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Imsida, Malta

The University of Malta is the highest educational institution in Malta. It offers undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, postgraduate Master's Degrees and postgraduate Doctorates . It is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. In post-nominals the university's name is abbreviated as Melit., a shortened form of Melita . Wikipedia.

Borg M.A.,University of Malta
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Year: 2014

Objectives: Socio-cultural factors have been hypothesized to be important drivers for inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in ambulatory care. This study sought to assess any potential role in perioperative surgical prophylaxis (PAP) administered for >24 h (PAP > 24). Within hospitals, PAP continues to be administered for longer than 24 h, despite unequivocal evidence of ineffectiveness beyond this period. A recently published European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) point prevalence survey (PPS) has reported that in 70% of participating countries, PAP > 24 was administered in more than half of the surgical operations surveyed. Methods: Correlation and simple linear regression modelling was performed using the PAP > 24 proportions for the countries in the ECDC PPS report and the respective scores for the cultural construct of uncertainty avoidance (UA), as detailed by Hofstede. Results: Pearson correlation analysis produced a moderately strong coefficient ® of 0.50 (95% CI 0.16-0.74; P = 0.007). Simple regression yielded a model of PAP > 24 = 29.87 + 0.40UA (R2 = 0.25; P = 0.007). Conclusions: Cultural factors, namely UA, appear to be an important driver for PAP > 24. Any strategy aimed at improving prolonged PAP should be informed by clear knowledge of local socio-cultural barriers, so as to achieve the most successful intervention possible. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. Source

In the paper we show how L-FABS can be applied in a partial knowledge learning scenario or a full knowledge learning scenario to approximate financial time series. L-FABS combines agent-based simulation with machine learning to model the behavior of financial time series. We also discuss why Partial Knowledge and Full Knowledge learning scenario are relevant to the modeling of financial time series and how they can be used to assess the robustness of a modeling system for financial time series. In a Partial Knowledge learning setting usually only the initial conditions of the time series are provided, while in a Full Knowledge learning scenario any value of the financial time series is exploited as soon as it is available. An extensive experimental analysis of L-FABS is reported under a variety of financial time series and time frames. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Source

Cauchi R.J.,University of Malta
CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics | Year: 2014

The determining factor of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common motor neuron degenerative disease of childhood, is the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN and its Gemin associates form a complex that is indispensible for the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), which constitute the building blocks of spliceosomes. It is as yet unclear whether a decreased capacity of SMN in snRNP assembly, and, hence, transcriptome abnormalities, account for the specific neuromuscular phenotype in SMA. Across metazoa, the SMN-Gemins complex concentrates in multiple nuclear gems that frequently neighbour or overlap Cajal bodies. The number of gems has long been known to be a faithful indicator of SMN levels, which are linked to SMA severity. Intriguingly, a flurry of recent studies have revealed that depletion of this nuclear structure is also a signature feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease. This review discusses such a surprising crossover in addition to highlighting the most recent work on the intricate world of spliceosome building, which seems to be at the heart of motor neuron physiology and survival. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Formosa M.,University of Malta
Ageing and Society | Year: 2014

This paper discusses the origins and development of Universities of the Third Age (U3As) whilst also forwarding suggestions for possible roles, opportunities and directions in the future. The U3A has been rightly described as both an idea and movement, as each centre has a local foundation and relatively unique features. Whilst some U3As are attached to traditional universities and colleges, others are sturdily autonomous and wholly dependent on the efforts of volunteers. One also finds a variety of ethos, ranging from the provision of a traditional type of liberal-arts education, to the organisation of interest-group activities conducted through peer learning, to showing solidarity with vulnerable sectors of the older population. Academic commentaries on the U3A movement have been both supportive and critical. Whilst U3As have been lauded for leading older learners to improved levels of physical, cognitive, social and psychological wellbeing, other reports emphasise how many centres incorporate strong gender, social class, ageist and ethnic biases. One hopes that in future years the U3A movement will continue to be relevant to incoming cohorts of older adults by embracing a broader vision of learning, improving the quality of learning, instruction and curricula, as well as a wider participation agenda that caters for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive challenges. © Cambridge University Press . Source

Objectives: Investigation and characterization of the replacement of the Portland cement component in mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) with tricalcium silicate cement which is manufactured using the sol-gel method from pure raw materials. Methods: Tricalcium silicate and Portland cement were characterized by viewing under the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and surface imaging and elemental analysis with X-ray energy dispersive analysis (EDX), and by X-ray diffraction analysis with Rietveld refinement. In addition the hydration products of the material after 28 days of curing were evaluated by plotting atomic ratio plots from the EDX data. The cement leachate was evaluated for pH and chemical composition by inductively coupled plasma. Results: Portland cement was composed of 68% tricalcium silicate. The tricalcium silicate cement was 99% pure. On hydration both cements produced calcium silicate hydrate and calcium hydroxide. The calcium hydroxide was leached in solution with higher leaching in HBSS. The leaching of calcium hydroxide in solution resulted in an alkaline pH. The reaction of calcium with the phosphorus present in HBSS resulting in the deposition of calcium phosphate on the cement surface. Significance: Tricalcium silicate could prospectively replace the Portland cement component in MTA. © 2011 Academy of Dental Materials. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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