Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: pandemic

30 Online Teaching Methods and Student Satisfaction during a Pandemic

Authors: Anita Kéri

Abstract:

With the outbreak of the global pandemic of COVID-19, online education characterizes today’s higher education. For some higher education institutions (HEIs), the shift from classroom education to online solutions was swift and smooth, and students are continuously asked about their experience regarding online education. Therefore, there is a growing emphasis on student satisfaction with online education, a field that had emerged previously, but has become the center of higher education and research interest today. The aim of the current paper is to give a brief overview of the tools used in the online education of marketing-related classes at the examined university and to investigate student satisfaction with the applied teaching methodologies with the tool of a questionnaire. Results show that students are most satisfied with their teachers’ competences and preparedness, while they are least satisfied with online class quality, where it seems that further steps are needed to be taken.

Keywords: Online teaching, pandemic, satisfaction, students.

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29 Conspiracy Theory in Discussions of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Gulf Region

Authors: Rasha Salameh

Abstract:

In light of the tense relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran, this research paper sheds some light on Saudi-owned television network, Al-Arabiya’s reporting of the Coronavirus in the Gulf region. Particularly because most of the cases in the beginning were coming from Iran, some programs of this Saudi channel embraced a conspiracy theory. Hate speech has been used in the talking and discussions about the topic. The results of these discussions will be detailed in this paper in percentages with regard to the research sample, which includes five programs on the Al-Arabiya channel: ‘DNA’, ‘Marraya’ (Mirrors), ‘Panorama’, ‘Tafaolcom’ (Your Interaction) and ‘Diplomatic Street’, in the period between January 19, that is, the date of the first case in Iran, and April 10, 2020. The research shows the use of a conspiracy theory in the programs, in addition to some professional violations. The surveyed sample also shows that the matter receded due to the Arab Gulf states' preoccupation with the successively increasing cases that have appeared there since the start of the pandemic. The results indicate that hate speech was present in the sample at a rate of 98.1%, and that most of the programs that dealt with the Iranian issue under the Coronavirus pandemic on Al Arabiya used the conspiracy theory at a rate of 75.5%.

Keywords: Al-Arabiya, Iran, COVID-19, hate speech, conspiracy theory, politicization of the pandemic

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28 Molecular Dynamics Study on Laninamivir Inhibiting Neuraminidases of H5N1 and pH1N1 Influenza a Viruses

Authors: A. Meeprasert, W. Khuntawee, S. Hannongbua, T. Rungrotmongkol

Abstract:

Viral influenza A subtypes H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) have worldwide emerged and transmitted. The most common anti-influenza drug for treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses is oseltamivir that nowadays becomes resistance to influenza neuraminidase. The novel long-acting drug, laninamivir, was discovered for treatment of the patients infected with influenza B and influenza A viruses. In the present study, laninamivir complexed with wild-type strain of both H5N1 and pH1N1 viruses were comparatively determined the structures and drug-target interactions by means of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The results show that the hydrogen bonding interactions formed between laninamivir and its binding residues are likely similar for the two systems. Additionally, the presence of intermolecular interactions from laninamivir to the residues in the binding pocket is established through their side chains in accordance with hydrogen bond interactions.

Keywords: Laninamivir, neuraminidase, H5N1, pandemic H1N1, wild-type, MD simulation

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27 Portfolio Management for Construction Company during Covid-19 Using AHP Technique

Authors: Sareh Rajabi, Salwa Bheiry

Abstract:

In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.

Keywords: Portfolio management, risk management, COVID-19, analytical hierarchy process technique.

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26 Urban Resilience: Relation between COVID-19 and Urban Environment in Amman City

Authors: Layla Mujahed

Abstract:

COVID-19 is an exam for all the city’s systems. It shows many gaps in the systems such as healthcare, economic, social, and environment. This pandemic is paving for a new era, an era of technology and it has changed people’s lives, such as physical, and emotional changes, and converting communication into digitalized. The effect of COVID-19 has covered all urban city parts. COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic our cities will face. For that, more researches focus on enhancing the quality of the urban environment. This pandemic encourages a rethinking of the environment’s role, especially in cities. Cities are trying to provide the best suitable strategies and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and an example of that is Amman city. Amman has a high increment in the number of COVID-19 infected people, while it has controlled the situation for months. For that, this paper studies the relation between COVID-19 and urban environmental studies cases about cities around the world, and learns from their models to face COVID-19. In Amman, people’s behavior has changed towards public transportation and public green spaces. N­ew governmental regulations focus on increasing people’s mental awareness, supporting local businesses, and enhancing neighborhood planning that can help Amman to face any future pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19, urban environment, urban planning, urban resilience.

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25 Exploring the Perspective of Service Quality in mHealth Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Wan-I Lee, Nelio Mendoza Figueredo

Abstract:

The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, mobile health, mHealth, service quality, use intention.

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24 Stochastic Impact Analysis of COVID-19 on Karachi Stock Exchange

Authors: Syeda Maria Ali Shah, Asif Mansoor, Talat Sharafat Rehmani, Safia Mirza

Abstract:

The stock market of any country acts as a predictor of the economy. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the global financial markets. Besides, it has also critically affected the economy of Pakistan. In this study, we consider the role of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) with regard to the Pakistan Stock Exchange and quantify the impact on macroeconomic variables in presence of COVID-19. The suitable macroeconomic variables are used to quantify the impact of COVID-19 by developing the stochastic model. The sufficiency of the computed model is attained by means of available techniques in the literature. The estimated equations are used to forecast the impact of pandemic on macroeconomic variables. The constructed model can help the policymakers take counteractive measures for restricting the influence of viruses on the Karachi Stock Market.

Keywords: COVID-19, Karachi Stock Market, macroeconomic variables, stochastic model, forecasting.

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23 Fighting COVID-19: Lessons and Experience from the World’s Largest Economies

Authors: Xiaowen Zhang, Wanda Luen-Wun Siu

Abstract:

The paper reviews the insights gained in combating COVID-19 in the US, Japan, and China. After evaluation and investigation, we found that China’s and Japan’s experience of fighting COVID-19 is commendable. The Chinese government and the Japanese administration have implemented highly effective governance and public health course of action to fight COVID-19. Government-led epidemic control with a staunch belief in science can roll out effective pandemic control strategies. In contrast, the US failed to react to COVID-19 effectively. The relaxed public health measures of ending shutdowns prematurely were not working. When the US keeps business open after the spring shutdown, COVID-19 cases are soaring. Such experiences inform us effective governance and a mandatory and stricter approach can better curb a pandemic than milder measures in handling a public health emergency. And China and Japan, where collectivistic culture reins, can better maneuver a public health crisis with collective efforts.

Keywords: COVID-19, China, Japan, US.

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22 Strategic Investment in Infrastructure Development to Facilitate Economic Growth in the United States

Authors: Arkaprabha Bhattacharyya, Makarand Hastak

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The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and economic impacts. Historically, investment in infrastructure development projects has been touted to boost the economic growth of a nation. The State and Local governments responsible for delivering infrastructure assets work under tight budgets. Therefore, it is important to understand which infrastructure projects have the highest potential of boosting economic growth in the post-pandemic era. This paper presents relationships between infrastructure projects and economic growth. Statistical relationships between investment in different types of infrastructure projects (transit, water and wastewater, highways, power, manufacturing etc.) and indicators of economic growth are presented using historic data between 2002 and 2020 from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The outcome of the paper is the comparison of statistical correlations between investment in different types of infrastructure projects and indicators of economic growth. The comparison of the statistical correlations is useful in ranking the types of infrastructure projects based on their ability to influence economic prosperity. Therefore, investment in the infrastructures with the higher rank will have a better chance of boosting the economic growth. Once, the ranks are derived, they can be used by the decision-makers in infrastructure investment related decision-making process.

Keywords: Economic growth, infrastructure development, infrastructure projects, strategic investment.

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21 Artificial Intelligence-Based Chest X-Ray Test of COVID-19 Patients

Authors: Dhurgham Al-Karawi, Nisreen Polus, Shakir Al-Zaidi, Sabah Jassim

Abstract:

The management of COVID-19 patients based on chest imaging is emerging as an essential tool for evaluating the spread of the pandemic which has gripped the global community. It has already been used to monitor the situation of COVID-19 patients who have issues in respiratory status. There has been increase to use chest imaging for medical triage of patients who are showing moderate-severe clinical COVID-19 features, this is due to the fast dispersal of the pandemic to all continents and communities. This article demonstrates the development of machine learning techniques for the test of COVID-19 patients using Chest X-Ray (CXR) images in nearly real-time, to distinguish the COVID-19 infection with a significantly high level of accuracy. The testing performance has covered a combination of different datasets of CXR images of positive COVID-19 patients, patients with viral and bacterial infections, also, people with a clear chest. The proposed AI scheme successfully distinguishes CXR scans of COVID-19 infected patients from CXR scans of viral and bacterial based pneumonia as well as normal cases with an average accuracy of 94.43%, sensitivity 95%, and specificity 93.86%. Predicted decisions would be supported by visual evidence to help clinicians speed up the initial assessment process of new suspected cases, especially in a resource-constrained environment.

Keywords: COVID-19, chest x-ray scan, artificial intelligence, texture analysis, local binary pattern transform, Gabor filter.

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20 Social Influences on Americans' Mask-Wearing Behavior during COVID-19

Authors: Ruoya Huang, Ruoxian Huang, Edgar Huang

Abstract:

Based on a convenience sample of 2,092 participants from across all 50 states of the United States, a survey was conducted to explore Americans’ mask-wearing behaviors during COVID-19 according to their political convictions, religious beliefs, and ethnic cultures from late July to early September, 2020. The purpose of the study is to provide evidential support for government policymaking so as to drive up more effective public policies by taking into consideration the variance in these social factors. It was found that the respondents’ party affiliation or preference, religious belief, and ethnicity, in addition to their health condition, gender, level of concern of contracting COVID-19, all affected their mask-wearing habits both in March, the initial coronavirus outbreak stage, and in August, when mask-wearing had been made mandatory by state governments. The study concludes that pandemic awareness campaigns must be run among all citizens, especially among African Americans, Muslims, and Republicans, who have the lowest rates of wearing masks, in order to protect themselves and others. It is recommended that complementary cognitive bias awareness programs should be implemented in non-Black and non-Muslim communities to eliminate social concerns that deter them from wearing masks.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, ethnicity, mask-wearing, policymaking implications, political affiliations, religious beliefs, United States.

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19 Financial Technology: The Key to Achieving Financial Inclusion in Developing Countries Post COVID-19 from an East African Perspective

Authors: Yosia Mulumba, Klaus Schmidt

Abstract:

Financial Inclusion is considered a key pillar for development in most countries around the world. Access to affordable financial services in a country’s economy can be a driver to overcome poverty and reduce income inequalities, and thus increase economic growth. Nevertheless, the number of financially excluded populations in developing countries continues to be very high. This paper explores the role of Financial Technology (Fintech) as a key driver for achieving financial inclusion in developing countries post the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on four East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. The research paper is inspired by the positive disruption caused by the pandemic, which has compelled societies in East Africa to adapt and embrace the use of financial technology innovations, specifically Mobile Money Services (MMS), to access financial services. MMS has been further migrated and integrated with other financial technology innovations such as Mobile Banking, Micro Savings, and Loans, and Insurance, to mention but a few. These innovations have been adopted across key sectors such as commerce, health care, or agriculture. The research paper will highlight the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that are behind MMS, along with numerous innovative products and services being offered to the customers. It will also highlight the regulatory framework under which these innovations are being governed to ensure the safety of the customers' funds.

Keywords: Financial inclusion, financial technology, regulatory framework, mobile money services.

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18 The Loess Regression Relationship Between Age and BMI for both Sydney World Masters Games Athletes and the Australian National Population

Authors: Joe Walsh, Mike Climstein, Ian Timothy Heazlewood, Stephen Burke, Jyrki Kettunen, Kent Adams, Mark DeBeliso

Abstract:

Thousands of masters athletes participate quadrennially in the World Masters Games (WMG), yet this cohort of athletes remains proportionately under-investigated. Due to a growing global obesity pandemic in context of benefits of physical activity across the lifespan, the BMI trends for this unique population was of particular interest. The nexus between health, physical activity and aging is complex and has raised much interest in recent times due to the realization that a multifaceted approach is necessary in order to counteract the obesity pandemic. By investigating age based trends within a population adhering to competitive sport at older ages, further insight might be gleaned to assist in understanding one of many factors influencing this relationship.BMI was derived using data gathered on a total of 6,071 masters athletes (51.9% male, 48.1% female) aged 25 to 91 years ( =51.5, s =±9.7), competing at the Sydney World Masters Games (2009). Using linear and loess regression it was demonstrated that the usual tendency for prevalence of higher BMI increasing with age was reversed in the sample. This trend in reversal was repeated for both male and female only sub-sets of the sample participants, indicating the possibility of improved prevalence of BMI with increasing age for both the sample as a whole and these individual sub-groups.This evidence of improved classification in one index of health (reduced BMI) for masters athletes (when compared to the general population) implies there are either improved levels of this index of health with aging due to adherence to sport or possibly the reduced BMI is advantageous and contributes to this cohort adhering (or being attracted) to masters sport at older ages.

Keywords: Aging, masters athlete, Quetelet Index, sport

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17 Rapid Detection System of Airborne Pathogens

Authors: Shigenori Togashi, Kei Takenaka

Abstract:

We developed new processes which can collect and detect rapidly airborne pathogens such as the avian flu virus for the pandemic prevention. The fluorescence antibody technique is known as one of high-sensitive detection methods for viruses, but this needs up to a few hours to bind sufficient fluorescence dyes to viruses for detection. In this paper, we developed a mist-labeling can detect substitution viruses in a short time to improve the binding rate of fluorescent dyes and substitution viruses by the micro reaction process. Moreover, we developed the rapid detection system with the above “mist labeling”. The detection system set with a sampling bag collecting patient’s breath and a cartridge can detect automatically pathogens within 10 minutes.

Keywords: Viruses, Sampler, Mist, Detection, Fluorescent dyes, Microreaction.

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16 Investigating Real Ship Accidents with Descriptive Analysis in Turkey

Authors: İsmail Karaca, Ömer Söner

Abstract:

The use of advanced methods has been increasing day by day in the maritime sector, which is one of the sectors least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is aimed to minimize accidents, especially by using advanced methods in the investigation of marine accidents. This research aimed to conduct an exploratory statistical analysis of particular ship accidents in the Transport Safety Investigation Center of Turkey database. 46 ship accidents, which occurred between 2010-2018, have been selected from the database. In addition to the availability of a reliable and comprehensive database, taking advantage of the robust statistical models for investigation is critical to improving the safety of ships. Thus, descriptive analysis has been used in the research to identify causes and conditional factors related to different types of ship accidents. The research outcomes underline the fact that environmental factors and day and night ratio have great influence on ship safety.

Keywords: Descriptive analysis, maritime industry, maritime safety, marine accident analysis.

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15 Investigation of Tbilisi City Atmospheric Air Pollution with PM in Usual and Emergency Situations Using the Observational and Numerical Modeling Data

Authors: N. Gigauri, V. Kukhalashvili, V. Sesadze, A. Surmava, L. Intskirveli

Abstract:

Pollution of the Tbilisi atmospheric air with PM2.5 and PM10 in usual and pandemic situations by using the data of 5 stationary observation points is investigated. The values of the statistical characteristic parameters of PM in the atmosphere of Tbilisi are analyzed and trend graphs are constructed. By means of analysis of pollution levels in the quarantine and usual periods the proportion of vehicle traffic in pollution of city is estimated. Experimental measurements of PM2.5, PM10 in the atmosphere have been carried out in different districts of the city and map of the distribution of their concentrations were constructed. It is shown that maximum pollution values are recorded in the city center and along major motorways. It is shown that the average monthly concentrations vary in the range of 0.6-1.6 Maximum Permissible Concentration (MPC). Average daily values of concentration vary at 2-4 days intervals. The distribution of PM10 generated as a result of traffic is numerical modeled. The modeling results are compared with the observation data.

Keywords: Air pollution, numerical modeling, PM2.5, PM10.

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14 Barriers and Drivers towards the Use of Childhood Vaccination Services by Undocumented Migrant Caregivers in Sabah, Malaysia: A Qualitative Analysis

Authors: Michal Christina Steven, Mohd. Yusof Hj Ibrahim, Haryati Abdul Karim, Prabakaran Dhanaraj, Kelly Alexius Mansin

Abstract:

After 27 years, Malaysia reported polio cases in 2019 involving the children of the undocumented migrants living in Sabah. These undocumented migrants present a significant challenge in achieving the elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD). Due to the recent polio outbreak among the undocumented migrant children in Sabah, an in-depth interview was conducted among the caregivers of undocumented migrant children to identify the barriers and drivers towards vaccinating their children. Financial barriers, legal citizenship status, language barrier, the COVID-19 pandemic, and physical barriers have been the barriers to access vaccination services by undocumented migrants. Five significant drivers for undocumented migrants to vaccinate their children are social influence, fear of disease, parental trust in healthcare providers, good support, and vaccine availability. Necessary action should be taken immediately to address the problems of vaccinating the children of undocumented migrants to prevent the re-emergence of VPD.

Keywords: Malaysia, polio, Sabah, undocumented migrants.

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13 An Exploratory Study of the Student’s Learning Experience by Applying Different Tools for e-Learning and e-Teaching

Authors: Angel Daniel Muñoz Guzmán

Abstract:

E-learning is becoming more and more common every day. For online, hybrid or traditional face-to-face programs, there are some e-teaching platforms like Google classroom, Blackboard, Moodle and Canvas, and there are platforms for full e-learning like Coursera, edX or Udemy. These tools are changing the way students acquire knowledge at schools; however, in today’s changing world that is not enough. As students’ needs and skills change and become more complex, new tools will need to be added to keep them engaged and potentialize their learning. This is especially important in the current global situation that is changing everything: the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to Covid-19, education had to make an unexpected switch from face-to-face courses to digital courses. In this study, the students’ learning experience is analyzed by applying different e-tools and following the Tec21 Model and a flexible and digital model, both developed by the Tecnologico de Monterrey University. The evaluation of the students’ learning experience has been made by the quantitative PrEmo method of emotions. Findings suggest that the quantity of e-tools used during a course does not affect the students’ learning experience as much as how a teacher links every available tool and makes them work as one in order to keep the student engaged and motivated.

Keywords: Student, experience, e-learning, e-teaching, e-tools, technology, education.

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12 Production of H5N1 Hemagglutinin inTrichoplusia ni Larvae by a Novel Bi-cistronic Baculovirus Expression Vector

Authors: Tzyy Rong Jinn, Nguyen Tiep Khac, Tzong Yuan Wu

Abstract:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses have created demand for a cost-effective vaccine to prevent a pandemic of the disease. Here, we report that Trichoplusia ni (T. ni) larvae can act as a cost-effective bioreactor to produce recombinant HA5 (rH5HA) proteins as an potential effective vaccine for chickens. To facilitate the recombinant virus identification, virus titer determination and access the infected larvae, we employed the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) derived from Perina nuda virus (PnV, belongs to insect picorna like Iflavirus genus) to construct a bi-cistronic baculovirus expression vector that can express the rH5HA protein and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) simultaneously. Western blot analysis revealed that the 70 kDa rH5HA protein and partially cleaved products (40 kDa H5HA1) were generated in T. ni larvae infected with recombinant baculovirus carrying the H5HA gene. These data suggest that the baculovirus-larvae recombinant protein expression system could be a cost-effective platform for H5N1 vaccine production.

Keywords: Avian Influenza, baculovirus, hemagglutinin, Trichoplusia ni larvae

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11 Improved Body Mass Index Classification for Football Code Masters Athletes, A Comparison to the Australian National Population

Authors: Joe Walsh, Mike Climstein, Ian Timothy Heazlewood, Stephen Burke, Jyrki Kettunen, Kent Adams, Mark DeBeliso

Abstract:

Thousands of masters athletes participate quadrennially in the World Masters Games (WMG), yet this cohort of athletes remains proportionately under-investigated. Due to a growing global obesity pandemic in context of benefits of physical activity across the lifespan, the prevalence of obesity in this unique population was of particular interest. Data gathered on a sub-sample of 535 football code athletes, aged 31-72 yrs ( =47.4, s =±7.1), competing at the Sydney World Masters Games (2009) demonstrated a significantly (p<0.001), reduced classification of obesity using Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared to data on the Australian national population. This evidence of improved classification in one index of health (BMI<30) implies there are either improved levels of this index of health due to adherence to sport or possibly the reduced BMI is advantageous and contributes to this cohort adhering (or being attracted) to masters sport. Given the worldwide focus on the obesity epidemic and the need for a multi-faceted solution to this problem, demonstration of these middle to older aged adults having improved BMI over the general population is of particular interest.

Keywords: BMI, masters athlete, rugby union, soccer, touch football

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10 Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity

Authors: Vladyslav Povoroznyuk, Anna Musiienko, Nataliia Dzerovych, Roksolana Povoroznyuk, Oksana Ivanyk

Abstract:

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

Keywords: Obesity, body mass index, vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency, postmenopausal women, age.

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9 Computer Countenanced Diagnosis of Skin Nodule Detection and Histogram Augmentation: Extracting System for Skin Cancer

Authors: S. Zith Dey Babu, S. Kour, S. Verma, C. Verma, V. Pathania, A. Agrawal, V. Chaudhary, A. Manoj Puthur, R. Goyal, A. Pal, T. Danti Dey, A. Kumar, K. Wadhwa, O. Ved

Abstract:

Background: Skin cancer is now is the buzzing button in the field of medical science. The cyst's pandemic is drastically calibrating the body and well-being of the global village. Methods: The extracted image of the skin tumor cannot be used in one way for diagnosis. The stored image contains anarchies like the center. This approach will locate the forepart of an extracted appearance of skin. Partitioning image models has been presented to sort out the disturbance in the picture. Results: After completing partitioning, feature extraction has been formed by using genetic algorithm and finally, classification can be performed between the trained and test data to evaluate a large scale of an image that helps the doctors for the right prediction. To bring the improvisation of the existing system, we have set our objectives with an analysis. The efficiency of the natural selection process and the enriching histogram is essential in that respect. To reduce the false-positive rate or output, GA is performed with its accuracy. Conclusions: The objective of this task is to bring improvisation of effectiveness. GA is accomplishing its task with perfection to bring down the invalid-positive rate or outcome. The paper's mergeable portion conflicts with the composition of deep learning and medical image processing, which provides superior accuracy. Proportional types of handling create the reusability without any errors.

Keywords: Computer-aided system, detection, image segmentation, morphology.

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8 The Impact of ISO 9001 Certification on Brazilian Firms’ Performance: Insights from Multiple Case Studies

Authors: Matheus Borges Carneiro, Fabiane Letícia Lizarelli, José Carlos de Toledo

Abstract:

The evolution of quality management by companies was strongly enabled by, among others, ISO 9001 certification, which is considered a crucial requirement for several customers. Likewise, performance measurement provides useful insights for companies to identify the reflection of their decision-making process on their improvement. One of the most used performance measurement models is the balanced scorecard (BSC), which uses four perspectives to address a firm’s performance: financial, internal process, customer satisfaction, and learning and growth. Since ISO 9001 certified firms are likely to measure their performance through BSC approach, it is important to verify whether the certificate influences the firm performance or not. Therefore, this paper aims to verify the impact of ISO 9001:2015 on Brazilian firms’ performance based on the BSC perspective. Hence, nine certified companies located in the Southeast region of Brazil were studied through a multiple case study approach. Within this study, it was possible to identify the positive impact of ISO 9001 on firms’ overall performance, and four Critical Success Factors (CSFs) were identified as relevant on the linkage among ISO 9001 and firms’ performance: employee involvement, top management, process management, and customer focus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of interviews was limited to the quality manager specialist, and the sample was limited since several companies were closed during the period of the study. This study presents an in-depth analysis of how the relationship between ISO 9001 certification and firms’ performance in a developing country is.

Keywords: Balanced scorecard, Brazilian firms’ performance, critical success factors, ISO 9001 certification, performance measurement.

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7 Early Depression Detection for Young Adults with a Psychiatric and AI Interdisciplinary Multimodal Framework

Authors: Raymond Xu, Ashley Hua, Andrew Wang, Yuru Lin

Abstract:

During COVID-19, the depression rate has increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Lower-income families have a higher ratio to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, but less access to clinics. This research aims to achieve early depression detection at low cost, large scale, and high accuracy with an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating clinical practices defined by American Psychiatric Association (APA) as well as multimodal AI framework. The proposed approach detected the nine depression symptoms with Natural Language Processing sentiment analysis and a symptom-based Lexicon uniquely designed for young adults. The experiments were conducted on the multimedia survey results from adolescents and young adults and unbiased Twitter communications. The result was further aggregated with the facial emotional cues analyzed by the Convolutional Neural Network on the multimedia survey videos. Five experiments each conducted on 10k data entries reached consistent results with an average accuracy of 88.31%, higher than the existing natural language analysis models. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users and is highly accessible by low-income populations to promote early depression detection to raise awareness in adolescents and young adults and reveal complementary cues to assist clinical depression diagnosis.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, depression detection, facial emotion recognition, natural language processing, mental disorder.

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6 Computational Methods in Official Statistics with an Example on Calculating and Predicting Diabetes Mellitus [DM] Prevalence in Different Age Groups within Australia in Future Years, in Light of the Aging Population

Authors: D. Hilton

Abstract:

An analysis of the Australian Diabetes Screening Study estimated undiagnosed diabetes mellitus [DM] prevalence in a high risk general practice based cohort. DM prevalence varied from 9.4% to 18.1% depending upon the diagnostic criteria utilised with age being a highly significant risk factor. Utilising the gold standard oral glucose tolerance test, the prevalence of DM was 22-23% in those aged >= 70 years and <15% in those aged 40-59 years. Opportunistic screening in Australian general practice potentially can identify many persons with undiagnosed type 2 DM. An Australian Bureau of Statistics document published three years ago, reported the highest rate of DM in men aged 65-74 years [19%] whereas the rate for women was highest in those over 75 years [13%]. If you consider that the Australian Bureau of Statistics report in 2007 found that 13% of the population was over 65 years of age and that this will increase to 23-25% by 2056 with a further projected increase to 25-28% by 2101, obviously this information has to be factored into the equation when age related diabetes prevalence predictions are calculated. This 10-15% proportional increase of elderly persons within the population demographics has dramatic implications for the estimated number of elderly persons with DM in these age groupings. Computational methodology showing the age related demographic changes reported in these official statistical documents will be done showing estimates for 2056 and 2101 for different age groups. This has relevance for future diabetes prevalence rates and shows that along with many countries worldwide Australia is facing an increasing pandemic. In contrast Japan is expected to have a decrease in the next twenty years in the number of persons with diabetes.

Keywords: Epidemiological methods, aging, prevalence.

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5 Scientific Methods in Educational Management: The Metasystems Perspective

Authors: Elena A. Railean

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Although scientific methods have been the subject of a large number of papers, the term ‘scientific methods in educational management’ is still not well defined. In this paper, it is adopted the metasystems perspective to define the mentioned term and distinguish them from methods used in time of the scientific management and knowledge management paradigms. In our opinion, scientific methods in educational management rely on global phenomena, events, and processes and their influence on the educational organization. Currently, scientific methods in educational management are integrated with the phenomenon of globalization, cognitivisation, and openness, etc. of educational systems and with global events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Concrete scientific methods are nested in a hierarchy of more and more abstract models of educational management, which form the context of the global impact on education, in general, and learning outcomes, in particular. However, scientific methods can be assigned to a specific mission, strategy, or tactics of educational management of the concrete organization, either by the global management, local development of school organization, or/and development of the life-long successful learner. By accepting this assignment, the scientific method becomes a personal goal of each individual with the educational organization or the option to develop the educational organization at the global standards. In our opinion, in educational management, the scientific methods need to confine the scope to the deep analysis of concrete tasks of the educational system (i.e., teaching, learning, assessment, development), which result in concrete strategies of organizational development. More important are seeking the ways for dynamic equilibrium between the strategy and tactic of the planetary tasks in the field of global education, which result in a need for ecological methods of learning and communication. In sum, distinction between local and global scientific methods is dependent on the subjective conception of the task assignment, measurement, and appraisal. Finally, we conclude that scientific methods are not holistic scientific methods, but the strategy and tactics implemented in the global context by an effective educational/academic manager.

Keywords: Educational management, scientific management, educational leadership, scientific method in educational management.

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

Authors: Dwitya Elvira, Raveinal Masri, Rohayat Bilmahdi

Abstract:

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

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

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3 Microalbuminuria in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Authors: Sharan Badiger, Prema T. Akkasaligar, Patil LS, Manish Patel, Biradar MS

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Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a global pandemic with cases reporting from virtually every country and continues to be a common infection in developing country like India. Microalbuminuria is a manifestation of human immunodeficiency virus associated nephropathy. Therefore, microalbuminuria may be an early marker of human immunodeficiency virus associated nephropathy, and screening for its presence may be beneficial. A strikingly high prevalence of microalbuminuria among human immunodeficiency virus infected patients has been described in various studies. Risk factors for clinically significant proteinuria include African - American race, higher human immunodeficiency virus ribonucleic acid level and lower CD4 lymphocyte count. The cardiovascular risk factors of increased systolic blood pressure and increase fasting blood sugar level are strongly associated with microalbuminuria in human immunodeficiency virus patient. These results suggest that microalbuminuria may be a sign of current endothelial dysfunction and micro-vascular disease and there is substantial risk of future cardiovascular disease events. Positive contributing factors include early kidney disease such as human immunodeficiency virus associated nephropathy, a marker of end organ damage related to co morbidities of diabetes or hypertension, or more diffuse endothelial cells dysfunction. Nevertheless after adjustment for non human immunodeficiency virus factors, human immunodeficiency virus itself is a major risk factor. The presence of human immunodeficiency virus infection is independent risk to develop microalbuminuria in human immunodeficiency virus patient. Cardiovascular risk factors appeared to be stronger predictors of microalbuminuria than markers of human immunodeficiency virus severity person with human immunodeficiency virus infection and microalbuminuria therefore appear to potentially bear the burden of two separate damage related to known vascular end organ damage related to know vascular risk factors, and human immunodeficiency virus specific processes such as the direct viral infection of kidney cells.The higher prevalence of microalbuminuria among the human immunodeficiency virus infected could be harbinger of future increased risks of both kidney and cardiovascular disease. Further study defining the prognostic significance of microalbuminuria among human immunodeficiency virus infected persons will be essential. Microalbuminuria seems to be a predictor of cardiovascular disease in diabetic and non diabetic subjects, hence it can also be used for early detection of micro vascular disease in human immunodeficiency virus positive patients, thus can help to diagnose the disease at the earliest.

Keywords: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Human immunodeficiency virus, Microalbuminuria.

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2 Co-Creational Model for Blended Learning in a Flipped Classroom Environment Focusing on the Combination of Coding and Drone-Building

Authors: A. Schuchter, M. Promegger

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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that online education is so much more than just a cool feature for teachers – it is an essential part of modern teaching. In online math teaching, it is common to use tools to share screens, compute and calculate mathematical examples, while the students can watch the process. On the other hand, flipped classroom models are on the rise, with their focus on how students can gather knowledge by watching videos and on the teacher’s use of technological tools for information transfer. This paper proposes a co-educational teaching approach for coding and engineering subjects with the help of drone-building to spark interest in technology and create a platform for knowledge transfer. The project combines aspects from mathematics (matrices, vectors, shaders, trigonometry), physics (force, pressure and rotation) and coding (computational thinking, block-based programming, JavaScript and Python) and makes use of collaborative-shared 3D Modeling with clara.io, where students create mathematics knowhow. The instructor follows a problem-based learning approach and encourages their students to find solutions in their own time and in their own way, which will help them develop new skills intuitively and boost logically structured thinking. The collaborative aspect of working in groups will help the students develop communication skills as well as structural and computational thinking. Students are not just listeners as in traditional classroom settings, but play an active part in creating content together by compiling a Handbook of Knowledge (called “open book”) with examples and solutions. Before students start calculating, they have to write down all their ideas and working steps in full sentences so other students can easily follow their train of thought. Therefore, students will learn to formulate goals, solve problems, and create a ready-to use product with the help of “reverse engineering”, cross-referencing and creative thinking. The work on drones gives the students the opportunity to create a real-life application with a practical purpose, while going through all stages of product development.

Keywords: Flipped classroom, co-creational education, coding, making, drones, co-education, ARCS-model, problem-based learning.

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1 Reimagining the Learning Management System as a “Third” Space

Authors: Christina Van Wingerden

Abstract:

This paper focuses on a sense of belonging, isolation, and the use of a learning management system as a “third space” for connection and community. Given student use of learning management systems (LMS) for courses on campuses, moderate to high use of social media and hand-held devices, the author explores the possibilities of LMS as a third space. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated student experiences of isolation, and research indicates that students who experience a sense of belonging have a greater likelihood for academic retention and success. The impacts on students of an LMS designed for student employee orientation and training were examined through a mixed methods approach, including a survey, individual interviews, and focus groups. The sample involved 250-450 undergraduate student employees at a US northwestern university. The goal of the study was to find out the efficiency and effectiveness of the orientation information for a wide range of student employees from multiple student affairs departments. And unexpected finding emerged within the study in 2015 and was noted again as a finding in the 2017 study. Students reported feeling like they individually connected to the department, and further to the university because of the LMS orientation. They stated they could see themselves as part of the university community and like they belonged. The orientation, through the LMS, was designed for and occurred online (asynchronous), prior to students traveling and beginning university life for the academic year. The students indicated connection and belonging resulting from some of the design features. With the onset of COVID-19 and prolonged sheltering in place in North America, as well as other parts of the world, students have been precluded from physically gathering to educate and learn. COVID-19 essentially paused face-to-face education in 2020. Media, governments, and higher education outlets have been reporting on widespread college student stress, isolation, loneliness, and sadness. In this context, the author conducted a current mixed methods study (online survey, online interviews) of students in advanced degree programs, like Ph.D. and Ed.D. specifically investigating isolation and sense of belonging. As a part of the study a prototype of a Canvas site was experienced by student interviewees for their reaction of this Canvas site prototype as a “third” space. Some preliminary findings of this study are presented. Doctoral students in the study affirmed the potential of LMS as a third space for community and social academic connection.

Keywords: COVID-19, learning management systems, sense of belonging, third space.

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