Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 1459 in total

  1. Łuniewska M, Wodniecka Z, Miller CA, Smolík F, Butcher M, Chondrogianni V, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2019;14(8):e0220611.
    PMID: 31393919 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220611
    We present a new set of subjective Age of Acquisition (AoA) ratings for 299 words (158 nouns, 141 verbs) in seven languages from various language families and cultural settings: American English, Czech, Scottish Gaelic, Lebanese Arabic, Malaysian Malay, Persian, and Western Armenian. The ratings were collected from a total of 173 participants and were highly reliable in each language. We applied the same method of data collection as used in a previous study on 25 languages which allowed us to create a database of fully comparable AoA ratings of 299 words in 32 languages. We found that in the seven languages not included in the previous study, the words are estimated to be acquired at roughly the same age as in the previously reported languages, i.e. mostly between the ages of 1 and 7 years. We also found that the order of word acquisition is moderately to highly correlated across all 32 languages, which extends our previous conclusion that early words are acquired in similar order across a wide range of languages and cultures.
  2. da Silva LG, Kawanishi K, Henschel P, Kittle A, Sanei A, Reebin A, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(4):e0170378.
    PMID: 28379961 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170378
    The geographic distribution and habitat association of most mammalian polymorphic phenotypes are still poorly known, hampering assessments of their adaptive significance. Even in the case of the black panther, an iconic melanistic variant of the leopard (Panthera pardus), no map exists describing its distribution. We constructed a large database of verified records sampled across the species' range, and used it to map the geographic occurrence of melanism. We then estimated the potential distribution of melanistic and non-melanistic leopards using niche-modeling algorithms. The overall frequency of melanism was ca. 11%, with a significantly non-random spatial distribution. Distinct habitat types presented significantly different frequencies of melanism, which increased in Asian moist forests and approached zero across most open/dry biomes. Niche modeling indicated that the potential distributions of the two phenotypes were distinct, with significant differences in habitat suitability and rejection of niche equivalency between them. We conclude that melanism in leopards is strongly affected by natural selection, likely driven by efficacy of camouflage and/or thermoregulation in different habitats, along with an effect of moisture that goes beyond its influence on vegetation type. Our results support classical hypotheses of adaptive coloration in animals (e.g. Gloger's rule), and open up new avenues for in-depth evolutionary analyses of melanism in mammals.
  3. bin Yusof MT, Kershaw MJ, Soanes DM, Talbot NJ
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(6):e99760.
    PMID: 24949933 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099760
    The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae causes plant disease via specialised infection structures called appressoria. These dome-shaped cells are able to generate enormous internal pressure, which enables penetration of rice tissue by invasive hyphae. Previous studies have shown that mobilisation of lipid bodies and subsequent lipid metabolism are essential pre-requisites for successful appressorium-mediated plant infection, which requires autophagic recycling of the contents of germinated spores and germ tubes to the developing appressorium. Here, we set out to identify putative regulators of lipid metabolism in the rice blast fungus. We report the identification of FAR1 and FAR2, which encode highly conserved members of the Zn2-Cys6 family of transcriptional regulators. We generated Δfar1, Δfar2 and Δfar1Δfar2 double mutants in M. oryzae and show that these deletion mutants are deficient in growth on long chain fatty acids. In addition, Δfar2 mutants are also unable to grow on acetate and short chain fatty acids. FAR1 and FAR2 are necessary for differential expression of genes involved in fatty acid β-oxidation, acetyl-CoA translocation, peroxisomal biogenesis, and the glyoxylate cycle in response to the presence of lipids. Furthermore, FAR2 is necessary for expression of genes associated with acetyl-CoA synthesis. Interestingly, Δfar1, Δfar2 and Δfar1Δfar2 mutants show no observable delay or reduction in lipid body mobilisation during plant infection, suggesting that these transcriptional regulators control lipid substrate utilization by the fungus but not the mobilisation of intracellular lipid reserves during infection-related morphogenesis.
  4. Zulkiply SH, Balasubramaniam V, Abu Bakar NA, Abd Rashed A, Ismail SR
    PLoS ONE, 2019;14(8):e0220877.
    PMID: 31415611 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220877
    INTRODUCTION: Vegetable oil is an important source of fatty acids, and as palm oil being the highest consumed vegetable oil in many countries, its high saturated fatty acid content has led many concerns on cardiometabolic health. Dietary fatty acids has also been linked to affect glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. This systematic review is aimed at critically evaluating the available evidence on the association of palm oil with the biomarkers of glucose metabolism as compared to other vegetable oils.

    METHODS: We systemically searched PubMed, CENTRAL and Scopus up to June 2018. We searched for published interventional studies on biomarkers of glucose metabolism (defined as fasting glucose, fasting insulin, HOMA, 2-hour post prandial glucose and HbA1C) that compared palm oil- or palm olein-rich diets with other edible vegetable oils (such as olive oil, canola oil and soybean oil). Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study risks of bias. Mean differences of outcomes were pooled for the meta-analysis.

    RESULTS: We identified 1921 potentially eligible articles with only eight included studies. Seven randomised cross-over trials and one parallel trial were included. Study population were among young to middle-aged, healthy, non-diabetic, and normal weight participants. Intervention duration ranged from three to seven weeks, and fat substitution ranged from 15% to 20% energy. There were insignificant differences in fasting glucose when compared to partially hydrogenated soybean oil [-0.15mmol/L (-0.46,0.16) P = 0.33, I2 = 48%], soybean oil [0.05mmol/L (-0.09,0.18) P = 0.49, I2 = 0%] and olive oil [0.04mmol/L (-0.09,0.17) P = 0.76, I2 = 0%]. Insignificant effects were also seen on fasting insulin when compared to partially hydrogenated soybean oil [1.72pmol/L (-11.39,14.84) P = 0.80, I2 = 12%] and olive oil diet [-0.14pmol/L (-4.87,4.59) P = 0.95, I2 = 0%].

    CONCLUSION: Current evidence on the effects of palm oil consumption on biomarkers of glucose metabolism is poor and limited to only healthy participants. We conclude that little or no additional benefit will be obtained by replacing palm oil with other oils rich in mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids for changes in glucose metabolism.

  5. Zulkifley MA, Mustafa MM, Hussain A, Mustapha A, Ramli S
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(12):e114518.
    PMID: 25485630 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114518
    Recycling is one of the most efficient methods for environmental friendly waste management. Among municipal wastes, plastics are the most common material that can be easily recycled and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of its major types. PET material is used in consumer goods packaging such as drinking bottles, toiletry containers, food packaging and many more. Usually, a recycling process is tailored to a specific material for optimal purification and decontamination to obtain high grade recyclable material. The quantity and quality of the sorting process are limited by the capacity of human workers that suffer from fatigue and boredom. Several automated sorting systems have been proposed in the literature that include using chemical, proximity and vision sensors. The main advantages of vision based sensors are its environmentally friendly approach, non-intrusive detection and capability of high throughput. However, the existing methods rely heavily on deterministic approaches that make them less accurate as the variations in PET plastic waste appearance are too high. We proposed a probabilistic approach of modeling the PET material by analyzing the reflection region and its surrounding. Three parameters are modeled by Gaussian and exponential distributions: color, size and distance of the reflection region. The final classification is made through a supervised training method of likelihood ratio test. The main novelty of the proposed method is the probabilistic approach in integrating various PET material signatures that are contaminated by stains under constant lighting changes. The system is evaluated by using four performance metrics: precision, recall, accuracy and error. Our system performed the best in all evaluation metrics compared to the benchmark methods. The system can be further improved by fusing all neighborhood information in decision making and by implementing the system in a graphics processing unit for faster processing speed.
  6. Zulkefli NN, Masdar MS, Wan Isahak WNR, Md Jahim J, Md Rejab SA, Chien Lye C
    PLoS ONE, 2019;14(2):e0211713.
    PMID: 30753209 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211713
    Adsorption technology has led to the development of promising techniques to purify biogas, i.e., biomethane or biohydrogen. Such techniques mainly depend on the adsorbent ability and operating parameters. This research focused on adsorption technology for upgrading biogas technique by developing a novel adsorbent. The commercial coconut shell activated carbon (CAC) and two types of gases (H2S/N2 and H2S/N2/CO2) were used. CAC was modified by copper sulfate (CuSO4), zinc acetate (ZnAc2), potassium hydroxide (KOH), potassium iodide (KI), and sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) on their surface to increase the selectivity of H2S removal. Commercial H2S adsorbents were soaked in 7 wt.% of impregnated solution for 30 min before drying at 120°C for 24 h. The synthesized adsorbent's physical and chemical properties, including surface morphology, porosity, and structures, were characterized by SEM-EDX, FTIR, XRD, TGA, and BET analyses. For real applications, the modified adsorbents were used in a real-time 0.85 L single-column adsorber unit. The operating parameters for the H2S adsorption in the adsorber unit varied in L/D ratio (0.5-2.5) and feed flow rate (1.5-5.5 L/min) where, also equivalent with a gas hourly space velocity, GHSV (212.4-780.0 hour-1) used. The performances of H2S adsorption were then compared with those of the best adsorbent that can be used for further investigation. Characterization results revealed that the impregnated solution homogeneously covered the adsorbent surface, morphology, and properties (i.e., crystallinity and surface area). BET analysis further shows that the modified adsorbents surface area decreased by up to 96%. Hence, ZnAc2-CAC clarify as the best adsorption capacity ranging within 1.3-1.7 mg H2S/g, whereby the studied extended to adsorption-desorption cycle.
  7. Zulfarina MS, Sharif R, Syarifah-Noratiqah SB, Sharkawi AM, Aqilah-Sm ZS, Mokhtar SA, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(8):e0202321.
    PMID: 30106982 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202321
    Maximizing bone mineral accrual to attain an optimal peak bone mass (PBM), particularly during adolescence, appears to be an effective protective strategy in the prevention of osteoporosis. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of physical activity (PA), fat mass (FM), lean mass (LM), body mass index (BMI), calcium, or combination of vitamin D supplement intake, smoking and alcohol drinking status on bone health assessed by calcaneus quantitative ultrasound (QUS) in a healthy adolescent population. The participants comprised of 920 male and female secondary school adolescents aged 15-17 years old. Quantitative ultrasound measurements of the left heel were performed using Lunar Achilles EX II, which included results of broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), speed of sound (SOS), and a calculated stiffness index (SI). Multivariable linear regression analyses revealed that-PA was positively associated with all three QUS indices in both genders; BMI was positively associated with SI and SOS in females; LM was positively associated with BUA in both genders; and FM was negatively associated with SI in females. These variables accounted for 32.1%, 21.2% and 29.4% of females' SOS, BUA and SI variances (p<0.001), respectively and 23.6%, 15.4% and 17.2% of males' SOS, BUA and SI variances (p<0.001), respectively. Promoting health benefits from physical activity could influence bone status and consequently improve PBM, which is a potent protective determinant against osteoporosis in adulthood.
  8. Zouache MA, Eames I, Samsudin A
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151490.
    PMID: 26990431 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151490
    In vertebrates, intraocular pressure (IOP) is required to maintain the eye into a shape allowing it to function as an optical instrument. It is sustained by the balance between the production of aqueous humour by the ciliary body and the resistance to its outflow from the eye. Dysregulation of the IOP is often pathological to vision. High IOP may lead to glaucoma, which is in man the second most prevalent cause of blindness. Here, we examine the importance of the IOP and rate of formation of aqueous humour in the development of vertebrate eyes by performing allometric and scaling analyses of the forces acting on the eye during head movement and the energy demands of the cornea, and testing the predictions of the models against a list of measurements in vertebrates collated through a systematic review. We show that the IOP has a weak dependence on body mass, and that in order to maintain the focal length of the eye, it needs to be an order of magnitude greater than the pressure drop across the eye resulting from gravity or head movement. This constitutes an evolutionary constraint that is common to all vertebrates. In animals with cornea-based optics, this constraint also represents a condition to maintain visual acuity. Estimated IOPs were found to increase with the evolution of terrestrial animals. The rate of formation of aqueous humour was found to be adjusted to the metabolic requirements of the cornea, scaling as Vac(0.67), where Vac is the volume of the anterior chamber. The present work highlights an interdependence between IOP and aqueous flow rate crucial to ocular function that must be considered to understand the evolution of the dioptric apparatus. It should also be taken into consideration in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma.
  9. Zorofchian Moghadamtousi S, Rouhollahi E, Karimian H, Fadaeinasab M, Firoozinia M, Ameen Abdulla M, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(4):e0122288.
    PMID: 25860620 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122288
    Annona muricata has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of cancer and tumors. This study evaluated the chemopreventive properties of an ethyl acetate extract of A. muricata leaves (EEAML) on azoxymethane-induced colonic aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in rats. Moreover, the cytotoxic compound of EEAML (Annomuricin E) was isolated, and its apoptosis-inducing effect was investigated against HT-29 colon cancer cell line using a bioassay-guided approach. This experiment was performed on five groups of rats: negative control, cancer control, EEAML (250 mg/kg), EEAML (500 mg/kg) and positive control (5-fluorouracil). Methylene blue staining of colorectal specimens showed that application of EEAML at both doses significantly reduced the colonic ACF formation compared with the cancer control group. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed the down-regulation of PCNA and Bcl-2 proteins and the up-regulation of Bax protein after administration of EEAML compared with the cancer control group. In addition, an increase in the levels of enzymatic antioxidants and a decrease in the malondialdehyde level of the colon tissue homogenates were observed, suggesting the suppression of lipid peroxidation. Annomuricin E inhibited the growth of HT-29 cells with an IC50 value of 1.62 ± 0.24 μg/ml after 48 h. The cytotoxic effect of annomuricin E was further substantiated by G1 cell cycle arrest and early apoptosis induction in HT-29 cells. Annomuricin E triggered mitochondria-initiated events, including the dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential and the leakage of cytochrome c from the mitochondria. Prior to these events, annomuricin E activated caspase 3/7 and caspase 9. Upstream, annomuricin E induced a time-dependent upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2 at the mRNA and protein levels. In conclusion, these findings substantiate the usage of A. muricata leaves in ethnomedicine against cancer and highlight annomuricin E as one of the contributing compounds in the anticancer activity of A. muricata leaves.
  10. Zomorodian M, Lai SH, Homayounfar M, Ibrahim S, Pender G
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(12):e0188489.
    PMID: 29216200 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188489
    Conflicts over water resources can be highly dynamic and complex due to the various factors which can affect such systems, including economic, engineering, social, hydrologic, environmental and even political, as well as the inherent uncertainty involved in many of these factors. Furthermore, the conflicting behavior, preferences and goals of stakeholders can often make such conflicts even more challenging. While many game models, both cooperative and non-cooperative, have been suggested to deal with problems over utilizing and sharing water resources, most of these are based on a static viewpoint of demand points during optimization procedures. Moreover, such models are usually developed for a single reservoir system, and so are not really suitable for application to an integrated decision support system involving more than one reservoir. This paper outlines a coupled simulation-optimization modeling method based on a combination of system dynamics (SD) and game theory (GT). The method harnesses SD to capture the dynamic behavior of the water system, utilizing feedback loops between the system components in the course of the simulation. In addition, it uses GT concepts, including pure-strategy and mixed-strategy games as well as the Nash Bargaining Solution (NBS) method, to find the optimum allocation decisions over available water in the system. To test the capability of the proposed method to resolve multi-reservoir and multi-objective conflicts, two different deterministic simulation-optimization models with increasing levels of complexity were developed for the Langat River basin in Malaysia. The later is a strategic water catchment that has a range of different stakeholders and managerial bodies, which are however willing to cooperate in order to avoid unmet demand. In our first model, all water users play a dynamic pure-strategy game. The second model then adds in dynamic behaviors to reservoirs to factor in inflow uncertainty and adjust the strategies for the reservoirs using the mixed-strategy game and Markov chain methods. The two models were then evaluated against three performance indices: Reliability, Resilience and Vulnerability (R-R-V). The results showed that, while both models were well capable of dealing with conflict resolution over water resources in the Langat River basin, the second model achieved a substantially improved performance through its ability to deal with dynamicity, complexity and uncertainty in the river system.
  11. Zheng W, Tan TK, Paterson IC, Mutha NV, Siow CC, Tan SY, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0151908.
    PMID: 27138013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151908
    The oral streptococci are spherical Gram-positive bacteria categorized under the phylum Firmicutes which are among the most common causative agents of bacterial infective endocarditis (IE) and are also important agents in septicaemia in neutropenic patients. The Streptococcus mitis group is comprised of 13 species including some of the most common human oral colonizers such as S. mitis, S. oralis, S. sanguinis and S. gordonii as well as species such as S. tigurinus, S. oligofermentans and S. australis that have only recently been classified and are poorly understood at present. We present StreptoBase, which provides a specialized free resource focusing on the genomic analyses of oral species from the mitis group. It currently hosts 104 S. mitis group genomes including 27 novel mitis group strains that we sequenced using the high throughput Illumina HiSeq technology platform, and provides a comprehensive set of genome sequences for analyses, particularly comparative analyses and visualization of both cross-species and cross-strain characteristics of S. mitis group bacteria. StreptoBase incorporates sophisticated in-house designed bioinformatics web tools such as Pairwise Genome Comparison (PGC) tool and Pathogenomic Profiling Tool (PathoProT), which facilitate comparative pathogenomics analysis of Streptococcus strains. Examples are provided to demonstrate how StreptoBase can be employed to compare genome structure of different S. mitis group bacteria and putative virulence genes profile across multiple streptococcal strains. In conclusion, StreptoBase offers access to a range of streptococci genomic resources as well as analysis tools and will be an invaluable platform to accelerate research in streptococci. Database URL: http://streptococcus.um.edu.my.
  12. Zheng P, Belaton B, Liao IY, Rajion ZA
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(11):e0187558.
    PMID: 29121077 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187558
    Landmarks, also known as feature points, are one of the important geometry primitives that describe the predominant characteristics of a surface. In this study we proposed a self-contained framework to generate landmarks on surfaces extracted from volumetric data. The framework is designed to be a three-fold pipeline structure. The pipeline comprises three phases which are surface construction, crest line extraction and landmark identification. With input as a volumetric data and output as landmarks, the pipeline takes in 3D raw data and produces a 0D geometry feature. In each phase we investigate existing methods, extend and tailor the methods to fit the pipeline design. The pipeline is designed to be functional as it is modularised to have a dedicated function in each phase. We extended the implicit surface polygonizer for surface construction in first phase, developed an alternative way to compute the gradient of maximal curvature for crest line extraction in second phase and finally we combine curvature information and K-means clustering method to identify the landmarks in the third phase. The implementations are firstly carried on a controlled environment, i.e. synthetic data, for proof of concept. Then the method is tested on a small scale data set and subsequently on huge data set. Issues and justifications are addressed accordingly for each phase.
  13. Zhao D, Kim MH, Pastor-Barriuso R, Chang Y, Ryu S, Zhang Y, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(1):e0146057.
    PMID: 26731527 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146057
    IMPORTANCE: Intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction or stabilization is the only proven method for glaucoma management. Identifying risk factors for IOP is crucial to understand the pathophysiology of glaucoma.

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations of change in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and percent fat mass with change in intraocular pressure (IOP) in a large sample of Korean adults.

    DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Cohort study of 274,064 young and middle age Korean adults with normal fundoscopic findings who attended annual or biennial health exams from January 1, 2002 to Feb 28, 2010 (577,981 screening visits).

    EXPOSURES: BMI, waist circumference, and percent fat mass.

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): At each visit, IOP was measured in both eyes with automated noncontact tonometers.

    RESULTS: In multivariable-adjusted models, the average increase in IOP (95% confidence intervals) over time per interquartile increase in BMI (1.26 kg/m2), waist circumference (6.20 cm), and percent fat mass (3.40%) were 0.18 mmHg (0.17 to 0.19), 0.27 mmHg (0.26 to 0.29), and 0.10 mmHg (0.09 to 0.11), respectively (all P < 0.001). The association was stronger in men compared to women (P < 0.001) and it was only slightly attenuated after including diabetes and hypertension as potential mediators in the model.

    CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Increases in adiposity were significantly associated with an increase in IOP in a large cohort of Korean adults attending health screening visits, an association that was stronger for central obesity. Further research is needed to understand better the underlying mechanisms of this association, and to establish the role of weight gain in increasing IOP and the risk of glaucoma and its complications.

  14. Zhao C, Wong L, Zhu Q, Yang H
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(6):e0199006.
    PMID: 29902222 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199006
    BACKGROUND: The escalating problem of multiple chronic conditions among older adults in China draws public health attention due to increasing proportion of the elderly population. This study sought to assess the prevalence of and factors associated with four chronic diseases in older adults in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Province, China.

    METHOD: In this cross-sectional study, 9432 community-dwelling elderly people aged 60 years and older living in rural or urban areas in Haikou were investigated. The interviews collected self-reported information on the presence of four major chronic diseases, as well as socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors and self-reported height and weight.

    FINDINGS: Overall, 31.7% (2961/9344) reported at least one of the four chronic diseases. The prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, COPD, and stroke was 26.0% (2449/9407), 8.0% (749/9371), 1.0% (95/9360), and 1.9% (175/9382), respectively. Common correlates of the four major chronic diseases were older age, being engaged in intellectual work, currently being a smoker and obesity. Gender, locality of residence, and alcohol consumptions were also found to be associated to some of the chronic conditions.

    CONCLUSION: This finding indicates that multiple chronic conditions among elderly people in Haikou are prevalent and warrant special attention to reduce diseases burden and align health care services to cater the holistic elderly patients' need.

  15. Zhang SF, Tuo JL, Huang XB, Zhu X, Zhang DM, Zhou K, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(1):e0191789.
    PMID: 29377913 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191789
    Human coronavirus (HCoV) is one of the most common causes of respiratory tract infection throughout the world. To investigate the epidemiological and genetic variation of HCoV in Guangzhou, south China, we collected totally 13048 throat and nasal swab specimens from adults and children with fever and acute upper respiratory infection symptoms in Gunazhou, south China between July 2010 and June 2015, and the epidemiological features of HCoV and its species were studied. Specimens were screened for HCoV by real-time RT-PCR, and 7 other common respiratory viruses were tested simultaneously by PCR or real-time PCR. HCoV was detected in 294 cases (2.25%) of the 13048 samples, with most of them inpatients (251 cases, 85.4% of HCoV positive cases) and young children not in nursery (53.06%, 156 out of 294 HCoV positive cases). Four HCoVs, as OC43, 229E, NL63 and HKU1 were detected prevalent during 2010-2015 in Guangzhou, and among the HCoV positive cases, 60.20% were OC43, 16.67% were 229E, 14.97% were NL63 and 7.82% were HKU1. The month distribution showed that totally HCoV was prevalent in winter, but differences existed in different species. The 5 year distribution of HCoV showed a peak-valley distribution trend, with the detection rate higher in 2011 and 2013 whereas lower in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The age distribution revealed that children (especially those <3 years old) and old people (>50 years) were both high risk groups to be infected by HCoV. Of the 294 HCoV positive patients, 34.69% (101 cases) were co-infected by other common respiratory viruses, and influenza virus was the most common co-infecting virus (30/101, 29.70%). Fifteen HCoV-OC43 positive samples of 2013-2014 were selected for S gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, and the results showed that the 15 strains could be divided into 2 clusters in the phylogenetic tree, 12 strains of which formed a separate cluster that was closer to genotype G found in Malaysia. It was revealed for the first time that genotype B and genotype G of HCoV-OC43 co-circulated and the newly defined genotype G was epidemic as a dominant genotype during 2013-2014 in Guanzhou, south China.
  16. Zanaruddin SN, Yee PS, Hor SY, Kong YH, Ghani WM, Mustafa WM, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(11):e80229.
    PMID: 24224046 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080229
    The frequency of common oncogenic mutations and TP53 was determined in Asian oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
  17. Zamri EN, Moy FM, Hoe VC
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(2):e0172195.
    PMID: 28234933 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172195
    BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal pain is common among teachers. Work-related psychosocial factors are found to be associated with the development of musculoskeletal pain, however psychological distress may also play an important role.

    OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of self-reported low back pain (LBP), and neck and/or shoulder pain (NSP) among secondary school teachers; and to evaluate the association of LBP and NSP with psychological distress and work-related psychosocial factors.

    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among teachers in the state of Penang, Malaysia. The participants were recruited via a two stage sampling method. Information on demographic, psychological distress, work-related psychosocial factors, and musculoskeletal pain (LBP and NSP) in the past 12 months was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Poisson regression was used to estimate the prevalence ratio (PR) for the associations between psychological distress and work-related psychosocial factors with LBP and NSP.

    RESULTS: The prevalence of self-reported LBP and NSP among 1482 teachers in the past 12 months was 48.0% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 45.2%, 50.9%) and 60.1% (95% CI 57.4%, 62.9%) respectively. From the multivariate analysis, self-reported LBP was associated with teachers who reported severe to extremely severe depression (PR: 1.71, 95% CI 1.25, 2.32), severe to extremely severe anxiety (1.46, 95% CI 1.22, 1.75), high psychological job demand (1.29, 95% CI 1.06, 1.57), low skill discretion (1.28, 95% CI 1.13, 1.47) and poorer mental health (0.98, 95% CI 0.97, 0.99). Self-reported NSP was associated with mild to moderate anxiety (1.18, 95% CI 1.06, 1.33), severe to extremely severe anxiety (1.25, 95% CI 1.09, 1.43), low supervisory support (1.13, 95% CI 1.03, 1.25) and poorer mental health (0.98, 95% CI 0.97, 0.99).

    CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported LBP and NSP were common among secondary school teachers. Interventions targeting psychological distress and work-related psychosocial characteristics may reduce musculoskeletal pain among school teachers.

  18. Zamli KZ, Din F, Ahmed BS, Bures M
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(5):e0195675.
    PMID: 29771918 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195675
    The sine-cosine algorithm (SCA) is a new population-based meta-heuristic algorithm. In addition to exploiting sine and cosine functions to perform local and global searches (hence the name sine-cosine), the SCA introduces several random and adaptive parameters to facilitate the search process. Although it shows promising results, the search process of the SCA is vulnerable to local minima/maxima due to the adoption of a fixed switch probability and the bounded magnitude of the sine and cosine functions (from -1 to 1). In this paper, we propose a new hybrid Q-learning sine-cosine- based strategy, called the Q-learning sine-cosine algorithm (QLSCA). Within the QLSCA, we eliminate the switching probability. Instead, we rely on the Q-learning algorithm (based on the penalty and reward mechanism) to dynamically identify the best operation during runtime. Additionally, we integrate two new operations (Lévy flight motion and crossover) into the QLSCA to facilitate jumping out of local minima/maxima and enhance the solution diversity. To assess its performance, we adopt the QLSCA for the combinatorial test suite minimization problem. Experimental results reveal that the QLSCA is statistically superior with regard to test suite size reduction compared to recent state-of-the-art strategies, including the original SCA, the particle swarm test generator (PSTG), adaptive particle swarm optimization (APSO) and the cuckoo search strategy (CS) at the 95% confidence level. However, concerning the comparison with discrete particle swarm optimization (DPSO), there is no significant difference in performance at the 95% confidence level. On a positive note, the QLSCA statistically outperforms the DPSO in certain configurations at the 90% confidence level.
  19. Zamiri R, Ahangar HA, Kaushal A, Zakaria A, Zamiri G, Tobaldi D, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(4):e0122989.
    PMID: 25910071 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122989
    A template-free precipitation method was used as a simple and low cost method for preparation of CeO2 nanoparticles. The structure and morphology of the prepared nanoparticle samples were studied in detail using X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) measurements. The whole powder pattern modelling (WPPM) method was applied on XRD data to accurately measure the crystalline domain size and their size distribution. The average crystalline domain diameter was found to be 5.2 nm, with a very narrow size distribution. UV-visible absorbance spectrum was used to calculate the optical energy band gap of the prepared CeO2 nanoparticles. The FT-IR spectrum of prepared CeO2 nanoparticles showed absorption bands at 400 cm(-1) to 450 cm(-1) regime, which correspond to CeO2 stretching vibration. The dielectric constant (εr) and dielectric loss (tan δ) values of sintered CeO2 compact consolidated from prepared nanoparticles were measured at different temperatures in the range from 298 K (room temperature) to 623 K, and at different frequencies from 1 kHz to 1 MHz.
  20. Zaman Huri H, Permalu V, Vethakkan SR
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(9):e106505.
    PMID: 25181406 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106505
    Sliding-scale and basal-bolus insulin regimens are two options available for the treatment of severe or acute hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Although its use is not recommended, sliding-scale insulin therapy is still being used widely. The aims of the study were to compare the glycemic control achieved by using sliding-scale or basal-bolus regimens for the management of severe or acute hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes and to analyze factors associated with the types of insulin therapy used in the management of severe or acute hyperglycemia. This retrospective study was conducted using the medical records of patients with acute or severe hyperglycemia admitted to a hospital in Malaysia from January 2008 to December 2012. A total of 202 patients and 247 admissions were included. Patients treated with the basal-bolus insulin regimen attained lower fasting blood glucose (10.8 ± 2.3 versus 11.6 ± 3.5 mmol/L; p = 0.028) and mean glucose levels throughout severe/acute hyperglycemia (12.3 ± 1.9 versus 12.8 ± 2.2; p = 0.021) compared with sliding-scale insulin regimens. Diabetic ketoacidosis (p = 0.043), cardiovascular diseases (p = 0.005), acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma (p = 0.010), and the use of corticosteroids (p = 0.037) and loop diuretics (p = 0.016) were significantly associated with the type of insulin regimen used. In conclusion, type 2 diabetes patients with severe and acute hyperglycemia achieved better glycemic control with the basal-bolus regimen than with sliding-scale insulin, and factors associated with the insulin regimen used could be identified.
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