Background: This study examined parents' developmental concerns for their children within the context of systems of care in Malaysia. Methods: Focus groups and interviews were conducted in peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. Results: Parents' perceptions of developmental delay stemmed from three sources: the cultural, resource, and the social environments. Conclusion: There is a need to develop a medical support system in Malaysia that considers a life-course perspective, including prenatal care, screening/diagnosis, and services. This system should embrace a family-centered approach to diagnosis, referral, intervention, and support with sensitivity to cultural beliefs, family preferences, and barriers to care. Implications for Rehabilitation Parental perceptions of disability affect the strategies they use to cope. This research found that cultural conceptions of disability, available resources, and social support affect parental perceptions of disability. The resource environment in Malaysia significantly restricts parents' ability to cope with their child's disability. This research recommended that the medical system of Malaysia develops a life-course perspective to disability to provide a range of care for children with disabilities including prenatal care, screening and rehabilitation or coping services.
The rapid depletion of fossil fuels and ever-increasing environmental pollution have forced humankind to look for a renewable energy source. Microalgae, a renewable biomass source, has been proposed as a promising feedstock to generate biofuels due to their fast growth rate with high lipid content. However, literatures have indicated that sustainable production of microalgae biofuels are only viable with a highly optimized production system. In the present study, a cradle-to-gate approach was used to provide expedient insights on the effect of different cultivation systems and biomass productivity toward life cycle energy (LCEA), carbon balance (LCCO2) and economic (LCC) of microalgae biodiesel production pathways. In addition, a co-production of bioethanol from microalgae residue was proposed in order to improve the economic sustainability of the overall system. The results attained in the present work indicated that traditional microalgae biofuels processing pathways resulted to several shortcomings, such as dehydration and lipid extraction of microalgae biomass required high energy input and contributed nearly 21 to 30% and 39 to 57% of the total energy requirement, respectively. Besides, the microalgae biofuels production system also required a high capital investment, which accounted for 47 to 86% of total production costs that subsequently resulted to poor techno-economic performances. Moreover, current analysis of environmental aspects of microalgae biorefinery had revealed negative CO2 balance in producing microalgae biofuels.
Studies on the impact of Ramadan diurnal intermittent fasting (RDIF) on metabolic syndrome (MetS) components among healthy Muslims observing Ramadan month have yielded contradictory results. This comprehensive meta-analysis aimed to obtain a more stable estimate of the effect size of fasting during Ramadan on MetS components, examine variability among studies, assess the generalizability of reported results, and perform subgroup analyses for associated factors. We searched the CINAHL, Cochrane, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, ProQuest Medical, PubMed/MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science databases for relevant studies published from 1950 to March, 2019. The MetS components analyzed were: waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), fasting plasma/serum glucose (FG), triglycerides (TG), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. We identified 85 studies (4,326 participants in total) that were conducted in 23 countries between 1982 and 2019. RDIF-induced effect sizes for MetS components were: small reductions in WC (no. of studies K=24, N=1,557, Hedge's g=-0.312, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.387 to -0.236), SBP (K=22, N=1,172, Hedge's g=-0.239, 95% CI: -0.372 to -0.106), FG (K=51, N=2,318, Hedge's g=-0.101, 95% CI: -0.260 to 0.004), and TG (K=63, N=2,862, Hedge's g=-0.088, 95% CI: -0.171 to -0.004), and a small increase in HDL cholesterol (K=57, N=2,771, Hedge's g=0.150, 95% CI: 0.064 to 0.236). We concluded that among healthy people, RDIF shows small improvement in the five MetS components: WC, SBP, TG, FG and HDL..
Although pharmaceuticals treat illnesses and prevent diseases in humans and animals, ironically, they are now among the emerging pollutants in the environment. As individuals continue to consume medicines, households can become a primary source of pharmaceutical pollutants. This paper explains relevant Malaysian law and policy on the issue. Using a questionnaire survey, it also assesses public perception concerning the environmental impact of pharmaceutical waste and the current methods of disposal that are practiced in Selangor. The survey used a convenience sampling and the data collected were analysed using statistical descriptive analysis. Most of the participants were aware that pharmaceutical waste can have an adverse impact on the environment and public health. Half of the participants disposed of their pharmaceutical waste in trash bins. About 2.9% of the respondents poured their household pharmaceutical waste (HPW) directly down the drain, while 8.8% poured them down the sink in the kitchen or toilet. The study also discovered that while 73.8% of the respondents felt that HPW should be separated from other household solid waste, only 25.2% returned their medicinal waste through the medicine return-back programme. The majority of the respondents (82.5%) agreed that information concerning the proper disposal of HPW is insufficient. The study concludes that while the respondents were aware of the adverse impact of HPW, their practices to ensure proper disposal is discouraging. There is a need for effective unwanted medicines return-back programme as a more prudent disposal method of HPW to avoid any risk to the environment or human health.
There has been a growing concern on the rising of environmental issues in Malaysia over the last decade. Many environmental studies conducted in this country began to utilise the chemometrics techniques to overcome the limitation in the environmental monitoring studies. Chemometrics becomes an important tool in environmental fields to evaluate the relationship of various environmental variables particularly in a large and complex database. The review aimed to analyse and summarize the current evidences and limitations on the application of chemometrics techniques in the environmental studies in Malaysia. The study performed a comprehensive review of relevant scientific journals concerning on the major environmental issues in the country, published between 2013 and 2017. A total of 29 papers which focused on the environmental issues were reviewed. Available evidences suggested that chemometrics techniques have a greater accuracy, flexibility and efficiency to be applied in environmental modelling. It also reported that chemometrics techniques are more practical for cost effective and time management in sampling and monitoring purposes. However, chemometrics is relatively new in environmental field in Malaysia and various scopes need to be considered in the future as the current studies focused on very limited number of major environmental issues. Overall, chemometrics techniques have a lot of advantages in solving environmental problems. The development of chemometrics in environmental studies in the country is necessary to advance understanding, thus able to produce more significant impacts towards the effective environmental management.
One of the innovations introduced toward tackling the heightening of environmental impact is green technology. In the agricultural industry, the implementation of green fertilizer technology (GFT) for the modern development of environmentally friendly technology is a necessity. Within the Malaysian agriculture sector, the GFT application is needed to increase production levels among all crops. One of the essential commodities of all crops has always been paddy, given its status as the staple food among the country's population. Paddy production with the adoption of GFT potentially opens the path toward sustainable development in the industry as well as it also provides the food safety aspect. Moreover, this helps farmers to improve their productivity on paddy production in Malaysia. This paper attempts to evaluate the contributing socio-psychological factors, innovation attributes of environmental factors, and channels of communication to decision-making among farmers in Malaysia on GFT. Furthermore, this research also aims to assess the moderating role of cost between the farmer's behavioral intention and the adoption of GFT. The sampling process followed the stratified sampling technique-overall, 600 survey questionnaires were dispersed and 437 effective responses were received. The structural analysis results obtained have revealed significant positive effect for perceived awareness, attitude, group norm, perceived behavioral control, environmental concern, agro-environmental regulations, relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, and observability, and on farmer's behavioral intention, a significant effect for paddy farmer's behavioral intention in order to adopt of GFT. Further, the interaction effects of cost on the link between farmer's behavioral intention and adoption of GFT are statistically significant. Though, the finding could not back an outcome for the subjective norm, complexity, and mass media on farmer's behavioral intention. Finally, critical outcomes obtained in this research contribute to deepening the thoughtfulness of paddy farmers' adoption of GFT. This study concludes with policy recommendations and future directions of the research.
This paper examines the effects of energy consumption, economic growth, and financial development on carbon emissions in a panel of 122 countries. We employ both first-generation and second-generation cointegration and estimation procedures in order to address diverse economic and econometric issues such as heterogeneity, endogeneity, and cross-sectional dependence. We find a cointegration relationship between the variables. Energy consumption, economic growth, and financial development have detrimental effects on carbon emissions in the full sample. When the sample is split into different income groups, we reveal that economic growth and financial development mitigate carbon emissions in high-income group but have the opposite effects in low-income and middle-income groups. The implication of the findings is that energy consumption increases carbon emissions. While high levels of income and financial development decrease carbon emissions, low levels of income and financial development intensify it. Based on the findings, the paper makes some policy recommendations.
Area-level indicators of the determinants of health are vital to plan and monitor progress toward targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tools such as the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART) and UN-Habitat Urban Inequities Surveys identify dozens of area-level health determinant indicators that decision-makers can use to track and attempt to address population health burdens and inequalities. However, questions remain as to how such indicators can be measured in a cost-effective way. Area-level health determinants reflect the physical, ecological, and social environments that influence health outcomes at community and societal levels, and include, among others, access to quality health facilities, safe parks, and other urban services, traffic density, level of informality, level of air pollution, degree of social exclusion, and extent of social networks. The identification and disaggregation of indicators is necessarily constrained by which datasets are available. Typically, these include household- and individual-level survey, census, administrative, and health system data. However, continued advancements in earth observation (EO), geographical information system (GIS), and mobile technologies mean that new sources of area-level health determinant indicators derived from satellite imagery, aggregated anonymized mobile phone data, and other sources are also becoming available at granular geographic scale. Not only can these data be used to directly calculate neighborhood- and city-level indicators, they can be combined with survey, census, administrative and health system data to model household- and individual-level outcomes (e.g., population density, household wealth) with tremendous detail and accuracy. WorldPop and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) have already modeled dozens of household survey indicators at country or continental scales at resolutions of 1 × 1 km or even smaller. This paper aims to broaden perceptions about which types of datasets are available for health and development decision-making. For data scientists, we flag area-level indicators at city and sub-city scales identified by health decision-makers in the SDGs, Urban HEART, and other initiatives. For local health decision-makers, we summarize a menu of new datasets that can be feasibly generated from EO, mobile phone, and other spatial data-ideally to be made free and publicly available-and offer lay descriptions of some of the difficulties in generating such data products.
It is well documented that carbon emissions can be reduced by replacing conventional energy resources with renewable energy resources; thereby, the role of green technology is essential as it protect natural environment. Given that, the United Nations' agenda of "green is clean" may be achievable by adoption of green technologies. The objective of the study is to examine the link between information and communication technology (ICT), economic growth, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the context of South Korean economy, by using a novel Morlet wavelet approach. The study applies continuous wavelet power spectrum, the wavelet coherency, and the partial and the multiple wavelet coherency to the year during 1973-2016. The outcomes reveal that the connections among the stated variables progress over frequency and time domain. From the frequency domain point of view, the current study discovers noteworthy wavelet coherence and robust lead and lag linkages. From the time-domain sight, the results display robust but not consistent associations among the considered variables. From an economic point sight, the wavelet method displays that ICT helps to reduce environmental degradation in a medium and long run in the South Korean economy. This emphasizes the significance of having organized strategies by the policymakers to cope up with 2 to 3 years of the occurrence of the huge environmental degradation in South Korea.
Collisions arising from lane departures have contributed to traffic accidents causing millions of injuries and tens of thousands of casualties per year worldwide. Many related studies had shown that single vehicle lane departure crashes accounted largely in road traffic deaths that results from drifting out of the roadway. Hence, automotive safety has becoming a concern for the road users as most of the road casualties occurred due to driver's fallacious judgement of vehicle path. This paper proposes a vision-based lane departure warning framework for lane departure detection under daytime and night-time driving environments. The traffic flow and conditions of the road surface for both urban roads and highways in the city of Malacca are analysed in terms of lane detection rate and false positive rate. The proposed vision-based lane departure warning framework includes lane detection followed by a computation of a lateral offset ratio. The lane detection is composed of two stages: pre-processing and detection. In the pre-processing, a colour space conversion, region of interest extraction, and lane marking segmentation are carried out. In the subsequent detection stage, Hough transform is used to detect lanes. Lastly, the lateral offset ratio is computed to yield a lane departure warning based on the detected X-coordinates of the bottom end-points of each lane boundary in the image plane. For lane detection and lane departure detection performance evaluation, real-life datasets for both urban roads and highways in daytime and night-time driving environments, traffic flows, and road surface conditions are considered. The experimental results show that the proposed framework yields satisfactory results. On average, detection rates of 94.71% for lane detection rate and 81.18% for lane departure detection rate were achieved using the proposed frameworks. In addition, benchmark lane marking segmentation methods and Caltech lanes dataset were also considered for comparison evaluation in lane detection. Challenges to lane detection and lane departure detection such as worn lane markings, low illumination, arrow signs, and occluded lane markings are highlighted as the contributors to the false positive rates.
In this paper, we report the effects of a side-polished fiber (SPF) coated with titanium (Ti) films in different thicknesses, namely 5 nm, 13 nm, and 36 nm, protected by a thin layer of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and tungsten disulfide (WS2), which provide ultra-sensitive sensor-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) covering from the visible to mid-infrared region. The SPF deposited with Ti exhibits strong evanescent field interaction with the MoS2 and WS2, and good optical absorption, hence resulting in high-sensitivity performance. Incremental increases in the thickness of the Ti layer contribute to the enhancement of the intensity of transmission with redshift and broad spectra. The findings show that the optimum thickness of Ti with 36 nm combined with MoS2 causes weak redshifts of the longitudinal localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) mode, while the same thickness of Ti with WS2 causes large blueshifts. The redshifts are possibly due to a reduced plasmon-coupling effect with the excitonic region of MoS2. The observed blueshifts of the LSPR peak position are possibly due to surface modification between WS2 and Ti. Changing the relative humidity from 58% to 88% only elicited a response in Ti/MoS2. Thus, MoS2 shows more sensitivity on 36-nm thickness of Ti compared with WS2. Therefore, the proposed fiber-optic sensor with integration of 2D materials is capable of measuring humidity in any environment.
Despite the accumulating evidence suggesting the importance of phenotypic plasticity in diversification and adaptation, little is known about plastic variation in primate skulls. The present study evaluated the plastic variation of the mandible in Japanese macaques by comparing wild and captive specimens. The results showed that captive individuals are square-jawed with relatively longer tooth rows than wild individuals. We also found that this shape change resembles the sexual dimorphism, indicating that the mandibles of captive individuals are to some extent masculinized. By contrast, the mandible morphology was not clearly explained by ecogeographical factors. These findings suggest the possibility that perturbations in the social environment in captivity and resulting changes of androgenic hormones may have influenced the development of mandible shape. As the high plasticity of social properties is well known in wild primates, social environment may cause the inter- and intra-population diversity of skull morphology, even in the wild. The captive-wild morphological difference detected in this study, however, can also be possibly formed by other untested sources of variation (e.g. inter-population genetic variation), and therefore this hypothesis should be validated further.
：The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of local government competition and environmental regulation intensity on regional innovation performance and its regional heterogeneity. Based on the theoretical mechanism of the aforementioned variables, this study uses the Chinese provincial panel data from 2001 to 2016. We use the super-efficiency data envelopment analysis (SE-DEA) to evaluate regional innovation performance. To systematically examine the impact of local government competition and environmental regulation intensity on regional innovation performance, we build a panel date model using the feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) method. The results indicate that: the regional innovation performance can be significantly improved through technological spillover; local governments compete for foreign direct investment (FDI) to participate in regional innovative production. Moreover, improvements in environmental regulation intensity enhance regional innovation performance through the innovation compensation effect. Our results show that the local governments tend to choose lower environmental regulation intensity to compete for more FDI, which has an inhibitory effect on regional innovation performance. Furthermore, due to regional differences in factor endowments, economic reforms and economic development levels in Chinese provinces, there exists a significant regional consistency in the impact of local government competition and environmental regulation intensity on regional innovation performance. Therefore, institutional arrangements and incentive constraints must be adopted to enhance regional innovation performance as well as to guide and foster the mechanism of green innovation competition among local governments. At the same time, considering the regional heterogeneity of local government competition and environmental regulation intensity affecting regional innovation performance, policy makers should avoid the "one-size-fits-all" strategy of institutional arrangements.
Epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation (DNAm), are among the mechanisms allowing integration of genetic and environmental factors to shape cellular function. While many studies have investigated either environmental or genetic contributions to DNAm, few have assessed their integrated effects. Here we examine the relative contributions of prenatal environmental factors and genotype on DNA methylation in neonatal blood at variably methylated regions (VMRs) in 4 independent cohorts (overall n = 2365). We use Akaike's information criterion to test which factors best explain variability of methylation in the cohort-specific VMRs: several prenatal environmental factors (E), genotypes in cis (G), or their additive (G + E) or interaction (GxE) effects. Genetic and environmental factors in combination best explain DNAm at the majority of VMRs. The CpGs best explained by either G, G + E or GxE are functionally distinct. The enrichment of genetic variants from GxE models in GWAS for complex disorders supports their importance for disease risk.
Within a city, gender differences in walking for recreation (WfR) vary significantly across neighbourhoods, although the reasons remain unknown. This cross-sectional study investigated the contribution of the social environment (SE) to explaining such variation, using 2009 data from the How Areas in Brisbane Influence healTh and AcTivity (HABITAT) study, including 7866 residents aged 42-67 years within 200 neighbourhoods in Brisbane, Australia (72.6% response rate). The analytical sample comprised 200 neighbourhoods and 6643 participants (mean 33 per neighbourhood, range 8-99, 95% CI 30.6-35.8). Self-reported weekly minutes of WfR were categorised into 0 and 1-840 mins. The SE was conceptualised through neighbourhood-level perceptions of social cohesion, incivilities and safety from crime. Analyses included multilevel binomial logistic regression with gender as main predictor, adjusting for age, socioeconomic position, residential self-selection and neighbourhood disadvantage. On average, women walked more for recreation than men prior to adjustment for covariates. Gender differences in WfR varied significantly across neighbourhoods, and the magnitude of the variation for women was twice that of men. The SE did not explain neighbourhood differences in the gender-WfR relationship, nor the between-neighbourhood variation in WfR for men or women. Neighbourhood-level factors seem to influence the WfR of men and women differently, with women being more sensitive to their environment, although Brisbane's SE did not seem such a factor.
This study aims at exploring the impact of corruption control on energy efficiency in 60 countries categorized by income: lower middle (LMI), upper middle (UMI), and high (HI). Panel methodology was utilized taking the period of 2000-2017. As cross-sectional dependence is confirmed among the tested equations, the Pesaran (J Appl Econ 22(2):265-312, 2007) unit root test and the augmented mean group estimator proposed by Eberhardt and Teal (2010) were utilized to overcome this matter. The results in general indicate that the lower the corruption is, the more the energy efficiency for all income group economies. Moreover, renewable energy reduces energy efficiency in lower-middle income and high-income economies while its effect is positive in middle-income economies. In addition, the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) found to be present in all income group economies. Lastly, causality relationships among energy efficiency, corruption, and GDP were present mostly in upper-middle income and high-income economies. From the results, it was recommended that the countries from all income groups should increase their corruption control for the purpose of enhancing energy efficiency.
Oil palm biomass is widely known for its potential as a renewable resource for various value-added products due to its lignocellulosic content and availability. Oil palm biomass biorefinery is an industry that comes with sociopolitical benefits through job opportunities, as well as potential environmental benefits. Many studies have been conducted on the technological advancements of oil-palm biomass-derived renewable materials, which are discussed comprehensively in this review. Recent technological developments have made it possible to bring new and innovative technologies to commercialization, such as compost, biocharcoal, biocomposites, and bioplastics.
The combined effort of the neuroscience and psychology cluster at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)-fundamental, applied and clinical-has moved the institution to the number two position in the country, behind Universiti Malaya. The strategy to join the Global Brain Consortium (GBC) and put Malaysia on the map to address the GBC mission, vision, focus areas and outcomes began recently, in May 2019.
After twenty-four years of government efforts, the latest national recycling rate in Malaysia rose from 5% in 1993 to approximately 24.6% in 2017. However, the practice of solid waste recycling in developing countries is still challenging compared to developing countries. Especially in Malaysia, a multi-ethnic country where people with different ethics have different living lifestyles. Still, Malaysia faces rapidly increasing solid waste and management costs, lacks appropriate data on solid waste management and recycling, lacks awareness of the 3R's (reduce, reuse and recycle) culture and lacks policies to promote 3R's culture. In addition, prior to the enforcement of ACT 672, information and networks between stakeholders have been limited for more than 20 years. Some scholars believe that the success of recycling practices is mainly influenced by community recycling behaviours. Therefore, in order to improve and evaluate the effectiveness of current national solid waste recycling management systems, research and assessment of community recycling behaviours are essential. This paper aims to evaluate the factors that attract communities to implement recycling in their daily lives and to obtain data through quantitative survey methods. Face-to-face questionnaires are conducted through purposive sampling and collected data is further analysed by PASW statistical tools. The comparison between recyclers and non-recyclers are presented in terms of frequency, means scores and radar chart. The results indicate that policy makers involved in the planning, organisation, and implementation of community recycling programs have to focus on strategies that engage community members and adopt recycling practices to improve environmental impact by changing their attitudes. Based on the results of means scores, the type of age, occupation and place of life must be taken into consideration in order to organize future recycling campaigns or awareness programs. In conclusion, the information will help policymakers make better solid waste recycling management to meet the needs of the public.
The relationship between national income growth and the environment of 14 Asian economies over a 50 year period is examined using the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis. Ecological Footprint (EF) measures environmental impacts and gross domestic product (GDP) measures economic growth. It is hypothesised that increased rates of economic growth come at a cost to the natural environment. The EKC hypothesis has been mainly tested in the literature by cross-sectional or panel data methods. In this study, it is tested using time series analysis through initially examining the relationship between EF and GDP using linear, quadratic and cubic estimating OLS regression functions. In the second stage, the long-run relationship between EF and GDP is investigated using an augmented error correction trend model. There is a statistically significant cointegrated long-run relationship between the variables in most of the countries. The EKC hypothesis is supported in the case of India, Nepal, Malaysia and Pakistan with the other countries exhibiting a positive linear relationship between the two variables. Almost all error correction terms are correct in sign and significance that implies that some percentage of disequilibria in EF in the previous year adjusts back to the long-run equilibrium in the current year. Based on the long-run relationship, it is apparent that rapid economic growth has had an impact on the environment and the ecosystems of these countries over the last 50 years. Despite that, until now, not many of them have taken sufficient steps to reduce their EF or to improve their bioproductive capacity.