Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 1460 in total

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  1. Nur Aainaa H, Haruna Ahmed O, Ab Majid NM
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(9):e0204401.
    PMID: 30261005 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204401
    Efficient management of P fertilizers ensures good yield of crops and adequate food supply. In the acid soil of the tropics, soluble P is fixed by Al and Fe. Exploitation of the high CEC and pH of Clinoptilolite zeolite (CZ) could mitigate low soil pH and P fixation in acid soils. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of amending a weathered acid soil with CZ on: (i) soil P availability and other related soil chemical properties, and (ii) nutrient concentration, nutrient uptake, above-ground biomass, agronomic efficiency, and yield of Zea mays L. on a tropical acidic soil. Triple superphosphate (TSP), Egypt Rock phosphate (ERP), and Christmas Island Rock phosphate (CIRP) were used as P sources. The treatments evaluated were: (i) soil alone, (ii) 100% recommended fertilizer rate (NPK), and (iii) 75% fertilizer rate + Clinoptilolite zeolite. Selected soil chemical properties and P availability were determined before and after field trials. Zea mays L. above-ground biomass, nutrient concentration, nutrient uptake, agronomic efficiency, and fresh cob yield were also determined. Results revealed that the effects of treatments with and without CZ treatments on soil pH, P fractions, soil acidity, dry matter production, yield of maize, nutrient uptake, and agronomic efficiency were similar. Hence, suggesting CZ inclusion in the fertilization program of Zea mays L is beneficial in terms of reducing excessive or unbalanced use of chemical fertilizers due to reduction of fertilizers usage by 25%.
  2. Kamaludin H, Mahdin H, Abawajy JH
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(3):e0193951.
    PMID: 29565982 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193951
    Although Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is poised to displace barcodes, security vulnerabilities pose serious challenges for global adoption of the RFID technology. Specifically, RFID tags are prone to basic cloning and counterfeiting security attacks. A successful cloning of the RFID tags in many commercial applications can lead to many serious problems such as financial losses, brand damage, safety and health of the public. With many industries such as pharmaceutical and businesses deploying RFID technology with a variety of products, it is important to tackle RFID tag cloning problem and improve the resistance of the RFID systems. To this end, we propose an approach for detecting cloned RFID tags in RFID systems with high detection accuracy and minimal overhead thus overcoming practical challenges in existing approaches. The proposed approach is based on consistency of dual hash collisions and modified count-min sketch vector. We evaluated the proposed approach through extensive experiments and compared it with existing baseline approaches in terms of execution time and detection accuracy under varying RFID tag cloning ratio. The results of the experiments show that the proposed approach outperforms the baseline approaches in cloned RFID tag detection accuracy.
  3. Abdul Manaf MR, Mustafa M, Abdul Rahman MR, Yusof KH, Abd Aziz NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156937.
    PMID: 27280529 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156937
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Mental health problems are common in old age, but frequently remain undetected and untreated. Mental health problems in the elderly are the result of a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of mental health problems (depression, anxiety, and emotional stress) and their associated factors among the Malay elderly in a rural community of Perak, Malaysia.

    METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study. The Malay elderly aged 60 years and above were selected through convenient sampling to give a total of 230 respondents. The Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) was used to assess the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Bivariate analyses were performed using chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the association between the factors and each of the mental health statuses assessed.

    RESULTS: The results showed that the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among the elderly respondents was 27.8%, 22.6%, and 8.7%, respectively. The significant factors for depression were single elderly (Adjusted OR = 3.27, 95%CI 1.66, 6.44), living with family (Adjusted OR = 4.98, 95%CI 2.05, 12.10), and poor general health status (Adjusted OR = 2.28, 95%CI 1.20, 4.36). Living with family was the only significant factor for anxiety (Adjusted OR = 2.68, 95%CI 1.09, 6.57). There was no significant factor for stress.

    CONCLUSIONS: Depression and anxiety among the Malay elderly in the rural community were very worrying. More equity in health should be created or strengthened in order to intensify the opportunity to identify, diagnose, and treat those with mental health problems. Living arrangement in the rural community was an important factor that had influenced depression and anxiety. Therefore, further research is recommended for more comprehensive information, as a result of which appropriate intervention can be made.

  4. Kermani N, Abu-Hassan ZA, Dieng H, Ismail NF, Attia M, Abd Ghani I
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(5):e62884.
    PMID: 23675435 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062884
    Biological control using pathogenic microsporidia could be an alternative to chemical control of the diamondback moth (DBM) Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). The microsporidium Nosema bombycis (NB) is one of the numerous pathogens that can be used in the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of DBM. However, its pathogenicity or effectiveness can be influenced by various factors, particularly temperature. This study was therefore conducted to investigate the effect of temperature on NB infection of DBM larvae. Second-instar larvae at different doses (spore concentration: 0, 1×10²,1×10³,1×10⁴, and 1×10⁵) at 15°, 20°, 25°, 30° and 35°C and a relative humidity(RH) of 65% and light dark cycle (L:D) of 12∶12. Larval mortality was recorded at 24 h intervals until the larvae had either died or pupated. The results showed that the spore concentration had a significant negative effect on larval survival at all temperatures, although this effect was more pronounced (92%) at 35°C compared with that at 20 and 30°C (≃50%) and 25°C (26%). Histological observations showed that Nosema preferentially infected the adipose tissue and epithelial cells of the midgut, resulting in marked vacuolization of the cytoplasm. These findings suggest that Nosema damaged the midgut epithelial cells. Our results suggest that Nosema had a direct adverse effect on DBM, and could be utilized as an important biopesticide alternative to chemical insecticides in IPM.
  5. Ahmad Nasir S, Ramli R, Abd Jabar N
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(10):e0204946.
    PMID: 30289909 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204946
    The aim of this study was to determine the predictors of post-traumatic enophthalmos (PE) in relation to the internal orbital changes following pure orbital blowout fractures. The design was a 10-year retrospective cross-sectional study analysing 629 medical records and computed tomography (CT) data of patients with orbital fractures from January 2008 to January 2017. Demographic, etiology, co-morbidity and clinical characteristics were obtained from the medical records. Assessment of the PE, fracture site and size, intraorbital structures and muscle change were performed using the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) viewer software, OsiriX v5.8.2. Of the 629 patients with orbital fractures, 87 were pure orbital blowout fractures. Demographic pattern showed that males outnumbered females in the series, with male: female ratio of 5.7:1. The mean age was 37.2 ± 14.7 and the main etiology was motor vehicle accident. Orbital floor fracture was the most common fracture location (67.8%). The involvement of the posterior ledge and inferior orbital fissure showed statistical significant difference with PE (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.03). Binary logistic regression showed that after controlling for age, patients with fracture size of more than 150 mm2 had three times the odds of sustaining a PE, (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 3.01 (95% CI 1.17-7.92). Fracture size larger than 150 mm2 was a radiological predictor of PE. Additional research investigating further on the role of concurrent fracture of the posterior ledge and inferior orbital fissure is advocated.
  6. Liew KJ, Ramli A, Abd Majid A
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156724.
    PMID: 27315105 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156724
    This paper examines the application of a bootstrap test error estimation of radial basis functions, specifically thin-plate spline fitting, in surface smoothing. The presence of noisy data is a common issue of the point set model that is generated from 3D scanning devices, and hence, point set denoising is one of the main concerns in point set modelling. Bootstrap test error estimation, which is applied when searching for the smoothing parameters of radial basis functions, is revisited. The main contribution of this paper is a smoothing algorithm that relies on a bootstrap-based radial basis function. The proposed method incorporates a k-nearest neighbour search and then projects the point set to the approximated thin-plate spline surface. Therefore, the denoising process is achieved, and the features are well preserved. A comparison of the proposed method with other smoothing methods is also carried out in this study.
  7. Phang CW, Karsani SA, Sethi G, Abd Malek SN
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0148775.
    PMID: 26859847 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148775
    Flavokawain C (FKC) is a naturally occurring chalcone which can be found in Kava (Piper methysticum Forst) root. The present study evaluated the effect of FKC on the growth of various human cancer cell lines and the underlying associated mechanisms. FKC showed higher cytotoxic activity against HCT 116 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner in comparison to other cell lines (MCF-7, HT-29, A549 and CaSki), with minimal toxicity on normal human colon cells. The apoptosis-inducing capability of FKC on HCT 116 cells was evidenced by cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation and increased phosphatidylserine externalization. FKC was found to disrupt mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in the release of Smac/DIABLO, AIF and cytochrome c into the cytoplasm. Our results also revealed that FKC induced intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis via upregulation of the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins (Bak) and death receptors (DR5), while downregulation of the levels of anti-apoptotic proteins (XIAP, cIAP-1, c-FlipL, Bcl-xL and survivin), resulting in the activation of caspase-3, -8 and -9 and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). FKC was also found to cause endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as suggested by the elevation of GADD153 protein after FKC treatment. After the cells were exposed to FKC (60μM) over 18hrs, there was a substantial increase in the phosphorylation of ERK 1/2. The expression of phosphorylated Akt was also reduced. FKC also caused cell cycle arrest in the S phase in HCT 116 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and with accumulation of cells in the sub-G1 phase. This was accompanied by the downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK2 and CDK4), consistent with the upregulation of CDK inhibitors (p21Cip1 and p27Kip1), and hypophosphorylation of Rb.
  8. Khan A, Khan M, Ahmed S, Abd Rahman MA, Khan M
    PLoS ONE, 2019;14(7):e0219459.
    PMID: 31314772 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219459
    Underwater sensor networks (UWSNs) are ad-hoc networks which are deployed at rivers, seas and oceans to explore and monitor the phenomena such as pollution control, seismic activities and petroleum mining etc. The sensor nodes of UWSNs have limited charging capabilities. UWSNs networks are generally operated under two deployment mechanisms i.e localization and non-localization based. However, in both the mechanisms, balanced energy utilization is a challenging issue. Inefficient usage of energy significantly affects stability period, packet delivery ratio, end-to-end delay, path loss and throughput of a network. To efficiently utilize and harvest energy, this paper present a novel scheme called EH-ARCUN (Energy Harvesting Analytical approach towards Reliability with Cooperation for UWSNs) based on cooperation with energy harvesting. The scheme employs Amplify-and-Forward (AF) technique at relay nodes for data forwarding and Fixed Combining Ratio (FCR) technique at destination node to select accurate signal. The proposed technique selects relay nodes among its neighbor nodes based on harvested energy level. Most cooperation-based UWSN routing techniques do not exhibit energy harvesting mechanism at the relay nodes. EH-ARCUN deploys piezoelectric energy harvesting at relay nodes to improve the working capabilities of sensors in UWSNs. The proposed scheme is an extension of our previously implemented routing scheme called ARCUN for UWSNs. Performance of the proposed scheme is compared with ARCUN and RACE (Reliability and Adaptive Cooperation for efficient Underwater sensor Networks) schemes in term of stability period, packet delivery ratio, network throughput and path loss. Extensive simulation results show that EH-ARCUN performs better than both previous schemes in terms of the considered parameters.
  9. Ghaleb FA, Kamat MB, Salleh M, Rohani MF, Abd Razak S
    PLoS ONE, 2018;13(11):e0207176.
    PMID: 30457996 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207176
    The presence of motion artefacts in ECG signals can cause misleading interpretation of cardiovascular status. Recently, reducing the motion artefact from ECG signal has gained the interest of many researchers. Due to the overlapping nature of the motion artefact with the ECG signal, it is difficult to reduce motion artefact without distorting the original ECG signal. However, the application of an adaptive noise canceler has shown that it is effective in reducing motion artefacts if the appropriate noise reference that is correlated with the noise in the ECG signal is available. Unfortunately, the noise reference is not always correlated with motion artefact. Consequently, filtering with such a noise reference may lead to contaminating the ECG signal. In this paper, a two-stage filtering motion artefact reduction algorithm is proposed. In the algorithm, two methods are proposed, each of which works in one stage. The weighted adaptive noise filtering method (WAF) is proposed for the first stage. The acceleration derivative is used as motion artefact reference and the Pearson correlation coefficient between acceleration and ECG signal is used as a weighting factor. In the second stage, a recursive Hampel filter-based estimation method (RHFBE) is proposed for estimating the ECG signal segments, based on the spatial correlation of the ECG segment component that is obtained from successive ECG signals. Real-World dataset is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed methods compared to the conventional adaptive filter. The results show a promising enhancement in terms of reducing motion artefacts from the ECG signals recorded by a cost-effective single lead ECG sensor during several activities of different subjects.
  10. Aleng NA, Sung YY, MacRae TH, Abd Wahid ME
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(8):e0135603.
    PMID: 26288319 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135603
    Mild heat stress promotes thermotolerance and protection against several different stresses in aquatic animals, consequences correlated with the accumulation of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70). The purpose of this study was to determine if non-lethal heat shock (NLHS) of the Asian green mussel, Perna viridis, an aquatic species of commercial value, promoted the production of Hsp70 and enhanced its resistance to stresses. Initially, the LT50 and LHT for P. viridis were determined to be 42°C and 44°C, respectively, with no heat shock induced death of mussels at 40°C or less. Immunoprobing of western blots revealed augmentation of constitutive (PvHsp70-1) and inducible (PvHsp70-2) Hsp70 in tissue from adductor muscle, foot, gill and mantel of P. viridis exposed to 38°C for 30 min followed by 6 h recovery, NLHS conditions for this organism. Characterization by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) revealed that PvHsp70-1 and PvHsp70-2 respectively corresponded most closely to Hsp70 from P. viridis and Mytilus galloprovincialis. Priming of adult mussels with NLHS promoted thermotolerance and increased resistance to V. alginolyticus. The induction of Hsp70 in parallel with enhanced thermotolerance and improved protection against V. alginolyticus, suggests Hsp70 functions in P. viridis as a molecular chaperone and as a stimulator of the immune system.
  11. Jamaludin FA, Ab-Kadir MZA, Izadi M, Azis N, Jasni J, Abd-Rahman MS
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(11):e0187892.
    PMID: 29136025 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187892
    Located near the equator, Malaysia is a country with one of the highest lightning densities in the world. Lightning contributes to 70% of the power outages in Malaysia and affects power equipment, automated network systems, causes data losses and monetary losses in the nation. Therefore, consideration of insulator evaluation under lightning impulses can be crucial to evaluate and attempt to overcome this issue. This paper presents a new approach to increase the electrical performance of polymer insulators using a Room Temperature Vulcanisation (RTV) coating. The evaluation involves three different settings of polymer insulator, namely uncoated, RTV type 1, and RTV type 2 upper surface coatings. All the insulators were tested under three different conditions as dry, clean wet and salty under different impulse polarities using the even-rising test method. The voltage breakdown for each test was recorded. From the experiment, it was found that the effectiveness of the RTV coating application became apparent when tested under salty or polluted conditions. It increased the voltage withstand capabilities of the polymer insulator up to 50% from the basic uncoated insulator. Under dry and clean conditions, the RTV coating provided just a slight increase of the breakdown voltage. The increase in voltage breakdown capability decreased the probability of surface discharge and dry band arcing that could cause degradation of the polymeric material housing. The RTV type 1 coating was found to be more effective when performing under a lightning impulse. The findings might help the utility companies improve the performance of their insulators in order to increase power system reliability.
  12. Abdelhaq M, Alsaqour R, Abdelhaq S
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(5):e0120715.
    PMID: 25946001 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120715
    A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a set of mobile, decentralized, and self-organizing nodes that are used in special cases, such as in the military. MANET properties render the environment of this network vulnerable to different types of attacks, including black hole, wormhole and flooding-based attacks. Flooding-based attacks are one of the most dangerous attacks that aim to consume all network resources and thus paralyze the functionality of the whole network. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to investigate the capability of a danger theory-based artificial immune algorithm called the mobile dendritic cell algorithm (MDCA) to detect flooding-based attacks in MANETs. The MDCA applies the dendritic cell algorithm (DCA) to secure the MANET with additional improvements. The MDCA is tested and validated using Qualnet v7.1 simulation tool. This work also introduces a new simulation module for a flooding attack called the resource consumption attack (RCA) using Qualnet v7.1. The results highlight the high efficiency of the MDCA in detecting RCAs in MANETs.
  13. Lim CY, Mat Junit S, Abdulla MA, Abdul Aziz A
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(7):e70058.
    PMID: 23894592 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070058
    Tamarindus indica (T. indica) is a medicinal plant with many biological activities including anti-diabetic, hypolipidaemic and anti-bacterial activities. A recent study demonstrated the hypolipidaemic effect of T. indica fruit pulp in hamsters. However, the biochemical and molecular mechanisms responsible for these effects have not been fully elucidated. Hence, the aims of this study were to evaluate the antioxidant activities and potential hypocholesterolaemic properties of T. indica, using in vitro and in vivo approaches.
  14. Ridhuan NS, Razak KA, Lockman Z, Abdul Aziz A
    PLoS ONE, 2012;7(11):e50405.
    PMID: 23189199 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050405
    In this study, zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorod arrays were synthesized using a simple hydrothermal reaction on ZnO seeds/n-silicon substrate. Several parameters were studied, including the heat-treatment temperature to produce ZnO seeds, zinc nitrate concentration, pH of hydrothermal reaction solution, and hydrothermal reaction time. The optimum heat-treatment temperature to produce uniform nanosized ZnO seeds was 400°C. The nanorod dimensions depended on the hydrothermal reaction parameters. The optimum hydrothermal reaction parameters to produce blunt tip-like nanorods (770 nm long and 80 nm in top diameter) were 0.1 M zinc nitrate, pH 7, and 4 h of growth duration. Phase analysis studies showed that all ZnO nanorods exhibited a strong (002) peak. Thus, the ZnO nanorods grew in a c-axis preferred orientation. A strong ultraviolet (UV) emission peak was observed for ZnO nanorods grown under optimized parameters with a low, deep-level emission peak, which indicated high optical property and crystallinity of the nanorods. The produced ZnO nanorods were also tested for their UV-sensing properties. All samples responded to UV light but with different sensing characteristics. Such different responses could be attributed to the high surface-to-volume ratio of the nanorods that correlated with the final ZnO nanorods morphology formed at different synthesis parameters. The sample grown using optimum synthesis parameters showed the highest responsivity of 0.024 A/W for UV light at 375 nm under a 3 V bias.
  15. Musa HI, Hassan L, Shamsuddin ZH, Panchadcharam C, Zakaria Z, Abdul Aziz S
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(9):e0162348.
    PMID: 27635652 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162348
    Soil is considered to be a major reservoir of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the environment. This paper investigates soil physicochemical properties that may influence presence of B. pseudomallei in soil samples from small ruminant farms in Peninsular Malaysia. Soil samples were collected from the farms and cultured for B. pseudomallei. The texture, organic matter and water contents, pH, elemental contents, cation exchange capacities, carbon, sulfur and nitrogen contents were determined. Analysis of soil samples that were positive and negative for B. pseudomallei using multivariable logistic regression found that the odds of bacterial isolation from soil was significantly higher for samples with higher contents of iron (OR = 1.01, 95%CI = 1.00-1.02, p = 0.03), water (OR = 1.28, 95%CI = 1.05-1.55, p = 0.01) and clay (OR = 1.54, 95%CI = 1.15-2.06, p = 0.004) compared to the odds of isolation in samples with lower contents of the above variables. These three factors may have favored the survival of B. pseudomallei because iron regulates expression of respiratory enzymes, while water is essential for soil ecology and agent's biological processes and clay retains water and nutrients.
  16. 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.
  17. Al-Mudaris ZA, Majid AS, Ji D, Al-Mudarris BA, Chen SH, Liang PH, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(11):e80983.
    PMID: 24260527 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080983
    Benzyl-o-vanillin and benzimidazole nucleus serve as important pharmacophore in drug discovery. The benzyl vanillin (2-(benzyloxy)-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) compound shows anti-proliferative activity in HL60 leukemia cancer cells and can effect cell cycle progression at G2/M phase. Its apoptosis activity was due to disruption of mitochondrial functioning. In this study, we have studied a series of compounds consisting of benzyl vanillin and benzimidazole structures. We hypothesize that by fusing these two structures we can produce compounds that have better anticancer activity with improved specificity particularly towards the leukemia cell line. Here we explored the anticancer activity of three compounds namely 2-(2-benzyloxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1H-benzimidazole, 2MP, N-1-(2-benzyloxy-3-methoxybenzyl)-2-(2-benzyloxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1H-benzimidazole, 2XP, and (R) and (S)-1-(2-benzyloxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-2, 2, 2-trichloroethyl benzenesulfonate, 3BS and compared their activity to 2-benzyloxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde, (Bn1), the parent compound. 2XP and 3BS induces cell death of U937 leukemic cell line through DNA fragmentation that lead to the intrinsic caspase 9 activation. DNA binding study primarily by the equilibrium binding titration assay followed by the Viscosity study reveal the DNA binding through groove region with intrinsic binding constant 7.39 µM/bp and 6.86 µM/bp for 3BS and 2XP respectively. 2XP and 3BS showed strong DNA binding activity by the UV titration method with the computational drug modeling showed that both 2XP and 3BS failed to form any electrostatic linkages except via hydrophobic interaction through the minor groove region of the nucleic acid. The benzylvanillin alone (Bn1) has weak anticancer activity even after it was combined with the benzimidazole (2MP), but after addition of another benzylvanillin structure (2XP), stronger activity was observed. Also, the combination of benzylvanillin with benzenesulfonate (3BS) significantly improved the anticancer activity of Bn1. The present study provides a new insight of benzyl vanillin derivatives as potential anti-leukemic agent.
  18. Nordin N, Fadaeinasab M, Mohan S, Mohd Hashim N, Othman R, Karimian H, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0154023.
    PMID: 27136097 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154023
    Drug resistance presents a challenge in chemotherapy and has attracted research interest worldwide and particular attention has been given to natural compounds to overcome this difficulty. Pulchrin A, a new compound isolated from natural products has demonstrated novel potential for development as a drug. The identification of pulchrin A was conducted using several spectroscopic techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance, liquid chromatography mass spectrometer, infrared and ultraviolet spectrometry. The cytotoxicity effects on CAOV-3 cells indicates that pulchrin A is more active than cisplatin, which has an IC50 of 22.3 μM. Significant changes in cell morphology were present, such as cell membrane blebbing and formation of apoptotic bodies. The involvement of phosphatidylserine (PS) in apoptosis was confirmed by Annexin V-FITC after a 24 h treatment. Apoptosis was activated through the intrinsic pathway by activation of procaspases 3 and 9 as well as cleaved caspases 3 and 9 and ended at the executioner pathway, with the occurrence of DNA laddering. Apoptosis was further confirmed via gene and protein expression levels, in which Bcl-2 protein was down-regulated and Bax protein was up-regulated. Furthermore, the CAOV-3 cell cycle was disrupted at the G0/G1 phase, leading to apoptosis. Molecular modeling of Bcl-2 proteins demonstrated a high- binding affinity, which inhibited the function of Bcl-2 proteins and led to cell death. Results of the current study can shed light on the development of new therapeutic agents, particularly, human ovarian cancer treatments.
  19. Jaddi NS, Abdullah S, Abdul Malek M
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(1):e0170372.
    PMID: 28125609 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170372
    Artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been employed to solve a broad variety of tasks. The selection of an ANN model with appropriate weights is important in achieving accurate results. This paper presents an optimization strategy for ANN model selection based on the cuckoo search (CS) algorithm, which is rooted in the obligate brood parasitic actions of some cuckoo species. In order to enhance the convergence ability of basic CS, some modifications are proposed. The fraction Pa of the n nests replaced by new nests is a fixed parameter in basic CS. As the selection of Pa is a challenging issue and has a direct effect on exploration and therefore on convergence ability, in this work the Pa is set to a maximum value at initialization to achieve more exploration in early iterations and it is decreased during the search to achieve more exploitation in later iterations until it reaches the minimum value in the final iteration. In addition, a novel master-leader-slave multi-population strategy is used where the slaves employ the best fitness function among all slaves, which is selected by the leader under a certain condition. This fitness function is used for subsequent Lévy flights. In each iteration a copy of the best solution of each slave is migrated to the master and then the best solution is found by the master. The method is tested on benchmark classification and time series prediction problems and the statistical analysis proves the ability of the method. This method is also applied to a real-world water quality prediction problem with promising results.
  20. Abdul Majid H, Ramli L, Ying SP, Su TT, Jalaludin MY, Abdul Mohsein NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0155447.
    PMID: 27187889 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155447
    Optimal nutrition is essential for healthy growth during adolescence. This study aims to investigate the baseline nutritional intake of Malaysian adolescents by gender, body mass index, and places of residence, both urban and rural. A cohort study was conducted consisting of 794 adolescents (aged 13-years) attending 15 public secondary schools from the Central (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor) and Northern (Perak) Regions of Peninsular Malaysia. Qualified dietitians conducted a 7-day historical assessment of habitual food intakes. Facilitated by flipcharts and household measurement tools, detailed information on portion sizes and meal contents were recorded. Nutritionist Pro™ Diet Analysis software was also used to analyze the dietary records.The mean age of the adolescents was 12.86 ± 0.33 y; the mean energy intake was 1659.0 ± 329.6 kcal/d. Males had significantly (P < .001) higher energy intake than females (1774.0 ± 369.8 vs 1595.2 ± 320.6 kcal/d); adolescents in rural schools consumed more energy and cholesterol (P < .001) compared to adolescents in urban schools (1706.1 ± 377.7 kcal/d and 244.1 ± 100.2 mg/d, respectively). Obese adolescents in rural schools consumed more energy and sugar (1987.6 ± 374.0 kcal/d and 48.9 ± 23.0 g/d) (p-value <0.001).The dietary intake of normal weight versus obese adolescents differs by the location of their school. Thus, the implementation of a structured and tailored intervention is recommended to help minimize this nutritional inequality.
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