Biodiesel, as a renewable and eco-friendly energy source that can be produced through algae oil esterification, has recently received much attention. Maximization of algal biomass and lipid content is crucial for commercial biodiesel production. In this study, Chlorella sp. PG96, a microalgal strain isolated from urban wastewater, was identified considering its morphological and molecular characteristics. Fractional factorial design (211-7) was employed to screen medium and environmental factors for achieving high lipid productivity. The effects of eleven factors including light intensity, light spectrum, aeration rate, temperature, salinity, NaHCO3, CO2, NaNO3, NH4Cl, MgSO4.7H2O, and K2HPO4 and their interactions on growth characteristics of Chlorella sp. PG96 (biomass and lipid production) were statistically assessed. Based on the experimental results, lipid productivity was at its maximum (54.19 ± 8.40 mglipid L-1 day-1) under a combination of high levels of all factors. The analysis also showed that physical parameters of light intensity and temperature were more effective on algal growth compared to nutritional parameters. Furthermore, nitrogen source of ammonium and carbon source of bicarbonate played more significant roles in biomass and lipid production, compared with nitrate and CO2, respectively. Although the effect of sulfur limitation on cellular growth was similar to phosphorus deficiency, S-limitation had a greater impact on lipid accumulation. The interaction between NaHCO3 and NH4Cl was the most prominent interaction affecting all responses. It is concluded that Chlorella sp. PG96 at a high level of light intensity and temperature (22500 Lux and 32 °C, respectively) can be a prospective candidate for biodiesel production.
We performed a prospective study of all hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of Gout in Sarawak General hospital from 1st July 2011 to 1st July 2012. There were a total of 126 patients in our study of which 112 (88.9%) were males. The majority of our patients were from the indigenous populations (71.7%). They have a mean age of 60.0 ± 14.2 years. Most of our patients were overweight (68%) with comorbities of hypertension (78.6%), Chronic Kidney Failure (48.4%), Type II diabetes Mellitus (30.2%), dyslipidemia (27.8%) and Ischaemic heart disease (11.9%). Polyarticular gouty arthritis was the main presenting pattern during hospitalization (88.1%). The mean length of stay for our patients was 9.8 ± 6.0 days which was significantly longer than the mean length of stay for other patients without gout (p<0.05). Only 17 patients had gout on admission and the majority developed gout during hospitalizations. Our patients were admitted respectively for medical problems (45.4%), surgical problems (28.6%) and orthopaedic problems (9.2%). Colchicine (73.8%) and steroid (40.5%) were the main stays of treatment for our patients. Our hospitalized gout patients were complicated patients with multiple comorbidities.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare the QTc interval between low and high dose methadone groups and evaluate the pattern of QTc variation.
METHODS: This is a prospective cohort study conducted from December 2010 till August 2011 at Malaysian University of Science's Hospital. Forty six subjects, grouped in high dose (>80mg) and low dose (<80mg) oral methadone, were followed-up at 4-weekly for QTc measurements. Relevant demographic and biochemical profiles were taken at intervals with concurrent QTc measurements.
RESULTS: No significant QTc differences between methadone dosage groups were found at Week 0 (434ms vs 444ms, p = 0.166) and week 8 (446.5ms vs 459ms, p = 0.076), but not at week 4(435ms vs 450ms, p = 0.029). However, there were significant associations between the groups with QTc prolongation at week 0 and 4 (OR 4.29(95% CI 1.01, 18.72) p=0.044 and OR 5.18 (95% CI 1.34, 20.06) p =0.013, respectively) but not at week 8 (OR 2.44 (95% CI 0.74, 8.01) p=0.139). On multivariate analysis, dose group was the sole significant factor for QTc prolongation for week 0 and 4 (p values 0.047 and 0.017, respectively), but not at week 8.
CONCLUSION: High-dose methadone group is more likely to develop prolonged QTc than low-dose group. However, such effects were inconsistent and occurred even during chronic methadone therapy, mandating judicious QTc and serum methadone monitoring.
KEYWORDS: High Dose; Low Dose; Methadone; QTc
Research is an essential activity required for the advancement of science and improvement of human existence. To carry out a research, a proposal is mandatory. However, in spite of the widespread demand for research proposals, experience has shown that a number of them are so poorly written that they rejected by assessors. This article aims at assisting researchers develop acceptable research proposals by reviewing the different components of a research proposal.
A review of relevant literature on research proposal writing sourced from manual library and internet search was used for this review
A research proposal is a formal and detailed statement of intent to carry out a research. It presents and justifies a plan of action and shows how the investigator thinks. A research protocol on the other hand is a plan written to seek approval for research from a supervisor or an organization. It is developed as a guide for a study and helps to keep the researcher focused on the topic and scope of the research. A research proposal has the following components: The Title page; The Abstract/Executive Summary; The Introduction/Statement of the Problem; Literature Review; Information on the applicant's centre; The Objectives/Research Questions/Hypotheses; The Study Design; Methods; Plans for Analysis; Data Analysis; Plans for Data Interpretation; Plans to report. Thus, although proposals and protocols are sometimes used interchangeably, a proposal precedes a protocol.
To reduce the time wastage and frustration faced by intending researchers and their assessors it is essential that good proposals be written at all times.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate a multidisciplinary, interventional, ergonomic education program designed to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems by reducing schoolbag weight and correcting poor sitting posture.
METHODS: Data were collected twice before and twice following intervention using the Standardized Nordic Body Map Questionnaire, a rapid upper limb assessment for posture evaluation, and schoolbag weight measurement in children aged 8 and 11 years attending two schools within the central region of Malaysia.
RESULTS: Students who received the ergonomic intervention reported significant improvements in their sitting posture in a classroom environment and reduction of schoolbag weight as compared with the controls.
CONCLUSION: A single-session, early intervention, group ergonomics education program for children aged 8 and 11 years is appropriate and effective, and should be considered as a strategy to reduce musculoskeletal pain among schoolchildren in this age group.
KEYWORDS: assessment; awareness; education; ergonomic; intervention; musculoskeletal pain; school children
OBJECTIVE: Various techniques and instruments have been developed to provide safe and secure closure of laparoscopic wounds. Herein we describe a simple method to close laparoscopic supraumbilical wounds with the aid of a laparoscopic port.
METHOD: This was a retrospective review of prospective data, which were from 151 patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic gallstone disease from December 2009 to December 2010 in Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital. A senior consultant hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgeon and two HPB trainee surgeons performed the operations. Postoperatively, all patients were followed up at 4 weeks.
RESULTS: All patients successfully underwent closure of the supraumbilical wound with the assistance of a 5mm laparoscopic port. None of the patients had incisional hernia on follow up.
CONCLUSION: Port assisted closure of supraumbilical laparoscopic wounds is a feasible and safe technique.
Study site: Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Kedah
INTRODUCTION: T-piece resuscitator (TPR) has many advantages compared to self-inflating bag (SIB). Early Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) during newborn resuscitation (NR) with TPR at delivery can reduce intubation rate.
METHODS: We speculated that the intubation rate at delivery room was high because SIB had always been used during NR and this can be improved with TPR. Intubation rate of newborn <24 hours of life was deemed high if >50%. An audit was carried out in June 2010 to verify this problem using a check sheet.
RESULTS: 25 neonates without major congenital anomalies who required NR with SIB at delivery were included. Intubation rate of babies <24 hours of life when SIB was used was 68%. Post-intervention audit (August to November 2010) on 25 newborns showed that the intubation rate within 24 hours dropped to 8% when TPR was used. Proportion of intubated babies reduced from 48.3% (2008-2009) to 35.1% (2011-2012), odds ratio 0.58 (95% CI 0.49-0.68). Proportion of neonates on CPAP increased from 63.5% (2008-2009) to 81.0% (2011-2012), odds ratio 2.44 (95% CI 2.03-2.93). Mean ventilation days fell to below 4 days after 2010. Since then, all delivery standbys were accompanied by TPR and it was used for all NR regardless of settings. There was decline in intubation rate secondary to early provision of CPAP with TPR during NR. Mean ventilation days, mortality and length of NICU stay were reduced.
CONCLUSION: This practice should be adopted by all hospitals in the country to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 (2/3 decline of under 5 mortality rate) by 2015.
Study site: Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Combined spinal-epidural (CSE) has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional labour epidural due to its rapid onset and reliable analgesia provided. This was a prospective, convenient sampling study to determine the effects of CSE analgesia on labour outcome.
A prospective study done In al Zaafaranya General Hospital in Baghdad/Iraq In the period between April 2003 and February 2007. Ninety two patients admitted to the surgical wards diagnosed as Intestinal obstruction. The aim is to find out the possible common conditions resulting in causing this common surgical emergency. Also to compare the provisional clinical diagnosis about ischemic obstruction and the definitive post operative diagnosis. To encourage post graduate students to use their clinical abilities with the few laboratory and radiological facilities available needed to decide about the management of those patients.
The evolution of instrumentation methods for C1-C2 fusion from the use of posterior wiring methods to transarticular screws and C1 lateral mass with C2 pedicle screw construct have improved fusion rates to almost 100%. However, the C1 lateral mass and C2 pedicle screw technique is technically demanding. This is a prospective review of a series of ten patients who was planned for C1-C2 fusion using C1 lateral mass and C2 pedicle screw technique between January 2007 and June 2009. The procedure was converted to occipital cervical fusion due to a fracture of a hypoplastic lateral mass-posterior arch complex in one patient and Gallie fusion due to a vertebral artery injury in another. Eight patients underwent the C1-C2 fusion using C1 lateral mass and C2 pedicle screw successfully without any complications. The union rate was 100% with an average union time of 5.3 months (range from 3 to 8 months). Postoperatively, the patients achieved an average of one Frankel grade neurological improvement. In conclusion, this technique provides an excellent union rate and good neurological recovery.
A prospective study of 92 children with poisoning admitted to University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur is reported. Majority of the affected children were below 3 years of age and belonged to low income families. Household items, especially kerosene, and medications were most often implicated. All children recovered completely. Preventive strategies are discussed.
This prospective randomised study was undertaken to compare surgical parameters as well as clinical and radiological outcomes of subvastus (SV) to midvastus (MV) approaches in staged bilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Twenty-three patients, aged 55–76 years, who underwent staged bilateral TKAs, were followed up for 6 months. The SV approach was used on one knee and MV approach on the other. We found similar lateral retinacular release rates and patellar resurfacing rates between the two approaches .The SV approached knees had a more significant blood loss and increased operative time compared to the MV approached knees but they achieved significantly earlier active straightleg raises (SLR) postoperatively (p
This was a prospective randomised study comparing carboxyhaemoglobin concentrations between low-flow anaesthesia (fresh gas flow 1.0 L/min) and minimal-flow anaesthesia (0.5 L/min) using desflurane. Sixty (ASA 1 or 2) adult patients undergoing elective surgery under general anaesthesia were randomly allocated to receive either low-flow (Group 1) or minimal flow anaesthesia (Group 2). Venous blood samples for carboxyhaemoglobin levels were taken at baseline and at 10 mins intervals for 40 mins. Both groups showed significant increase in carboxyhaemoglobin concentrations within the first 10 mins when fresh gas flow of 4.0 L/min was used. Reduction in carboxyhemoglobin levels was seen after 20 mins of minimal or low flow anaesthesia. However, there was no significant difference in the magnitude of reduction of carboxyhemoglobin concentrations between the groups. The fractional inspired of oxygen (FiO2) showed no significant changes in either group. In conclusion, desflurane usage in anaesthesia with either low-flow or minimal-flow was not associated with increased carboxyhaemoglobin concentrations.
Introduction: The LA-i was found to be valid, reliable, simple and easy to be administered and consumed minimal time. However, to author knowledge, none of articles reported its stability across multiple observations. Realising its potential, continued research is required to optimize its role, usefulness and applicability as a tool to help educators to understand their students’ learning approaches. Objective: To determine stability of the LA-i to measure characteristics of students’ learning approaches at different time and occasions in a sample of medical students.Method: A prospective cohort study was done on 177 first year medical students. It was administered to a cohort of medical students at four different intervals. The Cronbach’s alpha and intra-class correlation analysis were applied to measure internal consistency and agreement level across the
intervals. The analysis was done using SPSS 18. Result: A total of 157 (88.7%) first year medical students responded completely to the inventory. The overall Cronbach’s alpha value of the LA-i at different intervals ranged between 0.79 and 0.92, The Cronbach’s alpha values for surface learning
approach subscale ranged between 0.65 and 0.80. The Cronbach’s alpha value for strategic learning approach subscale ranged between 0.76 and 0.84. The Cronbach’s alpha value for deep learning approach subscale ranged between 0.83 and 0.95. ICC values for the three learning approach subscales ranged between 0.46 and 0.50. Conclusion: This study reflected that the LA-i had high level of internal stability to measure students’ learning approaches at different time and occasions. Continued research is required to optimize its role, usefulness and applicability at various educational settings.
Objective: To determine association between academic performance and absenteeism in classroom among first year medical students.
Methods: A one-year prospective study was conducted on 196 first year medical students. Academic performance was measured by examination scores at four examinations. Absenteeism score was measured by the cumulative number of absence in an academic session of each student recorded by academic office at the end of the first year of medical training. The academic performance was categorized into pass and fail for analysis purpose. Data was analyzed by SPSS version 20.
Results: The independent-t analysis showed that, in all examinations, students who passed the examinations had significantly lower absenteeism scores than those who failed (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: This study found significant associations between academic performances and absenteeism scores among first year medical students. Medical schools should pay more attention on this matter since it may result in poor academic performances.
Background: Peer assessment has been shown to complement both formative and summative evaluations in education and used in some medical programmes. The study was aimed to find correlation between group work peer assessment score and final examination mark among four batches of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) first year MBBS students.
Method: A set of four questions was constructed and tested to assess students’ overall role in their group research project. The difference in distribution according to years was tested by using one-way ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis, depending on the data distribution. Pearson correlation coefficient test was done to test the linear association between peer score and final examination mark. Partial correlation test was used to adjust the correlation for four academic years.
Results: From the analysed data of 502 students, there was moderate, significant positive correlation (0.366) between peer assessment score and the final examination mark (P < 0.001). Adjustment to the academic years resulted in correlation coefficient of 0.371.
Conclusion: The results provide an important insight on the influence of peers’ perception in predicting the medical student academic performance.
The present study investigates the prospective of substituting inorganic medium with organic food waste compost medium as a nutrient supplement for the cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris FSP-E. Various percentages of compost mixtures were replaced in the inorganic medium to compare the algal growth and biochemical composition. The use of 25% compost mixture combination was found to yield higher biomass concentration (11.1%) and better lipid (10.1%) and protein (2.0%) content compared with microalgae cultivation in fully inorganic medium. These results exhibited the potential of combining the inorganic medium with organic food waste compost medium as an effective way to reduce the cultivation cost of microalgae and to increase the biochemical content in the cultivated microalgae.
Haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a potentially fatal disorder resulting from uncontrolled hyperinflammatory response. There had been increase in cases of one of the secondary form of HLH, i.e., infectionassociated haemophagocytic syndrome (IAHS) in severe dengue in recent years. However, the condition remains under diagnosed due to lack of awareness compounded by the lack of validated diagnostic criteria. Severe hepatitis with prolonged cytopenias, severe hyperferritinemia, hypofibrinogenemia and persistent fever were evident in all four cases reported. All the subjects survived with supportive care and adjuvant steroid therapy. Prospective controlled studies are needed to develop diagnostic criteria and management protocol for IAHS in severe dengue.
Purpose: Soft contact lens wear is most frequently associated with morphologic changes in corneal endothelial cells, but the data are scarce in Asians. This study aimed to evaluate changes in corneal endothelial cell morphology after 6 months of wearing soft hydrogel contact lenses (SH) in young myopic adults living in Kuala Lumpur.
Patients and methods: Forty-eight subjects were included in the study, 24 were fitted with SH contact lenses (A) and the rest were prescribed with glasses (B). Refraction was conducted subjectively and standard contact lens fitting protocol was followed. Corneal endothelial cell morphology (endothelial cell density, ECD; coefficient of variation, COV; cells' hexagonality, HEX; and central corneal thickness, CCT) was evaluated using specular microscope. Data were collected at baseline and after 6 months of lens wear.
Results: Mean age of all subjects was 21.23±1.30 years. All results are shown at baseline and 6 months, respectively. Mean refraction for A was -2.16±0.97 diopter sphere (DS) and -2.05±1.03 DS (P=0.49); for B was -2.72±1.51 DS and -2.73±1.51 DS (P=0.58). Mean ECD (cell/mm2) for A: 3104.19±237.30 and 3107.23±237.51 (P=0.07); for B: 3011.56±227.95 and 2983.83±244.55 (P=0.33). COV (%) for A: 46.52±8.63 and 48.53±10.65 (P=0.06); for B: 46.93±9.31 and 46.14±10.65 (P=0.88). HEX (%) for A: 46.21±10.12 and 45.15±10.01 (P=0.08); for B: 46.21±10.12 and 45.15±10.01 (P=0.12). CCT (µm) for A: 520.33±0.04 and 525.70±0.05 (P=0.41); for B: 532.00±0.04 µm and 530.00±0.05 µm (P=0.40).
Conclusion: This study found no significant change in corneal endothelial cell morphology after 6 months of wearing SH contact lenses. This is probably due to better oxygen permeability of the contact lens material, good compliance, and short wearing period.
Termite nests have long been suggested to be good indicators of groundwater but only a few studies are available to demonstrate the relationship between the two. This study therefore aims at investigating the most favourable spots for locating groundwater structures on a small parcel of land with conspicuous termite activity. To achieve this, geophysical soundings using the renowned vertical electrical sounding (VES) technique was carried out on the gridded study area. A total of nine VESs with one at the foot of a termitarium were conducted. The VES results were interpreted and assessed via two different techniques: (1) physical evaluation as performed by drillers in the field and (2) integration of primary and secondary geoelectrical parameters in a geographic information system (GIS). The result of the physical evaluation indicated a clear case of subjectivity in the interpretation but was consistent with the choice of VES points 1 and 6 (termitarium location) as being the most prospective points to be considered for drilling. Similarly, the integration of the geoelectrical parameters led to the mapping of the most prospective groundwater portion of the study area with the termitarium chiefly in the center of the most suitable region. This shows that termitaria are valuable landscape features that can be employed as biomarkers in the search of groundwater.