Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 465

Fabrication and Characterization of Al2O3 Based Electrical Insulation Coatings Around SiC Fibers

In structural-health monitoring of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs), every single inorganic fiber sensor that are integrated into the bulk material requires an electrical insulation around itself, when the surrounding reinforcing fibers are electrically conductive. This results in a more accurate data acquisition only from the sensor fiber without any electrical interventions. For this purpose, thin nano-films of aluminium oxide (Al2O3)-based electrical-insulation coatings have been fabricated around the Silicon Carbide (SiC) single fiber sensors through reactive DC magnetron sputtering technique. The sputtered coatings were amorphous in nature and the thickness of the coatings increased with an increase in the sputter time. Microstructural characterization of the coated fibers performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed a homogeneous circumferential coating with no detectable defects or cracks on the surface. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of the as-sputtered and 2 hours annealed coatings (825 & 1125 ˚C) revealed the amorphous and crystalline phases of Al2O3 respectively. Raman spectroscopic analyses produced no characteristic bands of Al2O3, as the thickness of the films was in the nanometer (nm) range, which is too small to overcome the actual penetration depth of the laser used. In addition, the influence of the insulation coatings on the mechanical properties of the SiC sensor fibers has been analyzed.

The Use of Music Therapy to Improve Non-Verbal Communication Skills for Children with Autism
The number of school-aged children with autism in Indonesia has been increasing each year. Autism is a developmental disorder which can be diagnosed in childhood. One of the symptoms is the lack of communication skills. Music therapy is known as an effective treatment for children with autism. Music elements and structures create a good space for children with autism to express their feelings and communicate their thoughts. School-aged children are expected to be able to communicate non-verbally very well, but children with autism experience the difficulties of communicating non-verbally. The aim of this research is to analyze the significance of music therapy treatment to improve non-verbal communication tools for children with autism. This research informs teachers and parents on how music can be used as a media to communicate with children with autism. The qualitative method is used to analyze this research, while the result is described with the microanalysis technique. The result is measured specifically from the whole experiment, hours of every week, minutes of every session, and second of every moment. The samples taken are four school-aged children with autism in the age range of six to 11 years old. This research is conducted within four months started with observation, interview, literature research, and direct experiment. The result demonstrates that music therapy could be effectively used as a non-verbal communication tool for children with autism, such as changes of body gesture, eye contact, and facial expression.
Clique and Clan Analysis of Patient-Sharing Physician Collaborations

The collaboration among physicians during episodes of care for a hospitalised patient has a significant contribution towards effective health outcome. This research aims at improving this health outcome by analysing the attributes of patient-sharing physician collaboration network (PCN) on hospital data. To accomplish this goal, we present a research framework that explores the impact of several types of attributes (such as clique and clan) of PCN on hospitalisation cost and hospital length of stay. We use electronic health insurance claim dataset to construct and explore PCNs. Each PCN is categorised as ‘low’ and ‘high’ in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The results from the proposed model show that the clique and clan of PCNs affect the hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The clique and clan of PCNs show the difference between ‘low’ and ‘high’ PCNs in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The findings and insights from this research can potentially help the healthcare stakeholders to better formulate the policy in order to improve quality of care while reducing cost.

The Relation between Body Mass Index and Menstrual Cycle Disorders in Medical Students of University Pelita Harapan, Indonesia

Introduction: There are several things affecting menstrual cycle, namely, nutritional status, diet, financial status of one’s household and exercises. The most commonly used parameter to calculate the fat in a human body is body mass index. Therefore, it is necessary to do research to prevent complications caused by menstrual disorder in the future. Design Study: This research is an observational analytical study with the cross-sectional-case control approach. Participants (n = 124; median age = 19.5 years ± SD 3.5) were classified into 2 groups: normal, NM (n = 62; BMI = 18-23 kg/m2) and obese, OB (n = 62; BMI = > 25 kg/m2). BMI was calculated from the equation; BMI = weight, kg/height, m2. Results: There were 79.10% from obese group who experienced menstrual cycle disorders (n=53, 79.10%; p value 0.00; OR 5.25) and 20.90% from normal BMI group with menstrual cycle disorders. There were several factors in this research that also influence the menstrual cycle disorders such as stress (44.78%; p value 0.00; OR 1.85), sleep disorders (25.37%; p value 0.00; OR 1.01), physical activities (25.37%; p value 0.00; OR 1.24) and diet (10.45%; p value 0.00; OR 1.07). Conclusion: There is a significant relation between body mass index (obese) and menstrual cycle disorders. However, BMI is not the only factor that affects the menstrual cycle disorders. There are several factors that also can affect menstrual cycle disorders, in this study we use stress, sleep disorders, physical activities and diet, in which none of them are dominant.

Distributed Cost-Based Scheduling in Cloud Computing Environment

Cloud computing can be defined as one of the prominent technologies that lets a user change, configure and access the services online. it can be said that this is a prototype of computing that helps in saving cost and time of a user practically the use of cloud computing can be found in various fields like education, health, banking etc.  Cloud computing is an internet dependent technology thus it is the major responsibility of Cloud Service Providers(CSPs) to care of data stored by user at data centers. Scheduling in cloud computing environment plays a vital role as to achieve maximum utilization and user satisfaction cloud providers need to schedule resources effectively.  Job scheduling for cloud computing is analyzed in the following work. To complete, recreate the task calculation, and conveyed scheduling methods CloudSim3.0.3 is utilized. This research work discusses the job scheduling for circulated processing condition also by exploring on this issue we find it works with minimum time and less cost. In this work two load balancing techniques have been employed: ‘Throttled stack adjustment policy’ and ‘Active VM load balancing policy’ with two brokerage services ‘Advanced Response Time’ and ‘Reconfigure Dynamically’ to evaluate the VM_Cost, DC_Cost, Response Time, and Data Processing Time. The proposed techniques are compared with Round Robin scheduling policy.

Searching for Forensic Evidence in a Compromised Virtual Web Server against SQL Injection Attacks and PHP Web Shell

SQL injection is one of the most common types of attacks and has a very critical impact on web servers. In the worst case, an attacker can perform post-exploitation after a successful SQL injection attack. In the case of forensics web servers, web server analysis is closely related to log file analysis. But sometimes large file sizes and different log types make it difficult for investigators to look for traces of attackers on the server. The purpose of this paper is to help investigator take appropriate steps to investigate when the web server gets attacked. We use attack scenarios using SQL injection attacks including PHP backdoor injection as post-exploitation. We perform post-mortem analysis of web server logs based on Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) POST and HTTP GET method approaches that are characteristic of SQL injection attacks. In addition, we also propose structured analysis method between the web server application log file, database application, and other additional logs that exist on the webserver. This method makes the investigator more structured to analyze the log file so as to produce evidence of attack with acceptable time. There is also the possibility that other attack techniques can be detected with this method. On the other side, it can help web administrators to prepare their systems for the forensic readiness.

Classification of Computer Generated Images from Photographic Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks
This paper presents a deep-learning mechanism for classifying computer generated images and photographic images. The proposed method accounts for a convolutional layer capable of automatically learning correlation between neighbouring pixels. In the current form, Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) will learn features based on an image's content instead of the structural features of the image. The layer is particularly designed to subdue an image's content and robustly learn the sensor pattern noise features (usually inherited from image processing in a camera) as well as the statistical properties of images. The paper was assessed on latest natural and computer generated images, and it was concluded that it performs better than the current state of the art methods.
Digital Image Forensics: Discovering the History of Digital Images

Digital multimedia contents such as image, video, and audio can be tampered easily due to the availability of powerful editing softwares. Multimedia forensics is devoted to analyze these contents by using various digital forensic techniques in order to validate their authenticity. Digital image forensics is dedicated to investigate the reliability of digital images by analyzing the integrity of data and by reconstructing the historical information of an image related to its acquisition phase. In this paper, a survey is carried out on the forgery detection by considering the most recent and promising digital image forensic techniques.

The Effects of Physical Activity and Serotonin on Depression, Anxiety, Body Image and Mental Health

Sport has found a special place as an effective phenomenon in all societies of the contemporary world. The relationship between physical activity and exercise with different sciences has provided new fields for human study. The range of issues related to exercise and physical education is such that it requires specialized sciences and special studies. In this article, the psychological and social sections of exercise have been investigated for children and adults. It can be used for anyone in different age groups. Exercise and regular physical movements have a great impact on the mental and social health of the individual in addition to body health. It affects the individual's adaptability in society and his/her personality. Exercise affects the treatment of diseases such as depression, anxiety, stress, body image, and memory. Exercise is a safe haven for young people to achieve the optimum human development in its shelter. The effects of sensorimotor skills on mental actions and mental development are such a way that many psychologists and sports science experts believe these activities should be included in training programs in the first place. Familiarity of students and scholars with different programs and methods of sensorimotor activities not only causes their mental actions; but also increases mental health and vitality, enhances self-confidence and, therefore, mental health.

Use of Cellulosic Fibres in Double Layer Porous Asphalt

Climate change, namely precipitation patterns alteration, has led to extreme conditions such as floods and droughts. In turn, excessive construction has led to the waterproofing of the soil, increasing the surface runoff and decreasing the groundwater recharge capacity. The permeable pavements used in areas with low traffic lead to a decrease in the probability of floods peaks occurrence and the sediments reduction and pollutants transport, ensuring rainwater quality improvement. This study aims to evaluate the porous asphalt performance, developed in the laboratory, with addition of cellulosic fibres. One of the main objectives of cellulosic fibres use is to stop binder drainage, preventing its loss during storage and transport. Comparing to the conventional porous asphalt the cellulosic fibres addition improved the porous asphalt performance. The cellulosic fibres allowed the bitumen content increase, enabling retention and better aggregates coating and, consequently, a greater mixture durability. With this solution, it is intended to develop better practices of resilience and adaptation to the extreme climate changes and respond to the sustainability current demands, through the eco-friendly materials use. The mix design was performed for different size aggregates (with fine aggregates – PA1 and with coarse aggregates – PA2). The percentage influence of the fibres to be used was studied. It was observed that overall, the binder drainage decreases as the cellulose fibres percentage increases. It was found that the PA2 mixture obtained most binder drainage relative to PA1 mixture, irrespective of the fibres percentage used. Subsequently, the performance was evaluated through laboratory tests of indirect tensile stiffness modulus, water sensitivity, permeability and permanent deformation. The stiffness modulus for the two mixtures groups (with and without cellulosic fibres) presented very similar values between them. For the water sensitivity test it was observed that porous asphalt containing more fine aggregates are more susceptible to the water presence than mixtures with coarse aggregates. The porous asphalt with coarse aggregates have more air voids which allow water to pass easily leading to ITSR higher values. In the permeability test was observed that asphalt porous without cellulosic fibres presented had lower permeability than asphalt porous with cellulosic fibres. The resistance to permanent deformation results indicates better behaviour of porous asphalt with cellulosic fibres, verifying a bigger rut depth in porous asphalt without cellulosic fibres. In this study, it was observed that porous asphalt with bitumen higher percentages improve the performance to permanent deformation. This fact was only possible due to the bitumen retention by the cellulosic fibres.

The Role of Chemerin and Myostatin after Physical Activity

Obesity and overweight is one of the most common metabolic disorders in industrialized countries and in developing countries. One consequence of pathological obesity is cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Chemerin is an adipocyne that plays a role in the regulation of the adipocyte function and the metabolism of glucose in the liver and musculoskeletal system. Most likely, chemerin is involved in obesity-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercises reduce the level of chemerin and cause macrophage penetration into fat cells and inflammatory factors. Several efforts have been made to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hypertrophy and muscular atrophy. Myostatin, a new member of the TGF-β family, is a transforming growth factor β that its expression negatively regulates the growth of the skeletal muscle; and the increase of this hormone has been observed in conditions of muscular atrophy. While in response to muscle overload, its levels decrease after the atrophy period, TGF-β is the most important cytokine in the development of skeletal muscle. Myostatin plays an important role in muscle control, and animal and human studies show a negative role of myostatin in the growth of skeletal muscle. Separation of myostatin from Golgi begins on the ninth day of the onset period and continues until birth at all times of muscle growth. Higher levels of myostatin are found in obese people. Resistance training for 10 weeks could reduce levels of plasma myostatin.

Suitability of Class F Flyash for Construction Industry: An Indian Scenario

The present study evaluates the properties of class F fly ash as a replacement of natural materials in civil engineering construction industry. The low-lime flash similar to class F is the prime variety generated in India, although it has significantly smaller volumes of high-lime fly ash as compared to class C. The chemical and physical characterization of the sample is carried out with the number of experimental approaches in order to investigate all relevant features present in the samples. For chemical analysis, elementary quantitative results from point analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques were used to identify the element images of different fractions. The physical properties found very close to the range of common soils. Furthermore, the fly ash-based bricks were prepared by the same sample of class F fly ash and the results of compressive strength similar to that of Standard Clay Brick Grade 1 available in the local market of India.

An Analysis of Digital Forensic Laboratory Development among Malaysia’s Law Enforcement Agencies

Cybercrime is on the rise, and yet many Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Malaysia have no Digital Forensics Laboratory (DFL) to assist them in the attrition and analysis of digital evidence. From the estimated number of 30 LEAs in Malaysia, sadly, only eight of them owned a DFL. All of the DFLs are concentrated in the capital of Malaysia and none at the state level. LEAs are still depending on the national DFL (CyberSecurity Malaysia) even for simple and straightforward cases. A survey was conducted among LEAs in Malaysia owning a DFL to understand their history of establishing the DFL, the challenges that they faced and the significance of the DFL to their case investigation. The results showed that the while some LEAs faced no challenge in establishing a DFL, some of them took seven to 10 years to do so. The reason was due to the difficulty in convincing their management because of the high costs involved. The results also revealed that with the establishment of a DFL, LEAs were better able to get faster forensic result and to meet agency’s timeline expectation. It is also found that LEAs were also able to get more meaningful forensic results on cases that require niche expertise, compared to sending off cases to the national DFL. Other than that, cases are getting more complex, and hence, a continuous stream of budget for equipment and training is inevitable. The result derived from the study is hoped to be used by other LEAs in justifying to their management the benefits of establishing an in-house DFL.

Preliminary Knowledge Extraction from Beethoven’s Sonatas: from Musical Referential Patterns to Emotional Normative Ratings

The piano sonatas of Beethoven represent part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The aims of this research were to further explore this intangibility by placing emphasis on defining emotional normative ratings for the “Waldstein” (Op. 53) and “Tempest” (Op. 31) Sonatas of Beethoven. To this end, a musicological analysis was conducted on these particular sonatas and referential patterns in these works of Beethoven were defined. Appropriate interactive questionnaires were designed in order to create a statistical normative rating that describes the emotional status when an individual listens to these musical excerpts. Based on these ratings, it is possible for emotional annotations for these same referential patterns to be created and integrated into the music score.

Emulation Model in Architectural Education

It is of great importance for an architectural student to know the parameters through which he/she can conduct his/her design and makes his/her design effective in architectural education. Therefore; an empirical application study was carried out through the designing activity using the emulation model to support the design and design approaches of architectural students. During the investigation period, studies were done on the basic design elements and principles of the fall semester, and the emulation model, one of the designing methods that constitute the subject of the study, was fictionalized as three phased “recognition-interpretation-application”. As a result of the study, it was observed that when students were given a key method during the design process, their awareness increased and their aspects improved as well.

Surveillance for African Swine Fever and Classical Swine Fever in Benue State, Nigeria
A serosurveillance study was conducted to detect the presence of antibodies to African swine fever virus (ASFV) and Classical swine fever virus in pigs sampled from piggeries and Makurdi central slaughter slab in Benue State, Nigeria. 416 pigs from 74 piggeries across 12 LGAs and 44 pigs at the Makurdi central slaughter slab were sampled for serum. The sera collected were analysed using Indirect Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test kit to test for antibodies to ASFV, while competitive ELISA test kit was used to test for antibodies to CSFV. Of the 416 pigs from piggeries and 44 pigs sampled from the slaughter slab, seven (1.7%) and six (13.6%), respectively, tested positive to ASFV antibodies and was significantly associated (p < 0.0001). Out of the 12 LGAs sampled, Obi LGA had the highest ASFV antibody detection rate of (4.8%) and was significantly associated (p < 0.0001). None of the samples tested positive to CSFV antibodies. The study concluded that antibodies to CSFV were absent in the sampled pigs in piggeries and at the Makurdi central slaughter slab in Benue State, while antibodies to ASFV were present in both locations; hence, the need to keep an eye open for CSF too since both diseases may pose great risk in the study area. Further studies to characterise the ASFV circulating in Benue State and investigate the possible sources is recommended. Routine surveillance to provide a comprehensive and readily accessible data base to plan for the prevention of any fulminating outbreak is also recommended.
A Systematic Approach for Analyzing Multiple Cyber-Physical Attacks on the Smart Grid

In this paper, we evaluate the resilience of the smart grid system in the presence of multiple cyber-physical attacks on its distinct functional components. We discuss attack-defense scenarios and their effect on smart grid resilience. Through contingency simulations in the Network and PowerWorld Simulator, we analyze multiple cyber-physical attacks that propagate from the cyber domain to power systems and discuss how such attacks destabilize the underlying power grid. The analysis of such simulations helps system administrators develop more resilient systems and improves the response of the system in the presence of cyber-physical attacks.

Using Music in the Classroom to Help Syrian Refugees Deal with Post-War Trauma

Millions of Syrian families have been displaced since the beginning of the Syrian war, and the negative effects of post-war trauma have shown detrimental effects on the mental health of refugee children. While educational strategies have focused on vocational training and academic achievement, little has been done to include music in the school curriculum to help these children improve their mental health. The literature of music education and psychology, on the other hand, shows the positive effects of music on traumatized children, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. This paper presents a brief literature review of trauma, music therapy, and music in the classroom, after having introduced the Syrian war and refugee situation. Furthermore, the paper highlights the benefits of using music with traumatized children from the literature and offers strategies for teachers (such as singing, playing an instrument, songwriting, and others) to include music in their classrooms to help Syrian refugee children deal with post-war trauma.

Numerical Simulation of Lightning Strike Direct Effects on Aircraft Skin Composite Laminate

Nowadays, the direct effects of lightning to aircrafts are of great importance because of the massive use of composite materials. In comparison with metallic materials, composites present several weaknesses for lightning strike direct effects. Especially, their low electrical and thermal conductivities lead to severe lightning strike damage. The lightning strike direct effects are burning, heating, magnetic force, sparking and arcing. As the problem is complex, we investigated it gradually. A magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model is developed to simulate the lightning strikes in order to estimate the damages on the composite materials. Then, a coupled thermal-electrical finite element analysis is used to study the interaction between the lightning arc and the composite laminate and to investigate the material degradation.

Revisiting Hospital Ward Design Basics for Sustainable Family Integration
The concept of space and function forms the bedrock for spatial configuration in architectural design. Thus, the effectiveness and functionality of an architectural product depends their cordial relationship. This applies to all buildings especially to a hospital ward setting designed to accommodate various complex and diverse functions. Health care facilities design, especially an inpatient setting, is governed by many regulations and technical requirements. It is also affected by many less defined needs, particularly, response to culture and the need to provide for patient families’ presence and participation. The spatial configuration of the hospital ward setting in developing countries has no consideration for the patient’s families despite the significant role they play in promoting recovery. Attempts to integrate facilities for patients’ families have always been challenging, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, where accommodation for inpatients is predominantly in an open ward system. In addition, the situation is compounded by culture, which significantly dictates healthcare practices in Africa. Therefore, achieving such a hospital ward setting that is patient and family-centered requires careful assessment of family care actions and transaction spaces so as to arrive at an evidence based solution. Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify how hospital ward spaces can be reconfigured to provide for sustainable family integration. In achieving this aim, a qualitative approach using the principles of behavioral mapping was employed in male and female medical wards of the Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH) Gombe, Nigeria. The data obtained was analysed using classical and comparative content analysis. Patients’ families have been found to be a critical component of hospital ward design that cannot be undermined. Accordingly, bedsides, open yards, corridors and foyers have been identified as patient families’ transaction spaces that require design attention. Arriving at sustainable family integration can be achieved by revisiting the design requirements of the family transaction spaces based on the findings in order to avoid the rowdiness of the wards and uncoordinated sprawl.
Reversible Binary Arithmetic for Integrated Circuit Design

Application of reversible logic in integrated circuits results in the improved optimization of power consumption. This technology can be put into use in a variety of low power applications such as quantum computing, optical computing, nano-technology, and Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) design etc. Logic gates are the basic building blocks in the design of any logic network and thus integrated circuits. In this paper, reversible Dual Key Gate (DKG) and Dual key Gate Pair (DKGP) gates that work singly as full adder/full subtractor are used to realize the basic building blocks of logic circuits. Reversible full adder/subtractor and parallel adder/ subtractor are designed using other reversible gates available in the literature and compared with that of DKG & DKGP gates. Efficient performance of reversible logic circuits relies on the optimization of the key parameters viz number of constant inputs, garbage outputs and number of reversible gates. The full adder/subtractor and parallel adder/subtractor design with reversible DKGP and DKG gates results in least number of constant inputs, garbage outputs, and number of reversible gates compared to the other designs. Thus, this paper provides a threshold to build more complex arithmetic systems using these reversible logic gates, leading to the enhanced performance of computing systems.

Basicity of Jordanian Natural Clays Studied by Pyrrole-tpd and Catalytic Conversion of Methylbutynol

The main objective of this study is to investigate basic properties of different natural clays, by two methods. The first method is a gas phase conversion of methylbutynol (MBOH). The second method is the application of Pyrrole-tpd. Based on the product distribution from the first method, the acidic, basic and coordinately unsaturated sites were differentiated. It was shown that both the conversion and the selectivity for basic products did not change with reaction time. Nevertheless, a deviation from the stoichiometric ratio R of formed acetylene to acetone was observed (R=0.8…0.97). The conversion normalized to the surface area was used for establishing the activity sequence: White kaolinite > red kaolinite > bentonite > zeolite > di­ato­mite. In addition, the results were compared with synthetic amorphous alumosilicates and typical basic materials like MgO and ZnO. The basic properties were characterized using the Pyrrole-tpd.  The Pyrrole-tpd results showed the same basicity sequence as the MBOH gas phase reaction.

Assessment of Physicochemical Characteristics and Heavy Metals Concentration in Freshwater from Jega River, Kebbi State, Nigeria

This study was conducted to determine the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal concentration (Cadmium (Cd), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn)) in freshwater from Jega river. 30 water samples were collected in two 1-liter sterile plastic containers from three designated sampling points, namely; Station A (before the bridge; upstream), Station B (at the bridge where human activities such as washing of cars, motorbike, clothes, bathing and other household materials are concentrated), Station C (after the bridge; downstream) fortnightly, between March and July 2014. Results indicated that the highest pH mean value of 7.08 ± 1.12 was observed in station C, the highest conductivity with the mean 58.75 ± 7.87 µs/cm was observed at station A, the highest mean value of the water total hardness was observed at station A (54 ± 16.11 mg/L), the highest mean value of nitrate deposit was observed in station A (1.66 ± 1.33 mg/L), the highest mean value of alkalinity was observed at station B (51.33 ± 6.66 mg/L) and the highest mean (39.56 ± 3.24 mg/L) of total dissolved solids was observed at station A. The highest concentration mean value of Fe was observed in station C (65.33 ± 4.50 mg/L), the highest concentrations of Cd was observed in station C (0.99 ± 0.36 mg/L), the mean value of 2.13 ± 1.99 mg/L was the highest concentration of Zn observed in station B, the concentration of Pb was not detected (ND) and the highest concentration of Cu with the mean value of 0.43 ± 0.16 mg/L was observed in station B, while the lowest concentration was observed at station C (0.27 ± 0.26 mg/L). Statistical analysis shows no significant difference (P > 0.05) among the sampling stations for both the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal concentrations. The results were found to be within the internationally acceptable standard limits.

The Effects of Pilates and McKenzie Exercises on Quality of Life and Lumbar Spine Position Sense in Patients with Low Back Pain: A Comparative Study with a 4-Week Follow-Up

Non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) is a common condition with no exact diagnosis and mechanism for its occurrence. Recently, different therapeutic exercises have taken into account to manage NSCLBP. So, the aim of this study has mainly been placed on comparing the effects of Pilates and Mackenzie exercises on quality of life (QOL) lumbar spine position sense (LSPS) in patients with NSCLBP. In this randomized clinical trial, 47 patients with NSCLBP were voluntarily divided into three groups of Pilates (n=16) (with mean age 37.1 ± 9.5 years, height 168.9 ± 7.4 cm, body mass 76.1 ± 5.9 k), McKenzie (n=15) (with mean age 42.7 ± 8.1 years, height 165.7 ± 6.8, body mass 74.1 ± 4.8 kg) and control (n=16) (with mean age 39.3 ± 9.8 years, height 168.1 ± 8.1 cm, body mass 74.2 ± 5.8 kg). Primary outcome included QOL and secondary was LSPS. Both variables were assessed by the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaires and electrogoniameter, respectively. The measurements were performed at baseline, following a 6-week intervention, and after a 4-week follow-up. The ANCOVA test at P < 0.05 was administrated to analyze the collected data using SPSS software. There was a statistically significant difference between experimental groups and the control group to improve QOL. But, no difference was seen regarding the effects of two exercises on LSPS (p < 0.05). Both Pilates and Mackenzie exercises demonstrated improvement in QOL after 6-week intervention and a 4-week follow-up while none of them considerably affected LSPS. Further studies are required to establish a supporting evidence for the effectiveness of two exercises on NSCLBP.

Identification of LTI Autonomous All Pole System Using Eigenvector Algorithm
This paper presents a method for identification of a linear time invariant (LTI) autonomous all pole system using singular value decomposition. The novelty of this paper is two fold: First, MUSIC algorithm for estimating complex frequencies from real measurements is proposed. Secondly, using the proposed algorithm, we can identify the coefficients of differential equation that determines the LTI system by switching off our input signal. For this purpose, we need only to switch off the input, apply our complex MUSIC algorithm and determine the coefficients as symmetric polynomials in the complex frequencies. This method can be applied to unstable system and has higher resolution as compared to time series solution when, noisy data are used. The classical performance bound, Cramer Rao bound (CRB), has been used as a basis for performance comparison of the proposed method for multiple poles estimation in noisy exponential signal.
Nutritional and Anti-Nutritional Composition of Banana Peels as Influenced by Microwave Drying Methods

The influence of microwave drying methods on the nutritional and anti-nutritional composition and physical characteristics of banana peels was investigated. Banana peels were assessed for physical properties such as yield, pH value, bulk density, water holding capacity (WHC) and oil holding capacity (OHC). The results showed that, the yield of banana peels and pH value was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased by microwave drying (11.20% and pH 5.08, respectively) compared with control. Bulk density was increased by microwave drying and recorded 62.03 g/100 ml. The banana peels flour demonstrated that the highest WHC was 8.65 g water/g dry sample and OHC was 6.73 g oil/g dry sample compared to control. The results observed a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in moisture, fiber and total carbohydrates content of banana peels; whereas, the rates of ash, protein and fat content were increased after drying by microwave compared with control. The lignin content of banana peels was significantly increased (P < 0.05) by microwave drying and the recorded value was 8.31% dw. The results also revealed that the ascorbic acid content was significantly decreased by microwave drying and recorded 18.32 mg/100 g dw vis. 23.51 mg/100 g dw for control. With regarding the anti-nutrients, phytates, alkaloids, oxalates and hydrogen cyanides levels in banana peels, it was in the threshold value mentioned as safety restrict. These results demonstrated that the levels of phytates, alkaloids, oxalates and hydrogen cyanides were decreased by microwave drying methods which recorded 4.07%, 5.45%, 0.85% and 32.15%, respectively.

The Role of Physically Adsorbing Species of Oxyhydryl Reagents in Flotation Aggregate Formation

The authors discuss the collecting abilities of desorbable species (DS) of saturated fatty acids. The DS species of the reagent are understood as species capable of moving from the surface of the mineral particle to the bubble at the moment of the rupture of the interlayer of liquid separating these objects of interaction. DS species of carboxylic acids (molecules and ionic-molecular complexes) have the ability to spread over the surface of the bubble. The rate of their spreading at pH 7 and 10 over the water surface is determined. The collectibility criterion of saturated fatty acids is proposed. The values of forces exerted by the spreading DS species of reagents on liquid in the interlayer and the liquid flow rate from the interlayer are determined.

Visualization of Latent Sweat Fingerprints Deposit on Paper by Infrared Radiation and Blue Light

A simple device termed infrared radiation (IR) was developed for rapid visualization of sweat fingerprints deposit on paper with blue light (450 nm, 11 W). In this approach, IR serves as the pretreatment device before the sweat fingerprints was illuminated by blue light. An annular blue light source was adopted for visualizing latent sweat fingerprints. Sample fingerprints were examined under various conditions after deposition, and experimental results indicate that the recovery rate of the latent sweat fingerprints is in the range of 50%-100% without chemical treatments. A mechanism for the observed visibility is proposed based on transportation and re-impregnation of fluorescer in paper at the region of water. And further exploratory experimental results gave the full support to the visible mechanism. Therefore, such a method as IR-pretreated in detecting latent fingerprints may be better for examination in the case where biological information of samples is needed for consequent testing.

Forecasting the Volatility of Geophysical Time Series with Stochastic Volatility Models
This work is devoted to the study of modeling geophysical time series. A stochastic technique with time-varying parameters is used to forecast the volatility of data arising in geophysics. In this study, the volatility is defined as a logarithmic first-order autoregressive process. We observe that the inclusion of log-volatility into the time-varying parameter estimation significantly improves forecasting which is facilitated via maximum likelihood estimation. This allows us to conclude that the estimation algorithm for the corresponding one-step-ahead suggested volatility (with ±2 standard prediction errors) is very feasible since it possesses good convergence properties.
Hot Deformability of Si-Steel Strips Containing Al

The present work is dealing with 2% Si-steel alloy. The alloy contains 0.05% C as well as 0.85% Al. The alloy under investigation would be used for electrical transformation purposes. A heating (expansion) - cooling (contraction) dilation investigation was executed to detect the a, a+g, and g transformation temperatures at the inflection points of the dilation curve. On heating, primary a  was detected at a temperature range between room temperature and 687 oC. The domain of a+g was detected in the range between 687 oC and 746 oC. g phase exists in the closed g region at the range between 746 oC and 1043 oC. The domain of a phase appears again at a temperature range between 1043 and 1105 oC, and followed by secondary a at temperature higher than 1105 oC. A physical simulation of thermo-mechanical processing on the as-cast alloy was carried out. The simulation process took into consideration the hot flat rolling pilot plant parameters. The process was executed on the thermo-mechanical simulator (Gleeble 3500). The process was designed to include seven consecutive passes. The 1st pass represents the roughing stage, while the remaining six passes represent finish rolling stage. The whole process was executed at the temperature range from 1100 oC to 900 oC. The amount of strain starts with 23.5% at the roughing pass and decreases continuously to reach 7.5 % at the last finishing pass. The flow curve of the alloy can be abstracted from the stress-strain curves representing simulated passes. It shows alloy hardening from a pass to the other up to pass no. 6, as a result of decreasing the deformation temperature and increasing of cumulative strain. After pass no. 6, the deformation process enhances the dynamic recrystallization phenomena to appear, where the z-parameter would be high.

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