Palm oil is an incredibly efficient crop, but our dependence on this crop as a primary biodiesel feedstock has threatened food insecurity as it is still perceived as the main source for vegetable oil throughout the world rather than being utilized for fuel. Therefore, the idea of utilizing non-edible food crops and waste vegetable oils could help to overcome the major problems faced by the first generation of biodiesel feedstock. In this study, a ternary oil mixture comprises 50 vol% of waste cooking oil, 15 vol% of Jatropha curcas oil and 35 vol% of palm oil were premixed and developed into biodiesel via esterification and microwave irradiation-assisted transesterification using a modified household microwave in the presence of methanol and potassium hydroxide catalyst. The parameters affecting biodiesel yield were optimized via response surface methodology based on central composite design. The operating parameters were optimized at 0.78 wt% of catalyst concentration, 9.86:1 of methanol/oil molar ratio, 10.5 min of reaction time and 478 rpm of stirring speed with the predicted and experimental yields are at 96.81 and 96.91 %, respectively. The results indicate that the synergistic mixture of ternary oil in WJP biodiesel gives better cold flow properties as well as improves oxidation stability and cetane number.
Introduction Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) has been declared as pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. As of 28 November 2021, there were more than 260 million cases and nearly 5.2 million deaths caused by COVID-19. The most affected system by COVID-19 infection was the respiratory system although several other studies suggested multi-organ involvement with pathophysiology that was not clearly understood. Autopsy findings were beneficial to researchers to determine the mechanism behind these organ failures. The objective of this review was to summarize the autopsy findings related to COVID-19 death. Method Online literature search was conducted via online databases such as Scopus, PubMed and Google Scholar. The keywords inputted during the search were “post-mortem”, “autopsy” and “COVID-19” in title, abstract and keywords. The inclusion criteria were the topic related with the title of this review, published in 2020–2021, have full text available and in English language. Any articles that were not related, duplicated studies, review articles including systematic review and meta-analysis and in other languages were excluded. Results A total of 20 articles were included in this review. The articles reviewed were mostly case reports and case series while others were case-control and cohort study ranging from one to 348 cases. Majority were originated from the United States of America (USA). Conclusion The most frequent system described in autopsy findings in COVID-19 death was the respiratory system, with the most common histological finding of diffuse alveolar damage (DAD). Majority of the findings of other organs were related to chronic diseases.
Testing the structural integrity of pipelines is a crucial maintenance task in the oil and gas industry. This structural integrity could be compromised by corrosions that occur in the pipeline wall. They could cause catastrophic accidents and are very hard to detect due to the presence of insulation and cladding around the pipeline. This corrosion manifests as a reduction in the pipe wall thickness, which can be detected and quantified by using Pulsed Eddy Current (PEC) as a state-of-the-art Non-Destructive Evaluation technique. The method exploits the relationship between the natural log transform of the PEC signal with the material thickness. Unfortunately, measurement noise reduces the accuracy of the technique particularly due to its amplified effect in the log-transform domain, the inherent noise characteristics of the sensing device, and the non-homogenous property of the pipe material. As a result, the technique requires signal averaging to reduce the effect of the noise to improve the prediction accuracy. Undesirably, this increases the inspection time significantly, as more measurements are needed. Our proposed method can predict pipe wall thickness without PEC signal averaging. The method applies Wavelet Scattering transform to the log-transformed PEC signal to generate a suitable discriminating feature and then applies Neighborhood Component Feature Selection method to reduce the feature dimension before using it to train a Gaussian Process regression model. Through experimentation using ferromagnetic samples, we have shown that our method can produce a more accurate estimation of the samples’ thickness than other methods over different types of cladding materials and insulation layer thicknesses. Quantitative proof of this conclusion is provided by statistically analyzing and comparing the root mean square errors of our model with those from the inverse time derivative approach as well as other machine learning models.
Biodiesel or biodiesel–diesel fuel is the current fuel used to power transportation engines. Contamination on lubricating oil is a common issue due to leakage or extensive use of engines. This study explores the lubricant oil blend’s friction and wear with the biodiesel derived from waste cooking oil, waste cooking oil blend withCalophyllum inophyllum oil, and biodiesel–diesel blend. The blending of biodiesels and biodiesel–diesel blend with lubricant oil varies from 5% to 25% of biodiesels and biodiesel–diesel with 95% to 75% of lubricating oil based on volume ratio. The test was conducted using a four-ball tribotester according to the ASTM D 4172. The result showed that blending of BWCIL75 with biodiesel–diesel has the lowest friction coefficient (0.072) among tested oil. The wear scar on the ball bearing lubricated with the blending mixture showed an acceptable diameter value. The wear morphology has shown that a worn surface with black spots provides more protection to the tested ball. The result found that fatty acid contained in the biodiesel and the low viscosity of biodiesel significantly reduced the frictional coefficient of the lubricating oil and worked as wear prevention. Mechanical efficiency of machinery component favour low coefficient of friction. This study indicated that biodiesel produced from waste cooking oil blended with Calophyllum inophyllum oil shows better lubricity and can be used as an additive to petroleum-based lubricant for better automotive engine performance.
This study was conducted to recover edible bird’s nest (EBN) hydrolysates from different grades of EBN, including the industrial by-products, using enzymatic treatment. The nutrient, physicochemical properties and antioxidant activities of the recovered hydrolysates at different hydrolysis times were evaluated. Results showed that the recovery yield of enzymatic hydrolysis was above 89 % for all grades of EBN and the degree of hydrolysis increased over time. Nitrite content (0.321–0.433 mg/L) was below the permissible tolerance level for all samples. Interestingly, the antioxidant activities (DPPH and ABTS scavenging activities and ferric reducing antioxidant powder (FRAP) activity) were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in hydrolysates recovered from EBN by-products (EBNhC and EBNhD) as compared to the high grade EBN hydrolysates (EBNhA and EBNhB). The in-vitro probiotic activity of EBN and its hydrolysates were examined using the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum. Evidently, EBN by-products hydrolysate (EBNhD) recorded the highest number of L. plantarum (1.1 × 10¹¹ CFU/mL), indicating that low grade EBN has the potential as prebiotic material that promotes probiotic activity. This study demonstrated the concept of using EBN by-products hydrolysates for various applications, such as functional ingredients with enhanced bioactivities, to improve its economic value.
Pervasive computing aims to simplify our lives by efficiently managing information in different fields such as transportation, and healthcare. Smart transportation has become an integral part of our modern society and is attractive for pervasive computing. Head-Up Display (HUD) assists users in locating and identifying objects and humans by establishing volatile contact with them. HUD is aided by computer vision (CV) techniques and used in smart transportation for human assistance. An Adaptable Recommendation System (ARS) using an analytical CV (ACV) in smart transportation is introduced to improve the swiftness in detecting objects in a multi-layer smart city environment. The proposed system is backhauled using deep, short-term memory networks to identify and verify the layers' correctness in detecting the target with a reduced time factor. The application's design concentrates on enlightening HUD for end-user recommendations. The HUD applications with the recommended system achieve less time, error, and computations.
Bacteria in a hospital environment potentially cause hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), particularly in immunocompromised individuals. Treatments of HAIs with antibiotics, however, are ineffective due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB). This study aims to identify airborne bacteria in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia and screen for their resistance to commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotics. Airborne bacteria were sampled using active sampling at the respiratory ward (RW), physician clinic (PC) and emergency department (ED). Physical parameters of the areas were recorded, following the Industry Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality 2010 (ICOP IAQ 2010). Bacterial identification was based on morphological and biochemical tests. Antibiotic resistance screening was carried out using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. Results showed that the highest bacterial population was found in the highest density occupancy area, PC (1024 ± 54 CFU/m³), and exceeded the acceptable limit. Micrococcus spp., Staphylococcus aureus, α- and β-Streptococcus spp., Bacillus spp. and Clostridium spp. colonies were identified at the sampling locations. The antibiotic resistance screening showed a vast percentage of resistance amongst the bacterial colonies, with resistance to ampicillin observed as the highest percentage (Micrococcus spp.: 95.2%, S. aureus: 100%, Streptococcus spp.: 75%, Bacillus spp.: 100% and Clostridium spp.: 100%). This study provides awareness to healthcare practitioners and the public on the status of the emergence of ARB in a hospital environment. Early detection of bacterial populations and good management of hospital environments are important prevention measures for HAI.
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Klebsiella pneumoniae is a top-prioritized Gram-negative pathogen with a high incidence in hospital-acquired infections. Polymyxins have resurged as a last-line therapy to combat Gram-negative “superbugs”, including MDR K. pneumoniae . However, the emergence of polymyxin resistance has increasingly been reported over the past decades when used as monotherapy, and thus combination therapy with non-antibiotics (e.g., metabolites) becomes a promising approach owing to the lower risk of resistance development. Genome-scale metabolic models (GSMMs) were constructed to delineate the altered metabolism of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase- or extended spectrum β-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae strains upon addition of exogenous metabolites in media. The metabolites that caused significant metabolic perturbations were then selected to examine their adjuvant effects using in vitro static time–kill studies. Metabolic network simulation shows that feeding of 3-phosphoglycerate and ribose 5-phosphate would lead to enhanced central carbon metabolism, ATP demand, and energy consumption, which is converged with metabolic disruptions by polymyxin treatment. Further static time–kill studies demonstrated enhanced antimicrobial killing of 10 mM 3-phosphoglycerate (1.26 and 1.82 log 10 CFU/ml) and 10 mM ribose 5-phosphate (0.53 and 0.91 log 10 CFU/ml) combination with 2 mg/L polymyxin B against K. pneumoniae strains. Overall, exogenous metabolite feeding could possibly improve polymyxin B activity via metabolic modulation and hence offers an attractive approach to enhance polymyxin B efficacy. With the application of GSMM in bridging the metabolic analysis and time–kill assay, biological insights into metabolite feeding can be inferred from comparative analyses of both results. Taken together, a systematic framework has been developed to facilitate the clinical translation of antibiotic-resistant infection management.
Purpose The study aimed to evaluate the possible preventive effect of two concentrations (3 and 5% w/w) of Eugenia jambolana (EJ) extract against 5-FU-induced mucositis. Method Sixteen adult rats were separated into four groups: two control and two preventive groups. Animals in Groups 1, 2, and 3 were injected intraperitoneally with 60 mg/kg/day of 5-FU on Day 1 followed by 150 mg/kg/day on Day 5. The rats in Group 4 (negative control) were given physiological saline at the same times and doses. Furthermore, on the fifth day of the study, the cheek and sublingual mucosa were irritated by external superficial scratches using the tip of an 18-G needle, followed by the application 15 µL of 20% acetic acid, after which 3 and 5% EJ w/w gels were applied topically for animals in Groups 2 and 3, respectively. Results The weight and the mucositis scores were recorded. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory markers and biochemical tests were analyzed. Significant differences were found between the study groups in weight loss, clinical mucositis scores, mortality rates, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory parameters. Conclusion The preventive effect of 3% gel was significant, with no mortality rate, making it an option for preventive strategies.
In many technical applications in the present era, acoustics noise is the most difficult issue for humans. Although reactive and absorptive types of mufflers are currently available for noise reduction, their performance is limited for a variety of reasons. This study involves measuring transmission loss in an automotive exhaust muffler and then adopting new design parameters to reduce transmission loss, which is important for a greener environment. The automotive mufflers chosen for this study are investigated and employed in a numerical study to compare with an experimental investigation of passive noise control for transmission loss in automobiles. The transmission losses are compared to the original muffler chamber specifications to find the change in transmission losses, and the muffler chambers are modified by integrating a baffle plate to minimise the automotive exhaust noise. The transmission loss in a muffler is experimentally controlled by a passive noise, and a numerical analysis is performed for comparison using commercial software MATLAB. The installation of the baffle plate reduces the transmission loss, both in the narrow band and octave band region, according to the experimental, numerical and theoretical data, with more reduction happening in the narrow band region than the octave band region in this passive noise control experimental work.
Cafeteria facilities are a key component of a wholesome arrangement that impacts personal happiness for both native and foreign students. For university students, the first option for dining is on-campus food services which imply the importance of the quality of the cafeteria service and must be reviewed and improved regularly. Considering the importance of students’ satisfaction this study was conducted to investigate the link between variables such as pricing, food quality, customer service, and the atmos-phere of students’ satisfaction. The convenience sampling method was used to collect quantitative data from 250 students at public universities in Klang valley of Malaysia which are IIUM, UPM, UM, UiTM, UKM and UTM. The survey was conducted via google form in September 2021. For the data analysis, descriptive, reliability, exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis have been conducted by using SPSS. The study revealed that students’ satisfaction was associated with the four independent variables. All the factors had a significant and positive influence on students’ satisfaction. From the regression analysis, it was found that customer service and price fairness had the most significant influence over student satisfaction which was followed closely by the other two variables which were food quality and atmosphere. It was also concluded that all of the independent factors included in the study had a sub-stantial influence on the dependent variable, which was student satisfaction.
The interest in halal cosmetics has acquired significant force in the new-fashioned era. The decisive moments focused on increasing demand are expanding the Muslim populace and consumers’ interest in uncontaminated, hygienic, and pure applications to human body cosmetics. In spite of that, the halal cosmetics industry is incapable of satisfying consumers' needs due to several factors. This can be a reason that halal cosmetics are not fully diffused among Pakistani consumers. This study intends to examine the adoption of halal cosmetics in Pakistan and the factors that influence its adoption. The data was collected from 375 cosmetic Muslim consumers through a self-administrated questionnaire. The prepared survey questionnaire was based on Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation theory (DOI). Partial least squares analysis was used to analyze the collected data. The findings demonstrate that knowledge, social influence, and innovation compatibility have a significant positive influence on the adoption of halal cosmetics. Furthermore, this study offers various practical and theoretical implications for manufactur-ers, producers, and consumers. The current study is on-mark to provide a potential contribution to the body of knowledge and the successful application of DOI to create a reason to analyze the adoption of halal cosmetics in Pakistan.
This paper seeks to determine, explore and examine the factors affecting the job satisfaction of private commercial bank-employees in Bangladesh. A qualitative research design was employed to collect data from bank employees (n = 5) through in-depth semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion (n=5). For the validity and reliability of the tool, the interview protocol was checked, discussed, refined and finalized. A thematic analysis was used to extract themes and subthemes that identifies the influ-encing factors for job satisfaction of private commercial bank employees and their attitudes towards satisfaction. Overall, the findings show that, employees have positive attitudes about their job because of enjoying some determinants of job satisfaction such as working environment, interpersonal relation-ship, financial remuneration, promotion and training and development facilities. The study discusses practical implications as well as future research direction. Therefore, it can be concluded that the re-spective bank authorities should be of highly concerned as to increase the values/standards of the job satisfaction determinants which have positive impact on the overall job satisfaction.
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana var. mangostana) is an obligate apomictic species which does not require a fertilization process to produce seeds. The absence of male plants of mangosteen brings about an interest to find out the origin of mangosteen. Determining the parents is important in any improvement program to produce better quality products. Several hypotheses were proposed since the 1990s, and the most popular and frequently cited one stated that mangosteen was a product of hybridization of G. mangostana var. malaccensis and G. celebica. This hypothesis then became the groundwork for later experiments to further study the origin of mangosteen. The methods used included morphological comparison between Garcinia species, molecular marker analyses from the internal spacer, chloroplast sequencing, and microsatellite and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis. This review discusses the different approaches taken to study the origin of mangosteen and suggestions for future work in order to verify the original parents of mangosteen.
Stingless bee honey is a complex mixture of natural compounds. Therefore, the metabolite profile of stingless bee honey from different botanical origins (acacia, starfruit, gelam) and Apis mellifera honey was determined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and liquid chromatography-quadruple time of flight-mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF-MS). Then, the orthogonal partial least square (OPLS) model was performed to classify the honey samples according to the chemical constituents and identify compounds related to antioxidant activity. Gelam honey was found to have a strong correlation with the bioactivity of honey (IC50 and FRAP) and considered a more active sample than acacia, starfruit, and Apis mellifera honey. Seven compounds with antioxidant properties were identified using GC–MS, namely, pinitol, mannitol, myo-inositol, gluconic acid, glucose, fructose, and maltose. Meanwhile, LC-QTOF-MS identified five compounds which were 3-hydroxy-4,4-dimethyloxolan-2-one, 2-(hydroxymethyl)-1-methyl-3,4,5-piperidinetriol, 3-carboxy-2,3-dideoxy-pentaric acid, 3-phenyl-2-propenoic acid phenylmethyl ester, and 1,3-bis(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-propen-1-one. The OPLS results showed that all compounds were positively correlated to the antioxidant activity of the honey. This is the first study that used an untargeted metabolomics approach to determine possible metabolites related to antioxidant activity in stingless bee honey. This study contributed significantly to broaden the knowledge of stingless bee honey compounds related to antioxidant activity.
This study aimed to determine the effect of synbiotic Musa acuminata skin extract (MASE) and Streptococcus salivarius K12 (K12) on Candida species biofilm formation. Liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight (LC-Q-TOF-MS) was conducted to characterize MASE. To determine the effect of synbiotic on Candida biofilm, 200 µL of RPMI-1640 containing Candida, K12, and MASE were pipetted into the same well and incubated at 37 °C for 72 h. A similar protocol was repeated with K12 or MASE to determine the probiotic and prebiotic effects, respectively. Dimorphism, biofilm biomass, and Candida total cell count (TCC) were determined. A total of 60 compounds were detected in MASE. C. albicans (ALT5) and Candida lusitaniae exhibited the highest reduction in biofilm biomass when co-cultured with prebiotic (77.70 ± 7.67%) and synbiotic (97.73 ± 0.28%), respectively. All Candida spp. had decreased TCC and hyphae when co-cultured with synbiotic. In conclusion, MASE and K12 inhibit Candida biofilm formation.
Technological advancement has forced academic libraries to change their traditional services by adopting emerging technologies to respond to the changing information needs of their users, who are now more technologically inclined and prefer remote and timely access to scholarly information. Smart technologies are the recent trend in academic libraries. Smart technologies have the potential to enhance academic library services provision and also support the distance learning environment, especially now as higher education embraces online and distance learning. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the level of implementation of smart services at academic libraries and the challenges they face in developing and/or providing smart services. A questionnaire was developed to collect the required data from library staff ( N = 340) at academic libraries in Jordan, where (246) responded and completed the questionnaire. The results indicate a moderate level of implementation of smart services at academic libraries in Jordan ( M = 3.12). The result also shows that the challenges facing the libraries to implement and offer smart services was also moderate ( M = 3.57). Resistance to change was the main challenge libraries face in their attempt to embrace smart technology to offer smart services. Also, privacy and confidentiality appeared to be one of the top rated challenges libraries have to deal with when planning for smart services deployment. Moreover, financial-related issues, such as poor infrastructure and staff training were among the main challenges librarians face to develop/offer smart services. Most importantly, challenges negatively affect the level of smart services at academic libraries in Jordan. This paper provides insights for academic librarians and decision-makers in planning for the provision of smart services at their libraries. It highlights the main challenges that might hinder the implementation and provision of smart services.
Streaming media like Netflix has become a mainstream trend for people to have fun and relax during the Covid-19 pandemic, and numerous studies found that college students and millennials account for a large group who binge-watch television programmes. Hence, understanding university students' motive for binge-watching is timely, especially during the Covid-19 lockdown period, when there is a lack of studies on this phenomenon. Thus, this study aims to examine the motives that influence Netflix binge-watching behaviour among university students. The study utilised the Uses and Gratifications (U&G) Theory, and three motives, namely 'entertainment', 'social interaction' and 'escape' were deduced from the theory. The study adopted a quantitative research approach using an online survey method. A total of 150 valid responses were collected through the purposive sampling technique, and the results were analysed using correlation and regression analysis. The findings through the Pearson's correlations indicated that 'entertainment' has a positive and strong relationship with Netflix binge-watching behaviour, while 'social interaction' and 'escape' motives have a positive but moderately significant relationship with the binge-watching behaviour. Regression analysis further showed that only 'entertainment' and 'social interaction' were the predictors of binge-watching behaviour; however, 'escape' was not a predictor. This study also contributes to the U&G Theory as Journal of Communication, Language and Culture Vol 2, Issue 2, July 2022 2 well as the literature on the youth's media consumption, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown period, for it benefits the parents, video streaming service providers and government in understanding the motives that influence binge-watching among youths; thus, strategies can be implemented to avoid excessive binge-watching behaviour during the lockdown which leads to negative social media outcomes.
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