|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 1490|
Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.
Magnetically controlled microelectromechanical system (MCMEMS) switches is one of the directions in the field of micropower switching technology. MCMEMS switches are a promising alternative to Hall sensors and reed switches. The most important parameter for MCMEMS is the contact resistance, which should have a minimum value and is to be stable for the entire duration of service life. The value and stability of the contact resistance is mainly determined by the contact coating material. This paper presents the research results of a contact coating based on nanoscale ruthenium films obtained by electrolytic deposition. As a result of the performed investigations, the deposition modes of ruthenium films are chosen, the regularities of the contact resistance change depending on the number of contact switching, and the coating roughness are established. It is shown that changing the coating roughness makes it possible to minimize the contact resistance.
Occupational health hazard is a very common term in every emerging country. Along with the unorganized sector, most organized sectors including government industries are suffering from this affliction. In addition to workload, the seasonal changes also have some impacts on working environment. With this focus in mind, one hundred male industrial workers, who are directly involved to the task of Periodic Overhauling (POH) in a fabricating workshop in the public domain are selected for this research work. They have been studied during work periods throughout different seasons in a year. For each and every season, the participants working heart rate (WHR) is measured and compared with the standards given by different national and internationally recognized agencies i.e., World Health Organization (WHO) and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) etc. The different environmental parameters i.e. dry bulb temperature (DBT), wet bulb temperature (WBT), globe temperature (GT), natural wet bulb temperature (NWB), relative humidity (RH), wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), air velocity (AV), effective temperature (ET) are recorded throughout the seasons to critically observe the effect of seasonal changes on the WHR of the workers. The effect of changes in environment to the WHR of the workers is very much surprising. It is found that the percentages of workers who belong to the ‘very heavy’ workload category are 83.33%, 66.66% and 16.66% in the summer, rainy and winter seasons, respectively. Ongoing undertaking of this type of job profile forces the worker towards occupational disorders causing absenteeism. This occurrence results in lower production rates, and on the other hand, costs due to medical claims also weaken the industry’s economic condition. In this circumstance, the authors are trying to focus on some remedial measures from the ergonomic angle by proposing a new work/ rest regimen and introducing engineering controls along with management controls which may help the worker, and consequently, the management also.
Controversies surrounding the impacts of oil palm plantations have resulted in some heated debates, especially concerning biodiversity loss and indigenous people well-being. The indigenous people of Dayak generally used wildlife to fulfill their daily needs thus were assumed to have experienced negative impacts due to oil palm developments within and surrounding their settlement areas. This study was conducted to identify the characteristics of the Dayak community settled around an oil palm plantation, to determine their perceptions of wildlife loss or gain as the results of the development of oil palm plantations, and to identify the determinant characteristic of the perceptions. The research was conducted on March 2018 in Nanga Tayap and Tajok Kayong Villages, which were located around the oil palm plantation of NTYE of Ketapang, West Kalimantan-Indonesia. Data were collected through in depth-structured interview, using closed and semi-open questionnaires and three-scale Likert statements. Interviews were conducted with 74 respondents using accidental sampling, and categorized into respondents who were dependent on oil palm for their livelihoods and those who were not. Data were analyzed using quantitative statistics method, Likert Scale, Chi-Square Test, Spearman Test, and Mann-Whitney Test. The research found that the indigenous Dayak people were aware of wildlife species loss and gain since the establishment of the plantation. Nevertheless, wildlife loss did not affect their social, economic, and cultural needs since they could find substitutions. It was found that prior to the plantation’s development, the local Dayak communities were already slowly experiencing some livelihood transitions through local village development. The only determinant characteristic of the community that influenced their perceptions of wildlife loss/gain was level of education.
Early diagnosis of dental caries is essential for maintaining dental health. In this paper, method for diagnosis of dental caries is proposed using Laplacian filter, adaptive thresholding, texture analysis and Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier. Analysis of the proposed method is compared with Otsu thresholding, watershed segmentation and active contouring method. Adaptive thresholding has comparatively better performance with 96.9% accuracy and 96.1% precision. The results are validated using statistical method, two-way ANOVA, at significant level of 5%, that shows the interaction of proposed method on performance parameter measures are significant. Hence the proposed technique could be used for detection of dental caries in automated computer assisted diagnosis system.
Food is a social and cultural aspect of every individual. Food products, processing, and traditions have been identified as cultural objects carrying history and identity of social groups. Traditional recipes are passed down from one generation to the other, often to strengthen the link with the territory. The paper presents CookIT, a web portal developed to collect Italian traditional recipes related to regional cuisine, with the purpose to disseminate the knowledge of typical Italian recipes and the Mediterranean diet which is a significant part of Italian cuisine. The system designed is completed with multimodal means of browsing and data retrieval. Stored recipes can be retrieved integrating and combining a number of different methods and keys, while the results are displayed using classical styles, such as list and mosaic, and also using maps and graphs, with which users can play using available keys for interaction.
Hydraulic jump is one of the effective ways of energy dissipation in stilling basins that the energy is highly dissipated by jumping. Adverse slope surface at the end stilling basin is caused to increase energy dissipation and stability of the hydraulic jump. In this study, the adverse slope has been added to end of United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) II stilling basin in hydraulic model of Nazloochay dam with scale 1:40, and flow simulated into stilling basin using Flow-3D software. The numerical model is verified by experimental data of water depth in stilling basin. Then, the parameters of water level profile, Froude Number, pressure, air entrainment and turbulent dissipation investigated for discharging 300 m3/s using K-Ɛ and Re-Normalization Group (RNG) turbulence models. The results showed a good agreement between numerical and experimental model as numerical model can be used to optimize of stilling basins.
This research examined and outlined some of the challenges facing Islam and Muslims in the 21st century, considering global Islamic representation and knowledge acquisition as key objectives. It was observed that the Western media misrepresentation of Islam and the Western ethos embodied by the acquisition of western civilisation are major challenges faced by Islam and Muslims today. The problem of sectarianism, decline in the socio-economic power of Muslim communities and the archaic nature of the Islamic creed were recorded as major actors to the evolving global Islamic issues. It was therefore concluded that Islam is not the reason for these challenges, rather the action of some Muslims and non-Muslims were the contributing factors to the pandemics faced by Islam and Muslims. Some relevant recommendations were made to the Islamic world that could serve as effectual solutions to these lingering problems.
The present paper aims to the techno-economic feasibility of enhancing low-cost parabolic trough collectors in the light of developing the use of solar energy in under-developed regions where expensive high-tech solar devices cannot be afforded. Moreover, the collector is aimed to produce steam so that its performance is based on heat which can be discovered. In this regard, the manufacturing process and the detailed design models in Solidworks software are elaborated. Furthermore, the colletor’s material is chosen in a way to minimize the costs. Finally, to assess the performance of the built collector, it is installed in the site of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, and the values of the effective peripheral parameters, such as temperature, wind speed, and most importantly, solar irradiance, are recorded simultaneously in June. According to the results obtained, the manufactured collector with the aperture area of 2 m2 (1×2 m) is capable of producing 350 ml.h-1 steam. Also, the wind influence is comprehensively investigated in this paper. As a case in point, it was measured that as the wind speed maximized to 9.77 km/h, the amount of steam outlet is minimized to 580 ml.
There are some limitations in common structural systems, such as providing appropriate lateral stiffness, adequate ductility, and architectural openings at the same time. Consequently, the concept of T-Resisting Frame (TRF) has been introduced to overcome all these deficiencies. The configuration of TRF in this study is a Vertical Plate Girder (VPG) which is placed within the span and two Horizontal Plate Girders (HPGs) connect VPG to side columns at each story level by the use of rigid connections. System performance is improved by utilizing rigid connections in side columns base joint. Shear yield of HPGs causes energy dissipation in TRF; therefore, high plastic deformation in web of HPGs and VPG affects the ductility of system. Moreover, in order to prevent shear buckling in web of TRF’s members and appropriate criteria for placement of web stiffeners are applied. In this paper, an experimental study is conducted by applying cyclic loading and using finite element models and numerical studies such as push over method are assessed on shear and flexural yielding of HPGs. As a result, seismic parameters indicate adequate lateral stiffness, and high ductility factor of 6.73, and HPGs’ shear yielding achieved as a proof of TRF’s better performance.
Mega construction projects create buildings and major infrastructure to respond to work and life requirements while playing a vital role in promoting any nation’s economy. However, the industry is often criticised for not balancing economic, environmental and social dimensions of their projects, with emphasis typically on one aspect to the detriment of the others. This has resulted in many negative impacts including environmental pollution, waste throughout the project lifecycle, low productivity, and avoidable accidents. The identification of comprehensive Social Responsibility (SR) indicators, which combine social, environmental and economic aspects, is urgently needed. This is particularly the case in the context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which often has mega public construction projects. The aim of this paper is to develop a set of wide-ranging SR indicators which encompass social, economic and environmental aspects unique to the KSA. A qualitative approach was applied to explore relevant indicators through a review of the existing literature, international standards and reports. A list of appropriate indicators was developed, and its comprehensiveness was corroborated by interviews with experts on mega construction projects working with SR concepts in the KSA. The findings present 39 indicators and their metrics, covering 10 economic, 12 environmental and 17 social aspects of SR mapped against their references. These indicators are a valuable reference for decision-makers and academics in the KSA to understand factors related to SR in mega construction projects. The indicators are related to mega construction projects within the KSA and require validation in a real case scenario or within a different industry to demonstrate their generalisability.
Colocasia esculenta leaves and roots are widely used in Asian countries, such as, India, Srilanka and Pakistan, as food and feed material. The root is high in carbohydrates and rich in zinc. The leaves and stalks are often traditionally preserved to be eaten in dry season. Leaf juice is stimulant, expectorant, astringent, appetizer, and otalgia. Looking at the medicinal uses of the plant leaves; phytochemicals were extracted from the plant leaves and were characterized using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to find the functional groups. Phytochemical analysis of Colocasia esculenta (L.) leaf was studied using three solvents (methanol, chloroform, and ethanol) with soxhlet apparatus. Powder of the leaves was employed to obtain the extracts, which was qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed for phytochemical content using standard methods. Phytochemical constituents were abundant in the leave extract. Leaf was found to have various phytochemicals such as alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, terpenoids, saponins, oxalates and phenols etc., which could have lot of medicinal benefits such as reducing headache, treatment of congestive heart failure, prevent oxidative cell damage etc. These phytochemicals were identified using UV spectrophotometer and results were presented. In order to find the antioxidant activity of the extract, DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) method was employed using ascorbic acid as standard. DPPH scavenging activity of ascorbic acid was found to be 84%, whereas for ethanol it was observed to be 78.92%, for methanol: 76.46% and for chloroform: 72.46%. Looking at the high antioxidant activity, Colocasia esculenta may be recommended for medicinal applications. The characterizations of functional groups were analyzed using FTIR spectroscopy.
Elastomeric bearings (EB) are used in many applications, such as base isolation of bridges, seismic protection and vibration control of other structures and machinery. Their versatility is due to their particular behavior since they have different stiffness in the vertical and horizontal directions, allowing to sustain vertical loads and at the same time horizontal displacements. Therefore, vertical, horizontal and bending stiffnesses are important parameters to take into account in the design of EB. In order to acquire a proper design methodology of EB all three, theoretical, finite element analysis and experimental, approaches should be taken into account to assess stability due to different loading states, predict their behavior and consequently their effects on the dynamic response of structures, and understand complex behavior and properties of rubber-like materials respectively. In particular, the recent large-displacement theory on the stability of EB formulated by Forcellini and Kelly is validated with both numerical simulations using the finite element method, and experimental results set at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. In this regard, this study reproduces the behavior of EB under compression loads and investigates the stability behavior with the three mentioned points of view.
790 lungs from brown hares (Lepus europeus L.) from different regions of Bulgaria were investigated during the period 2009-2017. The parasitological status and pathomorphological features in the lungs were recorded. The following parasite species were established: one nematode - Protostrongylus tauricus (7.59% prevalence), one tapeworm – larva of Taenia pisiformis – Cysticercus pisiformis (3.04% prevalence) and one arthropod – larva of Linguatula serrata – Pentastomum dentatum (0.89% prevalence). Macroscopic lesions in the lungs were different depending on the causative agents. The infections with C. pisiformis and P. dentatum were attended with small, mainly superficial changes in the lungs. Protostrongylid infections were connected with different in appearance and burden macroscopic changes. In 77.7%, they were nodular, and in the rest of cases, they diffuse. The consistency of the lesions was compact. In most of the cases, alterations were grey in colour, rarely were dark-red or marble-like. In 91.7% of these cases, they were spread on the apical parts of large lung lobes. In 36.7% middle parts of the large lung lobes, and, in 26.7% small lung lobes, were also affected. The small lung lobes were never independently infected.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (a progressive neurodegenerative disorder) is mostly predominant cause of dementia in the elderly. Prolonging the function of acetylcholine by inhibiting both acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase is most effective treatment therapy of AD. Traditionally Pterocarpus santalinus L. is widely known for its medicinal use. In this study, in vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity was investigated and methanolic extract of the plant showed significant activity. To confirm this activity (in vivo), learning and memory enhancing effects were tested in mice. For the test, memory impairment was induced by scopolamine (cholinergic muscarinic receptor antagonist). Anti-amnesic effect of the extract was investigated by the passive avoidance task in mice. The study also includes brain acetylcholinesterase activity. Results proved that scopolamine induced cognitive dysfunction was significantly decreased by administration of the extract solution, in the passive avoidance task and inhibited brain acetylcholinesterase activity. These results suggest that bark extract of Pterocarpus santalinus can be better option for further studies on AD via their acetylcholinesterase inhibitory actions.
It is acknowledged that our style of speaking changes according to a wide range of variables such as gender, setting, the age of both the addresser and the addressee, the conversation topic, and the aim of the interaction. These differences in style are noticeable in monolingual and multilingual speech communities. Yet, they are more observable in speech communities where two or more codes coexist. The linguistic situation in Algeria reflects a state of bilingualism because of the coexistence of Arabic and French. Nevertheless, like all Arab countries, it is characterized by diglossia i.e. the concomitance of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Algerian Arabic (AA), the former standing for the ‘high variety’ and the latter for the ‘low variety’. The two varieties are derived from the same source but are used to fulfil distinct functions that is, MSA is used in the domains of religion, literature, education and formal settings. AA, on the other hand, is used in informal settings, in everyday speech. French has strongly affected the Algerian language and culture because of the historical background of Algeria, thus, what can easily be noticed in Algeria is that everyday speech is characterized by code-switching from dialectal Arabic and French or by the use of borrowings. Tamazight is also very present in many regions of Algeria and is the mother tongue of many Algerians. Yet, it is not used in the west of Algeria, where the study has been conducted. The present work, which was directed in the speech community of Tlemcen-Algeria, aims at depicting some of the outcomes of the contact of Arabic with French such as code-switching, borrowing and interference. The question that has been asked is whether Algerians are aware of their use of borrowings or not. Three steps are followed in this research; the first one is to depict the sociolinguistic situation in Algeria and to describe the linguistic characteristics of the dialect of Tlemcen, which are specific to this city. The second one is concerned with data collection. Data have been collected from 57 informants who were given questionnaires and who have then been classified according to their age, gender and level of education. Information has also been collected through observation, and note taking. The third step is devoted to analysis. The results obtained reveal that most Algerians are aware of their use of borrowings. The present work clarifies how words are borrowed from French, and then adapted to Arabic. It also illustrates the way in which singular words inflect into plural. The results expose the main characteristics of borrowing as opposed to code-switching. The study also clarifies how interference occurs at the level of nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Optimization is an important tool in making decisions and in analysing physical systems. In mathematical terms, an optimization problem is the problem of finding the best solution from among the set of all feasible solutions. The paper discusses the Whale Optimization Algorithm (WOA), and its applications in different fields. The algorithm is tested using MATLAB because of its unique and powerful features. The benchmark functions used in WOA algorithm are grouped as: unimodal (F1-F7), multimodal (F8-F13), and fixed-dimension multimodal (F14-F23). Out of these benchmark functions, we show the experimental results for F7, F11, and F19 for different number of iterations. The search space and objective space for the selected function are drawn, and finally, the best solution as well as the best optimal value of the objective function found by WOA is presented. The algorithmic results demonstrate that the WOA performs better than the state-of-the-art meta-heuristic and conventional algorithms.
In this paper, we report the experimental results on using complementary Golay coded signals at 7.5 MHz to detect breast microcalcifications of 50 µm size. Simulations using complementary Golay coded signals show perfect consistence with the experimental results, confirming the improved signal to noise ratio for complementary Golay coded signals. For improving the success on detecting the microcalcifications, orthogonal complementary Golay sequences having cross-correlation for minimum interference are used as coded signals and compared to tone burst pulse of equal energy in terms of resolution under weak signal conditions. The measurements are conducted using an experimental ultrasound research scanner, Digital Phased Array System (DiPhAS) having 256 channels, a phased array transducer with 7.5 MHz center frequency and the results obtained through experiments are validated by Field-II simulation software. In addition, to investigate the superiority of coded signals in terms of resolution, multipurpose tissue equivalent phantom containing series of monofilament nylon targets, 240 µm in diameter, and cyst-like objects with attenuation of 0.5 dB/[MHz x cm] is used in the experiments. We obtained ultrasound images of monofilament nylon targets for the evaluation of resolution. Simulation and experimental results show that it is possible to differentiate closely positioned small targets with increased success by using coded excitation in very weak signal conditions.
For any country in the world, it has become a priority to protect the critical infrastructure from looming risks of terrorism. In any infrastructure system, the structural elements like lower floors, exterior columns, walls etc. are key elements which are the most susceptible to damage due to blast load. The present study revisits the state of art review of the design and analysis of reinforced concrete panels subjected to blast loading. Various aspects in association with blast loading on structure, i.e. estimation of blast load, experimental works carried out previously, the numerical simulation tools, various material models, etc. are considered for exploring the current practices adopted worldwide. Discussion on various parametric studies to investigate the effect of reinforcement ratios, thickness of slab, different charge weight and standoff distance is also made. It was observed that for the simulation of blast load, CONWEP blast function or equivalent numerical equations were successfully employed by many researchers. The study of literature indicates that the researches were carried out using experimental works and numerical simulation using well known generalized finite element methods, i.e. LS-DYNA, ABAQUS, AUTODYN. Many researchers recommended to use concrete damage model to represent concrete and plastic kinematic material model to represent steel under action of blast loads for most of the numerical simulations. Most of the studies reveal that the increase reinforcement ratio, thickness of slab, standoff distance was resulted in better blast resistance performance of reinforced concrete panel. The study summarizes the various research results and appends the present state of knowledge for the structures exposed to blast loading.