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1.  Histological Features of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Wild Indonesian Shortfin Eel, Anguilla bicolor bicolor (McClelland, 1844), Captured in Peninsular Malaysia 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:312670.
This study was conducted to record the histological features of the gastrointestinal tract of wild Indonesian shortfin eel, Anguilla bicolor bicolor (McClelland, 1844), captured in Peninsular Malaysia. The gastrointestinal tract was segmented into the oesophagus, stomach, and intestine. Then, the oesophagus was divided into five (first to fifth), the stomach into two (cardiac and pyloric), and the intestine into four segments (anterior, intermediate, posterior, and rectum) for histological examinations. The stomach had significantly taller villi and thicker inner circular muscles compared to the intestine and oesophagus. The lamina propria was thickest in stomach, significantly when compared with oesophagus, but not with the intestine. However, the intestine showed significantly thicker outer longitudinal muscle while gastric glands were observed only in the stomach. The histological features were closely associated with the functions of the different segments of the gastrointestinal tract. In conclusion, the histological features of the gastrointestinal tract of A. b. bicolor are consistent with the feeding habit of a carnivorous fish.
PMCID: PMC4284934  PMID: 25587561
2.  Seropositivity of Dengue Antibodies during Pregnancy 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:436975.
Purpose. Malaysia a dengue endemic country with dengue infections in pregnancy on the rise. The present study was aimed at determining dengue seroprevalence (IgG or IgM) during pregnancy and its neonatal transmission in dengue seropositive women. Methods. Maternal with paired cord blood samples were tested for dengue antibodies (IgG and IgM) using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Maternal age, parity, occupation, ethnic group, and gestational age were recorded. Data on neonatal Apgar score and admissions to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) were analyzed. Results. Out of 358 women recruited, about 128 (35.8%) patients were seropositive. Twelve patients (3.4%) had recent infections (IgM positive) and another 116 women (32.4%) were with past infections (IgG positive). All babies born to seropositive mothers had positive IgG paired cord blood; however, no IgM seropositivity was observed. All neonates had good Apgar scores and did not require NICU admission. Conclusion. In this study, 35.8% pregnant women were found to be dengue seropositive. However, transplacental transfer of IgG antibodies had no detrimental effect on the neonatal outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4283258  PMID: 25587564
3.  Heritability and Genetic Advance among Chili Pepper Genotypes for Heat Tolerance and Morphophysiological Characteristics 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:308042.
High temperature tolerance is an important component of adaptation to arid and semiarid cropping environment in chili pepper. Two experiments were carried out to study the genetic variability among chili pepper for heat tolerance and morphophysiological traits and to estimate heritability and genetic advance expected from selection. There was a highly significant variation among the genotypes in response to high temperature (CMT), photosynthesis rate, plant height, disease incidence, fruit length, fruit weight, number of fruits, and yield per plant. At 5% selection intensity, high genetic advance as percent of the mean (>20%) was observed for CMT, photosynthesis rate, fruit length, fruit weight, number of fruits, and yield per plant. Similarly, high heritability (>60%) was also observed indicating the substantial effect of additive gene more than the environmental effect. Yield per plant showed strong to moderately positive correlations (r = 0.23–0.56) at phenotypic level while at genotypic level correlation coefficient ranged from 0.16 to 0.72 for CMT, plant height, fruit length, and number of fruits. Cluster analysis revealed eight groups and Group VIII recorded the highest CMT and yield. Group IV recorded 13 genotypes while Groups II, VII, and VIII recorded one each. The results showed that the availability of genetic variance could be useful for exploitation through selection for further breeding purposes.
PMCID: PMC4248334  PMID: 25478590
4.  Overexpression of MMP13 Is Associated with Clinical Outcomes and Poor Prognosis in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:897523.
Matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP13) plays a central role in the MMP activation cascade that enables degradation of the extracellular matrix and basement membranes, and it is identified as a potential driver in oral carcinogenesis. Therefore, this study aims to determine the copy number, mRNA, and protein expression of MMP13 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and to associate these expressions with clinicopathological parameters. Copy number, mRNA, and protein expression analysis of MMP13 were determined using real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry methods in OSCC samples. The correlations between MMP13 expressions and clinicopathological parameters were evaluated, and the significance of MMP13 as a prognostic factor was determined. Despite discrepancies between gene amplification and mRNA and protein overexpression rates, OSCC cases showed high amplification of MMP13 and overexpression of MMP13 at both mRNA and protein levels. High level of MMP13 protein expression showed a significant correlation with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.011) and tumor staging (P = 0.002). Multivariate Cox regression model analysis revealed that high level of mRNA and protein expression of MMP13 were significantly associated with poor prognosis (P < 0.050). Taken together, these observations indicate that the MMP13 protein overexpression could be considered as a prognostic marker of OSCC.
PMCID: PMC4226172  PMID: 25401159
5.  Analysis of Flavone C-Glycosides in the Leaves of Clinacanthus nutans (Burm. f.) Lindau by HPTLC and HPLC-UV/DAD 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:724267.
Clinacanthus nutans (family Acanthaceae) has been used for the treatment of inflammation and herpes viral infection. Currently, there has not been any report on the qualitative and quantitative determination of the chemical markers in the leaves of C. nutans. The C-glycosidic flavones such as shaftoside, isoorientin, orientin, isovitexin, and vitexin have been found to be major flavonoids in the leaves of this plant. Therefore, we had developed a two-step method using thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) for the rapid identification and quantification of the flavones C-glycosides in C. nutans leaves. The TLC separation of the chemical markers was achieved on silica gel 60 plate using ethyl acetate : formic acid : acetic acid : water (100 : 11 : 11 : 27 v/v/v/v) as the mobile phase. HPLC method was optimized and validated for the quantification of shaftoside, orientin, isovitexin, and vitexin and was shown to be linear in concentration range tested (0.4–200 μg/mL, r2 ≥ 0.996), precise (RSD ≤ 4.54%), and accurate (95–105%). The concentration of shaftoside, orientin, vitexin, and isovitexin in C. nutans leave samples was 2.55–17.43, 0.00–0.86, 0.00–2.01, and 0.00–0.91 mmol/g, respectively.
PMCID: PMC4227456  PMID: 25405231
6.  Influence of Conventional and Ultrasonic-Assisted Extraction on Phenolic Contents, Betacyanin Contents, and Antioxidant Capacity of Red Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:964731.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of extraction methods on antioxidant capacities of red dragon fruit peel and flesh. Antioxidant capacities were measured using ethylenebenzothiozoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) radical cation assay and ferric reducing antioxidant power assay (FRAP). Total phenolic content (TPC) was determined using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent while quantitative determination of total flavonoid content (TFC) was conducted using aluminium trichloride colorimetric method. Betacyanin content (BC) was measured by spectrophotometer. Red dragon fruit was extracted using conventional (CV) and ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UE) technique to determine the most efficient way of extracting its antioxidant components. Results indicated that UE increased TFC, reduced the extraction yield, BC, and TPC, but exhibited the strongest scavenging activity for the peel of red dragon fruit. In contrast, UE reduced BC, TFC, and scavenging activity but increased the yield for the flesh. Nonetheless, UE slightly increases TPC in flesh. Scavenging activity and reducing power were highly correlated with phenolic and flavonoid compounds. Conversely, the scavenging activity and reducing power were weakly correlated with betacyanin content. This work gives scientific evidences for the consideration of the type of extraction techniques for the peel and flesh of red dragon fruit in applied research and food industry.
PMCID: PMC4212625  PMID: 25379555
7.  A New Sensors-Based Covert Channel on Android 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:969628.
Covert channels are not new in computing systems, and have been studied since their first definition four decades ago. New platforms invoke thorough investigations to assess their security. Now is the time for Android platform to analyze its security model, in particular the two key principles: process-isolation and the permissions system. Aside from all sorts of malware, one threat proved intractable by current protection solutions, that is, collusion attacks involving two applications communicating over covert channels. Still no universal solution can countermeasure this sort of attack unless the covert channels are known. This paper is an attempt to reveal a new covert channel, not only being specific to smartphones, but also exploiting an unusual resource as a vehicle to carry covert information: sensors data. Accelerometers generate signals that reflect user motions, and malware applications can apparently only read their data. However, if the vibration motor on the device is used properly, programmatically produced vibration patterns can encode stolen data and hence an application can cause discernible effects on acceleration data to be received and decoded by another application. Our evaluations confirmed a real threat where strings of tens of characters could be transmitted errorless if the throughput is reduced to around 2.5–5 bps. The proposed covert channel is very stealthy as no unusual permissions are required and there is no explicit communication between the colluding applications.
PMCID: PMC4177823  PMID: 25295311
8.  Short-Term Effect of Vermicompost Application on Biological Properties of an Alkaline Soil with High Lime Content from Mediterranean Region of Turkey 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:395282.
This study was conducted to investigate direct short-term impact of vermicompost on some soil biological properties by monitoring changes after addition of vermicompost as compared to farmyard manure in an alkaline soil with high lime content from semiarid Mediterranean region of Turkey. For this purpose, mixtures of soil and organic fertilizers in different doses were incubated under greenhouse condition. Soil samples collected in regular intervals were analyzed for biological parameters including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activities, and total number of aerobic mesophilic bacteria. Even though soil dehydrogenase activity appeared to be dose-independent based on overall evaluation, organic amendments were found to elevate dehydrogenase activity when sampling periods are evaluated individually. β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline phosphatase activity, and aerobic mesophilic bacterial numbers in vermicompost treatments fluctuated but remained significantly above the control. A slight but statistically significant difference was detected between organic amendments in terms of urease activity. Vermicompost appeared to more significantly increase bacterial number in soil. Clearly, vermicompost has a potential to be used as an alternative to farmyard manure to improve and maintain soil biological activity in alkaline calcareous soils from the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Further studies are needed to assess its full potential for these soils.
PMCID: PMC4164805  PMID: 25254238
9.  An Application of a Hybrid MCDM Method for the Evaluation of Entrepreneurial Intensity among the SMEs: A Case Study 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:703650.
This study presents one of the first attempts to focus on critical success factors influencing the entrepreneurial intensity of Malaysian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as they attempt to expand internationally. The aim of this paper is to evaluate and prioritize the entrepreneurial intensity among the SMEs using multicriteria decision (MCDM) techniques. In this research FAHP is used for finding the weights of criteria and subcriteria. Then for the final ranking of the companies, VIKOR (in Serbian: VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje) method was used. Also, as an additional tool, TOPSIS technique, is used to see the differences of two methods applied over the same data. 5 main criteria and 14 subcriteria were developed and implemented in the real-world cases. As the results showed, two ranking methods provided different ranking. Furthermore, the final findings of the research based on VIKOR and TOPSIS indicated that the firms A3 and A4 received the first rank, respectively. In addition, the firm A4 was known as the most entrepreneurial company. This research has been done in the manufacturing sector, but it could be also extended to the service sector for measurement.
PMCID: PMC4147787  PMID: 25197707
10.  Runoff Potentiality of a Watershed through SCS and Functional Data Analysis Technique 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:379763.
Runoff potentiality of a watershed was assessed based on identifying curve number (CN), soil conservation service (SCS), and functional data analysis (FDA) techniques. Daily discrete rainfall data were collected from weather stations in the study area and analyzed through lowess method for smoothing curve. As runoff data represents a periodic pattern in each watershed, Fourier series was introduced to fit the smooth curve of eight watersheds. Seven terms of Fourier series were introduced for the watersheds 5 and 8, while 8 terms of Fourier series were used for the rest of the watersheds for the best fit of data. Bootstrapping smooth curve analysis reveals that watersheds 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 are with monthly mean runoffs of 29, 24, 22, 23, 26, and 27 mm, respectively, and these watersheds would likely contribute to surface runoff in the study area. The purpose of this study was to transform runoff data into a smooth curve for representing the surface runoff pattern and mean runoff of each watershed through statistical method. This study provides information of runoff potentiality of each watershed and also provides input data for hydrological modeling.
PMCID: PMC4135133  PMID: 25152911
11.  Application of Empirical Mode Decomposition with Local Linear Quantile Regression in Financial Time Series Forecasting 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:708918.
This paper mainly forecasts the daily closing price of stock markets. We propose a two-stage technique that combines the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) with nonparametric methods of local linear quantile (LLQ). We use the proposed technique, EMD-LLQ, to forecast two stock index time series. Detailed experiments are implemented for the proposed method, in which EMD-LPQ, EMD, and Holt-Winter methods are compared. The proposed EMD-LPQ model is determined to be superior to the EMD and Holt-Winter methods in predicting the stock closing prices.
PMCID: PMC4130315  PMID: 25140343
12.  Null Steering of Adaptive Beamforming Using Linear Constraint Minimum Variance Assisted by Particle Swarm Optimization, Dynamic Mutated Artificial Immune System, and Gravitational Search Algorithm 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:724639.
Linear constraint minimum variance (LCMV) is one of the adaptive beamforming techniques that is commonly applied to cancel interfering signals and steer or produce a strong beam to the desired signal through its computed weight vectors. However, weights computed by LCMV usually are not able to form the radiation beam towards the target user precisely and not good enough to reduce the interference by placing null at the interference sources. It is difficult to improve and optimize the LCMV beamforming technique through conventional empirical approach. To provide a solution to this problem, artificial intelligence (AI) technique is explored in order to enhance the LCMV beamforming ability. In this paper, particle swarm optimization (PSO), dynamic mutated artificial immune system (DM-AIS), and gravitational search algorithm (GSA) are incorporated into the existing LCMV technique in order to improve the weights of LCMV. The simulation result demonstrates that received signal to interference and noise ratio (SINR) of target user can be significantly improved by the integration of PSO, DM-AIS, and GSA in LCMV through the suppression of interference in undesired direction. Furthermore, the proposed GSA can be applied as a more effective technique in LCMV beamforming optimization as compared to the PSO technique. The algorithms were implemented using Matlab program.
PMCID: PMC4132335  PMID: 25147859
13.  A Novel User Classification Method for Femtocell Network by Using Affinity Propagation Algorithm and Artificial Neural Network 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:253787.
An artificial neural network (ANN) and affinity propagation (AP) algorithm based user categorization technique is presented. The proposed algorithm is designed for closed access femtocell network. ANN is used for user classification process and AP algorithm is used to optimize the ANN training process. AP selects the best possible training samples for faster ANN training cycle. The users are distinguished by using the difference of received signal strength in a multielement femtocell device. A previously developed directive microstrip antenna is used to configure the femtocell device. Simulation results show that, for a particular house pattern, the categorization technique without AP algorithm takes 5 indoor users and 10 outdoor users to attain an error-free operation. While integrating AP algorithm with ANN, the system takes 60% less training samples reducing the training time up to 50%. This procedure makes the femtocell more effective for closed access operation.
PMCID: PMC4124218  PMID: 25133214
14.  Investigation of Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activity of Standardized Curcuma xanthorrhiza Rhizome in Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatic Damaged Rats 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:353128.
Curcuma xanthorrhiza (CX) has been used for centuries in traditional system of medicine to treat several diseases such as hepatitis, liver complaints, and diabetes. It has been consumed as food supplement and “jamu” as a remedy for hepatitis. Hence, CX was further explored for its potential as a functional food for liver related diseases. As such, initiative was taken to evaluate the antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of CX rhizome. Antioxidant activity of the standardized CX fractions was determined using in vitro assays. Hepatoprotective assay was conducted against carbon tetrachloride- (CCl4-) induced hepatic damage in rats at doses of 125, 250, and 500 mg/kg of hexane fraction. Highest antioxidant activity was found in hexane fraction. In the case of hepatoprotective activity, CX hexane fraction showed significant improvement in terms of a biochemical liver function, antioxidative liver enzymes, and lipid peroxidation activity. Good recovery was observed in the treated hepatic tissues histologically. Hence, the results concluded that CX hexane fraction possessed prominent hepatoprotective activities which might be due to its in vitro antioxidant activity. These findings also support the use of CX as a functional food for hepatitis remedy in traditional medicinal system.
PMCID: PMC4122155  PMID: 25133223
15.  Predicting the Use of Public Transportation: A Case Study from Putrajaya, Malaysia 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:784145.
Putrajaya is a new federal administrative capital of Malaysia which has been set to achieve a 70% share of all travels by public transport in the city area. However, the current modal split between the public transport and private transport is 15 : 85. In order to understand travelers' willingness to use the public transport, a conceptual model has been developed to determine the factors that affect them to use the public transport instead of travelling in their own cars. Various variables such as service quality, environmental impact, attitude, and behavior intention were analyzed and tested using structural equation model (SEM). Results indicate that the service quality and attitude are found to have positive effects on the behavioral intention of taking the public transport. Other than this, this study also shows that the service quality and environmental impact have some positive influences on the attitude to using the public transport. However, environmental impact has no significant, positive, and direct effect on behavioral intention. The results of this study demonstrate that the model that was developed is useful in predicting the public transport and it could provide a more complete understanding of behavioral intention towards public transport use.
PMCID: PMC4119717  PMID: 25110744
16.  Reconfigurable Ring Filter with Controllable Frequency Response 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:671369.
Reconfigurable ring filter based on single-side-access ring topology is presented. Using capacitive tuning elements, the electrical length of the ring can be manipulated to shift the nominal center frequency to a desired position. A synthesis is developed to determine the values of the capacitive elements. To show the advantage of the synthesis, it is applied to the reconfigurable filter design using RF lumped capacitors. The concept is further explored by introducing varactor-diodes to continuously tune the center frequency of the ring filter. For demonstration, two prototypes of reconfigurable ring filters are realized using microstrip technology, simulated, and measured to validate the proposed concept. The reconfigured filter using lumped elements is successfully reconfigured from 2 GHz to 984.4 MHz and miniaturized by 71% compared to the filter directly designed at the same reconfigured frequency, while, for the filter using varactor-diodes, the frequency is chosen from 1.10 GHz to 1.38 GHz spreading over 280 MHz frequency range. Both designs are found to be compact with acceptable insertion loss and high selectivity.
PMCID: PMC4121041  PMID: 25121132
17.  The Effect of Chloride and Sulfate Ions on the Adsorption of Cd2+ on Clay and Sandy Loam Egyptian Soils 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:806252.
Adsorption of Cd2+ on two types of Egyptian soils: clay (alluvial) and sandy loam (calcareous), was studied. Effect of changing the matrix electrolyte type and concentration was used to mimic the natural soil salts. Kinetics and thermodynamic parameters of the adsorption were calculated at two different electrolyte concentrations: 0.05 N and 0.15 N. The adsorption was described by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. Results showed that lower concentration of the NaCl or Na2SO4 electrolytes (0.05 N) had higher adsorption capacity. Also, the maximum adsorption of cadmium when using sulfate counter ion is about two to three times higher than that when using chloride (544 μg/g for alluvial soil and 170 μg/g for calcareous soil when using 0.05 N). Using NaCl as matrix electrolyte, Freundlich isotherms showed bi-linear fits that probably mean a two energy level adsorption. This might be explained by either the competition of Cd2+ with Na+ or its complexation with Cl−.
PMCID: PMC3996865  PMID: 24982998
18.  Dynamic Resource Allocation in Hybrid Access Femtocell Network 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:539720.
Intercell interference is one of the most challenging issues in femtocell deployment under the coverage of existing macrocell. Allocation of resources between femtocell and macrocell is essential to counter the effects of interference in dense femtocell networks. Advances in resource management strategies have improved the control mechanism for interference reduction at lower node density, but most of them are ineffective at higher node density. In this paper, a dynamic resource allocation management algorithm (DRAMA) for spectrum shared hybrid access OFDMA femtocell network is proposed. To reduce the macro-femto-tier interference and to improve the quality of service, the proposed algorithm features a dynamic resource allocation scheme by controlling them both centrally and locally. The proposed scheme focuses on Femtocell Access Point (FAP) owners' satisfaction and allows maximum utilization of available resources based on congestion in the network. A simulation environment is developed to study the quantitative performance of DRAMA in hybrid access-control femtocell network and compare it to closed and open access mechanisms. The performance analysis shows that higher number of random users gets connected to the FAP without compromising FAP owners' satisfaction allowing the macrocell to offload a large number of users in a dense heterogeneous network.
PMCID: PMC3980787  PMID: 24782662
19.  Role of Accumulated Calcium in Alleviating Aluminum Injury in Wheat Plants 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:457187.
Aluminum (Al) sensitive wheat cultivar kalyansona was grown for 14 d in a range of Ca solution (125, 625, and 2500 μM) plus other nutrients without Al. At 14 d after Ca treatment, half of these plants were harvested (H1), and the rest of the plants were exposed to 100 μM Al for additional 6 d and harvested (H2). Severe Al injury was found only in the plants with the lowest supply of Ca before Al treatment. Aluminum concentration in the apoplastic fluid was very high at 125 μM Ca probably because the plasma membrane of some of the cells was destroyed due to the attack of 100 μM Al. Aluminum content in roots decreased with increasing supply of Ca before Al treatment. Calcium content decreased drastically at harvest (H2) in the plants with 100 μM Al. Under Al stress conditions, the plant responded to Al in different ways due to not only the different Ca supply but also the variation of Ca content in the plant tissues. Actually, the plants having the largest Ca content in the roots before Al treatment can receive less Al injury during Al treatment. To substantiate this idea, a companion study was conducted to investigate the effects of 2500 μM Ca supply during, before, and after 100 μM Al treatment on root growth. The results indicated clearly that exogenous Ca supply before Al treatment is able to alleviate Al injury but less effective than Ca supply during Al treatment.
PMCID: PMC3950975  PMID: 24701169
20.  SEM-PLS Analysis of Inhibiting Factors of Cost Performance for Large Construction Projects in Malaysia: Perspective of Clients and Consultants 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:165158.
This study uncovered inhibiting factors to cost performance in large construction projects of Malaysia. Questionnaire survey was conducted among clients and consultants involved in large construction projects. In the questionnaire, a total of 35 inhibiting factors grouped in 7 categories were presented to the respondents for rating significant level of each factor. A total of 300 questionnaire forms were distributed. Only 144 completed sets were received and analysed using advanced multivariate statistical software of Structural Equation Modelling (SmartPLS v2). The analysis involved three iteration processes where several of the factors were deleted in order to make the model acceptable. The result of the analysis found that R2 value of the model is 0.422 which indicates that the developed model has a substantial impact on cost performance. Based on the final form of the model, contractor's site management category is the most prominent in exhibiting effect on cost performance of large construction projects. This finding is validated using advanced techniques of power analysis. This vigorous multivariate analysis has explicitly found the significant category which consists of several causative factors to poor cost performance in large construction projects. This will benefit all parties involved in construction projects for controlling cost overrun.
PMCID: PMC3947800  PMID: 24693227
21.  Binary Effect of Fly Ash and Palm Oil Fuel Ash on Heat of Hydration Aerated Concrete 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:461241.
The binary effect of pulverized fuel ash (PFA) and palm oil fuel ash (POFA) on heat of hydration of aerated concrete was studied. Three aerated concrete mixes were prepared, namely, concrete containing 100% ordinary Portland cement (control sample or Type I), binary concrete made from 50% POFA (Type II), and ternary concrete containing 30% POFA and 20% PFA (Type III). It is found that the temperature increases due to heat of hydration through all the concrete specimens especially in the control sample. However, the total temperature rises caused by the heat of hydration through both of the new binary and ternary concrete were significantly lower than the control sample. The obtained results reveal that the replacement of Portland cement with binary and ternary materials is beneficial, particularly for mass concrete where thermal cracking due to extreme heat rise is of great concern.
PMCID: PMC3947702  PMID: 24696646
22.  Functional Characterization of Sesquiterpene Synthase from Polygonum minus 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:840592.
Polygonum minus is an aromatic plant, which contains high abundance of terpenoids, especially the sesquiterpenes C15H24. Sesquiterpenes were believed to contribute to the many useful biological properties in plants. This study aimed to functionally characterize a full length sesquiterpene synthase gene from P. minus. P. minus sesquiterpene synthase (PmSTS) has a complete open reading frame (ORF) of 1689 base pairs encoding a 562 amino acid protein. Similar to other sesquiterpene synthases, PmSTS has two large domains: the N-terminal domain and the C-terminal metal-binding domain. It also consists of three conserved motifs: the DDXXD, NSE/DTE, and RXR. A three-dimensional protein model for PmSTS built clearly distinguished the two main domains, where conserved motifs were highlighted. We also constructed a phylogenetic tree, which showed that PmSTS belongs to the angiosperm sesquiterpene synthase subfamily Tps-a. To examine the function of PmSTS, we expressed this gene in Arabidopsis thaliana. Two transgenic lines, designated as OE3 and OE7, were further characterized, both molecularly and functionally. The transgenic plants demonstrated smaller basal rosette leaves, shorter and fewer flowering stems, and fewer seeds compared to wild type plants. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the transgenic plants showed that PmSTS was responsible for the production of β-sesquiphellandrene.
PMCID: PMC3942395  PMID: 24678279
23.  Protective Effect of Hesperetin and Naringenin against Apoptosis in Ischemia/Reperfusion-Induced Retinal Injury in Rats 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:797824.
Purpose. Hesperetin and naringenin are naturally common flavonoids reported to have antioxidative effects. This study was performed to investigate whether either hesperetin or naringenin has a protective effect against apoptosis on retinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Methods. Retinal I/R was induced by increasing the intraocular pressure to 150 mmHg for 60 minutes. Thirty-three male Wistar albino rats were randomised into 5 groups named control, I/R + sham, I/R + solvent (DMSO), I/R + hesperetin, and I/R + naringenin. Animals were given either hesperetin, naringenin, or the solvent intraperitoneally immediately following reperfusion. Thickness of retinal layers and retinal cell apoptosis were detected by histological analysis, tunel assay, and immunohistochemistry assay. Results. Hesperetin and naringenin attenuated the I/R-induced apoptosis of retinal cells in the inner and outer nuclear cells of the rat retina. Retinal layer thickness of the naringenin treatment group was significantly thicker than that of the hesperetin, sham, and solvent groups (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Hesperetin and naringenin can prevent harmful effects induced by I/R injury in the rat retina by inhibiting apoptosis of retinal cells, which suggests that those flavanones have a therapeutic potential for the protection of ocular ischemic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3925573  PMID: 24616645
24.  Successful External Cephalic Version: Factors Predicting Vaginal Birth 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:860107.
Purpose. To determine the maternal and fetal outcomes of successful external cephalic version (ECV) as well as factors predicting vaginal birth. Methods. The ECV data over a period of three years at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) between 1 September 2008 and 30 September 2010 was reviewed. Sixty-seven patients who had successful ECV were studied and reviewed for maternal, fetal, and labour outcomes. The control group comprised patients with cephalic singletons of matching parity who delivered following the index cases. Results. The mean gestational age at ECV was 263 ± 6.52 days (37.5 weeks ± 6.52 days). Spontaneous labour and transient cardiotocographic (CTG) changes were the commonest early adverse effects following ECV. The reversion rate was 7.46%. The mean gestational age at delivery of the two groups was significantly different (P = 0.000) with 277.9 ± 8.91 days and 269.9 ± 9.68 days in the study group and control groups, respectively. The study group needed significantly more inductions of labour. They required more operative deliveries, had more blood loss at delivery, a higher incidence of meconium-stained liquor, and more cord around the neck. Previous flexed breeches had a threefold increase in caesarean section rate compared to previous extended breeches (44.1% versus 15.2%, P = 0.010). On the contrary, an amniotic fluid index (AFI) of 13 or more is significantly associated with a higher rate of vaginal birth (86.8% versus 48.3%, P = 0.001). Conclusions. Patients with successful ECV were at higher risk of carrying the pregnancy beyond 40 weeks and needing induction of labour, with a higher rate of caesarean section and higher rates of obstetrics complications. Extended breech and AFI 13 or more were significantly more likely to deliver vaginally postsuccessful ECV. This additional information may be useful to caution a patient with breech that ECV does not bring them to behave exactly like a normal cephalic, so that they have more realistic expectations. However, these predictive factors needed further confirmation and hopefully, in the future, they would be able to further enhance counselling prior to ECV.
PMCID: PMC3919060  PMID: 24587759
25.  Natural Organic Matter Removal and Fouling in a Low Pressure Hybrid Membrane Systems 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:893203.
The objective of this study was to investigate powdered activated carbon (PAC) contribution to natural organic matter (NOM) removal by a submerged MF and UF hybrid systems. It was found that filtration of surface waters by a bare MF and UF membranes removed negligible TOC; by contrast, significant amounts of TOC were removed when daily added PAC particles were predeposited on the membrane surfaces. These results support the assumption that the membranes surface properties and PAC layer structure might have considerably influential factor on NOM removal. Moreover, it was concluded that the dominant removal mechanism of hybrid membrane system is adsorption of NOM within PAC layer rather than size exclusion of NOM by both of membrane pores. Transmembrane pressure (TMP) increases with PAC membrane systems support the view that PAC adsorption pretreatment will not prevent the development of membrane pressure; on the contrary, PAC particles themselves caused membrane fouling by blocking the entrance of pores of MF and UF membranes. Although all three source waters have similar HPI content, it appears that the PAC interaction with the entrance of membrane pores was responsible for offsetting the NOM fractional effects on membrane fouling for these source waters.
PMCID: PMC3910388  PMID: 24523651

Results 1-25 (45)