Publications by authors named "Muhammad Younas"

61 Publications

Re-evaluating the dynamic role of shadow economy and environmental policy stringency in the energy-growth nexus in China.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Oct 19. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

School of Economics, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

This paper examines the impact of shadow economy and environmental policy stringency on energy consumption and economic growth in the case of China for the period 1993 to 2019. Asymmetric ARDL empirical findings show that positive shocks in shadow economy and environmental policy stringency have a significant and positive impact on energy consumption and economic growth in the long run. However, the negative shocks in shadow economy exert positive and significant impacts on energy consumption and economic growth in the long run, but magnitudes are small compared to positive shocks. The long-run findings report no significant effect of negative shock in environmental policy stringency on energy consumption and economic growth. China should use environmental policy stringency as economic tools to maintain green economic growth and clean energy demand for sustained economic expansion. Policymakers should focus on the inclusion of environmental policy stringency in any future environment strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16967-9DOI Listing
October 2021

The impact of insecticides and plant extracts on the suppression of insect vector (Bemisia tabaci) of Mungbean yellow mosaic virus (MYMV).

PLoS One 2021 16;16(9):e0256449. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Department of Plant Protection, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China.

Mungbean yellow mosaic virus (MYMV) is an important constraint in successful production of mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) in many countries, including Pakistan. The MYMV spreads by insect vector whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius). The use of resistant cultivars is the most effective management tactics for MYMV. Twenty mungbean varieties/lines were screened against insect vector of MYMV under field condition in the current study. Resistance levels for varieties/lines were assessed through visual scoring of typical disease symptoms. Furthermore, the impacts of two insecticides 'Imidacloprid' and 'Thiamethoxam' and two plant extracts, i.e., neem (Azadirachta indica), and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) were tested on the suppression of whitefly. Field screening indicated that none of the tested varieties/lines proved immune/highly resistant, while significant variations were recorded among varieties/lines for resistance level. All varieties/lines were systemically infected with MYMV. The varieties 'AARI-2006' and 'Mung-14043' were considered as resistant to MYMV based on visual symptoms and the lowest vector population. These varieties were followed by 'NM-2006' and 'NL-31', which proved as moderately resistant to MYMV. All remaining varieties/lines were grouped as moderately to highly susceptible to MYMV based on visual symptoms' scoring. These results revealed that existing mungbean germplasm do not possess high resistance level MYMV. However, the lines showing higher resistance in the current study must be exploited in breeding programs for the development of resistant mungbean varieties/lines against MYMV. Imidacloprid proved as the most effective insecticide at all concentrations to manage whitefly population. Therefore, use of the varieties with higher resistance level and spraying Imidacloprid could lower the incidence of MYMV.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0256449PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8445409PMC
September 2021

Frequency stable dielectric constant with reduced dielectric loss of one-dimensional ZnO-ZnS heterostructures.

Nanoscale 2021 Oct 1;13(37):15711-15720. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Nanomaterials Research Group, Physics Division, PINSTECH, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.

The synthesis of one-dimensional heterostructures having high dielectric constant and low dielectric loss has remained a great challenge. Until now, the dielectric performance of ZnO-ZnS heterostructures was scarcely investigated. In this work, large-scale ZnO-ZnS heterostructures were synthesized by employing the chemical vapor deposition method. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) confirms the formation of heterostructures. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) shows that S atoms fill up the oxygen vacancy (V) in ZnO, leading to the suppression of charge carrier's movement from ZnO to ZnS; instead there is charge transfer from ZnS to ZnO. Conductivity mismatch between adjacent ZnO and ZnS materials leads to the accumulation of free charges at the interface of the heterostructure and can be considered as a capacitor-like structure. The electrical behaviors of the potential phases of ZnO, ZnS and the ZnO-ZnS heterostructure are well interpreted by a best fitted equivalent circuit model. Each heterostructure acts as a polarization node with a specific flip-flop frequency and all such nodes form continuous transmission of polarization, which jointly increase the dielectric energy-storage performance. The orientational polarization of the polarons and Zn-V dipoles present at the heterostructure interface contributes to the frequency stable dielectric constant at ≥10 Hz. Our findings provide a systematic approach to tailor the electronic transport and dielectric properties at the interface of the heterostructure. We suggest that this approach can be extended for improving the energy harvesting, transformation and storage capabilities of the nanostructures for the development of high-performance energy-storage devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr03136hDOI Listing
October 2021

Bacillus pumilus induced tolerance of Maize (Zea mays L.) against Cadmium (Cd) stress.

Sci Rep 2021 08 25;11(1):17196. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Govt Sadiq College, Women University, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

Heavy metals contaminate the soil that alters the properties of soil and negatively affect plants growth. Using microorganism and plant can remove these pollutants from soil. The present investigation was designed to evaluate the induced effect of Bacillus pumilus on maize plant in Cadmium (Cd) contaminated soil. Three different concentrations of Cd (i.e. 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 mg kg) were applied in soil under which maize plants were grown. The germination percentage, shoot length, leaf length, number of leaves, root length, fresh weight and nutrient uptake by maize plant were determined. The experiment was conducted by using complete randomized design (CRD) with three replicates. The result indicated that germination percentage, Shoot length, leaf length, root length, number of leaves, and plant fresh weight were reduced by 37, 39, 39, 32 and 59% respectively at 0.75 mg kg of CdSO concentration but when maize seeds inoculated with Bacillus pumilus significantly increased the germination percentage, shoot length, leaf length, number of leaves, plant fresh weight at different concentrations of CdSO. Moreover, the plant protein were significantly increased by 60% in T6 (0.25 mg kg of CdSO + inoculated seed) and Peroxidase dismutase (POD) was also significantly higher by 346% in T6 (0.25 mg kg of CdSO + inoculated seed), however, the Superoxide dismutase (SOD) was significantly higher in T5 (0.75 mg kg of CdSO + uninoculated seed) and was 769% higher as compared to control. The Cd contents in Bacillus pumilus inoculated maize roots and shoots were decreased. The present investigations indicated that the inoculation of maize plant with Bacillus pumilus can help maize plants to withstand Cd stress but higher concentration of Cd can harm the plant. The Bacillus pumilus has good potential to remediate Cd from soil, and also have potential to reduce the phyto availability and toxicity of Cd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-96786-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8387377PMC
August 2021

The influence of vermicomposting on photosynthetic activity and productivity of maize (Zea mays L.) crop under semi-arid climate.

PLoS One 2021 25;16(8):e0256450. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Department of Plant Protection, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China.

Food production and waste recycling are the two major issues faced globally with rapidly increasing population. Recycling organic wastes to crop amendments could be a possible solution to these issues. Earthworms transfer organic waste to compost, which is used to grow crops and increase crop productivity. This study assessed the impact of vermicompost produced from the residues of six desert plant species, i.e., (Ziziphus mauritiana, Aerva javanica, Calligonum comosum, Sacchrum benghalens, Calligonum polygonoides and Prosopis cineraria) combined with farmyard manure (5 t ha-1) on growth, yield and photosynthetic activity of maize crop. Earthworm species Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826) was used to prepare vermicomposting of all tested plant species. The desert species were collected from natural habitats, chopped, dried, mixed with FYM and then earthworms were released to prepare the vermicompost. The earthworms were excluded twenty days after release and resultant was considered as compost and used in the experiment. Results revealed that application of P. cineraria vermicompost resulted in the highest plant height (75.33 cm), stem diameter (22.66 mm), cob length (17.66 cm), number of grains/cob (374.67), 1000-grain weight (260.41 g) and grains yield (3.20 t/ha). Application of P. cineraria vermicompost resulted in the highest uptake of macronutrients, i.e., N (91.01%), P (22.07%), K (80.41%), micronutrients, i.e., Fe (19.07 ppm), Zn (40.05 ppm), and phenolic contents (150). Application of P. cineraria vermicompost also resulted in the highest quantum photosynthetic yield (0.42 mole C/mole of photon), chlorophyll florescence (355.18 moles of photon m-2s-1) and electron transport rate (310.18 micro mole m-2s-1). It is concluded that vermicomposting has the potential to improve growth and yield of maize crop. Particularly, application of vermicompost obtained from P. cineraria can be used to improve the growth and yield of maize crop. Nonetheless, field trials are necessary for a wide scale recommendation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0256450PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8386841PMC
August 2021

Experience of transcatheter device closure of atrial septal defect in a tertiary care institute.

J Pak Med Assoc 2021 Jul;71(7):1776-1779

Department of Paediatric Cardiology, CPE Institute of Cardiology, Multan, Pakistan.

Objective: To share institutional experience of transcatheter device closure of secundum atrial septal defect in children and adults.

Methods: The descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at the Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Institute of Cardiology, Multan, Pakistan, from February 2011 to September 2019, and comprised patients with moderate to large secundum atrial septal defect without severe pulmonary hypertension. All procedures were performed under general anaesthesia and trans-oesophageal echo guidance. Success and safety of procedure were evaluated. Data was analysed using SPSS 16.

Results: Of the 75 patients, 26(34.6%) were males and 49(65.3%) were females. The overall mean age was 25±1.53 years (range: 4 -54 years). Mean defect was 20.38±0.58mm (range: 9-32mm). Large defects >25mm were 17(22.7%). Significant pulmonary stenosis was observed in 3(4%) patients and valvuloplasty was performed. Device size was selected on the basis of trans-oesophageal echo measurement +4-5mm. Balloon sizing was performed in only 3(4%) patients. Amplatzer septal occluder was used in 60(80%) patients. Balloon-assisted technique was used in 9(12%) patients. All the procedures were successful except 2(2.7%) where device was embolised and retrieved by surgery. Transient arrhythmias were observed in 6(8%) patients and small pericardial effusion in 1(1.3%) patient who was managed conservatively. There was no procedure-related mortality.

Conclusion: Transcatheter closure of moderate to large secundum atrial septal defect in children and adults was found to be a safe procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.47391/JPMA.1362DOI Listing
July 2021

Percutaneous closure of ventricular septal defect using LifeTech Konar-MF VSD Occluder: initial and short-term multi-institutional results.

Cardiol Young 2021 Jul 28:1-7. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Pediatric Cardiology, The Children's Hospital and Institute of Child Health, Lahore, Pakistan.

Background: Transcatheter ventricular septal defect closure remains a complex procedure with potential complications like complete heart block and aortic regurgitation. The ideal device design for such intervention is still evolving.

Aim: To assess the safety, efficacy, and short-term outcome of ventricular septal defect closure using LifeTechTM multifunctional (KONAR-MFTM) VSD Occluder.

Patients And Methods: In a multicenre study, 44 patients with haemodynamically significant, restrictive ventricular septal defects underwent closure with the KONAR-MFTM device from April, 2019 to March, 2020. Clinical, echocardiographic, and angiographic data were collected and reviewed. Patients were followed up at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results: The median age and weight were 8 (1.7-36) years and 20 (11-79) kg. Of 44 patients, 8 (18%) had a high muscular and 36 (82%) had a perimembranous defect, of which 6 had mild prolapse of the right coronary cusp. The median ventricular septal defect size was 8.8 (3.9-13.4) mm. A retrograde approach was adopted in 39 (88.6%) patients. Nine patients (20.5%) had a small residual leak and there was a slight increase in aortic regurgitation in one patient. One device, which embolised to pulmonary artery was retrieved, and the defect was closed with a larger device. At a median follow-up of 13 (5-18) months, the residual leak persisted in 1 (2.3%) patient. Mild aortic regurgitation in one patient remained unchanged. There were no major complications.

Conclusion: Percutaneous closure of ventricular septal defect using KONAR-MFTM device is safe and effective in short and midterm follow-up including selected patients with perimembranous defect and mild prolapse of the right coronary cusp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1047951121002985DOI Listing
July 2021

Impact of various watering regimes on physiological and hematological parameters in intensively kept Marecha () she-camels in summer season.

Open Vet J 2021 Apr-Jun;11(2):180-187. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Faculty of Applied Medical Science, Shagra University, Shaqraa, Saudi Arabia.

Background: Camel is vital to daily life as a source of food and means of transportation, and just as importantly, its milk and urine have been used as medicine for diverse ailments since ancient times for people living in the desert region.

Aim: The current study was planned to investigate the effect of different watering regimes on physiological and hematological parameters of lactating Marecha camels during the summer season.

Methods: For this purpose, 12 lactating she-camels of almost similar age (8-13 years) and parity (2-5) were selected in a completely randomized design with four animals per treatment at the Camel Breeding and Research Station Rakh Mahni District Bhakkar. The trial was completed in 60 days, while 7 days were given as an acclimatization period for adaptation. The treatments were as follows: Group-1 (G-1) considered as the control had access to water once in a day; Group-2 (G-2) had access to water once in 4 days, and Group-3 (G-3) had access to water once in 6 days. Animals were housed individually for feeding and watering in an intensive management system. The same feed consisting of green fodder () and gram straw () was offered to all animals. The average ambient temperature and relative humidity were 39°C-41°C and 55%-63%, respectively.

Result: The mean values ( < 0.001) of water intake were found to be 82.94 ± 1.34 l in G-3, which was higher than G-1 and G-2. Blood analysis showed that packed cell volume, white blood cells, and hemoglobin were affected significantly ( < 0.001, < 0.01, and < 0.05, respectively).

Conclusion: No serious changes in complete blood count and physiological parameters were reported in this study. So, this shows that the camel is unique in its physiological adaptation in hot and hostile environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/OVJ.2021.v11.i2.1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8288733PMC
April 2021

Serologic evidence of Echinococcus granulosus in slaughterhouses in Pakistan: global alarm for butchers in developing countries.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2021 06 30;15(6):861-869. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, National Professional Laboratory of Animal Hydatidosis, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China.

Introduction: Cystic echinococcosis, caused by Echinococcus granulosus, is a neglected zoonosis that affects humans and livestock. This sero-survey was designed for the first time in Pakistan to assess the exposure of butchers to E. granulosus as there was no previous report in the country for this occupational group.

Methodology: Blood samples were collected from registered butchers (n = 364) in five different slaughterhouses in Faisalabad and Bahawalnagar Districts. Sera were tested for anti-Echinococcus granulosus IgG with a commercially available ELISA kit (specificity, 100%; sensitivity, 97%).

Results: Overall, seroprevalence was 9.61% (35/364). Butchers >30 years of age (10.34%), those involved in small ruminants butchery (11.70%), >10 years' experience (10.04%), formal education level up to middle standard (10.28%), contact with dogs (12.71%), improper/unhygienic disposal of dog feces (11.87%), and those unaware of the consequences of eating with unwashed hands (13.80%) were more seropositive with significant statistical differences (p < 0.05). Variables like previous cyst encounter, no knowledge of zoonoses and/or cystic echinococcosis, living in rural areas and the presence of stray/feral dogs in surroundings did not show any significant association (p > 0.05) with seroprevalence in butchers. The binary logistic regression model also showed a statistically significant relationship (p < 0.05) for all risk factors found statistically significant (p < 0.05) in the univariate analysis.

Conclusions: This study shows high prevalence of cystic echinococcosis among butchers in Pakistan and underscores the need for educating native slaughterhouse personnel on cystic echinococcosis. It also serves as a global warning, especially in developing countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3855/jidc.14029DOI Listing
June 2021

Dengue Detection: Advances in Diagnostic Tools from Conventional Technology to Point of Care.

Biosensors (Basel) 2021 Jun 23;11(7). Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Asghar-Lab, Micro and Nanotechnology in Medicine, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.

The dengue virus (DENV) is a vector-borne flavivirus that infects around 390 million individuals each year with 2.5 billion being in danger. Having access to testing is paramount in preventing future infections and receiving adequate treatment. Currently, there are numerous conventional methods for DENV testing, such as NS1 based antigen testing, IgM/IgG antibody testing, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). In addition, novel methods are emerging that can cut both cost and time. Such methods can be effective in rural and low-income areas throughout the world. In this paper, we discuss the structural evolution of the virus followed by a comprehensive review of current dengue detection strategies and methods that are being developed or commercialized. We also discuss the state of art biosensing technologies, evaluated their performance and outline strategies to address challenges posed by the disease. Further, we outline future guidelines for the improved usage of diagnostic tools during recurrence or future outbreaks of DENV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/bios11070206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8301808PMC
June 2021

An empirical demonstration of the effect of study design on density estimations.

Sci Rep 2021 06 23;11(1):13104. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 01002, USA.

The simultaneous development of technology (e.g. camera traps) and statistical methods, particularly spatially capture-recapture (SCR), has improved monitoring of large mammals in recent years. SCR estimates are known to be sensitive to sampling design, yet existing recommendations about trap spacing and coverage are often not achieved, particularly for sampling wide-ranging and rare species in landscapes that allow for limited accessibility. Consequently, most camera trap studies on large wide-ranging carnivores relies on convenience or judgmental sampling, and often yields compromised results. This study attempts to highlight the importance of carefully considered sampling design for large carnivores that, because of low densities and elusive behavior, are challenging to monitor. As a motivating example, we use two years of snow leopard camera trapping data from the same areas in the high mountains of Pakistan but with vastly different camera configurations, to demonstrate that estimates of density and space use are indeed sensitive to the trapping array. A compact design, one in which cameras were placed much closer together than generally recommended and therefore have lower spatial coverage, resulted in fewer individuals observed, but more recaptures, and estimates of density and space use were inconsistent with expectations for the region. In contrast, a diffuse design, one with larger spacing and spatial coverage and more consistent with general recommendations, detected more individuals, had fewer recaptures, but generated estimates of density and space use that were in line with expectations. Researchers often opt for compact camera configurations while monitoring wide-ranging and rare species, in an attempt to maximize the encounter probabilities. We empirically demonstrate the potential for biases when sampling a small area approximately the size of a single home range-this arises from exposing fewer individuals than deemed sufficient for estimation. The smaller trapping array may also underestimate density by significantly inflating [Formula: see text]. On the other hand, larger trapping array with fewer detectors and poor design induces uncertainties in the estimates. We conclude that existing design recommendations have limited utility on practical grounds for devising feasible sampling designs for large ranging species, and more research on SCR designs is required that allows for integrating biological and habitat traits of large carnivores in sampling framework. We also suggest that caution should be exercised when there is a reliance on convenience sampling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92361-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8222225PMC
June 2021

Green and chemically synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles: effects on seedlings and callus cultures of and evaluation of their antimicrobial and anticancer potential.

Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol 2021 Dec;49(1):450-460

Department of Biotechnology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) have been produced by physical and chemical methods. Here, the comparative evaluation of both chemically-synthesised ZnO-NPs (C-ZNPs) and cultured mediated green-synthesised ZnO-NPs (G-ZNPs) were investigated on seed germination frequency, root and shoot growth, callus induction and biochemical profile of medicinally important plant . Of all the treatments, callus-mediated ZnO-NPs gave optimum results for seed germination (65%), plantlet's root length (4.3 cm), shoot length (5.3 cm) and fresh and dry weights (220.4 g L and 21.23 g L, respectively). Similarly, the accumulation of phenolic (12.3 µg/mg DW) and flavonoid (2.8 µg/mg DW) contents were also enhanced in callus cultures treated with G-ZNPs. We also observed maximum antioxidant activity (99%) in callus cultures treated with G-ZNPs, however, in case of plantlets, these activities were found highest for whole plant-mediated ZnO-NPs. Moreover, G-ZNPs also enhanced total protein content (265.32 BSAE/20g FW) in callus cultures. G-ZNPs were further assessed for their effects on several multidrug resistant bacterial strains and human liver carcinoma (HepG2) cells and our findings revealed that callus extracts treated with G-ZNPs show ameliorated antibacterial (highest zone of inhibition (19 mm) against ) and anticancer (highest cytotoxicity of 64%) activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21691401.2021.1926274DOI Listing
December 2021

Relationship between knowledge on COVID-19 and psychological distress among students living in quarantine: an email survey.

AIMS Public Health 2021 12;8(1):90-99. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Psychological distress is a generic term which refers to "feeling of emotional strain" that affects our normal mental and physical functioning. The aim of this study is to investigate the psychological distress perceived by the Pakistani students living in quarantine and to determine risk and protective factors, including knowledge of COVD-19, among this population. It is a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted from February to May 2020. Students enrolled at different colleges and universities of Pakistan participated in this survey. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) is computed for comparing knowledge scores of participants having different levels of psychological distress. A total of 937 participants completed the survey questionnaire, with slightly more male respondents (60.6%) than female (39.4%). The average age of survey participants is 22.0 years (SD = 3.01), with majority (76.2%) belonging to urban areas. The mean COVID-19 knowledge score is 8.91 (SD = 1.69, range: 1-12), suggesting an overall 74.25% precision rate for this knowledge test for individual participant. The participants scored least knowledge regarding the disease transmission, showing a percentage correctness of only 40%. Majority of the participants (57.3%) are likely to be well, while others (42.7%) have shown symptoms of mental distress. The analysis reveals that participants with moderate mental distress (M = 8.81, SD = 2.37) and those with severe mental distress (M = 8.75, SD = 2.69) scored lower than participants who were likely to be well (M = 9.49, SD = 1.71). Our study concludes that a higher knowledge base regarding the disease will help to mitigate distress levels. Our study suggests that in order to deal with this pandemic effectively, the knowledge regarding COVID-19 should be properly conveyed to general public. It is need of the hour to address mental issues of the population aggressively along with providing awareness about COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/publichealth.2021007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7870380PMC
January 2021

A blessing in disguise?: Assessing the impact of 2010-2011 floods on trust in Pakistan.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 May 18;28(20):25419-25431. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

School of Economics, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The existing literature concludes that natural disasters have cataclysmic effects on the economic well-being of people. But how natural disasters shape psychological behavior is still ambiguous. In this paper, we study the effects of a natural disaster on individuals' interpersonal trust in Pakistan. By exploiting a nationally representative cross-sectional survey and combining it with the district-level geospatial data on floods, we observe the positive and statistically significant impact of 2010-2011 flooding on the reported levels of trust, after 23-36 months of the exposure. Quantitatively, a 1% increase in district's exposure to flooding increases interpersonal trust by 5%, after controlling for individual and district level characteristics. Our empirical strategy enables us to control for various geographical characteristics to counter the concerns regarding the otherwise exogenous natural experiment. Next, our results suggest that flooding heterogeneously affects individuals who are male, live in urban areas, and have higher educational attainment. These findings remain robust to different sensitivity and robustness checks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12332-4DOI Listing
May 2021

Public knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards COVID-19 in Pakistan: A cross-sectional study.

Child Youth Serv Rev 2021 Jan 5;120:105784. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

In response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, each country has adopted different measures for its control, for instance, complete lockdown, smart lockdown based on hotspot analysis, and/or strict movement control on their residents. The effectiveness of such controls depends largely on public knowledge, attitude, and practices towards this novel virus. The prime objective of this study is to examine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of university students and graduates in Pakistan regarding COVID-19. For this purpose, cross-sectional data is collected from 1789 participants through an online survey conducted between July 12 and August 10. The survey instrument consists of demographic characteristics, 13 items on knowledge, 6 items on attitudes, and 3 items on practices, modified from a previously published questionnaire on COVID-19. Our statistical analyses are based on descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The overall correct response rate of the knowledge section is 73%, which is comparatively lower than similar studies in the region. The majority of participants are optimistic about the successful control of COVID-19 in Pakistan, and following the instructions issued by the government of Pakistan. However, a bulk of participants showed skepticism and no trust in the health facilities of hospitals in Pakistan, which could be the potential explanation of falling confirmed cases in Pakistan. In addition, a low knowledge score is found to be significantly associated with low confidence in successful control of COVID-19, and socially undesirable practices. The results suggest an urgent need for health education programs to hold optimistic attitudes and rebuilding of trust of the general public in health facilities in local hospitals to avoid the possible next wave of COVID-19 in Pakistan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105784DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718774PMC
January 2021

Outcome Of Open Interlocking Nailing In Closed Fracture Shaft Of Femur.

J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2020 Oct-Dec;32(4):546-550

Department of Orthopaedics, *Department of Gynaecology, Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Background: Various treatment modalities have been used in treating femoral shaft fractures, i.e., open intramedullary nailing, plating and external fixators but these does not always produce stable fixation and there is increased risk of infection, closed locked intramedullary nailing technique has being the gold standard and is a routine procedure but it requires proper orthopedic operation table with traction apparatus and the use of image intensifier. The use of open interlocking nailing technique doesn't require any special orthopaedic table nor it requires use of Image intensifier. The objective of this study is to find out and determine the frequency of fracture union and wound infection in open reamed interlocking nailing of close fractures of shaft of femur.

Methods: This study included fifty-eight patients from either gender, above 14 years of age with closed femoral shaft fracture presenting within 2 weeks. Data was collected on Performa about gender, age, address, date of fracture, date of operation and discharge, type of fracture and follow-up visits.

Results: Mean age of the patients were 31.24±8.662. According to Winquist & Hansen, femur shaft fractures were divided into four types. Type I were found in the 16(27.6%), Type II in 21 (36.2%), Type III in 12 (20.7%) and Type IV in 9 (15.5%). Total number of fracture union with regard to Winquist & Hensen Classification of fracture shaft femur were, Type I, 14 (24.1%), Type II, 21 (36.2%), Type III, 12 (20.7%), Type IV, 8 (13.8%) respectively while the rest 3 (5.2%) were found in non-union. Total number of fracture union with regard to gender of the patients were, 41 (70.7%) males and 14 (24.1%) were females while the rest 3 (5.2%) patients fracture union has not occurred. Fracture union was found in 55 (94.8%) out of 58 patients; while fracture union had not occurred in 3 (5.2%) out of 58 patients. The total number of patients who developed wound infection following surgery were 5 (8.6%) out of 58 patients; while the non-infected patients were 53 (91.4%) out of 58 patients.

Conclusions: The open interlocking nailing technique for close fractures shaft of femur without the use of image intensifier achieved excellent results in terms of fracture union. Results obtained are mostly similar to the results of close interlocking nailing and it also requires less expertise, recourses and without the use of image intensifier.
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April 2021

Biochemical Findings in an Atypical Case of Kala Pathar (Paraphenylenediamine) Poisoning.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2020 Nov;30(11):1241-1242

Department of Chemical Pathology, Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Multan, Pakistan.

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November 2020

Identifying priority landscapes for conservation of snow leopards in Pakistan.

PLoS One 2020 5;15(11):e0228832. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Department of Zoology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Pakistan's total estimated snow leopard habitat is about 80,000 km2 of which about half is considered prime habitat. However, this preliminary demarcation was not always in close agreement with the actual distribution-the discrepancy may be huge at the local and regional level. Recent technological developments like camera trapping and molecular genetics allow for collecting reliable presence records that could be used to construct realistic species distribution based on empirical data and advanced mathematical approaches like MaxEnt. The current study followed this approach to construct an accurate distribution of the species in Pakistan. Moreover, movement corridors, among different landscapes, were also identified through circuit theory. The probability of habitat suitability, generated from 98 presence points and 11 environmental variables, scored the snow leopard's assumed range in Pakistan, from 0 to 0.97. A large portion of the known range represented low-quality habitat, including areas in lower Chitral, Swat, Astore, and Kashmir. Conversely, Khunjerab, Misgar, Chapursan, Qurumber, Broghil, and Central Karakoram represented high-quality habitats. Variables with higher contributions in the MaxEnt model were precipitation during the driest month (34%), annual mean temperature (19.5%), mean diurnal range of temperature (9.8%), annual precipitation (9.4%), and river density (9.2). The model was validated through receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots and defined thresholds. The average test AUC in Maxent for the replicate runs was 0.933 while the value of AUC by ROC curve calculated at 0.15 threshold was 1.00. These validation tests suggested a good model fit and strong predictive power. The connectivity analysis revealed that the population in the Hindukush landscape appears to be more connected with the population in Afghanistan as compared to other populations in Pakistan. Similarly, the Pamir-Karakoram population is better connected with China and Tajikistan, while the Himalayan population was connected with the population in India. Based on our findings we propose three model landscapes to be considered under the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) agenda as regional priority areas, to safeguard the future of the snow leopard in Pakistan and the region. These landscapes fall within mountain ranges of the Himalaya, Hindu Kush and Karakoram-Pamir, respectively. We also identified gaps in the existing protected areas network and suggest new protected areas in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan to protect critical habitats of snow leopard in Pakistan.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0228832PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644022PMC
December 2020

Biochemical Markers in COVID-19 in Multan.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2020 Oct;30(10):1026-1029

Department of Pathology, Combined Military Hospital, Multan, Pakistan.

Objective: To determine clinical features and biochemical markers in COVID-19 patients at a tertiary care hospital, in Multan.

Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study.

Place And Duration Of Study: Department of Pathology, Combined Military Hospital, Multan, Pakistan, from March to June 2020.

Methodology: Sixty-three cases of all ages admitted in Isolation ward, Combined Military Hospital, Multan with COVID-19 were included. Clinical features like fever, cough and shortness of breath were recorded. Blood sample was collected in plain tube for biochemical features like serum albumin, ferritin, AST, LDH, CRP and urea, which were analysed in Pathology Department of the Hospital. Association of the clinical features and these biochemical markers were determined.

Results: In 63 patients, only one (1.6%) patient was between 1 to 12 years, 42 (66.7 %) belonged to 13 to 45 years while 20 (31.7%) patients were between 46 to 95 years. Mean age was 41.39+15.68 years. Forty-eight (76.2%) patients were males and 15 (23.8%) females. Thirteen (20.6%) patients presented with fever, 14 (22.2%) had productive cough and only 3 (4.8%) patients were aware of known history of contact. Median (IQR) value of serum ferritin, LDH, albumin, AST, CRP and urea were 176.5 (252) ng/ml, 284 (96) IU/L, 42 (7) g/L, 28 (22) U/L, 3.9 (11) mg/L and 4.25 (1.6) mmol/L, respectively.

Conclusion: Pakistani patients with COVID-19 disease showed variable pattern of clinical features. Specific biochemical markers, particularly serum ferritin, may help in diagnosis. Key Words: Covid-19, Clinical features, Biochemical features, Multan, Pakistan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.29271/jcpsp.2020.10.1026DOI Listing
October 2020

Examining the asymmetric effects of Pakistan's fiscal decentralization on economic growth and environmental quality.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 24;28(5):5666-5681. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, China.

This study aims to investigate the asymmetric fiscal decentralization effect on economic growth and environmental quality by using Pakistan data from 1984 to 2018. Our findings demonstrate that expenditure decentralization has asymmetric effects on economic growth and CO2 emissions in short- and long-run in Pakistan. Therefore, positive and negative fluctuations in expenditure decentralization affect economic growth and CO2 emissions differently in Pakistan. The results of asymmetric ARDL suggested that negative shock of revenue decentralization is reduced the economic growth and CO2 emissions in the short and long-run, while positive shock of revenue decentralization is reduced the economic growth and CO2 emissions. Our asymmetric results are country-specific and more effective in policy analysis in Pakistan. The outcomes of this study may also help Pakistan's local governments and the central government in addressing the problem of economic growth and environmental pollution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10876-zDOI Listing
February 2021

Shape-control growth of 2D-InSe with out-of-plane ferroelectricity by chemical vapor deposition.

Nanoscale 2020 Oct;12(39):20189-20201

PCG, Physics Division, PINSTECH, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad 45650, Pakistan.

For potential applications in ferroelectric switching and piezoelectric nano-generator devices, the promising ferroelectric properties of two dimensional (2D) layered In2Se3 attracted much attention. In the present study, 2D In2Se3 flakes down to monolayers are grown by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique on a mica substrate with their structural, optical and ferroelectric properties being studied. The effect of growth parameters (time of growth and Ar flow rate) on the shape and size of the deposited flakes was studied. The optical microscopy study revealed that the flake changed from a circular shape to a sharp face triangle as the Ar flow rate and growth time increased. Raman spectroscopy and high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (HR-STEM) studies revealed that the flakes were of α and β phases, each of which has a hexagonal crystal structure. Strong second harmonic generation (SHG) was observed from α-In2Se3, demonstrating its non-centrosymmetric structure. The piezo-force microscopic (PFM) study showed the presence of out of plane (OOP) ferroelectricity with no in plane (IP) ferroelectricity in CVD grown α-In2Se3 indicating its vertically confined piezoresponse, which was tuned by the applied electric bias and the flake thickness. The present result of shape-controlled growth of In2Se3 with OOP ferroelectricity would open new pathways in the field of 2D ferroelectric switching devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9nr10207hDOI Listing
October 2020

Effects of Biogenic Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Growth and Oxidative Stress Response in Flax Seedlings vs. In Vitro Cultures: A Comparative Analysis.

Biomolecules 2020 06 17;10(6). Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Biotechnology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan.

biosynthesizes lignans and neolignans that are diet and medicinally valuable metabolites. In recent years, zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) have emerged as potential elicitors for the enhanced biosynthesis of commercial secondary metabolites. Herein, we investigated the influence of biogenic ZnONPs on both seedlings and stem-derived callus of . Seedlings of grown on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with ZnONPs (1-1000 mg/L) presented the highest antioxidant activity, total phenolic content, total flavonoid content, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities at 500 mg/L, while the maximum plantlet length was achieved with 10 mg/L. Likewise, the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis revealed the enhanced production of secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, lariciresinol diglucoside, dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol glucoside and guaiacylglycerol-β-coniferyl alcohol ether glucoside in the plantlets grown on the 500 mg/L ZnONPs. On the other hand, the stem explants were cultured on MS media comprising 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (1 mg/L) and ZnONPs (1-50 mg/L). The highest antioxidant and other activities with an enhanced rooting effect were noted in 25 mg/L ZnONP-treated callus. Similarly, the maximum metabolites were also accumulated in 25 mg/L ZnONP-treated callus. In both systems, the dose-dependent production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was recorded, resulting in oxidative damage with a more pronounced toxic effect on in vitro cultures. Altogether, the results from this study constitute a first comprehensive view of the impact of ZnONPs on the oxidative stress and antioxidant responses in seedlings vs. in vitro cultures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10060918DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7355665PMC
June 2020

Molybdenum-induced effects on leaf ultra-structure and rhizosphere phosphorus transformation in Triticum aestivum L.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Aug 16;153:20-29. Epub 2020 May 16.

Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River), Ministry of Agriculture, Micro-elements Research Center, College of Resource and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China; Hubei Provincial Engineering Laboratory for New Fertilizers, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China. Electronic address:

Soil phosphorus (P) occurs in pools of lower availability due to soil P fixation and therefore, it is a key constrain to crop production. Long term molybdenum-induced effects in wheat and rhizosphere/non-rhizosphere soil P dynamics have not yet been investigated. Here, a long term field experiment was conducted to explore these effects in wheat consisting of two treatments i.e. with molybdenum (+Mo) and without molybdenum (-Mo). The results revealed that molybdenum (Mo) supply increased plant biomass, grain yield, P uptake, preserved the configuration of chloroplast, stomata, and mesophyll tissue cells, suggesting the complementary effects of Mo on wheat yield and P accumulation. During the periods of vegetative growth, soil organic carbon, organic matter, and microbial biomass P were higher and tended to decrease in rhizosphere soil at maturity stage. In +Mo treatment, the most available P fractions [HO-Pi (16.2-22.9 mg/kg and 4.24-7.57 mg/kg) and NaHCO-Pi (130-149 mg/kg and 77.2-88 mg/kg)] were significantly increased in rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils, respectively. In addition, the +Mo treatment significantly increased the acid phosphatase activity and the expression of phoN/phoC, aphA, olpA/lppC gene transcripts in rhizosphere soil compared to -Mo. Our research findings suggested that Mo application has increased P availability not only through biochemical and chemical changes in rhizosphere but also through P assimilation and induced effects in the leaf ultra-structures. So, it might be a strategy of long term Mo fertilizer supply to overcome the P scarcity in plants and rhizosphere soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.05.010DOI Listing
August 2020

Microbial synthesized cadmium oxide nanoparticles induce oxidative stress and protein leakage in bacterial cells.

Microb Pathog 2020 Jul 6;144:104188. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Department of Biotechnology, Mohi-ud-Din Islamic University, Nerian Sharif, AJ&K, Pakistan; State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100093, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. Electronic address:

The bactericidal activity of metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) offers extensive opportunities in bioengineering and biomedicines. Bioengineered transition metals used in various forms against lethal microbes. In this study, Cadmium Oxide nanoparticles (CdO-NPs) were prepared through the co-precipitation method using fungal strain Penicillium oxalicum and cadmium acetate solution. The structure and elemental composition of the prepared NPs were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Antibacterial activity was assessed through well diffusion method against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Shigella dysenteriae (S. dysenteriae), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). In addition, reactive oxygen species (ROS), reducing sugars and protein leakage contribution was examined against selected strains. The XRD analysis proved that the synthesized CdO-NPs possess a crystalline structure with an average crystalline size of 40-80 nm. FTIR confirmed the presence of organic compounds on the particle surface, while UV showed stability of the particles. SEM and EDS confirmed that CdO-NPs were successfully prepared and spherical. The maximum zone of inhibition against S. dysenteriae and P. aeruginosa was found and showed a less optical density of 0.086 after 18 h. ROS, reducing sugar, and protein leakage assay showed a significant difference as compared to control. Based on the present study, it is recommended that microbial mediated synthesized nanoparticles can be used as biomedicines for the treatment of different types of bacterial infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104188DOI Listing
July 2020

Frequency and Causes of Deferral among Blood Donors Presenting to Combined Military Hospital Multan.

Cureus 2020 Jan 14;12(1):e6657. Epub 2020 Jan 14.

Internal Medicine, Central Michigan University, Saginaw, USA.

Background & Aim It is of great importance to carefully choose appropriate donors according to strict eligibility criteria, so as to guarantee an adequate and safe blood supply. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of deferral in blood donors and evaluate the different causes of deferral in Multan. Materials & Methods This prospective study was carried out at the Blood Bank of Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Multan. All donors who came for the donation of blood from 1st February to 30th September 2019 were evaluated after taking their consent. The data was analyzed to determine the frequency and causes of deferral using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Results Among 3348 individuals presenting for blood donation, 433 (12.9%) were deferred (427 males and only six females). The mean age of deferred individuals was 28.96 + 6.42 years. The youngest individual was 18 years, while the eldest one was 51 years of age. Almost 65% of the individuals were less than 30 years of age. The most frequent cause of deferral was low hemoglobin. Anemia was the leading cause of deferral in more than half of the individuals (= 221). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was the second most frequent cause of deferral, seen in 83 (19.2%), followed by hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (= 49, 11.3%), syphilis (= 36, 8.3%), thrombocytopenia (= 18, 4.2%), and active infection (= 14, 3.2%). Other rarer causes included early donation, thrombocytosis, polycythemia, pancytopenia, malaria, allergies, insulin, and tuberculosis. Conclusion Deferral for blood donation is a significant problem in Multan and accounts for almost 13% of all prospective blood donors. Our results stress the importance of addressing the problem of anemia which is the most prevalent cause of temporary deferral for blood donation in this region of the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.6657DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7017926PMC
January 2020

Durable Antimicrobial Behaviour from Silver-Graphene Coated Medical Textile Composites.

Polymers (Basel) 2019 Dec 3;11(12). Epub 2019 Dec 3.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Department of Health Technology and Informatics, Lee Shau Kee Building, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR 999077, China.

Silver nanoparticle (AgNP) and AgNP/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanocomposite impregnated medical grade polyviscose textile pads were formed using a facile, surface-mediated wet chemical solution-dipping process, without further annealing. Surfaces were sequentially treated in situ with a sodium borohydride (NaBH) reducing agent, prior to formation, deposition, and fixation of Ag nanostructures and/or rGO nanosheets throughout porous non-woven (i.e., randomly interwoven) fibrous scaffolds. There was no need for stabilising agent use. The surface morphology of the treated fabrics and the reaction mechanism were characterised by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorption spectra, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDS), and scanning electron microscopic (SEM). XRD and EDS confirmed the presence of pure-phase metallic silver. Variation of reducing agent concentration allowed control over characteristic plasmon absorption of AgNP while SEM imaging, EDS, and DLS confirmed the presence of and dispersion of Ag particles, with smaller agglomerates existing with concurrent rGO use, which also coincided with enhanced AgNP loading. The composites demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity against the clinically relevant gram-negative (a key causative bacterial agent of healthcare-associated infections; HAIs). The best antibacterial rate achieved for treated substrates was 100% with only a slight decrease (to 90.1%) after 12 equivalent laundering cycles of standard washing. Investigation of silver ion release behaviours through inductively coupled plasmon optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and laundering durability tests showed that AgNP adhesion was aided by the presence of the rGO host matrix allowing for robust immobilisation of silver nanostructures with relatively high stability, which offered a rapid, convenient, scalable route to conformal NP-decorated and nanocomposite soft matter coatings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym11122000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6961056PMC
December 2019

Fungal mediated synthesis of silver nanoparticles and evaluation of antibacterial activity.

Microsc Res Tech 2020 Jan 16;83(1):72-80. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

Department of Plant Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Nanoparticles as biomedicine has made a crucial role in health biotechnology. Different transition metals in various forms playing role in nanotechnological advances and biological applications. Silver as one of the nontoxic, safe inorganic antibacterial agents and can serve as replacement of antibiotics. Present research is based on biogenic synthesis of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) as potential antibiotics from fungal metabolites of Penicillium oxalicum. We used different analytical techniques X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for characterization of biosynthesized silver nanoparticles. Furthermore, the antibacterial activity of biosynthesized silver nanoparticles was checked against Staphylococcus aureus, S. dysenteriae, and Salmonella typhi by using well diffusion method and UV visible spectrophotometer. Maximum zone of inhibition recorded against S. aureus, Shigella dysenteriae was 17.5 ± 0.5 mm (mm) for both species and 18.3 ± 0.60 mm for Salmonella typhi. The biosynthesized silver nanoparticles of P. oxalicum showed excellent antibacterial activity. It was concluded from our results that biosynthesized silver nanoparticles have significant potential and might be useful for a wide range of biological applications such as bactericidal agent against resistant bacteria, preventing infections, healing wounds, and anti-inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.23390DOI Listing
January 2020

Personality Dynamism and Academic Performance Among Boarders and Non-boarders Studying in a Medical University.

Cureus 2019 Jul 3;11(7):e5072. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Internal Medicine, Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi, PAK.

Introduction The personality of a human being consists of his behavior, cognition, emotional abilities, and interaction with his surroundings. The personality of an individual is modified by his ability for social perception, life experiences, and training. The pattern of study in which a person acquires education has a great influence on their personality. Objective To compare the personality traits and academic performance of boarders and non-boarders studying in a medical university. Material and methods It is a comparative, descriptive cross-sectional study done at Rawalpindi Medical University, Pakistan. The duration of the study was from January 2019 to April 2019. A questionnaire was randomly distributed among the students of Rawalpindi Medical University and filled under supervision. The questionnaire had two parts: (1) Academic performance information and (2) Big Five inventory (BFI-40). Only MBBS students of Rawalpindi Medical University were included. For statistical analysis, the independent t-test was applied using the Windows IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Version 22 (SPSS, IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, US). The statistically significant value was taken as 0.05. Results Out of 300 questionnaires distributed, 287 were properly filled, giving a response rate of 95.6%. The Cronbach's alpha value was .750. The mean age was 20.87±1.344. There were 216 (75.1%) male and 71 (24.9%) females. One-hundred eighty-three (63.8%) were boarders and 104 (36.2%) were non-boarders. The mean scores of extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were higher for boarders while the mean scores of neuroticism and openness were higher for non-boarders. High average percentages in professional exams were common in non-boarders while boarders were taking more supplementary exams comparatively. Conclusion Self-discipline, surgency from external activities/situations, and getting along with others are common traits among boarders. On the other hand, non-boarders are more creative but emotionally unstable. The academic status of boarders is comparatively poor. Thus, the hostel administration should be particularly concerned about the activities of boarders, and parents should be aware of their child's academic status. Teachers should pay special attention to the character development of students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.5072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721927PMC
July 2019

A Child with Ambiguous Genitalia: An Atypical Presentation.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2019 Jun;29(6):S54-S55

Department of Chemical Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia (LCAH) (OMIM No. 201710) is the most severe type of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Its clinical presentation includes lethal disturbance of adrenal and gonadal steroid synthesis due to impairment in the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone. Infants with this disorder experience salt loss, and glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid deficiencies. Replacement therapy has enabled long-term survival. Classic LCAH is relatively common in Japan and Korea but extremely rare in Caucasian populations. An XY male 5-year-old child presented at Endocrine Clinic of Armed Forces Institute of Pathology with ambiguous genitalia and hyperpigmentation. He had family history of CAH. His laboratory investigations revealed normal serum cortisol and 17 Hydroxy (17 OH) progesterone levels with high plasma ACTH and renin levels. He had low aldosterone with inadequate response with hCG stimulation test. This is the first case of non-classic LCAH reported in the Pakistani population. Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) gene mutations result in LCAH and the condition should be considered in the differential diagnosis of an XY child with primary adrenal insufficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.29271/jcpsp.2019.06.S54DOI Listing
June 2019

Analysis of Trabecular Bone Mechanics Using Machine Learning.

Evol Bioinform Online 2019 24;15:1176934318825084. Epub 2019 Mar 24.

Interdisciplinary Research Centre, COMSATS University Islamabad, Wah Cantonment, Pakistan.

"Bone remodeling" is a dynamic process, and mutliphase analysis incorporated with the forecasting algorithm can help the biologists and orthopedics to interpret the laboratory generated results and to apply them in improving applications in the fields of "drug design, treatment, and therapy" of diseased bones. The metastasized bone microenvironment has always remained a challenging puzzle for the researchers. A multiphase computational model is interfaced with the artificial intelligence algorithm in a hybrid manner during this research. Trabecular surface remodeling is presented in this article, with the aid of video graphic footage, and the associated parametric thresholds are derived from artificial intelligence and clinical data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1176934318825084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434438PMC
March 2019
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