Displaying publications 21 - 40 of 1371 in total

  1. Jaber AA, Khan AH, Syed Sulaiman SA, Ahmad N, Anaam MS
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156258.
    PMID: 27257990 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156258
    BACKGROUND: The health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of Tuberculosis (TB) patients is important because it directly influences the outcome of TB patients in several aspects. The current study aims to evaluate and to find the factors influencing the HRQoL of TB patients in two major TB-prevalent cities (Taiz and Alhodidah) in Yemen.

    METHODS: A prospective study was conducted, and all TB patients meeting the HRQoL criteria were asked to complete the HRQoL SF-36 survey. The records of TB patients were examined for disease confirmation, and a follow-up was consequently performed for patients during treatment between March 2013 and February 2014 in Taiz and Alhodidah Cities. HRQol scores were calculated by using QM scoring software version 4.5, in which the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) were obtained. The scores obtained between 47-53 normal based score (NBS) were considered equivalent to the US normal score. Low scores indicate the poor health situation of TB patients.

    RESULTS: A total of 243 TB patients enrolled in the study at the beginning of the treatment. A total of 235 and 197 TB patients completed the questionnaire at the end of the intensive phase (I.P.) and continuation phase (C.P.), respectively. The final dropout rate was 16.2%. The mean PCS and MCS scores at the beginning of treatment were low, thus showing the poor health situation of TB patients. The mean PCS scores at the beginning of treatment, end of I.P., and end of treatment were (36.1), (44.9), and (48), respectively. Moreover, the mean MCS score at the beginning of treatment, end of I.P., and end of treatment were (35.1), (42.2), and (44.3), respectively. The result shows that significant increases are observed at the end of I.P. for PCS and MCS because of the treatment and slight changes at the end of C.P. Despite this finding, the MCS score remains below the normal range (47), thus indicating a significant risk of depression among TB patients. Furthermore, general linear repeated measure ANOVA was performed for selected variables, to examine the changes of PCS and MCS over time. It was found that Alhodiah city, chewing khat habit, stigmatization, and duration of treatment more than six months were greatly associated with low mean MCS score of TB patient, indicating great risk of depression which may result in poor treatment outcome.

    CONCLUSION: TB patients in Yemen were found to have poor QoL, with a significant likelihood of depression. Highly risk depression was found among TB patients in Alhodiah city, khat chewers, stigmatization and having a duration of treatment more than 6 months. Therefore, additional efforts should be made to improve their QoL because it may affect the final clinical outcome of patients.

  2. Al-Medhwahi M, Hashim F, Ali BM, Sali A
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156880.
    PMID: 27257964 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156880
    The rapid expansion of wireless monitoring and surveillance applications in several domains reinforces the trend of exploiting emerging technologies such as the cognitive radio. However, these technologies have to adjust their working concepts to consider the common characteristics of conventional wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The cognitive radio sensor network (CRSN), still an immature technology, has to deal with new networks that might have different types of data, traffic patterns, or quality of service (QoS) requirements. In this paper, we design and model a new cognitive radio-based medium access control (MAC) algorithm dealing with the heterogeneous nature of the developed networks in terms of either the traffic pattern or the required QoS for the node applications. The proposed algorithm decreases the consumed power on several fronts, provides satisfactory levels of latency and spectrum utilization with efficient scheduling, and manages the radio resources for various traffic conditions. An intensive performance evaluation is conducted to study the impact of key parameters such as the channel idle time length, node density, and the number of available channels. The performance evaluation of the proposed algorithm shows a better performance than the comparable protocols. Moreover, the results manifest that the proposed algorithm is suitable for real time monitoring applications.
  3. Ng TL, Karim R, Tan YS, Teh HF, Danial AD, Ho LS, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156714.
    PMID: 27258536 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156714
    Interest in the medicinal properties of secondary metabolites of Boesenbergia rotunda (fingerroot ginger) has led to investigations into tissue culture of this plant. In this study, we profiled its primary and secondary metabolites, as well as hormones of embryogenic and non-embryogenic (dry and watery) callus and shoot base, Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry together with histological characterization. Metabolite profiling showed relatively higher levels of glutamine, arginine and lysine in embryogenic callus than in dry and watery calli, while shoot base tissue showed an intermediate level of primary metabolites. For the five secondary metabolites analyzed (ie. panduratin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin, cardamonin and alpinetin), shoot base had the highest concentrations, followed by watery, dry and embryogenic calli. Furthermore, intracellular auxin levels were found to decrease from dry to watery calli, followed by shoot base and finally embryogenic calli. Our morphological observations showed the presence of fibrils on the cell surface of embryogenic callus while diphenylboric acid 2-aminoethylester staining indicated the presence of flavonoids in both dry and embryogenic calli. Periodic acid-Schiff staining showed that shoot base and dry and embryogenic calli contained starch reserves while none were found in watery callus. This study identified several primary metabolites that could be used as markers of embryogenic cells in B. rotunda, while secondary metabolite analysis indicated that biosynthesis pathways of these important metabolites may not be active in callus and embryogenic tissue.
  4. Al-Nahari A, Mohamad MM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156670.
    PMID: 27258013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156670
    Decreasing the route rediscovery time process in reactive routing protocols is challenging in mobile ad hoc networks. Links between nodes are continuously established and broken because of the characteristics of the network. Finding multiple routes to increase the reliability is also important but requires a fast update, especially in high traffic load and high mobility where paths can be broken as well. The sender node keeps re-establishing path discovery to find new paths, which makes for long time delay. In this paper we propose an improved multipath routing protocol, called Receiver-based ad hoc on demand multipath routing protocol (RB-AOMDV), which takes advantage of the reliability of the state of the art ad hoc on demand multipath distance vector (AOMDV) protocol with less re-established discovery time. The receiver node assumes the role of discovering paths when finding data packets that have not been received after a period of time. Simulation results show the delay and delivery ratio performances are improved compared with AOMDV.
  5. Rosli R, Ming LC, Abd Aziz N, Manan MM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0155385.
    PMID: 27249414 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155385
    BACKGROUND: Spontaneous reporting on adverse drug reactions (ADR) has been established in Malaysia since 1987, and although these reports are monitored by the Malaysia drug monitoring authority, the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau, information about ADRs in the paediatric patient population still remains unexplored. The aims of this study, therefore, were to characterize the ADRs reported in respect to the Malaysian paediatric population and to relate the data to specific paediatric age groups.

    METHODS: Data on all ADRs reported to the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau between 2000 and 2013 for individuals aged from birth to 17 years old were analysed with respect to age and gender, type of reporter, suspected medicines (using the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification), category of ADR (according to system organ class) as well as the severity of the ADR.

    RESULTS: In total, 11,523 ADR reports corresponding to 22,237 ADRs were analysed, with half of these reporting one ADR per report. Vaccines comprised 55.7% of the 11,523 ADR reports with the remaining being drug related ADRs. Overall, 63.9% of ADRs were reported for paediatric patients between 12 and 17 years of age, with the majority of ADRs reported in females (70.7%). The most common ADRs reported were from the following system organ classes: application site disorders (32.2%), skin and appendages disorders (20.6%), body as a whole general disorders (12.8%) and central and peripheral nervous system disorders (11.2%). Meanwhile, ADRs in respect to anti-infectives for systemic use (2194/5106; 43.0%) were the most frequently reported across all age groups, followed by drugs from the nervous system (1095/5106; 21.4%). Only 0.28% of the ADR cases were reported as fatal. A large proportion of the reports were received from healthcare providers in government health facilities.

    DISCUSSION: ADR reports concerning vaccines and anti-infectives were the most commonly reported in children, and are mainly seen in adolescents, with most of the ADRs manifesting in skin reactions. The majority of the ADR reports were received from nurses in the public sector, reporting ADRs associated with vaccine administration. The low fatality rate of ADR cases reported could potentially be caused by reporting bias due to the very low reporting percentage from the private healthcare institutions. This study indicates that ADR rates among Malaysian children are higher than in developed countries. Constant ADR reporting and monitoring, especially in respect to paediatric patients, should be undertaken to ensure their safety.

  6. Heydari M, Othman F, Taghieh M
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156276.
    PMID: 27248152 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156276
    Optimal operation of water resources in multiple and multipurpose reservoirs is very complicated. This is because of the number of dams, each dam's location (Series and parallel), conflict in objectives and the stochastic nature of the inflow of water in the system. In this paper, performance optimization of the system of Karun and Dez reservoir dams have been studied and investigated with the purposes of hydroelectric energy generation and providing water demand in 6 dams. On the Karun River, 5 dams have been built in the series arrangements, and the Dez dam has been built parallel to those 5 dams. One of the main achievements in this research is the implementation of the structure of production of hydroelectric energy as a function of matrix in MATLAB software. The results show that the role of objective function structure for generating hydroelectric energy in weighting method algorithm is more important than water supply. Nonetheless by implementing ε- constraint method algorithm, we can both increase hydroelectric power generation and supply around 85% of agricultural and industrial demands.
  7. Chan Phooi M'ng J, Mehralizadeh M
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156338.
    PMID: 27248692 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156338
    The motivation behind this research is to innovatively combine new methods like wavelet, principal component analysis (PCA), and artificial neural network (ANN) approaches to analyze trade in today's increasingly difficult and volatile financial futures markets. The main focus of this study is to facilitate forecasting by using an enhanced denoising process on market data, taken as a multivariate signal, in order to deduct the same noise from the open-high-low-close signal of a market. This research offers evidence on the predictive ability and the profitability of abnormal returns of a new hybrid forecasting model using Wavelet-PCA denoising and ANN (named WPCA-NN) on futures contracts of Hong Kong's Hang Seng futures, Japan's NIKKEI 225 futures, Singapore's MSCI futures, South Korea's KOSPI 200 futures, and Taiwan's TAIEX futures from 2005 to 2014. Using a host of technical analysis indicators consisting of RSI, MACD, MACD Signal, Stochastic Fast %K, Stochastic Slow %K, Stochastic %D, and Ultimate Oscillator, empirical results show that the annual mean returns of WPCA-NN are more than the threshold buy-and-hold for the validation, test, and evaluation periods; this is inconsistent with the traditional random walk hypothesis, which insists that mechanical rules cannot outperform the threshold buy-and-hold. The findings, however, are consistent with literature that advocates technical analysis.
  8. Ismail E, Nofal OK, Sakthiswary R, Shaharir SS, Sridharan R
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153752.
    PMID: 27105431 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153752
    OBJECTIVE: Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) acts as an inhibitor of IL-1; which is one of the culprit cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although +2018 polymorphism of IL-1Ra has been implicated in the pathogenesis of RA, its importance remains poorly understood. Hence, the purpose of this study was to determine the clinical significance of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) +2018 polymorphism in RA.

    METHODS: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were used to determine the genotypes of the IL-1Ra +2018 for 77 RA patients and 18 healthy controls. All RA patients were assessed for the disease activity score that includes 28 joints (DAS28) and radiographic disease damage based on Modified Sharp Score (MSS).

    RESULTS: The frequency of the T/T and C/T genotypes did not differ significantly (p = 0.893) between the RA patients and the controls. The C/T genotype had significantly higher mean disease activity (DAS 28) and disease damage (MSS) scores with p values of 0.017 and 0.004, respectively. Additionally, the ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), CRP (C-reactive protein), the number of swollen and tender joints were higher for the C/T individuals. On multivariate analysis the CRP, swollen joint count and MSS remained significant with the following p values i.e. 0.045, 0.046 and less than 0.05.

    CONCLUSIONS: C/T genotype of IL-1Ra +2018 prognosticates more aggressive disease in RA.

  9. Aftab SM, Mohd Rafie AS, Razak NA, Ahmad KA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153755.
    PMID: 27104354 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153755
    One of the major flow phenomena associated with low Reynolds number flow is the formation of separation bubbles on an airfoil's surface. NACA4415 airfoil is commonly used in wind turbines and UAV applications. The stall characteristics are gradual compared to thin airfoils. The primary criterion set for this work is the capture of laminar separation bubble. Flow is simulated for a Reynolds number of 120,000. The numerical analysis carried out shows the advantages and disadvantages of a few turbulence models. The turbulence models tested were: one equation Spallart Allmars (S-A), two equation SST K-ω, three equation Intermittency (γ) SST, k-kl-ω and finally, the four equation transition γ-Reθ SST. However, the variation in flow physics differs between these turbulence models. Procedure to establish the accuracy of the simulation, in accord with previous experimental results, has been discussed in detail.
  10. Hehre EJ, Meeuwig JJ
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0148250.
    PMID: 26894553 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148250
    Globally, farmed seaweed production is expanding rapidly in shallow marine habitats. While seaweed farming provides vital income to millions of artisanal farmers, it can negatively impact shallow coral reef and seagrass habitats. However, seaweed farming may also potentially provide food subsidies for herbivorous reef fish such as the Siganidae, a valuable target family, resulting in increased catch. Comparisons of reef fish landings across the central Philippines revealed that the catch of siganids was positively correlated to farmed seaweed production whilst negatively correlated to total reef fish catch over the same period of time. We tested the generality of this pattern by analysing seaweed production, siganid catch, and reef fish catch for six major seaweed-producing countries in the tropics. We hypothesized that increased seaweed production would correspond with increased catch of siganids but not other reef fish species. Analysis of the global data showed a positive correlation between farmed seaweeds and siganids in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) but not Africa (Tanzania and Zanzibar), or the Western Pacific (Fiji). In Southeast Asia, siganid catch increased disproportionately faster with seaweed production than did reef fish catch. Low continuity, sporadic production and smaller volumes of seaweed farming may explain the differences.
  11. NikNadia N, Sam IC, Khaidir N, Ngui R, Lim YA, Goh XT, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0148767.
    PMID: 26866912 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148767
    Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71), which is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, causes hand, foot and mouth disease and, rarely, severe neurological complications. In Malaysia, the indigenous rural community (Orang Asli) has a high prevalence of parasitic diseases due to poor sanitation, water supply and hygiene practices. This cross-sectional study compared the seroepidemiology of EV-A71 among rural Orang Asli and urban Kuala Lumpur populations in West Malaysia, and determined the risk factors associated with EV-A71 seropositivity in rural Orang Asli. Seropositive rates were determined by neutralization assay. EV-A71 seropositivity was strongly associated with increasing age in both populations. Rural Orang Asli children ≤12 years had significantly higher EV-A71 seropositivity rates than urban Kuala Lumpur children (95.5% vs 57.6%, P < 0.001), and also higher rates in the age groups of 1-3, 4-6 and 7-12 years. Multivariate analysis confirmed that age ≤12 years (adjusted OR 8.1, 95% CI 3.2-20.7, P < 0.001) and using untreated water (adjusted OR 6.2, 95% CI 2.3-16.6, P < 0.001) were independently associated with EV-A71 seropositivity in the Orang Asli population. Supply of clean drinking water may reduce the risk of EV-A71 infection. With significantly higher EV-A71 seropositive rates, younger rural children should be a priority target for future vaccination programs in Malaysia.
  12. Yong HS, Song SL, Lim PE, Eamsobhana P, Suana IW
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0148201.
    PMID: 26840430 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148201
    Bactrocera latifrons is a serious pest of solanaceous fruits and Bactrocera umbrosa is a pest of Artocarpus fruits, while Bactrocera melastomatos infests the fruit of Melastomataceae. They are members of the subgenus Bactrocera. We report here the complete mitochondrial genome of these fruit flies determined by next-generation sequencing and their phylogeny with other taxa of the subgenus Bactrocera. The whole mitogenomes of these three species possessed 37 genes namely, 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 rRNA and 22 tRNA genes. The mitogenome of B. latifrons (15,977 bp) was longer than those of B. melastomatos (15,954 bp) and B. umbrosa (15,898 bp). This difference can be attributed to the size of the intergenic spacers (283 bp in B. latifrons, 261 bp in B. melastomatos, and 211 bp in B. umbrosa). Most of the PCGs in the three species have an identical start codon, except for atp8 (adenosine triphosphate synthase protein 8), which had an ATG instead of GTG in B. umbrosa, whilst the nad3 (NADH dehydrogenase subunit 3) and nad6 (NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6) genes were characterized by an ATC instead of ATT in B. melastomatos. The three species had identical stop codon for the respective PCGs. In B. latifrons and B. melastomatos, the TΨC (thymidine-pseudouridine-cytidine)-loop was absent in trnF (phenylalanine) and DHU (dihydrouracil)-loop was absent in trnS1 (serine S1). In B. umbrosa, trnN (asparagine), trnC (cysteine) and trnF lacked the TψC-loop, while trnS1 lacked the DHU-stem. Molecular phylogeny based on 13 PCGs was in general concordant with 15 mitochondrial genes (13 PCGs and 2 rRNA genes), with B. latifrons and B. umbrosa forming a sister group basal to the other species of the subgenus Bactrocera which was monophyletic. The whole mitogenomes will serve as a useful dataset for studying the genetics, systematics and phylogenetic relationships of the many species of Bactrocera genus in particular, and tephritid fruit flies in general.
  13. Eng JY, Moy FM, Bulgiba A
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0148307.
    PMID: 26840508 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148307
    Workplace health promotion is important in the prevention of non-communicable diseases among employees. Previous workplace health programs have shown benefits such as lowered disease prevalence, reduced medical costs and improved productivity. This study aims to evaluate the impact of a 6-year workplace health promotion program on employees' blood pressure in a public university.
  14. Yee A, Danaee M, Loh HS, Sulaiman AH, Ng CG
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(1):e0147852.
    PMID: 26820154 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147852
    INTRODUCTION: Methadone has long been regarded as an effective treatment for opioid dependence. However, many patients discontinue maintenance therapy because of its side effects, with one of the most common being sexual dysfunction. Buprenorphine is a proven alternative to methadone. This study aimed to investigate sexual dysfunction in opioid-dependent men on buprenorphine maintenance treatment (BMT) and methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). The secondary aim was to investigate the correlation between sexual dysfunction and the quality of life in these patients.
    METHODS: Two hundred thirty-eight men participated in this cross-sectional study. Four questionnaires were used, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, Opiate Treatment Index, Malay version of the International Index of Erectile Function 15 (Mal-IIEF-15), and World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF Scale. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to examine the relationship between MMT and BMT and the Mal-IIEF 15 scores while controlling for all the possible confounders.
    RESULTS: The study population consisted of 171 patients (71.8%) on MMT and 67 (28.2%) on BMT. Patients in the MMT group who had a sexual partner scored significantly lower in the sexual desire domain (p < 0.012) and overall satisfaction (p = 0.043) domain compared with their counterparts in the BMT group. Similarly, patients in the MMT group without a sexual partner scored significantly lower in the orgasmic function domain (p = 0.008) compared with those in the BMT group without a partner. Intercourse satisfaction (p = 0.026) and overall satisfaction (p = 0.039) were significantly associated with the social relationships domain after adjusting for significantly correlated sociodemographic variables.
    CONCLUSIONS: Sexual functioning is critical for improving the quality of life in patients in an opioid rehabilitation program. Our study showed that buprenorphine causes less sexual dysfunction than methadone. Thus, clinicians may consider the former when treating heroin dependents who have concerns about sexual function.
  15. Waheed Z, van Mil HG, Syed Hussein MA, Jumin R, Golam Ahad B, Hoeksema BW
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(12):e0146006.
    PMID: 26719987 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146006
    The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39), Agariciidae (n = 30) and Euphylliidae (n = 15). The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51%) and good (38%). Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park.
  16. Ghadiry M, Gholami M, Lai CK, Ahmad H, Chong WY
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153949.
    PMID: 27101247 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153949
    Generally, in a waveguide-based humidity sensors, increasing the relative humidity (RH) causes the cladding refractive index (RI) to increase due to cladding water absorption. However, if graphene oxide (GO) is used, a reverse phenomenon is seen due to a gap increase in graphene layers. In this paper, this interesting property is applied in order to fabricate differential humidity sensor using the difference between RI of reduced GO (rGO) and nano-anatase TiO2 in a chip. First, a new approach is proposed to prepare high quality nano-anatase TiO2 in solution form making the fabrication process simple and straightforward. Then, the resulted solutions (TiO2 and GO) are effortlessly drop casted and reduced on SU8 two channels waveguide and extensively examined against several humid conditions. Investigating the sensitivity and performance (response time) of the device, reveals a great linearity in a wide range of RH (35% to 98%) and a variation of more than 30 dB in transmitted optical power with a response time of only ~0.7 sec. The effect of coating concentration and UV treatment are studied on the performance and repeatability of the sensor and the attributed mechanisms explained. In addition, we report that using the current approach, devices with high sensitivity and very low response time of only 0.3 sec can be fabricated. Also, the proposed device was comprehensively compared with other state of the art proposed sensors in the literature and the results were promising. Since high sensitivity ~0.47dB/%RH and high dynamic performances were demonstrated, this sensor is a proper choice for biomedical applications.
  17. Ng KK, Motoda Y, Watanabe S, Sofiman Othman A, Kigawa T, Kodama Y, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0154081.
    PMID: 27100681 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154081
    In current plant biotechnology, the introduction of exogenous DNA encoding desired traits is the most common approach used to modify plants. However, general plant transformation methods can cause random integration of exogenous DNA into the plant genome. To avoid these events, alternative methods, such as a direct protein delivery system, are needed to modify the plant. Although there have been reports of the delivery of proteins into cultured plant cells, there are currently no methods for the direct delivery of proteins into intact plants, owing to their hierarchical structures. Here, we demonstrate the efficient fusion-peptide-based delivery of proteins into intact Arabidopsis thaliana. Bovine serum albumin (BSA, 66 kDa) was selected as a model protein to optimize conditions for delivery into the cytosol. The general applicability of our method to large protein cargo was also demonstrated by the delivery of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, 150 kDa) into the cytosol. The compatibility of the fusion peptide system with the delivery of proteins to specific cellular organelles was also demonstrated using the fluorescent protein Citrine (27 kDa) conjugated to either a nuclear localization signal (NLS) or a peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS). In conclusion, our designed fusion peptide system can deliver proteins with a wide range of molecular weights (27 to 150 kDa) into the cells of intact A. thaliana without interfering with the organelle-targeting peptide conjugated to the protein. We expect that this efficient protein delivery system will be a powerful tool in plant biotechnology.
  18. Wong RS, Ismail NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151949.
    PMID: 27007413 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151949
    There are not many studies that attempt to model intensive care unit (ICU) risk of death in developing countries, especially in South East Asia. The aim of this study was to propose and describe application of a Bayesian approach in modeling in-ICU deaths in a Malaysian ICU.
  19. Karim A, Salleh R, Khan MK
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0150077.
    PMID: 26978523 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150077
    Botnet phenomenon in smartphones is evolving with the proliferation in mobile phone technologies after leaving imperative impact on personal computers. It refers to the network of computers, laptops, mobile devices or tablets which is remotely controlled by the cybercriminals to initiate various distributed coordinated attacks including spam emails, ad-click fraud, Bitcoin mining, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), disseminating other malwares and much more. Likewise traditional PC based botnet, Mobile botnets have the same operational impact except the target audience is particular to smartphone users. Therefore, it is import to uncover this security issue prior to its widespread adaptation. We propose SMARTbot, a novel dynamic analysis framework augmented with machine learning techniques to automatically detect botnet binaries from malicious corpus. SMARTbot is a component based off-device behavioral analysis framework which can generate mobile botnet learning model by inducing Artificial Neural Networks' back-propagation method. Moreover, this framework can detect mobile botnet binaries with remarkable accuracy even in case of obfuscated program code. The results conclude that, a classifier model based on simple logistic regression outperform other machine learning classifier for botnet apps' detection, i.e 99.49% accuracy is achieved. Further, from manual inspection of botnet dataset we have extracted interesting trends in those applications. As an outcome of this research, a mobile botnet dataset is devised which will become the benchmark for future studies.
  20. Masomian M, Rahman RN, Salleh AB, Basri M
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0149851.
    PMID: 26934700 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149851
    Thermostable and organic solvent-tolerant enzymes have significant potential in a wide range of synthetic reactions in industry due to their inherent stability at high temperatures and their ability to endure harsh organic solvents. In this study, a novel gene encoding a true lipase was isolated by construction of a genomic DNA library of thermophilic Aneurinibacillus thermoaerophilus strain HZ into Escherichia coli plasmid vector. Sequence analysis revealed that HZ lipase had 62% identity to putative lipase from Bacillus pseudomycoides. The closely characterized lipases to the HZ lipase gene are from thermostable Bacillus and Geobacillus lipases belonging to the subfamily I.5 with ≤ 57% identity. The amino acid sequence analysis of HZ lipase determined a conserved pentapeptide containing the active serine, GHSMG and a Ca2+-binding motif, GCYGSD in the enzyme. Protein structure modeling showed that HZ lipase consisted of an α/β hydrolase fold and a lid domain. Protein sequence alignment, conserved regions analysis, clustal distance matrix and amino acid composition illustrated differences between HZ lipase and other thermostable lipases. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this lipase represented a new subfamily of family I of bacterial true lipases, classified as family I.9. The HZ lipase was expressed under promoter Plac using IPTG and was characterized. The recombinant enzyme showed optimal activity at 65°C and retained ≥ 97% activity after incubation at 50°C for 1h. The HZ lipase was stable in various polar and non-polar organic solvents.
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