Search results for: Virginia Bassily
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: Virginia Bassily

9 Identifying Factors Contributing to the Spread of Lyme Disease: A Regression Analysis of Virginia’s Data

Authors: Fatemeh Valizadeh Gamchi, Edward L. Boone

Abstract:

This research focuses on Lyme disease, a widespread infectious condition in the United States caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. It is critical to identify environmental and economic elements that are contributing to the spread of the disease. This study examined data from Virginia to identify a subset of explanatory variables significant for Lyme disease case numbers. To identify relevant variables and avoid overfitting, linear poisson, and regularization regression methods such as ridge, lasso, and elastic net penalty were employed. Cross-validation was performed to acquire tuning parameters. The methods proposed can automatically identify relevant disease count covariates. The efficacy of the techniques was assessed using four criteria on three simulated datasets. Finally, using the Virginia Department of Health’s Lyme disease dataset, the study successfully identified key factors, and the results were consistent with previous studies.

Keywords: Lyme disease, Poisson generalized linear model, Ridge regression, Lasso Regression, elastic net regression.

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8 The Shifting Urban Role of Buildings’ Facades: A Diachronic Analysis of El Korba

Authors: Virginia Bassily, Sherif Goubran

Abstract:

In heritage conservation and revival, much of the focus is placed on the techniques and methods to preserve, restore, and revive heritage structures and locations. However, more attention needs to be drawn to how deterioration happens and its effect on the area’s character and socio-economic status. To this end, this research aims to examine the decline and its effect in the El Korba area in Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt. El Korba was designed with a unique architectural character to stimulate social and economic life. However, the area has been on a path of physical deterioration that is corroding the social life on its streets. This research uses diachronic analysis in Ibrahim El-Lakkani Boulevard of El Korba based on a previously developed framework that connects buildings’ architectural features to the degree of social interaction in the street to document the changes that the building deterioration could have caused. Architectural features of the street level during both the original state (1906) and the current state (2021) are broken down and categorized in those six parameters to understand their decline or improvement over time. We find that the parameters that have decreased over the years and caused the deterioration are complexity and architectural character, permeability, territoriality and personalization, and physical comfort.  Based on these findings, revival projects can focus on physical parameters that create synergistic benefits by preserving and renewing heritage locations and revitalizing their socio-economic potential.

Keywords: Architectural character, heritage building conservation, enclosure, ground-floor use, El Korba, visual and physical permeability, personalization, physical comfort, social life, territoriality.

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7 Human Capacity Building in Manufacturing Sector: A Factor to Industrial Growth in Nigeria

Authors: Williams S. Ebhota, Ckikaodili Virginia Ugwu

Abstract:

Human ability is a major source of constraint to manufacturing industries in Nigeria. This paper therefore, discusses the importance of human influences on manufacturing and consequently to industrialization and National development. In this paper, the development of manufacturing was anchored on two main factors; Infrastructural Capacity Development (ICD) and Human Capacity Development (HCD). However, a wider view was given to the HCD and the various contemporary human capacity issues militating against manufacturing in Nigeria. It went further to discuss various ways of acquiring and upgrading workers’ skills and finally, suggestions were made on how to tackle the onerous human capacity issues in manufacturing.

Keywords: Manufacturing, Human, Capacity, Development, Innovation.

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6 Reflections on Opportunities and Challenges for Systems Engineering

Authors: Ali E. Abbas

Abstract:

This paper summarizes some of the discussions that occurred in a workshop in West Virginia, U.S.A which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in February 2016. The goal of the workshop was to explore the opportunities and challenges for applying systems engineering in large enterprises, and some of the issues that still persist. The main topics of the discussion included challenges with elaboration and abstraction in large systems, interfacing physical and social systems, and the need for axiomatic frameworks for large enterprises. We summarize these main points of discussion drawing parallels with decision making in organizations to instigate research in these discussion areas.

Keywords: Decision analysis, systems engineering, framing, value creation.

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5 Knitting Stitches’ Manipulation for Catenary Textile Structures

Authors: Virginia Melnyk

Abstract:

This paper explores the design for catenary structure using knitted textiles. Using the advantages of Grasshopper and Kangaroo parametric software to simulate and pre-design an overall form, the design is then translated to a pattern that can be made with hand manipulated stitches on a knitting machine. The textile takes advantage of the structure of knitted materials and the ability for it to stretch. Using different types of stitches to control the amount of stretch that can occur in portions of the textile generates an overall formal design. The textile is then hardened in an upside-down hanging position and then flipped right-side-up. This then becomes a structural catenary form. The resulting design is used as a small Cat House for a cat to sit inside and climb on top of.

Keywords: Architectural materials, catenary structures, knitting fabrication, textile design.

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4 Application of Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Evaluation of the Main Digestion Methods for Determination of Macroelements in Plant Tissue

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Penka S. Zapryanova, Stefan V. Krustev, Violina R. Angelova

Abstract:

Three commonly used digestion methods (dry ashing, acid digestion, and microwave digestion) in different variants were compared for digestion of tobacco leaves. Three main macroelements (K, Ca and Mg) were analysed using AAS Spectrometer Spectra АА 220, Varian, Australia. The accuracy and precision of the measurements were evaluated by using Polish reference material CTR-VTL-2 (Virginia tobacco leaves). To elucidate the problems with elemental recovery X-Ray and SEM–EDS analysis of all residues after digestion were performed. The X-ray investigation showed a formation of KClO4 when HClO4 was used as a part of the acids mixture. The use of HF at Ca and Mg determination led to the formation of CaF2 and MgF2. The results were confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. SPSS program for Windows was used for statistical data processing.

Keywords: Digestion methods, determination of macroelements, plant tissue.

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3 Reverse Engineering of Agricultural Machinery: A Key to Food Sufficiency in Nigeria

Authors: Williams S. Ebhota, Virginia Chika Ebhota, Samuel A. Ilupeju

Abstract:

Agriculture employs about three-quarter of Nigeria's workforce and yet food sufficiency is a challenge in the country. This is largely due to poor and outdated pre-harvest and post-harvest farming practices. The land fallow system is still been practised as fertiliser production in the country is grossly inadequate and expensive. The few available post-harvest processing facilities are faced with ageing and are inefficient. Also, use of modern processing equipment is limited by farmers' lack of fund, adequate capacity to operate and maintain modern farming equipment. This paper, therefore, examines key barriers to agricultural products processing equipment in the country. These barriers include over-dependence on foreign technologies and expertise; poor and inadequate manufacturing infrastructure; and lack of political will by political leaders; lack of funds; and lack of adequate technical skills. This paper, however, sees the increase in the domestic manufacturing of pre-harvest and post-harvest machinery and equipment through reverse engineering approach as a key to food production sufficiency in Nigeria.

Keywords: Agricultural machinery, domestic manufacturing, forward engineering, production reverse engineering, technology.

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2 Insights into Smoothies with High Levels of Fibre and Polyphenols: Factors Influencing Chemical, Rheological and Sensory Properties

Authors: Dongxiao Sun-Waterhouse, Shiji Nair, Reginald Wibisono, Sandhya S. Wadhwa, Carl Massarotto, Duncan I. Hedderley, Jing Zhou, Sara R. Jaeger, Virginia Corrigan

Abstract:

Attempts to add fibre and polyphenols (PPs) into popular beverages present challenges related to the properties of finished products such as smoothies. Consumer acceptability, viscosity and phenolic composition of smoothies containing high levels of fruit fibre (2.5-7.5 g per 300 mL serve) and PPs (250-750 mg per 300 mL serve) were examined. The changes in total extractable PP, vitamin C content, and colour of selected smoothies over a storage stability trial (4°C, 14 days) were compared. A set of acidic aqueous model beverages were prepared to further examine the effect of two different heat treatments on the stability and extractability of PPs. Results show that overall consumer acceptability of high fibre and PP smoothies was low, with average hedonic scores ranging from 3.9 to 6.4 (on a 1-9 scale). Flavour, texture and overall acceptability decreased as fibre and polyphenol contents increased, with fibre content exerting a stronger effect. Higher fibre content resulted in greater viscosity, with an elevated PP content increasing viscosity only slightly. The presence of fibre also aided the stability and extractability of PPs after heating. A reduction of extractable PPs, vitamin C content and colour intensity of smoothies was observed after a 14-day storage period at 4°C. Two heat treatments (75°C for 45 min or 85°C for 1 min) that are normally used for beverage production, did not cause significant reduction of total extracted PPs. It is clear that high levels of added fibre and PPs greatly influence the consumer appeal of smoothies, suggesting the need to develop novel formulation and processing methods if a satisfactory functional beverage is to be developed incorporating these ingredients.

Keywords: Apple fibre, apple and blackcurrant polyphenols, consumer acceptability, functional foods, stability.

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1 The Alliance for Grassland Renewal: A Model for Teaching Endophyte Technology

Authors: C. A. Roberts, J. G. Andrae, S. R. Smith, M. H. Poore, C. A. Young, D. W. Hancock, G. J. Pent

Abstract:

To the author’s best knowledge, there are no published reports of effective methods for teaching fescue toxicosis and grass endophyte technology in the USA. To address this need, a group of university scientists, industry representatives, government agents, and livestock producers formed an organization called the Alliance for Grassland Renewal. One goal of the Alliance was to develop a teaching method that could be employed across all regions in the USA and all sectors of the agricultural community. The first step in developing this method was identification of experts who were familiar with the science and management of fescue toxicosis. The second step was curriculum development. Experts wrote a curriculum that addressed all aspects of toxicosis and management, including toxicology, animal nutrition, pasture management, economics, and mycology. The curriculum was created for presentation in lectures, laboratories, and in the field. The curriculum was in that it could be delivered across state lines, regardless of peculiar, in-state recommendations. The curriculum was also unique as it was unanimously supported by private companies otherwise in competition with each other. The final step in developing this teaching method was formulating a delivery plan. All experts, including university, industry, government, and production, volunteered to travel from any state in the USA, converge in one location, teach a 1-day workshop, then travel to the next location. The results of this teaching method indicate widespread success. Since 2012, experts across the entire USA have converged to teach Alliance workshops in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, with ongoing workshops in Arkansas and Tennessee. Data from post-workshop surveys indicate that instruction has been effective, as at least 50% of the participants stated their intention to adopt the endophyte technology presented in these workshops. The teaching method developed by the Alliance for Grassland Renewal has proved to be effective, and the Alliance continues to expand across the USA.

Keywords: Endophyte, Epichloë coenophiala, ergot alkaloids, fescue toxicosis, tall fescue.

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