University Malaysia Sarawak
  • Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Recent publications
Durian (Durio zibethinus) brings in princely revenue for the fruit economy in Southeast Asia, ushering the current trend of clearing forests for durian plantations. Despite the thorny fruit’s popularity and increasing bat-durian papers, not many associate their vital plant-pollinator relationship. This unfamiliarity has led to the persisting negative connotations of bats as agricultural pests and worse, a disease carrier amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. This review focuses on the bat-durian relationship comprising botanical insights and pollination ecology in relevance to the wider pteropodid-plant interactions. The majority of the studies compiled have concluded that bats are the most effective pollinator for durian than insects. Six fruit bat species (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) have been recorded pollinating durian flowers, with several other pteropodid species speculated to pollinate durian, including in non-native countries. Lastly, we address the research gaps for the bat-durian relationship, which can also be applied to other chiropterophilous plants.
Abstract Background Delays in producing discharge prescriptions have hindered the provision of bedside dispensing services (BEDISC) that enable medication reconciliation and pharmaceutical intervention, which is an important element in transitional care medication safety. We aimed to assess the impact of early medication discharge planning on the delivery of BEDISC in terms of the rate of bedside dispensing, medication errors, and cost-saving from medication reconciliation by reusing patient’s own medicines (POMs). Methods A pre–post intervention study was conducted at medical wards in a public tertiary hospital. During the intervention phase, a structured bedside dispensing process was delineated and conveyed to the doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Regular verbal reminders were given to the doctors to prioritize discharge patients by producing the prescriptions once discharge decisions had been made and nurses to hand the prescriptions to ward pharmacists and not patients. Throughout the study, ward pharmacists were involved in medication reconciliation via screening of discharge prescriptions and reusing POMs, performed pharmaceutical interventions for any medication errors detected, and provided bedside dispensing with discharge counseling. Comparisons were made between bedside versus counter-dispensing at pre–post intervention phases using the chi-square test. Results A total of 1097 and 817 discharge prescriptions were dispensed in the pre-intervention and post-intervention phases, respectively. The bedside dispensing rate increased by 13.5% following remedial actions (p
Background Trace metals pollution in the coastal and estuarine sediment could harm water quality and aquatic organisms, leading to potential long-term health risks on the environment and humans. Thus, the purpose of this study was to conduct an assessment of selected trace metals in surface sediments of the coastal and in four rivers estuary in the Sarawak State of Malaysia to investigate their distribution, environmental risk, and potential source distribution. Results Average concentrations of trace metals in sediment increased in the following order: Cd ˂ As ˂ Co ˂ Cu ˂ Ni ˂ Cr ˂ Zn ˂ Mn ˂ Mg ˂ Fe. The enrichment, contamination, and geo-accumulation index results showed that surface sediments were polluted with Zn and Mg. In contrast, the other metals (i.e., As, Fe, Mn, Ni, Cr, Cu, Co, and Cd) indicated background concentration to minor contamination. Generally, the pollution load index values showed that almost all the sampling sites were unpolluted with the selected trace metals. Sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) and risk indexes were employed to assess the ecotoxicological risk of trace metal contamination in the sediments. The results proved that studied trace metals are not likely to have a deleterious impact on bottom-dwelling organisms. Still, a further accumulation of trace metals such as Zn, Ni, and Cr with time may adversely affect bottom-dwelling organisms. The risk index results showed a low ecological risk to the study sites. The correlation analysis and principal component analysis indicated that nine studied trace metals have strong interrelationships, suggesting common pollution sources or similar geochemical characteristics. Conclusions The study highlights the need to make tremendous efforts to monitor and control trace metal pollution in the coastal and estuarine areas.
Point‐of‐care ultrasound (POCUS) leads to efficient real‐time diagnosis in a wide range of medical specialties. We describe the use of cardiac, lung and lower limb POCUS to rapidly diagnose massive pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis in a 64‐year‐old patient presenting with acute dyspnea prior to elective bronchoscopy. Left femoral vein thrombus and features of increased right heart pressure on POCUS led to the decision to administer fibrinolytic therapy, with subsequent CT pulmonary angiogram confirming bilateral PE. The use of POCUS allowed for rapid imaging and interpretation leading to a rapid diagnosis of PE, thus fast‐tracking lifesaving anticoagulation, especially in an outpatient setting. A case report of the use of multisystem POCUS to rapidly diagnose massive pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis in a suspected lung cancer patient presenting with acute dyspnoea prior to day‐case bronchoscopy.
Fisheries damage caused by Chattonella red tide has been recorded in Southeast Asia. Molecular studies have clarified the presence of two species, Chattonella marina complex and Chattonella subsalsa in the region, unlike East Asia that had only C. marina complex. To elucidate the phylogeography of Chattonella in Asia, further phylogenetic and morphological examinations were carried out with 33 additional culture strains, including the strains isolated during a bloom of Chattonella sp. (up to 142 cells mL⁻¹) that was associated with a wild fish mortality along the northeastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia in 2016, and those from Yellow Sea, where the Chattonella genotypes have not been determined. LSU rDNA and ITS2 trees showed five intrageneric clades in the genus Chattonella, which were clades I and II (C. subsalsa), clade III (C. marina complex) and two new clades, namely clade IV from Thailand and Malaysia, and clade V from Peninsular Malaysia. The positions of the two new clades were different in LSU rDNA and ITS2 trees. LSU rDNA divergences of clades IV and V from the other clades were ≥ 4.01% and ≥ 5.70%, while their ITS2 divergences were ≥ 7.44% and ≥ 16.43%, respectively. Three and five compensatory base changes (CBCs) were observed in the clades IV and V, respectively, when compared to each of their closest clade. Cells from clades IV and V showed similar morphology to C. marina complex and C. subsalsa clade II, including the presence of button-like granules on cell surface and oboe-shaped mucocysts. However, cell size, the number and shape of chloroplasts in Chattonella clades IV and V, and the non-stacked thylakoids penetrated the pyrenoid in C. subsalsa clade II, were distinctive. Based on the diagnostic chloroplast shape, we proposed the designation of clades IV and V to two new species, Chattonella tenuiplastida sp. nov. and Chattonella malayana sp. nov.
Both primary aldosteronism and obstructive sleep apnea are well-known causes of hypertension and contribute to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality independently. However, the relationship between these two entities remains unclear, with studies demonstrating contradictory results. This review aims to collate and put into perspective current available research regarding the association between primary aldosteronism and obstructive sleep apnea. The relationship between these two entities, clinical characteristics, clinical implications, outcomes of treatment, potential causal links and mechanisms are hereby presented.
In rural areas with the absence of efficient centralized water supply systems, residents mainly use available water sources of unknown quality as drinking water without comprehending the likely adverse effects on their health. Thus, tap water, borehole, and surface water in the Wassa East District of Ghana were collected and evaluated based on their quality in terms of four hazardous elements concentrations (i.e., Hg, Pb, As, and Cd). Neurotoxic health impacts associated with exposure to these dangerous elements in the three water sources via oral ingestion by inhabitant children were assessed following US EPA risk assessment guidelines. The average concentrations of four hazardous elements in the water samples were compared with WHO guidelines for drinking water. The average concentrations of four hazardous elements in all samples collected from three water sources were higher than the permissible limits for Hg, Pb, As, and Cd put forward by WHO. Based on the obtained results, the hazard quotient (HQ) for oral ingestion of Hg in tap water, borehole, and surface water were in the range of 0.25-4.47, 0.21 to 1.13, and 0.35 to 1.83, respectively. The HQ values for lead varied from 0.01 to 0.04 for tap water, 0.01-0.04 for borehole, and 0.01-0.05 for surface water. In contrast, the HQ values for As range from 1.96 to 9.18 for tap water, 1.98-7.41 for borehole, and 2.55-10.19 for surface water. Additionally, the HQ values for Cd varied from 0.55 to 2.35 for tap water, 0.59-2.35 for borehole, and 0.52-3.54 for surface water. In general, the hazard index in all sampling sites and water sources were > 1.0, indicating potential neurotoxic health effects associated with ingestion of four hazardous elements exposure via drinking water by inhabitant children. Multivariate analyses interpolation established both natural and anthropogenic sources of water contamination. Meticulous monitoring of water quality before use for drinking purposes by the resident children is recommended for all three studied water sources.
Abstract Background To have better prognostic outcomes and minimize deaths due to nasopharyngeal cancer, it is vital to understand factors that motivate the public to undertake cancer preventive measures. The study investigated determinants of intention to adopt measures to reduce nasopharyngeal cancer risk using the Theory of Planned Behavior. Method A cross-sectional survey was conducted on Malaysians (n = 515) using a questionnaire on attitudes, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, knowledge of nasopharyngeal cancer, past nasopharyngeal cancer preventive behavior, and intention to adopt preventive measures. The attitudes construct encompassed perceptions of susceptibility, severity, benefits and barriers. Hierarchical regression of mediation effect under structural equation model approach was used to test the theory. The model was re-estimated using the two-stage least square approach by instrumental approach. Next the Maximum Likelihood Estimation-Structural Equation Modeling was conducted to gauge the instrumentation and check the robustness of the model’s simultaneity. Results The respondents had moderate knowledge of nasopharyngeal cancer, and reported high levels of perceived risk, perceived severity and perceived behavioral control. The respondents were under little social pressure (subjective norm) to perform nasopharyngeal cancer preventive actions, marginally believed in the benefits of medical tests and reported few barriers. The Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling results show that the relationship between intention and four independent variables were significant (perceived behavioral control, perceived risk, perceived severity, marital status) at p
Several vaccines have been fast-tracked through clinical trials to mitigate the progression of the SARS‑CoV‑2 pandemic. We analyzed sequential blood samples from 314 recipients of Comirnaty and CoronaVac in East Malaysia for the spike-binding IgG (IgG-S), nucleocapsid-binding IgG (IgG-N), spike-binding IgM (IgM-S) and serum vitamin D (VitD). A subset of samples was analyzed for the neutralizing antibodies (Ig-RBD). Results showed that IgG-S due to Comirnaty was significantly higher than CoronaVac. IgM-S was detected in 80.0% Comirnaty and 69.5% CoronaVac recipients, while IgG-N was detected in 58.1% CoronaVac but not in Comirnaty recipients. All IgG-S-positive vaccines possessed detectable Ig-RBD after the second dose but with a weak to moderate correlation. The serum VitD levels did not influence the antibody magnitude in both vaccines. In essence, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is an IgG-S-dominant event, Comirnaty was more effective than CoronaVac in mounting IgG-S and Ig-RBD responses, independent of the patient’s VitD level.
Urbanization is rapidly transforming much of Southeast Asia, altering the structure and function of the landscape, as well as the frequency and intensity of the interactions between people, animals, and the environment. In this study, we explored the impact of urbanization on zoonotic disease risk by simultaneously characterizing changes in the ecology of animal reservoirs (rodents), ectoparasite vectors (ticks), and pathogens across a gradient of urbanization in Kuching, a city in Malaysian Borneo. We sampled 863 rodents across rural, developing, and urban locations and found that rodent species diversity decreased with increasing urbanization—from 10 species in the rural location to 4 in the rural location. Notably, two species appeared to thrive in urban areas, as follows: the invasive urban exploiter Rattus rattus ( n = 375) and the native urban adapter Sundamys muelleri ( n = 331). R. rattus was strongly associated with built infrastructure across the gradient and carried a high diversity of pathogens, including multihost zoonoses capable of environmental transmission (e.g., Leptospira spp.). In contrast, S. muelleri was restricted to green patches where it was found at high densities and was strongly associated with the presence of ticks, including the medically important genera Amblyomma , Haemaphysalis , and Ixodes . Our analyses reveal that zoonotic disease risk is elevated and heterogeneously distributed in urban environments and highlight the potential for targeted risk reduction through pest management and public health messaging.
The proliferation of mobile technology has significantly changed non-traditional tourism types such as the ecotourism sector and thus significantly impacted visitors’ experience at tourism sites. However, there is a lack of instrumentation to assess the visitors’ experience with mobile technology and the general experience of the visitors at ecotourism sites. This research aims at establishing and validating the instruments to measure the visitors’ experience with and without mobile technology. A standard psychometric scale development methodology was utilised to develop and validate the scales. Three hundred participants responded to the online advertisement and participated in this research. Data were analysed using IBM SPSS. Findings from Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) revealed the multi-factor attributes of visitors’ experience with the smartphone app and general experience for the ecotourism site. The Ecotourism Smartphone Application (ESAS) yielded five factors: App Ease of Use, Mobile App Usability, App Utilitarian Value, App loyalty, and App Meaningful Experience; whilst General Experience Scale (GES) yielded two factors: Learning and Satisfaction. These two scales can measure the overall visitor experience at ecotourism sites that use and do not use mobile technology.
With the pace of urbanization and globalization gradually accelerated. Many urban public Spaces focus on “modern”, “fashion” and “international” while ignoring the important role of traditional history and regional culture in public Spaces, which leads to serious homogeneity in both external form and cultural expression in many urban public Spaces. A good urban public space environment should make people have a sense of historical belonging and show the characteristics of the city. This paper discusses the importance of regional culture in urban construction, and tries to make those excellent regional culture continue and inherit in urban public space design by creatively extracting regional cultural elements and combining them with modern design techniques. Through case analysis, this paper expounds the specific design and expression method of urban regional culture, thus proving that regional culture has very important significance and necessity in creating personalized urban public space.
Perfect forward secrecy, cross-verification, and robust mutual authentication guarantee secure communication through unfavorable and unsafe channels. The speedy development in wireless communication and drone-assisted networking technology has miserable significance in many areas, including wildlife monitoring, sidewalk checking, infrastructure inspection, and smart city surveillance. But guaranteeing message integrity, non-repudiation, authenticity, and authorization for information transmission for these areas are still challenging for researchers when using Flying Ad Hoc Networks (FANETs). The FANET’s existence for drone technology is more complicated due to dynamic changes in its topology and easily vulnerable to the adversary for numerous attacks. So far, before exhilarating a drone in the Internet-of-Drones (IoD) environment, controlled layered network architecture is indispensable to allow only legitimate drones to collaborate securely with each other and with the ground control station (GCS) for building the highest trust. A minor lapse creates a severe complication for communication security because an attacker might be trapping data from the open network channel and using it for their unusual deeds. Attentively, identification authentication and message authentication are necessary for such a sensitive environment. Therefore, in this research article, we have designed a verifiably secure Elliptic Curve Cryptographic (ECC)-based authentication scheme for IoD using FANET. The formal security proof of the scheme has been made using a programming verification toolkit ProVerif2.03, Random Oracle Model (ROM), and informally by pragmatic illustration. And the performance evaluation section of the article has been made by considering storage, computation, and communication costs. When comparing the proposed security mechanism with state-of-the-art schemes, it has been shown that the work done in this article is efficient and effective and is suitable for practically implementing in the IoD environment.
Background/purpose The usage of bioceramic-based root canal sealers has escalated over the years due to their excellent properties. The present study aimed to fabricate a novel algin incorporated bioactive glass 58S calcium-silicate (Bio-G) sealer and characterise its surface microstructure and chemical compositions in comparison to commercially available bioceramic sealers (BioRoot RCS and iRoot SP). Materials and methods The powder form of experimental Bio-G sealer consisted of synthesised BG 58S particle, calcium silicate, zirconia dioxide, calcium carbonate and alginic acid powder as binder. The liquid composed of 5% calcium chloride solution. Five standardised disc specimens were prepared for each sealer group according to the manufacturer's instructions. Subsequently, sealer disc-specimens were placed in an incubator at 37 °C, 95% relative humidity for 72 h to allow setting prior to testing under scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Results Experimental Bio-G sealer revealed irregular micro-sized particles ranging from 0.5 μm to 105 μm aggregated in clusters comparable to those of BioRoot RCS and iRoot SP. EDS microanalysis showed that Bio-G had high content of oxygen, silicon, and calcium, with the presence of aluminium and chloride similar to BioRoot RCS. Meanwhile, the FTIR and XRD findings suggested that all sealers predominantly contained calcium silicate hydrate, calcium carbonate, and zirconium dioxide, while calcium aluminium silicate oxide was detected in Bio-G. Conclusion The present novel Bio-G sealer demonstrated desirable particle size distribution and acceptable degree of purity. Future studies are warranted to explore its properties and clinical application.
Air pollution is one of the most serious environmental issues. In Malaysia, the emission of air pollutants has increased in recent years. This study aimed to examine the impact of air pollution on sectoral indices in Malaysian stock market. The dependent variables used in this study were the daily return of 13 sectoral indices, while the independent variables were as follows: (i) the lagged daily return of sectoral indices; (ii) the lagged standard deviation of sectoral indices; and (iii) the Air Quality Index (AQI). The sample period of this study covered from 5 July 2019 to 8 April 2022. The findings showed that the lagged daily return only significantly affected the daily return of few sectors. Meanwhile, the lagged standard deviation significantly affected the daily return of all the sectoral indices, but not under all the market conditions. The lagged AQI and AQI also significantly affected the daily return of eight sectors, which included finance, property, construction, healthcare, technology, energy, utilities, and consumer sectors. Hence, investors need to observe the changes in the air pollution level and market conditions when making investment decision. These findings could help investors in identifying the environmental factors that need to be considered before investing in the stocks of particular sectors.
Bacteria community provides essential ecological services to rice plants. The bacterial diversity of rice varies across host plant genotype and organs. This study employed 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing to characterise the bacterial community associated with three rice landraces using leaf blade and stem samples. The prokaryotic community found in these rice landraces comprised of two kingdoms, 12 phyla, 25 classes, 40 orders, 80 families, and 118 genera. Proteobacteria (53.9%) was the most abundant phylum. The most abundant genus was an undefined genus under Cyanobacteria (33.0%). Homogeneity of prokaryotic community was observed across the three rice landraces, which may suggest a high similarity in biological and genetical properties of the rice landraces. The difference in prokaryotic composition between leaf blade and stem was depicted based on principal coordinate analysis. This study observed that the prokaryotic inhabitants in rice plants is predominantly determined by rice plant organs.
Less is known about studies into the effects of precipitation season and forest stands on ion deposition in restored forest ecosystems. In the present study, we measured and compared ion deposition (Ca²⁺, Na⁺, Fe²⁺, Cu²⁺, NO₃⁻, NH₄⁺, and SO₄²⁻) in rehabilitated forest sites in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. Through-fall ion depositions were measured with an ion-exchange resin (IER) sampler. In all forest stand years, Ca²⁺ and NH 4 ⁺ depositions were consistently lower in the low precipitation season than in the high precipitation season, whereas there were no discernible patterns for Na⁺, Fe²⁺, Cu²⁺, NO₃⁻, or SO₄²⁻ between high and low precipitation seasons. The results also show that through-fall in forest stands in 2002, 2005, and 2008 had higher amounts of Ca²⁺ than through-fall in forest stands in 1996 and 1999 during both seasons. Through-fall from forest stands between 2008 and 2002 showed higher levels of Na⁺ and SO² ⁻ in low-precipitation seasons, whereas through-fall from forest stands from 1996 had higher levels in high-precipitation seasons. Overall, these results confirm the significance of rainfall volume and forest canopy stand in defining ion deposition status in the forest by demonstrating that ion deposition is influenced by precipitation season and forest stand via through-fall.
Background Telemedicine has been increasingly integrated into chronic disease management through remote patient monitoring and consultation, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting effectiveness of telemedicine interventions for the management of patients with cardiovascular conditions. Methods In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library from database inception to Jan 18, 2021. We included randomised controlled trials and observational or cohort studies that evaluated the effects of a telemedicine intervention on cardiovascular outcomes for people either at risk (primary prevention) of cardiovascular disease or with established (secondary prevention) cardiovascular disease, and, for the meta-analysis, we included studies that evaluated the effects of a telemedicine intervention on cardiovascular outcomes and risk factors. We excluded studies if there was no clear telemedicine intervention described or if cardiovascular or risk factor outcomes were not clearly reported in relation to the intervention. Two reviewers independently assessed and extracted data from trials and observational and cohort studies using a standardised template. Our primary outcome was cardiovascular-related mortality. We evaluated study quality using Cochrane risk-of-bias and Newcastle-Ottawa scales. The systematic review and the meta-analysis protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021221010) and the Malaysian National Medical Research Register (NMRR-20–2471–57236). Findings 72 studies, including 127 869 participants, met eligibility criteria, with 34 studies included in meta-analysis (n=13 269 with 6620 [50%] receiving telemedicine). Combined remote monitoring and consultation for patients with heart failure was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular-related mortality (risk ratio [RR] 0·83 [95% CI 0·70 to 0·99]; p=0·036) and hospitalisation for a cardiovascular cause (0·71 [0·58 to 0·87]; p=0·0002), mostly in studies with short-term follow-up. There was no effect of telemedicine on all-cause hospitalisation (1·02 [0·94 to 1·10]; p=0·71) or mortality (0·90 [0·77 to 1·06]; p=0·23) in these groups, and no benefits were observed with remote consultation in isolation. Small reductions were observed for systolic blood pressure (mean difference –3·59 [95% CI –5·35 to –1·83] mm Hg; p<0·0001) by remote monitoring and consultation in secondary prevention populations. Small reductions were also observed in body-mass index (mean difference –0·38 [–0·66 to –0·11] kg/m²; p=0·0064) by remote consultation in primary prevention settings. Interpretation Telemedicine including both remote disease monitoring and consultation might reduce short-term cardiovascular-related hospitalisation and mortality risk among patients with heart failure. Future research should evaluate the sustained effects of telemedicine interventions. Funding The British Heart Foundation.
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9,766 members
Showkat Bhawani
  • Department of Chemistry
Zainab Ngaini
  • Department of Chemistry
Kee-Man Chuah
  • Faculty of Language and Communication
Siti Noor Linda Taib
  • Department of Civil Engineering
Information
Address
Jalan Datuk Mohd Musa , 94300, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Head of institution
Prof Dato' Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi
Website
www.unimas.my
Phone
+6082581000
Fax
+6082665088