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.
Neri F.,University of Malta
AI Communications | Year: 2012
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.
Camilleri J.,University of Malta
Dental Materials | Year: 2011
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.
Cauchi R.J.,University of Malta
BioEssays | Year: 2010
Gemins 2-8 and Unr-interacting protein (UNRIP) are intimate partners of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, which is the determining factor for the neuromuscular disorder spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The most documented role of SMN, Gemins and UNRIP occurs within the large macromolecular SMN complex and involves the cytoplasmic assembly of spliceosomal uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (UsnRNPs), a housekeeping process critical in all cells. Several reports detailing alternative functions for SMN in either motor neurons or skeletal muscles may, however, hold the answer to the extreme neuromuscular tissue specificity observed in SMA. Recent discoveries indicate that collaboration between SMN and Gemins also extends to these non-canonical functions, hence raising the possibility that mutations in Gemin genes may be the cause of unlinked neuromuscular hereditary syndromes. This review evaluates the functions of Gemins and UNRIP inside the SMN complex and discusses whether these less notorious SMN complex members are capable of acting independently of SMN. © 2010 WILEY Periodicals, Inc..
Borg J.,University of Malta
Nature genetics | Year: 2010
Hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) is characterized by persistent high levels of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) in adults. Several contributory factors, both genetic and environmental, have been identified but others remain elusive. HPFH was found in 10 of 27 members from a Maltese family. We used a genome-wide SNP scan followed by linkage analysis to identify a candidate region on chromosome 19p13.12-13. Sequencing revealed a nonsense mutation in the KLF1 gene, p.K288X, which ablated the DNA-binding domain of this key erythroid transcriptional regulator. Only family members with HPFH were heterozygous carriers of this mutation. Expression profiling on primary erythroid progenitors showed that KLF1 target genes were downregulated in samples from individuals with HPFH. Functional assays suggested that, in addition to its established role in regulating adult globin expression, KLF1 is a key activator of the BCL11A gene, which encodes a suppressor of HbF expression. These observations provide a rationale for the effects of KLF1 haploinsufficiency on HbF levels.