Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 1468 in total

  1. Liew SM, Khoo EM, Ho BK, Lee YK, Omar M, Ayadurai V, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0157631.
    PMID: 27336440 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157631
    BACKGROUND: The increasing incidence and geographical distribution of dengue has had significant impact on global healthcare services and resources. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with dengue-related mortality in a cohort of Malaysian patients.

    METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients in the Malaysian National Dengue Registry of 2013. The outcome measure was dengue-related mortality. Associations between sociodemographic and clinical variables with the outcome were analysed using multivariate analysis.

    RESULTS: There were 43 347 cases of which 13081 were serologically confirmed. The mean age was 30.0 years (SD 15.7); 60.2% were male. The incidence of dengue increased towards the later part of the calendar year. There were 92 probable dengue mortalities, of which 41 were serologically confirmed. Multivariate analysis in those with positive serology showed that increasing age (OR 1.03; CI:1.01-1.05), persistent vomiting (OR 13.34; CI: 1.92-92.95), bleeding (OR 5.84; CI 2.17-15.70) and severe plasma leakage (OR 66.68; CI: 9.13-487.23) were associated with mortality. Factors associated with probable dengue mortality were increasing age (OR 1.04; CI:1.03-1.06), female gender (OR 1.53; CI:1.01-2.33), nausea and/or vomiting (OR 1.80; CI:1.17-2.77), bleeding (OR 3.01; CI:1.29-7.04), lethargy and/or restlessness (OR 5.97; CI:2.26-15.78), severe plasma leakage (OR 14.72; CI:1.54-140.70), and shock (OR 1805.37; CI:125.44-25982.98), in the overall study population.

    CONCLUSIONS: Older persons and those with persistent vomiting, bleeding or severe plasma leakage, which were associated with mortality, at notification should be monitored closely and referred early if indicated. Doctors and primary care practitioners need to detect patients with dengue early before they develop these severe signs and symptoms.

  2. Cai Lian T, Bonn G, Si Han Y, Chin Choo Y, Chee Piau W
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0157730.
    PMID: 27332883 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157730
    Obesity and rates of non-communicable diseases linked to physical inactivity have increased dramatically in Malaysia over the past 20 years. Malaysia has also been identified as one of the least physically active countries in the world with over 60% of adults being essentially sedentary. This study examines the relationship of socio-demographic factors to physical activity among 770 adults from 3 Malaysian states. Physical activity levels were significantly related to ethnicity, gender, age, occupation and educational level. Controlling for inter-relationships among these variables; age, gender, Chinese ethnicity and education level were found to have unique effects on total physical activity, as well as moderate and vigorous exercise. As would be expected, younger people were more physically active, engaging more in both moderate and vigorous types of exercise and males were generally more active than females. Contrary to findings from many developed countries, however, more educated Malaysians were less likely to engage in all types of physical activity. Ethnic Chinese participants, and to a lesser degree Indians also consistently reported lower levels of activity. Possible intervention strategies are discussed that specifically target ethnic and cultural norms related to physical activity. Future research programs exploring barriers to participation and perceptions of physical activity, as well as programs to encourage active life styles among youths are also suggested.
  3. N Ahmed M, Abdullah AH, Kaiwartya O
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156885.
    PMID: 27285146 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156885
    Due to the continuous advancements in wireless communication in terms of quality of communication and affordability of the technology, the application area of Mobile Adhoc Networks (MANETs) significantly growing particularly in military and disaster management. Considering the sensitivity of the application areas, security in terms of detection of Denial of Service (DoS) and intrusion has become prime concern in research and development in the area. The security systems suggested in the past has state recognition problem where the system is not able to accurately identify the actual state of the network nodes due to the absence of clear definition of states of the nodes. In this context, this paper proposes a framework based on Finite State Machine (FSM) for denial of service and intrusion detection in MANETs. In particular, an Interruption Detection system for Adhoc On-demand Distance Vector (ID-AODV) protocol is presented based on finite state machine. The packet dropping and sequence number attacks are closely investigated and detection systems for both types of attacks are designed. The major functional modules of ID-AODV includes network monitoring system, finite state machine and attack detection model. Simulations are carried out in network simulator NS-2 to evaluate the performance of the proposed framework. A comparative evaluation of the performance is also performed with the state-of-the-art techniques: RIDAN and AODV. The performance evaluations attest the benefits of proposed framework in terms of providing better security for denial of service and intrusion detection attacks.
  4. Liew TS, Schilthuizen M
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0157069.
    PMID: 27280463 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157069
    Quantitative analysis of organismal form is an important component for almost every branch of biology. Although generally considered an easily-measurable structure, the quantification of gastropod shell form is still a challenge because many shells lack homologous structures and have a spiral form that is difficult to capture with linear measurements. In view of this, we adopt the idea of theoretical modelling of shell form, in which the shell form is the product of aperture ontogeny profiles in terms of aperture growth trajectory that is quantified as curvature and torsion, and of aperture form that is represented by size and shape. We develop a workflow for the analysis of shell forms based on the aperture ontogeny profile, starting from the procedure of data preparation (retopologising the shell model), via data acquisition (calculation of aperture growth trajectory, aperture form and ontogeny axis), and data presentation (qualitative comparison between shell forms) and ending with data analysis (quantitative comparison between shell forms). We evaluate our methods on representative shells of the genera Opisthostoma and Plectostoma, which exhibit great variability in shell form. The outcome suggests that our method is a robust, reproducible, and versatile approach for the analysis of shell form. Finally, we propose several potential applications of our methods in functional morphology, theoretical modelling, taxonomy, and evolutionary biology.
  5. Kuan CS, Ismail R, Kwan Z, Yew SM, Yeo SK, Chan CL, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156119.
    PMID: 27280438 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156119
    A yeast-like organism was isolated from the skin scraping sample of a stasis dermatitis patient in the Mycology Unit Department of Medical Microbiology, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The isolate produced no pigment and was not identifiable using chromogenic agar and API 20C AUX. The fungus was identified as Metschnikowia sp. strain UM 1034, which is close to that of Metschnikowia drosophilae based on ITS- and D1/D2 domain-based phylogenetic analysis. However, the physiology of the strain was not associated to M. drosophilae. This pathogen exhibited low sensitivity to all tested azoles, echinocandins, 5-flucytosine and amphotericin B. This study provided insight into Metschnikowia sp. strain UM 1034 phenotype profiles using a Biolog phenotypic microarray (PM). The isolate utilized 373 nutrients of 760 nutrient sources and could adapt to a broad range of osmotic and pH environments. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the isolation of Metschnikowia non-pulcherrima sp. from skin scraping, revealing this rare yeast species as a potential human pathogen that may be misidentified as Candida sp. using conventional methods. Metschnikowia sp. strain UM 1034 can survive in flexible and diverse environments with a generalist lifestyle.
  6. Abdul Manaf MR, Mustafa M, Abdul Rahman MR, Yusof KH, Abd Aziz NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156937.
    PMID: 27280529 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156937
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Mental health problems are common in old age, but frequently remain undetected and untreated. Mental health problems in the elderly are the result of a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of mental health problems (depression, anxiety, and emotional stress) and their associated factors among the Malay elderly in a rural community of Perak, Malaysia.

    METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study. The Malay elderly aged 60 years and above were selected through convenient sampling to give a total of 230 respondents. The Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) was used to assess the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Bivariate analyses were performed using chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the association between the factors and each of the mental health statuses assessed.

    RESULTS: The results showed that the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among the elderly respondents was 27.8%, 22.6%, and 8.7%, respectively. The significant factors for depression were single elderly (Adjusted OR = 3.27, 95%CI 1.66, 6.44), living with family (Adjusted OR = 4.98, 95%CI 2.05, 12.10), and poor general health status (Adjusted OR = 2.28, 95%CI 1.20, 4.36). Living with family was the only significant factor for anxiety (Adjusted OR = 2.68, 95%CI 1.09, 6.57). There was no significant factor for stress.

    CONCLUSIONS: Depression and anxiety among the Malay elderly in the rural community were very worrying. More equity in health should be created or strengthened in order to intensify the opportunity to identify, diagnose, and treat those with mental health problems. Living arrangement in the rural community was an important factor that had influenced depression and anxiety. Therefore, further research is recommended for more comprehensive information, as a result of which appropriate intervention can be made.

  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Fransen HP, Peeters PH, Beulens JW, Boer JM, de Wit GA, Onland-Moret NC, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0156609.
    PMID: 27244088 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156609
    BACKGROUND: A healthy diet is important for normal growth and development. Exposure to undernutrition during important developmental periods such as childhood and adolescence can have effects later in life. Inhabitants of the west of the Netherlands were exposed to severe undernutrition during the famine in the last winter of the second World War (1944-1945).

    OBJECTIVE: We investigated if exposure of women to the Dutch famine during childhood and adolescence was associated with an unhealthy lifestyle later in life.

    DESIGN: We studied 7,525 women from the Prospect-EPIC cohort, recruited in 1993-97 and aged 0-18 years during the Dutch famine. An individual famine score was calculated based on self-reported information about experience of hunger and weight loss. We investigated the association between famine exposure in early life and four lifestyle factors in adulthood: smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity level and a Mediterranean-style diet.

    RESULTS: Of the 7,525 included women, 46% were unexposed, 38% moderately exposed and 16% severely exposed to the Dutch famine. Moderately and severely exposed women were more often former or current smokers compared to women that did not suffer from the famine: adjusted prevalence ratio 1.10 (95% CI: 1.05; 1.14) and 1.18 (1.12; 1.25), respectively. They also smoked more pack years than unexposed women. Severely exposed women were more often physically inactive than unexposed women, adjusted prevalence ratio 1.32 (1.06; 1.64). Results did not differ between exposure age categories (0-9 and 10-17 years). We found no associations of famine exposure with alcohol consumption and no dose-dependent relations with diet.

    CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to famine early in female life may be associated with higher prevalence of smoking and physical inactivity later in life, but not with unhealthy diet and alcohol consumption.

  10. Tan T, Ong WS, Rajasekaran T, Nee Koo K, Chan LL, Poon D, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0156008.
    PMID: 27231951 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156008
    PURPOSE: Elderly cancer patients are at increased risk for malnutrition. We aim to identify comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) based clinical factors associated with increased nutritional risk and develop a clinical scoring system to identify nutritional risk in elderly cancer patients.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS: CGA data was collected from 249 Asian patients aged 70 years or older. Nutritional risk was assessed based on the Nutrition Screening Initiative (NSI) checklist. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied to assess the association between patient clinical factors together with domains within the CGA and moderate to high nutritional risk. Goodness of fit was assessed using Hosmer-Lemeshow test. Discrimination ability was assessed based on the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC). Internal validation was performed using simulated datasets via bootstrapping.

    RESULTS: Among the 249 patients, 184 (74%) had moderate to high nutritional risk. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified stage 3-4 disease (Odds Ratio [OR] 2.54; 95% CI, 1.14-5.69), ECOG performance status of 2-4 (OR 3.04; 95% CI, 1.57-5.88), presence of depression (OR 5.99; 95% CI, 1.99-18.02) and haemoglobin levels <12 g/dL (OR 3.00; 95% CI 1.54-5.84) as significant independent factors associated with moderate to high nutritional risk. The model achieved good calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow test's p = 0.17) and discrimination (AUC = 0.80). It retained good calibration and discrimination (bias-corrected AUC = 0.79) under internal validation.

    CONCLUSION: Having advanced stage of cancer, poor performance status, depression and anaemia were found to be predictors of moderate to high nutritional risk. Early identification of patients with these risk factors will allow for nutritional interventions that may improve treatment tolerance, quality of life and survival outcomes.

  11. Watanabe M, Roth TL, Bauer SJ, Lane A, Romick-Rosendale LE
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0156318.
    PMID: 27232336 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156318
    A variety of wildlife species maintained in captivity are susceptible to iron storage disease (ISD), or hemochromatosis, a disease resulting from the deposition of excess iron into insoluble iron clusters in soft tissue. Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is one of the rhinoceros species that has evolutionarily adapted to a low-iron diet and is susceptible to iron overload. Hemosiderosis is reported at necropsy in many African black and Sumatran rhinoceroses but only a small number of animals reportedly die from hemochromatosis. The underlying cause and reasons for differences in susceptibility to hemochromatosis within the taxon remains unclear. Although serum ferritin concentrations have been useful in monitoring the progression of ISD in many species, there is some question regarding their value in diagnosing hemochromatosis in the Sumatran rhino. To investigate the metabolic changes during the development of hemochromatosis and possibly increase our understanding of its progression and individual susceptibility differences, the serum metabolome from a Sumatran rhinoceros was investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics. The study involved samples from female rhinoceros at the Cincinnati Zoo (n = 3), including two animals that died from liver failure caused by ISD, and the Sungai Dusun Rhinoceros Conservation Centre in Peninsular Malaysia (n = 4). Principal component analysis was performed to visually and statistically compare the metabolic profiles of the healthy animals. The results indicated that significant differences were present between the animals at the zoo and the animals in the conservation center. A comparison of the 43 serum metabolomes of three zoo rhinoceros showed two distinct groupings, healthy (n = 30) and unhealthy (n = 13). A total of eighteen altered metabolites were identified in healthy versus unhealthy samples. Results strongly suggest that NMR-based metabolomics is a valuable tool for animal health monitoring and may provide insight into the progression of this and other insidious diseases.
  12. Ramanathan B, Poh CL, Kirk K, McBride WJ, Aaskov J, Grollo L
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0155900.
    PMID: 27223692 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155900
    Dengue virus (DENV) is a major public health threat worldwide. A key element in protection from dengue fever is the neutralising antibody response. Anti-dengue IgG purified from DENV-2 infected human sera showed reactivity against several peptides when evaluated by ELISA and epitope extraction techniques. A multi-step computational approach predicted six antigenic regions within the E protein of DENV-2 that concur with the 6 epitopes identified by the combined ELISA and epitope extraction approach. The selected peptides representing B-cell epitopes were attached to a known dengue T-helper epitope and evaluated for their vaccine potency. Immunization of mice revealed two novel synthetic vaccine constructs that elicited good humoral immune responses and produced cross-reactive neutralising antibodies against DENV-1, 2 and 3. The findings indicate new directions for epitope mapping and contribute towards the future development of multi-epitope based synthetic peptide vaccine.
  13. Abdul Majid H, Ramli L, Ying SP, Su TT, Jalaludin MY, Abdul Mohsein NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0155447.
    PMID: 27187889 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155447
    Optimal nutrition is essential for healthy growth during adolescence. This study aims to investigate the baseline nutritional intake of Malaysian adolescents by gender, body mass index, and places of residence, both urban and rural. A cohort study was conducted consisting of 794 adolescents (aged 13-years) attending 15 public secondary schools from the Central (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor) and Northern (Perak) Regions of Peninsular Malaysia. Qualified dietitians conducted a 7-day historical assessment of habitual food intakes. Facilitated by flipcharts and household measurement tools, detailed information on portion sizes and meal contents were recorded. Nutritionist Pro™ Diet Analysis software was also used to analyze the dietary records.The mean age of the adolescents was 12.86 ± 0.33 y; the mean energy intake was 1659.0 ± 329.6 kcal/d. Males had significantly (P < .001) higher energy intake than females (1774.0 ± 369.8 vs 1595.2 ± 320.6 kcal/d); adolescents in rural schools consumed more energy and cholesterol (P < .001) compared to adolescents in urban schools (1706.1 ± 377.7 kcal/d and 244.1 ± 100.2 mg/d, respectively). Obese adolescents in rural schools consumed more energy and sugar (1987.6 ± 374.0 kcal/d and 48.9 ± 23.0 g/d) (p-value <0.001).The dietary intake of normal weight versus obese adolescents differs by the location of their school. Thus, the implementation of a structured and tailored intervention is recommended to help minimize this nutritional inequality.
  14. 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.
  15. Kumar S, Ratnavelu K
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0157633.
    PMID: 27322645 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157633
    Scholars (n = 580) from 69 countries who had contributed articles in the field of Economics during the year 2015 participated in a survey that gauged their perceptions of various aspects of co-authorship, including its benefits, motivations, working relationships, order of authorship and association preferences. Among the main findings, significant differences emerged in the proportion of co-authored papers based on age, gender and number of years the researchers had spent in their present institution. Female scholars had a greater proportion of co-authored papers than male scholars. Respondents considered improved quality of paper, contribution of mutual expertise, and division of labor as the biggest benefits of and motivation for co-authorship. Contrary to common perceptions that Economics researchers used a predominantly alphabetical order of authorship, our study found that a considerable percentage of respondents (34.5%) had practiced an order of authorship based on the significance of the authors' contribution to the work. The relative importance of tasks differed significantly according to whether researchers co-authored as mentors or co-authored as colleagues. Lastly, researchers were found to associate, to varying degrees, with other researchers based on socio-academic parameters, such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, professional position and friendship. The study indicates that Economics authors perceive co-authorship as a rewarding endeavor. Nonetheless, the level of contribution and even the choice of association itself as a co-author depends to a great extent on the type of working relationship and socio-academic factors.
  16. Abram NK, MacMillan DC, Xofis P, Ancrenaz M, Tzanopoulos J, Ong R, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156481.
    PMID: 27276218 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156481
    Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) aims to avoid forest conversion to alternative land-uses through financial incentives. Oil-palm has high opportunity costs, which according to current literature questions the financial competitiveness of REDD+ in tropical lowlands. To understand this more, we undertook regional fine-scale and coarse-scale analyses (through carbon mapping and economic modelling) to assess the financial viability of REDD+ in safeguarding unprotected forest (30,173 ha) in the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain in Malaysian Borneo. Results estimate 4.7 million metric tons of carbon (MgC) in unprotected forest, with 64% allocated for oil-palm cultivations. Through fine-scale mapping and carbon accounting, we demonstrated that REDD+ can outcompete oil-palm in regions with low suitability, with low carbon prices and low carbon stock. In areas with medium oil-palm suitability, REDD+ could outcompete oil palm in areas with: very high carbon and lower carbon price; medium carbon price and average carbon stock; or, low carbon stock and high carbon price. Areas with high oil palm suitability, REDD+ could only outcompete with higher carbon price and higher carbon stock. In the coarse-scale model, oil-palm outcompeted REDD+ in all cases. For the fine-scale models at the landscape level, low carbon offset prices (US $3 MgCO2e) would enable REDD+ to outcompete oil-palm in 55% of the unprotected forests requiring US $27 million to secure these areas for 25 years. Higher carbon offset price (US $30 MgCO2e) would increase the competitiveness of REDD+ within the landscape but would still only capture between 69%-74% of the unprotected forest, requiring US $380-416 million in carbon financing. REDD+ has been identified as a strategy to mitigate climate change by many countries (including Malaysia). Although REDD+ in certain scenarios cannot outcompete oil palm, this research contributes to the global REDD+ debate by: highlighting REDD+ competitiveness in tropical floodplain landscapes; and, providing a robust approach for identifying and targeting limited REDD+ funds.
  17. Al-Nahari A, Mohamad MM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156670.
    PMID: 27258013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156670
    Decreasing the route rediscovery time process in reactive routing protocols is challenging in mobile ad hoc networks. Links between nodes are continuously established and broken because of the characteristics of the network. Finding multiple routes to increase the reliability is also important but requires a fast update, especially in high traffic load and high mobility where paths can be broken as well. The sender node keeps re-establishing path discovery to find new paths, which makes for long time delay. In this paper we propose an improved multipath routing protocol, called Receiver-based ad hoc on demand multipath routing protocol (RB-AOMDV), which takes advantage of the reliability of the state of the art ad hoc on demand multipath distance vector (AOMDV) protocol with less re-established discovery time. The receiver node assumes the role of discovering paths when finding data packets that have not been received after a period of time. Simulation results show the delay and delivery ratio performances are improved compared with AOMDV.
  18. Jaber AA, Khan AH, Syed Sulaiman SA, Ahmad N, Anaam MS
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156258.
    PMID: 27257990 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156258
    BACKGROUND: The health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of Tuberculosis (TB) patients is important because it directly influences the outcome of TB patients in several aspects. The current study aims to evaluate and to find the factors influencing the HRQoL of TB patients in two major TB-prevalent cities (Taiz and Alhodidah) in Yemen.

    METHODS: A prospective study was conducted, and all TB patients meeting the HRQoL criteria were asked to complete the HRQoL SF-36 survey. The records of TB patients were examined for disease confirmation, and a follow-up was consequently performed for patients during treatment between March 2013 and February 2014 in Taiz and Alhodidah Cities. HRQol scores were calculated by using QM scoring software version 4.5, in which the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) were obtained. The scores obtained between 47-53 normal based score (NBS) were considered equivalent to the US normal score. Low scores indicate the poor health situation of TB patients.

    RESULTS: A total of 243 TB patients enrolled in the study at the beginning of the treatment. A total of 235 and 197 TB patients completed the questionnaire at the end of the intensive phase (I.P.) and continuation phase (C.P.), respectively. The final dropout rate was 16.2%. The mean PCS and MCS scores at the beginning of treatment were low, thus showing the poor health situation of TB patients. The mean PCS scores at the beginning of treatment, end of I.P., and end of treatment were (36.1), (44.9), and (48), respectively. Moreover, the mean MCS score at the beginning of treatment, end of I.P., and end of treatment were (35.1), (42.2), and (44.3), respectively. The result shows that significant increases are observed at the end of I.P. for PCS and MCS because of the treatment and slight changes at the end of C.P. Despite this finding, the MCS score remains below the normal range (47), thus indicating a significant risk of depression among TB patients. Furthermore, general linear repeated measure ANOVA was performed for selected variables, to examine the changes of PCS and MCS over time. It was found that Alhodiah city, chewing khat habit, stigmatization, and duration of treatment more than six months were greatly associated with low mean MCS score of TB patient, indicating great risk of depression which may result in poor treatment outcome.

    CONCLUSION: TB patients in Yemen were found to have poor QoL, with a significant likelihood of depression. Highly risk depression was found among TB patients in Alhodiah city, khat chewers, stigmatization and having a duration of treatment more than 6 months. Therefore, additional efforts should be made to improve their QoL because it may affect the final clinical outcome of patients.

  19. Ng TL, Karim R, Tan YS, Teh HF, Danial AD, Ho LS, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156714.
    PMID: 27258536 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156714
    Interest in the medicinal properties of secondary metabolites of Boesenbergia rotunda (fingerroot ginger) has led to investigations into tissue culture of this plant. In this study, we profiled its primary and secondary metabolites, as well as hormones of embryogenic and non-embryogenic (dry and watery) callus and shoot base, Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry together with histological characterization. Metabolite profiling showed relatively higher levels of glutamine, arginine and lysine in embryogenic callus than in dry and watery calli, while shoot base tissue showed an intermediate level of primary metabolites. For the five secondary metabolites analyzed (ie. panduratin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin, cardamonin and alpinetin), shoot base had the highest concentrations, followed by watery, dry and embryogenic calli. Furthermore, intracellular auxin levels were found to decrease from dry to watery calli, followed by shoot base and finally embryogenic calli. Our morphological observations showed the presence of fibrils on the cell surface of embryogenic callus while diphenylboric acid 2-aminoethylester staining indicated the presence of flavonoids in both dry and embryogenic calli. Periodic acid-Schiff staining showed that shoot base and dry and embryogenic calli contained starch reserves while none were found in watery callus. This study identified several primary metabolites that could be used as markers of embryogenic cells in B. rotunda, while secondary metabolite analysis indicated that biosynthesis pathways of these important metabolites may not be active in callus and embryogenic tissue.
  20. Al-Medhwahi M, Hashim F, Ali BM, Sali A
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156880.
    PMID: 27257964 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156880
    The rapid expansion of wireless monitoring and surveillance applications in several domains reinforces the trend of exploiting emerging technologies such as the cognitive radio. However, these technologies have to adjust their working concepts to consider the common characteristics of conventional wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The cognitive radio sensor network (CRSN), still an immature technology, has to deal with new networks that might have different types of data, traffic patterns, or quality of service (QoS) requirements. In this paper, we design and model a new cognitive radio-based medium access control (MAC) algorithm dealing with the heterogeneous nature of the developed networks in terms of either the traffic pattern or the required QoS for the node applications. The proposed algorithm decreases the consumed power on several fronts, provides satisfactory levels of latency and spectrum utilization with efficient scheduling, and manages the radio resources for various traffic conditions. An intensive performance evaluation is conducted to study the impact of key parameters such as the channel idle time length, node density, and the number of available channels. The performance evaluation of the proposed algorithm shows a better performance than the comparable protocols. Moreover, the results manifest that the proposed algorithm is suitable for real time monitoring applications.
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