• Fabrication and in-vivo study of micro-colloidal zanthoxylum acanthopodium-loaded bacterial cellulose as a burn wound dressing

      Pasaribu, Khatarina Meldawati; Gea, Saharman; Ilyas, Syafruddin; Tamrin, Tamrin; Sarumaha, Appealwan Altruistis; Sembiring, Ardiansyah; Radecka, Izabela (MDPI, 2020-06-27)
      Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a biopolymer commonly used for wound dressing due to its high biocompatible properties either in-vitro or in-vivo. The three-dimensional fiber structure of BC becomes an advantage because it provides a template for the impregnation of materials in order to improve BC’s properties as a wound dressing, since BC has not displayed any bioactivity properties. In this study, micro-colloidal Zanthoxylum acanthopodium (MZA) fruit was loaded into BC fibers via an in-situ method. Z. acanthopodium is known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities that can support BC to accelerate the wound healing process. The FTIR, XRD and SEM analysis results showed that the loading process of MZA and the composite fabrication were successfully carried out. The TGA test also showed that the presence of MZA in BC fibers decreased Tmax composite from BC, from 357.8 to 334.5 °C for BC-MZA3. Other aspects, i.e., water content, porosity, hemocompatibility and histology studies, also showed that the composite could potentially be used as a wound dressing.
    • A facile synthetic route to a family of Mn<sup>III</sup>monomers and their structural, magnetic and spectroscopic studies

      Houton, E; Kelly, B; Sanz, S; McInnes, EJL; Collison, D; Brechin, EK; Barra, AL; Ryder, AG; Jones, LF (Wiley, 2016-10-07)
      © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim We report a rapid and facile route to the synthesis of a family of MnIIImonomers of general formula [MnIIIF3(H2O)(L1–6)]·xH2O·yMeOH [L1= 2,2′-bipyridyl, x = 2, y = 0 (1′); L2= 1,10′-phenanthroline, x = y = 0 (2′); L3= 6-methyl-2,2′-dipyridyl, x = y = 0 (3), L4= 4,4-dimethyl-2,2′-dipyridyl, x = 2, y = 0 (4), L5= 5,5′-dimethyl-2,2′-dipyridyl, x = 0, y = 0.5 (5); L6= 5-chloro-1,10-phenanthroline, x = y = 0 (6)]. Magnetic susceptibility and magnetisation experiments have been employed to elucidate the D tensor for each family member (ranging from –3.01 cm–1in 2′ to –4.02 cm–1in 5), while multi-frequency/high-field EPR spectroscopic measurements and subsequent simulations gave similar values for complexes 1′ (–4.25 cm–1), 2′ (–4.03 cm–1), 4 (–3.90 cm–1) and 5 (–4.04 cm–1). The terminal Mn–F vibrational stretches in 1′–6 have been probed using Raman spectroscopy.
    • Facilitating successful smart campus transitions: a systems thinking-SWOT analysis approach

      Awuzie, Bankole; Ngowi, Alfred Beati; Omotayo, Temitope; Obi, Lovelin; Akotia, Julius (MDPI, 2021-02-25)
      An identification of strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) factors remains imperative for enabling a successful Smart Campus transition. The absence of a structured approach for analyzing the relationships between these SWOT factors and the influence thereof on Smart Campus transitions negate effective implementation. This study leverages a systems thinking approach to bridge this gap. Data were collected through a stakeholder workshop within a University of Technology case study and analyzed using qualitative content analysis (QCA). This resulted in the establishment of SWOT factors affecting Smart Campus transitions. Systems thinking was utilized to analyze the relationships between these SWOT factors resulting in a causal loop diagram (CLD) highlighting extant interrelationships. A panel of experts drawn from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and South Africa validated the relationships between the SWOT factors as elucidated in the CLD. Subsequently, a Smart Campus transition framework predicated on the CLD archetypes was developed. The framework provided a holistic approach to understanding the interrelationships between various SWOT factors influencing Smart Campus transitions. This framework remains a valuable tool for facilitating optimal strategic planning and management approaches by policy makers, academics, and implementers within the global Higher Education Institution (HEI) landscape for managing successful Smart Campus transition at the South African University of Technology (SAUoT) and beyond.
    • Factor Analysis of Particle Size Specific Mineral Magnetic Measurements on Agricultural Topsoils from the Isle of Man

      Booth, Colin A.; Fullen, Michael A.; Smith, John P.; Hallett, Michael D.; Walden, John; Harris, John; Holland, Kim (Taylor & Francis, 2006)
      Agricultural topsoils from the five soil categories of the Isle of Man (British Isles) have been fractionated at discrete particle size intervals and their mineral magnetic properties have been analyzed. The aim was to characterize Manx soils and, with the aid of simultaneous R- and Q-mode factor analysis, evaluate the use of mineral magnetic measurements as an appropriate means of discriminating soil categories. Results show Manx agricultural topsoils contain a range of magnetic concentrations (similar to sedimentary and acid igneous rocks), magnetic mineralogy (greater influence of magnetically soft than magnetically hard minerals) and magnetic domain size (mainly stable single domain and superparamagnetic grains) characteristics, with significant differences between the five identified soil categories for each of the fractionated size class intervals used. Despite the mineral magnetic approach showing considerable potential for classifying Manx soils on the basis of their magnetic properties, large variations exist within individual soil categories. However, compared with previous studies, particle size specific measurements provide a more appropriate means of discrimination than bulk magnetic measurements. Each specific fractionated particle size range accommodates similar abilities of discrimination, yet no single class size is better than any other. Nevertheless, the ability of factor analysis to detect multivariate patterns in mineral magnetic data shows it is a useful data analysis tool for interrogating soil data sets.
    • Factors Affecting Community Empowerment During Disaster Recovery

      Van Krieken, Tony; Pathirage, Chaminda (IGI Global, 2019-07-19)
      The purpose of this study is to explore and identify the factors for empowering the community during the Disaster Recovery phase. It is very important to recognize the community (decision makers) as being empowered of their fate but not to inform, consult and having others to decide their fate. The study investigates the important role of the project manager who coordinates and communicates with the community members in order to empower them to achieve a long-term sustainability. The findings obtained from the literature review and the case studies allow identifying the factors for empowering the community during Disaster Recovery, such as: participation in decision-making; use of social capital within the community; thinking and doing SMART; recognizing community power; building capacity; and helping your neighbors. The results of this study provide guidelines for Project Managers to empower the community as decisions makers in the disaster recovery phase.
    • Factors Affecting the Equality and Diversity of Ethnic Minority Women in the UK Construction Industry: An Empirical Study

      Toor, Rachel Nicola; Suresh, Subashini; Renukappa, Suresh (Applied Science University, 2017-12)
      The construction industry has been notoriously known for being a male dominated industry with no room for change. As years have passed by, the industry has sparked a revolution of an increase of women joining the ranks. However, the industry is still known for its inequality and lack of diversity. The aim of this research was to investigate equality amongst ethnic minorities (EM’s) in the construction industry, in particular female EM’s, and establish the root causes of the lack of diversity. The sample of respondents consisted of construction professionals from all levels, comprising of 15 UK companies ranging from public to private sector firms, large, medium, and small companies. The findings showed 15 challenges and barriers faced by EM women in the UK. The main challenges were personal perceptions of negative treatment but a positive view on the collective of EM’s women, EM’s still believe that they are not treated equally in comparison to their white colleagues, the ingrained stigma of construction still being considered as a ‘man’s world’ and cultural pressure and opposition from families that still exists in ethnic communities. It was also found that EM’s have differing views on treatment and perceptions of the industry. Nevertheless, it was found that the construction industry has made changes. However, it needs to continually improve in order to open up the way for a more diverse workforce that is inclusive and fair for women from all walks of life.
    • Factors and procedures used in matching project managers to construction projects in Bangkok

      Ogunlana, Stephen; Siddiqui, Zafaar; Yisa, Silas; Olomolaiye, Paul (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2002)
      A number of factors and associated sub-factors influencing the matching of project managers to construction projects were identified after a thorough review of related literature and interviews of management personnel involved in the selection of project managers. There appears to be a consensus among the construction industry management in Bangkok on the factors, which influence the selection of construction project managers. A detailed survey of the top 100 construction companies in Thailand was conducted, to determine what factors are used in the industry to assign project managers to projects. A total of 73 completed questionnaires were received from 36 companies. It was established that influencing factors attract some degree of relative importance irrespective of the construction project category. The data showed no statistical difference between the three project categories in the weights given to the various factors considered for project manager assignment. Personal characteristics are considered least important for effective project management. It is argued that, at least in the Thai context, contractors are careful in assigning Project Managers that are capable of meeting external customers' needs. A matching model was developed based on the identified influencing factors and the relative importance they attached in the process of selecting the construction project managers. The model requires input in terms of the project requirements and evaluation of candidates' characteristics with respect to the influencing factors.
    • Factors influencing adoption model of continuous glucose monitoring devices for internet of things healthcare

      Md Ismail, Hossain; Ahmad Fadhil, Yusof; Ab Razak, Che Hussin; Noorminshah, A lahad; Sadiq, Ali Safaa (Elsevier, 2021-01-18)
      Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems (CGMs) device is the most developed technology, which has reshaped manual diabetes management with smart features having sensor, transmitter and monitor. However, the number of users for CGMs device is still very low compared to existing manual systems although this device provides a smart landmark in blood glucose monitoring for diabetes management. Consequently, the aspire of the assessment is to explore the factors that influence users’ intention to adopt CGMs device on the Internet of Things (IoT) based healthcare. This paper provides an adoption model for CGMs device by integrating some factors from different theories in existing studies of wearable healthcare devices. The proposed adoption model also examines current factors as a guideline for the users to adopt the CGMs device. We have collected data from 97 actual CGMs device users. Partial least square and structural equation modelling were involved for measurement and structural model assessment of this study. The experiential study specifies that interpersonal influence and trustworthiness are the strong predictors of attitude toward a wearable device, which shows significant relationships to use for CGMs device’s adoption. Personal innovativeness shows no significant relationship with attitude toward a wearable device. Besides, self-efficacy has no direct influence on a person’s health interest where heath interest directly influences users’ intention to use CGMs device. Moreover, perceived value is not found to be significant for measuring intention to use CGMs devices. The results from this research provide suggestions for the developers to ensure users’ intention to adopt CGMs device.
    • Factors Influencing Contractor Performance: An International Investigation

      Xiao, Hong; Proverbs, David G. (Emerald Publishing Group Ltd., 2003)
      International comparisons of contractor performance can provide robust benchmarks for contractors in different countries and help to identify ways towards performance improvement. Based on a hypothetical construction project, overall contractor performance (OCP) in Japan, the UK and the USA is compared. Overall contractor performance is defined to embrace construction cost, construction time, construction quality and sustainable development, the philosophy being that the achievement of one aspect of performance should not be at the expense of another. Multiple regression analysis reveals that overall contractor performance is dependent on: their past performance on previous similar projects; their commitment towards lifetime employment; their perceived importance of time performance; their relationship with subcontractors; and the number of design variations during construction. To improve their overall performance, contractors are advised to focus on construction time, reduce delays, maintain a stable workforce and establish partnerships with their subcontractors. Clients should attempt to reduce design variations during construction. (Emerald Group Publishing Limited)
    • Factors influencing the effectiveness of an agro-environmental project in China

      Subedi, Madhu; Hocking, Trevor J.; Fullen, Michael A.; McCrea, Alison R.; Milne, Eleanor (IP Publishing, 2011)
      A case study identified the factors affecting farmers’ adoption of improved technologies extended by an agricultural development project in a rural village in Yunnan Province, China. Project effectiveness was influenced by: the success and appropriateness of recommended technologies and associated infrastructure development; the use of participatory approaches; material and advisory support to local stakeholders; clear explanations of project objectives to farmers; benefits for small landholders; land rights for farmers; farmers’ awareness and dissemination activities; and project duration. Farmers’ adoption of technologies should be a major criterion in evaluating project success.
    • Factors relating to soil fertility and species diversity in both semi-natural and created meadows in the West Midlands of England

      McCrea, Alison R.; Trueman, Ian C.; Fullen, Michael A. (Blackwell, 2004)
      The post-war decline in the area and diversity of neutral meadows in Britain, resulting from agricultural intensification, has prompted schemes to restore and create new habitats. Their success relies on understanding the relations between soil fertility and species diversity. We have investigated these relations, using multivariate analysis, in 28 semi-natural meadows and eight artificially created urban meadows. Mineralizable nitrogen was the most important soil characteristic in the semi-natural sites; the more N the soil contained the fewer were the species characteristic of traditional meadows. Both potassium and total magnesium favoured diversity, perhaps because their deficiency in many traditionally managed meadows jeopardizes the survival of broad-leaved species in competition with grasses. Available lead, at sub-lethal concentrations and measured as a Pb:Ca ratio, appeared to favour diversity in the semi-natural sites, possibly by inhibiting the uptake of P by competitive grasses and allowing the less competitive species associated with diversity to flourish. The main differences between the soils of the artificial and the semi-natural meadows were that the former contained more extractable P and less mineralizable N and organic matter. It seems that large soil phosphorus concentrations may be the main reason why relatively few species colonize or survive in grassland on many urban soils.
    • Farmers perceptions of climate change related events in Shendam and Riyom, Nigeria

      Goyol, S; Pathirage, C (MDPI AG, 2018-12-19)
      © 2018 by the authors. Although agriculture in Nigeria is the major source of income for about 70% of the active population, the impact of agrarian infrastructure on boosting productivity and supporting livelihoods has increased. Climate change and the increasing trend of climate-related events in Nigeria challenge both the stability of agrarian infrastructure and livelihood systems. Based on case studies of two local communities in Plateau state in Nigeria, this paper utilizes a range of perceptions to examine the impacts of climate-related events on agrarian infrastructures and how agrarian livelihood systems are, in turn, affected. Data are obtained from a questionnaire survey (n = 175 farmers) and semi-structured interviews (n = 14 key informants). The study identifies local indicators of climate change, high risks climate events and the components of agrarian infrastructures that are at risk from climate events. Findings reveal that, changes in rainfall and temperature patterns increase the probability of floods and droughts. They also reveal that, although locational differences account for the high impact of floods on road transport systems and droughts on irrigation infrastructures, both have a chain of negative effects on agricultural activities, economic activities and livelihood systems. A binomial logistic regression model is used to predict the perceived impact levels of floods and droughts, while an in-depth analysis is utilized to corroborate the quantitative results. The paper further stresses the need to strengthen the institutional capacity for risk reduction through the provision of resilient infrastructures, as the poor conditions of agrarian infrastructure were identified as dominant factors on the high impact levels.
    • Fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene influences skeletal muscle phenotypes in non-resistance trained males and elite rugby playing position

      Heffernan, SM; Stebbings, GK; Kilduff, LP; Erskine, RM; Day, SH; Morse, CI; McPhee, JS; Cook, CJ; Vance, B; Ribbans, WJ; et al. (Springer Nature, 2017-01-19)
      Background FTO gene variants have been associated with obesity phenotypes in sedentary and obese populations, but rarely with skeletal muscle and elite athlete phenotypes. Methods In 1089 participants, comprising 530 elite rugby athletes and 559 non-athletes, DNA was collected and genotyped for the FTO rs9939609 variant using real-time PCR. In a subgroup of non-resistance trained individuals (NT; n = 120), we also assessed structural and functional skeletal muscle phenotypes using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, ultrasound and isokinetic dynamometry. In a subgroup of rugby athletes (n = 77), we assessed muscle power during a countermovement jump. Results In NT, TT genotype and T allele carriers had greater total body (4.8% and 4.1%) and total appendicular lean mass (LM; 3.0% and 2.1%) compared to AA genotype, with greater arm LM (0.8%) in T allele carriers and leg LM (2.1%) for TT, compared to AA genotype. Furthermore, the T allele was more common (94%) in selected elite rugby union athletes (back three and centre players) who are most reliant on LM rather than total body mass for success, compared to other rugby athletes (82%; P = 0.01, OR = 3.34) and controls (84%; P = 0.03, OR = 2.88). Accordingly, these athletes had greater peak power relative to body mass than other rugby athletes (14%; P = 2 x 10-6). Conclusion Collectively, these results suggest that the T allele is associated with increased LM and elite athletic success. This has implications for athletic populations, as well as conditions characterised by low LM such as sarcopenia and cachexia.
    • Fault Identification-based voltage sag state estimation using artificial neural network

      Liao, H; Anani, N (Elsevier, 2017-10-23)
      © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This paper presents an artificial neural network (ANN) based approach to identify faults for voltage sag state estimation. Usually ANN cannot be used to abstract relationship between monitored data and arbitrarily named fault indices which are not related at all logically in numerical level. This paper presents a novel approach to overcome this problem. In this approach, not only the networks are trained to adapt to the given training data, the training data (the expected outputs of fault indices) is also updated to adapt to the neural network. During the training procedure, both the neural networks and training data are updated interactively. With the proposed approach, various faults can be accurately identified using limited monitored data. The approach is robust to measurement uncertainty which usually exists in practical monitoring systems. Furthermore, the updated fault indices are able to suggest the difference of the impact of various faults on bus voltages. .
    • Feasibility of an oxygen-getter with nickel electrodes in alkaline electrolysers

      Symes, Daniel; Taylor-Cox, Connie; Holyfield, Leighton; Al-Duri, Bushra; Dhir, Aman (2014-03-21)
      Alkaline electrolysis is the long-established technology for water splitting to produce hydrogen and has been industrially used since the nineteenth century. The most common materials used for the electrodes are nickel and derivatives of nickel (e.g. Raney nickel). Nickel represents a cost-effective electrode material due to its low cost (compared to platinum group metals), good electrical conductivity and exhibits good resistance to corrosive solutions. The steady degradation of the nickel electrodes over time is known as a result of oxide layer formation on the electrode surface. Reducing oxide layer growth on the electrode surface will increase the efficiency and lifetime of the electrolyser. Titanium has a higher affinity to oxygen than nickel so has been introduced to the electrolyser as a sacrificial metal to reduce oxide layer formation on the nickel. Two identical electrolysers were tested with one difference: Cell B had titanium chips present in the electrolyte solution, whilst Cell A did not have titanium present. SEM results show a reduction of 16 % in the thickness of the Cell B oxide layer on nickel compared to the Cell A nickel, which is supported by the large increase in oxide layer build-up on the titanium in Cell B. EDX on the same samples showed on average a 59 % decrease in oxygen on the Cell B nickel compared to Cell A. XPS surface analysis of the same samples showed a 17 % decrease in the oxygen on Cell B nickel. These results support the hypothesis that adding titanium to an alkaline electrolyser system with nickel electrodes can reduce the oxide layer formation on the nickel.
    • Fecal concentrations of cortisol, testosterone, and progesterone in cotton-top tamarins hosted in different zoological parks: Relationship among physiological data, environmental conditions and behavioral patterns

      Fontani, Sara; Vaglio, Stefano; Beghelli, Valentina; Mattioli, Michela; Bacci, Silvia; Accorsi, Pier Attilio (Taylor and Francis, 2014-05-14)
      The aim of this investigation was to study the welfare of 3 captive groups of cotton-top tamarins housed in different zoological parks. Ethological observations were conducted during 1 year. In addition, fecal samples were collected and the concentrations of glucocorticoids, androgens, and progestogens were measured. Within each group, no significant differences in fecal cortisol concentrations were found between subjects. The fecal concentrations of testosterone and progesterone significantly differed depending on the sexes and ages of the tamarins. A significant association was found among hormone concentrations, exhibit dimensions, and group composition. A highly significant correlation was found between all hormones considered and the space available for each subject. Significant differences in behavioral patterns were observed among groups, including social–individual, affiliative–aggressive, and anogenital–suprapubic scent marking. Correlations between hormone measurements and behaviors were detected. In conclusion, this study confirmed the associations between some behaviors exhibited by these nonhuman primates and both cortisol and testosterone; these data also highlight the role played by progesterone in these behaviors.
    • Federated blockchain-based tracking and liability attribution framework for employees and cyber-physical objects in a smart workplace

      Ahmadi-Assalemi, Gabriela; Al-Khateeb, Haider; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Cosson, Jon; Pillai, Prashant (IEEE, 2019-04-11)
      The systematic integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) into the supply chain to increase operational efficiency and quality has also introduced new complexities to the threat landscape. The myriad of sensors could increase data collection capabilities for businesses to facilitate process automation aided by Artificial Intelligence (AI) but without adopting an appropriate Security-by-Design framework, threat detection and response are destined to fail. The emerging concept of Smart Workplace incorporates many CPS (e.g. Robots and Drones) to execute tasks alongside Employees both of which can be exploited as Insider Threats. We introduce and discuss forensic-readiness, liability attribution and the ability to track moving Smart SPS Objects to support modern Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) within a defence-in-depth strategy. We present a framework to facilitate the tracking of object behaviour within Smart Controlled Business Environments (SCBE) to support resilience by enabling proactive insider threat detection. Several components of the framework were piloted in a company to discuss a real-life case study and demonstrate anomaly detection and the emerging of behavioural patterns according to objects' movement with relation to their job role, workspace position and nearest entry or exit. The empirical data was collected from a Bluetooth-based Proximity Monitoring Solution. Furthermore, a key strength of the framework is a federated Blockchain (BC) model to achieve forensic-readiness by establishing a digital Chain-of-Custody (CoC) and a collaborative environment for CPS to qualify as Digital Witnesses (DW) to support post-incident investigations.
    • Federated-Distributed Simulation of Rigid Bodies in Computer Games

      Kumar, Pawan; Mehdi, Qasim (The University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2007)
      In this paper we detail our prototype rigid bodies simulation environment that was developed for testing and evaluation of federated simulation development kit (FDK) in computer games. Also we discuss the algorithms that were developed for rigid bodies simulation including the dynamic collision detection, numerical methods and discuss the approach used for distributed rigid bodies using FDK.
    • Female citation impact superiority 1996-2018 in six out of seven English-speaking nations

      Thelwall, Mike (Wiley, 2019-11-12)
      Efforts to combat continuing gender inequalities in academia need to be informed by evidence about where differences occur. Citations are relevant as potential evidence in appointment and promotion decisions, but it is unclear whether there have been historical gender differences in average citation impact that might explain the current shortfall of senior female academics. This study investigates the evolution of gender differences in citation impact 1996-2018 for six million articles from seven large English-speaking nations: Australia, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, UK, and the USA. The results show that a small female citation advantage has been the norm over time for all these countries except the USA, where there has been no practical difference. The female citation advantage is largest, and statistically significant in most years, for Australia and the UK. This suggests that any academic bias against citing female authored research cannot explain current employment inequalities. Nevertheless, comparisons using recent citation data, or avoiding it altogether, during appointments or promotion may disadvantage females in some countries by underestimating the likely impact of their work, especially in the long term.
    • Female copulation calls vary with male ejaculation in captive olive baboons

      Vaglio, Stefano; Ducroix, Louise; Rodriguez Villanueva, Maria; Consiglio, Rosanna; Kim, Ayong Julia; Neilands, Patrick; Stucky, Kerstin; Lameira, Adriano R (Brill, 2020-08-11)
      Copulation calls are mating-associated vocalizations that are common in primates, with females vocalizing after copulation in several Old World monkeys and apes. Baboon females typically produce copulation calls that correlate with fertile phase. Calls are, thus, regarded as an upshot of cycle physiology and sexually selected calls. Here, we describe three captive troops of olive baboons wherein, against expectation, females suppressed vocalizing during copulations. Vaginal cytology, together with sexual swelling observations, confirmed that females experienced full receptive cycles. Ovulation did not affect vocal probability during sex, while copulation calls were predicted by male ejaculation just as in other Old World primate species. Results cast doubt on the existence of physiological triggers for baboon copulation calls. Social factors may instead play a larger role. Alterations in social structure (as typically observed in the wild) may be implemented strategically as captive enrichment in order to reveal how females in highly social primates change sexual strategies and, therefore, the use of their copulation calls.