Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 94

Search results for: Biology

94 Single Ion Transport with a Single-Layer Graphene Nanopore

Authors: Vishal V. R. Nandigana, Mohammad Heiranian, Narayana R. Aluru

Abstract:

Graphene material has found tremendous applications in water desalination, DNA sequencing and energy storage. Multiple nanopores are etched to create opening for water desalination and energy storage applications. The nanopores created are of the order of 3-5 nm allowing multiple ions to transport through the pore. In this paper, we present for the first time, molecular dynamics study of single ion transport, where only one ion passes through the graphene nanopore. The diameter of the graphene nanopore is of the same order as the hydration layers formed around each ion. Analogous to single electron transport resulting from ionic transport is observed for the first time. The current-voltage characteristics of such a device are similar to single electron transport in quantum dots. The current is blocked until a critical voltage, as the ions are trapped inside a hydration shell. The trapped ions have a high energy barrier compared to the applied input electrical voltage, preventing the ion to break free from the hydration shell. This region is called “Coulomb blockade region”. In this region, we observe zero transport of ions inside the nanopore. However, when the electrical voltage is beyond the critical voltage, the ion has sufficient energy to break free from the energy barrier created by the hydration shell to enter into the pore. Thus, the input voltage can control the transport of the ion inside the nanopore. The device therefore acts as a binary storage unit, storing 0 when no ion passes through the pore and storing 1 when a single ion passes through the pore. We therefore postulate that the device can be used for fluidic computing applications in chemistry and biology, mimicking a computer. Furthermore, the trapped ion stores a finite charge in the Coulomb blockade region; hence the device also acts a super capacitor.

Keywords: Graphene, single ion transport, Coulomb blockade, fluidic computer, super capacitor.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 83
93 Design of Identification Based Adaptive Control for Fermentation Process in Bioreactor

Authors: J. Ritonja

Abstract:

The biochemical technology has been developing extremely fast since the middle of the last century. The main reason for such development represents a requirement for large production of high-quality biologically manufactured products such as pharmaceuticals, foods, and beverages. The impact of the biochemical industry on the world economy is enormous. The great importance of this industry also results in intensive development in scientific disciplines relevant to the development of biochemical technology. In addition to developments in the fields of biology and chemistry, which enable to understand complex biochemical processes, development in the field of control theory and applications is also very important. In the paper, the control for the biochemical reactor for the milk fermentation was studied. During the fermentation process, the biophysical quantities must be precisely controlled to obtain the high-quality product. To control these quantities, the bioreactor’s stirring drive and/or heating system can be used. Available commercial biochemical reactors are equipped with open loop or conventional linear closed loop control system. Due to the outstanding parameters variations and the partial nonlinearity of the biochemical process, the results obtained with these control systems are not satisfactory. To improve the fermentation process, the self-tuning adaptive control system was proposed. The use of the self-tuning adaptive control is suggested because the parameters’ variations of the studied biochemical process are very slow in most cases. To determine the linearized mathematical model of the fermentation process, the recursive least square identification method was used. Based on the obtained mathematical model the linear quadratic regulator was tuned. The parameters’ identification and the controller’s synthesis are executed on-line and adapt the controller’s parameters to the fermentation process’ dynamics during the operation. The use of the proposed combination represents the original solution for the control of the milk fermentation process. The purpose of the paper is to contribute to the progress of the control systems for the biochemical reactors. The proposed adaptive control system was tested thoroughly. From the obtained results it is obvious that the proposed adaptive control system assures much better following of the reference signal as a conventional linear control system with fixed control parameters.

Keywords: Adaptive control, biochemical reactor, linear quadratic regulator, recursive least square identification.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 234
92 Impact of Herbicides on Soil Biology in Rapeseed

Authors: M. Eickermann, M. K. Class, J. Junk

Abstract:

Winter oilseed rape, Brassica napus L., is characterized by a high number of herbicide applications. Therefore, its cultivation can lead to massive contamination of ground water and soil by herbicide and their metabolites. A multi-side long-term field experiment (EFFO, Efficient crop rotation) was set-up in Luxembourg to quantify these effects. Based on soil sampling and laboratory analysis, preliminary results showed reduced dehydrogenase activities of several soil organisms due to herbicide treatments. This effect is highly depending on the soil type. Relation between the dehydrogenase activity and the amount of microbial carbon showed higher variability on the test side with loamy Brown Earth, based on Bunter than on those with sandy-loamy Brown Earth, based on calciferous Sandstone.

Keywords: Cropping system, dehydrogenase activity, herbicides, mechanical weed control, oilseed rape.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 295
91 Improved Predictive Models for the IRMA Network Using Nonlinear Optimisation

Authors: Vishwesh Kulkarni, Nikhil Bellarykar

Abstract:

Cellular complexity stems from the interactions among thousands of different molecular species. Thanks to the emerging fields of systems and synthetic biology, scientists are beginning to unravel these regulatory, signaling, and metabolic interactions and to understand their coordinated action. Reverse engineering of biological networks has has several benefits but a poor quality of data combined with the difficulty in reproducing it limits the applicability of these methods. A few years back, many of the commonly used predictive algorithms were tested on a network constructed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) to resolve this issue. The network was a synthetic network of five genes regulating each other for the so-called in vivo reverse-engineering and modeling assessment (IRMA). The network was constructed in S. cereviase since it is a simple and well characterized organism. The synthetic network included a variety of regulatory interactions, thus capturing the behaviour of larger eukaryotic gene networks on a smaller scale. We derive a new set of algorithms by solving a nonlinear optimization problem and show how these algorithms outperform other algorithms on these datasets.

Keywords: Synthetic gene network, network identification, nonlinear modeling, optimization.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 273
90 Gender Differences in Biology Academic Performances among Foundation Students of PERMATApintar® National Gifted Center

Authors: N. Nor Azman, M. F. Kamarudin, S. I. Ong, N. Maaulot

Abstract:

PERMATApintar® National Gifted Center is, to the author’s best of knowledge, the first center in Malaysia that provides a platform for Malaysian talented students with high ability in thinking. This center has built a teaching and learning biology curriculum that suits the ability of these gifted students. The level of PERMATApintar® biology curriculum is basically higher than the national biology curriculum. Here, the foundation students are exposed to the PERMATApintar® biology curriculum at the age of as early as 11 years old. This center practices a 4-time-a-year examination system to monitor the academic performances of the students. Generally, most of the time, male students show no or low interest towards biology subject compared to female students. This study is to investigate the association of students’ gender and their academic performances in biology examination. A total of 39 students’ scores in twelve sets of biology examinations in 3 years have been collected and analyzed by using the statistical analysis. Based on the analysis, there are no significant differences between male and female students against the biology academic performances with a significant level of p = 0.05. This indicates that gender is not associated with the scores of biology examinations among the students. Another result showed that the average score for male studenta was higher than the female students. Future research can be done by comparing the biology academic achievement in Malaysian National Examination (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM) between the Foundation 3 students (Grade 9) and Level 2 students (Grade 11) with similar PERMATApintar® biology curriculum.

Keywords: Academic performances, biology, gender differences, gifted students.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 389
89 Neuropedagogy as a Scientific Discipline: Interdisciplinary Description of the Theoretical Basis for the Development of a Research Field

Authors: M. Chojak

Abstract:

Recently, more and more scientific disciplines refer to research in the field of neurobiology. Interdisciplinary research procedures are created using modern methods of brain imaging. Neither did the pedagogues start looking for neuronal conditions for various processes. The publications began to show concepts such as ‘neuropedagogy’, ‘neuroeducation’, ‘neurodidactics’, ‘brain-friendly education’. They were and are still used interchangeably. In the offer of training for teachers, the topics of multiple intelligences or educational kinesiology began to be more and more popular. These and other ideas have been actively introduced into the curricula. To our best knowledge, the literature on the subject lacks articles organizing the new nomenclature and indicating the methodological framework for research that would confirm the effectiveness of the above-mentioned innovations. The author of this article tries to find the place for neuropedagogy in the system of sciences, define its subject of research, methodological framework and basic concepts. This is necessary to plan studies that will verify the so-called neuromyths.

Keywords: Brain, education, neuropedagogy, research.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 430
88 Study Habits and Level of Difficulty Encountered by Maltese Students Studying Biology Advanced Level Topics

Authors: Marthese Azzopardi, Liberato Camilleri

Abstract:

This research was performed to investigate the study habits and level of difficulty perceived by post-secondary students in Biology at Advanced-level topics after completing their first year of study. At the end of a two-year ‘sixth form’ course, Maltese students sit for the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Advanced-level biology exam as a requirement to pursue science-related studies at the University of Malta. The sample was composed of 23 students (16 taking Chemistry and seven taking some ‘Other’ subject at the Advanced Level). The cohort comprised seven males and 16 females. A questionnaire constructed by the authors, was answered anonymously during the last lecture at the end of the first year of study, in May 2016. The Chi square test revealed that gender plays no effect on the various study habits (c2 (6) = 5.873, p = 0.438). ‘Reading both notes and textbooks’ was the most common method adopted by males (71.4%), whereas ‘Writing notes on each topic’ was that mostly used by females (81.3%). The Mann-Whitney U test showed no significant difference in the study habits of students and the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course (p = 0.231). Statistical difference was found with the One-ANOVA test when comparing the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course when students are clustered by their Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) grade (p < 0.001). Those obtaining a SEC grade of 2 and 3 got the highest mean assessment of 68.33% and 66.9%, respectively [SEC grading is 1-7, where 1 is the highest]. The Friedman test was used to compare the mean difficulty rating scores provided for the difficulty of each topic. The mean difficulty rating score ranges from 1 to 4, where the larger the mean rating score, the higher the difficulty. When considering the whole group of students, nine topics out of 21 were perceived as significantly more difficult than the other topics. Protein synthesis, DNA Replication and Biomolecules were the most difficult, in that order. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules is significantly lower for students taking Chemistry compared to those not choosing the subject (p = 0.018). Protein Synthesis was claimed as the most difficult by Chemistry students and Biomolecules by those not studying Chemistry. DNA Replication was the second most difficult topic perceived by both groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the effect of gender on the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending various topics. It was found that females have significantly more difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules than males (p=0.039). Protein synthesis was perceived as the most difficult topic by males (mean difficulty rating score = 3.14), while Biomolecules, DNA Replication and Protein synthesis were of equal difficulty for females (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Males and females perceived DNA Replication as equally difficult (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Discovering the students’ study habits and perceived level of difficulty of specific topics is vital for the lecturer to offer guidance that leads to higher academic achievement.

Keywords: Biology, Perceived difficulty, Post-secondary, Study habits.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 319
87 Similarity Solutions of Nonlinear Stretched Biomagnetic Flow and Heat Transfer with Signum Function and Temperature Power Law Geometries

Authors: M. G. Murtaza, E. E. Tzirtzilakis, M. Ferdows

Abstract:

Biomagnetic fluid dynamics is an interdisciplinary field comprising engineering, medicine, and biology. Bio fluid dynamics is directed towards finding and developing the solutions to some of the human body related diseases and disorders. This article describes the flow and heat transfer of two dimensional, steady, laminar, viscous and incompressible biomagnetic fluid over a non-linear stretching sheet in the presence of magnetic dipole. Our model is consistent with blood fluid namely biomagnetic fluid dynamics (BFD). This model based on the principles of ferrohydrodynamic (FHD). The temperature at the stretching surface is assumed to follow a power law variation, and stretching velocity is assumed to have a nonlinear form with signum function or sign function. The governing boundary layer equations with boundary conditions are simplified to couple higher order equations using usual transformations. Numerical solutions for the governing momentum and energy equations are obtained by efficient numerical techniques based on the common finite difference method with central differencing, on a tridiagonal matrix manipulation and on an iterative procedure. Computations are performed for a wide range of the governing parameters such as magnetic field parameter, power law exponent temperature parameter, and other involved parameters and the effect of these parameters on the velocity and temperature field is presented. It is observed that for different values of the magnetic parameter, the velocity distribution decreases while temperature distribution increases. Besides, the finite difference solutions results for skin-friction coefficient and rate of heat transfer are discussed. This study will have an important bearing on a high targeting efficiency, a high magnetic field is required in the targeted body compartment.

Keywords: Biomagnetic fluid, FHD, nonlinear stretching sheet, slip parameter.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 426
86 Implementation of an Undergraduate Integrated Biology and Chemistry Course

Authors: Jayson G. Balansag

Abstract:

An integrated biology and chemistry (iBC) course for freshmen college students was developed in University of Delaware. This course will prepare students to (1) become interdisciplinary thinkers in the field of biology and (2) collaboratively work with others from multiple disciplines in the future. This paper documents and describes the implementation of the course. The information gathered from reading literature, classroom observations, and interviews were used to carry out the purpose of this paper. The major goal of the iBC course is to align the concepts between Biology and Chemistry, so that students can draw science concepts from both disciplines which they can apply in their interdisciplinary researches. This course is offered every fall and spring semesters of each school year. Students enrolled in Biology are also enrolled in Chemistry during the same semester. The iBC is composed of lectures, laboratories, studio sessions, and workshops and is taught by the faculty from the biology and chemistry departments. In addition, the preceptors, graduate teaching assistants, and studio fellows facilitate the laboratory and studio sessions. These roles are interdependent with each other. The iBC can be used as a model for higher education institutions who wish to implement an integrated biology course.

Keywords: Integrated biology and chemistry, integration, interdisciplinary research, new biology, undergraduate science education.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 625
85 Family Functionality in Mexican Children with Congenital and Non-Congenital Deafness

Authors: D. Estrella, A. Silva, R. Zapata, H. Rubio

Abstract:

A total of 100 primary caregivers (mothers, fathers, grandparents) with at least one child or grandchild with a diagnosis of congenital bilateral profound deafness were assessed in order to evaluate the functionality of families with a deaf member, who was evaluated by specialists in audiology, molecular biology, genetics and psychology. After confirmation of the clinical diagnosis, DNA from the patients and parents were analyzed in search of the 35delG deletion of the GJB2 gene to determine who possessed the mutation. All primary caregivers were provided psychological support, regardless of whether or not they had the mutation, and prior and subsequent, the family APGAR test was applied. All parents, grandparents were informed of the results of the genetic analysis during the psychological intervention. The family APGAR, after psychological and genetic counseling, showed that 14% perceived their families as functional, 62% moderately functional and 24% dysfunctional. This shows the importance of psychological support in family functionality that has a direct impact on the quality of life of these families.

Keywords: Deafness, psychological support, family, adaptation to disability.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 541
84 Homogenization of Cocoa Beans Fermentation to Upgrade Quality Using an Original Improved Fermenter

Authors: Aka S. Koffi, N’Goran Yao, Philippe Bastide, Denis Bruneau, Diby Kadjo

Abstract:

Cocoa beans (Theobroma cocoa L.) are the main components for chocolate manufacturing. The beans must be correctly fermented at first. Traditional process to perform the first fermentation (lactic fermentation) often consists in confining cacao beans using banana leaves or a fermentation basket, both of them leading to a poor product thermal insulation and to an inability to mix the product. Box fermenter reduces this loss by using a wood with large thickness (e>3cm), but mixing to homogenize the product is still hard to perform. Automatic fermenters are not rentable for most of producers. Heat (T>45°C) and acidity produced during the fermentation by microbiology activity of yeasts and bacteria are enabling the emergence of potential flavor and taste of future chocolate. In this study, a cylindro-rotative fermenter (FCR-V1) has been built and coconut fibers were used in its structure to confine heat. An axis of rotation (360°) has been integrated to facilitate the turning and homogenization of beans in the fermenter. This axis permits to put fermenter in a vertical position during the anaerobic alcoholic phase of fermentation, and horizontally during acetic phase to take advantage of the mid height filling. For circulation of air flow during turning in acetic phase, two woven rattan with grid have been made, one for the top and second for the bottom of the fermenter. In order to reduce air flow during acetic phase, two airtight covers are put on each grid cover. The efficiency of the turning by this kind of rotation, coupled with homogenization of the temperature, caused by the horizontal position in the acetic phase of the fermenter, contribute to having a good proportion of well-fermented beans (83.23%). In addition, beans’pH values ranged between 4.5 and 5.5. These values are ideal for enzymatic activity in the production of the aromatic compounds inside beans. The regularity of mass loss during all fermentation makes it possible to predict the drying surface corresponding to the amount being fermented.

Keywords: Cocoa fermentation, fermenter, microbial activity, temperature, turning.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 681
83 Evaluation of Electro-Flocculation for Biomass Production of Marine Microalgae Phaodactylum tricornutum

Authors: Luciana C. Ramos, Leandro J. Sousa, Antônio Ferreira da Silva, Valéria Gomes Oliveira Falcão, Suzana T. Cunha Lima

Abstract:

The commercial production of biodiesel using microalgae demands a high-energy input for harvesting biomass, making production economically unfeasible. Methods currently used involve mechanical, chemical, and biological procedures. In this work, a flocculation system is presented as a cost and energy effective process to increase biomass production of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This diatom is the only species of the genus that present fast growth and lipid accumulation ability that are of great interest for biofuel production. The algae, selected from the Bank of Microalgae, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), have been bred in tubular reactor with photoperiod of 12 h (clear/dark), providing luminance of about 35 μmol photons m-2s-1, and temperature of 22 °C. The medium used for growing cells was the Conway medium, with addition of silica. The seaweed growth curve was accompanied by cell count in Neubauer camera and by optical density in spectrophotometer, at 680 nm. The precipitation occurred at the end of the stationary phase of growth, 21 days after inoculation, using two methods: centrifugation at 5000 rpm for 5 min, and electro-flocculation at 19 EPD and 95 W. After precipitation, cells were frozen at -20 °C and, subsequently, lyophilized. Biomass obtained by electro-flocculation was approximately four times greater than the one achieved by centrifugation. The benefits of this method are that no addition of chemical flocculants is necessary and similar cultivation conditions can be used for the biodiesel production and pharmacological purposes. The results may contribute to improve biodiesel production costs using marine microalgae.

Keywords: Biomass, diatom, flocculation, microalgae.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 764
82 Antibody-Conjugated Nontoxic Arginine-Doped Fe3O4 Nanoparticles for Magnetic Circulating Tumor Cells Separation

Authors: F. Kashanian, M. M. Masoudi, A. Akbari, A. Shamloo, M. R. Zand, S. S. Salehi

Abstract:

Nano-sized materials present new opportunities in biology and medicine and they are used as biomedical tools for investigation, separation of molecules and cells. To achieve more effective cancer therapy, it is essential to select cancer cells exactly. This research suggests that using the antibody-functionalized nontoxic Arginine-doped magnetic nanoparticles (A-MNPs), has been prosperous in detection, capture, and magnetic separation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in tumor tissue. In this study, A-MNPs were synthesized via a simple precipitation reaction and directly immobilized Ep-CAM EBA-1 antibodies over superparamagnetic A-MNPs for Mucin BCA-225 in breast cancer cell. The samples were characterized by vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), FT-IR spectroscopy, Tunneling Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). These antibody-functionalized nontoxic A-MNPs were used to capture breast cancer cell. Through employing a strong permanent magnet, the magnetic separation was achieved within a few seconds. Antibody-Conjugated nontoxic Arginine-doped Fe3O4 nanoparticles have the potential for the future study to capture CTCs which are released from tumor tissue and for drug delivery, and these results demonstrate that the antibody-conjugated A-MNPs can be used in magnetic hyperthermia techniques for cancer treatment.

Keywords: Tumor tissue, antibody, magnetic nanoparticle, CTCs capturing.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 596
81 Teaching Light Polarization by Putting Art and Physics Together

Authors: Fabrizio Logiurato

Abstract:

Light Polarization has many technological applications, and its discovery was crucial to reveal the transverse nature of the electromagnetic waves. However, despite its fundamental and practical importance, in high school, this property of light is often neglected. This is a pity not only for its conceptual relevance, but also because polarization gives the possibility to perform many brilliant experiments with low cost materials. Moreover, the treatment of this matter lends very well to an interdisciplinary approach between art, biology and technology, which usually makes things more interesting to students. For these reasons, we have developed, and in this work, we introduce a laboratory on light polarization for high school and undergraduate students. They can see beautiful pictures when birefringent materials are set between two crossed polarizing filters. Pupils are very fascinated and drawn into by what they observe. The colourful images remind them of those ones of abstract painting or alien landscapes. With this multidisciplinary teaching method, students are more engaged and participative, and also, the learning process of the respective physics concepts is more effective.

Keywords: Light polarization, optical activity, multidisciplinary education, science and art.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 659
80 A Study of Numerical Reaction-Diffusion Systems on Closed Surfaces

Authors: Mei-Hsiu Chi, Jyh-Yang Wu, Sheng-Gwo Chen

Abstract:

The diffusion-reaction equations are important Partial Differential Equations in mathematical biology, material science, physics, and so on. However, finding efficient numerical methods for diffusion-reaction systems on curved surfaces is still an important and difficult problem. The purpose of this paper is to present a convergent geometric method for solving the reaction-diffusion equations on closed surfaces by an O(r)-LTL configuration method. The O(r)-LTL configuration method combining the local tangential lifting technique and configuration equations is an effective method to estimate differential quantities on curved surfaces. Since estimating the Laplace-Beltrami operator is an important task for solving the reaction-diffusion equations on surfaces, we use the local tangential lifting method and a generalized finite difference method to approximate the Laplace-Beltrami operators and we solve this reaction-diffusion system on closed surfaces. Our method is not only conceptually simple, but also easy to implement.

Keywords: Close surfaces, high-order approach, numerical solutions, reaction-diffusion systems.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 862
79 Chemical Reaction Algorithm for Expectation Maximization Clustering

Authors: Li Ni, Pen ManMan, Li KenLi

Abstract:

Clustering is an intensive research for some years because of its multifaceted applications, such as biology, information retrieval, medicine, business and so on. The expectation maximization (EM) is a kind of algorithm framework in clustering methods, one of the ten algorithms of machine learning. Traditionally, optimization of objective function has been the standard approach in EM. Hence, research has investigated the utility of evolutionary computing and related techniques in the regard. Chemical Reaction Optimization (CRO) is a recently established method. So the property embedded in CRO is used to solve optimization problems. This paper presents an algorithm framework (EM-CRO) with modified CRO operators based on EM cluster problems. The hybrid algorithm is mainly to solve the problem of initial value sensitivity of the objective function optimization clustering algorithm. Our experiments mainly take the EM classic algorithm:k-means and fuzzy k-means as an example, through the CRO algorithm to optimize its initial value, get K-means-CRO and FKM-CRO algorithm. The experimental results of them show that there is improved efficiency for solving objective function optimization clustering problems.

Keywords: Chemical reaction optimization, expectation maximization, initial, objective function clustering.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 866
78 Analysis of the Internal Mechanical Conditions in the Lower Limb Due to External Loads

Authors: Kent Salomonsson, Xuefang Zhao, Sara Kallin

Abstract:

Human soft tissue is loaded and deformed by any activity, an effect known as a stress-strain relationship, and is often described by a load and tissue elongation curve. Several advances have been made in the fields of biology and mechanics of soft human tissue. However, there is limited information available on in vivo tissue mechanical characteristics and behavior. Confident mechanical properties of human soft tissue cannot be extrapolated from e.g. animal testing. Thus, there is need for non invasive methods to analyze mechanical characteristics of soft human tissue. In the present study, the internal mechanical conditions of the lower limb, which is subject to an external load, is studied by use of the finite element method. A detailed finite element model of the lower limb is made possible by use of MRI scans. Skin, fat, bones, fascia and muscles are represented separately and the material properties for them are obtained from literature. Previous studies have been shown to address macroscopic deformation features, e.g. indentation depth, to a large extent. However, the detail in which the internal anatomical features have been modeled does not reveal the critical internal strains that may induce hypoxia and/or eventual tissue damage. The results of the present study reveals that lumped material models, i.e. averaging of the material properties for the different constituents, does not capture regions of critical strains in contrast to more detailed models.

Keywords: FEM, human soft tissue, indentation, properties.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 875
77 Encouraging the Development of Scientific Literacy in Early Childhood Institutions: Croatian Experience

Authors: L. Vujičić, Ž. Ivković, Ž. Boneta

Abstract:

There is a widespread belief in everyday discourse that science subjects (physics, chemistry and biology) are, along with math, the most difficult school subjects in the education of an individual. This assumption is usually justified by the following facts: low GPA in these subjects, the number of pupils who fail these subjects is high in comparison to other subjects, and the number of pupils interested in continuing their studies in the fields with a focus on science subjects is lower compared to non-science-oriented fields. From that perspective, the project: “Could it be different? How do children explore it?” becomes extremely interesting because it is focused on young children and on the introduction of new methods, with aim of arousing interest in scientific literacy development in 10 kindergartens by applying the methodology of an action research, with an ethnographic approach. We define scientific literacy as a process of encouraging and nurturing the research and explorative spirit in children, as well as their natural potential and abilities that represent an object of scientific research: to learn about exploration by conducting exploration. Upon project completion, an evaluation questionnaire was created for the parents of the children who had participated in the project, as well as for those whose children had not been involved in the project. The purpose of the first questionnaire was to examine the level of satisfaction with the project implementation and its outcomes among those parents whose children had been involved in the project (N=142), while the aim of the second questionnaire was to find out how much the parents of the children not involved (N=154) in this activity were interested in this topic.

Keywords: Documenting, early childhood education, evaluation questionnaire for parents, scientific literacy development.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 884
76 Invasion of Pectinatella magnifica in Freshwater Resources of the Czech Republic

Authors: J. Pazourek, K. Šmejkal, P. Kollár, J. Rajchard, J. Šinko, Z. Balounová, E. Vlková, H. Salmonová

Abstract:

Pectinatella magnifica (Leidy, 1851) is an invasive freshwater animal that lives in colonies. A colony of Pectinatella magnifica (a gelatinous blob) can be up to several feet in diameter large and under favorable conditions it exhibits an extreme growth rate. Recently European countries around rivers of Elbe, Oder, Danube, Rhine and Vltava have confirmed invasion of Pectinatella magnifica, including freshwater reservoirs in South Bohemia (Czech Republic). Our project (Czech Science Foundation, GAČR P503/12/0337) is focused onto biology and chemistry of Pectinatella magnifica. We monitor the organism occurrence in selected South Bohemia ponds and sandpits during the last years, collecting information about physical properties of surrounding water, and sampling the colonies for various analyses (classification, maps of secondary metabolites, toxicity tests). Because the gelatinous matrix is during the colony lifetime also a host for algae, bacteria and cyanobacteria (co-habitants), in this contribution, we also applied a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for determination of potentially present cyanobacterial toxins (microcystin-LR, microcystin-RR, nodularin). Results from the last 3-year monitoring show that these toxins are under limit of detection (LOD), so that they do not represent a danger yet. The final goal of our study is to assess toxicity risks related to fresh water resources invaded by Pectinatella magnifica, and to understand the process of invasion, which can enable to control it.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, freshwater resources, Pectinatella magnifica invasion, toxicity monitoring.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1305
75 Different Roles for Mentors and Mentees in an e-Learning Environment

Authors: Nidhi Gadura

Abstract:

Given the increase in the number of students and administrators asking for online courses the author developed two partially online courses. One was a biology majors at genetics course while the other was a non-majors at biology course. The student body at Queensborough Community College is generally underprepared and has work and family obligations. As an educator, one has to be mindful about changing the pedagogical approach, therefore, special care was taken when designing the course material. Despite the initial concerns, both of these partially online courses were received really well by students. Lessons learnt were that student engagement is the key to success in an online course. Good practices to run a successful online course for underprepared students are discussed in this paper. Also discussed are the lessons learnt for making the eLearning environment better for all the students in the class, overachievers and underachievers alike.

Keywords: Partially online course, pedagogy, student engagement, community college.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1032
74 Using SMS Mobile Technology to Assess the Mastery of Subject Content Knowledge of Science and Mathematics Teachers of Secondary Schools in Tanzania

Authors: Joel S. Mtebe, Aron Kondoro, Mussa M. Kissaka, Elia Kibga

Abstract:

Sub-Saharan Africa is described as the second fastest growing in mobile phone penetration in the world more than in the United States or the European Union. Mobile phones have been used to provide a lot of opportunities to improve people’s lives in the region such as in banking, marketing, entertainment, and paying for various bills such as water, TV, and electricity. However, the potential of mobile phones to enhance teaching and learning has not been explored. This study presents an experience of developing and delivering SMS based quiz questions used to assess mastery of subject content knowledge of science and mathematics secondary school teachers in Tanzania. The SMS quizzes were used as a follow up support mechanism to 500 teachers who participated in a project to upgrade subject content knowledge of teachers in science and mathematics subjects in Tanzania. Quizzes of 10-15 questions were sent to teachers each week for 8 weeks and the results were analyzed using SPSS. Results show that teachers who participated in chemistry and biology subjects have better performance compared to those who participated in mathematics and physics subjects. Teachers reported some challenges that led to poor performance, This research has several practical implications for those who are implementing or planning to use mobile phones in teaching and learning especially in rural secondary schools in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: Mobile learning, e-learning, educational technologies, SMS, secondary education, assessment.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1584
73 Microbiological Profile of UTI along with Their Antibiotic Sensitivity Pattern with Special Reference to Nitrofurantoin

Authors: Rupinder Bakshi, Geeta Walia, Anita Gupta

Abstract:

Urinary Tract Infections are considered as one of the most common bacterial infections with an estimated annual global incidence of 150 million. Antimicrobial drug resistance is one of the major threats due to wide spread usage of uncontrolled antibiotics. In this study, a total number of 9149 urine samples were collected from R.H Patiala and processed in the Department of Microbiology G. M. C Patiala (January 2013 to December 2013). Urine samples were inoculated on MacConkey’s and blood agar plates and incubated at 370C for 24 hrs. The organisms were identified by colony characters, Gram’s staining, and biochemical reactions. Antimicrobial susceptibility of the isolates was determined against various antimicrobial agents (Hi – Media Mumbai India) by Kirby Bauer DISK diffusion method on Muller Hinton agar plates. Maximum patients were in the age group of 21-30 yrs followed by 31-40 yrs. Males (34%) are less prone to urinary tract infections than females (66%). Culture was positive in 25% of the samples. Escherichia coli was the most common isolate 60.3% followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae 13.5%, Proteus spp. 9% and Staphylococcus aureus 7.6%. Most of the urinary isolates were sensitive to, carbepenems, Aztreonam, Amikacin, and Piperacillin + Tazobactum. All the isolates showed a good sensitivity towards Nitrofurantoin (82%). ESBL production was found to be 70.6% in Escherichia coli and 29.4% in Klebsiella pneumonia. Susceptibility of ESBL producers to Imipenem, Nitrofurantoin and Amikacin were found to be 100%, 76%, and 75% respectively. Uropathogens are increasingly showing resistance to many antibiotics making empiric management of outpatient UTIs challenging. Ampicillin, Cotrimoxazole and Ciprofloxacin should not be used in empiric treatment. Nitrofurantoin could be used in lower urinary tract infection. Knowledge of uropathogens and their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern in a geographical region will help in appropriate and judicious antibiotic usage in a health care setup.

Keywords: Urinary Tract Infection, UTI, antibiotic susceptibility pattern, ESBL.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1303
72 A Flipped Classroom Approach for Non-Science Majors

Authors: Nidhi Gadura

Abstract:

To ensure student success in a non-majors biology course, a flipped classroom pedagogical approach was developed and implemented. All students were assigned online lectures to listen to before they come to class. A three hour lecture was split into one hour of online component, one hour of in class lecture and one hour of worksheets done by students in the classroom. This deviation from a traditional 3 hour in class lecture has resulted in increased student interest in science as well as better understanding of difficult scientific concepts. A pre and post survey was given to measure the interest in the subject and grades were used to measure the success rates. While the overall grade average did not change dramatically, students reported a much better appreciation of biology. Also, students overwhelmingly like the use of worksheets in class to help them understand the concepts. They liked the fact that they could listen to lectures at their own pace on line and even repeat if needed. The flipped classroom approach turned out to work really well our non-science majors and the author is ready to implement this in other classrooms.

Keywords: Flipped classroom, non-science majors, pedagogy, technological pedagogical model.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1272
71 Synchrony between Genetic Repressilators in Sister Cells in Different Temperatures

Authors: Jerome G. Chandraseelan, Samuel M. D. Oliveira, Antti Häkkinen, Sofia Startceva, Andre S. Ribeiro

Abstract:

We used live E. coli containing synthetic genetic oscillators to study how the degree of synchrony between the genetic circuits of sister cells changes with temperature. We found that both the mean and the variability of the degree of synchrony between the fluorescence signals from sister cells are affected by temperature. Also, while most pairs of sister cells were found to be highly synchronous in each condition, the number of asynchronous pairs increased with increasing temperature, which was found to be due to disruptions in the oscillations. Finally we provide evidence that these disruptions tend to affect multiple generations as opposed to individual cells. These findings provide insight in how to design more robust synthetic circuits and in how cell division can affect their dynamics.

Keywords: Repressilator, robustness, synchrony, synthetic biology.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1345
70 Breeding Biology and Induced Breeding Status of Freshwater Mud Eel, Monopterus cuchia

Authors: M. F. Miah, H. Ali, E. Zannath, T. M. Shuvra, M. N. Naser, M. K. Ahmed

Abstract:

In this study, breeding biology and induced breeding of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was observed during the experimental period from February to June, 2013. Breeding biology of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was considered in terms of gonadosomatic index, length-weight relationship of gonad, ova diameter and fecundity. The ova diameter was recorded from 0.3 mm to 4.30 mm and the individual fecundity was recorded from 155 to 1495 while relative fecundity was found from 2.64 to 12.45. The fecundity related to body weight and length of fish was also discussed. A peak of GSI was observed 2.14±0.2 in male and 5.1 ±1.09 in female. Induced breeding of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was also practiced with different doses of different inducing agents like pituitary gland (PG), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and Ovuline-a synthetic hormone in different environmental conditions. However, it was observed that the artificial breeding of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was not yet succeeded through inducing agents in captive conditions, rather the inducing agent showed negative impacts on fecundity and ovarian tissues. It was seen that mature eggs in the oviduct were reduced, absorbed and some eggs were found in spoiled condition.

Keywords: Breeding biology, induced breeding, Monopterus cuchia.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 2593
69 Study Regarding Effect of Isolation on Social Behaviour in Mice

Authors: Ritu Shitak

Abstract:

Humans are social mammals, of the primate order. Our biology, our behaviour and our pathologies are unique to us. In our desire to understand, reduce solitary confinement one source of information is the many reports of social isolation of other social mammals, especially primates. A behavioural study was conducted in the department of pharmacology at Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla in Himachalpradesh province in India using white albino mice. Different behavioural parameters were observed by using open field, tail suspension, tests for aggressive behaviour and social interactions and the effect of isolation was studied. The results were evaluated and the standard statistics were applied. The said study was done to establish facts that isolation itself impairs social behaviour and can lead to alcohol dependence as well as related drug dependence.

Keywords: Albino Mice, Drug Dependence, Social isolation.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1803
68 Comparative Study Using Weka for Red Blood Cells Classification

Authors: Jameela Ali Alkrimi, Hamid A. Jalab, Loay E. George, Abdul Rahim Ahmad, Azizah Suliman, Karim Al-Jashamy

Abstract:

Red blood cells (RBC) are the most common types of blood cells and are the most intensively studied in cell biology. The lack of RBCs is a condition in which the amount of hemoglobin level is lower than normal and is referred to as “anemia”. Abnormalities in RBCs will affect the exchange of oxygen. This paper presents a comparative study for various techniques for classifying the RBCs as normal or abnormal (anemic) using WEKA. WEKA is an open source consists of different machine learning algorithms for data mining applications. The algorithms tested are Radial Basis Function neural network, Support vector machine, and K-Nearest Neighbors algorithm. Two sets of combined features were utilized for classification of blood cells images. The first set, exclusively consist of geometrical features, was used to identify whether the tested blood cell has a spherical shape or non-spherical cells. While the second set, consist mainly of textural features was used to recognize the types of the spherical cells. We have provided an evaluation based on applying these classification methods to our RBCs image dataset which were obtained from Serdang Hospital - Malaysia, and measuring the accuracy of test results. The best achieved classification rates are 97%, 98%, and 79% for Support vector machines, Radial Basis Function neural network, and K-Nearest Neighbors algorithm respectively.

Keywords: K-Nearest Neighbors, Neural Network, Radial Basis Function, Red blood cells, Support vector machine.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 2417
67 Integration of Microarray Data into a Genome-Scale Metabolic Model to Study Flux Distribution after Gene Knockout

Authors: Mona Heydari, Ehsan Motamedian, Seyed Abbas Shojaosadati

Abstract:

Prediction of perturbations after genetic manipulation (especially gene knockout) is one of the important challenges in systems biology. In this paper, a new algorithm is introduced that integrates microarray data into the metabolic model. The algorithm was used to study the change in the cell phenotype after knockout of Gss gene in Escherichia coli BW25113. Algorithm implementation indicated that gene deletion resulted in more activation of the metabolic network. Growth yield was more and less regulating gene were identified for mutant in comparison with the wild-type strain.

Keywords: Metabolic network, gene knockout, flux balance analysis, microarray data, integration.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 606
66 Isolation and Classification of Red Blood Cells in Anemic Microscopic Images

Authors: Jameela Ali Alkrimi, Loay E. George, Azizah Suliman, Abdul Rahim Ahmad, Karim Al-Jashamy

Abstract:

Red blood cells (RBCs) are among the most commonly and intensively studied type of blood cells in cell biology. Anemia is a lack of RBCs is characterized by its level compared to the normal hemoglobin level. In this study, a system based image processing methodology was developed to localize and extract RBCs from microscopic images. Also, the machine learning approach is adopted to classify the localized anemic RBCs images. Several textural and geometrical features are calculated for each extracted RBCs. The training set of features was analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA). With the proposed method, RBCs were isolated in 4.3secondsfrom an image containing 18 to 27 cells. The reasons behind using PCA are its low computation complexity and suitability to find the most discriminating features which can lead to accurate classification decisions. Our classifier algorithm yielded accuracy rates of 100%, 99.99%, and 96.50% for K-nearest neighbor (K-NN) algorithm, support vector machine (SVM), and neural network RBFNN, respectively. Classification was evaluated in highly sensitivity, specificity, and kappa statistical parameters. In conclusion, the classification results were obtained within short time period, and the results became better when PCA was used.

Keywords: Red blood cells, pre-processing image algorithms, classification algorithms, principal component analysis PCA, confusion matrix, kappa statistical parameters, ROC.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 2797
65 The Identification of Anuran Glial Cells

Authors: Ibrahim M. S. Shnawa

Abstract:

Attempts were made to identify anuran glial cells. They were found as nervous tissue resident. Having stage dependent morphotype changes, whereby, appeared as an ovoid to oval in resting state and amoeboid mrophotypes in activated state, stained fairly with methylene blue and take up Pelikane blue 10% aqueous solution, as well as having the ability to phagocytize heat killed Staphylococcus aureus. They were delineated from the migrating peripheral monocytes by morphotypic and morphometeric differences. Such criteria were consistence with glial cells. Thus, the anuran glial cells are being identified in the frog Rana ridibunda Pallas 1771 and this animal can be of use as a simple model for the immunobiology of glial cells.

Keywords: Amoeboid cell, bacterial phagocytosis, Glial cells, Resting.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1257