International Science Index

590
10008899
Life Cycle-Based Analysis of Meat Production: Ecosystem Impacts
Abstract:
Recently, meat production ecosystem impacts initiated many hot discussions and researchers, and it is a difficult implementation to reduce such impacts due to the demand of meat products. It calls for better management and control of ecosystem impacts from every aspects of meat production. This article analyzes the ecosystem impacts of meat production based on meat products life cycle. The analysis shows that considerable ecosystem impacts are caused by different meat production steps: initial establishment phase, animal raising, slaughterhouse processing, meat consumption, and wastes management. Based on this analysis, the impacts are summarized as: leading factor for biodiversity loss; water waste, land use waste and land degradation; greenhouse gases emissions; pollution to air, water, and soil; related major diseases. The article also provides a discussion on a solution-sustainable food system, which could help in reducing ecosystem impacts. The analysis method is based on the life cycle level, it provides a concept of the whole meat industry ecosystem impacts, and the analysis result could be useful to manage or control meat production ecosystem impacts from investor, producer and consumer sides.
Paper Detail
94
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589
10008914
Neuropalliative Care in Patients with Progressive Neurological Disease in Czech Republic: Study Protocol
Abstract:

Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.

Paper Detail
55
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588
10008921
Effects of Pressure and Temperature on the Extraction of Benzyl Isothiocyanate by Supercritical Fluids from Tropaeolum majus L. Leaves
Abstract:

Tropaeolum majus L. is a native plant to South and Central America, used since ancient times by our ancestors to combat different diseases. Glucotropaeolonin is one of its main components, which when hydrolyzed, forms benzyl isothiocyanate (BIT) that promotes cellular apoptosis (programmed cell death in cancer cells). Therefore, the present research aims to evaluate the effect of the pressure and temperature of BIT extraction by supercritical CO2 from Tropaeolum majus L. The extraction was carried out in a supercritical fluid extractor equipment Speed SFE BASIC Brand: Poly science, the leaves of Tropaeolum majus L. were ground for one hour and lyophilized until obtaining a humidity of 6%. The extraction with supercritical CO2 was carried out with pressures of 200 bar and 300 bar, temperatures of 50°C, 60°C and 70°C, obtained by the conjugation of these six treatments. BIT was identified by thin layer chromatography using 98% BIT as the standard, and as the mobile phase hexane: dichloromethane (4:2). Subsequently, BIT quantification was performed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The highest yield of oleoresin by supercritical CO2 extraction was obtained pressure 300 bar and temperature at 60°C; and the higher content of BIT at pressure 200 bar and 70°C for 30 minutes to obtain 113.615 ± 0.03 mg BIT/100 g dry matter was obtained.

Paper Detail
62
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587
10008938
Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Using a Combination of Images Processing and Brain Signals
Abstract:

Alzheimer's prevalence is on the rise, and the disease comes with problems like cessation of treatment, high cost of treatment, and the lack of early detection methods. The pathology of this disease causes the formation of protein deposits in the brain of patients called plaque amyloid. Generally, the diagnosis of this disease is done by performing tests such as a cerebrospinal fluid, CT scan, MRI, and spinal cord fluid testing, or mental testing tests and eye tracing tests. In this paper, we tried to use the Medial Temporal Atrophy (MTA) method and the Leave One Out (LOO) cycle to extract the statistical properties of the three Fz, Pz, and Cz channels of ERP signals for early diagnosis of this disease. In the process of CT scan images, the accuracy of the results is 81% for the healthy person and 88% for the severe patient. After the process of ERP signaling, the accuracy of the results for a healthy person in the delta band in the Cz channel is 81% and in the alpha band the Pz channel is 90%. In the results obtained from the signal processing, the results of the severe patient in the delta band of the Cz channel were 89% and in the alpha band Pz channel 92%.

Paper Detail
60
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586
10008964
Causes and Implications of Obesity in Urban School Going Children
Abstract:

Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.

Paper Detail
54
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585
10008975
The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Paper Detail
52
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584
10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

Paper Detail
50
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583
10009000
Replicating Brain’s Resting State Functional Connectivity Network Using a Multi-Factor Hub-Based Model
Abstract:
The brain’s functional connectivity while temporally non-stationary does express consistency at a macro spatial level. The study of stable resting state connectivity patterns hence provides opportunities for identification of diseases if such stability is severely perturbed. A mathematical model replicating the brain’s spatial connections will be useful for understanding brain’s representative geometry and complements the empirical model where it falls short. Empirical computations tend to involve large matrices and become infeasible with fine parcellation. However, the proposed analytical model has no such computational problems. To improve replicability, 92 subject data are obtained from two open sources. The proposed methodology, inspired by financial theory, uses multivariate regression to find relationships of every cortical region of interest (ROI) with some pre-identified hubs. These hubs acted as representatives for the entire cortical surface. A variance-covariance framework of all ROIs is then built based on these relationships to link up all the ROIs. The result is a high level of match between model and empirical correlations in the range of 0.59 to 0.66 after adjusting for sample size; an increase of almost forty percent. More significantly, the model framework provides an intuitive way to delineate between systemic drivers and idiosyncratic noise while reducing dimensions by more than 30 folds, hence, providing a way to conduct attribution analysis. Due to its analytical nature and simple structure, the model is useful as a standalone toolkit for network dependency analysis or as a module for other mathematical models.
Paper Detail
37
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582
10008750
Surveillance for African Swine Fever and Classical Swine Fever in Benue State, Nigeria
Abstract:
A serosurveillance study was conducted to detect the presence of antibodies to African swine fever virus (ASFV) and Classical swine fever virus in pigs sampled from piggeries and Makurdi central slaughter slab in Benue State, Nigeria. 416 pigs from 74 piggeries across 12 LGAs and 44 pigs at the Makurdi central slaughter slab were sampled for serum. The sera collected were analysed using Indirect Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test kit to test for antibodies to ASFV, while competitive ELISA test kit was used to test for antibodies to CSFV. Of the 416 pigs from piggeries and 44 pigs sampled from the slaughter slab, seven (1.7%) and six (13.6%), respectively, tested positive to ASFV antibodies and was significantly associated (p < 0.0001). Out of the 12 LGAs sampled, Obi LGA had the highest ASFV antibody detection rate of (4.8%) and was significantly associated (p < 0.0001). None of the samples tested positive to CSFV antibodies. The study concluded that antibodies to CSFV were absent in the sampled pigs in piggeries and at the Makurdi central slaughter slab in Benue State, while antibodies to ASFV were present in both locations; hence, the need to keep an eye open for CSF too since both diseases may pose great risk in the study area. Further studies to characterise the ASFV circulating in Benue State and investigate the possible sources is recommended. Routine surveillance to provide a comprehensive and readily accessible data base to plan for the prevention of any fulminating outbreak is also recommended.
Paper Detail
106
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581
10008625
Evaluation of the MCFLIRT Correction Algorithm in Head Motion from Resting State fMRI Data
Abstract:

In the last few years, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was widely used to investigate the architecture of brain networks by investigating the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent response. This technique represented an interesting, robust and reliable approach to compare pathologic and healthy subjects in order to investigate neurodegenerative diseases evolution. On the other hand, the elaboration of rs-fMRI data resulted to be very prone to noise due to confounding factors especially the head motion. Head motion has long been known to be a source of artefacts in task-based functional MRI studies, but it has become a particularly challenging problem in recent studies using rs-fMRI. The aim of this work was to evaluate in MS patients a well-known motion correction algorithm from the FMRIB's Software Library - MCFLIRT - that could be applied to minimize the head motion distortions, allowing to correctly interpret rs-fMRI results.

Paper Detail
143
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580
10008740
Quality of Life Assessment across the Cancer Continuum: Understanding the Role of an Exercise Rehabilitation Programme
Abstract:

The Quality of Life (QoL) paradigm is multidimensional, dynamic and modular and its definition differs across the cancer continuum. The challenge in the interpretation of QoL data in clinical research is that QoL is influenced by psychological phenomena such as adaptation to illness. This research aims to obtain a valid and sensitive assessment of QoL change over the continuum disease, and to evaluate a rehabilitation programme aimed at inverting the observed decrease in QoL when patients return to daily living activities. The sample comprised 66 men. Patients were first assessed to establish a baseline (P1-diagnosis). This was followed by a post-test (P2-discharge) and a then-test measurement (P3-retrospective evaluation) and after returning home patients were randomized in experimental and control groups. The experimental group attended a rehabilitation programme over 24 weeks (P4). Results show that from baseline to post-test, QoL decreased significantly. The recalibration then-test confirmed a low QoL in all periods evaluated. Significant differences between the experimental and control groups prove the positive effect of the Exercise Rehabilitation Programme (ERP) on QoL. Understanding the real dynamic of QoL over time would help to adapt rehabilitation programmes by improving sensitivity and efficacy and provide professionals with a more accurate perception of the impact of treatment and side effects on patients’ QoL. Our results underline the importance of changing the approach adopted by health professionals towards one of watchful waiting on patients’ QoL until their complete recovery in daily life.

Paper Detail
120
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579
10008865
Basic Research for Electroretinogram Moving the Center of the Multifocal Hexagonal Stimulus Array
Authors:
Abstract:

Many ophthalmologists can examine declines in visual sensitivity at arbitrary points on the retina using a precise perimetry device with a fundus camera function. However, the retinal layer causing the decline in visual sensitivity cannot be identified by this method. We studied an electroretinogram (ERG) function that can move the center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array in order to investigate cryptogenic diseases, such as macular dystrophy, acute zonal occult outer retinopathy, and multiple evanescent white dot syndrome. An electroretinographic optical system, specifically a perimetric optical system, was added to an experimental device carrying the same optical system as a fundus camera. We also added an infrared camera, a cold mirror, a halogen lamp, and a monitor. The software was generated to show the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array on the monitor using C++Builder XE8 and to move the center of the array up and down as well as back and forth. We used a multifunction I/O device and its design platform LabVIEW for data retrieval. The plate electrodes were used to measure electrodermal activities around the eyes. We used a multifocal hexagonal stimulus array with 37 elements in the software. The center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array could be adjusted to the same position as the examination target of the precise perimetry. We successfully added the moving ERG function to the experimental ophthalmologic device.

Paper Detail
57
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578
10008516
Similarity Solutions of Nonlinear Stretched Biomagnetic Flow and Heat Transfer with Signum Function and Temperature Power Law Geometries
Abstract:

Biomagnetic fluid dynamics is an interdisciplinary field comprising engineering, medicine, and biology. Bio fluid dynamics is directed towards finding and developing the solutions to some of the human body related diseases and disorders. This article describes the flow and heat transfer of two dimensional, steady, laminar, viscous and incompressible biomagnetic fluid over a non-linear stretching sheet in the presence of magnetic dipole. Our model is consistent with blood fluid namely biomagnetic fluid dynamics (BFD). This model based on the principles of ferrohydrodynamic (FHD). The temperature at the stretching surface is assumed to follow a power law variation, and stretching velocity is assumed to have a nonlinear form with signum function or sign function. The governing boundary layer equations with boundary conditions are simplified to couple higher order equations using usual transformations. Numerical solutions for the governing momentum and energy equations are obtained by efficient numerical techniques based on the common finite difference method with central differencing, on a tridiagonal matrix manipulation and on an iterative procedure. Computations are performed for a wide range of the governing parameters such as magnetic field parameter, power law exponent temperature parameter, and other involved parameters and the effect of these parameters on the velocity and temperature field is presented. It is observed that for different values of the magnetic parameter, the velocity distribution decreases while temperature distribution increases. Besides, the finite difference solutions results for skin-friction coefficient and rate of heat transfer are discussed. This study will have an important bearing on a high targeting efficiency, a high magnetic field is required in the targeted body compartment.

Paper Detail
117
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577
10008555
Design and Modeling of Human Middle Ear for Harmonic Response Analysis
Abstract:

The human middle ear (ME) is a delicate and vital organ. It has a complex structure that performs various functions such as receiving sound pressure and producing vibrations of eardrum and propagating it to inner ear. It consists of Tympanic Membrane (TM), three auditory ossicles, various ligament structures and muscles. Incidents such as traumata, infections, ossification of ossicular structures and other pathologies may damage the ME organs. The conditions can be surgically treated by employing prosthesis. However, the suitability of the prosthesis needs to be examined in advance prior to the surgery. Few decades ago, this issue was addressed and analyzed by developing an equivalent representation either in the form of spring mass system, electrical system using R-L-C circuit or developing an approximated CAD model. But, nowadays a three-dimensional ME model can be constructed using micro X-Ray Computed Tomography (μCT) scan data. Moreover, the concern about patient specific integrity pertaining to the disease can be examined well in advance. The current research work emphasizes to develop the ME model from the stacks of μCT images which are used as input file to MIMICS Research 19.0 (Materialise Interactive Medical Image Control System) software. A stack of CT images is converted into geometrical surface model to build accurate morphology of ME. The work is further extended to understand the dynamic behaviour of Harmonic response of the stapes footplate and umbo for different sound pressure levels applied at lateral side of eardrum using finite element approach. The pathological condition Cholesteatoma of ME is investigated to obtain peak to peak displacement of stapes footplate and umbo. Apart from this condition, other pathologies, mainly, changes in the stiffness of stapedial ligament, TM thickness and ossicular chain separation and fixation are also explored. The developed model of ME for pathologies is validated by comparing the results available in the literatures and also with the results of a normal ME to calculate the percentage loss in hearing capability.

Paper Detail
116
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576
10008834
Comparative Evaluation of Accuracy of Selected Machine Learning Classification Techniques for Diagnosis of Cancer: A Data Mining Approach
Abstract:
With recent trends in Big Data and advancements in Information and Communication Technologies, the healthcare industry is at the stage of its transition from clinician oriented to technology oriented. Many people around the world die of cancer because the diagnosis of disease was not done at an early stage. Nowadays, the computational methods in the form of Machine Learning (ML) are used to develop automated decision support systems that can diagnose cancer with high confidence in a timely manner. This paper aims to carry out the comparative evaluation of a selected set of ML classifiers on two existing datasets: breast cancer and cervical cancer. The ML classifiers compared in this study are Decision Tree (DT), Support Vector Machine (SVM), k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN), Logistic Regression, Ensemble (Bagged Tree) and Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). The evaluation is carried out based on standard evaluation metrics Precision (P), Recall (R), F1-score and Accuracy. The experimental results based on the evaluation metrics show that ANN showed the highest-level accuracy (99.4%) when tested with breast cancer dataset. On the other hand, when these ML classifiers are tested with the cervical cancer dataset, Ensemble (Bagged Tree) technique gave better accuracy (93.1%) in comparison to other classifiers.
Paper Detail
85
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575
10008619
Comparison of the Use of Vaccines or Drugs against Parasitic Diseases
Abstract:

The viewpoint towards the use of drugs or vaccines against avian parasitic diseases is one of the most striking challenges in avian medical parasitology. This includes many difficulties associated with drug resistance and in developing prophylactic vaccines. In many instances, the potential success of a vaccination in controlling parasitic diseases in poultry is well-documented. However, some medical, technical and financial limitations are still paramount. On the other hand, chemotherapy is not very well-recommended due to a number of medical limitations. But in the absence of an effective vaccine, drugs are used against parasitic diseases. This paper sheds light on some the advantages and disadvantages of using vaccination and drugs in controlling parasitic diseases in poultry species. The usage of chemotherapeutic drugs is discussed with some examples. Then, more light will be shed on using vaccines as a potentially effective and promising control tool.

Paper Detail
180
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574
10008797
Computational Study of Blood Flow Analysis for Coronary Artery Disease
Abstract:

The aim of this study is to estimate the effect of blood flow through the coronary artery in human heart so as to assess the coronary artery disease.Velocity, wall shear stress (WSS), strain rate and wall pressure distribution are some of the important hemodynamic parameters that are non-invasively assessed with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). These parameters are used to identify the mechanical factors responsible for the plaque progression and/or rupture in left coronary arteries (LCA) in coronary arteries.The initial step for CFD simulations was the construction of a geometrical model of the LCA. Patient specific artery model is constructed using computed tomography (CT) scan data with the help of MIMICS Research 19.0. For CFD analysis ANSYS FLUENT-14.5 is used.Hemodynamic parameters were quantified and flow patterns were visualized both in the absence and presence of coronary plaques. The wall pressure continuously decreased towards distal segments and showed pressure drops in stenotic segments. Areas of high WSS and high flow velocities were found adjacent to plaques deposition.

Paper Detail
107
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573
10008863
Identification of Disease Causing DNA Motifs in Human DNA Using Clustering Approach
Abstract:

Studying DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) sequence is useful in biological processes and it is applied in the fields such as diagnostic and forensic research. DNA is the hereditary information in human and almost all other organisms. It is passed to their generations. Earlier stage detection of defective DNA sequence may lead to many developments in the field of Bioinformatics. Nowadays various tedious techniques are used to identify defective DNA. The proposed work is to analyze and identify the cancer-causing DNA motif in a given sequence. Initially the human DNA sequence is separated as k-mers using k-mer separation rule. The separated k-mers are clustered using Self Organizing Map (SOM). Using Levenshtein distance measure, cancer associated DNA motif is identified from the k-mer clusters. Experimental results of this work indicate the presence or absence of cancer causing DNA motif. If the cancer associated DNA motif is found in DNA, it is declared as the cancer disease causing DNA sequence. Otherwise the input human DNA is declared as normal sequence. Finally, elapsed time is calculated for finding the presence of cancer causing DNA motif using clustering formation. It is compared with normal process of finding cancer causing DNA motif. Locating cancer associated motif is easier in cluster formation process than the other one. The proposed work will be an initiative aid for finding genetic disease related research.

Paper Detail
57
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572
10008509
Trabecular Bone Radiograph Characterization Using Fractal, Multifractal Analysis and SVM Classifier
Abstract:
Osteoporosis is a common disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of micro-architectural bone tissue, which provokes an increased risk of fracture. This work treats the texture characterization of trabecular bone radiographs. The aim was to analyze according to clinical research a group of 174 subjects: 87 osteoporotic patients (OP) with various bone fracture types and 87 control cases (CC). To characterize osteoporosis, Fractal and MultiFractal (MF) methods were applied to images for features (attributes) extraction. In order to improve the results, a new method of MF spectrum based on the q-stucture function calculation was proposed and a combination of Fractal and MF attributes was used. The Support Vector Machines (SVM) was applied as a classifier to distinguish between OP patients and CC subjects. The features fusion (fractal and MF) allowed a good discrimination between the two groups with an accuracy rate of 96.22%.
Paper Detail
123
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571
10008993
Evaluation of Food Safety Management Systems of Food Service Establishments within the Greater Accra Region
Abstract:

Food contaminated with biological, chemical and physical hazards usually leads to foodborne illnesses which in turn increase the disease burden of developing and developed economies. Restaurants play a key role in the food service industry and violations in application of standardized food safety management systems in these establishments have been associated with foodborne disease outbreaks. This study was undertaken to assess the level of compliance to the Code of practice that was developed and implemented after conducting needs assessment of the food safety management systems employed by the Food Service Establishments in Ghana. Data on pre-licence inspections were reviewed to assess the compliance of the Food Service Establishments. During the period under review (2012-2016), 74.52% of the food service facilities in the hospitality industry were in compliance with the FDA’s code of practice. Main violations observed during the study bordered on facility layout and fabrication (61.8%) and this is because these facilities may not have been built for use as a food service establishment. Another fact that came to the fore was that the redesigning of the facilities to bring them into compliance required capital intensive investments, which some establishments are not prepared for. Other challenges faced by the industry regarded issues on records and documentations, personnel facilities and hygiene, raw materials acquisition, storage and control, and cold storage.

Paper Detail
40
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570
10008259
An Improved C-Means Model for MRI Segmentation
Abstract:

Medical images are important to help identifying different diseases, for example, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to investigate the brain, spinal cord, bones, joints, breasts, blood vessels, and heart. Image segmentation, in medical image analysis, is usually the first step to find out some characteristics with similar color, intensity or texture so that the diagnosis could be further carried out based on these features. This paper introduces an improved C-means model to segment the MRI images. The model is based on information entropy to evaluate the segmentation results by achieving global optimization. Several contributions are significant. Firstly, Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used for achieving global optimization in this model where fuzzy C-means clustering algorithm (FCMA) is not capable of doing that. Secondly, the information entropy after segmentation is used for measuring the effectiveness of MRI image processing. Experimental results show the outperformance of the proposed model by comparing with traditional approaches.

Paper Detail
159
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569
10008326
Changing Patterns of Colorectal Cancer in Hail Region
Abstract:

Background and Objectives: Colorectal carcinoma is increasing among both men and women worldwide. It has a multifactorial etiology including genetic factors, environmental factors and inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract. A clinicopathologic assessment of colorectal carcinoma in Hail region is done, considering any changing patterns in two 5-year periods from 2005-2009 (A) and from 2012 to 2017 (B). All data had been retrieved from histopathology files of King Khalid Hospital, Hail. Results: During period (A), 75 cases were diagnosed as colorectal carcinoma. Male patients comprised 56/75 (74.7%) of the study, with a mean age of 58.4 (36-97), while females were 19/75 (25.3%) with a mean age of 50.3(30-85) and the difference was significant (p = 0.05). M:F ratio was 2.9:1. Most common histological type was adenocarcioma in 68/75 (90.7%) patients mostly well differentiated in 44/68 (64.7%). Mucinous neoplasms comprised only 7/75 (9.3%) of cases and tended to have a higher stage (p = 0.04). During period (B), 115 cases were diagnosed with an increase of 53.3% in number of cases than period (A). Male to female ratio also decreased to 1.35:1, females being 44.83% more affected. Adenocarcinoma remained the prevalent type (93.9%), while mucinous type was still rare (5.2%). No distal metastases found at time of presentation. Localization of tumors was rectosigmoid in group (A) in 41.4%, which increased to 56.6% in group (B), with an increase of 15.2%. Iliocecal location also decreased from 8% to 3.5%, being 56.25% less. Other proximal areas of the colon were decreased by 25.75%, from 53.9% in group (A) to 40% in group (B). Conclusion: Colorectal carcinoma in Hail region has increased by 53.3% in the past 5 years, with more females being diagnosed. Localization has also shifted distally by 15.2%. These findings are different from Western world patterns which experienced a decrease in incidence and proximal shift of the colon cancer localization. This might be due to better diagnostic tools, population awareness of the disease, as well as changing of life style and/or food habits in the region.

Paper Detail
156
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568
10008331
A Study of Applying the Use of Breathing Training to Palliative Care Patients, Based on the Bio-Psycho-Social Model
Abstract:

In clinical practices, it is common that while facing the unknown progress of their disease, palliative care patients may easily feel anxious and depressed. These types of reactions are a cause of psychosomatic diseases and may also influence treatment results. However, the purpose of palliative care is to provide relief from all kinds of pains. Therefore, how to make patients more comfortable is an issue worth studying. This study adopted the “bio-psycho-social model” proposed by Engel and applied spontaneous breathing training, in the hope of seeing patients’ psychological state changes caused by their physiological state changes, improvements in their anxious conditions, corresponding adjustments of their cognitive functions, and further enhancement of their social functions and the social support system. This study will be a one-year study. Palliative care outpatients will be recruited and assigned to the experimental group or the control group for six outpatient visits (once a month), with 80 patients in each group. The patients of both groups agreed that this study can collect their physiological quantitative data using an HRV device before the first outpatient visit. They also agreed to answer the “Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)”, the “Taiwanese version of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire” before the first outpatient visit, to fill a self-report questionnaire after each outpatient visit, and to answer the “Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)”, the “Taiwanese version of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire” after the last outpatient visit. The patients of the experimental group agreed to receive the breathing training under HRV monitoring during the first outpatient visit of this study. Before each of the following three outpatient visits, they were required to fill a self-report questionnaire regarding their breathing practices after going home. After the outpatient visits, they were taught how to practice breathing through an HRV device and asked to practice it after going home. Later, based on the results from the HRV data analyses and the pre-tests and post-tests of the “Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)”, the “Taiwanese version of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire”, the influence of the breathing training in the bio, psycho, and social aspects were evaluated. The data collected through the self-report questionnaires of the patients of both groups were used to explore the possible interfering factors among the bio, psycho, and social changes. It is expected that this study will support the “bio-psycho-social model” proposed by Engel, meaning that bio, psycho, and social supports are closely related, and that breathing training helps to transform palliative care patients’ psychological feelings of anxiety and depression, to facilitate their positive interactions with others, and to improve the quality medical care for them.

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10008659
Comparison of Diagnostic Performance of Soluble Transferrin Receptor and Soluble Transferrin Receptor-Ferritin Index Tests in the Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency Anemia
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In this research article, a comprehensive analysis is performed to compare the diagnostic performance of soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and sTfR/log ferritin index tests in the differential diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and anemia of chronic disease (ACD). The analysis is performed for both sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index using a set of 11 studies. The overall odds ratios for sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index were 36.79 and 119.32 respectively, using 95% confidence interval. The relative sensitivity, specificity. positive likelihood ratio (LR) and negative LR values for sTfR in relation to sTfR/log ferritin index were 81% vs 85%, 84% vs 93%, 6.31 vs 13.95 and 0.18 vs 0.14 respectively. The summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curves are also plotted for both sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index. The area under SROC curves for sTfR and sTfR/log ferritin index was found to be 0.9296 and 0.9825 respectively. Although both tests are useful, the sTfR/log ferritin index seems to be more effective when compared with sTfR.

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10008103
The Emotional Life of Patients with Chronic Diseases: A Framework for Health Promotion Strategies
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Abstract:

Being a patient with a chronic disease is both a physical and emotional experience. The ability to recognize a patient’s emotional health is an important part of a health care provider’s skills. For the purposes of this paper, emotional health is viewed as the way that we feel, and the way that our feelings affect us. Understanding the patient’s emotional health leads to improved provider-patient relationships and health outcomes. For example, when a patient first hears his or her diagnosis from a provider, they might find it difficult to cope with their emotions. Struggling to cope with emotions interferes with the patient’s ability to read, understand, and act on health information and services. As a result, the patient becomes more frustrated and confused, creating barriers to accessing healthcare services. These barriers are challenging for both the patient and their healthcare providers. There are five basic emotions that are part of who we are and are always with us: fear, anger, sadness, joy, and compassion. Living with a chronic disease however can cause a patient to experience and express these emotions in new and unique ways. Within the provider-patient relationship, there needs to be an understanding that each patient experiences these five emotions and, experiences them at different times. In response to this need, the paper highlights a health promotion framework for patients with chronic disease. This framework emphasizes the emotional health of patients.

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266
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10008156
Multi-Layer Perceptron and Radial Basis Function Neural Network Models for Classification of Diabetic Retinopathy Disease Using Video-Oculography Signals
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Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) is a disease based on insulin hormone disorders and causes high blood glucose. Clinical findings determine that diabetes can be diagnosed by electrophysiological signals obtained from the vital organs. 'Diabetic Retinopathy' is one of the most common eye diseases resulting on diabetes and it is the leading cause of vision loss due to structural alteration of the retinal layer vessels. In this study, features of horizontal and vertical Video-Oculography (VOG) signals have been used to classify non-proliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy disease. Twenty-five features are acquired by using discrete wavelet transform with VOG signals which are taken from 21 subjects. Two models, based on multi-layer perceptron and radial basis function, are recommended in the diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy. The proposed models also can detect level of the disease. We show comparative classification performance of the proposed models. Our results show that proposed the RBF model (100%) results in better classification performance than the MLP model (94%).

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266
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10008192
Auto Rickshaw Impacts with Pedestrians: A Computational Analysis of Post-Collision Kinematics and Injury Mechanics
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Motor vehicle related pedestrian road traffic collisions are a major road safety challenge, since they are a leading cause of death and serious injury worldwide, contributing to a third of the global disease burden. The auto rickshaw, which is a common form of urban transport in many developing countries, plays a major transport role, both as a vehicle for hire and for private use. The most common auto rickshaws are quite unlike ‘typical’ four-wheel motor vehicle, being typically characterised by three wheels, a non-tilting sheet-metal body or open frame construction, a canvas roof and side curtains, a small drivers’ cabin, handlebar controls and a passenger space at the rear. Given the propensity, in developing countries, for auto rickshaws to be used in mixed cityscapes, where pedestrians and vehicles share the roadway, the potential for auto rickshaw impacts with pedestrians is relatively high. Whilst auto rickshaws are used in some Western countries, their limited number and spatial separation from pedestrian walkways, as a result of city planning, has not resulted in significant accident statistics. Thus, auto rickshaws have not been subject to the vehicle impact related pedestrian crash kinematic analyses and/or injury mechanics assessment, typically associated with motor vehicle development in Western Europe, North America and Japan. This study presents a parametric analysis of auto rickshaw related pedestrian impacts by computational simulation, using a Finite Element model of an auto rickshaw and an LS-DYNA 50th percentile male Hybrid III Anthropometric Test Device (dummy). Parametric variables include auto rickshaw impact velocity, auto rickshaw impact region (front, centre or offset) and relative pedestrian impact position (front, side and rear). The output data of each impact simulation was correlated against reported injury metrics, Head Injury Criterion (front, side and rear), Neck injury Criterion (front, side and rear), Abbreviated Injury Scale and reported risk level and adds greater understanding to the issue of auto rickshaw related pedestrian injury risk. The parametric analyses suggest that pedestrians are subject to a relatively high risk of injury during impacts with an auto rickshaw at velocities of 20 km/h or greater, which during some of the impact simulations may even risk fatalities. The present study provides valuable evidence for informing a series of recommendations and guidelines for making the auto rickshaw safer during collisions with pedestrians. Whilst it is acknowledged that the present research findings are based in the field of safety engineering and may over represent injury risk, compared to “Real World” accidents, many of the simulated interactions produced injury response values significantly greater than current threshold curves and thus, justify their inclusion in the study. To reduce the injury risk level and increase the safety of the auto rickshaw, there should be a reduction in the velocity of the auto rickshaw and, or, consideration of engineering solutions, such as retro fitting injury mitigation technologies to those auto rickshaw contact regions which are the subject of the greatest risk of producing pedestrian injury.

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229
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10008211
Ethnobotanical Study on the Usage of Toxic Plants in Traditional Medicine in the City Center of Tlemcen, Algeria
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Traditional medicine has been part of the Algerian culture for decades. In particular, the city of Tlemcen still retains practices based on phytotherapy to the present day, as this kind of medicine fulfills the needs of its followers among the local population. The toxic plants contain diverse natural substances which supplied a lot of medicine in the pharmaceutical industry. In order to explore new medicinal sources among toxic plants, an ethnobotanical study was carried out on the use of these plants by the population, at Emir Abdelkader Square of the city of Tlemcen, a rather busy place with a high number of traditional health practitioners and herbalists. This is a descriptive and transversal study aimed at estimating the frequency of using toxic plants among the studied population, for a period of 4 months. The information was collected, using self-anonymous questionnaires, and analyzed by the IBM SPSS Statistics software used for statistical analysis. A sample of 200 people, including 120 women and 80 men, were interviewed. The mean age was 41 ± 16 years. Among those questioned, 83.5% used plants; 8% of them used toxic plants and 35% used plants that can be toxic under certain conditions. Some improvements were observed in 88% of the cases where toxic plants were used. 80 medicinal plants, belonging to 36 botanical families, were listed, identified and classified. The most frequent indications for these plants were for respiratory diseases in 64.7% of cases, and for digestive disorders in 51.5% of cases. 11% of these plants are toxic, 26% could be toxic under certain conditions. Among toxics plants, the most common ones are Berberis vulgaris with 5.4%, indicated in the treatment of uterine fibroids and thyroid, Rhamnus alaternus with 4.8% for hepatic jaundice, Nerium oleander with 3% for hemorrhoids, Ruta chalepensis with 1.2%, indicated for digestive disorders and dysmenorrhea, and Viscum album with 1.2%, indicated for respiratory diseases. The most common plants that could be toxic are Mentha pulegium (15.6%), Eucalyptus globulus (11.4%), and Pimpinella anisum (10.2%). This study revealed interesting results on the use of toxic plants, which are likely to serve as a basis for further ethno-pharmacological investigations in order to get new drug sources.

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192
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10008223
Scattering Operator and Spectral Clustering for Ultrasound Images: Application on Deep Venous Thrombi
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Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a thrombus is formed within a deep vein (most often in the legs). This disease can be deadly if a part or the whole thrombus reaches the lung and causes a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). This disorder, often asymptomatic, has multifactorial causes: immobilization, surgery, pregnancy, age, cancers, and genetic variations. Our project aims to relate the thrombus epidemiology (origins, patient predispositions, PE) to its structure using ultrasound images. Ultrasonography and elastography were collected using Toshiba Aplio 500 at Brest Hospital. This manuscript compares two classification approaches: spectral clustering and scattering operator. The former is based on the graph and matrix theories while the latter cascades wavelet convolutions with nonlinear modulus and averaging operators.
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155
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10008244
Implication to Environmental Education of Indigenous Knowledge and the Ecosystem of Upland Farmers in Aklan, Philippines
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This paper defined the association between the indigenous knowledge, cultural practices and the ecosystem its implication to the environmental education to the farmers. Farmers recognize the need for sustainability of the ecosystem they inhabit. The cultural practices of farmers on use of indigenous pest control, use of insect-repellant plants, soil management practices that suppress diseases and harmful pests and conserve soil moisture are deemed to be ecologically-friendly. Indigenous plant materials that were more drought- and pest-resistant were grown. Crop rotation was implemented with various crop seeds to increase their disease resistance. Multi-cropping, planting of perennial crops, categorization of soil and planting of appropriate crops, planting of appropriate and leguminous crops, alloting land as watershed, and preserving traditional palay seed varieties were found to be beneficial in preserving the environment. The study also found that indigenous knowledge about crops are still relevant and useful to the current generation. This ensured the sustainability of our environment and incumbent on policy makers and educators to support and preserve for generations yet to come.
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