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  • Author: Ghulam Muhammad x
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Environment Recognition for Digital Audio Forensics Using MPEG-7 and MEL Cepstral Features

Environment recognition from digital audio for forensics application is a growing area of interest. However, compared to other branches of audio forensics, it is a less researched one. Especially less attention has been given to detect environment from files where foreground speech is present, which is a forensics scenario. In this paper, we perform several experiments focusing on the problems of environment recognition from audio particularly for forensics application. Experimental results show that the task is easier when audio files contain only environmental sound than when they contain both foreground speech and background environment. We propose a full set of MPEG-7 audio features combined with mel frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) to improve the accuracy. In the experiments, the proposed approach significantly increases the recognition accuracy of environment sound even in the presence of high amount of foreground human speech.


With the increased number of multi-drug formulations, there is a need to develop new methods for simultaneous determinations of drugs. A precise, accurate and reliable liquid chromatographic method was developed for simultaneous determination of paracetamol, thiamine, and pyridoxal phosphate in pharmaceutical formulations. Separation of analytes was carried out with an Agilent Poroshell C18 column. A mixture of ammonium phosphate buffer (pH = 3.0), acetonitrile and methanol in the ratio of 86:7:7 (V/V/V) was used as the mobile phase pumped at a flow rate of 1.8 mL min−1. Detection of all three components, impurities and degradation products was performed at the selected wavelength of 270 nm. The developed method was validated in terms of linearity, specificity, precision, accuracy, LOD and LOQ as per ICH guidelines. Linearity of the developed method was found in the range 17.5–30 µg mL−1 for thiamine, 35–60 µg mL−1 for pyridoxal phosphate and 87.5–150 µg mL−1 for paracetamol. The coefficient of determination was ≥ 0.9981 for all three analytes. The proposed HPLC method was found to be simple and reliable for the routine simultaneous analysis of paracetamol, thiamine and pyridoxal phosphate in tablet formulations. Complete separation of analytes in the presence of degradation products indicated selectivity of the method.


This study investigates the impact of hierarchical jumps in the CEO’s succession on firms’ financial performance. To contemplate deeply, hierarchical jumps have been categorized into high and low level evaluating the positive impact of high-level hierarchical jump on firms’ performance. Moreover, this study has also formulated hierarchical intensity signifying the idea that despite neglecting senior board members during hierarchical jumps, still marginal increment in the firms’ growth has been observed. Using panel regression technique along with 2sls instrumental regression, this research reveals that hierarchical jumps in CEOs successions are more conducive only if the incumbent CEOs are selected irrespective of age, degree or high hierarchical position within the hierarchical ladder. Lastly, this study enunciates that firms having high total assets boost their performance via hierarchical jumps emphatically.


Lipids (fats and oils) are concentrated source of energy in poultry diets that improves palatability, feed consistency, provides essential fatty acids and increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Fresh oil is an expensive energy source and its exposure to air, heat, metallic catalyst during storage and processing may lead to its oxidative deterioration. This review highlights the response of modern poultry to dietary oxidized oil on growth performance, nutrients digestibility, gut health, carcass characteristics, meat quality, blood chemistry and tissue oxidative status. Literature shows that in moderately (peroxide value (PV): 20 to 50 meq kg−1) and highly (PV: 50 to 100 meq kg−1 or above) oxidized oils, lipid peroxidation causes rancid odours and flavours that negatively affect feed palatability, reduces intestinal villus height that decreases the surface area available for nutrients absorption. The oxidation products also damage fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) in blood resulting in an oxidative stress. The use of oxidized oil in poultry diets has no significant effect on dressing percentage, pH and meat colour, whereas carcass weight decreases and drip loss of meat increases. Overall, there is a contradictory data regarding the influence of oxidized oil in poultry feed depending on the PV and inclusion levels. The reviewed literature shows that the use of mildly oxidized (PV < 20 meq kg−1) oil in poultry feed with 4 to 5% inclusion level decreases the feed cost and ultimately cost of poultry production without compromising their growth performance. It can, therefore, partially replace fresh oil as an efficient, cost effective and sustainable energy source in poultry diets.


Background and Objective

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) for common bile duct (CBD) stones has been used in the past, but experience is limited. We report our experience of ESWL in the management of difficult CBD stones.


Patients with difficult-to-retrieve CBD stones were enrolled and underwent ESWL. Fluoroscopy is used to target the stones after injection of contrast via nasobiliary drain. CBD clearance was the main outcome of the study.


Eighty-three patients were included (mean age 50.5 ± 14.5 years); these patients were mainly females (43; 51.8%). Large stones >15 mm were noted in 64 (77.1%), CBD stricture in 22 (26.5%) and incarcerated stone in 8 (9.6%) patients. Patients needed 2.1 ± 1.2 sessions of lithotripsy and 4266 ± 1881 shock waves per session. In 75 (90.3%) patients, the fragments were extracted endoscopically after ESWL, while spontaneous passage was observed in 8 (9.6%). Total CBD clearance was achieved in 67 (80.6%) patients, partial clearance in 5 (6%) and no response in 11 (13.2%). Failure of the treatment was observed in large stone with size ≥2 cm (P = 0.021), incarcerated stone (P = 0.020) and pre–endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography cholangitis (P = 0.047).


ESWL is a noninvasive, safe and effective therapeutic alternative to electrohydraulic lithotripsy and surgical exploration for difficult biliary stones.