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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 108-142

Third Kuwait International Conference on Life S(KICLS’ 2018) Kuwait University, November 27–29, 2018 Web page: http://www.kic-LifeSciences.org


Vice Dean Research and Academic Affairs, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait

Date of Web Publication26-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Abdur Rahman Ahmad
Vice Dean Research and Academic Affairs, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University
Kuwait
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_50_18

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How to cite this article:
Ahmad AR. Third Kuwait International Conference on Life S(KICLS’ 2018) Kuwait University, November 27–29, 2018 Web page: http://www.kic-LifeSciences.org. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2018;8:108-42

How to cite this URL:
Ahmad AR. Third Kuwait International Conference on Life S(KICLS’ 2018) Kuwait University, November 27–29, 2018 Web page: http://www.kic-LifeSciences.org. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Oct 16];8:108-42. Available from: http://www.ijnpnd.com/text.asp?2018/8/4/108/248541




   Keynotes Top


Wednesday November 28, 2018

9:00–9:45 Keynote Address 1

Prof. Khalid Iqbal

Department of Neurochemistry, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York, USA

Title: Challenges and Approaches to the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

9:45–10:30 Keynote Address 2

Prof. Edwin Yiu

Division of Speech & Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Title: Is Voice Therapy an Art or Science? Contemporary Approaches to Voice Therapy

10:30–11:45 Keynote Address 3

Prof. Joann K. Whalen

Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Title: Wastewater Treatment Plants as a Source of Value-Added Bioproducts


   Keynote Address 1 Top


Challenges and Approaches to the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Khalid Iqbal

Department of Neurochemistry, Inge Grundke-Iqbal Research Floor, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York, USA

Abstract

Cerebral aging is a major public health problem in modern society. With the advancement of modern medicine, especially preventive care, the human lifespan continues to increase and so does the prevalence of age associated diseases. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in the middle to old age individuals; it accounts for ∼75% of all cases of senile dementia. Currently, ∼47 million suffer from AD and this number is projected to reach ∼135 million by 2050 globally if no treatment to prevent or inhibit it is developed. AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with an insidious onset. It is characterized grossly by marked brain atrophy and histopathologically by neurodegeneration associated with intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles of hyperphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau and extracellular deposition of beta-amyloid as plaques. AD is a multifactorial disorder. In less than 1% of the cases, it is caused by certain mutations in transmembrane proteins, amyloid precursor protein, presenilin 1, or presenilin 2. The remaining over 99% of the cases are sporadic, though the presence of one or two copies of apoE4 allele increases one’s risk to suffer from AD by ∼3.5 and ∼10-fold, respectively. Currently, there is no effective treatment available for the prevention or treatment of AD. The approved drugs are cholinomimetic and an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist. These are only symptomatic drugs which temporarily ameliorate some of the disease associated symptoms but do not inhibit the underlying pathology. In the last ∼25 years, major efforts were focused on inhibition and clearance of Abeta pathology but without any success. Currently, a major effort is focused on tau-based therapeutics, especially tau immunotherapy. Preclinical studies on both active and passive tau immunotherapy appear promising and several Phases I and II human clinical trials are currently underway. Compounds are also under development to inhibit hyperphosphorylation of tau and to shift the balance from neurodegeneration to regeneration of the brain. Rationale and potential of various major therapeutic approaches will be discussed.


   Keynote Address 2 Top


Is Voice Therapy an Art or Science? Contemporary Approaches to Voice Therapy

Edwin Yiu

Division of Speech & Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Abstract

Many current common voice therapy techniques can trace their origins to the methods used in singing and voice pedagogy. For example, humming (also known as resonant voice) and voice projection techniques used in voice performance training have been adopted to treat voice disorders. These methods have been found to be efficacious for treating voice disorders using randomized control trial (science), but often time, the skills demonstrated by the clinicians (art) are also important in ensuring the success of the therapy. Such skills, or art, are sometimes overemphasized and advocated to the extent that the scientific basis are often ignored or even contradicted. This paper will present the arguments why it is important to understand the scientific basis of any voice therapy techniques by drawing the example of resonant voice therapy and the recent interest in semioccluded tube phonation. In addition, two new approaches developed recently (acupuncture and vibrational therapy) and will also be presented to illustrate how the scientific basis of these approaches contributes to the effectiveness.


   Keynote Address 3 Top


Wastewater Treatment Plants as a Source of Value-Added Bioproducts

Joann K. Whalen

Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Abstract

Wastewater treatment is an essential public health service that ensures the proper sanitation of gray water from households, municipalities, and industries. Water purification is a costly process that involves removal of suspended particles and nutrients prior to filtration and sanitation procedures. Even after water meets standards for release into the environment or reuse, the residual biosolids collected in treatment lagoons must be removed and disposed, which comes as a cost. To reduce the economic burden of water treatment, municipalities may seek to develop revenue streams within their operations. This presentation will present two options to generate value-added bioproducts in wastewater treatment plants. The first option is to use microalgae to reduce the nutrient load in the wastewater to lower the nutrient concentration of the wastewater stream and therefore the cost of water clean-up. Microalgae are a good source of lipids for animal feeds and bioproducts. I present a case study that evaluated the financial viability of using microalgae grown in wastewater as a feedstock for biodiesel. The second option is to generate value from the biosolids that are flocculated and precipitated from the wastewater. I discuss the treatment options for biosolids, including composting, anaerobic digestion, and lime stabilization, and the suitability of these products to support crop production, including economic analysis. These examples show the potential for cogeneration of value-added bioproducts from wastewater treatment plants, leading to new sources of revenue for plant operators.


   Invited Talks Top


Thursday November 29, 2018

08:30–09:00 Invited Talk 1

Dr. Sultan M. Al-Salem

Environment & Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Title: Roadmap for Sustainable Environmental Practices: Tackling Waste Management Challenges With Advanced Engineering Technology

09:00–9:30 Invited Talk 2

Harri Vainio

Professor and Dean, Faculty of Public Health, Kuwait University, Hawally, Kuwait

Title: Prevention—Celebrated in Principle, But Not Done in Practice

09:30–10:00 Invited Talk 3

Abdulaziz Almudhi

Consultant SLP, Clinical Assistant Professor, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Title: Development of an Interactive Mobile Application for Stuttering Assessment and Treatment

10:00–10:30 Invited Talk 4

Dr. Michel Soto Chalhoub

Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Notre Dame University—Lebanon, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon

Title: Extraction Industries—Sustainability Issues and Environmental Concerns

10:30–11:00 Invited Talk 5

Musthafa Mohamed Essa1,2

1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Ageing and Dementia Research Group, 2College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Title: Diet and Neurodegenerative Diseases


   Invited Talk 1 Top


Roadmap for Sustainable Environmental Practices: Tackling Waste Management Challenges With Advanced Engineering Technology

S. M. Al-Salem

Environment & Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

The State of Kuwait faces a serious problems in managing municipal solid waste (MSW), with estimates as high as 5.72 kg per capita per day. Organics and plastic solid wastes constitute the main elements of MSW in Kuwait. There is also a growing trend in electrical and electronics equipment (WEEE) generation rate. Unsanitary landfilling is still the prevailing method of solid waste (SW) disposal in Kuwait. In this communication, various opportunities derived from recently concluded and on-going research activities are showcased as potential tailor-made engineering solutions for Kuwait in valorizing its accumulating SW. First, the issue of plastic solid waste (PSW) accumulation is tackled where mechanical recycling and biodegradation of common polyolefin (PO) polymers is addressed. The results stemming from developing a grade of mechanically recycled plastic film product will be compared with those derived from the on-going efforts for developing standards that can govern the use of biodegradable plastics as commercial products in Kuwait. The degradation kinetics along with potential for thermal recycling will be discussed. These protocols will be applied to a biodegradable PO secured from local markets to determine their optimal use and impact on the local environment. These tests include, but are not limited to, natural and accelerated aging, haze and light transmission properties, mechanical profiling, color parameters, and the determination of the degree and rate of biodegradation of plastics in situ contact with soil. Preliminary results obtained from a “patent claim” research project will be discussed as a novel approach to a very complex roadmap that can have a direct impact on the SW accumulation and management issue in Kuwait.


   Invited Talk 2 Top


Prevention—Celebrated in Principle, But Not Done in Practice

Harri Vainio

Faculty of Public Health, Kuwait University, Hawally, Kuwait

Abstract

Purpose: Few would argue that prevention is obviously a good thing almost all the time. Prevention is better than cure. Why, then, we don’t do it more regularly, more consistently, more widely, more effectively? What is stopping us? We know that smoking causes cancer, yet a large percentage of the population takes up the habit. We know that obesity and physical inactivity are associated with increased risk of various cancers—yet we do not change our lifestyle. The mindset of prevention is different from mindset of cure. In curative oncology, costs are accepted if there is even a tiny prolongation in expected lifetime. The treatment is said to be worth the costs. In prevention, the decision-makers are expecting net savings. Results: The top challenges which make prevention a hard sell are such things as invisibility, lack of drama, and our bias against errors of commission. The prevention success is invisible: you cannot single out the person whose stopping smoking prevented the appearance of cancer. The success lacks drama—there are no ambulances with sirens in the streets. No TV-program makes prevention experts as their main character. The prevention success is presented in statistical numbers at the level of populations. Often the time from community-level preventive intervention to the impact takes years, even tens of years. The preventive action needs persistency: the stopping smoking only temporary does not help. Conclusion: What do we need to overcome the challenges? The obvious thing would be to make the preventive action the easy choice, the norm. Make incentives to support the sustainability. Use policies to make the right choices easier—for example, ban smoking in the public places. The definition of a prevention culture is when it is a choice without decision. It is just the easy, obvious way to live your life.


   Invited Talk 3 Top


Development of an Interactive Mobile Application for Stuttering Assessment and Treatment

Abdulaziz Almudhi

King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Because stuttering is a disorder affecting the flow and rhythm of speech, the main objective of any stuttering treatment is to achieve spontaneous fluent speech to the greatest extent possible. Traditionally, multiple one-to-one therapeutic sessions between a speech language pathologist and a person who stutter (PWS) are needed. Such therapeutic sessions not only consume time and money, but also can pose additional cultural and resources-related challenges in Arab countries, thus, interfering with achieving the desired therapeutic goals. Such vital challenges can include (i) huge gap between the numbers of available specially trained clinicians to treat stuttering and the number of PWS and thus the limited number of clients who have access to specialist clinicians; (ii) considerable time and costs required for one-to-one therapy sessions; (iii) lack of compliance of PWS in showing up for all required therapy sessions due to different personal reasons, ranging from financial constraints to shyness, discomfort, or fear to fail; and (iv) gender-related issues, that is, female clients usually prefer to be treated by a female clinician rather than male clinician and vice versa. Speech Fluency App is designed and developed as an interactive approach to help the PWS to improve their fluency by simulating a 24/7 virtual clinic in their smart-phones and/or tablet. The goal of this application is to learn to manage old speech style (stuttering) through learning a new good speech style (fluent speech) which combines the use of hand movement that is synchronized with prolonged speech. This application can be an effective bridge between clinical-based therapy and home-based stuttering treatment in the global population.


   Invited Talk 4 Top


Extraction Industries—Sustainability Issues and Environmental Concerns

Michel Soto Chalhoub

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Notre Dame University—Lebanon, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon

Abstract

For the last several decades, there has been an increase in awareness about social responsibility in the private and public sectors in a multidisciplinary context. Extraction industries are of concern to scientists, engineers, medical doctors, health professionals, policy-makers, and local communities among other stakeholders. Historically, extraction industries have provided economic opportunities and public revenues but have also caused environmental degradation. Reliance on natural resources may cause lack of economic diversification and stifle the quest for innovative product and service development. Extraction industries require careful strategic planning at national and regional levels to avoid depletion and even cross-boundary conflict. Examples are drawn in relation to sustainability goals which include clean water and sanitation and affordable clean energy. Water resource mismanagement, the traditional use of dams, and their correlation with quarries raise public policy issues. The extraction of oil and gas to cater for the use of fossil fuel and the recent increase in activity in the East Mediterranean provide another example of potential high returns but coupled with high risk for local communities. It is hoped to engage in a discussion about taking social responsibility beyond a buzz word. Communities have to face the controversial relationship between public revenues on one hand, and sustainability, public health problems, inhabitant’s dislocation, and atrophy in competitive innovation on the other hand.


   Invited Talk 5 Top


Diet and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Musthafa Mohamed Essa1,2

1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Ageing and Dementia Research Group, 2College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Abstract

World Health Organization predicts that the Neuro degenerative diseases (NDDs), including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, will be a global burden soon. These diseases will affect elderly life, and recent reports show that people who have head injury have the possibility of getting these devastating diseases in their early life as well. Although prevalence of NDDs is increasing and the causes remain elusive, the current therapeutic strategies have less retention and are expensive. So there is a need to find out an alternative strategy to delay the progression of these diseases. Recently, diets rich in antioxidants have gained attention in managing and/or treating the NDDs. In this talk, the recent advancement on the benefit of diet rich in antioxidants on NDDs with strong supporting data from our lab and other labs will be delivered.

Acknowledgment

The funding from SQU (IG/AGR/FOOD/17/02) is highly acknowledged.


   Tutorials Top


Tuesday November 27, 2018

15:30–17:30 Tutorial 1

Evidence-Based Assessment and Therapy for Swallowing and Voice Disorders

Prof. Edwin Yiu

Division of Speech & Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China


   Tutorial 2 Top


DAFNE: Structured Type 1 Diabetes Education

Jumana Al Kandari

Clinical Dietitian, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait


   Tutorial 3 Top


Environmental Impact Assessment

Dr. Michel Soto Chalhoub

Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Notre Dame University—Lebanon, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon


   Abstracts Top


Wednesday November 28, 2018

12:00–14:00 Session 1A (Food Science and Nutrition)

Halal Food Standards in Brunei and Malaysia: Toward Global Challenges

Nurdeng Deuraseh, Hayati Deuraseh, Sulaiman Teeh, Marzukee Mayoh

Halalan Thayyiban Research Centre, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Bandar Seri Begawan, Negara Brunei Darussalam

Toward Enhancing a Food Safety Quality System in Developing Countries: An Empirical-Based Structural Model for Examining and Predicting Food Safety Culture Using Mixed-Methods Research Approach

Dr. Tarek Taha

Dean of the Faculty, Pharos University in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

Antioxidant Activities of Enzymatic Extracts From Brown Seaweeds of Kuwait Coast

Koduvayur H. Sabeena Farvin, Zainab Al-Sattari, Sakhina Al-Hadad, Saja Fakhraldeen, Surendraraj Alagarsamy, Faiza Al-Yamani

Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Science Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Kuwait City, Kuwait

Innovative Production of Value-Added Poultry Products

Hanan Al-Khalaifah

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

High-Amylose Cornstarch Improves Blood Glucose Concentration, But Does Not Affect Satiety or Food Intake in Healthy Individuals

Dr. Tasleem A. Zafar

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Microbial Contamination Analysis of the Hands of Food Handlers in Kuwait Restaurants

Sakijha H. B., Albatineh A. N., Alswaih N.1

Department of Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

PUFA-Producing Bacteria From Arabian Gulf

Surendraraj Alagarsamy, Sabeena Farvin, K. H. Saja Fakhraldeen, Faiza Al Yamani

Environment and Life Science Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

A Potential Cholera Epidemic Source: Some Fresh Vegetables in Gombe

Musa Dahiru, Hafiz M. Sulaiman

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, Nigeria


   Halal Food Standards in Brunei and Malaysia: Toward Global Challenges Top


Nurdeng Deuraseh, Hayati Deuraseh, Sulaiman Teeh, Marzukee Mayoh

Halalan Thayyiban Research Centre, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Bandar Seri Begawan, Negara Brunei Darussalam

Abstract

Over the decades, halal meat industry received massive attention by Bruneian and Malaysian governments, pushing relevant authorities and stakeholders to develop halal standards to cater to the needs of the growing industry. Negara Brunei Darussalam, through the Religious Council, developed a Halal food standard PBD24: 2007, whereas Malaysia developed its own halal food standard MS1500: 2009. This article highlights the general guidelines on the production, preparation, handling, distribution, and storage of halal food as well as similarities and different of halal food standards between Brunei and Malaysia. It is found that the similarities of each halal standard outnumber the differences, which may form the basis and the need for the harmonization of these standards. Brunei own comprehensive law, whereas no specific law on halal food exists in Malaysia.


   Toward Enhancing a Food Safety Quality System in Developing Countries: An Empirical-Based Structural Model for Examining and Predicting Food Safety Culture Using Mixed-Methods Research Approach Top


Tarek Taha

Pharos University in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

Abstract

Background: Despite the increasing interest and wide debate of the concept of food safety culture (FS-culture), which recognized now as a critical factor in the success of any food quality control system, the continued occurrence of foodborne illnesses and deaths, raising questions on the appropriateness and adequacy of FS-culture adopted by food processing organizations. Moreover, in developing countries context, the concept of proactive FS-culture has received little coverage, and many food organizations not perceived it as an important business objective and relatively poor compliance with the food quality control requirements, as well as the poor food-handling and hygiene practices which cause a significant number of foodborne illnesses. Thus, the current study aimed at helping to narrow the existing research gap in the literature and contribute to the accumulative knowledge in its direct field through achieving the following interrelated objectives. (a) Provide a better understanding and get an insight into current Fs-culture adopted by food processing organizations in developing countries (Egypt as an example). (b) Validate empirically a structural model for examining simultaneously the most critical factors influencing the behavioral intention to adopt proactive FS-culture and identifying their relative importance. (c) Develop a mathematical model equation for predicting the adoption of proactive FS-culture to bridge the gap between theoretical background and practical applications. Materials and Methods: This empirical study employed a mixed-methods research design, combining elements of quantitative and qualitative methodologies for enhancing the integrity of the research finding, which enables to take a multifaceted view of the phenomenon under investigation. Structural equation modeling was applied to test simultaneously the hypothesized relationships of the proposed model, through a series of separate multiple regression equations estimated simultaneously. Before conducting this analysis, statistical tests for multicollinearity, normality, and linearity were conducted to ensure the data used in the empirical data met the requirements of multiple regression analysis. Results: The current study has made a number of important practical (managerial) and academic (theoretical) implications. From a practical perspective, the study enables food organizations to better understanding of the proactive FS-culture as a critical element for any food quality control system. Although from the academic point of view, the results supported the validity of the proposed model as well as the suitability of mixed-methods research design used in this study. Unlike previous studies with similar objectives, this study has taken a further significant step in contributing to both theory and practice and expand the research scope through integrating the most critical antecedent predictors, into one framework subject to examination for validation and relationship. Therefore, the structural research model contained variables that have not been examined simultaneously.


   Antioxidant Activities of Enzymatic Extracts From Brown Seaweeds of Kuwait Coast Top


Koduvayur H. Sabeena Farvin, Zainab Al-Sattari, Sakhina Al-Hadad, Saja Fakhraldeen, Surendraraj Alagarsamy, Faiza Al-Yamani

Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Science Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Over the past several decades, seaweeds or their extracts have been studied as novel sources of bioactive compounds, and some of them have been reported to possess biological activity of potential medicinal value. In the present study, antioxidant activities of enzymatic extracts from six species of brown seaweeds collected from Kuwait coast were evaluated using four different in vitro assays such as radical scavenging, iron chelating, reducing power, and ability to prevent lipid oxidation in liposome model system. The brown seaweeds (six nos.) were enzymatically hydrolyzed to prepare water-soluble extracts by using five carbohydrate degrading enzymes (Viscozyme, Celluclast, AMG, Termamyl, and Ultraflo) and three proteases (Neutrase, Flavourzyme, and Alcalase). Different species showed varying levels of total phenolic content and varied in antioxidant activity. In general, cabohydrases were good in extracting radical scavenging compounds, and proteases were useful in extracting compounds with iron chelating activity. Among the six species of brown seaweeds studied, Sargassum boveanum, Sargassum angustifolium, and Feldsmannia irregularis showed high antioxidant activity in different assays. Metal chelating activity was highest for Padina gymnospora. Seaweed extracts which showed high antioxidant activity also showed a marked correlation with phenolic contents. The detailed results of this study will be presented at the conference.


   Innovative Production of Value-Added Poultry Products Top


Hanan Al-Khalaifah

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Poultry is an important sector that has been contributing to food security worldwide. In the Middle Eastern countries, consumption of poultry meat and eggs varies depending on the population size and the economical situation in the country. Per capita consumption of poultry meat in Kuwait has increased from 46.7 kg/person in 2006 to 65.8 kg/person in 2011. This indicates the high demand for the poultry meat in Kuwait which could not be coved by local production alone. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research has conducted many research projects on poultry during the past 3 decades and collected major valuable scientific achievements in high-quality poultry breeds in addition to value-added poultry products. These results could be utilized to enhance the poultry industry competitiveness in Kuwait through production of healthy and value-added poultry products with cost-effective technologies to benefit the local consumers. Basically, a value-added product simply means any product or action that helps to raise the value of the products or something you can add to a product that enables you to increase profit margin as well as consumer acceptability, health, and happiness. Value-added products are one of the best strategies that farmers can employ to open new markets, enhance the public’s appreciation for the farm, and extend the marketing season. There has been some interest in the enrichment of poultry meat and eggs with long chain n−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to improve intakes of these essential fatty acids, whose current intakes are well below the recommendations. These fatty acids are beneficial in downregulating inflammation responses related to many diseases and disorders, such as, cardiovascular disease, increased triglycerides, blood pressure, thrombosis, atherosclerosis, stress, mental problems, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Poultry eggs and meat enriched with omega-3 conjugated linoleic acid, vitamin E and D, carotenoids, and other functional ingredients are classified as designer products. Designer eggs and meat are those which differ in their nutritive composition from the standard products available in the market. Eggs and meat enriched with one or more of nutraceuticals contribute to increased daily intake of these nutrients, thus positively influencing the human health and meeting the criteria for labeling as functional food. The current paper sheds light on the innovative approaches of producing value-added poultry meat and eggs.


   High-Amylose Cornstarch Improves Blood Glucose Concentration, But Does Not Affect Satiety or Food Intake in Healthy Individuals Top


Tasleem A. Zafar

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Introduction: Starches that resist digestion in the small intestine are known as resistant starch (RS) and contribute to the total fiber load. Because of the epidemic prevalence of overweight and obesity worldwide, RS is considered to incorporate in commercial food products to curtail body weight gain. High amylose corn starch (HAMS) is classified as a high-fiber food due to its high RS content. However, the role of HAMS on energy intake is unclear. Objective: The aim of the current study was to explore if the consumption of RS will lead to higher satiety and lower food intake (FI) or will it promote more FI to compensate for the energy dilution of the RS. Materials and Methods: Four test drinks were consumed by healthy volunteers in two experiments as 75-g glucose (G) or amylose (A), 75-g 50:50 glucose–amylose (G–A) and artificially sweetened water control (C) after an overnight fast once a week. Blood glucose concentration and appetite measurements were recorded at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 min by a portable glucometer and visual analog questionnaire. Pizza meal was served after blood glucose at 120 min in Experiment 1 and 240 min in Experiment 2 to energy intake (EI) from the amount of pizza consumed. Results: Glycemic responses were lower in both experiments in the order as G > G–A > A = C (P < 0.0001). EI was reduced after G in Experiment 1 but not in Experiment 2. However, satiety was unaffected by the test treatments (P > 0.05). No association was found between blood glucose and FI. Conclusion: HAMS improves blood glucose response, but it’s no effect on satiety and EI demands a careful interpretation of the dietary fibers, specifically RS on body weight management. The research was funded by the Research Office of Kuwait University, Grant # FF01/16.


   Microbial Contamination Analysis of the Hands of Food Handlers in Kuwait Restaurants Top


Sakijha H. B., Albatineh A. N., Alswaih N.1

Department of Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of microbial contamination of food handlers’ hands in Kuwait restaurants is unknown. Food handlers’ hand hygiene plays a major role in ensuring food safety. Objectives: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of microbial contamination on the hands of food handlers in Kuwait restaurants and to investigate the association between pathogenic microbes and food handlers among Kuwaiti restaurants. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study on 208 food handlers selected from Kuwait restaurants using stratified weighted random sampling was conducted. Microbial contamination was measured by fingerprinting of both hands and transported for microbiological identification using standard laboratory methods. Face-to-face interview using structured questionnaire was used to collect data about restaurants, food handlers, and food hygiene practices. Chi square/Fisher’s exact test and unconditional logistic regression were used to investigate the association between restaurants and food handlers’ characteristics and presence of pathogenic bacteria. Results: All of 416 fingerprints (208 from each hand) were found to be contaminated with at least one microbe. Of the most predominantly isolated microbes, the prevalence of coagulase negative Staphylococci was 91.8% from right hands and 93% from left hands, Micrococcus was 57.7% from right hands and 61.6% from left hands, and for the Gram-positive Bacilli, it was 35.6% from right hands and 36.1% from left hands. Antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative pathogens include: Pseudomonas spp., Klebsiella spp., Acinetobacter spp., Pantoea spp., and Enterobacter spp. with a prevalence in at least one hand of food handles was 61.5%. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was identified in 9.2% of at least one hand of food handlers. Using logistic regression modeling, the contamination of Gram-negative pathogen in at least one hand of food handles was significantly related to restaurant type (P-value = 0.016), food handlers working in restaurants located in restaurant complexes (P-value = 0.026), being a male (P-value = 0.003) and attending food safety course during the last 6 months (P-value = 0.045) after adjusting for potential confounders. Conclusion: The prevalence of hand contamination of food handlers during food preparation/serving was found to be high in Kuwaiti restaurants. Although some of the isolated organisms can be considered nonfood poisoning organisms, it can possibly harm immunocompromised people, if transmitted, by ready-to-eat foods. Hand hygiene combined with food safety intervention programs should target food handlers working in Kuwaiti restaurants.


   PUFA-Producing Bacteria From Arabian Gulf Top


Surendraraj Alagarsamy, Sabeena Farvin, Saja Fakhraldeen, Faiza Al Yamani

Environment and Life Science Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Pharmaceutical potential of poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid is well documented. They are becoming most popular functional ingredient in foods to fight noncommunicable diseases. Due to inherent advantages, scientists all over the world shifted their research focus from the traditional sources such as marine fishes and microalgae to marine bacteria as potential source of these biomolecules. This study investigated the PUFA-producing potential of marine bacteria from Arabian Gulf. Sediment samples (25 nos.) from seven sampling stations in the Arabian Gulf were collected and plated in Marine Agar (MA) and MA with 0.1% TTC at 15°C. The psychrotrophic count in MA varied from 1.903 to 4.699 log CFU/g where as the presumptive PUFA producers count recorded was 1.5 to 2.5 log lesser than the former. A sum of 171 suspected omega-3 fatty acids isolates were checked for their Gram reaction and sensitivity against H2O2. Bacterial fatty acid methyl ester was prepared and fatty acid production by these isolates was determined by GCMS. Nineteen isolates produced EPA. These isolates were identified by 16s ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequence analysis. They were screened for the presence of Δ5 desaturase, Δ6 desaturase and pfaA gene to find out the production pathway. Effect of temperature on the PUFA production was also studied. Detailed results of this study will be presented in the conference.


   A Potential Cholera Epidemic Source: Some Fresh Vegetables in Gombe Top


Musa Dahiru, Hafiz M. Sulaiman

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, Nigeria

Abstract

Most of the reported outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease are linked to the consumption of fresh products contaminated by bacteria. In view of these problems, this research wishes to determine the presence of Vibrio cholerae, in fresh vegetables sold in some Gombe markets, by isolating and identifying the biotypes. A total of 184 vegetable samples consisting of three vegetable types: cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicumm Mill.) were collected and analyzed, during the month of August 2016. Samples were inoculated on thiosulfate citrate bile-salt sucrose agar and subjected to biochemical tests. Of the 184 cultured samples, 73.39% had yellow colonial growth, out of which 16.25% samples were confirmed to be V. cholerae. Further screenings demonstrated that 23.08% are of each O139 and O1 Eltor biotypes, and other Vibrios were represented by 53.85%. Isolates from cabbage were 50% of each O139 and O1 Eltor biotypes. There were different biotypes observed among the sampled vegetables, thus indicating close association of contamination source to the vegetables, and collectively possess the risk of cholera not only at sporadic cases but of epidemics capacity to consumers.


   12:00–14:00 Session 1B (Environmental Sciences & Technology Management) Top


Farmers’ Perceptions of Drought Impacts Based on Their Livelihood Assets

Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Kobra Sadeqi, Masoumeh Forouzani, Masoud Yazdanpanh

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Khuzestan Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Ahwaz, Iran

Framework for Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems in Support of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries’ Food Security

Abdirashid Elmi, Husam Alomirah1, Sameer Al-Zenki1

Department of Environmental Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, 1Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait City, Kuwait

A Novel Floating Breakwaters for Coastal Erosion Protection

Subramamanian Neelamani and Fatma Al-Shatti

Coastal Management Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Problems of Tomato Growers in Using Drip Irrigation Systems in Iran

Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Nahid Moghdani, Masoumeh Forouzani

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Khuzestan Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Ahwaz, Iran

Seasonal Variations in Proximate and Fatty Acid Composition of Sobaity Seabream (Sparidentex hasta) in Kuwait Waters

Mohammad A. Hossain, Khaled Al-Abdul-Elah, Sharifa B. Yaseen

Aquaculture Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

A Water Budget Model for an Arid Ecosystem: A Case Study From Kuwait With Emphasis on Climate Change

Ahmed Alqallaf, Bader Al-Anzi

Environment Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait


   Farmers’ Perceptions of Drought Impacts Based on Their Livelihood Assets Top


Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Kobra Sadeqi, Masoumeh Forouzani, Masoud Yazdanpanh

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Khuzestan Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Ahwaz, Iran

Abstract

Drought management planning requires accurate information about drought impacts and consequences on microlevel (farmers). The purpose of this study was to explain farmers’ perceptions of drought impacts based on sustainable livelihoods approach. This study used a descriptive survey method. Statistical population of the study consisted of all rice producers of Sosan County in Izeh (N = 300). By using the table of Morgan, the sample size was determined (n = 170). The sample was chosen through proportional stratified sampling technique. Data were collected using a questionnaire. The questionnaire’s appearance and content validity was confirmed by a panel of agricultural extension and education experts. Reliability of the questionnaire was conducted and confirmed using Cronbach’s alpha (α: 0.60–0.89). The data were analyzed by using SPSS program. To construct livelihood assets indices, at the first stage the variables were converted to standardized scores by using division by mean procedure. Then principal components analysis was used for determining the weights for indicators in composite indices. The results showed that farmers experienced more social consequences of drought than other consequences. The results revealed that livelihood assets, except natural capital, had a negative relationship with farmer’s perception on the impacts of drought. K-means cluster analysis clustered farmers into three groups based on their livelihood assets. Regression analysis showed that livelihood assets explained 37% of the variance in farmers’ perception on the economic impact of drought.


   Framework for Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems in Support of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries’ Food Security Top


Abdirashid Elmi, Husam Alomirah1, Sameer Al-Zenki1

Department of Environmental Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, 1Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Globally, food security faces unrelenting challenges, including growing population expected to reach 10 billion toward the end of 21st century, shifting diet preferences, diminishing natural resources, and a changing planetary climate. This challenge is most acute in arid, hot Arabian Gulf region. Presently, Gulf Cooperation Council countries are comfortably food secure, almost entirely through food importation, with all the risks associated with total dependency on food import. Risks related to heavy reliance on food import include (i) disturbance to global supplies routes, (ii) food price volatility in global markets such as 2007 to 2008, and (iii) the unpredicted impact of climate change on global food supplies. To balance risks of food import, two measures seem to be effective: stable grain stock and a boost in domestic production. There are gaps in our knowledge regarding the local production capacity and how much contribution can be expected under prevailing climatic and environmental conditions. The primary objective of this paper is to identify and analyze innovative, resource-conserving, practical, and sustainable ways to improve food production under local climatic conditions. In this framework, we considered agro-ecosystem agriculture as a farming system that balances production and environmental goals and, most importantly, minimizes the trade-off between the two. We conclude that enhancing local food production would require capital investment in greenhouse structures, irrigation technology, and skilled labor.


   A Novel Floating Breakwaters for Coastal Erosion Protection Top


S. Neelamani, F. Al-Shatti

Coastal Management Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Coastal erosion is a global problem. Many different types of solutions (like offshore breakwater, seawalls, groins, beach nourishment, etc.) are used around the world to prevent or reduce this problem. Floating breakwater is a recent introduction among the solutions. It has few appreciable merits such as

It is an economical alternative in deeper sea waters (depths greater than 6 m)

Poor seabed soil conditions is not a major issue for its design and stability

Minimum interference with water circulation and hence, reduce the accumulation of pollutants inside the harbors and marinas

More esthetically pleasing than rubble structures

Can be easily rearranged in different layouts or transported to other sites

Cause no damage to coral reef, and hence, are highly suitable for places with corals (e.g., Qaro Island)

One important demerit of floating breakwater is that for its effective functioning (reducing wave transmission), the width of the floating breakwater should be at least 50% of the predominant wave length. Hence, for example, a site with predominant wave length of 30 m, the minimum width should be 15 m. To reduce the width of the floating breakwater, investigation is conducted on floating breakwater with skirt walls (different numbers and different lengths) attached at the keel of the floating breakwater. It is found from this study that it is possible to reduce the width by 20% to 40% by introducing three or five skirt walls. However, introducing skirt wall has increased mooring forces by 10% to 30%. We strongly recommend the floating breakwater with skirt wall as an effective solution for erosion protection of islands surrounded by corals such as Qaro Island. The floating breakwater will be more attractive for marine wave conditions encountered in Gulf-type marine environments with less-to-moderate wave energy. This paper will reveal the relevant scientific information that can be used for the design of floating breakwater.


   Potential Production and Legitimacy of Oman Fisheries Bycatch Products Top


Mohammed H. Al-Rizeiqi, Khadija K. Al Hamdi

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Abstract

By studying the interactions of sea food process value chain (SPVC) and sustainable development for Oceans-Seas through sustainable development goal (SDG14), this research examines the current fisheries practices in Oman, the main challenges and the development needs. The research focuses on the impact from the value creation (VC) in the raw fisheries products to the local fish processing firms in Oman. It covers the VC variable (Xi) in terms of increased income (M), increased production output (Y), social employment (Xs) in the fisheries allied industries and utilities on the value added if the local process is being achieved sustainably in Oman. The study utilizes a new design schematic approach for the fisheries sector that is adapting a newly axiomatic structural methodological design to include operations process for the developed management context into Oman seafood products. Such structural designs can foster the implementation of traceability systems (XTr) in a wider range for the export of the fisheries products to many of the lucrative markets globally. In this study, we demonstrate the impact from C-9 major returned fisheries (Qr) species of low-quality factor back to the local markets. The study also demonstrates the impact from the waste fisheries catch (Qw) to the flow kinetics of fisheries into the supply side of grand fisheries market (GFM). The study showed that there is a significant impact of fisheries waste Qw (P < 0.05) to the overall fisheries supply (Qs) in GFM. The study had also showed that there is a very strong impact of returned species (Qr) from the GFM back to the local markets for the low valued catches (P ≤ 0.01). The study concluded on how mediators of SPVC and legal stringency (Xstr) would enable the Omani seafood firms to better utilize the marine resources into more sustainable manner. The study also concluded on how the biodiversity could be recovered in the sustainable development goal SDG14 through the well-planned set of 10 individual indicators (Ii) and the composite indicators (Cl)SDG14. The study is useful to both practitioners and policy makers to reform the fisheries sustainability pathway into more efficient, inclusive, and sustainable growth toward applicable approach for healthy ocean and seas. All data were analyzed using STATA 13.0 Statistical software.


   Problems of Tomato Growers in Using Drip Irrigation Systems in Iran Top


Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Nahid Moghdani, Masoumeh Forouzani

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Khuzestan Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Ahwaz, Iran

Abstract

Despite of more than a decade of applying drip irrigation system in Dayyer County, Iran, and its adoption by tomato growers of the region, observations show that efficiency of this system is lower than desired level. Therefore, the aim of current study was to identify problems of tomato growers in using drip irrigation in Dayyer County. Survey method was used to collect necessary information, using a questionnaire. Statistical population of the study consisted of all tomato growers in Dayyer County (N = 3500). By using the table of Morgan, the sample size was determined (n = 346). The sample was chosen through proportional stratified sampling technique. The questionnaire’s validity was confirmed by a panel of Jihad-e-Agriculture experts. Reliability of the questionnaire was conducted and confirmed using Cronbach’s alpha (α: 0.74–0.84). The data were analyzed by using SPSS v20 and Excel spreadsheet. Based on obtained results of Borich and Quadrant need assessment models, nine themes as educational needs were identified. Ability to use and to perform maintenance desalination systems, ability to overcome blockage of dropper and to perform service and maintenance of drip irrigation systems are the top three of these nine themes of educational needs. The results also showed that the greatest dissatisfactions of tomato growers were difficulty in getting credits, purchasing and maintenance of desalination systems, and poor or lack of training and extension programs.


   Seasonal Variations in Proximate and Fatty Acid Composition of Sobaity Seabream (Sparidentex hasta) in Kuwait Waters Top


M. A. Hossain, K. Al-Abdul-Elah, S. B. Yaseen

Aquaculture Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

The objective of the study was to investigate the seasonal variations in proximate and fatty acid composition of sobaity (Sparidentex hasta) for 1-year period during (i) prespawning (October–December), (ii) spawning (January–March), (iii) postspawning (April–June), and summer (July–September). Five male and five female sobaity (600–900 g) were collected each month from Shuwaik fish market, Kuwait. The results showed that the muscle proximate composition and fatty acid profile of sobaity differed significantly (P < 0.05) among different seasons with the highest muscle lipid during the prespawning and spawning season. Palmitic acid (C16:0) was the most dominant muscle fatty acid followed by stearic acid (C18:1n−9). The muscle docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels in prespawning and spawning seasons were significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those in other seasons. The liver DHA, polyunsaturated fatty acid, and ∑n−3 fatty acids in male and female sobaity in prespawning season were also significantly (P < 0.05) higher than the respective males and females in other seasons. A good muscle n−3/n−6 ratios (2.34–3.05) observed during different seasons indicated that sobaity is a nutritional healthy fish. Higher muscle DHA level (10.16%–11.47%) observed during the prespawning and spawning season indicated a better nutritional value of sobaity at this time of the year.


   A Water Budget Model for an Arid Ecosystem: A Case Study From Kuwait With Emphasis on Climate Change Top


Ahmed Alqallaf, Bader Al-Anzi

Environment Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Arid regions are characterized by low precipitation and high potential evapotranspiration. Consequently, understanding the relation between the precipitation and evapotranspiration, as well as their spatiotemporal distribution, is essential for sustainable management of the scarce water resources as in such dry regions, groundwater is often the only reliable water resources. In addition, the hydrological balance is highly influenced by the climate and land use changes. For such reasons, it is necessary to develop models that could help in understanding, quantifying, and modeling the interlinkage between water resources and the climate. This could be accomplished by developing accurate models to assess water balance in arid lands, as well as, considering uncertainties that may influence the water process such as climate change. This work will be conducted at two protected areas covered with native vegetation at Al Abdali area, one of which is a rain-fed protected area and the second one is an irrigated protected area. Main study objectives are to (1) develop a water budget model for two types of protected area and (2) predict the effects of future climate change on water budget for the two types of protected area.


   12:00–14:00 Session 1C (Communication Disorders Sciences): Top


The Development of Speech Sound Differentiation and Production in Elementary-School-Aged Children With Generalized Learning Difficulties (GLD): Are Students With GLD Ready for Acquiring Reading and Writing?

Dr. Krisztina Zajdó

Associate Professor of Special Education/Speech-Language Pathology, Széchenyi István University, Győr, Hungary

Characteristics of Speech Fluency in Arabic-Speaking Adults Who Stutter

Maisa A. Haj-Tas

Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Production of Arabic Bound Pronouns and Their Inflections by Typically Developing Children and by Children With Language Disorders

Nada Osama Faquih

Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

A Survey of Information Needs and Clinical Practices Used by Speech-Language Pathologists in the Management of Stuttering in Four Arab Countries

Maisa A. Haj-Tas, Sana M. Kamal

Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

The Development of Phonological Awareness Skills in Elementary-School-Aged Children With Generalized Learning Difficulties (GLD): Are Students With GLD Ready for Acquiring Reading and Writing?

Dr. Krisztina Zajdó

Associate Professor of Special Education/Speech-Language Pathology, Széchenyi István University, Győr, Hungary


   The Development of Speech Sound Differentiation and Production in Elementary-School-Aged Children With Generalized Learning Difficulties (GLD): Are Students With GLD Ready for Acquiring Reading and Writing? Top


Krisztina Zajdó

Special Education/Speech-Language Pathology, Széchenyi István University, Győr, Hungary

Abstract

To evaluate readiness for acquiring literacy, we examined the development of speech sound differentiation and production abilities that constitute preliteracy skills in children with general learning difficulties (GLD), including children with mild intellectual impairment. We tested speech sound differentiation skills in the GLD population. This study set out to identify speech sound acquisition processes in children with GLD studying in the 2nd (n = 36), 4th (n = 35), 6th (n = 35), and 8th (n = 38) grades in segregated schools in eight towns across Northwest Hungary (Nallw/GLD = 144). Typically developing (TD) students studying in mainstream school environments at the same grade levels 2nd (n = 37), 4th (n = 35), 6th (N = 35), and 8th (n = 37; Nall TD = 144) served as controls. During this task, the experimenter (standing behind the child so that no visual cues could be used) produced minimal pairs in a relatively low voice when producing the words individually as children tried to match the words heard to relevant pictures, thereby examining children’s speech sound differentiation skills in words. For every minimal pair, the child was provided by two pictures, one corresponding to the first member of the minimal pair, the other corresponding to the second member (forced choice paradigm). Speech sound differentiation skills were examined via differentiating members of minimal pairs (seven pairs of consonants and four pairs of vowels). Overall, children with GLD underperformed in these tasks, too (P < 0.001). However, a significant difference was only found in 2nd (P < 0.001) and 4th (P < 0.005) graders but not in older children (P > 0.10 in all cases). In the same groups of children, we also mapped out speech sound production skills when producing words. All children imitated an experimenter (the first author of this study) using a list of words that contained target speech sounds in word initial, word medial, word final positions and, with the exception of vowels, in consonant clusters (for a detailed description of Hungarian speech sounds and developmental trends in their production, refer to Zajdó, 2007, 2013, 2015). Speech production was also examined through having the children imitate a six-word sentence. Production of voicing was examined perceptually by having the children imitate the experimenter. Voicing in seven nonnasal voiced sounds was observed in running speech. Sounds examined included /Ɉ/, /d/, /b/, /ʒ/, /g/, /v/, and /z/. Results suggest that children with GLD underperform as compared to TD controls in accurate plosive production. Plosives examined included /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /c/, /Ɉ/, /k/, and /g/ sounds. In speech sound production abilities, 8th grader GLD students are still below the level of 1st grader TD children in the majority of speech sounds examined. Overall, elementary school students with GLD underperform in the abilities examined. Reading and writing instruction need to consider how these abilities function. Speech intelligibility targets will also need to be adjusted based on these findings in this population.


   Characteristics of Speech Fluency in Arabic-Speaking Adults Who Stutter Top


Maisa A. Haj-Tas

Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the study is to examine and describe the characteristics of speech fluency in 10 Arabic-speaking adults who stutter (AWS). The participants will be matched for age and gender with 10 adult who do not stutter (AWNS). The speech fluency measures that will be examined include frequency of disfluencies, type of disfluencies, location of disfluencies within and between words and utterances, and the effect of stuttering on daily communication. Materials and Methods: Participants in this study will be between 17.0 and 40.0 years of both gender (eight males and two females in each group). The research group will consist of 10 AWS with no other associated communicative, neurological, or cognitive deficit. The control group will consist of 10 AWNS with no disfluency complaints (current or former) and with no communicative, neurologic, or cognitive deficits. Procedures: A speech fluency assessment protocol was developed by the researcher to assess and characterize fluency in the participants. This protocol will be used for diagnosis and participant inclusion purposes for the research group. A spontaneous speech sample and a reading sample will be collected from each participant. After speech sample collection, a transcript will be made and utterances produced by the participants will be transcribed verbatim and coded for the speech fluency measures listed above. Results: The study is still in progress. To date, seven AWS and five AWNS have participated in this study. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis procedures will be used to examine and analyze the responses and the speech fluency measures of interest in this study. Because a timeline has been established and the data collection procedures have started for this study, the researchers are confident that the results will be analyzed and ready to be reported and discussed. New Information That the Present Study Might Contribute: This study represents a first attempt to characterize fluency in AWS. The findings of the present study could help both researchers and clinicians in developing a better understanding of stuttering characteristics. In addition, the results might be of interest to clinicians and researchers who work with multicultural populations.


   Production of Arabic Bound Pronouns and Their Inflections by Typically Developing Children and by Children With Language Disorders Top


Nada Osama Faquih

Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Materials and Methods: The presented study used an experimental cross-sectional design to investigate the production of pronouns and their inflections. The participants of the study were typically developing (TD) Arabic-speaking children (n = 38) and children with Learning disorders (LD) (n = 14). The ages of the participants ranged between 3.0 and 6.11 years. They resided in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The first goal of the study was to obtain preliminary data on the development of pronouns by TD children. The second goal was to investigate if bound pronouns can be clinical markers to differentiate between children with and without LD. A research instrument was specifically designed for the purpose of the study to elicit 12 pronouns and their inflections. The items on the research instrument were chosen to be culturally and linguistically appropriate to the population. Results: Responses of the participants’ on the research instrument were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results showed significant effect of age on the production of the bound pronouns for the TD group [F (7,30) = 8.89, P = 0.000]. All of the TD participants acquired the presented pronouns at the age of 3.6 years and above. The first pronouns to be acquired were the third-person singular pronouns. The participants with LD demonstrated difficulty in producing the presented pronouns. There was also a significant difference between the performance of the TD group vs. the LD group [F (1,50) = 158, P = 0.000]. Discussion: One of major findings of the present research is the indication of the ability to use bound pronouns as clinical markers to differentiate between typical and atypical language development. The study revealed that TD children were able to produce them correctly as young as age 3.6. The results were parallel with other universal studies on the development of pronouns and bound pronouns for TD children and children with LD including those with attention deficit and with autism. Speech-language pathologists would benefit from the present research study by using the findings to increase their knowledge of Arabic language acquisition and to apply it when assessing Arabic-speaking children. Future research is needed on a larger sample and on speakers of different Arabic dialects.


   A Survey of Information Needs and Clinical Practices Used by Speech-Language Pathologists in the Management of Stuttering in Four Arab Countries Top


Maisa A. Haj-Tas, Sana M. Kamal

Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Abstract

Purpose: The present study will examine the three following areas: (1) The topics and skills the speech-language pathologists (SLPs) feel they need to learn more about so that they could provide better management services to persons who stutter (PWS), (2) the clinical procedures and activities used by SLPs when assessing stuttering, and (3) the therapy goals that SLPs focus on when working with PWS from different age groups. Materials and Methods: An electronic survey containing 13 demographic questions and 71 Likert scale items was developed by the researchers. Individual invitations and a link to the survey website were e-mailed to each of 137 SLPs in eight Arab countries [Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain]. The SLPs were identified through (a) records of graduates from the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Jordan, (b) information about staff members available on websites of certified clinics and institutions in the Arab countries that identify themselves as institutions that provide speech therapy services, and (c) Internet directories of speech-language pathology institutions in the Arab countries. In addition, the researchers asked their colleagues to send the survey to other certified SLPs that they know. The survey was developed after a review of relevant literature and comprised five main sections. Section 1 contained 13 questions that focused on demographics and professional characteristics. Section 2 examined the areas which the SLPs thought they needed to learn more about, so that they could provide better clinical services to PWS. Section 3 examined the confidence level of SLPs in their clinical skills related to one of nine general areas (e.g., conducting an effective stuttering evaluation session, writing an effective stuttering evaluation report, and involving parents in stuttering therapy). Section 4 focused on clinical procedures and activities used by the SLPs during the assessment of stuttering. Section 5 focused on the therapy goals that the SLPs focus on when working with PWS from different age groups. Sixty-four SLP respondents from six Arab countries (Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar) returned the survey. Due to the small number of responses by SLPs from Bahrain and Qatar, and for representation and statistical purposes, only responses from SLPs in Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE will be examined in the present study. Results: The study is still in progress. To date, 46 SLPs finished the survey. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis procedures will be used to examine and analyze the responses. Because a timeline has been established and the data collection procedures have started for this study, the researchers are confident that the results will be analyzed and ready to be reported and discussed at the Third Kuwait International Conference on Life Sciences. New information that the present study might contribute: Current literature about the management of stuttering in Arab countries is very limited. To the best of our knowledge, there are no national associations in the Middle East that guide the SLPs in their work with PWS. Thus, the results might help researchers, clinicians, and academic programs identify the main areas that SLPs most need academic and professional training in when working with PWS. The results could also provide an insight into the service delivery models used by SLPs in Arab countries.


   The Development of Phonological Awareness Skills in Elementary-School-Aged Children With Generalized Learning Difficulties (GLD): Are Students With GLD Ready for Acquiring Reading and Writing? Top


Krisztina Zajdó

Special Education/Speech-Language Pathology, Széchenyi István University, Győr, Hungary

Abstract

To evaluate readiness for acquiring literacy, in a series of studies we examined, the development of phonological awareness skills that constitute preliteracy skills in children with mild general learning difficulties, including children with mild intellectual impairment. We examined the acquisition of phonological awareness skills in 1st, 4th, and 7th grade children with generalized learning difficulties (GLD) (n = 77) and compared them with typically developing (TD) children in the same grades (n = 78). GLD children studied in segregated schools in cities in Northwest Hungary. TD children were recruited from two cities in the same region from mainstream school environments. Students were administered the Hungarian adaptation of the National Institute for learning development (NILD) test (Barbour et al., 2003). The test included tasks in the following areas: rhyme detection; rhyme production for nursery rhymes and for words; syllable blending of words and nonwords, syllable segmentation, rule-based syllabification, syllable deletion, phoneme deletion, phoneme isolation, phoneme blending for words and nonwords, phoneme segmentation, phoneme identification, and phoneme manipulation. Overall achievement levels on the test differed substantially in the two groups examined (MeanGLD = 48.5%, SDGLD = 24.16, MeanTD = 88.01%, SDTD = 13.65, Mann–Whitney U = 447.5; Zadj = −9.15; P < 0.0001). On each individual subtest, children with GLD achieved lower scores as compared to TD children. In GLD students, the speed of skill development was nonuniform in individual areas of phonological awareness. In some areas (e.g., rhyme production for words and rhyme-based syllabification), GLD children in 7th grade achieved lower scores than TD 1st graders, indicating extreme difficulties with task complexity. In contrast, other skills (e.g., syllable blending of words) were acquired by 4th grader GLD children completely, similarly to 1st grader TD students. Nevertheless, our results provide more support for categorizing phonological awareness development in GLD students as severely delayed than disordered. However, GLD students are more than 6 grades behind compared to their TD peers in their overall phonological awareness skills. Our results suggest that a severe delay in phonological awareness skills need to be taken into consideration when planning reading and writing intervention for children with GLD skills. In addition, mapping out the development of these skills in older children is a must, to help effective intervention for this population.


   15:00–17:00 Session 2A (Food Science and Nutrition) Top


Vitamin D: A Regional Overview and Its Involvement in Brain Function

Neela Sampat, Buthainah Al-Bulushi, Lyutha Al-Subhi, Samir Al-Adawi1, Musthafa M. Essa

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, 1Department of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Is Vitamin D Associated With Cognitive Function in Adolescent School Children?

Abdur Rahman, Abdullah Al-Taiar1, Lemia Shaban, Reem Al-Sabah1, Anwar Al-Harbi, Segun Mojimini2

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, 1Department of Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, 2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Increasing Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in the Arab World and the Role of Dietary and Lifestyle Factors in Their Prevention and Management

Dr. Amanat Ali

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

The Ketogenic Diet and Cancer

Carla Vartanian

The Royal Society of Medicine-UK, Belmatt Healthcare-UK International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics-IAAND

Higher Level of Oxidized LDL Circulation Level in Humans With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Abdulmohsen Al-Terki, Irina AlKhairi1, Devarajan Sriraman2, Ambika Shyamsundar2, Preethi Cherian1, Mohamed Abu-Farha1, Fahd Al-Mulla3, Jehad Abubaker1

Medical Division, 1Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 2National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 3Research Division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Drinking Tea Good or Bad for Brain

Thamilarasan Manivasagam, Arokiasamy J. Thenmozhi, M. M. Essa1

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India, 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, CAMS, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Nutritional Management for the Prevention of the Diabesity Epidemic

Carla Vartanian

The Royal Society of Medicine-UK, Belmatt Healthcare-UK International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics-IAAND


   Vitamin D: A Regional Overview and Its Involvement in Brain Function Top


Neela Sampat, Buthainah Al-Bulushi, Lyutha Al-Subhi, Samir Al-Adawi1, Musthafa M. Essa

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, 1Department of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Abstract

Vitamin D and its metabolites are reported to play a vital role in human health and disease mainly in nervous system. Vitamin D could influence the proliferation, differentiation of neurons, and also it plays an important role in neurotrophism, neurotransmission, and neuroplasticity. Further, in some cases, it was reported that vitamin D could provide neuroprotection. There is a huge build up on the integrity of this vitamin and its benefits on human health. Here, we aimed to review the literature on functions of vitamin D on the integrity of the central nervous system and to establish the symptoms that constitute vitamin D deficiency. Furthermore, we are describing the current status of vitamin D in the Middle Eastern and North African region. In addition, we will be describing the benefits of vitamin D and how to obtain the adequate amount every day. In addition, the role or status of vitamin D in the various disease states will also be discussed here.


   Is Vitamin D Associated With Cognitive Function in Adolescent School Children? Top


Abdur Rahman, Abdullah Al-Taiar1, Lemia Shaban, Reem Al-Sabah1, Anwar Al-Harbi, Segun Mojimini2

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, 1Department of Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, 2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Background: A growing body of literature suggests that high levels of vitamin D (VD) is associated with better cognitive function among elderly, but this association has not been demonstrated among children or adolescents. As VD deficiency is prevalent globally among adolescents, this has important public health implications because cognitive function in adolescence predicts adverse health outcomes in adulthood. This study aimed to investigate the association between VD and cognitive function as well as academic achievement among adolescents in a country with abundant sunshine. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 1370 adolescents (11–16 years) randomly selected from public middle schools in Kuwait. Cognitive function was tested using the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices test. Plasma 25-hydroxy VD (25-OH-D) was measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Data on sociodemographic factors and other covariates were collected through self-administered questionnaire completed by the parents and face-to-face interview with adolescents. Results: Weak positive correlation was found between 25-OH-D and the age-adjusted score (ASC) (ρ = 0.06; P = 0.038). Univariate linear regression analysis also showed association between 25-OH-D categories and ASC after adjusting for gender but adjusting for parental education was sufficient to explain this association. Multivariate analysis showed no association between 25-OH-D and ASC after adjusting for potential confounders whether 25-OH-D was fitted as a continuous (P = 0.725) or categorical variable, categorized by either acceptable cutoff points (P = 0.475) or as quartiles (P = 0.881). Conclusion: No association was found between 25-OH-D levels and cognitive function, which could be due to the fact that most of adolescents in our setting are VD deficient/insufficient. Randomized controlled trials using VD supplementation are recommended to investigate the impact of VD on cognitive function in areas where VD deficiency/insufficiency is too common.


   Increasing Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in the Arab World and the Role of Dietary and Lifestyle Factors in Their Prevention and Management Top


Amanat Ali

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Abstract

The prevalence of obesity and diabetes has increased progressively worldwide overtime. The geographic disparities exist in their prevalence and according to World Health Organization, the Eastern Mediterranean region has the highest rate of diabetes with 43 million people. Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot effectively use it to regulate blood glucose leading to serious damage to many of the body’s systems over a period of time. Almost 90% of people suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is a complex multifactorial condition largely associated with lifestyle factors such as excess body weight and physical inactivity with some genetic predisposition. A two-way intervention approach is, therefore, required to prevent and manage the progression of obesity and diabetes. Depending upon the dietary patterns and type of food consumed, a proportionate rise in transient postprandial blood glucose concentration occurs. The carbohydrate-rich foods which spike up the blood glucose levels have been implicated in weight gain, obesity, and development of diabetes. The regulation of blood glucose and the resulting insulin response is, therefore, of primary significance in the prevention and management of diabetes. Any dietary technique that limits hyperglycemia and insulin response following a meal is likely to be important in reducing the diabetic complications. Nutrition intervention therapies have been shown to be effective in the prevention and management of obesity and diabetes. The concept of glycemic index (GI) of foods is now considered as a valid and reproducible method of classifying carbohydrate-rich foods based on their postprandial blood glucose responses. It has been hypothesized that chronic consumption of high GI or glycemic load (GL) foods/meals can challenge the glucose homeostasis mechanisms leading to insulin resistance and may increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. The data on the GI and GL values of foods/meals could, therefore, be a rationale way to counsel not only the diabetic patients but also to normal people in selecting carbohydrate-rich foods based on their blood glucose responses. This paper will discuss the significance of the concepts of GI and GL value of foods/diets, nutrition intervention therapies as well as the physiological mechanisms involved in the prevention and management of obesity and diabetes. It will also discuss the various factors associated with the increasing rate of obesity and diabetes in the Middle East and will also suggest the strategies for their prevention and management.


   The Ketogenic Diet and Cancer Top


Carla Vartanian

The Royal Society of Medicine-UK, Belmatt Healthcare-UK International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics-IAAND

Abstract

The ketogenic diet has long time been used as a successful dietary regimen for epilepsy. Recently, dietary modulation by carbohydrate depletion via ketogenic diet has been suggested as an important therapeutic strategy to selectively kill cancer cells and as adjuvant therapy for cancer treatment by inducing shortage of glucose and/or lactate for tumor cells to survive. However, some researchers consider ketogenic diet to be highly undesirable as it may trigger and/or exacerbate cachexia development and usually result in significant weight loss. Metabolic processes in cancer are complex and highly regulated, and there is increasing evidence that dietary modulation can be efficacious in managing cancer. Many studies have shown that diet and exercise interventions in cancer patients may be of benefit for ameliorating adverse events during cancer treatment and may increase overall survival. Recent studies have shown that a ketogenic diet is feasible and likely beneficial for patients with cancer in primary care, who have been treated for their primary cancer, because it altered the expression of TKTL1, a novel and potentially useful marker to monitor the metabolic state of the body. In addition, other studies have also demonstrated significantly increases in survival time mean and a clear trend of slower tumor growth in many types of cancer in patients following this diet. Although the currently available medical literature appears to be a promising and powerful option for adjuvant therapy for a range of cancers, conclusive evidence for the safe application of a ketogenic diet in cancer patients is still lacking to date. Therefore, the design of rigorous randomized studies are needed to validate these observations, establish standardized treatment protocols and make cancer-specific recommendations for adjuvant use of this diet in oncology patients.


   Higher Level of Oxidized LDL Circulation Level in Humans With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Top


Abdulmohsen Al-Terki, Irina AlKhairi1, Devarajan Sriraman2, Ambika Shyamsundar2, Preethi Cherian1, Mohamed Abu-Farha1, Fahd Al-Mulla3, Jehad Abubaker1

Medical Division, 1Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 2National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 3Research Division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a well-known public health problem mostly in obese people owing to its high prevalence and association with many health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. OSA has also been associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxiLDL) has been suggested to be a marker for oxidative stress and inflammation that is associated with metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis. In this study, we evaluated the level of OxiLDL in our population as a surrogate marker for these pathways. Materials and Methods: To investigate the impact of OSA on lipid metabolism markers, 74 people were enrolled in this study including 22 controls with apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) index lower than five events/h and 52 people with OSA with AHI higher than five events/h. Sleep apnea was assessed using portable sleep test device. OxiLDL was measured in plasma samples by ELISA. Results: The mean AHI score 2.5 ± 1.6 was in controls and 22.9 ± 17.9 in the OSA group (P-value < 0.0001). The plasma OxiLDL level was higher in people with OSA compared with controls: 202 ± 34 ng/mL in the OSA group and 122 ± 25 ng/mL in the control group vs. (P-value = 0.059). Conclusion: Increased OxiLDL levels acts as an indicator of increased oxidative stress in people with OSA. Shedding light at the involvement of OxiLDL in OSA might help explain the pathophysiological damages caused by sleep apnea and how they will lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.


   Drinking Tea Good or Bad for Brain Top


Thamilarasan Manivasagam, Arokiasamy J. Thenmozhi, Mustafa Mohammad Essa1

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India, 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, CAMS, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Abstract

Tea is one of the most frequently consumed beverages in the world. Tea can be classified principally into three types: green (unfermented), oolong (semifermented), and black (fully fermented). Among three types of tea, black tea (BT) is the most popular tea produced and consumed worldwide which is 78%, followed by 20% for green tea (GT), and less than 2% for oolong tea. The chemistry of tea is complex and consists of polyphenols, alkaloids, amino acids, glucosides, proteins, volatile compounds, minerals, and trace elements. BT has an advantage of being highly rich in multimeric polyphenol (theaflavins), generated during tea leaves fermentation, which is reported to effective against various neurodegenerative diseases. GT and their constituents (catechins, epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate) have the ability to penetrate the blood–brain barrier and fulfill the requirement of a potential neuroprotective agent. Intestinal, microbial, hepatic, and chemical degradation are involved in the fate of tea polyphenols and to be responsible for its low availability in animals and in humans. Tea represents a major dietary source of aluminum, which play a vital role in the etiology and pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. A difficulty in human studies is the possible confounding factors related to life style, such as smoking, coffee intake, and fat intake. In animal studies, the doses required for demonstrating the disease prevention effects are usually higher than the amounts consumed by humans who drink tea. Although no solid data exist concerning harmful effects of tea consumption, more research is warranted to elucidate the biological activities of green and BT for possible health benefits in humans.


   Nutritional Management for the Prevention of the Diabesity Epidemic Top


Carla Vartanian

The Royal Society of Medicine-UK, Belmatt Healthcare-UK International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics-IAAND

Abstract

Diabesity is defined as a metabolic dysfunction that ranges from mild blood sugar imbalance to full-fledged type 2 diabetes, which can be preventable and in some cases entirely reversible. It affects more than one billion people worldwide, including 100 million Americans and 50% of Americans over 65. Recent statistics suggest that diabesity may already be the leading cause of chronic disease and death in the world, and its impact is expected to rise dramatically in the next 25 years with a major impact on the healthcare systems worldwide. Diabesity is a constellation of signs that includes abdominal obesity dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, high blood systemic inflammation, and a tendency to form blood clots. The “diabese” patients have increased risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, cancer, kidney failure, and blindness among many other conditions. To date, there are no national recommendations from governments or worldwide diabetes organizations to advise screening and treatment of this epidemic; thus, many people suffering from diabesity may be left undiagnosed and untreated. The entire spectrum of diabesity including all of its complications is simply downstream symptoms that result from unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and environmental factors. Interventions with a clinical nutritionist and medical doctor and some basic lifestyle changes can help patients lose weight, regulate blood sugar, reverse the effects of diabesity, and help pave the way for better long-term health. Aside from healthy eating recommendation, exercise remains the single best medication for diabesity.


   15:00–17:00 Session 2B (Environmental Sciences and Technology Management) Top


Adaptive Capacity to Sand and Dust Storms in the West Asia: Developing an Assessment Framework

Saeed Mohammadzadeh

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Khuzestan Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Ahwaz, Iran

Development of Solid Sorbents for the Reversible Uptake of Sulfur Dioxide

T. A. P. Paulose, J. Passmore1

Department of Chemistry, Bishop Moore College, Mavelikara, Kerala, India, 1Department of Chemistry, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

The Environmental and Energy Contributions of Renewable Energy Sources in Kuwait

Mohammad Alshawaf, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Evaluation of Accidental Atmospheric Releases of Chlorine and Butane From a Mobile Source Using ALOHA and MARPLOT

Noura Alsarawi

MSc in Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA

Feasibility of Offshore Wind Power Plants for the State of Kuwait

W. K. Al-Nassar, S. Neelamani1, K. A. Al-Salem1, H. A. Al-Dashti2

Renewable Energy Program, Energy and Building Research Centre, 1Coastal Management Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, 2Department of Meteorology, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Using Wind Characteristics to Gain Insights Into the Air Quality Conditions at Ali Sabah Al-Salem Area

Ashraf Ramadan

Environmental Pollution and Climate Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Sustainability Indicators for the Evaluation of Desalination Plants

Ghanima Al-Sharrah, Haitham M.S. Lababidi, Khawla Alshayji

Chemical Engineering Department, College of Engineering & Petroleum, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait


   Adaptive Capacity to Sand and Dust Storms in the West Asia: Developing an Assessment Framework Top


Saeed Mohammadzadeh

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Khuzestan Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Ahwaz, Iran

Abstract

The West Asia region is one of the most important areas in the world for generating sand and dust storms (SDS). In this region, there has been a significant increase in the frequency and the intensity of SDS over the past decade. SDS accelerates the process of land desertification and cause serious environmental pollution, with huge destruction to ecology and the living environment. The adaptive capacity assessment framework allows us to assess how well countries in the West Asia are performing to limit SDS at the local, national, and regional levels, and measure their capacity building efforts at these levels. Based on the literature review and the features of SDS phenomena in the West Asia, this framework is developed in three key dimensions: enabling environment, organizations, and individuals and in five area of adaptive capacity: institutional and legal context, planning and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, and community engagement. This framework will help in identifying capacity gap and needs, which allows a preauthorized capacity development plan to be prepared.


   Development of Solid Sorbents for the Reversible Uptake of Sulfur Dioxide Top


T. A. P. Paulose, J. Passmore1

Department of Chemistry, Bishop Moore College, Mavelikara, Kerala, India, 1Department of Chemistry, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Abstract

SO2 emission is a significant source of atmospheric pollution having adverse effects on both environmental and human health. Capture of SO2 air emissions and reuse it as industrial or agricultural materials can play a crucial role in pollution control. Using volume-based thermodynamics approach, we estimated that dithionites, R(O2SSO2), could reversibly absorb gaseous SO2 to produce novel sulfur oxyanions if the cation (R) was sufficiently large. Our research on SO2 capture required the synthesis of pure dithionite salts containing large cations. Tetrakis(dimethylamino)ethylene (TDAE) is one of the strongest organic electron donors with a reducing power comparable to that of zinc. We found that liquid TDAE reacted with gaseous SO2 in a 1:2 ratio to give an efficient synthesis of the first analytically pure insoluble (surprisingly blue) dithionite salt, TDAE[O2SSO2](s), in a simple one-step redox reaction in 80% yield. On addition of the third mole equivalent of SO2, the blue TDAE[O2SSO2](s) changes to spectroscopically pure red TDAE[(SO2)3](s) [Figure 1]. Under prolonged evacuation, the red product loses one mole of SO2(g), regenerating the blue TDAE[O2SSO2](s). These salts represent the first known examples of a new class of poly(sulfur dioxide) dianion (SO2)x2−.
Figure 1: Reversible uptake of sulfur dioxide

Click here to view


Acknowledgments

This work was funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada.


   The Environmental and Energy Contributions of Renewable Energy Sources in Kuwait Top


Mohammad Alshawaf

Department of Environmental Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Kuwait has an abundance of hydrocarbon (crude oil and natural gas) resources. In 2016, the proven oil reserves were estimated at 8.3% of the total world proven reserves, and proven natural gas reserves were estimated at 0.88% of the total world proven reserves. Over the past few years, total energy consumption has increased gradually. The domestic energy consumption increased by 14% from 2010 to 2015. Due to the concerns over increased local energy demand consumption and emission discharged from the power plants, Kuwait plans to generate 15% of the total domestic energy supply from solar and wind sources by 2030. The objective of this study is to use a Monte Carlo approach to estimate the contribution of solar energy sources to the total energy supply in Kuwait along with the quantity of hydrocarbons abated. The study also addresses the effects of climatic factors such as temperature and particulate matter 10 micron (PM10) on solar energy production.


   Evaluation of Accidental Atmospheric Releases of Chlorine and Butane From a Mobile Source Using ALOHA and MARPLOT Top


Noura Alsarawi

MSc in Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the extend of the threat zone of two mobile accidental atmospheric releases of chlorine and butane on the I-95 Highway by estimating the downwind dispersion of the chemical plumes using the numerical model area locations of hazardous atmospheres and by graphing the boundaries of the threat zone using mapping application for response, planning, and local operational tasks. In addition, to assess the risk of exposure at two points of interest from the chlorine accident, and to measure the extent of the flammable zone, the area where a flash fire or a vapor cloud explosion could occur at some point after the release begins, resulting from the butane accident. Moreover, the aim is to study the stability class effect on indoor and outdoor concentrations and its effect on distance of the flammable zones. The results conclude that the stability class has a significant effect on the prediction of the size of the toxic threat zone under different atmospheric dispersion conditions. In addition, the size of the area impacted after a chemical release depends on the characteristics of the chemical along with the meteorological and atmospheric conditions.


   Feasibility of Offshore Wind Power Plants for the State of Kuwait Top


W. K. Al-Nassar, S. Neelamani1, K. A. Al-Salem1, H. A. Al-Dashti2

Renewable Energy Program, Energy and Building Research Centre, 1Coastal Management Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, 2Department of Meteorology, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Wind energy is pollution free, renewable, and to some extent predictable source of energy. Wind energy from offshore is more attractive, because it does not occupy land area, eliminate noise pollution on people living in the coastal area, and wind speed is better compared to land. For commercial installation of offshore wind mills, a detailed assessment of offshore wind power potential, the technical and financial risk, environmental impact along with the geographic information system, and the financial and economic impact to fortify the sustainability and growth of this renewable energy is essential. Such study is conducted for offshore locations of Kuwait. Measured data from 11 different offshore weather stations are used for this study. In general, in the territorial waters of Kuwait, wind power density (WPD) in the range of 200 to 400 W/m2 is available at 30-m elevation from mean sea level. The offshore of Boubyan Island was found to be the most suitable with WPD of more than 500 W/m2 in summer, which is good, since in summer, the demand for energy is high. The marine stations closer to the main land area are good in summer. The WPD is also high at Sea Island Buoy, Umm Al-Maradim, and Beacon M28 in winter, which is well away from mainland. Kuwaiti territorial water is ideal for wind power stations, because the water depth is low; waves are less frequent, and there is no cyclone or Tsunamis recorded in the past. Wind energy technology is identified for sustainable development of significant renewable energy share in Kuwait by 2020 onward. The cost of producing 1 kWh from wind, the levelized energy cost, is estimated to be about 27.6 fils/kWh, which is highly competitive in comparison to conventional power plants, mainly due to the high annual operating cost when the cost of fuel is added.


   Using Wind Characteristics to Gain Insights Into the Air Quality Conditions at Ali Sabah Al-Salem Area Top


Ashraf Ramadan

Environmental Pollution and Climate Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Within a 10-km radius circle around Ali Sabah Al-Salem (ASAS) area, which is historically known as Umm Al-Haiman, there are four main emission sources, namely, industries clustered in the Shuaiba West Industrial Area (SWIA), the Mina Abdullah Refinery, the Greater Burgan Oil Field, and the Umm Al-Haiman Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP). The impact of emissions from SWIA was carefully examined through wind pattern analysis for data collected over a 10-year period. The results showed that winds blowing directly from SWIA (i.e., 289° ≤ WD ≤ 330°) make up to about 24%. This proves the significant potential of pollutants emitted from SWIA to affect the air quality at ASAS, as the winds do not have enough time/distance to change direction (i.e., distance between SWIA and ASAS is about 2 km and the terrain in nearly flat), which means the advection mechanism will be dominant. Wind blowing directly from the other two nearby area sources, that is, Shuaiba East Industrial Area and WTP, form 4.6% and 4.4%, respectively, which further illustrates that emissions from these two sources have a very mild direct impact on the pollutants ground-level concentrations at ASAS, unless there is another mechanism that results in augmentation of these pollutants. For winds blowing directly from SWIA, the average hourly wind speed (i.e., 3.2 m/s) was about 23% higher than that for the overall wind signal. This would further illustrate the significance of impact of emissions from SWIA. Due to the proximity of ASAS to the coastal line, the sea breeze/land breeze phenomenon plays an important role in the dispersion and accumulation of pollutants. The daytime (i.e., 07:00–17:00 h) wind rose for ASAS showed that winds induced by the sea breeze mechanism were predominant and make up to 40% of the total wind signal. Although the nighttime wind rose plots showed that winds coming from inland made up to 32% of the total wind signal. The described phenomenon results in somehow a circulation of air masses which when the conditions are suitable could allow photochemical reaction to produce secondary-type pollutants, such as O3 and NO2.


   Sustainability Indicators for the Evaluation of Desalination Plants Top


Ghanima Al-Sharrah, Haitham M.S. Lababidi, Khawla Alshayji

Chemical Engineering Department, College of Engineering & Petroleum, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Assessing the sustainability performance of desalination plants depends on a number of factors and parameters that include the type of technology as well as the availability of information and its quality. Another difficulty is the selection and screening of appropriate indicators that can be consistently evaluated for different plants, especially for the cogeneration plants where wasted heat or loss from power generation is used in producing desalted water. Redundancies may exist in these indicators, and in some cases, some indicators may be correlated to each other. In this work, we present a technique to classify or rank indicators for the sustainable development of desalination plants into categories according to their importance. Categorizing the indicators will enable proper monitoring of the critical indicators that would have direct and more sound effect on the environmental, economic, and social aspects of the installation. The proposed technique has been applied on the desalination plants in Kuwait. Preliminary results showed that although “pure” social indicators are less in number, they may have indirect influence on the environmental and economic indicators. In contrast, selected environmental indicators are diverse, easier to evaluate, and can be readily used in monitoring and improving the performance.

Acknowledgment

The research team acknowledges Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) for the financial support (KFAS-P31475EC01).


   11:30–13:30 Session 3A (Food Science and Nutrition) Top


Reduced Levels of MicroRNAs 143 and 181d (miR-143 and 181d) in Obesity

Mohamed Abu-Farha1, Preethi Cherian1, Irina AlKhairi1, Abdullah Alkandari2, Hossein Arefanian1,2,3, Devarajan Sriraman3, Fahd Al-Mulla3, Jehad Abubaker 1

1Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 2Research Division, 3National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

DnaJ Heat Shock Protein Family (HSP40) Member C27 (DNAJC27) is a Heat Shock 40 Protein (HSP40) Family Member That is Increased in Obese People

Preethi Cherian, Jehad Abubaker, Irina AlKhairi, Devarajan Sriraman1, Jaakko Tuomilehto2, Fahd Al-Mulla2, Mohamed Abu-Farha

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 1National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 2Research division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Increased Angiopoietin-like Protein (ANGPTL) 4 and 8 Circulation Levels in People With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Jehad Abubaker, Devarajan Sriraman1, Preethi Cherian, Irina AlKhairi, Asma AlHubail2, Fahd Al-Mulla3, Abdulmohsen Al-Terki2

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 1National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 2Medical Division, 3Research Division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Role of PAX3 Deregulation in Breast Cancer Progression

Thirunavukkarasu Velusamy, Ashok Arasu, Sreeshma Bhuvanadas

Department of Biotechnology, School of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Decreased Level of Plasma FGF-acidic in People With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Mohamed Abu-Farha, Preethi Cherian, Irina AlKhairi, Devarajan Sriraman1, Aditi Mathur1, Asma Alhubail2, Fahd Al-Mulla3,Jehad Abubaker, Abdulmohsen Al-Terki2

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 1National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 2Medical Division, 3Research division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Nutritional Status and Level of Burden Among Caregivers of Sustained Traumatic Brain Injury in Tertiary Care in Oman

Samira Al-Abrawi1,2, Samir Al-Adawi3, Amanat Ali1, Musthafa Mohamed Essa1

1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, CAMS, Sultan Qaboos University, 2Department of Clinical Nutrition, Khoula Hospital, 3Department of Behavioural Medicine, CHMS, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Antioxidant Therapies in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Marzieh Moghadas, Musthafa Mohamed Essa1, Taher Ba-Omar, Aisha Al-shehi, Elsadig A. Eltayeb, Samir Al-Adawi2

Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, 2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Ageing and Dementia Research Group, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, 2Department of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman


   Reduced Levels of MicroRNAs 143 and 181d (miR-143 and 181d) in Obesity Top


Mohamed Abu-Farha1, Preethi Cherian1, Irina AlKhairi1, Abdullah Alkandari2, Hossein Arefanian1,2,3, Devarajan Sriraman3, Fahd Al-Mulla3, Jehad Abubaker1

1Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 2Research Division, 3National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Objective: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is highly correlated with obesity. Obesity impacts endocrine and metabolic function of adipose tissue and has been known as a chronic inflammatory disease, which sequentially may lead to the development of insulin resistance, T2D, and cardiovascular disease. There is an increasing need for understanding the role of epigenetic factors, such as Micro RNA (miRNA), in adipogenesis and to associate them with obesity. MiRNAs affect a variety of key cellular processes, such as cellular differentiation and proliferation. Our aim was to measure the expression of the dysregulated miRNA-143, and 181d in the blood circulation and adipose tissue in a cohort of obese people and assess their possible role in obesity. Materials and Methods: The expression levels of miRNA-143 and 181d in obesity were investigated in 144 people: according to their BMI, 82 were nonobese (BMI < 30) and 62 obese. MiRNA-143 and 181d levels in plasma and adipose tissue were measured by ELISA, RT-PCR. Overexpression and 3′UTR-luciferase assays were used to assess the bindings and repressions of these miRNA to their target proteins. Results: miR-143 and miR-181d Levels were significantly lower in obese than nonobese people. Their downregulation in obese people was associated inversely with proteins involved in regulating adipocyte differentiation and lipid metabolism such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and angiopoietin 8 (ANGPTL8). Our in vitro analysis confirmed miR-181d binding and repression to ANGPTL8 transcript. Conclusion: Obesity leads to alterations in miRNA expressions and miRNA-143 and −181d. They can be used as potential biomarkers for future targeted therapy in obesity.


   DnaJ Heat Shock Protein Family (HSP40) Member C27 (DNAJC27) is a Heat Shock 40 Protein (HSP40) Family Member That is Increased in Obese People Top


Preethi Cherian, Jehad Abubaker, Irina AlKhairi, Devarajan Sriraman1, Jaakko Tuomilehto2, Fahd Al-Mulla2, Mohamed Abu-Farha

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 1National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 2Research division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Objective: Heat shock response protein production is an essential cellular stress response. It is one of the key host-defense mechanism that is dysregulated in obesity-induced insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Our recent data demonstrated that DNAJ heat shock protein family (Hsp40) member B3 (DNAJB3) was dysregulated in obesity, and its overexpression enhanced glucose uptake in cells via increased AKT and AS160 phosphorylation. DNAJC27 on the other hand is another member of the HSP40 protein family that was found to be increased in obese people compared with lean. It was identified as a BMI associated locus in GWAS studies. Nonetheless, little is known about the changes in DNAJC27 expression level in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Materials and Methods: Plasma samples were collected from a total of 185 people comprising 99 nondiabetic people (60 nonobese and 39 obese) and 86 people with T2D (24 nonobese and 62 obese). Plasma level of DNAJC27 was measured by ELISA. Results: DNAJC27 level in plasma was significantly higher in obese compared with nonobese people 4.4 ± 0.52 vs. 7.1 ± 0.64 pg/mL (P-value = 0.0014). No significant difference was observed between obese and nonobese people with T2D. Similarly, DNAJC27 gene expression level in PBMCs was higher in obese compared with nonobese people (P-value < 0.05). Conclusion: DNAJC27expression is elevated in obesity and might play a role in the pathophysiology of obesity through an unknown mechanism that requires further investigation.


   Increased Angiopoietin-Like Protein (ANGPTL) 4 and 8 Circulation Levels in People With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Top


Jehad Abubaker, Devarajan Sriraman1, Preethi Cherian, Irina AlKhairi, Asma AlHubail2, Fahd Al-Mulla3, Abdulmohsen Al-Terki2

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 1National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 2Medical Division, 3Research Division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious health problem that is associated multiple health complications including hypertension, oxidative stress, insulin resistance as well as dysregulation of lipid metabolism. ANGPTL4 and ANGPTL8 (betatrophin) are key proteins in regulating plasma level of triglycerides through their regulation of the lipoprotein lipase activity during fasting and after feeding. This study was designed to evaluate the level of ANGPTL4 and 8 in a cohort of people with OSA and those without (controls) to shed light on the impact of OSA on these lipid metabolisms associated markers. Materials and Methods: To investigate the impact of OSA on lipid metabolism markers, 74 people were enrolled in this study including 22 controls with AHI lower than five events/h and 52 people with OSA (AHI five events/h or more). Sleep apnea was assessed using portable sleep test device. ANGPTL4 and 8 were measured in plasma samples by ELISA. Results: The mean AHI score was 2.5 ± 1.6 in controls and 22.9 ± 17.9 in people with OSA (P-value < 0.0001). The plasma ANGPTL8 level was higher in people with OSA compared with controls: 1130 ± 109 and 809 ± 109 pg/mL, respectively (P-value = 0.041). Similarly, ANGPTL4 was also higher in the OSA group (179 ± 13 ng/mL) vs. 143 ± 8 ng/mL in the control group (P-value = 0.018). Conclusion: In conclusion, ANGPTL4 and 8 were increased in people with OSA suggesting that the upregulation of these lipid metabolism regulators might play a role in the lipid dysregulation observed in people with OSA.


   Role of PAX3 Deregulation in Breast Cancer Progression Top


Thirunavukkarasu Velusamy, Ashok Arasu, Sreeshma Bhuvanadas

Department of Biotechnology, School of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract

Malignant breast cancer involves collaboration of several molecular signaling pathways that promote angiogenesis and metastasis. Several molecular signatory genes have been identified to be the underlying causes for disease progression. PAX3, a transcription factor, plays a crucial role in the development of tissues and organs during the embryonic development. PAX3 expression correlates with tumor metastasis in several cancers. PAX3 expression was known to be elevated in breast cancers, whereas its exact role in breast cancer is not known yet. In our current study, we sought to determine the exact role of PAX3 in breast cancer. Our results show that PAX3 plays an oncogenic role in promoting breast cancer progression, indicated by a positive correlation between PAX3 levels and high metastatic capacity of breast cancer cells. Further, our studies also indicate that PAX3 promotes invasiveness and metastasis by modulating genes of EMT pathways and metastasis associated genes. Inhibition of PAX3 activity using thapsigargin, a SERCA inhibitor, resulted in reduced growth potential of breast cancer cells by reversing the expressions of EMT pathway genes and metastasis associated genes that are modulated by PAX3. These results indicate that PAX3 plays a very important role in metastasis of breast cancer.


   Decreased Level of Plasma FGF-acidic in People With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Top


Mohamed Abu-Farha, Preethi Cherian, Irina AlKhairi, Devarajan Sriraman1, Aditi Mathur1, Asma Alhubail2, Fahd Al-Mulla3,Jehad Abubaker, Abdulmohsen Al-Terki2

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, 1National Dasman Diabetes Biobank, 2Medical Division, 3Research division, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Objective: Members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family have been demonstrated to play a major role in metabolic regulation. FGF1 is a member of the FGF family that is expressed in liver, kidney, brain as well as adipose tissue. Administration of FGF1 in mice leads to increased insulin sensitivity, improved lipid profile, and even remission of type 2 diabetes when injected in the brain of rodents. Due to the vital role of sleep in regulating metabolism, we aimed at investigating the impact of sleep disruption caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on the plasma expression of FGF1. Materials and Methods: To investigate the impact of OSA on lipid metabolism markers, 74 people were enrolled in this study including 22 controls with AHI index lower than five events/h and 52 people with OSA with AHI higher than five events/h. Sleep apnea was assessed using portable sleep test device. FGF1 was measured in plasma samples by ELISA. Results: The mean AHI score 2.5 ± 1.6 was in controls and 22.9 ± 17.9 in the OSA group (P-value < 0.0001). The plasma FGF1 level was higher in participants with OSA compared with controls: 11.50 ± 0.61 ng/mL in the OSA group and 15.46 ± 0.71 ng/mL in the control group (P-value < 0.001). Conclusion: Given the important role of FGF1 and other members of the FGF family in regulating insulin sensitivity, our data suggest that OSA might play an important role in the downregulation of FGF1. Further analysis will allow us to better understand this role and how OSA may impact the development of type 2 diabetes and the role of OSA in glucose homeostasis.


   Nutritional Status and Level of Burden Among Caregivers of Sustained Traumatic Brain Injury in Tertiary Care in Oman Top


Samira Al-Abrawi1,2, Samir Al-Adawi3, Amanat Ali1, Musthafa Mohamed Essa1

1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, CAMS, Sultan Qaboos University, 2Department of Clinical Nutrition, Khoula Hospital, 3Department of Behavioural Medicine, CHMS, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a blow or jolt to the head results in damage to the brain. Findings showed that caregivers (CGs) of TBI patients might experience feelings of burden, distress, anxiety, anger, and depression along with the altered nutrition levels. The study examines the nutrition status and burden level of care among TBI CGs in one of the tertiary hospital in Oman. The study objectives are to explore the effect of providing care on nutritional intake and quality of sleep. Three-day intake record, Arabic version of Zarit burden interview and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were analyzed in CGs of TBI patients (n = 25) and compared with healthy volunteers (N = 30). This study was conducted in Khoula Hospital, Muscat, Oman, and the information was collected directly by dietician through attending the CG in neuron surgical clinic. Super tracker software was used for nutrition analysis. All statistical analyses were performed by using Graph Pad prism version 7.0, and level of significant is considered with a P-value of ≤0.05. The ethical approval/patient consent was obtained. The result of this study manifest 54% of CGs were in unhealthy category of body mass index. The burden level correlated significantly with total carbohydrate intake (P = 0.02, r = 0.44) and with poor quality of sleep (P = 0.004, R square = 0.864). The results of this study showed that there are no difference in the burden score and total energy consumption in TBI CGs. On the other hand, in term of food preference, our results suggest that the TBI CGs were attracted to sugary food and salty food. The majority of TBI CGs exhibited mild and moderated burden level. Among those stressed CGs, 50% suffered from high body weight, and only 4% were underweight. Although almost half of TBI CGs had unhealthy BMI, our study did not find association between burden level and BMI. The level of burden correlated significantly with PSQI and as the burden level increased the quality of sleep deteriorated. This study has a limitation that the number of samples was low which can’t represent the country and extensive studies are suggested to be conducted with a larger sample.


   Antioxidant Therapies in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Top


Marzieh Moghadas, Musthafa Mohamed Essa1, Taher Ba-Omar, Aisha Al-shehi, Elsadig A. Eltayeb, Samir Al-Adawi2

Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Ageing and Dementia Research Group, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, 2Department of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder among children and adults. Impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity are hallmark of ADHD. Although ADHD is not on the autism spectrum, they are related in several ways as they have some overlapping symptoms. The pathogenesis of ADHD has so far remained enigmatic; however, there is some evidence suggesting critical association among ADHD and the level of oxidative stress which trigger cell membrane damage, changes in inner structure and function of proteins, as well as structural damage to DNA, which eventually culminate into development of ADHD. Although stimulants as well as some classes of nonstimulants are used to ameliorate symptom of ADHD, various adverse effects have been associated with such compounds. To date, treatment of ADHD is performed with a combination of medications, behavior modifications, psychoeducation, family therapy, and lifestyle changes. The American Academy of Pediatrics officially promotes stimulant medications and/or behavior therapy as “first line of therapy.” In addition to the presently therapeutic armamentarium, evidences are emerging on relevancy of natural products. There has been an interest on the therapeutic role of antioxidants in the treatment of ADHD. The present review aims to highlight the beneficiary role played by different antioxidants in mitigating the symptoms of ADHD.


   11:30–13:30 Session 3B (Environmental Sciences and Technology Management) Top


The Assessment and Treatment of Processed Wastewater Generated From Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles Industry: A Case Study in Kuwait

Ali K. Saleh, Bader S. Al-Anzi, Abdallah Abusam1

Environment Technology Department, Kuwait University, 1Water Research Centre, KISR, Kuwait City, Kuwait

The Coastal Vulnerability Index for Kuwait Bay and the Different Data Collection Approaches

Dana Al-Houti, S. Neelamani

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

The Development of Floating Scrap Tire Structures as Breakwaters to Protect the Beach From Erosion

Ahmad Yousif, Subramanaim Neelamani1, Arnoldo Valle-Levinson2

Department of Civil Engineering, Kuwait University, 1Coastal Management Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 2Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Diversity and Dynamics of Harmful Algal Blooms in Kuwait

Igor Polikarpov, Maria Saburova, Faiza Al-Yamani

Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

The Effects of Kuwait Crude Oil on Locomotor Behavior of Marine Fish Larval Stages

Dr. Qusaie Karam

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Impact of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Sewage Impacted Coastal Area on Seabream

Dr. Noura Al-Jandal

Associate Research Scientists EPCP/ELSRC/KISR, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Plunging Liquid Jet Reactor (PLJR) As Brine Dispenser Into Seawater Shoreline: A Case Study of Kuwait

Fahad J. AlRabaie, Eric Adams1, Bader Al-Anzi

Environment Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Techno-economic Modeling of Ion concentration polarization (ICP) Treatment for High-salinity Effluents in the State of Kuwait

Sumaya Al-Hammadi, Jongyoon Han1, Bader Al-Anzi

Environment Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1Electrical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


   The Assessment and Treatment of Processed Wastewater Generated From Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles Industry: A Case Study in Kuwait Top


Ali K. Saleh, Bader S. Al-Anzi, Abdallah Abusam1

Environment Technology Department, Kuwait University, 1Water Research Centre, KISR, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

In the State of Kuwait, there are a number of local tile factories that are currently producing ceramic and porcelain tiles due to its high demand in residential, private, and governmental buildings for architectural decoration. Processed wastewater generated from ceramic industry is highly polluted with significant amounts of turbidity, inorganic contents such as total suspended solids (TSS) and total dissolved solids (TDS), alkalinity, heavy metals, and thus, high pH. As the volume of wastewater generated from this sector is increasing, it is important to ban the reckless action of discharging the wastewater into municipal systems and to the environment. The wastewater could be either treated within the plant, linked to another industry or simply discharged after proper cost-effective treatment method. Hence, it is important to assess of the quality of wastewater generated from the production and processing stages of ceramic and porcelain tile factories in the State of Kuwait and also evaluate the treatment performance of hydrocyclone solid–liquid separator. In the current study, experimental investigations were conducted to evaluate the characteristics of wastewater originating from different manufacturing processes that consume large amounts of water (material preparation, pressing and glazing of ceramic tiles, and from the polishing stages). It is found that the concentration of pH, TSS, and turbidity of the industrial waste water resulted from ceramic tile processing and porcelain tile polishing exceeds the permissible levels set by Kuwait Environmental Public Authority for irrigation or discharging it into sewers. Percentage removal of 88.1% of TSS and 33.2% of TDS were achieved with the hydrocyclone-type solid–liquid separator for porcelain tiles polishing wastewater. The results in this study can be used to optimize the disposal and/or reuse of treated wastewaters to minimize the overuse of water.


   The Coastal Vulnerability Index for Kuwait Bay and the Different Data Collection Approaches Top


Dana Al-Houti, S. Neelamani

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

It is expected that the sea level will rise by almost 1.0 m by 2100, which will result in significant inundation and coastal erosion of coastal countries around the world, which will result in significant economic losses. Therefore, it is essential to understand the vulnerability and predict the level of inundation and coastal erosion. For such study, the data required are (a) geomorphology, (b) coastal slope, (c) shoreline change rate, (d) relative sea-level change rate, (e) significant wave height, (f) and tidal range. Using these parameters, the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) can be assessed and calculated by using the formula CVI = [(a . b . c . d . e . f)/6]1/2. Accurate collection of the data for these parameters is essential for the right prediction of CVI. The data for each of these parameters can be gathered in different ways. For example, the wave heights at different coastal locations can be obtained based on long-term measurement as well as numerical modeling using the hindcasting technique. The instrumentally measured wave data are more accurate than hindcasted or ship observed data. This paper will discuss the different ways of data collection for different parameters and the merits and demerits of each method. At the end of the study, a CVI map of the Kuwait Bay coastline will be presented. The results of this study will be useful for holistic coastal developments of Kuwait Bay coast. Moreover, CVI results are an essential input for integrated coastal zone management of the coastline.


   The Development of Floating Scrap Tire Structures as Breakwaters to Protect the Beach From Erosion Top


Ahmad Yousif, Subramanaim Neelamani1, Arnoldo Valle-Levinson2

Department of Civil Engineering, Kuwait University, 1Coastal Management Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 2Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Abstract

Protection of coasts against erosion is a challenging scientific problem. Many different types of structures are used for this purpose such as seawalls, groins, offshore breakwaters, etc. Rocks and concrete are used for constructing these structures; however, they are becoming expensive. The reuse of materials is a key for the betterment of environment. Scrap tires can be used as floating breakwater, because every country produces millions of scrap tires every year. This research has been conducted to answer this question: How to assemble the scrap tires as a floating breakwater so that coasts can be protected from erosion with minimum number of scrap tires per meter of coast? The results are presented in this paper. Investigation on wave transmission, reflection, and dissipation of nine configurations of floating scrap tire breakwaters has been performed using physical models for a range of random wave field conditions. The study’s aim is to achieve the least wave transmission with a minimum number of scrap tires. The ease of construction, installation, transport, and maintenance were also considered while selecting the configurations. The wave transmission coefficient (Kt) is assessed for all models, where Kt is the ratio between transmitted wave height (Ht) to incident wave height (Hi). For all models’ configurations, the relatively shorter wave lengths (such as Kuwait’s marine climate) yielded smaller wave transmission coefficient (0.36–0.2). In contrast, the waves with relatively longer wave lengths (such as open sea conditions) easily passed through the scrap tire model and yielded relatively higher wave transmission coefficient (0.13–0.35). Increasing the number of rows of the floating scrap tire breakwaters from 4 to 8 or the number of layers from 1 to 2 helped to reduce wave transmission and allowed more energy dissipation. Predictive relations for Kt, which depend on relative water depth (d/Lp) and relative wave height (Hi/d) have been obtained for all the nine floating scrap tire breakwaters. The optimal configurations of this study were recommended to be used for field application to protect the beaches of Kennedy Space Center, USA, and Qaru Island, Kuwait, from erosion.


   Diversity and Dynamics of Harmful Algal Blooms in Kuwait Top


Igor Polikarpov, Maria Saburova, Faiza Al-Yamani

Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Phytoplankton and microphytobenthic blooms occur in Kuwait’s waters in all seasons. The diverse assemblage of potentially toxic microalgae was revealed in Kuwait, including such genera as Pseudo-nitzschia, Dinophysis, Phalacroma, Karenia, Alexandrium, Pyrodinium, Gymnodinium, Fukuyoa, Ostreopsis, and Coolia. A wide range of potentially harmful microalgae, including known ichthyotoxic dinoflagellates (genera Akashiwo, Amphidinium, Karenia, Karlodinium, Margalefidinium, Prorocentrum, Protoceratium, Takayama), raphidophycean (Chattonella, Fibrocapsa, Heterosigma) and haptophyte (Chrysochromulina, Prymnesium) flagellates, were observed often in Kuwait’s waters. The chronological sequence of recorded algal bloom events indicates that Kuwait’s marine environment has increasingly been affected by microalgal blooms. Over the past decade, the frequency of blooms has enlarged significantly and some of them were associated with fish mortality events in Kuwait’s coastal waters.


   The Effects of Kuwait Crude Oil on Locomotor Behavior of Marine Fish Larval Stages Top


Qusaie Karam

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

One of the major sources of contamination in Kuwait marine environment is crude oil as it induces an array of undesirable environmental effects which ultimately affect marine organisms at multiple trophic levels. Studies have shown that exposure of marine fish early-life stages to dissolved petroleum hydrocarbons in the water column can result in erratic swimming performance of fish which will affect fish population dynamics, predator–prey relationship, and fish feeding abilities. The adverse effects of spilled Kuwait crude oil on the swimming performance of local marine fish have not been addressed yet. This study demonstrates that exposure of sobaity-sea bream (Sparidentex hasta) larval stages to sublethal concentrations of Kuwait export grade water accumulated factory (KEC WAF) have resulted in a decrease in swimming duration and swimming distance in small movement as examined in Viewpoint © Zebrlab. In general, larval locomotor behavior in KEC WAF exposure indicated the role of dissolved petroleum hydrocarbons in targeting the central nervous system of fish resulting in erratic swimming performance. Examination of fish behavioral responses (locomotor performance) on exposure to KEC WAF in early-life stages can be used as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of fish health and detection of swimming performance.


   Impact of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Sewage Impacted Coastal Area on Seabream Top


Noura Al-Jandal

Associate Research Scientists EPCP/ELSRC/KISR, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

The pollution of coastal regions worldwide has been of a great concern due to the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals. These chemicals find their way to the marine environment via the sewage treatment plants. The present study was designed to investigate the status of these disruptive chemicals and their impact on fish in coastal areas of the State of Kuwait from the chemical and biological perspectives. The assessment of three sewage treatment plants indicated the presence of significant levels of phthalates, alkylphenols, and estrogens in both inflow and outflow samples. The analysis of samples from field exposure sites revealed significant levels of endocrine disrupting chemicals in seawater and sediment samples. From a biological perspective, fish were exposed to sewage outlets in five locations. Histological observation of hepatic tissue of the exposed fish showed necrotic changes and hepatic vacuolation in the hepatic tissue. Imunnohistochemistry evidences revealed a significant level of positive signals and vitellogenin localization in the hepatic tissue as the results support the histopathological alterations observed. Overall, the study suggest that there is possible local source or a chronic input of untreated and/or partially treated water due to the significant levels of phthalates, alkylphenols, and estrogens detected in the Kuwait Bay. These levels were enough to initiate alteration in the hepatic tissue of fish exposed to the sewage outlets in Kuwait for 2 weeks.


   Plunging Liquid Jet Reactor (PLJR) As Brine Dispenser Into Seawater Shoreline: A Case Study of Kuwait Top


Fahad J. AlRabaie, Eric Adams1, Bader Al-Anzi

Environment Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Abstract

Marine waters of Kuwait suffer from various kinds of domestic and industrial pollution from past few decades, which constantly changes the ambient seawater quality. Fluctuations in the dissolved oxygen (DO) level and constantly increasing salinity and sea surface temperature imparts severe threat to the natural ecosystems. Among all the pollution episodes, brine discharge from desalination plants possess significant role in the degradation of Kuwait’s valuable marine diversity. This work is an effort to mitigate the existing environmental issues caused by the brine discharge from Kuwait’s desalination plants. Confined plunging liquid jet reactor (CPLJR) is a novel reactor with many advantages such as economically efficient and high mass transfer rates and can be used in many applications. The objective of the current research is to find the efficient way of discharging the diluted-brine from desalination plants. Brine samples are collected from Kuwait’s desalination plants, and experiments are conducted in Water Technology Laboratory at the Department of Environmental Technology Management, Kuwait University. The main objective of the experiment is to investigate the brine dilution rate with brine solutions of different salinity. The reactor geometry is optimized in terms of nozzle diameter, free jet length, and jet velocity for attaining maximum DO dissolution and brine mixing. In the experiment, the difference in salinity between the injected water and the receiving water tank (fresh water) is 10, 20, 30, and 40 ppt. The results show that dilution rate increases when the free jet length increases and also increases with a smaller downcomer length. Moreover, the dilution rates decrease with increase in salinity of brine solution. The dilution rate has decreased when a solution of 80 ppt was injected into receiving water tank of 40 ppt than when it was injected in a solution of 0 ppt. This is because the bubbles produced in the former case are much smaller than the other case. These results show the CPLJR reactor has advantages of economically mixing the brine and bringing down the DO dissolution level.


   Techno-economic Modeling of ICP Treatment for High-Salinity Effluents in the State of Kuwait Top


Sumaya Al-Hammadi, Jongyoon Han1, Bader Al-Anzi

Environment Technology Management, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1Electrical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Abstract

The effluence from the oil sector (oil-produced water) in Kuwait is of concentration ranging between 160,680 and 243,360 ppm. Previously, Kuwait mainly relied on evaporation pits for the disposal of oil produced water. However, due to the huge amount of oil produced water, Kuwait is implementing the “Zero Disposal to Pits” effort in which the effluent is treated before disposing in designated injection wells. Electrodialysis, as an effluent water-treatment method, was rejected by Kuwait Oil Company due to the high treatment cost. Ion concentration polarization (ICP) technology is an electrically driven membrane desalination technology for treating high-salinity effluents by using unipolar membrane system. In comparison to ED, the salt removal by ICP technique is improved by 20%. Economic modeling of ICP is required to check the feasibility of this process. In this study, the techno-economics of using ICP as a treatment method for the oil-produced water are studied. The economic analysis generated in the current study is conducted using the cost model developed by the KU-MIT signature project. A techno-economic model of using ICP as a treatment method for high-salinity effluents is developed for Kuwait. The cost of using ICP system of one, two, three stages has been investigated to find the optimum treated water cost. The cost for reutilizing oil-produced water for other applications by partial treatment with ICP was also studied. Further investigation will be performed to optimize the cost by using the method of recirculating streams.


   Poster Session Top


Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Properties of Cassis fistula

Mohammad Irshad, Moshahid A. Rizvi

Genome Biology Lab, Department of Bioscience, Jamaia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi, India

The Burden of Acne Vulgaris and Its Association With Vitamin D Deficiency Among School Students in Kuwait

Dr. Mona Al-Khabbaz, Dr. Abdullah Al-Tiar1, Dr. Marwa Saeed2

MPH Candidate, Department of Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1Associate Professor, Community Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2MD, MRCGP, British Family Medicine Fellowship

Dysmenorrhea Among High School Students and Its Associated Factors in Kuwait

Sharefah Al-Matouq, Fatima Abdulaziz, Hessah Al-Mutairi, Ohood Al-Mutairi, Mona Al-Enzi, Dana Al-Basri

Department Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Effect of Autochthonous and Commercial Probiotic Bacteria on Growth, Bacterial Persistence, Immunity, and Disease Resistance in Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

Mohammad T. Ridha, Ismail S. Azad

Environmental & Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

The Effectiveness of Nutrition and Fitness Course on Different Biochemical Factors Among College Students

Joumanah Al-abdeen, Maryam Ali, Maral Dehyan, Aisha Alsalmi, Shahed Almuneer

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Evaluation of Nutritional Status Postlaparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy—5-Year Outcomes

Aliaa Al-Mutawa, Alfred Anderson, Salman Al-Sabah, Mohammad Al-Mutawa

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Gastric Viscosity and Sugar Bioaccessibility of Instant and Steel-Cut Oat/Milk Protein Blends

Fatemah M. AlHasawi, Derrick Fondaco, Maria G. Corradini1, Richard D. Ludescher, Douglas Bolster2, YiFang Chu2, Yongsoo Chung2, Jodee Johnson2, Michael A. Rogers3

Department of Food Science, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, 2PepsiCo, Inc., Barrington, Illinois, USA, 3Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Hematology Profile of Naeemi Sheep Under Different Management Systems in Kuwait

F. Khalil, S. Abbas, G. Ragheb, Sh. Al-Qalaf, Z. Al-Ballam, A. E. Omar Faten Khalil

Senior Research Associate, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Nutritional Status of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) Patients in Kuwait

Aliaa Al-Mutawa, Alfred Anderson, Salman Al-Sabah, Mohammad Al-Mutawa

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Ternary Phase Diagram of β-Sitosterol–γ-Oryzanol–Canola Oil

Fatemah M. AlHasawi, Michael A. Rogers

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Women’s Preference on Birthplace and Mode of Delivery in Kuwait

Azah Al-Rashidi, Ameerah Al-Saqobi, Dhuha Al-Ajmi, Haneen Al-Sayegh, Malak Al-Azimi, Noora Al-Abdali, Abdullah Al-Taiar1

Sixth Year Medical Students at Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1Department of Community Medicine and Behavioral Science, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Evaluation of Free-Living Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria in Kuwait Desert Soil

M. K. Suleiman, A. M. Quoreshi, A. J. Manuvel, M. T. Sivadasan

Desert Agriculture and Ecosystems Program, Environment & Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Life Cycle in Subtropical Strains of Ciguatera-Related Dinoflagellate Fukuyoa yasumotoi

Maria Saburova, Igor Polikarpov

Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Municipal Organic Wastes as Organic Amendments in Agricultural Soils: Effects on Corn Yield and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hicham Benslim, Joann K. Whalen, Maren Oelbermann1

Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, 1School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Salicylic Acid Alleviates Environmental and Nutritional Risks of Cadmium on Wheat

Azita Behnam, Hossein Abbaspour, Akbar S. Afshar1

Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, 1Department of Biology, Neyshabur Branch, Islamic Azad University, Neyshabur, Iran

The Development of Speech Perception in Elementary-School-Aged Children With Generalized Learning Difficulties (GLD): Are Students With GLD Ready for Acquiring Reading and Writing?

Dr. Krisztina Zajdó, MA, MA, PhD

Associate Professor of Special Education/Speech-Language Pathology, Széchenyi István University, Győr, Hungary

Making Clinical Decisions in Dysphagia Post Stroke

Yusuf M. Albustanji

Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia


   Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Properties of Cassis fistula Top


Mohammad Irshad, Moshahid A. Rizvi

Genome Biology Lab, Department of Bioscience, Jamaia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi, India

Abstract

Overview: Cassis fistula (English: Golden shower; Arabic: khiyar shambar) is an Indian semiwild plant. This plant grown in many countries as an ornamental plant, having beautiful bunches of yellow flowers. The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) has also grown C. fistula plant in Kuwait climatic condition. The plant has vast medicinal value and has been used as natural medicine since ancient time. There are numbers of research reports that proven its medicinal properties. C. fistula fruit and stem bark has been used in the formulation of UNANI and AYURVEDIC medicine. In present study, we examined the antioxidant and antiproliferative properties C. fistula fruit pulp extract. Materials and Methods: Antioxidant activity of C. fistula extract (methanolic) was examined against the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced free radicals in human intestinal epithelium cells (INT-407). For this, we estimated the radicals scavenging enzymes [catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR)] in treated and untreated INT-407 cells. The cytotoxicity of extract was examined by MTT assay. Apoptotic regulatory genes (Bax, blc-2, and caspases genes) expression was evaluated in human cervical cancer cells (SiHa) using RT-PCR. Experiment was performed in triplicate. Student’s t-test was used for statistical significance (P < 0.05). Results: The IC50 of C. fistula extract against the INT-407cells was 1.104 mg/mL and against the H2O2-exposed INT-407 cells (50-μm H2O2 treated for 2 h) was 0.775 mg/mL at 24 h. In H2O2-exposed cells, the levels of CAT, SOD, GPx, and GR enzymes were decreased 61.3%, 67.9%, 62.3%, and 15.0%, respectively, as compared to the untreated control. However, H2O2-exposed cells treated with extracts (0.3 mg/mL) showed increase levels of CAT, SOD, GPx, and GR enzymes levels by 60.2%, 56.3%, 40.4%, 10.6%, respectively, as compared to the H2O2-exposed cells (P < 0.05). The IC50 of C. fistula extract against the SiHa cancerous cells was 0.475 mg/mL. Treated SiHa cells showed up-regulation of Bax genes and down-regulation of Bcl-2 gene and increased level of caspase-3, 6 & −9 genes in compared to the untreated control cells (P < 0.05). In addition, fragmented genomic DNA was observed in extracts treated SiHa cells as a sign of apoptosis. Conclusion: C. fistula fruit pulp extracts treated cells have shown antioxidant property by enhancing the level of free-radicals scavenging enzyme activities. This property might be protecting cells from subsequent cells damage induced by the free radicals. The expressional regulation of apoptotic gene might be reducing proliferation of cancer cells and protect cells from cancer formation.


   The Burden of Acne Vulgaris and Its Association With Vitamin D Deficiency Among School Students in Kuwait Top


Mona Al-Khabbaz, Abdullah Al-Tiar, Marwa Saeed

MPH Candidate, Department of Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of acne vulgaris (AV) among adolescents in Kuwait was mostly unknown. Although AV is not fatal, it has an enormous impact on the quality of life of adolescents. Objectives: Our study aimed to investigate the prevalence of AV, its association with vitamin D level, and its impact on the quality of life among public school students in Kuwait. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study design in which the participants were previously recruited in a funded project on vitamin D deficiency among school children. Participants (N = 1426) were selected as a nationally representative sample of public school students using multistage cluster random sample with probability proportional to size sampling. Vitamin D levels were measured using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Global acne grading system (GAGS) score was used to assess the severity of AV, whereas Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI) had been used to assess the impact of AV on quality of life. Analysis: Data were entered and linked to the previously collected data using unique identification number, and then analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 24. Multiple linear regression was used to investigate the association between vitamin D level and severity of AV (assessed by GAGS). Although unconditional logistic regression was used to investigate the association between vitamin D level and the presence or absence of AV. Ethical Approval: A written parental informed consent had been obtained for this work, and this study was approved by The Ethics Committee at The Ministry of Health (no. 2015/248). Results: The prevalence of AV in our sample was 44.8% (self-reported), 67.1% (clinically observed) with more predominant AV among females than males (56.2% vs. 33.0%; respectively P < 0.001). CADI score among self-reported AV reported median of one (min = 0, max = 12). No evidence of significant association was found between vitamin D and clinical AV, neither before nor after adjusting for confounders. However, with the self-reported AV, there was a significant association in univariate model [Pr = 0.58–1.33, P-value=0.03] which disappeared after adjusting for confounders. Conclusion: We concluded that AV is a common disease in Kuwait, and its prevalence was less among self-reported than clinically examined AV. The QoL among AV cases was either mildly or not impaired. And there was no significant association between AV and vitamin D levels.


   Dysmenorrhea Among High School Students and Its Associated Factors in Kuwait Top


Sharefah Al-Matouq, Fatima Abdulaziz, Hessah Al-Mutairi, Ohood Al-Mutairi, Mona Al-Enzi, Dana Al-Basri

Department of Community Medicine and Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Background: Although dysmenorrhea is not a serious health issue, it can cause a substantial burden on individuals and communities. There is no data on the prevalence of dysmenorrhea in Kuwait, and the data from Arab states in the Gulf region or the Middle East are scarce. Objectives: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of dysmenorrhea among female public high school students in Kuwait and investigate factors associated with dysmenorrhea. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study using multistage cluster sampling with probability proportional to size method was conducted on 763 12th grade female public high school students in five governorates. We used face-to-face interview with a structured questionnaire to collect data on dysmenorrhea and presumed risk factors. Weight and height of the students were measured using appropriate weight and height scales in a standardized manner. The association between dysmenorrhea and potential risk factors was assessed using multiple logistic regression. Results: The 1-year prevalence of dysmenorrhea was found to be 85.6% (95% CI: 83.1%–88.1%). Of the participants with dysmenorrhea, 26% visited a public or a private clinic for their pain and 4.1% were hospitalized for their menstrual pain. Furthermore, 58.2% of students with dysmenorrhea missed at least 1 school day and 13.9% missed at least an exam. Age of menarche (P-value = 0.005), regularity and flow of the menstrual period (P-values = 0.025 and 0.009, respectively), and drinking coffee (P-value = 0.004) were significantly associated with dysmenorrhea in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Dysmenorrhea seems to be highly prevalent among female high school students in Kuwait, resembling that of high-income countries. Because of the scale of the problem, utilizing school nurses to reassure and manage students with dysmenorrhea and referring suspected cases of secondary dysmenorrhea is recommended.


   Effect of Autochthonous and Commercial Probiotic Bacteria on Growth, Bacterial Persistence, Immunity, and Disease Resistance in Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus Top


Mohammad T. Ridha, Ismail S. Azad

Environmental and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

The study deals with the application of probiotics in aquaculture, which are gaining worldwide acceptance as means to improve growth and the health of farmed fish. However, the efficacy of the applied probiotic depends on the type of probiotic, dose, and duration of application. The study compared the effect of feeding Nile tilapia juveniles for 105 days with three fish diets fortified with probiotic bacteria in improving growth parameters such as fish body weight, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio, and gross fish yield as compared with the probiotic-free control diet. The first fish diet was supplemented with an autochthonousBacillus subtilis (Gene Bank NCBI 1701438) bacterium isolated from the gut of cultured tilapia in Kuwait. The second diet was impregnated with a commercial Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic bacteria imported from international market. The third diet was fortified with a 1:1 mixture of both probiotic. The study also compared the persistence of the added probiotic bacteria in the fish gut and the effect of the added probiotics in improving the fish immunity and disease resistance as compared with the probiotic-free control diet. The obtained results indicated higher potential of the autochthonous isolated probiotic bacteria and the mixture of bacteria in enhancing growth, immunity, and disease resistance in tilapia than the commercial products.


   The Effectiveness of Nutrition and Fitness Course on Different Biochemical Factors Among College Students Top


Joumanah Al-abdeen, Maryam Ali, Maral Dehyan, Aisha Alsalmi, Shahed Almuneer

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition and fitness course on different biochemical factors of college students. Design: Randomized controlled study. Participants: A randomized 58 female students from collage of Life Sciences, Kuwait University. Materials and Methods: Randomized sample was collected and assessed for weight, height, BMI, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood samples were analyzed for glucose, lipid profile before and after the course. Results: The results showed a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in weight, BMI, and glucose status in the students after 3 months of attending the course. On the other hand, no significant decrease (P > 0.05) was seen in lipid profile, blood pressure and heart rate. Conclusion and Implications: Nutrition and fitness courses may have a positive effect on people lifestyles, because it is a cost-effective approach in preventing chronic diseases and obesity.


   Evaluation of Nutritional Status Postlaparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy—5-Year Outcomes Top


Aliaa Al-Mutawa, Alfred Anderson, Salman Al-Sabah, Mohammad Al-Mutawa

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Obesity is considered a public health problem and has led to advancements in bariatric surgery. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is the most performed procedure worldwide; however, its consequences on nutritional status in the short and long term are of concern. A retrospective analysis of medical records and bariatric database of 1793 patients who underwent LSG from October 2008 to September 2015 at Al-Amiri Hospital, Kuwait, was performed. Data regarding nutritional status along with demographic data were collected over a 5-year follow-up period. The greatest % total body weight loss was at 18 months post-LSG (33%), corresponding to a % excess weight loss of 73.8%. Vitamin B1 showed a significant drop at 3 to 5 years post-op in comparison to pre-op value but stayed within the normal range. Red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit also showed a significant drop starting from 6 months post-op until the fifth year of follow-up. On the other hand, vitamins B6 and B12 showed significant increases at 6 months post-op and decreased afterwards but did not reach pre-op values. Vitamin D also showed a significant increase throughout the study period from deficient value at the pre-op time but remained insufficient. Albumin, transferrin, folate, ferritin, iron, and vitamin B2 showed no significant changes at 5 years post-LSG compared to pre-op values. The study showed a prevalence of nutritional deficiencies prior and post LSG. The results highlight the need for pre- and postoperative nutritional assessment and tailored supplementation to ensure optimal nutritional status after LSG.


   Gastric Viscosity and Sugar Bioaccessibility of Instant and Steel-Cut Oat/Milk Protein Blends Top


Fatemah M. AlHasawi, Derrick Fondaco, Maria G. Corradini1, Richard D. Ludescher, Douglas Bolster2, YiFang Chu2, Yongsoo Chung2, Jodee Johnson2, Michael A. Rogers3

Department of Food Science, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, 2PepsiCo, Inc., Barrington, Illinois, USA, 3Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Abstract

Milk protein concentrate (MPC: 0, 5, and 10 g) was added to two commercially available oat products (instant oats and steel-cut oats) to examine how MPC addition, and consequent changes in meal formulation, manipulates both gastric lumen viscosity and intestinal carbohydrate-digestion kinetics, in vitro. We used the TNO Intestinal Model-1 (TIM-1) to simulate gastrointestinal digestion of the oats-based meals. Meals containing 5 or 10 g MPC yielded significantly less total bioaccessible sugar compared with those containing 0 g MPC, whereas the rate of starch digestion was significantly higher in meals containing 5 or 10 g of MPC. The TIM-1 was coupled with fluorescence spectroscopy and a luminescent molecular rotor to report changes in gastric viscosity in situ, showing that the gastric viscosity was higher in the meals containing MPC. Those findings suggest that MPC in oats-based meals significantly modifies the kinetics of carbohydrate digestion and increases gastric viscosity.


   Hematology Profile of Naeemi Sheep Under Different Management Systems in Kuwait Top


F. Khalil, S. Abbas, G. Ragheb, Sh. Al-Qalaf, Z. Al-Ballam, A. E. Omar Faten Khalil

Senior Research Associate, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Fresh red meat industry in Kuwait has faced a lot of constrains, which led to cover only 10% of the estimated meat consumption of 90,000 t. Most of the limitations are due to extreme aridity and low-to-modest reproductive performance of small livestock. Naeemi is one of the three local sheep breeds and is the most preferable one in Kuwait. The Naeemi sheep have been well adapted to the feedlot and the hot arid environment of Kuwait and adjoining Gulf region and are producing highly desirable lambs and mutton. Although there has been an extensive amount of research evaluating different production parameters and the performance of improved breeds of Naeemi sheep in recent years, the information regarding hematological and blood biochemical reference values is lacking, especially under Kuwait’s arid condition. In recent years, hematological tests were widely used for diagnosing serious diseases and assess nutritional, physiological, and immunological baseline data status of livestock. This study focuses on establishing hematological baseline data for local Naeemi sheep breed raised under Kuwait’s intensive management system and investigates the factors that affect their values such as season, sex, age, and production cycle. The data of the experiment were collected from Naeemi sheep raised at the KISR is Agriculture Research Station in Kabd. The results showed that the hematology parameters of Naeemi sheep were affected by the seasons, stage of production, and growth.


   Nutritional Status of Prelaparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) Patients in Kuwait Top


Aliaa Al-Mutawa, Alfred Anderson, Salman Al-Sabah, Mohammad Al-Mutawa

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Obesity is a global epidemic, particularly affecting the Kuwaiti population. Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for morbid obesity. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) surgery is becoming more popular nowadays. To provide better healthcare management pre and post-LSG surgery, it is imperative to establish the nutritional status of prospective patients before surgery. The aim of this study was to assess and provide baseline data on the nutritional status of LSG candidates before bariatric surgery. A retrospective study was conducted on obese patients who underwent LSG surgery from 2008 to 2015 at Al-Amiri Hospital, Kuwait. The medical records of 1538 patients were reviewed for this study. Main outcomes included albumin, transferrin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, red blood cell, hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, ferritin, iron, and transferrin saturation. Preoperatively, the most commonly observed vitamin deficiencies were vitamin D (76%) and vitamin B12 (16%). Other B vitamins including B1, B2, B6, and folate showed negligible deficiency prevalence before surgery. Anemia and iron status parameters were low in a considerable number of patients before surgery: hemoglobin 20%, MCV 48%, ferritin 28%, serum iron 51%, and transferrin saturation 60%. Albumin and transferrin as indicators for protein status were found to be low in 10% and 9% of the patients, respectively, prior to LSG. Beside deficiencies, a great number of patients had hypervitaminosis pre-LSG. Excess level of vitamin B6 (24%) was the most remarkable. The findings in this study advocate for a close monitoring and tailored supplementation pre- and post-LSG surgery in Kuwait.


   Ternary Phase Diagram of β-Sitosterol–γ-Oryzanol–Canola Oil Top


Fatemah M. AlHasawi, Michael A. Rogers

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Life Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

β-Sitosterol and γ-oryzanol have been shown to form unique structures in canola oil that have the potential to act as saturated and trans fat replacers.(1-7) The ternary phase, reported herein, illustrates numerous interesting physical systems. At high canola oil ratios with low β-sitosterol and γ-oryzanol concentrations, the system has a crystal structure capable of mimicking fat crystal networks. Four mesophases are identified based on Bragg’s ratios using small angle X-ray scattering. Two mesophases are lamellar crystals, one is the cubic P phase, and the fourth is an amorphous material due to the low solids content. Wide-angle X-ray further subcategorized the phases based on polymorphic divisions of the hydrocarbon side chain packing. In all, six distinct phases are reported, ranging from lamellar crystals to liquid crystals to what appears to be a lipid glass.


   Women’s Preference on Birthplace and Mode of Delivery in Kuwait Top


Azah Al-Rashidi, Ameerah Al-Saqobi, Dhuha Al-Ajmi, Haneen Al-Sayegh, Malak Al-Azimi, Noora Al-Abdali, Abdullah Al-Taiar1

Sixth Year Medical Students at Kuwait University, 1Department of Community Medicine and Behavioral Science, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Delivery by cesarean section (CS) is increasing worldwide. No obvious clinical indications can explain this increase. Pregnant women’s preference and request for CS has been proposed to be a major cause for the increase in CS. No study in Arab countries has assessed the preference of CS among pregnant women. This study aims to assess the preference of pregnant women in Kuwait in relation to mode of delivery and birthplace, in addition to investigate factors associated with these preferences. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 460 Arabic-speaking pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in both public and private hospitals in Kuwait. We used a face-to-face interview with a structured questionnaire to collect data on preference of mode of delivery, birthplace, and associated factors. Factors associated with the preference of CS were assessed using multiple logistic regression. Results: The preference of pregnant women for CS was 12% (95% CI: 9.1%–15.3%), and the main reason for this choice was fear of labor pain. If they could choose, 68% (95% CI: 63.6%–72.3%) of pregnant women preferred delivery at private hospitals, and the most common reason for their preference was the care and attention provided. Factors that were significantly associated with preference of CS in multivariate analysis are delivery of the last child in a public hospital or having previous CS (P = 0.008 and P < 0.001, respectively), having type 1 or 2 diabetes (P = 0.023), and perceptions of pregnant women on the safety of CS for mothers and children. Conclusion: Approximately, one in every 10 pregnant women in Kuwait prefers delivery by CS if they could choose. Fear of labor pain should be addressed among pregnant women to reduce preference of CS. Efforts should be made to rationalize the first CS in women, because it perpetuates CS in subsequent pregnancies.


   Evaluation of Free-living Nitrogen-fixing Bacteria in Kuwait Desert Soil Top


M. K. Suleiman, A. M. Quoreshi, A. J. Manuvel, M. T. Sivadasan

Desert Agriculture and Ecosystems Program, Environment & Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

The aims of this research were to isolate and identify potential free-living nitrogen-fixing indigenous bacteria from the rhizospheric soil of Farsetia aegyptia and to evaluate the seedling growth and nutrient uptake of F. aegyptia when inoculated with the selected N2-fixing bacterial strains using two growing media, such as desert soil and potting mix soil under greenhouse conditions. Native plants are well adapted to the resident climatic condition and hence play an important role in the restoration of Kuwait’s desert ecosystem. F. aegyptia is one of the key Kuwait’s native plants that are tolerant to drought and arid condition and hence selected for this study. Kuwait desert is one of the dry and hot regions of the Arabian Peninsula with extremely low in organic matter and nitrogen. As the plants require nitrogen, the key plant nutrient for their growth and development, these free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria may contribute the process of fixing atmospheric nitrogen in to the soil and make the nitrogen be readily available for the plants. The purpose of this evaluation was to perceive whether the indigenous free-living bacteria could enhance the growth and nutrient uptake of F. aegyptia before using them as biofertilizer in large-scale inoculum studies. In this study, we successfully isolated a number of rhizospheric bacterial strains. The primary and secondary screening for nitrogen fixation through color change in nitrogen-free malate media and acetylene reduction assay respectively proved that the isolated bacterial strains had the nitrogen-fixing ability. The inoculation experiment in greenhouse demonstrated a significant difference in the plant height, stem diameter, and dry biomass in the inoculated seedlings when compared to noninoculated seedlings. Our results suggest that the free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria may have played a role in the seedling growth and development in the current experimental settings.


   Life Cycle in Subtropical Strains of Ciguatera-Related Dinoflagellate Fukuyoa yasumotoi Top


Maria Saburova, Igor Polikarpov

Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Abstract

Life history of benthic toxigenic ciguatera-related dinoflagellates are poorly understood and very little is known about resting cysts formation in Coolia, Ostreopsis, and Gambierdiscus sensu lato. The life cycle of the toxic dinoflagellate Fukuyoa yasumotoi (Holmes) Gómez, Qiu, Lopes & Lin 2015 (syn. Gambierdiscus yasumotoi) isolated from subtropical area was described for the first time under laboratory conditions. Both homothallic and heterothallic strains were observed, though in monoclonal strains zygote formation occurred less frequently. Species was isogamous, producing smaller than vegetative cells thecate gametes in dense populations in nutrient-depleted growth medium. Fusion of gametes resulted in long-lived motile planozygote with two longitudinal flagella, which enlarged and became heavily pigmented and more laterally compressed when mature. Mature planozygotes settled on the bottom and developed into distinct hypnozygote resting cysts. Cysts were attached to the bottom laterally, roughly oval in shape and lenticular in side view, with a thick 2-layer wall surrounded with mucilage. After dormancy (from 7 to 16 days up to more than 2 months), cyst germination released large naked globular planomeiocyte with two long-trailing flagella; it slowly rotated around outer edge of the empty cysts forming doughnut-shaped mucilage envelope. Inside this envelope, two meiotic divisions followed by mitosis within a few days resulting in a total of eight daughter cells that finally released. The revealed capacity of F. yasumotoi to form resting cysts may be advantageous for survival of this tropical species in the northernmost limits of its geographic range along the southern Kuwait’s shore during winter temperature decline.


   Municipal Organic Wastes as Organic Amendments in Agricultural Soils: Effects on Corn Yield and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Top


Hicham Benslim, Joann K. Whalen, Maren Oelbermann1

Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, 1School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Abstract

Disposal of municipal organic wastes in landfills is associated with multiple environmental issues leading to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, and air and water contamination. Instead, these materials can be processed to produce an organic matter- and nutrient-rich soil amendment that enhances soil health and crop productivity. This also reduces the need to apply mineral fertilizers to agricultural land, reducing GHG emissions. Judicious use of organic amendments is also expected to increase soil carbon sequestration, which buffers the abiotic stress associated with climate change. This objective of this project is to evaluate how such organic amendments can contribute to crop production and soil health. This will provide the municipal organic waste recycling industry and agricultural producers with sustainable options that can promote adequate nitrogen (N) fertilization of crops. Three organic amendments were tested in this work: composted food waste, lime-stabilized organic residuals, and anaerobically digested residuals. These organic amendments were applied to agricultural soil and compared for their ability to support maize (Zea mays L.) production, relative to conventional NPK fertilizer, in replicated field trials in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. The impacts of these materials on corn growth, corn yield, and GHG emissions during the growing season was measured. The relative N fertilizer value of organic amendments was determined. We will discuss the potential for using organic amendments as N fertilizer on farms in Quebec and Ontario, Canada.


   Salicylic Acid Alleviates Environmental and Nutritional Risks of Cadmium on Wheat Top


Azita Behnam, Hossein Abbaspour, Akbar Safipour Afshar1

Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, 1Department of Biology, Neyshabur Branch, Islamic Azad University, Neyshabur, Iran

Abstract

Nowadays environmental pollution by heavy metals is one of the most important concerns in human life. Cadmium (Cd) is known as one of the most dangerous heavy metal due to its high mobility and dynamism in the soil, easy absorption by plant cells, significant toxicity, biological half-life of about 20 years, and pathogenicity in human beings. Cd causes many morphological, physiological, biochemical, and structural changes in the plant, and therefore, strongly affect the production of biomass and ultimately, it can cause plant deaths. By eating polluted agricultural products, the Cd accumulates in kidneys, and if it is absorbed very much in the diet, it can lead to kidney damage and bone fracture, such as osteoporosis. The Cd is often added to agricultural soils and crops through phosphorus fertilizers and other sources such as pesticides and mining and is accumulated in the plants. So the Cd is a main threat to food safety and security. Wheat (Triticumaestivum L.), the most widely grown crop in the world, accumulates more Cd than other common grains. Hormones play a major role in the pathways of Cd stress. The salicylic acid (SA) is a major secondary message in plants that plays a major role in activating defense genes in response to pathogens. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of SA on some biochemical properties of wheat, under Cd stress to increase the resistance of this plant to the toxic effects of Cd. The results showed that Cd, in particular at the concentration of 300 µM, reduced the growth parameters of the plant and increased the accumulation of this metal in the root and stem by 25 and 19 times more, respectively. In addition, the highest bioaccumulation of Cd was at the concentration of 100-µM Cd in the root and 300-µM Cd in the stem, which reached 50 and 14 times more, respectively. The transfer factor of Cd was also less than one, indicating the inappropriateness of this plant for phytoremediation. The SA spray on the plants under stress of Cd improved the growth parameters of the plant and increased these parameters from 13% to 63%. The results showed that Cd stress reduced root length to 30% to 50%, fresh and dry weight of shoot and fresh and dry weight of root. SA spray had significant positive effects on plant growth traits. The relative water content of the plant also increased two times. The SA treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the Cd accumulation in the stem up to 64 times more. Application 0.5-mM SA treatment reduced the bioaccumulation by zero at the concentration of 200-µM Cd in the stem. In general, this hormone at low concentrations of Cd stress (100, 200 µM) reduced the Cd accumulation in the wheat seedling.


   The Development of Speech Perception in Elementary-School-Aged Children With Generalized Learning Difficulties (GLD): Are Students With GLD Ready for Acquiring Reading and Writing? Top


Krisztina Zajdó

Special Education/Speech-Language Pathology, Széchenyi István University, Győr, Hungary

Abstract

To evaluate readiness for acquiring literacy, we examined the development of speech perception abilities that constitute preliteracy skills in children with general learning difficulties (GLD), including children with mild intellectual impairment. Often children from economically and socially disadvantaged homes and children with mild intellectual impairment are characterized by learning skills that are fairly comparable. Thus, these children are often educated in shared classrooms. Taken together, these two groups make up approximately 15% of all school-aged children in Hungary (out of these, only 3% are characterized by mild intellectual impairment). Among other skills, their cognitive and communicative abilities are underdeveloped as compared to typically developing (TD) peers. However, there is a paucity of data pertaining to the acquisition of communicative skills in this population. We tested general speech perception skills in 120 children with GLD (from grades 1 through 8; 15 children from each grade) and 120 TD children (from grades 1 through 8; 15 children from each grade). The GLD children were educated in segregated environments in special schools, whereas the control group participants studied in mainstream school environments. Children were schooled in elementary schools in Northwest Hungary. In the word-recognition in noise task, GLD students overall underperformed significantly (XGLDavg = 76.41%, SD = 19.26 vs. XTDavg = 86.33%, SD = 8.97; t(168.34) = −5.11, P < 0.0001). GLD students produced similar results to TD peers in word recognition in noise in the higher grades (5–7), but they underperformed in the lower ones (1–3) and 8th grade. Overall, there was a gradual process of catching up in this respect. Next, we examined sentence-recognition in noise skills [XGLDavg = 48.08%, SD = 31.06 vs. XTDavg = 79.16%, SD = 15.74, t(238) = −9.77, P < 0.0001]. These results suggest that sentence recognition constitutes a much greater challenge than the previous task for children with GLD. Third, we tested filtered-speech recognition skills where speech was filtered by low and high-pass filters at the same time where the end-result mimics telephone-conversation speech sample quality. Overall achievement levels indicated that this was a difficult task for the target but not the control group (XGLDavg = 55.50%, SD = 28.10 vs. XTDavg = 87.41%, SD = 12.73, t(165,90) = −11.33, P < 0.0001). Finally, we tested accelerated speech perception skills by using speech samples that were accelerated in the speed of delivery by 20%. Results show that GLD children can hardly cope with this task (XGLDavg = 29.83%, SD = 27.62 vs. XTDavg = 66.58%, SD = 19.25, t(212,53) = −11.95, P < 0.0001). Overall, the results of the speech perception tests show that GLD children develop in their speech perception skills greatly during the elementary school years, but their overall delay in general speech perception skills is quite substantial (they are 4–5 school years behind their TD peers). Reading and writing instruction for GLD children cannot be successful without taking into consideration this delay in speech perception skills.




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