Publications by authors named "Muhammad Rafiq"

203 Publications

Impact of Entrepreneurial Education, Mindset, and Creativity on Entrepreneurial Intention: Mediating Role of Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy.

Front Psychol 2021 23;12:724440. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Department of Economics and Business Administration, University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan.

This study aimed to investigate the direct influence of entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurial mindset, and creativity on the entrepreneurial intention with the indirect role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy. This study applied the structural equation model technique using AMOS software to verify the hypothesis relationships. This study collected self-administered survey data from 365 university students of Jiangsu and Zhejiang province of China. The findings indicated that entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurial mindset, and creativity have a positive and significant influence on entrepreneurial intention. Moreover, results revealed that entrepreneurial self-efficacy partially mediates in the relationship between entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurial mindset, and creativity on entrepreneurial intention. Further implications and limitations are also discussed in this article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.724440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419428PMC
August 2021

Microbial characterisation and Cold-Adapted Predicted Protein (CAPP) database construction from the active layer of Greenland's permafrost.

FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2021 Sep;97(10)

School of Life Sciences, University of Bristol, 24 Tyndall Ave, Bristol BS8 1TQ, United Kingdom.

Permafrost represents a reservoir for the biodiscovery of cold-adapted proteins which are advantageous in industrial and medical settings. Comparisons between different thermo-adapted proteins can give important information for cold-adaptation bioengineering. We collected permafrost active layer samples from 34 points along a proglacial transect in southwest Greenland. We obtained a deep read coverage assembly (>164x) from nanopore and Illumina sequences for the purposes of i) analysing metagenomic and metatranscriptomic trends of the microbial community of this area, and ii) creating the Cold-Adapted Predicted Protein (CAPP) database. The community showed a similar taxonomic composition in all samples along the transect, with a solid permafrost-shaped community, rather than microbial trends typical of proglacial systems. We retrieved 69 high- and medium-quality metagenome-assembled clusters, 213 complete biosynthetic gene clusters and more than three million predicted proteins. The latter constitute the CAPP database that can provide cold-adapted protein sequence information for protein- and taxon-focused amino acid sequence modifications for the future bioengineering of cold-adapted enzymes. As an example, we focused on the enzyme polyphenol oxidase, and demonstrated how sequence variation information could inform its protein engineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiab127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8445667PMC
September 2021

Two novel mutations in exon 2 of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 15 gene in Pakistani infertile females.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Sep 29;28(9):5364-5370. Epub 2021 May 29.

Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan.

Objective: To determine the proportion of fertility in Pakistani infertile females and discover if there are considerable connection among gene polymorphism, follicle maturation and hormonal regulation in Pakistani infertile females.

Methods: All selected participants were initially examined through follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), Prolactin, and Trans-vaginal scan (TVS). gene polymorphism among infertile and fertile females was done by extracted Genomic DNA from whole blood. Sanger sequencing was performed for the identification of mutation in exons-intron boundaries of the gene. Bioinformatics tools were used to assess the protein structure.

Results: The total five mutations including two novel missense variants of in exon 2, whereas three previously reported i.e. two cosmic mutations (c.615delC), (c.584InsG) and one frame shift mutations (c.635delA) were also observed. The first novel mutation was found at (c.1038InsGG) (p.346Gln < Gly) in which the insertion of GG at DNA position 1038 of exon 2 resulting in a substitution of glutamine into glycine at 346th amino acid of BMP15 protein. The second novel variant (c.1049delT) (p. Ser334Pro) was also observed in exon 2 of the gene, which substituted serine into proline at 334th amino acid of the BMP15 protein.

Conclusion: It is concluded that there are various missense mutations present in exon 2 of the gene of Pakistani infertile females, consequently expected function of protein changes due to change in codons of amino acids. Provean and SIFT suggest the two novel variants as potentially deleterious. Although three other variants were also found in Pakistani infertile females which were previously reported. These mutations may result in early blockage of folliculogenesis and ovaries become streaky. Further research is required to resolve the actual allusion of these variations in the gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.05.061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8381042PMC
September 2021

Pyridine Scaffolds, Phenols and Derivatives of Azo Moiety: Current Therapeutic Perspectives.

Molecules 2021 Aug 11;26(16). Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Department of Chemistry, Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, 3-Maja 54, 08-110 Siedlce, Poland.

Synthetic heterocyclic compounds have incredible potential against different diseases; pyridines, phenolic compounds and the derivatives of azo moiety have shown excellent antimicrobial, antiviral, antidiabetic, anti-melanogenic, anti-ulcer, anticancer, anti-mycobacterial, anti-inflammatory, DNA binding and chemosensing activities. In the present review, the above-mentioned activities of the nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compounds (pyridines), hydroxyl (phenols) and azo derivatives are discussed with reference to the minimum inhibitory concentration and structure-activity relationship, which clearly indicate that the presence of nitrogen in the phenyl ring; in addition, the hydroxyl substituent and the incorporation of a diazo group is crucial for the improved efficacies of the compounds in probing different diseases. The comparison was made with the reported drugs and new synthetic derivatives that showed recent therapeutic perspectives made in the last five years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26164872DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8399416PMC
August 2021

Effect of Progressive Resistance Strength Training on Body Mass Index, Quality of Life and Functional Capacity in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Multidiscip Healthc 2021 11;14:2161-2168. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 50603, Malaysia.

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of progressive resistance strength training of the lower limb rehabilitation protocol (LLRP) on body mass index (BMI), quality of life, and functional capacity in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who were overweight and obese.

Patients And Methods: Fifty-six patients were allocated into either the Rehabilitation Protocol Group (RPG) or the Control Group (CG) by a computer-generated random number. The patients in the RPG performed the strengthening exercises of the LLRP and followed the instruction of daily care (IDC). The patients in the CG only followed the IDC as a usual care. Gait Speed Test, quality of life, and BMI were taken at pre-test and post-test measurements. Paired samples -test and two way mixed analysis of variance were used to analyze the change of BMI within and compare the difference of BMI between the groups, respectively. Wilcoxon signed ranked test and Mann-Whitney -test were used to analyze the changes of quality of life and functional capacity within and compare the differences of quality of life and functional capacity between the groups, respectively.

Results: The patients in the RPG reported a significant reduction in BMI (p = 0.025), improvement in quality of life (p ≤ 0.001), and functional capacity (p ≤ 0.001) within group. The patients in the CG also reported a significant improvements in quality of life (p < 0.05). The improvement in quality of life score was greater in the patients with RPG than the CG (p = 0.053).

Conclusion: The progressive resistance strength training of LLRP is effective in terms of reducing BMI, improving quality of life and functional capacity.

Trial Registration: Name: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials. Number: IRCT20191221045846N3. Enrollment of first participant: 27-07-2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S317896DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8364840PMC
August 2021

PPA2-associated sudden cardiac death: extending the clinical and allelic spectrum in 20 new families.

Genet Med 2021 Aug 16. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Stanford Medicine Clinical Genomics Program, Stanford, CA, USA.

Purpose: Biallelic hypomorphic variants in PPA2, encoding the mitochondrial inorganic pyrophosphatase 2 protein, have been recently identified in individuals presenting with sudden cardiac death, occasionally triggered by alcohol intake or a viral infection. Here we report 20 new families harboring PPA2 variants.

Methods: Synthesis of clinical and molecular data concerning 34 individuals harboring five previously reported PPA2 variants and 12 novel variants, 11 of which were functionally characterized.

Results: Among the 34 individuals, only 6 remain alive. Twenty-three died before the age of 2 years while five died between 14 and 16 years. Within these 28 cases, 15 died of sudden cardiac arrest and 13 of acute heart failure. One case was diagnosed prenatally with cardiomyopathy. Four teenagers drank alcohol before sudden cardiac arrest. Progressive neurological signs were observed in 2/6 surviving individuals. For 11 variants, recombinant PPA2 enzyme activities were significantly decreased and sensitive to temperature, compared to wild-type PPA2 enzyme activity.

Conclusion: We expand the clinical and mutational spectrum associated with PPA2 dysfunction. Heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest occur at various ages with inter- and intrafamilial phenotypic variability, and presentation can include progressive neurological disease. Alcohol intake can trigger cardiac arrest and should be strictly avoided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01296-6DOI Listing
August 2021

Pharmacological Properties and Health Benefits of Eugenol: A Comprehensive Review.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2021 3;2021:2497354. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Jiangxi Key Laboratory for Postharvest Technology and Nondestructive Testing of Fruits & Vegetables, College of Agronomy, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China.

The biologically active phytochemicals are sourced from edible and medicinally important plants and are important molecules being used for the formulation of thousands of drugs. These phytochemicals have great benefits against many ailments particularly the inflammatory diseases or oxidative stress-mediated chronic diseases. Eugenol (EUG) is a versatile naturally occurring molecule as phenolic monoterpenoid and frequently found in essential oils in a wide range of plant species. EUG bears huge industrial applications particularly in pharmaceutics, dentistry, flavoring of foods, agriculture, and cosmeceutics. It is being focused recently due to its great potential in preventing several chronic conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared EUG as a nonmutant and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) molecule. The available literature about pharmacological activities of EUG shows remarkable anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties and has a significant effect on human health. The current manuscript summarizes the pharmacological characteristics of EUG and its potential health benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/2497354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8357497PMC
August 2021

A SEIR model with memory effects for the propagation of Ebola-like infections and its dynamically consistent approximation.

Comput Methods Programs Biomed 2021 Sep 29;209:106322. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Background And Objective: We present and analyze a nonstandard numerical method to solve an epidemic model with memory that describes the propagation of Ebola-type diseases. The epidemiological system contemplates the presence of sub-populations of susceptible, exposed, infected and recovered individuals, along with nonlinear interactions between the members of those sub-populations. The system possesses disease-free and endemic equilibrium points, whose stability is studied rigorously.

Methods: To solve the epidemic model with memory, a nonstandard approach based on Grünwald-Letnikov differences is used to discretize the problem. The discretization is conveniently carried out in order to produce a fully explicit and non-singular scheme. The discrete problem is thus well defined for any set of non-negative initial conditions.

Results: The existence and uniqueness of the solutions of the discrete problem for non-negative initial data is thoroughly proved. Moreover, the positivity and the boundedness of the approximations is also theoretically elucidated. Some simulations confirm the validity of these theoretical results. Moreover, the simulations prove that the computational model is capable of preserving the equilibria of the system (both the disease-free and the endemic equilibria) as well as the stability of those points.

Conclusions: Both theoretical and numerical results establish that the computational method proposed in this work is capable of preserving distinctive features of an epidemiological model with memory for the propagation of Ebola-type diseases. Among the main characteristics of the numerical integrator, the existence and the uniqueness of solutions, the preservation of both positivity and boundedness, the preservation of the equilibrium points and their stabilities as well as the easiness to implement it computationally are the most important features of the approach proposed in this manuscript.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106322DOI Listing
September 2021

Frequency distribution and association of Fat-mass and obesity (FTO) gene SNP rs-9939609 variant with Diabetes Mellitus Type-II population of Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Aug 6;28(8):4183-4190. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, AlMaarefa University, Dariyah, 13713, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Background/aim: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is one of the important public health issues worldwide. The Fat mass obesity (FTO) gene rs-9939609 variant identified single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with the T to A missense mutation, and has a strong association with T2DM. FTO gene is present on chromosome "16q12.2" comprising of nine exons. FTO gene rs-9939609 a variant is commonly found in the Pakistani Population. The purpose of the study was to alert the population about the rs-9939609 variant SNP, having a strong association with T2DM.

Material And Methods: Total of 190 participants were included in the present cross-sectional study. To collect the samples non-probability convenience technique was used. subjects were recruited and divided into three groups, normal healthy subjects, obese and T2DM. The patients were selected from the Medicine department Jamshoro/Hyderabad by filling the pre-designed proforma, as well as verbal and written consent taken from study participants. To analysed the data ANOVA Post hoc (Tukey-test) was applied for comparison among groups (P < 0.05) and "SNP-STAT" online software was used for frequencies.

Results: The BMI, neck circumference, waist circumference and lipid profile, fasting blood sugar and HbA1c was found significant (p < 0.001) in both genders as compared to control. Homozygous and heterozygous distribution of allelic and genotyping frequency was found in study participants. 37.9 %T/A, 57.4% T/T, and A/A were 4.7%. The FTO gene rs-9939609 variant amplified and have an increased risk of developing T2DM in the Sindh population. Codominant model odd ratio of T/A showed 2.42 (1.23-3.84, with significant p < 0.032.

Conclusion: The present study concluded that the  gene SNP rs-9939609 variant was found in the population of Hyderabad, Sindh and having strong association with T2DM and obese individuals. Increase BMI, neck and waist circumference are the biomarkers of obesity and causative factors of T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8325002PMC
August 2021

Feasibility and acceptability of instructions of daily care in overweight and obese knee osteoarthritis participants.

Curr Rheumatol Rev 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Hospital Lahore. Pakistan.

Introduction: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a weight-bearing joint disease and more common in the overweight and obese persons. The objective of the study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of instructions of daily care (IDC) on pain, mobility and body mass index (BMI) among knee OA participants who are overweight or obese.

Material And Method: The study was an open-label randomized controlled trial of six-weeks. Forty overweight and obese participants with knee OA were randomly divided into two groups by a computer-generated number. The participants in the Instruction Group (IG) were provided with leaflets explaining IDC for the duration of six-weeks. Both groups were instructed to take low doses of the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) on alternate days. The outcome measures were pain, mobility and BMI. The feasibility and acceptability of knee pain and mobility were assessed using a questionnaire designed by experts in rehabilitation.

Results: Participants in the IG reported more statistically significant pain relief as assessed by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index score (p=0.001) and improvement in mobility (p=0.000) assessed by the Timed Up and Go test score after six weeks compared to the Control Group (CG). Both groups did not demonstrate any significant change in BMI (p-value > 0.05), The results of descriptive statistics showed a significantly higher satisfaction score to participants who received a combination of IDC and NSAIDs, indicating an acceptable intervention.

Conclusion: The IDC are effective and acceptable in terms of improving pain and mobility and should be recommended as the usual care of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1573397117666210727095552DOI Listing
July 2021

Evaluating the nature of the vertical excited states of fused-ring electron acceptors using TD-DFT and density-based charge transfer.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2021 Jul;23(28):15282-15291

School of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, People's Republic of China.

Acceptor-donor-acceptor structured fused-ring electron acceptors (FREAs) are the most efficient electron acceptors used in organic solar cells. We use density functional theory (DFT), its time-dependent version (TD-DFT), and an intra-molecular charge transfer index to evaluate the nature of the excited states of FREAs. Typically, several efficient electronic transitions contribute to the absorption spectra of FREAs. An investigation of every efficient electronic transition of each FREA is performed based on the electronic density variation in the donor and acceptor moieties of the molecules upon absorbing solar photons. Not all these transitions are equivalent for light-to-electricity conversion. The first transition contributes the most to the absorption spectra. This transition is intense and extremely efficient for light-to-electricity conversion, giving a higher value of intra-molecular charge transfer. For certain effective transitions of FREAs, the phenyl rings in the donor unit behave as the electron-donating units, such as IDT-NTI-2EH, BTCN-M, and MeIC. The foremost finding of the present research work is that the furthermost strong electronic transitions are not essentially the most effective ones for the conversion of sunlight into electricity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cp01917aDOI Listing
July 2021

Assessment of Hg accumulation in fish and scalp hair in fishing communities along river Swat, Pakistan.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 10. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Department of Environmental Sciences, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan.

Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in fish poses severe threats to the food safety and human health. This study was conducted to assess Hg bioaccumulation in fish (n = 24) and scalp hair (n = 77) of the fishing communities at up- and downstream of the river Swat, Pakistan. The mean Hg concentration in upstream fish Salmo trutta fario (Brown trout) and Schizothorax plagiostomus (Swati fish) species was 34.7±18 μg kg and 29.4±15 μg kg, respectively. The mean Hg concentration in downstream Swati fish, Crossocheilus diplochilus (Spena deqa), and Garra gotyla (Tora deqa) was 65±21 μg kg, 123±33 μg kg, and 326±53 μg Kg, respectively. The mean Hg concentration in scalp hair of the up- and downstream fishing communities was 658±125 μg kg and 3969±791 μg kg, respectively. Independent T-test showed significant difference (p < 0.001) in the mean Hg concentration in scalp hair of the up- and downstream communities. The most prevalent health problems found in the fishing community were muscle pain, headache, visual impairment, arterial blood pressure, anemia, and kidney dysfunction. Multiple linear regression indicated that daily and weekly consumption of the fish significantly increase Hg accumulation in human scalp hair. Regular consumption of fruits and cruciferous and leafy vegetables were found to reduce Hg toxicity in the population. Further studies are recommended to identify the sources of Hg and welfare impact of fish contamination on the fishing community of river Swat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15348-6DOI Listing
July 2021

Diaryl azo derivatives as anti-diabetic and antimicrobial agents: synthesis, , kinetic and docking studies.

J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem 2021 Dec;36(1):1509-1520

Department of Chemistry, Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Siedlce, Poland.

In the present study, a series of azo derivatives ( to ) have been synthesised via the diazo-coupling approach between substituted aromatic amines with phenol or naphthol derivatives. The compounds were evaluated for their therapeutic applications against alpha-glucosidase (anti-diabetic) and pathogenic bacterial strains (gram-negative), (gram-positive), (gram-positive) drug-resistant strain, (gram-negative), (gram-negative) drug-resistant strain and (gram-negative). The IC (µg/mL) of was found to be most effective (15.70 ± 1.3 µg/mL) compared to the reference drug acarbose (21.59 ± 1.5 µg/mL), hence, it was further selected for the kinetic studies in order to illustrate the mechanism of inhibition. The enzyme inhibitory kinetics and mode of binding for the most active inhibitor () was performed which showed that the compound is a non-competitive inhibitor and effectively inhibits the target enzyme by binding to its binuclear active site reversibly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14756366.2021.1929949DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8274517PMC
December 2021

Numerical simulation and stability analysis of a novel reaction-diffusion COVID-19 model.

Nonlinear Dyn 2021 Jun 28:1-18. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Mathematics and Engineering Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Mansoura University, Mansoura, 35516 Egypt.

In this study, a novel reaction-diffusion model for the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is investigated. The model is a spatial extension of the recent COVID-19 SEIR model with nonlinear incidence rates by taking into account the effects of random movements of individuals from different compartments in their environments. The equilibrium points of the new system are found for both diffusive and non-diffusive models, where a detailed stability analysis is conducted for them. Moreover, the stability regions in the space of parameters are attained for each equilibrium point for both cases of the model and the effects of parameters are explored. A numerical verification for the proposed model using a finite difference-based method is illustrated along with their consistency, stability and proving the positivity of the acquired solutions. The obtained results reveal that the random motion of individuals has significant impact on the observed dynamics and steady-state stability of the spread of the virus which helps in presenting some strategies for the better control of it.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11071-021-06623-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236573PMC
June 2021

Evaluation Of Darn Repair For Recurrence Rate In The Management Of Indirect Inguinal Hernia.

J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2021 Apr-Jun;33(2):198-201

Department of Surgery, Ayub Medical College Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Background: Management of Inguinal Hernia had long been remained an enigma & various method had been employed for its management till date. Recent trend is towards the preferential use of mesh in open as well as Laparoscopic approaches where its advocates almost always undermine the role of raphys in the management of inguinal hernia but Darning repair despite all this critique is still a valid & viable option for the management of Indirect inguinal hernia.

Methods: This descriptive study was designed & carried out at the surgical units of Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad from February 01, 2016 to October 31, 2018. A total of 117 patients with indirect inguinal hernia (primary) were included in study, managed with Darn Repair & were later followed for 2 years for the evidence of recurrence.

Results: None of the included patients (followed till last) whom underwent Darning Repair for Indirect Inguinal Hernia were found with the complication of recurrence till 02 years of follow-up although few patients were lost to follow-up for the whole duration 02 years and few others had suffered other early complications like wound infection, seroma, haematoma formation, scrotal swelling or comparatively longer lasting post-operative pain. The Darn Repair was also found cost-effective as compared to Mesh repair.

Conclusions: Darn Repair despite criticism is a viable & effective option for Indirect Inguinal Hernia Repair (where its role indeed is prophylactic {NOT curative} against the future false recurrence), having no recurrence rate (as per our study results) like mesh repair (as per published literature) besides being reasonably cost-effective.
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July 2021

Physician Gender Preference Amongst Females Attending Obstetrics/Gynecology Clinics.

Cureus 2021 May 14;13(5):e15028. Epub 2021 May 14.

Internal Medicine, Army Medical College, Rawalpindi, PAK.

Introduction: The objective of our study was to explore the views and perceptions of female patients attending the obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) outpatient department towards the gender of their healthcare provider, to look for any preference that might exist in this regard, and to highlight any discrimination towards male obstetricians/gynecologists.

Material And Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2020 to March 2021 at Combined Military Hospital, Lahore. A total of 280 female patients were included in the study and interviewed consecutively. A self-designed questionnaire was administered. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Chi-square test was used to determine for any statistical significance and p≤0.05 was considered significant. Numerical data were represented as percentages.

Results: Over 280 female patients participated in our study, out of which 132 were married and 148 were single. Thirteen of these patients were uneducated, 40 had completed high school and 227 patients had obtained a bachelor's level of education; 120 patients were aged 15-25 years, 95 patients were aged 26-35 years, 30 patients were aged 36-45 years, and 35 patients were aged >46. Women with less education preferred to be seen by a female obstetrician/gynecologist, whereas those with higher education were less biased (p=0.0001). Married patients preferred to be seen by female obstetrician/gynecologists as compared to single patients (p=0.0004). A significant proportion of females were impartial in terms of physician competence but those who did have a preference preferred female obstetrician/gynecologist based on three significant variables: competence, rapport building and empathy, and personal comfort.

Conclusion: A female gender preference exists in obstetrics and gynecology clinic attendees. This is significant in those who are married and those with no formal education. Overall, a significant proportion of women feel a higher comfort level with female doctors and find it easier to discuss their medical issues and develop rapport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.15028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8199845PMC
May 2021

Molecular characterization of leaf spot caused by Alternaria alternata on buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus L.) and determination of pathogenicity by a novel disease rating scale.

PLoS One 2021 13;16(5):e0251471. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Botany, Hindu College Moradabad (Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University Bareilly), Moradabad, India.

The buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus L.) is a mangrove shrub belonging to Combretaceae family. It mostly grows on the shorelines of tropical and subtropical regions in the world. It was introduced to Lasbela University of Water, Agriculture & Marine Sciences (LUWMS), Uthal, Baluchistan as an ornamental plant as it grows well under harsh, temperate and saline conditions. During a routine survey, typical leaf spot symptoms were observed on the leaves of buttonwood plants. A disease severity scale for alternaria leaf spot of buttonwood was developed for the first time through this study. Disease severity according to the scale was 38.97%. The microscopic characterizations was accomplished for the identification of Alternaria alternata and Koch's postulates were employed to determine the pathogenicity. For molecular identification, 650 bp internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions (ITS1, 5.8s and ITS2) were amplified from three representative isolates (LUAWMS1, LUAWMS2 and LUAWMS3) through polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The nucleotide sequences from ITS regions of the isolates were submitted to NCBI with GenBank accession numbers MW585375, MW585376 and MW585377, respectively. The phylogenetic tree of 22 A. alternata isolates was computed and representative isolates exhibited 99.98% genetic similarity with mangroves ecosystem isolates. This study reports the incidence of alternaria leaf spot of buttonwood at LUWMS for the first time. It is suspected that the disease may spread further. Therefore, effective management strategies should be opted to halt the further spread of the disease.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0251471PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8118258PMC
May 2021

Seed Priming with Sorghum Water Extract Improves the Performance of Camelina ( (L.) Crantz.) under Salt Stress.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Apr 12;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Agronomic Research Institute, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan.

Seed priming with sorghum water extract (SWE) enhances crop tolerance to salinity stress; however, the application of SWE under salinity for camelina crop has not been documented so far. This study evaluated the potential role of seed priming with SWE in improving salt stress tolerance in camelina. Primed (with 5% SWE and distilled water-hydropriming) and nonprimed seeds were sown under control (no salt) and salt stress (10 dS m) conditions. Salinity reduced camelina's emergence and growth, while seed priming with SWE improved growth under control and stress conditions. Under salt stress, seed priming with SWE enhanced emergence percentage (96.98%), increased root length (82%), shoot length (32%), root dry weight (75%), shoot dry weight (33%), α-amylase activity (66.43%), chlorophyll content (60-92%), antioxidant enzymes activity (38-171%) and shoot K ion (60%) compared with nontreated plants. Similarly, under stress conditions, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and shoot Na ion were reduced by 60, 31, and 40% by seed priming with SWE, respectively, over the nonprimed seeds. Therefore, seed priming with SWE may be used to enhance the tolerance against salt stress in camelina.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10040749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069245PMC
April 2021

Correction to: Health risk assessment of hexachlorocyclohexane in soil, water and plants in the agricultural area of Potohar region, Punjab, Pakistan.

Environ Geochem Health 2021 Apr 11. Epub 2021 Apr 11.

Department of Environmental Science, International Islamic University, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10653-021-00910-5DOI Listing
April 2021

Exploring biologically active hybrid pharmacophore N-substituted hydrazine-carbothioamides for urease inhibition: In vitro and in silico approach.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Jul 9;182:534-544. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Urease is potential target for various human's health complications, such as peptic ulcer, gastric cancer and kidney stone formation. The present study was based on synthesis of new hybrid pharmacophore N-substituted hydrazine-carbothioamides as potential urease inhibitors. Presented method gave excellent yield in range of 85-95% for hydrazine-carbothioamides derivatives (3a-s) after reaction of mono- and disubstituted hydrazides (1a-k) and substituted isothiocyanates (2a-d). All newly derivatives were characterized by advanced spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, HNMR, CNMR, EMS) and were assessed for their urease inhibition potential. All analogs except for 3k, 3l and 3m demonstrated strong inhibitory potential for urease with IC values of 8.45 ± 0.14 to 25.72 ± 0.23 μM as compared to standard thiourea (IC 21.26 ± 0.35 μM). The structure-activity relationship and mode of interaction was established by molecular docking studies. It was revealed that the N-substituted hydrazine-carbothioamides interacted with nickel atoms present in the active site of urease and supported the correlations with the experimental findings. Therefore, the afforded hydrazine-carbothioamides derivatives are interesting hits for urease inhibition studies with future prospects of modification and optimization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.04.036DOI Listing
July 2021

Analysis of a nonstandard computer method to simulate a nonlinear stochastic epidemiological model of coronavirus-like diseases.

Comput Methods Programs Biomed 2021 Jun 20;204:106054. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Background And Objective: We propose a nonstandard computational model to approximate the solutions of a stochastic system describing the propagation of an infectious disease. The mathematical model considers the existence of various sub-populations, including humans who are susceptible to the disease, asymptomatic humans, infected humans and recovered or quarantined individuals. Various mechanisms of propagation are considered in order to describe the propagation phenomenon accurately.

Methods: We propose a stochastic extension of the deterministic model, considering a random component which follows a Brownian motion. In view of the difficulties to solve the system exactly, we propose a computational model to approximate its solutions following a nonstandard approach.

Results: The nonstandard discretization is fully analyzed for positivity, boundedness and stability. It is worth pointing out that these properties are realized in the discrete scenario and that they are thoroughly established herein using rigorous mathematical arguments. We provide some illustrative computational simulations to exhibit the main computational features of this approach.

Conclusions: The results show that the nonstandard technique is capable of preserving the distinctive characteristics of the epidemiologically relevant solutions of the model, while other (classical) approaches are not able to do it. For the sake of convenience, a computational code of the nonstandard discrete model may be provided to the readers at their requests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106054DOI Listing
June 2021

Carbonyl-enriched hierarchical carbon synergizes redox electrolyte for highly-efficient and stable supercapacitors.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Apr 17;57(30):3716-3719. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

School of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, P. R. China.

Carbonyl-functionalized carbon porous leaves modifying carbon channels have been reported via single-step wood carbonization. A redox reaction between carbonyl and cupric chloride endows the freestanding electrode with an ultrahigh area specific capacitance of 13.1 F cm (30 mA cm) and over 99.6% retention after 45 000 cycles in supercapacitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cc08432hDOI Listing
April 2021

Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ2 and -DQ8 haplotypes in celiac, celiac with type 1 diabetic, and celiac suspected pediatric cases.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Mar;100(11):e24954

Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, University of Sindh.

Abstract: Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune enteropathy triggered by ingestion of gluten present in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten along with environmental trigger starts an inflammatory reaction which results in damage to small intestine. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQA1∗05, -DQB1∗02, and -DQB1∗03:02 are the known risk alleles of CD. The diagnostic method for CD involves serological or intestinal biopsy, but genetic test could be implemented. HLA typing precludes the need for further diagnosis and it has high negative predictive value. The aim of this study was to make aware of HLA molecular typing for celiac disease among local laboratories and healthcare professionals. The prevalence and frequency distribution of HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 haplotypes in 175 pediatric unrelated healthy controls, celiac patients, and CD with concurrent diabetes mellitus type 1 (DM1) was evaluated. The most common haplotype was DQ2 followed by DQ8. In control group only DQ2 was observed with frequency of 8.5%. In celiac patients 85.7% were DQ2, 11.4% were DQ8, and rest were DQ2/DQ8 (2.8%), and all had CD. In the group of CD with DM1, 31.4% had DQ2, 25% had DQ8, and 34% having both the haplotypes; while only 9 of these patients were suffering from CD. It was concluded that Celiac disease is frequently unrecognized by physicians, in part because of its variable clinical presentation and symptoms. Thus genetic testing for celiac disease could be an additive tool for diagnosis to exclude ambiguity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000024954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7982179PMC
March 2021

An empirical analysis of the non-linear effects of natural gas, nuclear energy, renewable energy and ICT-Trade in leading CO emitter countries: Policy towards CO mitigation and economic sustainability.

J Environ Manage 2021 May 4;286:112232. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China; Beijing Key Laboratory of New Energy and Low-Carbon Development, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China. Electronic address:

Achieving reliable energy supply and environment sustainability whereby mitigating CO emissions and promoting sustainable development has become a global effort. Thus, the current study intends to verify the non-linear influence effects of natural gas, nuclear energy, renewable energy and information and communication technology trade on economic growth and carbon dioxide emission in ten leading CO emitter countries from 20002016. The panel regression, such as pooled regression, model fixed effect, random effects, robust least squares and panel causation procedures are applied for panel data appraisal. The regression analysis results mention that nuclear energy, renewable energy, and Information and communication technology (ICT-trade) stimulate economic growth, whereas environmental results illustrate that renewable energy and ICT-trade contribute to eliminating CO emissions. The causality findings indicate that renewable energy consumption and ICT trade cause economic growth as well as CO emissions. Therefore, policymakers should invigorate to exploit renewable energy and achieve the benefits from the significant influence of economic growth and a clean environment through the potential of green ICT-trade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112232DOI Listing
May 2021

Synthesis of benzimidazole based hydrazones as non-sugar based α-glucosidase inhibitors: Structure activity relation and molecular docking.

Drug Dev Res 2021 Mar 5. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Natural and Medical Sciences Research Center, University of Nizwa, Nizwa, Oman.

In search for α-glucosidase inhibitors used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, a series of unique benzimidazole based hydrazones derivatives were synthesized (5a-5p), which were then investigated for their in vitro α-glucosidase inhibitory potential. The compounds of interest were characterized by modern spectroscopic approaches including CHN, HNM R, CN MR and FTIR. The structure of compound 5n was distinctively authenticated through single crystal X-ray study. All compounds depicted potent enzyme inhibitory potential with IC values in the range of 2.25 ± 0.01 to 81.16 ± 0.12 μM except 5n that showed IC value of 182.75 ± 0.13 μM. A limited structure-activity correlation demonstrated that substitutions of isatin, aldehydes and ketone in hydrazones moiety had remarkable contribution in the overall activity and that was further supported by molecular docking studies carried out in elucidating the mechanism of binding interaction of these compounds in the catalytic site of α-glucosidase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ddr.21807DOI Listing
March 2021

Health risk assessment of hexachlorocyclohexane in soil, water and plants in the agricultural area of Potohar region, Punjab, Pakistan.

Environ Geochem Health 2021 Sep 24;43(9):1-17. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Environmental Science, International Islamic University, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan.

In this study analysis of soil, water and plant residue samples is presented to evaluate the contamination levels and possible health risks. Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) is a persistent organic pollutant used as a pesticide in agricultural sector for pest control in order to obtain higher productivity. For analysis soil, water and crop residue samples were collected from different agricultural areas of the northern Punjab region of Pakistan. The investigation of the samples shows significant levels of HCH residues in all types of samples. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis was used to assess the higher residue levels of HCH in the samples. The concentration of HCH residues detected in samples ranged from 2.43 to 8.88 µg/g in soil, nd -5.87 µg/l in water and nd - 4.87 µg/g in plants. The presence of HCH residues in soil, water and plant samples was beyond the recommended quality guidelines. Human health risk was evaluated for cancer and non-cancer risks through dietary and non-dietary exposure routes. The hazard index was HI > 1 in children and HI < 1 in adults, while the non-dietary incremental lifetime cancer risks (ILCR) were beyond the internationally acceptable limit of 1 × 10. Hence, results of the present investigation concluded the presence of high levels of HCH residues in samples and pose high health risk to the inhabitants. These findings are alarming and apprise the concerned departments for the remediation of contamination and proper implementation of environmental laws in the area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10653-021-00847-9DOI Listing
September 2021

Pharmacological Activity of Eriodictyol: The Major Natural Polyphenolic Flavanone.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 12;2020:6681352. Epub 2020 Dec 12.

School of Pharmacy, Nantong University, 19 Qixiu Road, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, China.

Eriodictyol is a flavonoid that belongs to a subclass of flavanones and is widespread in citrus fruits, vegetables, and medicinally important plants. Eriodictyol has been anticipated to explain the method of its activity via multiple cellular signaling cascades. Eriodictyol is an effective natural drug source to maintain higher health standards due to its excellent therapeutic roles in neuroprotection, cardioprotective activity, hepatoprotective activity, antidiabetes and obesity, and skin protection and having highly analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects, antipyretic and antinociceptive actions, antitumor activity, and much more. This review aims to highlight the modes of action of eriodictyol against various diseases via multiple cellular signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/6681352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752289PMC
December 2020

An analysis of a nonlinear susceptible-exposed-infected-quarantine-recovered pandemic model of a novel coronavirus with delay effect.

Results Phys 2021 Feb 28;21:103771. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Law, Economics and Human Sciences& Decisions Lab, University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria, 89125 Reggio Calabria, Italy.

In the present study, a nonlinear delayed coronavirus pandemic model is investigated in the human population. For study, we find the equilibria of susceptible-exposed-infected-quarantine-recovered model with delay term. The stability of the model is investigated using well-posedness, Routh Hurwitz criterion, Volterra Lyapunov function, and Lasalle invariance principle. The effect of the reproduction number on dynamics of disease is analyzed. If the reproduction number is less than one then the disease has been controlled. On the other hand, if the reproduction number is greater than one then the disease has become endemic in the population. The effect of the quarantine component on the reproduction number is also investigated. In the delayed analysis of the model, we investigated that transmission dynamics of the disease is dependent on delay terms which is also reflected in basic reproduction number. At the end, to depict the strength of the theoretical analysis of the model, computer simulations are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rinp.2020.103771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768216PMC
February 2021

New applications related to Covid-19.

Results Phys 2021 Jan 19;20:103663. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan.

Analysis of mathematical models projected for COVID-19 presents in many valuable outputs. We analyze a model of differential equation related to Covid-19 in this paper. We use fractal-fractional derivatives in the proposed model. We analyze the equilibria of the model. We discuss the stability analysis in details. We apply very effective method to obtain the numerical results. We demonstrate our results by the numerical simulations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rinp.2020.103663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749318PMC
January 2021
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