Vol. 38 Issue 2

Tarik A. Al Shaibani, Yahya M. Naguib, Rima L. Abdul Razzak and Fouad A. Ali
Background: Amongst all other educational institutions, medical schools suffered the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical education requires a great deal of interaction between instructors and students, and in the final years, patients as well. In response to the pandemic, the College of Medicine andMedical Sciences at the Arabian Gulf University has applied virtual teaching/ learning since March 2020 as an alternative to face-to-face teaching. The college used Moodle and Zoom as online methods for education. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual medical education by comparing students’ performance in final exams in face-to-face and virtualsettings. Methods: Following the college’s ethical approval, this longitudinal study was performed on 183 medical students. Those students experienced 2 different successive methods of teaching/learning; Unit V as face-to-face followed by Unit VI as virtual settings. Students’ performance in theoretical component ofthe final exams for both units was analyzed and compared. Results: There was no significant difference in student performance between Units V and VI. Students’ performance in the physiology part was equally effective in both units, while the difficulty index of both exams was insignificantlydifferent. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that students’ performance in final exams could serve as an objective parameter when comparing different educational settings. Our results also support the idea that, in certain aspects, virtual isequal to face-to-face medical education strategies.

Noureddine Ben Khalaf, Ahmed R. Ramadhan and M. Dahmani Fathallah
Protein Disulfide Isomerase (PDI) protein family is known for assisting newly synthesized proteins to fold in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of most cell types. Meanwhile, extracellular functions of PDIs have been reported and associated to several processes including cell adhesion, thrombosis, cancer, and pathogenesis. In addition to their biological significance, the expression profile, localization and suitability for high-throughput screening are in favor of PDIs being good targets in the development of drug against several diseases. Indeed, few PDI inhibitors are available and show decreased specificity, potency and druggability. In an attempt to identify more potent and specific PDIA1 inhibitors, we have carried out virtual screening of a large chemical compound database (107 compounds). Following this screening, we used an experimental plate-based PDIA1 reductase activity inhibition assay screening to identify and validate a lead compound for further optimization using combinatorial synthesis and computational drug design. Indeed, we identified a molecule that could be used as a lead candidate for the development of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Muneera Rashid Ghablan, Mahmoud Fathy Okasha, and Mariwan Hassan Husni
This aim of the study is to examine the varying functions of basic needs satisfaction in predicting happiness, self-esteem, and creative personality among university students using a choice theory-based perspective. A sampleof 1100 university students completed self-report scales of happiness, self- esteem, creative personality, and University Students’ Basic Needs Scale. Multiple regression analysis revealed that satisfying the need for survival, freedom, fun or entertainment, love and belonging, contribute to self-esteem and happiness among university students. Furthermore, satisfying the need for freedom, power, entertainment, love and belonging, contribute to creative personality. The findings provided supportive evidence for the major hypothesis of the choice theory, demonstrating that happiness increases as the satisfaction of basic needs increases. Furthermore, the basic needs satisfaction contributes to self-esteem and creative personality.

Maryam Al Harbi and Maha Al Sabbagh
This study examined the effectiveness of selected measures for reducing the final electricity demand of Al-Qassim’s residential sector and the resulting CO2 emissions. Accordingly, the Low Emission Analysis Platform (LEAP) was used to develop reference and mitigation scenarios for the period 2018–2030 based on the results of the national household energy survey. Several mitigation measures were explored, including improving the efficiency of air conditioners, installing residential solar panels, using solar water heaters, and raising public awareness regarding electricity conservation, both as stand-alone and combined mitigation scenarios. An analysis of the results of the household energy survey revealed the continuing projected rise in the final electricity demand, reaching 12.4 thousand GWh by 2030, with CO2 emissions exceeding 7.4 million tons. The results of probabilistic modeling using the survey results indicated that by 2030, the final electricity demand of the residential sector in Al-Qassim will range between 6.5 and 19.5 thousand GWh at a confidence rate of 90%, with minimum and maximum demands of 4.8 and 32.8 thousand GWh, respectively. The study’s findings also suggest that implementing the mitigation options on stand-alone basis can achieve 15% cumulative reduction in the final electricity demand and CO2 emissions, and 19% when implemented as combined scenarios during 2022-2030 compared with the reference scenario. This study recommends conducting a feasibility study for implementing these mitigation measures and exploring different financing models. A further recommendation is to collect additional data on electricity consumption patterns within the residential sector during the household energy survey’s implementation, to ensure the provision of inputs into the assessment of energy and climate change policies targeting the residential sector.