In recent years, infection of the stomach with the organism Helicobacter Pylori has been found to be the main cause of gastric ulcers, one of the common ailments afflicting humans. Excessive acid secretion in the stomach, reduction in gastric mucosal blood flow, constant intake of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), ethanol, smoking, stress etc. are also considered responsible for ulcer formation. The prevalent notion among sections of population in this country and perhaps in others is that "red pepper" popularly known as "Chilli," a common spice consumed in excessive amounts leads to "gastric ulcers" in view of its irritant and likely acid secreting nature. Persons with ulcers are advised either to limit or avoid its use. However, investigations carried out in recent years have revealed that chilli or its active principle "capsaicin" is not the cause for ulcer formation but a "benefactor." Capsaicin does not stimulate but inhibits acid secretion, stimulates alkali, mucus secretions and particularly gastric mucosal blood flow which help in prevention and healing of ulcers. Capsaicin acts by stimulating afferent neurons in the stomach and signals for protection against injury causing agents. Epidemiologic surveys in Singapore have shown that gastric ulcers are three times more common in the "Chinese" than among Malaysians and Indians who are in the habit of consuming more chillis. Ulcers are common among people who are in the habit of taking NSAIDS and are infected with the organism "Helicobacter Pylori," responsible for excessive acid secretion and erosion of the mucosal layer. Eradication of the bacteria by antibiotic treatment and avoiding the NSAIDS eliminates ulcers and restores normal acid secretion.
Design and construction of buildings used to be on framed structure
incorporating reinforced concrete, steel or timber as structural member to
transmit load to the foundation. Bricks are normally used as infill materials in
these framed structures. However, research has shown that bricks can also be
used as external and internal masonry bearing walls. With the use of structural
masonry construction method, cheaper and faster construction can be achieved.
Savings are obtained by using less formwork and reinforcing steel, reducing
construction time as lesser frames or none are used, and eliminating waiting
time for the structural concrete to cure or gain their strength. Calcium silicate
and sand cement bricks were tested for their mechanical properties.
Investigations were carried out on six masonry bearing walls. Each unit
measured 1000 mm × 1000 mm and a half brick thick. The structural behaviour
due to compressive axial load was investigated and it shows that both bricks
satisfy the requirement as load bearing wall. However, the study concluded
that sand cement brick wall showed better performance, with maximum lateral
displacement of 3.81mm, vertical deflection of 6.63 mm and ultimate load of
Occupational health is considered as a crucial element in almost every Small
and Medium Industries (SMIs) and it is believed to be one of vital challenges
that can influence productivity and competitiveness. It has been known that
the metal stamping industry involved a lot of materials handling tasks such as
carrying stamped parts from machine to packaging section, transferring moulds
from tools store to machines, sorting the finished products and others.
Appropriate materials handling equipments are not often provided in SMIs
because of the limitation of capital and lack of ergonomics awareness. The
workers have to handle the materials and goods manually. These practices
may lead to occupational injuries particularly back pain and musculoskeletal
injuries. The objectives of the research are to assess and analyze the muscles
activity of workers in metal stamping industry. Three male workers who
performed metal stamping process using manual technique were participated
in the research. Ergonomic assessment associated with Surface
Electromyography (SEMG) was used to capture and interpret the data related
to muscles activity at before and after the ergonomic intervention. For the
purpose of muscle activity assessment, SEMG electrodes were attached to eight
critical muscles: deltoid muscle-medial part (left), deltoid muscle-medial part
(right), trapezius muscle (left), trapezius muscle (right), erector spinae muscle
(left), erector spinae muscle (right), gastrocnemius muscle (left) and
MeSH terms: Back Pain; Electrodes; Electromyography; Male; Metals; Occupational Health; Deltoid Muscle; Occupational Injuries; Superficial Back Muscles
It is foreseen that the properties of Polymer Concrete (PC) can be further
enhanced if the PC is bonded to or sandwiched between Glass Fibre Reinforced
Plastic (GFRP) laminates, later termed as PC-GFRP system. In the present
investigation, the performance of PC-GFRP was assessed in terms of its bending
strength and bonding strength between PC and GFRP. Panels of PC size 500
mm × 500 mm × 20 mm were prepared. The panels then were cut into specimens
of appropriate geometry and dimensions required for the tests. Four (4) different
resin contents and different percentages of aggregate of different particle size
distributions were employed in preparing the PC-GFRP specimens. A batch of
PC specimens was layered with a Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (GFRP)
laminate on one side (SSL) and the other batch PC specimens were sandwiched
with two GFRP laminates (DSL). The PC-GFRP specimens were tested their
bending strength under three-point load test and bonding strength between
PC as a core material and glued GFRP laminate(s). The results showed that an
increase in the resin content increases the bending strength of the PC regardless
of the aggregate grading. The results also revealed that the PC specimens with
well-graded aggregate recorded the highest bending strength, with coarser
grading resulted in further increase. The bending strength of the PC-GFRP
A conventional plate girder involves the use of transverse intermediate
stiffeners, especially in a slender web to avoid catastrophic failure associated
with shear buckling of the web. In this study, a profiled web was used to
replace the transversely stiffened web. The process involves introducing coldformed
ribs into a flat steel sheet to form alternative stiffeners. This study
therefore seeks to establish comparative performance of conventionally
stiffened plate girders and profiled web girders of a specially formed rib
arrangement with single and also double webs. Nine numbers of specimens
were tested to failure under a three-point-bending system. Failure of all the
profiled web girders, with either a single or double webs, is characterized by
a shorter yield plateau and a steeper descending branch, a failure mode that
is commonly referred to as ‘brittle’. The results of the tests on girders with
profiled steel sheets, PSS(s) have shown that profiling is extremely effective in
increasing the shear buckling load because it moves the sheet material out of
the plane of the web, thereby increasing the rigidity 1.08 to 2.0 times higher
than the equivalent conventional flat web plate girders. The experimental
results also showed that post-buckling capacities are reduced by 30 % to
50 % of their ultimate shear capacities.
The state space modeling approach was developed to cope with the demand
and performance due to the increase in system complexity, which may have
multiple inputs and multiple outputs (MIMO). This approach is based on timedomain
analysis and synthesis using state variables. This paper describes the
development of a state space representation of a furnace system of a combined
cycle power plant. Power plants will need to operate optimally so as to stay
competitive, as even a small improvement in energy efficiency would involve
substantial cost savings. Both the quantitative and qualitative analyses of the
state space representation of the furnace system are discussed. These include
the responses of systems excited by certain inputs and the structural properties
of the system. The analysis on the furnace system showed that the system is
bounded input and bounded output stable, controllable and observable. In
practice, the state space formulation is very important for numerical computation
and controller design, and can be extended for time-varying systems.
MeSH terms: Power Plants; Cost Savings; Physical Phenomena; Biophysical Phenomena
The Internet has been an integral part of the Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) community in recent years. New internet users have been
growing steadily over the years. This has lead to the depletion of new Internet
Protocol (IP) addresses worldwide. To overcome this predicament, the new
Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) had been introduced. The existing Internet
Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is expected to be eventually replaced by this IPv6.
The changeover from IPv4 to IPv6 is expected to be implemented progressively.
During this transition period, these two protocols are expected to coexist for
a number of years. IPv4-to-IPv6 transition tools have been designed to facilitate
a smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6. The two most basic IPv4-to-IPv6
transition tools available are the hybrid stack mechanism and tunneling.
Tunneling is the encapsulation of IPv6 traffic within IPv4 packets so they can
be sent over an IPv4 infrastructure. This project was initiated to set up an
experimental IPv6 testbed, in order to study the performance as well as
transition and migration issues of IPv6 networks under controlled conditions.
This paper looks at how tunneling can be performed over existing internetwork
infrastructure at Fakulti Kejuruteraan Elektrik (FKE), UiTM.
MeSH terms: Biological Phenomena; Computer Communication Networks; Internet; Databases, Genetic
Several incidents that occurred around the world involving power failure
caused by unscheduled line outages were identified as one of the main
contributors to power failure and cascading blackout in electric power
environment. With the advancement of computer technologies, artificial
intelligence (AI) has been widely accepted as one method that can be applied
to predict the occurrence of unscheduled disturbance. This paper presents
the development of automatic contingency analysis and ranking algorithm
for the application in the Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The ANN is
developed in order to predict the post-outage severity index from a set of preoutage
data set. Data were generated using the newly developed automatic
contingency analysis and ranking (ACAR) algorithm. Tests were conducted
on the 24-bus IEEE Reliability Test Systems. Results showed that the developed
technique is feasible to be implemented practically and an agreement was
achieved in the results obtained from the tests. The developed ACAR can be
utilised for further testing and implementation in other IEEE RTS test systems
particularly in the system, which required fast computation time. On the other
hand, the developed ANN can be used for predicting the post-outage severity
index and hence system stability can be evaluated.
MeSH terms: Algorithms; Artificial Intelligence; Electricity; Intelligence; Reproducibility of Results
This paper presents and describes a prototype product code-named SolT2A
which is a system that tracks the position of the sun automatically across the
celestial vault in two axes. This kind of system is typically used in a solar
photovoltaic (PV) system in terrestrial applications to provide electrical
power. It is designed and fabricated due to Malaysia’s location near the
equator, thus the solar altitude crosses the zenith and the azimuth reverses
direction during the year. Thus the use of a static PV system is not maximised
during half of the year. This situation can be addressed by using a two-axes
solar tracking system. So far, Malaysia has not implemented such powertracking
systems. Thus SolT2A has been designed and fabricated to address
the problem by using a combination of electro-mechanical devices with an
element of programming ingenuity and intelligence. Basically SolT2A
measures solar irradiance at four points and makes comparisons in terms of
the intensity received. These data are then analysed and processed by a
controller before being sent to a DC motor that ensures the maximum amount
of solar irradiance received on the PV panels all the time. Thus SolT2A is a
system that maximises the power output of the PV panels to obtain the highest
Critical incident monitoring in anaesthesia is an important tool for quality improvement and maintenance of high safety standards in anaesthetic services. It is now widely accepted as a useful quality improvement technique for reducing morbidity and mortality in anaesthesia and has become part of the many quality assurance programmes of many general hospitals under the Ministry of Health. Despite wide-spread reservations about its value, critical incident monitoring is a classical qualitative research technique which is particularly useful where problems are complex, contextual and influenced by the interaction of physical, psychological and social factors. Thus, it is well suited to be used in probing the complex factors behind human error and system failure. Human error has significant contributions to morbidities and mortalities in anaesthesia. Understanding the relationships between, errors, incidents and accidents is important for prevention and risk management to reduce harm to patients. Cardiac arrests in the operating theatre (OT) and prolonged stay in recovery, constituted the bulk of reported incidents. Cardiac arrests in OT resulted in significant mortality and involved mostly de-compensated patients and those with unstable cardiovascular functions, presenting for emergency operations. Prolonged-stay in the recovery extended period of observation for ill patients. Prolonged stay in recovery was justifiable in some cases, as these patients needed a longer period of post-operative observation until they were stable enough to return to the ward. The advantages of the relatively low cost, and the ability to provide a comprehensive body of detailed qualitative information, which can be used to develop strategies to prevent and manage existing problems and to plan further initiatives for patient safety makes critical incident monitoring a valuable tool in ensuring patient safety. The contribution of critical incident reporting to the issue of patient safety is far from clear and very difficult to study. Efforts to do so have tended to rely on incident reporting, the only practical approach when funding is limited. The heterogeneity of critically ill patients as a group means that huge study populations would be required if other research techniques were to be used. In the era of evidence-based medicine, anaesthetists are looking for alternative evidence-based solutions to problems that we have accepted traditionally when we cannot quantify for good practical reasons. In the quest for patient safety, investment should be made in reliable audit, detection and reporting systems. The growing recognition that human error usually result from a failure of a system rather than an individual should be fostered to allow more lessons to be learnt, an approach that has been successful in other, safety-critical industries. New technology has a great deal to offer and investment is warranted in novel fail-safe drug administration systems. Last but not the least the importance of simple and sensible changes and better education should be remembered.
MeSH terms: Anesthesia/adverse effects*; Humans; Malaysia; Pilot Projects; Quality Assurance, Health Care/methods*; Systems Analysis; Task Performance and Analysis; Monitoring, Intraoperative*; Safety Management/methods*; Medical Errors/prevention & control*
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has been reported to be uncommon among Asians. Although prevalence rates of reflux esophagitis and symptoms of GERD in Asian patients vary, most of the recently published studies have shown an increasing trend, likely due to better awareness and diagnosis as well as to a true increase in the prevalence of the disease. The exact reasons for this increase in prevalence are unclear but must be linked in some way to the dramatic socioeconomic development taking place in the region. Changes in dietary patterns and body mass index have been suggested as underlying reasons. On the other hand the high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Asia and its association with decreased acid secretion and a low prevalence of GERD have also been noted. Another interesting observation is differing rates of GERD among different Asian ethnic groups, indicating a possible genetic susceptibility to GERD. Diagnosis of GERD is usually based on symptoms; many Asian patients, however, do not understand the term "heartburn," as there is no equivalent term in the major Asian languages. Patients therefore describe their symptoms variously, such as chest discomfort or wind and soreness in the chest. Nonerosive reflux disease appears to be common among Asians. Atypical manifestations of GERD, including noncardiac chest pain, asthma, and laryngitis, appear to be common among Asian patients as well.
Purpose - To assess an innovative tutoring program named 'Student-Led Objective Tutorial' (SLOT) among undergraduate medical students. Method - The program was conceptualized by the Pharmacology Unit of Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Asian Institute of Medicine Science & Technology (AIMST), Malaysia and implemented in the middle of 2005. A cohort of 246 medical undergraduate students (spread across 5 consecutive batches) participated. Following a brief explanation on the purpose and nature of SLOT, each batch was divided into small groups and was given a reading assignment on 4 previously delivered lecture topics. Each group was asked to prepare 3-5 multiple choice questions (MCQs) of their own in PowerPoint format to be presented, in turns, to the whole class on the day of SLOT. The proceedings were facilitated by 2 lecturers. Student feedback on the efficacy and benefits were assessed through an anonymous self administered questionnaire. Results - About 76% (188) of the students favored SLOT. The acceptance rate of SLOT was higher among males. There was no significant difference between batches in their opinions on whether to pursue SLOT in future. The most prevalent positive comment was that SLOT enhanced learning skills, and the negative comment being, it consumed more time. Conclusions - SLOT is a novel tutorial method which can offset faculty shortage with advantages like enhanced interest among teachers and learners, uniform reach of content, opportunities for group learning, and involvement of visual aids as teaching-learning (T-L) method. SLOT unraveled the students' potential of peer tutoring both inside as well as outside the classroom. Consumer tutors (students) can be tapped as a resource for SLOT for all subjects and courses in healthcare teaching.
Atherosclerosis, the cholesterol deposition in and around cells of the intimal layer of the aorta, has been recognized as one of the main causative factors for cardiovascular diseases. Intensive research has been carried out throughout the world but the precise atherogenesis has yet to be fully understood, though hypercholesterolaemia is considered to be the prime risk factor. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of high cholesterol diet consumption on the formation of atherosclerosis in vivo. Three groups of adultWhite New Zealand male rabbits (six animals per group) were used in this study. Except for one group which acted as a control (K), the other two groups were given 1% and 2% high cholesterol diet respectively for 10 weeks. At the end of the experiment, blood samples were taken from the marginal ear vein for plasma cholesterol estimation. The animals were sacrificed and the aorta was excised for histomorphometric analysis. The result shows that despite no significant differences in plasma cholesterol levels being observed between the groups treated with 1% and 2% cholesterol, high cholesterol consumption was able to induce hypercholesterolaemia significantly (p
L-arginine is an amino acid, which serves as the sole substrate for nitric oxide (NO) synthesis with the concomitant formation of L-citrulline in biologic system. NO has been demonstrated to be involved in smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation, immune regulation and neurotransmission. It also has an important function as both intercellular and intracellular signals in many physiological systems, including the reproductive system where NO mediates penis erection. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of L-arginine on sperm motility, sperm count, and the nitric oxide level in the seminal plasma. Twelve sexually matured male rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) were randomly divided into four groups with three rabbits each, which were control, low, medium, and high concentration groups. The treatment groups were force-fed with 100mg/kg, 200mg/kg, and 300mg/kg body weight of L-arginine for four weeks, whereas the control group was force-fed with water. Semen samples were collected every three days alternatively for a week before starting treatment and then after four weeks of treatment. Pre-treatment and post-treatment results were compared. Semen samples were collected using artificial vaginas from each group for sperm analysis such as sperm motility, sperm count and NO level in seminal plasma. Sperm motility and sperm count were analysed manually under microscope (twenty power objective), using a Makler counting chamber. NO levels in the seminal plasma were determined using Griess reaction. The results obtained from this study showed that oral consumption of L-arginine exerted a significant (p
Omega-3 fatty acid nutrition is widely recognised as essential to health and general well-being. However, health professionals and the general public in Malaysia may lack knowledge on the sources or the amounts of these essential fat components in foods. This paper attempts to correct this scenario by identifying the potential sources of omega-3 fatty acids [a-linolenic acid (ALA), or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] in the Malaysian diet and calculating the amounts of these â€œnutrientsâ€ provided per serving of a wide variety of foods. The information generated provides Malaysian health professionals and consumers with options in food choices or meal planning with the goal towards achieving the recommended nutrient intakes for omega-3 fatty acids. The findings in the present study revealed that the potential sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the Malaysian diet in decreasing order are: edible oils (ALA), fish and fish products (EPA+DHA), vegetables (ALA), meat and eggs (EPA+DHA), and milk/milk products (EPA+DHA). Edible oils which are exceptionally high in ALA such as flaxseed oil and perilla oil are presently unavailable at local retail outlets and supermarkets. However, consumers can still meet the recommended nutrient intakes (RNIs) for omega-3 fatty acids of 0.3 to 1.2% energy (equivalent to 0.67g-2.67g) by choosing a wellbalanced diet prepared preferably with a cooking oil blend containing ALA, and one or more servings daily from at least three of the following food groups: (i) fish (â€œjelawatâ€, â€œsiakapâ€, sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon)/seafoods (shrimps, crab)/meat, (ii) vegetables/soybean/ soybean-based products/beans and peas, (iii) omega-3 enriched/fortified foods (eg. â€œomega-3 eggsâ€), and (iv) ready-to-drink omega-3 milk preparations/soybean milk.
Lifestyle has been shown to exert a major impact on the quality of life and health in mid-life women coping with menopausal changes. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a lifestyle intervention package in improving nutritional knowledge and composition, dietary habits and related health status in mid-life women. Between Nov 1999 to Oct 2001, 360 disease free women, non users of HRT, aged 45 years and above with intact uterus were recruited into the study. The women were randomised into three groups - I (control), II (lifestyle intervention) and III (lifestyle intervention with HRT) respectively. After 12 months, 85.6% completed the study. The lifestyle intervention programme, well accepted by the participants, brought about an improved dietary composition, better eating habits, more exercise participation and increment in knowledge with concomitant improvement of the health status. The benefits observed were significant reduction in energy, fat and carbohydrate intake with increased intake of legumes; milk and cheese/yogurt; and reduction of tea and coffee. Body weight was reduced and more importantly preventing abdominal obesity in the intervention groups with HRT was more effective. Further adaptations of the dietary component with advice on obtaining micronutrients from local produce would contribute towards a more balanced diet in midlife women as dairy products were not popular and these women had low meat intake.
MeSH terms: Animals; Carbohydrates; Cheese; Coffee; Diet; Female; Food Habits; Health Status; Humans; Fabaceae; Life Style; Meat; Milk; Quality of Life; Tea; Uterus; Yogurt; Micronutrients; Obesity, Abdominal
The objective of the study was to quantify and to profile the amino acids content in urine samples. The amino acids content in urine was determined in 162 individuals (62 young non-vegetarians aged 15-45 years, 24 elderly non-vegetarians aged 46-70 years, 40 young vegetarians and 36 elderly vegetarians) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The most common amino acids detected in the young and elderly individuals on vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets were phenylalanine, threonine, arginine and asparagine, while leucine, aspartic acid and alanine were not found in any urine samples in both groups. Isoleucine was not detected in the urine of vegetarians. The concentrations of the majority of essential amino acids were between 0.10 - 2.00 mgl24hrs except for histidine which had a range of 4.1 - 5.0 mgl24hrs. The concentrations of non-essential amino acids varied. Proline, glycine and tyrosine concentrations were between 0.10 - 1.00 mg/24hrs, while cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid and cystine concentrations were between 11.0 - 21.0 mg124hrs. Asparagine and hydroxy-proline had a range of 0.10 - 5.00 mg/24hrs, while serine and arginine ranged between 31.0 - 50.0 mg124hrs. Isoleucine and serine were not detected in elderly vegetarians while histidine, glycine, glutamic acid and hydroxy-proline were not detected in elderly non-vegetarians. Isoleucine, glycine and hydroxy proline were detected in young non-vegetarians but not in young vegetarians. The levels of amino acids showed no significant statistical differences between young vegetarians and non-vegetarians as well as between elderly vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Phenylalanine, threonine and trypthophan were commonly detected in the lacto-ovo and lacto vegetarians, while valine, cysteine, arginine and asparagine were commonly detected in vegans. In conclusion, except for isoleucine, general differences were seen in urinary amino acid excretions between vegetarians and non-vegetarians even though the differences were statistically not significant. Therefore lacto-ovo diets could be nutritionally adequate as the nutrients were substituted by dairy or plant products.
The objective of this paper is to report on the reliability and validity of a knowledge, attitude and practice instrument used among young primary school children. The instrument was developed as an evaluation tool in the HELIC study and consisted of 23 knowledge, 11 attitude and 10 practice items. A total of 335 Year 2 students from 4 randomly selected primary schools in Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan participated in the HELIC study. Students were divided into small groups and an enumerator verbally administered the instrument to each group. Reliability for each construct (knowledge, attitude and practice) was estimated as item to total score correlation and internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha). Construct validity was determined through factor analysis and Pearson correlation. Results indicated that 3 attitude and 3 practice items did not correlate significantly to the total score (p>0.05). However, the deletion of these items did not significantly alter the Cronbach's alpha coefficients. Internal consistency was good for knowledge (a=0.68) but low for attitude (a=0.37) and practice (a=0.36) constructs. Based on factor analysis, 5 factor-solutions emerged for knowledge and 4 factor solutions for attitude and practice. Sufficient variance was obtained for the factors in knowledge (51.7%), attitude (51.2% and practice (51.0%). There were also significant positive correlations among the constructs ( ~ 4 . 0 1 ) . In conclusion, the instrument was valid and reliable, especially for the knowledge construct. Further improvements, particularly on the attitude and practice constructs, are needed in order for the instrument to be an effective assessment or evaluation tool in various settings.