The effects of squid ink at concentration of 0.10 and 0.25% on the total bacteria count and
chemical spoilage indicator; total volatile basis nitrogen (TVBN) and trimethylamine (TMA)
of squid (Loligo duvauceli) were analysed. The analysis were performed at interval of 5 days
during 15 days of chilled storage (4°C). This studies also investigate the antioxidant capacity
of the squid ink. The melanin-free squid ink were subjected to ferric reducing power (FRAP)
and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) analysis. The FRAP values found in squid ink were
0.04±0.01 µmole TE g-1 meanwhile DPPH values were recorded at 0.81±0.00 µmole TE g-1.
The squid ink at both 0.10 and 0.25% concentration showed a significantly (p
Supercapacitors attract great interest among researchers as energy storage devices due to
their high power capability and long cycle life. In this research, the electrochemical performance
of electrical double layer capacitor (EDLC) based solid bio-polymer electrolyte
(SBE) was studied. SBE consists of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and ammonium nitrate
(NH4NO3) was prepared by solution casting technique. The electrical impedance spectroscopy
was used to verify the conductivity of SBE. The average conductivity was achieved
at ∼ 10−3 S/cm. This research aims to prepare SBE and apply in the fabrication of EDLC.
Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed the smooth and homogeneous surface of SBE
film without any phase separation, while irregular shape and sizes of particles was found
on the surface of electrode. Elemental identification results yielded that all corresponding
elements presence in the SBE and electrode. The EDLC performance was characterized
using galvanostatic charge-discharge at different constant currents. Charge-discharge studies
showed that long discharge time (90 minutes) within 11 cycle was observed at 2µA. The
highest specific capacitance of 1.8 F/g was discovered at 4µA. This study showed that EDLC
based SBE has a promising potential to be applied in low current applications.
We used the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate-H climate model with the A2 Special Report on Emissions Scenarios for the years 2050 and 2100 and CLIMEX software for projections to illustrate the potential impact of climate change on the spatial distributions of malaria in China, India, Indochina, Indonesia, and The Philippines based on climate variables such as temperature, moisture, heat, cold and dryness. The model was calibrated using data from several knowledge domains, including geographical distribution records. The areas in which malaria has currently been detected are consistent with those showing high values of the ecoclimatic index in the CLIMEX model. The match between prediction and reality was found to be high. More than 90% of the observed malaria distribution points were associated with the currently known suitable climate conditions. Climate suitability for malaria is projected to decrease in India, southern Myanmar, southern Thailand, eastern Borneo, and the region bordering Cambodia, Malaysia and the Indonesian islands, while it is expected to increase in southern and south-eastern China and Taiwan. The climatic models for Anopheles mosquitoes presented here should be useful for malaria control, monitoring, and management, particularly considering these future climate scenarios.
There has been, and is still, concern about the high elastic modulus of Ti alloys compared to bone. Any reduction in the Young's modulus value of the implant is expected to enhance stress redistribution to the adjacent bone tissues, minimize stress shielding and eventually prolong device lifetime. Dynamic Monte Carlo simulation is used to predict the gradual reduction in Young's modulus values between the bulk of Ti alloys and the modified surface layers due to Ca ion implantation. The simulation can be used as a screening step when applying new alloys and/or coatings.
Proteomics is the study of proteins, the workhorses of cells. Proteins can be subjected to various post-translational modifications, making them dynamic to external perturbation. Proteomics can be divided into four areas: sequence, structural, functional and interaction and expression proteomics. These different areas used different instrumentations and have different focuses. For example, sequence and structural proteomics mainly focus on elucidating a particular protein sequence and structure, respectively. Meanwhile, functional and interaction proteomics concentrate on protein function and interaction partners, whereas expression proteomics allows the cataloguing of total proteins in any given samples, hence providing a holistic overview of various proteins in a cell. The application of expression proteomics in cancer and crop research is detailed in this chapter. The general workflow of expression proteomics consisting the use of mass spectrometry instrumentation has also been described, and some examples of proteomics studies are also presented.
BACKGROUND: Malaysia, a South East Asian country, legally permits general medical practitioners in private clinics to dispense medicines. This possibly can dilute the pharmacist role in the provision of healthcare and pharmaceutical care and deprive patients to benefit from these services.
OBJECTIVE: This study explored, assessed and compared the current status of medicines labeling, patient's counseling, and symptomatic diagnosis by general practitioners and community pharmacists.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study used trained Simulated Patients (SP), who participated in a scenario of common cold symptoms at private clinics and community pharmacies. SPs explored medication labeling, patients counseling and symptomatic diagnosis undertaken by general practitioners and community pharmacists. Later, study authors assessed and compared these practices. The study was conducted during June 2011 in Penang, Malaysia.
RESULTS: The study used descriptive statistics and Fisher-exact test to analyze data. Regarding patients counseling standard, among 100 visits by simulated patients, 64 (64%) from community pharmacists provided information about the medicine name, its indication, dosage and route of administration versus 17 (42.5%) general practitioners during 40 visits (p=0.024). Concerning adherence to labeling standard, for instance, only in one pharmacy visit, (1%) the pharmacist wrote the name of the patient on the medication label versus in 32 (80%) of doctors' visits, the doctors adhered to this labeling standard (p<0.001). In all doctors' visits (n=40, 100%), SPs were asked about symptoms, whereas in 87 (87%) CPs' visits, pharmacists fulfilled this counseling standard (p=0.02).
CONCLUSION: Although pharmacists showed less compliance to medicine labeling and symptomatic diagnosis compared to doctors, their counseling of patients was better. Separation will definitely contribute to more concentration of each provider on his/her roles and improve and direct the experiences and skills towards being more patient oriented.
KEYWORDS: Common cold; Community pharmacists; Dispensing doctors; Dispensing separation; General medical practitioners; Malaysia; Medicine labelling; Patient’s counselling; Simulated patients
BACKGROUND: In Malaysia, doctors in private clinics (often called dispensing doctors) are permitted to dispense medicines. This potentially may compromise rational dispensing of medicines in general and antibiotics in particular.
AIM: This study explored, assessed and compared dispensing of antibiotics between Community Pharmacist (CP) and General Practitioners (GPs) regarding symptomatic diagnosis, antibiotic categories, adherence to therapeutic doses and promotion of generic antibiotics.
METHOD: The study used trained Simulated Patients (SPs), who used a scenario of common cold symptoms at GP private clinics and community pharmacies to observe and explore the practice of antibiotics dispensing. The study was conducted within the period of May to September 2011 in Penang, Malaysia. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square and Fisher's Exact Tests at alpha level of 0.05.
RESULTS: GPs dispensed more antibiotics than CPs (p= 0.001) for common cold symptoms. They dispensed more Amoxicillin (n = 14, 35%) than CPs (n = 11, 11%) (p < 0.001) and more Tetracycline (n = 3, 7.5%) while no CP dispensed this category (p = 0.022). On the other hand, CPs (n = 11, 11%) suggested brand antibiotics where as GPs dispensed only generic antibiotics (p < 0.001). Generally GPs comply better with the symptomatic diagnosis standard e.g. when asking SPs about the symptoms they had, all GPs (n = 40, 100%) complied better with this standard. Despite that, they dispensed more antibiotics (n = 26, 65%) than CPs (n = 29, 29%) (p = 0.001). GPs (n = 22, 55%) also are better than CPs (n = 16, 16%) in adherence to therapeutic doses (p< 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Findings showed poor adherence to rational dispensing of antibiotics by both providers. Although, GPs adhere better to symptomatic diagnosis and therapeutic dosing of antibiotics than CPs, they unnecessarily prescribe and dispense more antibiotics for Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms. Establishing prescription guidance and regulatory actions, especially for URTIs treatment, and separating of medication dispensing are seemed to be crucial steps for the reform.
KEYWORDS: Community pharmacists; Dispensing doctors; Dispensing separation; General practitioners; Simulated patients ligament
Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is widely used in maximum power point tracking (MPPT) of photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. Nevertheless, this technique suffers from two main problems in the case of partial shading conditions (PSCs). The first problem is that PSO is a time invariant optimization technique that cannot follow the dynamic global peak (GP) under time variant shading patterns (SPs) and sticks to the first GP that occurs at the beginning. This problem can be solved by dispersing the PSO particles using two new techniques introduced in this paper. The two new proposed PSO re-initialization techniques are to disperse the particles upon the SP changes and the other one is upon a predefined time (PDT). The second problem is regarding the high oscillations around steady state, which can be solved by using fuzzy logic controller (FLC) to fine-tune the output power and voltage from the PV system. The new contribution of this paper is the hybrid PSO-FLC with two PSO particles dispersing techniques that is able to solve the two previous mentioned problems effectively and improve the performance of the PV system in both normal and PSCs. A detailed list of comparisons between hybrid PSO-FLC and original PSO using the two proposed methodologies are achieved. The results prove the superior performance of hybrid PSO-FLC compared to PSO in terms of efficiency, accuracy, oscillations reduction around steady state and soft tuning of the GP tracked.
A modified smoothed particle hydrodynamic (MSPH) computational technique was utilized to simulate molten particle motion and infiltration speed on multi-scale analysis levels. The radial velocity and velocity gradient of molten alumina, iron infiltration in the TiC product and solidification rate, were predicted during centrifugal self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) simulation, which assisted the coating process by MSPH. The effects of particle size and temperature on infiltration and solidification of iron and alumina were mainly investigated. The obtained results were validated with experimental microstructure evidence. The simulation model successfully describes the magnitude of iron and alumina diffusion in a centrifugal thermite SHS and Ti + C hybrid reaction under centrifugal acceleration.
The mechanical behavior of the heart muscle tissues is the central problem in finite element simulation of the heart contraction, excitation propagation and development of an artificial heart. Nonlinear elastic and viscoelastic passive material properties of the left ventricular papillary muscle of a guinea pig heart were determined based on in-vitro precise uniaxial and relaxation tests. The nonlinear elastic behavior was modeled by a hypoelastic model and different hyperelastic strain energy functions such as Ogden and Mooney-Rivlin. Nonlinear least square fitting and constrained optimization were conducted under MATLAB and MSC.MARC in order to obtain the model material parameters. The experimental tensile data was used to get the nonlinear elastic mechanical behavior of the heart muscle. However, stress relaxation data was used to determine the relaxation behavior as well as viscosity of the tissues. Viscohyperelastic behavior was constructed by a multiplicative decomposition of a standard Ogden strain energy function, W, for instantaneous deformation and a relaxation function, R(t), in a Prony series form. The study reveals that hypoelastic and hyperelastic (Ogden) models fit the tissue mechanical behaviors well and can be safely used for heart mechanics simulation. Since the characteristic relaxation time (900 s) of heart muscle tissues is very large compared with the actual time of heart beating cycle (800 ms), the effect of viscosity can be reasonably ignored. The amount and type of experimental data has a strong effect on the Ogden parameters. The in vitro passive mechanical properties are good initial values to start running the biosimulation codes for heart mechanics. However, an optimization algorithm is developed, based on clinical intact heart measurements, to estimate and re-correct the material parameters in order to get the in vivo mechanical properties, needed for very accurate bio-simulation and for the development of new materials for the artificial heart.
Acute abdominal pain during pregnancy presents a dilemma as signs and symptoms are often modified. Abdominal massage by traditional birth attendants (TBAs') during early labour is a common practice in the rural population, as it is perceived to give a soothening effect to the labouring mother. Many instances of abruptio placentae were reported in the past by this procedure, and in this case, the clinical picture presented as an abruptio placenta. Malpresentation and failure to progress were the indications for caesarean section despite the fetal demise. Severe post partum haemorrhage and failure to contract despite massive oxytocics resulted in the hysterectomy of the gravid horn, leaving the other horn intact.
Biohydrogen production from dark fermentation of lignocellulosic materials represents a huge potential in terms of renewable energy exploitation. However, the low hydrogen yield is currently hindering its development on industrial scale. This study reviewed various technologies that have been investigated for enhancing dark fermentative biohydrogen production. The pre-treatment technologies can be classified based on their applications as inoculum or substrates pre-treatment or they can be categorised into physical, chemical, physicochemical and biological based on the techniques used. From the different technologies reviewed, heat and acid pre-treatments are the most commonly studied technologies for both substrates and inoculum pre-treatment. Nevertheless, these two technologies need not necessarily be the most suitable since across different studies, a wide array of other emerging techniques as well as combined technologies have yielded positive findings. To date, there exists no perfect technology for either inoculum or substrate pre-treatment. Although the aim of inoculum pre-treatment is to suppress H2-consumers and enrich H2-producers, many sporulating H2-consumers survive the pre-treatment while some non-spore H2-producers are inhibited. Besides, several inoculum pre-treatment techniques are not effective in the long run and repeated pre-treatment may be required for continuous suppression of H2-consumers and sustained biohydrogen production. Furthermore, many technologies employed for substrates pre-treatment may yield inhibitory compounds that can eventually decrease biohydrogen production. Consequently, much research needs to be done to find out the best technology for both substrates and inoculum pre-treatment while also taking into consideration the energetic, economic and technical feasibility of implementing such a process on an industrial scale.
Titanium carbide-graphite (TiC/C) composite was successfully synthesized from Ti and C starting elemental powders using self-propagating high-temperature synthesis technique in an ultra-high plasma inert medium in a single stage. The TiC was exposed to a high-temperature inert medium to allow recrystallization. The product was then characterized using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Rietveld refinement, nanoindentation, and micro-hardness to determine the product's properties. The recorded micro-hardness of the product was 3660 HV, which is a 14% enhancement and makes is comparable to TiC materials.
A parasitological survey of 16 pangolins, confiscated from the Department of Wildlife and Nature Park Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP) at Kelantan and Pulau Pinang, Malaysia was conducted in 2011. Amblyomma javanense (family: Ixodidae) was the only ectoparasite found on the pangolins. The prevalence, intensity and life cycle of A. javanense were observed together with the respective pangolins' age and sex. It was found that 68.8% of the pangolins were infected, and significant difference, χ(2)(1, N=16)=4.02, p=0.05 were observed with males higher in infestation (88.9%) as compared to the females (42.9%). However, the mean intensity was higher on females (72) as compared to males (31.6). In addition, significant difference, χ(2) (2, N=16)=6.73, p=0.05 was recorded between adults and juveniles with juveniles found to be 100% infected as compared to adult (63.6%). Nevertheless, the mean intensity was slightly higher on adults (47) than juveniles (35). Adult ticks were found in higher numbers as compared to the nymph and larvae with number of male ticks higher (236) as compared to the females (53). Similarly, a high significant difference χ(2)(2, N=469)=203.47, p=0.05 was recorded in the composition of the tick's life stages with a higher number of adult ticks (61.6%) followed by nymph (30.3%) and larvae (8.1%). As such, the results of this study revealed a picture of the A. javanense life cycle which is related to the age and gender of the Malayan Pangolin.
Hybrid tilapias (Oreochromis niloticus x O. mossambicus) were studied to determine gastric emptying and gastrointestinal transit time. The fish were divided into two groups. All fish were fasted for 12 h. The first experiment consisted of 11 fish fed with commercial food pellets and then administration of barium sulfate directly into the stomach using a blunt-end needle. Fish were then radiographed at different time intervals. The second experiment consisted of eight fish, which were given only barium sulfate after 12 h of fasting. In the first experiment, the stomach emptied completely, ranging from 4 to 15h postcontrast medium administration, whereas the gastrointestinal transit time ranged between 10 and 26 h. As for the second experiment, the contrast medium was still retained in the stomach in 50% of the fish after 24 h. The study did not proceed beyond 24 h as fish were considered stressed after this period of time. Thus, no data for the gastrointestinal transit time was obtained.
Fifty black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon from commercial cultivation ponds in Malaysia were examined by Tdt-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) fluorescence assay and agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA extracts for evidence of DNA fragmentation as an indicator of apoptosis. From these specimens, 30 were grossly normal and 20 showed gross signs of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection. Of the 30 grossly normal shrimp, 5 specimens were found to be positive for WSSV infection by normal histology and by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. All of the specimens showing gross signs of WSSV infection were positive for WSSV by normal histology, while 5 were positive by nested PCR only (indicating light infections) and 15 were positive by 1-step PCR (indicating heavy infections). Typical histological signs of WSSV infection included nuclear hypertrophy, chromatin condensation and margination. None of the 25 grossly normal shrimp negative for WSSV by 1-step PCR showed any signs of DNA fragmentation by TUNEL assay or agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA extracts. The 10 specimens that gave PCR-positive results for WSSV by nested PCR only (i.e., 5 grossly normal shrimp and 5 grossly positive for WSSV) gave mean counts of 16 +/- 8% TUNEL-positive cells, while the 25 specimens PCR positive by 1-step PCR gave mean counts of 40 +/- 7% TUNEL-positive cells. Thus, the number of TUNEL positive cells present in tissues increased with increasing severity of infection, as determined by gross signs of white spots on the cuticle, the number of intranuclear inclusions in histological sections, and results from single and nested PCR assays. DNA extracts of PCR-positive specimens tested by agarose gel electrophoresis showed indications of DNA fragmentation either as smears or as 200 bp ladders. Given that DNA fragmentation is generally considered to be a hallmark of apoptosis, the results suggested that apoptosis might be implicated in shrimp death caused by WSSV.
The objective of this research was to study the kinetics of synthesis of a commercially important ester - Isopropyl Palmitate (IPP) using immobilized lipase (Lipozyme IM). It was studied in a packed bed differential reactor. In order to establish the kinetics of the reaction, parameters such as linear velocity of the fluid through the reactor, particle size, substrate concentration, substrate molar ratio, temperature and water activity were studied. Operational and storage stability of the enzyme were also assessed. The reaction followed Michaelis-Menton kinetics as observed from the relationship of initial rate of the reaction as a function of substrate concentration. It was found that the optimum substrate concentration was 0.15M palmitic acid and isopropyl alcohol in 1:1 stoichiometric ratio. Inhibition by excess of isopropyl alcohol has been identified. The optimum temperature for the esterification reaction was found to be around 50 degrees C. The activation energy of this process was determined to be 43.67 kJ/mol. The optimum water content was 0.50%. The reaction rates were measured in the absence of any significant external diffusional limitations. Since internal diffusional limitations could not be eliminated, the kinetics observed is only apparent.