Displaying publications 81 - 100 of 1879 in total

  1. Abidin NZ, Mamat M, Dangerfield B, Zulkepli JH, Baten MA, Wibowo A
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e114135.
    PMID: 25502170 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114135
    Poor eating behavior has been identified as one of the core contributory factors of the childhood obesity epidemic. The consequences of obesity on numerous aspects of life are thoroughly explored in the existing literature. For instance, evidence shows that obesity is linked to incidences of diseases such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some cancers, as well as psychosocial problems. To respond to the increasing trends in the UK, in 2008 the government set a target to reverse the prevalence of obesity (POB) back to 2000 levels by 2020. This paper will outline the application of system dynamics (SD) optimization to simulate the effect of changes in the eating behavior of British children (aged 2 to 15 years) on weight and obesity. This study also will identify how long it will take to achieve the government's target. This paper proposed a simulation model called Intervention Childhood Obesity Dynamics (ICOD) by focusing the interrelations between various strands of knowledge in one complex human weight regulation system. The model offers distinct insights into the dynamics by capturing the complex interdependencies from the causal loop and feedback structure, with the intention to better understand how eating behaviors influence children's weight, body mass index (BMI), and POB measurement. This study proposed a set of equations that are revised from the original (baseline) equations. The new functions are constructed using a RAMP function of linear decrement in portion size and number of meal variables from 2013 until 2020 in order to achieve the 2020 desired target. Findings from the optimization analysis revealed that the 2020 target won't be achieved until 2026 at the earliest, six years late. Thus, the model suggested that a longer period may be needed to significantly reduce obesity in this population.
  2. Li Y, Wen H, Chen L, Yin T
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e115024.
    PMID: 25502754 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115024
    The growing concern about the effectiveness of reclamation strategies has motivated the evaluation of soil properties following reclamation. Recovery of belowground microbial community is important for reclamation success, however, the response of soil bacterial communities to reclamation has not been well understood. In this study, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing was applied to compare bacterial communities in undisturbed soils with those in reclaimed soils using chronosequences ranging in time following reclamation from 1 to 20 year. Bacteria from the Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Planctomycetes and Bacteroidetes were abundant in all soils, while the composition of predominant phyla differed greatly across all sites. Long-term reclamation strongly affected microbial community structure and diversity. Initial effects of reclamation resulted in significant declines in bacterial diversity indices in younger reclaimed sites (1, 8-year-old) compared to the undisturbed site. However, bacterial diversity indices tended to be higher in older reclaimed sites (15, 20-year-old) as recovery time increased, and were more similar to predisturbance levels nearly 20 years after reclamation. Bacterial communities are highly responsive to soil physicochemical properties (pH, soil organic matter, Total N and P), in terms of both their diversity and community composition. Our results suggest that the response of soil microorganisms to reclamation is likely governed by soil characteristics and, indirectly, by the effects of vegetation restoration. Mixture sowing of gramineae and leguminosae herbage largely promoted soil geochemical conditions and bacterial diversity that recovered to those of undisturbed soil, representing an adequate solution for soil remediation and sustainable utilization for agriculture. These results confirm the positive impacts of reclamation and vegetation restoration on soil microbial diversity and suggest that the most important phase of microbial community recovery occurs between 15 and 20 years after reclamation.
  3. Pomilla C, Amaral AR, Collins T, Minton G, Findlay K, Leslie MS, et al.
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e114162.
    PMID: 25470144 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114162
    A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.
  4. Hussain Z, Katas H, Mohd Amin MC, Kumolosasi E
    PLoS One, 2014;9(11):e113143.
    PMID: 25396426 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113143
    The present study was conducted with the aim to investigate the immuno-modulatory and histological stabilization effects of nanocarrier-based transcutaneous co-delivery of hydrocortisone (HC) and hydroxytyrosol (HT). In this investigation, the clinical and pharmacological efficacies of nanoparticle (NP)-based formulation to alleviate 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced atopic dermatitis (AD) was explored by using an NC/Nga mouse model. Ex vivo visual examination of AD induction in experimental mice indicated remarkable control of NP-based formulations in reducing pathological severity of AD-like skin lesions. Therapeutic effectiveness of NP-based formulations was also evaluated by comparing skin thickness of AD-induced NP-treated mice (456±27 µm) with that of atopic mice (916±37 µm). Analysis of the immuno-spectrum of AD also revealed the dominance of NP-based formulations in restraining immunoglobulin-E (IgE), histamine, prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2), vascular endothelial growth factor-α (VEGF-α), and T-helper cells (TH1/TH2) producing cytokines in serum and skin biopsies of tested mice. These anti-AD data were further supported by histological findings that revealed alleviated pathological features, including collagen fiber deposition, fibroblasts infiltration, and fragmentation of elastic fibers in experimental mice. Thus, NP-mediated transcutaneous co-delivery of HC and HT can be considered as a promising therapy for managing immunological and histological spectra associated with AD.
  5. Zaimi K, Ishak A, Pop I
    PLoS One, 2014;9(11):e111743.
    PMID: 25365118 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111743
    The steady two-dimensional flow and heat transfer over a stretching/shrinking sheet in a nanofluid is investigated using Buongiorno's nanofluid model. Different from the previously published papers, in the present study we consider the case when the nanofluid particle fraction on the boundary is passively rather than actively controlled, which make the model more physically realistic. The governing partial differential equations are transformed into nonlinear ordinary differential equations by a similarity transformation, before being solved numerically by a shooting method. The effects of some governing parameters on the fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics are graphically presented and discussed. Dual solutions are found to exist in a certain range of the suction and stretching/shrinking parameters. Results also indicate that both the skin friction coefficient and the local Nusselt number increase with increasing values of the suction parameter.
  6. Horm SV, Mardy S, Rith S, Ly S, Heng S, Vong S, et al.
    PLoS One, 2014;9(10):e110713.
    PMID: 25340711 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110713
    BACKGROUND: The Cambodian National Influenza Center (NIC) monitored and characterized circulating influenza strains from 2009 to 2011.

    METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sentinel and study sites collected nasopharyngeal specimens for diagnostic detection, virus isolation, antigenic characterization, sequencing and antiviral susceptibility analysis from patients who fulfilled case definitions for influenza-like illness, acute lower respiratory infections and event-based surveillance. Each year in Cambodia, influenza viruses were detected mainly from June to November, during the rainy season. Antigenic analysis show that A/H1N1pdm09 isolates belonged to the A/California/7/2009-like group. Circulating A/H3N2 strains were A/Brisbane/10/2007-like in 2009 before drifting to A/Perth/16/2009-like in 2010 and 2011. The Cambodian influenza B isolates from 2009 to 2011 all belonged to the B/Victoria lineage represented by the vaccine strains B/Brisbane/60/2008 and B/Malaysia/2506/2004. Sequences of the M2 gene obtained from representative 2009-2011 A/H3N2 and A/H1N1pdm09 strains all contained the S31N mutation associated with adamantanes resistance except for one A/H1N1pdm09 strain isolated in 2011 that lacked this mutation. No reduction in the susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors was observed among the influenza viruses circulating from 2009 to 2011. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that A/H3N2 strains clustered each year to a distinct group while most A/H1N1pdm09 isolates belonged to the S203T clade.

    CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In Cambodia, from 2009 to 2011, influenza activity occurred throughout the year with peak seasonality during the rainy season from June to November. Seasonal influenza epidemics were due to multiple genetically distinct viruses, even though all of the isolates were antigenically similar to the reference vaccine strains. The drug susceptibility profile of Cambodian influenza strains revealed that neuraminidase inhibitors would be the drug of choice for influenza treatment and chemoprophylaxis in Cambodia, as adamantanes are no longer expected to be effective.

  7. Ibrahim N, Amit N, Suen MW
    PLoS One, 2014;9(10):e110670.
    PMID: 25340331 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110670
    BACKGROUND: There has been a drastic increase in the rate of suicides over the past 45 years in Malaysia. The statistics show that adolescents aged between 16 and 19 years old are at high risk of committing suicide. This could be attributed to issues relating to the developmental stage of adolescents. During this stage, adolescents face challenges and are exposed to various stressful experiences and risk factors relating to suicide.

    METHOD: The present study examined psychological factors (i.e., depression, anxiety and stress) as predictors for suicidal ideation among adolescents. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 190 students (103 males and 87 females), aged 15 to 19 years old from two different schools in Kuala Lumpur. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21-item version (DASS-21) was used to measure depression, anxiety and stress among the students, and the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS) to measure suicidal ideation. The data were analysed using Pearson's correlation and multiple regression analysis.

    RESULTS: The results show that 11.10%, 10.00%, and 9.50% of the students reported that they were experiencing severe depression, anxiety and stress, respectively. There were significant correlations between depression, anxiety, and stress with suicidal ideation. However, only depression was identified as a predictor for suicidal ideation.

    CONCLUSION: Hence, this study extends the role of depression in predicting suicidal ideation among adolescents in the Malaysian context. The findings imply that teenagers should be assisted in strengthening their positive coping strategies in managing distress to reduce depression and suicidal ideation.

  8. Cheong HT, Ng KT, Ong LY, Chook JB, Chan KG, Takebe Y, et al.
    PLoS One, 2014;9(10):e111236.
    PMID: 25340817 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111236
    A novel HIV-1 recombinant clade (CRF51_01B) was recently identified among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Singapore. As cases of sexually transmitted HIV-1 infection increase concurrently in two socioeconomically intimate countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, cross transmission of HIV-1 between said countries is highly probable. In order to investigate the timeline for the emergence of HIV-1 CRF51_01B in Singapore and its possible introduction into Malaysia, 595 HIV-positive subjects recruited in Kuala Lumpur from 2008 to 2012 were screened. Phylogenetic relationship of 485 amplified polymerase gene sequences was determined through neighbour-joining method. Next, near-full length sequences were amplified for genomic sequences inferred to be CRF51_01B and subjected to further analysis implemented through Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling and maximum likelihood methods. Based on the near full length genomes, two isolates formed a phylogenetic cluster with CRF51_01B sequences of Singapore origin, sharing identical recombination structure. Spatial and temporal information from Bayesian MCMC coalescent and maximum likelihood analysis of the protease, gp120 and gp41 genes suggest that Singapore is probably the country of origin of CRF51_01B (as early as in the mid-1990s) and featured a Malaysian who acquired the infection through heterosexual contact as host for its ancestral lineages. CRF51_01B then spread rapidly among the MSM in Singapore and Malaysia. Although the importation of CRF51_01B from Singapore to Malaysia is supported by coalescence analysis, the narrow timeframe of the transmission event indicates a closely linked epidemic. Discrepancies in the estimated divergence times suggest that CRF51_01B may have arisen through multiple recombination events from more than one parental lineage. We report the cross transmission of a novel CRF51_01B lineage between countries that involved different sexual risk groups. Understanding the cross-border transmission of HIV-1 involving sexual networks is crucial for effective intervention strategies in the region.
  9. Alvankarian J, Majlis BY
    PLoS One, 2015;10(3):e0119658.
    PMID: 25747514 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119658
    Rapid prototyping (RP) of microfluidic channels in liquid photopolymers using standard lithography (SL) involves multiple deposition steps and curing by ultraviolet (UV) light for the construction of a microstructure layer. In this work, the conflicting effect of oxygen diffusion and UV curing of liquid polyurethane methacrylate (PUMA) is investigated in microfabrication and utilized to reduce the deposition steps and to obtain a monolithic product. The conventional fabrication process is altered to control for the best use of the oxygen presence in polymerization. A novel and modified lithography technique is introduced in which a single step of PUMA coating and two steps of UV exposure are used to create a microchannel. The first exposure is maskless and incorporates oxygen diffusion into PUMA for inhibition of the polymerization of a thin layer from the top surface while the UV rays penetrate the photopolymer. The second exposure is for transferring the patterns of the microfluidic channels from the contact photomask onto the uncured material. The UV curing of PUMA as the main substrate in the presence of oxygen is characterized analytically and experimentally. A few typical elastomeric microstructures are manufactured. It is demonstrated that the obtained heights of the fabricated structures in PUMA are associated with the oxygen concentration and the UV dose. The proposed technique is promising for the RP of molds and microfluidic channels in terms of shorter processing time, fewer fabrication steps and creation of microstructure layers with higher integrity.
  10. Tai ML, Norhatta N, Goh KJ, Moy FM, Sujarita R, Asraff AA, et al.
    PLoS One, 2015;10(1):e0115838.
    PMID: 25629323 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115838
    BACKGROUND: Dyspepsia and headache frequently co-exist, but the clinical implication of this association is uncertain. We planned to examine the prevalence and impact of dyspepsia in adults with headache.
    METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a secondary care setting. Clinical, psychological and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) data were compared between subjects with headache and controls (non-headache subjects). The impact of dyspepsia was analysed further in subjects with headache alone.
    RESULTS: 280 subjects (93 cases with headache and 187 matched controls) were recruited. The following baseline characteristics of subjects were as follows: mean age 45.0 ± 17.3 years, 57.0% females and ethnic distribution-Malaysian = 45 (48.4%), Chinese n = 24 (25.8%) and Indians n = 24 (25.8%). Headache sub-types among cases with headache were as follows: tension-type headache (TTH) n = 53 (57.0%) and migraine n = 40 (43.0%). Dyspepsia was more prevalent in cases with headache compared to controls (25.8% vs 12.8%, p = 0.011), and headache was independently associated with dyspepsia (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.39-5.43). Among cases with headache, there was a trend towards a higher prevalence of dyspepsia in those with migraine (27.5%) compared to TTH (24.5%). Subjects with headache and dyspepsia, compared to those with headache alone, had a greater severity of headache symptoms (63.67 ± 22.85 mm vs 51.20 ± 24.0 mm VAS, p = 0.029). Overall HRQOL scores were lower in headache subjects with dyspepsia (EQ-5D summary score 0.82 ± 0.18 vs 0.90 ± 0.16, p = 0.037 and EQ-5D VAS 62.08 ± 17.50 mm vs 72.62 ± 18.85 mm, p = 0.018), compared to those without dyspepsia.
    CONCLUSION: Dyspepsia is associated with more severe headache symptoms and results in a lower HRQOL in patients with headache.
  11. Mohamad S, Isa NM, Muhammad R, Emran NA, Kitan NM, Kang P, et al.
    PLoS One, 2015;10(1):e0117104.
    PMID: 25629968 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117104
    CHEK2 is a protein kinase that is involved in cell-cycle checkpoint control after DNA damage. Germline mutations in CHEK2 gene have been associated with increase in breast cancer risk. The aim of this study is to identify the CHEK2 gene germline mutations among high-risk breast cancer patients and its contribution to the multiethnic population in Malaysia. We screened the entire coding region of CHEK2 gene on 59 high-risk breast cancer patients who tested negative for BRCA1/2 germline mutations from UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC), Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) and Hospital Putrajaya (HPJ). Sequence variants identified were screened further in case-control cohorts consisting of 878 unselected invasive breast cancer patients (180 Malays, 526 Chinese and 172 Indian) and 270 healthy individuals (90 Malays, 90 Chinese and 90 Indian). By screening the entire coding region of the CHEK2 gene, two missense mutations, c.480A>G (p.I160M) and c.538C>T (p.R180C) were identified in two unrelated patients (3.4%). Further screening of these missense mutations on the case-control cohorts unveiled the variant p.I160M in 2/172 (1.1%) Indian cases and 1/90 (1.1%) Indian control, variant p.R180C in 2/526 (0.38%) Chinese cases and 0/90 Chinese control, and in 2/180 (1.1%) of Malay cases and 1/90 (1.1%) of Malay control. The results of this study suggest that CHEK2 mutations are rare among high-risk breast cancer patients and may play a minor contributing role in breast carcinogenesis among Malaysian population.
  12. Mokhtari M, Ghaffar MA, Usup G, Cob ZC
    PLoS One, 2015;10(1):e0117467.
    PMID: 25629519 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117467
    In tropical regions, different species of fiddler crabs coexist on the mangrove floor, which sometimes makes it difficult to define species-specific habitat by visual inspection. The aim of this study is to find key environmental parameters which affect the distribution of fiddler crabs and to determine the habitats in which each species was most abundant. Crabs were collected from 19 sites within the mudflats of Sepang-Lukut mangrove forest. Temperature, porewater salinity, organic matter, water content, carbon and nitrogen content, porosity, chlorophyll content, pH, redox potential, sediment texture and heavy metals were determined in each 1 m2 quadrate. Pearson correlation indicated that all sediment properties except pH and redox potential were correlated with sediment grain size. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that Uca paradussumieri was negatively correlated with salinity and redox potential. Sand dwelling species, Uca perplexa and Uca annulipes, were highly dependent on the abundance of 250 μm and 150 μm grain size particles in the sediment. Canonical Discriminative Analysis (CDA) indicated that variation in sediment grain size best explained where each crab species was most abundant. Moreover, U. paradussumieri commonly occupies muddy substrates of low shore, while U. forcipata lives under the shade of mangrove trees. U. annulipes and U. perplexa with the high number of spoon tipped setae on their second maxiliped are specialized to feed on the sandy sediments. U. rosea and U. triangularis are more common on muddy sediment with high sediment density. In conclusion, sediment grain size that influences most sediment properties acts as a main factor responsible for sediment heterogeneity. In this paper, the correlation between fiddler crab species and environmental parameters, as well as the interaction between sediment characteristics, was explained in order to define the important environmental factors in fiddler crab distributions.
  13. Batool T, Rasool N, Gull Y, Noreen M, Nasim FU, Yaqoob A, et al.
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e115457.
    PMID: 25545159 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115457
    A highly convenient method has been developed for the synthesis of (prop-2-ynyloxy) benzene and its derivatives. Differently substituted phenol and aniline derivatives were allowed to react with propargyl bromide in the presence of K2CO3 base and acetone as solvent. The compounds were synthesized in good yields (53-85%). Low cost, high yields and easy availability of compounds helped in the synthesis. Electron withdrawing groups favor the formation of stable phenoxide ion thus in turn favors the formation of product while electron donating groups do not favor the reaction. Phenol derivatives gave good yields as compared to that of aniline. As aprotic polar solvents favor SN2 type reactions so acetone provided best solvation for the reactions. K2CO3 was proved to be good for the synthesis. Antibacterial, Antiurease and NO scavenging activity of synthesized compounds were also examined. 4-bromo-2-chloro-1-(prop-2-ynyloxy)benzene 2a was found most active compound against urease enzyme with a percentage inhibition of 82.00±0.09 at 100 µg/mL with IC50 value of 60.2. 2-bromo-4-methyl-1-(prop-2-ynyloxy)benzene 2d was found potent antibacterial against Bacillus subtillus showing excellent inhibitory action with percentage inhibition of 55.67±0.26 at 100 µg/ml wih IC50 value of 79.9. Based on results, it can be concluded that some of the synthesized compounds may have potential antiurease and antibacterial effects against several harmful substances.
  14. Wan Md Adnan WA, Zaharan NL, Wong MH, Lim SK
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e114262.
    PMID: 25546434 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114262
    Chronic kidney disease is an emerging problem in the majority Muslim countries. Despite the uncertainties of the risks involved, some Muslim patients undergoing chronic haemodialysis choose to observe intermittent fasting during the month of Ramadan. This study aims to investigate the effect of Ramadan fasting in haemodialysis patients residing in a tropical climate country.
  15. Clements GR, Lynam AJ, Gaveau D, Yap WL, Lhota S, Goosem M, et al.
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e115376.
    PMID: 25521297 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115376
    Habitat destruction and overhunting are two major drivers of mammal population declines and extinctions in tropical forests. The construction of roads can be a catalyst for these two threats. In Southeast Asia, the impacts of roads on mammals have not been well-documented at a regional scale. Before evidence-based conservation strategies can be developed to minimize the threat of roads to endangered mammals within this region, we first need to locate where and how roads are contributing to the conversion of their habitats and illegal hunting in each country. We interviewed 36 experts involved in mammal research from seven Southeast Asian countries to identify roads that are contributing the most, in their opinion, to habitat conversion and illegal hunting. Our experts highlighted 16 existing and eight planned roads - these potentially threaten 21% of the 117 endangered terrestrial mammals in those countries. Apart from gathering qualitative evidence from the literature to assess their claims, we demonstrate how species-distribution models, satellite imagery and animal-sign surveys can be used to provide quantitative evidence of roads causing impacts by (1) cutting through habitats where endangered mammals are likely to occur, (2) intensifying forest conversion, and (3) contributing to illegal hunting and wildlife trade. To our knowledge, ours is the first study to identify specific roads threatening endangered mammals in Southeast Asia. Further through highlighting the impacts of roads, we propose 10 measures to limit road impacts in the region.
  16. Buratto LG, Pottage CL, Brown C, Morrison CM, Schaefer A
    PLoS One, 2014;9(10):e110211.
    PMID: 25330251 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110211
    Memory performance is usually impaired when participants have to encode information while performing a concurrent task. Recent studies using recall tasks have found that emotional items are more resistant to such cognitive depletion effects than non-emotional items. However, when recognition tasks are used, the same effect is more elusive as recent recognition studies have obtained contradictory results. In two experiments, we provide evidence that negative emotional content can reliably reduce the effects of cognitive depletion on recognition memory only if stimuli with high levels of emotional intensity are used. In particular, we found that recognition performance for realistic pictures was impaired by a secondary 3-back working memory task during encoding if stimuli were emotionally neutral or had moderate levels of negative emotionality. In contrast, when negative pictures with high levels of emotional intensity were used, the detrimental effects of the secondary task were significantly attenuated.
  17. Sookhak M, Akhundzada A, Sookhak A, Eslaminejad M, Gani A, Khurram Khan M, et al.
    PLoS One, 2015;10(1):e0115324.
    PMID: 25602616 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115324
    Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are ubiquitous and pervasive, and therefore; highly susceptible to a number of security attacks. Denial of Service (DoS) attack is considered the most dominant and a major threat to WSNs. Moreover, the wormhole attack represents one of the potential forms of the Denial of Service (DoS) attack. Besides, crafting the wormhole attack is comparatively simple; though, its detection is nontrivial. On the contrary, the extant wormhole defense methods need both specialized hardware and strong assumptions to defend against static and dynamic wormhole attack. The ensuing paper introduces a novel scheme to detect wormhole attacks in a geographic routing protocol (DWGRP). The main contribution of this paper is to detect malicious nodes and select the best and the most reliable neighbors based on pairwise key pre-distribution technique and the beacon packet. Moreover, this novel technique is not subject to any specific assumption, requirement, or specialized hardware, such as a precise synchronized clock. The proposed detection method is validated by comparisons with several related techniques in the literature, such as Received Signal Strength (RSS), Authentication of Nodes Scheme (ANS), Wormhole Detection uses Hound Packet (WHOP), and Wormhole Detection with Neighborhood Information (WDI) using the NS-2 simulator. The analysis of the simulations shows promising results with low False Detection Rate (FDR) in the geographic routing protocols.
  18. Ibrahim N', Khamis MF, Mod Yunoh MF, Abdullah S, Mohamed N, Shuid AN
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e115595.
    PMID: 25526611 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115595
    Osteoporosis is becoming a major health problem that is associated with increased fracture risk. Previous studies have shown that osteoporosis could delay fracture healing. Although there are potential agents available to promote fracture healing of osteoporotic bone such as statins and tocotrienol, studies on direct delivery of these agents to the fracture site are limited. This study was designed to investigate the effects of two potential agents, lovastatin and tocotrienol using targeted drug delivery system on fracture healing of postmenopausal osteoporosis rats. The fracture healing was evaluated using micro CT and biomechanical parameters. Forty-eight Sprague-Dawley female rats were divided into 6 groups. The first group was sham-operated (SO), while the others were ovariectomized (OVx). After two months, the right tibiae of all rats were fractured at metaphysis region using pulsed ultrasound and were fixed with plates and screws. The SO and OVxC groups were given two single injections of lovastatin and tocotrienol carriers. The estrogen group (OVx+EST) was given daily oral gavages of Premarin (64.5 µg/kg). The Lovastatin treatment group (OVx+Lov) was given a single injection of 750 µg/kg lovastatin particles. The tocotrienol group (OVx+TT) was given a single injection of 60 mg/kg tocotrienol particles. The combination treatment group (OVx+Lov+TT) was given two single injections of 750 µg/kg lovastatin particles and 60 mg/kg tocotrienol particles. After 4 weeks of treatment, the fractured tibiae were dissected out for micro-CT and biomechanical assessments. The combined treatment group (OVx+Lov+TT) showed significantly higher callus volume and callus strength than the OVxC group (p<0.05). Both the OVx+Lov and OVx+TT groups showed significantly higher callus strength than the OVxC group (p<0.05), but not for callus volume. In conclusion, combined lovastatin and tocotrienol may promote better fracture healing of osteoporotic bone.
  19. Zulkifley MA, Mustafa MM, Hussain A, Mustapha A, Ramli S
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e114518.
    PMID: 25485630 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114518
    Recycling is one of the most efficient methods for environmental friendly waste management. Among municipal wastes, plastics are the most common material that can be easily recycled and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of its major types. PET material is used in consumer goods packaging such as drinking bottles, toiletry containers, food packaging and many more. Usually, a recycling process is tailored to a specific material for optimal purification and decontamination to obtain high grade recyclable material. The quantity and quality of the sorting process are limited by the capacity of human workers that suffer from fatigue and boredom. Several automated sorting systems have been proposed in the literature that include using chemical, proximity and vision sensors. The main advantages of vision based sensors are its environmentally friendly approach, non-intrusive detection and capability of high throughput. However, the existing methods rely heavily on deterministic approaches that make them less accurate as the variations in PET plastic waste appearance are too high. We proposed a probabilistic approach of modeling the PET material by analyzing the reflection region and its surrounding. Three parameters are modeled by Gaussian and exponential distributions: color, size and distance of the reflection region. The final classification is made through a supervised training method of likelihood ratio test. The main novelty of the proposed method is the probabilistic approach in integrating various PET material signatures that are contaminated by stains under constant lighting changes. The system is evaluated by using four performance metrics: precision, recall, accuracy and error. Our system performed the best in all evaluation metrics compared to the benchmark methods. The system can be further improved by fusing all neighborhood information in decision making and by implementing the system in a graphics processing unit for faster processing speed.
  20. Kuan CS, Yee YH, See Too WC, Few LL
    PLoS One, 2014;9(12):e113485.
    PMID: 25490397 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113485
    Choline kinase is the most upstream enzyme in the CDP-choline pathway. It catalyzes the phosphorylation of choline to phosphorylcholine in the presence of ATP and Mg2+ during the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine, the major phospholipid in eukaryotic cell membranes. In humans, choline kinase (CK) is encoded by two separate genes, ckα and ckβ, which produce three isoforms, CKα1, CKα2, and CKβ. Previous studies have associated ckβ with muscle development; however, the molecular mechanism underlying the transcriptional regulation of ckβ has never been elucidated.
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