Seaweed kappa-carrageenan was used as host polymer to prepare biopolymer electrolyte films. Solid biopolymer electrolytes based on seaweed kappa-carrageenan were prepared by incorporation of ammonium nitrate in various weight percentage. The films were examined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The results of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy proved the occurrence of complexation between the biopolymer and the salt. The ionic conductivity of the electrolyte increased with increase salt concentration. The maximum ionc conductivity value of 1.41 × 10-4 S cm-1 was achieved for the film containing 50 wt % ammonium nitrate. The temperature-conductivity plot of the polymer electrolytes was found to obey Arrhenius equation
Wood-based Industries was known to generate various airborne pollutants such as wood and dust. This study was conducted to determine air quality in wood-based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. The determination of total dust and respirable dust was conducted based on National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 0500 and 0600. Study found that 38.1% (n=16) of the total dust exceed 5 mg/m³ in Schedule 1 of USECHH 2000. None of the respirable dust concentration exceeds 5 mg/m3 of wood dust concentration by Schedule 1 of USECHH 2000 and OSHA but 4.8% (n = 2) had exceed 3mg/m3 by ACGIH. In conclusion, dust and total volatile organic compound was found in wood-based SME where few total dust concentrations for both workplace environment level had exceeded 5mg/m3 but none was seen for respirable dust concentration.
The purpose of this study is to determine the concentration of the selected elemental composition in a multi-storey hostel. Dust samples were taken from three random rooms at each level of the student hostel by sweeping the floor. The concentrations of elements (Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn) were determined by using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICPOES) after digestion with nitric acid and sulfuric acid solutions. Dust samples analysis has shown the different levels of sampling point does not affect the concentration of the elements. The concentration of elements in investigated microenvironment was in the order of Fe > Zn > Cu > Pb > Cd. The correlation analysis was applied to elements variable in order to identify the sources of an airborne contaminant. It was discovered the strong positive correlation between Cu-Zn which indicates the sources come from traffic emission and street dust. This result was supported by the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) that revealed the presence of elements in the student hostel originated from the outdoor sources.
The photodegradation rate constant and surface morphology of poly(vinyl chloride), upon irradiation with ultraviolet light was investigated in the presence of polyphosphates as photostabilizers. Poly(vinyl chloride) photodegradation rate constant was lower for the films containing polyphosphates compared to the blank film. In addition, the surface morphology of the irradiated poly(vinyl chloride) containing polyphosphates, examined by scanning electron microscopy, indicates that the surface was much smoother compared to the blank film.
Radon gas has been known as one of the main factors that cause breathing complications which lead to lung cancer, second only after smoking habit. As one of the most commonly found Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM), its contribution to background radiation is immense, and its contributors, Uranium and Thorium are widely available on Earth and have been in existence for such a long time with long half-lives. Indoor radon exposure contributed by building materials worsens the effects. The probability of inhaling radon-polluted air and being surrounded by it in any buildings is very high. This research is focused on the detection of radon emanation rate from various building materials which are commonly being used in Malaysia. Throughout this research, common building materials used in constructions in Malaysia were collected and indoor radon exposure from each material was measured individually using Tight Chamber Method coupled to a Continuous Radon Monitor, CRM 1029. It has been shown that sand brick is the biggest contributor to indoor radon compared to other samples such as sand, soil, black cement, white cement, and clay brick. From the results, materials which have high radon emanation could be reconsidered as building materials and mitigation action can be chosen, suitable to its application.
MeSH terms: Air Pollution; Aluminum Silicates; Background Radiation; Construction Materials; Lung Neoplasms; Malaysia; Probability; Radon; Smoking; Soil; Thorium; Uranium
Cocos nucifera (L.) belongs to Arecaceae family is a type of highly valuable plant species due to its medicinal values. It is a widespread fruit at the area of Southeast Asia and commonly known as “coconut tree”. The fruit part of Cocos nucifera (L.) contains coconut water that have many pharmacological activities which can give benefits for human health and also give benefits for plant in tissue culture Therefore, coconut water has been associated very well in various tribes around the world with diverse biological effects for human such as anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant, renal protective and cardio protective activity. Besides that, coconut water was noted for its wide application in plant tissue culture due to its nutrients content. It was reported to be served as the organic additives for plant to enhance callus induction and proliferation, shoot and root elongation/regeneration and somatic embryogenesis in tissue culture. The present article will discuss the pharmacological activities of coconut water as well as its benefits for plant in tissue culture which had been proven based on recent scientific research.
Each year, influenza A infections have caused tremendous death rate as high as 300,000-500,000 globally. Although
there are effective anti-influenza agents and vaccines, high mutational rate among influenza A viruses renders dramatic
decline in the effectiveness of anti-influenza agents or vaccines in certain individuals. The situation is further complicated
by limitations in influenza vaccine production, for instance, long production period, limited vaccine capacity and lack
of cross-protection against various influenza A virus strains. To solve these issues, development of universal influenza
vaccine based on conserved antigens such as non-stuctural protein 1 (NS1) has been endeavoured. NS1 protein is highly
conserved in all influenza A virus strains known by far, produced abundantly on infected cell surfaces and responsible for
maintaining virulence. Furthermore, cytotoxic T-lymphocytes that are active against NS1 were also reported to be able
to avoid shedding of influenza in hosts. To better inhibit influenza infections, oral immunization has long been proposed
due to feasibility of this method to be implemented and safer for recipients while able to target influenza A viruses from
the entry point. Lactobacillus has been vastly studied for its roles as bacterial carrier in oral vaccine development due
to its significant probiotic properties. For examples, stimulation of immune responses in oral and airway mucosal layers,
high colonization in oral and airway mucosal layers and great natural adjuvant effects. In this light, influenza universal
oral vaccine developed using NS1 dan Lactobacillus should be further studied in influenza oral vaccine design.
A food premise’s sanitation level can be reflected by the cleanliness of its food contact surfaces. Contaminated food
contact surfaces along with poor handling methods by food handlers may increase the risk of foodborne diseases
through cross-contamination events. This study aimed to assess the microbiological contamination levels on food contact
surfaces of 12 residential college cafeterias in a local university and its correlation with the cafeteria’s premise grade.
The presence of selected indicator and pathogenic microorganisms (total viable count (TVC), total coliform, Escherichia
coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp., and Shigella spp.) on food contact surfaces were also determined. Cutting
boards, knives and utensils (cutleries, bowls and plates) that were used for ready-to-eat food were sampled for this study.
The cafeteria’s premise grade was obtained based on the food premise inspection report by the university Health Centre.
Three cafeterias have significantly higher (p < 0.05) bacterial counts (TVC) as compared to the international standard (1
). E. coli was only found in 2 cafeterias while Salmonella spp. was only detected on 7 of the cafeterias. Cutting
boards were identified as the most contaminated food contact surface whereas utensils were the least contaminated. There
was only a weak correlation between the microbiological levels on food contact surfaces and the cafeteria’s inspection
grade (r = 0.02 p > 0.01). This study demonstrated that the sanitation level of food contact surfaces in the residential
college cafeterias was only average. Improvements need to be done to increase the sanitation level of the cafeterias, thus
assuring the safety of the food for consumers.
Ergosterol, a component of fungal cell membrane, has been frequently detected as an indicator of fungal presence and mass
in environmental samples like soil. However, its detection in major pathogenic fungal species has not been investigated.
In this study, the ergosterol contents of ten pathogenic fungal species were determined. Liquid chromatography was used
for the detection and quantification of ergosterol extracted from fungal broth cultures. Results showed that ergosterol
eluted as a single, well resolved peak in the chromatogram profiles of all tested fungi. Based upon relative amounts of
ergosterol produced per fungal mycelial dry weight, three groups of fungal pathogens were identified, namely low ergosterol
(Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans at 4.62, 6.29 and 7.08 µg/mg, respectively), medium
ergosterol (Fusarium solani, Aspergillus fumigatus, Mucor sp., Penicillium sp., Cryptococcus gattii and Rhizopus sp.
at 9.40, 10.79, 10.82, 11.38, 12.60 and 13.40 µg/mg, respectively), and high ergosterol (Candida tropicalis at 22.84 µg/
mg), producers. Ergosterol was not detectable in bacterial samples, which were included as controls. This first report on
ergosterol detection in major pathogenic fungal species indicates that ergosterol may be used as a biomarker to diagnose
invasive fungal infections in clinical samples.
Suatu kajian pemencilan dan pengenalpastian mikroflora bakteria daripada kolam air panas telah dilakukan di kolam
air panas Bentong, Pahang. Kebanyakan bakteria yang dipencil dari kolam air panas adalah dari Bacillus sp. kerana ia
mempunyai ciri adaptasi yang membolehkannya hidup di kawasan ekstrem suhu tinggi dengan pembentukan endospora.
Objektif kajian adalah untuk mengenal pasti spesies bakteria selain dari spesies Bacillus sp. yang mampu mandiri dalam
kolam air panas ini. Tiga buah kolam air panas dikenal pasti sebagai A, B dan C. Julat suhu berada antara 36°C-52°C
dan nilai pH antara 7.88-8.65. Kajian ini telah berjaya memencilkan dua isolat bakteria kokus Gram positif bersama
tiga spesies Gram negatif. Spesies Gram positif tersebut adalah dari spesies Streptococcus sp. dan Staphylococcus sp,
manakala Gram negatif pula dikenal pasti sebagai Pseudomonas sp., Klebsiella sp. dan Proteus sp.. Sebagai kesimpulan,
bakteria tak berspora yang bukan Bacillus sp. mampu mandiri dalam kolam air panas.
Inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) are two important brain regions for the default mode
network (DMN). IPL has been known to be involved in the control of attention and responding to given information while
ITG is involved in the processing and perception awakened by visual stimuli. These two key DMN regions are highly
interconnected as determined from white matter and fiber tracking studies. However, little is known about their nature
of connectivity while the brain is at rest, whether it is linear, bilinear or nonlinear and whether it is of mono- or bidirection. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data were obtained from 7 healthy male and
female participants (average age = 20.7 ± 4.5 years) and were concatenated. Data were analyzed using statistical
parametric mapping (SPM12). Endogenous brain signals were modelled by Fourier series at 0.01 – 0.08 Hz. IPL-ITG
connected linear, bilinear and non-linear causal models in both hemispheres were constructed and estimated by means of
stochastic dynamic causal modelling (sDCM) and were compared using Bayesian Model Selection (BMS) for group studies.
Group fixed-effects results indicated that bilateral IPL and ITG exhibited high neural activity at a corrected significant
level (pFWE < 0.05). Neural activity was centered in ITG (-32/2/-38) in the left hemisphere but shifted to IPL (32/-38/50) in
the right hemisphere indicating different control center for both hemispheres. BMS selected bilinear model as the optimal
model for both hemispheres (model posterior probability ~ 1.0; log evidence > 1000) which has the best balance between
model accuracy and difficulty. The minimum free energy (F) = -4.41 × 104
and -4.09 × 104
for left and right hemisphere
bilinear models respectively. From BMS and DCM results, it was found that IPL and ITG do have a dynamic collaboration
between each other, a connectivity that belongs to a greater network when the brain is at rest. The intrinsic connections
between them are negative in both directions i.e. IPL and ITG mutually inhibited each other. The effective connectivity
was modulated by the endogenous fluctuation of the brain signal.
The present study discussed functional reorganization and alteration in respond to the slow-growing tumour,
hemangiopericytoma in the occipital cortex. Visual evoked field (VEF) and auditory evoked field (AEF) using
magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to evaluate the source localization and brain activity. Results of VEF source
localization show a typical brain waves. Brain activity of the occipital lobe demonstrate low activation in the ipsilateral
to the tumour. However, result shows the activation on the contralateral hemisphere was high and bigger in activation
volume. AEF result shows an identical source localization and both side of the temporal lobe are activated. This result
suggests that there is a positive plasticity in auditory cortex and slow-growing tumour can induce functional reorganization
and alteration to the brain.
Malaysia was ranked at 148 by World Health Organization (WHO) in suicide statistic for 2012, where males had a higher
tendency to commit suicide, recording a 4.7 per 100,000 in comparison to female (1.5 per 100,000). As hanging is one of
the most common methods to commit suicide, this retrospective study was conducted to observe the incidence of suicide
by hanging in Klang Valley from four different hospitals. The current study is conducted to provide local database of
suicide occurrence by hanging in Klang Valley. A total of 893 suicide cases by hanging from 2007 to 2016 were recorded
from post mortem records and analysed. Suicide rates in Klang Valley showed a rising trend from 2007 to 2016. Males
from age group 30 to 34 years old and females from 20 to 24 years old have the highest number of suicide fatalities
compared to other age groups. Meanwhile, fatalities from the age group of 10 to 14 years old and 80 years old and above
showed similar result which is only 7%. 78% of the fatalities were recognized as Malaysian and half of them were Indian.
Majority of the victims/cases (45%) who committed suicide by hanging are of Hindu religious denomination. Non-citizen
in Malaysia that have the highest suicide rates were from Nepal, Indonesia and Myanmar. Victims also committed suicide
more during the day and the peak hours being at 12.00 pm to 5.59 pm.
MeSH terms: Autopsy; Myanmar; Female; Indonesia; Malaysia; Male; Nepal; Retrospective Studies; Suicide; World Health Organization; Incidence; Hinduism
Doctor shopping increases health economic burden and morbidities. Its prevalence and predisposing factors have to be
identified in order to formulate preventive measures. We aimed to determine the prevalence of doctor shopping, its reasons
and predisposing factors by conducting a cross sectional study of new patients at the Dermatology Clinic, Universiti
Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC). Doctor shopping was defined as having consultation with ≥3 healthcare
providers without a referral for the same illness prior to the patients’ visit to UKMMC. Reasons and contributing factors
were classified as disease, healthcare provider, logistic and cost related. Data was collected by a face to face interview.
Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire determined disease impact on the patients. A total of 58 (55.8%)
female and 46 (44.2%) male patients participated. Referral was patient-initiated in 51.9% while 40.4% were doctor
shopping. Age, gender, ethnicity, income, occupation and type of health finance provider were not associated with this
behaviour. About 95% doctor shopped due to disease factors: searching for a cure (95.2%), lack of improvement (88.1%),
worsening disease (50.0%), dissatisfaction with treatment (31.0%), seeking other opinions (26.2%) and exploring
treatment options (26.2%). Impaired DLQI (OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.08,1.38), p 0.04, and disease related factors (OR 6.57; 95%
CI 1.52, 7.72), p 0.041 were significant independent risk factors. Doctor shopping is very common among our patients.
Reasons and predisposing factors are predominantly disease related. Patient education and counselling is important in
management of dermatological diseases to prevent doctor shopping.
Traditionally, Clinacanthus nutans (CN) or locally named as ‘Belalai Gajah’ is one of the herbal plant claimed to be
able to treat cancer. The aimd of this study are to extract, isolate and characterize the active anticancer compound
from CN and to determine the mode of cell death induced by the compound. Bioassay guided fractionation was done on
the CN extract by using column chromatography. The cytotoxicity activities of these fractions toward HeLA cells were
examined by MTT assay. The nuclear morphology was examined by Hoechst 33258 staining and the cell cycle arrest
was evaluated by propium iodide staining using flow cytometry. The presence of active compound in the chosen fraction
was determined by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LCMS). Out of 16 fractions collected, Fraction 11(F11)
showed the lowest IC50 value with 27 ± 2.6 µg/mL. The value of IC50 for F11 towards normal cell, NIH 3T3 cell and L929
cell, were 70 ± 4.0 µg/mL and 45 ± 1.5 µg/mL respectively. These values were higher than tamoxifen, therefore indicating
that tamoxifen is more toxic towards normal cells compared to F11. Nuclear morphology of HeLA cell displayed DNA
fragmentation, nuclear condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies upon treatment with F11 for 24 hours. The cell
cycle distribution of HeLA cell treated with F11 was arrested at G1 phase. The active compound identified to potentially
possess the anticancer property is 19-Oxo-all-trans-retinoic acid. In conclusion, 19-Oxo-all-trans-retinoic acids from
F11 of the CN extract, is a potential anticancer agent for cervical cancer.
Kepatuhan temujanji pesakit merujuk kepada kebersediaan dan kebolehan pesakit untuk menghadiri temujanji yang
telah ditetapkan. Kegagalan pesakit untuk berbuat demikian memberi pelbagai kesan terutamanya di klinik pengajaran
seperti Klinik Optometri Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Peratus kepatuhan temujanji oleh pesakit di Klinik
Optometri UKM dianalisa dari September sehingga Disember 2015 dan dibahagikan mengikut jenis dan sesi klinik serta
jantina dan etnik pesakit. Peratus kepatuhan temujanji adalah sekitar 60% untuk Klinik Optometri Primer. Kepatuhan
meningkat ke sekitar 70% bagi klinik khas untuk pesakit bermasalah penglihatan seperti Klinik Penglihatan Terhad dan
Klinik Penglihatan Pediatrik. Hari dan masa klinik tidak mempengaruhi kehadiran pesakit secara signifikan (p > 0.05).
Jantina dan etnik pesakit tidak mempengaruhi kepatuhan temujanji secara signifikan tetapi pesakit berbangsa India secara
konsisten menunjukkan peratus kehadiran temujanji terendah. Suatu protokol perlu dibangunkan untuk meningkatan
kadar kepatuhan temujanji pesakit. Ini seterusnya dapat menambah produktiviti di kalangan kakitangan dan pelajar dan
mengoptimumkan penggunaan sumber. Penerangan juga boleh diberikan kepada pesakit mengenai kos yang ditanggung
oleh pihak pengurusan untuk setiap temujanji walaupun tiada sebarang caj dikenakan kepada pesakit.
Defects in DNA Recombination due to mutations in RAG1/2 or DCLRE1C result in combined immunodeficiency (CID) with a range of disease severity. We present the clinical, immunologic and molecular characteristics of 21 patients with defects in RAG1, RAG2 or DCLRE1C, who accounted for 24% of combined immune deficiency cases in the Kuwait National Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders Registry. The distribution of the patients was as follow: 8 with RAG1 deficiency, 6 with RAG2 deficiency and 7 with DCLRE1C deficiency. Nine patients presented with SCID, 6 with OS, 2 with leaky SCID and 4 with CID and granuloma and/or autoimmunity (CID-G/AI). Eight patients [(7 SCID and 1 OS) (38%)] received hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). The median age of HSCT was 11.5months and the median time from diagnosis to HSCT was 6months. Fifty percent of the transplanted patients are alive while only 23% of the untransplanted ones are alive.
Diabetes mellitus is often associated with cardiac functional and structural alteration, an initial event leading to cardiovascular complications. Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) has been widely proven as an antioxidant and recently has incited research interest for its potential in treating cardiovascular disease. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the cardioprotective effects of H. sabdariffa (roselle) polyphenol-rich extract (HPE) in type-1-induced diabetic rats. Twenty-four male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into 4 groups (n = 6/group): nondiabetic, diabetic alone (DM), diabetic supplemented with HPE (DM+HPE), and diabetic supplemented with metformin. Type-1 diabetes was induced with streptozotocin (55 mg/kg intraperitoneally). Rats were forced-fed with HPE (100 mg/kg) and metformin (150 mg/kg) daily for 8 weeks. Results showed that HPE supplementation improved hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia significantly (p < 0.05) in the DM+HPE compared with the DM group. HPE supplementation attenuated cardiac oxidative damage in the DM group, indicated by low malondialdehyde and advanced oxidation protein product. As for the antioxidant status, HPE significantly (p < 0.05) increased glutathione level, as well as catalase and superoxide dismutase 1 and 2 activities. These findings correlate with cardiac function, whereby left ventricle developed pressure in DM+HPE (79.13 ± 3.08 mm Hg) was higher significantly compared with DM (45.84 ± 1.65 mm Hg). Coronary flow of DM+HPE (17.43 ± 0.62 mL/min) was also greater compared with DM (13.02 ± 0.6 mL/min), showing that HPE supplementation improved cardiac contractility and relaxation rate significantly (p < 0.05). Histological analysis showed a marked decrease in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and fibrosis in DM+HPE compared with the DM group. Ultrastructural changes and impairment of mitochondria induced by diabetes were minimized by HPE supplementation. Collectively, these findings suggest that HPE is a potential cardioprotective agent in a diabetic setting through its hypoglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemia, and antioxidant properties.
Small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) act as a promoter of economic development of the developed and under developed nations. Developing countries like Nigeria that, require sustainable economic growth and development must pay attention to the SMEs sectors in order to reduce unemployment, poverty and improve the standard leaving of its society. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, SMEs have underperformed despite that, 90% of the Nigerian businesses are small scales but their contribution to the Nigerian GDP is below 10%. The main reason for this low contribution of SMEs to Nigerian GDP could be attribute to poor funding, lack of management expertise and lack of access to modern technology among others, with proper finance the SMEs can acquire modern technology and employed qualified staff. Thus, this paper focuses on crowdfunding as financial option for Nigerian SMEs. However, the paper is a conceptual framework.
MeSH terms: Attention; Commerce; Developing Countries; Employment; Guanosine Diphosphate; Nigeria; Societies; Technology; Unemployment; Growth and Development; Economic Development
This review paper discussed about publications related to micropropagation of bamboo species. In recent years, the application of tissue culture technique like in vitro micropropagation has been used to meet the demands for bamboo planting materials. In the past 30 years, protocols for micropropagation of various bamboo species have been established by researchers from all over the world. The controlling factors for cultures such as the explants, culture medium, carbon sources, combination and concentration of plant growth regulators and other additional additives are varied. The controlling factors are crucial in developing successful regeneration protocols for various bamboo species. This paper attempts to review and summarize the available and up-to-date information regarding in vitro micropropagation of bamboos.