Displaying publications 61 - 80 of 1460 in total

  1. Heinrichs J, Scheben A, Bechteler J, Lee GE, Schäfer-Verwimp A, Hedenäs L, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0156301.
    PMID: 27244582 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156301
    Cambay amber originates from the warmest period of the Eocene, which is also well known for the appearance of early angiosperm-dominated megathermal forests. The humid climate of these forests may have triggered the evolution of epiphytic lineages of bryophytes; however, early Eocene fossils of bryophytes are rare. Here, we present evidence for lejeuneoid liverworts and pleurocarpous mosses in Cambay amber. The preserved morphology of the moss fossil is inconclusive for a detailed taxonomic treatment. The liverwort fossil is, however, distinctive; its zig-zagged stems, suberect complicate-bilobed leaves, large leaf lobules, and small, deeply bifid underleaves suggest a member of Lejeuneaceae subtribe Lejeuneinae (Harpalejeunea, Lejeunea, Microlejeunea). We tested alternative classification possibilities by conducting divergence time estimates based on DNA sequence variation of Lejeuneinae using the age of the fossil for corresponding age constraints. Consideration of the fossil as a stem group member of Microlejeunea or Lejeunea resulted in an Eocene to Late Cretaceous age of the Lejeuneinae crown group. This reconstruction is in good accordance with published divergence time estimates generated without the newly presented fossil evidence. Balancing available evidence, we describe the liverwort fossil as the extinct species Microlejeunea nyiahae, representing the oldest crown group fossil of Lejeuneaceae.
  2. Al-Majedy YK, Al-Amiery AA, Kadhum AA, Mohamad AB
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0156625.
    PMID: 27243231 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156625
    The synthesis of derivatives of 4-Methylumbelliferone (4-MUs), which are structurally interesting antioxidants, was performed in this study. The modification of 4-Methylumbelliferone (4-MU) by different reaction steps was performed to yield the target compounds, the 4-MUs. The 4-MUs were characterized by different spectroscopic techniques (Fourier transform infrared; FT-IR and Nuclear magnetic resonance; NMR) and micro-elemental analysis (CHNS). The in vitro antioxidant activity of the 4-MUs was evaluated in terms of their free radical scavenging activities against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), Nitric oxide radical scavenging activity assay, chelating activity and their (FRAP) ferric-reducing antioxidant power, which were compared with a standard antioxidant. Our results reveal that the 4-MUs exhibit excellent radical scavenging activities. The antioxidant mechanisms of the 4-MUs were also studied. Density Function Theory (DFT)-based quantum chemical studies were performed with the basis set at 3-21G. Molecular models of the synthesized compounds were studied to understand the antioxidant activity. The electron levels, namely HOMO (highest occupied molecular orbital) and LUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbital), for these synthesized antioxidants were also studied.
  3. Rusi, Majid SR
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0154566.
    PMID: 27182595 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154566
    Nanostructured network-like MnO2-NiO composite electrodes were electrodeposited onto stainless steel substrates via different electrodeposition modes, such as chronopotentiometry, chronoamperometry, and cyclic voltammetry, and then subjected to heat treatment at 300°C for metal oxide conversion. X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy were used to study the crystalline natures and morphologies of the deposited films. The electrochemical properties were investigated using cyclic voltammetry and charge/discharge tests. The results revealed that the electrochemical performance of the as-obtained composite electrodes depended on the electrodeposition mode. The electrochemical properties of MnO2-NiO composite electrodes prepared using cyclic voltammetry exhibited the highest capacitance values and were most influenced by the deposition cycle number. The optimum specific capacitance was 3509 Fg-1 with energy and power densities of 1322 Wh kg-1 and 110.5 kW kg-1, respectively, at a current density of 20 Ag-1 in a mixed KOH/K3Fe(CN)6 electrolyte.
  4. Ahmed RH, Huri HZ, Al-Hamodi Z, Salem SD, Al-Absi B, Muniandy S
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0154369.
    PMID: 27111895 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154369
    BACKGROUND: Genetic polymorphisms of the Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 (DPP4) gene may play a role in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study aimed to investigate the possible association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the DPP4 gene in Malaysian subjects with T2DM and evaluated whether they had an effect on the serum levels of soluble dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (sDPP-IV).

    METHOD: Ten DPP4 SNPs were genotyped by TaqMan genotyping assays in 314 subjects with T2DM and 235 controls. Of these, 71 metabolic syndrome (MetS) subjects were excluded from subsequent analysis. The odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence interval (CIs) were calculated using multiple logistic regression for the association between the SNPs of DPP4 and T2DM. In addition, the serum levels of sDPP-IV were investigated to evaluate the association of the SNPs of DPP4 with the sDPP-IV levels.

    RESULTS: Dominant, recessive, and additive genetic models were employed to test the association of DPP4 polymorphisms with T2DM, after adjusting for age, race, gender and BMI. The rs12617656 was associated with T2DM in Malaysian subjects in the recessive genetic model (OR = 1.98, p = 0.006), dominant model (OR = 1.95, p = 0.008), and additive model (OR = 1.63, p = 0.001). This association was more pronounced among Malaysian Indians, recessive (OR = 3.21, p = 0.019), dominant OR = 3.72, p = 0.003) and additive model (OR = 2.29, p = 0.0009). The additive genetic model showed that DPP4 rs4664443 and rs7633162 polymorphisms were associated with T2DM (OR = 1.53, p = 0.039), and (OR = 1.42, p = 0.020), respectively. In addition, the rs4664443 G>A polymorphism was associated with increased sDPP-IV levels (p = 0.042) in T2DM subjects.

    CONCLUSIONS: DPP4 polymorphisms were associated with T2DM in Malaysian subjects, and linked to variations in sDPP-IV levels. In addition, these associations were more pronounced among Malaysian Indian subjects.

  5. Yazdani S, Yusof R, Karimian A, Mitsukira Y, Hematian A
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0151326.
    PMID: 27096925 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151326
    Image segmentation of medical images is a challenging problem with several still not totally solved issues, such as noise interference and image artifacts. Region-based and histogram-based segmentation methods have been widely used in image segmentation. Problems arise when we use these methods, such as the selection of a suitable threshold value for the histogram-based method and the over-segmentation followed by the time-consuming merge processing in the region-based algorithm. To provide an efficient approach that not only produce better results, but also maintain low computational complexity, a new region dividing based technique is developed for image segmentation, which combines the advantages of both regions-based and histogram-based methods. The proposed method is applied to the challenging applications: Gray matter (GM), White matter (WM) and cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) segmentation in brain MR Images. The method is evaluated on both simulated and real data, and compared with other segmentation techniques. The obtained results have demonstrated its improved performance and robustness.
  6. Fazalul Rahiman SS, Morgan M, Gray P, Shaw PN, Cabot PJ
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153005.
    PMID: 27055013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153005
    Dynorphin 1-17, (DYN 1-17) opioid peptide produces antinociception following binding to the kappa-opioid peptide (KOP) receptor. Upon synthesis and release in inflamed tissues by immune cells, DYN 1-17 undergoes rapid biotransformation and yields a unique set of opioid and non-opioid fragments. Some of these major fragments possess a role in immunomodulation, suggesting that opioid-targeted therapeutics may be effective in diminishing the severity of inflammatory disorders. This study aimed to examine the immunomodulatory effects of DYN 1-17 and major N-terminal fragments found in the inflammatory environment on nuclear factor-kappaB/p65 (NF-κB/p65) nuclear translocation and the release of interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated, differentiated THP-1 cells. The results demonstrate that NF-κB/p65 nuclear translocation was significantly attenuated following treatment with DYN 1-17 and a specific range of fragments, with the greatest reduction observed with DYN 1-7 at a low concentration (10 nM). Antagonism with a selective KOP receptor antagonist, ML-190, significantly reversed the inhibitory effects of DYN 1-17, DYN 1-6, DYN 1-7 and DYN 1-9, but not other DYN 1-17 N-terminal fragments (DYN 1-10 and 1-11) on NF-κB/p65 nuclear translocation. DYN 1-17 and selected fragments demonstrated differential modulation on the release of IL-1β and TNF-α with significant inhibition observed with DYN 1-7 at low concentrations (1 nM and 10 pM). These effects were blocked by ML-190, suggesting a KOP receptor-mediated pathway. The results demonstrate that DYN 1-17 and certain N-terminal fragments, produced in an inflamed environment, play an anti-inflammatory role by inhibiting NF-κB/p65 translocation and the subsequent cytokine release through KOP receptor-dependent and independent pathways.
  7. Liew KL, Jee JM, Yap I, Yong PV
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153356.
    PMID: 27054608 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153356
    Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated basidiomycetous yeast commonly associated with pigeon droppings and soil. The opportunistic pathogen infects humans through the respiratory system and the metabolic implications of C. neoformans infection have yet to be explored. Studying the metabolic profile associated with the infection could lead to the identification of important metabolites associated with pulmonary infection. Therefore, the aim of the study was to simulate cryptococcal infection at the primary site of infection, the lungs, and to identify the metabolic profile and important metabolites associated with the infection at low and high multiplicity of infections (MOI). The culture supernatant of lung epithelial cells infected with C. neoformans at MOI of 10 and 100 over a period of 18 hours were analysed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. The metabolic profiles obtained were further analysed using multivariate analysis and the pathway analysis tool, MetaboAnalyst 2.0. Based on the results from the multivariate analyses, ten metabolites were selected as the discriminatory metabolites that were important in both the infection conditions. The pathways affected during early C. neoformans infection of lung epithelial cells were mainly the central carbon metabolism and biosynthesis of amino acids. Infection at a higher MOI led to a perturbance in the β-alanine metabolism and an increase in the secretion of pantothenic acid into the growth media. Pantothenic acid production during yeast infection has not been documented and the β-alanine metabolism as well as the pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis pathways may represent underlying metabolic pathways associated with disease progression. Our study suggested that β-alanine metabolism and the pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis pathways might be the important pathways associated with cryptococcal infection.
  8. Qureshi MA, Noor RM, Shamim A, Shamshirband S, Raymond Choo KK
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0152727.
    PMID: 27031989 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152727
    Radio propagation models (RPMs) are generally employed in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) to predict path loss in multiple operating environments (e.g. modern road infrastructure such as flyovers, underpasses and road tunnels). For example, different RPMs have been developed to predict propagation behaviour in road tunnels. However, most existing RPMs for road tunnels are computationally complex and are based on field measurements in frequency band not suitable for VANET deployment. Furthermore, in tunnel applications, consequences of moving radio obstacles, such as large buses and delivery trucks, are generally not considered in existing RPMs. This paper proposes a computationally inexpensive RPM with minimal set of parameters to predict path loss in an acceptable range for road tunnels. The proposed RPM utilizes geometric properties of the tunnel, such as height and width along with the distance between sender and receiver, to predict the path loss. The proposed RPM also considers the additional attenuation caused by the moving radio obstacles in road tunnels, while requiring a negligible overhead in terms of computational complexity. To demonstrate the utility of our proposed RPM, we conduct a comparative summary and evaluate its performance. Specifically, an extensive data gathering campaign is carried out in order to evaluate the proposed RPM. The field measurements use the 5 GHz frequency band, which is suitable for vehicular communication. The results demonstrate that a close match exists between the predicted values and measured values of path loss. In particular, an average accuracy of 94% is found with R2 = 0.86.
  9. Hisham R, Liew SM, Ng CJ, Mohd Nor K, Osman IF, Ho GJ, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0152649.
    PMID: 27031700 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152649
    BACKGROUND: Evidence-based medicine is the integration of individual clinical expertise, best external evidence and patient values which was introduced more than two decades ago. Yet, primary care physicians in Malaysia face unique barriers in accessing scientific literature and applying it to their clinical practice.
    AIM: This study aimed to explore the views and experiences of rural doctors' about evidence-based medicine in their daily clinical practice in a rural primary care setting.
    METHODS: Qualitative methodology was used. The interviews were conducted in June 2013 in two rural health clinics in Malaysia. The participants were recruited using purposive sampling. Four focus group discussions with 15 medical officers and three individual in-depth interviews with family medicine specialists were carried out. All interviews were conducted using a topic guide and were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, checked and analyzed using a thematic approach.
    RESULTS: Key themes identified were: (1) doctors viewed evidence-based medicine mainly as statistics, research and guidelines, (2) reactions to evidence-based medicine were largely negative, (3) doctors relied on specialists, peers, guidelines and non-evidence based internet sources for information, (4) information sources were accessed using novel methods such as mobile applications and (5) there are several barriers to evidence-based practice, including doctor-, evidence-based medicine-, patient- and system-related factors. These included inadequacies in knowledge, attitude, management support, time and access to evidence-based information sources. Participants recommended the use of online services to support evidence-based practice in the rural settings.
    CONCLUSION: The level of evidence-based practice is low in the rural setting due to poor awareness, knowledge, attitude and resources. Doctors use non-evidence based sources and access them through new methods such as messaging applications. Further research is recommended to develop and evaluate interventions to overcome the identified barriers.
    Study site: Klinik Kesihatan, Malaysia
  10. Wee WY, Tan TK, Jakubovics NS, Choo SW
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0152682.
    PMID: 27031249 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152682
    Mycobacterium brisbanense is a member of Mycobacterium fortuitum third biovariant complex, which includes rapidly growing Mycobacterium spp. that normally inhabit soil, dust and water, and can sometimes cause respiratory tract infections in humans. We present the first whole-genome analysis of M. brisbanense UM_WWY which was isolated from a 70-year-old Malaysian patient. Molecular phylogenetic analyses confirmed the identification of this strain as M. brisbanense and showed that it has an unusually large genome compared with related mycobacteria. The large genome size of M. brisbanense UM_WWY (~7.7Mbp) is consistent with further findings that this strain has a highly variable genome structure that contains many putative horizontally transferred genomic islands and prophage. Comparative analysis showed that M. brisbanense UM_WWY is the only Mycobacterium species that possesses a complete set of genes encoding enzymes involved in the urea cycle, suggesting that this soil bacterium is able to synthesize urea for use as plant fertilizers. It is likely that M. brisbanense UM_WWY is adapted to live in soil as its primary habitat since the genome contains many genes associated with nitrogen metabolism. Nevertheless, a large number of predicted virulence genes were identified in M. brisbanense UM_WWY that are mostly shared with well-studied mycobacterial pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium abscessus. These findings are consistent with the role of M. brisbanense as an opportunistic pathogen of humans. The whole-genome study of UM_WWY has provided the basis for future work of M. brisbanense.
  11. Rahman MA, Ramli F, Karimian H, Dehghan F, Nordin N, Mohd Ali H, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151466.
    PMID: 27019365 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151466
    Artonin E is a prenylated flavonoid isolated from the stem bark of Artocarpus elasticus Reinw.(Moraceae). This study aimed to investigate the apoptotic mechanisms induced by artonin E in a metastatic human ovarian cancer cell line SKOV-3 in vitro. MTT assay, clonogenic assay, acridine orange and propidium iodide double staining, cell cycle and annexin V analyses were performed to explore the mode of artonin E-induced cell death at different time points. DNA laddering, activation of caspases-3, -8, and -9, multi-parametric cytotoxicity-3analysis by high-content screening, measurement of reactive oxygen species generation, and Western blot were employed to study the pathways involved in the apoptosis. MTT results showed that artonin E inhibited the growth of SKOV-3 cells, with IC50 values of 6.5±0.5μg/mL after 72 h treatment, and showed less toxicity toward a normal human ovarian cell lineT1074, with IC50 value of 32.5±0.5μg/mL. Results showed that artonin E induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the S phase. This compound also promoted the activation of caspases-3, -8, and -9. Further investigation into the depletion of mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c revealed that artonin E treatment induced apoptosis via regulation of the expression of pro-survival and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members. The expression levels of survivin and HSP70 proteins were also down regulated in SKOV-3 cells treated with artonin E. We propose that artonin E induced an antiproliferative effect that led to S phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through dysregulation of mitochondrial pathways, particularly the pro- and anti-apoptosis signaling pathways.
  12. Hearn AJ, Ross J, Bernard H, Bakar SA, Hunter LT, Macdonald DW
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151046.
    PMID: 27007219 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151046
    The marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata is a poorly known wild cat that has a broad distribution across much of the Indomalayan ecorealm. This felid is thought to exist at low population densities throughout its range, yet no estimates of its abundance exist, hampering assessment of its conservation status. To investigate the distribution and abundance of marbled cats we conducted intensive, felid-focused camera trap surveys of eight forest areas and two oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Study sites were broadly representative of the range of habitat types and the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance and fragmentation present in contemporary Sabah. We recorded marbled cats from all forest study areas apart from a small, relatively isolated forest patch, although photographic detection frequency varied greatly between areas. No marbled cats were recorded within the plantations, but a single individual was recorded walking along the forest/plantation boundary. We collected sufficient numbers of marbled cat photographic captures at three study areas to permit density estimation based on spatially explicit capture-recapture analyses. Estimates of population density from the primary, lowland Danum Valley Conservation Area and primary upland, Tawau Hills Park, were 19.57 (SD: 8.36) and 7.10 (SD: 1.90) individuals per 100 km2, respectively, and the selectively logged, lowland Tabin Wildlife Reserve yielded an estimated density of 10.45 (SD: 3.38) individuals per 100 km2. The low detection frequencies recorded in our other survey sites and from published studies elsewhere in its range, and the absence of previous density estimates for this felid suggest that our density estimates may be from the higher end of their abundance spectrum. We provide recommendations for future marbled cat survey approaches.
  13. 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.
  14. Abdullah BM, Zubairi SI, Huri HZ, Hairunisa N, Yousif E, Basu RC
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151603.
    PMID: 27008312 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151603
    Presently, plant oils which contain high percentage of linoleic acid 1 are perceived to be a viable alternative to mineral oil for biolubricant applications due to their biodegradability and technical properties. In order to get biodegradable lubricant, triester derivatives compounds (1-5) were synthesized and characterized. The processes involved were monoepoxidation of linoleic acid 2, oxirane ring opening 3, esterification 4 and acylation 5. The structures of the products were confirmed by FTIR, 1H and 13C-NMR and LC-MS. The results that showed lowest temperature properties were obtained for triester 5, with a pour point value (PP) of -73°C, highest onset temperature (260°C) and lowest volatility at 0.30%. Viscosity index (VI) increased for the ester's synthetic compounds (2, 3, 4, 5), while the PP decreased. This behavior is the result of the increase of the chain length of the branching agents. Triester based linoleic acid has improved properties such as low-temperature and tribological properties. These results will make it feasible for plant oil to be used for biolubricants, fuels in chain saws, transmission oil and brake fluid.
  15. Asadi-Eydivand M, Solati-Hashjin M, Shafiei SS, Mohammadi S, Hafezi M, Abu Osman NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151216.
    PMID: 26999789 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151216
    The ability of inkjet-based 3D printing (3DP) to fabricate biocompatible ceramics has made it one of the most favorable techniques to generate bone tissue engineering (BTE) scaffolds. Calcium sulfates exhibit various beneficial characteristics, and they can be used as a promising biomaterial in BTE. However, low mechanical performance caused by the brittle character of ceramic materials is the main weakness of 3DP calcium sulfate scaffolds. Moreover, the presence of certain organic matters in the starting powder and binder solution causes products to have high toxicity levels. A post-processing treatment is usually employed to improve the physical, chemical, and biological behaviors of the printed scaffolds. In this study, the effects of heat treatment on the structural, mechanical, and physical characteristics of 3DP calcium sulfate prototypes were investigated. Different microscopy and spectroscopy methods were employed to characterize the printed prototypes. The in vitro cytotoxicity of the specimens was also evaluated before and after heat treatment. Results showed that the as-printed scaffolds and specimens heat treated at 300°C exhibited severe toxicity in vitro but had almost adequate strength. By contrast, the specimens heat treated in the 500°C-1000°C temperature range, although non-toxic, had insufficient mechanical strength, which was mainly attributed to the exit of the organic binder before 500°C and the absence of sufficient densification below 1000°C. The sintering process was accelerated at temperatures higher than 1000°C, resulting in higher compressive strength and less cytotoxicity. An anhydrous form of calcium sulfate was the only crystalline phase existing in the samples heated at 500°C-1150°C. The formation of calcium oxide caused by partial decomposition of calcium sulfate was observed in the specimens heat treated at temperatures higher than 1200°C. Although considerable improvements in cell viability of heat-treated scaffolds were observed in this study, the mechanical properties were not significantly improved, requiring further investigations. However, the findings of this study give a better insight into the complex nature of the problem in the fabrication of synthetic bone grafts and scaffolds via post-fabrication treatment of 3DP calcium sulfate prototypes.
  16. Banihashemian SM, Periasamy V, Boon Tong G, Abdul Rahman S
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0149488.
    PMID: 26999445 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149488
    Studying the effect of a magnetic field on oligonucleotide DNA can provide a novel DNA manipulation technique for potential application in bioengineering and medicine. In this work, the optical and electrochemical response of a 100 bases oligonucleotides DNA, cytosine-guanine (CG100), is investigated via exposure to different magnetic fields (250, 500, 750, and 1000 mT). As a result of the optical response of CG100 to the magnetic field, the ultra-violet-visible spectrum indicated a slight variation in the band gap of CG100 of about 0.3 eV. Raman spectroscopy showed a significant deviation in hydrogen and phosphate bonds' vibration after exposure to the magnetic field. Oligonucleotide DNA mobility was investigated in the external electric field using the gel electrophoresis technique, which revealed a small decrease in the migration of CG100 after exposure to the magnetic field.
  17. Atif M, Javaid S, Farooqui M, Sarwar MR
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151321.
    PMID: 26998830 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151321
    BACKGROUND: Implementation of the Charter to protect patients' rights is an important criterion to achieve patient-centered approach and receive financial support from the Global Fund. Our study aims to explore the knowledge of tuberculosis (TB) patients about their rights and responsibilities at the Chest Disease Unit of the Bahawal Victoria Hospital, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
    METHODS: This was a qualitative study. The data from purposefully selected TB patients was collected by in-depth interviews. Eligibility criteria included confirmed diagnosis of TB and enrollment in the TB program. A pilot tested interview protocol was based upon the objectives of the study, and was used uniformly in each interview to maintain the consistency. The sample size was limited by applying the saturation criteria. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Inductive thematic content analysis was applied to analyze the data and draw conclusions.
    RESULTS: Out of the total 16 patients, four were female, and seven were illiterate. Eight patients were known cases of multi-drug resistant TB. Analysis of the data yielded seven themes; tuberculosis care services, moral support and stigmatization, dignity and privacy, complaints, fear of losing job, information sharing and compliance to the treatment plan, and contribution to eradicate TB. First five represented the rights section while latter two were related to the responsibilities section of the Charter.
    CONCLUSION: Discriminatory access to TB care services and the right to privacy were two major concerns identified in this study. However, the respondents recognized their responsibilities as a TB patient. To ensure uninterrupted investment from the Global Fund, there is a need to implement fair TB care policies which support human rights-based approach.
  18. Dawood F, Loo CK
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0152003.
    PMID: 26998923 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152003
    Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera) in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot.
  19. Mousavi Kahaki SM, Nordin MJ, Ashtari AH, J Zahra S
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0149710.
    PMID: 26985996 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149710
    An invariant feature matching method is proposed as a spatially invariant feature matching approach. Deformation effects, such as affine and homography, change the local information within the image and can result in ambiguous local information pertaining to image points. New method based on dissimilarity values, which measures the dissimilarity of the features through the path based on Eigenvector properties, is proposed. Evidence shows that existing matching techniques using similarity metrics--such as normalized cross-correlation, squared sum of intensity differences and correlation coefficient--are insufficient for achieving adequate results under different image deformations. Thus, new descriptor's similarity metrics based on normalized Eigenvector correlation and signal directional differences, which are robust under local variation of the image information, are proposed to establish an efficient feature matching technique. The method proposed in this study measures the dissimilarity in the signal frequency along the path between two features. Moreover, these dissimilarity values are accumulated in a 2D dissimilarity space, allowing accurate corresponding features to be extracted based on the cumulative space using a voting strategy. This method can be used in image registration applications, as it overcomes the limitations of the existing approaches. The output results demonstrate that the proposed technique outperforms the other methods when evaluated using a standard dataset, in terms of precision-recall and corner correspondence.
  20. Yang TY, Dehghantanha A, Choo KK, Muda Z
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0150300.
    PMID: 26982207 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150300
    Instant messaging (IM) has changed the way people communicate with each other. However, the interactive and instant nature of these applications (apps) made them an attractive choice for malicious cyber activities such as phishing. The forensic examination of IM apps for modern Windows 8.1 (or later) has been largely unexplored, as the platform is relatively new. In this paper, we seek to determine the data remnants from the use of two popular Windows Store application software for instant messaging, namely Facebook and Skype on a Windows 8.1 client machine. This research contributes to an in-depth understanding of the types of terrestrial artefacts that are likely to remain after the use of instant messaging services and application software on a contemporary Windows operating system. Potential artefacts detected during the research include data relating to the installation or uninstallation of the instant messaging application software, log-in and log-off information, contact lists, conversations, and transferred files.
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