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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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The Scientific World Journal
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ISSN (Online) 1537-744X
Published by Hindawi Homepage  [339 journals]
  • Impact of Fasting Blood Glucose Levels on Blood Pressure Parameters among
           Older Adults with Prediabetes

    • Abstract: Prediabetes mellitus (pre-DM) is defined as blood glucose levels higher than normal but lower than the threshold for diabetes mellitus (DM) diagnosis. Four-limb blood pressure (BP) differences can help identify a significant risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The current study aimed to determine the importance of BP and the ankle-brachial index (ABI) between two patient groups and the association between fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels and four-limb BP, ABI, interarm BP difference (IAD), and interleg BP difference (ILD). Moreover, the effect of cardiovascular risk factors on the development of pre-DM among older adults was evaluated. The participants were divided into the normal fasting glucose (NFG) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) groups. Data on physical characteristics, lipid profiles, four-limb BP, ABI, IAD, ILD, and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed. The IFG group had a significantly higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) and pulse pressure than the NFG group (). SBP was significantly positively correlated with FBG levels (). The IFG group had a lower ABI than the NFG group (). However, there was no significant difference in terms of IAD and ILD between the two groups. Furthermore, hypertension (HT), metabolic syndrome (MetS), and dyslipidemia were significantly correlated with a high prevalence of prediabetes (). Individuals with prediabetes had a higher BP than those with normoglycemia. Prediabetes was correlated with HT, MetS, and dyslipidemia.
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Mar 2023 13:50:02 +000
  • Quality of Life of Palestinian Patients on Hemodialysis: Cross-Sectional
           Observational Study

    • Abstract: Background. Hemodialysis is life-saving and life-altering, affecting patients’ quality of life. The management of dialysis patients often focuses on renal replacement therapy to improve clinical outcomes and remove excess fluid; however, the patient’s quality of life is often not factored in. Objective. This study aimed to explore the factors affecting the quality of life of patients on dialysis in Palestine using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life (KDQOL-SFTM) questionnaire. Methods. A multicenter cross-sectional observational study was conducted at multiple dialysis centers in Palestine, including 271 participants receiving renal replacement therapy. Demographics, socioeconomic, and disease status data were collected. The Arabic version of KDQOL-SFTM was used to assess dialysis patient quality of life. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS to find correlations among patient factors and the questionnaire’s three main domains, the kidney disease component summaries (KDCS), mental component summaries (MCS), and physical component summaries (PCS). Results. Mean KDCS, MCS, and PCS scores were 59.86, 47.10, and 41.15, respectively. KDC scores were lower among participants aged 40 years or older, with lower incomes, and with diabetes. PCS and MCS scores were lower among patients aged>40, less educated, and lower-income participants. There was a positive correlation between MCS and KDCS (r = 0.634, -value
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Mar 2023 11:50:00 +000
  • Analysis of Selected Soil Properties in Relation to Soil and Water
           Conservation Practices in Sibiya Arera, Soro District, South Central

    • Abstract: Soil erosion by water is a severe and continuous ecological problem in the south central highlands of Ethiopia. Limited use of soil and water conservation technologies by farmers is one of the major causes that have resulted in accelerated soil erosion. Within this context, significant attention has been given to soil and water conservation practices. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soil and water conservation practices on soil physicochemical properties after being practiced continuously for up to 10 years. The physicochemical properties of soil of landscape with physical soil and water conservation structures without biological conservation measures and physical soil and water conservation structures combined with biological conservation measures were compared with soil of landscape without soil and water conservation practices. The result of analysis disclosed that soil and water conservation interventions (both with biological and without biological measures) significantly increased the soil pH, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and available phosphorus content than the soil of landscape without soil and water conservation practices. The results of the analysis also showed that the mean value of cation exchange capacity and exchangeable bases (K+, Na+, , and ) of the soil under nonconserved farm field was significantly lower as compared to the soil of adequately managed farm fields. The findings of this study clarified that there was significant variation in soil properties. This variation could be due to uneven transport of soil particles by runoff. Therefore, soil conservation structures supported with biological measures improves the soil’s physicochemical properties.
      PubDate: Tue, 28 Feb 2023 06:35:01 +000
  • Volatile Compounds, Fatty Acids Constituents, and Antimicrobial Activity
           of Cultured Spirulina (Arthrospira fusiformis) Isolated from Lake Mariout
           in Egypt

    • Abstract: In this study, Arthrospira fusiformis previously isolated from Lake Mariout (Alexandria, Egypt) was cultivated in the laboratory using a medium for pharmaceutical grade Arthrospira, named as Amara and Steinbüchel medium. Hot water extract of the Egyptian Spirulina was prepared by autoclaving dried biomass in distilled water at 121°C for 15 min. This algal water extract was analyzed by GC-MS to evaluate its volatile compounds and fatty acids composition. The antimicrobial activity of phycobiliprotein extract from Arthrospira fusiformis using phosphate buffer was evaluated against thirteen microbial strains (two Gram-positive bacteria, eight Gram-negative bacteria, one yeast, and two filamentous fungi). The major components of fatty acids in the hot extract of Egyptian A. fusiformis were hexadecanoic acid (palmitic acid, 55.19%) and octadecanoic acid (stearic acid, 27.14%). The main constituents of its volatile compounds were acetic acid (43.33%) and oxalic acid (47.98%). The most potent antimicrobial effect of phycobiliprotein extract was obtained against two Gram-negative bacteria Salmonella typhi and Proteus vulgaris, filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger, and the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans (all of which showed MIC values of 58.1 μg/ml). Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium come second in their susceptibility to the phycobiliprotein extract from Arthrospira fusiformis and Serratia marcescens and Aspergillus flavus are the least in susceptibility, with MIC values of 116.2 and 232.5 μg/ml, respectively, while phycobiliprotein extract has no antibacterial effect on methicillin-resistant as well as susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Shigella sonnei. These findings confirmed the nutritional value of Egyptian A. fusiformis isolated from Lake Mariout and suggest the potential use of this strain as an ingredient in the cooking of some foods to increase the level of stearic acid and palmitic acid. Moreover, its effective antibacterial activities against some important and highly resistant to antibiotics bacterial pathogens in addition to its antifungal effects recommend the therapeutic use of its biomass.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 Feb 2023 09:20:01 +000
  • Femoral Cartilage Thickness in Knee Osteoarthritis Patients and Healthy
           Adults: An Ultrasound Measurement Comparison

    • Abstract: Background. Currently, conventional radiography is still widely used to diagnose knee osteoarthritis and assess the grade according to Kallgren and Lawrence’s criteria. Ultrasound is a simple, inexpensive, noninvasive, and dynamic modality for evaluating femoral cartilage (FC) thickness. This study aims to measure the FC thickness in knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients and compare it to healthy adults using ultrasound assessment. Methods. An observational study with a cross-sectional design was conducted at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Hajj General Hospital, Surabaya, Indonesia, from May to July 2022. Participants radiologically diagnosed with OA were included in the study and assigned to the OA group. Meanwhile, healthy adults without knee symptoms were included in the control group. FC thickness was measured using ultrasound scans at three sites: medial condyle (MC), intercondylar (IC), and lateral condyle (LC) on both sides of the knee. Results. The mean age in the OA and control groups was 61.03 ± 8.6 and 33.93 ± 14.7 years, respectively. Most participants in both groups were female. The OA group exhibited a thinner FC (1.49–1.63 mm) than the control group (1.68–1.87 mm). There was a significant difference in the mean of the right and left MC in both groups () but no significant difference in the IC and LC. Conclusion. OA patients exhibited a thinner FC than healthy adults in the control group. There was a significant difference in the mean thickness of the MC between groups.
      PubDate: Fri, 17 Feb 2023 07:50:02 +000
  • Effect of Public Expenditure on Economic Growth in the Case of Ethiopia

    • Abstract: This study’s primary goal was to explain how Ethiopia’s economic growth affected government spending. The time series data utilized in the study were gathered between 1980 and 2018. The time series data were subjected to the Johansen cointegration test and the vector error correction model (VECM) in order to evaluate the short- and long-term correlations between public spending and economic growth in Ethiopia. According to the study, both long- and short-term economic growths are positively and significantly impacted by government spending on education. Long-term economic growth is negatively impacted by government expenditure on agriculture, while short-term effects are negatively impacted and considerable. In the long run, investment spending has a positive but negligible impact on economic growth; however, in the short run, it has a negative but large effect. Defense spending by the government has a positive and negligible effect on economic growth over the short and long terms. Both in the short and long terms, spending on health has a favorable and considerable impact on economic growth. According to the study, government spending on the education sector would help to foster the conditions that could result in higher labor force participation rates and, consequently, higher rates of economic growth. Aiming to establish a healthy and productive society that promotes economic progress, policy should focus on complementary measures to scale-up initiatives in the health sector.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Feb 2023 07:50:01 +000
  • Synthesis of Mesoporous Silica Imprinted Salbutamol with Two TEOS/MTES
           Ratio Compositions through the Direct Incorporation Method for Salbutamol

    • Abstract: Molecularly imprinted mesoporous silica (MIPMS) is one of the methods to improve site accessibility molecule target on molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for application in solid-phase extraction (SPE). The MIPMS was prepared using salbutamol sulfate as template molecule, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide as a directing agent, and tetraethyl orthosilicate and methyltriethoxysilane were used as silica precursor and organosilane. In this study, two TEOS : MTES ratios were used. The MIPMS-2 with 3 : 1 ratio of TEOS : MTES has better analytical performance than the MIPMS-1 with 2 : 1 ratio of TEOS : MTES. The adsorption capacity of MIPMS-2 was about 0.0934 mg/g, and it was 0.0407 mg/g for NIPMS-2. The extraction ability of MIPMS-2 was good, with a recovery of about 104.79% ± 1.01% of salbutamol in spiked serum. The imprinting factor (IF) value obtained is 1.2. When serum was spiked with salbutamol and terbutaline, the ability of NIPMS-2 to recognize salbutamol increased. Therefore, optimizing the conditions for the MIPMS synthesis is necessary to produce a sorbent with better selectivity.
      PubDate: Mon, 30 Jan 2023 10:50:02 +000
  • Entomological Survey and Impact of Climatic Factors on the Dynamics of
           Sandflies in Central Morocco

    • Abstract: Sandflies are small insects belonging to the order Diptera, which make up the Phlebotominae subfamily within the Psychodidae family. In the fight against leishmaniasis in the prefecture of Meknes, Morocco, a study of the phlebotomist population was carried out during the period of activity of sandflies while studying the link between the abundance of these insects and climatic factors, namely, temperature, moisture, rainfall, and wind speed. A total of 958 phlebotomus were captured, 73% of which belong to Phlebotomus sergenti, a vector of Leishmania species causing human cutaneous leishmaniasis. This study also showed the existence of two months of risk in July and September with a positive correlation between temperature and abundance of sandflies and a negative correlation between abundance of sandflies and rainfall and moisture. Indeed, it is necessary to strengthen the means to fight this disease during periods of activity and to use medium-term climatological forecasts to develop an alert system for leishmaniasis.
      PubDate: Mon, 30 Jan 2023 05:20:01 +000
  • Diversity and Antimicrobial Activities of Actinobacteria Isolated from
           Mining Soils in Midelt Region, Morocco

    • Abstract: Multidrug-resistant bacteria have emerged as a serious global health threat that requires, more than ever before, an urgent need for novel and more effective drugs. In this regard, the present study sheds light on the diversity and antimicrobial potential of Actinobacteria isolates in mining ecosystems. We have indeed investigated the production of bioactive molecules by the Actinobacteria isolated from abandoned mining areas in Midelt, Morocco, where average contents of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are higher than normal world levels. One hundred and forty-five Actinobacteria isolates were isolated and characterized based on morphological, chemotaxonomical, biochemical, and molecular data. Most of the 145 isolates were identified as Streptomyces. Isolates affiliated to the genera Amycolatopsis, Lentzea, Actinopolymorpha, and Pseudonocardia were also found. Antimicrobial producing potentials of Actinobacteria isolates were assessed against eight test microorganisms Gram+ and Gram− bacteria and yeast. Out of 145 isolates, 51 showed antimicrobial activities against at least one test microorganism. 31 isolates inhibited only bacteria, 7 showed activity against bacteria and Candida albicans, and 13 displayed activity against C. albicans solely. Our findings suggest that Actinobacteria isolated from natural heavy metal ecosystems may be a valuable source of novel secondary metabolites and therefore of new biotechnologically promising antimicrobial compounds.
      PubDate: Tue, 24 Jan 2023 06:05:01 +000
  • Assessing Perceptions and Adaptation Responses to Climate Change among
           Small-Scale Fishery on the Northern Coastal of Bengkulu, Indonesia

    • Abstract: Small-scale fisheries are facing significant challenges from climate change. Fishers feel the impact of climate change, which forces them to adapt. We, therefore, analyzed local climatic changes, fishers’ perceptions regarding climate change and its impacts, adaptation responses, and determinants. Three decades of meteorological data were analyzed (1985–2020). A total of 300 fishermen were selected using quota sampling and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using the descriptive and binary logit regression models to explain the determinants of adaptation responses. The findings indicate that fishers’ perceptions of climatic changes align with historical climatic data. Typologies of adaptation responses used in the study showed that time fishing adjustment was the most widely used adaptation option by fishermen. For this reason, fishermen are very active in looking for information about climate change to help them find the right time to go to sea and reduce the risk of climate change. Analysis using the binary logit regression model showed that fishing income, boat power, and climate change perceptions were the significant () factors significantly influencing adaptation responses. Therefore, to strengthen the adaptation responses in small-scale fisheries, fishers’ perceptions should be considered.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 Jan 2023 07:20:01 +000
  • Growth, Physiological, and Biochemical Responses of Ethiopian Red Pepper
           (Capsicum annum L.) Cultivars to Drought Stress

    • Abstract: Red pepper (Capsicum annum L.) is an increasingly important economic crop in the world. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the growth, physiological, and biochemical responses of red pepper cultivars under drought stress conditions. A pot culture experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with three replications, four treatments, and three cultivars. Totally, 36 pots and six seeds per pot were used to grow the seeds. After five weeks, the cultivars were exposed to different drought stress conditions (100% FC or control, 80% FC or low stress, 60% FC or moderate stress, and 40% FC or severe stress). All the collected data were subjected to an analysis of variance (ANOVA). Shoot length was reduced significantly () in the Hagerew cultivar under severe drought stress. The photosynthesis rate was reduced by 21.11% () in the Mitmita cultivar under severe drought stress. The highest percentage reduction of chlorophyll content (77.28%) was recorded in the Hagerew cultivar. Both Markofana and Mitmita responded to drought stress by increasing the accumulation of proline and phenolic compounds. The root-to-shoot ratio was increased significantly in both Markofana and Mitmita cultivars (27.91% and 50.92%), respectively, under drought-stress conditions. This study depicted that the cultivar Mitmita was the most drought-tolerant cultivar among the three cultivars.
      PubDate: Sat, 07 Jan 2023 07:35:01 +000
  • Detection of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica via Quenching of
           Unincorporated Amplification Signal Reporters in Loop-Mediated Isothermal

    • Abstract: Salmonella enterica is a major cause of diarrheal diseases in developing countries where timely surveillance and proper clinical management are inadequate. In this study, a rapid and cheap method of detecting S. enterica DNA was developed by employing the Quenching of Unincorporated Amplification Signal Reporters in Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (QUASR LAMP) platform. QUASR LAMP provides a closed-tube, target-specific endpoint detection of pathogens, wherein results can be analyzed visually through an LED transilluminator and verified through agarose gel electrophoresis. Based on the chromosomal SopD gene, primers and probes were first designed, then screened. The assay was subsequently optimized so that the presence of S. enterica is determined by incubating the extracted DNA at 65°C for only 60 minutes. The assay was repeatable and can be performed by simply using a thermal cycler or even a dry bath incubator. S. enterica positives appear bright yellow green when viewed through a yellow filter excited with blue LED. The developed assay had an in silico and in vitro specificity towards Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovars with a limit of detection of 104 copies per microliter. The Salmonella QUASR LAMP assay has the potential for food and environmental applications. Chiefly, as an alternative to traditional microbiology and PCR, this QUASR LAMP assay can be used for point-of-care salmonellosis testing of clinical specimens in low-resource settings.
      PubDate: Fri, 30 Dec 2022 11:05:01 +000
  • Physiological Alterations due to Hepatotoxicity and the Protective Role of
           Cleome viscosa Linn Seed Extract in Experimental Animals

    • Abstract: Liver ailment is a key public health menace, principally in developing nations. Quite a lot of medicinal florae have been identified to have liver shielding activities. The current study was designed to assess in vitro antioxidant and in vivo hepatoprotective activities of seed extracts of Cleome viscosa Linn. (Capparaceae). Phytochemical screening of C. viscosa seed ethanol extract was carried out. Free radical scavenging activity of crude seed extract of the plant was conducted using the DPPH assay method. DNA damage protection potential of the crude seed extract was carried out using extract of the genomic DNA nicking assay. Hepatoprotective activity of the crude seed extract of the plant was carried out based on CCl4-induced liver damage in Wister albino rats. Serum biomarkers (aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total protein (TP)) were evaluated to find out the effect. Histopathological scrutiny was also carried out for all groups of rats to further confirm the discoveries. The phytochemical screening was positive for alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, steroids, terpenes, tannins, and phenolic compounds in the seed extract. The antioxidant assay revealed that the ethanol crude extract of C. viscosa exhibited free radical scavenging activity with IC50 value of 17.82 ± 0.32 μg/mL, and this was further confirmed by the DNA damage protection activity. Pretreatment of the rats with the crude extract of C. viscosa significantly reduced ALP ( 
      PubDate: Thu, 29 Dec 2022 04:35:00 +000
  • Risk Perception and Preparedness of Undergraduate Dental Students to Treat
           Patients in View of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Questionnaire Survey

    • Abstract: With the gradual resumption of dental services worldwide, it is crucial to focus on returning dental undergraduates to their clinical postings. The assessment of foreseeable concerns from a student’s point of view will help the dental schools tailor a comprehensive plan of action that would be in the best interest of everyone. Aim. Hence, this survey was planned to assess dental undergraduates’ risk perception and preparedness to provide patient care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Material and Methods. It was an online survey carried out among students involved in clinical work at two dental colleges in Manipal and Mangalore, respectively, in Karnataka, India. The online questionnaire was sent to approximately 500 students, with responses from 301 students. The survey comprised 21 closed-ended questions about demographics, risk perception, and preparedness. The descriptive statistics were done on the data. Results. It was found that all the students (99.7%) perceived COVID-19 to be dangerous, and 73.4% chose to avoid treating those patients suspected to have an active COVID-19 infection. The fear of being infected was perceived by 55.1% of students, while 46.2% feared transmitting the infection to friends and family. A majority (87.7%) believed standard infection controls practiced prior to the pandemic were insufficient to work in the current scenario. Nearly 33.6% could not view the guidelines for dental procedures during the pandemic. A majority (87.7%) were not/little confident, and 61.7% were unsure/unprepared to manage suspected patients. Conclusion. It is the prime need of the hour for dental schools to instill self-reliance within students in managing patient care under these circumstances by strictly reinforcing the official protective care guidelines.
      PubDate: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 04:05:01 +000
  • Hydrogel Derived from Glucomannan-Chitosan to Improve the Survival of
           Lactobacillus acidophilus FNCC 0051 in Simulated Gastrointestinal Fluid

    • Abstract: The probiotic encapsulating hydrogel derived from porang (Amorphophallus oncophyllus) glucomannan and chitosan was investigated with regard to its encapsulation efficiency, physical properties, prebiotic activity, and survival under simulated gastrointestinal conditions. The hydrogel’s encapsulation efficiency was improved by varying the number of the Lactobacillus acidophilus FNCC 0051, which also served to increase the diameter (2-3 mm), polydispersity index (1.23–1.65), positive zeta potential, whiteness, and brightness of the hydrogel. Moreover, the hydrogel’s prebiotic activity score was higher than that of inulin after 24 h of incubation, reflecting its role as a cell encapsulant, particularly when it comes to maintaining cells during exposure to simulated gastrointestinal fluid. The cell viability increased from 86% to 100% when immersed in intestinal juice, which is comparable to the increase achieved using alginate and konjac glucomannan hydrogels. Future animal studies are required to determine the cell viability in actual gastrointestinal conditions and assess the health effects of the hydrogel.
      PubDate: Wed, 14 Dec 2022 08:50:04 +000
  • Factors Influencing Brucellosis Preventive Behaviors among Marginalized
           Iranian Women: An Application of the Health Belief Model

    • Abstract: Background. Brucellosis is still a serious public health threat in developing countries, especially in Iran. Brucellosis is an endemic disease in Iran and risk factors increasing its broadcast are prevalent. This study investigated factors influencing brucellosis preventive behaviors amongst marginalized women in Hamadan city, Iran, using the health belief model (HBM). Methods. In this cross-sectional study, 289 women living in marginal areas were considered from April until May 2018. Via cluster random sampling methods, comprehensive health services where women get health care were selected. Each woman in the selected comprehensive health services was then enrolled by the simple random sampling method. Data were gathered from a face-to-face interview via a questionnaire. Results. Most women had a history of using nonpasteurized dairy products (86.2%). Most women (64.7%) boiled the milk for 3–5 minutes. 61.2% of women put the cheese in a salt-water solution. The results showed that one unit rise in the scores of knowledge, self-efficacy, and cues to action resulted in an increase in the mean score of the protective behavior by 0.189, 209, and 0.150, respectively. Conclusion. The HBM was a helpful model in predicting the influential elements in brucellosis preventive behaviors. Also, recognized effective factors should be taken into account when designing interventions.
      PubDate: Wed, 14 Dec 2022 08:50:03 +000
  • Proportion of Chromosomal Disorders and Their Patterns among Births with
           Congenital Anomalies in Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses

    • Abstract: Introduction. Worldwide, surveys have shown that the frequency of chromosomal disorders among births with congenital anomalies varies greatly from country to country. It is well known that chromosomal disorders are an important cause of premature death or life-long disability; however, the absence of local epidemiological data on their birth prevalence and outcomes impedes policy and service development in many countries and continents. Therefore, the current systematic review and meta-analysis intend to show the pooled proportion of chromosomal disorders among births with congenital anomalies in Africa. Methods. From PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar, we systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed the studies that examined the incidence, prevalence, and types of chromosomal disorders using PRISMA guidelines. A weighted inverse variance random-effects model was used to estimate the pooled proportion of chromosomal disorders among births with congenital anomalies. Results. From the total of 3,569 studies identified, 1,442 were from PubMed, 108 were from Cochrane Library, 1,830 were from Google Scholar, and 189 were from other sources. After duplication was removed, a total of 844 articles remained (2725 were removed by duplication). Finally, 144 full-text studies were reviewed and 60 articles with 52,569 births having congenital anomalies met the inclusion criteria and were selected for this meta-analysis. The pooled proportion of chromosomal disorders among births with congenital anomalies was 8.94% (95% CI; 7.02, 10.86; I2 = 98.8%; ).Conclusions and Future Implications. In the current systematic review and meta-analysis, the pooled proportion of chromosomal disorders among births with congenital anomalies in Africa was small. Down syndrome (trisomy 21) accounted for more than 80% of chromosomal disorders. The pooled proportion of chromosome disorders was the highest in North African regions and countries compared to other regions of the continent. Healthcare managers should focus on establishing proper cytogenetic diagnostic facilities in collaboration with well-trained genetic counseling services in the continent.
      PubDate: Tue, 13 Dec 2022 14:05:01 +000
  • Multifaceted Social and Environmental Disruptions Impact on Smallholder
           Plantations’ Resilience in Indonesia

    • Abstract: As one of the most productive plantation producers in the world, Indonesia also faces rapid change in both social and environmental systems. These conditions are predicted to become more disruptive to the agricultural sector in the future. Therefore, understanding the impact of social and environmental disruption on smallholder plantations’ resilience is vital to formulate a strategy for the sustainability of farmers’ livelihoods in this country. Using survey data from 360 smallholding farmers in six villages from three districts in Bengkulu Province, Indonesia, the study deployed a multidimensional approach to assess smallholders’ resilience to social and environmental disruption as well as towards economic dynamics. There are four dimensions of smallholder resilience, namely, the ability of adaptation, recoverability, anticipation, and farmers’ innovation level. Social disruption was indicated by farmers’ demography, epidemic/family health, social conflict, culture clash, and intention on land conversion. Meanwhile, environmental disruption was shown by natural catastrophe incidents, climate variations, environmentally unfriendly cultivation activities, and land fires. Since the resilience level was classified as binary, bivariate probit model was used in the analysis. The result shows that smallholder plantations in Bengkulu Indonesia are categorized as innovative, and recoverable, but less adaptive, and less anticipatory farmers. Overall, more than 50% of smallholder plantations are classified as less resilient smallholders. The statistical result empirically uncovers that the intentions of land conversion, climate change, and environmentally unfriendly farming activities statistically have a significant contribution to the reduction of smallholder plantations’ resilience. Furthermore, the economic dynamisms such as lack of input availability, price volatility, demand uncertainty, and capital limitation have a significant negative impact on smallholder plantation resilience.
      PubDate: Tue, 13 Dec 2022 13:50:00 +000
  • The Cytokine and Bone Protein Expression by Ellagic Acid-Hydroxyapatite in
           Bone Remodelling Model

    • Abstract: Objective. Ellagic acid, a phenolic compound with anti-inflammatory potential, can be used to accelerate the bone healing process and affect human health, while hydroxyapatite is the most commonly used bone graft material. Using a combination of the two materials results in reduced inflammation and increased osteogenesis. This study aimed to determine the effects of combining ellagic acid and hydroxyapatite in bone marker remodelling by analysing the expression of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 10 (IL-10), bone morphogenetic 4 protein (BMP-4), and osteopontin (OPN). Methods. Thirty Wistar rats were used in the study. A defect was created in each animal’s femur using a low-speed diamond bur. In the control group, the bone was then treated with polyethylene glycol (PEG). In one of the other groups, the bone was treated with hydroxyapatite, and in the other, with ellagic acid-hydroxyapatite. The femur was biopsied 7 days after the procedure and again 14 days after the procedure, and an indirect immunohistochemical (IHC) examination was performed for TNF-α, IL-10, BMP-4, and OPN expression. Results. The ellagic acid-hydroxyapatite decreased TNF-α expression in the bone tissue after 7 days and again after 14 days ( 
      PubDate: Tue, 13 Dec 2022 13:05:01 +000
  • Assessment of Land Cover and Land Use Change Dynamics in Kibwezi
           Watershed, Kenya

    • Abstract: Land use and land cover (LULC) parameters influence the hydrological and ecological processes taking place in a watershed. Understanding the changes in LULC is essential in the planning and development of management strategies for water resources. The purpose of the study was to detect changes in LULC in the Kibwezi watershed in Kenya, using geospatial approaches. Supervised and unsupervised classification techniques using remote sensing (RS) and geographical information system (GIS) were used to process Landsat imagery for 1999, 2009, and 2019 while ERDAS IMAGINE™ 14 and MS Excel software were used to derive change detection, and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to delineate the watershed using an in-built watershed delineation tool. The watershed was classified into ten major LULC classes, namely cropland (rainfed), cropland (irrigated), cropland (perennial), crop and shrubs/trees, closed shrublands, open shrubland, shrub grasslands, wooded shrublands, riverine woodlands, and built-up land. The results showed that LULC under shrub grassland, urban areas, and crops and shrubs increased drastically by 552.5%, 366.2%, and 357.1% respectively between 1999 and 2019 with an annual increase of 35.55%, 35.38%, and 33.86% per annum. The area under open shrubland and closed shrubland declined by73.7%, and 30.4% annually. These LULC transformations pose a negative impact on the watershed resources. There is therefore a need for proper management of the watershed for sustainable socio-economic development of the Kibwezi area.
      PubDate: Mon, 12 Dec 2022 05:35:01 +000
  • Molar-Incisor Hypomineralization: Prevalence Comparative Study in 6 Years
           of Interval

    • Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence evolution rate of MIH (molar-incisor hypomineralization) after a 6-year period in Araraquara/SP, Brazil. This population-based study evaluated MIH in 545 schoolchildren (6–12 years of age) and other associated alterations, dental caries and dental fluorosis (DF). A semistructured questionnaire was sent to the schoolchildren’s parents/guardians with the purpose of identifying the socioeconomic profile. Associations between MIH and the clinical characteristics were analyzed by the Poisson analysis of regression with robust variance, estimating the RPc (crude prevalence ratio) with CI 95%. The level of significance of 5% was adopted. The MIH prevalence in Araraquara/SP in 2016 was 14.3% (n = 78), and at this time, an increase of 2% was observed, in comparison with the data of the first prevalence study conducted in 2010 (12.3%). The mild degree compromise was the most prevalent diagnosis in the affected teeth (82.0%). Among children with MIH, the mean number of affected teeth was 2.78. Of the total number of children with MIH, 32.0% presented alterations in both first permanent molars and permanent incisors. There is no significant association between MIH and dental caries experience on permanent dentition (PRc = 1.141; CI 95% 0.709–1.835) or on primary dentition (PRc = 1.132; CI 95% 0.749–1.709). Children with MIH presented significantly less prevalence of dental fluorosis (PRc = 0.505; CI 95% 0.268–0.950). There is no association between MIH and monthly Brazilian minimal wage income (PRc = 1.130; CI 95% 0.655–1.949). It was concluded that the number of MIH cases had increased, revealing a greater need for defining the etiological factors and establishing a correct diagnosis to make it possible to institute early intervention.
      PubDate: Fri, 09 Dec 2022 04:50:01 +000
  • An Overview of Hormone-Sensitive Lipase (HSL)

    • Abstract: Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) is a pivotal enzyme that mediates triglyceride hydrolysis to provide free fatty acids and glycerol in adipocytes in a hormonally controlled lipolysis process. Elevated plasma-free fatty acids were accompanied by insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, and obesity. Inhibition of lipolysis through HSL inhibition may provide a mechanism to prevent the accumulation of free fatty acids and to improve the affectability of insulin and blood glucose handling in type II diabetes. The published studies that examine the structure, regulation, and function of HSL and major inhibitors were reviewed in this paper.
      PubDate: Thu, 08 Dec 2022 09:35:01 +000
  • Preparation and Characterization of Biochars Obtained from Biomasses for
           Combustible Briquette Applications

    • Abstract: Renewable energies have been considered as alternative, clean, available, and ecological sources of energy. The production of biochar from biomass by thermochemical means is considered an efficient method of converting biomass for energy production. In this study, the biochars were produced from the biomasses of peanut shells and sugar cane bagasse at different pyrolysis temperatures (400°C, 450°C, and 500°C). The biomass samples and their produced biochars were characterized using calorific value, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM and EDX), compressibility index, and combustion behavior in order to analyze their potential. Experimental results showed that biochar has better fuel qualities compared to raw biomass. We also found that increasing the pyrolysis temperature clearly improved the calorific value, the morphology, the porosity of the biochars as well as the compressibility index of the biochars. The interest of this study was to produce renewable biochar from peanut shell waste and sugar cane bagasse for use as solid fuel.
      PubDate: Tue, 06 Dec 2022 06:50:01 +000
  • Mitigation of Social Impacts of Alternative Road Development Plans Based
           on Local Wisdom in West Sumatra, Indonesia

    • Abstract: Infrastructure development, especially roads, is hampered by the fact of rejection based on urgency and attachment to the Ulayat land of the local community. Therefore, further models are needed in the form of mitigation based on culture and local wisdom to avoid conflicts and land disputes and changes in their use. This study aims to identify the social impacts of the bypass Amor Road construction and its mitigation strategies based on the perceptions of the community and stakeholders. This research study uses a descriptive qualitative research method. Data collection techniques were carried out through documentation studies, observation, and in-depth interviews. The data analysis technique was carried out using SIA (social impact analysis). SIA helps the community, government, and private sector to better understand and anticipate possible social problems and the changes they bring about as a result of the construction of the bypass Amor road. The results of the study conclude that the success of road construction depends on the government’s mitigation strategy in adopting local values that live in the community which is then followed by the existence of a foundation and expansion of the fulfilment of community interests. This study recommends three things, namely, (1) conduct intensive and responsive socialization and approach; (2) approach community involvement through a community-based approach and traditional leaders; and (3) prepare alternative livelihoods based on community interest, local potential, market opportunities, and financial feasibility as well as providing capital for businesses.
      PubDate: Mon, 05 Dec 2022 04:50:01 +000
  • Palatable Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride Solid Dispersed Fast-Dissolving
           Films: Formulation and In Vitro and In Vivo Characterization

    • Abstract: One of the most important issues for bitter-tasting drugs such as levocetirizine dihydrochloride (LCD) is the production of palatable dosage forms. LCD also has a delayed onset of action following oral administration. In this study, solid dispersed fast-dissolving films (FDFs) of LCD using the solvent casting method for oral application were prepared and evaluated. The FDF is composed of HPMC as the film forming polymer and different types of superdisintegrants (sodium starch glycolate, croscarmellose sodium, or crospovidone). FDF containing crospovidone showed the highest percentage release of the drug (100.54% ± 1.47 within 3 min.) and was chosen for fabricating into palatable solid dispersed FDFs using different ratios of gelatine. The results of Raman and FTIR revealed that the drug’s crystalline structure has been disrupted, and the drug has intermolecular hydrogen bonds with gelatine. The solid dispersed FDF (LF-7), which contained the drug in the form of a 1 : 1 solid dispersion with gelatine, showed a rapid in vitro disintegration (25 seconds) and a burst release of the drug (99.22% ± 2.22 within one min). The in vivo studies were conducted on human participants and showed a significant () reduction in disintegration time (9.43 ± 2.16 sec.) and higher taste masking ability of the solid dispersed FDF (LF-7) compared to the nonsolid dispersed FDF (LF-4). The stability studies indicated that the prepared FDF remained stable over three months. Overall, FDFs of levocetirizine dihydrochloride with a palatable and rapid onset of action were developed to relieve allergic symptoms.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 13:05:01 +000
  • Analytical Solution to the Generalized Complex Duffing Equation

    • Abstract: Future scientific and technological evolution in many areas of applied mathematics and modern physics will necessarily depend on dealing with complex systems. Such systems are complex in both their composition and behavior, namely, dealing with complex dynamical systems using different types of Duffing equations, such as real Duffing equations and complex Duffing equations. In this paper, we derive an analytical solution to a complex Duffing equation. We extend the Krýlov–Bogoliúbov–Mitropólsky method for solving a coupled system of nonlinear oscillators and apply it to solve a generalized form of a complex Duffing equation.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 05:20:03 +000
  • The Potential of Hydroponic Kit-Based Growing on a Self-Fertigation System
           for Pagoda Mustard (Brassica narinosa L) Production

    • Abstract: Agricultural land has been converted into settlements following the population growth in various parts of the country. The productivity of horticulture, particularly pagoda mustard (Brassica narinosa L), decreases with the narrowing of fields. The main milestone as a promising solution to overcoming this issue is applying the hydroponic technique. This study aims to analyze the potential of hydroponic kit-based growing on a self-fertigation system for pagoda mustard production. In contrast to general hydroponic, the proposed hydroponic kit is supported by a smart valve component as a unique novelty used for the automatic distribution of nutrients without electrical power (zero energy). The mustard seeds were sown on rockwool for two to three days in a dark room and placed in the sun for seventeen days. A total of 50 pagoda mustard seeds were arranged evenly on a self-fertigation system tray following a zig-zag planting pattern for forty days. The seed has the following morphological characteristics: average height of 22.88 cm, biomass width of 26.42 cm, root length of 23.4 cm, and weight of 241.5 g. Furthermore, the production requires a total fertigation consumption of 186 L (equal to 0.0935 L/plant day−1) with an actual crop coefficient between 0.01 and 0.54. The proposed system shows good performance for mustard growth with a uniformity value between 80 and 89%. Finally, hydroponic kit-based growing on a self-fertigation system can be applied in various areas to produce and maintain a sustainable food supply.
      PubDate: Tue, 15 Nov 2022 14:05:01 +000
  • Freshwater-Derived Streptomyces: Prospective Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

    • Abstract: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is widely used in industrial applications, such as construction and clothing, owing to its chemical, physical, and environmental resistance. Owing to the previous characteristics, PVC is the third most consumed plastic worldwide and, consequently, an increasing waste accumulation-related problem. The current study evaluated an in-house collection of 61 Actinobacteria strains for PVC resin biodegradation. Weight loss percentage was measured after the completion of incubation. Thermo-gravimetric analysis was subsequently performed using the PVC incubated with the three strains exhibiting the highest weight loss. GC-MS and ionic exchange chromatography analyses were also performed using the culture media supernatant of these three strains. After incubation, 14 strains had a PVC weight loss percentage higher than 50% in ISP-2 broth. These 14 strains were identified as Streptomyces strains. Strains 208, 250, and 290 showed the highest weight loss percentages (57.6–61.5% range). The thermal stability of PVC after bacterial exposure using these three strains was evaluated, and a modification of the representative degradation stages of nonincubated PVC was observed. Additionally, GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of aromatic compounds in the inoculated culture media, and ionic exchange chromatography showed chloride release in the supernatant. A mathematical relation between culture conditions and PVC weight loss was also found for strains 208 and 290, showing an accuracy up to 97.99%. These results highlight the potential of the freshwater-derived Streptomyces strains as candidates for the PVC biodegradation strategy and constitute the first approach to a waste management control scale-up process.
      PubDate: Mon, 14 Nov 2022 08:20:02 +000
  • Ecological Survey of the Peridomestic Sand Flies of an Endemic Focus of
           Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the South-East of Morocco

    • Abstract: Leishmaniasis is a parasitosis caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania and is transmitted by Phlebotominae sand flies. An entomological survey was carried out in different localities of Zagora Province. Our work allowed us to establish an inventory of sand flies to study potential vectors of leishmaniasis and to compare the composition and the specific abundance of different endemic stations. The sand flies were collected using CDC miniature light traps during the month of July 2019 in the ten studied villages. The results indicate the presence of thirteen species, belonging to the genera Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia. Phlebotomus papatasi was the predominant species (46.65%) followed by Ph. alexandri (17%), Ph. longicuspis (11.55%), Ph. bergeroti (1.53%) and Ph. sergenti (1.27%). Phlebotomus kazeruni (0.03%) was rare, and only one female was captured in Ifred. Sergentomyia schwetzi (8.69%) was the most prevalent species in the Sergentomyia genus followed closely by Se. fallax (6.84%). Sergentomyia africana was present with a proportion of (3.86%) followed by Se. clydei (1.96%). Sergentomyia dreifussi (0.46%), Se. antennata (0.08%), and Se. minuta (0.08%) were very limited. Phlebotomus papatasi, Ph. alexandri, Ph. bergeroti, Ph. longicuspis, Ph. sergenti, Se. schwetzi, Se. clydei, and Se. fallax are constant species, being present at least in 50% of the stations (occurrence> 50%). Common species (25%–49%) were Se. minuta and Se. africana and rare species were Ph. kazeruni and Se. antennata with a very limited distribution (occurrence 9 species) in most of the villages. The Shannon–Wiener index was high (H′ > 1) in eight localities (Ksar Mougni, Tassaouante, Bleida, ZaouiteLeftah, Ifred, Timarighine, Ait Oulahyane, and Ait Ali Ouhassou). The high value of this index is in favor of the ZaouiteLeftah locality (Shannon–Wiener index = 1.679) which is explained by the presence of a stand dominated by Ph. papatasi. In order to avoid exposure to infections, a good epidemiological surveillance and vector with rodent control measures must be well maintained. Awareness campaigns are also required and must be conducted for better knowledge of the disease.
      PubDate: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 10:50:04 +000
  • Exploring the Knowledge and Attitude of the Taxi Drivers in the Field of
           Traffic Rules and Regulations

    • Abstract: Background. In all countries, the knowledge of driving guidelines is the most important and critical mechanism to ensure the safety of drivers. Naturally, it is expected that more knowledge and attitude towards driving laws would result in fewer driving violations. The aim of this research is to investigate both the knowledge and attitude of taxi drivers in the field of traffic rules and regulations in Shiraz city, Fars province, in 2019. Methods. This research is a cross-sectional study, based on which about 1077 taxi drivers were randomly chosen in Shiraz city, Iran. The data collection tool is a demographic information questionnaire and a questionnaire on driving guidance. After collecting these questionnaires, the obtained data were entered into SPSS version 20 and then analyzed by descriptive analyses (mean, standard deviation, and percentage). Afterward, the independent t-test, one-way ANOVA, and Pearson correlation coefficient are implemented and investigated. Results. The mean and standard deviation of knowledge score in drivers were about 26.8 ± 55.2 while the mean and standard deviation of drivers’ attitude were about 98.16 ± 59.3. The results showed that there was a significant relationship between the variables studied (R = −0.07; ) and drivers’ attitudes toward driving ().Conclusion. The results of this research show that the mean scores of knowledge and attitude of taxi drivers in Shiraz city are moderate in terms of driving rules and regulations; moreover, among taxi drivers of increasing age, the average score of knowledge was lower.
      PubDate: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 06:20:01 +000
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