Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 78 in total

  1. Hasan MZ, Kamil AA, Mustafa A, Baten MA
    PLoS One, 2012;7(8):e42215.
    PMID: 22900009 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042215
    Banking system plays an important role in the economic development of any country. Domestic banks, which are the main components of the banking system, have to be efficient; otherwise, they may create obstacle in the process of development in any economy. This study examines the technical efficiency of the Malaysian domestic banks listed in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) market over the period 2005-2010. A parametric approach, Stochastic Frontier Approach (SFA), is used in this analysis. The findings show that Malaysian domestic banks have exhibited an average overall efficiency of 94 percent, implying that sample banks have wasted an average of 6 percent of their inputs. Among the banks, RHBCAP is found to be highly efficient with a score of 0.986 and PBBANK is noted to have the lowest efficiency with a score of 0.918. The results also show that the level of efficiency has increased during the period of study, and that the technical efficiency effect has fluctuated considerably over time.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency, Organizational/economics*
  2. Zhang J, Lu G, Skitmore M, Ballesteros-Pérez P
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2021 Jul;28(27):35392-35405.
    PMID: 34018106 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-021-14467-4
    The current world economy needs to undergo a green transformation. Green total factor productivity provides the basis for judging whether a country or region can attain long-term sustainable development. However, there is little research into the factors that influence green total factor productivity and this has become an obstacle in the transition to a greener economy. On filtering relevant articles and interviews data collected from 2009 to 2019, open decoding, spindle decoding, and selective decoding are carried out to classify research conducted into green total factor productivity. From this analysis, cutting-edge research and knowledge gaps in green total factor productivity are identified. Also, an influencing factor model of green total factor productivity is built. Findings suggest that technical, economic, and government are the three main research streams involved in this transformation process. In particular, technology plays a decisive role, economy plays a guaranteeing role, and government plays a regulatory role. Moreover, the impact of these factors cannot be isolated, as each influence and mediate the other two. Results from this study will help further popularize green total factor productivity and provide a new starting point for reducing energy consumption and environmental pollution.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  3. Khalid R, Nawawi MK, Kawsar LA, Ghani NA, Kamil AA, Mustafa A
    PLoS One, 2013;8(4):e58402.
    PMID: 23560037 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058402
    M/G/C/C state dependent queuing networks consider service rates as a function of the number of residing entities (e.g., pedestrians, vehicles, and products). However, modeling such dynamic rates is not supported in modern Discrete Simulation System (DES) software. We designed an approach to cater this limitation and used it to construct the M/G/C/C state-dependent queuing model in Arena software. Using the model, we have evaluated and analyzed the impacts of various arrival rates to the throughput, the blocking probability, the expected service time and the expected number of entities in a complex network topology. Results indicated that there is a range of arrival rates for each network where the simulation results fluctuate drastically across replications and this causes the simulation results and analytical results exhibit discrepancies. Detail results that show how tally the simulation results and the analytical results in both abstract and graphical forms and some scientific justifications for these have been documented and discussed.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency, Organizational/statistics & numerical data*
  4. Zare H, Tavana M, Mardani A, Masoudian S, Kamali Saraji M
    Health Care Manag Sci, 2019 Sep;22(3):475-488.
    PMID: 30225622 DOI: 10.1007/s10729-018-9456-4
    Performance measurement plays an important role in the successful design and reform of regional healthcare management systems. In this study, we propose a hybrid data envelopment analysis (DEA) and game theory model for measuring the performance and productivity in the healthcare centers. The input and output variables associated with the efficiency of the healthcare centers are identified by reviewing the relevant literature, and then used in conjunction with the internal organizational data. The selected indicators and collected data are then weighted and prioritized with the help of experts in the field. A case study is presented to demonstrate the applicability and efficacy of the proposed model. The results reveal useful information and insights on the efficiency levels of the regional healthcare centers in the case study.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency, Organizational*
  5. Ratnam KA, Dominic PD, Ramayah T
    J Med Syst, 2014 Aug;38(8):82.
    PMID: 24957398 DOI: 10.1007/s10916-014-0082-5
    The investments and costs of infrastructure, communication, medical-related equipments, and software within the global healthcare ecosystem portray a rather significant increase. The emergence of this proliferation is then expected to grow. As a result, information and cross-system communication became challenging due to the detached independent systems and subsystems which are not connected. The overall model fit expending over a sample size of 320 were tested with structural equation modelling (SEM) using AMOS 20.0 as the modelling tool. SPSS 20.0 is used to analyse the descriptive statistics and dimension reliability. Results of the study show that system utilisation and system impact dimension influences the overall level of services of the healthcare providers. In addition to that, the findings also suggest that systems integration and security plays a pivotal role for IT resources in healthcare organisations. Through this study, a basis for investigation on the need to improvise the Malaysian healthcare ecosystem and the introduction of a cloud computing platform to host the national healthcare information exchange has been successfully established.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency, Organizational
  6. Shair F, Shaorong S, Kamran HW, Hussain MS, Nawaz MA, Nguyen VC
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2021 Apr;28(16):20822-20838.
    PMID: 33405126 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-020-11938-y
    This paper investigates the efficiency and total factor productivity (TFP) growth of the Pakistani banking industry and determines the impact of risk and competition on the efficiency and TFP growth. The data envelopment analysis (DEA)-based Malmquist productivity index is used to measure efficiency and TFP growth of the Pakistani banking industry. The generalized method of moments (GMM) model is applied to observe the impact of risk and competition on efficiency and TFP growth. The motivation behind the use of GMM model is its ability to overcome unobserved heterogeneity, autocorrelation, and endogeneity issues. The results of the study show that the credit and liquidity risks have positive while insolvency risk has negative effect on the efficiency and TFP growth. The competition leads to improve technological efficiency but declines the technical efficiency growth. Among other explanatory variables, operational cost management, banking sector development, GDP growth rate, and infrastructure development show significant relationships with various efficiencies and TFP growth. The banks also facilitate for the purchase of carbon-intensive products in order to reduce carbon emissions. Strong banking development successfully allocate their financial resources for the development of energy-efficient technology while banking sector development is found to be negatively related with environmental sustainability. The strong banking sector possesses a significant negative influence on carbon reduction and environmental degradation.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency*
  7. Md Hamzah N, Yu MM, See KF
    Health Care Manag Sci, 2021 Jun;24(2):273-285.
    PMID: 33651316 DOI: 10.1007/s10729-020-09539-9
    Malaysia was faced with a life-threatening crisis in combating COVID-19 with a number of positive cases reaching 5305 and 88 deaths by 18th April 2020 (the first detected case was on 25th January 2020). The government rapidly initiated a public health response and provided adequate medical care to manage the public health crisis during the implementation of movement restrictions, starting 18th March 2020, throughout the country. The objective of this study was to investigate the relative efficiency level of managing COVID-19 in Malaysia using network data envelopment analysis. Malaysia state-level data were extracted from secondary data sources which include variables such as total number of confirmed cases, death cases and recovered cases. These variables were used as inputs and outputs in a network process that consists of 3 sub processes i) community surveillance, ii) medical care I and iii) medical care II. A state-level analysis was performed according to low, medium and high population density categories. The efficiency level of community surveillance was highest compared to medical care processes, indicating that the overall inefficiency is greatly influenced by the inefficiency of the medical care processes rather than the community surveillance process. Results showed that high-density category performed well in both community surveillance and medical care II processes. Meanwhile, low-density category performed better in medical care I process. There was a good overall performance of the health system in Malaysia reflecting a strong preparedness and response level to this pandemic. Furthermore, resource allocation for rapid response was distributed effectively during this challenging period.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency, Organizational*
  8. Touhidul IASM, Sorooshian S
    Sci Eng Ethics, 2019 10;25(5):1605-1607.
    PMID: 29717466 DOI: 10.1007/s11948-018-0055-z
    Communication is an essential part of all activities of organizations. However, it is affected by technology. Today, email and social media are popular methods of communication in organizations. Each of the listed methods has advantages and disadvantages which will be discussed in this letter which tries to drive the attention of organizations to the need for a standard and balanced approach toward communication.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency, Organizational*
  9. Zainal H, Zainab AN
    Health Info Libr J, 2011 Sep;28(3):216-25.
    PMID: 21831221 DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2011.00943.x
    BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine Malaysian contributions in the field of biomedical and health sciences.
    METHODS: In this study, 3697 publications affiliated to Malaysian addresses from the sci database between 1990 and 2005 were sampled. This study also explored publication productivity trends, authorship and collaboration pattern, core journals used, and citations obtained.
    RESULTS: Main contributions were journal articles (73.3%). Most authors (63.7%) contributed only one article and 16.1% produced over 30-68 publications. Multi-authored works were the norm. The productive authors were named either first or second in publications. There were active collaborations with authors from Asia-Pacific countries (35%) and Europe (30%). The majority of publications were contributed by institutions of higher learning (87%). Core journals used follow quite close to Bradford's zonal ratios of 44:152:581. The active research areas were identified. About 71.3% of publications received citations especially those published from 1995 to 1999.
    CONCLUSION: This study helped librarians identify active researchers, active research areas and journals relevant to biomedical and health sciences researchers and useful when producing reports to university management and planning medical collection policies and deciding on journal subscriptions and cancellations.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency*
  10. Abu Bakar F, Sazliyana Shaharir S, Mohd R, Mohamed Said MS, Rajalingham S, Wei Yen K
    Arch Rheumatol, 2020 Jun;35(2):205-213.
    PMID: 32851369 DOI: 10.46497/ArchRheumatol.2020.7405
    Objectives: This study aims to assess the self-reported work productivity and activity daily living (ADL) impairment among Malaysian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to examine their associated factors.

    Patients and methods: This cross-sectional study included 167 SLE patients (21 males, 146 females; mean age 38.2±9.8 years; range, 20 to 60 years) recruited from the outpatient Rheumatology and Nephrology clinics. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to record patients' socio- demographics (age, sex, ethnicity, marital status, and occupation) and SLE disease characteristics (system involvement, age onset, and presence of organ damage). Disease activity was assessed using the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index-2000 (SLEDAI-2K). Short form 36 (SF-36) was used to determine health-related quality of life (HRQoL) while Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire was used to assess the four domains of absenteeism, presenteeism, overall work productivity, and non-work related ADL impairment. Univariate analyses and multivariable regression analysis examined the association of demographic variables, SLE disease characteristics, and activity with reduced HRQoL and WPAI scores.

    Results: The majority of the patients were Malays (59.3%), followed by Chinese (34.7%) and Indian (3.6%) patients. More than two-thirds of the patients reported some degree of impairment in their work productivity and ADL due to the disease. The absenteeism rate was 10.4% in the past one week and their indirect costs were 2,875.17 Malaysian ringgits (US $701.22) in the past seven days. Significant predictors of higher work productivity and ADL impairment scores were higher disease activity, more frequent SLE flares, lupus nephritis, and hematological involvement of SLE. Patients with higher work productivity and ADL impairment scores were also strongly associated with poor QoL. No ethnic disparities of work productivity and ADL impairment were found.

    Conclusion: Systemic lupus erythematosus significantly affected the overall productivity in work and non-work related activity in our Malaysian multi-ethnic cohort and both impairments were significantly associated with poor QoL.

    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  11. Rayanakorn A, Ademi Z, Liew D, Lee LH
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 2021 01;15(1):e0008985.
    PMID: 33481785 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008985
    BACKGROUND: Streptoccocus suis (S.suis) infection is a neglected zoonosis disease in humans mainly affects men of working age. We estimated the health and economic burden of S.suis infection in Thailand in terms of years of life lost, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lost, and productivity-adjusted life years (PALYs) lost which is a novel measure that adjusts years of life lived for productivity loss attributable to disease.

    METHODS: A decision-analytic Markov model was developed to simulate the impact of S. suis infection and its major complications: death, meningitis and infective endocarditis among Thai people in 2019 with starting age of 51 years. Transition probabilities, and inputs pertaining to costs, utilities and productivity impairment associated with long-term complications were derived from published sources. A lifetime time horizon with follow-up until death or age 100 years was adopted. The simulation was repeated assuming that the cohort had not been infected with S.suis. The differences between the two set of model outputs in years of life, QALYs, and PALYs lived reflected the impact of S.suis infection. An annual discount rate of 3% was applied to both costs and outcomes. One-way sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulation modeling technique using 10,000 iterations were performed to assess the impact of uncertainty in the model.

    KEY RESULTS: This cohort incurred 769 (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 695 to 841) years of life lost (14% of predicted years of life lived if infection had not occurred), 826 (95% UI: 588 to 1,098) QALYs lost (21%) and 793 (95%UI: 717 to 867) PALYs (15%) lost. These equated to an average of 2.46 years of life, 2.64 QALYs and 2.54 PALYs lost per person. The loss in PALYs was associated with a loss of 346 (95% UI: 240 to 461) million Thai baht (US$11.3 million) in GDP, which equated to 1.1 million Thai baht (US$ 36,033) lost per person.

    CONCLUSIONS: S.suis infection imposes a significant economic burden both in terms of health and productivity. Further research to investigate the effectiveness of public health awareness programs and disease control interventions should be mandated to provide a clearer picture for decision making in public health strategies and resource allocations.

    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  12. Ahmed ES, Ahmad MN, Othman SH
    Int J Health Care Qual Assur, 2019 Jun 10;32(5):887-908.
    PMID: 31195926 DOI: 10.1108/IJHCQA-07-2017-0116
    PURPOSE: According to the literature concerned with this study, less than satisfactory outcomes have been achieved through implementing business process improvements methods (BPIMs) in industries, in general, and in healthcare, in particular. The existing methods used need to be enhanced in order to create more effective outcomes. There has also been a lack of studies documenting gaps or shortfalls in implementing BPIMs, to be presented to the BPI research community. Therefore, researchers of this paper have attempted to fill gaps between theory and practice. On the contrary, there is also a need to link practical outcomes in the healthcare domain with those of the BPI research community. The purpose of this paper is to review popular BPIMs, techniques and tools applied in the healthcare domain; it seeks to examine and highlight their significant roles, clarify their pros and cons, and find opportunities to enhance their impact on the achievement of more sustainable improvements in the healthcare domain.

    DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: This study has been carried out by using a methodology combining an in-depth literature review with a comparison framework, which is called as the "Framework for Comparing Business Process Improvement Methods." The framework is composed of seven dimensions and has been adapted from four recognized, related frameworks. In addition to the in-depth review of related literature and the adapted comparison framework, researchers have conducted several interviews with healthcare BPI practitioners in different hospitals, to attain their opinions of BPI methods and tools used in their practices.

    FINDINGS: The main results have indicated that significant improvements have been achieved by implementing BPIMs in the healthcare domain according to related literature. However, there were some shortfalls in the existing methods that need to be resolved. The most important of these has been the shortfall in representing and analyzing targeted domain knowledge during improvement phases. The tool currently used for representing the domain, specifically flowcharts, is very abstract and does not present the domain in a clear form. The flowchart tool also fails to clearly present the separation of concerns between business processes and the information systems processes that support a business in a given domain.

    PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The findings of this study can be useful for BPI practitioners and researchers, mainly within the healthcare domain. The findings can help these groups to understand BPIMs shortfalls and encourage them to consider how BPIMs can be potentially improved.

    ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This researchers of this paper have proposed a comparison framework for highlighting popular BPIMs in the healthcare domain, along with their uses and shortfalls. In addition, they have conducted a deep literature review based on the practical results obtained from different healthcare institutions implementing unique BPIMs around the world. There has also been valuable interview feedback attained from BPI leaders of specific hospitals in Saudi Arabia. This combination is expected to contribute to knowledge of BPIMs from both theoretical and practical points of view.

    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency, Organizational
  13. Ahmad Nawawi Mohd Amin, Wan Hasrulnizzam Wan Mahmood, Seri Rahayu Kamat, Ilyana Abdullah
    The purpose of this paper is to prepare a conceptual framework of hybrid lean and ergonomics for assembly manufacturing process based. The research used PDCA approach as a basis in linking the relationship between lean manufacturing and ergonomics. Comprehensive literature review identify the lean ergonomics issues, best practices, and also the way to improve the ergonomic conditions in the workplace, especially those impacting employees on the assembly process. The findings show that the job design strategies for reducing extreme injuries influence by repetitive tasks. Selections of lean tools and technique, human factors analysis and lean performance measure are the key point on the stages of the PDCA conceptual framework for lean ergonomics in working assembly process. This paper also demonstrates by continuous improvement applied between the elimination of waste and increased productivity and the impacts on the ergonomic conditions to carry out operations and consequently by improving the productivity and well-being of its employees based on implementation of PDCA conceptual frameworks.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  14. Lim KS, Wu C, Choo WY, Tan CT
    Epilepsy Behav, 2012 Jun;24(2):207-12.
    PMID: 22564888 DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.03.038
    A quantitative scale of public attitudes toward epilepsy is essential to determine the magnitude of social stigma against epilepsy. This study aims to develop and validate a cross-culturally applicable scale of public attitudes toward epilepsy.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  15. Ur Rehman A, Hassali MAA, Muhammad SA, Shakeel S, Chin OS, Ali IABH, et al.
    Pharmacoecon Open, 2021 Mar;5(1):35-44.
    PMID: 32291727 DOI: 10.1007/s41669-020-00214-x
    BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires long-term pharmacological and non-pharmacological management that encompasses continuous economic burden on patients and society, and also results in productivity losses due to compromised quality of life. Among working-age patients, COPD is the 11th leading cause of work productivity loss.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the economic burden of COPD in Malaysia, including direct costs for the management of COPD and indirect costs due to productivity losses for COPD patients.

    METHODOLOGY: Overall, 150 patients with an established diagnosis of COPD were followed-up for a period of 1 year from August 2018 to August 2019. An activity-based costing, 'bottom-up' approach was used to calculate direct costs, while indirect costs of patients were assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire.

    RESULTS: The mean annual per-patient direct cost for the management of COPD was calculated as US$506.92. The mean annual costs per patient in the management phase, emergency department visits, and hospital admissions were reported as US$395.65, US$86.4, and US$297.79, respectively; 31.66% of COPD patients visited the emergency department and 42.47% of COPD patients were admitted to the hospital due to exacerbation. The annual mean indirect cost per patient was calculated as US$1699.76. Productivity losses at the workplace were reported as 31.87% and activity limitations were reported as 17.42%.

    CONCLUSION: Drugs and consumables costs were the main cost-driving factors in the management of COPD. The higher ratio of indirect cost to direct medical costs shows that therapeutic interventions aimed to prevent work productivity losses may reduce the economic burden of COPD.

    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  16. Kulthanan K, Chusakul S, Recto MT, Gabriel MT, Aw DCW, Prepageran N, et al.
    Allergy Asthma Immunol Res, 2018 Jul;10(4):370-378.
    PMID: 29949833 DOI: 10.4168/aair.2018.10.4.370
    PURPOSE: Across Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, (referred to as Asia) approximately 30-53 million individuals of the 151 million employed suffer from allergic rhinitis (AR) and urticaria. It is estimated that approximately 90% of patients with these allergic conditions are insufficiently treated, impacting the socioeconomic burden in terms of absence from work and decreased productivity. This study aims to estimate the socioeconomic burden of allergies in Asia and the cost savings that their adequate management can provide. Due to the limited availability of regional data, this study focused AR and urticaria in selected countries.

    METHODS: Published literature, information from statistical bureaus, clinician surveys and extrapolation of selected data from the European Union were used to determine the socioeconomic costs of AR and urticaria.

    RESULTS: Many patients in Asia suffer from perennial allergies and experience symptoms of AR and urticaria for up to 298 days per year. An estimate of the indirect costs of patients insufficiently treated for AR and urticaria amounts to USD 105.4 billion a year, which equates to USD 1,137-2,195 per patient due to absenteeism and presenteeism. Adherence to guideline-approved treatment can lead to estimated savings of up to USD 104 billion.

    CONCLUSIONS: The current study suggests that within Asia, the socioeconomic impact of AR and urticaria is similar to that seen in the European Union in spite of the lower wages in Asia. This is due to the mainly perennial allergens prevailing in Asia, whereas the sensitization patterns observed in the European Union are dominated by seasonal exposure to pollen. These results underline the need for governmental initiatives to increase public awareness on the prevention and treatment of these and other allergic diseases as well as greater research funding and large-scale studies to reduce their growing socioeconomic burden in coming years.

    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  17. Loo HS, Yeow PH
    Appl Ergon, 2015 Nov;51:383-91.
    PMID: 26154237 DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2015.06.007
    The research aims to address the physically loading task and quality and productivity problems in the brazing of coils of air-handler units. Eight operators participated in two intervention studies conducted in a factory in Malaysia to compare the status quo brazing with (1) the use of a new twin-brazing torch that replaced the single-brazing gun and (2) brazing in a sitting position. The outcome measures are related to quality, productivity, monetary costs, body postures and symptoms. After baseline, Interventions I and II were applied for 3 months respectively. The results show a 58.9% quality improvement, 140% productivity increase and 113 times ROI. There was also a reduction in poor work postures e.g. in the raising of the arms and shoulders; bending, twisting and extending of the neck; and bending of left and right wrists, and the back. This research can be replicated in other factories that share similar processes.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  18. Fazeli, A., Bakhtvar, F., Jahanshaloo, L., Nor Azwadi, C. S.
    Evidence on rising global temperature, melting of ice caps, and withdrawal of glaciers
    brings attentions to the enhancement of energy efficiency in energy intensive industries. Having a
    realistic comparison between one plant and the best practice technology (BPT) in operation in the field
    helps significantly to distinguish and diagnose the potentials where measures towards energy efficiency
    improvement would be applicable. In this regard, for manufacturing industries, one of the most widely
    used energy benchmarking tools is the Energy Benchmark Curve. An energy benchmark curve plots the
    efficiency of plants as a function of the total production volume from all similar plants or as a function
    of the total number of plants that operate at that level of efficiency or worse. This paper reviews the
    methodology through which the benchmark curve is obtained for a specific industry followed by a
    comparison of energy intensity for the iron and steel industry among China and the US. According to
    the international energy benchmark curve for the iron and steel industry, the savings potentials per ton
    of crude steel for the US. and China have been respectively 4.1 and 7.1 gigajoule comparing with the
    BPT in the field. Finally, an overview over certain measures to enhance efficiency of such plants is
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
  19. Ewart KM, Lightson AL, Sitam FT, Rovie-Ryan JJ, Mather N, McEwing R
    Forensic Sci Int Genet, 2020 01;44:102187.
    PMID: 31670244 DOI: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.102187
    The illegal ivory trade continues to drive elephant poaching. Large ivory seizures in Africa and Asia are still commonplace. Wildlife forensics is recognised as a key enforcement tool to combat this trade. However, the time and resources required to effectively test large ivory seizures is often prohibitive. This limits or delays testing, which may impede investigations and/or prosecutions. Typically, DNA analysis of an ivory seizure involves pairing and sorting the tusks, sampling the tusks, powdering the sample, decalcification, then DNA extraction. Here, we optimize the most time-consuming components of this process: sampling and decalcification. Firstly, using simulations, we demonstrate that tusks do not need to be paired to ensure an adequate number of unique elephants are sampled in a large seizure. Secondly, we determined that directly powdering the ivory using a Dremel drill with a high-speed cutter bit, instead of cutting the ivory with a circular saw and subsequently powdering the sample in liquid nitrogen with a freezer mill, produces comparable results. Finally, we optimized a rapid 2 -h decalcification protocol that produces comparable results to a standard 3-day protocol. We tested/optimised the protocols on 33 raw and worked ivory samples, and demonstrated their utility on a case study, successfully identifying 94% of samples taken from 123 tusks. Using these new rapid protocols, the entire sampling and DNA extraction process takes less than one day and requires less-expensive equipment. We expect that the implementation of these rapid protocols will promote more consistent and timely testing of ivory seizures suitable for enforcement action.
    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency*
  20. Pau A, Omar H, Khan S, Jassim A, Seow LL, Toh CG
    Singapore Dent J, 2017 12;38:45-54.
    PMID: 29229074 DOI: 10.1016/j.sdj.2017.08.001
    BACKGROUND: To quantify participation in dental research activities in Malaysia, and investigate its association with socio-demographic and professional characteristics, and perceptions of research and development (R&D) culture.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dental academics in Malaysian dental schools were invited to complete a questionnaire by email and post. The survey comprised questions on research activities in the past 12 months, socio-demographic and professional characteristics, and the R&D Culture Index. Principal components factor analysis was carried out to confirm the factor structure of the R&D Culture Index. Chi-square test was used to identify association of research activities with R&D culture, and socio-demographic and professional characteristics. Binary logistic regression was carried to identify predicators of research activities.

    RESULTS: Of 256 potential participants contacted, 128 (50%) useable responses were returned. Three R&D Culture factors accounting for 57.4% of variance were extracted. More positive perception of R&D Support was associated with Malaysians (0.025) and those employed in Government schools (0.017). R&D Skills and Aptitude were associated with older respondents (0.050), PhD qualification (0.014) and more years in academia (0.014). R&D Intention was associated with any of the socio-demographic characteristics. Thirty (23.4%) respondents reported a peer-review research publication in the past 12 months, which was associated with having a PhD (OR 12.79, CI 1.28-127.96), after adjustment in regression analyses.

    DISCUSSION: Postgraduate research training should be encouraged to promote participation in research activities. R&D culture did not appear to impact on research productivity. Other factors such as individual attitudinal interests should be studied.

    Matched MeSH terms: Efficiency
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