Research and Development Division

Islamabad, Pakistan

Research and Development Division

Islamabad, Pakistan
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News Article | May 5, 2017

Thailand'sTrang Aquaculture Cooperative has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote large-scale white shrimp farming sustainably, Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF) said in a release. The MoU transfers techniques under CPF's “3 Clean” principles, which helped Kung Kraben Fisheries Cooperative in Chanthaburi province sustainably tackle shrimp diseases and boost output. Supon Tansuwan, director of the Fisheries Department’s Coastal Aquaculture Research and Development Division, said the MoU between Trang Aquaculture Cooperative, the government sector and private companies like CPF is aimed at ensuring sustainability among small shrimp farmers in Trang province. "Under the MoU, CPF’s advanced knowledge and farming technology can help boost shrimp farming efficiency, reduce the cost of production, increase output and ensure high-quality and contamination-free products that are in demand. Meanwhile, through its environmental-friendly farming system, CPF will better equip farmers with knowledge to cope with changes and long-term competition," the release said.

News Article | May 8, 2017

HONG KONG, May 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the EU's introduction of REACH regulations, many petroleum and chemical companies still do not have a full picture of how these regulations will affect their business. Some companies have adopted a wait-and-see approach, waiting for others to take the lead. This decision may, however, mean that they miss out on the best opportunity to act. In the worst-case scenario they may run into difficulties exporting their products to the EU after 2018, and lose an important international market. The EU began implementing REACH regulations in 2007, with May 31, 2018 being the final deadline. Under the rules, any companies that manufacture or import more than one ton of chemical substances within EU territory each year must perform REACH registration by an EU importer or non-EU manufacturer to designate their Only Representative (OR). Chi Mei Corporation (CMC) is one of the best-known plastics and chemical companies in Taiwan. Founded in 1960 by Mr. Wen-Long Shi, Chi Mei was the first Taiwanese company to manufacture acrylic panels and ABS resin. The firm's product focus includes polymers such as plastics and rubber, and Chi Mei now has more than half a century of experience in the production and development of rubber and plastics. It has also expanded into the development and manufacture of key opto-electronics materials in recent years, supplying light guides, electronic chemical products, and fluorescent powders. Chi Mei is now the largest supplier of ABS resin, PMMA resin, and light guides in the world. Chi Mei product exports to Europe mainly consist of raw materials intended for use in commercial machinery, electronic parts, and homeware. Research and compliance with REACH registration requirements was a long and involved process at Chi Mei, with many difficulties encountered and significant coordination required with both up- and downstream vendors. REACH regulations require a registered entity for polymers. Due to the number of chemicals requiring registration at Chi Mei, if all were to be registered directly to Chi Mei the costs involved would be extremely high. And if Chi Mei were REACH-compliant while its supply chain was not, this would also lead to many problems with future European exports. The type of registration therefore has a very long-term impact, and any changes in the future will only be more expensive. After giving the issue much thought, Manager Chien-Chung Wu — who was in charge of the project in 2007— secured approval from the top management to begin the planning and preparation process. When asked how a decision was reached so quickly on such a complex issue involving far-reaching effects, Wu—an expert at problem analysis and solution—revealed that support from the top played a critical role. "At the time, my superiors didn't ask questions such as: 'Will REACH cost the company money? Will this project fail? What if registration fails?' They only wanted to know if going through with this would contribute to social responsibility and protecting the planet." This high level of support gave Wu greater confidence in taking the first step towards REACH compliance. Based on his many years of experience and understanding of RoHS, Wu knew that REACH and RoHS are based on such common values as the safety of planet Earth and social commitment. This was something that had to be done, no matter how difficult. Sharing the same business culture meant that building consensus and reaching decisions were achieved very quickly within Chi Mei. Doing the same with up- and downstream vendors, however, promised to be an uphill battle. The REACH strategy at Chi Mei was to work with suppliers to achieve REACH compliance together. In other words, it was the responsibility of upstream raw-material suppliers to apply for registration. Upstream suppliers and their OR would issue the tonnage coverage certificate to cover the export of its products to Europe. This would satisfy the expectation of Chi Mei's overseas customers that their sole obligations would be as users. Securing the support of the supply chain meant a long battle, with a great deal of communication. Each supplier varied in terms of attitude, structure, and owner units. Stakeholders did not really understand the issue in its entirety, thereby necessitating much back-and-forth. Eventually, Chi Mei decided to get on the same page with the supply chain by starting with communication of the REACH spirit and the collective society concept. "If you treat REACH as a trade barrier, you will then feel you are being pressured, but if you treat it as your social responsibility for human health and environmental protection, it will give you a sense of purpose, and you will then cooperate with REACH because it is your sacred trust." These are the forceful words of Project Manager Cindy Chen from the Intellectual Property Department. The complexity of REACH regulations means multiple departments are involved at any one time. This is before taking all the different suppliers into account. It is therefore not easy for everyone to understand every aspect of the process, from purchasing to QC and sales. This led to Chi Mei's decision to introduce TUV Rheinland's REACH supply-chain management service in 2014. Active communication with raw-material suppliers is used to secure tonnage coverage certificates, with TUV Rheinland retained to provide independent auditing of product quantities, composition, and supplier certification. In addition to ensuring product compliance, TUV Rheinland also helps vendors systematically organize and preserve the information required under REACH regulations. TUV Rheinland's Luxcontrol in Luxemburg is a qualified OR that not only assists with the systematic preservation of data for future audits by EU organizations, but also provides Chi Mei customers with the independent certifications they need. "We once spent a lot of effort on upstream communication, but TUV Rheinland has made it easy to communicate with our supply chain. Now, if any supplier or customer is uncertain about REACH regulations or their tonnage certification, we tell them to talk to TUV Rheinland," says Manager Chen, praising TUV Rheinland's assistance to Chi Mei with REACH supply-chain management. Some people in the industry mistakenly believe that they can satisfy REACH requirements by buying raw materials with REACH registration from others and getting a free ride on exports to Europe. In reality, registered raw materials from upstream suppliers does not mean the supplier is willing to cover the customer's usage from their registered quantity. This means that registration codes are now often used without authorization, but this unauthorized use may lead to future problems with rights infringement or transactions. Chi Mei still remembers how purchasing personnel went to great lengths to secure tonnage-coverage certification information from upstream suppliers for the first time. It turned out that there were still problems with over 90% of the documents, which was a great blow for the purchasing staff. Nevertheless, they knew that failure was not an option for the REACH program; Chi Mei personnel had no choice but to buckle down and keep going. At this time, they decided to take a two-pronged approach. The first would be improved internal training, and the second would be more aggressive communication when purchasing from upstream suppliers, or finding replacement suppliers. After much effort from everyone involved, 100% compliance was achieved in the second year. When Chi Mei's largest EU customer came to visit, its representatives had many doubts about Chi Mei's REACH compliance. When Chi Mei provided its certification and briefed the team on the current state of REACH compliance, the customer was able to continue placing orders. At the same time, once Chi Mei found suppliers willing to handle the registration obligations, this made the rest of the program easier to implement as well. The unobstructed sales channels will in turn benefit both the upstream and downstream components of the Chi Mei supply chain in the future. The Power of Belief: The Mindset for Success The success of REACH supply-chain management at Chi Mei has been a combination of three factors: 1. Understanding of REACH regulations; 2. Familiarity with the petrochemical industry product chain; 3. Consensus and commitment to REACH among upstream and downstream vendors. Wu says that, "The quantity of Chi Mei exports to Europe wasn't really large enough to require our own local OR in Europe. TUV Rheinland Taiwan is a European company that understands REACH regulations. It also understands the language of our petrochemical industry, and can also engage in localized communication. They are therefore a far better option than training our own European experts, especially if you take language and petrochemical expertise into account." "Many companies don't really understand REACH regulations, and haven't really analyzed their own situation. They only look for help once a buyer expresses interest," notes TUV Rheinland Taiwan Industrial Services Div. Project Manager Li-fang Su. Looking at Chi Mei's difficulties in the first year and success in the second year, Su offers the following tip for successful REACH implementation: "A business should first establish the scope of impact, such as their product portfolio, sales, and raw-material supply. Internal, supplier, and customer discussions should then take place with thought given to their future entry strategy. A good start is half the battle." Being able to face a difficult challenge with a positive attitude and remain true to social ideals comes from knowing the exact nature of the problem. Chi Mei knows, as an established name in chemical engineering, that its understanding of chemical impacts and potential hazards means proper management of chemicals is the company's responsibility. Vice President, Research and Development Division Perry Hsueh offers the following experience for the consideration of other vendors: "The decision on whether to adopt REACH should not be based on the size of the market. It should depend on the level of commitment to social responsibility. It is an embodiment of corporate culture and spirit." TUV Rheinland provides a comprehensive range of REACH services, including SVHC testing, Only Representative (OR) services, REACH supply-chain management, and safety data sheet (SDS) preparation services. TUV Rheinland can provide Taiwanese companies with localized communications on REACH registration. Luxcontrol, a TUV Rheinland subsidiary located in Luxemburg, serves as the EU OR. It can therefore provide long-term guarantees and assistance on REACH.

Zhu M.,Computational Psychometrics Research Center | Liu O.L.,Research and Development Division | Mao L.,Marketing Research Assoc | Pallant A.,Concord Consortium
ISEC 2016 - Proceedings of the 6th IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference | Year: 2016

In formative assessment, constructed response questions are typically used for scientific argumentation, but students seldom receive timely feedback while answering these questions. The development of natural language processing (NLP) techniques makes it possible for the researchers using an automated scoring engine to provide real-time feedback to students. As is true for any new technology, it is still unclear how automated scoring and feedback may impact learning in scientific argumentation. In this study, we analyze log data to examine the granularity of students' interactions with automated scores and feedback and investigate the association between various students' behaviors and their science performance. We first recovered and visualize the pattern of students navigating through the argumentation items. Preliminary analyses show that most students did make use of the automated feedback. Checking feedback and making revisions also improved students' final scores in most cases. We also cluster the activity sequences extracted from the time-stamped event log to explore patterns in students' behavior. © 2016 IEEE.

Martin A.,Research and Development Division | Benhamadouche S.,Research and Development Division | Bezdikian G.,Electricit de France | Beaud F.,SEPTEN | Lestang F.,SEPTEN
Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology, Transactions of the ASME | Year: 2011

Integrity evaluation methods for nuclear reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) under pressurized thermal shock (PTS) loading are applied by French Utility. They are based on the analysis of the behavior of relatively shallow cracks under loading PTS conditions due to the emergency cooling during small break loss of coolant accident (SBLOCA) transients. This paper presents the research and development program started at EDF on the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) determination of the cooling phenomena of a PWR vessel during a pressurized thermal shock. The numerical results are obtained with the thermal-hydraulic tool Code-Saturne, in combination with the thermal-solid code SYRTHES to take into account the coupled effect of heat transfer between the fluid flow and the vessel. Based on the global and local thermal-hydraulic analysis of a small break loss of coolant accident transient, this paper presents mainly a parametric study that helps to understand the main phenomena that can lead to better estimating the margin factors. The geometry studied represents a third of a PWR pressure vessel, and the configuration investigated is related to the injection of cold water in the vessel during a SBLOCA transient. Conservative initial and boundary conditions for the CFD calculation are derived from the global thermal-hydraulic analysis. Both the fluid behavior and its impact on the solid part formed by cladding and base metal are considered. The main purpose of the numerical thermal-hydraulic studies is to accurately estimate the distribution of fluid temperature in the downcomer and the heat transfer coefficients on the inner RPV surface for a fracture mechanics computation, which will subsequently assess the associated RPV safety margin factors. © 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Powell-Jackson T.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Ansah E.K.,Research and Development Division
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2015

Social networks provide a channel through which health policies and programmes can affect those with close social ties to the intended beneficiaries. We provide experimental evidence on the indirect effects of heavily subsidised healthcare. By exploiting data on 2151 households from a randomised study conducted in a rural district of Ghana in 2005, we estimate the extent to which social networks, defined by religion, influence the uptake of primary care services. We find that people socially connected to households with subsidised care are less likely to use primary care services despite the fact that the direct effect of the intervention is positive. We extend the empirical analysis to consider the implications of these changes in behaviour for welfare but find no evidence of indirect effects on child health and healthcare spending. In the context of this study, the findings highlight the potential for healthcare subsidies to have unintended consequences. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Research and Development Division
Type: | Journal: Social science & medicine (1982) | Year: 2015

Social networks provide a channel through which health policies and programmes can affect those with close social ties to the intended beneficiaries. We provide experimental evidence on the indirect effects of heavily subsidised healthcare. By exploiting data on 2151 households from a randomised study conducted in a rural district of Ghana in 2005, we estimate the extent to which social networks, defined by religion, influence the uptake of primary care services. We find that people socially connected to households with subsidised care are less likely to use primary care services despite the fact that the direct effect of the intervention is positive. We extend the empirical analysis to consider the implications of these changes in behaviour for welfare but find no evidence of indirect effects on child health and healthcare spending. In the context of this study, the findings highlight the potential for healthcare subsidies to have unintended consequences.

PubMed | Kitasato University, Biotech Center, University of Tsukuba, Research and Development Division and Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in microbiology | Year: 2015

Amebiasis is a common worldwide diarrheal disease, caused by the protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica. Metronidazole has been a drug of choice against amebiasis for decades despite its known side effects and low efficacy against asymptomatic cyst carriers. E. histolytica is also capable of surviving sub-therapeutic levels of metronidazole in vitro. Novel drugs with different mode of action are therefore urgently needed. The sulfur assimilatory de novo L-cysteine biosynthetic pathway is essential for various cellular activities, including the proliferation and anti-oxidative defense of E. histolytica. Since the pathway, consisting of two reactions catalyzed by serine acetyltransferase (SAT) and cysteine synthase (CS, O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase), does not exist in humans, it is a rational drug target against amebiasis. To discover inhibitors against the CS of E. histolytica (EhCS), the compounds of Kitasato Natural Products Library were screened against two recombinant CS isozymes: EhCS1 and EhCS3. Nine compounds inhibited EhCS1 and EhCS3 with IC50 values of 0.31-490 M. Of those, seven compounds share a naphthoquinone moiety, indicating the structural importance of the moiety for binding to the active site of EhCS1 and EhCS3. We further screened >9,000 microbial broths for CS inhibition and purified two compounds, xanthofulvin and exophillic acid from fungal broths. Xanthofulvin inhibited EhCS1 and EhCS3. Exophillic acid showed high selectivity against EhCS1, but exhibited no inhibition against EhCS3. In vitro anti-amebic activity of the 11 EhCS inhibitors was also examined. Deacetylkinamycin C and nanaomycin A showed more potent amebicidal activity with IC50 values of 18 and 0.8 M, respectively, in the cysteine deprived conditions. The differential sensitivity of trophozoites against deacetylkinamycin C in the presence or absence of L-cysteine in the medium and the IC50 values against EhCS suggest the amebicidal effect of deacetylkinamycin C is due to CS inhibition.

Syed F.S.,COMSATS Institute of Information Technology | Iqbal W.,Research and Development Division | Syed A.A.B.,Research and Development Division | Rasul G.,Research and Development Division
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2014

The uncertainties in the regional climate models (RCMs) are evaluated by analyzing the driving global data of ERA40 reanalysis and ECHAM5 general circulation models, and the downscaled data of two RCMs (RegCM4 and PRECIS) over South-Asia for the present day simulation (1971-2000) of South-Asian summer monsoon. The differences between the observational datasets over South-Asia are also analyzed. The spatial and the quantitative analysis over the selected climatic regions of South-Asia for the mean climate and the inter-annual variability of temperature, precipitation and circulation show that the RCMs have systematic biases which are independent from different driving datasets and seems to come from the physics parameterization of the RCMs. The spatial gradients and topographically-induced structure of climate are generally captured and simulated values are within a few degrees of the observed values. The biases in the RCMs are not consistent with the biases in the driving fields and the models show similar spatial patterns after downscaling different global datasets. The annual cycle of temperature and rainfall is well simulated by the RCMs, however the RCMs are not able to capture the inter-annual variability. ECHAM5 is also downscaled for the future (2071-2100) climate under A1B emission scenario. The climate change signal is consistent between ECHAM5 and RCMs. There is warming over all the regions of South-Asia associated with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and the increase in summer mean surface air temperature by the end of the century ranges from 2.5 to 5 °C, with maximum warming over north western parts of the domain and 30 % increase in rainfall over north eastern India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Zahid M.,Research and Development Division | Rasul G.,Research and Development Division
Climatic Change | Year: 2012

Extreme events have gained considerable scientific attention recently due to their potentially catastrophic impacts. Heat waves are thought to be more pronounced now in most parts of the world, and especially in South Asia, but doubts remain. The aim of this study is to calculate the frequency and intensity of heat waves in South Asia, focusing on Pakistan and identifying the regions within Pakistan that are most vulnerable to heat waves. Analyses have been performed both at provincial and country levels from 1961 to 2009. The provincial level analysis shows positive trends for heat waves of magnitudes ≥40°C and ≥45°C for 5 and 7 consecutive days. Events of magnitude ≥40°C and ≥45°C for 10 consecutive days also increased in frequency in Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan. These regions are therefore considered to be the regions most vulnerable to heat wave events in Pakistan. The Balochistan region shows a consistently increasing trend throughout the study period, which may lead to more frequent drought in the future. The country level analysis indicates an increase in the frequency of 5 and 7 consecutive days heat waves at all defined temperature thresholds. The 10-days heat waves spells show a slight increase at ≥40°C and no significant change at ≥45°C. The Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir areas reported no events at ≥45°C for 5, 7 and 10 continuous days. It is anticipated that with a long term rise in temperatures around the globe, heat waves will become more frequent and intense in all parts of the world, including Pakistan. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Al-Juboori A.T.,Research and Development Division | Mohammed M.,Animal Health Division | Rashid J.,Animal Health Division | Kurian J.,Animal Health Division | El Refaey S.,Animal Health Division
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2013

The camel (Camelus dromedarius) is of significant socio-economic importance in the United Arab Emirates and its milk constitutes an important component of human diets in this country. In the present study, the analysis of nutritional value and medicinal properties of camel milk was recorded. The mean values of the main components monitored (g per 100 g) were: density (1.024±0.0021), pH values (6.67±0.059), moisture (88.96±1.222), proteins (3.71±0.16), fat (2.21±0.16), lactose (3.36±0.25), ash (0.48±0.05) and total solids (11.26±0.69). The overall mean values (%) were 14.65±7.70 for iron, 8.19±0.01 for zinc, 0.42±0.02 for copper, 0.19±0.01 for potassium, 0.14±0.02 for sodium, 0.11± 0.02 for calcium, 0.05±0.01 for phosphorus and 0.03±0.02 for sulphur. Camel milk is highly nutritious and is very suitable for human nutritional requirements. Camel milk is safe for consumption by human babies. However, be advised that camel milk is saltier than human and cow milk. Camel milk is richer in iron, zinc, copper, potassium, sodium, calcium and vitamin C than cow milk which makes it closer to human breast-milk than cow milk. The fat content of camel milk consisting of unsaturated fatty acids, volatile fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid, makes the milk more digestible and more cardiovascular friendly. Camel milk also has valuable therapeutic properties as it contains a high concentration of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic compounds and these help fight serious diseases like hepatitis, Rota viral diarrhoea, tuberculosis, and shistosomiasis. Also, camel milk has been used therapeutically against certain types of cancer, diabetes, colitis, autism and Crohn's disease. Camel's milk can be considered an option for individuals intolerant to lactose and children allergic to cow's milk. © 2013 WIT Press.

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