Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 481

Search results for: S.A. Syed Ahmad

31 Prophylactic Effects of Dairy Kluyveromyces marxianus YAS through Overexpression of BAX, CASP 3, CASP 8 and CASP 9 on Human Colon Cancer Cell Lines

Authors: Amir Saber Gharamaleki, Beitollah Alipour, Zeinab Faghfoori, Ahmad YariKhosroushahi

Abstract:

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers and intestinal microbial community plays an important role in colorectal tumorigenesis. Probiotics have recently been assessed as effective anti-proliferative agents and thus this study was performed to examine whether CRC undergo apoptosis by treating with isolated Iranian native dairy yeast, Kluyveromyces marxianus YAS, secretion metabolites. The cytotoxicity assessments on cells (HT-29, Caco-2) were accomplished through 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay as well as qualitative DAPI (4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining) and quantitative (flow cytometry assessments) evaluations of apoptosis. To evaluate the main mechanism of apoptosis, Real time PCR method was applied. Kluyveromyces marxianus YAS secretions (IC50) showed significant cytotoxicity against HT-29 and Caco-2 cancer cell lines (66.57 % and 66.34 % apoptosis) similar to 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) while apoptosis only was developed in 27.57 % of KDR normal cells. The prophylactic effects of Kluyveromyces marxianus (PTCC 5195), as a reference yeast, was not similar to Kluyveromyces marxianus YAS indicating strain dependency of bioactivities on CRC disease prevention. Based on real time PCR results, the main cytotoxicity is related to apoptosis phenomenon and the core related mechanism is depended on the overexpression of BAX, CASP 9, CASP 8 and CASP 3 inducing apoptosis genes. However, several investigations should be conducted to precisely determine the effective compounds to be used as anticancer therapeutics in the future.

Keywords: Anticancer, anti-proliferative, apoptosis, cytotoxicity, yeast.

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30 Pharmaceutical Microencapsulation Technology for Development of Controlled Release Drug Delivery systems

Authors: Mahmood Ahmad, Asadullah Madni, Muhammad Usman, Abubakar Munir, Naveed Akhtar, Haji M. Shoaib Khan

Abstract:

This article demonstrated development of controlled release system of an NSAID drug, Diclofenac sodium employing different ratios of Ethyl cellulose. Diclofenac sodium and ethyl cellulose in different proportions were processed by microencapsulation based on phase separation technique to formulate microcapsules. The prepared microcapsules were then compressed into tablets to obtain controlled release oral formulations. In-vitro evaluation was performed by dissolution test of each preparation was conducted in 900 ml of phosphate buffer solution of pH 7.2 maintained at 37 ± 0.5 °C and stirred at 50 rpm. At predetermined time intervals (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 and 24 hrs). The drug concentration in the collected samples was determined by UV spectrophotometer at 276 nm. The physical characteristics of diclofenac sodium microcapsules were according to accepted range. These were off-white, free flowing and spherical in shape. The release profile of diclofenac sodium from microcapsules was found to be directly proportional to the proportion of ethylcellulose and coat thickness. The in-vitro release pattern showed that with ratio of 1:1 and 1:2 (drug: polymer), the percentage release of drug at first hour was 16.91 and 11.52 %, respectively as compared to 1:3 which is only 6.87 % with in this time. The release mechanism followed higuchi model for its release pattern. Tablet Formulation (F2) of present study was found comparable in release profile the marketed brand Phlogin-SR, microcapsules showed an extended release beyond 24 h. Further, a good correlation was found between drug release and proportion of ethylcellulose in the microcapsules. Microencapsulation based on coacervation found as good technique to control release of diclofenac sodium for making the controlled release formulations.

Keywords: Diclofenac sodium, Microencapsulationtechnology, Ethylcellulose, In-Vitro Release Profile

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29 SMaTTS: Standard Malay Text to Speech System

Authors: Othman O. Khalifa, Zakiah Hanim Ahmad, Teddy Surya Gunawan

Abstract:

This paper presents a rule-based text- to- speech (TTS) Synthesis System for Standard Malay, namely SMaTTS. The proposed system using sinusoidal method and some pre- recorded wave files in generating speech for the system. The use of phone database significantly decreases the amount of computer memory space used, thus making the system very light and embeddable. The overall system was comprised of two phases the Natural Language Processing (NLP) that consisted of the high-level processing of text analysis, phonetic analysis, text normalization and morphophonemic module. The module was designed specially for SM to overcome few problems in defining the rules for SM orthography system before it can be passed to the DSP module. The second phase is the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) which operated on the low-level process of the speech waveform generation. A developed an intelligible and adequately natural sounding formant-based speech synthesis system with a light and user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) is introduced. A Standard Malay Language (SM) phoneme set and an inclusive set of phone database have been constructed carefully for this phone-based speech synthesizer. By applying the generative phonology, a comprehensive letter-to-sound (LTS) rules and a pronunciation lexicon have been invented for SMaTTS. As for the evaluation tests, a set of Diagnostic Rhyme Test (DRT) word list was compiled and several experiments have been performed to evaluate the quality of the synthesized speech by analyzing the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) obtained. The overall performance of the system as well as the room for improvements was thoroughly discussed.

Keywords: Natural Language Processing, Text-To-Speech (TTS), Diphone, source filter, low-/ high- level synthesis.

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28 Toward Discovering an Architectural Typology Based on the Theory of Affordance

Authors: Falntina Ahmad Alata, Natheer Abu Obeid

Abstract:

This paper revolves around the concept of affordance. It aims to discover and develop an architectural typology based on the ecological concept of affordance. In order to achieve this aim, an analytical study is conducted and two sources were taken into account: 1- Gibson's definition of the concept of affordance and 2- The researches that are concerned on the affordance categorisation. As a result, this paper concluded 16 typologies of affordances, including the possibilities of mixing them based on both sources. To clarify these typologies and provide further understanding, a wide range of architectural examples are presented and proposed in the paper. To prove this vocabulary’s capability to diagnose and evaluate the affordance of different environments, an experimental study with two processes have been adapted: 1. Diagnostic process: the interpretation of the environments with regards to its affordance by using the new vocabulary (the developed typologies). 2. Evaluating process: the evaluation of the environments that have been interpreted and classified with regards to their affordances. By using the measures of emotional experience (the positive affect ‘PA’ and the negative affect ‘NA’) and the architectural evaluation criteria (beauty, economy and function). The experimental study proves that the typologies are capable of reading the affordance within different environments. Additionally, it explains how these different typologies reflect different interactions based on the previous processes. The data which are concluded from the evaluation of measures explain how different typologies of affordance that have already reflected different environments had different evaluations. In fact, some of them are recommended while the others are not. In other words, the paper draws a roadmap for designers to diagnose, evaluate and analyse the affordance into different architectural environments. After that, it guides them through adapting the best interaction (affordance category), which they intend to adapt into their proposed designs.

Keywords: Affordance theory, affordance categories, architectural environments, architectural evaluation criteria, emotional experience.

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27 The Emergence of Smart Growth in Developed and Developing Countries and Its Possible Application in Kabul City, Afghanistan

Authors: Bashir Ahmad Amiri, Nsenda Lukumwena

Abstract:

The global trend indicates that more and more people live and will continue to live in urban areas. Today cities are expanding both in physical size and number due to the rapid population growth along with sprawl development, which caused the cities to expand beyond the growth boundary and exerting intense pressure on environmental resources specially farmlands to accommodate new housing and urban facilities. Also noticeable is the increase in urban decay along with the increase of slum dwellers present another challenge that most cities in developed and developing countries have to deal with. Today urban practitioners, researchers, planners, and decision-makers are seeking for alternative development and growth management policies to house the rising urban population and also cure the urban decay and slum issues turn to Smart Growth to achieve their goals. Many cities across the globe have adopted smart growth as an alternative growth management tool to deal with patterns and forms of development and to cure the rising urban and environmental problems. The method used in this study is a literature analysis method through reviewing various resources to highlight the potential benefits of Smart Growth in both developed and developing countries and analyze, to what extent it can be a strategic alternative for Afghanistan’s cities, especially the capital city. Hence a comparative analysis is carried on three countries, namely the USA, China, and India to identify the potential benefits of smart growth likely to serve as an achievable broad base for recommendations in different urban contexts.

Keywords: Growth management, housing, Kabul city, smart growth, urban-expansion.

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26 Three Computational Mathematics Techniques: Comparative Determination of Area under Curve

Authors: Khalid Pervaiz Akhter, Mahmood Ahmad, Ghulam Murtaza, Ishrat Shafi, Zafar Javed

Abstract:

The objective of this manuscript is to find area under the plasma concentration- time curve (AUC) for multiple doses of salbutamol sulphate sustained release tablets (Ventolin® oral tablets SR 8 mg, GSK, Pakistan) in the group of 18 healthy adults by using computational mathematics techniques. Following the administration of 4 doses of Ventolin® tablets 12 hourly to 24 healthy human subjects and bioanalysis of obtained plasma samples, plasma drug concentration-time profile was constructed. AUC, an important pharmacokinetic parameter, was measured using integrated equation of multiple oral dose regimens. The approximated AUC was also calculated by using computational mathematics techniques such as repeated rectangular, repeated trapezium and repeated Simpson's rule and compared with exact value of AUC calculated by using integrated equation of multiple oral dose regimens to find best computational mathematics method that gives AUC values closest to exact. The exact values of AUC for four consecutive doses of Ventolin® oral tablets were 150.5819473, 157.8131756, 164.4178231 and 162.78 ng.h/ml while the closest values approximated AUC values were 149.245962, 157.336171, 164.2585768 and 162.289224 ng.h/ml, respectively as found by repeated rectangular rule. The errors in the approximated values of AUC were negligible. It is concluded that all computational tools approximated values of AUC accurately but the repeated rectangular rule gives slightly better approximated values of AUC as compared to repeated trapezium and repeated Simpson's rules.

Keywords: Salbutamol sulphate, Area under curve (AUC), repeated rectangular rule, repeated trapezium rule, repeated Simpson's rule.

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25 A Structured Mechanism for Identifying Political Influencers on Social Media Platforms: Top 10 Saudi Political Twitter Users

Authors: Ahmad Alsolami, Darren Mundy, Manuel Hernandez-Perez

Abstract:

Social media networks, such as Twitter, offer the perfect opportunity to either positively or negatively affect political attitudes on large audiences. The existence of influential users who have developed a reputation for their knowledge and experience of specific topics is a major factor contributing to this impact. Therefore, knowledge of the mechanisms to identify influential users on social media is vital for understanding their effect on their audience. The concept of the influential user is related to the concept of opinion leaders' to indicate that ideas first flow from mass media to opinion leaders and then to the rest of the population. Hence, the objective of this research was to provide reliable and accurate structural mechanisms to identify influential users, which could be applied to different platforms, places, and subjects. Twitter was selected as the platform of interest, and Saudi Arabia as the context for the investigation. These were selected because Saudi Arabia has a large number of Twitter users, some of whom are considerably active in setting agendas and disseminating ideas. The study considered the scientific methods that have been used to identify public opinion leaders before, utilizing metrics software on Twitter. The key findings propose multiple novel metrics to compare Twitter influencers, including the number of followers, social authority and the use of political hashtags, and four secondary filtering measures. Thus, using ratio and percentage calculations to classify the most influential users, Twitter accounts were filtered, analyzed and included. The structured approach is used as a mechanism to explore the top ten influencers on Twitter from the political domain in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Twitter, influencers, structured mechanism, Saudi Arabia.

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24 Effectiveness of a Malaysian Workplace Intervention Study on Physical Activity Levels

Authors: M. Z. Bin Mohd Ghazali, N. C. Wilson, A. F. Bin Ahmad Fuad, M. A. H. B. Musa, M. U. Mohamad Sani, F. Zulkifli, M. S. Zainal Abidin

Abstract:

Physical activity levels are low in Malaysia and this study was undertaken to determine if a four week work-based intervention program would be effective in changing physical activity levels. The study was conducted in a Malaysian Government Department and had three stages: baseline data collection, four-week intervention and two-month post intervention data collection. During the intervention and two-month post intervention phases, physical activity levels (determined by a pedometer) and basic health profiles (BMI, abdominal obesity, blood pressure) were measured. Staff (58 males, 47 females) with an average age of 33 years completed baseline data collection. Pedometer steps averaged 7,102 steps/day at baseline, although male step counts were significantly higher than females (7,861 vs. 6114). Health profiles were poor: over 50% were overweight/obese (males 66%, females 40%); hypertension (males 23%, females 6%); excess waist circumference (males 52%, females 17%). While 86 staff participated in the intervention, only 49 regularly reported their steps. There was a significant increase (17%) in average daily steps from 8,965 (week 1) to 10,436 (week 4). Unfortunately, participation in the intervention program was avoided by the less healthy staff. Two months after the intervention there was no significant difference in average steps/day, despite the fact that 89% of staff reporting they planned to make long-term changes to their lifestyle. An unexpected average increase of 2kg in body weight occurred in participants, although this was less than the 5.6kg in non-participants. A number of recommendations are made for future interventions, including the conclusion that pedometers were a useful tool and popular with participants.

Keywords: Pedometers, walking, health, intervention.

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23 Multiple Targets Classification and Fuzzy Logic Decision Fusion in Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors: Ahmad Aljaafreh

Abstract:

This paper proposes a hierarchical hidden Markov model (HHMM) to model the detection of M vehicles in a wireless sensor network (WSN). The HHMM model contains an extra level of hidden Markov model to model the temporal transitions of each state of the first HMM. By modeling the temporal transitions, only those hypothesis with nonzero transition probabilities needs to be tested. Thus, this method efficiently reduces the computation load, which is preferable in WSN applications.This paper integrates several techniques to optimize the detection performance. The output of the states of the first HMM is modeled as Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM), where the number of states and the number of Gaussians are experimentally determined, while the other parameters are estimated using Expectation Maximization (EM). HHMM is used to model the sequence of the local decisions which are based on multiple hypothesis testing with maximum likelihood approach. The states in the HHMM represent various combinations of vehicles of different types. Due to the statistical advantages of multisensor data fusion, we propose a heuristic based on fuzzy weighted majority voting to enhance cooperative classification of moving vehicles within a region that is monitored by a wireless sensor network. A fuzzy inference system weighs each local decision based on the signal to noise ratio of the acoustic signal for target detection and the signal to noise ratio of the radio signal for sensor communication. The spatial correlation among the observations of neighboring sensor nodes is efficiently utilized as well as the temporal correlation. Simulation results demonstrate the efficiency of this scheme.

Keywords: Classification, decision fusion, fuzzy logic, hidden Markov model

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22 Trends in Use of Millings in Pavement Maintenance

Authors: Rafiqul Tarefder, Mohiuddin Ahmad, Mohammad Hossain

Abstract:

While millings materials from old pavement surface can be an important component of cost effective maintenance operation, their use in maintenance projects are not uniform and well documented. This study documents the different maintenance practices followed by four transportation districts of New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) in an attempt to find whether millings are being used in maintenance projects by those districts. Based on existing literature, a questionnaire was developed related to six common maintenance practices. NMDOT district personal were interviewed face to face to discuss and get answers to that questionnaire. It revealed that NMDOT districts mainly use chip seal and patching. Other maintenance procedures such as sand seal, scrub seal, slurry seal, and thin overlay have limited use. Two out of four participating districts do not have any documents on chip sealing; rather they employ the experiences of the chip seal crew. All districts use polymer modified high float emulsion (HFE100P) for chip seal with an application rate ranging from 0.4 to 0.56 gallons per square yard. Chip application rate varies from 15 to 40 lb/ square yard. State wide, the thickness of chip seal varies from 3/8'' to 1'' and life varies from 3 to 10 years. NMDOT districts mainly use three type of patching: pothole, dig-out and blade patch. Pothole patches are used for small potholes and during emergency, dig-out patches are used for all type of potholes sometimes after pothole patching, and blade patch is used when a significant portion of the pavement is damaged. Pothole patches last as low as three days whereas, blade patch lasts as long as 3 years. It was observed that all participating districts use millings in maintenance projects.

Keywords: Chip seal, sand seal, scrub seal, slurry seal, overlay, patching, millings.

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21 Investigation of Heavy Metals Uptake by Vegetable Crops from Metal-Contaminated Soil

Authors: Azita Behbahaninia, Seid Ahmad Mirbagheri

Abstract:

The use of sewage sludge and effluents from wastewater treatment plants for irrigation of agricultural lands is on the rise particularly in peri-urban areas of developing countries. The reuse of nutrients and organic matter in treated wastewater and sewage sludge via land application is a desirable goal. However, trace or heavy metals present in sludge pose the risk of human or phytotoxicity from land application. Long-term use of sewage sludge, heavy metals can accumulate to phytotoxic levels and results in reduced plants growth and/or enhanced metal concentrations in plants, which consumed by animals then enter the food chain. In this research, the amount of heavy metals was measured in plants irrigated with wastewater and sludge application. For this purpose, three pilots were made in a Shush treatment plant in south of Tehran. Three plants species, spinach, lettuce and radish were selected and planted in the pilots.First pilot was irrigated just with wastewater of treatment plant and second pilot was irrigated with wastewater and sludge application .Third pilot was irrigated with simulated heavy metals solution equal 50 years of irrigation. The results indicate that the average of amount of heavy metals Pb, Cd in three plant species in first pilot were lower than permissible limits .In second pilot, Cadmium accumulations are high in three species plants and more than the standard limits. Concentration of Cd , Pb have exceed their permitted limits in plants in third pilot . It was concluded that the use of wastewater and sludge application in agricultural lands enriched soils with heavy metals to concentrations that may pose potential environmental and health risks in the long-term.

Keywords: Soil, contaminate, heavy metals, wastewater, sludge, plants.

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20 Assessing the Actual Status and Farmer’s Attitude towards Agroforestry in Chiniot, Pakistan

Authors: M. F. Nawaz, S. Gul, T. H. Farooq, M. T. Siddiqui, M. Asif, I. Ahmad, N. K. Niazi

Abstract:

In Pakistan, major demands of fuel wood and timber wood are fulfilled by agroforestry. However, the information regarding economic significance of agroforestry and its productivity in Pakistan is still insufficient and unreliable. Survey of field conditions to examine the agroforestry status at local level helps us to know the future trends and to formulate the policies for sustainable wood supply. The objectives of this research were to examine the actual status and potential of agroforestry and to point out the barriers that are faced by farmers in the adoption of agroforestry. Research was carried out in Chiniot district, Pakistan because it is the famous city for furniture industry that is largely dependent on farm trees. A detailed survey of district Chiniot was carried out from 150 randomly selected farmer respondents using multi-objective oriented and pre-tested questionnaire. It was found that linear tree planting method was more adopted (45%) as compared to linear + interplanting (42%) and/or compact planting (12.6%). Chi-square values at P-value <0.5 showed that age (11.35) and education (17.09) were two more important factors in the quick adoption of agroforestry as compared to land holdings (P-value of 0.7). The major reason of agroforestry adoption was to obtain income, fodder and fuelwood. The most dominant species in farmlands was shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) but since last five years, mostly farmers were growing Sufeida (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), kikar (Acacia nilotica) and popular (Populus deltoides) on their fields due to “Shisham die-back” problem. It was found that agro-forestry can be increased by providing good quality planting material to farmers and improving wood markets.

Keywords: Agroforestry, trees, services, agriculture, farmers.

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19 Impact of Computer-Mediated Communication on Virtual Teams- Performance: An Empirical Study

Authors: Nadeem Ehsan, Ebtisam Mirza, Muhammad Ahmad

Abstract:

In a complex project environment, project teams face multi-dimensional communication problems that can ultimately lead to project breakdown. Team Performance varies in Face-to-Face (FTF) environment versus groups working remotely in a computermediated communication (CMC) environment. A brief review of the Input_Process_Output model suggested by James E. Driskell, Paul H. Radtke and Eduardo Salas in “Virtual Teams: Effects of Technological Mediation on Team Performance (2003)", has been done to develop the basis of this research. This model theoretically analyzes the effects of technological mediation on team processes, such as, cohesiveness, status and authority relations, counternormative behavior and communication. An empirical study described in this paper has been undertaken to test the “cohesiveness" of diverse project teams in a multi-national organization. This study uses both quantitative and qualitative techniques for data gathering and analysis. These techniques include interviews, questionnaires for data collection and graphical data representation for analyzing the collected data. Computer-mediated technology may impact team performance because of difference in cohesiveness among teams and this difference may be moderated by factors, such as, the type of communication environment, the type of task and the temporal context of the team. Based on the reviewed model, sets of hypotheses are devised and tested. This research, reports on a study that compared team cohesiveness among virtual teams using CMC and non-CMC communication mediums. The findings suggest that CMC can help virtual teams increase team cohesiveness among their members, making CMC an effective medium for increasing productivity and team performance.

Keywords: Computer-mediated Communication, Virtual Teams, Team Performance, Team Cohesiveness.

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18 The Effect of Four-Week Resistance Exercise along with Milk Consumption on NT-proBNP and Plasma Troponin I

Authors: Rostam Abdi, Ahmad Abdi, Zahra Vahedi Langrodi

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to investigate four-week resistance exercise and milk supplement on NT-proBNP and plasma troponin I of male students. Concerning the methodology of the study, 21 senior high school students of Ardebil city were selected. The selected subjects were randomly shared in three groups of control, exercise- water and exercise- milk. The exercise program includes resistance exercise for a big muscle group. The subjects of control group rested during the study and did not participate in any training. The subjects of exercise- water experimental group immediately received 400 cc water after exercise and exercise- milk group immediately received 400 cc low fat milk. Control-water groups consumed the same amount of water. 48 hours before and after the last exercise session, the blood sample of the subjects were taken for measuring the variables. NT-proBNP and Troponin I concentrations were measured by ELISA. For data analysis, one-way variance analysis test, correlated t-test and Bonferroni post hoc test were used. The significant difference of p ≤ 0.05 was accepted. Resistance training along with milk consumption leads to increase of plasma NT-proBNP, however; this increase has not reached the significant level. Furthermore, meaningful increase was observed in plasma NT–proBNP in exercise group between pretest and posttest values. Furthermore, no meaningful difference was observed between groups in terms of Troponin I after milk consumption. It seems that endurance exercises lead to change in the structure of heart muscle and is along with an increase of NT-proBNP. Furthermore, there is the possibility that milk consumption can lead to release of heart troponin I. The mechanism through which protein supplements have been put on heart troponin I is unknown and requires more research.

Keywords: Resistance exercise, milk, NT-proBNP, Troponin I.

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17 Effect of Fire Retardant Painting Product on Smoke Optical Density of Burning Natural Wood Samples

Authors: Abdullah N. Olimat, Ahmad S. Awad, Faisal M. AL-Ghathian

Abstract:

Natural wood is used in many applications in Jordan such as furniture, partitions constructions, and cupboards. Experimental work for smoke produced by the combustion of certain wood samples was studied. Smoke generated from burning of natural wood, is considered as a major cause of death in furniture fires. The critical parameter for life safety in fires is the available time for escape, so the visual obscuration due to smoke release during fire is taken into consideration. The effect of smoke, produced by burning of wood, depends on the amount of smoke released in case of fire. The amount of smoke production, apparently, affects the time available for the occupants to escape. To achieve the protection of life of building occupants during fire growth, fire retardant painting products are tested. The tested samples of natural wood include Beech, Ash, Beech Pine, and white Beech Pine. A smoke density chamber manufactured by fire testing technology has been used to perform measurement of smoke properties. The procedure of test was carried out according to the ISO-5659. A nonflammable vertical radiant heat flux of 25 kW/m2 is exposed to the wood samples in a horizontal orientation. The main objective of the current study is to carry out the experimental tests for samples of natural woods to evaluate the capability to escape in case of fire and the fire safety requirements. Specific optical density, transmittance, thermal conductivity, and mass loss are main measured parameters. Also, comparisons between samples with paint and with no paint are carried out between the selected samples of woods.

Keywords: Optical density, specific optical density, transmittance, visibility.

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16 Distribution of Macrobenthic Polychaete Families in Relation to Environmental Parameters in North West Penang, Malaysia

Authors: Mohammad Gholizadeh, Khairun Yahya, Anita Talib, Omar Ahmad

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The distribution of macrobenthic polychaetes along the coastal waters of Penang National Park was surveyed to estimate the effect of various environmental parameters at three stations (200m, 600m and 1200m) from the shoreline, during six sampling months, from June 2010 to April 2011.The use of polychaetes in descriptive ecology is surveyed in the light of a recent investigation particularly concerning the soft bottom biota environments. Polychaetes, often connected in the former to the notion of opportunistic species able to proliferate after an enhancement in organic matter, had performed a momentous role particularly with regard to effected soft-bottom habitats. The objective of this survey was to investigate different environment stress over soft bottom polychaete community along Teluk Ketapang and Pantai Acheh (Penang National Park) over a year period. Variations in the polychaete community were evaluated using univariate and multivariate methods. The results of PCA analysis displayed a positive relation between macrobenthic community structures and environmental parameters such as sediment particle size and organic matter in the coastal water. A total of 604 individuals were examined which was grouped into 23 families. Family Nereidae was the most abundant (22.68%), followed by Spionidae (22.02%), Hesionidae (12.58%), Nephtylidae (9.27%) and Orbiniidae (8.61%). It is noticeable that good results can only be obtained on the basis of good taxonomic resolution. We proposed that, in monitoring surveys, operative time could be optimized not only by working at a highertaxonomic level on the entire macrobenthic data set, but by also choosing an especially indicative group and working at lower taxonomic and good level.

Keywords: Polychaete families, environment parameters, Bioindicators, Pantai Acheh, Teluk Ketapang.

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15 Validation on 3D Surface Roughness Algorithm for Measuring Roughness of Psoriasis Lesion

Authors: M.H. Ahmad Fadzil, Esa Prakasa, Hurriyatul Fitriyah, Hermawan Nugroho, Azura Mohd Affandi, S.H. Hussein

Abstract:

Psoriasis is a widespread skin disease affecting up to 2% population with plaque psoriasis accounting to about 80%. It can be identified as a red lesion and for the higher severity the lesion is usually covered with rough scale. Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) scoring is the gold standard method for measuring psoriasis severity. Scaliness is one of PASI parameter that needs to be quantified in PASI scoring. Surface roughness of lesion can be used as a scaliness feature, since existing scale on lesion surface makes the lesion rougher. The dermatologist usually assesses the severity through their tactile sense, therefore direct contact between doctor and patient is required. The problem is the doctor may not assess the lesion objectively. In this paper, a digital image analysis technique is developed to objectively determine the scaliness of the psoriasis lesion and provide the PASI scaliness score. Psoriasis lesion is modelled by a rough surface. The rough surface is created by superimposing a smooth average (curve) surface with a triangular waveform. For roughness determination, a polynomial surface fitting is used to estimate average surface followed by a subtraction between rough and average surface to give elevation surface (surface deviations). Roughness index is calculated by using average roughness equation to the height map matrix. The roughness algorithm has been tested to 444 lesion models. From roughness validation result, only 6 models can not be accepted (percentage error is greater than 10%). These errors occur due the scanned image quality. Roughness algorithm is validated for roughness measurement on abrasive papers at flat surface. The Pearson-s correlation coefficient of grade value (G) of abrasive paper and Ra is -0.9488, its shows there is a strong relation between G and Ra. The algorithm needs to be improved by surface filtering, especially to overcome a problem with noisy data.

Keywords: psoriasis, roughness algorithm, polynomial surfacefitting.

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14 Analysis of Rural Roads in Developing Countries Using Principal Component Analysis and Simple Average Technique in the Development of a Road Safety Performance Index

Authors: Muhammad Tufail, Jawad Hussain, Hammad Hussain, Imran Hafeez, Naveed Ahmad

Abstract:

Road safety performance index is a composite index which combines various indicators of road safety into single number. Development of a road safety performance index using appropriate safety performance indicators is essential to enhance road safety. However, a road safety performance index in developing countries has not been given as much priority as needed. The primary objective of this research is to develop a general Road Safety Performance Index (RSPI) for developing countries based on the facility as well as behavior of road user. The secondary objectives include finding the critical inputs in the RSPI and finding the better method of making the index. In this study, the RSPI is developed by selecting four main safety performance indicators i.e., protective system (seat belt, helmet etc.), road (road width, signalized intersections, number of lanes, speed limit), number of pedestrians, and number of vehicles. Data on these four safety performance indicators were collected using observation survey on a 20 km road section of the National Highway N-125 road Taxila, Pakistan. For the development of this composite index, two methods are used: a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and b) Equal Weighting (EW) method. PCA is used for extraction, weighting, and linear aggregation of indicators to obtain a single value. An individual index score was calculated for each road section by multiplication of weights and standardized values of each safety performance indicator. However, Simple Average technique was used for weighting and linear aggregation of indicators to develop a RSPI. The road sections are ranked according to RSPI scores using both methods. The two weighting methods are compared, and the PCA method is found to be much more reliable than the Simple Average Technique.

Keywords: Aggregation, index score, indicators, principal component analysis, weighting.

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13 Comparing Academically Gifted and Non-Gifted Students- Supportive Environments in Jordan

Authors: Mustafa Qaseem Hielat, Ahmad Mohammad Al-Shabatat

Abstract:

Jordan exerts many efforts to nurture their academically gifted students in special schools since 2001. During the past nine years of launching these schools, their learning and excellence environments were believed to be distinguished compared to public schools. This study investigated the environments of gifted students compared with other non-gifted, using a survey instrument that measures the dimensions of family, peers, teachers, school- support, society, and resources –dimensions rooted deeply in supporting gifted education, learning, and achievement. A total number of 109 were selected from excellence schools for academically gifted students, and 119 non-gifted students were selected from public schools. Around 8.3% of the non-gifted students reported that they “Never" received any support from their surrounding environments, 14.9% reported “Seldom" support, 23.7% reported “ Often" support, 26.0% reported “Frequent" support, and 32.8% reported “Very frequent" support. Where the gifted students reported more “Never" support than the non-gifted did with 11.3%, “Seldom" support with 15.4%, “Often" support with 26.6%, “Frequent" support with 29.0%, and reported “Very frequent" support less than the non-gifted students with 23.6%. Unexpectedly, statistical differences were found between the two groups favoring non-gifted students in perception of their surrounding environments in specific dimensions, namely, school- support, teachers, and society. No statistical differences were found in the other dimensions of the survey, namely, family, peers, and resources. As the differences were found in teachers, school- support, and society, the nurturing environments for the excellence schools need to be revised to adopt more creative teaching styles, rich school atmosphere and infrastructures, interactive guiding for the students and their parents, promoting for the excellence environments, and re-build successful identification models. Thus, families, schools, and society should increase their cooperation, communication, and awareness of the gifted supportive environments. However, more studies to investigate other aspects of promoting academic giftedness and excellence are recommended.

Keywords: Academic giftedness, Supportive environment, Excellence schools, Gifted grouping, Gifted nurturing.

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12 Classification of Extreme Ground-Level Ozone Based on Generalized Extreme Value Model for Air Monitoring Station

Authors: Siti Aisyah Zakaria, Nor Azrita Mohd Amin, Noor Fadhilah Ahmad Radi, Nasrul Hamidin

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Higher ground-level ozone (GLO) concentration adversely affects human health, vegetations as well as activities in the ecosystem. In Malaysia, most of the analysis on GLO concentration are carried out using the average value of GLO concentration, which refers to the centre of distribution to make a prediction or estimation. However, analysis which focuses on the higher value or extreme value in GLO concentration is rarely explored. Hence, the objective of this study is to classify the tail behaviour of GLO using generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution estimation the return level using the corresponding modelling (Gumbel, Weibull, and Frechet) of GEV distribution. The results show that Weibull distribution which is also known as short tail distribution and considered as having less extreme behaviour is the best-fitted distribution for four selected air monitoring stations in Peninsular Malaysia, namely Larkin, Pelabuhan Kelang, Shah Alam, and Tanjung Malim; while Gumbel distribution which is considered as a medium tail distribution is the best-fitted distribution for Nilai station. The return level of GLO concentration in Shah Alam station is comparatively higher than other stations. Overall, return levels increase with increasing return periods but the increment depends on the type of the tail of GEV distribution’s tail. We conduct this study by using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) method to estimate the parameters at four selected stations in Peninsular Malaysia. Next, the validation for the fitted block maxima series to GEV distribution is performed using probability plot, quantile plot and likelihood ratio test. Profile likelihood confidence interval is tested to verify the type of GEV distribution. These results are important as a guide for early notification on future extreme ozone events.

Keywords: Extreme value theory, generalized extreme value distribution, ground-level ozone, return level.

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11 Redundancy in Malay Morphology: School Grammar versus Corpus Grammar

Authors: Zaharani Ahmad, Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin

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The aim of this paper is to examine and identify the issue of linguistic redundancy in two competing grammars of Malay, namely the school grammar and the corpus grammar. The former is a normative grammar which is formally and prescriptively taught in the classroom, whereas the latter is a descriptive grammar that is informally acquired and mastered by the students as native speakers of the language outside the classroom. Corpus grammar is depicted based on its actual used in natural occurring texts, as attested in the corpus. It is observed that the grammar taught in schools is incompatible with the grammar used in the corpus. For instance, a noun phrase containing nominal reduplicated form which denotes plurality (i.e. murid-murid ‘students’ which is derived from murid ‘student’) and a modifier categorized as quantifiers (i.e. semua ‘all’, seluruh ‘entire’, and kebanyakan ‘most’) is not acceptable in the school grammar because the formation (i.e. semua murid-murid ‘all the students’ kebanyakan pelajar-pelajar ‘most of the students’) is claimed to be redundant, and redundancy is prohibited in the grammar. Redundancy is generally construed as the property of speech and language by which more information is provided than is precisely required for the message to be understood, so that, if some information is omitted, the remaining information will still be sufficient for the message to be comprehended. Thus, the correct construction to be used is strictly the reduplicated form (i.e. murid-murid ‘students’) or the quantifier plus the root (i.e. semua murid ‘all the students’) with the intention that the grammatical meaning of plural is not repeated. Nevertheless, the so-called redundant form (i.e. kebanyakan pelajar-pelajar ‘most of the students’) is frequently used in the corpus grammar. This study shows that there are a number of redundant forms occur in the morphology of the language, particularly in affixation, reduplication and combination of both. Apparently, the so-called redundancy has grammatical and socio-cultural functions in communication that is to give emphasis and to stress the importance of the information delivered by the speakers or writers.

Keywords: Corpus grammar, morphology, redundancy, school grammar.

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10 Inhibitory Effects of Extracts and Isolates from Kigelia africana Fruits against Pathogenic Bacteria and Yeasts

Authors: Deepak K. Semwal, Ruchi B. Semwal, Aijaz Ahmad, Guy P. Kamatou, Alvaro M. Viljoen

Abstract:

Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth. (Bignoniaceae) is a reputed traditional remedy for various human ailments such as skin diseases, microbial infections, melanoma, stomach troubles, metabolic disorders, malaria and general pains. In spite of the fruit being widely used for purposes related to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, the chemical constituents associated with the activity have not been fully identified. To elucidate the active principles, we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of fruit extracts and purified fractions against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Moraxella catarrhalis, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis. Shade-dried fruits were powdered and extracted with hydroalcoholic (1:1) mixture by soaking at room temperature for 72 h. The crude extract was further fractionated by column chromatography, with successive elution using hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, acetone and methanol. The dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions were combined and subjected to column chromatography to furnish a wax and oil from the eluates of 20% and 40% ethyl acetate in hexane, respectively. The GC-MS and GC×GC-MS results revealed that linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, arachidic acid and stearic acid were the major constituents in both oil and wax. The crude hydroalcoholic extract exhibited the strongest activity with MICs of 0.125-0.5 mg/mL, followed by the ethyl acetate (MICs = 0.125-1.0 mg/mL), dichloromethane (MICs = 0.250-2.0 mg/mL), hexane (MICs = 0.25- 2.0 mg/mL), acetone (MICs = 0.5-2.0 mg/mL) and methanol (MICs = 1.0-2.0 mg/mL), whereas the wax (MICs = 2.0-4.0 mg/mL) and oil (MICs = 4.0-8.0 mg/mL) showed poor activity. The study concludes that synergistic interactions of chemical constituents could be responsible for the antimicrobial activity of K. africana fruits, which needs a more holistic approach to understand the mechanism of its antimicrobial activity.

Keywords: Kigelia Africana, traditional medicine, antimicrobial activity, Candida albicans, palmitic acid, synergistic interaction.

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9 A Novel Multiplex Real-Time PCR Assay Using TaqMan MGB Probes for Rapid Detection of Trisomy 21

Authors: Mehrdad Hashemi, Mitra Behrooz Aghdam, Reza Mahdian, Ahmad Reza Kamyab

Abstract:

Cytogenetic analysis still remains the gold standard method for prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21 (Down syndrome, DS). Nevertheless, the conventional cytogenetic analysis needs live cultured cells and is too time-consuming for clinical application. In contrast, molecular methods such as FISH, QF-PCR, MLPA and quantitative Real-time PCR are rapid assays with results available in 24h. In the present study, we have successfully used a novel MGB TaqMan probe-based real time PCR assay for rapid diagnosis of trisomy 21 status in Down syndrome samples. We have also compared the results of this molecular method with corresponding results obtained by the cytogenetic analysis. Blood samples obtained from DS patients (n=25) and normal controls (n=20) were tested by quantitative Real-time PCR in parallel to standard G-banding analysis. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood lymphocytes. A high precision TaqMan probe quantitative Real-time PCR assay was developed to determine the gene dosage of DSCAM (target gene on 21q22.2) relative to PMP22 (reference gene on 17p11.2). The DSCAM/PMP22 ratio was calculated according to the formula; ratio=2 -ΔΔCT. The quantitative Real-time PCR was able to distinguish between trisomy 21 samples and normal controls with the gene ratios of 1.49±0.13 and 1.03±0.04 respectively (p value <0.001). These results represent the presence of 3 copies of target gene in DS samples Vs 2 copies in normal controls. The results of quantitative Real-time PCR were in complete agreement with results of cytogenetic analysis. This study confirms previous reports regarding successful implementation of quantitative Real-time PCR for detection of trisomy 21. However, the assay has been improved by using MGB probes and more accurate data analysis. This assay, in particular, when performed in combination with another molecular assay such as QF-PCR or MLPA, can be used as a reliable technique for rapid prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21.

Keywords: Trisomy 21, Real-time PCR, MGB-TaqMan Probes, Gene Dosage.

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8 An Investigation into the Potential of Industrial Low Grade Heat in Membrane Distillation for Freshwater Production

Authors: Yehia Manawi, Ahmad Kayvani Fard

Abstract:

Membrane distillation is an emerging technology which has been used to produce freshwater and purify different types of aqueous mixtures. Qatar is an arid country where almost 100% of its freshwater demand is supplied through the energy-intensive thermal desalination process. The country’s need for water has reached an all-time high which stipulates finding an alternative way to augment freshwater without adding any drastic affect to the environment. The objective of this paper was to investigate the potential of using the industrial low grade waste heat to produce freshwater using membrane distillation. The main part of this work was conducting a heat audit on selected Qatari chemical industries to estimate the amounts of freshwater produced if such industrial waste heat were to be recovered. By the end of this work, the main objective was met and the heat audit conducted on the Qatari chemical industries enabled us to estimate both the amounts of waste heat which can be potentially recovered in addition to the amounts of freshwater which can be produced if such waste heat were to be recovered.

By the end, the heat audit showed that around 605 Mega Watts of waste heat can be recovered from the studied Qatari chemical industries which resulted in a total daily production of 5078.7 cubic meter of freshwater.

This water can be used in a wide variety of applications such as human consumption or industry. The amount of produced freshwater may look small when compared to that produced through thermal desalination plants; however, one must bear in mind that this water comes from waste and can be used to supply water for small cities or remote areas which are not connected to the water grid. The idea of producing freshwater from the two widely-available wastes (thermal rejected brine and waste heat) seems promising as less environmental and economic impacts will be associated with freshwater production which may in the near future augment the conventional way of producing freshwater currently being thermal desalination. This work has shown that low grade waste heat in the chemical industries in Qatar and perhaps the rest of the world can contribute to additional production of freshwater using membrane distillation without significantly adding to the environmental impact.

Keywords: Membrane distillation, desalination, heat recovery, environment.

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7 Time-Domain Stator Current Condition Monitoring: Analyzing Point Failures Detection by Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) Test

Authors: Najmeh Bolbolamiri, Maryam Setayesh Sanai, Ahmad Mirabadi

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This paper deals with condition monitoring of electric switch machine for railway points. Point machine, as a complex electro-mechanical device, switch the track between two alternative routes. There has been an increasing interest in railway safety and the optimal management of railway equipments maintenance, e.g. point machine, in order to enhance railway service quality and reduce system failure. This paper explores the development of Kolmogorov- Smirnov (K-S) test to detect some point failures (external to the machine, slide chairs, fixing, stretchers, etc), while the point machine (inside the machine) is in its proper condition. Time-domain stator Current signatures of normal (healthy) and faulty points are taken by 3 Hall Effect sensors and are analyzed by K-S test. The test is simulated by creating three types of such failures, namely putting a hard stone and a soft stone between stock rail and switch blades as obstacles and also slide chairs- friction. The test has been applied for those three faults which the results show that K-S test can effectively be developed for the aim of other point failures detection, which their current signatures deviate parametrically from the healthy current signature. K-S test as an analysis technique, assuming that any defect has a specific probability distribution. Empirical cumulative distribution functions (ECDF) are used to differentiate these probability distributions. This test works based on the null hypothesis that ECDF of target distribution is statistically similar to ECDF of reference distribution. Therefore by comparing a given current signature (as target signal) from unknown switch state to a number of template signatures (as reference signal) from known switch states, it is possible to identify which is the most likely state of the point machine under analysis.

Keywords: stator currents monitoring, railway points, point failures, fault detection and diagnosis, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, time-domain analysis.

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6 Democratization, Market Liberalization and the Raise of Vested Interests and Its Impacts on Anti-Corruption Reform in Indonesia

Authors: Ahmad Khoirul Umam

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This paper investigates the role of vested interests and its impacts on anti-corruption agenda in Indonesia following the collapse of authoritarian regime in 1998. A pervasive and rampant corruption has been believed as the main cause of the state economy’s fragility. Hence, anti-corruption measures were implemented by applying democratization and market liberalization since the establishment of a consolidated democracy which go hand in hand with a liberal market economy is convinced to be an efficacious prescription for effective anti-corruption. The reform movement has also mandated the establishment of the independent, neutral and professional special anti-corruption agency namely Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to more intensify the fight against the systemic corruption. This paper will examine whether these anti-corruption measures have been effective to combat corruption, and investigate to what extend have the anti-corruption efforts, especially those conducted by KPK, been impeded by the emergence of a nexus of vested interests as the side-effect of democratization and market liberalization. Based on interviews with key stakeholders from KPK, other law enforcement agencies, government, prominent scholars, journalists and NGOs in Indonesia, it is found that since the overthrow of Soeharto, anti-corruption movement in the country have become more active and serious. After gradually winning the hearth of people, KPK successfully touched the untouchable corruption perpetrators who were previously protected by political immunity, legal protection and bureaucratic barriers. However, these changes have not necessarily reduced systemic and structural corruption practices. Ironically, intensive and devastating counterattacks were frequently posed by the alignment of business actors, elites of political parties, government, and also law enforcement agencies by hijacking state’s instruments to make KPK deflated, powerless, and surrender. This paper concludes that attempts of democratization, market liberalization and the establishment of anti-corruption agency may have helped Indonesia to reduce corruption. However, it is still difficult to imply that such anti-corruption measures have fostered the more effective anti-corruption works in the newly democratized and weakly regulated liberal economic system.

Keywords: Vested interests, democratization, market liberalization, anti-corruption, leadership.

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5 Numerical Model of Low Cost Rubber Isolators for Masonry Housing in High Seismic Regions

Authors: Ahmad B. Habieb, Gabriele Milani, Tavio Tavio, Federico Milani

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Housings in developing countries have often inadequate seismic protection, particularly for masonry. People choose this type of structure since the cost and application are relatively cheap. Seismic protection of masonry remains an interesting issue among researchers. In this study, we develop a low-cost seismic isolation system for masonry using fiber reinforced elastomeric isolators. The elastomer proposed consists of few layers of rubber pads and fiber lamina, making it lower in cost comparing to the conventional isolators. We present a finite element (FE) analysis to predict the behavior of the low cost rubber isolators undergoing moderate deformations. The FE model of the elastomer involves a hyperelastic material property for the rubber pad. We adopt a Yeoh hyperelasticity model and estimate its coefficients through the available experimental data. Having the shear behavior of the elastomers, we apply that isolation system onto small masonry housing. To attach the isolators on the building, we model the shear behavior of the isolation system by means of a damped nonlinear spring model. By this attempt, the FE analysis becomes computationally inexpensive. Several ground motion data are applied to observe its sensitivity. Roof acceleration and tensile damage of walls become the parameters to evaluate the performance of the isolators. In this study, a concrete damage plasticity model is used to model masonry in the nonlinear range. This tool is available in the standard package of Abaqus FE software. Finally, the results show that the low-cost isolators proposed are capable of reducing roof acceleration and damage level of masonry housing. Through this study, we are also capable of monitoring the shear deformation of isolators during seismic motion. It is useful to determine whether the isolator is applicable. According to the results, the deformations of isolators on the benchmark one story building are relatively small.

Keywords: Masonry, low cost elastomeric isolator, finite element analysis, hyperelasticity, damped non-linear spring, concrete damage plasticity.

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4 Performance Study of Neodymium Extraction by Carbon Nanotubes Assisted Emulsion Liquid Membrane Using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Payman Davoodi-Nasab, Ahmad Rahbar-Kelishami, Jaber Safdari, Hossein Abolghasemi

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The high purity rare earth elements (REEs) have been vastly used in the field of chemical engineering, metallurgy, nuclear energy, optical, magnetic, luminescence and laser materials, superconductors, ceramics, alloys, catalysts, and etc. Neodymium is one of the most abundant rare earths. By development of a neodymium–iron–boron (Nd–Fe–B) permanent magnet, the importance of neodymium has dramatically increased. Solvent extraction processes have many operational limitations such as large inventory of extractants, loss of solvent due to the organic solubility in aqueous solutions, volatilization of diluents, etc. One of the promising methods of liquid membrane processes is emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) which offers an alternative method to the solvent extraction processes. In this work, a study on Nd extraction through multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) assisted ELM using response surface methodology (RSM) has been performed. The ELM composed of diisooctylphosphinic acid (CYANEX 272) as carrier, MWCNTs as nanoparticles, Span-85 (sorbitan triooleate) as surfactant, kerosene as organic diluent and nitric acid as internal phase. The effects of important operating variables namely, surfactant concentration, MWCNTs concentration, and treatment ratio were investigated. Results were optimized using a central composite design (CCD) and a regression model for extraction percentage was developed. The 3D response surfaces of Nd(III) extraction efficiency were achieved and significance of three important variables and their interactions on the Nd extraction efficiency were found out. Results indicated that introducing the MWCNTs to the ELM process led to increasing the Nd extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement. MWCNTs concentration of 407 ppm, Span-85 concentration of 2.1 (%v/v) and treatment ratio of 10 were achieved as the optimum conditions. At the optimum condition, the extraction of Nd(III) reached the maximum of 99.03%.

Keywords: Emulsion liquid membrane, extraction of neodymium, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, response surface method.

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3 Population Trend of Canola Aphid, Lipaphis Erysimi (Kalt.) (Homoptera: Aphididae) and its Associated Natural Enemies in Different Brassica Lines along with the Effect of Gamma Radiation on Their Population

Authors: Ahmad-Ur-Rahman Saljoqi, Rahib Zada, Imtiaz Ali Khan, Iqbal Munir, Sadur-Rehman, Hazrat Jabir Alam Khan

Abstract:

Studies regarding the determination of population trend of Lipaphis erysimi (kalt.) and its associated natural enemies in different Brassica lines along with the effect of gamma radiation on their population were conducted at Agricultural Research Farm, Malakandher, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University Peshawar during spring 2006. Three different Brassica lines F6B3, F6B6 and F6B7 were used, which were replicated four times in Randomized Complete Block Design. The data revealed that aphid infestation invariably stated in all three varieties during last week of February 2006 (1st observation). The peak population of 4.39 aphids leaf-1 was s recorded during 2nd week of March and lowest population of 1.02 aphids leaf-1 was recorded during 5th week of March. The species of lady bird beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) and Syrphid fly (Syrphus balteatus) first appeared on 24th February with a mean number of 0.40 lady bird beetle leaf-1 and 0.87 Syrphid fly leaf-1, respectively. At the time when aphid population started to increase the peak population of C. septempunctata (0.70 lady bird beetle leaf- 1) and S. balteatus (1.04 syrphid fly leaf-1) was recorded on the 2nd week of March. Chrysoperla carnea appeared in the 1st week of March and their peak population was recorded during the 3rd week of March with mean population of 1.46 C. carnea leaf-1. Among all the Brassica lines, F6B7 showed comparatively more resistance as compared to F6B3 F6B6. F6B3 showed least resistance against L. erysimi, which was found to be the most susceptible cultivar. F6B7 was also found superior in terms of natural enemies. Maximum number of all natural enemies was recorded on this variety followed by F6B6. Lowest number of natural enemies was recorded in F6B3. No significant effect was recorded for the effect of gamma radiation on the population of aphids, natural enemies and on the varieties.

Keywords: Canola aphid, Lipaphis erysimi, natural enemies, brassica lines, gamma radiation.

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2 Crash and Injury Characteristics of Riders in Motorcycle-Passenger Vehicle Crashes

Authors: Z. A. Ahmad Noor Syukri, A. J. Nawal Aswan, S. V. Wong

Abstract:

The motorcycle has become one of the most common type of vehicles used on the road, particularly in the Asia region, including Malaysia, due to its size-convenience and affordable price. This study focuses only on crashes involving motorcycles with passenger cars consisting 43 real world crashes obtained from in-depth crash investigation process from June 2016 till July 2017. The study collected and analyzed vehicle and site parameters obtained during crash investigation and injury information acquired from the patient-treating hospital. The investigation team, consisting of two personnel, is stationed at the Emergency Department of the treatment facility, and was dispatched to the crash scene once receiving notification of the related crashes. The injury information retrieved was coded according to the level of severity using the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) and classified into different body regions. The data revealed that weekend crashes were significantly higher for the night time period and the crash occurrence was the highest during morning hours (commuting to work period) for weekdays. Bad weather conditions play a minimal effect towards the occurrence of motorcycle – passenger vehicle crashes and nearly 90% involved motorcycles with single riders. Riders up to 25 years old are heavily involved in crashes with passenger vehicles (60%), followed by 26-55 year age group with 35%. Male riders were dominant in each of the age segments. The majority of the crashes involved side impacts, followed by rear impacts and cars outnumbered the rest of the passenger vehicle types in terms of crash involvement with motorcycles. The investigation data also revealed that passenger vehicles were the most at-fault counterpart (62%) when involved in crashes with motorcycles and most of the crashes involved situations whereby both of the vehicles are travelling in the same direction and one of the vehicles is in a turning maneuver. More than 80% of the involved motorcycle riders had sustained yellow severity level during triage process. The study also found that nearly 30% of the riders sustained injuries to the lower extremities, while MAIS level 3 injuries were recorded for all body regions except for thorax region. The result showed that crashes in which the motorcycles were found to be at fault were more likely to occur during night and raining conditions. These types of crashes were also found to be more likely to involve other types of passenger vehicles rather than cars and possess higher likelihood in resulting higher ISS (>6) value to the involved rider. To reduce motorcycle fatalities, it first has to understand the characteristics concerned and focus may be given on crashes involving passenger vehicles as the most dominant crash partner on Malaysian roads.

Keywords: Motorcycle crash, passenger vehicle, in-depth crash investigation, injury mechanism.

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