Ocular abnormalities have apparent effects on brain activation. However, neuroimaging data about the ocular characteristics of healthy participants are still lacking to be compared with data for patients with ocular pathology. The objective of this multiple participants’ functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies was to investigate the brain activation characteristics of healthy participants when they view stimuli of various shapes, pattern and size. During the fMRI scans, the participants view the growing ring, rotating wedge, flipping hour glass/bow tie, quadrant arc and full checker board stimuli. All stimuli have elements of black-and-white checkerboard pattern. Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) was used in generating brain activation via fixed-effects (FFX) and conjunction analyses. The stimuli of various shapes, pattern and size produce different brain activation with more activation concentrated in the left hemisphere. These results are supported by the conjunction analysis which indicated that the left pre-central, post-central, superior temporal and occipital gyrus as well as the left cingulate cortices were involved when the participants viewed each given stimulus. Differential activation analysis showed activation with high specificity in the occipital region due to the stimuli of various shapes, pattern and size. The activation in the right middle temporal gyrus was found to be significantly higher in response to moving stimuli as compared to stationary stimuli. This confi rms the involvement of the right middle temporal gyrus in the observation of movements. The black-and-white checkerboard stimuli of various shapes, pattern and size, stationary and moving was found to 1) activate visual as well as other cortices in temporal and parietal lobes, 2) cause asymmetry in brain function and 3) exhibit functional integration characteristics in several brain areas.
Keywords: fMRI; SPM; visual stimulus; occipital gyrus; middle temporal gyrus
Nowadays, Concurrent Engineering (CE) is becoming more important as companies compete in the worldwide market. Reduced time in product development process, higher product quality, lower cost in manufacturing process and fulfilment of customers’ requirements are the key factors to determine the success of a company. To produce excellent products, the concept of Concurrent Engineering must be implemented. Concurrent Engineering is a systematic approach which can be achieved when all design activities are integrated and executed in a parallel manner. The CE approach has radically changed the method used in product development process in many companies. Thus, this paper reviews the basic principles and tools of Concurrent Engineering and discusses how to employ them. Similarly, to ensure a product development process in the CE environment to run smoothly and efficiently, some modifications of the existing product development processes are proposed; these should start from market investigation to detail design.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of stimulus sweep direction on the fine structure of the 2f1-f2 distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE). It was hypothesised that the DPOAE fine structure could be shifted if the stimulus sweep changed from one direction to the other. In the present study, ascending, descending and random frequency sweeps were used, with f2 frequency varying between 992 Hz and 2496 Hz and f2/f1 fixed at 1.22. DPOAE fine structure was recorded at 16 Hz intervals. Screening, spontaneous otoacoustic emission (SOAE) and DPOAE measurements were carried out on 19 ears of 19 subjects aged between 22 and 30 years. Data from 14 ears that had at least one significant peak or valley in their DPOAE fine structure were included in the main analysis. Of these, five ears showed at least one occurrence of SOAE over the frequency span 600 Hz to 2500 Hz. Data for ears with and without SOAEs were grouped and analysed separately. The results showed no effect of sweep direction on DPOAE fine structure. No significant differences were observed in peak or valley frequencies, peak height or valley depth between the three stimulus sweep conditions (p > 0.05). There was also no significant effect of stimulus sweep direction on DPOAE level at the point at which SOAE frequency equalled DPOAE frequency (p > 0.05). In conclusion, the study found no effect of stimulus sweep direction on the fine structure of the 2f1-f2 DPOAE, either in ears with or without SOAEs. Therefore, future measurements of this fine structure may use either sweep direction.
This study was conducted to examine the variabilities in the chronology of vegetative and reproductive development of weedy rice (Oryza spp.) in comparison with commercial varieties. Data at different growth stages of 14 weedy rice morphotypes and 4 commercial rice varieties were recorded and analysed. Plant height of all weedy rice morphotypes were observed to be significantly higher compared to the commercial varieties at every growth stages; increase in height was between 10–37 cm for weedy rice morphotype, for every 2 weeks. Initial tillering ability at 14 days after planting (DAP) was higher in weedy morphotypes, however all the commercial rice varieties produced significantly higher number of tillers throughout the rest of the vegetative phases. Correlation between plant height and tiller number detected that taller plants produce fewer tillers than shorter plants. Higher leaf area index (LAI) of all weedy morphotypes except PWR01 at early growth stages indicated the vigorous growth of the morphotypes. Weedy rice morphotypes showed a wide range of anthesis and maturity duration. Accessions from the same weedy rice morphotypes were more heterogeneous in the flowering, anthesis and maturity period than the commercial varieties. These traits enables identification of weedy rice morphotypes at their different growth stages in the field.
A 2.4 GHz variable-gain low noise amplifier (VGLNA) intended for use in a Wide-band Code Division
Multiple Access receiver was designed in 0.18 um CMOS process for low voltage and low power applications. Rivaling classical designs using voltage mode approach, this design used the current mode approach, utilizing the current mirror principle to obtain a controllable gain range from 8.26 dB to 16.95 dB with good input and output return losses. By varying the current through the widths of transistors and a bias resistor, the VGLNA was capable of exhibiting 8 dB gain tuning range without degrading the noise figure. Therefore, higher gain was possible at lower current and thus at lower power consumption. Total power consumption simulated was 4.63 mW from a 1 V supply and this gave a gain/power quotient of 3.66 dB/mW. Comparing this with available published data, it was observed that this work demonstrated a good gain tuning range and the lowest noise figure with such power consumption.
Since the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in 1991, a fundamental question still remained on how to control morphologically the synthesis of CNTs. This task has always been a challenge. In this paper, we report the results that we have published previously with the aim of sharing the possible controlled synthesis approach via this novel production method. Findings demonstrated that various CNTs could be synthesized by using specially developed supported catalysts from the catalytic decomposition of methane. These synthesized CNTs include carbon nanofibres, single-walled and multi-walled CNTs, Y-junction CNTs and CNTs with special morphologies. It was also revealed that catalyst composition and reaction parameters played an important role in controlling the morphology and type of CNTs formed. The synthesis of CNTs with various morphologies is important because this can enrich the nanostructures of the carbon family. This finding also provides useful data for better understanding of the parameters that govern the growth mechanism of CNTs which may be required in the near future for enhanced controlled synthesis of CNTs.
Restrictive dietetic practices, rather than helping the patient, reduce his food intake and thereby impair recovery. This is a cruelty born-of erroneous notion passed on to us as a legacy from hakims and vaids (quakes), rather than having any scientific justification. Even if some doctors do not entertain such restrictions, the so called well-wishers of patients will definitely offer free advice and impose food restrictions upon their patients. Everybody has his own share of bitter experiences, horrific memories, and heart-rending stories of the past. The chain of death and destruction remains unbroken. The gloomy, dark sky is waiting for break of a new dawn gone into eclipse years before. The ongoing Indo- Pak peace process has already resulted in a number of confidence- building measures, but in spite of all that an average of five persons each day are being killed in terror-related incidents across the State. A tricky situation prevails in which militants and security forces are pitted against each other, converting the streets, the lanes and by-lanes, and human settlements in to a well-entrenched battle ground. Innocent Kashmir’s are dying, getting maimed, and suffering mental agony and the world is watching with a nonchalant indifference.
This paper presents investigations into the development of control schemes for end-point vibration
suppression and input tracking of a flexible manipulator. A constrained planar single-link flexible manipulator is considered and the dynamic model of the system is derived using the assumed mode method. To study the effectiveness of the controllers, a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) was initially developed for control of rigid body motion. This is then extended to incorporate a noncollocated PID controller and a feedforward controller based on input shaping techniques to control vibration (flexible motion) of the system. For feedforward controller, positive and modified specified negative amplitude (SNA) input shapers are proposed and designed based on the properties of the system. Results from the simulation of the manipulator responses with the controllers are presented in time and frequency domains. The performances of the control schemes are assessed in terms of level of vibration reduction, input tracking capability and time response specifications. Finally, a comparative assessment of the control techniques is presented and discussed.
This study is conducted to investigate the effect of different concentrations of betel leaves extract on color, pH and microbiological in homemade chili bo. The homemade chili bo with different concentrations (0 mg/ml, 0.75 mg/ml, 1.25 mg/ml and 1.75 mg/ml) of betel leaves extract were prepared for analysis. The results showed that the color of chili bo became darker as the concentration of betel leaves extract increased. The extract showed significant in the pH of chili bo after 7 days in which the highest concentration of extract showed the highest value of pH 4.31. The aerobic microbial count was decreased as the concentration of betel leaves extract increased in chili bo. After 7 days of storage, the highest concentration of betel leaves extract showed the highest percentage of reduction (6%), while the control sample showed 2.41% of aerobic reduction. The study also found that the extract contain lesser yeast and mold count (5.22 log CFU/ml) in homemade chili bo compared to the control sample (5.31 log CFU/ml) after 7 days. Betel leaves extract can be considered as natural food preservatives in chili bo to reduce the growth of spoilage microorganism and thus enhance the shelf life of chili bo.
In this research wok, three different techniques of change detection were used to detect changes in forest areas. One of the techniques used a local similarity measure approach to detect changes. This new approach of change detection technique, which used mutual information to measure the similarity between two multi-temporal images, was developed based on correspondence of the pixel values, rather than the difference in their intensity. Pixels suffering any changes will be maximally dissimilar. The study was conducted using multi-temporal SPOT 5 satellite images, with the resolution of 10 m x10 m on 5th August 2005 and 13th June 2007. The experimental results show that local mutual information provides more reliable results in detecting changes of the multitemporal images containing different lighting condition compared to the image differencing and NDVI technique, specifically in areas with less plant growth. In addition, it can also overcome the problem on selecting the threshold value. Besides, the findings of this study have also shown that band 3, which is sensitive to vegetation biomass, gave the best result in detecting area of changes compared to the others.
Heuristic Evaluation (HE) is used as a basis in developing a new technique to evaluate usability or
educational computer games known as Playability Heuristic Evaluation for Educational Computer Game (PHEG). PHEG was developed to identify usability problems that accommodate five heuristics, namely, interface, educational elements, content, playability and multimedia. In HE process, usability problems are rated based on severity score and this is followed by presentation of a mean value. The mean value is used to determine the level of usability problems; however, in some cases, this value may not accurate because it will ignore the most critical problems found in a specific part. In developing PHEG, a new quantitative approach was proposed in analyzing usability problems data. Numbers of sub-heuristics for each heuristic involved were taken into account in calculating percentage for each heuristic. Functions to calculate critical problems were also introduced. Evaluation for one educational game that was still in development process was conducted and the results showed that most of the critical problems were found in educational elements and content heuristics (57.14%), while the least usability problems were found in playability heuristic. In particular, the mean value in this analysis can be used as an indicator in identifying critical problems for educational computer games.
Natural radionuclides such as 210 Po and 210 Pb were analyzed in soft part of cockle (Anadara granosa) obtained from Kuala Selangor in the west coast Peninsular of Malaysia. The activity levels of both nuclides fluctuated within the size of cockles from 41.3 ± 2.5 Bq/kg to 114 ± 7 Bq/kg and 12.9 ± 1.7 Bq/kg to 96.8 ± 5.3 Bq/kg in dry weight (dwt) for 210 Po and 210 Pb, respectively. The level activity in wet weight (wwt) also varied from 8.60 ± 0.52 Bq/kg to 25.70 ± 1.63 Bq/kg and 2.47 ± 0.40 Bq/kg to 19.27 ± 1.05 Bq/kg for 210 Po and 210 Pb, respectively, probably related to the different of metabolic rate and growth of cockles. Activity ratio of 210 Po/ 210 Pb in dry weight also fluctuated from 0.93 to 6.41 with not related to the decay of 210 Pb.
Aquaculture is a growing industry with a great potential towards the contribution of the country’s total
fish requirement. Serious efforts have been done to develop and improve the production of fish by rearing high value fish in tanks or ponds. Under the Third National Agricultural Policy (1998-2010), the target is to annually produce 1.93 million tonnes of fish worth approximately RM8.3 billion by the year 2010. Consequently, the development of an automatic fish feeding machine can be very beneficial to the growth of the aquaculture industry. This device was developed to overcome labour problems in the industry and introduce a semi-automatic process in the aquaculture industry. It has the ability to dispense dried fish food in various forms such as pellets, sticks, tablets or granules into fish tanks or ponds in a controlled manner for a stipulated time. The automatic fish feeder is controlled by a digital timer and it is capable of feeding the fish in accordance with a pre-determined time schedule without the presence of an operator, and at a feeding rate of 250g/min. The feeder can be adjusted to the desired height and conveniently moved around to be positioned adjacent to the pond or tank. Meanwhile, its hopper can be covered and easily dissembled to change the size of the hopper to accommodate different capacities of feed. This automatic fish feeder can be implemented in aquaculture system to convenience to fish culturists.
This study explores the relationship between the total exports and total imports of the food industry in Sarawak from 1961 through 2007. We examined the sample period of the pre-1997 crisis (1961-1996) and the full sample period (1961-2007) to investigate disparities for pre-crisis sample. Analysis was carried out using standard econometric procedure and Dynamic OLS estimation for the annual observations of the two sample period. This study’s major findings are: (1) long run relationships were detected in the full sample period whereas they were absent in the pre-crisis period; (2) imbalances in food were found to be weakly sustainable for the full sample; (3) for every ringgit increase in imports, exports rose by RM0.803 for the full sample, revealing that imports grew at a rate faster than exports. This finding suggests that reducing the size of imports may improve imbalances in Sarawak’s food industry.
Ceramic of BaxSr1-xTiO3 (BST) for x =0.3; 0.5 and 0.7 were successfully deposited by solid solution method. The BST ceramic were analyzed by x-ray diffraction (XRD). The XRD spectra was recorded on a Philips type PW 3701 diffractometer using CuKD (Oco = 1.54056 Å) radiation at 30 KV and 30 mA (900 watt). The spectra shows that BST ceramic are polycrystalline with tetragonal structure. The lattice constants analysis of the grown ceramics was analyzed by visual basic program. Using Cohen’s and Cramer’s algorithms in visual basic program, , the lattice constants are a = b = 3.877 Å; c = 3.970 Å for Ba0.3Sr0.7TiO3 ceramic, a = b = 3.979 Å; c = 3.981 Å. for Ba0.5Sr0.5TiO3 ceramic and a = b = 3.965 Å; c = 4.005 Å for Ba0.7Sr0.3TiO3 ceramic, respectively. The reform value of the lattice constant of BST ceramic is possibly associated with the anti site defects of Ba and Sr.
Sports coaching and especially high performance coaching has long existed in some sort of duality. On one hand, sport coaching has been regarded by many as a prestigious and rewarding job, whereas on the other, sport coaching still lacks a reputation as a career opportunity mostly due to the fact that coaching is yet to receive its full professional recognition in the society. Given the vast variety of coaching qualifications, coaching roles and coaching occupations available within sport infrastructure in the society, the situation has got progressively complicated with the recognition of coaching qualifications. In addition, the growing popularity of high performance and participation sports in the society started drawing more attention from the public to the issues of coach education, competence and qualifications. Malaysian scenario on the issue is quite complicated as well, and growing demand to uplift the country’s performance in SEA, Asian, Commonwealth and Olympic Games requires interference from the higher education institutions and NGOs.
To describe a quick and simple diagnostic approach to monocular diplopia. Diplopia is a common visual complain in casualty departments, general practice clinics, neurologic clinics as well as ophthalmic clinics. Monocular diplopia, however, is uncommon. Many well established clinical examination methods are available to address diplopia. Some require special equipments which are not easily available or unfamiliar outside of ophthalmic clinic. We describe a simple two-minute diagnostic approach to monocular diplopia. Basic knowledge and understanding of simple clinical examination techniques enhances diagnostic skill and allow proper localization of underlying disorders.
Clubfoot is associated with leg length inequality, with the affected leg being shorter as a consequence of the hypoplasia. Early treatment of a minimally hypoplastic clubfoot usually allows catchup growth and both legs equalise in length after a few years. Late treatment however is associated with a shortening of the affected foot. A case is described where late treatment of a severe clubfoot is assocated with lengthening of the affected leg.