Now showing items 1-20 of 9695

    • An Empirical Analysis of Foreign Direct Investment in the Libyan Oil Industry

      Baimbridge, Mark J.; Abushhewa, Tarek (University of BradfordBradford University School of Management, 2008)
      This study investigates the major factors that have restricted the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the oil sector in Libya. The study focuses on the period from 2000 to 2009. This period is significant since, during this time Libya witnessed dramatic foreign and economic policy changes. The research objectives are: (1) To identify the determinants of foreign direct investment into Libya’s oil industry for the period 2000-2009; (2) To reveal the obstacles and barriers which hinder FDI in Libya’s oil industry; (3) To determine the extent that the Libyan Government FDI policy influenced FDI in Libya’s oil industry. The rationale for this thesis was driven by filling an empirical void of FDI studies on the oil industry in Libya and by the intention of providing practical insights for current and future Libyan governments. This study comprises of an analysis of the 30 multinational (MNCs) oil companies that are operating in the Libyan oil industry through questionnaire and interview data from executives employed by those MNCs, as well as data from ten Libyan senior government officials involved in the Libyan oil industry and/or FDI policies. The research has provided support for several of the determinants of FDI flows traditionally found in the literature. The survey and time series analysis further reveals that access to Libya’s proven oil and gas reserves was the singular most important determinate for influencing the MNCs to undertake FDI. Furthermore, the findings identified that Libyan government foreign policy had some impact on the MNCs decision to undertake FDI. The research findings with regards to the role played by environmental risk as a determinate of FDI, demonstrate that there is no significant relationship between overall levels of environmental risk and a country‘s performance in attracting FDI. Also, this research has identified a number of factors that are causing obstacles and challenges to the attractiveness of Libya as a location for foreign investment. It has revealed that MNCs are significantly dissatisfied by the stability of the public institutions and the lack of effective regulations in Libya.
    • Military Intervention in Africa. External Military Interventions and Security Prospects in Africa

      Dando, Malcolm R.; O'Connell, James; Rogers, Paul F.; Bob-Manuel, Kio L. (University of BradfordSchool of Peace Studies, 1990)
      The research was an investigation into the phenomenon of external military interventions in Africa. The broad interpretation often given to intervention compelled both an African view on the subject and an operational definition. External military intervention was defined as the execution of any military plans by a state or its citizens in another state, in a manner that radically alters the existing socio-political, economic and military conditions in the target state, with or without its consent. The role and effects of external powers in six conflict cases in Africa were examined. A taxonomy on intervention identified the phenomenon in its internal and external manifestations. Apart from the more publicised military role of extra-African powers in the region, the increasing role of African States as intra-continental interventionists was also considered. The research concluded that aspects of the problems perceived as endemically African may have their roots in events influenced by external actions. However, some African states were seen as contributing to this situation as well. The view was expressed that restraints by states in their exercise of power and perceived wisdom may reduce the level of conflicts in the contemporary world.
    • Autoscaling through Self-Adaptation Approach in Cloud Infrastructure. A Hybrid Elasticity Management Framework Based Upon MAPE (Monitoring-Analysis-Planning-Execution) Loop, to Ensure Desired Service Level Objectives (SLOs)

      Kamala, Mumtaz A.; Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; Butt, Sarfraz S. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2019)
      The project aims to propose MAPE based hybrid elasticity management framework on the basis of valuable insights accrued during systematic analysis of relevant literature. Each stage of MAPE process acts independently as a black box in proposed framework, while dealing with neighbouring stages. Thus, being modular in nature; underlying algorithms in any of the stage can be replaced with more suitable ones, without affecting any other stage. The hybrid framework enables proactive and reactive autoscaling approaches to be implemented simultaneously within same system. Proactive approach is incorporated as a core decision making logic on the basis of forecast data, while reactive approach being based upon actual data would act as a damage control measure; activated only in case of any problem with proactive approach. Thus, benefits of both the worlds; pre-emption as well as reliability can be achieved through proposed framework. It uses time series analysis (moving average method / exponential smoothing) and threshold based static rules (with multiple monitoring intervals and dual threshold settings) during analysis and planning phases of MAPE loop, respectively. Mathematical illustration of the framework incorporates multiple parameters namely VM initiation delay / release criterion, network latency, system oscillations, threshold values, smart kill etc. The research concludes that recommended parameter settings primarily depend upon certain autoscaling objective and are often conflicting in nature. Thus, no single autoscaling system with similar values can possibly meet all objectives simultaneously, irrespective of reliability of an underlying framework. The project successfully implements complete cloud infrastructure and autoscaling environment over experimental platforms i-e OpenStack and CloudSim Plus. In nutshell, the research provides solid understanding of autoscaling phenomenon, devises MAPE based hybrid elasticity management framework and explores its implementation potential over OpenStack and CloudSim Plus.
    • Beyond the vessel: Organic residue analysis of Late Bronze and Early Iron Age south-east European pottery

      Armit, Ian; Stern, Ben; Heron, Carl P.; Büster, Lindsey S.; Bastos, Beatriz I.F. de (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences: School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, 2019)
      The Encounters and Transformations in Iron Age Europe project (ENTRANS) aims to expand our knowledge regarding the nature and impact of cultural encounters during the European Iron Age. The study of ceramic vessels was included in the project, in order to further understand cultural practices in the south-east Alpine region. Organic residue analysis is an important tool in archaeological research for determining the presence of food and other organic substances associated with ceramic vessels. It has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of Iron Age societies and the interactions between them. This research focuses on the analysis of visible and absorbed organic residues from 377 ceramic vessels, from Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age sites in Slovenia and Croatia, by gas-chromatography mass spectrometry. Two methods of lipid extraction were compared in a pilot study compressing 30 potsherds from Kaptol (solvent vs. acid extraction). This study revealed that more information was obtained by acid extraction, thus it was selected as the main method of extraction for this project. Differences between settlement, funerary and ritual sites were observed, suggesting that the vessels placed in the graves were not previously used or carried foodstuff with low lipid content, such as liquids and dry foods/cereals. Some types of residues were only identified in funerary vessels, specifically potential castor oil in Kaptol, mixed with other fats and oils. Lipid biomarkers and lipid ratios revealed significant differences between contexts and different sites, suggesting that the differences in cultural practices can also be identified in the use of ceramic vessels. Some residues were also sampled for gas-chromatography compound-specific isotope ratio mass spectrometry and bulk isotope analysis (only visible residues), which identified potential dairy fats in two potsherds from Poštela. The results were also compared with the contextual information, mainly the faunal remains, and the data obtained from the osteology and diet study preformed with individuals from the same area and chronology as the ceramic vessels.
    • Differences and Similarities between Coronavirus and other Viruses

      Abdul-Al, Mohamed; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Youseffi, Mansour; Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; Shepherd, Simon J. (2020-09-03)
      Coronavirus is the most dangerous virus in the world wide and it can easy spread between people, animals and plants because it is existing on one strand of RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) and it can duplicate faster than any virus. The source of coronavirus is still unknown, but some sources said that it came from seafood market and other sources said that it came from bat and snakes. It starts in Wuhan; China and every day the fatality increases. The symptoms are like a SARS-CoV (acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus)) and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus). By using nucleotide sequence of coronavirus from NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) and some programs that ran on Matlab, the results show that there are some differences and similarities between coronavirus and other viruses such as Ebola, Flu-b, Hepatitis B, HIV and Zika especially for DEBs (distinct excluded blocks) program that shows at 5bp (base pair) there is a common with slightly difference between coronavirus “cgggg” and Ebola virus “cgtgg”. The aim from this study is to find a way to help doctors and scientists to stop spreading the coronavirus or to destroy it.
    • Maintenance Scheduling With Delay-time Modelling - An Overview

      Du, Jing-Yu; Li, Jian-Ping; Hu, Yim Fun; Guan, X.; Si, M.; Liu, B. (2021-09-01)
      Effective maintenance is a key for infrastructures’ high operational reliability. The integration of corrective repairs and schedule-based failure preventions has been a mainstream of modern maintenance, and an associated policy-making technique, delay-time modelling, is overviewed in this paper for optimising the maintenance cost-efficiency in different practical scenarios, including imperfect, opportunistic and nested maintenance. A few typical examples of its applications in minimising maintenance operating expenses are discussed in this paper and their results are explained to better demonstrate the benefits of the technique. This work aims to prepare for the future applications of the delay-time modelling in railway maintenance policy making.
    • Leg Length Discrepancy: A Study on In-Shoe Plantar Pressure Distribution

      Abu-Faraj, Z.O.; Abdul-Al, Mohamed; Al-Deeb, R.A. (2015-10-16)
      Leg length discrepancy (LLD) refers to the medical a condition where legs are of different lengths. This condition might affect gait and posture, and may lead to various orthopedic disorders that can have serious repercussions on the individual, be it physiological, psychological, social, economic, or ergonomic. In order to ameliorate the rehabilitation of individuals with LLD, it is imperative to understand the biomechanics of LLD in these individuals. Hence, the current study’s objective is to characterize the plantar pressures of individuals with Leg Length Discrepancy in comparison to those of asymptomatic individuals. This pilot study employs a pedar-x in-shoe pedobarograph system to gather the history of dynamic plantar pressures in one adult male individual with LLD and a representative adult normal volunteer with no diagnosed neurological or musculoskeletal disorders. The obtained results reveal quantifiable differences in the study metrics between the two individuals during walking. These results provide a proof-of-concept for this study, and may serve as diagnostic tools to better rehabilitate individuals with LLD and, thus, provide them with a better quality of life. Future work is to incorporate an extended study of 10 normal individuals versus 10 individuals with LLD, and includes both males and females, as well as both adults and adolescents.
    • Developing multifunctional/smart civil engineering materials to fight viruses

      Ding, S.; Wang, J.; Dong, S.; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Liu, Y.; Qiu, L.; Han, B.; Ou, J. (2022-01)
      The on-going COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2) has posed an extraordinary threat to global public health, wealth and well-being. As the carrier of human life and production, infrastructures need to be upgraded to mitigate and prevent the spread of viral diseases. Developing multifunctional/smart civil engineering materials to fight viruses is a promising approach to achieving this goal. In this perspective, the basic introduction on virus and its structure is provided. Then, the current design principles of antiviral materials and structures are examined. Subsequently, the possibility of developing active/passive antiviral civil engineering materials (including cementitious composites, ceramics, polymers and coatings) is proposed and envisaged. Finally, the future research needs and potential challenges to develop antiviral civil engineering materials are put forward. The proposed strategies to develop multifunctional/smart antiviral civil engineering materials will aid in the construction of smart infrastructures to prevent the spread viruses, thus improving human life and health as well as sustainability of human society.
    • Biometrics in the World of Electronic Borders

      Kumi Kyeremeh, George; Abdul-Al, Mohamed; Abduljabbar, Nabeel; Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A. (2021-12-06)
      Recently, the demand for border crossing has increased massively, with the aim to increase the processing and clearance speed at border crossing points (BCP). The attempt to improve travel convenience, Border Cross Point (BCP) output, and national security result in automated border control (ABC) with biometric technology having a major effect on the efficiency, and safety of the control processes. The border processing of BCP can be increased by automating biometric recognition and facilitated by clearance procedures. This paper discussed the two structures of an e-gate (ABC) and a prospective benefit of biometrics to the EU border in terms of accuracy, integrity, robustness, and efficiency. Challenges posed by biometrics in border control systems were identified and recommendations such as multimodal systems and smart systems with AI and machine learning were suggested to assist travelers to cross border points faster.
    • Stem Cell Niche Microenvironment: Review

      Abdul-Al, Mohamed; Kyeremeh, George K.; Saeinasab, M.; Heidari Keshel, S.; Sefat, Farshid (2021-07-28)
      The cornea comprises a pool of self‐regenerating epithelial cells that are crucial to preserving clarity and visibility. Limbal epithelial stem cells (LESCs), which live in a specialized stem cell niche (SCN), are crucial for the survival of the human corneal epithelium. They live at the bottom of the limbal crypts, in a physically enclosed microenvironment with a number of neighboring niche cells. Scientists also simplified features of these diverse microenvironments for more analysis in situ by designing and recreating features of different SCNs. Recent methods for regenerating the corneal epithelium after serious trauma, including burns and allergic assaults, focus mainly on regenerating the LESCs. Mesenchymal stem cells, which can transform into self‐renewing and skeletal tissues, hold immense interest in tissue engineering and innovative medicinal exploration. This review summarizes all types of LESCs, identity and location of the human epithelial stem cells (HESCs), reconstruction of LSCN, and artificial stem cells for self‐renewal.
    • Biomaterials for breast reconstruction: Promises, advances, and challenges

      Abdul-Al, Mohamed; Zaernia, Amir; Sefat, Farshid (2020-11)
      Breast reconstruction is the opportunity that provides the chance of having breast after undergoing surgical removal of the breast tissue due to cancer-related surgery. However, this varies on the stage of the cancer diagnosis and the procedure undertaken. There are many regenerative medicine methods that provide several initiatives and direct solutions to problems such as the development of “bioactive tissue,” which can regenerate adipose tissues with similar normal functions and structures. There have been several studies which have previously explored for the improvement of breast reconstruction including different variations of biomaterials, different fabrication and processing techniques, cells as well as growth factors which enable bioengineers and tissue engineers to reconstruct a suitable breast for patients with breast cancer. Many factors such as shape, proper volume, mechanical properties have been studies but very scattered with not adequate solutions for existing patients worldwide. This review article aims to cover recent advances in biomaterials, which can be used for reconstruction of breasts as well as looking at the various factors that might lead to individuals needing reconstruction and the materials that are available. The focus would be to look at the various biomaterials that are available to use for reconstruction, their properties, and their structural integrity.
    • The feasibility of patient reported outcome measures for the care of penile cancer

      Branney, Peter; Walters, Elizabeth R.; Bryant, Eleanor J.; Hollyhead, Cyan; Njoku, K.; Vyas, L.; Modica, C.; Kayes, O.; Eardley, I.; Henry, A. (Wiley, 2022)
      When used in routine clinical practice, Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMS) can give patients tacit approval to discuss embarrassing topics, which could be particularly useful for urological nursing. The aim of this study was to assess whether it would be feasible to use two such measures for penile cancer; one for body image (the Male Genital Self-Image Scale; MGSIS-5) and another for lymphedema (the Groin and Lower Limb Lymphedema questionnaire; G3L-20). Study packs were posted to penile cancer patients who had received (i) sentinel node biopsy only, (ii) inguinal node dissection only, and (iii) inguinal node dissection with post-operative radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. The two measures (MGSIS-5 and G3L-20) were complemented with those specific to sexual function (IIEF) and cancer (EORTC-QLQ-C30 version 3) and a modified Lymphoedema Genitourinary Cancer Questionnaire (mLGUCQ). Twenty patients returned questionnaires. Validity and reliability analyses are presented but low participant numbers mean that results need treating with caution. Results show sufficient feasibility for the MGSIS-5 and the G3L-20 to warrant another study to attract larger numbers of participants, either over a longer time frame or at multiple sites. In these further studies, we would recommend adding (1) more Likert responses, (2) the timeframe to the MGIS and (3) exploring either the use of sexual desire psychometric measures or the addition of sexual desire items to the MGSIS for this patient group.
    • A prospective evaluation of the clinical safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 Urgent Eyecare Services across 5 areas in England

      Swystun, A.G.; Davey, Christopher J. (2022-01)
      Purpose: Although urgent primary eye care schemes exist in some areas of England, their current safety is unknown. Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to quantify the clinical safety and effectiveness of a COVID-19 Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES) across Luton, Bedford, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire and Harrogate. Methods: Consenting patients with acute onset eye problems who had accessed the service were contacted to ascertain what the optometrist’s recommendation was, whether this worked, if they had to present elsewhere and how satisfied they were with the CUES. Results: 27% (170/629) and 6.3% (28/445) of patients managed virtually and in person, respectively, did not have their acute eye problem resolved. Regression analysis revealed that patients who attended a face-to-face consultation were 4.66 times more likely to be correctly managed (Exp (β) = 5.66), relative to those managed solely virtually. Optometrists phone consultations failed to detect conditions such as stroke, intracranial hypertension, suspected space occupying lesions, orbital cellulitis, scleritis, corneal ulcer, wet macular degeneration, uveitis with macular oedema and retinal detachment. Of referrals to hospital ophthalmology departments, in total, 19% were false-positives. Patients, however, were typically very satisfied with the service. Uptake was associated with socio-economic status. Conclusion: The present study found that a virtual assessment service providing optometrist teleconsultations was not effective at resolving patient’s acute-onset eye problems. The range and number of pathologies missed by teleconsultations suggests that the service model in the present study was detrimental to patient safety. To improve this, optometrists should follow evidence based guidance when attempting to manage patients virtually, or in person. For example, patients presenting with acute-onset symptoms of flashing lights and/or floaters require an urgent dilated fundus examination. Robust data collection on service safety is required on an ongoing basis.
    • Teachers' Perspectives on the Acceptability and Feasibility of Wearable Technology to Inform School-Based Physical Activity Practices

      Wort, G.K.; Wiltshire, G.; Peacock, O.; Sebire, S.; Daly-Smith, Andrew; Thompson, D. (2021-11-18)
      Background: Many children are not engaging in sufficient physical activity and there are substantial between-children physical activity inequalities. In addition to their primary role as educators, teachers are often regarded as being well-placed to make vital contributions to inclusive visions of physical activity promotion. With the dramatic increase in popularity of wearable technologies for physical activity promotion in recent years, there is a need to better understand teachers' perspectives about using such devices, and the data they produce, to support physical activity promotion in schools. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 UK-based primary school teachers, exploring their responses to children's physical activity data and their views about using wearable technologies during the school day. Interview discussions were facilitated by an elicitation technique whereby participants were presented with graphs illustrating children's in-school physical activity obtained from secondary wearable technology data. Interview transcripts were thematically analyzed. Results: Most teachers spoke positively about the use of wearable technologies specifically designed for school use, highlighting potential benefits and considerations. Many teachers were able to understand and critically interpret data showing unequal physical activity patterns both within-and between-schools. Being presented with the data prompted teachers to provide explanations about observable patterns, emotional reactions-particularly about inequalities-and express motivations to change the current situations in schools. Conclusion: These findings suggest that primary school teachers in the UK are open to integrating wearable technology for measuring children's physical activity into their practices and can interpret the data produced by such devices. Visual representations of physical activity elicited strong responses and thus could be used when working with teachers as an effective trigger to inform school practices and policies seeking to address in-school physical inactivity and inequalities.
    • A whole system approach to increasing children's physical activity in a multi-ethnic UK city: a process evaluation protocol

      Hall, Jennifer; Bingham, Daniel D.; Seims, Amanda; Dogra, Sufyan A.; Burkhardt, Jan; Nobles, J.; McKenna, J.; Bryant, M.; Barber, Sally E.; Daly-Smith, Andrew (2021-12-18)
      Engaging in regular physical activity requires continued complex decision-making in varied and dynamic individual, social and structural contexts. Widespread shortfalls of physical activity interventions suggests the complex underlying mechanisms of change are not yet fully understood. More insightful process evaluations are needed to design and implement more effective approaches. This paper describes the protocol for a process evaluation of the JU:MP programme, a whole systems approach to increasing physical activity in children and young people aged 5-14 years in North Bradford, UK. This process evaluation, underpinned by realist philosophy, aims to understand the development and implementation of the JU:MP programme and the mechanisms by which JU:MP influences physical activity in children and young people. It also aims to explore behaviour change across wider policy, strategy and neighbourhood systems. A mixed method data collection approach will include semi-structured interview, observation, documentary analysis, surveys, and participatory evaluation methods including reflections and ripple effect mapping. This protocol offers an innovative approach on the use of process evaluation feeding into an iterative programme intended to generate evidence-based practice and deliver practice-based evidence. This paper advances knowledge regarding the development of process evaluations for evaluating systems interventions, and emphasises the importance of process evaluation.
    • The Conforming, The Innovating and The Connecting Teacher: A qualitative study of why teachers in lower secondary school adopt physically active learning

      Øystein, L.; Tjomsland, H.E.; Leirhaug, P.E.; McKenna, J.; Quaramby, T.; Bartholomew, J.; Jenssen, E.S.; Daly-Smith, Andrew; Resaland, G.K. (2021-09)
      This paper explores why teachers adopt physically active learning (PAL). Data were collected through ‘go-alongs’ supplemented by individual interviews with 13 teachers in seven Norwegian lower secondary schools. Data were then analysed thematically. Results indicated that as well as to enhance their teaching and pupils' learning, teachers adopt PAL to adhere to school policy (The Conforming Teacher), to be an innovative educator (The Innovating Teacher), and, because it matches past positive personal experiences (The Connecting Teacher). The findings can be used to shape PAL teacher training programs to increase the likelihood of adoption.
    • Sedimentation and Consolidation of cohesive and non-cohesive soils formed under turbulent flows

      Mohamed, Mostafa H.A.; Pu, Jaan H.; Almabruk, Adam (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2018)
      Settling and consolidation of suspended clay particles are significant issue in many fields such as geotechnical engineering, coastal and hydraulic engineering, and environmental engineering. A comprehensive literature review was conducted on the settling, consolidation and erosion of mixed soil material (cohesive and non-cohesive). Soil beds formed by sedimentation process of loose particles will be either show a segregated or homogeneous in structure, depending on the depositional environment. These sediments initially undergo self-weight consolidation and may be eroded under high flow rate. A number of studies have recently investigated the characteristic of consolidated clay bed in stagnant water. Hence, consolidation parameters were determined using a well-known vertical settling column consolidation test setup. However, limited research studies are available for deposition and consolidation of a mixture of sediment (clay, silt and sand) under flow conditions which are more representative of what happens in nature. A long flume and pump were used to create different turbulent conditions and simulate the natural process... The results for deposition and consolidation of different mixtures under stagnant and turbulence conditions were analyzed and compered in term of compressibility, permeability as well as shear strength. The results of this experimental research program indicated that the flow rate, initial concentration, height of settling and composition of sediment are all important factors that could affect the final bed dry unit weight. Two non-intrusive techniques were applied for measuring the dry unit weight at settling and consolidation stages. Impact echo technique has never been applied to measure the dry unit weight of self-weight consolidation along the vertical stratification of cohesive and non-cohesive particles. Also, a novel conductance sensor has been developed to improve the efficiency of this technique. The limitations of using these techniques will be highlighted in this study.
    • Effects of Graphene Oxide in vitro on DNA Damage in Human Whole Blood and Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes from Healthy individuals and Pulmonary Disease Patients: Asthma, COPD, and Lung Cancer

      Anderson, Diana; Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Amadi, Emmanuel E. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2019)
      For the past few decades, the popularity of graphene oxide (GO) nanomaterials (NMs) has increased exceedingly due to their biomedical applications in drug delivery of anti-cancer drugs. Their unique physicochemical properties such as high surface area and good surface chemistry with unbound surface functional groups (e.g. hydroxyl - OH, carboxyl /ketone C=O, epoxy/alkoxy C-O, aromatic group C=C, etc) which enable covalent bonding with organic molecules (e.g. RNA, DNA) make GO NMs as excellent candidates in drug delivery nanocarriers. Despite the overwhelming biomedical applications, there are concerns about their genotoxicity on human DNA. Published genotoxicity studies on GO NMs were performed using non-commercial GO with 2-3 layers of GO sheets, synthesized in various laboratories with the potential for inter-laboratory variabilities. However, what has not been studied before is the effects of the commercial GO (15-20 sheets; 4-10% edge-oxidized; 1 mg/mL) in vitro on DNA damage in human whole blood and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from real-life patients diagnosed with chronic pulmonary diseases [asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer], and genotoxic endpoints compared with those from healthy control individuals to determine whether there are any differences in GO sensitivity. Thus, in the present study, we had characterized GO NMs using Zetasizer Nano for Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and zeta potential (ZP) in the aqueous solution, and electron microscopy using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) in the dry state, respectively. Cytotoxicity studies were conducted on human PBL from healthy individuals and patients (asthma, COPD, and lung cancer) using the Methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and Neutral Red Uptake (NRU) assays, respectively. The genotoxicity (DNA damage) and cytogenetic effects (chromosome aberration parameters) induced by GO NMs on human whole blood from healthy individuals and patients were studied using the Alkaline Comet Assay and Cytokinesis-blocked Micronucleus (CBMN) assay, respectively. Our results showed concentration-dependent increases in cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and chromosome aberrations, with blood samples from COPD and lung cancer patients being more sensitive to DNA damage insults compared with asthma patients and healthy control individuals. Furthermore, the relative gene and protein expressions of TP53, CDKN1A/p21, and BCL-2 relative to GAPDH on human PBL were studied using the Reverse Transcription Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) and Western Blot techniques, respectively. Our results have shown altered gene and protein expression levels. Specifically, GO-induced cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and micronuclei aberrations were associated with TP53 upregulation - a biomarker of DNA damage - in both patients and healthy individuals. These effects show that GO NMs have promising roles in drug delivery applications when formulated to deliver drug payload to COPD and cancer cells. However, the fact that cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, chromosome instability, and gene/protein expressions - biomarkers of cancer risk - were observed in healthy individuals are of concern to public health, especially in occupational exposures at micro levels at the workplace.
    • Performance of Multimodal Biometric Systems Using Face and Fingerprint (Short Survey)

      Abdul-Al, Mohamed; Kyeremeh, George K.; Parchin, Naser O.; Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; Rodriguez, J. (2021-10-27)
      Biometric authentication is the science and engineering of assessing and evaluating bioinformatics from the human body in order to increase system security by providing reliable and accurate behaviors and classifiers for personal identification and authentication. Its solutions are widely used in industries, governments, and the military. This paper reviews the multimodal biometric systems that integrated both faces and fingerprints as well as shows which one has the best accuracy and hardware complexity with the methods and databases. Several methods have been used in multimodal biometric systems such as KNN (K-Nearest Neighbor), CNN (Convolutional Neural Network), PCA (Principal Component Analysis), and so on. A multimodal biometric system for face and fingerprints that uses an FoM (Figure of Merit) to compare and show between the articles the best accuracy that have used multimodal biometric system face and fingerprints methods. The best performance has been found is 99.43% by using the cascade multimodal method.
    • Strategic Decision-Making and Implementation in Public Organizations in the Gulf Cooperation Council: The Role of Procedural Rationality

      Al-Hashimi, K.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Elbanna, S.; Schwarz, G. (Wiley, 2022)
      Based on Herbert Simon's conceptualization of bounded rationality, this study develops and tests an integrative model of the strategic decision-making process (SDMP) and outcomes in public organizations. The model integrates different SDMP dimensions—procedural rationality, intuition, participation, and constructive politics—and examines their impacts on the successful implementation of strategic decisions. Additionally, it analyzes the influence of implementation on the overall outcomes of strategic decisions. The model was tested with multi-source data on 170 strategic decisions collected from senior executives working in 38 public organizations in Qatar—a context in which studies on decision-making are rare. With the exception of intuition, this study shows a positive impact of all SDMP dimensions on the successful implementation and outcomes of strategic decisions. Successful implementation fully mediates the relationships between procedural rationality, participation, and constructive politics and the outcomes of strategic decision.