The Impact of Neonatal Methamphetamine on Spatial Learning and Memory of Females in Adulthood
The present study was aimed at evaluation of cognitive changes following scheduled neonatal methamphetamine exposure in combination with long-term exposure in adulthood of female Wistar rats. Pregnant mothers were divided into two groups: group with indirect exposure (methamphetamine in dose 5 mg/ml/kg, saline in dose 1 ml/kg) during early lactation period (postnatal day 1–11) - progeny of these mothers were exposed to the effects of methamphetamine or saline indirectly via the breast milk; and the second group with direct exposure – all mothers were left intact for the entire lactation period, while progeny was treated with methamphetamine (5 mg/ml/kg) by injection or the control group, which was received needle pick (shame, not saline) at the same time each day of period of application (postnatal day 1–11). Learning ability and memory consolidation were tested in the Morris Water Maze, which consisted of three types of tests: ‘Place Navigation Test ‘; ‘Probe Test ‘; and ‘Memory Recall Test ‘. Adult female progeny were injected daily, after completion last trial with saline or methamphetamine (1 mg/ml/kg). We compared the effects of indirect/direct neonatal methamphetamine exposure and adult methamphetamine treatment on cognitive function of female rats. Statistical analyses showed that neonatal methamphetamine exposure worsened spatial learning and ability to remember the position of the platform. The present study demonstrated that direct methamphetamine exposure has more significant impact on process of learning and memory than indirect exposure. Analyses of search strategies (thigmotaxis, scanning) used by females during the Place Navigation Test and Memory Recall Test confirm all these results.
Hydrogen Purity: Developing Low-Level Sulphur Speciation Measurement Capability
Fuel cell electric vehicles provide the potential to decarbonise road transport, create new economic opportunities, diversify national energy supply, and significantly reduce the environmental impacts of road transport. A potential issue, however, is that the catalyst used at the fuel cell cathode is susceptible to degradation by impurities, especially sulphur-containing compounds. A recent European Directive (2014/94/EU) stipulates that, from November 2017, all hydrogen provided to fuel cell vehicles in Europe must comply with the hydrogen purity specifications listed in ISO 14687-2; this includes reactive and toxic chemicals such as ammonia and total sulphur-containing compounds. This requirement poses great analytical challenges due to the instability of some of these compounds in calibration gas standards at relatively low amount fractions and the difficulty associated with undertaking measurements of groups of compounds rather than individual compounds. Without the available reference materials and analytical infrastructure, hydrogen refuelling stations will not be able to demonstrate compliance to the ISO 14687 specifications. The hydrogen purity laboratory at NPL provides world leading, accredited purity measurements to allow hydrogen refuelling stations to evidence compliance to ISO 14687. Utilising state-of-the-art methods that have been developed by NPL’s hydrogen purity laboratory, including a novel method for measuring total sulphur compounds at 4 nmol/mol and a hydrogen impurity enrichment device, we provide the capabilities necessary to achieve these goals. An overview of these capabilities will be given in this paper. As part of the EMPIR Hydrogen co-normative project ‘Metrology for sustainable hydrogen energy applications’, NPL are developing a validated analytical methodology for the measurement of speciated sulphur-containing compounds in hydrogen at low amount fractions pmol/mol to nmol/mol) to allow identification and measurement of individual sulphur-containing impurities in real samples of hydrogen (opposed to a ‘total sulphur’ measurement). This is achieved by producing a suite of stable gravimetrically-prepared primary reference gas standards containing low amount fractions of sulphur-containing compounds (hydrogen sulphide, carbonyl sulphide, carbon disulphide, 2-methyl-2-propanethiol and tetrahydrothiophene have been selected for use in this study) to be used in conjunction with novel dynamic dilution facilities to enable generation of pmol/mol to nmol/mol level gas mixtures (a dynamic method is required as compounds at these levels would be unstable in gas cylinder mixtures). Method development and optimisation are performed using gas chromatographic techniques assisted by cryo-trapping technologies and coupled with sulphur chemiluminescence detection to allow improved qualitative and quantitative analyses of sulphur-containing impurities in hydrogen. The paper will review the state-of-the art gas standard preparation techniques, including the use and testing of dynamic dilution technologies for reactive chemical components in hydrogen. Method development will also be presented highlighting the advances in the measurement of speciated sulphur compounds in hydrogen at low amount fractions.
Transport Infrastructure and Economic Growth in South Africa
The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of transport infrastructure on economic growth in South Africa through Engle Granger two step approach using the data from 1970 to 2013. GDP is used as a proxy for economic growth whilst rail transport (rail lines, rail goods transported) and air transport(air passengers carried, air freight) are used as proxies for transport infrastructure. The results showed that there is a positive long-run relationship between transport infrastructure and economic growth. The results show that South Africa’s economic growth can be boosted by providing transport infrastructure. The estimated models were simulated and the results that the model is a good fit. The findings of this research will be beneficial to policy makers, academics and it will also enhance the ability of the investors to make informed decisions about investing in South Africa.
Immediate Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerves Stimulation on Flexibility and Health Status in Patients with Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain (A Pilot Study)
Low back pain is the most common of chief complaints in chronic pain. Low back pain directly affect to activities daily living and also has high socioeconomic costs. The prevalence of low back pain is high in both genders in all populations. The symptoms of low back pain including, pain at low back area, muscle spasm, tenderness points and stiff back. Trancutanous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is one of modalities mainly use for control pain. There was indicated that TENS is wildly use in low back pain, but no scientific data about the flexibility of muscle after TENS in low back pain. Thus the aim of this study was to investigate immediate effect of TENS on flexibility and health status in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. Eight chronic nonspecific low back pain patients 1 male and 7 female employed in this study. Participants were diagnosed by a doctor based on history and physical examination. Each participant received treatment at physiotherapy unit. Participants completed Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), numeric rating scale (NRS) and trunk flexibility before treatment. Each participant received low frequency TENS set at asymmetrical, 10 Hz, 20 minutes per point. Immediately after treatment, participants completed RNS, RMDQ and trunk flexibility again. All participants were treated by only one physiotherapist. There was a statistically significant increased in flexibility immediately after low frequency TENS [mean difference -6.37 with 95%CI were (-8.35)-(-4.39)]. There was a statistically significant decreased in numeric rating scale [mean difference 2.13 with 95%CI were 1.08-3.16]. Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire showed improvement of health status average 44.8% immediately after treatment. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that immediately effect after low frequency TENS can decrease pain and improve flexibility of back muscle in chronic nonspecific low back pain patients.
A Single Country Comparative Contextual Description Study of the Executive Authorities in Austria
The purpose of this research paper is to present a Single Country Comparative Contextual Description Study of the Executive Authorities in Austria, focusing with the Federal President, Cabinet members (Federal Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor and the other Federal Ministers) and the State Government. In this paper, the roles and powers of the executive authorities of Austria will be enumerated and explained; and the behavior of the executive authorities of Austria will be described in detail. In addition, the researcher will provide a survey that was answered by an Austrian citizen through electronic mail to gain more concrete information about the current political condition in Austria. Based on research, Austria has a remarkable political stability. This paper will develop a conceptual framework or a sample paradigm to represent the political system in Austria, focusing on its states and Executive Authorities in achieving political stability.
Modeling of Erosion and Sedimentation Impacts from off-Road Vehicles in Arid Regions
The Barry M. Goldwater Range, West in southwestern Arizona encompasses 2,808 square kilometers of Sonoran Desert. The hyper-arid range has an annual rainfall of less than 10 cm with an average high temperature of 41 degrees Celsius in July to an average low of 4 degrees Celsius in January. The range shares approximately 60 kilometers of the international border with Mexico. A majority of the range is open for recreational use, primarily off-highway vehicles. Because of its proximity to Mexico, the range is also heavily patrolled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection seeking to intercept and apprehend inadmissible people and illicit goods. Decades of off-roading and Border Patrol activities have negatively impacted this sensitive desert ecosystem. To assist the range program managers, this study is developing a model to identify erosion prone areas and calibrate the model’s parameters using the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment modeling tool.
The Impact of Usefulness and Ease of Using Mobile Learning Technology on Faculty Acceptance
Over the last decade, m-learning has been widely accepted and utilized by many western universities. However, Saudi universities face many challenges in utilizing such technology, a central one being to encourage teachers to use such technology. Although there are several factors that affect faculty members’ participation in the adoption of m-learning, this paper focuses merely on two factors, the usefulness and ease of using m-learning. A sample of 279 faculty members in one Saudi university has responded to the online survey. The results of the study have revealed that there is a statistically significant relationship (at the 0.05 level) between both usefulness and ease of using m-learning factors and the intention of teachers to use m-learning currently and in the future.
Mulberry Leave: An Efficient and Economical Adsorbent for Remediation of Arsenic (V) and Arsenic (III) Contaminated Water
The aim of present study was to investigate the efficiency of mulberry leaves for the removal of both arsenic (III) and arsenic (V) from aqueous medium. Batch equilibrium studies were carried out to optimize various parameters such as pH of metal ion solution, volume of sorbate, sorbent doze, and agitation speed and agitation time. Maximum sorption efficiency of mulberry leaves for As (III) and As (V) at optimum conditions were 2818 μg.g-1 and 4930 μg.g-1, respectively. The experimental data was a good fit to Freundlich and D-R adsorption isotherm. Energy of adsorption was found to be in the range of 3-6 KJ/mole suggesting the physical nature of process. Kinetic data followed the first order rate, Morris-Weber equations. Developed method was applied to remove arsenic from real water samples.
PPPs as Panacea to Delivery of Public Sector Construction Project in Zimbabwe
Due to financial challenges which governments in general face, it is becoming more difficult for many to continually use their limited resources to undertake infrastructural development. Governments increasingly now need other delivery approaches, in particular, the Public-Private Partnerships which make it possible for the public sector to achieve infrastructural development without incurring any/minimum cost. The literature reviewed outlined that benefits of PPPs include timely delivery of quality projects with cost limits. The methodology utilized for the empirical study comprised six interviews and sixty questionnaires which were undertaken and administered by construction consultants and government officials involved in PPPs projects. The results obtained showed that PPPs are not widely used in Zimbabwe although the need for their use exists. The study also found some challenges which prevent or derail the rate at which PPPs are utilized, of which the primary one was a political influence. It is concluded that despite limitations, PPPs remain the most effective and viable option for the delivery of government projects. The study recommends that policy and framework for the implementation of PPPs be developed. More useful information could have been obtained if final users of PPPs projects were included in the sample for data collection.
Influences Driving the Teachers’ Adoption of Mobile Learning
The growth of mobile learning depends primarily on the participation of teachers and their belief in the possibilities that this technology has for enhancing learning. The need to integrate technology into education seems clear-cut, however, its acceptance in Saudi higher education remains low. Thus, determining the particular factors that affect faculty acceptance of technology is vital. This paper focuses on TAM which depends on two factors: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, this theory are used to predict faculty members’ behavioural intentions towards using mobile learning technology. 279 faculty members in one Saudi university have responded to the online questionnaire. The findings have revealed that there is a statistically significant difference in both usefulness and ease of using m-learning factors.
The Relationship between Dispositional Mindfulness, Adult Attachment Orientations, and Emotion Regulation
Mindfulness has been conceptualized as a dispositional trait, which is different across individuals. Previous research has independently identified both adult attachment orientations and emotion regulation abilities as correlates of dispositional mindfulness. Research has also presented a two-factor model of the relationship between these three constructs. The present study aimed to further develop this model and investigated theses relationships in a sample of 186 participants. Participants completed the Five Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire Short Form (FFMQ-SF), the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale for global attachment (ECR), the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERC), and the Adult Disorganized Attachment scale (ADA). Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 3-factor solution accounting for 59% of the variance across scores on these measures. The first factor accounted for 32% of the variance and loaded highly on attachment and mindfulness subscales. The second factor accounted for 15% of the variance with strong loadings on emotion regulation subscales. The third factor accounted for 12% of the variance with strong loadings on disorganized attachment, and the mindfulness observes subscale. The results further confirm the relationship between attachment, mindfulness, and emotion regulation along with the unique addition of disorganized attachment. The extracted factors will then be used to predict well-being outcomes for an undergraduate student population.
Multivariate Analytical Insights into Spatial and Temporal Variation in Water Quality of a Major Drinking Water Reservoir
22 physicochemical variables have been determined in water samples collected weekly from January to December in 2013 from three sampling stations located within a major drinking water reservoir. Classical Multivariate Curve Resolution Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) analysis was used to investigate the environmental factors associated with the physico-chemical variability of the water samples at each of the sampling stations. Matrix augmentation MCR-ALS (MA-MCR-ALS) was also applied, and the two sets of results were compared for interpretative clarity. Links between these factors, reservoir inflows and catchment land-uses were investigated and interpreted in relation to chemical composition of the water and their resolved geographical distribution profiles. The results suggested that the major factors affecting reservoir water quality were those associated with agricultural runoff, with evidence of influence on algal photosynthesis within the water column. Water quality variability within the reservoir was also found to be strongly linked to physical parameters such as water temperature and the occurrence of thermal stratification. The two methods applied (MCR-ALS and MA-MCR-ALS) led to similar conclusions; however, MA-MCR-ALS appeared to provide results more amenable to interpretation of temporal and geological variation than those obtained through classical MCR-ALS.
Isolation, Screening and Identification of Frog Cutaneous Bacteria for Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Activity
Mitigating strategies using symbiotic cutaneous bacteria is one of the major concerns in the conservation of amphibian population. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis associated with mass mortality and amphibian extinctions worldwide. In the Philippines, there is a lack of study on the cutaneous bacteria of Philippine amphibians that may have beneficial effects to ward off the deadly fungal infection. In this study, cutaneous bacteria from frogs were isolated and examined for anti-B. dendrobatidis activity. Eight species of frogs were collected at Mt. Palay-palay Mataas na Gulod National Park in Cavite, a site positive for the presence of B. dendrobatidis. Bacteria were isolated from the skin of frogs by swabbing the surfaces of the body and inoculated in Reasoner´s 2A (R2A) agar. Isolated bacteria were tested for potential inhibitory properties against B. dendrobatidis through zoospore inhibition assay. Results showed that frog cutaneous bacteria significantly inhibited the growth of B. dendrobatidis in vitro. By means of 16S rRNA gene primers, the anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria were identified to be Enterobacter sp., Alcaligenes faecalis and Pseudomonas sp. Cutaneous bacteria namely Enterobacter sp. (isolates PLd33 and PCv4) and Pseudomonas (isolate PLd31) remarkably cleared the growth of B. dendrobatidis zoospore in 1% tryptone agar. Therefore, frog cutaneous bacteria inhibited B. dendrobatidis in vitro and could possibly contribute to the immunity and defense of frogs against the lethal chytridiomycosis.
Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a HAWK Signal on Compliance in Las Vegas Nevada
There is a continuous large number of crashes involving pedestrians in Nevada despite the numerous safety mechanisms currently used at roadway crossings. Hence, additional as well as more effective mechanisms are required to reduce crashes in Las Vegas, in particular, and Nevada in general. A potential mechanism to reduce conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles is a High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signal. This study evaluates the effects of such signals at a particular site in Las Vegas. Video data were collected using two cameras, facing the eastbound and westbound traffic. One week of video data before and after the deployment of the signal were collected to capture the behavior of both pedestrians and drivers. T-test analyses of pedestrian waiting time at the curb, curb-to-curb crossing time, total crossing time, jaywalking events, and near-crash events show that the HAWK system provides significant benefits.
Memory and Narratives Rereading before and after One Week
As people read through event-based narratives, they construct an event model that captures information about the characters, goals, location, time, and causality. For many reasons, memory for such narratives is represented at different levels, namely, the surface form, textbase, and event model levels. Rereading has been shown to decrease surface form memory, while, at the same time, increasing textbase and event model memories. More generally, distributed practice has consistently shown memory benefits over massed practice for different types of materials, including texts. However, little research has investigated distributed practice of narratives at different inter-study intervals and these effects on these three levels of memory. Recent work in our lab has indicated that there may be dramatic changes in patterns of forgetting around one week, which may affect the three levels of memory. The present experiment aimed to determine the effects of rereading on the three levels of memory as a factor of whether the texts were reread before versus after one week. Participants (N = 42) read a set of stories, re-read them either before or after one week (with an inter-study interval of three days, seven days, or fourteen days), and then took a recognition test, from which the three levels of representation were derived. Signal detection results from this study reveal that differential patterns at the three levels as a factor of whether the narratives were re-read prior to one week or after one week. In particular, an ANOVA revealed that surface form memory was lower (p = .08) while textbase (p = .02) and event model memory (p = .04) were greater if narratives were re-read 14 days later compared to memory when narratives were re-read 3 days later. These results have implications for what type of memory benefits from distributed practice at various inter-study intervals.
Hydraulic Headloss in Plastic Drainage Pipes at Full and Partially Full Flow
Hydraulic headloss, expressed by the values of friction factor f and Manning’s coefficient n, is an important parameter in designing drainage pipes. Their values normally are taken from manufacturer recommendations, many times without sufficient experimental support. To our knowledge, currently there is no standard procedure for hydraulically testing such pipes. As a result of research carried out at the Mexican Institute of Water Technology, a laboratory testing procedure was proposed and applied on 6 and 12 inches diameter polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high-density dual wall polyethylene pipe (HDPE) drainage pipes. While the PVC pipe is characterized by naturally smooth interior and exterior walls, the dual wall HDPE pipe has corrugated exterior wall and, although considered smooth, a slightly wavy interior wall. The pipes were tested at full and partially full pipe flow conditions. The tests for full pipe flow were carried out on a 31.47 m long pipe at flow velocities between 0.11 and 4.61 m/s. Water was supplied by gravity from a 10 m-high tank in some of the tests, and from a 3.20 m-high tank in the rest of the tests. Pressure was measured independently with piezometer readings and pressure transducers. The flow rate was measured by an ultrasonic meter. For the partially full pipe flow the pipe was placed inside an existing 49.63 m long zero slope (horizontal) channel. The flow depth was measured by piezometers located along the pipe, for flow rates between 2.84 and 35.65 L/s, measured by a rectangular weir. The observed flow profiles were then compared to computer generated theoretical gradually varied flow profiles for different Manning’s n values. It was found that Manning’s n, that normally is assumed constant for a given pipe material, is in fact dependent on flow velocity and pipe diameter for full pipe flow, and on flow depth for partially full pipe flow. Contrary to the expected higher values of n and f for the HDPE pipe, virtually the same values were obtained for the smooth interior wall PVC pipe and the slightly wavy interior wall HDPE pipe. The explanation of this fact was found in Henry Morris’ theory for smooth turbulent conduit flow over isolated roughness elements. Following Morris, three categories of the flow regimes are possible in a rough conduit: isolated roughness (or semi smooth turbulent) flow, wake interference (or hyper turbulent) flow, and skimming (or quasi-smooth) flow. Isolated roughness flow is characterized by friction drag turbulence over the wall between the roughness elements, independent vortex generation, and dissipation around each roughness element. In this regime, the wake and vortex generation zones at each element develop and dissipate before attaining the next element. The longitudinal spacing of the roughness elements and their height are important influencing agents. Given the slightly wavy form of the HDPE pipe interior wall, the flow for this type of pipe belongs to this category. Based on that theory, an equation for the hydraulic friction factor was obtained. The obtained coefficient values are going to be used in the Mexican design standards.
Application of Scoring Rubrics by Lecturers towards Objective Assessment of Essay Questions in the Department of Social Science Education, University of Calabar, Nigeria
Unreliable scoring of students’ performance by lecturers short-chains students’ assessment in terms of underequipping the school authority with facts as intended by society through the curriculum hence, the learners, the school and the society are cheated because the usefulness of testing is defeated. This study, therefore, examined lecturers’ scoring objectivity of essay items in the Department of Social Science Education, University of Calabar, Nigeria. Specifically, it assessed lecturers’ perception of the relevance of scoring rubrics and its level of application. Data were collected from all the 36 lecturers in the Department (28 members and 8 non-members adjourned to the department), through a 20-item questionnaire and checklist instruments. A case-study design was adopted. Descriptive statistics of frequency counts, weighted means, standard deviations, and percentages were used to analyze data gathered. A mean score of 2.5 and or 60 percent and above formed the acceptance or significant level in decision taking. It was found that lecturers perceived the use of scoring rubrics as a relevant practice to ensure fairness and reliable treatment of examiners scripts particularly in marking essay items and that there is a moderately high level of adherence to the application of scoring rubrics. It was also observed that some criteria necessary for the scoring objectivity of essay items were not fully put in place in the department. It was recommended strongly that students’ identities be hidden while marking and that pre-determined marking scheme should be prepared centrally and strictly adhered to during marking and recording of scores. Conference marking should be enforced in the department.
Effect of Whole-Body Vibration Training on Self-Reported Physical Disability in Employees with Chronic Low-Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Introduction: The goal of this randomized and controlled study is to examine whether whole-body vibration (WBV) training is able to reduce self-reported physical disability in office employees with chronic low-back pain. Materials and methods: 41 subjects (68.3% female/mean age 45.5 ± 9.1 years/mean BMI 26.6 ± 5.2) were randomly allocated to an intervention group (INT (n= 21)) or a control group (CON (n=20). The INT participated in WBV training 2.5 times per week for 3 months. The primary outcome was the change in the Roland and Morris disability questionnaire (RMQ) score over the study period. In addition, secondary outcomes included changes in the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Results: The compliance with the intervention in the INT reached a mean of 81.1% ± 31.2% with no long-lasting unwanted side effects. We found significant positive effects of 3 months of WBV training in the INT compared to the CON regarding the RMQ (p=0.027) and the ODI (p=0.002). Conclusions: WBV training seems to be an effective, safe and suitable intervention for the reduction of the self-reported physical disability in seated working employees with chronic low-back pain.
Removal of Basic Dyes from Aqueous Solutions with a Treated Spent Bleaching Earth
A spent bleaching earth from an edible oil refinery has been treated by impregnation with a normal sodium hydroxide solution followed by mild thermal treatment (100°C). The obtained material (TSBE) was washed, dried and characterized by X-ray diffraction, FTIR, SEM, BET, and thermal analysis. The clay structure was not apparently affected by the treatment and the impregnated organic matter was quantitatively removed. We have investigated the comparative sorption of safranine and methylene blue on this material, the spent bleaching earth (SBE) and the virgin bleaching earth (VBE). The kinetic results fit the pseudo second order kinetic model and the Weber & Morris, intra-particle diffusion model. The pH had no effect on the sorption efficiency. The sorption isotherms followed the Langmuir model for various sorbent concentrations with good values of determination coefficient. A linear relationship was found between the calculated maximum removal capacity and the solid/solution ratio. A comparison between the results obtained with this material and those of the literature highlighted the low cost and the good removal capacity of the treated spent bleaching earth.
Challenges Associated with Recruitment of Professional Doctorate Degree Holders into Ghanaian Universities
Over the years, entry into the academia in any Ghanaian university requires an advanced research degree, more preferably traditional doctorate (PhD or DPhil). It is however argued that PhD is more research intensive, so since university teaching involves a lot of research, those having traditional doctorate have good research background to teach in a university and are thus recruited as lecturers. However, in the last ten years, a reasonable number of academics enter Ghanaian universities with professional doctorate degrees, which hitherto was considered to be only suitable for industry, because it gives individuals with just basic research skills needed for professional practice, unlike the traditional PhD which is research intensive degree. Currently, there are a reasonable number of professional doctorate degree holders with qualifications like DBA, EdD, PsychD, DPharm, EngD, among others in various departments in many Ghanaian universities. Maybe, because such degree holders also use the title Dr, some university authorities put them at par with their counterparts with traditional doctorate, although some lecturers with PhD seem to look down upon those with traditional doctorate degrees and this has created some tension amongst those academics. This makes their promotions and holding of university academic positions very problematic in some ways. This paper therefore seeks to investigate the types of professional doctorate degree holders working as lecturers in some selected universities in Ghana and the challenges associated with their recruitment, acceptability and proper integration into universities’ teaching and learning. The paper adopted qualitative research methodology. In all, respondents from three state-owned and privately owned universities were involved in the study. Administrators, lecturers, heads of departments and deans of faculty were interviewed to assess the challenges associated with the recruitment of professional doctorate degree holders and any problems they face in the departments they work. It became evident that, although some lecturers enter the academia with professional doctorate degrees, their counterparts seem not to give them the recognition and respect they deserve. Although there is little or no evidence that professional doctorate degree holders are under performing, recruiting professional doctorate degree holders does not only become a challenge, but also their progression into the university’s promotion ladder become very slow compared to their counterparts with traditional PhD degrees.
Analysis of Airborne Data Using Range Migration Algorithm for the Spotlight Mode of Synthetic Aperture Radar
This paper brings out the analysis of the airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data using the Range Migration Algorithm (RMA) for the spotlight mode of operation. Unlike in polar format algorithm (PFA), space-variant defocusing and geometric distortion effects are mitigated in RMA since it does not assume that the illuminating wave-fronts are planar. This facilitates the use of RMA for imaging scenarios involving severe differential range curvatures enabling the imaging of larger scenes at fine resolution and at shorter ranges with low center frequencies. The RMA algorithm for the spotlight mode of SAR is analyzed in this paper using the airborne data. Pre-processing operations viz: - range de-skew and motion compensation to a line are performed on the raw data before being fed to the RMA component. Various stages of the RMA viz:- 2D Matched Filtering, Along Track Fourier Transform and Slot Interpolation are analyzed to find the performance limits and the dependence of the imaging geometry on the resolution of the final image. The ability of RMA to compensate for severe differential range curvatures in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain are also illustrated in this paper.
Primary Fallopian Tube Carcinoma: A Case Report
This is a case of L.S.T., a 61 year old, G6P4 (3124) who presented with a one month history of intermittent, brownish, watery, non foul smelling vaginal discharge. There were no other accompanying symptoms. On rectovaginal examination, a palpable adnexal mass on the left was appreciated, with the lower border measuring 3 cm. The mass was non-tender, had irregular borders and solid areas. On transvaginal sonography, it revealed a left pelvic mass measuring 3 x 4 x 2 cm, with a Sassone score of 9. It had vascularization. The primary consideration was Ovarian Newgrowth, probably malignant in nature. CA-125 results were slightly elevated at 43.2 u/ml (NV: 0-35 u/ml). After intraoperative evaluation, the left fallopian tube was converted into a 9 x 4.5 x 3 cm bulbous cystic mass with solid areas. On cut section, the ampullary portion of the fallopian tube contained necrotic and friable looking tissues. Specimen was sent for frozen section and results revealed adenocarcinoma of the left fallopian tube. Patient subsequently underwent complete surgical staging with unremarkable post-operative course. The Surg Ico pathologic diagnosis was G6P4 (3124) Fallopian tube serous cystadenocarcinoma stage 1. The mean incidence of PFTC is 3.6 per million women yearly. This is associated with a generally low survival rate. The primary diagnosis is very difficult to establish because only 0–10% of patients suffering from PFTC are diagnosed pre-operatively. Symptoms play a very important role in the discovery of this disease, because there will be no presentation to the hospital without symptoms. The most common of which may be vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, a palpable mass and ascites. A conglomerate of manifestations may be encountered, but not at all times. This is termed hydrops tubae profluens where there is presence of colicky pain with relief from intermittent passage of serosanguinous vaginal discharge. The significance of this report is to emphasize the rarity of the case and how the dilemma in the diagnosis is almost always present despite ancillary procedures.
Motivational Qualities of and Flow State Responses to Participant-Selected Music and Researcher-Selected Music
Music listening can potentially promote the achievement of flow state during exercise. Selecting music for exercise should consider the motivational factors-internal factors (music tempo and musicality) and external factors (cultural impact and association). This study was a cross-over study which was designed to examine the motivational qualities of music (participant-selected music and researcher-selected music) and flow state responses during exercise accompanying with music. 17 healthy participants (M=30.2, SD=6.3 years old) were among low physical activity individuals. Participants completed two separate sessions of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (40-60% of Heart Rate Reserve) while listening to music. Half the participants at random were assigned to exercise with participant-selected music first, and half were assigned to exercise with researcher-selected music first. Parameters including flow state responses (Flow State Scale-2) and motivational music rating (Brunel Music Rating Inventory-2) were administered immediately after the exercise. Results from this study showed that there were no significant differences for both flow state t(32)=0.00, p>0.05 and motivational music rating t(32)= .393, p>0.05 between exercise with participant-selected music and exercise with researcher-selected music. Listening to music either participant or researcher selected music could promote flow experience during exercise when music is perceived as motivational. Music tempo and music preference are factors that could influence individuals to enjoy exercise and improve the exercise performance.
Mirrors and Lenses: Multiple Views on Recognition in Holocaust Literature
There are a number of similarities between survivor literature and Holocaust fiction for children and young adults. The paper explores three facets of the parallels of recognition found specifically between Livia Bitton-Jackson’s memoir of her experience during the Holocaust as an inmate in Auschwitz, I Have Lived a Thousand Years (1999) and Morris Glietzman series of Holocaust fiction. While Bitton-Jackson reflects on her past and Glietzman designs a fictive character, both are judicious with what they are willing to impart, only providing information about their appearance or themselves when it impacts others or when it serves a necessary purpose to the story. Another similarity lies in another critical aspect of many works of Holocaust literature – the idea of being ‘representatively Jewish’. The authors come to this idea from different angles, perhaps best explained as the difference between showing and telling, for Bitton-Jackson provides personal details, and Gleitzman constructed Felix arguably with this idea in mind. Interwoven through their journeys is a shift in perspectives on being recognized -- from wanting to be seen as individuals to being seen as Jew. With this, being Jewish takes on different meaning, both youths struggle with being labeled as something they do not truly understand, and may have not truly identified with, from a label, to a death warrant. With survivor literature viewed as the most credible and worthwhile type of Holocaust literature and Holocaust fiction is often seen as the least (with children’s and young-adult being the lowest form) the similarities in approaches to telling the stories may go overlooked or be undervalued. This paper serves as an exploration in the some of parallel messages shared between the two.
Assessment of the Indices in Converting Affect Rural to Urban Settlements Case Study: Torqabe and Shandiz Rural Districts in Iran
Rural and ruralism is one of the residential forms that form in special natural areas, and the Interaction between their internal and external forces cause developments and changes that are different in time and space. Over time, historical developments, social and economic changes in the political system cause developments and rapid growth of the rural to urban settlements. However, criteria for recognizing rural settlements to the city are different in every land. One of the problems in modern plan is inattention to indicators and criteria of changing these settlements to the city. The method of this research is a type of applied and compilation research and library and field methods are used in it. And also qualitative and quantitative indicators have been provided while collecting documents and studies from rural districts like Dehnow, Virani, Abardeh, Zoshk, Nowchah, Jaqarq in tourism area of Mashhad. In this research, the used tool is questionnaire and for analyzing quantitative variables by Morris and Mac Granahan examination, the importance of each factor and the development settlements are evaluated, and the rural that can convert to the city was defined. In result, according to Askalvgram curve obtained from analysis, it was found that among the mentioned villages, Virani and Nowchah rural districts have this ability to convert to the city; Zoshk rural district will be converting to the city in future and Dehnow, Abardeh and Jaqarq rural districts won’t be converting.
Cognitive and Environmental Factors Affecting Graduate Student Perception of Mathematics
The purpose of this study will examine the mediating relationships between the theories of intelligence, mathematics anxiety, gender stereotype threat, meta-cognition and math performance through the use of eye tracking technology, affecting student perception and problem-solving abilities. The participants will consist of (N=80) female graduate students. Test administered were the Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale, Tobii Eye Tracking software, gender stereotype threat through Google images, and they will be asked to describe their problem-solving approach allowed to measure metacognition. Participants will be administered mathematics problems while having gender stereotype threat shown to them through online images while being directed to look at the eye tracking software Tobii. We will explore this by asking ‘Is mathematics anxiety associated with the theories of intelligence and gender stereotype threat and how does metacognition and math performance place a role in mediating those perspectives?’. It is hypothesized that math-anxious students are more likely affected by the gender stereotype threat and that may play a role in their performance? Furthermore, we also want to explore whether math anxious students are more likely to be an entity theorist than incremental theorist and whether those who are math anxious will be more likely to be fixated on variables associated with coefficients? Path analysis and independent samples t-test will be used to generate results for this study. We hope to conclude that both the theories of intelligence and metacognition mediate the relationship between mathematics anxiety and gender stereotype threat.
Polymeric Microspheres for Bone Tissue Engineering
Poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) is a synthetic polymer that can be used in bone tissue engineering with the aim of creating a scaffold in order to support the growth of cells. The formation of microspheres from this polymer is an attractive strategy that would allow for the development of an injectable system, hence avoiding invasive surgical procedures. The aim of this study was to develop a microsphere delivery system for use as an injectable scaffold in bone tissue engineering and evaluate various formulation parameters on its properties. Porous and lysozyme-containing PLGA microspheres were prepared using the double emulsion solvent evaporation method from various molecular weights (MW). Scaffolds were formed by sintering to contain 1 -3mg of lysozyme per gram of scaffold. The mechanical and physical properties of the scaffolds were assessed along with the release of lysozyme, which was used as a model protein. The MW of PLGA was found to have an influence on microsphere size during fabrication, with increased MW leading to an increased microsphere diameter. An inversely proportional relationship was displayed between PLGA MW and mechanical strength of formed scaffolds across loadings for low, intermediate and high MW respectively. Lysozyme release from both microspheres and formed scaffolds showed an initial burst release phase, with both microspheres and scaffolds fabricated using high MW PLGA showing the lowest protein release. Following the initial burst phase, the profiles for each MW followed a similar slow release over 30 days. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that lysozyme can be successfully incorporated into porous PLGA scaffolds and released over 30 days in vitro, and that varying the MW of the PLGA can be used as a method of altering the physical properties of the resulting scaffolds.
Analyzing Environmental Emotive Triggers in Terrorist Propaganda
The purpose of this study is to measure the intersection of environmental security entities in terrorist propaganda. To the best of author’s knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to examine this intersection within terrorist propaganda. Rosoka, natural language processing software and frame analysis are used to advance our understanding of how environmental frames function as emotive triggers. Violent jihadi demagogues use frames to suggest violent and non-violent solutions to their grievances. Emotive triggers are framed in a way to leverage individual and collective attitudes in psychological warfare. A comparative research design is used because of the differences and similarities that exist between two variants of violent jihadi propaganda that target western audiences. Analysis is based on salience and network text analysis, which generates violent jihadi semantic networks. Findings indicate that environmental frames are used as emotive triggers across both data sets, but also as tactical and information data points. A significant finding is that certain core environmental emotive triggers like "water," "soil," and "trees" are significantly salient at the aggregate level across both data sets. All environmental entities can be classified into two categories, symbolic and literal. Importantly, this research illustrates how demagogues use environmental emotive triggers in cyber space from a subcultural perspective to mobilize target audiences to their ideology and praxis. Understanding the anatomy of propaganda construction is necessary in order to generate effective counter narratives in information operations. This research advances an additional method to inform practitioners and policy makers of how environmental security and propaganda intersect.
The Relationship between Violence against Women in the Family and Common Mental Disorders in Urban Informal Settlements of Mumbai, India: A Cross-Sectional Study
BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) can impact a woman’s physical, reproductive and mental health, including common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. However, people other than an intimate partner may also perpetrate violence against women in the family, particularly in India. This study aims to investigate the relationship between experiences of violence perpetrated by the husband and other members of the wider household and symptoms of common mental disorders in women residing in informal settlement (slum) areas of Mumbai. METHODS: Experiences of violence were assessed through a detailed cross-sectional survey of 598 women, including questions about specific acts of emotional, economic, physical and sexual violence across different time points in the woman’s life and the main perpetrator of each act. Symptoms of common mental disorders were assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). The GHQ-12 scores were divided into four groups and the relationship between experiences of each type of violence in the last 12 months and GHQ-12 score group was analyzed using ordinal logistic regression, adjusted for the woman’s age and clustering. RESULTS: 482 (81%) women consented to interview. On average, they were 28.5 years old, had completed 7 years of education and had been married 9 years. 88% were Muslim and 47% lived in joint and 53% in nuclear families. 44% of women had experienced at least one act of violence in their lifetime (33% emotional, 22% economic, 23% physical, 12% sexual). 7% had a high GHQ-12 score (6 or above). For violence experiences in the last 12 months, the odds of being in the highest GHQ-12 score group versus the lower groups combined were 13.1 for emotional violence, 6.5 for economic, 5.7 for physical and 6.3 for sexual (p< 0.001 for all outcomes). DISCUSSION: The high level of violence reported across the lifetime could be due to the detailed assessment of violent acts at multiple time points and the inclusion of perpetrators within the family other than the husband. Each type of violence was associated with greater odds of a higher GHQ-12 score and therefore more symptoms of common mental disorders. Emotional violence was far more strongly associated with symptoms of common mental disorders than physical or sexual violence. However, it is not possible to attribute causal directionality to the association. Further work to investigate the relationship between differing severity of violence experiences and women’s mental health and the components of emotional violence that make it so strongly associated with symptoms of common mental disorders would be beneficial.
Sub-Chronic Exposure to Dexamethasone Impairs Cognitive Function and Insulin in Prefrontal Cortex of Male Wistar Rats
Chronic stress or prolonged glucocorticoid administration impairs higher cognitive functions in rodents and humans. However, the mechanisms are not fully clear. Insulin and receptors are expressed in the brain and are involved in cognition. Insulin resistance accompanies Alzheimer’s disease and associated cognitive decline. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of sub-chronic administration of a glucocorticoid, dexamethasone (DEX) on behavior and biochemical changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC). Male Wistar rats were administered DEX (2, 4 & 8 mg/kg, IP) or saline for seven consecutive days and behavior was assessed in the following paradigms: “Y” maze, elevated plus maze, Morris’ water maze and novel object recognition (NOR) tests. Insulin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) activity were evaluated in homogenates of the prefrontal cortex. DEX-treated rats exhibited impaired prefrontal cortex function manifesting as reduced locomotion, impaired novel object exploration and impaired short- and long-term spatial memory compared to normal controls (p < 0.05). These effects were not consistently dose-dependent. These behavioral alterations were accompanied by a decrease in insulin concentration observed in PFC of 4 mg/kg DEX-treated rats compared to control (10μIU/mg vs. 50μIU/mg; p < 0.05) but not 2mg/kg. Furthermore, we report a modification of brain stress markers LDH and SOD (p > 0.05). These results indicate that prolonged activation of GCs disrupt prefrontal cortex function which may be related to insulin impairment. These effects may not be attributable to a non-specific elevation of oxidative stress in the brain. Future studies would evaluate mechanisms of GR-induced insulin loss.
Perpetrator Trauma in Current World Cinema
This paper proposes a new paradigm for cinema/trauma studies - the trauma of the perpetrator. Canonical trauma research from Freud’s Aetiology of Hysteria to the present has been carried out from the perspective of identification with the victim, as have cinema trauma research and contemporary humanities-based trauma studies, climaxing during the 1990s in widespread interest in the victim vis-à-vis the Holocaust, war, and domestic violence. Breaking over 100 years of repression of the abhorrent and rejected concept of the perpetrator in psychoanalytic-based research proposes an uncanny shift in our conception of psychoanalysis' trajectory from women's 'hysteria' to 'post-traumatic stress disorder'. This new paradigm is driven by the global emergence of new waves of films (2007-2015) representing trauma suffered by perpetrators involved in the new style of war entailing deliberate targeting of non-combatants. Analyzing prominent examples from Israeli post-second Intifada documentaries (e.g., Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir), and post post-Iraq (and Afghanistan) War American documentaries (e.g., Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure), the paper discusses the limitations of victim trauma by the firm boundaries it (rightly) set in order to defend such victims of nineteenth and especially twentieth-century catastrophes; the epistemological processes needed in order to consider perpetrators’ trauma as an inevitable part of psychiatric-psychological and cultural perspectives on trauma, and, thus, the definition of perpetrators' trauma in contrast to victims'. It also analyzes the perpetrator's figure in order to go beyond the limitation of current trauma theory's relation to the Real, thus transgressing the 'unspeakableness' of the trauma itself. The paper seeks an exploration of what perpetrator trauma teaches us not only as a counter-paradigm to victim trauma, but as a reflection on the complex intertwining of the two paradigms in the twenty-first century collective new war unconscious, and on what psychoanalysis might offer us in the first decade of this terrorized-ethnicized century.
Combined Treatment of Aged Rats with Donepezil and the Gingko Extract EGb 761® Enhances Learning and Memory Superiorly to Monotherapy
Age-related cognitive decline can eventually lead to dementia, the most common mental illness in elderly people and an immense challenge for patients, their families and caregivers. Cholinesterase inhibitors constitute the most commonly used antidementia prescription medication. The standardized Ginkgo biloba leaf extract EGb 761® is approved for treating age-associated cognitive impairment and has been shown to improve the quality of life in patients suffering from mild dementia. A clinical trial with 96 Alzheimer´s disease patients indicated that the combined treatment with donepezil and EGb 761® had fewer side effects than donepezil alone. In an animal model of cognitive aging, we compared the effect of combined treatment with EGb 761® or donepezil monotherapy and vehicle. We compared the effect of chronic treatment (15 days of pretreatment) with donepezil (1.5 mg/kg p. o.), EGb 761® (100 mg/kg p. o.), or the combination of the two drugs, or vehicle in 18 – 20 month old male OFA rats. Learning and memory performance were assessed by Morris water maze testing, motor behavior in an open field paradigm. In addition to chronic treatment, the substances were administered orally 30 minutes before testing. Compared to the first day and to the control group, only the combination group showed a significant reduction in latency to reach the hidden platform on the second day of testing. Moreover, from the second day of testing onwards, the donepezil, the EGb 761® and the combination group required less time to reach the hidden platform compared to the first day. The control group did not reach the same latency reduction until day three. There were no effects on motor behavior. These results suggest a superiority of the combined treatment of donepezil with EGb 761® compared to monotherapy.
Grade and Maximum Tumor Dimension as Determinants of Lymphadenectomy in Patients with Endometrioid Endometrial Cancer (EEC)
Introduction: Endometrial Cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy primarily treated with complete surgical staging, which may include complete pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. The role of lymphadenectomy is controversial, especially the intraoperative indications for the procedure. Three factors are important in decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy: Myometrial invasion, maximum tumor dimension, and histology. Many institutions incorporate these criteria in varying degrees in the decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy. This investigation assesses the use of intraoperatively measured MTD with and without pre-operative histologic grade. Methods: This study compared retrospectively EEC patients with intraoperatively measured MTD ≤2 cm to those with MTD >2 cm from January 1, 2002 to August 31, 2017. This assessment compared those with MTD ≤ 2cm with endometrial biopsy (EB) grade 1-2 to patients with MTD > 2cm with EB grade 3. Lymph node metastasis (LNM), recurrence, and survival were compared in these groups. Results: This study reviewed 222 patient cases. In tumors > 2 cm, LNM occurred in 20% cases while in tumors ≤ 2 cm, LNM was found in 6% cases (p=0.04). Recurrence and mean survival based on last follow up visit in these two groups were not statistically different (p=0.78 and 0.36 respectively). Data demonstrated a trend that when combined with preoperative EB International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade, a higher proportion of patients with EB FIGO Grade 3 and MTD > 2 cm had LNM compared to those with EB FIGO Grade 1-2 and MTD ≤ 2 cm (43% vs, 11%, p=0.06). LNM was found in 15% of cases in which lymphadenectomy was performed based on current practices, whereas if the criteria of EB FIGO 3 and MTD > 2 cm were used the incidence of LNM would have been 44% cases. However, using this criterion, two patients would not have had their nodal metastases detected. Compared to the current practice, the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed criteria would be 60% and 81%, respectively. The PPV and NPV would be 43% and 90%, respectively. Conclusion: The results indicate that MTD combined with EB FIGO grade can detect LNM in a higher proportion of cases when compared to current practice. MTD combined with EB FIGO grade may eliminate the need of frozen section sampling in a substantial number of cases.
Development of a Novel Antibacterial to Block Growth of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Prevent Biofilm Formation
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder characterized by abnormal transport of chloride and sodium across the lung epithelium, leading to thick and viscous secretions. Within which CF patients suffer from repeated bacterial pulmonary infections, with Pseudomonas aeru-ginosa (PA) eliciting the greatest inflammatory response, causing an irreversible loss of lung func-tion that determines morbidity and mortality. The cell wall of PA is a permeability barrier to many antibacterials and the rise of Mutli-Drug Resistant strains (MDR) is eroding the efficacy of the few remaining clinical options. In addition when PA infection becomes established it forms an antibi-otic-resistant biofilm, embedded in which are slow growing cells that are refractive to drug treat-ment. Making the development of new antibacterials a major challenge.
This work describes the development of new type of nanoparticulate oligonucleotide antibacterial capable of tackling PA infections, including MDR strains. It is being developed to both block growth and prevent biofilm formation. These oligonucleotide therapeutics, Transcription Factor Decoys (TFD), act on novel genomic targets by capturing key regulatory proteins to block essential bacterial genes and defeat infection. They have been successfully transfected into a wide range of pathogenic bacteria, both in vitro and in vivo, using a proprietary delivery technology. The surfactant used self-assembles with TFD to form a nanoparticle stable in biological fluids, which protects the TFD from degradation and preferentially transfects prokaryotic membranes. Key challenges are to adapt the nanoparticle so it is active against PA in the context of biofilms and to formulate it for administration by inhalation. This would allow the drug to be delivered to the respiratory tract, thereby achieving drug concentrations sufficient to eradicate the pathogenic organisms at the site of infection.
Hypolipidemic and Antioxidant Effects of Mycelial Polysaccharides from Calocybe indica in Hyperlipidemic Rats Induced by High-Fat Diet
The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect of Hypsizygus ulmarius polysaccharides (HUP) on reducing oxidative stress, cognitive impairment and neurotoxicity in D-galactose induced aging mice. Mice were subcutaneously injected with D-galactose (150 mg/kg per day) for 6 weeks and were administered HUP simultaneously. Aged mice receiving vitamin E (100 mg/kg) served as positive control. Chronic administration of D-galactose significantly impaired cognitive performance oxidative defence and mitochondrial enzymes activities as compared to control group. The results showed that HUP (200 and 400 mg/kg) treatment significantly improved the learning and memory ability in Morris water maze test. Biochemical examination revealed that HUP significantly increased the decreased activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), mitochondrial enzymes-NADH dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase (MDH), isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH), Na+K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ATPase activities, elevated the lowered total anti-oxidation capability (TAOC), glutathione (GSH), vitamin C and decreased the raised acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities, malondialdehyde (MDA), hydroperoxide (HPO), protein carbonyls (PCO), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) levels in brain of aging mice induced by D-gal in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, present study highlights the potential role of HUP against D-galactose induced cognitive impairment, biochemical and mitochondrial dysfunction in mice. In vitro studies on the effect of HUP on scavenging DPPH, ABTS, DMPD, OH radicals, reducing power, B-carotene bleaching and lipid peroxidation inhibition confirmed the free radical scavenging and antioxidant activity of HUP. The results suggest that HUP possesses anti-aging efficacy and may have potential in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Observation of a Phase Transition in Adsorbed Hydrogen at 101 Kelvin
While adsorbent surfaces such as graphite are known to increase the melting temperature of solid H2, this effect is normally rather small, increasing to 20 Kelvin (K) relative to 14 K in the bulk. An as-yet unidentified phase transition has been observed in a system of H2 adsorbed in a porous, locally graphitic, Saran carbon with sub-nanometer sized pores at temperatures (74-101 K) and pressures ( > 76 bar) well above the critical point of bulk H2 using hydrogen adsorption and neutron scattering experiments. Adsorption data shows a discontinuous pressure jump in the kinetics at 76 bar after nearly an hour of equilibration time, which is identified as an exothermic phase transition. This discontinuity is observed in the 87 K isotherm, but not the 77 K isotherm. At higher pressures, the measured isotherms show greater excess adsorption at 87 K than 77 K. Inelastic neutron scattering measurements also show a striking phase transition, with the amount of high angle scattering (corresponding to large momentum transfer/ large effective mass) increasing by up to a factor of 5 in the novel phase. During the course of the neutron scattering experiment, three of these reversible spectral phase transitions were observed to occur in response to only changes in sample temperature. The novel phase was observed by neutron scattering only at high H2 pressure (123 bar and 187 bar) and temperatures between 74-101 K in the sample of interest, but not at low pressure (30 bar), or in a control activated carbon at 186 bar of H2 pressure. Based on several of the more unusual observations, such as the slow equilibration and the presence of both an upper and lower temperature bound, a reasonable hypothesis is that this phase forms only in the presence of a high concentration of ortho-H2 (nuclear spin S=1). The increase in adsorption with temperature, temperatures which cross the lower temperature bound observed by neutron scattering, indicates that this novel phase is denser. Structural characterization data on the adsorbent shows that it may support a commensurate solid phase denser than those known to exist on graphite at much lower temperatures. Whatever this phase is eventually proven to be, these results show that surfaces can have a more striking effect on hydrogen phases than previously thought.
Performance of a Lytic Bacteriophage Cocktail against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Conditions That Simulate the Cystic Fibrosis Lung Environment
Objectives: The cystic fibrosis (CF) lung is a unique microbiological niche, wherein harmful bacteria persist for many years despite antibiotic therapy. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa), the major culprit leading to lung decline and increased mortality, thrives in the lungs of patients with CF due to several factors that have been linked with poor antibiotic performance. Our group is investigating alternative therapies including bacteriophage cocktails with which we have previously demonstrated efficacy against planktonic organisms. In this study, we explored the effects of a 4-phage cocktail on Pa grown in two different conditions, intended to mirror the CF lung: a) alongside standard antibiotic treatment in pre-formed biofilms (structures formed by Pa-secreted exopolysaccharides which provide both physical and cell division barriers to antimicrobials and host defenses and b) in an acidic environment postulated to be present in the CF airway due both to the primary defect in bicarbonate secretion and secondary effects of inflammation. Methods: 16 Pa strains from CF patients at the Royal Brompton Hospital were selected based on sensitivity to a) ceftazidime/ tobramycin and b) the phage cocktail in a conventional plaque assay. To assess efficacy of phage in biofilms, 96 well plates with Pa (5x10⁷ CFU/ ml) were incubated in static conditions, allowing adherent bacterial colonies to form for 24 hr. Ceftazidime and tobramycin (both at 2 × MIC) were added, +/- bacteriophage (4x10⁸ PFU/mL) for a further 24 hr. Cell viability and biomass were estimated using fluorescent resazurin and crystal violet assays, respectively. To evaluate the effect of pH, strains were grown planktonically in shaking 96 well plates at pH 6.0, 6.6, 7.0 and 7.5 with tobramycin or phage, at varying concentrations. Cell viability was quantified by fluorescent resazurin assay. Results: For the biofilm assay, treatment groups were compared with untreated controls and expressed as percent reduction in cell viability and biomass. Addition of the 4-phage cocktail resulted in a 1.3-fold reduction in cell viability and 1.7-fold reduction in biomass (p < 0.001) when compared to standard antibiotic treatment alone. Notably, there was a 50 ± 15% reduction in cell viability and 60 ± 12% reduction in biomass (95% CI) for the 4 biofilms demonstrating the most resistance to antibiotic treatment. 83% of strains tested (n=6) showed decreased bacterial killing by tobramycin at acidic pHs (p < 0.01). However, 25% of strains (n=12) showed improved phage killing at acidic pHs (p < 0.05), with none showing the pattern of reduced efficacy at acidic pH demonstrated by tobramycin. Conclusion: The 4-phage anti-Pa cocktail tested against Pa performs well in pre-formed biofilms and in acidic environments; two conditions intended to mimic the CF lung. To our knowledge, these are the first data looking at the effects of subtle pH changes on phage-mediated bacterial killing in the context of Pa infection. These findings contribute to a growing body of evidence supporting the use of nebulised lytic bacteriophage as a treatment in the context of lung infection.
Pomegranates Attenuates Cognitive and Behavioural Deficts and reduces inflammation in a Transgenic Mice Model of Alzheimer's Disease
Objective: Transgenic (tg) mice which contain an amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene mutation, develop extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition in the brain, and severe memory and behavioural deficits with age. These mice serve as an important animal model for testing the efficacy of novel drug candidates for the treatment and management of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Several reports have suggested that oxidative stress is the underlying cause of Aβ neurotoxicity in AD. Pomegranates contain very high levels of antioxidants and several medicinal properties that may be useful for improving the quality of life in AD patients. In this study, we investigated the effect of dietary supplementation of Omani pomegranate extract on the memory, anxiety and learning skills along with inflammation in an AD mouse model containing the double Swedish APP mutation (APPsw/Tg2576). Methods: The experimental groups of APP-transgenic mice from the age of 4 months were fed custom-mix diets (pellets) containing 4% pomegranate. We assessed spatial memory and learning ability, psychomotor coordination, and anxiety-related behavior in Tg and wild-type mice at the age of 4-5 months and 18-19 months using the Morris water maze test, rota rod test, elevated plus maze test, and open field test. Further, inflammatory parameters also analysed. Results: APPsw/Tg2576 mice that were fed a standard chow diet without pomegranates showed significant memory deficits, increased anxiety-related behavior, and severe impairment in spatial learning ability, position discrimination learning ability and motor coordination along with increased inflammation compared to the wild type mice on the same diet, at the age of 18-19 months In contrast, APPsw/Tg2576 mice that were fed a diet containing 4% pomegranates showed a significant improvements in memory, learning, locomotor function, and anxiety with reduced inflammatory markers compared to APPsw/Tg2576 mice fed the standard chow diet. Conclusion: Our results suggest that dietary supplementation with pomegranates may slow the progression of cognitive and behavioural impairments in AD. The exact mechanism is still unclear and further extensive research needed.
Date Palm Fruits from Oman Attenuates Cognitive and Behavioral Defects and Reduces Inflammation in a Transgenic Mice Model of Alzheimer's Disease
Transgenic (tg) mice which contain an amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene mutation, develop extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition in the brain, and severe memory and behavioral deficits with age. These mice serve as an important animal model for testing the efficacy of novel drug candidates for the treatment and management of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Several reports have suggested that oxidative stress is the underlying cause of Aβ neurotoxicity in AD. Date palm fruits contain very high levels of antioxidants and several medicinal properties that may be useful for improving the quality of life in AD patients. In this study, we investigated the effect of dietary supplementation of Omani date palm fruits on the memory, anxiety and learning skills along with inflammation in an AD mouse model containing the double Swedish APP mutation (APPsw/Tg2576). The experimental groups of APP-transgenic mice from the age of 4 months were fed custom-mix diets (pellets) containing 2% and 4% Date palm fruits. We assessed spatial memory and learning ability, psychomotor coordination, and anxiety-related behavior in Tg and wild-type mice at the age of 4-5 months and 18-19 months using the Morris water maze test, rota rod test, elevated plus maze test, and open field test. Further, inflammatory parameters also analyzed. APPsw/Tg2576 mice that were fed a standard chow diet without dates showed significant memory deficits, increased anxiety-related behavior, and severe impairment in spatial learning ability, position discrimination learning ability and motor coordination along with increased inflammation compared to the wild type mice on the same diet, at the age of 18-19 months In contrast, PPsw/Tg2576 mice that were fed a diet containing 2% and 4% dates showed a significant improvements in memory, learning, locomotor function, and anxiety with reduced inflammatory markers compared to APPsw/Tg2576 mice fed the standard chow diet. Our results suggest that dietary supplementation with dates may slow the progression of cognitive and behavioral impairments in AD. The exact mechanism is still unclear and further extensive research needed.
Communication Training about Depression and Suicide Prevention for Pharmacists: A Hungarian Pilot Study
Communication training about depression and suicide prevention for pharmacists – A Hungarian pilot study
Mónika Ditta Tóth1, Ádám Fritz2, Balázs Hankó2, György Purebl1
1: Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioural Sciences
2: Semmelweis University, University Pharmacy Department of Pharmacy Administration
Background: Suicide rates in Hungary have been one of the highest in the European Union. Depression is one of the main risk factors for suicide and recognizing and treating depression is an effective way to prevent suicidal behaviour. In their daily practice, pharmacists meet patients with high risk of mental health problems. Therefore they have a key role in the prevention of depression and suicide. Aim: The main aim of this study is to raise pharmacists’ awareness about depression and suicide to enable better recognation of verbal and non-verbal signs of these deseases. Another important objective is to reduce their stigma about depression and increase their confidence in communication with depressed and/or suicidal patients. Methods: A 3-hour communication workshop has been delivered in this pilot study about the reasons, trigger factors, verbal and non-verbal signs of depression and suicide. The training includes communication techniques which have been developed to patients needs, as well as role-playing scenarios. Depression Stigma and Morris Confidence Scales were applied before, after and 6 weeks following the training. The results of the training group are then compared with two of the following pharmacist groups: 1. written material only (N=15), 2. no material (N=15). Results: One-way ANOVA revealed significant differences in the training group regarding the level of confidence in treating and communicating with patients with depression and/or suicide following the training, and after 6 weeks (F(2, 24)= 7,135, p=,004; baseline: 20,37, after training: 30,00, follow up: 27,66). After the 3-hour workshop the personal stigma about depression decreased (baselin: 19,75 after training: 17,00, p=0,075) in the training group (N=9), whilst the perceived stigma did not change (before: 33.54, after: 33,44, p=NS). Trainees assessed the workshop as ‘useful’ and ‘gap filling’. No significant differences was found in the group of pharmacisists who got written material only. Conclusions: Despite the high rates of depression and suicide in Hungary, pharmacists do not receive lectures or seminars about mental health during their university studies. Such half-day workshops could fill this gap and give practical help to recognize and communicate with depressed and/or suicidal patients in a more effective way. This way pharmacists, as community gate-keepers, could contribute to a more effective suicide prevention program in Hungary.
Modeling Aerosol Formation in an Electrically Heated Tobacco Product
Philip Morris International (PMI) is developing a range
of novel tobacco products with the potential to reduce individual
risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes.
One of these products is the Tobacco Heating System 2.2 (THS
2.2), (named as the Electrically Heated Tobacco System (EHTS) in
this paper), already commercialized in a number of countries (e.g.,
Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Portugal and Romania). During use,
the patented EHTS heats a specifically designed tobacco product
(Electrically Heated Tobacco Product (EHTP)) when inserted into
a Holder (heating device). The EHTP contains tobacco material in
the form of a porous plug that undergoes a controlled heating process
to release chemical compounds into vapors, from which an aerosol
is formed during cooling. The aim of this work was to investigate
the aerosol formation characteristics for realistic operating conditions
of the EHTS as well as for relevant gas mixture compositions
measured in the EHTP aerosol consisting mostly of water, glycerol
and nicotine, but also other compounds at much lower concentrations.
The nucleation process taking place in the EHTP during use when
operated in the Holder has therefore been modeled numerically using
an extended Classical Nucleation Theory (CNT) for multicomponent
gas mixtures. Results from the performed simulations demonstrate
that aerosol droplets are formed only in the presence of an aerosol
former being mainly glycerol. Minor compounds in the gas mixture
were not able to reach a supersaturated state alone and therefore
could not generate aerosol droplets from the multicomponent gas
mixture at the operating conditions simulated. For the analytically
characterized aerosol composition and estimated operating conditions
of the EHTS and EHTP, glycerol was shown to be the main aerosol
former triggering the nucleation process in the EHTP. This implies
that according to the CNT, an aerosol former, such as glycerol
needs to be present in the gas mixture for an aerosol to form
under the tested operating conditions. To assess if these conclusions
are sensitive to the initial amount of the minor compounds and to
include and represent the total mass of the aerosol collected during
the analytical aerosol characterization, simulations were carried out
with initial masses of the minor compounds increased by as much
as a factor of 500. Despite this extreme condition, no aerosol
droplets were generated when glycerol, nicotine and water were
treated as inert species and therefore not actively contributing to the
nucleation process. This implies that according to the CNT, an aerosol
cannot be generated without the help of an aerosol former, from
the multicomponent gas mixtures at the compositions and operating
conditions estimated for the EHTP, even if all minor compounds are
released or generated in a single puff.
The Relationship between Motivation for Physical Activity and Level of Physical Activity over Time
In recent years, there has been a decline in physical activity among adults. Motivation has been shown to be a crucial factor in maintaining physical activity. The purpose of this study was to whether PA motives measured by the Physical Activity and Leisure Motivation Scale PALMS predicted actual amount of PA at a later time to provide evidence for the construct validity of the PALMS. A quantitative, cross-sectional descriptive research design was employed. The Demographic Form, PALMS, and International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short form (IPAQ-S) questionnaires were used to assess motives and amount for physical activity in adults on two occasions. A sample of 640 (489 male, 151 female) undergraduate students aged 18 to 25 years (mean ±SD; 22.30±8.13 years) took part in the study. Male participants were divided into three types of activities, namely exercise, racquet sport, and team sports and female participants only took part in one type of activity, namely team sports. After 14 weeks, all 640 undergraduate students who had filled in the initial questionnaire (Occasion 1) received the questionnaire via email (Occasion 2). Of the 640 students, 493 (77%; 378 males, 115 females) emailed back the completed questionnaire. The results showed that not only were pertinent sub-scales of PALMS positively related to amount of physical activity, but separate regression analyses showed the positive predictive effect of PALMS motives for amount of physical activity for each type of physical activity among participants. This study supported the construct validity of the PALMS by showing that the motives measured by PALMS did predict amount of PA. This information can be obtained to match people with specific sport or activity which in turn could potentially promote longer adherence to the specific activity.Methods: A quantitative, cross-sectional descriptive research design was employed. The Demographic Form, PALMS, and International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short form (IPAQ-S) questionnaires were used to assess motives and amount for physical activity in adults on two occasions. A sample of 640 (489 male, 151 female) undergraduate students aged 18 to 25 years (mean ±SD; 22.30±8.13 years) took part in the study. Male participants were divided into three types of activities, namely exercise, racquet sport, and team sports and female participants only took part in one type of activity, namely team sports. After 14 weeks, all 640 undergraduate students who had filled in the initial questionnaire (Occasion 1) received the questionnaire via email (Occasion 2). Of the 640 students, 493 (77%; 378 males, 115 females) emailed back the completed questionnaire. Results: The results showed that not only were pertinent sub-scales of PALMS positively related to amount of physical activity, but separate regression analyses showed the positive predictive effect of PALMS motives for amount of physical activity for each type of physical activity among participants. This study supported the construct validity of the PALMS by showing that the motives measured by PALMS did predict amount of PA. Conclusion: This information can be obtained to match people with specific sport or activity which in turn could potentially promote longer adherence to the specific activity.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in Younger Children: A Qualitative Analysis of Families’ Experiences of the Condition and Perspective on Treatment
Background: Paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is characterised by persistent, disabling fatigue. Health services see patients below the age of 12. This age group experience high levels of disability, with low levels of school attendance, high levels of fatigue, anxiety, functional disability and pain. CFS/ME interventions have been developed for adolescents, but the developmental needs of younger children suggest treatment should be tailored to this age group. Little is known about how intervention should be delivered to this age group, and further work is needed to explore this. Qualitative research aids patient-centered design of health intervention. Methods: Five to 11-year-olds and their parents were recruited from a specialist CFS/ME service. Semi-structured interviews explored the families’ experience of the condition and perspectives on treatment. Interactive and arts-based methods were used. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically. Qualitative Results: 14 parents and 7 children were interviewed. Early analysis of the interviews revealed the importance of the social-ecological setting of the child, which led to themes being developed in the context of Systems Theory. Theme one relates to the level of the child, theme two the family system, theme three the organisational and societal systems, and theme four cuts-across all levels. Theme1: The child’s capacity to describe, understand and manage their condition. Younger children struggled to describe their internal experiences, such as physical symptoms. Parents felt younger children did not understand some concepts of CFS/ME and did not have the capabilities to monitor and self-regulate their behaviour, as required by treatment. A spectrum of abilities was described; older children (10-11-year-olds) were more involved in clinical sessions and had more responsibility for self-management. Theme2: Parents’ responsibility for managing their child’s condition. Parents took responsibility for regulating their child’s behaviour in accordance with the treatment programme. They structured their child’s environment, gave direct instructions to their child, and communicated the needs of their child to others involved in care. Parents wanted their child to experience a 'normal' childhood and took steps to shield their child from medicalization, including diagnostic labels and clinical discussions. Theme3: Parental isolation and the role of organisational and societal systems. Parents felt unsupported in their role of managing the condition and felt negative responses from primary care health services and schools were underpinned by a lack of awareness and knowledge about CFS/ME in younger children. This sometimes led to a protracted time to diagnosis. Parents felt that schools have the potential important role in managing the child’s condition. Theme4: Complexity and uncertainty. Many parents valued specialist treatment (which included activity management, physiotherapy, sleep management, dietary advice, medical management and psychological support), but felt it needed to account for the complexity of the condition in younger children. Some parents expressed uncertainty about the diagnosis and the treatment programme. Conclusions: Interventions for younger children need to consider the 'systems' (family, organisational and societal) involved in the child’s care. Future research will include interviews with clinicians and schools supporting younger children with CFS/ME.
A Study on the Use Intention of Smart Phone
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