Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 78

Search results for: AIDS

78 A Mixing Matrix Estimation Algorithm for Speech Signals under the Under-Determined Blind Source Separation Model

Authors: Jing Wu, Wei Lv, Yibing Li, Yuanfan You

Abstract:

The separation of speech signals has become a research hotspot in the field of signal processing in recent years. It has many applications and influences in teleconferencing, hearing aids, speech recognition of machines and so on. The sounds received are usually noisy. The issue of identifying the sounds of interest and obtaining clear sounds in such an environment becomes a problem worth exploring, that is, the problem of blind source separation. This paper focuses on the under-determined blind source separation (UBSS). Sparse component analysis is generally used for the problem of under-determined blind source separation. The method is mainly divided into two parts. Firstly, the clustering algorithm is used to estimate the mixing matrix according to the observed signals. Then the signal is separated based on the known mixing matrix. In this paper, the problem of mixing matrix estimation is studied. This paper proposes an improved algorithm to estimate the mixing matrix for speech signals in the UBSS model. The traditional potential algorithm is not accurate for the mixing matrix estimation, especially for low signal-to noise ratio (SNR).In response to this problem, this paper considers the idea of an improved potential function method to estimate the mixing matrix. The algorithm not only avoids the inuence of insufficient prior information in traditional clustering algorithm, but also improves the estimation accuracy of mixing matrix. This paper takes the mixing of four speech signals into two channels as an example. The results of simulations show that the approach in this paper not only improves the accuracy of estimation, but also applies to any mixing matrix.

Keywords: Clustering algorithm, potential function, speech signal, the UBSS model.

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77 Unsteady Flow Simulations for Microchannel Design and Its Fabrication for Nanoparticle Synthesis

Authors: Mrinalini Amritkar, Disha Patil, Swapna Kulkarni, Sukratu Barve, Suresh Gosavi

Abstract:

Micro-mixers play an important role in the lab-on-a-chip applications and micro total analysis systems to acquire the correct level of mixing for any given process. The mixing process can be classified as active or passive according to the use of external energy. Literature of microfluidics reports that most of the work is done on the models of steady laminar flow; however, the study of unsteady laminar flow is an active area of research at present. There are wide applications of this, out of which, we consider nanoparticle synthesis in micro-mixers. In this work, we have developed a model for unsteady flow to study the mixing performance of a passive micro mixer for reactants used for such synthesis. The model is developed in Finite Volume Method (FVM)-based software, OpenFOAM. The model is tested by carrying out the simulations at Re of 0.5. Mixing performance of the micro-mixer is investigated using simulated concentration values of mixed species across the width of the micro-mixer and calculating the variance across a line profile. Experimental validation is done by passing dyes through a Y shape micro-mixer fabricated using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer and comparing variances with the simulated ones. Gold nanoparticles are later synthesized through the micro-mixer and collected at two different times leading to significantly different size distributions. These times match with the time scales over which reactant concentrations vary as obtained from simulations. Our simulations could thus be used to create design aids for passive micro-mixers used in nanoparticle synthesis.

Keywords: Lab-on-chip, micro-mixer, OpenFOAM, PDMS.

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76 Assessing the Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Nanoparticles by Fluorescence-Labeling

Authors: Laidson P. Gomes, Cristina T. Andrade, Eduardo M. Del Aguila, Cameron Alexander, Vânia M. F. Paschoalin

Abstract:

Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide prepared by the N-deacetylation of chitin. In this study, the physicochemical and antibacterial properties of chitosan nanoparticles, produced by ultrasound irradiation, were evaluated. The physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles were determined by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analysis. Chitosan nanoparticles inhibited the growth of E. coli. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were lower than 0.5 mg/mL, and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were similar or higher than MIC values. Confocal laser scanning micrographs (CLSM) were used to observe the interaction between E. coli suspensions mixed with FITC-labeled chitosan polymers and nanoparticles.

Keywords: Chitosan nanoparticles, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, confocal microscopy, antibacterial activity.

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75 Analysis of the Operational Performance of Three Unconventional Arterial Intersection Designs: Median U-Turn, Superstreet and Single Quadrant

Authors: Hana Naghawi, Khair Jadaan, Rabab Al-Louzi, Taqwa Hadidi

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This paper is aimed to evaluate and compare the operational performance of three Unconventional Arterial Intersection Designs (UAIDs) including Median U-Turn, Superstreet, and Single Quadrant Intersection using real traffic data. For this purpose, the heavily congested signalized intersection of Wadi Saqra in Amman was selected. The effect of implementing each of the proposed UAIDs was not only evaluated on the isolated Wadi Saqra signalized intersection, but also on the arterial road including both surrounding intersections. The operational performance of the isolated intersection was based on the level of service (LOS) expressed in terms of control delay and volume to capacity ratio. On the other hand, the measures used to evaluate the operational performance on the arterial road included traffic progression, stopped delay per vehicle, number of stops and the travel speed. The analysis was performed using SYNCHRO 8 microscopic software. The simulation results showed that all three selected UAIDs outperformed the conventional intersection design in terms of control delay but only the Single Quadrant Intersection design improved the main intersection LOS from F to B. Also, the results indicated that the Single Quadrant Intersection design resulted in an increase in average travel speed by 52%, and a decrease in the average stopped delay by 34% on the selected corridor when compared to the corridor with conventional intersection design. On basis of these results, it can be concluded that the Median U-Turn and the Superstreet do not perform the best under heavy traffic volumes.

Keywords: Median U-turn, single quadrant, superstreet, unconventional arterial intersection design.

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74 Happiness, Media and Sustainability of Communities in Donkeaw, Mearim District, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Authors: Panida Jongsuksomsakul

Abstract:

This study of the ‘happiness’ and ‘sustainability’ in the community of Donkeaw, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chiang Mai Province during the non-election period in Thailand, noted that their happiness levels are in the middle-average range. This was found using a mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative methods (N = 386, α = 0.05). The study explores indicators for six aspects of well-being and happiness, including, good local governance, administrative support for the health system that maintains people’s mental and physical health, environment and weather, job security and a regular income aids them in managing a sustainable lifestyle. The impact of economic security and community relationships on social and cultural capital, and the way these aspects impact on the life style of the community, affects the sustainable well-being of people. Moreover, living with transparency and participatory communication led to diverse rewards in many areas.

Keywords: Communication, happiness, well-being, Donkeaw community, social and cultural capital.

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73 A Concept Study to Assist Non-Profit Organizations to Better Target Developing Countries

Authors: Malek Makki

Abstract:

The main purpose of this research study is to assist non-profit organizations (NPOs) to better segment a group of least developing countries and to optimally target the most needier areas, so that the provided aids make positive and lasting differences. We applied international marketing and strategy approaches to segment a sub-group of candidates among a group of 151 countries identified by the UN-G77 list, and furthermore, we point out the areas of priorities. We use reliable and well known criteria on the basis of economics, geography, demography and behavioral. These criteria can be objectively estimated and updated so that a follow-up can be performed to measure the outcomes of any program. We selected 12 socio-economic criteria that complement each other: GDP per capita, GDP growth, industry value added, export per capita, fragile state index, corruption perceived index, environment protection index, ease of doing business index, global competitiveness index, Internet use, public spending on education, and employment rate. A weight was attributed to each variable to highlight the relative importance of each criterion within the country. Care was taken to collect the most recent available data from trusted well-known international organizations (IMF, WB, WEF, and WTO). Construct of equivalence was carried out to compare the same variables across countries. The combination of all these weighted estimated criteria provides us with a global index that represents the level of development per country. An absolute index that combines wars and risks was introduced to exclude or include a country on the basis of conflicts and a collapsing state. The final step applied to the included countries consists of a benchmarking method to select the segment of countries and the percentile of each criterion. The results of this study allowed us to exclude 16 countries for risks and security. We also excluded four countries because they lack reliable and complete data. The other countries were classified per percentile thru their global index, and we identified the needier and the areas where aids are highly required to help any NPO to prioritize the area of implementation. This new concept is based on defined, actionable, accessible and accurate variables by which NPO can implement their program and it can be extended to profit companies to perform their corporate social responsibility acts.

Keywords: Developing countries, International marketing, non-profit organization, segmentation.

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72 A Real-Time Simulation Environment for Avionics Software Development and Qualification

Authors: U. Tancredi, D. Accardo, M. Grassi, G. Fasano, A. E. Tirri, A. Vitale, N. Genito, F. Montemari, L. Garbarino

Abstract:

The development of guidance, navigation and control algorithms and avionic procedures requires the disposability of suitable analysis and verification tools, such as simulation environments, which support the design process and allow detecting potential problems prior to the flight test, in order to make new technologies available at reduced cost, time and risk. This paper presents a simulation environment for avionic software development and qualification, especially aimed at equipment for general aviation aircrafts and unmanned aerial systems. The simulation environment includes models for short and medium-range radio-navigation aids, flight assistance systems, and ground control stations. All the software modules are able to simulate the modeled systems both in fast-time and real-time tests, and were implemented following component oriented modeling techniques and requirement based approach. The paper describes the specific models features, the architectures of the implemented software systems and its validation process. Performed validation tests highlighted the capability of the simulation environment to guarantee in real-time the required functionalities and performance of the simulated avionics systems, as well as to reproduce the interaction between these systems, thus permitting a realistic and reliable simulation of a complete mission scenario.

Keywords: ADS-B, avionics, NAVAIDs, real time simulation, TCAS, UAS ground control station.

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71 Biochemical Changes in the Liver of Mice after Exposure to Different Doses of Diclofenac Sodium

Authors: Deepak Mohan, Sushma Sharma

Abstract:

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of widely used drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid diseases and to relieve pain and inflammation due to their analgesic anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. The therapeutic and many of the toxic effects of NSAIDs result from reversible inhibition of enzymes in the cyclooxygenase (COX) group. In the present investigation the effect of the drug on the concentration of lipids, and on the activity of the enzymes i.e. acid and alkaline phosphatase, GOT, GPT and lipid peroxidase were studied. There was a significant enhancement in the activities of both acid and alkaline phosphatase after 21 days of treatment. Proportionate increase in the MDA contents was observed after different days of diclofenac treatment. Cellular damage in the liver resulted in decrease in the activity of both GOT (Glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase) and GPT (Glutamate pyruvate transaminase) in both low and high dose groups. Significant decrease in the liver contents was also observed in both dose groups.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory, cyclooxygenase, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, malondialdehyde.

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70 The Role of Chemokine Family, CXCL-10 Urine as a Marker Diagnosis of Active Lung Tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS Patients

Authors: Dwitya Elvira, Raveinal Masri, Rohayat Bilmahdi

Abstract:

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) pandemic increased significantly worldwide. The rise in cases of HIV/AIDS was also followed by an increase in the incidence of opportunistic infection, with tuberculosis being the most opportunistic infection found in HIV/AIDS and the main cause of mortality in HIV/AIDS patients. Diagnosis of tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS patients is often difficult because of the uncommon symptom in HIV/AIDS patients compared to those without the disease. Thus, diagnostic tools are required that are more effective and efficient to diagnose tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS. CXCL-10/IP-10 is a chemokine that binds to the CXCR3 receptor found in HIV/AIDS patients with a weakened immune system. Tuberculosis infection in HIV/AIDS activates chemokine IP-10 in urine, which is used as a marker for diagnosis of infection. The aim of this study was to prove whether IP-10 urine can be a biomarker diagnosis of active lung tuberculosis in HIV-AIDS patients. Design of this study is a cross sectional study involving HIV/AIDS patients with lung tuberculosis as the subject of this study. Forty-seven HIV/AIDS patients with tuberculosis based on clinical and biochemical laboratory were asked to collect urine samples and IP-10/CXCL-10 urine being measured using ELISA method with 18 healthy human urine samples as control. Forty-seven patients diagnosed as HIV/AIDS were included as a subject of this study. HIV/AIDS were more common in male than in women with the percentage in male 85.1% vs. 14.5% of women. In this study, most diagnosed patients were aged 31-40 years old, followed by those 21-30 years, and > 40 years old, with one case diagnosed at age less than 20 years of age. From the result of the urine IP-10 using ELISA method, there was significant increase of the mean value of IP-10 urine in patients with TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection compared to the healthy control with mean 61.05 pg/mL ± 78.01 pg/mL vs. mean 17.2 pg/mL. Based on this research, there was significant increase of urine IP-10/CXCL-10 in active lung tuberculosis with HIV/AIDS compared to the healthy control. From this finding, it is necessary to conduct further research into whether urine IP-10/CXCL-10 plays a significant role in TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection, which can also be used as a biomarker in the early diagnosis of TB-HIV.

Keywords: Chemokine, IP-10 urine, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis.

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69 Orbit Determination Modeling with Graphical Demonstration

Authors: Assem M. F. Sallam, Ah. El-S. Makled

Abstract:

In this paper, there is an implementation, verification, and graphical demonstration of a software application, which can be used swiftly over different preliminary orbit determination methods. A passive orbit determination method is used in this study to determine the location of a satellite or a flying body. It is named a passive orbit determination because it depends on observation without the use of any aids (radio and laser) installed on satellite. In order to understand how these methods work and how their output is accurate when compared with available verification data, the built models help in knowing the different inputs used with each method. Output from the different orbit determination methods (Gibbs, Lambert, and Gauss) will be compared with each other and verified by the data obtained from Satellite Tool Kit (STK) application. A modified model including all of the orbit determination methods using the same input will be introduced to investigate different models output (orbital parameters) for the same input (azimuth, elevation, and time). Simulation software is implemented using MATLAB. A Graphical User Interface (GUI) application named OrDet is produced using the GUI of MATLAB. It includes all the available used inputs and it outputs the current Classical Orbital Elements (COE) of satellite under observation. Produced COE are then used to propagate for a complete revolution and plotted on a 3-D view. Modified model which uses an adapter to allow same input parameters, passes these parameters to the preliminary orbit determination methods under study. Result from all orbit determination methods yield exactly the same COE output, which shows the equality of concept in determination of satellite’s location, but with different numerical methods.

Keywords: Orbit determination, STK, MATLAB-GUI, satellite tracking.

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68 Simulation-Based Diversity Management in Human-Robot Collaborative Scenarios

Authors: Titanilla Komenda, Viktorio Malisa

Abstract:

In this paper, the influence of diversity-related factors on the design of collaborative scenarios is analysed. Based on the evaluation, a framework for simulating human-robot-collaboration is presented that considers both human factors as well as the overall system performance. The implementation of the model is shown on a real-life scenario from industry and validated in terms of traceability, safety and physical limitations. By comparing scenarios that consider diversity with those only meeting system performance, an overall understanding of individually adapted human-robot-collaborative workspaces is reached. A diversity-related guideline for human-robot-collaborations provides a summary of the research and aids in optimizing future applications. Finally, limitations and future amendments of the model are discussed.

Keywords: Diversity, human-machine-system, human-robot-collaboration, simulation.

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67 Impact of HIV/AIDS on Food Security in Pala Sub-Location, Bondo District, Kenya

Authors: S. B. Otieno, Were Fred, E. W. Kabiru, K. Waza

Abstract:

Background: HIV/AIDS is leading to the loss of labor through sickness and subsequent death, this is leading to the neglect of farm and off-farm activities, with the subsequent loss of potential income and food security. The situation is sensitive to seasonal labour peaks in agriculture. This study was done to determine the impact of high HIV prevalence in farming systems and food security in Pala Bondo District, Kenya. Methods: In this study, 386 respondents were randomly chosen in Pala Sub-Location. The respondents and key informants were interviewed using structured questionnaire. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16. Results: It was established that majority of respondents (67%) were between 18 and 35 years {χ2 = (1, N = 386) = 13.430, p = 0.000} (chimney effect). The study also established that 83.5% of respondents were married {χ2 = (1, N= 370) = 166.277 p = 0.000} and predominant occupation being farming and fishing (61%), while 52.8% of farm labour was by hand, 26% by oxen, and 4.9% mechanized. 73.2% of respondents only farm 0.25 to 2 acres, 48% mentioned lack of labour in land preparation {χ2 ((1,N = 321) = 113.146, p = 0.000), in planting {χ2 (1, N = 321) = 29.28, p = 0.000}. Majority of respondents lack food from January to June, during which 93% buy food. Conclusion: The high HIV prevalence in Pala has affected the farm labour leading to food insecurity.

Keywords: Food security, HIV, AIDS, labour.

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66 Augmenting Navigational Aids: The Development of an Assistive Maritime Navigation Application

Authors: A. Mihoc, K. Cater

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On the bridge of a ship the officers are looking for visual aids to guide navigation in order to reconcile the outside world with the position communicated by the digital navigation system. Aids to navigation include: Lighthouses, lightships, sector lights, beacons, buoys, and others. They are designed to help navigators calculate their position, establish their course or avoid dangers. In poor visibility and dense traffic areas, it can be very difficult to identify these critical aids to guide navigation. The paper presents the usage of Augmented Reality (AR) as a means to present digital information about these aids to support navigation. To date, nautical navigation related mobile AR applications have been limited to the leisure industry. If proved viable, this prototype can facilitate the creation of other similar applications that could help commercial officers with navigation. While adopting a user centered design approach, the team has developed the prototype based on insights from initial research carried on board of several ships. The prototype, built on Nexus 9 tablet and Wikitude, features a head-up display of the navigational aids (lights) in the area, presented in AR and a bird’s eye view mode presented on a simplified map. The application employs the aids to navigation data managed by Hydrographic Offices and the tablet’s sensors: GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and camera. Sea trials on board of a Navy and a commercial ship revealed the end-users’ interest in using the application and further possibility of other data to be presented in AR. The application calculates the GPS position of the ship, the bearing and distance to the navigational aids; all within a high level of accuracy. However, during testing several issues were highlighted which need to be resolved as the prototype is developed further. The prototype stretched the capabilities of Wikitude, loading over 500 objects during tests in a major port. This overloaded the display and required over 45 seconds to load the data. Therefore, extra filters for the navigational aids are being considered in order to declutter the screen. At night, the camera is not powerful enough to distinguish all the lights in the area. Also, magnetic interference with the bridge of the ship generated a continuous compass error of the AR display that varied between 5 and 12 degrees. The deviation of the compass was consistent over the whole testing durations so the team is now looking at the possibility of allowing users to manually calibrate the compass. It is expected that for the usage of AR in professional maritime contexts, further development of existing AR tools and hardware is needed. Designers will also need to implement a user-centered design approach in order to create better interfaces and display technologies for enhanced solutions to aid navigation.

Keywords: Compass error, GPS, maritime navigation, mobile augmented reality.

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65 Facilitating Familial Support of Saudi Arabians Living with HIV/AIDS

Authors: Noor Attar

Abstract:

This paper provides an overview of the current situation of HIV/AIDS patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and a literature review of the concepts of stigma communication, communication of social support. These concepts provide the basis for the proposed methods, which will include conducting a textual analysis of materials that are currently distributed to family members of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV/A) in KSA and creating an educational brochure. The brochure will aim to help families of PLWHIV/A in KSA (1) understand how stigma shapes the experience of PLWHIV/A, (2) realize the role of positive communication as a helpful social support, and (3) develop the ability to provide positive social support for their loved ones.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Saudi Arabia, social support, stigma communication.

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64 Analysis of Factors Used by Farmers to Manage Risk: A Case Study on Italian Farms

Authors: A. Pontrandolfi, G. Enjolras, F. Capitanio

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The study analyses the strategies Italian farmers use to cope with the risks that face their production. We specifically explore the potential and the limitations of the economic tools for climatic risk management in agriculture of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020, that foresees contributions for economic tools for risk management, in relation to farms’ needs, exposure and vulnerability of agricultural areas to climatic risk. We consider at the farm level approaches to hedge risks in terms of the use of technical tools (agricultural practices, pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation) and economic/financial instruments (insurances, etc.). We develop cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses as well as analyses of correlation that underline the main differences between the way farms adapt their structure and management towards risk. The results show a preference for technical tools, despite the presence of important public aids on economic tools such as insurances. Therefore, there is a strong need for a more effective and integrated risk management policy scheme. Synergies between economic tools and risk reduction actions of a more technical, structural and management nature (production diversification, irrigation infrastructures, technological and management innovations and formation-information-consultancy, etc.) are emphasized.

Keywords: Agriculture and climate change, climatic risk management, insurance schemes.

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63 Mobile Augmented Reality for Collaboration in Operation

Authors: Chong-Yang Qiao

Abstract:

Mobile augmented reality (MAR) tracking targets from the surroundings and aids operators for interactive data and procedures visualization, potential equipment and system understandably. Operators remotely communicate and coordinate with each other for the continuous tasks, information and data exchange between control room and work-site. In the routine work, distributed control system (DCS) monitoring and work-site manipulation require operators interact in real-time manners. The critical question is the improvement of user experience in cooperative works through applying Augmented Reality in the traditional industrial field. The purpose of this exploratory study is to find the cognitive model for the multiple task performance by MAR. In particular, the focus will be on the comparison between different tasks and environment factors which influence information processing. Three experiments use interface and interaction design, the content of start-up, maintenance and stop embedded in the mobile application. With the evaluation criteria of time demands and human errors, and analysis of the mental process and the behavior action during the multiple tasks, heuristic evaluation was used to find the operators performance with different situation factors, and record the information processing in recognition, interpretation, judgment and reasoning. The research will find the functional properties of MAR and constrain the development of the cognitive model. Conclusions can be drawn that suggest MAR is easy to use and useful for operators in the remote collaborative works.

Keywords: Mobile augmented reality, remote collaboration, user experience, cognitive model.

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62 Hysteresis Behaviour of Mass Concrete Mixed with Plastic Fibre under Compression

Authors: A. A. Okeola, T. I. Sijuade

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Unreinforced concrete is a comparatively brittle substance when exposed to tensile stresses, the required tensile strength is provided by the introduction of steel which is used as reinforcement. The strength of concrete may be improved tremendously by the addition of fibre. This study focused on investigating the compressive strength of mass concrete mixed with different percentage of plastic fibre. Twelve samples of concrete cubes with varied percentage of plastic fibre at 7, 14 and 28 days of water submerged curing were tested under compression loading. The result shows that the compressive strength of plastic fibre reinforced concrete increased with rise in curing age. The strength increases for all percentage dosage of fibre used for the concrete. The density of the Plastic Fibre Reinforced Concrete (PFRC) also increases with curing age, which implies that during curing, concrete absorbs water which aids its hydration. The least compressive strength obtained with the introduction of plastic fibre is more than the targeted 20 N/mm2 recommended for construction work showing that PFRC can be used where significant loading is expected.

Keywords: Compressive strength, plastic fibre, concrete, curing, density.

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61 Well-Being and Helping Technology for Retired Population in Finland

Authors: R. Pääkkönen, L. Korpinen

Abstract:

This study aimed to evaluate parameters influencing well-being and how to maintain well-being as long as possible after retirement. There is contradictory information on the health changes after retirement in Finland. This work is based on interviews, statistics, and literature evaluation of Finland. Most often, balance, multitasking reaction time, and adaptation of vision in dim and darks areas are worsened. Slowing is one characteristic that is difficult to measure properly. The most important is try to determine ways to manage daily activities and symptoms of disease after retirement. Medicine is advancing, problems are often also on the economic side. Information of technical aids is important. It is worth planning a retirement age.

Keywords: Retirement, working, aging, wellness.

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60 An Overview of the Risk for HIV/AIDS among Young Women in South Africa: Gender Based Violence

Authors: Shaneil Taylor

Abstract:

Gender-based violence is a reflection of the inequalities that are associated within a society between the men and women that affects the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. There are various determinants that contribute to the health risk of young women who have experienced sexual violence, in countries that have a high prevalence rate for HIV. For instance, in South Africa, where the highest prevalence rate for HIV is among young women, their susceptibility to the virus has been increased by sexual violence and cultural inequalities. Therefore, this study is a review of literature that explores how gender-based violence increases the possibility for HIV/AIDS among young women in South Africa.

Keywords: Gender based violence, HIV/AIDS transmission, young women, Risky sexual behavior.

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59 Investigating Prostaglandin E2 and Intracellular Oxidative Stress Levels in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated RAW 264.7 Macrophages upon Treatment with Strobilanthes crispus

Authors: Anna Pick Kiong Ling, Jia May Chin, Rhun Yian Koh, Ying Pei Wong

Abstract:

Background: Uncontrolled inflammation may cause serious inflammatory diseases if left untreated. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) is commonly used to inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes, thus, reduce inflammation. However, long term administration of NSAIDs leads to various complications. Medicinal plants are getting more attention as it is believed to be more compatible with human body. One of them is a flavonoid-containing medicinal plants, Strobilanthes crispus which has been traditionally claimed to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Nevertheless, its anti-inflammatory activities are yet to be scientifically documented. Objectives: This study aimed to examine the anti-inflammatory activity of S. crispus by investigating its effects on intracellular oxidative stress and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels. Materials and Methods: In this study, the Maximum Non-toxic Dose (MNTD) of methanol extract of both leaves and stems of S. crispus was first determined using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenytetrazolium Bromide (MTT) assay. The effects of S. crispus extracts at MNTD and half MNTD (½MNTD) on intracellular ROS as well as PGE2 levels in 1.0 µg/mL LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages were then be measured using DCFH-DA and a competitive enzyme immunoassay kit, respectively. Results: The MNTD of leaf extract was determined as 700µg/mL while for stem was as low as 1.4µg/mL. When LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages were subjected to the MNTD of S. crispus leaf extract, both intracellular ROS and PGE2 levels were significantly reduced. In contrast, stem extract at both MNTD and ½MNTD did not significantly reduce the PGE2 level, but significantly increased the intracellular ROS level. Conclusion: The methanol leaf extract of S. crispus may possess anti-inflammatory properties as it is able to significantly reduce the intracellular ROS and PGE2 levels of LPS-stimulated cells. Nevertheless, further studies such as investigating the interleukin, nitric oxide and cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) levels has to be conducted to further confirm the anti-inflammatory properties of S. crispus.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory, natural products, prostaglandin E2, reactive oxygen species.

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58 Moving Beyond the Limits of Disability Inclusion: Using the Concept of Belonging Through Friendship to Improve the Outcome of the Social Model of Disability

Authors: Luke S. Carlos A. Thompson

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The medical model of disability, though beneficial for the medical professional, is often exclusionary, restrictive and dehumanizing when applied to the lived experience of disability. As a result, a critique of this model was constructed called the social model of disability. Much of the language used to articulate the purpose behind the social model of disability can be summed up within the word inclusion. However, this essay asserts that inclusiveness is an incomplete aspiration. The social model, as it currently stands, does not aid in creating a society where those with impairments actually belong. Rather, the social model aids in lessening the visibility, or negative consequence of, difference. Therefore, the social model does not invite society to welcome those with physical and intellectual impairments. It simply aids society in ignoring the existence of impairment by removing explicit forms of exclusion. Rather than simple inclusion, then, this essay uses John Swinton’s concept of friendship and Jean Vanier’s understanding of belonging to better articulate the intended outcome of the social model—a society where everyone can belong.

Keywords: Belong, community, disability, exclusion, friendship, inclusion.

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57 Factors Influencing Household Expenditure Patterns on Cereal Grains in Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Authors: E. A. Ojoko, G. B. Umbugadu

Abstract:

This study aims at describing the expenditure pattern of households on millet, maize and sorghum across income groups in Nasarawa State. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a sample size of 316 respondents for the study. The Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) model was adopted in this study. Results from the study shows that the average household size was five persons with dependency ratio of 52 %, which plays an important role on the household’s expenditure pattern by increasing the household budget share. On the average 82 % were male headed households with an average age of 49 years and 13 years of formal education. Results on expenditure share show that maize has the highest expenditure share of 38 % across the three income groups and that most of the price effects are significantly different from zero at 5 % significant level. This shows that the low price of maize increased its demand as compared to other cereals. Household size and age of household members are major factors affecting the demand for cereals in the study. This agrees with the fact that increased household population (size) will bring about increase consumption. The results on factors influencing preferences for cereal grains reveals that cooking quality and appearance (65.7 %) were the most important factors affecting the demand for maize in the study area. This study recommends that cereal crop production should be prioritized in government policies and farming activities that help to boost food security and alleviate poverty should be subsidized.

Keywords: Expenditure pattern, AIDS model, budget share, price cereal grains and consumption.

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56 Computing Transition Intensity Using Time-Homogeneous Markov Jump Process: Case of South African HIV/AIDS Disposition

Authors: A. Bayaga

Abstract:

This research provides a technical account of estimating Transition Probability using Time-homogeneous Markov Jump Process applying by South African HIV/AIDS data from the Statistics South Africa. It employs Maximum Likelihood Estimator (MLE) model to explore the possible influence of Transition Probability of mortality cases in which case the data was based on actual Statistics South Africa. This was conducted via an integrated demographic and epidemiological model of South African HIV/AIDS epidemic. The model was fitted to age-specific HIV prevalence data and recorded death data using MLE model. Though the previous model results suggest HIV in South Africa has declined and AIDS mortality rates have declined since 2002 – 2013, in contrast, our results differ evidently with the generally accepted HIV models (Spectrum/EPP and ASSA2008) in South Africa. However, there is the need for supplementary research to be conducted to enhance the demographic parameters in the model and as well apply it to each of the nine (9) provinces of South Africa.

Keywords: AIDS mortality rates, Epidemiological model, Time-homogeneous Markov Jump Process, Transition Probability, Statistics South Africa.

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55 Premarital Sex, HIV, and Use of Condom among Youths in Nigeria

Authors: Okechukwu Odinaka Ajaegbu

Abstract:

In the recent past, discussing about sex among children and youths was frowned at by traditional norms and as such sexual discussions and behavior were approached with great respect. Things are actually falling apart with the increasing number of young people that engage in premarital sex. Due to lack of experience and sex education, many young people are becoming increasingly exposed to the risk of HIV infection. In the light of the above, this study discussed premarital sex, HIV, and use of condom among youths in Nigeria. Data for this study came from 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey and other secondary data. The survey revealed that only 18.5 percent of young women that had sex in the 12 months preceding the survey used condom. Out of 3306 never-married sexually active men and women, 1728 representing 52 percent live in urban areas and 43 percent of them did not use condom during sexual intercourse in the 12 months preceding the survey. This study concludes that for there to be reduction in prevalence of HIV/AIDS among Nigerian youths, there is need for concerted effort to be made towards educating youths on the expedient of the use of condom during sexual intercourse.

Keywords: Condom, HIV, Nigeria, Premarital sex, Youths.

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54 Shear Capacity of Rectangular Duct Panel Experiencing Internal Pressure

Authors: K. S. Sivakumaran, T. Thanga, B. Halabieh

Abstract:

The end panels of a large rectangular industrial duct, which experience significant internal pressures, also experience considerable transverse shear due to transfer of gravity loads to the supports. The current design practice of such thin plate panels for shear load is based on methods used for the design of plate girder webs. The structural arrangements, the loadings and the resulting behavior associated with the industrial duct end panels are, however, significantly different from those of the web of a plate girder. The large aspect ratio of the end panels gives rise to multiple bands of tension fields, whereas the plate girder web design is based on one tension field. In addition to shear, the industrial end panels are subjected to internal pressure which in turn produces significant membrane action. This paper reports a study which was undertaken to review the current industrial analysis and design methods and to propose a comprehensive method of designing industrial duct end panels for shear resistance. In this investigation, a nonlinear finite element model was developed to simulate the behavior of industrial duct end panel, along with the associated edge stiffeners, subjected to transverse shear and internal pressures. The model considered the geometric imperfections and constitutive relations for steels. Six scale independent dimensionless parameters that govern the behavior of such end panel were identified and were then used in a parametric study. It was concluded that the plate slenderness dominates the shear strength of stockier end panels, and whereas, both the plate slenderness and the aspect ratio influence the shear strength of slender end panels. Based on these studies, this paper proposes design aids for estimating the shear strength of rectangular duct end panels.

Keywords: Thin plate, transverse shear, tension field, finite element analysis, parametric study, design.

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53 Awareness about HIV-Infection among HIV-Infected Individuals Attending Medical Moscow Center, Russia

Authors: Marina Nosik, Irina Rymanova, Sergei Sevostyanihin, Natalya Sergeeva, Alexander Sobkin

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This paper presents results of the survey regarding the awareness about HIV/AIDS among HIV-infected individuals. A questionnaire covering various aspects of HIV-infection was conducted among 110 HIV-infected individuals who attended the G.A. Zaharyan Moscow Tuberculosis Clinic, Department for treatment of TB patients with HIV. The questionnaire included questions about modes of HIV transmission and preventive measures against HIV/AIDS, as well as questions about age, gender, education and employment status. The survey revealed that the respondents in the whole had a good knowledge regarding modes of HIV transmission and preventive measures against HIV/AIDS: about 83,6% male respondents and 85,7% female respondents gave an accurate answers regarding the HIV-infection. However, the overwhelming majority of the study participants, that is, 88,5% men and 98% women, was quite ignorant about the risk of acquiring HIV through saliva and toothbrush of HIV-infected individual. Though that risk is rather insignificant, it is still biologically possible. And this gap in knowledge needs to be filled. As the study showed another point of concern was the fact, that despite the knowledge of HIV transmission risk through unprotected sex about 40% percent of HIVpositive men and 25% of HIV-positive women did not insist on using condoms with their sexual partners. These findings indicate that there are still some aspects about HIV-infection which needed to be clarified and explained through more detailed and specific educational programs.

Keywords: AIDS, HIV transmission risks, HIV misconceptions, risk behavior.

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52 Service Business Model Canvas: A Boundary Object Operating as a Business Development Tool

Authors: Taru Hakanen, Mervi Murtonen

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This study aims to increase understanding of the transition of business models in servitization. The significance of service in all business has increased dramatically during the past decades. Service-dominant logic (SDL) describes this change in the economy and questions the goods-dominant logic on which business has primarily been based in the past. A business model canvas is one of the most cited and used tools in defining end developing business models. The starting point of this paper lies in the notion that the traditional business model canvas is inherently goods-oriented and best suits for product-based business. However, the basic differences between goods and services necessitate changes in business model representations when proceeding in servitization. Therefore, new knowledge is needed on how the conception of business model and the business model canvas as its representation should be altered in servitized firms in order to better serve business developers and interfirm co-creation. That is to say, compared to products, services are intangible and they are co-produced between the supplier and the customer. Value is always co-created in interaction between a supplier and a customer, and customer experience primarily depends on how well the interaction succeeds between the actors. The role of service experience is even stronger in service business compared to product business, as services are co-produced with the customer. This paper provides business model developers with a service business model canvas, which takes into account the intangible, interactive, and relational nature of service. The study employs a design science approach that contributes to theory development via design artifacts. This study utilizes qualitative data gathered in workshops with ten companies from various industries. In particular, key differences between Goods-dominant logic (GDL) and SDLbased business models are identified when an industrial firm proceeds in servitization. As the result of the study, an updated version of the business model canvas is provided based on service-dominant logic. The service business model canvas ensures a stronger customer focus and includes aspects salient for services, such as interaction between companies, service co-production, and customer experience. It can be used for the analysis and development of a current service business model of a company or for designing a new business model. It facilitates customer-focused new service design and service development. It aids in the identification of development needs, and facilitates the creation of a common view of the business model. Therefore, the service business model canvas can be regarded as a boundary object, which facilitates the creation of a common understanding of the business model between several actors involved. The study contributes to the business model and service business development disciplines by providing a managerial tool for practitioners in service development. It also provides research insight into how servitization challenges companies’ business models.

Keywords: Boundary object, business model canvas, managerial tool, service-dominant logic.

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51 Voices and Pictures from an Online Course and a Face to Face Course

Authors: Eti Gilad, Shosh Millet

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In light of the technological development and its introduction into the field of education, an online course was designed in parallel to the 'conventional' course for teaching the ''Qualitative Research Methods''. This course aimed to characterize learning-teaching processes in a 'Qualitative Research Methods' course studied in two different frameworks. Moreover, its objective was to explore the difference between the culture of a physical learning environment and that of online learning. The research monitored four learner groups, a total of 72 students, for two years, two groups from the two course frameworks each year. The courses were obligatory for M.Ed. students at an academic college of education and were given by one female-lecturer. The research was conducted in the qualitative method as a case study in order to attain insights about occurrences in the actual contexts and sites in which they transpire. The research tools were open-ended questionnaire and reflections in the form of vignettes (meaningful short pictures) to all students as well as an interview with the lecturer. The tools facilitated not only triangulation but also collecting data consisting of voices and pictures of teaching and learning. The most prominent findings are: differences between the two courses in the change features of the learning environment culture for the acquisition of contents and qualitative research tools. They were manifested by teaching methods, illustration aids, lecturer's profile and students' profile.

Keywords: Face to face course, online course, qualitative research, vignettes.

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50 The Management and Funding of Education in Nigeria

Authors: Teryima Oralu, Babatunde Kasim Oladele

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This paper looks at the management and funding of education in Nigeria. The concept of management and administration has been concisely defined. Also the historical background of educational management in Nigeria has been discussed alongside the management of primary education, secondary education and tertiary education in Nigeria. Furthermore, the funding of education has also been concisely discussed in this paper alongside the various sources of funds available to education in Nigeria. The sources include government grant, school fees, external aids, school revenue yielding businesses and so on. The budgetary allocation of Nigeria to education from 1999 to 2013 was also highlighted in this in paper and it was discovered that the lowest allocation was in 1999 with 4.46% while the highest allocation was in 2006 with 10.43%. It is also of note that, Nigeria is still yet to meet the recommendation of UNESCO of 26% budgetary allocation to education by developing countries. Recommendations have been drawn that the government should increase budgetary allocation to this sector in a consistent manner because of its importance to the national economy, hoping that with proper monitoring of fund, it would contribute more significantly to the development of the country. An effective utilization of such funds is also advocated for greater achievements. All organs of the government should exhibit good corporate governance and transparency and so on.

Keywords: Education, funding, management, Nigeria.

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49 Awareness of Students and Teachers towards AIDS and AIDS Education

Authors: Anjan Saikia

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600 schools going adolescents and 100 teachers from 16 schools of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur district of Assam, India were surveyed to assess and compare their awareness regarding AIDS and AIDS Education. An awareness test was administered containing 38 items for adolescents and 40 items for teachers in the test. Observations revealed that the majority of school-going adolescents are poor in their HIV/AIDS and AIDS education awareness. It shows that the school going adolescents of Dhemaji district are better in HIV/AIDS and AIDS education awareness than the school going adolescents of Lakhimpur district while comparing the gender, settlement, steam and district wise variables.

Keywords: Awareness, HIV, AIDS, AIDS education.

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