cell populations of biological samples obtained as part of diagnostic procedures. Despite conduction of just single-cell transcriptome analysis, scRNAseq now permits comparison of the transcriptome of the individual cells, which can be evaluated for gene expressional patterns that depict areas of heterogeneity with pharmaceutical drug discovery and clinical treatment applications. It is vital to strictly work through the tools of investigations from wet lab to bioinformatics and computational tooled analyses. In the precise steps for scRNAseq, it is critical to do thorough and effective isolation of viable single cells from the tissues of interest using dependable techniques (such as FACS) before proceeding to lysis, as this enhances the appropriate picking of quality mRNA molecules for subsequent sequencing (such as by the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction machine). Interestingly, scRNAseq can be deployed to analyze various types of biological samples such as embryos, nervous systems, tumour cells, stem cells, lymphocytes, and haematopoietic cells. In haematopoietic cells, it can be used to stratify acute myeloid leukemia patterns in patients, sorting them out into cohorts that enable re-modeling of treatment regimens based on stratified presentations. In immunotherapy, it can furnish specialist clinician-immunologist with tools to re-model treatment for each patient, an attribute of precision medicine. Finally, the good predictive attribute of scRNAseq can help reduce the cost of treatment for patients, thus attracting more patients who would have otherwise been discouraged from seeking quality clinical consultation help due to perceived high cost. This is a positive paradigm shift for patients’ attitudes primed towards seeking treatment.

Keywords: immunotherapy, transcriptome, re-modeling, mRNA, scRNA-seq

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3 The Potential Role of Some Nutrients and Drugs in Providing Protection from Neurotoxicity Induced by Aluminium in Rats

Authors: Azza A. Ali, Abeer I. Abd El-Fattah, Shaimaa S. Hussein, Hanan A. Abd El-Samea, Karema Abu-Elfotuh

Abstract:

Background: Aluminium (Al) represents an environmental risk factor. Exposure to high levels of Al causes neurotoxic effects and different diseases. Vinpocetine is widely used to improve cognitive functions, it possesses memory-protective and memory-enhancing properties and has the ability to increase cerebral blood flow and glucose uptake. Cocoa bean represents a rich source of iron as well as a potent antioxidant. It can protect from the impact of free radicals, reduces stress as well as depression and promotes better memory and concentration. Wheatgrass is primarily used as a concentrated source of nutrients. It contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, amino acids and possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an intracellular antioxidant and mitochondrial membrane stabilizer. It is effective in improving cognitive disorders and has been used as anti-aging. Zinc is a structural element of many proteins and signaling messenger that is released by neural activity at many central excitatory synapses. Objective: To study the role of some nutrients and drugs as Vinpocetine, Cocoa, Wheatgrass, CoQ10 and Zinc against neurotoxicity induced by Al in rats as well as to compare between their potency in providing protection. Methods: Seven groups of rats were used and received daily for three weeks AlCl3 (70 mg/kg, IP) for Al-toxicity model groups except for the control group which received saline. All groups of Al-toxicity model except one group (non-treated) were co-administered orally together with AlCl3 the following treatments; Vinpocetine (20mg/kg), Cocoa powder (24mg/kg), Wheat grass (100mg/kg), CoQ10 (200mg/kg) or Zinc (32mg/kg). Biochemical changes in the rat brain as acetyl cholinesterase (ACHE), Aβ, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), inflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-1β), oxidative parameters (MDA, SOD, TAC) were estimated for all groups besides histopathological examinations in different brain regions. Results: Neurotoxicity and neurodegenerations in the rat brain after three weeks of Al exposure were indicated by the significant increase in Aβ, ACHE, MDA, TNF-α, IL-1β, DNA fragmentation together with the significant decrease in SOD, TAC, BDNF and confirmed by the histopathological changes in the brain. On the other hand, co-administration of each of Vinpocetine, Cocoa, Wheatgrass, CoQ10 or Zinc together with AlCl3 provided protection against hazards of neurotoxicity and neurodegenerations induced by Al, their protection were indicated by the decrease in Aβ, ACHE, MDA, TNF-α, IL-1β, DNA fragmentation together with the increase in SOD, TAC, BDNF and confirmed by the histopathological examinations of different brain regions. Vinpocetine and Cocoa showed the most pronounced protection while Zinc provided the least protective effects than the other used nutrients and drugs. Conclusion: Different degrees of protection from neurotoxicity and neuronal degenerations induced by Al could be achieved through the co-administration of some nutrients and drugs during its exposure. Vinpocetine and Cocoa provided the most protection than Wheat grass, CoQ10 or Zinc which showed the least protective effects.

Keywords: aluminum, neurotoxicity, vinpocetine, cocoa, wheat grass, coenzyme Q10, Zinc, rats

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2 Use of WhatsApp Messenger for Optimal Healthcare Operational Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Josiah O. Carter, Charlotte Hayden, Elizabeth Arthurs

Abstract:

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital management policies have changed frequently and rapidly. This has created novel challenges in keeping the workforce abreast of these changes to enable them to deliver safe and effective care. Traditional communication methods, e.g. email, do not keep pace with the rapidly changing environment in the hospital, resulting in inaccurate, irrelevant, or outdated information being communicated, resulting in inefficiencies in patient care. Methods: The creation of a WhatsApp messaging group within the medical division at the Bristol Royal Infirmary has enabled senior clinicians and the hospital management team to update the medical workforce in real-time. It has two primary functions: (1) To enable dissemination of a concise, important operational summary. This comprises information on bed status and infection control procedural changes. It is fed directly from a daily critical incident briefing (2) To facilitate a monthly scheduled question and answer (Q&A) session for junior doctors to clarify issues with clinical directors, rota, and management staff. Additional ad-hoc updates are sent out for time-critical information; otherwise, it mainly functions as a broadcast-only group to prevent important information from being lost amongst other communication. All junior doctors within the medical division were invited to join the group. At present, the group comprises 131 participants, of which 10 are administrative staff (rota coordinators, management staff & clinical directors); the remaining 121 are junior clinicians working within the medical division. An electronic survey via Microsoft forms was sent out to junior doctors via the WhatsApp group and via email to assess its utilisation and effectiveness with the aim of quality improvements. Results: Of the 121 group participants, 19 completed the questionnaire (response rate 15.7%). Of these, 16/19 (84.2%) used it regularly, and 12/19 (63.2%) rated it as the most useful source for reliable updates relating to the hospital response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas only 2/19 (10.5%) found the trust intranet and the trust COVID-19 operational email update most useful. Respondents rated the WhatsApp group more useful as an information source (mean score 7.7/10) than as a means of providing feedback to management staff (mean score 6.3/10). Qualitative feedback suggested information around ward closures and changes to COVID cohorting, along with updates on staffing issues, were most useful. Respondents also noted the Q&A sessions were an efficient way of relaying feedback about management decisions but that it would be preferable if these sessions could be delivered more frequently. Discussion: During the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased need for rapid dissemination of critical information within NHS trusts; this includes communication between junior doctors, managers, and senior clinicians. The versatility of WhatsApp permits a variety of functions allowing for regular updates, the dissemination of time-critical information, and enables conversing and feedback. The project has demonstrated that reserved and well-managed use of a WhatsApp group is a welcome, efficient and practical means of communication between the senior management team and the junior medical workforce.

Keywords: communication, COVID-19, hospital management, WhatsApp

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1 Single Cell and Spatial Transcriptomics: A Beginners Viewpoint from the Conceptual Pipeline

Authors: Leo Nnamdi Ozurumba-Dwight

Abstract:

Messenger ribooxynucleic acid (mRNA) molecules are compositional, protein-based. These proteins, encoding mRNA molecules (which collectively connote the transcriptome), when analyzed by RNA sequencing (RNAseq), unveils the nature of gene expression in the RNA. The obtained gene expression provides clues of cellular traits and their dynamics in presentations. These can be studied in relation to function and responses. RNAseq is a practical concept in Genomics as it enables detection and quantitative analysis of mRNA molecules. Single cell and spatial transcriptomics both present varying avenues for expositions in genomic characteristics of single cells and pooled cells in disease conditions such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, hematopoietic based diseases, among others, from investigated biological tissue samples. Single cell transcriptomics helps conduct a direct assessment of each building unit of tissues (the cell) during diagnosis and molecular gene expressional studies. A typical technique to achieve this is through the use of a single-cell RNA sequencer (scRNAseq), which helps in conducting high throughput genomic expressional studies. However, this technique generates expressional gene data for several cells which lack presentations on the cells’ positional coordinates within the tissue. As science is developmental, the use of complimentary pre-established tissue reference maps using molecular and bioinformatics techniques has innovatively sprung-forth and is now used to resolve this set back to produce both levels of data in one shot of scRNAseq analysis. This is an emerging conceptual approach in methodology for integrative and progressively dependable transcriptomics analysis. This can support in-situ fashioned analysis for better understanding of tissue functional organization, unveil new biomarkers for early-stage detection of diseases, biomarkers for therapeutic targets in drug development, and exposit nature of cell-to-cell interactions. Also, these are vital genomic signatures and characterizations of clinical applications. Over the past decades, RNAseq has generated a wide array of information that is igniting bespoke breakthroughs and innovations in Biomedicine. On the other side, spatial transcriptomics is tissue level based and utilized to study biological specimens having heterogeneous features. It exposits the gross identity of investigated mammalian tissues, which can then be used to study cell differentiation, track cell line trajectory patterns and behavior, and regulatory homeostasis in disease states. Also, it requires referenced positional analysis to make up of genomic signatures that will be sassed from the single cells in the tissue sample. Given these two presented approaches to RNA transcriptomics study in varying quantities of cell lines, with avenues for appropriate resolutions, both approaches have made the study of gene expression from mRNA molecules interesting, progressive, developmental, and helping to tackle health challenges head-on.

Keywords: transcriptomics, RNA sequencing, single cell, spatial, gene expression.

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