Research Title: ‎A Feature Model Based Configuration Reuse for Context-aware Systems‎
Author: Said Ahmad Ammar Ghoul, Published Year: 2021
Computers, Materials & Continua (‎Scopus, Q2), Under press
Faculty: Information Technology

Abstract: Most of Self-Adaptive Systems (SAS) use Feature Models (FMs) to represent their complex ‎architecture and benefit from reusing commonalities and variability information. However ‎triggering SAS reconfiguration process, each time a system needs to be adapted, continues to ‎cost time and effort. Current FM techniques have modelled SAS concepts, focusing on ‎representing and reusing elementary features without taking into consideration modelling and ‎reusing configurations. This work presents an extension to the FM in order to remedy this ‎important problem by introducing and managing the configuration feature. Evaluation shows that ‎the reuse of configuration feature reduces reconfiguration process effort and time during the run ‎time in order to meet the required scenario according to the context.‎

Keywords: Self-Adaptive system, Feature Model, System reuse, Configuration management, Variability ‎modelling‎

Research Title: Investigating the efficiency of financial markets: Empirical evidence from MENA countries
Author: Izzeddien Naef Ananzeh, Published Year: 2021
Investment management and financial innovations, Volume 18, Issue 1,
Faculty: Business

Abstract: The market efficiency hypothesis has become an important concept for all investors looking to own internationally diversified portfolios, which coincides with an increase in investment flows between all countries, both developed and undeveloped. This study was aimed at investigating the efficiency of a group of Arab stock markets located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region according to the Random Walk Hypotheses (RWH) at weak form. The study covered the markets of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman. The empirical results of all tests used in this study rejected the RWH at a weak form for all markets through all tests applied – Unit root test, Variance Ratio Test, and Run Test. The result of this study contradicts the results of many studies conducted on developed and emerging markets. This can be a good indication of the ineffectiveness of the reforms that have been adopted by responsible bodies on these markets. Based on this result, all efforts made to expand and deepen these markets should be intensified by improving liquidity, transparency, enhancing investment culture in these countries; supporting legislative and regulatory reforms to attract investment, and developing the financial sector in these markets as a whole.

Keywords: MENA markets, market efficiency, financial markets, unit root tests, run test, variance ratio test

Research Title: Expanding the phenotypic spectrum of FINCA (fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis) syndrome beyond infancy
Author: Tawfiq Froukh, Published Year: 2021
Clinical genetics, 100
Faculty: Science

Abstract: Fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis (FINCA, MIM#618278) is a rare clinical condition caused by bi-allelic variants in NHL repeat containing protein 2 (NHLRC2, MIM*618277). Pulmonary disease may be the presenting sign and the few patients reported so far, all deceased in early infancy. Exome sequencing was performed on patients with childhood interstitial lung disease (chILD) and additional neurological features. The chILD-EU register database and an in-house database were searched for patients with NHLRC2 variants and clinical features overlapping FINCA syndrome. Six patients from three families were identified with bi-allelic variants in NHLRC2. Two of these children died before the age of two while four others survived until childhood. Interstitial lung disease was pronounced in almost all patients during infancy and stabilized over the course of the disease with neurodevelopmental delay (NDD) evolving as the key clinical finding. We expand the phenotype of FINCA syndrome to a multisystem disorder with variable severity. FINCA syndrome should also be considered in patients beyond infancy with NDD and a history of distinct interstitial lung disease. Managing patients in registers for rare diseases helps identifying new diagnostic entities and advancing care for these patients.

Keywords: cerebropulmonary disease, childhood interstitial lung disease, cholesterol pneumonia, FINCA, lung fibrosis, lipoid pneumonitis, multi-organ disease, NHLRC2

Research Title: Conditions de vie des Chrétiens sous le règne de l'Empire Ottoman au début du 19ème siècle
Author: Mohammad Al-Ghazu, Published Year: 2020
Faculty: Arts

Abstract: Résumé Cette recherche vise à éclaircir les conditions de vie des Chrétiens au début du 19ème siècle sous le règne de l'Empire Ottoman. Nous avons essayé de savoir si les Chrétiens orientaux étaient-ils les seuls à vivre dans des conditions difficiles et qui ont été les causes? Pour répondre à cette question, nous avons déterminé les communautés chrétiennes orientales, ensuit, nous avons analysé l'influence politique de l’Occident et celle de certains gouverneurs turcs sur ces conditions. Nous avons pris, comme exemple, l'avis de Chateaubriand, et nous l'avons comparé avec celui d'autres voyageurs contemporains pour arriver à une conclusion générale bien fondée. Nous avons trouvé que, bien que les Chrétiens d'Orient aient subi de mauvais traitements de la part de certains gouverneurs turcs pour des raisons politiques et financières, ils ont reçu également de la part de la majorité musulmane le respect et avaient la liberté d'exercer leurs cultes.

Keywords: Mohamed ghazo, Chrétiens d'orient, l'Empire ottoman, conditions de vie.

Research Title: Aqueous core microcapsules as potential long-acting release systems for hydrophilic drugs
Author: Yazan Mohammad Al-Thaher, Published Year: 2021
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, (606)120926
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: We have previously optimized the internal phase separation process to give rise to aqueous core microcapsules with polymeric shells composed of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) or poly(lactide) (PLA). In this study, the ability of these microcapsules to act as controlled release platforms of the model hydrophilic drug phenobarbital sodium was tested. Furthermore, the effect of the initial amounts of drug and water added to the system during microcapsule synthesis was investigated. Finally, the effect of varying polymer properties such as end functionalities, molecular weights, and lactide to glycolide ratios, on the characteristics of the produced microcapsules was studied. This was done by utilizing seven different grades of the polyester polymers. It was demonstrated that, within certain limits, drug loading is nearly proportional to the initial amounts of drug and water. Furthermore, drug encapsulation studies demonstrated that ester termination and increases in polymeric molecular weight result in lower drug loading and encapsulation efficiency. Moreover, drug release studies demonstrated that ester termination, increases in molecular weight, and increases in the lactide to glycolide ratio all result in slower drug release; this grants the ability to tailor the drug release duration from a few days to several weeks. In conclusion, such minor variations in polymer characteristics and formulation composition can result in dramatic changes in the properties of the produced microcapsules. These changes can be fine-tuned to obtain desirable long-acting microcapsules capable of encapsulating a variety of hydrophilic drugs which can be used in a wide range of applications.

Keywords: Internal phase separation, PLA, PLGA, Long-acting release, Phenobarbital sodium

Research Title: Gene Associated Divergence of COVID-19 Morbidity & COVID-19 Vaccines
Author: Raida W. Khalil, Published Year: 2021
American Journal of Biomedical Research and Science , 14
Faculty: Science

Abstract: indeed caused a considerable increase in morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Abstract There is an underlying complex interplay between the infectious agents and the human host, which is related to different biological mechanisms. Phenotypic spectrums associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 range from asymptomatic to severe systemic complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death. Around 15 % of cases are severe. Some are accompanied by a dysregulated immune system or a cytokine storm, and others with both. There is increasing evidence that the severe manifestations of COVID-19 might attribute to human genetic variants. Polymorphisms in genes that are related to immune deficiency and or inflammasome activation (cytokine storm) are examples of these variants. The question is, is the variability of the hosts’ genetic background the reason behind the different responses to COVID-19? Or are there other factors? Case reports and GWAS studies showed that the susceptibility to severe viral infections was associated with the genetic variants in the immune response genes. Identifying the candidate’s genes is likely to aid in explaining why COVID-19 symptoms are severe to some but not others. Not to mention that it will provide insights that help us further understand the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19, to then make it possible to come out with more effective treatments and vaccines. There are forty genes associated with viral susceptibility. Twenty-one of them were associated with severe SARS-CoV disease and severe COVID-19. Some of these genes are implicated in the TLR pathways and others in C-lectin pathways. Additionally, there are some genes related to inflammasome activation (cytokine storm). This explains the diverse observations of the disease’s severity associated with genes. A vaccine should protect humans against SARS-CoV-2 severe infection and death. It acts against infection, disease, or transmission. A vaccine capable of reducing any of these elements will contribute t

Keywords: COVID-19, Vaccines

Research Title: Book : Vitamins and Minerals in Neurosciences : 2.1 Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementias, chapter : α-Tocopherol for Alzheimer’s disease
Author: Raida W. Khalil, Published Year: 2021
Faculty: Science

Abstract: Unlike the positive findings from the pre-clinical studies, the evidence of α-Tph effectiveness in humans with MCI or AD is unsatisfactory and requires larger and well controlled trials. Several studies evaluated α-Tph supplementation in combination with AD drugs. Sano and colleagues evaluated the effect of α-Tph (1000 IU, twice daily for 2 years) alone or in combination with selegiline for its effect on improving cognitive function in moderately severe AD. No improvement in cognitive test scores with either treatment was observed (PMID: 9110909). In another study tested the efficacy of α-Tph (2000 IU) with and without memantine in mild-to-moderate AD subjects up to 4 years; compared to placebo group, α-Tph significantly delayed the functional decline in mild-to-moderate AD patients who were taking acetylcholine esterase inhibitors. This effect was not observed in those who received memantine alone or memantine with α-Tph, suggesting α-Tph combination with acetylcholine esterase inhibitors could benefit mild-to-moderate AD patients (PMID: 24381967). However, in another study evaluated α-Tph individually and in combination with the acetylcholine esterase inhibitor donepezil in MCI subjects, α-Tph with and without donepezil didn’t provide benefits and there were no significant differences in the rate of AD progression when compared to the placebo groups (Petersen et al., 2005). Negative results were also reported in AD patients who received α-Tph (400 IU/day) with vitamin C (1000 mg/day) beside their cholinergic therapy for one year (Arlt et al., 2012). Conflicting results were also reported. In another study, Chan and colleagues tested α-Tph (30 IU) prepared in a formulation containing folic acid (400 mg), vitamin B12 (6 mg), S-adenosylmethionine (400 mg), N-acetyl cysteine (600 mg), and acetyl-L-carnitine (500 mg) in 14 subjects with early-stage AD supplemented for one year. The formulation caused a superior neuropsychiatric performance for more than 12 months and caused a delay in clinical progression of approximately 7 months (PMID: 19047474). Based on these promising results, a Phase II study in 106 individuals with AD was conducted. Consistent with the earlier study, compared to the placebo group, the formulation maintained or improved cognitive performance (PMID: 25589719). The studies were further extended to evaluate the formulation in MCI subjects, and similarly the formulation maintained or improved cognitive performance (PMID: 26402075). While these results are promising, the findings suggest that a combinatorial approach could provide superior neuroprotection than individual α-Tph.

Keywords: α-Tph , AD

Research Title: Challenges of Clinical Education in a Baccalaureate Nursing Program: Student Perspectives
Author: Maha Mohammed Wahbi Atout, Published Year: 2021
The Open Nursing Journal, 15
Faculty: Nursing

Abstract: Introduction: Clinical education is an essential element in a baccalaureate nursing program, providing nursing students with the required knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes required to deliver professional nursing care after graduation. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to identify the challenges associated with clinical instruction from nursing student perspective. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to identify the challenges associated with clinical instruction from nursing student perspective. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 187 nursing students from three different Universities in Jordan [one governmental and two private]. Results: The major challenges to clinical education were: fear of committing mistakes; lack of facilities for students; lack of knowledge among community and patients about the nursing profession; fear of infection; lack of availability of equipment in the clinical setting; student lack of preparedness and skill in planning care; and lack of collaboration from clinical staff. Conclusion: Understanding the identified challenges is necessary to formulate strategies to address them, to improve curriculum designed and clinical education for nursing students accordingly.

Keywords: Barriers, Challenges, Clinical education, Nursing education.

Research Title: Parental Child Rearing Practices in Palestine: A Cross-Sectional Study
Author: Maha Mohammed Wahbi Atout, Published Year: 2021
Global Pediatric Health, 8
Faculty: Nursing

Abstract: The objectives of this study were to explore parenting practices from the perspectives of Palestinian parents and their children, and concordance between parents and children in their reports of parenting practices, in a culture that is underrepresented in the literature. A descriptive cross-sectional design was used. The Alabama Parenting Questionnaire (APQ) was administered to 120 parents and 120 children drawn from 4 districts in Palestine. Children had higher scores on parental involvement, positive parenting, poor monitoring, inconsistent discipline, and corporal punishment. Three significant parent–child relationships were obtained1: parental involvement (r=.276, P=.003), positive parenting (r=.0301, P=.001), and poor parental monitoring (r=−.241, P=.008). The findings of this study might be used by Palestinian authorities and policy-makers to formulate guidelines and training to aid parental decision-making about child rearing.

Keywords: child rearing, parental perception, rearing practices, school-aged children

Research Title: The experience of family carers of children with incurable cancer: a qualitative study from the occupied Palestinian territory
Author: Maha Mohammed Wahbi Atout, Published Year: 2021
The LANCET, 398 Suppl 1:S16
Faculty: Nursing

Abstract: Background: Treatments for childhood cancers have raised the survival rate, however different forms of malignancy continue to cause untimely deaths, and cancer remains a leading cause of death among children. Global research on paediatric cancer is limited for several reasons. Most research has focused on specific methodologies, including questionnaires with heterogeneous samples. In addition, many studies have covered a broad range of cancer diagnoses, and a wide range of children's ages and periods between diagnosis and treatment. These methods are unable to capture the essence of experiences and cultural differences. This study aimed to explore the experience of family carers of children with incurable cancer in occupied Palestinian territory. Methods: The study was conducted in the Paediatric Cancer Department of Beit Jala Hospital, which is the first public cancer department for children in the West Bank. The family carers of children aged 1-18 years with any type of incurable cancer in this hospital were considered eligible for participation, and the individual most involved in the care of the child was selected. To recruit participants, head nurses of medical and surgical paediatric floors provided assistance in approaching the carers of eligible children. The main objectives of the study were then discussed with the family carers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants, and an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach was used to analyse the collected information. Ethical approval was obtained from the Beit Jala Hospital ethical review board and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Findings: 14 interviews were conducted. Participants were nine mothers, four grandmothers, and one father. Family carers discussed their caring experiences, including their experiences in administering special treatments, their suffering due to treating irritable children, and the information given to them about their children's illness. Family carers reported that they changed the focus of their care from an initial emphasis on normalising their children's lives to relieving their physical and psychological discomfort. This change of focus accompanied changes in carers' understanding of their child's disease over time. As carers became more realistic regarding the future of their children, they attempted to make their lives as comfortable as possible. Finally, carers discussed the support system around them; they found several resources to support them in the care of their children, including the experiences of other parents of children with similar diseases, the hospital environment, and their religious beliefs. Nevertheless, they stated that they needed more support during this difficult time of their lives. Interpretation: There is a need to support parents of children with incurable cancer in the occupied Palestinian territory. Suggestions to improve the quality of care provided for these parents include the education and recruitment of health care professionals, including social workers and psychologists, to provide emotional and spiritual support.

Keywords: family carers, children with incurable cancer, qualitative study, the occupied Palestinian territory