The Effects of Some Organic Amendments on Sediment Yield, Splash Loss, and Runoff of Soils of Selected Parent Materials in Southeastern Nigeria
Soil erosion has been linked to stream sedimentation, ecosystem degradation, and loss of soil nutrients. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of some organic amendment on sediment yield, splash loss, and runoff of soils of selected parent materials in southeastern Nigeria. A total of 20 locations, five from each of four parent materials namely: Asu River Group (ARG), Bende Ameki Group (BAG), Coastal Plain Sand (CPS) and Falsebedded Sandstone (FBS) were used for the study. Collected soil samples were analyzed with standard methods for the initial soil properties. Rainfall simulation at an intensity of 190 mm hr-1was conducted for 30 minutes on the soil samples at both the initial stage and after amendment to obtain erosion parameters. The influence of parent material on sediment yield, splash loss and runoff based on rainfall simulation was tested for using one way analyses of variance, while the influence of organic material and their combinations were a factorially fitted in a randomized complete block design. The organic amendments include; goat dropping (GD), poultry dropping (PD), municipal solid waste (MSW) and their combinations (COA) applied at four rates of 0, 10, 20 and 30 t ha-1 respectively. Data were analyzed using analyses of variance suitable for a factorial experiment. Significant means were separated using LSD at 5 % probability levels. Result showed significant (p ≤ 0.05) lower values of sediment yield, splash loss and runoff following amendment. For instance, organic amendment reduced sediment yield under wet and dry runs by 12.91 % and 26.16% in Ishiagu, 40.76% and 45.67%, in Bende, 16.17% and 50% in Obinze and 22.80% and 42.35% in Umulolo respectively. Goat dropping and combination of amendment gave the best results in reducing sediment yield.
"Epitaph" Charles Mingus’ Foresight of Jazz
The score of the 2 ½ hour ‘magnum opus’ named ‘Epitaph’ was reconstructed 10 years after Charles Mingus’ death in 1979. Most of the movements were probably composed in the late 1950s. As the finale was missing, Gunther Schuller, the conductor of the world premiere in 1989, decided to improvise one with the orchestra, using Mingus as a guide. The aim of this paper is to analyze ‘Main Score Part I ‘ and ‘Main Score Part II’ and to look into the score of Mingus’ reconstructed compositions under particular observation of the new finale, ‘Main Score Reprise’. There, Mingus left instructions for a return to the opening section of ‘Epitaph’. By examining ‘Epitaph’ in the historical context of Jazz between 1955 to 1967 and the 1980s and comparing the finale of ‘Epitaph’, created - or better said: improvised - by the musicians of the 1989 world premiere with the opening section, at first it will be interesting to discover at which point Gunther Schuller followed Mingus creative process and brought it to life in 1989. Finally, it will be speculated if Charles Mingus composition still represents a foresight of Jazz nearly 30 years after its creation.
, Charles Mingus
, Gunter Schuller
, jazz reception
, Duke Ellington
, brown and beige
, African-American music
Identity Crisis and Class Difference in Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations'
In Victorian era, the society had been surrounded by extreme class ranking in order to identify the people of the classes and to intensify power relationships due to the growth of industry in Charles Dickens's (1812-1870) Great Expectations (2003) in which he illustrates the clash and dichotomy in the 19th century London. The classes in Victorian period have socially divided the population into two parts, the lower and the upper class of the community. In such a panopticon society, the major character Pip was the best example of the working class who was under the domination of violence, malice, and abuse of Miss Havisham as a member of the ruling class in order to take revenge on her failures. The conflict and disunity represented in vindictiveness and the sense of revenge applied by Miss Havisham against his victim Pip, made him experience alienation and eventually suffer from identity crisis. This paper considers New Historicism based on the theories of the French critic Michel Foucault (1926-1984). The social concept, panopticism, was called after the panopticon society, basically elaborated by Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish (1975) and he considers the panopticon as a sign of punitive community of surveillance. This paper evaluates the problems of a dual society to show that the people of the lower class are under the domination of capitalist society.
The Science of Dreaming and Sleep in Selected Charles Dickens' Novels and Letters
The present work examines the representation of dreaming in Charles Dickens’ novels, particularly Oliver Twist. Dickens showed great interest in the science of dreaming and had ample knowledge of the latest dream theories in the Victorian era, as can be seen in his personal correspondence, most notably in his famous letter to Dr. Thomas Stone on 2/2/1851. This essay places Dickens’ personal writings side by side with his novels to elucidate whether the scientific paradigm about dreaming included in the novel is consistent with the current (in Dickens’ time) scientific knowledge, or whether it is anachronistic or visionary (ahead of his time). Oliver Twist is particularly useful because it contains entire passages pondering on the nature of dreaming, enumerating types of common dreams, and taking a stand on the interference of sensory perception during the dreaming state. The author is particularly intrigued by Dickens’ assumption of the commonality and universality of lucid dreaming as revealed in these passages. This essay places popular Victorian dream theories, such as those contained in Robert Macnish’s The Philosophy of Sleep, side by side with recent dream theory, particularly psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge’s numerous articles and books on the topic of lucid dreaming to see if Dickens deviated in any way from the reigning paradigm of the Victorian era in his representation of dreaming in his novels. While Dickens puts to great narrative use many of the characteristics of dreaming described by leading Victorian theorists, the author of this study argues, however, that Dickens’ most visionary statements derive from his acute observations of his own dreaming experiences.
Survey of Potential Adverse Health Effects of Mobile Phones, and Wireless Base Stations in Nigeria
Survey was conducted to gather information on potential adverse health effects of Mobile Phones, and Telecommunication Tower Base Stations in Nigeria. Data was sourced from two sampled populations. Firstly from the people living in close proximity to base stations, and secondly from cell phone users. Questionnaire was used to gathered information from 574 people on thirteen non-specific health symptoms. Data obtained was presented and analyzed. The analysis shows that people living close to the based stations over a long period of time with or without cell phone, and also the heavy phone users with close proximity to the base stations are liable to have some potential health hazards, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, feeling of discomfort, difficulty in concentrating, depression, memory loss, visual disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular disorders, and dizziness.
Sudan’s Approach to Knowledge Management in Disaster Management
Knowledge Management has become very important for Disaster Management response and planning. This paper proposes the implementation of a Knowledge Management System with a sustainable data collection mechanism for reliable and timely information management to support decision makers in making the right decisions in the timely manner.
Comparative Proximate Composition of Selected Edible Vegetables Harvested from Farmland Nearby Oil Impacted Sites in Rivers State, Nigeria
Comparative proximate composition of selected edible vegetables (Abelmoschus esculentus, Telfairia occidentalis, vernonia amygdalina and Talinum triangulare ) harvested in farmland nearby oil impacted sites in Rivers State was investigated. The result obtained was compared to the proximate composition of similar edible vegetables harvested from non oil producing areas in Imo State. Values from the study areas indicated vegetables with high moisture levels (highest values in Abelmoschus esculentus and Telfairia occidentalis; 6.07±0.11% and 4.10±0.12%) low ash contents (lowest value in Telfairia occidentalis 9.80±0.08%) low crude protein (lowest value in Talinum triangulare 8.15±0.06 %) high lipid content (highest value in Talinum triangulare 4.12± 0.20%) lower crude fibre (lowest value in Abelmoschus esculentus 9.58±0.08 %) and higher Carbohydrate contents (highest value in vernonia amygdalina 62.18± 0.67%). Values obtained indicated vegetables with lower quality in the study areas.
Improving the Efficiency of Pelton Wheel and Cross-Flow Micro Hydro Power Plants
The research investigates hydropower plant efficiency with a view to improving the power output while keeping the overall project cost per kilowatt produced within an acceptable range. It reviews the commonly used Pelton and Cross-flow turbines which are employed in the region for micro-hydro power plants. Turbine parameters such as surface texture, material used and fabrication processes are dealt with the intention of increasing the efficiency by 20 to 25 percent for the micro hydro-power plants.
Use of Six-sigma Concept in Discrete Manufacturing Industry
Efficiency in manufacturing is critical in raising the value of exports so as to gainfully trade on the regional and international markets. There seems to be increasing popularity of continuous improvement strategies availed to manufacturing entities, but this research study established that there has not been a similar popularity accorded to the Six Sigma methodology. Thus this work was conducted to investigate the applicability, effectiveness, usefulness, application and suitability of the Six Sigma methodology as a competitiveness option for discrete manufacturing entity. Development of Six-sigma center in the country with continuous improvement information would go a long way in benefiting the entire industry
Investigation on Hydration Mechanism of Eco-Friendly Concrete
The hydration process of a green concrete with differences on fly ash and the poly-lactic acid ratio was investigated using electrical resistivity measurement. The results show that the hydration process of proposed concrete was significantly different with concrete containing petroleum aggregate. Moreover, a microstructure analysis corresponding to each hydration stage is conducted with scanning microscope for ploy-lactic acid and expanded polystyrene concrete. In addition, specific equations using the variables of this study were developed to understand and predict the relationship between setting time and resistivity development of proposed concrete containing eco-friendly aggregate.
Aggregate Production Planning Framework in a Multi-Product Factory: A Case Study
This study looks at the best model of aggregate planning activity in an industrial entity and uses the trial and error method on spreadsheets to solve aggregate production planning problems. Also linear programming model is introduced to optimize the aggregate production planning problem. Application of the models in a furniture production firm is evaluated to demonstrate that practical and beneficial solutions can be obtained from the models. Finally some benchmarking of other furniture manufacturing industries was undertaken to assess relevance and level of use in other furniture firms
Structure and Power Struggle in Contemporary Nollywood: An Ethnographic Evaluation
Statements of facts have been made about Nollywood, a segment of the Nigerian film industry that has in recent times become phenomenal due largely to its quantity of production and specific production style. In the face of recent transformations reshaping the industry, matters have been arising which have not been given due academic attention from an industry player perspective. While re-addressing such issues like structure, policy and informality, this study benefits from a new perspective – that of a community member adopting participant observation to research into a familiar culture. With data drawn from an extensive ethnographic study of the industry, this paper examines these matters with an emphasis on structure and the industry’s overall political economy. Drawing from discourses on the new and old Nollywood labels and other current matters arising within the industry such as the MOPICON bill redraft, corporate financing and possibilities of regeneration, this paper examines structure and power struggle within Nollywood. These are championing regenerative processes that bring about formalization, professionalism and the quest for a transnational presence, which have only been superficially evaluated. Focused essentially on Nollywood’s political economy, this study critically analyses the transforming face of an informal industry, the consistent quest for structure, quality and standard, and issues of corporate sponsorship as possible trends of regeneration. It evaluates them as indicators of regeneration, questioning the possibilities of their sustenance in an industry experiencing increased interactions with the formal economy and an influx of young professionals. With findings that make sustained regeneration both certain (due to increased formal economy interaction) and uncertain (due to the dysfunctionality of the society and its political system), it concludes that the transforming face of the industry suggests impending gentrification of the industry.
Cleaner Production Framework for an Beverage Manufacturing Company
This study explores to improve the resource efficiency, waste water reduction and to reduce losses of raw materials in a beverage making industry. A number of cleaner production technologies were put across in this work. It was also noted that cleaner production technology practices are not only desirable from the environmental point of view, but they also make good economic sense, in their contribution to the bottom line by conserving resources like energy, raw materials and manpower, improving yield as well as reducing treatment/disposal costs. This work is a resource in promoting adoption and implementation of CP in other industries for sustainable development.
Parallel 2-Opt Local Search on GPU
To accelerate the solution for large scale traveling
salesman problems (TSP), a parallel 2-opt local search algorithm
with simple implementation based on Graphics Processing Unit
(GPU) is presented and tested in this paper. The parallel scheme is
based on technique of data decomposition by dynamically assigning
multiple K processors on the integral tour to treat K edges’ 2-opt
local optimization simultaneously on independent sub-tours, where
K can be user-defined or have a function relationship with input size
N. We implement this algorithm with doubly linked list on GPU.
The implementation only requires O(N) memory. We compare this
parallel 2-opt local optimization against sequential exhaustive 2-opt
search along integral tour on TSP instances from TSPLIB with more
than 10000 cities.
Introduction of the Fluid-Structure Coupling into the Force Analysis Technique
This paper presents a method to take into account
the fluid-structure coupling into an inverse method, the Force
Analysis Technique (FAT). The FAT method, also called RIFF method
(Filtered Windowed Inverse Resolution), allows to identify the force
distribution from local vibration field. In order to only identify the
external force applied on a structure, it is necessary to quantify the
fluid-structure coupling, especially in naval application, where the
fluid is heavy. This method can be decomposed in two parts, the first
one consists in identifying the fluid-structure coupling and the second
one to introduced it in the FAT method to reconstruct the external
force. Results of simulations on a plate coupled with a cavity filled
with water are presented.
Media Façades in the Wild: Some Lessons
Media displays in public areas are becoming increasingly pervasive—they are used in many settings, come in different sizes, serve different purposes, and have varied degrees of interactivity. In this paper, we aim to provide a survey of how these displays, often named media façades, are used in the wild in a city in China which is undergoing a rapid growth. This survey is intended to raise greater awareness and discussion about the use and effect of these displays in public areas. Through this survey, we have been able to distill some lessons of what is good, bad, and ugly about some current examples of media displays used in a city that is transitioning into becoming a modern one and one that is located in one of the fastest growing areas in Asia. With this research, we hope that we can provide technology designers and architects with some general principles that can help them integrate these types of technologies into their architectural creations.
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) as a Strategy for Competitiveness
This research examines the effect of a human resource strategy and the overall equipment effectiveness as well as assessing how the combination of the two can increase a firm’s productivity. The human resource aspect is looked at in detail to assess motivation of operators through training to reduce wastage on the manufacturing shop floor. The waste was attributed to operators, maintenance personal, idle machines, idle manpower and break downs. This work seeks to investigate the concept of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) in addressing these short comings in the manufacturing case study. The impact of TPM to increase production while, as well as increasing employee morale and job satisfaction is assessed. This can be resource material for practitioners who seek to improve overall equipment efficiency (OEE) to achieve higher level productivity and competitiveness.
Assessment of Vermiculite Concrete Containing Bio-Polymer Aggregate
The present study aims to assess the performance of vermiculite concrete containing poly-lactic acid beads as an eco-friendly aggregate. Vermiculite aggregate was replaced by poly-lactic acid in percentages of 0%, 20%, 40%, 60% and 80%. Mechanical and thermal properties of concrete were investigated. Test results indicated that the inclusion of poly-lactic acid decreased the PH value of concrete and all the poly-lactic acid particles were dissolved due to the formation of sodium lactide and lactide oligomers when subjected to the high alkaline environment of concrete. In addition, an increase in thermal conductivity value of concrete was observed as the ratio of poly-lactic acid increased. Moreover, a set of equations was proposed to estimate the water-cement ratio, cement content and water absorption ratio of concrete.
Aggregate Angularity on the Permanent Deformation Zones of Hot Mix Asphalt
This paper presents a method of evaluating the effect of aggregate angularity on hot mix asphalt (HMA) properties and its relationship to the Permanent Deformation resistance. The research concluded that aggregate particle angularity had a significant effect on the Permanent Deformation performance, and also that with an increase in coarse aggregate angularity there was an increase in the resistance of mixes to Permanent Deformation. A comparison between the measured data and predictive data of permanent deformation predictive models showed the limits of existing prediction models. The numerical analysis described the permanent deformation zones and concluded that angularity has an effect of the onset of these zones. Prediction of permanent deformation help road agencies and by extension economists and engineers determine the best approach for maintenance, rehabilitation, and new construction works of the road infrastructure.
A Study of Management Principles Incorporating Corporate Governance and Advocating Ethics to Reduce Fraud at a South African Bank
In today’s world, internal fraud remains one of the most challenging problems within companies worldwide and despite investment in controls and attention given to the problem, the instances of internal fraud has not abated. To the contrary it appears that internal fraud is on the rise especially in the wake of the economic downturn. Leadership within companies believes that the more sophisticated the controls employed the less likely it would be for employees to pilfer. This is a very antiquated view as investment in controls may not be enough to curtail internal fraud; however, ensuring that a company drives the correct culture and behaviour within the organisation is likely to yield desired results. This research aims to understand how creating a strong ethical culture and embedding the principle of good corporate governance impacts on levels of internal fraud with an organization (a South African Bank).
Clients’ Priorities in Design and Delivery of Green Projects: South African Perspective
This study attempts to identify the client’s main priority when delivering green projects. The aim is to compare whether clients’ interests are similar when delivering conventional buildings as compared to green buildings. Private clients invest more in green buildings as compared to government and parastatal entities. Private clients prioritize on maximizing a return on investment and they mainly invest in energy-saving buildings that have low life cycle costs. Private clients are perceived to be more knowledgeable about the benefits of green building projects as compared to government and parastatal clients. A shortage of expertise and managerial skill leads to the low adaptation of green buildings in government and parastatal projects. Other factors that seem to prevent the adoption of green buildings are the preparedness of the supply chain within the industry and inappropriate procurement strategies adopted by clients.
The Effects of Land Grabbing on Livelihood Assets and Its Implication on Food Production in Ghana: A Case Study of Bui Dam Construction Project
This study examined the effects of the agricultural land grabbed for the Bui Dam project on the livelihoods assets of the affected people and its implication on food production. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through the use of focus group discussions, questionnaire administration, interview guide, and observations. It was found that the land grabbing incident in the study communities as a result of the Bui Dam construction has resulted in the improvements in the physical assets of the affected people. The findings also indicated that local food crop production and the quantity of fish catch have dwindled after the land grabs. Contrary to this, the local people’s access to the natural capital, particularly the local land for agricultural activities has been worsened. The study recommends alternative sustainable livelihood for the affected people by the local government.
Investigation of the Bioactivity and Efficacy of Personal Care Products Formulated Using Extracts of Azadirachta indica A. Juss
Azadirachta indica (Neem tree) also referred to as an all-purpose tree is used in a wide range of medical preparations in tropical and subtropical countries for prevention and management of various livestock, crops products and human diseases. In Nigeria however, the potentials of this plant have not been fully exploited thus it causes an environmental nuisance during the fruiting season. With a rise in the demand for herbal personal care products globally extracts from different parts of the neem plant were used as the bio-active ingredients in the formulation of personal care products. In this study, formulated neem soap, body cream, lotion, toothpaste and shampoo are analyzed to determine their antibacterial, antifungal, and toxicity properties. The efficacies of these products for management of infectious diseases, both oral and dermal, were also investigated in vitro. Oil from the neem seeds obtained using a mechanical press and acetone extracts of both the neem bark and leaves obtained by the maceration method were used in the formulation and production of the neem personal care products. The antimicrobial and toxicity properties of these products were investigated by agar diffusion, and haemolytic methods respectively. The five neem products (NPs) exhibited strong antibacterial activities against four multi–drug resistant pathogenic and three none pathogenic bacterial strains (Escherichia coli (180), Listeria ivanovii, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter cloacae, Vibro spp., Streptococcus uberis, Mycobacterium smegmatis), except the neem lotion with insignificant activity against E. coli and S. aureus. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) range was between 0.20-0.40 mg/ mL. The 5 NPs demonstrated moderate activity against three clinical dermatophytes isolates (Tinea corporis, Tinea capitis, and Tinea cruiz) as well as one fungal strain (Candida albican) with the MIC ranging between 0.30 - 0.50 mg/ mL and 0.550 mg/mL respectively. The soap and shampoo were the most active against test bacteria and fungi. The haemolytic analysis results on the 5 NPs indicated none toxicity at 0.50 mg/ mL in sheep red blood cells (SRBC).
Segmentation of Gray Scale Images of Dropwise Condensation on Textured Surfaces
In the present work, we developed an image processing algorithm to measure water droplets characteristics during dropwise condensation on pillared surfaces. The main problem in this process is the similarity between shape and size of water droplets and the pillars. The developed method divides droplets into four main groups based on their size and applies the corresponding algorithm to segment each group. These algorithms generate binary images of droplets based on both their geometrical and intensity properties. The information related to droplets evolution during time including mean radius and drops number per unit area are then extracted from the binary images. The developed image processing algorithm is verified using manual detection and applied to two different sets of images corresponding to two kinds of pillared surfaces.
Segmentation of Gray Scale Images of Dropwise Condensation on Textured Surfaces
In the present work we developed an image processing
algorithm to measure water droplets characteristics during dropwise
condensation on pillared surfaces. The main problem in this process is
the similarity between shape and size of water droplets and the pillars.
The developed method divides droplets into four main groups based
on their size and applies the corresponding algorithm to segment each
group. These algorithms generate binary images of droplets based
on both their geometrical and intensity properties. The information
related to droplets evolution during time including mean radius and
drops number per unit area are then extracted from the binary images.
The developed image processing algorithm is verified using manual
detection and applied to two different sets of images corresponding
to two kinds of pillared surfaces.
Comparison of an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket and an Anaerobic Filter for Treating Wheat Straw Washwater
The study compared the performance of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors and anaerobic filters (AF) for the treatment of wheat straw washwater (WSW) which has a high concentration of Potassium ions. The trial was conducted at mesophilic temperatures (37 °C). The digesters were started up over a 48-day period using a synthetic wastewater feed and reached an organic loading rate (OLR) of 6 g COD L^-1 day^-1 with a specific methane production (SMP) of 0.333 L CH4 g^-1 COD. When the feed was switched to WSW it was not possible to maintain the same loading rate as the SMP in all reactors fell sharply to less than 0.1 L CH4 g^-1 COD, with the AF affected more than the UASB. On reducing the OLR to 3 g COD L^-1 day^-1 the reactors recovered to produce 0.21 L CH4 g^-1 CODadded and gave 82% COD removal. A discrepancy between the COD consumed and the methane produced could be accounted for through increased maintenance energy requirement of the microbial community for osmo-regulation as K+ was found to accumulate in the sludge and in the UASB reached a concentration of 4.5 mg K g^-1 wet weight of granules.
Project Risk Assessment of the Mining Industry of Ghana
The issue of risk in the mining industry is a global phenomenon and the Ghanaian mining industry is not exempted. The main purpose of this study is to identify the critical risk factors affecting the mining industry. The study takes an integrated view of the mining industry by examining the contribution of various risk factors to mining project failure in Ghana. A questionnaire survey was conducted to solicit the critical risk factors from key mining practitioners. About 80 respondents from 11 mining firms participated in the survey. The study identified 22 risk factors contributing to mining project failure in Ghana. The five most critical risk factors based on both probability of occurrence and impact were: (1) unstable commodity prices, (2) inflation/exchange rate, (3) land degradation, (4) high cost of living and (5) government bureaucracy for obtaining licenses. Furthermore, the study found that risk assessment in the mining sector has a direct link with mining project sustainability. Mitigation measures for addressing the identified risk factors were discussed. The key findings emphasize the need for a comprehensive risk management culture in the entire mining industry.
Net Zero Energy Schools: The Starting Block for the Canadian Energy Neutral K-12 Schools
Changes in the patterns of life in the late 20th and early 21st century have created new challenges for educational systems. Greening the physical environment of school buildings has emerged as a response to some of those challenges and led to the design of energy efficient K-12 school buildings. With the advancement in knowledge and technology, the successful construction of Net Zero Energy Schools, such as the Lady Bird Johnson Middle School demonstrates a cutting edge generation of sustainable schools, and solves the former challenge of attaining energy self-sufficient educational facilities. There are approximately twenty net zero energy K-12 schools in the U.S. of which about six are located in Climate Zone 5 and 6 based on ASHRAE climate zone classification. This paper aims to describe and analyze the current status of energy efficient and NZE schools in Canada. An attempt is made to study existing U.S. energy neutral strategies closest to the climate zones in Canada (zones 5 and 6) and identify the best practices for Canadian schools.
Design of a Vehicle Door Structure Based on Finite Element Method
The performance of door assembly is very significant for the vehicle design. In the present paper, the finite element method is used in the development processes of the door assembly. The stiffness, strength, modal characteristic, and anti-extrusion of a newly developed passenger vehicle door assembly are calculated and evaluated by several finite element analysis commercial software. The structural problems discovered by FE analysis have been modified and finally achieved the expected door structure performance target of this new vehicle. The issue in focus is to predict the performance of the door assembly by powerful finite element analysis software, and optimize the structure to meet the design targets. It is observed that this method can be used to forecast the performance of vehicle door efficiently when it’s designed. In order to reduce lead time and cost in the product development of vehicles more development will be made virtually.
The Effects of Urbanization on Peri-Urban Livelihood in Ghana: A Case of Kumasi Peri-Urban Communities
The research linked urban expansion resulting from urbanization with changing morphology processes happening in peri-urban communities. Two villages of Kumasi City peri-urban were used as a case study. Appropriate analytical framework and methodology (literature review and empirical evidence) were employed to ensure that all pertinent issues of peri-urban interface are brought to light. It was discovered from the study that since peri-urban livelihood is linked with assets base; it has been found that stock of asset, as well as transformation processes, were major factors in the shaping of livelihoods strategies. For that reason, success or failure of household livelihoods was seen to relate to the kind of livelihood strategy employed. With efforts to mitigate for livelihoods failure due to peri-urban development, households' recourse to remittances, land disposal, and other means as an alternative livelihood approach. The study calls for local government policy interventions in regulating peri-urban transformation process and providing safety nets for the vulnerable.
E Learning/Teaching and the Impact on Student Performance at the Postgraduate Level
E-Learning and E-Teaching can mean many things to different people. For some, the implication is that all material must be delivered in an E way, while for others it only forms part of the learning/teaching process, and (unfortunately) for some it is considered too much work. However, just look around and you will see all generations learning using E devices. In this study we used different forms of teaching, including E, to look at how students responded to set activities and how they performed academically. The particular context was set around a postgraduate university course where students were either present at a face-to-face intensive workshop (on water treatment plant design) or where they were not. For the latter, students needed to make sole use of E media. It is relevant to note that even though some were at the face-to-face class, they were still exposed to E material as the lecturer did use PC projections. Additionally, some also accessed the associate E material (pdf slides and video recordings) to assist their required activities. Analysis of the student performance, in their set assignment, showed that the actual form of delivery did not affect the student performance. This is because, in the end, all the students had access to the recorded/presented E material. The study also showed (somewhat expectedly) that when the material they required for the assignment was clear, the student performance did drop. Therefore, it is possible to enhance future delivery of courses through careful reflection and appropriate support. In the end, we must remember innovation is not just restricted to E.
The Impact of Technological Advancement on Academic Performance of Mathematics Students in Tertiary Institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria
The study investigated the impact of technological advancement on the academic performance of Mathematics students in tertiary institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria. The quasi-experimental research design was adopted for the study. The population for the study consisted of all the 100 level undergraduates and all Mathematics lecturers in the Department of Mathematics in all the five tertiary institutions in the State. The sample of this study was made of one hundred (100) students and fifty (50) lecturers randomly selected using stratified sampling technique. Hypotheses were postulated to find out whether (i) advancement in technology influences the academic performance of students in Mathematics (ii) teaching method and gender disparity influences the academic performance of students in Mathematics. The study revealed that teaching method, gender, and technology influence academic performance of students in Mathematics. Based on the findings, it is recommended that curriculum and assessment in school Mathematics should explicitly require that all undergraduate become proficient in using digital technologies for mathematical purposes so as to enhance the better performance of students in Mathematics.
Feasibility of a Biopolymer as Lightweight Aggregate in Perlite Concrete
Lightweight concrete is being used in the construction industry as a building material in its own right. Ultra-lightweight concrete can be applied as a filler and support material for the manufacturing of composite building materials. This paper is about the development of a stable and reproducible ultra-lightweight concrete with the inclusion of poly-lactic acid (PLA) beads and assessing the feasibility of PLA as a lightweight aggregate that will deliver advantages such as a more eco-friendly concrete and a non-petroleum polymer aggregate. In total, sixty-three samples were prepared and the effectiveness of mineral admixture, curing conditions, water-cement ratio, PLA ratio, EPS ratio and perlite ratio on compressive strength of perlite concrete are studied. The results show that PLA particles are sensitive to alkali environment of cement paste and considerably shrank and lost their strength. A higher compressive strength and a lower density was observed when expanded polystyrene (EPS) particles replaced PLA beads. In addition, a set of equations is proposed to estimate the water-cement ratio, cement content and compressive strength of perlite concrete.
The Role of International Organizations in the Implementation of Return Migration Policy in Cameroon
With growth picking up again, Africa seems increasingly attractive for its own nationals who return home through new opportunities available for them. The purpose of our research paper is to understand the role of the international partners in Cameroon, with regards to their support for the return and reintegration of migrants. We, therefore, questioned the relevance and effectiveness and efficacy of international instruments in reintegrating returnees to Cameroon. After our analysis that was conducted on the basis of a documentary exploration, interviews, and field surveys, it appears that the contribution of the international partners in Cameroon is proven in relation to their participation in the financing and placement of returned experts. However, their contribution remains insufficient due to their low level of deployment and the insignificant impact of their investments on the reintegration of Cameroonian Diasporas. The research also reveals some exogenous and endogenous constraints that hinder international institutions' actions in terms of accompanying migrants returning to Cameroon. Finally, for a better management of the returnees' issue, it is necessary to set up a mechanism to raise awareness and a coordination system of all international actors involved. It is also relevant to reform the migration policy, build institutional capacities, and improve the juridical-administrative and economic environment so as to favor co-development in Cameroon.
Deep Learning for Recommender System: Principles, Methods and Evaluation
Recommender systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are utilized in numerous areas. Nowadays many web services provide several information for users and recommender systems have been developed as critical element of these web applications to predict choice of preference and provide significant recommendations. With the help of the advantage of deep learning in modeling different types of data and due to the dynamic change of user preference, building a deep model can better understand users demand and further improve quality of recommendation. In this paper, deep neural network models for recommender system are evaluated. Most of deep neural network models in recommender system focus on the classical collaborative filtering user-item setting. Deep learning models demonstrated high level features of complex data can be learned instead of using metadata which can significantly improve accuracy of recommendation. Even though deep learning poses a great impact in various areas, applying the model to a recommender system have not been fully exploited and still a lot of improvements can be done both in collaborative and content-based approach while considering different contextual factors.
Sociolinguistic Analysis of Campus Slang: The Case of Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit, Nigeria
This paper is a sociolinguistic analysis of the semantics of students’ slang in Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit, Nigeria. The descriptive survey design was deployed for the study and data were collected from one hundred and fifty (150) students through a series of instruments such as questionnaire, interviews and observations. The questionnaire was administered randomly to levels 200, 300 and Extra Time students only. Interviews and observations were also conducted on the students. These categories of students were selected because they had spent a longer time in the college and were thought to be familiar with campus slang. A total of ninety two (92) slang expressions were taken from the questionnaire and out of this number, twenty six (26) slang expressions were peculiar to the college while sixty six (66) were those slang terms also used in the society. The study proves the notion that every speaker handles a variety of registers and tends to choose among them in accordance with the social situation in which he finds himself. The study shows campus slang as a sociolect which facilitates communication among the students in a different sense. The slang expressions are fully intelligible to the students and this unique and elaborate lexicon serves to achieve group identity among other social implications.
Cameroon’s State Bilingualism: Mending Fences between Linguistic Communities
From the time of the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, languages as well as people have learnt to co-exist. It is obvious that when languages co-exist, there is the inevitable tendency of linguistic influence. This is because a language can either be a unifying factor or a factor of division within a given community, especially in a multicultural and multi-linguistic community where such a situation has led to socio-political and economic tension. Thus, leaders of such communities have a duty to plan and implement a language policy that will meet the needs of all members of the community in order to enhance its corporateness. The present article will focus on some of the major reasons that prompted the government of Cameroon to embark on an official bilingual policy after independence in 1961 and then evaluate the evolution of the linguistic situation. The article will equally look at the consequences, especially on a socio-political platform and what today has been termed 'the Anglophone problem' in Cameroon which has caused a fuse between the country’s minority Anglophone population and the majority Francophone administration. Data for the present article is collected from literature on the state of official bilingualism in Cameroon, newspapers articles on the prevailing situation in the country and interviews with actors on the field.
Mixture of Polymers and Coating Fullerene Soft Nanoparticles
We study the stability and structural properties of mixtures of model nanoparticles and non-adsorbing polymers in the 'protein limit', where the size of polymers exceeds the particle size substantially. We have synthesized in institute (Charles Sadron Strasbourg) model nanoparticles by coating fullerene C60 molecules with low molecular weight polystyrene (PS) chains (6 PS chains with a degree of polymerization close to 25 and 50 are grafted on each fullerene C60 molecule. We will present a Small Angle Neutron scattering (SANS) study of Tetrahydrofuran (THF) solutions involving long polystyrene (PS) chains and fullerene (C60) nanoparticles. Long PS chains and C60 nanoparticles with different arm lengths were synthesized either hydrogenated or deuteriated. They were characterized through Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) and Quasielastic Light Scattering (QLS). In this way, the solubility of the C60 nanoparticles in the usual good solvents of PS was controlled. SANS experiments were performed by use of the contrast variation method in order to measure the partial scattering functions related to both components. They allow us to obtain information about the dispersion state of the C60 nanoparticles as well as the average conformation of the long PS chains. Specifically, they show that the addition of long polymer chains leads to the existence of an additional attractive interaction in between soft nanoparticles.
Effect of Citric Acid and Clove on Cured Smoked Meat: A Traditional Meat Product
Smoking of meat enhances the taste and look of meat, it also increases its longevity, and helps preserve the meat by slowing down the spoilage of fat and growth of bacteria. The Lean meat from the forequarter of beef carcass was obtained from the Maiduguri abattoir. The meat was cut into four portions with weight ranging from 525-545 g. The meat was cut into bits measuring about 8 cm in length, 3.5 cm in thickness and weighed 64.5 g. Meat samples were washed, cured with various concentration of sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, citric acid and clove for 30 min, drained and smoked in a smoking kiln at a temperature range of 55-600°C, for 8 hr a day for 3 days. The products were stored at ambient temperature and evaluated microbiologically and organoleptically. In terms of processing and storage there were increases in pH, free fatty acid content, a decrease in water holding capacity and microbial count of the cured smoked meat. The panelists rated control samples significantly (p < 0.05) higher in terms of colour, texture, taste and overall acceptability. The following organisms were isolated and identified during storage: Bacillus specie, Bacillus subtilis, streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Aspergillus niger, Candida and Penicillium specie. The study forms a basis for new product development for meat industry.
Application of the Quantile Regression Approach to the Heterogeneity of the Fine Wine Prices
In this paper, the heterogeneity of the Bordeaux Legends 50 wine market price segment is addressed. For this purpose, quantile regression is applied – with market segmentation based on wine bottle price quantile – and the hedonic price of wine attributes is computed for various price segments of the market. The approach is applied to a major privately held data set which consists of approximately 30,000 transactions over the 2003–2014 period. The findings suggest that the relative hedonic prices of several wine attributes differ significantly among deciles. In particular, the elasticity coefficient of the expert ratings shows strong variation among prices. If - as suggested in the literature - expert ratings have a positive influence on wine price on average, they have a clearly decreasing impact over the quantiles. Finally, the lower the wine price, the higher the potential for price appreciation over time. Other variables such as chateaux or vintage are also shown to vary across the distribution of wine prices. While enhancing our understanding of the complex market dynamics that underlie Bordeaux wines’ price, this research provides empirical evidence that the QR approach adequately captures heterogeneity among wine price ranges, which simultaneously applies to wine stock, vintage and auctions’ house.
Massachusetts Homeschool Policy: An Interpretive Analysis of Homeschool Regulation and Oversight
This research proposal outlines an examination of homeschool oversight in the Massachusetts educational system amid the backdrop of ideological differences between various parties with contributing interests. This mixed methodology study will follow an interpretive policy research approach, involving the use of existing data, surveys, and focus groups. The aim is to capture distinct sets of meanings, values, feelings, and beliefs by principal stakeholders, while exploring the ways in which they/each interact with, interpret, and implement homeschool guidelines set forth by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decision Care and Protection of Charles (1987). This analysis will identify and contextualize the attitudes, administrative choices, financial implications, and educational impacts that result from the process and practice of enacting current homeschool oversight policy in Massachusetts. The following question will guide this study: How do districts, homeschooling parents, and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulate, fund, collect, interpret, implement and report Massachusetts homeschool oversight policy? The resulting analysis will produce a unique and original baseline snapshot of qualitative and quantifiable point-in-time data based on the registered homeschool population in the state of Massachusetts.
A Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Adaptation in Reducing Depression, Anxiety, and Self-Harm in Older Adults
It has long been assumed that personality disorders (PD) originate in adolescence or early adulthood and that the maladaptive behaviors significantly attenuate over time. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 supports early onset of PD and views the pattern of behaviors as enduring and stable. The premise of this study is that PD may not always begin early in life, that behaviors may change over the lifespan, and that current treatment modalities may be beneficial in seniors. Self-injurious behaviors (SIB) exhibited earlier in life may, in older adults, be manifested in less overt high-risk behaviors but by refusal to take medication and get necessary medical treatment. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a well-known treatment modality for teaching emotional regulation and distress tolerance and thus reducing self-injurious behaviors yet very little has been studied about SIB and treatment in older adults. The population for this study was older adults, with a history of SIB, a PD, and depression and/or anxiety. Participants learned an adapted version of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as developed by DBT trained therapists. The results provided clinical potentials for the efficacy of DBT to reduce SIB, decrease depression and anxiety in the older adult population.
The Study of Musculoskeletal Disorders Produced by Excess Physical Effort in Marines
Aims: Study musculoskeletal disorders produced by excess physical exertion in marines Introduction: Musculoskeletal injuries during military training are an important medical problem faced by military organizations throughout the world. Military occupations are physically demanding, which represents a high risk of injury "and subsequent disability, these injuries represent important risk factors for hospitalization, disability, and discharge Methodology: This is a causal correlational study in which data were collected in order to find a cause-effect relationship between the physical effort in marines during their career in the Chilean Navy and the musculoskeletal disorders that occur in some from them. Results:100% had experienced musculoskeletal pain in some part of the body and 73.52% of the respondents had experienced limitations in the ability to work, as a consequence forced to change jobs due to musculoskeletal pain. The neck, shoulders and the lumbar dorsal region were the regions with the highest prevalence of pain, as well as pain that limit the ability to work. Conclusion: Musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses related to injuries are common in marines, both in those who operate in campus Charles, as in another operational unit due to the nature of the work. Many of these injuries occur during physical training and sports and various studies have dealt with the descriptive epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries in military personnel.
Examining the Current Divisive State of American Political Discourse through the Lens of Peirce's Triadic Logical Structure and Pragmatist Metaphysics
The polarizing dialogue of contemporary political America results from core philosophical differences. But these differences are beyond ideological and reach metaphysical distinction. Good intellectual historians have theorized that fundamental concepts such as freedom, God, and nature have been sterilized of their intellectual vigor. They are partially correct. 19th-century pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce offers a penetrating philosophy which can yield greater insight into the contemporary political divide. Peirce argues that metaphysical and ethical issues are derivative of operational logic. His triadic logical structure and ensuing metaphysical principles constructed therefrom is contemporaneously applicable for three reasons.
First, Peirce’s logic aptly scrutinizes the logical processes of liberal and conservative mindsets. Each group arrives at a cosmological root metaphor (abduction), resulting in a contemporary assessment (deduction), ultimately prompting attempts to verify the original abduction (induction). Peirce’s system demonstrates that liberal citizens develop a cosmological root metaphor in the concept of fairness (abduction), resulting in a contemporary assessment of, for example, underrepresented communities being unfairly preyed upon (deduction), thereby inciting anger toward traditional socio-political structures suspected of purposefully destabilizing minority communities (induction). Similarly, conservative citizens develop a cosmological root metaphor in the concept of freedom (abduction), resulting in a contemporary assessment of, for example, liberal citizens advocating an expansion of governmental powers (deduction), thereby inciting anger towards liberal communities suspected of attacking freedoms of ordinary Americans in a bid to empower their interests through the government (induction).
The value of this triadic assessment is the categorization of distinct types of inferential logic by their purpose and boundaries. Only deductive claims can be concretely proven, while abductive claims are merely preliminary hypotheses, and inductive claims are accountable to interdisciplinary oversight. Liberals and conservative logical processes preclude constructive dialogue because of (a) an unshared abductive framework, and (b) misunderstanding the rules and responsibilities of their types of claims.
Second, Peircean metaphysical principles offer a greater summary of the contemporaneously divisive political climate. His insights can weed through the partisan theorizing to unravel the underlying philosophical problems. Corrosive nominalistic and essentialistic presuppositions weaken the ability to share experiences and communicate effectively, both requisite for any promising constructive dialogue. Peirce’s pragmatist system can expose and evade fallacious thinking in pursuit of a refreshing alternative framework.
Finally, Peirce’s metaphysical foundation enables a logically coherent, scientifically informed orthopraxis well-suited for American dialogue. His logical structure necessitates radically different anthropology conducive to shared experiences and dialogue within a dynamic, cultural continuum. Pierce’s fallibilism and sensitivity to religious sentiment successfully navigate between liberal and conservative values. In sum, he provides a normative paradigm for intranational dialogue that privileges individual experience and values morally defensible notions of freedom, God, and nature. Utilizing Peirce’s thought will yield fruitful analysis and offers a promising philosophical alternative for framing and engaging in contemporary American political discourse.
Assessment of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Lake Ol Bolossat Catchment, Nyandarua County, Kenya
Land use changes caused by demographic, natural variability, economic, technological and policy factors affect the goods and services derived from an ecosystem. In the past few decades, Lake Ol Bolossat catchment in Nyandarua County Kenya has been facing challenges of land cover changes threatening its capacity to perform ecosystems functions and adversely affecting communities and ecosystems downstream. This study assessed land cover changes in the catchment for a period of twenty eight years (from 1986 to 2014). Analysis of three Landsat images i.e. L5 TM 1986, L5 TM 1995 and L8 OLI/TIRS 2014 was done using ERDAS 9.2 software. The results show that dense forest, cropland and area under water increased by 27%, 29% and 3% respectively. On the other hand, open forest, dense grassland, open grassland, bushland and shrubland decreased by 3%, 3%, 11%, 26% and 1% respectively during the period under assessment. The lake was noted to have increased due to siltation caused by soil erosion causing a reduction in Lake’s depth and consequently causing temporary flooding of the wetland. The study concludes that the catchment is under high demographic pressure which would lead to resource use conflicts and therefore formulation of mitigation measures is highly recommended.
Nutritional Composition of Crackers Produced from Blend of Sprouted Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan), Unripe Plantain (Musa parasidiaca), and Brewers’ Spent Grain Flour and Blood Glucose Level of Diabetic Rats Fed the Biscuit
The nutritional composition and hypoglycaemic effect of crackers produced from a blend of sprouted pigeon pea, unripe plantain, and brewers’ spent grain and fed to Alloxan induced diabetic rat was investigated. Crackers were produced from different blends of sprouted pigeon pea, unripe plantain and brewers’ spent grain. The crackers were evaluated for proximate composition, amino acid profile and antinutritional factors. Blood glucose levels of normal and diabetic rats fed with the control sample and different formulations of cracker were measured. The protein content of the samples were significantly different (p < 0.05) from each other with sample A having the lowest value and sample B with the highest value. The values obtained showed that the samples contained most of the amino acids that are found in plant proteins. The levels of antinutritional factor determined were generally low. Administration of the formulated cracker meals led to a significant reduction in the fasting blood glucose level in the diabetic rats. The present study concluded that consumption of crackers produced from this composite flour can be recommended for the diabetics and those who are sceptical about the disease.
Engineered Biopolymers as Novel Sustainable Resin Binder for Wood Composites
Over the last few years, advancements have been made around improving sustainability for wood composite boards. One of the last and most challenging sustainability hurdles is finding a viable alternative to petroleum-based resin binders. In today’s market, no longer is formaldehyde emission control sufficient to meet the requirements of many architects and end-use consumers. Even the use of highly reactive isocyanates is considered by many as not sustainable enough since these chemicals are manufactured from classical fossil fuel sources. The emergence of biopolymers specifically engineered for usage as wood composite binders has been successfully demonstrated in this paper as a viable option towards a truly renewable wood composite board. Recent technology advancements driven by EcoSynthetix and CHIMAR have exploited the advantages of using an engineered biopolymer. The evidence shows that this renewable technology has the potential to be used as a partial up to full replacement of classical formaldehyde technologies. Numerous trials, both in the lab and at industrial scale, have shown that a renewable binder of the proposed technology can produce a commercially viable board in a traditional industrial setting. The ultimate goal of this work is to provide evidence that a sustainable binder alternative can be used to make a commercial board while at the same time improving the total cost of manufacturing.
Phytoplankton of the Atlantic Ocean, off Lagos, Nigeria
A study was carried out in the Atlantic Ocean off the Lighthouse Beach, Lagos. There were monthly and spatial variations in physical and chemical characteristics of the neritic ocean (August - December, 2014). Mean and standard deviation values for air temperature were 27. 67, ± 2.98 °C, water temperature (28.37 ± 1.88), pH (7.85 ± 0.17), conductivity (44738.75 ± 6262.76 µS/cm), total dissolved solids (29236.71 ± 4273.30 mg/L), salinity (27.11 ± 3.91 ‰), alkalinity (126.99 ± 42.81 mg/L) and chloride (15056. 67 ± 2165.78 mg/L). Higher estimates were recorded in the dry than wet months for these characteristics. On the other hand, reducing values were recorded for acidity (2.34 ± 0.63 mg/L), total hardness (4711.98 ± 691.50 mg/L), phosphate (1.1 ± 0.78 mg/L), sulphate (2601.99 ± 447.04 mg/L) and nitrate (0.12 ± 0.06 mg/L). Values for total suspended solids and biological oxygen demand values were low (
Methane Plasma Modified Polyvinyl Alcohol Scaffolds for Melanocytes Cultivation
Vitiligo is the most common depigmentation disorder of the skin characterized by loss of melanocyte in the epidermis that leads to white lesions. One of the possible treatments is autologous transplantation of melanocytes. Biodegradable electrospun polymeric nanofibers provide good mechanical properties and could serve as suitable scaffold for epithelial cells cultivation and follow up transplantation. Moreover the microarchitecture of nanofibers mimics the structure of extracellular matrix and its porosity allows nutrients and waste exchange. The aim of this work was to develop biocompatible and biodegradable polymeric scaffolds suitable for autologous melanocytes transplantation. Electrospun polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers were modified by cold methane plasma to lower their hydrofility and to achieve better adhesion, proliferation and viability of the murine melanocyte (Melan-a). Cells were seeded on the modified scaffolds and their adhesion, metabolic activity, proliferation and melanin synthesis was evaluated and compared to non-modified scaffolds. Results clearly indicate that cold methane plasma modified PVA nanofibers are suitable for melanocyte cultivation and may be future candidate for vitiligo treatment. Furthermore, the nanofibers can be functionalized with various bioactive substances, for enhancement of the melanocyte proliferation, melanogenesis or healing and regenerative processes. The project was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports NPU I: LO1309 and by Grant Agency of Charles University (grant No. 1228214).
Ubudehe: A Social Work Analysis of Indigenous Solutions to Poverty Reduction in Post-Genocide Rwanda
As part of the effort to reconstruct Rwanda and foster a shared national identity after the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, the government of Rwanda has drawn on aspects of indigenous culture and traditional practices. One of these traditional practices and cultural values is Ubudehe, which has been re-introduced after it has been gradually lost since colonial times. It is a form of collective action at the village level, which is inclusive, covering men, women, and the most marginalized community members. The philosophy behind Ubudehe is to increase the level of participation and institutional problem-solving capacity at the local level by citizens and local government. Since the early 2000s, the government re-introduced Ubudehe as a neo-traditional cultural institution in order to support the implementation of the country’s poverty reduction and development programs. An empirical study on indigenous and innovative models of social work practice was conducted under the framework of the ‘Professional Social Work in East Africa’ (PROSOWO II) project. Field data were collected on traditional/indigenous approaches, including Ubudehe, from different categories of informants through focus group discussions (FGDs) and personal interviews. The research showed that professional social workers play a significant role in the whole Ubudehe process. While there have been some challenges in the administration and implementation, overall it has contributed to poverty reduction in a post-genocide Rwanda.
Phytoplankton of the Atlantic Ocean off Lagos
A study was carried out in the Atlantic Ocean off the Lighthouse Beach, Lagos. There were monthly and spatial variations in physical and chemical characteristics of the neritic ocean (August-December, 2014). Mean and standard deviation values for air temperature were 27. 67, ± 2.98 oC, water temperature (28.37 ± 1.88), pH (7.85 ± 0.17), Conductivity (44738.75 ± 6262.76 µS/cm), Total dissolved solids (29236.71 ± 4273.30 mg/L), Salinity (27.11 ± 3.91 ‰), Alkalinity (126.99 ± 42.81 mg/L) and Chloride (15056. 67 ± 2165.78 mg/L). Higher estimates were recorded in the dry than wet months for these characteristics. On the other hand, reducing values were recorded for Acidity (2.34 ± 0.63 mg/L), Total hardness (4711.98 ± 691.50 mg/L), Phosphate (1.1 ± 0.78 mg/L), Sulphate (2601.99 ± 447.04 mg/L) and Nitrate (0.12 ± 0.06 mg/L). Values for Total suspended solids and Biological oxygen demand values were low ( < 1mg/L). Twenty-one species of phytoplankton were recorded. Diatoms recorded 80.92% and were the dominant group. Hemidiscus cuneiformis, Coscinodiscus centralis, Coscinodiscus lineatus, Coscinodiscus radiatus and Oscillatoria limosa were more frequently occurring species. Biddulphia sinensis and four species of Ceratium, were representatives of the dry season. The dry season also recorded comparatively higher individuals of phytoplankton than the wet season. Spirogyra sp. (green algae) appeared only in the wet season. Species abundance (N) was highest in December at Station 1 (13.15%) (dry season) and lowest in August (wet season) at Station 3 (2.96%). The physico-chemical factors and phytoplankton reflected a tropical unpolluted neritic oceanic environment.
Electrochemically Reduced Graphene Oxide Modified Boron-Doped Diamond Paste Electrode on Paper-Based Analytical Device for Simultaneous Determination of Norepinephrine and Serotonin
In this work, we demonstrate a novel electrochemically reduced graphene oxide (ERGO) modified boron-doped diamond paste (BDDP) electrode on paper-based analytical devices (PADs) for simultaneous determination of norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT). The BDD paste electrode was easily constructed by filling BDD paste in small channels, which made in transparency film sheets using a CO₂ laser etching
system. The counter and reference electrodes were fabricated on paper by in-house screen-printing and then combined with BDD paste microelectrode. The electrochemical characterization of the device was investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV). Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) was employed for the simultaneous determination of NE and 5-HT. The ERGO-modified BDDP electrode displayed excellent electrocatalytic activities toward the oxidation of NE and 5-HT and strong function for resolving the overlapping voltammetric responses of NE and 5-HT into two well-defined voltammetric peaks. This device was capable of simultaneously detecting NE and 5-HT in wide concentration ranges and with a low limit of detections. In addition, it has the advantages in terms of ease of use, low cost, and disposability.
Aristotle's Notion of Akratic Action through the Prism of Moral Psychology
Actions are generally evaluated from moral point of view. Either the action is praised or condemned, but in all cases it involves the agent who performs it. The agent is held morally responsible for bringing out an action. This paper is an attempt to explore the Aristotle’s notion of action and its relation with moral development in response to modern philosophical moral psychology. Particularly, the distinction between voluntary, involuntary, and non-voluntary action in the Nicomachean Ethics with some basic problems from the perspective of moral psychology: the role of choice, moral responsibility, desire, and akrasia for an action. How to do a morally right action? Is there any role of virtue, character to do a moral action? These problems are analyzed and interpreted in order to show that the Aristotelian theory of action significantly contributes to the philosophical study of moral psychology. In this connection, the paper juxtaposes Aristotle’s theory of action with response from David Charles, John R. Searle’s, and Alfred Mele theorization of action in the mechanism of human moral behaviours. To achieve this addressed problem, we consider, how the recent moral philosophical moral psychology research can shed light on Aristotle's ethics by focusing on theory of action. In this connection, we argue that the desire is the only responsible for the akratic action. According to Aristotle, desire is primary source of action and it is the starting point of action and also the endpoint of an action. Therefore we are trying to see how desire can make a person incontinent and motivate to do such irrational actions. Is there any causes which we can say such actions are right or wrong? To measure an action we have need to see the consequences such act. Thus, we discuss the relationship between akrasia and action from the perspective of contemporary moral psychologists and philosophers whose are currently working on it.
Apatite-Forming Ability of Doped-Ceria Coatings for Orthopedic Implants
There is an increasing demand for orthopedic implants owing to the increasing numbers of the aging population. Titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) is a common material used for orthopedic implants owing to its advantageous properties in terms of good corrosion resistance, minimal elastic modulus mismatch with bone, bio-inertness, and high mechanical strength. However, it is important to improve the bioactivity and osseointegration of the titanium alloy and this can be achieved by coating the implant surface with suitable ceramic materials. In the present work, pure and doped-ceria (CeO₂) coatings were deposited by spin coating on the titanium alloy surface in order to enhance the biological interactions between the surface of the implant and the surrounding tissue. In order to examine the bone-binding ability of an implant, simulated body fluid (SBF) tests were conducted in order to assess the capability of apatite layer formation on the surface and thus predict in vivo bone bioactivity. Characterization was done using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses to determine the extent of apatite formation. Preliminary tests showed that the CeO₂ coatings were biocompatible and that the extent of apatite formation and its characteristics can be enhanced by doping with suitable metal ions.
Compositional Dependence of Hydroxylated Indium-Oxide on the Reaction Rate of CO2/H2 Reduction
A major goal in the emerging field of solar fuels is to realize an ‘artificial leaf’ – a material that converts light energy in the form of solar photons into chemical energy – using CO2 as a feedstock to generate useful chemical species. Enabling this technology will allow the greenhouse gas, CO2, emitted from energy and manufacturing production exhaust streams to be converted into valuable solar fuels or chemical products. Indium Oxide (In2O3) with surface hydroxyl (OH) groups have been shown to reduce CO2 in the presence of H2 to CO with a reaction rate of 15 μmol gcat−1 h−1. The likely mechanism is via a Frustrated Lewis Pair sites heterolytically splitting H2 to be absorbed and form protonic and hydric sites that can dissociate CO2. In this study, we investigate the dependence of oxygen composition of In2O3 on the CO2 reduction rate. In2O3-x films on quartz fiber paper were DC sputtered with an Indium target and varying O2/Ar plasma mixture. OH surface groups were then introduced by immersing the In2O3-x samples in KOH. We show that hydroxylated In2O3-x reduces more CO2 than non-hydroxylated groups and that a hydroxylated and higher O2/Ar ratio sputtered In2O3-x has a higher reaction rate of 45 μmol gcat-1 h-1. We show by electrical resistivity-temperature curves that H2 is adsorbed onto the surface of In2O3 whereas CO2 itself does not affect the indium oxide surface. We also present activation and ionization energy levels of the hydroxylated In2O3-x under vacuum, CO2 and H2 atmosphere conditions.
Cost of Governance in Nigeria: In Whose Interest
Cost of governance in Nigeria has become a challenge to development and concern to practitioners and scholars alike in the field of business and social science research. It has been observed that it takes 70 percent of the nation’s revenue to maintain less than 20 percent of the Nigerian population that are public servants. Furthermore, it has been observed that on a consistent yearly basis, the recurrent expenditure of government from the national budget keeps rising, while capital expenditure meant for development keeps falling. The implication is that development is stagnated in the country. For instance, in the 2010 national budget of NGN4.60tn or USD28.75b, only NGN1.80tn or USD11.15b was set aside for capital expenditure. Also, in the 2013 national budget of NGN4.92tn or USD30.75b, only NGN1.50tn or USD9.38b was set aside for capital expenditure. Therefore, with the analysis of secondary data, this study examined the reasons for the high cost of governance in Nigeria. It observed that the high cost of governance in the country is in the interest of the ruling class, arising from their unethical behaviour – corrupt practices and the poor management of public resources. As a result, the study recommends the need to intensify the war against corruption and mismanagement of public resources by government officials as possible solution to overcome the high cost of governance in Nigeria. This could be achieved by strengthening the constitutional powers of the various anti-corruption agencies in the area of arrest, investigation and prosecution of offenders without the interference of the executive arm of government either at the local, state or federal level.
Characterization of Optical Systems for Intraocular Projection
Introduction: Over 12 million people are blind due to opacity of the cornea, the clear tissue forming the front of the eye. Current methods use plastic implants to produce a clear optical pathway into the eye but are limited by a high rate of complications. New implants utilizing completely inside-the-eye projection technology can overcome blindness due to scarring of the eye by producing images on the retina without need for a clear optical pathway into the eye and may be free of the complications of traditional treatments. However, the interior of the eye is a challenging location for the design of optical focusing systems which can produce a sufficiently high quality image. No optical focusing systems have previously been characterized for this purpose. Methods: 3 optical focusing systems for intraocular (inside the eye) projection were designed and then modeled with ray tracing software, including a pinhole system, a planoconvex, and an achromatic system. These were then constructed using off-the-shelf components and tested in the laboratory. Weight, size, magnification, depth of focus, image quality and brightness were characterized. Results: Image quality increased with complexity of system design, as did weight and size. A dual achromatic doublet optical system produced the highest image quality. The visual acuity equivalent achieved with this system was better than 20/200. Its weight was less than that of the natural human crystalline lens. Conclusions: We demonstrate for the first time that high quality images can be produced by optical systems sufficiently small and light to be implanted within the eye.
Superamolecular Chemistry and Packing of FAMEs in the Liquid Phase for Optimization of Combustion and Emission
Supramolecular chemistry refers to the domain of chemistry beyond that of molecules and focuses on the chemical systems made up of a discrete number of assembled molecular sub units or components. Biodiesel components self arrangements is closely related/affect their physical properties in combustion systems and emission. Due to technological difficulties, knowledge regarding the molecular packing of FAMEs (biodiesel) in the liquid phase is limited. Spectral tools such as X-ray and NMR are known to provide evidences related to molecular structure organization. Recently, it was reported by our research group that using 1H Time Domain NMR methodology based on relaxation time and self diffusion coefficients, FAMEs clusters with different motilities can be accurately studied in the liquid phase. Head to head dimarization with quasi-smectic clusters organization, based on molecular motion analysis, was clearly demonstrated. These findings about the assembly/packing of the FAME components are directly associated with fluidity/viscosity of the biodiesel. Furthermore, these findings may provide information of micro/nano-particles that are formed in the delivery and injection system of various combustion systems (affected by thermodynamic conditions). Various relevant parameters to combustion such as: distillation/Liquid Gas phase transition, cetane number/ignition delay, shoot, oxidation/NOX emission maybe predicted. These data may open the window for further optimization of FAME/diesel mixture in terms of combustion and emission.
Modified Side Plate Design to Suppress Lateral Torsional Buckling of H-Beam for Seismic Application
One of the method to solve the lateral torsional buckling (LTB) problem is by using side plates to increased the buckling resistance of the beam. Some modifications in designing the side plates are made in this study to simplify the construction in the field and reduce the cost. At certain region, side plates are not added: (1) At the beam end to preserve some spaces for bolt installation, but the beam is strengthened by adding cover plate at both flanges and (2) at the middle span of the beam where the moment is smaller. Three small scale full span beam specimens are tested under cyclic loading to investigate the LTB resistant and the ductility of the proposed design method. Test results show that the LTB deformation can be effectively suppressed and very high ductility level can be achieved. Following the test, a finite element analysis (FEA) model is established and is verified using the test results. An intensive parametric study is conducted using the established FEA model. The analysis reveals that the length of side plates is the most important parameter determining the performance of the beam and the required side plates length is determined by some parameters which are (1) beam depth to flange width ratio, (2) beam slenderness ratio (3) strength and thickness of the side plates, (4) compactness of beam web and flange, and (5) beam yield strength. At the end of the paper, a design formula to calculate the required side plate length is suggested.
A Comparative Analysis of the Performance of COSMO and WRF Models in Quantitative Rainfall Prediction
The Numerical weather prediction (NWP) models are
considered powerful tools for guiding quantitative rainfall prediction.
A couple of NWP models exist and are used at many operational
weather prediction centers. This study considers two models namely
the Consortium for Small–scale Modeling (COSMO) model and the
Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. It compares the
models’ ability to predict rainfall over Uganda for the period 21st
April 2013 to 10th May 2013 using the root mean square (RMSE)
and the mean error (ME). In comparing the performance of the
models, this study assesses their ability to predict light rainfall events
and extreme rainfall events. All the experiments used the default
parameterization configurations and with same horizontal resolution
(7 Km). The results show that COSMO model had a tendency of
largely predicting no rain which explained its under–prediction. The
COSMO model (RMSE: 14.16; ME: -5.91) presented a significantly
(p = 0.014) higher magnitude of error compared to the WRF
model (RMSE: 11.86; ME: -1.09). However the COSMO model
(RMSE: 3.85; ME: 1.39) performed significantly (p = 0.003) better
than the WRF model (RMSE: 8.14; ME: 5.30) in simulating light
rainfall events. All the models under–predicted extreme rainfall events
with the COSMO model (RMSE: 43.63; ME: -39.58) presenting
significantly higher error magnitudes than the WRF model (RMSE:
35.14; ME: -26.95). This study recommends additional diagnosis of
the models’ treatment of deep convection over the tropics.
Elastoplastic Collapse Analysis of Pipe Bends Using Finite Element Analysis
When an external load is applied to one of its ends, a pipe’s bends cross section tends to deform significantly both in and out of its end plane. This shell type behaviour characteristic of pipe bends and mainly due to their curves geometry accounts for their greater flexibility. This added flexibility is also accompanied by stressed and strains that are much higher than those present in a straight pipe. The primary goal of this research is to study the elastic-plastic behaviour of pipe bends under out of plane moment loading. It is also required to study the effects of changing the value of the pipe bend factor and the value of the internal pressure on that behaviour and to determine the value of the limit moments in each case. The results of these analyses are presented in the form of load deflection plots for each load case belonging to each model. From the load deflection curves, the limit moments of each case are obtained. The limit loads are then compared to those computed using some of the analytical and empirical equation available in the literature. The effects of modelling parameters are also studied. The results obtained from small displacement and large displacement analyses are compared and the effects of using a strain hardened material model are also investigated. To better understand the behaviour of pipe elbows under out of plane bending and internal pressure, it was deemed important to know how the cross section deforms and to study the distribution of stresses that cause it to deform in a particular manner. An elbow with pipe bend factor h=0.1 to h=1 is considered and the results of the detailed analysis are thereof examined.
Performance of the Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay on the Panther System
The Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay is a fully automated assay on the Panther system. It is based on Transcription-Mediated Amplification and real time detection technologies. This assay is intended for monitoring HIV-1 viral load in plasma specimens and for the detection of HIV-1 in plasma and serum specimens. Nine-hundred and seventy nine specimens selected at random from routine testing at St Thomas’ Hospital, London were anonymised and used to compare the performance of the Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx assay and Roche COBAS® AmpliPrep/COBAS® TaqMan® HIV-1 Test, v2.0. Two-hundred and thirty four specimens gave quantitative HIV-1 viral load results in both assays. The quantitative results reported by the Aptima Assay were comparable those reported by the Roche COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 Test, v2.0 with a linear regression slope of 1.04 and an intercept on -0.097. The Aptima assay detected HIV-1 in more samples than the Roche assay. This was not due to lack of specificity of the Aptima assay because this assay gave 99.83% specificity on testing plasma specimens from 600 HIV-1 negative individuals. To understand the reason for this higher detection rate a side-by-side comparison of low level panels made from the HIV-1 3rd international standard (NIBSC10/152) and clinical samples of various subtypes were tested in both assays. The Aptima assay was more sensitive than the Roche assay. The good sensitivity, specificity and agreement with other commercial assays make the HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay appropriate for both viral load monitoring and detection of HIV-1 infections.
A Comparative Analysis of the Performance of Consortium for Small–Scale Modeling and Weather Research and Forecasting Models in Quantitative Rainfall Prediction
The numerical weather prediction (NWP) models are considered powerful tools for guiding quantitative rainfall prediction. A couple of NWP models exist and are used at many operational weather prediction centers. This study considers two models namely the Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling (COSMO) model and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. It compares the models’ ability to predict rainfall over Uganda for the period 21st April 2013 to 10th May 2013 using the root mean square (RMSE) and the mean error (ME). In comparing the performance of the models, this study assesses their ability to predict light rainfall events and extreme rainfall events. All the experiments used the default parameterization configurations and with same horizontal resolution (7 Km). The results show that COSMO model had a tendency of largely predicting no rain which explained its under-prediction. The COSMO model (RMSE: 14.16; ME: -5.91) presented a significantly (p = 0.014) higher magnitude of error compared to the WRF model (RMSE: 11.86; ME: -1.09). However, the COSMO model (RMSE: 3.85; ME: 1.39) performed significantly (p = 0.003) better than the WRF model (RMSE: 8.14; ME: 5.30) in simulating light rainfall events. All the models under-predicted extreme rainfall events with the COSMO model (RMSE: 43.63; ME: -39.58) presenting significantly higher error magnitudes than the WRF model (RMSE:35.14; ME: -26.95). This study recommends additional diagnosis of the models’ treatment of deep convection over the tropics.
Removal of Lead Ions from Aqueous Medium Using Devised Column Filters Packed with Chitosan from Trash Crab Shells: A Characterization Study
Chitosan is a promising biopolymer commonly found in crustacean shells that has plausible effects in water purification and wastewater treatment. It is a primary derivative of chitin and considered second of the most abundant biopolymer prior to cellulose. Morphological analysis had been done using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Microscopy (SEM/EDS), and due to its porous nature, it showcases a certain degree of porosity, hence, larger adsorption site of heavy metal. The Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy of the chitosan and ‘lead-bound’ chitosan, shows a relative increase of percent abundance of lead cation from 1.44% to 2.08% hence, adsorption occurs. Chitosan, as a nitrogenous polysaccharide, subjected to Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis shows amide bands ranging from 1635.36 cm⁻¹ for amide 1 band and 1558.40 cm-1 for amide 2 band with NH stretching. For ‘lead-bound’ chitosan, the FT-IR analysis shows a change in peaks upon adsorption of Pb(II) cation. The spectrum shows broadening of OH and NH stretching band. Such observation can be attributed to the probability that the attachment of Pb(II) ions is in these functional groups. A column filter was devised with lead-bound chitosan to determine the zero point charge (pHzpc) of the biopolymer. The results show that at pH 8.34, below than the zpc level of literatures cited for lead which ranges from pH 4 to 7, favors the adsorption site of chitosan and its capability to adsorb traces amount of aqueous lead.
The Yak of Thailand: Folk Icons Transcending Culture, Religion, and Media
In the culture of Thailand, the Yak serve as a mediated icon representing strength, power, and mystical protection not only for the Buddha, but for population of worshipers. Originating from the forests of China, the Yak continue to stand guard at the gates of Buddhist temples. The Yak represents Thai culture in the hearts of Thai people. This paper presents a qualitative study regarding the curious mix of media, culture, and religion that projects the Yak of Thailand as a larger than life message throughout the political, cultural, and religious spheres. The gate guardians, or gods as they are sometimes called, appear throughout the religious temples of Asian cultures. However, the Asian cultures demonstrate differences in artistic renditions (or presentations) of such sentinels. Thailand gate guards (the Yak) stand in front of many Buddhist temples, and these iconic figures display unique features with varied symbolic significance. The temple (or wat), plays a vital role in every community; and, for many people, Thailand’s temples are the country’s most endearing sights. The authors applied folk-nography as a methodology to illustrate the importance of the Thai Yak in serving as meaningful icons that transcend not only time, but the culture, religion, and mass media. The Yak represent mythical, religious, artistic, cultural, and militaristic significance for the Thai people. Data collection included interviews, focus groups, and natural observations. This paper summarizes the perceptions of the Thai people concerning their gate sentries and the relationship, communication, connection, and the enduring respect that Thai people hold for their guardians of the gates.
Numerical Simulations of Acoustic Imaging in Hydrodynamic Tunnel with Model Adaptation and Boundary Layer Noise Reduction
The noise requirements for naval and research vessels
have seen an increasing demand for quieter ships in order to fulfil
current regulations and to reduce the effects on marine life. Hence,
new methods dedicated to the characterization of propeller noise,
which is the main source of noise in the far-field, are needed. The
study of cavitating propellers in closed-section is interesting for
analyzing hydrodynamic performance but could involve significant
difficulties for hydroacoustic study, especially due to reverberation
and boundary layer noise in the tunnel. The aim of this paper
is to present a numerical methodology for the identification of
hydroacoustic sources on marine propellers using hydrophone arrays
in a large hydrodynamic tunnel. The main difficulties are linked to the
reverberation of the tunnel and the boundary layer noise that strongly
reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. In this paper it is proposed to estimate
the reflection coefficients using an inverse method and some reference
transfer functions measured in the tunnel. This approach allows to
reduce the uncertainties of the propagation model used in the inverse
problem. In order to reduce the boundary layer noise, a cleaning
algorithm taking advantage of the low rank and sparse structure of the
cross-spectrum matrices of the acoustic and the boundary layer noise
is presented. This approach allows to recover the acoustic signal even
well under the boundary layer noise. The improvement brought by
this method is visible on acoustic maps resulting from beamforming
and DAMAS algorithms.
Comparison of an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket and an Anaerobic Filter for Treating Wheat Straw Wash Water
The effect of osmotic stress was carried out to determine the ability for biogas production in two types of digesters; anaerobic sludge blanket and anaerobic filters in treating wheat straw washed water. Two anaerobic filters (AF1 and 2) and two UASB reactors (U1 and 2) with working volumes of 1.5 L were employed at mesophilic temperatures (37°C). Digesters AF1 and two were seeded with an inoculum which had previously been fed on with a synthetic wastewater includingSodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride. Digesters U1 and two were seeded with 1 kg wet weight of granular sludge which had previously been treating paper mill effluent. During the first 48 days, all digesters were successfully acclimated with synthetic wastewater (SW) to organic loading rate (OLR) of 6 g COD l^-1 day-1. Specific methane production (SMP) of 0.333 l CH4 g-1 COD). The feed was then changed to wash water from a washing operation to reduce the salt content of wheat straw (wheat straw wash water, WSW) at the same OLR. SMP fell sharply in all reactors to less than 0.1 l CH4 g^-1 COD, with the AF affected more than the UASB. The OLR was reduced to 2.5 g COD l^-1 day^-1 to allow adaptation to WSW, and both the UASB and the AF reactors achieved an SMP of 0.21 l CH4 g^-1 COD added at 82% of COD removal. This study also revealed the accumulation of potassium (K) inside the UASB granules to a concentration of 4.5 mg K g^-1 wet weight of granular sludge. The phenomenon of lower SMP and accumulation of K indicates the effect of osmotic stress when fed on WSW. This finding is consistent with the theory that methanogenic organisms operate a Potassium pump to maintain ionic equilibrium, and as this is an energy-driven process, it will, therefore, reduce the overall methane yield.
In Search of Sustainable Science Education at the Basic Level of Education in Ghana: The Unintended Consequences of Enacting Science Curriculum Reforms in Junior High Schools
This paper documents an ongoing investigation which seeks to explore the consequences of repeated science curriculum reforms at basic level of education in Ghana. Drawing upon data collected through document analysis, semi-structured interviews and classroom observations linked with a study of teaching practices in Junior High Schools of educational districts that are well served with teachers and yet, produce poor students’ achievements in science in the national Basic Education Certificate Examinations. The results emanating from the investigation highlight that the repeated science curriculum reforms at the basic level of education have led to the displacement of scientific knowledge in junior high schools in Ghana, a very critical level of education where the foundation for further science education to the highest level is laid. Furthermore, the results indicate that the enactment of centralised curriculum reforms in Ghana has produced some unpleasant repercussions. For instance, how the teachers interpret and implement the curriculum is directly related to their own values and practices as well as students feedback. This is contrary to the perception that external impetus received from donor agencies holds the key to strengthening reforms made. Thus, it is argued that without the right of localised management, curriculum reforms themselves are inadequate to ensure the realisation of the desired effects. This paper, therefore, draws the attention of stakeholders to the fact that the enactment of School Science Curriculum reform goes beyond just simple implementation to more complex dynamics which may change the original reform intents.
Speech Disorders as Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in the Primary Schools of the Czech Republic
The name cerebral palsy comes from the word cerebrum, which means the brain and the word palsy, which means seizure, and essentially refers to the movement disorder. In the clinical picture of cerebral palsy, basic neuromotor disorders are associated with other various disorders: behavioural, intellectual, speech, sensory, epileptic seizures, and bone and joint deformities. Motor speech disorders are among the most common difficulties present in people with cerebral palsy. Social participation represents an interaction between an individual and their social environment. Quality of social participation of the students with cerebral palsy at school is an important indicator of their successful participation in adulthood. One of the most important skills for the undisturbed social participation is ability of good communication. The aim of the study was to determine relation between social participation of students with cerebral palsy and presence of their speech impairment in primary schools in the Czech Republic. The study was performed in the Czech Republic in mainstream schools and schools established for the pupils with special education needs. We analysed 75 children with cerebral palsy aged between six and twelve years attending up to sixth grade by using the first and the third part of the school function assessment questionnaire as the main instrument. The other instrument we used in the research is the Gross motor function classification system–five–level classification system, which measures degree of motor functions of children and youth with cerebral palsy. Funding for this study was provided by the Grant Agency of Charles University in Prague.
Factors Responsible for Delays in the Execution of Adequately Funded Construction Projects
Several research report on the factors responsible for the delays in the completion of construction projects has identified the issue of funding as a critical factor; insufficient funding, low cash-flow or lack of funds. Indeed, adequate funding plays pivotal role in the effective execution of construction projects. In the last twenty years (or so), there has been increase in the funds available for infrastructure development in tertiary institution in Nigeria, especially, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund. This funding body ensures that there is enough fund for each approved project, which is released in three stages during the life of the construction project. However, a random tour of many of the institutions reveals striking evidence of projects not delivered on schedule, to quality and sometime out rightly abandoned. This suggests, therefore, that there are other latent factors, responsible for project delays, that should be investigated. Thus, this research, a pilot scheme, is aimed at unearthing the possible reasons for the delays being experienced in the execution of construction projects for infrastructure upgrade in public tertiary institutions in Nigeria, funded by Tertiary Education Trust Fund. The multiple site case study of qualitative research was adopted. The respondents were the Directors of Physical Planning and the Directors of Works of four Nigerian Public Universities. The findings reveal that delays can be situated within three entities, namely, the funding body, the institutions and others. Therefore, the emerging factors have been classified as external factors (haven to do with the funding body), internal factors (these concern the operations within the institutions) and general factors. The outcome of this pilot exercise provides useful information to guide the Directors as they interact with the funding body as well as challenges themselves to address the loopholes in their internal operations.
Charles Sturt University
The present study aimed to estimate the carbon sequestration potential of major forest types present in the foothills of Nilgiri biosphere reserve. The total biomass carbon stock was estimated in tropical thorn forest, tropical dry deciduous forest and tropical moist deciduous forest as 14.61 t C ha⁻¹ 75.16 t C ha⁻¹ and 187.52 t C ha⁻¹ respectively. The density and basal area were estimated in tropical thorn forest, tropical dry deciduous forest, tropical moist deciduous forest as 173 stems ha⁻¹, 349 stems ha⁻¹, 391 stems ha⁻¹ and 6.21 m² ha⁻¹, 31.09 m² ha⁻¹, 67.34 m² ha⁻¹ respectively. The soil carbon stock of different forest ecosystems was estimated, and the results revealed that tropical moist deciduous forest (71.74 t C ha⁻¹) accounted for more soil carbon stock when compared to tropical dry deciduous forest (31.80 t C ha⁻¹) and tropical thorn forest (3.99 t C ha⁻¹). The tropical moist deciduous forest has the maximum annual leaf litter which was 12.77 t ha⁻¹ year⁻¹ followed by 6.44 t ha⁻¹ year⁻¹ litter fall of tropical dry deciduous forest. The tropical thorn forest accounted for 3.42 t ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ leaf litter production. The leaf litter carbon stock of tropical thorn forest, tropical dry deciduous forest and tropical moist deciduous forest found to be 1.02 t C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ 2.28 t⁻¹ C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ and 5.42 t C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ respectively. The results explained that decomposition percent at the soil surface in the following order.tropical dry deciduous forest (77.66 percent) > tropical thorn forest (69.49 percent) > tropical moist deciduous forest (63.17 percent). Decomposition percent at soil subsurface was studied, and the highest decomposition percent was observed in tropical dry deciduous forest (80.52 percent) followed by tropical moist deciduous forest (77.65 percent) and tropical thorn forest (72.10 percent). The decomposition percent was higher at soil subsurface. Among the three forest type, tropical moist deciduous forest accounted for the highest bacterial (59.67 x 105cfu’s g⁻¹ soil), actinomycetes (74.87 x 104cfu’s g⁻¹ soil) and fungal (112.60 x10³cfu’s g⁻¹ soil) population. The overall observation of the study helps to conclude that, the tropical moist deciduous forest has the potential of storing higher carbon content as biomass with the value of 264.68 t C ha⁻¹ and microbial populations.
Water Re-Use Optimization in a Sugar Platform Biorefinery Using Municipal Solid Waste
Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a virtually unlimited source of lignocellulosic material in the form of a waste paper/cardboard mixture which can be converted into fermentable sugars via cellulolytic enzyme hydrolysis in a biorefinery. The extraction of the lignocellulosic fraction and its preparation, however, are energy and water demanding processes. The waste water generated is a rich organic liquor with a high Chemical Oxygen Demand that can be partially cleaned while generating biogas in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket bioreactor and be further re-used in the process. In this work, an experiment was designed to determine the critical contaminant concentrations in water affecting either anaerobic digestion or enzymatic hydrolysis by simulating multiple water re-circulations. It was found that re-using more than 16.5 times the same water could decrease the hydrolysis yield by up to 65 % and led to a complete granules desegregation. Due to the complexity of the water stream, the contaminant(s) responsible for the performance decrease could not be identified but it was suspected to be caused by sodium, potassium, lipid accumulation for the anaerobic digestion (AD) process and heavy metal build-up for enzymatic hydrolysis. The experimental data were incorporated into a Water Pinch technology based model that was used to optimize the water re-utilization in the modelled system to reduce fresh water requirement and wastewater generation while ensuring all processes performed at optimal level. Multiple scenarios were modelled in which sub-process requirements were evaluated in term of importance, operational costs and impact on the CAPEX. The best compromise between water usage, AD and enzymatic hydrolysis yield was determined for each assumed contaminant degradations by anaerobic granules. Results from the model will be used to build the first MSW based biorefinery in the USA.
In vitro Assessment of Bioactive Properties and Dose-Dependent Antioxidant Activities of Commercial Grape Cultivars in Taiwan
Grapes are excellent sources of bioactive compounds, which have been suggested to be responsible for lowering the risk of chronic diseases. Fresh and freeze-dried extracts of Kyoho and Jubilee, commercial grape varieties available in Taiwan and attractive for their quality berries, were investigated for their total phenolics and total ﬂavonoids contents and related dose-dependent antioxidants properties using various in vitro assays. The efficiency of the extraction yield ranged from 7.10 % to 25.53 % (w/w), depending on solvent used. Fresh samples of Kyoho and Jubilee exhibited total polyphenolic contents (351.56 ± 23.08 and 328.67 ± 16.54 µg GAE/mL, respectively), whereas Kyoho freeze-dried methanol: water extracts contains the good levels of total flavonoids (4767.82 ± 22.20 µg QE/mL). Kyoho and Jubilee freeze-dried extracts exhibited the highest total flavonoid contents. There was a weak correlation between total phenolic and flavonoid assays (r= -0.05, R2 = 0.02, p > 0.05). Kyoho fresh and freeze-dried samples showed the DPPH (11.51 – 77.82 %), superoxide scavenging activity (33.61 – 81.95 %), and total antioxidant inhibition (92.01 – 99.28 %), respectively. Total flavonoids were statistically correlated with EC50 DPPH scavenging radicals (r =0.91, p < 0.01), EC50 nitric oxide (r = 0.25, p > 0.05), and EC50 lipid peroxidation radicals (r = 0.38, p > 0.05). These results suggested that the two commercial grape cultivars in Taiwan could be used as a good source of natural antioxidants. Thus, consumption of grapes as a source antioxidant might lower the risk of chronic diseases. Moreover, future studies will investigate and develop phenolic acid profile for the cultivars in Taiwan.
Comparative Correlation Investigation of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Soils of Different Land Uses: Sources Evaluation Perspective
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed mainly as a result of incomplete combustion of organic materials during industrial, domestic activities or natural occurrence. Their toxicity and contamination of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem have been established. Though with limited validity index, previous research has focused on PAHs isomer pair ratios of variable physicochemical properties in source identification. The objective of this investigation was to determine the empirical validity of Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) and cluster analysis (CA) in PAHs source identification along soil samples of different land uses. Therefore, 16 PAHs grouped as endocrine disruption substances (EDSs) were determined in 10 sample stations in top and sub soils seasonally. PAHs was determined the use of Varian 300 gas chromatograph interfaced with flame ionization detector. Instruments and reagents used are of standard and chromatographic grades respectively. PCC and CA results showed that the classification of PAHs along kinetically and thermodyanamically-favoured and those derived directly from plants product through biologically mediated processes used in source signature is about the predominance PAHs are likely to be. Therefore the observed PAHs in the studied stations have trace quantities of the vast majority of the sixteen un-substituted PAHs which may ultimately inhabit the actual source signature authentication. Type and extent of bacterial metabolism, transformation products/substrates, and environmental factors such as: salinity, pH, oxygen concentration, nutrients, light intensity, temperature, co-substrates and environmental medium are hereby recommended as factors to be considered when evaluating possible sources of PAHs.
Effectiveness of Computer Video Games on the Levels of Anxiety of Children Scheduled for Tooth Extraction
Objective: Distraction techniques can be successful in reducing the anxiety of children during medical procedures. Dental procedures, in particular, are associated with dental anxiety which has been identified as a significant and common problem in children, however, only limited studies were conducted to address such problem. Thus, this study determined the effectiveness of computer video games on the levels of anxiety of children between 5-12 years old scheduled for tooth extraction.
Methods: A pre-test post-test quasi-experimental study was conducted involving 30 randomly-assigned subjects, 15 in the experimental and 15 in the control. Subjects in the experimental group played computer video games for a maximum of 15 minutes, however, no intervention was done on the control. The modified Yale Pre-operative Anxiety Scale (m-YPAS) with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.9 was used to assess anxiety at two different points: upon arrival in the clinic (pre-test anxiety) and 15 minutes after the first measurement (post-test anxiety). Paired t-test and ANCOVA were used to analyze the gathered data.
Results: Results showed that there is a significant difference between the pre-test and post-test anxiety scores of the control group (p=0.0002) which indicates an increased anxiety. A significant difference was also noted between the pre-test and post-test anxiety scores of the experimental group (p=0.0002) which indicates decreased anxiety. Comparatively, the experimental group showed lower anxiety score (p=< 0.0001) than the control.
Conclusion: The use of computer video games is effective in reducing the pre-operative anxiety among children and can be an alternative non-pharmacological management in giving pre-operative care.
An Investigation of the Effects of Gripping Systems in Geosynthetic Shear Testing
The use of geosynthetic materials in geotechnical engineering projects has rapidly increased over the past several years. These materials have resulted in improved performance and cost reduction of geotechnical structures as compared to the use of conventional materials. However, working with geosynthetics requires knowledge of interface parameters for design. These parameters are typically determined by the large direct shear device in accordance with ASTM-D5321 and ASTM-D6243 standards. Although these laboratory tests are standardized, the quality of the results can be largely affected by several factors that include; the shearing rate, applied normal stress, gripping mechanism, and type of the geosynthetic specimens tested. Amongst these factors, poor surface gripping of a specimen is the major source of the discrepancy. If the specimen is inadequately secured to the shearing blocks, it experiences progressive failure and shear strength that deviates from the true field performance of the tested material. This leads to inaccurate, unsafe, and cost ineffective designs of projects. Currently, the ASTM-D5321 and ASTM-D6243 standards do not provide a standardized gripping system for geosynthetic shear strength testing. Over the years, researchers have come up with different gripping systems that can be used such as; glue, metal textured surface, sandblasting, and sandpaper. However, these gripping systems are regularly not adequate to sufficiently secure the tested specimens to the shearing device. This has led to large variability in test results and difficulties in results interpretation. Therefore, this study was aimed at determining the effects of gripping systems in geosynthetic interface shear strength testing using a 300 x 300 mm direct shear box. The results of the research will contribute to easy data interpretation and increase result accuracy and reproducibility.
Taguchi Robust Design for Optimal Setting of Process Wastes Parameters in an Automotive Parts Manufacturing Company
As a technique that reduces variation in a product by lessening the sensitivity of the design to sources of variation, rather than by controlling their sources, Taguchi Robust Design entails the designing of ideal goods, by developing a product that has minimal variance in its characteristics and also meets the desired exact performance. This paper examined the concept of the manufacturing approach and its application to brake pad product of an automotive parts manufacturing company. Although the firm claimed that only defects, excess inventory, and over-production were the few wastes that grossly affect their productivity and profitability, a careful study and analysis of their manufacturing processes with the application of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) tool showed that the waste of waiting is the fourth waste that bedevils the firm. The selection of the Taguchi L9 orthogonal array which is based on the four parameters and the three levels of variation for each parameter revealed that with a range of 2.17, that waiting is the major waste that the company must reduce in order to continue to be viable. Also, to enhance the company’s throughput and profitability, the wastes of over-production, excess inventory, and defects with ranges of 2.01, 1.46, and 0.82, ranking second, third, and fourth respectively must also be reduced to the barest minimum. After proposing -33.84 as the highest optimum Signal-to-Noise ratio to be maintained for the waste of waiting, the paper advocated for the adoption of all the tools and techniques of Lean Production System (LPS), and Continuous Improvement (CI), and concluded by recommending SMED in order to drastically reduce set up time which leads to unnecessary waiting.
Spatial Variation of WRF Model Rainfall Prediction over Uganda
Rainfall is a major climatic parameter affecting
many sectors such as health, agriculture and water resources. Its
quantitative prediction remains a challenge to weather forecasters
although numerical weather prediction models are increasingly being
used for rainfall prediction. The performance of six convective
parameterization schemes, namely the Kain-Fritsch scheme, the
Betts-Miller-Janjic scheme, the Grell-Deveny scheme, the Grell-3D
scheme, the Grell-Fretas scheme, the New Tiedke scheme of the
weather research and forecast (WRF) model regarding quantitative
rainfall prediction over Uganda is investigated using the root mean
square error for the March-May (MAM) 2013 season. The MAM
2013 seasonal rainfall amount ranged from 200 mm to 900 mm over
Uganda with northern region receiving comparatively lower rainfall
amount (200–500 mm); western Uganda (270–550 mm); eastern
Uganda (400–900 mm) and the lake Victoria basin (400–650 mm). A
spatial variation in simulated rainfall amount by different convective
parameterization schemes was noted with the Kain-Fritsch scheme
over estimating the rainfall amount over northern Uganda (300–750
mm) but also presented comparable rainfall amounts over the eastern
Uganda (400–900 mm). The Betts-Miller-Janjic, the Grell-Deveny,
and the Grell-3D underestimated the rainfall amount over most
parts of the country especially the eastern region (300–600 mm).
The Grell-Fretas captured rainfall amount over the northern region
(250–450 mm) but also underestimated rainfall over the lake Victoria
Basin (150–300 mm) while the New Tiedke generally underestimated
rainfall amount over many areas of Uganda. For deterministic rainfall
prediction, the Grell-Fretas is recommended for rainfall prediction
over northern Uganda while the Kain-Fritsch scheme is recommended
over eastern region.
Seroprevalence and Determinants of Toxoplasmosis in Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background: Toxoplasmosis is a neglected zoonotic disease which is prevalent among pregnant women especially in Africa. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence and determinants of the disease among pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
Method: A cross-sectional study was employed where 411 pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at UTH were interviewed using closed-ended questionnaires. Their blood was also tested for Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM antibodies using the OnSite Toxo IgG/IgM Combo Rapid Test cassettes by CTK Biotech, Inc, USA.
Result: The overall seroprevalence of the infection (IgG) was 5.87%. There was no seropositive IgM result. Contact with cats showed 7.81 times the risk of contracting the infection in the pregnant women and being a farmer/being involved in construction work showed 15.5 times likelihood of contracting the infection. Socio-economic status of the pregnant women also presented an inverse relationship (showed association) with the infection graphically. However, though there were indications of the association between contact with cats, employment type as well as the socioeconomic status of the pregnant women with the infection, there was not enough evidence to suggest these factors as significant determining factors of Toxoplasma gondii infection in our study population.
Conclusion: There is a low prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection among pregnant women in Lusaka, Zambia. Screening for the infection among pregnant women can be done once or twice during pregnancy to help protect both mother and child from the disease. Health promotion among women of child bearing age on the subject is of immense importance in order to help curb the situation. Further studies especially that of case-control and cohort studies should be carried out in the country in order to better ascertain the extent of the condition nationwide.
Exploring the Efficacy of Context-Based Instructional Strategy in Fostering Students Achievement in Chemistry
The study investigated the effect of Context-Based Instructional Strategy (CBIS) on students’ achievement in chemistry. CBIS was used as an experimental group and expository method (EM) as a control group, sources showed that students poor achievement in chemistry is from teaching strategy adopted by the chemistry teachers. Two research questions were answered, and two null hypotheses were formulated and tested. This strategy recognizes the need for student-centered, relevance of tasks and students’ voice; it also helps students develop creative and critical learning skills. A quasi-experimental (non-equivalent, pretest, posttest control group) design was adopted for the study. The population for the study comprised all senior secondary class one (SSI) students who were offering chemistry in co-education schools in Agbani Education zone. The instrument for data collection was a self-developed Basic Chemistry Achievement Test (BCAT). Relevant data were collected from a sample of SSI chemistry students using purposive random sampling techniques from two co-education schools in Agbani Education Zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. A reliability co-efficient was obtained for the instrument using Kuder-Richardson formula 20. Mean and standard deviation scores were used to answer the research questions while two-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the hypotheses. The findings showed that the experimental group taught with context-based instructional strategy (CBIS) obtained a higher mean achievement score than the control group in the post BCAT; male students had higher mean achievement scores than their female counterparts. The difference was significant. It was recommended, among others, that CBIS should be given more emphasis in the training and re-training program of secondary school chemistry teachers.
Autistic Traits and Multisensory Integration–Using a Size-Weight Illusion Paradigm
Objective: A majority of studies suggest that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have multisensory integration deficits. However, normal and even supranormal multisensory integration abilities have also been reported. Additionally, little of this work has been undertaken utilizing a dimensional conceptualization of ASD; i.e., a broader autism phenotype. Utilizing methodology that controls for common potential confounds, the current study aimed to examine if deficits in multisensory integration are associated with ASD traits in a non-clinical population. The contribution of affective versus non-affective components of sensory hypersensitivity to multisensory integration was also examined. Methods: Participants were 147 undergraduate university students in Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China, of Chinese ethnicity, aged 16 to 21 (Mean age = 19.13; SD = 1.07). Participants completed the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, the Sensory Perception Quotient, and the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile, in order to measure ASD traits, non-affective, and affective aspects of sensory/perceptual hypersensitivity, respectively. In order to explore multisensory integration across visual and haptic domains, participants were asked to judge which one of two equally weighted, but different sized cylinders was heavier, as a means of detecting the presence of the size-weight illusion (SWI). Results: ASD trait level was significantly and negatively correlated with susceptibility to the SWI (p < 0.05); this correlation was not associated with either accuracy in weight discrimination or gender. Examining the top decile of the non-normally distributed SWI scores revealed a significant negative association with sensation avoiding, but not other aspects of effective or non-effective sensory hypersensitivity. Conclusion and Implications: Within the normal population, a greater degree of ASD traits is associated with a lower likelihood of multisensory integration; echoing was often found in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of ASD, and providing further evidence for the dimensional nature of this disorder. This tendency appears to be associated with dysphoric emotional reactions to sensory input.
Non-linear Model of Elasticity of Compressive Strength of Concrete
Non-linear models have been found to be useful in modeling the elasticity (measure of degree of responsiveness) of a dependent variable with respect to a set of independent variables ceteris paribus. This constant elasticity principle was applied to the dependent variable (Compressive Strength of Concrete in MPa) which was found to be non-linearly related to the independent variable (Water-Cement ratio in kg/m3) for given Ages of Concrete in days (3, 7, 28) at different levels of admixtures Superplasticizer (in kg/m3), Blast Furnace Slag (in kg/m3) and Fly Ash (in kg/m3). The levels of the admixtures were categorized as: S1=Some Plasticizer added & S0=No Plasticizer added; B1=some Blast Furnace Slag added & B0=No Blast Furnace Slag added; F1=Some Fly Ash added & F0=No Fly Ash added. The number of observations (samples) used for the research was one-hundred and thirty-two (132) in all. For Superplasticizer, it was found that Compressive Strength of Concrete was more elastic with regards to Water-Cement ratio at S1 level than at S0 level for the given ages of concrete 3, 7and 28 days. For Blast Furnace Slag, Compressive Strength with regards to Water-Cement ratio was more elastic at B0 level than at B1 level for concrete ages 3, 7 and 28 days. For Fly Ash, Compressive Strength with regards to Water-Cement ratio was more elastic at B0 level than at B1 level for Ages 3, 7 and 28 days. The research also tested for different combinations of the levels of Superplasticizer, Blast Furnace Slag and Fly Ash. It was found that Compressive Strength elasticity with regards to Water-Cement ratio was lowest (Elasticity=-1.746) with a combination of S0, B0 and F0 for concrete age of 3 days. This was followed by Elasticity of -1.611 with a combination of S0, B0 and F0 for a concrete of age 7 days. Next, the highest was an Elasticity of -1.414 with combination of S0, B0 and F0 for a concrete age of 28 days. Based on preceding outcomes, three (3) non-linear model equations for predicting the output elasticity of Compressive Strength of Concrete (in %) or the value of Compressive Strength of Concrete (in MPa) with regards to Water to Cement was formulated. The model equations were based on the three different ages of concrete namely 3, 7 and 28 days under investigation. The three models showed that higher elasticity translates into higher compressive strength. And the models revealed a trend of increasing concrete strength from 3 to 28 days for a given amount of water to cement ratio. Using the models, an increasing modulus of elasticity from 3 to 28 days was deduced.
Engaging the Terrorism Problematique in Africa: Discursive and Non-Discursive Approaches to Counter Terrorism
National, regional and international security threats have dominated the twenty-first century thus far. Insurgencies that utilize “terrorism” as their primary strategy pose the most serious threat to global security. States in turn adopt terrorist strategies to resist and even defeat insurgents who invoke the legitimacy of statehood to justify their action. In short, the era is dominated by the use of terror tactics by state and non-state actors. Globally, there is a powerful network of groups involved in insurgencies using Islam as the bastion for their cause. In Africa, there are Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Maghreb representing Islamic groups utilizing terror strategies and tactics to prosecute their wars. The task at hand is to discover and to use multiple ways of handling the present security threats, including novel approaches to policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation that would pay significant attention to the important role of culture and communication strategies germane for discursive means of conflict resolution. In other to achieve this, the proposed research would address inter alia, root causes of insurgences that predicate their mission on Islamic tenets particularly in Africa; discursive and non-discursive counter-terrorism approaches fashioned by African governments, continental supra-national and regional organizations, recruitment strategies by major non-sate actors in Africa that rely solely on terrorist strategies and tactics and sources of finances for the groups under study. A major anticipated outcome of this research is a contribution to answers that would lead to the much needed stability required for development in African countries experiencing insurgencies carried out by the use of patterned terror strategies and tactics. The nature of the research requires the use of triangulation as the methodological tool.
Inhibition of Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. By Traditional Phytomedicines That Are Commonly Used to Treat Gastroenteritis in Zimbabwe
The use of traditional methods in the management of diarrhoea has remained a common practice among the indigenous African tribes of Southern Africa. Despite the widespread use of traditional medicines in Zimbabwe, very little research validating the activities of phytomedicines against diarrhoea, as claimed by the Shona people of Zimbabwe, has been reported. This study sought to determine the efficacies of the plants that are frequently used to treat stomach complaints, namely Dicoma anomala, Cassia abbreviata, Lannea edulis and Peltophorum africanum against Escherichia coli (an indicator of faecal contamination of water, and whose strains such as EHEC (O157), ETEC and EPEC, are responsible for a number of outbreaks of diarrhoea) and Salmonella spp. Ethanol and aqueous extracts from these plants were obtained, evaporated, dried and stored. The dried extracts were reconstituted and diluted 10-fold in nutrient broth (from 100 to 0.1 microgram/mL) and tested for inhibition against the bacteria. L. edulis exhibited the best antimicrobial effect (minimum inhibition concentration = 10 microgram/mL for both extracts and microorganisms). Runners up to L. edulis were C. abbreviata (20 microgram/mL for both microorganisms) and P. africanum (20 and 30 microgram/mL respectively). Interestingly, D. anomala, which is widely considered panacea in African medicinal practices, showed low antimicrobial activity (60 and 100 microgram/mL respectively). The high antimicrobial activity of L. edulis can be explained by its content of flavonoids, tannins, alkylphenols (cardonol 7 and cardonol 13) and dihydroalkylhexenones. The antimicrobial activities of C. abbreviata can be linked to its content of anthraquinones and triterpenoids. P. africanum is known to contain benzenoids, flavanols, flavonols, terpenes, xanthone and coumarins. This study therefore demonstrated that, among the plants that are used against diarrhoea in African traditional medicine, L. edulis is a clear winner against E. coli and Salmonella spp. Activity guided extraction is encouraged to establish the complement of compounds that have antimicrobial activities.
Growth Studies and Leaf Mineral Composition of Amaranthus hybridus L. in Soil Medium Supplemended with Palm Bunch Ash Extract from Elaeis Guineensis jacq. in Abak Agricultural Zone of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
An aqueous extract of palm bunch ash from Elaeis guineensis Jacq., equilibrated with water was used to assess the growth and minerals composition of Amaranthus hybridus L. in agricultural soil of Abak, Akwa Ibom State, nigeria. Various concentrations, 0 (control), 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50% of palm bunch extract per 4kg of sandy-loam soil were used for the study. Chemical characteristics of the extract, Growth parameters (Plant height, root length, fresh weight, dry weight and moisture content), leaf minerals composition (Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium) of the crop and soil chemical composition before and after harvest (pH, organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium) were examined. The results showed that palm bunch ash extract significantly (P < 0.05) increased the soil pH at all levels of treatments compared to the control. Similarly, the soil and leaf minerals component (N, P, K. Ca, and Mg) of the crop increased with increase in the concentration of palm bunch extract, except at 40 and 50% for leaf minerals composition, Soil organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus J(before and after harvest). In addition, The plant height, Root length, fresh weight, dry weight and moisture content of the crop increased significantly (P < 0.05) with increase in the concentration of the extract, Except at 30, 40 and 50% where these growth parameters decreased in relation to the control treatment. Therefore, this study suggests that palm bunch ash extract could be utilized at lower concentration as a nutrient supplement for both Amaranthus hubridus L. and soil medium, most especially in the tropical soils of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Simulation of the FDA Centrifugal Blood Pump Using High Performance Computing
Computational Fluid Dynamics blood-flow simulations are increasingly used to develop and validate blood-contacting medical devices. This study shows that numerical simulations can provide additional and accurate estimates of relevant hemodynamic indicators (e.g., recirculation zones or wall shear stresses), which may be difficult and expensive to obtain from in-vivo or in-vitro experiments. The most recent FDA (Food and Drug Administration) benchmark consisted of a simplified centrifugal blood pump model that contains fluid flow features as they are commonly found in these devices with a clear focus on highly turbulent phenomena. The FDA centrifugal blood pump study is composed of six test cases with different volumetric flow rates ranging from 2.5 to 7.0 liters per minute, pump speeds, and Reynolds numbers ranging from 210,000 to 293,000. Within the frame of this study different turbulence models were tested including RANS models, e.g. k-omega, k-epsilon and a Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) and, LES. The partitioners Hilbert, METIS, ParMETIS and SCOTCH were used to create an unstructured mesh of 76 million elements and compared in their efficiency. Computations were performed on the JUQUEEN BG/Q architecture applying the highly parallel flow solver Code SATURNE and typically using 32768 or more processors in parallel. Visualisations were performed by means of PARAVIEW. Different turbulence models including all six flow situations could be successfully analysed and validated against analytical considerations and from comparison to other data-bases. It showed that an RSM represents an appropriate choice with respect to modeling high-Reynolds number flow cases. Especially, the Rij-SSG (Speziale, Sarkar, Gatzki) variant turned out to be a good approach. Visualisation of complex flow features could be obtained and the flow situation inside the pump could be characterized.
Conjunctive Management of Surface and Groundwater Resources under Uncertainty: A Retrospective Optimization Approach
Conjunctive management of surface and groundwater resources is a challenging task due to the spatial and temporal variability nature of hydrology as well as hydrogeology of the water storage systems. Surface water-groundwater hydrogeology is highly uncertain; thus it is imperative that this uncertainty is explicitly accounted for, when managing water resources. Various methodologies have been developed and applied by researchers in an attempt to account for the uncertainty. For example, simulation-optimization models are often used for conjunctive water resources management. However, direct application of such an approach in which all realizations are considered at each iteration of the optimization process leads to a very expensive optimization in terms of computational time, particularly when the number of realizations is large. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to introduce and apply an efficient approach referred to as Retrospective Optimization Approximation (ROA) that can be used for optimizing conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater over a multiple hydrogeological model simulations. This work is based on stochastic simulation-optimization framework using a recently emerged technique of sample average approximation (SAA) which is a sampling based method implemented within the Retrospective Optimization Approximation (ROA) approach. The ROA approach solves and evaluates a sequence of generated optimization sub-problems in an increasing number of realizations (sample size). Response matrix technique was used for linking simulation model with optimization procedure. The k-means clustering sampling technique was used to map the realizations. The methodology is demonstrated through the application to a hypothetical example. In the example, the optimization sub-problems generated were solved and analysed using “Active-Set” core optimizer implemented under MATLAB 2014a environment. Through k-means clustering sampling technique, the ROA – Active Set procedure was able to arrive at a (nearly) converged maximum expected total optimal conjunctive water use withdrawal rate within a relatively few number of iterations (6 to 7 iterations). Results indicate that the ROA approach is a promising technique for optimizing conjunctive water use of surface water and groundwater withdrawal rates under hydrogeological uncertainty.
The ICC, International Criminal Justice and International Politics
The international community has gone through indescribable atrocities resulting from acts of war. These atrocities turned Europe and Africa into a wilderness of bloodshed and crime. In the period 1960- 1970s Africa witnessed unprecedented and well-documented assaults on life and property. This necessitated the adoption, signing and ratification of the International Criminal Court, establishment of the International Court of Justice which is a great achievement for the protection and fulfilling of human rights in the context of international political instability. The ICC came as an important opportunity to advance justice for serious crimes committed in violation of international law. Thus the Rome statute has become a formidable contribution to peace and security. There are concerns that the ICC is targeting African states. However, the ICC cannot preside over cases that are not parties to the Rome statute unless the UN Security council refers the situation or the relevant state asks the court to become involved. The instable international political situation thus deals with criminal prosecutions where amnesty is not permissible or is strongly repudiated. The court has become important justice instruments for states that are unable or unwilling to fulfill their obligation to address legacies of massive human rights violations. The ICJ as a court has a twofold role; to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states, and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. All members of the UN are ipso facto parties to the statute of the ICJ. The court gives advisory opinion on any legal question. These courts are the most appropriate fora to pronounce on international crimes and are in a better position to know and apply international law. Cases that have been brought to the courts include Rwanda’s genocide, Liberia’s Charles Taylor etc. The receptiveness and cooperation of the local populations are important to the courts and if the ICC and ICJ can provide appropriate protections for the physical and economic safety of victims then peace and human rights observance can be attained. This paper will look into the effectiveness and impediments of these courts in handling criminal and injustices in international politics as while as what needs to be done to strengthen the capacity of these courts.
Implementation of Distributor Management Solution and Its Effects on Supply Chain Performance
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects of implementation of Distributor Management Solution (DMS) on supply chain performance in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry in Ghana. Methodology: A purposive sampling approach was used in selecting the respondents for the study. Data was collected from senior management and field supervisors from sales, distribution and customer service units of the case study firm and its channel members. This study made use of systematic literature review and results of survey data analysis to assess how information system has been used to improve supply chain performance. Findings: Results from the study showed that the critical effect factors from implementation of a DMS include (1) Obtain prompt and reliable feedback from the market; (2) Building the capacity and skills levels of employees as well as 3rd Party Agents; (3) Motivated top management to invest in MIS; and (4) Performance improvement in sales route management. The most critical challenges to an effective and sustainable MIS implementation are lack of enough trained IT employees and high barriers to cultural change especially with distributors. The paper recommends consistent investment in IS infrastructure and development of IT skills. Research limitations/implications: This study contributes to the literature by exploring the effects of distribution management solution implementation and supply chain performance in a developing country context. Considering the fact that this study is based on data from only one case study firm and its channel members, generalization of the results should be treated with caution. Practical implications: The findings have confirmed the benefits of implementing a Management Information System. The result should encourage channel members to allocate adequate resources for building MIS capacity to enhance their supply chain performance. Originality/Value: In this paper, the relationship between DMS/MIS implementation and improvement in supply chain performance, in the Ghanaian context, has been established.
Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Patients May Be Predisposed to Various Cardiomyopathies
, Marie Hogan
, Ziad El-Zoghby
, Maria Irazabal
, Sarah Senum
, Christina Heyer
, Charles Madsen
, Emilie Cornec-Le Gall
, Atta Behfar
, Barbara Ehrlich
, Peter Harris
, Vicente Torres
Background: Mutations in PKD1 and PKD2, the genes encoding the proteins polycystin-1 (PC1) and polycystin-2 (PC2) cause autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). ADPKD is a systemic disease associated with several extrarenal manifestations. Animal models have suggested an important role for the polycystins in cardiovascular function. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the association of various cardiomyopathies in a large cohort of patients with ADPKD. Methods: Clinical data was retrieved from medical records for all patients with ADPKD and cardiomyopathies (n=159). Genetic analysis was performed on available DNA by direct sequencing. Results: Among the 58 patients included in this case series, 39 patients had idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM), 17 had hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM), and 2 had left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC). The mean age at cardiomyopathy diagnosis was 53.3, 59.9 and 53.5 years in IDCM, HOCM and LVNC patients respectively. The median left ventricular ejection fraction at initial diagnosis of IDCM was 25%. Average basal septal thickness was 19.9 mm in patients with HOCM. Genetic data was available in 19, 8 and 2 cases of IDCM, HOCM, and LVNC respectively. PKD1 mutations were detected in 47.4%, 62.5% and 100% of IDCM, HOCM and LVNC cases. PKD2 mutations were detected only in IDCM cases and were overrepresented (36.8%) relative to the expected frequency in ADPKD (~15%). The prevalence of IDCM, HOCM, and LVNC in our ADPKD clinical cohort was 1:17, 1:39 and 1:333 respectively. When compared to the general population, IDCM and HOCM was approximately 10-fold more prevalent in patients with ADPKD. Conclusions: In summary, we suggest that PKD1 or PKD2 mutations may predispose to idiopathic dilated or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. There is a trend for patients with PKD2 mutations to develop the former and for patients with PKD1 mutations to develop the latter. Predisposition to various cardiomyopathies may be another extrarenal manifestation of ADPKD.
Reducing the Negative Effects of Infrastructure Deficit through Continuity in Governance
Effective infrastructure development scheme planned and executed has positive influence on the quantity of available stock of infrastructure to meet the immediate and expansion needs of an organization, as well as contribute to the overall economic development of a nation, community or the local entity where the infrastructure is hosted. It is noteworthy, however, that infrastructure development scheme spans a long time frame, usually longer than the political life of the administration that initiates the scheme. In the majority of circumstances, execution may start and achieve different levels of completion; at best, only limited numbers are completed and put into functional use during the life of the administration that initiated the infrastructure scheme. When there is a change in leadership, many of the uncompleted projects are usually abandoned. The new administration repeats the circle of its predecessors and develops another set of infrastructure scheme which will suffer similar fate as the ones developed by their predecessors; thus doting the landscape with many uncompleted projects, which leads to infrastructure deficit. These circle will continue unless each succeeding leader sees governance as single continuum. Therefore, infrastructure projects not completed by one administration should be continued by succeeding administration, in order to increase the stock of relevant infrastructure available for the smooth operations organization and enhance the needed developments, as well as reduce the negative effects of infrastructure deficit. The single case study of qualitative research method was adopted to investigate the actions of the administration of three successive Vice-Chancellors, in a higher education institution in Nigeria, over a longitudinal period of twelve years. This is with a view to exploring the effects of each administration on the development and execution of infrastructure projects, with particular interest on abandoned projects. The findings revealed that although two of Vice-Chancellors were committed to infrastructure upgrade, they executed more new projects than completing abandoned ones, while the current leader has shown more pragmatism in completing abandoned projects alongside constructing new ones; thus demonstrating the importance of the continuity of governance. In this regard, there is a steady increase in the stock of infrastructure to accommodate the expansion of existing academic programmes, host new ones as well as reduce the negative effects of infrastructure deficit caused by abandoned projects.
Analysis and Study of Phytoplankton and the Environmental Characteristics of Tarkwa Bay, Lagos, South-Western, Nigeria
The phytoplankton and environmental characteristics of Tarkwa Bay, Lagos in South-western Nigeria were investigated from January to June 2012. Environmental characteristics within the Bay were largely determined by floodwater inflow in the wet months (April – June) and increased tidal marine conditions in the dry months (January – March). Similarly, rainfall distribution and possibly tidal seawater inflow were the key factors that govern the variation in phytoplankton distribution, species diversity, chlorophyll a concentration and environmental characteristics of the bay. Values for physico-chemical parameters were indicative of high levels of fluctuations inwards from the East mole towards Tarkwa Bay (e.g. T.S.S > 11mg/L, T.D.S > 33541.0mg/L, D.O. < 5.4). Chlorophyll A values did not show any discernable pattern and correlated negatively with total dissolved solids and total suspended solids (r = -0.27 and -0.04) as both were inconsistent throughout the study period. Four phytoplankton divisions were observed throughout the sampling period with the Bacillariophyta (diatoms) being the dominant group followed by Dinophyta (dinoflagellates), Cyanophyta (the blue-green algae) and Chlorophyta (the green algae). A total of twenty-one species from nine genera were recorded during the period of study. Diatoms formed the most abundant group making fifteen species from five genera. The centric forms dominated over the pennates in the diatom group with Skeletonema sp. Chaetoceros spp. and Coscinodiscus spp. being the dominant centric diatoms while Navicula spp. was the more dominant pennate form. The Dinoflagellates were represented by six species from one genus, the blue-green algae with five species from two genera while the green algae had one species from one genus. Comparatively, total biomass was more in the dry months (Jan. - Mar.) and decreased in the 'wet months' (Apr. – Jun.). Species diversity (S), Shannon Wiener index (Hs), Margalef Index (d) and Equitability Index (j) values were higher during the dry months while reduced value marked the wet months possibly as a result of dilution of rain effects. Outcomes of bio-indices variations were reflections of the degree of occurrence and abundance of species linked to seasons operating in the study site.
Atmospheric Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Rural and Urban of Central Taiwan
This study analyzed 16 atmospheric PAHs species which were controlled by USEPA and IARC. To measure the concentration of PAHs, four rural sampling sites and two urban sampling sites were selected in Central Taiwan during spring and summer. In central Taiwan, the rural sampling stations were located in the downstream of Da-An River, Da-Jang River, Wu River and Chuo-shui River. On the other hand, the urban sampling sites were located in Taichung district and close to the roadside. Ambient air samples of both vapor phase and particle phase of PAHs compounds were collected using high volume sampling trains (Analitica). The sampling media were polyurethane foam (PUF) with XAD2 and quartz fiber filters. Diagnostic ratio, Principal component analysis (PCA), Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) models were used to evaluate the apportionment of PAHs in the atmosphere and speculate the relative contribution of various emission sources. Because of the high temperature and low wind speed, high PAHs concentration in the atmosphere was observed. The total PAHs concentration, especially in vapor phase, had significant change during summer. During the sampling periods the total PAHs concentration of atmospheric at four rural and two urban sampling sites in spring and summer were 3.70±0.40 ng/m3,3.40±0.63 ng/m3,5.22±1.24 ng/m3,7.23±0.37 ng/m3,7.46±2.36 ng/m3,6.21±0.55 ng/m3 ; 15.0± 0.14 ng/m3,18.8±8.05 ng/m3,20.2±8.58 ng/m3,16.1±3.75 ng/m3,29.8±10.4 ng/m3,35.3±11.8 ng/m3, respectively. In order to identify PAHs sources, we used diagnostic ratio to classify the emission sources. The potential sources were diesel combustion and gasoline combustion in spring and summer, respectively. According to the principal component analysis (PCA), the PC1 and PC2 had 23.8%, 20.4% variance and 21.3%, 17.1% variance in spring and summer, respectively. Especially high molecular weight PAHs (BaP, IND, BghiP, Flu, Phe, Flt, Pyr) were dominated in spring when low molecular weight PAHs (AcPy, Ant, Acp, Flu) because of the dominating high temperatures were dominated in the summer. Analysis by using PMF model found the sources of PAHs in spring were stationary sources (34%), vehicle emissions (24%), coal combustion (23%) and petrochemical fuel gas (19%), while in summer the emission sources were petrochemical fuel gas (34%), the natural environment of volatile organic compounds (29%), coal combustion (19%) and stationary sources (18%).
Process Modeling in an Aeronautics Context
Many innovative projects exist in the field of aeronautics, each addressing specific areas so to reduce weight, increase autonomy, reduction of CO2, etc. In many cases, such innovative developments are being carried out by very small enterprises (VSE’s) or small and medium sized-enterprises (SME’s). A good example concerns airships that are being studied as a real alternative to passenger and cargo transportation. Today, no international regulations propose a precise and sufficiently detailed framework for the development and certification of airships. The absence of such a regulatory framework requires a very close contact with regulatory instances. However, VSE’s/SME’s do not always have sufficient resources and internal knowledge to handle this complexity and to discuss these issues. This poses an additional challenge for those VSE’s/SME’s, in particular those that have system integration responsibilities and that must provide all the necessary evidence to demonstrate their ability to design, produce, and operate airships with the expected level of safety and reliability. The main objective of this research is to provide a methodological framework enabling VSE’s/SME’s with limited resources to organize the development of airships while taking into account the constraints of safety, cost, time and performance. This paper proposes to provide a contribution to this problematic by proposing a Model-Based Systems Engineering approach. Through a comprehensive process modeling approach applied to the development processes, the regulatory constraints, existing best practices, etc., a good image can be obtained as to the process landscape that may influence the development of airships. To this effect, not only the necessary regulatory information is taken on board, also other international standards and norms on systems engineering and project management are being modeled and taken into account. In a next step, the model can be used for analysis of the specific situation for given developments, derive critical paths for the development, identify eventual conflicting aspects between the norms, standards, and regulatory expectations, or also identify those areas where not enough information is available. Once critical paths are known, optimization approaches can be used and decision support techniques can be applied so to better support VSE’s/SME’s in their innovative developments. This paper reports on the adopted modeling approach, the retained modeling languages, and how they all fit together.
Development of a Journal over 20 Years: Citation Analysis
This study analyzes the development of a communication journal, the Journal of Advertising Education (JAE) over the past 20 years by examining citations of all research articles there. The purpose of a journal is to offer a stable and transparent forum for the presentation, scrutiny, and discussion of research in a targeted domain. This study asks whether JAE has fulfilled this purpose. The authors and readers who are involved in a journal need to have common research topics of their interest. In the case of the discipline of communication, scholars have a variety of backgrounds beyond communication itself since the social scientific study of communication is a relatively recent development, one that emerged after World War II, and the discipline has been heavily indebted to other social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, social psychology, and political science. When authors impart their findings and knowledge to others, their work is not done in isolation. They have to stand on previous studies, which are listed as sources in the bibliography. Since communication has heavily piggybacked on other disciplines, cited sources should be as diverse as the resources it taps into. This paper analyzes 4,244 articles that were cited by JAE articles in the past 36 issues. Since journal article authors reveal their intellectual linkage by using bibliographic citations, the analysis of citations in journal articles will reveal various networks of relationships among authors, journal types, and fields in an objective and quantitative manner. The study found that an easier access to information sources because of the development of electronic databases and the growing competition among scholars for publication seemed to influence authors to increase the number of articles cited even though some variations existed during the examined period. The types of articles cited have also changed. Authors have more often cited journal articles, periodicals (most of them available online), and web site sources, while decreased their dependence on books, conference papers, and reports. To provide a forum for discussion, a journal needs a common topic or theme. This can be realized when an author writes an article about a topic, and that article is cited and discussed in another article. Thus, the citation of articles in the same journal is vital for a journal to form a forum for discussion. JAE has gradually increased the citations of in-house articles with a few fluctuations over the years. The study also examines not only specific articles that are often cited, but also specific authors often cited. The analysis of citations in journal articles shows how JAE has developed into a full academic journal while offering a communal forum even though the speed of its formation is not as fast as desired probably because of its interdisciplinary nature.
Evaluating the Impact of Judicial Review of 2003 “Radical Surgery” Purging Corrupt Officials from Kenyan Courts
In 2003, constrained by an absent “rule of law culture” and negative economic growth, the new Kenyan government chose to pursue incremental judicial reforms rather than comprehensive constitutional reforms. President Mwai Kibaki’s first administration’s judicial reform strategy was two pronged. First, to implement unprecedented “radical surgery,” he appointed a new Chief Justice who instrumentally recommended that half the purportedly-corrupt judiciary should be removed by Presidential tribunals of inquiry. Second, the replacement High Court judges, initially, instrumentally-endorsed the “radical surgery’s” administrative decisions removing their corrupt predecessors. Meanwhile, retention of the welfare-reducing Constitution perpetuated declining public confidence in judicial institutions culminating in refusal by the dissatisfied opposition party to petition the disputed 2007 presidential election results, alleging biased and corrupt courts. Fatefully, widespread post-election violence ensued. Consequently, the international community prompted the second Kibaki administration to concede to a new Constitution. Suddenly, the High Court then adopted a non-instrumental interpretation to reject the 2003 “radical surgery.” This paper therefore critically analyzes whether the Kenyan court’s inconsistent interpretations–pertaining to the constitutionality of the 2003 “radical surgery” removing corruption from Kenya’s courts–was predicated on political expediency or human rights principles. If justice “must also seen to be done,” then pursuit of the CJ’s, Judicial Service Commission’s and president’s political or economic interests must be limited by respect for the suspected judges and magistrates’ due process rights. The separation of powers doctrine demands that the dismissed judges should have a right of appeal which entails impartial review by a special independent oversight mechanism. Instead, ignoring fundamental rights, Kenya’s new Supreme Court’s interpretation of another round of vetting under the new 2010 Constitution, ousts the High Court’s judicial review jurisdiction altogether, since removal of judicial corruption is “a constitutional imperative, akin to a national duty upon every judicial officer to pave way for judicial realignment and reformulation.”
The Sr-Nd Isotope Data of the Platreef Rocks from the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex: Evidence of Contrasting Magma Composition and Origin
The Platreef is a platinum group element (PGE) deposit in the northern limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) which was emplaced as a series of mafic and ultramafic sills between the Main Zone (MZ) and the country rocks. The PGE mineralisation in the Platreef is hosted in different rock types, and its distribution and style vary with depth and along strike. This study contributes towards understanding the processes involved in the genesis of the Platreef. Twenty-four Platreef (2 harzburgites, 4 olivine pyroxenites, 17 feldspathic pyroxenites and 1 gabbronorite) and few MZ (1 gabbronorite and 1 leucogabbronorite) quarter core samples were collected from four drill cores (e.g., TN754, TN200, SS339, and OY482) and analysed for whole-rock Sr-Nd isotope data. The results show positive ɛNd values (+3.53 to +7.51) for harzburgites suggesting their parental magmas derived from the depleted Mantle. The remaining Platreef rocks have negative ɛNd values (-2.91 to -22.88) and show significant variations in Sr-Nd isotopic compositions. The first group of Platreef samples has relatively high isotopic compositions (ɛNd= -2.91 to -5.68; ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.709177 - 0.711998). The second group of Platreef samples has Sr ratios (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.709816-0.712106) overlapping with samples of the first group but slightly lower ɛNd values (-7.44 to -8.39). Lastly, the third group of Platreef samples has low ɛNd values (-10.82 to -14.32) and low Sr ratios (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.707545-0.710042) than those from samples of the two Platreef groups mentioned above. There is, however, a Platreef sample with ɛNd value (-5.26) in range with the Platreef samples of the first group, but its Sr ratio (0.707281) is the lowest even when compared to samples of the third Platreef group. There are also five other Platreef samples which have either anomalous ɛNd or Sr ratios which make it difficult to assess their isotopic compositions relative to other samples. These isotopic variations for the Platreef samples indicate both multiple sources and multiple magma chambers where varying crustal contamination styles have operated during the evolution of these magmas prior their emplacements into the Platreef setting as sills. Furthermore, the MZ rocks have different Sr-Nd isotopic compositions (For OY482 gabbronorite [ɛNd= +0.65; ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.711746]; for TN754 leucogabbronorite [ɛNd= -7.44; ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sri= 0.709322]) which do not only indicate different MZ magma chambers, but also different magmas from those of the Platreef. Although the Platreef is still considered a single stratigraphic unit in the northern limb of the BIC, its genesis involved multiple magmatic processes which evolved independently from each other.
The Production of Reinforced Insulation Bricks out of the Concentration of Ganoderma lucidum Fungal Inoculums and Cement Paste
Jovie Esquivias Nicolas
, Ron Aldrin Lontoc Austria
, Crisabelle Belleza Bautista
, Mariane Chiho Espinosa Bundalian
, Owwen Kervy Del Rosario Castillo
, Mary Angelyn Mercado Dela Cruz
, Heinrich Theraja Recana De Luna
, Chriscell Gipanao Eustaquio
, Desiree Laine Lauz Gilbas
, Jordan Ignacio Legaspi
, Larah Denise David Madrid
, Charles Linelle Malapote Mendoza
, Hazel Maxine Manalad Reyes
, Carl Justine Nabora Saberdo
, Claire Mae Rendon Santos
In response to the global race in discovering the next advanced sustainable material that will reduce our ecological footprint, the researchers aimed to create a masonry unit which is competent in physical edifices and other constructional facets. From different proven researches, mycelium has been concluded that when dried can be used as a robust and waterproof building material that can be grown into explicit forms, thus reducing the processing requirements. Hypothesizing inclusive measures to attest fungi’s impressive structural qualities and absorbency, the researchers projected to perform comparative analyses in creating mycelium bricks from mushroom spores of G. lucidum. Three treatments were intended to classify the most ideal concentration of clay and substrate fixings. The substrate bags fixed with 30% clay and 70% mixings indicated highest numerical frequencies in terms of full occupation of fungal mycelia. Subsequently, sorted parts of white portions from the treatment were settled in a thermoplastic mold and burnt. Three proportional concentrations of cultivated substrate and cement were also prioritized to gather results of variation focused on the weights of the bricks in the Water Absorption Test and Durability Test. Fungal inoculums with solutions of cement showed small to moderate amounts of decrease and increase in load. This proves that the treatments did not show any significant difference when it comes to strength, efficiency and absorption capacity. Each of the concentration is equally valid and could be used in supporting the worldwide demands of creating numerous bricks while also taking into consideration the recovery of our nature.
Examining the Role of Farmer-Centered Participatory Action Learning in Building Sustainable Communities in Rural Haiti
Our primary aim is to examine farmer-centered participatory action learning as a tool to improve agricultural production, build resilience to climate shocks and, more broadly, advance community-driven solutions for sustainable development in rural communities across Haiti. For over six years, sixty plus farmers from Deslandes, Haiti, organized in three traditional work groups called konbits, have designed and tested low-input agroecology techniques as part of the Konbit Vanyan Kapab Pwoje Agroekoloji. The project utilizes a participatory action learning approach, emphasizing social inclusion, building on local knowledge, experiential learning, active farmer participation in trial design and evaluation, and cross-community sharing. Mixed methods were used to evaluate changes in knowledge and adoption of agroecology techniques, confidence in advancing agroecology locally, and innovation among Konbit Vanyan Kapab farmers. While skill and knowledge in application of agroecology techniques varied among individual farmers, a majority of farmers successfully adopted techniques outside of the trial farms. The use of agroecology techniques on trial and individual farms has doubled crop production in many cases. Farm income has also increased, and farmers report less damage to crops and property caused by extreme weather events. Furthermore, participatory action strategies have led to greater local self-determination and greater capacity for sustainable community development. With increased self-confidence and the knowledge and skills acquired from participating in the project, farmers prioritized sharing their successful techniques with other farmers and have developed a farmer-to-farmer training program that incorporates participatory action learning. Using adult education methods, farmers, trained as agroecology educators, are currently providing training in sustainable farming practices to farmers from five villages in three departments across Haiti. Konbit Vanyan Kapab farmers have also begun testing production of value-added food products, including a dried soup mix and tea. Key factors for success include: opportunities for farmers to actively participate in all phases of the project, group diversity, resources for application of agroecology techniques, focus on group processes and overcoming local barriers to inclusive decision-making.
Influence of Controlled Retting on the Quality of the Hemp Fibres Harvested at the Seed Maturity by Using a Designed Lab-Scale Pilot Unit
Hemp fibers are increasingly used as reinforcements in polymer matrix composites due to their competitive performance (low density, mechanical properties and biodegradability) compared to conventional fibres such as glass fibers. However, the huge variation of their biochemical, physical and mechanical properties limits the use of these natural fibres in structural applications when high consistency and homogeneity are required. In the hemp industry, traditional processes termed field retting are commonly used to facilitate the extraction and separation of stem fibers. This retting treatment consists to spread out the stems on the ground for a duration ranging from a few days to several weeks. Microorganisms (fungi and bacteria) grow on the stem surface and produce enzymes that degrade pectinolytic substances in the middle lamellae surrounding the fibers. This operation depends on the weather conditions and is currently carried out very empirically in the fields so that a large variability in the hemp fibers quality (mechanical properties, color, morphology, chemical composition…) is resulting. Nonetheless, if controlled, retting might be favorable for good properties of hemp fibers and then of hemp fibers reinforced composites. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the influence of controlled retting within a designed environmental chamber (lab-scale pilot unit) on the quality of the hemp fibres harvested at the seed maturity growth stage. Various assessments were applied directly on fibers: color observations, morphological (optical microscope), surface (ESEM), biochemical (gravimetry) analysis, spectrocolorimetric measurements (pectins content), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and tensile testing. The results reveal that controlled retting leads to a rapid change of color from yellow to dark grey due to development of microbial communities (fungi and bacteria) at the stem surface. An increase of thermal stability of fibres due to the removal of non-cellulosic components along retting is also observed. A separation of bast fibers to elementary fibers occurred with an evolution of chemical composition (degradation of pectins) and a rapid decrease in tensile properties (380MPa to 170MPa after 3 weeks) due to accelerated retting process. The influence of controlled retting on the biocomposite material (PP / hemp fibers) properties is under investigation.
Analyzing the Untenable Corruption Intricate Patterns in Africa and Combating Strategies for the Efficiency of Public Sector Supply Chains
This study interrogates and analyses the intricate kin- and- kith network patterns of corruption and mismanagement of resources prevalent in public sector supply chains bedeviling the developing economies of Sub-Saharan Africa with particular reference to Zimbabwe. This is forcing governments to resort to harsh fiscal policies that see their citizens paying high taxes against a backdrop of incomes below the poverty datum line, and this negatively affects their quality of life. The corporate world is also affected by the various tax-regime instituted. Mismanagement of resources and corrupt practices are rampant in state-owned enterprises to the extent that institutional policies, procedures, and practices are often flouted for the benefit of a clique of individuals. This interwoven in kith and kin blood human relations in organizations where appointments to critical positions are based on ascribed status. People no longer place value in their systems to make them work thereby violating corporate governance principles. Greediness and ‘unholy friendship connections’ are instrumental in fueling the employment of people who know each other from their discrete backgrounds. Such employments or socio-metric unions are meant to protect those at the top by giving them intelligent information through spying on what other subordinates are doing inside and outside the organization. This practice has led to the underperforming of organizations as those employees with connections and their upper echelons favorites connive to abuse resources for their own benefit. Even if culprits are known, no draconian measures are employed as a deterrence measure. Public value along public sector supply chains is lost. The study used a descriptive case study research design on fifty organizations in Zimbabwe mainly state-owned enterprises. Both qualitative and quantitative instrumentations were used. Both Snowball and random sampling techniques were used. The study found out that in all the fifty SOEs, there were employees in key positions related to top management, with tentacles feeding into the law enforcement agents, judiciary, security systems, and the executive. Such employees in public seem not to know each other with but would be involved in dirty scams and then share the proceeds with top people behind the scenes. The study also established that the same employees do not have the necessary competencies, qualifications, abilities, and capabilities to be in those positions. This culture is now strong that it is difficult to bust. The study recommends recruitment of all employees through an independent employment bureau to ensure strategic fit.
Inertial Particle Focusing Dynamics in Trapezoid Straight Microchannels: Application to Continuous Particle Filtration
Inertial microfluidics has emerged recently as a promising tool for high-throughput manipulation of particles and cells for a wide range of flow cytometric tasks including cell separation/filtration, cell counting, and mechanical phenotyping. Inertial focusing is profoundly reliant on the cross-sectional shape of the channel and its impacts not only on the shear field but also the wall-effect lift force near the wall region. Despite comprehensive experiments and numerical analysis of the lift forces for rectangular and non-rectangular microchannels (half-circular and triangular cross-section), which all possess planes of symmetry, less effort has been made on the 'flow field structure' of trapezoidal straight microchannels and its effects on inertial focusing. On the other hand, a rectilinear channel with trapezoidal cross-sections breaks down all planes of symmetry. In this study, particle focusing dynamics inside trapezoid straight microchannels was first studied systematically for a broad range of channel Re number (20 < Re < 800). The altered axial velocity profile and consequently new shear force arrangement led to a cross-laterally movement of equilibration toward the longer side wall when the rectangular straight channel was changed to a trapezoid; however, the main lateral focusing started to move backward toward the middle and the shorter side wall, depending on particle clogging ratio (K=a/Hmin, a is particle size), channel aspect ratio (AR=W/Hmin, W is channel width, and Hmin is smaller channel height), and slope of slanted wall, as the channel Reynolds number further increased (Re > 50). Increasing the channel aspect ratio (AR) from 2 to 4 and the slope of slanted wall up to Tan(α)≈0.4 (Tan(α)=(Hlonger-sidewall-Hshorter-sidewall)/W) enhanced the off-center lateral focusing position from the middle of channel cross-section, up to ~20 percent of the channel width. It was found that the focusing point was spoiled near the slanted wall due to the dissymmetry; it mainly focused near the bottom wall or fluctuated between the channel center and the bottom wall, depending on the slanted wall and Re (Re < 100, channel aspect ratio 4:1). Eventually, as a proof of principle, a trapezoidal straight microchannel along with a bifurcation was designed and utilized for continuous filtration of a broader range of particle clogging ratio (0.3 < K < 1) exiting through the longer wall outlet with ~99% efficiency (Re < 100) in comparison to the rectangular straight microchannels (W > H, 0.3 ≤ K < 0.5).
Audit of Intraoperative Ventilation Strategy in Prolonged Abdominal Surgery
Introduction: Current literature shows that postoperative pulmonary complications following abdominal surgery may be reduced by using lower than conventional tidal volumes intraoperatively together with moderate levels of positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP). The recent studies demonstrated significant reduction demonstrated significant reduction in major complications in elective abdominal surgery through the use of lower tidal volumes (6-8 ml/kg predicted body weight), PEEP of 5 cmH20 and recruitment manoeuvres compared to higher ‘conventional’ volumes (10-12 mls/kg PBW) without lung recruitment. Our objective was to retrospectively audit current practice for patients undergoing major abdominal surgery in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Methods: Patients over 18 undergoing elective general surgery lasting more than 3 hours and intubated during the duration of procedure were included in this audit. Data was collected over a 6 month period. Patients who had hepatic surgery, procedures necessitating one-lung ventilation, transplant surgery, documented history of pulmonary or intracranial hypertension were excluded. Results: 58 suitable patients were identified and notes were available for 54 patients. Key findings: Average peak airway pressure was 21cmH20 (+4), average peak airway pressure was less than 30 cmH20 in all patients, and less than 25 cmH20 in 80% of the cases. PEEP was used in 81% of the cases. Where PEEP was used, 75% used PEEP more than or equal to 5 cmH20. Average tidal volume per actual body weight was 7.1 ml/kg (+1.6). Average tidal volume per predicted body weight (PBW) was 8.8 ml/kg (+1.5). Average tidal volume was less than 10 ml/kg PBW in 90% of cases; 6-8 ml/kg PBW in 40% of the cases. There was no recorded use of recruitment manoeuvres in any cases. Conclusions: In the vast majority of patients undergoing prolonged abdominal surgery, a lung protective strategy using moderate levels of PEEP, peak airway pressures of less than 30 cmH20 and tidal volumes of less than 10 cmH20/kg PBW was utilised. A recent randomised control trial demonstrated benefit from utilising even lower volumes (6-8 mls/kg) based on findings in critical care patients, but this was compared to volumes of 10-12 ml/kg. Volumes of 6-8 ml/kg PBW were utilised in 40% of cases in this audit. Although theoretically beneficial, clinical benefit of lower volumes than what is currently practiced in this institution remains to be seen. The incidence of pulmonary complications was much lower than in the other cited studies and a larger data set would be required to investigate any benefit from lower tidal volume ventilation. The volumes used are comparable to results from published local and international data but PEEP utilisation was higher in this audit. Strategies that may potentially be implemented to ensure and maintain best practice include pre-operative recording of predicted body weight, adjustment of default ventilator settings and education/updates of current evidence.
Caring for Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Malawi: Parental Psychological Experiences and Needs
Background: It is argued that 85% of children with the disability live in resource-poor countries where there are few available disability services. A majority of these children, including their parents, suffer a lot as a result of the disability and its associated stigmatization, leading to a marginalized life. These parents also experience more stress and mental health problems such as depression, compared with families of normal developing children. There is little research from Africa addressing these issues especially among parents of intellectually disabled children. WHO encourages research on the impact that child with a disability have on their family and appropriate training and support to the families so that they can promote the child’s development and well-being. This study investigated the parenting experiences, mechanisms of coping with these challenges and psychosocial needs while caring for children with intellectual disabilities in both rural and urban settings of Lilongwe and Mzuzu. Methods: This is part of a larger Mixed-methods study aimed at developing a contextualized psychosocial intervention for parents of intellectually disabled children. 16 focus group discussions and four in-depth interviews were conducted with parents in catchments areas for St John of God and Children of Blessings in Mzuzu and Lilongwe cities respectively. Ethical clearance was obtained from COMREC. Data were stored in NVivo software for easy retrieval and management. All interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Note-taking was performed during all the observations. Data triangulation from the interviews, note taking and the observations were done for validation and reliability. Results: Caring for intellectually disabled children comes with a number of challenges. Parents experience stigma and discrimination; fear for the child’s future; have self-blame and guilt; get coerced by neighbors to kill the disabled child; and fear violence by and to the child. Their needs include respite relief, improved access to disability services, education on disability management and financial support. For their emotional stability, parents cope by sharing with others and turning to God while other use poor coping mechanisms like alcohol use. Discussion and Recommendation: Apart from neighbors’ coercion to eliminate the child life, the findings of this study are similar to those done in other countries like Kenya and Pakistan. It is recommended that parents get educated on disability, its causes, and management to array fears of unknown. Community education is also crucial to promote community inclusiveness and correct prevailing myths associated with disability. Disability institutions ought to intensify individual as well as group counseling services to these parents. Further studies need to be done to design culturally appropriate and specific psychosocial interventions for the parents to promote their psychological resilience.
Growth and Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Titanium Alloy Ti6Al4V and Novel Beta Titanium Alloy Ti36Nb6Ta
Titanium alloys are biocompatible metals that are widely used in clinical practice as load bearing implants. The chemical modification may influence cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation as well as stiffness of the material. The aim of the study was to evaluate the adhesion, growth and differentiation of pig mesenchymal stem cells on the novel beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta compared to standard medical titanium alloy Ti6Al4V. Discs of Ti36Nb6Ta and Ti6Al4V alloy were sterilized by ethanol, put in 48-well plates, and seeded by pig mesenchymal stem cells at the density of 60×103/cm2 and cultured in Minimum essential medium (Sigma) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and penicillin/streptomycin. Cell viability was evaluated using MTS assay (CellTiter 96® AQueous One Solution Cell Proliferation Assay;Promega), cell proliferation using Quant-iT™ ds DNA Assay Kit (Life Technologies). Cells were stained immunohistochemically using monoclonal antibody beta-actin, and secondary antibody conjugated with AlexaFluor®488 and subsequently the spread area of cells was measured. Cell differentiation was evaluated by alkaline phosphatase assay using p-nitrophenyl phosphate (pNPP) as a substrate; the reaction was stopped by NaOH, and the absorbance was measured at 405 nm. Osteocalcin, specific bone marker was stained immunohistochemically and subsequently visualized using confocal microscopy; the fluorescence intensity was analyzed and quantified. Moreover, gene expression of osteogenic markers osteocalcin and type I collagen was evaluated by real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). For statistical evaluation, One-way ANOVA followed by Student-Newman-Keuls Method was used. For qRT-PCR, the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis Test and Dunn's Multiple Comparison Test were used. The absorbance in MTS assay was significantly higher on titanium alloy Ti6Al4V compared to beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta on days 7 and 14. Mesenchymal stem cells were well spread on both alloys, but no difference in spread area was found. No differences in alkaline phosphatase assay, fluorescence intensity of osteocalcin as well as the expression of type I collagen, and osteocalcin genes were observed. Higher expression of type I collagen compared to osteocalcin was observed for cells on both alloys. Both beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta and titanium alloy Ti6Al4V Ti36Nb6Ta supported mesenchymal stem cellsˈ adhesion, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. Novel beta titanium alloys Ti36Nb6Ta is a promising material for bone implantation. The project was supported by the Czech Science Foundation: grant No. 16-14758S, the Grant Agency of the Charles University, grant No. 1246314 and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports NPU I: LO1309.
Contributory Antioxidant Role of Testosterone and Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Males Exposed to Mixed Chemicals in an Automobile Repair Community
Background: Testosterone is a known androgenic and anabolic steroid, primarily secreted in the testes. It plays an important role in the development of testes and prostate and has a range of biological actions. There is evidence that exposure to mixed chemicals in the workplace leads to the generation of free radicals and inadequate antioxidants leading to oxidative stress, which may serve as an early indicator of a pathophysiologic state. Based on findings, testosterone shows direct antioxidant effects by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione peroxidase, thus indirectly contributing to antioxidant capacity. Objective: To evaluate the antioxidant role of testosterone as well as the relationship between testosterone and oxidative stress biomarkers in males exposed to mixed chemicals in the automobile repair community. Methods: The study included 43 participants aged 22- 60years exposed to mixed chemicals (EMC) from the automobile repair community. Forty (40) apparently healthy, unexposed, age-matched controls were recruited after informed consent. Demographic, sexual and anthropometric characteristics were obtained from pre-test structured questionnaires using standard methods. Blood samples (10mls) were collected from each subject into plain bottles and sera obtained were used for biochemical analyses. Serum levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) were determined by enzyme immunoassay method, EIA (Immunometrics UK.LTD). Levels of total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total plasma peroxide (TPP), Malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), glutathione peroxide (GPX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), and reduced glutathione (GSH) were determined using spectrophotometric methods respectively. Results obtained were analyzed using the Student’s t-test and Chi-square test for quantitative variables and qualitative variables respectively. Multiple regression was used to find associations and relationships between the variables. Results: Significant higher concentrations of TPP, MDA, OSI, H2O2 and GST were observed in EMC compared with controls (p < 0.001). Within EMC, significantly higher levels of testosterone, LH and TAC were observed in eugonadic when compared with hypogonadic participants (p < 0.001). Diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference, waist height ratio and waist hip ratio were significantly higher in participants EMC compared with the controls. Sexual history and dietary intake showed that the controls had normal erection during sex and took more vegetables in their diet which may therefore be beneficial. Conclusion: The significantly increased levels of total antioxidant capacity in males exposed to mixed chemicals despite their exposure may probably reflect the contributory antioxidant role testosterone that prevents oxidative stress.
Evaluation of the Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion Thermal Effects in Hassi R'Mel Gas Processing Plant Using Fire Dynamics Simulator
During a fire in an oil and gas refinery, several thermal accidents can occur and cause serious damage to people and environment. Among these accidents, the BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) is most observed and remains a major concern for risk decision-makers. It corresponds to a violent vaporization of explosive nature following the rupture of a vessel containing a liquid at a temperature significantly higher than its normal boiling point at atmospheric pressure. Their effects on the environment generally appear in three ways: blast overpressure, radiation from the fireball if the liquid involved is flammable and fragment hazards. In order to estimate the potential damage that would be caused by such an explosion, risk decision-makers often use quantitative risk analysis (QRA). This analysis is a rigorous and advanced approach that requires a reliable data in order to obtain a good estimate and control of risks. However, in most cases, the data used in QRA are obtained from the empirical correlations. These empirical correlations generally overestimate BLEVE effects because they are based on simplifications and do not take into account real parameters like the geometry effect. Considering that these risk analyses are based on an assessment of BLEVE effects on human life and plant equipment, more precise and reliable data should be provided. From this point of view, the CFD modeling of BLEVE effects appears as a solution to the empirical law limitations. In this context, the main objective is to develop a numerical tool in order to predict BLEVE thermal effects using the CFD code FDS version 6. Simulations are carried out with a mesh size of 1 m. The fireball source is modeled as a vertical release of hot fuel in a short time. The modeling of fireball dynamics is based on a single step combustion using an EDC model coupled with the default LES turbulence model. Fireball characteristics (diameter, height, heat flux and lifetime) issued from the large scale BAM experiment are used to demonstrate the ability of FDS to simulate the various steps of the BLEVE phenomenon from ignition up to total burnout. The influence of release parameters such as the injection rate and the radiative fraction on the fireball heat flux is also presented. Predictions are very encouraging and show good agreement in comparison with BAM experiment data. In addition, a numerical study is carried out on an operational propane accumulator in an Algerian gas processing plant of SONATRACH company located in the Hassi R’Mel Gas Field (the largest gas field in Algeria).
Ankle Fracture Management: A Unique Cross Departmental Quality Improvement Project
Introduction: In light of recent BOAST 12 (August 2016) published guidance on management of ankle fractures, the project aimed to highlight key discrepancies throughout the care trajectory from admission to point of discharge at a district general hospital. Wide breadth of data covering three key domains: accident and emergency, radiology, and orthopaedic surgery were subsequently stratified and recommendations on note documentation, and outpatient follow up were made. Methods: A retrospective twelve month audit was conducted reviewing results of ankle fracture management in 37 patients. Inclusion criterion involved all patients seen at Darent Valley Hospital (DVH) emergency department with radiographic evidence of an ankle fracture. Exclusion criterion involved all patients managed solely by nursing staff or having sustained purely ligamentous injury. Medical notes, including discharge summaries and the PACS online radiographic tool were used for data extraction. Results: Cross-examination of the A & E domain revealed limited awareness of the BOAST 12 recent publication including requirements to document skin integrity and neurovascular assessment. This had direct implications as this would have changed the surgical plan for acutely compromised patients. The majority of results obtained from the radiographic domain were satisfactory with appropriate X-rays taken in over 95% of cases. However, due to time pressures within A & E, patients were often left without a post manipulation XRAY in a backslab. Poorly reduced fractures were subsequently left for a long period resulting in swollen ankles and a time-dependent lag to surgical intervention. This had knocked on implications for prolonged inpatient stay resulting in hospital-acquired co-morbidity including pressure sores. Discussion: The audit has highlighted several areas of improvement throughout the disease trajectory from review in the emergency department to follow up as an outpatient. This has prompted the creation of an algorithm to ensure patients with significant fractures presenting to the emergency department are seen promptly and treatment expedited as per recent guidance. This includes timing for X-rays taken in A & E. Re-audit has shown significant improvement in both documentation at time of presentation and appropriate follow-up strategies. Within the orthopedic domain, we are in the process of creating an ankle fracture pathway to ensure imaging and weight bearing status are made clear to the consulting clinicians in an outpatient setting. Significance/Clinical Relevance: As a result of the ankle fracture algorithm we have adapted the BOAST 12 guidance to shape an intrinsic pathway to not only improve patient management within the emergency department but also create a standardised format for follow up.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Fibrin Assemblies with Growth Factors
Decellularized vessels have been evaluated as small-diameter vascular prostheses. Reseeding autologous cells onto decellularized tissue prior implantation should prolong prostheses function and make them living tissues. Suitable cell types for reseeding are both endothelial cells and bone marrow-derived stem cells, with a capacity for differentiation into smooth muscle cells upon mechanical loading. Endothelial cells assure antithrombogenicity of the vessels and MSCs produce growth factors and, after their differentiation into smooth muscle cells, they are contractile and produce extracellular matrix proteins as well. Fibrin is a natural scaffold, which allows direct cell adhesion based on integrin receptors. It can be prepared autologous. Fibrin can be modified with bound growth factors, such as basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These modifications in turn make the scaffold more attractive for cells ingrowth into the biological scaffold. The aim of the study was to prepare thin surface-attached fibrin assemblies with bound FGF-2 and VEGF, and to evaluate growth and differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on the fibrin (Fb) assemblies. Following thin surface-attached fibrin assemblies were prepared: Fb, Fb+VEGF, Fb+FGF2, Fb+heparin, Fb+heparin+VEGF, Fb+heparin+FGF2, Fb+heparin+FGF2+VEGF. Cell culture poly-styrene and glass coverslips were used as controls. Human MSCs (passage 3) were seeded at the density of 8800 cells/1.5 mL alpha-MEM medium with 2.5% FS and 200 U/mL aprotinin per well of a 24-well cell culture. The cells have been cultured on the samples for 6 days. Cell densities on day 1, 3, and 6 were analyzed after staining with LIVE/DEAD cytotoxicity/viability assay kit. The differentiation of MSCs is being analyzed using qPCR. On day 1, the highest density of MSCs was observed on Fb+VEGF and Fb+FGF2. On days 3 and 6, there were similar densities on all samples. On day 1, cell morphology was polygonal and spread on all sample. On day 3 and 6, MSCs growing on Fb assemblies with FGF2 became apparently elongated. The evaluation of expression of genes for von Willebrand factor and CD31 (endothelial cells), for alpha-actin (smooth muscle cells), and for alkaline phosphatase (osteoblasts) is in progress. We prepared fibrin assemblies with bound VEGF and FGF-2 that supported attachment and growth of mesenchymal stem cells. The layers are promising for improving the ingrowth of MSCs into the biological scaffold. Supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic TA04011345, and Ministry of Health NT11270-4/2010, and BIOCEV – Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University” project (CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0109), funded by the European Regional Development Fund for their financial supports.
A Qualitative Study Investigating Perceptions of Female Narcissism in Intimate Partner Violence
Objectives: The role of gender differences in the emergence of narcissistic personality has been significantly overlooked. This is evident in the prevalence rates within clinical settings and empirical research, in which males are overrepresented. The gender bias is believed to derive from narrow conceptualisations and measurements of narcissism over-emphasising grandiosity, which commonly has a close resemblance to male qualities in the society. The over-reliance on grandiose narcissism in the literature has not only neglected key central features of narcissism, namely its vulnerable counterpart but also failed to accurately represent narcissistic features in females. This study sought to explicitly investigate delineations in the manifestations of female narcissism and their attempts at self-regulation in the context of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). This novel phenomenon was explored through the lens of ex-partners’ perceptions of female narcissists. Method: A qualitative approach was adopted to gain an in-depth insight of the subtleties and nuances of gender differences in narcissistic personality. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten male participants who reported having experienced an abusive relationship with a female narcissist. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results/Discussion: Three overarching themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) dualistic personas of narcissism; (2) the mask of femininity; (3) the hidden paradox of gender roles. Findings illustrated that perceived expressions of female narcissists depicted presentations of narcissistic vulnerability, in which underlying motives of abuse were driven by fears of abandonment. Analysis also demonstrated that gender-related norms further shaped motives and self-regulatory strategies for females to obtain positions of power and control. These were established through adopting a ‘victim status’, playing the ‘mother card’ and using legal and societal benefits to their advantage. Results further showed that men perceived the manifestations of narcissism in females to be overlooked by society and often misdiagnosed by psychotherapists as borderline personality disorder. Feelings of being unheard and disbelieved underpinned the men's narrative and acted as a barrier to seek help. Such results arguably show the need in psychotherapy to carefully unpick and engage with current misinterpretations and overlooked elements of narcissism to help identify appropriate diagnosis and subsequently help possible victims of female-perpetrated violence. Conclusion: Narcissism describes a phenomenon in females that moves beyond the overt grandiose stereotype. A gendered focus enhances theoretical understanding regarding the multifaceted nature of narcissism. Female narcissists employ strategic attempts at self-construction in sinister and abusive ways governed by what society allows them to express. The distinctive expressions of narcissistic vulnerability in females shed light on significant implications in diagnosis and treatment in psychotherapeutic settings.
Owning (up to) the 'Art of the Insane': Re-Claiming Personhood through Copyright Law
From Schumann to Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Ray Charles, the stories narrating the careers of artists with physical or mental disabilities are becoming increasingly popular. From the emergence of ‘pathography’ at the end of 18th century to cinematographic portrayals, the work and lives of differently-abled creative individuals continue to fascinate readers, spectators and researchers. The achievements of those artists form the tip of the iceberg composed of complex politico-cultural movements which continue to advocate for wider recognition of disabled artists’ contribution to western culture. This paper envisages copyright law as a potential tool to such end. It investigates the array of rights available to artists with intellectual disabilities to assert their position as authors of their artwork in the twenty-first-century looking at international and national copyright laws (UK and US). Put simply, this paper questions whether an artist’s intellectual disability could be a barrier to assert their intellectual property rights over their creation. From a legal perspective, basic principles of non-discrimination would contradict the representation of artists’ disability as an obstacle to authorship as granted by intellectual property laws. Yet empirical studies reveal that artists with intellectual disabilities are often denied the opportunity to exercise their intellectual property rights or any form of agency over their work. In practice, it appears that, unlike other non-disabled artists, the prospect for differently-abled creators to make use of their right is contingent to the context in which the creative process takes place. Often will the management of such rights rest with the institution, art therapist or mediator involved in the artists’ work as the latter will have necessitated greater support than their non-disabled peers for a variety of reasons, either medical or practical. Moreover, the financial setbacks suffered by medical institutions and private therapy practices have renewed administrators’ and physicians’ interest in monetising the artworks produced under their supervision. Adding to those economic incentives, the rise of criminal and civil litigation in psychiatric cases has also encouraged the retention of patients’ work by therapists who feel compelled to keep comprehensive medical records to shield themselves from liability in the event of a lawsuit. Unspoken transactions, contracts, implied agreements and consent forms have thus progressively made their way into the relationship between those artists and their therapists or assistants, disregarding any notions of copyright. The question of artists’ authorship finds itself caught in an unusually multi-faceted web of issues formed by tightening purse strings, ethical concerns and the fear of civil or criminal liability. Whilst those issues are playing out behind closed doors, the popularity of what was once called the ‘Art of the Insane’ continues to grow and open new commercial avenues. This socio-economic context exacerbates the need to devise a legal framework able to help practitioners, artists and their advocates navigate through those issues in such a way that neither this minority nor our cultural heritage suffers from the fragmentation of the legal protection available to them.
Medical Examiner Collection of Comprehensive, Objective Medical Evidence for Conducted Electrical Weapons and Their Temporal Relationship to Sudden Arrest
Background: Conducted electrical weapons (CEW) are now used in 107 countries and are a common law enforcement less-lethal force practice in the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and others. Use of these devices is rarely temporally associated with the occurrence of sudden arrest-related deaths (ARD). Because such deaths are uncommon, few Medical Examiners (MEs) ever encounter one, and even fewer offices have established comprehensive investigative protocols. Without sufficient scientific data, the role, if any, played by a CEW in a given case is largely supplanted by conjecture often defaulting to a CEW-induced fatal cardiac arrhythmia. In addition to the difficulty in investigating individual deaths, the lack of information also detrimentally affects being able to define and evaluate the ARD cohort generally. More comprehensive, better information leads to better interpretation in individual cases and also to better research. The purpose of this presentation is to provide MEs with a comprehensive evidence-based checklist to assist in the assessment of CEW-ARD cases. Methods: PUBMED and Sociology/Criminology data bases were queried to find all medical, scientific, electrical, modeling, engineering, and sociology/criminology peer-reviewed literature for mentions of CEW or synonymous terms. Each paper was then individually reviewed to identify those that discussed possible bioelectrical mechanisms relating CEW to ARD. A Naranjo-type pharmacovigilance algorithm was also employed, when relevant, to identify and quantify possible direct CEW electrical myocardial stimulation. Additionally, CEW operational manuals and training materials were reviewed to allow incorporation of CEW-specific technical parameters. Results: Total relevant PUBMED citations of CEWs were less than 250, and reports of death extremely rare. Much relevant information was available from Sociology/Criminology data bases. Once the relevant published papers were identified, and reviewed, we compiled an annotated checklist of data that we consider critical to a thorough CEW-involved ARD investigation. Conclusion: We have developed an evidenced-based checklist that can be used by MEs and their staffs to assist them in identifying, collecting, documenting, maintaining, and objectively analyzing the role, if any, played by a CEW in any specific case of sudden death temporally associated with the use of a CEW. Even in cases where the collected information is deemed by the ME as insufficient for formulating an opinion or diagnosis to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, information collected as per the checklist will often be adequate for other stakeholders to use as a basis for informed decisions. Having reviewed the appropriate materials in a significant number of cases careful examination of the heart and brain is likely adequate. Channelopathy testing should be considered in some cases, however it may be considered cost prohibitive (aprox $3000). Law enforcement agencies may want to consider establishing a reserve fund to help manage such rare cases. The expense may stay the enormous costs associated with incident-precipitated litigation.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Safety Assessment of Food Additives: Data and Methodology Used for the Assessment of Dietary Exposure for Different European Countries and Population Groups
Objectives: To assess chronic dietary exposure to food additives in different European countries and population groups. Method and Design: The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) estimates chronic dietary exposure to food additives with the purpose of re-evaluating food additives that were previously authorized in Europe. For this, EFSA uses concentration values (usage and/or analytical occurrence data) reported through regular public calls for data by food industry and European countries. These are combined, at individual level, with national food consumption data from the EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database including data from 33 dietary surveys from 19 European countries and considering six different population groups (infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly). EFSA ANS Panel estimates dietary exposure for each individual in the EFSA Comprehensive Database by combining the occurrence levels per food group with their corresponding consumption amount per kg body weight. An individual average exposure per day is calculated, resulting in distributions of individual exposures per survey and population group. Based on these distributions, the average and 95th percentile of exposure is calculated per survey and per population group. Dietary exposure is assessed based on two different sets of data: (a) Maximum permitted levels (MPLs) of use set down in the EU legislation (defined as regulatory maximum level exposure assessment scenario) and (b) usage levels and/or analytical occurrence data (defined as refined exposure assessment scenario). The refined exposure assessment scenario is sub-divided into the brand-loyal consumer scenario and the non-brand-loyal consumer scenario. For the brand-loyal consumer scenario, the consumer is considered to be exposed on long-term basis to the highest reported usage/analytical level for one food group, and at the mean level for the remaining food groups. For the non-brand-loyal consumer scenario, the consumer is considered to be exposed on long-term basis to the mean reported usage/analytical level for all food groups. An additional exposure from sources other than direct addition of food additives (i.e. natural presence, contaminants, and carriers of food additives) is also estimated, as appropriate. Results: Since 2014, this methodology has been applied in about 30 food additive exposure assessments conducted as part of scientific opinions of the EFSA ANS Panel. For example, under the non-brand-loyal scenario, the highest 95th percentile of exposure to α-tocopherol (E 307) and ammonium phosphatides (E 442) was estimated in toddlers up to 5.9 and 8.7 mg/kg body weight/day, respectively. The same estimates under the brand-loyal scenario in toddlers resulted in exposures of 8.1 and 20.7 mg/kg body weight/day, respectively. For the regulatory maximum level exposure assessment scenario, the highest 95th percentile of exposure to α-tocopherol (E 307) and ammonium phosphatides (E 442) was estimated in toddlers up to 11.9 and 30.3 mg/kg body weight/day, respectively. Conclusions: Detailed and up-to-date information on food additive concentration values (usage and/or analytical occurrence data) and food consumption data enable the assessment of chronic dietary exposure to food additives to more realistic levels.