In 2004, the government of Punjab, Pakistan introduced a conditional cash assistance program for girls attending secondary schools. We exploit variations in exposure to the program across cohorts and regions to estimate the long run effects of the program on women’s marriage and fertility decisions, maternal healthcare utilization and the health outcomes of their children. We find that each potential year of exposure to the program increases the probability of completing secondary school by 1.9 percent and decreases the probability of an early marriage by 3.5 percent. Exposure to the program also delays early childbirth and increases the likelihood of seeking prenatal care later in life. We also find evidence of inter-generational effects – children of women exposed to the program are less likely to be underweight (−1.7 percent) or stunted (−1.9 percent) than the comparison sample. Evidence suggests assortative matching in the marriage market, increased health awareness and empowerment of educated women may be among the potential drivers of these results. These findings imply that programs aimed at promoting girls’ education can lead to beneficial long run gains in multiple dimensions that should be factored in evaluating such policies.
Net energy metering (NEM) has become a powerful regulatory tool for promoting distributed generation (DG) worldwide. NEM aids utilities in reducing power constraints and line losses and effect positive economic gains by integrating renewable energy sources. In Pakistan, the current NEM market is limited to three-phase users, even though single-phase customers account for 90% of all residential connections, equal to 28 million, and can significantly impact Pakistan's NEM growth. Therefore, the conducted study provides the techno-economic evaluation of NEM for single-phase consumers. The article offered policy proposals to encourage distribution companies (DISCOs) and single-phase customers to adopt NEM to achieve a win-win situation. The technical analysis is conducted to see how the single-phase NEM affects voltage regulation, system unbalances, and line losses. The viability of the current feed-in tariff for single-phase NEM consumers is assessed to analyze the economic impact. The results show that if only 5% single-phase NEM is allowed, 7.54 TWh can be renewably added to the grid, reducing 4.95 Mtonn CO2 emissions. Furthermore, this paper presents a case study of how the consumer and the DISCOs can benefit from several NEM penetration. The presented analysis and policy recommendations may help Pakistan and other countries with identical socio-demographic profiles.
Global public administration remains an incomplete project with contested notions of its aims and objectives. Given its disputed nature we focus on developing a negative definition of global public administration. We argue that a global public administration cannot be based on a singular ontology, western epistemology and Eurocentric research agenda. Moreover, a truly global public administration must not be committed to myopic limitations concerning its scope, historicity, objectives and research methods. To help foster discussion toward reimagining a different public administration, based on the postcolonial work of Khatibi, we argue for an otherwise thinking about global public administration. This would require looking with alterity for inspiration and insight, looking back to learn from history, looking differently to formulate new questions through new lenses, looking inwards at disciplinary exclusions, and looking dialectically to navigate the macro-micro research divide.
Background Tuberculosis (TB) like many other infectious diseases has a strong relationship with climatic parameters. Methods The present study has been carried out on the newly diagnosed sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB cases reported to National TB Control Program across Pakistan from 2007 to 2020. In this study, spatial and temporal distribution of the disease was observed through detailed district wise mapping and clustered regions were also identified. Potential risk factors associated with this disease depending upon population and climatic variables, i.e. temperature and precipitation were also identified. Results Nationwide, the incidence rate of TB was observed to be rising from 7.03% to 11.91% in the years 2007–2018, which then started to decline. However, a declining trend was observed after 2018–2020. The most populous provinces, Punjab and Sindh, have reported maximum number of cases and showed a temporal association as the climatic temperature of these two provinces is higher with comparison to other provinces. Machine learning algorithms Maxent, Support Vector Machine (SVM), Environmental Distance (ED) and Climate Space Model (CSM) predict high risk of the disease with14.02%, 24.75%, 34.81% and 43.89% area, respectively. Conclusion SVM has a higher significant probability of prediction in the diseased area with a 1.86 partial receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) value as compared with other models.
Introduction This study aims to determine the relationship between chronological age and pulp cavity size and determine which type of tooth has a strong relationship between age and pulp cavity size. Materials and Methods Cone-beam computed tomography images from 200 patients aged between 18 and 55 years were analyzed. The software program (version 2.21) exported the images in the DICOM format, and the MIMICS software program (version 10.01) was used to calculate. The relationship between chronological age and pulp cavity size and determination of which type of tooth strongly relates to age and pulp cavity size were evaluated by Pearson correlation coefficient and Linear regression model. Results A total of 200 patients were included in the study. The minimum age recorded was 18 years, and the maximum period recorded was 55 years. The mean age was 35 years. The relationship between chronological age and pulp cavity size was statistically significant. Maxillary central incisor and mandibular first molar showed a strong relationship between chronological age and pulp cavity size. Conclusions In this study, the pulp cavity size of both maxillary central incisor and mandibular first molar showed a statistically significant correlation with age. The correlation between right and left is strong. So, maxillary central incisor and mandibular first molar is a valuable index for human age estimation with reasonable precision and accuracy.
Microtubules have been an attractive target of cancer drug discovery due to their highly dynamic nature during mitosis. Griseofulvin, a natural antifungal compound, is known to interfere with microtubule dynamics. In the present study, we prepared and analyzed twenty‐seven novel griseofulvin derivatives. Three of these compounds had GI50 values <10 μM (5.74 to 9.7 μM) in breast cancer cell line CAL‐51. The most promising compound ((2S,6’R)‐4’‐(benzhydrylamino)‐7‐chloro‐4,6‐dimethoxy‐6’‐methyl‐3H‐spiro[benzofuran‐2,1’‐cyclohexan]‐3’‐ene‐2’,3‐dione), was characterized as a microtubule‐stabilizing agent with a GI50 value of 5.74±1.43 μM compared to 10.79±3.06 μM GI50 for parental griseofulvin. It also inhibited the proliferation of other cancer cell lines, including KB‐3‐1 and HCT116, with GI50 values of 1.19±0.34 μM and 2.48±0.40 μM, respectively. Treatment of cancer cells with it resulted in aberrant mitosis causing G2/M arrest. Finally, we show that this compound increased the expression of p53 protein and induced apoptotic cell death. In the present study, we show synthesis and analysis of twenty‐seven griseofulvin derivatives (2, 4 a—4 z). We demonstrate that the most promising compound causes aberrant mitosis (G2/M arrest), stabilizes microtubules, increases the expression of p53 and induces apoptotic cell death.
Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, results in congenital disorders and miscarriages among livestock and humans worldwide. This systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to determine the prevalence of T. gondii infection in sheep and goats in Pakistan from 2000 to 2020. We searched the PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases and selected 17 publications that fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Eight studies were conducted in Southern Punjab, six in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two in Northern Punjab, and one in Central Punjab. The diagnostic tests used in the included articles to confirm toxoplasmosis were the latex agglutination test in 56% of the studies, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 38%, and the indirect hemagglutination assay in 6%. The infection rates were substantially higher among sheep > 1 year of age (37%) than among sheep ≤ 1 year old (19%). Statistically significant differences in infection rates were found between male and female sheep and goats. The overall infection rate by age was also significant among sheep and goats. Sex and age variability between sheep investigations were significant, and sex heterogeneity and age homogeneity were significant among goats. Hence, robust infection control protocols should be implemented to prevent infection in animals and humans.
This paper explores the creation, management and moderation of women-only online groups as digital safe spaces. We interview eleven founders and moderators of six distinct, closed, women-only Facebook groups that predominantly cater to women in and from the Global South. The study provides insights into the motivations and mechanisms for creating and moderating these safe spaces, the affordances of social networking sites that enable or hinder the creation and moderation of such spaces and finally, and the deep impact moderating such spaces has on the women who manage them. Based on these findings we discuss suggestions for specific technological affordances to enable and support digital safe spaces for marginalized and vulnerable communities.
Typically, contractionary monetary policy shocks increase the nominal and real rate of interest, which reduces both inflation and output . In contrast, the neo-Fisher effect (NFE) suggests that a transitory but persistent increase in the nominal rate of interest increases inflation in the short run. In a New Keynesian model augmented with several frictions, including the cost channel of monetary policy, real wage rigidity, habit formation in consumption, dampened expectations, and anticipated monetary policy shocks, we derive analytical conditions that give rise to (or avert) the NFE. We show that the NFE can arise due to the interplay between these frictions, and not only when the persistence of the policy shock is large, or when agents are forward-looking, as documented by the existing literature.
Activists and scholars have debated whether “agrarian populisms” premised on multiple classes and groups can pursue progressive objectives if exploiters and exploited are in the same movements. In Pakistan, the militant Pakistan Kissan Ittehad emerged in 2012 by uniting different classes of owner‐cultivators who are largely not in direct relations of exploitation with each other. We argue that the PKI nevertheless advances the interests of a “second tier” of rural capitalists, who exploit rural labourers, while underplaying the interests of owner‐peasant farmers. This divergence of interests has contributed to the fragmentation of PKI along class and political lines, including attempts by peasant farmers to independently organize around issues particular to them. We suggest that progressive agrarian populism must hinge on the interests of rural labourers and peasant farmers and that second‐tier capitalist farmers may be tactical allies as they oppose neoliberal globalization. However, rural labourers and peasants are ideologically and organizationally weak, and thus, the possibility of left‐wing agrarian populism requires much legwork.
This study was designed to examine and report the perceptions of faculty in a public sector university regarding a newly-initiated faculty development program. The study, which applied qualitative approaches to generate data, covered the success stories as well as the challenges that could neutralize the sustenance of a productive program. Although the study did not cover the impacts of the faculty development initiative, it was noted that the program was successfully launched and implemented, which was acknowledged by the faculty in terms of their professional growth. However, multiple factors made the sustenance and effectiveness of the said program questionable particularly in the context of bringing improvement in the teaching and learning culture of the university.
Indole alkaloids represent a large subset of natural products, with more than 4100 known compounds. The majority of these alkaloids are biologically active, with some exhibiting excellent antitumor, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiplasmodial activities. Consequently, the natural products of this class have attracted considerable attention as potential leads for novel therapeutics and are routinely isolated, characterized, and profiled to gauge their biological potential. However, data on indole alkaloids, their various structures, and bioactivities are complex due to their diverse sources, such as plants, fungi, bacteria, sponges, tunicates, and bryozoans; thus, isolation methods produce an incredible trove of information. The situation is exacerbated when synthetic derivatives, as well as their structures, bioactivities, and synthetic schemes, are considered. Thus, to make such data comprehensive and inform researchers about the current field’s state, this review summarizes recent reports on novel indole alkaloids. It deals with the isolation and characterization of 250 novel indole alkaloids, a reappraisal of previously reported compounds, and total syntheses of indole alkaloids. In addition, several syntheses and semi-syntheses of indole-containing derivatives and their bioactivities are reported between January 2019 and July 2022.
It is well known that repeated projective measurements can either slow down (the Zeno effect) or speed up (the anti-Zeno effect) quantum evolution. Until now, studies of these effects for a two-level system interacting with its environment have focused on repeatedly preparing the excited state via projective measurements. In this paper, we consider the repeated preparation of an arbitrary state of a two-level system that is interacting strongly with an environment of harmonic oscillators. To handle the strong interaction, we perform a polaron transformation and then use a perturbative approach to calculate the decay rates for the system. Upon calculating the decay rates, we discover that there is a transition in their qualitative behaviors as the state being repeatedly prepared continuously moves away from the excited state and toward a uniform superposition of the ground and excited states. Our results should be useful for the quantum control of a two-level system interacting with its environment.
Tyrosine threonine kinase (TTK) is the key component of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) that ensures correct attachment of chromosomes to the mitotic spindle and thereby their precise segregation into daughter cells by phosphorylating specific substrate proteins. The overexpression of TTK has been associated with various human malignancies, including breast, colorectal and thyroid carcinomas. TTK has been validated as a target for drug development, and several TTK inhibitors have been discovered. In this study, ligand and structure-based alignment as well as various partial charge models were used to perform 3D-QSAR modelling on 1H-Pyrrolo[3,2-c] pyridine core containing reported inhibitors of TTK protein using the comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity indices analysis (CoMSIA) approaches to design better active compounds. Different statistical methods i.e., correlation coefficient of non-cross validation (r 2), correlation coefficient of leave-one-out cross-validation (q 2), Fisher's test (F) and bootstrapping were used to validate the developed models. Out of several charge models and alignment-based approaches, Merck Molecular Force Field (MMFF94) charges using structure-based alignment yielded highly predictive CoMFA (q 2 = 0.583, Predr 2 = 0.751) and CoMSIA (q 2 = 0.690, Predr 2 = 0.767) models. The models exhibited that electrostatic, steric, HBA, HBD, and hydrophobic fields play a key role in structure activity relationship of these compounds. Using the contour maps information of the best predictive model, new compounds were designed and docked at the TTK active site to predict their plausible binding modes. The structural stability of the TTK complexes with new compounds was confirmed using MD simulations. The simulation studies revealed that all compounds formed stable complexes. Similarly, MM/PBSA method based free energy calculations showed that these compounds bind with reasonably good affinity to the TTK protein. Overall molecular modelling results suggest that newly designed compounds can act as lead compounds for the optimization of TTK inhibitors.
Smart buildings are being built as a synergetic deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy sources. Smart charging of EVs and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies are seen as way forward in this context in terms of achieving economic, technological, and environmental advantages. This paper proposes a framework for multi-objective techno-economic optimization for profit maximization of multiple inter-connected buildings (with bilateral contracts) and scheduling of EVs. The optimization problem is modeled as mixed integer linear programming problem, which is solved using CPLEX solver in ILOG optimization studio. The primary building owns the photovoltaic system coupled with storage and charging infrastructure for the fleet of EVs. The optimized charging of EVs at affordable rates using local resources at primary building assists the grid in managing the EVs’ load during peak hours. Results indicate that the primary building gains up to 62% daily profit after factoring in solar, storage, and charging station deployment costs. Additionally, secondary buildings (without solar, storage and charging facilities) earn up to 20% cost savings depending upon the nature of bilateral contracts with primary building. The results further suggest that fleet of EVs gains 35%–65% savings in charging cost based on lower charging rates and V2X operations with primary and secondary buildings.
The purpose of this study was to identify the challenges students faced in accessing the information from academic libraries during COVID and factors that contributed to stress among students during the pandemic. Another purpose of the study was to know the expectations of the students regarding libraries' services and library professionals' competencies in the post-COVID era. A quantitative research approach and survey method was employed to conduct this study. The population of the study was students of public and private sector universities in Pakistan. Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the collected data. Results revealed that lack of digital resources (limited access to the internet and digital devices such as smartphones) and limited information skills found the highest mean score (3.92 and 3.90 respectively) regarding contributing to stress among the students. Similarly, findings confirmed that lack of access to printed material and printers, scanners, recorders, and websites with limited guidelines were the major challenges students faced while accessing the information from academic libraries during the period of a pandemic. Students agreed and expected remote access to information sources, availability of more electronic content, presence of online tutorials regarding the use of information sources and access to institutional repositories from libraries after the COVID era. Respondents also agreed that post-COVID librarians should be good information managers, communicators, problem solvers and internet librarians. The study also shares the implications for practitioners and polisymakers and future research directions for academics and researchers.
Seaweed as a third-generation biofuel feedstock can provide fuels and chemicals to offset climate change caused by fossil fuel usage and support a cleaner and thriving sea and ocean environment. However, despite several advantages, there are significant challenges to deploying commercial-scale seaweed-based biorefineries, including low-cost and large-scale seaweed cultivation, and lowering the capital and production costs of seaweed conversion to biofuels. Additionally, many conversion platforms can be used to produce biofuels from seaweed. Thus, it is still unclear which technology is economically competitive and, most importantly, the major bottlenecks in the large-scale deployment of seaweed biorefineries remain to be identified. Therefore, a detailed study was conducted to (1) analyze the global state of the seaweed industry, (2) identify platforms for seaweed-based biofuels and bioenergy production on bench-scale investigations, (3) provide a basis for future large-scale techno-economic feasibility studies on seaweed conversion to biofuels and bioenergy, (4) conduct a comparative analysis of biofuels and bioenergy production platforms using seaweed, and (5) identify the major bottlenecks in developing commercial-scale seaweed biorefineries. A comprehensive techno-economic analysis was conducted using six conversion platforms, including sugar, methane, volatile fatty acid, pyrolytic oil, syngas, and hydrothermal liquefaction oil. Based on the current market trends, the results indicated that mixed alcohols production using a volatile fatty acid platform is economically competitive, with the minimum ethanol selling price of 0.28–0.33 $/L, which is 7.8%–21.2% lower than the average wholesale price (0.36 $/L) of ethanol in 2020. In contrast, all other platforms were found to be economically unfeasible.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a serious manifestation of acute lung injury (ALI), is a debilitating inflammatory lung disease that is caused by multiple risk factors. One of the primary causes that can lead to ALI/ARDS is cigarette smoke (CS) and its primary mode of action is via oxidative stress. Despite extensive research, no appropriate therapy is currently available to treat ALI/ARDS, which means there is a dire need for new potential approaches. In our study we explored the protective effects of 70 % methanolic-aqueous extract of Ipomoea nil (Linn.) Roth, named as In.Mcx against CS-induced ALI mice models and RAW 264.7 macrophages because Ipomoea nil has traditionally been used to treat breathing irregularities. Male Swiss albino mice (20–25 ± 2 g) were subjected to CS for 10 uninterrupted days in order to establish CS-induced ALI murine models. Dexamethasone (1 mg/kg), In.Mcx (100 200, and 300 mg/kg) and normal saline (10 mL/kg) were given to respective animal groups, 1 h before CS-exposure. 24 h after the last CS exposure, the lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of all euthanized mice were harvested. Altered alveolar integrity and elevated lung weight-coefficient, total inflammatory cells, oxidative stress, expression of pro-inﬂammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6) and chemokines (KC) were significantly decreased by In.Mcx in CS-exposed mice. In.Mcx also revealed significant lowering IL-1β, IL-6 and KC expression in CSE (4 %)-activated RAW 264.7 macrophage. Additionally, In.Mcx showed marked enzyme inhibition activity against Acetylcholinesterase, Butyrylcholinesterase and Lipoxygenase. Importantly, In.Mcx dose-dependently and remarkably suppressed the CS-induced oxidative stress via not only reducing the MPO, TOS and MDA content but also improving TAC production in the lungs. Accordingly, HPLC analysis revealed the presence of many important antioxidant components. Finally, In.Mcx showed a marked decrease in the NF-κB expression both in in vivo and in vitro models. Our findings suggest that In.Mcx has positive therapeutic effects against CS-induced ALI via suppressing uncontrolled inflammatory response, oxidative stress, lipoxygenase and NF-κB p65 pathway.
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Lahore University of Management Sciences, D.H.A, Lahore Cantt, , 54792, Lahore, Pakistan
Head of institution
Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi
+92 -42 111 11 LUMS (5867)
+92 42 572 2591