The toxicity of organophosphate insecticides for nontarget organism has been the subject of extensive research for sustainable agriculture. Pakistan has banned the use of methyl/ethyl parathions, but they are still illegally used. The present study is an attempt to estimate the residual concentration and to suggest remedial solution of adsorption by different types of soils collected and characterized for physicochemical parameters. Sorption of pesticides in soil or other porous media is an important process regulating pesticide transport and degradation. The percentage removal of methyl parathion and ethyl parathion was determined through UV-Visible spectrophotometer at 276 nm and 277 nm, respectively. The results indicate that agricultural soil as compared to barren soil is more efficient adsorbent for both insecticides, at optimum batch condition of pH 7. The equilibrium between adsorbate and adsorbent was attained in 12 hours. Methyl parathion is removed more efficiently (by seven orders of magnitude) than ethyl parathion. It may be attributed to more available binding sites and less steric hindrance of methyl parathion. Adsorption kinetics indicates that a good correlation exists between distribution coefficient (Kd) and soil organic carbon. A general increase in Kd is noted with increase in induced concentration due to the formation of bound or aged residue.
The advent of web-based applications and services has created such diverse and voluminous web log data stored in web servers, proxy servers, client machines, or organizational databases. This paper attempts to investigate the effect of temporal attribute in relational rule mining for web log data. We incorporated the characteristics of time in the rule mining process and analysed the effect of various temporal parameters. The rules generated from temporal relational rule mining are then compared against the rules generated from the classical rule mining approach such as the Apriori and FP-Growth algorithms. The results showed that by incorporating the temporal attribute via time, the number of rules generated is subsequently smaller but is comparable in terms of quality.
This study was done to detect and diagnose beta-thalassemia (beta-Thal) gene quickly. We applied sequence specific Amplification (SSA) method to the analysis. 13 kinds of beta-Thal and two kinds of hemoglobin variants were able to detect under the same PCR condition. These mutations were found frequently in ten countries of Asian region (the southern part of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, India), and 15 kinds in total (-28CapA-->G, CD5-CT, CD8/9+-G, CD15G-->A, CD17A-->T, IVSI-1G-->T, CD41/42-4del, CD16-C, CD26G-->A(betaE), IVSI-5G-->C, CD35C-->A, CD71/72 +A, CD6A-->T (betaS), -619del, IVSII-654C-->T). More than 80% of patients are included in these mutations. To make the reagents a kit, the procedure became simple and rapid. DNA was extracted by salting out method. The PCR product was detected by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and silver staining. The confirmation of the variant was done by the PCR-direct sequencing method. It took approximately six hours for PCR reaction, electrophoresis and staining. This method made us to detect and diagnose beta-Thal in one day.
The psychrophilic enzyme is an interesting subject to study due to its special ability to adapt to extreme temperatures, unlike typical enzymes. Utilizing computer-aided software, the predicted structure and function of the enzyme lipase AMS8 (LipAMS8) (isolated from the psychrophilic Pseudomonas sp., obtained from the Antarctic soil) are studied. The enzyme shows significant sequence similarities with lipases from Pseudomonas sp. MIS38 and Serratia marcescens. These similarities aid in the prediction of the 3D molecular structure of the enzyme. In this study, 12 ns MD simulation is performed at different temperatures for structural flexibility and stability analysis. The results show that the enzyme is most stable at 0°C and 5°C. In terms of stability and flexibility, the catalytic domain (N-terminus) maintained its stability more than the noncatalytic domain (C-terminus), but the non-catalytic domain showed higher flexibility than the catalytic domain. The analysis of the structure and function of LipAMS8 provides new insights into the structural adaptation of this protein at low temperatures. The information obtained could be a useful tool for low temperature industrial applications and molecular engineering purposes, in the near future.
A study was conducted to profile the plasma progesterone (P4) concentrations and establish the length of oestrous cycle in the Rusa timorensis during the breeding season. Five healthy hinds were selected for peripheral blood sampling twice weekly to gauge the P4 levels by radioimmunoassay, at the start of the breeding season indicated by rutting behaviours of sexually active males. The hinds were polyestrous as proven by the cyclic trend of P4 levels. After the presumptive oestrus indicated by the lowest P4 concentrations (0.20±0.09ng/ml), this ovarian hormone was markedly elevated on day 7 of the cycle (0.78±0.20ng/ml), reached its peak (2.61±0.23ng/ml, P<0.05) on day 14, and then declined to the basal level in the subsequent oestrus. The mean oestrous cycle length in R. timorensis during the breeding season was 19.2 days with a range of 18-21 days, and the pattern of circulating progesterone during the oestrous cycle of the R. timorensis is similar to those of other deer species. It was also observed that the length of oestrous cycle of R. timorensis determined by gauging the progesterone levels and observation of the oestrous behaviours as well as changes in the cellular pattern of vaginal epithelial cells are highly consistent.
Natural styrylpyrones isolated from fungi are known for various biological activities including antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals. UV/vis spectra play an important role in elucidating chemical structures of these compounds via identification of chromophore units. With the aim of predicting the UV/vis spectra of a series of natural styrylpyrones, we tested TD-DFT, CIS and ZINDO methods in gas and in PCM solvent. The results showed that the individual or combined B3P86 and B3LYP hybrid functionals are suitable to predict the maximum wavelength absorption bands (λmax) for styrylpyrones. The structure property relationship (SPR) study emphasized the role of (i) structural parameters (e.g., hydrogen bond and the length of conjugated double bonds) and (ii) electronic descriptors (e.g., ionization potential, electronic affinity, hardness and electrophilicity) in bathochromic and hypsochromic shifts of maximum wavelength absorption bands (λmax) of styrylpyrone derivatives.
To determine the efficacy of a combination of simultaneous shock wave lithotripsy (SWL), hydration with controlled inversion therapy compared with SWL with hydration alone in patients with lower pole calyx stones.
It was found that with replenishment, powdered activated carbon (PAC) in the membrane bioreactor (MBR) would develop biologically activated carbon (BAC) which could enhance filtration performance of a conventional MBR. This paper addresses two issues (i) effect of PAC size on MBR (BAC) performance; and (ii) effect of sludge retention time (SRT) on the MBR performance with and without PAC. To interpret the trends, particle/floc size, concentration of mixed liquor suspended solid (MLSS), total organic carbon (TOC), short-term filtration properties and transmembrane pressure (TMP) versus time are measured. The results showed improved fouling control with fine, rather than coarse, PAC provided the flux did not exceed the deposition flux for the fine PAC. Without PAC, the longer SRT operation gave lower fouling at modest fluxes. With PAC addition, the shorter SRT gave better fouling control, possibly due to greater replenishment of the fresh PAC.
A study on physico-chemical parameters and pathogenic bacterial community was carried out at the coastal waters of Pulau Tuba island, Langkawi. The physico-chemical parameters such as temperature (27.43-28.88 degrees C), dissolved oxygen (3.79-6.49 mg l(-1)), pH (7.72-8.20), salinity (33.10-33.96 ppt), total dissolved solids (32.27-32.77 g l(-1)) and specific conductivity (49.83-51.63 mS cm(-1)) were observed. Station 3 and station 4 showed highest amount of nitrates (26.93 and 14.61 microg at N l(-1)) than station 1 (2.04 microg at N l(-1)) and station 2 (4.18 microg at N l(-1)). The highest concentration (12.4 +/- microg l(-1)) of chlorophyll a was observed in station 4 in October 2005. High phosphorus content (561 microg P l(-1)) was found in the station 2. Thirteen bacterial isolates were successfully identified using API 20E system. The highest amount of bacteria was observed at Station 4 (3400 CFU ml(-1)) and the lowest numberwas at Station 2 (890 CFU ml(-1)). Out of identified 13 Gram-negative bacterial isolates dominant species were Aeromonas hydrophila, Klebsiella oxytoca, Pseudomonas baumannii, Vibrio vulnificus, Proteus mirabilis, Providencia alcalifaciens and Serratia liquefaciens. Apart from this, oil biodegrading Pseudomonas putida were also identified. The study reveals the existing status of water quality is still conducive and the reasonably diverse with Gram-negative bacteria along the Pulau Tuba Langkawi.
We study generalized variable projective synchronization between two unified time delayed systems with constant and modulated time delays. A novel Krasovskii-Lyapunov functional is constructed and a generalized sufficient condition for synchronization is derived analytically using the Lyapunov stability theory and adaptive techniques. The proposed scheme is valid for a system of n-numbers of first order delay differential equations. Finally, a new neural oscillator is considered as a numerical example to show the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.
Despite the advancement of cardiac imaging technologies, these have traditionally been limited to global geometrical measurements. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has emerged as a reliable tool that provides flow ﬁeld information and other variables essential for the assessment of the cardiac function. Extensive studies have shown that vortex formation and propagation during the filling phase acts as a promising indicator for the diagnosis of the cardiac health condition. Proper setting of the boundary conditions is crucial in a CFD study as they are important determinants, that affect the simulation results. In this article, the effect of different transmitral velocity profiles (parabolic and uniform profile) on the vortex formation patterns during diastole was studied in a ventricle with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The resulting vortex evolution pattern using the uniform inlet velocity profile agreed with that reported in the literature, which revealed an increase in thrombus risk in a ventricle with DCM. However the application of a parabolic velocity profile at the inlet yields a deviated vortical flow pattern and overestimates the propagation velocity of the vortex ring towards the apex of the ventricle. This study highlighted that uniform inlet velocity profile should be applied in the study of the filling dynamics in a left ventricle because it produces results closer to that observed experimentally.
Two types of municipal solid waste (MSW), newly arrived and 2 weeks old, were sampled from a sanitary landfill in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia at a fortnightly interval and kept under field conditions for 2 weeks. A total of 480 kg of each type of MSW was sampled to study species composition and impact of delays in cover soil applications on filth fly emergence. Out of 960 kg of MSW sampled, 9.2 ± 0.5 flies emerged per kilogram. Weekly adult fly emergence rates of newly arrived and 2-week-old waste did not differ significantly and MSW remained suitable for fly breeding for up to 1 month. Eight species of flies emerged from the MSW: namely, Musca domestica, Musca sorbens, Synthesiomyia nudiseta, Hydrotaea chalcogaster, Chrysomya megacephala, Lucilia cuprina, Hemipyrellia ligurriens and Sarcophaga sp. Newly arrived waste was determined to be the main source for M. domestica, C. megacephala and L. cuprina in the landfill owing to significantly higher mean emergence compared with 2-week-old waste. Musca sorbens was found in newly arrived waste but not in 2-week-old waste, suggesting that the species was able to survive transportation to landfill but unable to survive landfill conditions. Hemipyrellia ligurriens, H. chalcogaster and S. nudiseta were not imported into the landfill with MSW and pre-existing flies in and around the landfill itself may be their source. The results show that landfills can be a major source of fly breeding if cover soil or temporary cover is not applied daily or on a regular schedule.
The burden of non-communicable diseases is increasing in Malaysia. Insufficient Physical Activity, which is an important risk factor for non-communicable diseases, is less researched in Malaysia. We aimed to assess the level of physical activity and identify its correlates. An online survey was carried out during October, 2011 in the University Tunku Abdul Rahman by the opinion poll research committee. Young adults answered the Short International Physical Activity Questionnaire and a questionnaire about factors according to a socio-ecological model which was adapted from published studies. Metabolic equivalent (MET)-hours and MET-minutes were calculated. Physical activity was classified as sufficient when MET-minutes were > 840. The mean age of the 474 participants was 22.4 years (S.D. = 4.7), and 253 (53.4%) were females. Their mean and median of MET-hours of PA done during the previous seven days were 31.36 (S.D., 52.19) and 14.7 (IQR, 5.77-32.07), respectively. Physical activity done was sufficient among 242 (51.1%) participants. Using univariate analysis, being male, good self-rated health, positive intention, self-efficacy, perceived benefits, social support, and availability of facilities were associated with sufficient physical activity. Using multivariate analysis sufficient physical activity was associated with participants' intention (OR 0.75, 95% CIs 0.64, 0.88), self-efficacy (OR 0.91, 95% CIs 0.85, 0.97) and facility availability (OR 0.81, 95% CIs 0.73, 0.91). The proportion of participants with sufficient physical activity was low. Positive intention and self-efficacy associated with sufficient physical activity should be supported by availability of facilities and a safely-built environment. A nationwide survey about physical and associated socialecological factors is needed to design rational health promotion strategies.
Typhoid fever continues to pose public health problems in Selangor where cases are found sporadically with occasional outbreaks reported. In February 2009, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) reported a cluster of typhoid fever among four children in the pediatric ward. We investigated the source of the outbreak, risk factors for the infection to propose control measures. We conducted a case-control study to identify the risk factors for the outbreak. A case was defined as a person with S. typhi isolated from blood, urine or stool and had visited Sungai Congkak recreational park on 27th January 2010. Controls were healthy household members of cases who have similar exposure but no isolation of S. typhi in blood, urine or stool. Cases were identified from routine surveillance system, medical record searching from the nearest clinic and contact tracing other than family members including food handlers and construction workers in the recreational park. Immediate control measures were initiated and followed up. Twelve (12) cases were identified from routine surveillance with 75 household controls. The Case-control study showed cases were 17 times more likely to be 12 years or younger (95% CI: 2.10, 137.86) and 13 times more likely to have ingested river water accidentally during swimming (95% CI: 3.07, 58.71). River water was found contaminated with sewage disposal from two public toilets which effluent grew salmonella spp. The typhoid outbreak in Sungai Congkak recreational park resulted from contaminated river water due to poor sanitation. Children who accidentally ingested river water were highly susceptible. Immediate closure and upgrading of public toilet has stopped the outbreak.
Adsorption capacity of an agricultural waste, palm-tree fruit stones (date stones), for phenolic compounds such as phenol (Ph) and p-nitro phenol (PNPh) at different temperatures was investigated. The characteristics of such waste biomass were determined and found to have a surface area and iodine number of 495.71 m2/g and 475.88 mg/g, respectively. The effects of pH (2-12), adsorbent dose (0.6-0.8 g/L) and contact time (0-150 min) on the adsorptive removal process were studied. Maximum removal percentages of 89.95% and 92.11% were achieved for Ph and PNPh, respectively. Experimental equilibrium data for adsorption of both components were analyzed by the Langmuir, Freundlich and Tempkin isotherm models. The results show that the best fit was achieved with the Langmuir isotherm equation with maximum adsorption capacities of 132.37 and 161.44 mg/g for Ph and PNPh, respectively. The kinetic data were fitted to pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order and intraparticle diffusion models, and was found to follow closely the pseudo-second order model for both components. The calculated thermodynamic parameters, namely ΔG, ΔH, and ΔS showed that adsorption of Ph and PNPh was spontaneous and endothermic under examined conditions.
We analysed 580 articles (original articles only) published in Medical Journal of Malaysia between 2004 and 2008, the resources referenced by the articles and the citations and impact received. Our aim was to examine article and author productivity, the age of references used and impact of the journal. Publication data was obtained from MyAIS database and Google Scholar provided the citation data. From the 580 articles analyzed, contributors mainly come from the hospitals, universities and clinics. Contributions from foreign authors are low. The useful lives of references cited were between 3 to 11 years. ISI derived Impact factor for MJM ranged between 0.378 to 0.616. Journal self-citation is low. Out of the 580 sampled articles, 76.8% have been cited at least once over the 5 years and the ratio of total publications to citations is 1: 2.6.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems are emerging as the primary object identification mechanism, especially in supply chain management. However, RFID naturally generates a large amount of duplicate readings. Removing these duplicates from the RFID data stream is paramount as it does not contribute new information to the system and wastes system resources. Existing approaches to deal with this problem cannot fulfill the real time demands to process the massive RFID data stream. We propose a data filtering approach that efficiently detects and removes duplicate readings from RFID data streams. Experimental results show that the proposed approach offers a significant improvement as compared to the existing approaches.
Taking into account the effect of constant convective thermal and mass boundary conditions, we present numerical solution of the 2-D laminar g-jitter mixed convective boundary layer flow of water-based nanofluids. The governing transport equations are converted into non-similar equations using suitable transformations, before being solved numerically by an implicit finite difference method with quasi-linearization technique. The skin friction decreases with time, buoyancy ratio, and thermophoresis parameters while it increases with frequency, mixed convection and Brownian motion parameters. Heat transfer rate decreases with time, Brownian motion, thermophoresis and diffusion-convection parameters while it increases with the Reynolds number, frequency, mixed convection, buoyancy ratio and conduction-convection parameters. Mass transfer rate decreases with time, frequency, thermophoresis, conduction-convection parameters while it increases with mixed convection, buoyancy ratio, diffusion-convection and Brownian motion parameters. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper on this topic and hence the results are new. We believe that the results will be useful in designing and operating thermal fluids systems for space materials processing. Special cases of the results have been compared with published results and an excellent agreement is found.
Globally, more than 800 million people are undernourished while >2 billion people have one or more chronic micronutrient deficiencies (MNDs). More than 6% of global mortality and morbidity burdens are associated with undernourishment and MNDs. Here we show that, in 2011, 3.5 and 1.1 billion people were at risk of calcium (Ca) and zinc (Zn) deficiency respectively due to inadequate dietary supply. The global mean dietary supply of Ca and Zn in 2011 was 684 ± 211 and 16 ± 3 mg capita(-1) d(-1) (± SD) respectively. Between 1992 and 2011, global risk of deficiency of Ca and Zn decreased from 76 to 51%, and 22 to 16%, respectively. Approximately 90% of those at risk of Ca and Zn deficiency in 2011 were in Africa and Asia. To our knowledge, these are the first global estimates of dietary Ca deficiency risks based on food supply. We conclude that continuing to reduce Ca and Zn deficiency risks through dietary diversification and food and agricultural interventions including fortification, crop breeding and use of micronutrient fertilisers will remain a significant challenge.