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Maize is among major field crops which provides food, fodder and various byproducts to the industry. Development of better performing varieties is very important to enhance and strengthen the maize production system. In this study ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) is used to induce genetic variation in maize. Mutant population was derived from two genotypes 100,003 and 100,004. EMS was applied under three different concentrations of 25, 50 and 75 mM. 25 mM was found as an ideal concentration resulting in maximum survival rate. Total 10 SSRs were used in this study, which amplified 28 alleles with average of 2.7 alleles. Analysis of molecular variance showed significant differences present among individuals. Average heterozygosity for mutants derived from 100,003 and 100,004 was 0.58 and 0.53, respectively. UPGMA analysis characterized the mutants into two main and many sub clusters. According to the principal component analysis, PC 1 and 2 contributed to 64.2% variability with eigenvalue greater than 1. Statistics showed maximum coefficients of variance in traits of leaf area, cobb height and plant height. Promising mutants were also identified and recommended for future breeding programme. In conclusion, EMS mutagenesis is an effective technique to develop novel mutants that can be exploited in future breeding programmes.
The aim of this study is to ascertain the psychological impacts of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among the Pakistani health care workers (HCWs) and their coping strategies.
This web-based, cross-sectional study was conducted among HCWs (N = 398) from Punjab Province of Pakistan. The generalized anxiety scale (GAD-7), patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9), and Brief-COPE were used to assess anxiety, depression, and coping strategies, respectively.
The average age of respondents was 28.67 years (SD = 4.15), with the majority being medical doctors (52%). Prevalences of anxiety and depression were 21.4% and 21.9%, respectively. There was no significant difference in anxiety and depression scores among doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Females had significantly higher anxiety (P = 0.003) and depression (P = 0.001) scores than males. Moreover, frontline HCWs had significantly higher depression scores (P = 0.010) than others. The depression, not anxiety, score was significantly higher among those who did not receive the infection prevention training (P = 0.004). The most frequently adopted coping strategies were religious coping (M = 5.98, SD = 1.73), acceptance (M = 5.59, SD = 1.55), and coping planning (M = 4.91, SD = 1.85).
A considerable proportion of HCWs are having generalized anxiety and depression during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings call for interventions to mitigate mental health risks in HCWs.
COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a massive infodemic, however, many vulnerable individuals such as illiterate or low-literate, older adults and rural populations have limited access to health information. In this context, these individuals are more likely to have poor knowledge, attitudes, and preventive practices related to COVID-19. The current study was aimed to investigate COVID-19’s awareness of the illiterate population of Pakistan.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among illiterate Pakistanis of ages ≥ 18 years through a convenient sampling approach. The study participants were interviewed face to face by respecting the defined precautionary measures and all data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 22 (IBM, Armonk, NY).
The mean age of the study participants’ (N = 394) was 37.2 ± 9.60 years, with the majority being males (80.7%). All participants were aware of the COVID-19 outbreak and television news channels (75.1%) were the primary source of information. The mean knowledge score was 5.33 ± 1.88, and about 27% of participants had a good knowledge score (score ≥ 7) followed by moderate (score 4 - 6) and poor (score ≤ 3) knowledge in 41.6%, and 31.5% of respondents, respectively. The attitude score was 4.42 ± 1.22 with good (score ≥ 6), average (score 4 - 5), and poor attitude (score ≤ 3) in 19%, 66%, and 15% of the participants, respectively. The average practice-related score was 12.80 ± 3.34, with the majority of participants having inadequate practices.
COVID-19 knowledge, attitude, and preventive practices of the illiterate population in Pakistan are unsatisfactory. This study highlights the gaps in specific aspects of knowledge and practice that should be addressed through awareness campaigns targeting this specific population.